Third Intifada Begins – December 15, 2012 – Hebron
“This is the beginning of a third Palestinian Intifada, which is erupting from the heart of Hebron and will spread to all of Palestine.”
One must be careful with this type of evidence; after all there is more than one reason for the Israeli political police, Shin Beth, to fake such a video. Moreover, considering the clothing of the participants it would be remarkably easy to falsify it even for the youngest agent, maybe as a graduation project. Yet, the video matches other developments on the ground and thus it is credible. It was posted on YouTube on December 15, 2012, by an alleged coalition of Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. These are the four main Palestinian political parties. Considering the disintegration of Palestine into Hamas-controlled Gaza and Fatah-controlled West Bank, this video is by itself groundbreaking news. However, it contains more than an image of unity. Its main message is “This is the beginning of a third Palestinian Intifada, which is erupting from the heart of Hebron and will spread to all of Palestine.” This will be achieved through the newly established “National Union Battalions.”
Let me translate this into simple terms. Following the acceptance of Palestine as an Observer State by the UN, the main Palestinian factions have united and declared Palestine’s Independence War on Israel. Is this credible? Will Palestine declare independence on May 14, 2013?
The video at the left was filmed the day before and shows violence in Hebron. Palestinian police officers are seen clashing with Hamas supporters during a rally in Hebron which marked the group’s 25th anniversary. The demonstrators marched from the city hall toward an Israeli checkpoint while the Palestinian officers attempted to disperse them. The demonstrators threw stones at them, and a number of them were detained. Due to resolution issues it is difficult to say for sure, but several Israeli soldiers may have participated in the event.
This may look like a contradiction to the claims made in the video above, but it is not so. It has been five years since Hamas supporters were allowed to gather in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority police was just making sure they would not reach the IDF checkpoint. Hence, the video supports the claim that a new coalition had been achieved.
Since November, there has been an increase in West Bank protests. According to the IDF, 130 attacks were launched from the West Bank in that month; most of them were defined as “difficult to contain.” AMAN, Israel’s military intelligence, reports a sharp increase in alerts suggesting attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. Moreover, Palestinian Authority police stopped arresting Hamas operatives in the West Bank, and they are allowed to act freely. The Shin Beth released reports claiming that the West Bank is ripe for a third Intifada. Thus, at least the message in the video above is credible.
The IDF is fighting an outdated war. One of its generals, who refused to be identified by name, said on the same day to Yedioth Aharonot, Israel’s largest newspaper, “There are two scenarios that may indicate the future: The reopening of Hamas’ da’wah [charity] institutions in the West Bank and the complete suspension of arrests of Hamas operatives.” He added that the trigger for a third Intifada may end up being Jewish terror, such as “Price Tag” acts or clashes between Palestinians and settlers. One of the saddest things in this world is an old general trying to repeat a war from his youth; this unnamed general did just that.
The First Intifada was formally triggered on December 8, 1987. Two days before that, an Israeli salesman had been stabbed to death in Gaza; denizens suspected a retaliation from Israel. Then, an IDF tank transporter ran into a group of Palestinians from Jabalya Refugee Camp in Gaza. It killed four and injured seven, creating what looked like a retaliation. Subsequent violent protests became the Intifada. Yet, the ground had been burning for months; in despair, the IDF sent training units to the Occupied Territories since the beginning of that year. Years later, in September 2000, the Palestinian unrest was of a similar magnitude. The Second Intifada began on September 28, 2000, when Ariel Sharon, Likud candidate for Israeli Prime Minister, entered the Temple Mount accompanied by over 1,000 security guards. He said, “the Temple Mount is in our hands and will remain in our hands. It is the holiest site in Judaism and it is the right of every Jew to visit the Temple Mount.” By the end of 2012, the IDF is betting on a third variant of the theme. Yet, recent Palestinian actions show that a similar scenario is unlikely to happen.
Phase is Everything in Life
“Phase is everything in life,” a physicist friend told me once, and I found it impossible to refute his claim. Anybody thinking that the Palestinians will follow in 2013 the same patterns as they did in 1987 and 2000 is at least out of phase with our world and probably out of touch with reality. As analyzed in May 14, 2013, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has proved that he possesses a sharp historical perspective by concentrating his efforts on the recognition of Palestine as an Observer State on the anniversary of the historic 1947 vote on UN Resolution 181, better known as the UN Partition Plan of Palestine. He outsmarted Israel, which concentrated its efforts on the annulment of the resolution, instead of attempting to change its symbolic date. This was the act of a mature statesman who realized that the negotiations had entered a dead end alley. He is unlikely to surrender to settlers or IDF provocations and has a clear goal: complete independence. For historical reasons, his best choice would be May 14, 2013. Hence, the IDF’s published scenario is unlikely. The date the violent phase of the struggle will begin on is not related to Israeli actions.
Regardless of the name used by the media, the Third Intifada has not begun. What we are seeing is a Palestinian national, coordinated effort to achieve independence. The video on the top of this page announces the soon to begin Palestinian War of Independence. Are you ready, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz?
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I’d say that the Palestinian issue and even Gaza weighs upon the Muslim’s ability to ALLOW non-Muslims their spaces and respect the whole gamut of non-Muslim entertainments. Throughout this blog, there are instances of why Muslims should not be allowed to dominate the world. Muslims are incapable of governing diversity or understanding Voltarian freedoms such as accepting LGBT, gambling, alcohol, adult industry to list a few examples. Gaza (inequitable by location – no country can be in two parts in this manner – best that a land swop or ceding of the Gaza territory by Palestine occurs . . . ) and Palestine will NEVER be free until perhaps for a start the Islamist leaning government in malaysia ALLOWS all the above listed HUMAN RIGHTS the appropriate spaces and legal recognition and enforcement protections in a manner suitable and dignifying of the groups mentioned. This is why Palestine does not ‘deserve’ to exist, this is why Israel has a right to persecute Muslims, simply by the persecution applied by Muslims on non-Muslims elsewhere in the world .
There can be no protection or rights for Palestine so long as in places like Malaysia there are no rights granted on the above issues and more so when Palestine keeps firing rockets at Israel.
Yemen Times interview with Russian Ambassador Vladimir Trofimov: – “I don’t believe that Yemen will ever fall apart, and my government position is to support Yemen’s unity.” (Report).
“I will be happy to answer all your questions,” said the Russian Federation’s Ambassador to Yemen Vladimir Trofimov when we met him for an interview. He candidly opened his hands, “When it comes to Yemeni and Russian relations, we have no secrets.” Trofimov had been ambassador in Yemen for two and half years and is likely to continue for another one and half. Before that, he had been working for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 35 years, 22 of which were spent Arab countries.
He graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1974 and in 1986 graduated from the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has a Masters degree in History and speaks German, English, French and Arabic. He is married with one son who also works or the Foreign Service, specialized in Chinese affairs.
Nadia Al-Sakkaf interviewed Trofimov about Russia, Yemen and international affairs.
Every year, the Russian Federation provides Yemen with 80 Bachelor degree scholarships in many fields in addition to 45 scholarships for military degrees. A Yemeni-Russian Friendship Association recommends candidates for 20 of the general scholarships, while the remaining are decided on by the Ministry of Education.
Russia has investments in energy as it involved in the establishment of the Marib Power Plant, although it is keen on expanding to other fields when opportunity is available.
There are representatives of many large Russian industrial companies in Yemen and they are involved in energy and medical work, among other fields.
In the last few years, Russia canceled USD 5.5 billion of Yemen’s debts it the Russian Federation. And while Yemen still owes USD 1.2 billion, there is no pressure to return this amount as Yemen continues to pay an annual interest rate around no more than USD 20 million a year.
To Yemen, the Russian federation is not a donor country as such. However, it does help Yemen in facilitating agreements and supports Yemen’s development through expertise and discounted deals for equipment, arms, medicines and so forth.
Russians in Yemen
Formally, 500 Russians, mostly doctors and nurses, are registered with the embassy and have official state contracts. Yet the total Russian community in Yemen by far exceeds this number. Trofimov estimates that there are around 3,500 Russians living in Yemen, mainly in the medical field while others working in geological exploration among other disciplines.
Over the years, there have not been serious complaints raised by Russians living in Yemen and the general impression is that Russians feel safe across the country. They work in Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Hadramout and Hodeidah. The embassy does not instruct its citizens where to go and where not to, as they have been evidently wise in their movement and work in Yemen.
“Even we at the embassy don’t believe that we need extra security measures despite the tragic incident of kidnapping and murdering foreigners in Sa’ada,” he said. “Thanks to the Yemeni government, security around the embassy is good enough.”
Russia and Yemen signed a security cooperation agreement in 1998 and since then the two countries have exchanged expertise and Russia has supported Yemen with intelligence and military training, besides the 24 military scholarships every year.
During Saleh’s visit to Moscow this February, the two countries agreed on cooperation in combating terrorism and piracy. As a follow up, a specialized Russian delegation will be visiting Yemen in November this year to take the agreement further. There is talk of a joint Yemeni-Russian anti-terrorism and anti-piracy committee.
President Saleh also signed a deal to buy arms from Russia during his February visit. This is not the first time that Yemen buys weapons from Russia, who provides Yemen with discounted prices.
“We know Yemen is not a very rich country, so we do what we can to support Yemen’s sovernity and internal security, which is very important to us,” he said.
“Our relations with Yemen are friendly and strong,” he said. “Our position is to firmly support Yemen’s unity and integrity.”
But Russia does not interfere in Yemen’s internal affairs like other countries do, Trofimov stressed. It trusts that the current president was elected by the people through a democratic process, and hence it is not fair to meddle into local affairs.
However, he believes that the instability in Yemen should not be over-dramatized. Another country with the amount of arms available in Yemen would have already been blown to pieces. Yemenis are therefore patient and calm people and are wise at handling their internal affairs.
The demonstrations in the south are economically based, and were triggered by some foreign and local political interests that do not represent all the Yemeni people.
“I don’t believe that Yemen will ever fall apart, and my government position is to support Yemen’s unity,” he said.
Russia intends to hold a Middle East Peace Conference in the coming months. Its interest in the region’s stability is not new, as it has played a role as a mediator among many conflicting parties of the region.
“We don’t call it the Middle East,” he said. “We call it the Near East because it is near to us. And naturally we are concerned with its stability and want to ensure peace in the region. We have no problem talking to anyone in the process of making peace.”
Hamas has always been a controversial file between Russia and the United States among other western countries. Although there are currently around one and half million Russian Jews in Israel, Russia’s friendly position towards Hamas, Fatah and Iran has been made clear on more than one occasion.
“Mish’al had been invited to Russia twice before and we are inviting him again to visit some time soon,” he explained. “We must not ignore the fact that his government was a legitimate one elected by the Palestinian people. If we don’t consider Israel who keeps killing dozens of Palestinians every day a terrorist state, why should we consider Hamas a terrorist organization?”
“Our policy is to have fair relations with all sides, so that we can play a balanced role in the region in order to maintain peace,” he concluded.
Similarly, Russia’s relations with eastern countries are also maintained on friendly levels. Russia has annual USD 30 billion trade agreements with China and strong relations with India, notably commercial ones, as well as with other Asian countries.
Whether the new US administration means different US policy in the Middle East region is yet to be seen. However, Trofimov does find the Obama administration has a warmer attitude towards Russia compared to the Bush administration which was rather “confrontational.”…
Copyright Yemen Times. All rights reserved.
Judge, three relatives found beheaded in Ukraine’s Kharkov – Published: 15 December, 2012, 22:18
The decapitated bodies of a judge, his wife and son were found at their home in one of the biggest Ukrainian cities of Kharkov on Saturday, police said. The killers also targeted the son’s partner, her body being mutilated in the same way.
Victims of the graphic murder were discovered at the apartment of Vladimir Trofimov, 58, a judge of the city district court.
“The murder took place in the morning, four bodies are decapitated,” police said.
“We do not exclude Trofimov’s professional activity as a motive which led to the crime. But we are also looking into other possible reasons,” Kharkhov District police chief, Viktor Kozitsky remarked.
Local media report that police registered an emergency call at around 13:00 pm (11:00 GMT). The caller told them that he had found mutilated bodies of his four relatives including Trofimov himself, his wife, 59, their son in his 30s and the son’s girlfriend, 29. The murder occurred on the day that Ukrainian court workers celebrate their professional holiday. Kharkov is Ukraine’s second-largest city located in the country’s east. It was one of four Ukrainian cities to host the UEFA’s major football tournament Euro 2012.
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Silenced by the Arabs IN Russia (beheading seems to indicate)? Or silenced by the Russians themselves (in Arab style so that a war can be declared by Russia against Arabs . . . maybe high time so long as Islamists cannot abide by protection and granting of spaces and freedoms for non-Muslim entertainments) for being a double agent for Arabs in Yemen? Scary to get involved with these sorts . . . Gulag! Or conversion! Bad choices all, though extreme-Capitalism is no better . . .
93 elite guards sentenced in Yemen – Voice of Russia, Gazeta.ru – Dec 15, 2012 21:19 Moscow Time
Yemeni military court sentenced 93 members of the Republican Guard to prison terms from three to seven years for an attempt to break into the Defense Ministry building in August.
The elite Republican Guard is led by Brigadier General Ahmed Saleh, son of the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh who resigned from power in February after more than a year of protests, in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
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Postulation : Looks like North Korea informing/selling info with that new satellite? Satellites could be BRAIN SCANNERS . . . Memories do not fade Russia, but Kim should know that blackmailing of Russia for WW2 incursions quietly in the background, will be more useful to Kim in the long run than exposing Russia to Islamists directly. As for the necessity due to Russian treachery or the regain national pride of WW2 atrocities, that could wait until the Islamists have pledged to protect and ensure non-Muslim lifestyles.
There is a ‘morality’ ‘key’ on satellite technology that can only be operated by certain types of Egregore/Subconsciousneses born from certain types of persons or those of sufficient strength among a nation’s citizentry. Should the Egregore or or Subconsciousneses assent to operate the Satellite via contract with the owner, the ALIENS waiting outside the Earth’s orbit are ready to communicate with the owner of the satellite via the subconscious or egregore.
The above series of events INCLUDING the mass shooting of 26+1 in Newport (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100321171), and Hillary’s ‘timely’ (if not contrived) illness and concussion circa 16th December 2012 could be a sort of warning or brain transplant, or soul exchange occuring.
As for Kim, the isolation was so severe that if the ALIEN theory is true, then NK communications would be as important to describe the nature of humanity than be suppressed as in the current form. ALIENS may not fully understand human emotions and societies and having only met a handful of satellites, might be misled to think every other human was not good or needed to be suppressed. NK’s satellite was piloted by the ‘14th Dec 2012 Egregore‘ and reached space where ALIENS learnt the nature of isolation and reputational sabotage by human nation against human nation.
The other method of piercing the atmosphere is via psychic broadcasting, where a psychic broadcasts upwards into the atmosphere (this can be intercepted or conducted away) but such signals are of interest to ALIENS being biological in nature, and are viewed equally as valid expressions of humanity as the satellite. ALIENS as of now may be on a fact collecting mission, and having discovered the abuses of certain human segments of society are on a ‘cleanup’ mission. Internet and mobile phone incidentally have been entirely infiltrated and are being loaded by aliens who study the emotions, if not neurotech scientists . . . the psychoatric establishment also attempts to shut off communications by heavily drugging psychics able to pierce the atmosphere, this is effetive partially when localized and with opponent psychics focusing against.
Any refutes and discussions to/against the (most admitedly viewed as outlandish) above post is welcome.
Mother-of-four with Parkinson’s disease turns condition into an art form by becoming a Marilyn Monroe human statue – by Daily Mail Reporters – PUBLISHED: 17:38 GMT, 14 December 2012 | UPDATED: 19:30 GMT, 14 December 2012
Nicky was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when she was 29
The condition makes her muscles tighten, leaving her unable to move
Nicky now poses as a frozen Marilyn Monroe for two hours at a time to raise money for charity
A Parkinson’s sufferer whose muscles stiffen as a result of the disease has turned her condition into an art-form – by becoming a human statue.
Mother-of-four Nicky Pywell was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when she was just 29 forcing her to give up her career as a gardener.
The neurological condition means that without medication Nicky’s muscles and joints contract and tighten – and she is unable to move.
Nicky during her Marilyn Monroe performance
Good cause: Nicky decided to harness her muscle rigidity for charity by posing as a living statue for money
Undeterred, courageous Nicky decided not to let the debilitating disease get in her way and used her newly found talent to pose as a living statue.
She now raises money for charity by doing a Marilyn Monroe impersonation in her home town of Coalville, Leicester, for two hours at a time.
The street-artist now makes up to £400-a-time for Parkinson’s UK with her popular performances.
The 35-year-old said: ‘I become a living statue for two-and-a-half hours. I get stiff, all my muscles get rigid and I’m unable to move if I don’t have my medication.
Toddler enjoys first family Christmas at home after having ELEVEN tumours removed from all over her body
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‘It was the idea of being stiff that led to being a statue. I do take little breaks but every time I am out on the platform I don’t move.
‘I raised about £390 the first time. That was taken from sponsorships beforehand as well as people giving me some on the day.
‘I gave an envelope to everyone I met that week telling them about myself and what I was doing.
‘I love Marilyn Monroe – she was a good actress and beautiful and glamorous. I find it really fun, I enjoy it and people say I look like her.’
Ms Pywell first sought her GP’s advice after she thought she had pulled a muscle while using a hedge trimmer nine years ago.
Nicky used to be a gardener but had to give up her job when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s
Nicky used to be a gardener but had to give up her job when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s
As time went on her left arm began to shake and drag but it took another three years and four neurologists to diagnose Nicky because doctors thought she was too young to suffer from Parkinson’s.
She added: ‘I was working as a self taught and self-employed gardener which I loved.
‘This particular day I was using a hedge trimmer and I thought I had just pulled a muscle. My left arm felt stiff.
‘I went to a walk in clinic and they gave me anti-inflammatory medicine, but it didn’t go away.
‘Then my left arm began to shake, and my left leg began to drag so much that it affected my driving.
‘Over the next three years I saw three or four different neurologists. None of them thought it could be Parkinson’s because I was so young.
‘Eventually my new GP sent me to a different neurologist at Leicester General Hospital. They admitted me to the ward, and Parkinson’s was finally diagnosed.
‘The medication they put me on worked very quickly and I was able to walk out of hospital.
‘I felt that things were finally getting under control, with the help of my Parkinson’s nurse.
‘Giving up my gardening career was one of the hardest things for me. Now, I’m taking each day as it comes.
‘People aren’t aware that I’ve got it unless I tell them and you get funny looks from people who make assumptions.
‘It’s much more likely that people think you’re drunk or taking drugs. For me to accept I’ve got Parkinson’s it was easier for me if I told the world rather than tell people one by one. It’s something I’ve learned to live with and not to be ashamed of.’
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Actually the psychic or astral imprinting issue is a viable problem to be considered with people with illnesses displaying themselves as role models. The best would be for warning to accompany with the ‘statue busker’ that has an illness (which spoils the work), or to have people in perfect health AND a family history free of disease that do not need warnings. That way, HEALTHINESS can be psychically imprinted upon the passers by rather than ‘wiping off’ of illness (if even intended or possible being in such a poor state of health) on the casual onlooker. Subconsciously those less wary or unaware may end up psychically ‘imitating’ Parkinsons disease while out of ignorance due to attraction for Marilyn Monroe and hence there must be some forethought and caution on the part of the audience as well even as the worker puts themselves out on a limb as well.
Some of the people who are knowledgeable about this may not practice or are coordinated well in actual practice, conversely those who practice well (a large majority I would say), do not know how to communicate this being unschooled in occult language. Then there are those fractured by the psychiatric establishment for being too strong or too aware, but thats another neurotech tagged article on this blog for those who care to browse . . .
Emotional Obama vows action to prevent shootings ‘regardless of the politics’ – by Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – Fri, Dec 14, 2012
President Barack Obama wipes a tear as he speaks about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, …An emotional President Barack Obama vowed on Friday to “take meaningful action, regardless of the politics,” to prevent future tragedies like the shooting massacre Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“Our hearts are broken today,” Obama said in a brief statement at the White House briefing room, frequently pausing to wipe tears from his eyes. “The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them: birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.”
Obama expressed sorrow for the victims’ loved ones and sympathy for the parents of the children who survived but who know that “their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early.”
“As a country we have been through this too many times,” Obama said, listing a series of mass shootings over the past few years in places like Aurora, Colo.
“These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” he stressed.
Earlier, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “today’s not the day” to talk about possible new gun control steps meant to prevent such tragedies in the future.
Obama ordered flags over government facilities to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Dec. 18. Shortly after he spoke, Connecticut State Police said the death toll included 20 children, six adults and the shooter.
Obama learned of the rampage at 10:30 a.m. from Homeland Security adviser John Brennan. He later discussed it by telephone with FBI Director Robert Mueller and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Obama’s reference to acting “regardless of the politics” seemed likely to be a reference to deep opposition in Congress to new gun control legislation.
“Today’s not … a day to engage in the usual Washington policy debates,” Carney told reporters. “That day will come, but today’s not that day.” Carney said renewing a federal assault weapons ban “does remain a commitment” of the president. The ban expired in 2004, and Obama has taken no serious steps to renew it on Capitol Hill.
Carney declined to answer repeated questions on when would be an appropriate time for lawmakers in Washington to discuss possible actions to prevent future tragedies. “Our minds and our focus need to be on what’s happening there and providing assistance where we can to those who need it,” he said, urging “enormous sympathy for the families that are affected.”
One reporter pointed to Obama’s remarks in July just days after a shooting spree that left 12 dead and about 60 injured at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
“I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country,” Obama said at the time.
Obama has made similar comments before, including at a January 2011 memorial for the victims of a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., in which then-Rep. Gabby Giffords was grievously wounded.
“We have to examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of such violence in the future,” Obama said. “But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other. That we cannot do.”
Republican House Speaker John Boehner likewise ordered the Stars and Stripes lowered over the Capitol.
“The horror of this day seems so unbearable, but we will lock arms and unite as citizens, for that is how Americans rise above unspeakable evil,” Boehner said in a written statement. “Let us all come together in God’s grace to pray for the families of the victims, that they may find some comfort and peace amid such suffering.
“Let us give thanks for all those who helped get people to safety, and take heart from their example. The House of Representatives—like every American—stands ready to assist the people of Newtown, Connecticut,” Boehner said.
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Absolute power absolutely corrupts.
Suggest that ALL owners of PRIVATE temples and churches be implanted with neurotech. Also all neurosurgeons who are able to implant neurotech and sellers of neurotech be implanted with neurotech as well. ALL private hospital committee chairs (or anyone with the authority to authorize bonuses), and ALL public listed company chairs serving more than 2 terms also required to be implanted with neurotech. ALL psychiatrists with the authority to implant neurotech be implanted with neurotech so that audits of all individuals possibly overseen by WHO can be done to see that abuse of political opponents and activists be prevented. Coroners who might have access to the dead and ‘used’ neurotech should also be implanted as well. The security people working at cushy jobs in nuke or dangerous weapon stockpiles also should be considered, to prevent bribery by unfriendly forces.
ALL neurotech implants should be registered with WHO and INTERPOL and deactivatable from WHO and INTERPOL to prevent abuse. ALL cabinet ministers related to security or neurotech based surveillance should be implanted with neurotech as well. ALL top police persons with access to neurotech devices be implanted with neurotech so that the NEUTRAL MEMBERS of public (i.e. no relatives, no neighbours, no people from the same establishment or work place) can do audits.
All neurotech implants NOT registered will be considered illegal. This way even banks and major companies leaking secrets and funds to unfriendly (not necessarily Muslet companies, but given the ‘War on terror’ the most infiltrations should likely be Muslet friendly ‘Whites’ of multifaith households or multifaith ‘toting’, yet Islamist leaning countries like Malaysia or some parts of Europe).
New Russian motto: Legalize prostitution – collect taxes – 07.12.2012
The situation on the Russian market of sex services may soon dramatically change. Prostitutes will not be cheaper, and the moral climate in the society will not get better. Instead of vulnerability before the officials and clients, prostitutes would have “safety certificates” and those enjoying their bodies would have confidence that they are not dealing with a hotbed of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. A conference to discuss the initiative on the development of a law on legalization of prostitution was held in Moscow under the motto “legalize prostitution – collect taxes”. The idea was supported by a State Duma deputy from the party “United Russia” Joseph Kobzon.
The initiative on legalization of prostitution and the conference was originated by the fund “Morality Police.” The document of the organization, called a draft federal law “On state regulation and control of sexual services” suggested calling prostitutes “individual entrepreneurs engaged in providing sexual services,” and their clients – “consumers of sexual services.” The authors of the bill proposed to consider underground prostitution only sexual activities meant to obtain “income in the form of money or other material benefits.” The bill addresses the relationship between “entrepreneurs” and “consumers” as well as tax and other government agencies.
Duma deputy Joseph Kobzon supported the idea of ??the bill with reservations. He noted that the bill was just an excuse to start a great debate, perhaps even a referendum. “As soon as the State Duma starts drafting a law on prostitution, it will immediately raise the question of the need of its approval in the second reading by the government and presidential administration. Once the government feels that this law has a financial component, […] that there will be a need to allocate money from the budget to combat prostitution, it will be voted down,” said Kobzon. According to him, the money will be needed first of all for the maintenance of the new police unit – morality police.
Speaking after Kobzon, spokeswoman of the informal union of sex workers “Silver Rose” Oksana Yartseva noted that taxes that are rampant in prostitution “settle in the pockets of corruption.”
De facto prostitution flourishes in Russia, and the existing laws are obsolete. In the current Russian legislation Article 6.11 in the Code of Administrative Offences provides for a fine for prostitution between 1,500 and 2,000 rubles. There are two articles of the Criminal Code against pimps and keepers of brothels. They are “Involvement in prostitution” (up to a maximum of eight years in prison) and “Organization of prostitution” (ten years).
The conference overlooked the fact that talking about prostitutes we normally think of women, and thinking of customers we think of men only, which is not quite true. Everyone knows about the existence of male prostitution – and not just for the gay.
Sociologist Olga Kryshtanovskaya was among the most prominent opponents of legalization of prostitution at the conference. She did not like the fact that “it can be done by any girl who graduated from high school.” The opponents of this bill have two main arguments. The law on the legalization of prostitution is contrary to the traditional moral values ??and would lead to a greater spread of this vicious phenomenon. Ms. Kryshtanovskaya who specializes in the study of elites also mentioned sex tourism: “Would we face a huge influx of migrant sex tourists who will be coming along with their male migrant workers? How will it impact our demographic situation?”
In contrast to the arguments of morality and increasing number of prostitutes, the rhetorical question of Olga Kryshtanovskaya is very pertinent. The first oldest profession safely existed from time immemorial and, apparently, in one form or another will exist as long as the human race exists. As for Christianity, according to Jesus, individual prostitutes have a chance to enter the kingdom of heaven before priests and the elders. The spread of prostitution, as noted by Joseph Kobzon, is affected by social problems.
As long as Russia stays a poor country, the officials should think hard before legalizing prostitution. Otherwise, Russia can turn into semblance of Thailand that has become the center of world sex tourism. Russia should also look at the experience of Germany. Prostitution in Germany is legal in Protestant lands and prohibited in Catholic Bavaria. However, the ban does not lead to the destruction of brothels but, rather, drives them underground.
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Igor? We all know that the regime establishment, chauvinists and militant feminists thrive off the sexual frustration of either gender. Prostitution if legalized will remove this element of psychic abuse from society and even prevent abuse especially FROM the hetero religious establishment fundos. The officials have been thinking ‘hard’, but Igor has been thinking ‘soft’. If Russia turns into the semblance of Thailand, one can only see the downfall of Capitalism as Socialism takes control when business goes to Russia. The economic vibrancy (we all know that places where the most entertainment occur is also where the biggest deals get done) of a Thailand-like Russia would dominate the world. Why would Igor not want that? Fifth columnist fronting for Capitalism? Igor is an ‘Igor’ for the Frankenstein of USA’s extreme-Capitalists (much like Islamists) . . .
European feminists gang up on children’s fairytales – 11.12.2012
European kindergartens and schools may ban children’s books and fairy tales that depict the traditional family. This is a request of the European Parliament Committee on Women’s Rights. According to the committee, fairy tales should talk about sexual diversity. Norwegian experts believe that children benefit from watching porn.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality prepared a report that calls for a ban of all books that show the traditional family where the father is the breadwinner and the mother takes care of the children in schools and day care centers of Europe. According to the authors, these books are bad for the future life of children, especially girls, and promote wrong behavioral patterns. In the future, it may prevent them from building a career.
Feminists are concerned that children from an early age are constantly faced with “negative gender stereotypes” in television shows and commercials. The word “negative” in the report is synonymous with the word “traditional”. Over time, the ban would be extended to television and advertising. So far it was decided to start with books.
The authors of the report strongly recommend urgent legislative measures in the field of children’s literature. In particular, they suggest introducing a policy of “equality of all social sectors.” An example of alternative children’s literature is a book “King and King” with kissing men on the cover. According to the report, this would help children to learn about the “true sexual diversity of society.”
In fact, such measures have already been taken in some countries, particularly in Scandinavian ones that consider themselves the vanguard of Western democracy. “Pravda.Ru” once reported about a Swedish toy manufacturer that issued a catalog before Christmas where girls were pictured shooting imaginary enemies with laser guns, and boys were depicted playing with dolls.
This was a requirement of the Swedish advertising regulator who accused the toy manufacturer of sexism and imposition of negative gender stereotypes. Norwegian kindergartens in 2010 introduced a program of compulsory sex education focusing on sexual minorities.
The report of the European Parliament also insisted that “homosexuality should be taught in kindergarten as a form of experience and knowledge.” According to them, this will expand the concept of “gender identity” for children. “Sexual diversity should be obvious to children. Children need to know that this is normal when your parents are gay or lesbian.”
For some reason, not all parents are willing to believe that this is “normal.” In Norway Muslim community strongly opposed such education in kindergartens. They threatened to withdraw their children from such institutions or create an alternative.
For the “dark” parents who are not aware of the latest trends in sex education in modern society, Norway’s largest newspaper VG Nett recently published an opinion of psychologists and sex therapists who said that it was beneficial for children to watch porn on the internet.
“Parents should not be afraid of their children’s sexuality. Conversely, from a health perspective it is beneficial to watch porn at a time when parents and children talk openly about these issues,” said psychologist and sex researcher Andres Lindskog.
He was commenting on a statement recently issued by an expert from the organization Save the Children, who expressed concern about the fact that increasingly more children and teenagers were addicted to watching pornographic sites on the Internet.
Anders Lindskog is convinced that there is no addiction or harm from this. “It’s important for parents to understand that children are born with sexuality and follow their biology. Children have the same feelings as adults,” said the expert.
After that, should we be surprised that the number of cases of pedophilia is growing in Norway? They mostly occur within the family. A few days ago, newspapers wrote about another such case. A couple, a husband and wife, subjected their three children under 10 years of age to violence and sexual perversions for years.
The children confirmed the violence to the police. But that does not mean that the punishment will be sufficiently severe. In Norway, pedophilia is considered a disease and is listed in the Medical Register. For this reason, pedophiles are given short sentences – from several months to several years. In some cases punishment could be limited to penalty only. In the end, parents can always say that they practiced “diversity of sexual relations.”
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Since brain scanning neurotech use is rampant, the issue of abuse and consent as well as TRUE (non-contrived) experimentation among children and conscientious NON-ABUSIVE AND NON-PREDATORY AND NON-EXPLOITATIVE adults that are not a form of uncontrolled incest, should be considered as part of the law making process. There should be no ‘top-secret’ preventions in the expositions of technology and application to the populace any more to prevent abuse and Orwellian dictatorships, hidden or not.
As for feminists or chauvinists, these groups should be allowed to exist as well and educate in the form they would prefer (i.e. disallowing fairytales) BUT may only ‘recruit or induct’ from children who have been determined to have NATURAL PROPENSITY OR GRAVITATION BY A NEUTRAL PANEL and consensually chose the subculture . . . *NOT* even children of arbitrarily feminists or chauvinists by nature should be forced into this sub-culture.
That would mean that Feminists and Chauvinists would continue to exist as a social group, but only be based around affirmation of the type of person, which a child MUST independently decide, and choose from A LIST OF ALL VARIANTS OF SUBCULTURES which must be part of early education. Meanwhile parents back home must be taught to not *forcibly inculpate* ANY values so that the child may grow up independently to decide what they want, NOT what the parents want. Invariably, the traditional family would doubtless survive as well – PROVIDED the issue of land and wealth distribution is resolved and do not from lack of distribution cause poverty to influence the child’s decision and choice as well.
Buffett is latest billionaire to struggle with newspaper revival – Edmund Lee , Bloomberg News – Thursday 13 December 2012
Warren Buffett, the investor famous for betting on aging industries like railroads and insurance, is now trying to pull off something other billionaires have tried and failed to do: save the newspaper business.
His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has spent more than $342 million on 80 newspapers — including its hometown paper, the Omaha World-Herald — and used them to build a new business unit. And Buffett isn’t done. Though the division announced plans to close an underperforming newspaper in Virginia last month, he’s said that more acquisitions may be in store.
Terry Kroeger, the newly installed chief of Buffett’s newspaper empire, runs the operation from a 15th-floor office overlooking the expanse of wide streets that make up Omaha, Neb. The goal, Kroeger says, is to reintroduce newspapers to what they do best: delivering urgent, local information that readers can’t get elsewhere — and coaxing people into paying for it. He’s also creating offshoot websites with corporate sponsors and branching out into Internet video.
“We’ve got to evolve with what people are looking for, and I think our industry has done kind of a crappy job with that,” Kroeger, 50, said in an interview.
Kroeger, who started working at the World-Herald 27 years ago, once kept a pair of sneakers under his desk to mow the lawn whenever the grass around the office building got unsightly. Just like in those early days, it’s essential to charge readers for the reporting that journalists provide, he said. The World- Herald erected a so-called pay wall last year, and Kroeger aims to roll out the same approach across his other newspapers.
“You can’t spend millions of dollars assembling something and then give it away,” he said, endorsing a strategy adopted by the New York Times, News Corp.’s Wall Street Journal and most of Gannett Co.’s papers.
The World-Herald, Buffett’s flagship paper, will see its revenue decline this year as circulation shrinks, Kroeger said. It generates about $100 million annually and remains profitable, said Kroeger, who declined to elaborate on its finances.
Buffett’s acquisition of 63 newspapers from Media General earlier this year accounts for most of the newspaper unit. Based on Media General statements, those newspapers generated $299.6 million last year, a 50 percent decline from 2006.
Kroeger said that Buffett’s total newspaper division is in the black and should remain so, despite the shrinking revenue.
“We’re profitable this year,” he said. “I have a high degree of confidence we will remain profitable next year as well. We’re very high on the industry.”
The paywall has helped support revenue, though the program is still in the early stages, he said. The World-Herald’s circulation, meanwhile, has continued to shrink. It fell 3.2 percent in weekday readership to 130,932 from a year earlier, according to the most recent data from the Alliance for Audited Media. The Sunday edition dropped 2.9 percent to 165,397.
Even if the paywall draws help boost subscriptions, the move is more of a palliative than a cure, Kroeger said.
“We have to get into new businesses,” he said.
One such venture, already under way, aggregates health-care articles from the World-Herald and other Berkshire-owned Nebraska newspapers into a website sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. The site, which is freely available to readers, has advertising in addition to the sponsorship.
The risk is that sponsorships jeopardize a newspaper’s objectivity, especially when it comes to medical information, said Todd Gitlin, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
“Medical news is already rigged or bent toward breathless accounts of miracle cures,” Gitlin said. “It’s risky to indulge further in corporate sponsorship.”
Kroeger said the arrangement with Blue Cross doesn’t affect the content.
The broader question is whether newspapers can evolve quickly enough to revive a decaying business. They’re confronting shrinking demand for print advertising, declining circulation, and encroachment from Internet companies such as Google and Facebook. The industry’s ad dollars dropped 6.6 percent in the first six months of 2012 from a year earlier, according to the Newspaper Association of America.
While community papers have an edge over publications in crowded media markets, no one has found a way out of the slump, said Ken Doctor, a media analyst with Outsell in Burlingame, Calif.
“There’s no silver bullet,” he said. Newspapers in many places had enjoyed a near-monopoly pricing on print advertising, Doctor said. “That’s not coming back — for anybody.”
Kroeger said last month the company will shutter the Virginia-based Manassas News & Messenger, one of Buffett’s most recent acquisitions, and cut 105 jobs in the process. The newspaper faced too much direct competition from other papers in the area, which includes Washington, and was continuing to lose money, Kroeger said in the World-Herald.
“We didn’t see any way to really turn it back into a profitable enterprise, reliably, so what made the most sense was to just cease publication,” he said.
Other billionaires have tried and failed to turn around the newspaper business. Tribune Co., the owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, filed for bankruptcy in 2008, one year after a buyout led by real-estate magnate Sam Zell.
Buffett’s gamble is less ambitious. His recent spending spree on newspapers amounted to less than two-tenths of 1 percent of Berkshire’s total market value.
He also may have more success than others, said Don Graham, chairman and chief executive officer of The Washington Post Co. Part of Berkshire’s strategy is focusing on smaller market papers that don’t have to compete with other media, Graham said.
“When you get larger, you get challenged by more forms of media competition for advertising delivery,” he said last week at an investor conference. “Anybody who really focuses on the newspaper business should be studying one company this year: Berkshire Hathaway.”
At Buffett’s Omaha paper, Kroeger is investing in high- definition video equipment, with an eye toward doing an online sports show featuring its reporters. That’s something major market newspapers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have tried. Unlike those national publications, though, Buffett’s newspapers embrace a simple tenet: All news is local.
“The community aspect of what we do is so important,” Kroeger said. “Obituaries, for example, are huge. You want to find out how big a deal that is? Misspell somebody’s name in an obituary — once. You’ll never do it again. These things matter to people.”
Kroeger’s first job at the paper was as an assistant purchasing agent. He negotiated for newsprint costs from vendors and made sure the company’s trucks had enough gas to make their deliveries every day.
“I was pretty low on the food chain,” he said. “It’s where I learned about the nuts and bolts of the business.”
Buffett is a longtime investor in newspapers, though never at this scale in the past. Buffett’s interest in the industry had been mostly limited to a stake in the Washington Post and the 1977 purchase of the Buffalo News, which is run separately from Kroeger’s operations. Its publisher, Stan Lipsey, reports directly to Buffett. Berkshire also owns a stake in Gannett, the publisher of USA Today.
Buffett is the second-richest American, after Microsoft’s Bill Gates, with an estimated worth of $46.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That’s made him one of the highest-profile backers of print journalism.
“I’ve loved newspapers all my life — and always will,” Buffett wrote in a letter to employees of his newspapers earlier this year, before going on to say that he will probably buy more papers over the next few years. Buffett’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Kroeger declined to discuss the company’s future takeover targets. Other newspaper businesses focused on smaller markets include McClatchy Co., a publisher of 30 daily newspapers such as the Sacramento Bee, and E.W. Scripps Co., which operates 15 newspapers from Cincinnati. Tribune Co.’s newspapers also will be put up for sale as the company emerges from bankruptcy later this month, people familiar with the matter said this week.
Buffett, born in Omaha, has been a loyal subscriber to the World-Herald for most of his adult life and understands the challenges the paper faces, Kroeger said.
“He knows it’s not going to be easy turning things around,” Kroeger said. “He gets what we do here and he’s been incredibly helpful, generous with his time, offering advice when he can.”
Still, Buffett doesn’t influence news coverage, said Mike Reilly, the World-Herald’s executive editor. And there’s been no shift in how the paper covers him, he said. For years, the paper has run a weekly column on the billionaire called “Warren Watch,” something that continues under Buffett’s ownership.
“There hasn’t been any change in how I run the newsroom,” Reilly said. “We used to cover the heck out of him and we still cover the heck out of him.”
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Starting from articles on the net, the number of hits should decide WHICH articles get published on solid paper. The hits online determine how much a person gets paid for an article (this should be capped at a limit of minimum wage per SERIOUS article or if the – we can’t have people getting millions at the company’s expense for A SINGLE ARTICLE), THEN the article gets published BECAUSE of many hits. This way articles that people do not read are left out, and the 99% decide what gets published instead of the editors who are doubtless controlled by the political regime of the day. For non-serious articles or trivia like music launches, celebs or fashion the rate should be at 5% of minimum wage per article, as we do know that a single journalist can churn out dozens a week and these automatically get ‘hits’ because of the shallow masses or tired minds looking for something simple. Various articles of similar types could appear all at once, so the top 20 top hits of the same article perhaps could be edited AND the ‘minimum wage purse’ be shared among journalists who independently found the article on their own (reposters not counted). As for comments, the ‘average annual wage’ purse could be shared for the top 10% of comments so that feedback is also included. Newspapers should not pontificate but also include comments as well.
Susan Rice withdraws from running for secretary of state – live coverage – guardian.co.uk, Thursday 13 December 2012 23.11 GMT
UN ambassador tells Obama ‘I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly’
As news of Rice’s withdrawal broke, the president entered a meeting with House Speaker John Boehner on how the two sides might come to a fiscal cliff compromise.
If the president caved on Rice, does that mean he’s in a cave-y mood generally?
The deputy chief of staff for the speaker’s office, David Schnittger, says the meeting has concluded, but he isn’t saying what happened.
The @whitehouse #fiscalcliff meeting between @speakerboehner and President Obama has concluded.
— David Schnittger (@OhSchnitt) December 13, 2012
Slate’s Dave Weigel calls it. That guy’s good.
I just hope McCain makes a rare Sunday show appearance to discuss this news.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) December 13, 2012
MT @thisweekabc Sun Excl: @gstephanopoulos interviews @senjohnmccain on #ThisWeek after Susan Rice withdraws from Sec of State consideration
— James Goldston (@jamesgoldston) December 13, 2012
Potential defense secretary Chuck Hagel, a former colleague of John Kerry’s on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and like Kerry a Vietnam vet, is not regarded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to be an especially faithful friend to Israel, Eli Lake reports in the Daily Beast (Aipac never takes formal positions on nominees):
A senior pro-Israel advocate in Washington told The Daily Beast on Thursday, “The pro-Israel community will view the nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel in an extremely negative light. His record is unique in its animus towards Israel.”
Josh Block, a former spokesman for AIPAC and the CEO and president of the Israel Project, told The Daily Beast, “While in the Senate, Hagel voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, refused to call on the E.U. to designate Hezbollah a terrorist group, and consistently voted against sanctions on Iran for their illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. It is a matter of fact that his record on these issues puts him well outside the mainstream Democratic and Republican consensus.”
Kerry: ‘we should all be grateful’ for Rice’s service
Ewen MacAskill sends John Kerry’s statement on the withdrawal of Susan Rice:
I’ve known and worked closely with Susan Rice not just at the UN, but in my own campaign for President. I’ve defended her publicly and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again because I know her character and I know her commitment. She’s an extraordinarily capable and dedicated public servant. Today’s announcement doesn’t change any of that. We should all be grateful that she will continue to serve and contribute at the highest level. As someone who has weathered my share of political attacks and understands on a personal level just how difficult politics can be, I’ve felt for her throughout these last difficult weeks, but I also know that she will continue to serve with great passion and distinction.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 to discuss a disabilities treaty. Kerry did not want to respond to questions from reporters about recent talk that Kerry is a top candidate to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 to discuss a disabilities treaty.
Let’s hope Kerry recovers from his conflicted feelings about Rice’s political troubles in time to put a cheerful face on it should he be nominated to take the job that was supposed to be hers.
“I’ve felt for her throughout these last difficult weeks.” — John Kerry on Susan Rice. — The Fix (@TheFix) December 13, 2012
If Kerry as Sec’y of State is half as effective against Iran’s mullahs as he was against Susan Rice, I’m for him — Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) December 13, 2012 10.43pm GMT
Updated at 10.47pm GMT
Who, apart from Sen. John McCain, is most pleased by today’s news? There’s reason to speculate that outgoing Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown might not be taking it so badly.
Brown is expected to be a front-runner to fill Kerry’s senate seat if Kerry gets the state nod. Here’s ABC’s Elizabeth Hartfield:
…with Rice out of the running, Kerry is “all but certain” to get the nomination, according to ABC’s Jake Tapper. That means a vacant seat and a special election, which could benefit out-going Sen. Scott Brown, who lost his bid for reelection to Elizabeth Warren in November. […] Brown’s victory in a special election would not be a sure thing. Although he leaves office with high approval ratings- exit polls from the 2012 election showed him with a favor-ability rating of 60 percent- but Massachusetts is a solidly Democratic state, and there are many Democrats in elected office in the state who could challenge Brown. 10.37pm GMT
The uproar over Rice’s statements on Benghazi was fueled by a desperate attempt to score points during the presidential campaign, as Tom Ricks so bluntly explained on Fox News. Then Obama was reelected and the continued campaign against Rice began to look especially unhinged.
Consider Iowa Rep. Steve King, who today said the Benghazi scandal is 10 times bigger than the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals combined, the Washington Times reported (h/t: @batterdippin):
“(Watergate) was a break-in that Nixon had no knowledge of at the time. It became about the cover-up,” King said. “Iran-Contra, again, as far as the real depths of what went wrong and who violated what laws, we didn’t really get that identified in there. … This is a case where we had an ambassador who was assassinated. He and the others were victims of a plot and a plan. We were willfully and intentionally misinformed by the White House. You know, if Richard Nixon tried to cover up Watergate, that’s an easy case to make that the Obama administration didn’t want us to know what has gone on. We still don’t know.”
This kind of circus wackiness, among other factors, made the case against Rice look weak. It looked like something a newly empowered president could bulldoze through. In late November, John Heilemann in New York Magazine went so far as to list five reasons why a Rice confirmation was a done deal:
As a rule, your columnist avoids predictions, but in the spirit of holiday indulgence, I will make an exception here: Not only will Obama appoint Rice to succeed Clinton but she will be confirmed.
Here’s Heilemann’s fourth reason:
4. Because McCain is being a jackass—and Obama is sick of it. Arguably more than any other national figure, the senior senator from Arizona is driven in every aspect of his public behavior by personal pique. In the wake of the 2000 Republican nomination fight, when he believed Bush and his campaign had defeated him by nefarious means, McCain lunged to the center and became one of the sharpest thorns in the side of the new president from his own party. In the wake of the 2008 election, when he was soundly thumped by a Democratic challenger whom he regarded as a neophyte and a pretender whose experience and valor were no match for his own, McCain immediately shed all traces of mavericky independence and became one of Obama’s fiercest critics from the right. […]
Apparently Obama wasn’t so sick of it. 10.27pm GMT
Updated at 10.30pm GMT
FILE – DECEMBER 13: Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from the running for Secretary of State. NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 30: Susan E. Rice, ambassador and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), attends a UN Security Council meeting regarding the on-going situation in Syria on August 30, 2012 in New York City. UN Security Council negotiations regarding the situation in Syria collapsed last month. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) Continuity Horizontal Syria USA New York City Meeting Politics Ambassador UN Security Council United Nations Blocked Terms Diplomacy Attending Permanent Representative Susan Rice Situation Susan E. Rice, ambassador and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), attends a UN Security Council meeting regarding the on-going situation in Syria on August 30, 2012 in New York City.
TPM’s Igor Bobic has a longer excerpt from Rice’s interview with Brian Williams to air tonight. Rice says that she didn’t want to see a disruptive confirmation process:
Today I made the decision that it was the best thing for our country, for the American people that I not continue to be considered by the president for secretary of state because I didn’t want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting, and very disruptive because there are so many things we need to get done as a country, and the first several months of a second-term president’s agenda is really the opportunity to get the crucial things done. We’re talking about comprehensive immigration reform, balanced deficit reduction, job creation, that’s what matters, and to the extent that my nomination could have delayed or distracted or deflected or maybe even some of these priorities impossible to achieve, I didn’t want that and I’d much prefer to continue doing what I’m doing, which is a job I love at the United Nations. 10.11pm GMT
The GOP, Michelle Obama and favors to repay
Guardian Washington bureau chief Ewen MacAskill observes that the president was in a tight spot over the secretary of state nomination – but now he is not:
The Republicans might have done Obama a favour. The president was under pressure from two of the women in his life, wife Michelle and adviser Valerie Jarrett, to give the job to their friend Rice rather than to Kerry. Obama owes Kerry, having used him repeatedly as an envoy to help with sensitive issues such as relations with the Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai. Kerry was also the Mitt Romney stand-in during presidential debate practice. Rice had the necessary diplomatic credentials. She has been right about more issues than she has been wrong, being an early champion of the West taking a tougher line on the Darfur issue. But when she has failed, she has failed badly. She was responsible for African affairs in the Clinton administration, and critics – fairly or unfairly – blame her for doing little to prevent the rapid disintegration of the Congo, a conflict that is estimated to have cost at least two million lives.
On a small scale, she was humiliated a fortnight ago when the UN general assembly voted in favour of a step towards Palestinian statehood. Showing none of the humility such a defeat deserved, she put her head down in the assembly to read out a defiant statement that would have pleased few outside of Israel. Kerry, chairman of the Senate foreign affairs committee, has much wider experience in the diplomatic world, and knows already many of the world leaders. Rice’s departure from the field will be greeted with relief in foreign ministries round the world who have been on the receiving end of her rough tongue: that is, most of them. For the same reason, her continuation as UN ambassador will be greeted with groans at other UN missions. 10.06pm GMT
How spontaneous is the Rice news? She’s already taped an entire interview with NBC News’ Brian Williams, a snippet of which just aired.
Rice said that the president’s second term would see “an attempt to get the crucial things done… [and] to the extent that my nomination could have delayed or distracted [from these priorities]… I didn’t want that.”
She told Williams she’ll stay on as UN ambassador.
It’s gracious boilerplate for withdrawing nominees.
was #Susan Rice pushed or did she jump? — Barbara Slavin (@barbaraslavin1) December 13, 2012
The rise and fall of the next secretary of state
At what point did the president decide the fight over Rice wasn’t worth it?
Obama was still fully behind his potential nominee when she made her trip to the Capitol Hill woodshed at the end of November, meeting with Sens. McCain, Lindsey Graham, (R-SC), Kelly Ayotte, (R-NH) and others.
“The concerns I have are greater today than they were before, we’re not even close to having the answers,” said Graham at a joint press conference following the meeting. “The American people got bad information on Sept. 16, bad information from the president after that, and the question is, should they have been given any information at all?”
Republicans accused Rice of misleading Congress and the public about what happened in Benghazi in the Sept. 11 attack that killed Amb. J. Christopher Stevens, a computer technician and two security contractors employed by the CIA.
The Obama administration, led publicly by Rice, initially made the attack on a US mission out to be part of a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video that had provoked such a protest that day in Cairo and elsewhere.
Later it emerged that there was no protest, that the attack was planned and that the mission was attached to a covert CIA post.
Five days after the attack, Rice made this misleading statement on NBC’s Meet the Press:
What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. Opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary Libya, and it escalated into a much more violent episode. In the face of GOP criticism, the president said Rice was simply passing on the best information the intelligence community had at the time.
“If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” Obama said. “And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”
Instead Republicans decided to continue to go after Rice, a lead adviser on the president’s first campaign.
Rice was not just another adviser; aides of both have told me Obama considered her someone he had a strong kinship with. — Perry Bacon Jr. (@perrybaconjr) December 13, 2012
She was one of first national security wonks to join his camp in 2007 and played a big role suggesting Obama was experienced enough. — Perry Bacon Jr. (@perrybaconjr) December 13, 2012 9.55pm GMT
The Guardian’s Chris McGreal notes that criticism of Rice went beyond her performance after the Benghazi attack:
Although Republican ire focused on Rice’s role in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, she faced strong criticism from other quarters over her backing of African despots and her unflinching support of Israel. Hours before Rice withdrew from the race, Robert Wexler, a six-term former congressman who now heads a pro-Israel think tank in Washington, said of her that “Israel has no greater champion in the current administration than Susan Rice”. That’s a view shared by some of her critics who say she has gone beyond the call of duty in projecting US policy on Israel to became a passionate defender of the Jewish state despite Binyamin Netanyahu’s policies, calling criticism at the UN “anti-Israel crap”. Rice went to lengths to woo the biggest of the pro-Israel lobby groups, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rice has also come under strong criticism over her positions on Africa, most recently for trying to suppress a UN report strongly critical of the Rwandan government’s arming and other support for rebels in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rice was a national security official in Bill Clinton’s White House who played a part in the US’s failure to act against the 1994 genocide of Rwanda’s Tutsis. Since then she has been an unswerving supporter of the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, who as a Tutsi rebel leader put a stop to the genocide even in the face of a growing body of evidence his forces are bound up with years of war crimes in Congo. Rice has also come under criticism for supporting other authoritarian leaders in Africa. In September she delivered a eulogy for the late prime minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, calling him “brilliant” and a “a true friend to me”. Meles had a long track record of bloody suppression of democracy. 9.39pm GMT
“I will do everything in my power to block [Rice] from being the United States secretary of state. She has proven that she either doesn’t understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face. There is no doubt five days later what this attack was and for” – Sen. John McCain on Fox News, Nov. 14, 2012
US Senator John McCain, speaks during the 8th Manama Dialogue security conference in Manama, Bahrain, 08 December 2012. The 8th Manama Dialogue organized by the London based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) which will run until 9 December 2012 will focus predominantly on Syria and broad regional security issues. EPA/MAZEN MAHDI US Senator John McCain, speaks during the 8th Manama Dialogue security conference in Manama, Bahrain, 08 December 2012.
McCain reaches for the brandy and mutters to himself, “It’s a great day for America.” Fade out. — David Corn (@DavidCornDC) December 13, 2012 9.35pm GMT
To many seasoned observers it looks like the president has just lost a high-profile fight with Republicans over a potential nominee he has very publicly defended, indeed is personally linked to.
BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith is reminded of the bloody Cabinet fights of Obama’s first term, when he had to nominate three commerce secretaries, including Bill Richardson, before he got one through, and when former Sen. Tom Daschle failed as a health secretary nominee. A bit of a repeat of very early term 1, esp on national security: Obama, bloodied up a little by the Hill, shows weakness. — Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) December 13, 2012 9.29pm GMT
Hagel thought to be front-runner for defense slot
Rice’s withdrawal isn’t the only action in cabinet shuffling this afternoon. Earlier today Bloomberg News reported that former Sen. Chuck Hagel had the completed the vetting process to be the secretary of defense nominee. The report describes Hagel as “the leading candidate to become Obama’s next Secretary of Defense.”
Another senator, John Kerry, also had been mentioned as a potential defense pick, perhaps as a consolation prize were he to be denied the job he really wants, secretary of state, which was thought to be occupied by Susan Rice.
Now Rice is out at state. And Hagel may be in at defense. Which for John Kerry could mean victory.
Here’s the Bloomberg report:
Hagel, who served as an enlisted Army infantryman in Vietnam, has passed the vetting process at the White House Counsel’s office, said one of the people. The former Nebraska senator has told associates that he is awaiting final word from the president, said the other person. Both requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters. Other contenders are Michele Flournoy, former defense undersecretary for policy, and Ashton Carter, deputy defense secretary, administration officials have said. Obama invited Hagel to the White House on Dec. 4 to discuss the position with him, according to an administration official. The president hasn’t made a final decision, said another official. Both asked for anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today declined to comment on whether Obama is considering Hagel, saying only that the two-term former lawmaker was widely respected. – 9.22pm GMT
Rice’s letter withdrawing her name
Here’s Rice’s letter to the president withdrawing from consideration as US secretary of state. “The position of secretary of state should never be politicized,” she says. Ambassador Susan Rice’s letter to President Obama (h/t: @thematthewkeys and @katierogers) 9.16pm GMT
The Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill sends President Obama’s full response on the Rice announcement. The president said he spoke with Rice today:
Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State. For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant. As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America’s interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel’s security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people. I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues. I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend. While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country. 9.13pm GMT
Obama ‘deeply regrets the unfair and misleading attack’ on Rice CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller gets the response from President Obama, who says he “deeply regrets the unfair and misleading attack” on Rice, but her decision “demonstrates the strength of her character & an admirable commitment to rise above politics.” In written statement, Pres Obama says he “deeply regrets the unfair and misleading attack” on Susan Rice, — Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 13, 2012
In his first press conference after his reelection, the president struck a note of unusual perturbance in responding to Republican attacks on Rice.
“[Rice] has done exemplary work,” he said. “She has represented the United States… with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace. … and if Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me.” 9.11pm GMT
Rice out of the running for secretary of state
UN ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for secretary of state, NBC News has reported. A potential nomination for Rice, who for months was perceived to be the president’s top pick, has been the object of fierce opposition from Republicans, who accuse her of misconduct following the September attack on Benghazi.
“If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,” Rice wrote in a letter to President Obama obtained by NBC. “That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country … Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time.”
We’ll be live-blogging developments. 9.04pm GMT
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Good honourable and ethical move by Rice. Rice has decided to ditch crony politics by sacrificing an opportunity that destroys democracy. Frankly ‘friends’ or seat holders in other places should not be ‘re-given’ posts. This should be something a panel should vote on and willing volunteers from a talent pool should sign on for for their 15 minutes of fame.
The Democratic Party’s Future Now Depends on Hillary Clinton – by Conor Friedersdorf – Dec 13 2012, 6:00 AM ET
More than any other politician in America, her candidacy would change the contours of the next election.
Every Democrat with ambitions to succeed President Obama wants to know the answer to one question: Is Hillary Clinton going to run? If so, many will decide against doing so themselves. Who wants to square off against an opponent who’ll have a better fundraising operation, a better resume, and a spouse who happens to be America’s best surrogate? At the moment when the first black president is preparing to leave the White House, who will want to run against someone with a more than viable chance of becoming the first woman president?
“She seems like Democrats’ best bet, perhaps by some margin, to extend their winning streak to three or more terms in the White House,” Nate Silver notes. “If she ran even a point or two stronger than a ‘generic’ Democrat, the odds would shift meaningfully in her favor, holding other circumstances equal.”
But say Clinton doesn’t run. That changes everything, doesn’t it? Any Democratic primary without her would be dubbed “wide open.” Joe Biden may try to succeed his boss either way. But he is eminently beatable, as every aspiring alternative knows. He wouldn’t scare anyone away.
I won’t speculate about whether she’ll run. We’ll know in time. I’ll just say that it matters now that we don’t know, insofar as the uncertainty itself affects present behavior among certain Democrats.
I’d prefer it if Hillary Clinton stayed out of future races. My instinct is that she’d abuse executive power and civil liberties every bit as much as the man who appointed her to be secretary of state, especially now that he has acclimated the left to transgressing against transparency and the rule of law. What I can’t deny to Democrats is the likelihood that her foreign policy experience would permit her to retain her party’s edge on those issues, especially if she ran against someone as inexperienced as Marco Rubio, whose foreign-policy chops are hard to take seriously.
Grizzled feels more reassuring than boyish, does it not?
That isn’t to say she’d be a lock in the general election. About the only prediction I’m willing to make about Election 2016 is that Hillary Clinton would be a strong candidate barring a scandal.
But “likeable enough” to win?
What I’ll be most interested to see, if she does run, is how the conservative movement reacts to her candidacy. With relative sanity, insofar as they can’t very well accuse her of being a Kenyan anti-colonialist? With a return to the anti-Clintonian fervor of the 1990s? I suspect the latter reaction wouldn’t play well. Politicians who hang around long enough seem to become inured even to scandals in which they were actually caught red-handed. There isn’t anything so clear cut in Clinton’s past, and if many Americans are like me, the word “Whitewater” would send an involuntary shudder of dread coursing through the population, as if we were collectively told we’d have to re-watch the pre-trial motions from the O.J. Simpson trial while sequestered in a cheap hotel with nothing for diversion but Clinton-era back issues of The American Spectator.
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Can see the family blocs in 3rd world countries ready to jump on this opportunity to justify nepotism . . . do the right thing USA. Political culture is bad enough as is. Then the impossibly timely occurance below :
First stomach virus THEN concussion after ‘accepting’ the run for Presidency? (After Bill then Hillary, what next? Clinton’s children for President as well? Might as well run and declare USA a monarchy . . . no hate there but the 3rd world really cannot do with any justifications for nepotism arising from USA of all places! The Presidency of the United States and even so many high official posts should never be a hand down post, if a seat has been held by a family member, no way should the seat be allowed to another from the Clintons – the friends and cronies issue of seat/post hand downs are already bad enough, don’t start a trend . . . ) False flag or a warning by greater forces or even a warning by USA to 3rd world countries in the form of a false flag? Anything to put a stop to nepotism which destroys democracy and leads to dictatorship.
Charlie Gonzalez’s Departure from Congress Marks End to Political Dynasty – Published December 17, 2012 – Fox News Latino
San Antonio, Tex. – The retirement from Congress of Rep. Charlie Gonzalez is ending a half-century streak during which his father, then he, served in Congress, representing their San Antonio district.
The outgoing chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus served 14 years after replacing his famous father, Henry B. Gonzalez, who carved out a lasting legacy as a political reformer and civil rights leader.
Charlie Gonzalez, a Texas Democrat, is returning to private life after deciding to not seek an eighth term. Taking his seat is Joaquin Castro, whose family packs its own celebrity pedigree: His twin brother is San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a rising star on the national stage who was the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention this year.
Charlie Gonzalez told the San Antonio Express-News that he’s leaving with a “sense of sadness.”
“It’s a job, but it’s an incredible job. The people, the surroundings, nothing compares to it,” Gonzalez said. “It is bittersweet. That is the best way to describe it.”
Charlie Gonzalez was first elected in 1988. His father served for 37 years and was chairman of the House Banking Committee, which wielded power over financial institutions and was instrumental in pushing reforms. The elder Gonzalez used that clout to push for public housing and programs for the homeless.
Larry Hufford, a political science professor at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, said the elder Gonzalez pursued social justice in a time when it wasn’t fashionable. Charlie Gonzalez represented a 20th congressional district that, by the end of this last term, covered impoverished barrios on the city’s West side as well as middle-class and affluent neighborhoods to the north.
When it came to national issue, Charlie Gonzalez used his status Hispanic Caucus chairman to push for immigration reform.
“Charlie was able to carry on that legacy with a much different style; more low-keyed but very effective,” Hufford said.
Charlie Gonzalez dismissed suggestions that he could wind up being an appointee in President Barack Obama’s second term or be elected to a statewide office. A Democrat hasn’t been elected statewide in Texas since 1994.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Gonzalez’s decision to leave Congress marks the “end of an era.”
“To decide on my own when to leave Congress, that wasn’t a decision wasted on me,” Charlie Gonzalez said. “I’m a blessed individual. Rather than having circumstances imposed on my life, I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life. It is my encore career.”
This is based on a story by The Associated Press.
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Rare example of ethics. there is nothing beneficial personally for Gonzalez in quitting, but every such quit makes Democracy stronger and makes nepotism and oligarchy weaker. THIS should be the criteria for state awards or monuments than anything else. There is no end to wealth and power, and once enough politicians focus their value system on higher values away from the greed or power-madness fog, the super-pac, too big to fail, and plutocrat/corporate lobbyist and eventually the economy issues, will be easier to fathom and deal with. This is a form of ethics, as preventing nepotism is as dangerous as corruption in politics.
‘Ninja of Newport’ arrested by armed police after dressing up as superhero with wooden sword to ‘help fight crime’ – by James Rush – PUBLISHED: 17:23 GMT, 13 December 2012 | UPDATED: 19:04 GMT, 13 December 2012
Tanis Baker, 21, dressed as a ninja to ‘strike fear in the hearts of criminals
He was arrested after officers who spotted him became concerned
He was soon surrounded by armed police, dogs and a helicopter
Two hidden rucksacks containing smokebombs and costumes found after arrest
Comic book fan: Tanis Baker told police he was a vigilante in a ninja costume after police arrested him while armed with a homemade wooden Samurai sword
A would-be vigilante was arrested by armed police after he dressed up as a ninja and armed himself with a wooden Samurai sword.
Mystery man-in-black Tanis Baker, 21, wanted to ‘strike fear’ in the hearts of criminals in his neighbourhood just like his comic book idols.
But a court heard Baker ended up on the wrong side of the law after dressing up in ninja-style black body armour and a mask.
He armed himself with smoke bombs and a home-made wooden Samurai sword then crouched in the darkness in a park ready to pounce on any troublemakers.
But a police officer saw Baker in the shadows – and he called for back-up because of his concerns over the mystery figure.
Within minutes he was surrounded by armed officers, police dogs and a helicopter hovering overhead above Beechwood Park in Newport, South Wales.
He was arrested and officers found two hidden rucksacks containing seven smoke bombs and other vigilante costumes.
Magistrates at Cwmbran, South Wales, heard he told police he was a ‘vigilante in a costume’ and that he wanted to help people in trouble.
He claimed to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police on the streets and wanted to strike fear into criminals.
The probation officer who assessed him said Baker was a fan of American comic book superheroes.
His probation report said: ‘He seems to get confused between fantasy and reality and sometimes had trouble distinguishing between what was in comic books and what was real life.’
The court heard that in real life Baker is no superhero but works as a barman in a snooker club in Newport, South Wales.
Hi-ya! Mr Tanis said he dressed up as a ninja to ‘strike fear’ in the hearts of criminals in Newport (picture posed by model)
Louise Warren, defending, said: ‘Baker was bullied for many years and struggled growing up in his neighbourhood.
‘He was attacked by a gang of youths while out with his sister a year ago, but police were unable to find the offenders.
‘Since then Baker has wanted to help the police to protect society.’
The court heard Baker was asked what he would do if he encountered a real crime and said he had not thought that far ahead.
Superhero: How Baker might have looked when he was arrested while dressed as a vigilante ninja
He was given a 12-month supervision order and ordered to carry out 60 hours unpaid work.
Chairman of the magistrates Paul Lavin, said: ‘You may have thought you were helping but you caused a lot of trouble.
‘Do not do this in future or else you’ll be in big trouble.’
Baker, of Cwmbran, South Wales, admitted having an offensive weapon in a public place.
He declined to comment after the case.
Storm in a teacup as The Ninja of Newport has to meet the authorities somehow when he makes his introduction but now he could supply them with a trusty Ninjaphone to ring him in their hour of need to save the day and help restore law and order showing the baddies there’s a new guy in town and his name is THE NINJA OF NEWPORT!!! *plays national anthem*
– Stuart , Edinburgh Scotland, United Kingdom, 13/12/2012 18:34
We need more vigilantes on the street, but we criminalise them instead. Take Phoenix jones of Seattle, he and his friends do a great job, lawfully and prevent crimes, as well as assisting law officers.
– Illuminati cards , Bunker, 13/12/2012 18:49
What part was illegal ? Smoke bombs aren’t illegal, they are let off at paintballing sites, and wooden sticks aren’t illegal unless something new has happened, that makes drumming against the law.
– mileage , Barry, 13/12/2012 18:49
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Look here anyone is allowed to cosplay a ninja or favourite super hero (or Otaku genre!) character. Orwell has taken over Newport. More ‘ninjas’ or cosplayers should lurk ‘ in the shadows ‘, SPECIFICALLY to see what the local enforcement does. Good work Tanis! Now we all know that Newport is not a free sort of place. A really free minded place would give a verbal warning or even co-opt the ‘ninja’ as an eccentric member of the neighbourhood watch who refused to work with the formal watch. More cosplayers! And know that permission for carrying actual weapons can be obtained and if registered should not be an offence.
But a wooden sword? Thats not even a weapon. A really long carving knife is more dangerous than a wooden sword and is legal to carry around. A handgun is more dangerous than the above and still is legal. Lurking might be addressed with a simple request. And the reasons given are only to protect society! What gives Newport? More cosplayers and lurkers EVERYWHERE! How about openly walking around with masks, costumes and ‘lurking’ in corners for the rest of the week Newporters! I’m surprised Tanis did not challenge the judgment. Where’s that US culture of freedom and vigilante-ism? For the conservative types, try Cowboys and Indians with camping knives, whips and 6 shooters for a start . . . set up camp in a ‘lurky’ area EVERYDAY in shifts. See what the local enforcement does . . . we’ll know where Orwell LURKS instead – then set up a map of ‘people friendly’ and ‘people unfriendly’ places, the 99% will know how to vote or which laws to amend . . .
Boehner Agrees To A Millionaire Tax–And Moves Closer To A Fiscal Cliff Deal – WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 06: Speaker of the House – 12/17/2012 @ 6:15AM |4,015 views
House Speaker John Boehner has made a decision that will make some wealthy Americans squeal, while making most Americans smile.
Boehner, after weeks of rhetoric that Republicans and Democrats were miles apart on fiscal cliff talks, relented on a stance that high earners shouldn’t see higher taxes. Now, Boehner has agreed to raise taxes on Americans making more than $1 million, reversing an earlier position that all Bush Era tax cuts should stand.
The move by Boehner is particularly significant for several reasons. First, it’s a gesture toward compromise— Democrats wanted taxes raised on Americans making more than $250,000, while Republicans, at first, would have none of it—and suggests the two sides may finally become serious about averting the fiscal cliff. Next, the tax hikes would increase federal coffers by some $1 trillion over 10 years; President Obama has demanded $1.4 trillion in new revenue, but at least the pols’ figures are growing closer. And Boehener’s decision is a refreshing signal that, when confronted with dire forecasts—like the one that predicts a recession to start 2013 if the fiscal cliff happens—Washington, D.C can put aside partisinism and past promises. Though, I imagine that Grover Norsquist takes little glee from Boehner’s shift.
Republicans are the first to sacrifice a sacred cow. Now, Democrats must too. What mostly impedes progress? Some $200 billion. That’s the difference between the spending cuts in federal health care programs that Republicans want ($600 billion) and Democrats want ($400 billion).
Investors will probably take this move by the pols as evidence that a deal will eventually come. We haven’t piled out of stocks quite like you might think. Indeed, the major benchmarks this month have gained about 4%. There hasn’t been that complete flight to safety—into the cash-generative arms of Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Walt Disney—and away from risk—fleeing the speculation around a Research In Motion comeback or better times for Alpha Natural.
Indeed, stocks this morning ticked higher. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 0.7% to 13,096.00. S&P 500 futures gained 0.1% to 1,407.41.
Still, the cliff today looks less like a chasm than it did just a few days earlier.
Reach Abram Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Squeal? What they earn in a year is an entire lifetimes 401K or many times more than 401K which the 99% takes decades to earn, these wealthy Americans are just SPOILT. Boehner did good, and if the wealthy Americans are too squealy, they are welcome to move to a favourite country of their choice – as mentioned before all assets a country has are land and resource divided by number of citizens not useless fiat. the US A will be happy to have 1 citizen less and more to share among those who stay.
French wealthy ‘feel victimised by tax’ – by Hugh Schofield – 10 December 2012 Last updated at 15:02 GMT Help
Actor Gerard Depardieu has become the latest wealthy person to flee France’s 75% tax on those earning over 1m euros a year.
The star has bought a house over the border in the Belgian village of Nechin.
France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault has already applied for Belgian citizenship and thousands of other wealthy French people are making the move.
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The ‘wealthiest’ will NEVER pay enough because in 1 year they earn 10 lifetimes what most ‘wealthiest’ Frenchmen earn in decades EVEN AFTER TAX. No place for Marie Antoinettes here . . . and 75% tax is not enough because they can hold assets up to 75,000% of what the ordinary french person has with the very wealthiest earning 7500% of what the 99% does EVEN AFTER TAX. 75% of 100 million of the less ecxeptional wealthiest is still 25 million in earnings, 75% of 10 million is 2.5 million in earnings which is easily 10 times what the 99% earn in a lifetime . . . Victimised?
Some Frenchmen can’t even buy French bread or have a French roof! That money goes to social services not banquets for the French officials I hope, otherwise time to storm the Bastille again . . . 75% tax is farcical considering the above facts.
Child Prostitution, Adult Prostitution, and the Obscure In-Between – Posted on August 22, 2012
The issue of child prostitution and its supposed alter-ego, adult prostitution, are personal to me because I’ve experienced both, having been prostituted between the ages of fifteen and twenty-two.
I sometimes think of what those who knew nothing of me would have thought of me, as they caught glimpses of me, on the different stages of those seven years. Who doubts that the majority would have looked at my young teenaged self and wondered what sort of world we lived in? And who doubts, if they’re honest, that many would have looked at my young adult self and wondered what sort of women populated it?
This is the dichotomy of adult and child and they are viewed as very separate, very distinct, so that there is a clearly perceived line between these stages, these ages, but in fact it is not a line. It is a bridge. It is a bridge that spans the in-between; that gap that connects the points in the lives of so many women who were prostituted first as children then as adults. I lived that bridge in my own prostitution life, when I was turning from a child into a woman, and I was used sexually for money on most of the days that made up my adolescence, as I was before in childhood and afterwards in early adulthood. And here is the crux of the matter: it was all the same nightmare to me.
People chose though, before and after those in-between years, whether I was blameless or blameworthy. In the interim, while I existed in the in-between, each individual who looked at me or fucked me had the privilege of making up their own mind. Many did, and most chose the latter.
After that, when I was identifiably a woman, it was not a case of ‘most’ anymore, but ‘almost all’ – because almost all those who looked at me in my young adulthood decided that I’d chosen what was happening, and saw it as what I was doing rather than what was being done to me.
The ‘done to me’ aspect died, you see, along with my adolescence in the perspectives of other people. The problem was it didn’t die, and I was still alive, living the ‘done to me’ reality every day.
As a fourteen-year-old girl, a full year before I ever started prostituting, I first realised that some men felt an actual entitlement to my body. This was perfectly expressed by the extreme belligerence they’d display when I rejected their advances. They would be so angry. ‘How dare you?’ said their actions. I couldn’t make any sense of that attitude. It was literally like someone was speaking in a foreign language to me, and it was a foreign language in a sense; it was the language of sexual entitlement. I became fluent in the language eventually, but fluent in the sense of someone speaking a language not of their origin; someone who can understand it audibly, but will never be able to write it.
At that time though, I couldn’t imagine how anyone could think it was okay to walk up to someone on the street and wrap your arms around them, or grope somebody, or growl what you’d like to do to them into their ear. But I had all these experiences as a fourteen-year-old girl and I’d had three approaches by paedophiles as a pre-pubescent child, and still I could not fathom why and how this was supposed to be acceptable in the view of these men, why this was supposed to be okay. I remember one man’s surprise and affront as he told me “You’re very standoffish!” after I pulled away from a physical embrace I didn’t initiate, ask for, permit or fucking want.
These experiences came thick and fast from the age of fourteen, when I began to be more noticeably developing breasts. It is little wonder I became fluent in the language of male sexual entitlement. Facial expressions, aggressive stances, weary sighs, protracted silences – all these too make up part of that language, all these are used to communicate the idea that you’re expected to consent when a man decides he will have rights to your body.
So I’d had some schooling, in that sense, as to what prostitution expected of me. What I didn’t know was how bad it was going to get. I couldn’t have known that before I experienced it. It was unknowable. Well, I soon found out, and what I found out didn’t get any better on the day I turned eighteen and it didn’t get any better on the day I turned twenty-one either.
They bother me, these stupid irrelevant lines that are drawn that attempt to divide the lived reality of the prostitution experience based on whether a female is fifteen or seventeen, seventeen or nineteen, eighteen or twenty. They are diversions to the central matter at hand; they divert from the core issue. They disappear the fact that this is wrong, not only by degrees that deepen with the youthfulness of its target, but by its nature, so that all those who’ve been paid for sex they do not want have suffered sexual abuse. There is a shelf-life for women in prostitution, but there is no shelf-life for the nature of prostitution. Its abusive core does not morph into something else on a person’s eighteenth birthday. Not that many men wait that long in the first place.
And on that note, people need to start querying what is the criterion for fuckability according to sex-buying men? What is their divining rod for ‘of age’? Is it a pair of breasts? My experience of prostitution is that it is any pair of breasts, regardless that they’re still developing; and this we’ve got to see as a form of sexual selfishness that has decayed to the point where it’s putrid. It is also a nonsense of a position, because if a pair of breasts at any stage of development signify completed womanhood then every females adulthood actually began at the onset of puberty; not began to form, but began in full. Every woman was a woman before she was a woman, by that ludicrous standard.
I am sure we will have a lot of indignation from sex buyers on this point, but as a fifteen-year-old child with developing breasts I was abused by a multitude of these men every day; men, some of whom would never have considered themselves paedophiles or predators or abusers – and I saw the same men pay to use the bodies of other adolescents with breasts, one of them just thirteen years old, so I can assure the reader that these men assured themselves wherever there was the presence of breasts there was the absence of childhood.
Added to this, men who buy sex are obsessed with the act of despoilment; they are, as a group, blatantly obsessed with the desire to fuck the youngest girl they can find. The upshot of this of course is that there is great commercial value placed on youth in prostitution. I have thought at length and written a little about Prostitution and the Commercial Value of Youth, and I know both that this exists as a reality in prostitution and that is speaks with great clarity to the putrid sexual selfishness I’ve just mentioned.
So adolescents are fair game in prostitution; I’ve made my point, but it’s important also to look at an uncanny resemblance here: adolescence is the physical reality, the mirror image made flesh and form, of that place where a woman is halfway between being prostituted and being trafficked. That point where women go to other countries knowing they’ll be working in the sex trade, but not knowing what that reality really means, or not knowing that they’ll be charged four and five figure sums for the privilege of their prostitutions organisation. This is another of prostitutions in-betweens. They exist in various forms, and very often these mid-spectrum situations are misrepresented and then misappropriated so that they can be used to gloss over the reality of the sex trade. For example those women who are working back thousands of euros/dollars/pounds of money they supposedly ‘owe’ are not classified as trafficking victims, although that is what they are. The sex industry calls them ‘independent escorts’ and ignores and erases the misery of their lives.
In the same way, people who live prostitution during the transition between childhood and adulthood must be mislabelled and filed away, inconvenient as they are. They must be either a child or an adult according to the sex industry, and also, disturbingly, to some anti-trafficking groups. Some groups decide to find a way around this by subdividing adolescence into stages where those from twelve to fourteen are deemed worthy of sympathy and attention, while fifteen to seventeen-year-olds are brushed to one side with the gut-churning excuse that they have so much more ‘personal agency’.
When, I would like to ask the senior members of these groups, did my personal agency begin? Because by their criterion it seems to me it began at the stroke of midnight as I entered my fifteenth year, which makes me feel like a very sorry version of Cinderella; except the slipper in this fairytale was never going to fit because it had been shattered, and believe me, Prince Charming was nowhere to be seen. I had no more personal agency at fifteen than I had the year before, in fact I had significantly less, because at fourteen I had only six months of homelessness behind me; at fifteen I had a year and a half. In homelessness your desperation increases with time, not decreases. If people think ‘personal agency’ always increases with the forward march of time they are lucky people who’ve never had to deal with the miserable conditions of their own lives intensifying with time, and they’re obviously so detached from that life experience they’ve never even considered it.
By drawing distinctions between trafficking and prostitution, between under and over eighteen, some well-intentioned anti-trafficking organisations acquiesce to the perpetuation of a system known to be extremely violent and damaging while continuing to stigmatise and blame most of its victims. This stigmatisation maintains the disempowerment and marginalisation of the same population these groups want to help. It also empowers the predators who prey on our most vulnerable, whether under or over eighteen.
Prostitution and the Commercial Value of Youth – Posted on June 3, 2012
People who argue that prostitution would be free of coercion, trafficking, the exploitation of minors – and everything else that prevents it from being some kind of all-above-board consenting-adults-only autonomy party – are people who ignore one vital aspect of prostitutions reality. It is the commercial value of youth.
Just as in some actual industries, like modelling or professional dance, youth is highly prized among attributes. Unlike modelling or dance though, youth in prostitution is prized far above beauty and the fluidity of movement. In order to be most highly in demand in prostitution, you don’t need to be the prettiest flower in the field; you just need to be among the youngest. And what you can or cannot do with your body is irrelevant; it just matters that it hasn’t been on the planet for very long.
One of the commonest questions that comes through on any brothels phone line is ‘What age is the youngest girl you have?’ I could not count the times I have been asked that question, and I defy anybody who has answered a brothels phone to tell the blatant lie that it is not the commonest question they’ve been asked too.
The commercial value of youth is so profoundly built-in to prostitution that women routinely lie about their age in order to generate more business. The clients know this, of course, and even as women are shaving a few years off clients are adding a few on. ‘I’m twenty-six – I’ll tell him I’m twenty-three’ / ‘She’s twenty-three? – that means she’s twenty-six’.
Nobody’s fooling anybody here, and the only thing the whole pathetic charade is any good for is the revealing nature of what’s going on behind the pretence. What it reveals, of course, is that men who buy bodies for sex usually want to buy the youngest body they can find.
Last year it was reported to the BBC that prostitutes as young as thirteen were working the streets in Swindon, in the English county of Wiltshire. “Come here at the weekend and you’ll get 13-year-old girls to 19-year-old girls out here”, one prostitute told reporters.
When I read reports like these I just sigh. It tires me to pre-empt the shock people will express. It tires me to imagine that shock, whether it is genuine or not, because if it is genuine then that proves we have a long way to go in educating people about the reality of prostitution, and if it is not, well then, here is yet more in a tsunami of evidence that there are those who do not want the reality of prostitution understood.
Whenever any evidence of teenaged prostitution is revealed the pro-prostitution lobby move immediately to put forth the preposterous assertion that this town is somehow different or unique. The attitude is always either ‘thirteen-year-olds, good Lord, who ever heard of such a thing?’ – or ‘thirteen-year-olds, good Lord, we could clear up this situation if we legalised prostitution!’ – as if somehow the demand for adolescent bodies would vanish if only we’d make the sale of adult bodies okay!
Usually, however, they will simply deny that adolescent prostitution is widespread, or that adolescents are much in demand in the first place.
‘How do we know this is true?’ will come the query from the pro-prostitution lobby. It is not a query in the genuine sense of the word. A real query seeks an answer. This query seeks to obscure the same answer it purports to be seeking.
This will seem strange and confusing to some people. It is neither strange nor confusing to me; I’ve been exposed to the tactics of the pro-prostitution lobby for too long to be surprised or confused by these sorts of seemingly tangled and nonsensical tactics. What people need to understand is that they are not nonsensical. These are obscurest policies and they are purposeful and predictable, and when you understand their purpose you will have no problem predicting them too.
Their purpose is consistently the same; it is to deny and refute the sick and twisted nature of what actually goes on in prostitution. The truth they don’t want to you know is that men who pay for sex will most often opt to pay for a fifteen-year-old over a seventeen-year-old, a seventeen-year-old over a nineteen-year-old, a nineteen-year-old over a twenty-one-year-old, and so on and so forth.
Now, let me be very clear about this – I will be called a liar for having asserted the above. It will be said that I am trying to demonise punters, that I am telling lies about their preferences and proclivities. I wish I was. In my first year in prostitution, when I was fifteen-years-old, I was used by countless hundreds of men; I truly couldn’t say how many. I saw up to ten men a day so you may do the maths for yourself (the thoughts of doing that calculation disturbs me). As I stated in my Examiner article back in February, men were so obviously aroused by my youth it made them climax very quickly, so I soon learned to tell them how old I was in order to shorten the whole ordeal. I made it a policy; it was one of the first things I said when I got into the car – not that I needed to bring up the subject because it was usually one of the first questions asked of me.
In all those hundreds of men, one man, just ONE, turned his van around and brought me back to where he’d found me.
So yes, those who advocate for legalised or decriminalised prostitution will do their damnedest to obscure the truth about the high commercial value placed on young bodies in prostitution, all the while squawking ‘Where’s the evidence? Where’s the evidence?’ – like some kind of belligerent and demented parrot, with all the repetitiveness and severe comprehension issues you’d expect. All beak and no brains, in other words.
This is to be expected; of course the pro-prostitution lobby don’t want you to know that girls who are post-puberty by only a year or two are routinely lusted after, sought out, highly prized and then abused for enough years ‘till they’ve lost much of their commercial value. If that was widely known, it would do a great deal of damage to the autonomous, sexually-liberated, empowerment fantasy depiction they are consistently trying to peddle.
As for ‘Where’s the evidence?’ – I don’t need to ask that question. When I was a fifteen-year-old prostitute I was FAR more in-demand than I ever was as a twenty-two-year-old, even though at twenty-two I was slim, pretty, and an extremely youthful woman; but therein lay the problem. I was a woman.
There is huge emphasis placed on the commercial value of youth in prostitution. ‘The evidence’ is in every brothel and red-light zone in the land, and I know that because I lived the evidence.
I know it because I was the evidence.
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A good blog post typifying a particular ‘staid’ type of sex worker who happened to start working out of necessity early from environmental issues, but has somehow remained in the field by choice while not liking the field too much. Perhaps some personal issues about being denied other opportuunities when younger. @FreeIrishWoman seems to enjoy the sense of indignation working as a sex worker and who knows in some twisted manner, gains strength at the cutting at the conscience of her clients one can read from the writing. The ethical hirers who do want 100% consensual and a clear conscience should give this particular worker a skip. The ‘mean’ lot who gravitate from morality to desire from religious probably, would doubtless be twice attracted. While sex would be available, sex positivism is not to be found here!
Call for change in law to protect prostitutes from violent crime : Brothel attacks prompt debate whether police priority should be prosecuting sex workers or catching dangerous criminals – Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent – The Guardian, Monday 16 January 2012 15.13 GMT
Decriminalising prostitution could mean better safety and improved relations with police for sex workers. A series of gang attacks on brothels in east London has triggered calls for changes to the prostitution laws after victims who reported knifepoint robberies said they ended up being threatened with prosecution. A police investigation has been launched as senior Labour and Conservative members of the London assembly and the English Collective of Prostitutes allege that violent crime is being given a lower priority than less serious sex offences.
The attacks highlight the growing debate over calls for New Zealand’s pioneering decriminalisation of sex work to be considered – an approach recently supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers. What is said by sex workers to be a spate of robberies – involving cash and jewellery – coincides with an increase in police raids on east London addresses being used as brothels before the 2012 London Olympics.
The first address targeted was in Barking, east London, on 6 December. A video showing five men apparently breaking into another house in the area being used by sex workers is also being studied by officers. The women who made the first complaint allege they recognise some of the gang members from the YouTube clip. In a third attack, at a different address, a woman who worked as a maid at a brothel is alleged to have been raped by the gang. None of the victims there reported the offence for fear of being charged by officers with living off the proceeds of prostitution; the police say they are so far unaware of this incident.
The ECP said changes to the law, in response to fears over the forcible trafficking of foreign sex workers into Britain, have made it more difficult for women to work together in houses for safety. A letter of complaint sent by Niki Adams, a leading ECP activist who works with Legal Action for Women, to the borough police commander in Barking last month, said the way the investigation into the first incident had been pursued had discouraged “sex workers from reporting attacks”. The letter continued: “The 6 December attack was at knifepoint and the women felt they had to try and protect themselves. They think the assailants may well be the same people who have robbed them before, who have got away with it, and so have returned and become more violent as they have got bolder.
“Targeting women for prosecution in this way undermines any attempts to catch those who attack and exploit sex workers … We are receiving reports of incidents where women have been attacked and their attackers have told them brazenly that they know women won’t dare go to the police.” Adams believes there may have been as many as 20 attacks in the area over the past two years. The Metropolitan police confirmed it was aware of the 6 December attack and the YouTube video and is investigating whether the attacks are linked. “We can confirm that we were called to an alleged incident of aggravated burglary at an address in Victoria Road, Barking,” a statement said.
“Patrolling officers arrived at the scene and were quickly accompanied by scene of crime officers and detectives from Barking and Dagenham CID. Detectives also visited the venue on a further occasion to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident. “Unfortunately, those at the address were unwilling to substantiate the allegation or further assist with the investigation despite a number of attempts for them to do so. The case remains under investigation and should any further information come to light it will of course be vigorously pursued.” The force said “a notice has been served to the registered owner of the venue in Victoria Road under the auspices of section 33a of the Sexual Offences Act 1956. The notice formally notified the recipient that they were liable to prosecution should the premises in Victoria Road remain in use as a brothel”. Referring to the YouTube video, the police said: “We are looking to see if the attacks are linked. Officers take any such reports extremely seriously and actively encourage all members of the community, particularly those who may be vulnerable to such incidents, to come forward and contact police. “Officers at Barking and Dagenham work hard to ensure that the borough remains a safe place for all residents. The welfare of victims remains our primary concern and we acknowledge that some members of the community are more vulnerable and susceptible to crime. “We strive to encourage and support female victims and to assist us further we are in the process of launching a bespoke multi-agency victim care service. This will see female victims receiving the best possible support and will include fast-track referrals to housing and health professionals as well as Safer Neighbourhood reassurance intervention.”
Prostitution itself is not illegal but associated activities – such as kerb crawling, placing advertising cards in phoneboxes and working in premises with more than one person available for paid sex – are outlawed.
Last November Simon Byrne, Acpo’s lead officer on prostitution and sexual exploitation, suggested there was a need for a fresh look at the legal balance. Then deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester, Byrne is in the process of moving to the Met as assistant commissioner. “There is a great amount of academic research available, much of which supports the view that an alternative approach is needed,” he wrote on his official Acpo blog. “An example would be the decriminalisation and regulation of brothels in Australia and New Zealand, not an answer to all of the related issues but certainly a solution to some.
“More of those involved in sex work in Australia and New Zealand can now access health services with ease, whilst maintaining more personal security in an emotive area for policing.”
Another proponent of reform is Andrew Boff, a Conservative member of the London assembly. “The law is framed so as to put women [sex workers] into the most vulnerable position,” he said. “The changes brought in by the last government seemed to [be derived from] the view that every single worker in the sex trade was trafficked. “People are not willing to come forward over these attacks. When they report them, the women themselves have had action taken against them. I’m compiling a report on the problem for Boris Johnson.”
Len Duvall, the leader of the Labour group at the London assembly, said: “We need to examine in greater detail information and case studies from those countries that have sought to legalise prostitution, including the model put forward by New Zealand, especially if it provides a degree of protection for sex workers and reduces crimes associated with prostitution.
“Where brothels have not posed a problem to the wider community and there has been no evidence of sex trafficking, I have heard evidence that the police have taken an inconsistent and heavy-handed approach in dealing with sex workers. There is also evidence that crimes against sex workers are being ignored.”
Earlier this month, Sheila Farmer, a sex worker who operated with other women out of shared premises, had charges of brothel-keeping against her dismissed at Croydon crown court. The Crown Prosecution Service said there had been no change in enforcement policy; the unexpected failure of a witness to appear led to the charge being withdrawn. Farmer said she had chosen to work with other women for safety because she had been attacked previously when working alone.
Nigel Richardson, the solicitor who represented her, said he was aware of another case in Surrey where women had reported an attack on their flat from a rival operation. “They were visited by two men who threatened the women and were pouring petrol around the place,” he said.
“My client called the police. Officers intially took the attack very seriously but eventually arrested my client. The men were never brought to book for an assault but my client was prosecuted for running a brothel.”
Tim Barnett, the British-born former New Zealand MP who pushed through his adopted country’s decriminalisation legislation in 2003, was in London before Christmas where he briefed Boff and Duvall. “We said let’s make the law the best to minimise harm,” he said at the time. “We set up a review of the legislation. A number of people said the number of sex workers would rise.
“So we reviewed it after five years in 2008. The review didn’t find any increase and there was an improvement in the relationship with the police. Sex workers were using their rights under the legislation to deal with poor-quality brothel owners or clients who had been behaving abusively.”
NHS doctors to be forced to work weekends for the first time in push for improved seven-day a week care – by Daily Mail Reporter – PUBLISHED: 15:45 GMT, 16 December 2012 | UPDATED: 23:19 GMT, 16 December 2012
Oupatients appointments and surgical procedures could be carried out on Saturdays and Sundays for the first time
The shake up is part of plans by Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the new NHS Commissioning Board
Seven days: Sir Bruce Keogh plans to introduce seven day working to the NHS
Doctors could be forced to work at weekends under plans to create a health service with supermarket-style opening hours.
Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS’s medical director, said that patients, like shoppers, should be entitled to the same quality of service on Saturday and Sunday as during the week.
He said it was no longer acceptable for hospitals and GPs’ surgeries to operate for the convenience of their staff at the expense of patients and that clinics and day case operations should be available seven days a week.
It should also be possible to get weekend hospital appointments for scans and GPs should provide slots to treat patients at weekends, he said.
The proposal is to be considered by the NHS Commissioning Board in an effort to improve access to healthcare.
He told the Sunday Times: ‘Our system has been based around providing as good a working environment as you can for the people who work in the health service, which isn’t necessarily matched with what the people who want services have.
‘If you wanted a day case operation, and you didn’t want to take a day off work, why can’t you have it on a Saturday or Sunday?’
‘Tesco have had to go through this – it was a complex issue for them – we will need to look at the terms and conditions or service of people.’
He added that having empty clinics and operating theatres on a Saturday and Sunday is a waste of NHS resources.
Research by the board found that a patient admitted to hospital on a Sunday was 16 per cent more likely to die than if they were admitted on a Wednesday.
Keogh can introduce the changes and implement financial rewards and penalties to ensure that hospitals follow the guidelines.
Contract changes: Many medical professionals will have to work Saturdays and Sundays for the first time
The plans will no doubt anger doctors who will be keen to protect their current working hours.
Medical professionals will not receive any extra money for working weekends but will be given days off in the week instead.
The proposals will be fully outlined in the NHS Commissioning Board’s first planning guidance which will detail how health funds will be spent ahead and which will be released on Tuesday.
The British Medical Association (BMA) last night rejected the idea that that the medical profession could learn from private firms such as Tesco but it was ‘open’ to discussing seven day working.
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Try this. Instead of all doctors having Saturdays and Sundays off, some doctors could have Mondays and Tuesdays off, then the overlap from different shift doctors should cover everything.
Day shift should focus on geriatrics and paediatrics (adult people working will put off visits to nighttime and will not visit during the day) while evening shift will be more popular for the adults. Midnight shift should have the least staff (most people sleeping), though everyone not of the above groups might visit, emergency services from racers gettti8ng into accidents and drunks getting into fights will make up the most of this shift. The fact that the one can get medical aid 24/7 makes for a safer feeling in any district overall.
Is this the end of paper banknotes? Plastic version could be in your pocket in just three years – by Rebecca Evans – PUBLISHED: 00:04 GMT, 17 December 2012 | UPDATED: 00:04 GMT, 17 December 2012
Overhaul could see environmentally-friendly notes introduced from 2015
Have proved a success since being introduced in Australia in 1988
Plastic lasts much longer and are more hygienic but more expensive to make
Plastic banknotes are set to be introduced in Britain, replacing the paper money used for more than 300 years.
The radical overhaul could see the more durable, waterproof and harder-to-counterfeit polymer sterling notes in circulation within three years.
The Bank of England has put out a £1billion tender from 2015 for the printing of notes at its press in Debden, Essex.
Paper money could be replaced within three years after being used for more than three centuries
Part of this process demands that bidders are able to cope with the change from paper to plastic from the start of the contract.
Since 2003, the contract has been held by De La Rue – one of only two makers of polymer notes.
The company, which prints more than 150 currencies, has just produced new plastic banknotes for the Pacific island of Fiji.
Plastic notes were first introduced in Australia in 1988 as a measure against counterfeiting.
They have proved a success, and are apparently particularly popular with surfers who are able to keep money in their pockets without it disintegrating.
Other countries to issue polymer notes include New Zealand, Romania, Papua New Guinea, Mexico and Vietnam. In Northern Ireland, a plastic fiver was introduced in 1999 to mark the Millennium.
The Bank’s chief cashier Chris Salmon has already said plastic notes were being looked at as a possibility to replace paper money
Plastic notes last much longer than cotton fibre-based paper ones. For instance, an Australian $5 bill lasts about 40 months, against six months for a £5 note.
Polymer notes are more hygienic as they absorb fewer bacteria, harder to tear or crease – making them easier for vending machines – and waterproof, even able to survive being put in the washing machine.
A key feature is a clear window, which normally contains an ‘optical variable device’ that splits light into its component colours and is extremely hard to counterfeit. Plastic notes can also contain holograms.
They are also more environmentally friendly as fewer need to be produced and they can be recycled.
However, they are considerably more expensive to produce and would create an initial cost as ATMs and vending machines would have to be adapted to accept them.
The Bank’s chief cashier Chris Salmon had already revealed it was investigating the possibility of polymer or plastic-coated banknotes.
‘Today I’m going to make some £20 notes out of this old plastic washing-up bottle’
It is understood that the Bank will initially introduce lower denominations, such as the fiver, which are in wider use so become dog-eared more rapidly.
De La Rue’s chief executive Tim Cobbold said: ‘If you think about the life of a banknote, it takes quite a hammering.
‘It’s being folded, it’s being crunched, it’s in and out of wallets and it could be in the wet or dry.’
But financial expert David Buik, of the retail and trading services firm Cantor Index, believes the conversion to plastic notes should not be rushed.
‘I think it’s something that needs to be more carefully thought out,’ he said.
‘Money laundering is a huge problem and if the security measures introduced could be used to make notes more traceable, then that would be very good.
‘But it needs to be applied internationally, the major countries all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet.’
A spokesman for the Bank of England said: ‘No definite decisions have been taken yet but the Bank is considering all options.’
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Paper 300 years? Try precious metals 3000 or more years. Barter possible more than 30,000 . . . Parallel currencies in PM used in the manner of barter should put an end to the plastic note b.s.. Make your own localised currency citizens! Stop ceding economic control to central national banks.