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The Little Troll: Thomas Berger, Ronald Heuninck, Polly Lawson, Jeanna Oterdahl4r: 9780863151125: Amazon.com: Books

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Wed, 26 Dec 2012 10:20

The little troll was not happy in the forest among his own kind. He felt drawn to the world of humans, and helped a girl who came regularly to the forest. His life changed when she gave him a silver cross to wear.

The little troll was not happy in the forest among his own kind. He felt drawn to the world of humans, and helped a girl who came regularly to the forest. His life changed when she gave him a silver cross to wear.

Romney didn't want to run for president, son says - FRANCE 24

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Mon, 24 Dec 2012 08:26

Mitt Romney arrives on stage on election night November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts, moments before conceding defeat to US President Barack Obama in the 2012 US presidential election. No one wanted to be president less than Romney, his son said in an interview out Sunday that raises new questions about the candidacy of the losing Republican nominee.

AFP - No one wanted to be president less than Mitt Romney, his son said in an interview out Sunday that raises new questions about the candidacy of the losing Republican nominee.

In an interview with the Boston Globe examining what went wrong with the Romney campaign, his eldest son Tagg explains that his father had been a reluctant candidate from the start.

After failing to win the 2008 Republican nomination, Romney told his family he would not run again and had to be persuaded to enter the 2012 White House race by his wife Ann and son Tagg.

"He wanted to be president less than anyone I've met in my life. He had no desire... to run," Tagg Romney said. "If he could have found someone else to take his place... he would have been ecstatic to step aside."

Mitt Romney "is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them. He loves his country, but he doesn't love the attention," his son said.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and multi-billionaire businessman, has been widely criticized for blaming his loss in the November 6 election on President Barack Obama's "gifts" to Latinos, women and the poor.

"What the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote," Romney said during a call with campaign donors in mid-November that represented his first public reaction to his election loss.

The Globe story sought to look beyond that narrative and examine what really went wrong.

It focused on the fact that Romney was unhappy that one of his most trusted advisers, Mike Murphy -- the architect of his successful 2002 run for governor of Massachusetts -- did not join the campaign.

Instead, the campaign settled on Stuart Stevens, who had worked on Romney's 2008 presidential bid.

The Globe story also highlights the decision to downplay Romney's biography in favor of going after Obama and the flagging US economy.

Campaign strategists feared that highlighting Romney's biography would open the Mormon candidate up more to personal attacks that he was wealthy, out-of-touch and belonged to a minority faith.

War on Ca$h

How to Avoid Credit Card Problems Abroad - Practical Traveler

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Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:40

LIKE many Americans who have tried to use their credit cards in Europe, Elliot E. Porter, a historian from San Francisco, has encountered his share of payment headaches. Perhaps the most aggravating occurred a few months ago at Amsterdam Centraal Station, where he learned only after waiting in line to purchase train tickets that none of his credit cards, which include a MasterCard, Visa and American Express, would be accepted. The problem? They rely on magnetic-strip technology rather than embedded microprocessor chips, which are becoming increasingly common outside the United States.

''This is a big deal when traveling,'' said Mr. Porter, who trekked back to his hotel to get cash, which he then had to exchange for local currency before returning to the train station to wait in a long line to pay for his tickets. He encountered similar problems at train stations in Belgium and Britain. ''It just got super frustrating,'' he said.

There may be some good news on the horizon for Americans like Mr. Elliot. A few banks have begun testing cards with the newer chip technology, known as E.M.V. (for Europay, MasterCard and Visa) and are beginning to offer the cards to select customers. Wells Fargo has issued cards with the embedded chips to about 15,000 United States-based clients who travel internationally, in a trial program. JPMorgan Chase is offering the cards to some of its high-net-worth customers this month. Meanwhile, Travelex, a major currency exchange company, began selling a preloaded E.M.V.-enabled debit card last year. Some credit unions have also begun offering credit or debit cards with chips, including the State Employees' Credit Union of Raleigh, N.C., and the United Nations Federal Credit Union in New York.

It's about time. Over the last decade, such cards (commonly referred to as chip-and-PIN cards because users punch in a personal identification number instead of signing for the purchase) have been widely adopted in Europe as a means to reduce credit card fraud; the information stored in the magnetic strips used in traditional cards can be stolen fairly easily. E.M.V.-enabled chip cards, requiring a PIN for authentification, are harder to counterfeit and are becoming the standard in other regions, including Canada, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. More than a third of the world's payments cards (approximately 1.2 billion) are E.M.V. capable, along with roughly two-thirds of cashier terminals (18.7 million), according to EMVCo, the standards body owned by American Express, JCB, MasterCard and Visa.

But the United States has been slow to adopt the technology, mainly because of the expense merchants and banks would have to take on to convert to E.M.V.-enabled cards and cash registers. American banks also point out that fraud involving credit cards with magnetic strips hasn't been as prevalent in the United States as it has in other countries. (Chip-and-PIN cards are different from the radio frequency chip in some American credit cards, like the American Express Blue card, which allows customers to pay by waving their card at a check-out scanner, instead of swiping it.)

Until businesses change their minds, American travelers will continue to encounter payment issues abroad. The problem is two-fold. Even though most European cash registers are equipped to handle American cards, some cashiers simply don't know how to process them. And many automated ticket kiosks like those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages simply don't accept cards without a chip and PIN. (A.T.M.'s typically recognize and accept many cards whether they have a chip or a magnetic strip.)

So what's a traveler to do? Since the cards being tested by Chase and Wells Fargo are being offered only to a limited number of mostly high-end customers, the best option for the rest of us is to carry a couple of cards in our wallets and politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe each credit card, as the card reader may be able to recognize the magnetic strip and approve the purchase.

That's what Richard Brill, a public relations executive from Wilmette, Ill., learned last month while on vacation in Portugal. ''In some cases they'd redo it,'' he said, referring to the merchants who were able to get their machines to accept his Visa card. When such attempts failed, he tried using his American Express card, which was accepted a number of times, even though it also lacked the special chip.

For backup, also consider carrying a preloaded debit MasterCard from Travelex called Chip and PIN Cash Passport, available in pounds or euros, which is equipped with the embedded chip. But use it only when you can't use other cards. While it does not cost anything to use the card, the exchange rates you'll get when loading it with cash aren't great. For example, in late May, the exchange rate when putting funds into a Travelex Chip and PIN card online was about $1.50 to the euro. (It can be higher in actual Travelex stores.) By contrast, the spot exchange rate, charged by most banks, was roughly $1.42, according to Bankrate.com, a financial research site. Even after adding the 3 percent foreign exchange fee typically charged by major American card issuers, it was still more expensive to use a Travelex Chip and PIN card.

That said, there are some transactions '-- like buying train tickets at kiosks '-- for which you will need a Travelex card; remaining funds can be converted back to dollars after your trip.

Before you go, also consider buying tickets and other basic purchases online. For example, V(C)lib, the popular Paris bicycle rental system, whose rental kiosks have been known to reject cards without embedded chips, now accepts online payments for one- and seven-day tickets at velib.paris.fr. Rail Europe, which lets American tourists buy many European train tickets in advance, recently added local British train tickets to its online offerings at raileurope.com.

And when you return home, be sure to let your bank know about any payment problems. That just may be the best way to motivate them to issue chip-based cards to travelers.

Words Matter

Folks-Let me be clear - Homeland - Heil is next?

LET ME BE CLEAR-Daniel Guerin: Fascism and Big Business (1938)

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Tue, 25 Dec 2012 13:50

Daniel Guerin: Fascism and Big Business (1938)Gu(C)rin Archive | Trotskyist Writers Index | ETOL Main Page

Daniel Gu(C)rin(October 1938)From New International, Vol.4 No.10, October 1938, pp.297-300.Transcribed & marked up by Einde O' Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The following article is an excerpt from Daniel Guerin's book on Fascism, the English translation of which is soon to be released by Pioneer Publishers. It is a study of the roots and destiny of Fascism, at once so factual and so thoroughly Marxist in its approach, that no apology for giving it the widest possible publicity is necessary. '' EDITORS.

A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS ILLUSION consists in regarding fascism, despite the horror it inspires, as a progressive political phenomenon '' as a passing and even necessary, though painful, stage. Rash prophets have announced ten times, a hundred times, the imminent and inevitable crumbling of the fascist dictatorship in Italy or Germany under the blows of the victorious revolution. They have asserted that fascism, by driving class antagonisms to their highest degree of tension, is hastening the hour of the proletarian revolution, even going so far as to contend that the proletariat could conquer power only by passing through the hell of the fascist dictatorship. Today it is no longer possible to keep up such illusions. Events have demonstrated with tragic clearness that the moment the working class allows the fascist wave to sweep over it, a long period of slavery and impotence begins '' a long period during which socialist, even democratic, ideas are not merely erased from the pediments of public monuments and libraries but, what is much more serious, are rooted out of human minds. Events have proved that fascism physically destroys everything opposing its dictatorship, no matter how mildly, and that it creates a vacuum around itself and leaves a vacuum behind it.

This extraordinary power to survive by annihilating everything except itself, to hold out against everything and everybody, to hold out for years in spite of internal contradictions and in spite of the misery and discontent of the masses '' what is behind it?

Excessive CentralizationThe strength of the dictatorship rests first of all in its excessive centralization. Such a regime cannot ''by its very nature endure the slightest trace of federalism or autonomy. Like the Convention, like Napoleon, it must seek complete centralism, the logical consequence of its system and the necessary means to insure its permanence.'' Mussolini and Hitler strengthen to the utmost the authority of the central government and suppress even the faintest trace of individualism. In Italy the powers of the provincial governors have been considerably increased.

''It must be clear,'' a communication from the Duce informs them, ''that authority cannot be divided ... Authority is single and unified. If it were not, we should fall back into a disorganized state.''

In Germany the seventeen ''states'', whose rights to their own governments and parliaments were preserved by the Weimar Constitution, have been gradually suppressed and transformed into mere provinces of the Reich, directly administered by representatives of the central government, the Statthalter. Extolling his centralizing work, Hitler boasts of having ''given the people the Constitution that will make them strong''.

Marx in his time was able to rejoice because the executive power, while becoming ever more concentrated, simultaneously concentrated against itself all the forces of destruction. And certain of our contemporaries, with a somewhat too simple conception of the dialectic, imagine that by centralizing to the utmost, fascism is working automatically for the Revolution. They would be correct if fascism did not, at the same time as it centralizes, destroy in the most radical fashion the ''forces of destruction'' themselves.

Fascism, in fact, has brought to the highest degree of perfection the methods of police repression used in modern states. It has made the political police a truly scientific organization. The Italian Ovra, the German Gestapo '' real ''states within the state'', with ramifications in all classes of society and even in every dwelling house, with enormous financial and material resources, and with limitless powers '' are in a position literally to annihilate at birth every attempt at opposition wherever it appears. They can arrest at any time, ''put away'' on a remote island or in a concentration camp, even execute without a semblance of a trial, anyone they wish. Consequently it is possible to say that such a regime is a smooth block of granite where no hand can find a hold. Gentizon is not far from the truth, unfortunately, when he says of Italy:

''Opposition has completely disappeared ... With the system of the totalitarian state, no hostile propaganda is possible.''

And Goebbels too when he asserts:

''The enemies of the regime are completely put down; there is no longer in the whole country any opposition worthy of the name.''

Dispersal of the Working ClassAdded to these methods of police repression is the state of ''forced disunity, dispersion and helplessness'' in which fascism keeps the working class. Certainly in neither Italy nor Germany can the regime boast of having all the proletariat with it; quite the contrary. Mussolini himself is forced to confess:

''I cannot say that I have [with me] all the workers ... They are perpetual malcontents.''

In Germany, the elections to the factory ''confidential councils'' have twice (April, 1934, and April, 1935) constituted a stinging defeat for the regime. According to the later admission of Dr. Ley himself, scarcely 40 per cent of the electors voted in 1934. In 1935 at least 30 per cent of the electors abstained or voted against. In 1936, 1937, and 1938 the elections were ''postponed'' as a precautionary measure, and in June, 1938, it was decided that the ''confidential men'' would no longer be ''elected'' but appointed by the head of the company.

This latent discontent, however, finds it almost impossible to express itself or to organize. The working class is atomized and disintegrated. It is true that protest movements have appeared here and there, but they are stifled immediately. They are restricted to isolated plants and known to few workers outside the plants where they occur; in each factory the workers believe they are alone in their resistance. Not only are the ties broken between the workers in different factories, but even inside large enterprises contacts no longer exist between the employees of the various departments, and it is very difficult to re-establish them. Even when the embryos of illegal unions are formed, with heroic efforts, they are almost always crushed in the egg.

No doubt there are militant socialists and communists who distribute illegal leaflets at the peril of their lives, but they are only an heroic and constantly decimated phalanx. The workers lose their passivity only when an event abroad reveals to them that they are not alone, that beyond the frontiers other workers are struggling. Thus the great strikes of June, 1936, in France, in spite of the care of the fascist press to minimize their importance, had a profound echo among the workers of Italy and Germany. [1]

Fascist EducationAnd while fascism puts its adult opponents in a position where they can do no harm, it imposes its imprint on the young and shapes them in its own mold. ''The generation of the irre-concilables will be eliminated by natural laws,'' Mussolini exults. ''Soon the younger generation will come!'' Volpe speaks lustingly of this ''virgin material which has not yet been touched by the old ideologies.''

''Our future is represented by the German youth,'' Hitler declares. ''We will raise it in our own spirit. If the older generation cannot become accustomed to it, we will take their children from them. ...''

''We want to inculcate our principles in the children from their most tender years.''

And Goebbels asserts that as long as the youth are behind Hitler, the regime will be indestructible. At the age of four in Germany and at six in Italy, the child is taken from his family, enrolled in the militarized formations of fascism, and subjected to an intensive stuffing with propaganda. The dictatorial state puts in his hands a single newspaper, a single textbook, and educates him in an incredible atmosphere of exaltation and fanaticism.

This training accomplishes its aim. Although the regime in Germany has not been in power long enough to enable us to formulate valid conclusions, in Italy the results are tangible: ''The youth can no longer even conceive of socialist or communist ideas,'' Gentizon writes. A militant worker, Feroci, confirms this:

''A youth that has never read a labor paper, never attended a labor meeting, and knows nothing of socialism and communism ... that is ... what makes for the real strength of Mussolini's regime.''

Doubtless there is something fascist education cannot stifle, and which does not need to be taught '' the class instinct. No amount of propaganda will ever prevent the young worker from feeling he is exploited. Pietro Nenni, while far from claiming that the Black Shirt youth has already succeeded in freeing itself from the fascist grip, states that in Italy ''many young people are socialists without knowing it and without wanting to be.'' Il Maglio, the weekly paper of the fascist unionists of Turin, complains that among the youth there is a certain lack of understanding of fascist ''unionism'':

''It is natural that there should be a few young people who, while recognizing that the abolition of all forms of class struggle is an absolute necessity ... still believe that labor's material interests can be better assured by strikes and the methods of struggle used up to yesterday in labor conflicts ...''

In Germany as well, countless young people who believed literally that the Third Reich would be their state, and whom the Third Reich has condemned to forced labor, are bitterly disappointed. But it is extremely difficult for the youth in either country, in view of the mental training they are given, to get rid of the false ideas with which they are indoctrinated, to clarify their revolt, and without guidance do for themselves the work of a century of socialist action and thought. The confused awakening of their class consciousness leads some of them to the ''left wing'' of fascism or National Socialism; it does not make them into militant revolutionists.

2.Another illusion about the duration of fascism must be dispelled. Certain people try to deduce from the economic and political contradictions which have developed in the fascist regime that the days of the dictatorship are numbered. These contradictions do exist, and we have analyzed them. They are important enough possibly to bring about profound changes in the structure of the regime. But such changes can occur without the dictatorship itself collapsing.

Dissatisfaction of Big BusinessA few supplementary explanations are necessary here. The fact is undeniable that the industrialists who subsidized and put fascism in power are not entirely satisfied with their own creation. In the first place the regime is terribly expensive. The maintenance of the excessive bureaucracy of the state, the party and the numerous semi-governmental bodies costs unheard-of sums and adds to the financial difficulties of the government. In their memorandum of June, 1937, to Hitler, the industrialists wrote:

''It used to be estimated that there was one functionary for every twelve persons in productive occupations. Today, if the official party organizations and the semi-official and corporative services with their functionaries and employes are included, it is estimated that there is one person on the state payroll for every eight persons in productive occupations.''

Abandoning any attempt to ''estimate the amount of personal and material expenses required by the administrative machine,'' the authors of the memorandum complained of the ''incalculable losses arising from a lack of contact between the old and the new authorities, and the overlapping of functions between the old and new state services and the party.'' [2] They wished the day would come when ''in accordance with a definite principle, a final organization of the internal political apparatus of the state will be possible ...''

While the state must carry huge incidental expenses, the big capitalists themselves have to stand a certain number: ''voluntary contributions'' extorted by the party and its ''welfare'' undertakings; various subscriptions; ''graft'' and seats on the boards of directors of big companies for the ''upper crust'' of the fascist leaders, etc. But these incidental expenses, the importance of which must not be exaggerated, are less annoying to big business than the demagogic agitation indulged in by the fascist plebeians '' agitation which, despite purges and repressions, periodically reappears, though within constantly narrower limits.

Again, while big business approves of an aggressive policy that brings it new armament orders, it is afraid lest the fascist leaders, in seeking a diversion from the wretchedness of the people, provoke a premature war which will result in the isolation of the country and its defeat. It is especially significant that in the autumn of 1935 it was the fascist leaders, Farinacci, Rossoni, and others, who urged Mussolini into conflict with England, while the big bourgeoisie, the General Staff, and the Crown, on the other hand, advised moderation and caution. Likewise in Germany, when Hitler decided in March, 1936, to remilitarize the Rhineland, it was the Nazi top bureaucracy '' Goering, Goebbels, and others '' who urged him on to the adventure, while the big capitalists and their representative, Dr. Schacht, as well as the Reichswehr Generals, were wary, not as to the act itself but as to the rash form it took. At the end of December of the same year, General von Fritsch pointed out that neither the Reich nor the German army could undertake any action that might lead to war in a short time, and he went so far as to threaten to resign his command if his expert advice was disregarded.

The Cult of the LeaderNeither does big business look without a certain amount of anxiety on the symptoms of ''delusions of grandeur'' displayed ever more obviously by the dictator. This development is really inevitable, for in proportion as the plebeians are eliminated and the party relegated to a secondary position, it is necessary to inflate the ''Man of Destiny'' all the more in order to conceal behind his person the real nature of the fascist state: a military and police dictatorship in the service of big business. It is necessary to follow Spengler's advice:

''Nothing has meaning any more but the purely personal power exercised by the Caesar [in whom] the omnipotence of money disappears.''

Thus in Italy, the dictatorship of the fascist party has gradually given place to the personal dictatorship of the Duce. In Germany, during the last electoral campaign, ''there [was] very little question of National Socialism and much '' to the exclusion of almost everything else '' of Herr Hitler.'' But the dictator himself is taken in by this ''booby-trap''. The same mishap befalls him as befell Louis Bonaparte:

''Only ... when he himself now takes his imperial role seriously ... does he become the victim of his own conception of the world, the serious buffoon, who no longer takes world history for a comedy but his comedy for world history.''

Mussolini and Hitler end by literally becoming egomaniacs. And the big capitalists must increasingly reckon with the boundless pride, the changing humor and whims, of the Duce or the FĻhrer. This means a loss of time and has certain drawbacks.

And finally, the economic policy of fascism, however favorable to themselves it may be, is not entirely satisfactory to the big capitalists. Although they eagerly pocket the fabulous profits from armament orders, they are terrified at the possible consequences of this policy. They are haunted by the thought of a financial catastrophe. They likewise complain, as we have seen, that the ''war economy'' regime is constantly imposing on them more burdensome state regulations, that it is forever eating away at sacrosanct ''private initiative''.

Therefore the industrialists are not wholly content, and in the minds of some of them the idea begins to germinate of throwing overboard once and for all the fascist plebeians and their leader himself, and of completing the already far-advanced transformation of the fascist totalitarian regime into a purely military dictatorship.

But they hesitate. They dare not deprive themselves entirely of the incomparable and irreplaceable means of penetrating into all cells of society which they have in the fascist mass organizations. Above all, they hesitate to deprive themselves of the services of the ''Man of Destiny'', for the mystic faith in the Duce or the FĻhrer, though declining, is not yet extinct.

''The present order in Germany,'' the Temps states, ''exists and continues only thanks to the popularity of the Chancellor and the faith of the German masses in Herr Hitler's actions ...''

''The FĻhrer is unquestionably more popular than the regime.''

The ''Man of Destiny'', however much a nuisance he may be, is still necessary. Even his madness is useful; he alone can still perform the psychological miracle of turning the discontent and wretchedness of large strata of the people into enthusiasm and faith.

But most of all, the industrialists are apprehensive lest a radical change in the regime, such as they desire, should cost much bloodshed. They dread a civil war, even a short one, in which ''national'' forces would oppose one another; they fear nothing so much as what in Germany is called, in anticipation, a ''new June 30''. Hence they hesitate.

The hypothesis is not absolutely excluded that some day they will come to feel that the advantages of a purely military dictatorship outweigh its shortcomings. But a change of this nature would not necessarily open up the way to a revolution. It is true that for the middle classes, suddenly deprived of their daily mythology, the awakening would be a cruel one, and that it would be harder, with only the aid of a military and police apparatus, to keep the proletariat enslaved. Yet the authoritarian state, strongly supported by bayonets, might still endure for a time in this new form; it might find new ''mysticisms'' (the nationalist mysticism, the dynastic mysticism, etc.) to keep large strata of the population under the spell; in a word, even without Mussolini or Hitler, the ''strong state'' might survive.

3.If fascism is not progressive politically, it is no more so economically '' notwithstanding what certain people think. Stripped of all appearances, all the contradictions which dim its real face, all the secondary aspects which hide from so many its essential character, and all the circumstances peculiar to any one country, fascism is reduced to this: a strong state intended to prolong artificially an economic system based on profit and the private ownership of the means of production. To use the picturesque figure of Radek, fascist dictatorship is the iron hoop with which the bourgeoisie tries to patch up the broken barrel of capitalism. Here some clarification, however, is necessary: the ''barrel'', contrary to what many believe, was not broken by the revolutionary action of the working class; fascism is not the ''bourgeoisie's answer to an attack by the proletariat'' but rather ''an expression of the decay of capitalist economy''. The barrel fell apart of its own accord.

Fascism is, to be sure, a defensive reaction of the bourgeoisie, but a defense against the disintegration of its own system far more than against any proletarian offensive '' alas, non-existent. The crisis of the capitalist system itself is what shook capitalism to its foundations by drying up the sources of profit. The working class, on the other hand, paralyzed by its organizations and its leaders in the hour of the decay of capitalist economy, did not know how to take power and replace dying capitalism with socialism.

Capitalism in DecayAs to the nature of this crisis, fascism itself has no illusions.

''The crisis,'' Mussolini admits, ''has penetrated the system so deeply that it has become a systemic crisis. It is no longer a wound, but a chronic disease ...''

In spite of the fact that fascism demagogically promises the reabsorption of unemployment and the resumption of business, it knows perfectly well that it will not set the economic machine going again. It does not seek seriously either to bring back to life the vanished consumer, or to stimulate the long interrupted investment of private savings in production. Others are free to cherish Utopias if they wish, but fascism knows what it wants and what it can do. It merely tries to check, through artificial means, the fall in the profits of a private capitalism which has become parasitic. In spite of its verbose demagogy, it has no great designs; it lives from week to week; it aspires to nothing more than to keep alive '' through wage cuts, state orders and subsidies, seizure of small savings, and autarchy '' a handful of monopolists and big landowners. And in order to prolong the latters' reign (though limiting their liberty and without insuring them their pre-depression income), it has no hesitation in hastening the ruin of all other layers of the population '' wage earners, consumers, savers, working farmers, artisans, and even industrialists manufacturing consumers' goods.

Those nai've people who, outside Italy and Germany, fall into the trap of fascist demagogic lies and go around saying that fascism is a ''revolution,'' and that fascism has ''gone beyond'' capitalism, are advised to study the following letter from a worker published by the Nazi daily, the V¶lkische Beobachter (June 7, 1936):

''Nobody concerned with economic questions will believe the capitalist system has disappeared. Although it is true that methods of public financing have assumed a different character '' a character of coercion '' capital, or at least what is generally understood by this word, has never been so powerful and privileged as at the present time ... The Economy accumulates enormous profits and reserves; the workers are invited to wait, and to console themselves while waiting by undergoing a whole series of preliminary conditions. The big ones make profits, and the little one receive drafts on the future. If that isn't capitalism in the specific sense of the word, I would like to know what capitalism means ... One group is making formidable profits at the expense of the rest of the population. That is what used to be called capitalist exploitation . . .''

''This isn't National Socialism; this is simply capitalism,'' another correspondent wrote to the V¶lkische Beobachter on June 13. And the official organ of the Nazi party cynically replied that if the government had wanted to divide among the workers the two billions or so of big business's increased profit, it would have placed itself ''in flagrant opposition to the Economy, and its energy would have been entirely paralyzed in a struggle to maintain its position.''

4.Moreover, on the international plane, fascism merely aggravates the tendency of the whole capitalist system to national isolation and autarchy. By detaching the Economy from the international division of labor, by adapting the ''productive forces to the Procrustean bed of the national state,'' fascism brings ''chaos into world relations''. For the future work of socialist planning, it creates ''colossal additional difficulties''.

At the same time fascism aggravates and brings to their highest degree of tension the contradictions resulting from the uneven development of the capitalist system, and thus hastens the hour of a new division of the world by force of arms '' the hour of that ''relapse into barbarism'' which Rosa Luxemburg foresaw in case the proletariat should be slow to fulfill its class duty and achieve socialism.

Nevertheless, it is not correct to say that fascism means war. Bela Kun not long ago attacked this self-interested lie:

''The slogan that fascism, which is one of the political forms of bourgeois rule ... means war, is designed ... only to free again and always from all responsibility one of the groups of imperialist powers that mask their war preparations under democratic forms and pacifist phrases ... The old slogan of Marxist anti-militarism '' that of the revolutionary struggle against imperialist war '' was differently expressed: capitalism means war.''

War is the product of the capitalist system as a whole. Tomorrow's war will not find the democracies opposing the dictatorships. Behind ideological pretexts, imperialist realities are concealed. Tomorrow's war will find the satisfied nations, who long ago got their ''places in the sun'' and divided the planet among themselves through blood and iron, opposing the ''proletarian'' nations '' the late-comers who also demand their share in the feast, if need be through blood and iron. One group is ready to make war to force a new division of the world; the other is ready to make war to prevent this division. This is an elementary truth that can never be repeated too often in these troubled times when, for many people, anti-fascism has become synonymous with chauvinism. Fascism must be fought not from the outside by imperialist war but from within by proletarian class struggle. There is only one way to put an end to Mussolini and Hitler: that is to help the Italian and German workers to fight at home. And how can they be helped? By example! By fighting in our own countries!

Footnotes1. On April 18, 1937. Rudolf Hess made a violent anti-communist speech at Karlsruhe, which the Berlin correspondent of Information commented on as follows:

''Inside Germany this speech tends to put a stop to the discussions which have arisen among the popular masses of the Reich, despite the censorship, as a result of the promulgation of the forty-hour law and new social laws by the Blum cabinet.''

2. ''All the chief administrative bodies of the state,'' the Berlin correspondent of the Temps hat observed, ''are duplicated, so to speak, by the organs of the National Socialist Party ... The party penetrates into the Ministries, but it also preserves, on the fringes of the traditional administrative bodies, its own organs ...''

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Gu(C)rin Archive | Trotskyist Writers Index | ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 29.6.2005

Daniel Guerin: Fascism and Big Business (1938)Gu(C)rin Archive | Trotskyist Writers Index | ETOL Main Page

Daniel Gu(C)rin(October 1938)From New International, Vol.4 No.10, October 1938, pp.297-300.Transcribed & marked up by Einde O' Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The following article is an excerpt from Daniel Guerin's book on Fascism, the English translation of which is soon to be released by Pioneer Publishers. It is a study of the roots and destiny of Fascism, at once so factual and so thoroughly Marxist in its approach, that no apology for giving it the widest possible publicity is necessary. '' EDITORS.

A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS ILLUSION consists in regarding fascism, despite the horror it inspires, as a progressive political phenomenon '' as a passing and even necessary, though painful, stage. Rash prophets have announced ten times, a hundred times, the imminent and inevitable crumbling of the fascist dictatorship in Italy or Germany under the blows of the victorious revolution. They have asserted that fascism, by driving class antagonisms to their highest degree of tension, is hastening the hour of the proletarian revolution, even going so far as to contend that the proletariat could conquer power only by passing through the hell of the fascist dictatorship. Today it is no longer possible to keep up such illusions. Events have demonstrated with tragic clearness that the moment the working class allows the fascist wave to sweep over it, a long period of slavery and impotence begins '' a long period during which socialist, even democratic, ideas are not merely erased from the pediments of public monuments and libraries but, what is much more serious, are rooted out of human minds. Events have proved that fascism physically destroys everything opposing its dictatorship, no matter how mildly, and that it creates a vacuum around itself and leaves a vacuum behind it.

This extraordinary power to survive by annihilating everything except itself, to hold out against everything and everybody, to hold out for years in spite of internal contradictions and in spite of the misery and discontent of the masses '' what is behind it?

Excessive CentralizationThe strength of the dictatorship rests first of all in its excessive centralization. Such a regime cannot ''by its very nature endure the slightest trace of federalism or autonomy. Like the Convention, like Napoleon, it must seek complete centralism, the logical consequence of its system and the necessary means to insure its permanence.'' Mussolini and Hitler strengthen to the utmost the authority of the central government and suppress even the faintest trace of individualism. In Italy the powers of the provincial governors have been considerably increased.

''It must be clear,'' a communication from the Duce informs them, ''that authority cannot be divided ... Authority is single and unified. If it were not, we should fall back into a disorganized state.''

In Germany the seventeen ''states'', whose rights to their own governments and parliaments were preserved by the Weimar Constitution, have been gradually suppressed and transformed into mere provinces of the Reich, directly administered by representatives of the central government, the Statthalter. Extolling his centralizing work, Hitler boasts of having ''given the people the Constitution that will make them strong''.

Marx in his time was able to rejoice because the executive power, while becoming ever more concentrated, simultaneously concentrated against itself all the forces of destruction. And certain of our contemporaries, with a somewhat too simple conception of the dialectic, imagine that by centralizing to the utmost, fascism is working automatically for the Revolution. They would be correct if fascism did not, at the same time as it centralizes, destroy in the most radical fashion the ''forces of destruction'' themselves.

Fascism, in fact, has brought to the highest degree of perfection the methods of police repression used in modern states. It has made the political police a truly scientific organization. The Italian Ovra, the German Gestapo '' real ''states within the state'', with ramifications in all classes of society and even in every dwelling house, with enormous financial and material resources, and with limitless powers '' are in a position literally to annihilate at birth every attempt at opposition wherever it appears. They can arrest at any time, ''put away'' on a remote island or in a concentration camp, even execute without a semblance of a trial, anyone they wish. Consequently it is possible to say that such a regime is a smooth block of granite where no hand can find a hold. Gentizon is not far from the truth, unfortunately, when he says of Italy:

''Opposition has completely disappeared ... With the system of the totalitarian state, no hostile propaganda is possible.''

And Goebbels too when he asserts:

''The enemies of the regime are completely put down; there is no longer in the whole country any opposition worthy of the name.''

Dispersal of the Working ClassAdded to these methods of police repression is the state of ''forced disunity, dispersion and helplessness'' in which fascism keeps the working class. Certainly in neither Italy nor Germany can the regime boast of having all the proletariat with it; quite the contrary. Mussolini himself is forced to confess:

''I cannot say that I have [with me] all the workers ... They are perpetual malcontents.''

In Germany, the elections to the factory ''confidential councils'' have twice (April, 1934, and April, 1935) constituted a stinging defeat for the regime. According to the later admission of Dr. Ley himself, scarcely 40 per cent of the electors voted in 1934. In 1935 at least 30 per cent of the electors abstained or voted against. In 1936, 1937, and 1938 the elections were ''postponed'' as a precautionary measure, and in June, 1938, it was decided that the ''confidential men'' would no longer be ''elected'' but appointed by the head of the company.

This latent discontent, however, finds it almost impossible to express itself or to organize. The working class is atomized and disintegrated. It is true that protest movements have appeared here and there, but they are stifled immediately. They are restricted to isolated plants and known to few workers outside the plants where they occur; in each factory the workers believe they are alone in their resistance. Not only are the ties broken between the workers in different factories, but even inside large enterprises contacts no longer exist between the employees of the various departments, and it is very difficult to re-establish them. Even when the embryos of illegal unions are formed, with heroic efforts, they are almost always crushed in the egg.

No doubt there are militant socialists and communists who distribute illegal leaflets at the peril of their lives, but they are only an heroic and constantly decimated phalanx. The workers lose their passivity only when an event abroad reveals to them that they are not alone, that beyond the frontiers other workers are struggling. Thus the great strikes of June, 1936, in France, in spite of the care of the fascist press to minimize their importance, had a profound echo among the workers of Italy and Germany. [1]

Fascist EducationAnd while fascism puts its adult opponents in a position where they can do no harm, it imposes its imprint on the young and shapes them in its own mold. ''The generation of the irre-concilables will be eliminated by natural laws,'' Mussolini exults. ''Soon the younger generation will come!'' Volpe speaks lustingly of this ''virgin material which has not yet been touched by the old ideologies.''

''Our future is represented by the German youth,'' Hitler declares. ''We will raise it in our own spirit. If the older generation cannot become accustomed to it, we will take their children from them. ...''

''We want to inculcate our principles in the children from their most tender years.''

And Goebbels asserts that as long as the youth are behind Hitler, the regime will be indestructible. At the age of four in Germany and at six in Italy, the child is taken from his family, enrolled in the militarized formations of fascism, and subjected to an intensive stuffing with propaganda. The dictatorial state puts in his hands a single newspaper, a single textbook, and educates him in an incredible atmosphere of exaltation and fanaticism.

This training accomplishes its aim. Although the regime in Germany has not been in power long enough to enable us to formulate valid conclusions, in Italy the results are tangible: ''The youth can no longer even conceive of socialist or communist ideas,'' Gentizon writes. A militant worker, Feroci, confirms this:

''A youth that has never read a labor paper, never attended a labor meeting, and knows nothing of socialism and communism ... that is ... what makes for the real strength of Mussolini's regime.''

Doubtless there is something fascist education cannot stifle, and which does not need to be taught '' the class instinct. No amount of propaganda will ever prevent the young worker from feeling he is exploited. Pietro Nenni, while far from claiming that the Black Shirt youth has already succeeded in freeing itself from the fascist grip, states that in Italy ''many young people are socialists without knowing it and without wanting to be.'' Il Maglio, the weekly paper of the fascist unionists of Turin, complains that among the youth there is a certain lack of understanding of fascist ''unionism'':

''It is natural that there should be a few young people who, while recognizing that the abolition of all forms of class struggle is an absolute necessity ... still believe that labor's material interests can be better assured by strikes and the methods of struggle used up to yesterday in labor conflicts ...''

In Germany as well, countless young people who believed literally that the Third Reich would be their state, and whom the Third Reich has condemned to forced labor, are bitterly disappointed. But it is extremely difficult for the youth in either country, in view of the mental training they are given, to get rid of the false ideas with which they are indoctrinated, to clarify their revolt, and without guidance do for themselves the work of a century of socialist action and thought. The confused awakening of their class consciousness leads some of them to the ''left wing'' of fascism or National Socialism; it does not make them into militant revolutionists.

2.Another illusion about the duration of fascism must be dispelled. Certain people try to deduce from the economic and political contradictions which have developed in the fascist regime that the days of the dictatorship are numbered. These contradictions do exist, and we have analyzed them. They are important enough possibly to bring about profound changes in the structure of the regime. But such changes can occur without the dictatorship itself collapsing.

Dissatisfaction of Big BusinessA few supplementary explanations are necessary here. The fact is undeniable that the industrialists who subsidized and put fascism in power are not entirely satisfied with their own creation. In the first place the regime is terribly expensive. The maintenance of the excessive bureaucracy of the state, the party and the numerous semi-governmental bodies costs unheard-of sums and adds to the financial difficulties of the government. In their memorandum of June, 1937, to Hitler, the industrialists wrote:

''It used to be estimated that there was one functionary for every twelve persons in productive occupations. Today, if the official party organizations and the semi-official and corporative services with their functionaries and employes are included, it is estimated that there is one person on the state payroll for every eight persons in productive occupations.''

Abandoning any attempt to ''estimate the amount of personal and material expenses required by the administrative machine,'' the authors of the memorandum complained of the ''incalculable losses arising from a lack of contact between the old and the new authorities, and the overlapping of functions between the old and new state services and the party.'' [2] They wished the day would come when ''in accordance with a definite principle, a final organization of the internal political apparatus of the state will be possible ...''

While the state must carry huge incidental expenses, the big capitalists themselves have to stand a certain number: ''voluntary contributions'' extorted by the party and its ''welfare'' undertakings; various subscriptions; ''graft'' and seats on the boards of directors of big companies for the ''upper crust'' of the fascist leaders, etc. But these incidental expenses, the importance of which must not be exaggerated, are less annoying to big business than the demagogic agitation indulged in by the fascist plebeians '' agitation which, despite purges and repressions, periodically reappears, though within constantly narrower limits.

Again, while big business approves of an aggressive policy that brings it new armament orders, it is afraid lest the fascist leaders, in seeking a diversion from the wretchedness of the people, provoke a premature war which will result in the isolation of the country and its defeat. It is especially significant that in the autumn of 1935 it was the fascist leaders, Farinacci, Rossoni, and others, who urged Mussolini into conflict with England, while the big bourgeoisie, the General Staff, and the Crown, on the other hand, advised moderation and caution. Likewise in Germany, when Hitler decided in March, 1936, to remilitarize the Rhineland, it was the Nazi top bureaucracy '' Goering, Goebbels, and others '' who urged him on to the adventure, while the big capitalists and their representative, Dr. Schacht, as well as the Reichswehr Generals, were wary, not as to the act itself but as to the rash form it took. At the end of December of the same year, General von Fritsch pointed out that neither the Reich nor the German army could undertake any action that might lead to war in a short time, and he went so far as to threaten to resign his command if his expert advice was disregarded.

The Cult of the LeaderNeither does big business look without a certain amount of anxiety on the symptoms of ''delusions of grandeur'' displayed ever more obviously by the dictator. This development is really inevitable, for in proportion as the plebeians are eliminated and the party relegated to a secondary position, it is necessary to inflate the ''Man of Destiny'' all the more in order to conceal behind his person the real nature of the fascist state: a military and police dictatorship in the service of big business. It is necessary to follow Spengler's advice:

''Nothing has meaning any more but the purely personal power exercised by the Caesar [in whom] the omnipotence of money disappears.''

Thus in Italy, the dictatorship of the fascist party has gradually given place to the personal dictatorship of the Duce. In Germany, during the last electoral campaign, ''there [was] very little question of National Socialism and much '' to the exclusion of almost everything else '' of Herr Hitler.'' But the dictator himself is taken in by this ''booby-trap''. The same mishap befalls him as befell Louis Bonaparte:

''Only ... when he himself now takes his imperial role seriously ... does he become the victim of his own conception of the world, the serious buffoon, who no longer takes world history for a comedy but his comedy for world history.''

Mussolini and Hitler end by literally becoming egomaniacs. And the big capitalists must increasingly reckon with the boundless pride, the changing humor and whims, of the Duce or the FĻhrer. This means a loss of time and has certain drawbacks.

And finally, the economic policy of fascism, however favorable to themselves it may be, is not entirely satisfactory to the big capitalists. Although they eagerly pocket the fabulous profits from armament orders, they are terrified at the possible consequences of this policy. They are haunted by the thought of a financial catastrophe. They likewise complain, as we have seen, that the ''war economy'' regime is constantly imposing on them more burdensome state regulations, that it is forever eating away at sacrosanct ''private initiative''.

Therefore the industrialists are not wholly content, and in the minds of some of them the idea begins to germinate of throwing overboard once and for all the fascist plebeians and their leader himself, and of completing the already far-advanced transformation of the fascist totalitarian regime into a purely military dictatorship.

But they hesitate. They dare not deprive themselves entirely of the incomparable and irreplaceable means of penetrating into all cells of society which they have in the fascist mass organizations. Above all, they hesitate to deprive themselves of the services of the ''Man of Destiny'', for the mystic faith in the Duce or the FĻhrer, though declining, is not yet extinct.

''The present order in Germany,'' the Temps states, ''exists and continues only thanks to the popularity of the Chancellor and the faith of the German masses in Herr Hitler's actions ...''

''The FĻhrer is unquestionably more popular than the regime.''

The ''Man of Destiny'', however much a nuisance he may be, is still necessary. Even his madness is useful; he alone can still perform the psychological miracle of turning the discontent and wretchedness of large strata of the people into enthusiasm and faith.

But most of all, the industrialists are apprehensive lest a radical change in the regime, such as they desire, should cost much bloodshed. They dread a civil war, even a short one, in which ''national'' forces would oppose one another; they fear nothing so much as what in Germany is called, in anticipation, a ''new June 30''. Hence they hesitate.

The hypothesis is not absolutely excluded that some day they will come to feel that the advantages of a purely military dictatorship outweigh its shortcomings. But a change of this nature would not necessarily open up the way to a revolution. It is true that for the middle classes, suddenly deprived of their daily mythology, the awakening would be a cruel one, and that it would be harder, with only the aid of a military and police apparatus, to keep the proletariat enslaved. Yet the authoritarian state, strongly supported by bayonets, might still endure for a time in this new form; it might find new ''mysticisms'' (the nationalist mysticism, the dynastic mysticism, etc.) to keep large strata of the population under the spell; in a word, even without Mussolini or Hitler, the ''strong state'' might survive.

3.If fascism is not progressive politically, it is no more so economically '' notwithstanding what certain people think. Stripped of all appearances, all the contradictions which dim its real face, all the secondary aspects which hide from so many its essential character, and all the circumstances peculiar to any one country, fascism is reduced to this: a strong state intended to prolong artificially an economic system based on profit and the private ownership of the means of production. To use the picturesque figure of Radek, fascist dictatorship is the iron hoop with which the bourgeoisie tries to patch up the broken barrel of capitalism. Here some clarification, however, is necessary: the ''barrel'', contrary to what many believe, was not broken by the revolutionary action of the working class; fascism is not the ''bourgeoisie's answer to an attack by the proletariat'' but rather ''an expression of the decay of capitalist economy''. The barrel fell apart of its own accord.

Fascism is, to be sure, a defensive reaction of the bourgeoisie, but a defense against the disintegration of its own system far more than against any proletarian offensive '' alas, non-existent. The crisis of the capitalist system itself is what shook capitalism to its foundations by drying up the sources of profit. The working class, on the other hand, paralyzed by its organizations and its leaders in the hour of the decay of capitalist economy, did not know how to take power and replace dying capitalism with socialism.

Capitalism in DecayAs to the nature of this crisis, fascism itself has no illusions.

''The crisis,'' Mussolini admits, ''has penetrated the system so deeply that it has become a systemic crisis. It is no longer a wound, but a chronic disease ...''

In spite of the fact that fascism demagogically promises the reabsorption of unemployment and the resumption of business, it knows perfectly well that it will not set the economic machine going again. It does not seek seriously either to bring back to life the vanished consumer, or to stimulate the long interrupted investment of private savings in production. Others are free to cherish Utopias if they wish, but fascism knows what it wants and what it can do. It merely tries to check, through artificial means, the fall in the profits of a private capitalism which has become parasitic. In spite of its verbose demagogy, it has no great designs; it lives from week to week; it aspires to nothing more than to keep alive '' through wage cuts, state orders and subsidies, seizure of small savings, and autarchy '' a handful of monopolists and big landowners. And in order to prolong the latters' reign (though limiting their liberty and without insuring them their pre-depression income), it has no hesitation in hastening the ruin of all other layers of the population '' wage earners, consumers, savers, working farmers, artisans, and even industrialists manufacturing consumers' goods.

Those nai've people who, outside Italy and Germany, fall into the trap of fascist demagogic lies and go around saying that fascism is a ''revolution,'' and that fascism has ''gone beyond'' capitalism, are advised to study the following letter from a worker published by the Nazi daily, the V¶lkische Beobachter (June 7, 1936):

''Nobody concerned with economic questions will believe the capitalist system has disappeared. Although it is true that methods of public financing have assumed a different character '' a character of coercion '' capital, or at least what is generally understood by this word, has never been so powerful and privileged as at the present time ... The Economy accumulates enormous profits and reserves; the workers are invited to wait, and to console themselves while waiting by undergoing a whole series of preliminary conditions. The big ones make profits, and the little one receive drafts on the future. If that isn't capitalism in the specific sense of the word, I would like to know what capitalism means ... One group is making formidable profits at the expense of the rest of the population. That is what used to be called capitalist exploitation . . .''

''This isn't National Socialism; this is simply capitalism,'' another correspondent wrote to the V¶lkische Beobachter on June 13. And the official organ of the Nazi party cynically replied that if the government had wanted to divide among the workers the two billions or so of big business's increased profit, it would have placed itself ''in flagrant opposition to the Economy, and its energy would have been entirely paralyzed in a struggle to maintain its position.''

4.Moreover, on the international plane, fascism merely aggravates the tendency of the whole capitalist system to national isolation and autarchy. By detaching the Economy from the international division of labor, by adapting the ''productive forces to the Procrustean bed of the national state,'' fascism brings ''chaos into world relations''. For the future work of socialist planning, it creates ''colossal additional difficulties''.

At the same time fascism aggravates and brings to their highest degree of tension the contradictions resulting from the uneven development of the capitalist system, and thus hastens the hour of a new division of the world by force of arms '' the hour of that ''relapse into barbarism'' which Rosa Luxemburg foresaw in case the proletariat should be slow to fulfill its class duty and achieve socialism.

Nevertheless, it is not correct to say that fascism means war. Bela Kun not long ago attacked this self-interested lie:

''The slogan that fascism, which is one of the political forms of bourgeois rule ... means war, is designed ... only to free again and always from all responsibility one of the groups of imperialist powers that mask their war preparations under democratic forms and pacifist phrases ... The old slogan of Marxist anti-militarism '' that of the revolutionary struggle against imperialist war '' was differently expressed: capitalism means war.''

War is the product of the capitalist system as a whole. Tomorrow's war will not find the democracies opposing the dictatorships. Behind ideological pretexts, imperialist realities are concealed. Tomorrow's war will find the satisfied nations, who long ago got their ''places in the sun'' and divided the planet among themselves through blood and iron, opposing the ''proletarian'' nations '' the late-comers who also demand their share in the feast, if need be through blood and iron. One group is ready to make war to force a new division of the world; the other is ready to make war to prevent this division. This is an elementary truth that can never be repeated too often in these troubled times when, for many people, anti-fascism has become synonymous with chauvinism. Fascism must be fought not from the outside by imperialist war but from within by proletarian class struggle. There is only one way to put an end to Mussolini and Hitler: that is to help the Italian and German workers to fight at home. And how can they be helped? By example! By fighting in our own countries!

Footnotes1. On April 18, 1937. Rudolf Hess made a violent anti-communist speech at Karlsruhe, which the Berlin correspondent of Information commented on as follows:

''Inside Germany this speech tends to put a stop to the discussions which have arisen among the popular masses of the Reich, despite the censorship, as a result of the promulgation of the forty-hour law and new social laws by the Blum cabinet.''

2. ''All the chief administrative bodies of the state,'' the Berlin correspondent of the Temps hat observed, ''are duplicated, so to speak, by the organs of the National Socialist Party ... The party penetrates into the Ministries, but it also preserves, on the fringes of the traditional administrative bodies, its own organs ...''

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Folk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Tue, 25 Dec 2012 13:54

The English word Folk is derived from a Germanic noun, *fulka meaning "people" or "army" (i.e. a crowd as opposed to "a people" in a more abstract sense of clan or tribe). The English word folk has cognates in most of the other Germanic languages. Folk may be a Germanic root that is unique to the Germanic languages, although Latin vulgus, "the common people", has been suggested as a possible cognate.[1]

[edit]EtymologyThe Modern English word folk, derives from Old Englishfolc meaning "common people", "men", "tribe" or "multitude". The Old English noun itself came from Proto-Germanic*fulka which perhaps originally referred to a "host of warriors". Compare Old Norsefolk meaning "people" but more so "army" or "detachment", GermanGefolge ("host"), and Lithuanianpulkas meaning "crowd". The latter is considered to be an early Lithuanian loanword from Germanic origin, cf. Belarusian‹‹≤‹>>‹ľ - poĀ≠k meaning regiment and German Pulk for a group of persons standing together.

The word became colloquialized (usually in the plural folks) in English in the sense "people", and was considered inelegant by the beginning of the 19th century. It re-entered academic English through the invention of the word folklore in 1846 by the antiquarianWilliam J. Thoms (1803''85) as an Anglo-Saxonism. This word revived folk in a modern sense of "of the common people, whose culture is handed down orally", and opened up a flood of compound formations, e.g. folk art (1921), folk-hero (1899), folk-medicine (1898), folk-tale (1891), folk-song (1847), folk-dance (1912). Folk-music is from 1889; in reference to the branch of modern popular music (associated with Greenwich Village in New York City) here it dates from 1958. It is also regional music.

[edit]Cognates in other Germanic languageFolk has a cognate in almost every other Germanic language, all deriving from Proto-Germanic *fulka, some are listed below:

In all Germanic languages, the variant of "folk" means "people" or something related to the people.

[edit]Volk in German[edit]BackgroundIn German the word Volk can have several different meanings, such as folk (simple people), people in the ethnic sense, and nation.

German Volk is commonly used as the first, determining part (head) of compound nouns such as Volksentscheid (plebiscite, literally "decision of/by the people") or V¶lkerbund (League of Nations), or the car manufacturer Volkswagen (literally, "people's car").

[edit]19th century and early 20th centuryA number of v¶lkisch movements existed prior to World War I. Combining interest in folklore, ecology, occultism and romanticism with ethnic nationalism, their ideologies were a strong influence on the Nazi party, which itself was inspired by Adolf Hitler's membership of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers' Party), even though Hitler in Mein Kampf himself denounced usage of the word v¶lkisch as he considered it too vague as to carry any recognizable meaning due to former over-use. Today, the term v¶lkisch is largely restricted to historical contexts describing the closing 19th century and early 20th century up to Hitler's seize of power in 1933, especially during the years of the Weimar Republic.

[edit]Nazi eraDuring the years of the Third Reich, the term Volk became heavily used in nationalistic political slogans, particularly in slogans such as Volk ohne Raum '-- "(a) people without space" or V¶lkischer Beobachter ("popular observer"), an NSDAP party newspaper. Also the political sloganEin Volk, ein Reich, ein FĻhrer ("One nation, one empire, one leader"); the compound word Herrenvolk, translated as "master race"; and the term Volksgemeinschaft.

Even though Hitler, in his book Mein Kampf often erroneously applied specific biological and zoological terms such as race, species, and others, the Nazi-era use of Volk could not, depending on context, be interpreted as "race", "Germanic", or "European." In Nazi propaganda, several peoples made up a race, so these two terms did not denote the same thing during the Nazi years. The German people was considered part of the Germanic race which officially included the Scandinavians, the English, and the Dutch as well (while Hitler himself also included the Celts), so Volk did not equal Germanic either. Nazi-era publications on pre-history only differed whether their Germanic race equalled the Indo-European race or the Germanic race itself was part of a family of Indo-European races, since indogermanisch is the common German term for Indo-European.

[edit]TodayBecause Volk is the generic German word for "people" in the ethnic sense today as well as for "people entitled to vote" (Wahlvolk), its use does not necessarily denote any particular political views in post-1945 Germany. However, because of its past, the word is rarely used with Bev¶lkerung ("population") serving as a substitute. "Wir sind das Volk!" ("We are the people!") was a chant used by the Monday demonstrators during the peaceful demonstrations of 1989/1990 to end the DDR and bring down the Berlin Wall.

[edit]See also^Calvert Watkins (ed.), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, second edition (Houghton Mifflin, 2000) ISBN 0-618-08250-6[edit]ReferencesHenning Eichberg (2004), The People of Democracy. Understanding Self-Determination on the Basis of Body and Movement. (= Movement Studies. 5) ∑rhus: Klim (Theory of folk, people, and civil society with Scandinavian background)Emerich K. Francis (1965) Ethnos und Demos. Soziologische BeitrŘge zur Volkstheorie. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot (classical German-American sociology of folk, ethnos and demos)Emerich K. Francis (1976) Interethnic Relations. An Essay in Sociological Theory. New York u.a.: Elsevier.Raphael Samuel (1981) (ed.), People's History and Socialist Theory. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Vitiate - NYTimes.com

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Mon, 24 Dec 2012 08:30

Democrats know what vitiate means.

''In this world, two people can be deeply in love and . . . they should be permitted to be married,'' Congressman Dennis Kucinich said in a debate for the presidential nomination early this year. ''To say that you've got to go from state to state to achieve that right absolutely vitiates who we are as a nation.''

In May of the year before, Gen. Wesley Clark, soon to be a Democratic hopeful, warned that if there were continued U.S. casualties and demonstrations in Iraq, ''it will vitiate the impact of the very successful military operations we just concluded there.''

The year before that, according to Bob Woodward's revealing ''Plan of Attack,'' a meeting was held in the White House that included the president, Vice President Cheney and Nicholas Calio, then Bush's chief legislative aide, and perhaps others. The subject was the Homeland Security bill that the administration was pressing for; the sweeping proposal was meeting resistance from Democrats on the Hill. (The word security had been substituted for defense at the request of the Defense Department.)

''The Homeland Security bill was being blocked in the Senate by a filibuster,'' writes Woodward. ''Calio told the president that they were about to ' vitiate ' the filibuster.''

The author then quoted the president directly, asking Calio the meaning of the word vitiate . Woodward also reported, ''Cheney, too, wondered aloud what vitiate meant.''

Apparently the aide did not have a definition on the tip of his tongue; vitiate , pronounced VISH-ee-ate, is a word less familiar to Republicans. ''The next day Calio brought in a two-page handout of definitions from the Webster's and American Heritage dictionaries describing that vitiate meant to void or render ineffective. Later the White House did exactly that, securing the 60 votes needed to end debate and passing the bill.''

''Webster's'' is the name used by many dictionaries. The best seller is Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the 11th edition of which is a direct descendant of the work first published by Noah Webster in 1806. It notes the Latin root vitium means ''fault, vice,'' and defines it first as ''to make faulty or defective'' with a quotation from William Styron: ''The comic impact is vitiated by obvious haste.'' The Times's authority, Webster's New World College Dictionary, leads with ''to make imperfect, faulty, or impure; spoil; corrupt.''

My unabridged, more expensive favorite, American Heritage, wisely also consulted by Calio, agrees. It has a nice array of synonyms at corrupt, an entry I frequently consult when wearing my scandalmonger's cap (''debase, debauch, deprave, pervert, vitiate '' -- so many stories to tell, so little space).

A problem with the Woodward account was the phrase: ''They were about to ' vitiate ' the filibuster.'' I'm aware of many of the debaucheries and perversions prevalent in the nation's capital, and have even energized debase , but never heard such depravity applied to filibuster . A call to Richard A. Baker, historian of the Senate, elicited this response: ''I don't think that's common usage applied to a filibuster. I've heard vitiate the order , meaning 'to set aside or strike out the order to do such-and-such,' as in 'Mr. President, I move that we vitiate the order .' That's commonly heard on the floors of the House and Senate. And you can vitiate a cloture motion , which is designed to cut off a filibuster, rendering it moot. I'll fax one over.''

Here it is, in the words of Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, only a couple of weeks ago: ''I further ask unanimous consent that the cloture vote on the motion to proceed . . . be vitiated .''

Since Calio was obviously the author's main source for this account (Bush appointees were urged by the president to cooperate with Woodward), my researcher tracked him down at his new office running government relations at Citigroup. How do you vitiate a filibuster?

''Woodward's book is a little bit off on this,'' he said. ''What I told the president and vice president was that they were going to vitiate cloture , not vitiate the filibuster .'' Once filed, a cloture motion -- cutting off a filibuster, something senators hate to do -- must be voted on within two days, unless all senators agree to vitiate , or yank, the motion. By threatening cloture, senators put their filibustering colleague's feet to the fire; that's when compromises are struck, following which everybody shakes hands and somebody moves to vitiate cloture .

''If ineffectuate is a word,'' Calio said, ''I think vitiate in this sense means 'ineffectuate.' '' We are all now prepared to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Just one more thing. In his account of this stupefyingly boring episode, Woodward -- who was obviously not present in the room -- quotes the president directly asking Calio what the word meant. In so doing, the reporter has the leader of the world's only superpower using a familiar expletive not in its literal verb sense, but in a slangy nominative similar to the usage that, when broadcast, causes great concern at the Federal Communications Commission. To my knowledge, nobody has called attention to this somewhat startling report, perhaps because the whole of Page 186 is so dull that the usual sharp eyes have glazed over.

The direct quotation of the president's question about vitiate , which the reader will note I have not repeated in recounting the episode, is one of the rare times anyone has attributed that usage to any president. The secondhand report is unsourced and may or may not be accurate. As far as we know, the conversation was untaped. Perhaps, as Calio says about vitiate the filibuster , ''Woodward's book is a little off on this.''

Bogative PR

PJ Media >> Can Congress Avert a Plunge Off the 'Dairy Cliff'?

The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, a program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) that compensates dairy producers when domestic milk prices fall below a specified level, is one of the already expired programs.

"Of our membership, the ones who are and have been more concerned since the Farm Bill lapsed at the end of September have been the dairy folks," said Justin Darisse, vice president of communications at the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

=====

Lees hier hoe Anne Jan Roeleveld de kersttoespraak van Beatrix vond :: nrc.nl

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 10:10

ANP / Bas Czerwinski

De RVD kondigde gisteravond aan een diepgaand onderzoek in te stellen naar het ''lek'' van de kersttoespraak van koningin Beatrix. Anne Jan Roeleveld, degene die de toespraak vroegtijdig wist te bemachtigen, schrijft op zijn blog hoe kinderlijk eenvoudig dat was.

Roeleveld, een 24-jarige online marketeer, schrijft dat hij gisteravond besloot een kijkje te nemen op de site van het koninklijk huis toen hij hoorde dat de RVD bekend had gemaakt dat het thema van de kersttoespraak van de koningin 'vertrouwen' was. Toen hij vervolgens wat video's op de site bekeek, besloot hij op basis van de url's van de video's te proberen de toespraak van dit jaar op z'n beeld te krijgen. Met onverwachtse gevolgen:

''Toen ik de datum en video ID in de link zag was het vrij eenvoudig om de datum op 25 december 2012 te zetten en het ID te verhogen. De link naar de kersttoespraak, die eigenlijk pas morgen 25 december 2012 om 13.00 uur live mocht, werkte al. Ik kon het eerst niet geloven en dacht dat het om een toespraak van vorig jaar ging. Maar niets bleek minder waar. De video bleek zondag 23 december om 12:33 uur al online te zijn geplaatst.''

De RVD erkende in in reactie op het uitlekken van de video dat de toespraak inderdaad al klaarstond op het zogeheten video hosting platform rijksoverheidsvideo.nl. Maar de RVD beweert dat het bestaan voorzien was een numerieke code, naast een datumcode. ''Het gaat dus om meer dan alleen het veranderen van een jaartal'', aldus de RVD.

Roeleveld spreekt in zijn blog tegen dat de video op een speciale manier was beveiligd:

''De code waar de RVD over spreekt lijkt simpelweg het ID van de video te zijn. Het is in ieder geval geen unieke hash (bijvoorbeeld: 6b82b078b10595de094a02b978390df0) die vaak gebruikt wordt om dit soort ontdekkingen te voorkomen. NOS.nl linkt bijvoorbeeld altijd op deze manier naar bestanden: (http://content1b.omroep.nl/b9c0a0bd05afc5334d86d56ac0efbcf8/50d93e73/nos/docs/251211_kersttoespraak.pdf). Op deze manier kan de link naar het bestand nooit ontdekt worden.''

Aan het einde van zijn blog wijst Roeleveld er nog even fijntjes op dat het vernieuwen van de site van het koninklijk huis eind 2011 zo'n 300.000 euro kostte. Daarom zou je zo'n domme fout niet verwachten, vindt Roeleveld.

Lees meer over:Anne Jan RoeleveldkersttoespraakKoningin BeatrixRijksvoorlichtingsdienstRVD

Het filmpje van de koningin

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 10:07

PROLOOG: Kerstavond 2012. Een man zit wat te surfen op internet en ontdekt dat de kerstboodschap van de koningin al op internet staat. H(C), da's raar, die boodschap is toch geheim tot 's middags eerste kerstdag? Hij stuurt een twitterberichtje de wereld in. Zijn tweet wordt doorgetweet en als eerste opgepikt door Brenno de Winter van Nu.nl en twee uur later staat het in alle kranten. Da's mooi, dat er burgers zijn die opletten, daar kan iets van geleerd worden, zou je toch denken? De man die het filmpje ontdekte krijgt echter ook heel veel boze reacties. Hoe kan dat toch?Elk volk krijgt de regering die zij verdient

door: Erwin Witteveen

De man die het filmpje ontdekte is de 24-jarige internetondernemer Anne Jan Roeleveld. In een artikel op Nrc.nl wordt uitgelegd hoe hij dat deed. De lezers van Nrc.nl die op het artikel reageren zijn overwegend zeer negatief over Anne Jan. Ik schrik heel erg van die negatieve teneur. Maar het verklaart meteen waarom onze overheid ongestraft blunder op blunder kan stapelen, zodra er een computer in de buurt is. Ze wordt in het zadel geholpen en gehouden door mensen die in de tijd van Multatuli zijn blijven steken, en waar Barbertje moet hangen.Hoe het zou moeten

Als een oplettende burger een fout(je) ontdekt, dan zouden de instanties daar blij mee moeten zijn. Er van leren, zorgen dat de fout hersteld wordt en voortaan niet meer gemaakt wordt. De oplettende burger verdient lof en een beloning. Dan is er winst voor iedereen, zowel voor de instantie, als voor de samenleving, als voor de individuele burger, die dan beter beschermd wordt.Zo zou het moeten zijn.

Maar wat er steeds weer gebeurt:De 5 standaard Pavlov-reacties

In plaats daarvan treedt meestal een destructieve reflex in werking, die steeds opnieuw dezelfde elementen bevat.1) EEN ZINLOZE PANIEKACTIEHet filmpje wordt razendsnel verwijderd. Sporen worden gewist. Zodat we niet meer kunnen zien welke fout werd gemaakt. Dus dat het moeilijker wordt om ervan te leren. De verwijderactie is volstrekt zinloos. Het filmpje staat immers al op GeenStijl en is al geupload naar tientallen YouTube-pagina's.

2) NAAR ANDEREN WIJZENHet ligt natuurlijk nooit aan de verantwoordelijke zelf. Het is de schuld van de webbouwer, of van de webredacteur, of het is de schuld van internet. Of van Twitter. Of van de media. Of van Barbertje! De oplettende burger krijgt de schuld. Net zoals alle klokkenluiders altijd de schuld krijgen.

3) SMOESJES VERZINNENDegenen die de fouten hebben gemaakt stoppen alle energie in het verzinnen van smoesjes, die als rookgordijn moeten dienen. Zo smoest de RVD dat de film goed beveiligd was: "Hij was voorzien van een numerieke code"Wat er natuurlijk niet bij wordt verteld: dat die numerieke code "251212" was. De datum van de tv-uitzending dus. Wat er w(C)l wordt verklaard: "er komt een diepgaand onderzoek". Dat is ernstig, want hierdoor wordt aan het volk gesuggereerd dat dit het werk was van een zeer geavanceerde hacker. Zodat het volk gaat denken: "Help, we worden bedreigd door gevaarlijke hackers". Terwijl een oplettend volk eigenlijk zou moeten denken: "Help, we worden bedreigd door een slordige overheid".

4) DE SMOESJES WORDEN OVERGESCHREVEN DOOR DE MEDIADe mainstreammedia nemen nog maar zelden de moeite om de feiten te achterhalen. Niet de waarheid is heilig, nee de aanhalingstekens zijn heilig. Zolang de officile verklaring (de smoesjes) maar correct worden geciteerd, denkt de pers zijn werk te hebben gedaan. De meerderheid van het volk, die zich (uitsluitend) door de mainstreammedia laat informeren heeft zodoende een wereldbeeld dat grotendeels bestaat uit (correct geciteerde) smoesjes.

5) ARROGANT WEIGEREN OM TE LUISTERENNAAR DEGENE DIE WEET HOE HET ZITZowel de instanties als de media nemen niet de moeite om te luisteren naar de inhoudelijke experts. Men luistert vrijwel uitsluitend naar de hirarchische 'experts'. Deze hooggeplaatste autoriteiten hebben doorgaans zeer weinig kennis van internet, en laten zich voeden door smoesjes van hun bange ondergeschikten. Dat de RVD een diepgaand onderzoek aankondigt is een gotspe. Er valt helemaal niets meer te onderzoeken. Hoe het lek is gevonden, wat er mis is gegaan (C)n hoe het voortaan voorkomen kan worden, stond al op kerstavond tot in detail beschreven op de website van de oplettende burger die het lek vond.De media citeren w(C)l de RVD - "er komt een diepgaand onderzoek"- maar verzuimen bijna allen het linkje te vermelden naar de website waar dat onderzoek al tot in detail is gepubliceerd. Door dit verzuim van de media, lopen wij als belastingbetalende burgers een groot risico dat er binnenkort tonnen belastinggeld worden uitgegeven aan volstrekt overbodig onderzoek.Kenmerkend detail: Het hierboven aangehaalde artikel op NRC.nl citeert wel een mistig zinnetje uit de blog van Roeleveld, maar geeft helaas NIET *** de link naar die blog van Roeleveld. Zo ontstaat er bij de lezer een mistig beeld en weten we nog niet precies hoe het nou zat met die numerieke code die Roeleveld kinderlijk eenvoudig wist te ontdekken. Een linkje naar de site van Roeleveld zou veel verhelderender zijn. Hier de link die NRC.nl 'vergeet' te vermelden: http://www.annejanroeleveld.nl/blog/kersttoespraak-2012.htmKijk, nou weet u precies wat er aan de hand was. En denkt u wellicht bij uzelf - en terecht- "goh, dat had ik ook wel kunnen vinden."<***update Noot EW: Excuses aan NRC.nl De betreffende link stond er w(C)l in. Ik heb er overheen gelezen.>

De held framen als crimineel

Anne Jan Roeleveld is gewoon een oplettende burger waar we trots op zouden moeten zijn. Door dit soort slimmeriken zijn we als samenleving in staat om te leren van fouten, zodat we het morgen beter kunnen doen.De negatieve reageerders en de autoriteiten die hem nu willen framen als digitale inbreker snappen in het ergste geval helemaal niets van internet, of in het gunstige geval: hebben kennelijk niet de moeite genomen om naar hem te luisteren wat hij nou precies heeft gedaan om het filmpje te vinden.All he did was this: een url intikken in zijn webbrowser! Als u morgen voor de grap in uw Internet Explorer intikt www.overheid.nl/topgeheim en daar staat dan daadwerkelijk een topgeheim, bent u dan ook een digitale inbreker?De critici die vinden dat hij zijn vondst had moeten melden aan de RVD, zijn een beetje naÝef en begrijpen niet hoe Pavlov-regel 5 werkt. Probeer het zelf maar eens, als oplettende burger een fout melden aan de instanties. Daar wordt gewoon niet naar geluisterd. De boodschap komt niet aan. Alle blunders waarover u dagelijks in de kranten leest, die zijn allemaal al ruim van te voren gemeld door oplettende burgers. Er wordt zelden iets mee gedaan.De critici die vinden dat Anne Jan Roeleveld een slechte daad heeft gedaan, door zijn vondst via Twitter te verspreiden, gaan volledig voorbij aan het snoeiharde waarschuwingssignaal dat hij afgeeft voor de maatschappelijke discussie over overheid , privacy en veiligheid. Als er bijvoorbeeld een EPD moet komen en de autoriteiten verzekeren ons via de immer correct citerende media dat uw gevoelige persoonsgegevens echt heus waar volstrekt veilig zijn, dan is het buitengewoon nuttig voor de de samenleving als geheel, dat er zoveel mogelijk mensen zijn die dat niet zomaar voetstoots willen aannemen. Want als het volk maar klakkeloos alles aanneemt wat de regenten zeggen, dan krijgen we de regering die we verdienen.Epiloog

Is dit artikel veel te zuur? Is het flauwekul dat er te weinig geleerd wordt van fouten, door niet te luisteren naar mensen die de oplossingen weten? Kijk dan eens hierVorig jaar was er dus ook al een Anne Jan Roeleveld, alleen heette hij toen Bram Talman. Talman vond de miljoenennota van 2011 voortijdig op internet, door in de url van de vorige miljoenennota slechts het jaartal 2010 te vervangen door 2011. Ok(C), daar is wel iets van geleerd. De beveiliging was dit keer ietsiepietsie verbeterd. Maar de echte oplossing die Talman aangaf, daar is dus niet naar geluisterd. Er is kennelijk dus helemaal niemand bij de overheid geweest die heeft gevraagd: "Zeg Bram, hoe zit dat nou met die tijdklok waar je het over hebt, want wij begrijpen dat niet? Wil je ons even helpen?" Bram had dat ongetwijfeld willen doen. Met een gratis tooltje was dat zo opgelost. Maar de RVD geeft liever 300.000 euro belastinggeld uit aan het vernieuwen van de website, dan even met Bram bellen voor gratis advies. Of met Anne Jan, die zou het ook geweten hebben.

Wie is Anne Jan Roeleveld?

=======

Randi Zuckerberg Not Happy About Facebook Photo Privacy Breach

New iPhone apps worth downloading: Facebook Poke, Path update, Pudding Monsters - iPhone app article - Phil Hornshaw | Appolicious ™ iPhone and iPad App Directory

What's it about? Facebook's newest standalone app lets you "poke" friends through the social network, but greatly expands the functionality of the feature.

What's cool? On the web version of Facebook, a "poke" is usually just a quick way to get someone's attention. Facebook Poke takes that function and breaks it out into its own app, and in doing so expands the sort of things that constitute a poke. For instance, instead of just sending a notification to the other person, you can poke them using videos, messages, or photos -- so it might be considered more of a quick "check this out" than an attention-grabber. You can also limit how long your pokes are available and track when your friends take screenshots of the items you send, so you'll have greater control over your poke messages staying private or just between you and the other person.

Oil Cabal

Vopac

G.O.D.

Indonesia Vietnam bigger than china

BBC News - Shia Muslims: Indonesian villages burned down

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 23:59

Exactly four months ago, a mob of Indonesian Sunni Muslims clashed with a group of Shias in their village of Madura, in East Java.

The Shias have been branded a deviant sect by the Islamic authorities in the area and their houses were burned down, with one person killed.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation but the majority of the country's Muslims are Sunnis.

Being a Shia is not illegal in Indonesia, but religious minorities have complained that they are increasingly becoming the victims of violent crimes that often go unpunished.

Karishma Vaswani reports from Madura.

Japan still 2 years away from Gas turbines for power

Federal Register | Presidential Determination Pursuant to Section 1245(d)(4)(B) and (C) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 22:05

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, after carefully considering the report submitted to the Congress by the Energy Information Administration on October 25, 2012, and other relevant factors, including global economic conditions, increased oil production by certain countries, the level of spare capacity, and the availability of strategic reserves, I determine, pursuant to section 1245(d)(4)(B) and (C) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Public Law 112-81, and consistent with my determinations of March 30, 2012, and June 11, 2012, that there is a sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran to permit a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products purchased from Iran by or through foreign financial institutions.

I will closely monitor this situation to ensure that the market can continue to accommodate a reduction in purchases of petroleum and petroleum products from Iran.

The Secretary of State is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

THE WHITE HOUSE,Washington, December 7, 2012

[FR Doc. 2012-31133Filed 12-21-12; 8:15 am]

Billing code 4710-10

Naphta oil from Iran

Naphthalene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Naphtha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Privatizing" Kosovo: The Madeleine Albright Way :: Gatestone Institute

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 12:32

Properties were being offered for sale as if they were the holdings of politicians, rather than the resources of all Kosovo residents. The "Self Determination" representatives argued that Kosovo's leaders aim to drive down the value of state assets so that they may be expropriated and sold: "Privatization is the name behind which these officials hide."

The Balkan states of Albania and Kosovo are, without doubt, the most pro-American Muslim-majority countries in the world.

According to a new census including religious affiliation '' the first since 1930 '' Albania now counts 57% of its total population of 2.8 million as Muslim, down from 70% eighty-two years ago. Its Catholic population has remained stable at 10%, and Albanian citizens identifying themselves as Orthodox Christians have fallen from 20% in 1930 to about 7%.

Although Kosovo does not tally figures for religious communities, the Muslim share of the population is thought to be larger, at around 80%. Both republics are secular.

Americans are beloved in Albania thanks to a significant history of Albanian immigration and success in America, and early contributions by Albanians in the U.S. to the national movement for freedom from the Ottoman Empire. At the end of November, the Albanian government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha was prepared to vote with the U.S. against a Palestinian observer seat in the United Nations, and, following unsuccessful pressure to vote "yes," from the Turkish Islamist prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Albania became the sole Muslim-majority UN member to abstain on the Palestinian issue.

Kosovo does not belong to the UN, although if it did, it might likely have followed the American lead and voted against the Palestinian bid, which was supported, among the ex-Yugoslav successor states, only by Serbia. The Albanians of Kosovo have expressed undiluted appreciation for the actions of the Clinton administration, represented by then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former General Wesley Clark as Supreme Allied Commander for Europe at NATO, in the 1998-99 military intervention that rescued the Kosovar Albanians from Serbian repression.

Its pro-American stance has caused the Kosovo Republic to be denied diplomatic recognition by most of the Arab states. The late Libyan dictator Mu'ammar Al-Qadhdhafi dismissed the Kosovars contemptuously as "American lapdogs."

Recently, however, Albright and others have commenced new efforts at involvement in Kosovo that left local people concerned about the intentions of their benefactors of more than a decade past. In The New York Times on December 12, Matthew Brunwasser wrote under a page-one headline, "That Crush at Kosovo's Business Door? The Return of U.S. Heroes." The Times account described Albright and James W. Pardew, a special envoy sent to the Balkans by President Bill Clinton, offering competing bids for privatization of the Kosovo state postal and telecommunications agency, known as PTK (from its Albanian and Serbian initials).

General Wesley Clark, chairman of Envidity, a Canadian firm interested in Kosovo's coal mines and potential for synthetic fuel production, has also gone to Kosovo in search of financial advantage. But Albright's involvement has given her the highest profile in the discussion of Kosovo's economic future. According to the Times, "Albright Capital Management, founded by Ms. Albright, has been shortlisted in the bidding for a 75 % share in'... PTK." The Times estimates the probable payout to Kosovo political leaders for PTK, if a deal is consummated, at "between $400 million and $800 million." Officials of another Albright entity, Albright Stonebridge Group, have a minor share in PTK's only competitor, the private company IPKO, based in Slovenia. Times correspondent Brunwasser wrote that the situation could "threaten'... market competition if Ms. Albright's consortium wins the bid" for PTK."

Privatization in post-Communist economies often presents multiple problems: State enterprises may be handed over to individuals or groups favored by the prior dictatorial authorities, as has allegedly occurred in Slovakia, previously a part of Czechoslovakia. Government-owned companies may also be privatized, turned profitable, and then re-nationalized by authoritarian rulers. In Russia, the Yukos oil company was branded an example of "oligarchic privatization" and taken over by the government of Vladimir Putin, only to be bankrupted between 2003-2007.

The abolition of statist "command" economics has most often been considered a positive outcome in any context. Some observers have advocated "voucher" privatization, through which shares in government-controlled companies are distributed to all the citizens of a country, either free or at a low cost. "Voucher" privatization succeeded most notably in the Czech Republic.

Kosovo is among the poorest countries in Europe, with the growth of its economy hampered by the failure of the "supervising" international authorities, with titles like the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX). They have imposed all of Kosovo's most important political decisions, but these have left the country in a calculated stasis since the end of the 1998-99 war. They have interfered with media, elections, and border relations with Serbia, but have neglected to reform Kosovo's financial regulations or even to settle who owns various industries, such as the large-scale Trepca mining complex in northern Kosovo. Trepca, which produced lead, zinc, gold, silver, and rare minerals, is the object of opposing claims of proprietorship by Serbia and Kosovo; it also owes about 40 million euros to French, Greek, and Bulgarian companies. Similar state assets are KEK, the Kosovo Energy Corporation, and its subsidiary KEDS, or Kosovo Electricity Distribution.

In June 2012, KEDS was sold by the Kosovo government to a Turkish consortium, Limak Yatirim Enerji and Calik Enerji Sanayi. Limak owns Kosovo's only international airport. Limak also purchased KEDS for 26 million euros, although its capitalization totaled 180 million euros. Economic analysts criticized a lack of transparency in the transfer to Turkish control. Kosovo still suffers frequent electrical power outages.

Unemployment in Kosovo is estimated officially at around 50%, although local reporting suggests it is closer to 60%.

When Albright and other humanitarian liberators appear in Kosovo as "privatizers," questions are bound to be asked. Although "entrepreneurship" usually means investment and expansion of commerce, in the absence of a secure domestic financial system and other guarantees for legitimate and desirable foreign ventures, Kosovo's economy continues to shrink. As a prominent Democrat and Clinton administration figure, Albright is associated with that party's strident rhetoric against the free market in the 2012 American presidential election, including allegations of Republican corporate looting and similar "heartless" practices.

It is difficult for some Kosovar political leaders to imagine that Albright's leap into their economy would create jobs, greater efficiency, and modernization of infrastructure. The Kosovo "Self-Determination" movement, which is represented in the republic's parliamentary opposition and which stands for a maximum standard of independence for the country, issued an open letter to the Kosovar public in September. It appealed for e-mails to be sent to prospective bidders for privatization of PTK, criticizing the project for the sell-off of the post and telecoms agency. "Self-Determination" warned that properties were being offered for sale as if they were the private holdings of politicians, rather than resources of all Kosovo residents.

The "Self-Determination" representatives argued that Kosovo's leaders aim to drive down the value of the state assets, so that they may be expropriated and sold. "Privatization is a name behind which these officials hide," the opposition advocates declared. The call by leaders of "Self-Determination" for protests against privatization behind the backs of the populace led to accusations that "Self-Determination" is a violent, anti-American movement.

Albin Kurti, a young philosopher and the articulate founder of "Self-Determination," refuted in late December charges by U.S. ambassador Tracey-Anne Jacobson that he and his colleagues threatened Madeleine Albright. The leaders of "Self-Determination" pointed out that after they published their letter in September against a distorted privatization, they met with Albright in Kosovo in November. "Self-Determination" did not oppose her visit, or threaten her as Ambassador Jacobson alleged. Kurti has insisted that he and his colleagues respect American principles of freedom, independence, and public responsibility.

The friendship of Kosovo, as a Muslim-majority state, is a major benefit for American foreign policy. The Balkan republic has resisted Islamist radicalization, excluded religion from public education, and acted to protect women's rights. These blessings should not be wasted because of the avarice of retired American officials or the incompetence of current diplomats. America, and especially Kosovo, deserve better.

Related Topics: Stephen Schwartzreceive the latest by email: subscribe to the free gatestone institute mailing list

Bengahzi

Adam left on plane

De Havilland Comet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 09:28

This article is about the jet airliner. For the 1930s racing aircraft, see de Havilland DH.88.The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the first production commercial jetliner.[N 2] Developed and manufactured by de Havilland at its Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom headquarters, the Comet 1 prototype first flew on 27 July 1949. It featured an aerodynamically clean design with four de Havilland Ghostturbojet engines buried in the wings, a pressurised fuselage, and large square windows. For the era, it offered a relatively quiet, comfortable passenger cabin and showed signs of being a commercial success at its 1952 debut.

A year after entering commercial service, Comet airframes began suffering catastrophic metal fatigue, with three of them tearing apart during mid-flight in well-publicised accidents. The Comet was withdrawn from service and extensively tested to discover the cause; the first incident had been incorrectly blamed on adverse weather. Design flaws including window shape and installation methodology were ultimately identified; consequently the Comet was extensively redesigned with oval windows, structural reinforcement and other changes. Rival manufacturers meanwhile heeded the lessons learned from the Comet while developing their own aircraft.

Although sales never fully recovered, the improved Comet 2 and the prototype Comet 3 culminated in the redesigned Comet 4 series which debuted in 1958 and enjoyed a productive career of over 30 years. The Comet was adapted for a variety of military roles such as VIP, medical and passenger transport, as well as surveillance; the most extensive modification resulted in a specialised maritime patrol aircraft variant, the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod. Nimrods remained in service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) until they were retired in June 2011, over 60 years after the Comet's first flight.

[edit]Development[edit]OriginsOn 11 March 1943, the Cabinet of the United Kingdom formed the Brabazon Committee to determine Britain's airliner needs after the conclusion of the Second World War.[5] One of its recommendations was for a pressurised, transatlantic mailplane that could carry one long ton (1.0 t) of payload at a cruising speed of 400 mph (640 km/h).[6] Challenging the widely held scepticism of jet engines as too fuel-hungry and unreliable,[N 3] committee member Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, head of the de Havilland company, used personal influence and his company's expertise with jet aircraft to specify a turbojet-powered design.[5] The committee accepted the proposal, calling it the "Type IV" (of five designs),[N 4] and awarded a production contract to de Havilland under the designation Type 106 in February 1945.[9] First-phase development of the DH 106 focused on short and intermediate range mailplanes with a small passenger compartment and as few as six seats, before being redefined as a long-range airliner with a capacity of 24 seats.[6] Out of all the Brabazon designs, the DH 106 was seen as the riskiest both in terms of introducing untried design elements and for the financial commitment involved.[5] Nevertheless, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) found the Type IV's specifications attractive, and initially proposed a purchase of 25 aircraft; in December 1945, when a firm contract was laid out, the order total was revised to 10.[10]

"During the next few years, the UK has an opportunity, which may not recur, of developing aircraft manufacture as one of our main export industries. On whether we grasp this opportunity and so establish firmly an industry of the utmost strategic and economic importance, our future as a great nation may depend."

A design team was formed in 1946 under the leadership of chief designer Ronald Bishop, who had been responsible for the Mosquito fighter-bomber.[10] A number of unorthodox configurations were considered, ranging from canard to tailless designs;[N 5] all were subsequently rejected. The Ministry of Supply was, however, interested in the most radical of the proposed designs and ordered two experimental tailless DH 108s[N 6] to serve as proof of concept aircraft for testing swept-wing configurations in both low-speed and high-speed flight.[6][12] During flight tests, the DH 108 gained a reputation for being accident-prone and unstable, leading de Havilland and BOAC to gravitate to conventional configurations and, necessarily, designs with less technical risk.[13] The DH 108s were later modified to test the DH 106's power controls.[14]

In September 1946, prior to the completion of the DH 108s, BOAC requests necessitated a redesign of the DH 106 from its previous 24-seat configuration to a larger 36-seat version.[6][N 7] With no time to develop the technology necessary for a proposed tailless configuration, Bishop opted for a more conventional 20-degree swept-wing design[N 8] with unswept tail surfaces, married to an enlarged fuselage accommodating 36 passengers in a four-abreast arrangement with a central aisle.[16] Replacing previously specified Halford H.1 Goblin engines, four new, more powerful Rolls-Royce Avons were to be incorporated in pairs buried in the wing roots; Halford H.2 Ghost engines were eventually applied as an interim solution while the Avons cleared certification. The redesigned aircraft was named the DH 106 Comet in December 1947.[N 9] Revised first orders from BOAC and British South American Airways[N 10] totaled 14 aircraft with delivery projected for 1952.[15]

[edit]Testing and prototypesBecause the Comet represented a new category of passenger aircraft, more rigorous testing was a development priority.[18] From 1947 to 1948, de Havilland conducted an extensive research and development phase, including the use of several stress test rigs at Hatfield for small components and large assemblies alike. Sections of pressurised fuselage were subjected to high-altitude flight conditions via a large decompression chamber on-site,[N 11] and tested to failure.[19] However, tracing fuselage failure points proved difficult with this method,[19] and de Havilland ultimately switched to conducting structural tests with a water tank that could be safely configured to increase pressures gradually.[14][19][20] The entire forward fuselage section was tested for metal fatigue by repeatedly pressurising to 2.75 pounds per square inch (19.0 kPa) overpressure and depressurising through more than 16,000 cycles, equivalent to about 40,000 hours of airline service.[21] The windows were also tested under a pressure of 12 psi (83 kPa), 4.75 psi (32.8 kPa) above expected pressures at the normal service ceiling of 36,000 ft (11,000 m).[21] One window frame survived 100 psi (690 kPa), about 1,250 percent over the maximum pressure it was expected to encounter in service.[21]

The first prototype DH 106 Comet (carrying Class B markings G-5-1) was completed in 1949, and was initially used to conduct ground tests and brief early flights.[19] The prototype's maiden flight took place on 27 July 1949 out of Hatfield Aerodrome and lasted 31 minutes.[22][23] At the controls was de Havilland chief test pilot John Cunningham, a famous night-fighter pilot of the Second World War, along with co-pilot Harold "Tubby" Waters, engineers John Wilson (electrics) and Frank Reynolds (hydraulics), and flight test observer Tony Fairbrother.[24]

The prototype was registered G-ALVG just before it was publicly displayed at the 1949 Farnborough Airshow prior to the start of flight trials. A year later, the second prototype G-5-2 made its maiden flight. The second prototype was registered G-ALZK in July 1950 and it was used by the BOAC Comet Unit at Hurn from April 1951 to carry out 500 flying hours of crew training and route proving.[25] Australian airline Qantas also sent its own technical experts to observe the performance of the prototypes, seeking to quell internal uncertainty about its prospective Comet purchase.[26] Both prototypes could be externally distinguished from later Comets by the large two-wheeled main landing gear, which was replaced on production models by sets of four-wheeled bogies.[27]

[edit]Design[edit]OverviewThe Comet was an all-metal low-wing cantilever monoplane powered by four jet engines; it had a four-place cockpit occupied by two pilots, a flight engineer, and a navigator.[28] The clean, low-drag design of the aircraft featured many design elements that were fairly uncommon at the time, including a swept-wing leading edge, integral wing fuel tanks, and four-wheel bogie main undercarriage units designed by de Havilland.[28] Two pairs of turbojet engines (on the Comet 1s, Halford H.2 Ghosts, subsequently known as de Havilland Ghost 50 Mk1s) were buried into the wings.[29]

The original Comet was approximately the length of the later Boeing 737-100, but carried fewer people in a significantly more spacious environment. BOAC installed 36 reclining "slumberseats" with 45-inch (1,100 mm) centres on its first Comets, allowing for greater leg room in front and behind;[30]Air France had 11 rows of seats with four seats to a row installed on its Comets.[31] Large picture window views and table seating accommodations for a row of passengers afforded a "feel of comfort and luxury" atypical of transportation of the period.[32] Amenities included a galley that could serve hot and cold food and drinks, a bar, and separate men's and women's toilets.[33] Provisions for emergency situations included several life rafts stored in the wings near the engines, and individual life vests were stowed under each seat.[28]

One of the most striking aspects of Comet travel was the quiet, "vibration-free flying" as touted by BOAC.[34][N 12] For passengers used to propeller-driven airliners, smooth and quiet jet flight was a novel experience (although passengers of today would consider the Comet noisy, particularly in seats aft of the wing).[36]

[edit]Avionics and systemsFor ease of training and fleet conversion, de Havilland designed the Comet's flight deck layout with a degree of similarity to the Lockheed Constellation, an aircraft that was popular at the time with key customers such as BOAC.[19] The cockpit included full dual-controls for the captain and first officer, while a flight engineer controlled various key systems, including fuel, air conditioning, and electrical systems.[37] The navigator occupied a dedicated station with a table across from the flight engineer.[38]

Several of the Comet's avionics systems were new to civil aviation. One such feature was irreversible powered flight controls, which increased the pilot's ease of control and the safety of the aircraft by preventing aerodynamic forces from changing the directed positions and placement of the aircraft's control surfaces.[39] Additionally, a large number of the control surfaces, such as the elevators, were equipped with a complex gearing system as a safeguard against accidentally over-stressing the surfaces or airframe at higher speed ranges.[40]

The Comet had a total of four hydraulic systems, two primaries, one secondary, and a final emergency system for basic functions such as lowering the undercarriage.[41] The undercarriage could also be lowered by a combination of gravity and a hand-pump.[42] Power was syphoned from all four engines for the hydraulics, cabin air conditioning, and the de-icing system; these systems had operational redundancy in that they could keep working even if only a single engine was active.[18] The majority of hydraulic components were centered in a single avionics bay.[43] A pressurised refuelling system, developed by Flight Refuelling Ltd, allowed the Comet's fuel tanks to be refuelled at a far greater rate than other methods.[44]

The cockpit was significantly altered for the Comet 4's introduction, on which an improved layout focusing on the onboard navigational suite was introduced.[45] A radar unit manufactured by EKCO was installed in the Comet 4's nose cone, providing search functions as well as ground and cloud mapping capabilities,[38] and a radar interface was built into the Comet 4 cockpit along with redesigned instruments.[45]

Sud-Est's design bureau, while working on the Sud Aviation Caravelle in 1953, licensed several design features from de Havilland, building on previous collaborations on earlier licenced designs, including the DH 100 Vampire;[N 13] the nose and cockpit layout of the Comet 1 was grafted onto the Caravelle.[47] In 1969, when the Comet 4's design was modified by Hawker Siddeley to become the basis for the Nimrod, the cockpit layout was completely redesigned and bore little resemblance to its predecessors except for the control yoke.[48]

[edit]FuselageDiverse geographical destinations and cabin pressurisation alike on the Comet demanded the use of a high proportion of alloys, plastics, and other materials new to civil aviation across the aircraft in order to meet certification requirements.[49] The Comet's high cabin pressure and fast operating speeds were unprecedented in commercial aviation, making its fuselage design an experimental process.[49] At its introduction, Comet airframes would be subjected to an intense, high-speed operating schedule which included simultaneous extreme heat from desert airfields and frosty cold from the kerosene-filled fuel tanks.[49]

The Comet's thin metal skin was composed of advanced new alloys[N 14] and was both riveted and chemically bonded, which saved weight and reduced the risk of fatigue cracks spreading from the rivets.[50] The chemical bonding process was accomplished using a new adhesive, Redux, which was liberally used in the construction of the wings and the fuselage of the Comet; it also had the advantage of simplifying the manufacturing process.[51]

When several of the fuselage alloys were discovered to be vulnerable to weakening via metal fatigue, a detailed routine inspection process was introduced. As well as thorough visual inspections of the outer skin, mandatory structural sampling was routinely conducted by both civil and military Comet operators. The need to inspect areas not easily viewable by the naked eye led to the introduction of widespread radiography examination in aviation; this also had the advantage of detecting cracks and flaws too small to be seen otherwise.[52]

Operationally, the design of the cargo holds led to considerable difficulty for the ground crew, especially baggage handlers at the airports. The cargo hold had its doors located directly underneath the aircraft, so each item of baggage or cargo had to be loaded vertically upwards from the top of the baggage truck, then slid along the hold floor to be stacked inside. The individual pieces of luggage and cargo also had to be retrieved in a similar, slow manner at the arriving airport.[53][54]

[edit]PropulsionThe Comet was powered by two pairs of turbojet engines buried in the wings close to the fuselage. Chief designer Bishop chose the Comet's embedded-engine configuration because it avoided the drag of podded engines and allowed for a smaller fin and rudder, since the hazards of asymmetric thrust were reduced.[55] The engines were outfitted with baffles to reduce noise emissions, and extensive soundproofing was also implemented to improve passenger conditions.[56]

Placing the engines within the wings had the advantage of a reduction in the risk of foreign object damage, which could seriously damage jet engines. The low-mounted engines and good placement of service panels also made aircraft maintenance easier to perform.[57] However, the Comet's buried engine configuration increased its structural weight and complexity. Armour had to be placed around the engine cells to contain debris from any serious engine failures; also, placing the engines inside the wing required a more complicated wing structure.[58]

The Comet 1 featured 5,050 lbf (22.5 kN) de Havilland Ghost 50 Mk1 turbojet engines.[29][59] Two hydrogen peroxide-powered de Havilland Sprite booster rockets were originally intended to be installed to boost takeoff under hot and high altitude conditions from airports such as Khartoum and Nairobi.[31][60] These were tested on 30 flights, but the Ghosts alone were considered powerful enough and some airlines concluded that rocket motors were impractical.[14] Sprite fittings were retained on production aircraft.[61] Comet 1s subsequently received more powerful 5,700 lbf (25 kN) Ghost DGT3 series engines.[62]

From the Comet 2 onwards, the Ghost engines were replaced by the newer and more powerful 7,000 lbf (31 kN) Rolls-Royce Avon AJ.65 engines. To achieve optimum efficiency with the new powerplants, the air intakes were enlarged to increase mass air flow.[63] Upgraded Avon engines were introduced on the Comet 3,[63] and the Avon-powered Comet 4 was highly praised for its takeoff performance from high altitude locations such as Mexico City.[64]

[edit]Operational history[edit]IntroductionThe earliest production aircraft, registered G-ALYP ("Yoke Peter"), first flew on 9 January 1951 and was subsequently loaned to BOAC for development flying by its Comet Unit.[65] On 22 January 1952, the fifth production aircraft, registered G-ALYS, received the first Certificate of Airworthiness awarded to a Comet, six months ahead of schedule.[66] On 2 May 1952, as part of BOAC's route-proving trials, G-ALYP took off on the world's first jetliner[N 15] flight with fare-paying passengers and inaugurated scheduled service from London to Johannesburg.[68][69][70] The final Comet from BOAC's initial order, registered G-ALYZ, began flying in September 1952 and carried cargo along South American routes while simulating passenger schedules.[71]

The Comet was a hit with passengers including Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, who were guests on a special flight on 30 June 1953 hosted by Sir Geoffrey and Lady de Havilland, and thus became the first members of the British Royal Family to fly by jet.[72] Flights on the Comet were about 50 percent faster than on advanced piston-engined aircraft such as the Douglas DC-6 (490 mph for the Comet compared to the DC-6's 315 mph), and a faster rate of climb further cut flight times. In August 1953 BOAC scheduled eight-stop London to Tokyo flights by Comet for 35 hours, compared to 85 hours and 35 minutes on their Argonaut piston airliner. (Pan Am's eastward around-the-world DC-6B, Flight 2, was scheduled for 46 hours 45 minutes.)[34] The thrice-weekly five-stop London to Johannesburg Comet was scheduled for 20 hr 20 min.

In their first year of service Comets carried 30,000 passengers. As the aircraft could be profitable with a passenger load factor as low as 43 percent, commercial success was expected.[27] The Ghost engines enabled the Comet to operate above weather competitors had to fly through. In addition, they ran smoothly and were less noisy than piston engines, had low maintenance costs, and were fuel-efficient above 30,000 ft (9,100 m),[N 16]. At the height of its career, BOAC's Comet 1 fleet flew London to Singapore, London to Tokyo, and London to Johannesburg several times a week.[73]

By 1953, the Comet appeared to have achieved success for de Havilland.[74] In addition to BOAC, two French airlines, Union A(C)romaritime de Transport and Air France, launched jet services to West Africa and the Middle East with the Comet 1A, an upgraded variant with greater fuel capacity.[75][76] A slightly longer version of the Comet 1 with more powerful engines, the Comet 2, was being developed,[77] and orders were placed by Air India,[78]British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines,[79]Japan Air Lines,[80]Linea Aeropostal Venezolana,[80] and Panair do Brasil.[80] American carriers Capital Airlines, National Airlines, and Pan Am placed orders for the planned Comet 3, an even larger, longer-range version for transatlantic operations.[81][82] Qantas expressed considerable interest in operating the Comet 1, but concluded that the aircraft lacked the fuel capacity and takeoff performance to serve the London to Canberra route and that a purchase was not justified until further development had taken place.[83]

[edit]Early hull lossesOn 26 October 1952, the Comet suffered its first hull loss when a BOAC flight departing Rome's Ciampino airport failed to become airborne and ran into rough ground at the end of the runway. Two passengers sustained minor injuries, and the aircraft, G-ALYZ, was a total loss. On 3 March 1953, a new Canadian Pacific Airlines Comet 1A, registered CF-CUN and named Empress of Hawaii, failed to become airborne while attempting takeoff from Karachi, Pakistan, on a delivery flight to Australia. The aircraft plunged into a dry drainage canal and collided with an embankment, killing all five crew and six passengers on board.[84][85] The accident was the first fatal jetliner crash, as well as the Comet's first accident to result in fatalities.[80] In response, Canadian Pacific cancelled its remaining order for a second Comet 1A and never operated the type in commercial service.[80]

Both early accidents were originally attributed to pilot error, as over-rotation had led to a loss of lift from the leading edge of the aircraft's wings. It was later determined that the Comet's wing profile experienced a loss of lift at a high angle of attack, and its engine inlets also suffered a lack of pressure recovery in the same conditions. As a result, de Havilland re-profiled the wings' leading edge with a pronounced "droop",[86] and wing fences were added to control spanwise flow.[87] A fictionalised investigation into the Comet's takeoff accidents was the subject of the 1959 novel Cone of Silence by Arthur David Beaty, a former BOAC captain. Cone of Silence was made into a film in 1960, and Beaty also recounted the story of the Comet's takeoff accidents in a chapter of his 1984 non-fiction work, Strange Encounters: Mysteries of the Air.[88]

The Comet's second fatal accident occurred on 2 May 1953, when a BOAC Comet 1, registered G-ALYV, crashed in a severe thundersquall six minutes after taking off from Calcutta-Dum Dum (now Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport), India,[89] killing all 43 on board. Witnesses observed the wingless Comet on fire plunging into the Indian Ocean, leading investigators to suspect structural failure.[90]

[edit]India Court of InquiryAfter the loss of G-ALYV, the Central Government of India convened a court of inquiry to examine the cause of the accident.[N 17] A large portion of the aircraft was recovered and reassembled at Farnborough,[90] during which the break-up was found to have begun with a left-hand elevator spar failure in the stabiliser. The inquiry concluded that the aircraft had encountered extreme negative G forces during takeoff; severe turbulence generated by adverse weather was determined to have induced down-loading, leading to the loss of the wings. Examination of the cockpit controls suggested that the pilot may have inadvertently over-stressed the aircraft when pulling out of a steep dive by over-manipulation of the fully powered flight controls. Investigators did not consider metal fatigue as a contributory cause.[91]

The inquiry's recommendations revolved around the enforcement of stricter speed limits during turbulence, and two significant design changes also resulted: all Comets were equipped with weather radar and the "Q feel" system was introduced, which ensured that control column forces (invariably called stick forces) would be proportional to control loads. This artificial feel was the first of its kind to be introduced in any aircraft.[90] The Comet 1 and 1A had been criticised for a lack of "feel" in their controls,[92] and investigators suggested that this might have contributed to the pilot's alleged over-stressing of the aircraft;[93] Comet chief test pilot John Cunningham contended, however, that the jetliner flew smoothly and was highly responsive in a manner consistent with other de Havilland aircraft.[94][N 18]

[edit]Comet disasters of 1954Rome's Ciampino airport, the site of the first Comet hull loss, was again the origin of more disastrous Comet flights just over a year later. On 10 January 1954, 20 minutes after taking off from Ciampino, the first production Comet, G-ALYP, broke up in mid-air while operating BOAC Flight 781 and crashed into the Mediterranean off the Italian island of Elba with the loss of all 35 on board.[95][96] With no witnesses to the disaster and only partial radio transmissions as incomplete evidence, there appeared to be no obvious reason for the crash. Engineers at de Havilland immediately recommended 60 modifications aimed at any possible design flaw while the Abell Committee met to determine potential causes of the crash.[97][N 19] BOAC also voluntarily grounded its Comet fleet pending investigation into the causes of the accident.[99]

[edit]Abell Committee Court of InquiryMedia attention centred on sabotage,[86] while other speculation ranged from clear-air turbulence to an explosion of vapour in an empty fuel tank. The Abell Committee focused on six potential aerodynamic and mechanical causes: control flutter (which had led to the loss of DH 108 prototypes), structural failure due to high loads or metal fatigue of the wing structure, failure of the powered flight controls, failure of the window panels leading to explosive decompression, or fire and other engine problems. The committee concluded that fire was the most likely cause of the problem, and a number of changes were made to the aircraft to protect the engines and wings from damage that might lead to another fire.[100]

"The cost of solving the Comet mystery must be reckoned neither in money nor in manpower."

During the investigation, the Royal Navy conducted recovery operations.[102] The first pieces of wreckage were discovered on 12 February 1954[103] and the search continued until September 1954, by which time 70 percent by weight of the main structure, 80 percent of the power section, and 50 percent of the aircraft's systems and equipment had been recovered.[104][105] The forensic reconstruction effort had just begun when the Abell Committee reported its findings. No apparent fault in the aircraft was found,[N 20] and the British government decided against opening a further public inquiry into the accident.[99] The prestigious nature of the Comet project, particularly for the British aerospace industry, and the financial impact of the aircraft's grounding on BOAC's operations, both served to pressure the inquiry to end without further investigation.[99] Comet flights resumed on 23 March 1954.[106]

On 8 April 1954, Comet G-ALYY ("Yoke Yoke"), on charter to South African Airways, was on a leg from Rome to Cairo (of a longer route, SA Flight 201 from London to Johannesburg), when it crashed in the Mediterranean near Naples with the loss of all 21 passengers and crew on board.[95] The Comet fleet was immediately grounded once again and a large investigation board was formed under the direction of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE).[95] Prime Minister Winston Churchill tasked the Royal Navy with helping to locate and retrieve the wreckage so that the cause of the accident could be determined.[107] The Comet's Certificate of Airworthiness was revoked and Comet 1 line production was suspended at the Hatfield factory while the BOAC fleet was permanently grounded, cocooned and stored.[86]

[edit]Cohen Committee Court of InquiryOn 19 October 1954, the Cohen Committee was established to examine the causes of the Comet crashes.[108] Chaired by Lord Cohen, the committee tasked an investigation team led by Sir Arnold Hall, Director of the RAE at Farnborough, to perform a more detailed investigation. Hall's team began considering fatigue as the most likely cause of both accidents, and initiated further research into measurable strain on the aircraft's skin.[95] With the recovery of large sections of G-ALYP from the Elba crash and BOAC's donation of an identical airframe, G-ALYU, for further examination, an extensive "water torture" test eventually provided conclusive results. This time, the entire fuselage was tested in a dedicated water tank that was built specifically at Farnborough to accommodate its full length.[99] Stress around the window corners was found to be much higher than expected, while stresses on the skin were generally more than previously expected or tested.[109] This was due to stress concentration, a consequence of the windows' square shape, which generated levels of stress two or three times greater than across the rest of the fuselage.[110]

In water tank testing, engineers subjected G-ALYU to repeated re-pressurisation and over-pressurisation, and on 24 June 1954, after 3,057 flight cycles (1,221 actual and 1,836 simulated),[111] G-ALYU burst open. Hall, Geoffrey de Havilland and Bishop were immediately called to the scene, where the water tank was drained to reveal that the fuselage had ripped open at a corner of the forward port-side escape hatch cutout. A further test reproduced the same results.[112] Based on these findings, Comet 1 structural failures could be expected at anywhere from 1,000 to 9,000 cycles. Before the Elba accident, G-ALYP had made 1,290 pressurised flights, while G-ALYY had made 900 pressurised flights before crashing. Dr P.B. Walker, Head of the Structures Department at the RAE, said he was not surprised by this, noting that the difference was about three to one, and previous experience with metal fatigue suggested a total range of nine to one between experiment and outcome in the field could result in failure.[111]

The RAE also reconstructed about two-thirds of G-ALYP at Farnborough and found fatigue crack growth from a rivet hole at the low-drag fibreglass forward aperture around the Automatic Direction Finder, which had caused a catastrophic breakup of the aircraft in high altitude flight.[113] The punch rivet construction technique employed in the Comet's design had exacerbated its structural fatigue problems;[95] the aircraft's windows had been engineered to be glued and riveted, but had been punch riveted only. Unlike drill riveting, the imperfect nature of the hole created by punch riveting could cause the start of fatigue cracks around the rivet. Principal investigator Hall accepted the RAE's conclusion of design and construction flaws as the likely explanation for G-ALYU's structural failure after 3,060 pressurisation cycles.[N 21] The Cohen inquiry closed on 24 November 1954, and although the inquiry had "found that the basic design of the Comet was sound",[108] de Havilland nonetheless began a refit programme to strengthen the fuselage and wing structure, employing thicker gauge skin and replacing all square windows and panels with rounded versions.[107]

[edit]Resumption of serviceWith the discovery of the structural problems of the early series, all remaining Comets were withdrawn from service, while de Havilland launched a major effort to build a new version that would be both larger and stronger. All outstanding orders for the Comet 2 were cancelled by airline customers.[63] The square windows of the Comet 1 were replaced by the oval versions used on the Comet 2, which first flew in 1953, and the skin sheeting was thickened slightly.[115] Remaining Comet 1s and 1As were either scrapped or modified with oval window rip-stop doublers (a thick, structurally strong ring of material that prevents a crack from spreading further). All production Comet 2s were also modified to alleviate the fatigue problems (most of these served with the RAF as the Comet C2), while a programme to produce a Comet 2 with more powerful Avons was delayed. The prototype Comet 3 first flew in July 1954, and was tested in a non-pressurised state pending completion of the Cohen inquiry.[63] Comet commercial flights would not resume until 1958.[116]

Development flying and route proving with the Comet 3 allowed accelerated certification of what was destined to be the most successful variant of the type, the Comet 4. All airline customers for the Comet 3 subsequently cancelled their orders and switched to the Comet 4,[63] which was based on the Comet 3 but with improved fuel capacity. BOAC ordered 19 Comet 4s in March 1955, while American operator Capital Airlines ordered 14 Comets in July 1956.[117] Capital's order included 10 Comet 4As, a variant modified for short-range operations with a stretched fuselage and short wings, lacking the pinion (outboard wing) fuel tanks of the Comet 4.[81] However, due to financial problems and a subsequent takeover by United Airlines, Capital would never operate the Comet.

The Comet 4 completed its first flight on 27 April 1958, received its Certificate of Airworthiness on 24 September 1958, and was first delivered to BOAC the following day.[115][118] Basic price of a new Comet 4 was around £1,140,000.[119] The Comet 4 enabled BOAC to inaugurate the first regular jet-powered transatlantic services on 4 October 1958 between London and New York (albeit still requiring a fuel stop at Gander International Airport, Newfoundland, on westward North Atlantic crossings).[68] While BOAC gained publicity as the first to provide transatlantic jet service, by the end of the month rival Pan American World Airways was flying the Boeing 707 along the same route,[120] and in 1960 the Douglas DC-8 as well. The American jets were larger, faster, longer-ranged, and more cost-effective to operate than the Comet.[121] After analysing effective route structures for the Comet, BOAC reluctantly cast about for a successor and, by 1958, entered into an agreement with Boeing to purchase the 707.[122]

The Comet 4 was ordered by two additional customers: Aerol–neas Argentinas took delivery of six Comet 4s from 1959 to 1960, using them between Buenos Aires and Santiago, while East African Airways received three new Comet 4s from 1960 to 1962 and operated them to Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda destinations.[123] The Comet 4A model initially ordered by Capital Airlines were instead built for BEA as the Comet 4B, featuring a further fuselage stretch of 38 in (97 cm) and seating for 99 passengers. The first Comet 4B flew on 27 June 1959 and BEA began Tel Aviv to London-Heathrow services on 1 April 1960.[124]Olympic Airways was the only other customer to order the type.[125] The last Comet 4 variant, the Comet 4C, first flew on 31 October 1959 and entered service with Mexicana in 1960.[126] The Comet 4C featured the Comet 4B's longer fuselage coupled with the longer wings and extra fuel tanks of the original Comet 4, which gave it a longer range than the 4B. Ordered by East African Airways, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Misrair (later United Arab Airlines), and Sudan Airways, it found the greatest customer acceptance of all Comet variants.[80][127]

[edit]Later serviceIn 1959 BOAC began shifting its Comets from transatlantic routes[128] and released the Comet to associate companies, making the Comet 4's ascendancy as a premier airliner brief. Besides the 707 and DC-8, the introduction of the Vickers VC10 allowed competing aircraft to assume the high-speed, long-range passenger service role pioneered by the Comet.[129] In 1960, as part of a government-backed consolidation of the British aerospace industry, de Havilland itself was acquired by Hawker Siddeley, within which it became a wholly owned division.[130]

In the 1960s orders declined, with a total of 76 Comet 4s being delivered from 1958 to 1964. In November 1965 BOAC retired its Comet 4s from revenue service, while other operators continued commercial passenger flights with the Comet until 1981. Dan-Air played a significant role in the fleet's later history and, at one time, owned all 49 remaining airworthy civil Comets.[131] On 14 March 1997 a Comet 4C registered XS235 and named Canopus,[132] which had been acquired by the British Ministry of Technology and used for radio, radar and avionics trials, made the last documented production Comet flight.[1]

[edit]LegacyThe Comet is widely regarded jointly as an adventurous step forward and a supreme tragedy; nevertheless, the aircraft's legacy does include numerous advances in aircraft design and in accident investigations. The inquiries into the accidents that plagued the Comet 1 were perhaps some of the most extensive and revolutionary that have ever taken place, establishing precedents in accident investigation; many of the deep-sea salvage and aircraft reconstruction techniques employed have remained in use within the aviation industry.[133] In spite of the Comet being subjected to what was then the most rigorous testing of any contemporary airliner, pressurisation and the dynamic stresses involved were not thoroughly understood at the time of the aircraft's development, nor was the concept of metal fatigue. While these lessons could be implemented on the drawing board for future aircraft, corrections could be only retroactively applied to the Comet.[134]

According to de Havilland's chief test pilot John Cunningham, who had flown the prototype's first flight, representatives from American manufacturers such as Boeing and Douglas privately disclosed that if de Havilland had not experienced the Comet's pressurisation problems first, it would have happened to them.[135] Cunningham likened the Comet to the later Concorde, and added that he had assumed that the aircraft would change aviation, which it subsequently did.[94] Aviation author Bill Withun concluded that the Comet had pushed "'the state-of-the-art' beyond its limits."[57]

"I don't think it is too much to say that the world changed from the moment the Comet's wheels left the ground."

Aeronautical engineering firms were quick to respond to the Comet's commercial advantages and technical flaws alike; other aircraft manufacturers learned from, and profited by, the hard-earned lessons embodied by de Havilland's Comet.[11][138] While the Comet's buried engines were used on some other early jet airliners, such as the Tupolev Tu-104,[139] later aircraft, such as the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, would differ by employing podded engines held on pylons beneath the wings.[140] Boeing stated that podded engines were selected for their passenger airliners because buried engines carried a higher risk of catastrophic wing failure in the event of engine fire.[141] In response to the Comet tragedies, manufacturers also developed various means of pressurisation testing, often going so far as to explore rapid depressurisation; subsequent fuselage skins were of a greater thickness than the skin of the Comet.[142]

[edit]Variants[edit]Comet 1The square-windowed Comet 1 was the first model produced, a total of 12 aircraft in service and test. Following closely the design features of the two prototypes, the only noticeable change was the adoption of four-wheel bogie main undercarriage units, replacing the single main wheels. Four Ghost 50 Mk 1 engines were fitted (later replaced by more powerful Ghost DGT3 series engines). The span was 115 ft (35.05 m), and overall length 93 ft (28.35 m); the maximum takeoff weight was over 105,000 lb (47.628 kg) and over 40 passengers could be carried.[62]

An updated Comet 1A was offered with higher-allowed weight, greater fuel capacity,[75] and water-methanol injection; 10 were produced. In the wake of the 1954 disasters, all Comet 1s and 1As were brought back to Hatfield, first placed in a protective cocoon and retained for testing.[143] All were substantially damaged in stress testing or were scrapped entirely.[144]Comet 1X: Two RCAF Comet 1As were rebuilt with heavier-gauge skins to a Comet 2 standard for the fuselage, and renamed Comet 1X.[108]Comet 1XB: Four Comet 1As were upgraded to a 1XB standard with a reinforced fuselage structure and oval windows. Both 1X series were limited in number of pressurisation cycles.[144]The DH 111 Comet Bomber, a nuclear bomb carrying variant developed to Air Ministry specification B35/46, was submitted to the Air Ministry on 27 May 1948. It had been originally proposed in 1948 as the "PR Comet", a high-altitude photo reconnaissance adaptation of the Comet 1. The Ghost DGT3-powered airframe featured a narrowed fuselage, a bulbous nose with H2S Mk IX radar, and a four-crewmember pressurised cockpit under a large bubble canopy. Fuel tanks carrying 2,400 imperial gallons (11,000 L) were added to attain a range of 3,350 miles (5,390 km). The proposed DH 111 received a negative evaluation from the Royal Aircraft Establishment over serious concerns regarding weapons storage; this along with the redundant capability offered by the RAF's proposed V bomber trio led de Havilland to abandon the project on 22 October 1948.[145][edit]Comet 2The Comet 2 had a slightly larger wing, higher fuel capacity and more powerful Rolls-Royce Avon engines, which all improved the aircraft's range and performance;[146] its fuselage was 3 ft 1 in (0.94 m) longer than the Comet 1's.[147] Design changes had been made to make the aircraft more suitable for transatlantic operations.[146] Following the Comet 1 disasters, these models were rebuilt with heavier gauge skin and rounded windows, and the Avon engines featuring larger air intakes and outward-curving jet tailpipes.[N 22][148] A total of 12 of the 44-seat Comet 2s were ordered by BOAC for the South Atlantic route.[149] The first production aircraft (G-AMXA) flew on 27 August 1953.[150] Although these aircraft performed well on test flights on the South Atlantic, their range was still not suitable for the North Atlantic. All but four Comet 2s were allocated to the RAF with deliveries beginning in 1955. Modifications to the interiors allowed the Comet 2s to be used in a number of different roles. For VIP transport, the seating and accommodations were altered while provisions for carrying medical equipment including iron lungs were incorporated. Specialised ELINT and electronic surveillance capability was later added to some airframes.[151]

Comet 2X: Limited to a single Comet Mk 1 powered by four Rolls-Royce Avon 502 turbojet engines and used as a development aircraft for the Comet 2.[146]Comet 2E: Two Comet 2 airliners were fitted with Avon 504s in the inner nacelles and Avon 524s in the outer ones. These aircraft were used by BOAC for proving flights during 1957''1958.[146]Comet T2: The first two of 10 Comet 2s for the RAF were fitted out as crew trainers, with the first aircraft (XK669) flying for the first time on 9 December 1955.[151]Comet C2: Eight Comet 2s originally destined for the civil market were completed for the RAF and assigned to No. 216 Squadron.[151]Comet 2R: Three Comet 2s were modified for use in radar and electronic systems development, initially assigned to No. 90 Group (later Signals Command) for the RAF.[151] In service with No. 192 and No. 51 Squadrons, the 2R series was equipped to monitor Warsaw Pact signal traffic and operated in this role from 1958.[152][N 23][edit]Comet 3The Comet 3, which flew for the first time on 19 July 1954, was a Comet 2 lengthened by 15 ft 5 in (4.70 m) and powered by Avon M502 engines developing 10,000 lbf (44 kN).[153] The variant added wing pinion tanks, and offered greater capacity and range.[154] The Comet 3 was destined to remain a development series since it did not incorporate the fuselage-strengthening modifications of the later series aircraft, and was not able to be fully pressurised.[155] Only two Comet 3s began construction with G-ANLO, the only airworthy Comet 3, demonstrated at the Farnborough SBAC Show in September 1954. The other Comet 3 airframe was not completed to production standard and was used primarily for ground-based structural and technology testing during development of the similarly sized Comet 4. Nine additional Comet 3 airframes were not completed and their construction was abandoned at Hatfield.[156] In BOAC colours, G-ANLO was flown by John Cunningham in a marathon round-the-world promotional tour in December 1955.[154] As a flying testbed, it was later modified with Avon RA29 engines fitted, as well as replacing the original long-span wings with reduced span wings as the Comet 3B and demonstrated in British European Airways (BEA) livery at the Farnborough Airshow in September 1958.[155] Assigned in 1961 to the Blind Landing Experimental Unit (BLEU) at RAE Bedford, the final testbed role played by G''ANLO was in automatic landing system experiments. When retired in 1973, the airframe was used for foam arrester trials before the fuselage was salvaged at BAE Woodford, to serve as the mock-up for the Nimrod.[157]

[edit]Comet 4The Comet 4 was a further improvement on the stretched Comet 3 with even greater fuel capacity. The design had progressed significantly from the original Comet 1, growing by 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m) and typically seating 74 to 81 passengers compared to the Comet 1's 36 to 44 (119 passengers could be accommodated in a special charter seating package in the later 4C series).[16] The Comet 4 was considered the definitive series, having a longer range, higher cruising speed and higher maximum takeoff weight. These improvements were possible largely because of Avon engines with twice the thrust of the Comet 1's Ghosts.[124] Deliveries to BOAC began on 30 September 1958 with two 48-seat aircraft, which were used to initiate the first scheduled transatlantic services.

Comet 4B: Originally developed for Capital Airlines as the 4A, the 4B featured greater capacity and a shorter wingspan; 18 were produced.Comet 4C: This variant featured the Comet 4's wings and the 4B's added capacity; 23 were produced.The last two Comet 4C fuselages were used to build prototypes of the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft.[158] A Comet 4C (SA-R-7) was ordered by Saudi Arabian Airlines with eventual disposition to the Saudi Royal Flight for the exclusive use of King Saud bin Abdul Aziz. Extensively modified at the factory, the aircraft included a VIP front cabin, a bed, special toilets with gold fittings and was distinguished by a resplendent green, gold and white colour scheme with polished wings and lower fuselage that was commissioned from aviation artist John Stroud. Following its first flight, the special order Comet 4C was described as "the world's first executive jet."[159]

[edit]Comet 5 proposalThe Comet 5 was proposed as an improvement over previous models, including a wider fuselage with five-abreast seating, a wing with greater sweep and podded Rolls-Royce Conway engines. Without support from the Ministry of Transport, the proposal languished as a hypothetical aircraft and was never realised.[160][N 24]

[edit]Hawker Siddeley NimrodThe last two Comet 4c aircraft produced were modified as prototypes (XV148 & XV147) to meet a British requirement for a maritime patrol aircraft for the Royal Air Force, initially named "Maritime Comet", the design was designated Type HS 801.[158] This variant became the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod and production aircraft were built at the Hawker Siddeley factory at Woodford Aerodrome. Entering service in 1969, five Nimrod variants were produced.[161] The final Nimrod aircraft were retired in June 2011.[162]

[edit]OperatorsThe original operators of the early Comet 1 and the Comet 1A were BOAC, Union A(C)romaritime de Transport, and Air France. All early Comets were withdrawn from service for accident inquiries, during which orders from British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines, Japan Air Lines, Linea Aeropostal Venezolana, National Airlines, Pan American World Airways, and Panair do Brasil were cancelled.[79][80] When the redesigned Comet 4 entered service, it was flown by customers BOAC, Aerol–neas Argentinas, and East African Airways,[163] while the Comet 4B variant was operated by customers BEA and Olympic Airways,[163] and the Comet 4C model was flown by customers East African Airways, Kuwait Airways, Mexicana, Middle East Airlines, Misrair Airlines, and Sudan Airways.[80]

Other operators used the Comet either through leasing arrangements or through second-hand acquisitions. BOAC's Comet 4s were leased out to Air Ceylon, Air India, AREA Ecuador, Central African Airways, and Qantas Empire Airways;[79][164] after 1965 they were sold to AREA Ecuador, Dan-Air, Mexicana, Malaysian Airways, and the Ministry of Defence.[80][163][165] BEA's Comet 4Bs were chartered by Cyprus Airways, Malta Airways, and Transportes Aereos Portgueses.[166]Channel Airways obtained five Comet 4Bs from BEA in 1970 for inclusive tour charters.[167] Dan-Air bought all of the surviving flyable Comet 4s from the late 1960s into the 1970s; some were for spares reclamation but most were operated on the carrier's inclusive tour charters; a total of 48 Comets of all marks were acquired by the airline.[168]

In military service, the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force was the largest operator, with the 51 Squadron (1958''1975; Comet C2, 2R), 192 Squadron (1957''1958; Comet C2, 2R), 216 Squadron (1956''1975; Comet C2 and C4), and the Royal Aircraft Establishment using the aircraft.[108][169] The Royal Canadian Air Force also operated Comet 1As (later retrofitted to 1XB) through its 412 Squadron from 1953 to 1963.[144]

[edit]Accidents and incidentsThe Comet was involved in 26 hull-loss accidents, including 13 fatal crashes which resulted in 426 fatalities.[170] Pilot error was blamed for the type's first fatal accident, which occurred during takeoff at Karachi, Pakistan on 3 March 1953 and involved a Canadian Pacific Airlines Comet 1A.[80] Three fatal Comet 1 crashes due to structural problems, specifically BOAC Flight 783/057 on 2 May 1953, BOAC Flight 781 on 10 January 1954, and South African Airways Flight 201 on 8 April 1954, led to the grounding of the entire Comet fleet. After design modifications were implemented, Comet services resumed in 1958.[80]

Pilot error resulting in controlled flight into terrain was blamed for five fatal Comet 4 accidents: an Aerol–neas Argentinas crash near Asunci"n, Paraguay on 27 August 1959, Aerol–neas Argentinas Flight 322 at Campinas near S£o Paulo, Brazil on 23 November 1961, United Arab Airlines Flight 869 in Thailand's Khao Yai mountains on 19 July 1962, a Saudi Arabian Government crash in the Italian Alps on 20 March 1963, and United Arab Airlines Flight 844 in Tripoli, Libya on 2 January 1971.[80] The Dan-Air de Havilland Comet crash in Spain's Montseny range on 3 July 1970 was attributed to navigational errors by air traffic control and pilots.[171] Other fatal Comet 4 accidents include a British European Airways crash in Ankara, Turkey following instrument failure on 21 December 1961, United Arab Airlines Flight 869 during inclement weather near Bombay, India on 28 July 1963, and the terrorist bombing of Cyprus Airways Flight 284 off the Turkish coast on 12 October 1967.[80]

Nine Comets, including Comet 1s operated by BOAC and Union Aeromaritime de Transport and Comet 4s flown by Aerol–neas Argentinas, Dan-Air, Malaysian Airlines, and United Arab Airlines, were irreparably damaged during takeoff or landing accidents that were survived by all on board.[80][170] A hangar fire damaged a No. 192 Squadron RAF Comet 2R beyond repair on 13 September 1957, and three Middle East Airlines Comet 4Cs were destroyed by Israeli troops at Beirut, Lebanon on 28 December 1968.[80]

[edit]Aircraft on displaySince retirement, three early-generation Comet airframes have survived in museum collections. The only complete remaining Comet 1, a Comet 1XB with the registration G-APAS, is displayed at the RAF Museum Cosford.[172] While painted in BOAC colours, it never flew for the airline, having been first delivered to Air France and then to the Ministry of Supply after conversion to 1XB standard;[172] this aircraft also served with the RAF as XM823. The sole surviving Comet fuselage with the original square-shaped windows, part of a Comet 1A registered F-BGNX, is undergoing restoration at the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre in Hertfordshire, England.[173] A Comet C2 Sagittarius with serialXK699, later maintenance serial 7971M, has been on display at the gate of RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, England since 1987.[174][175] In 2012, with the planned closure of RAF Lyneham, the aircraft was slated to be dismantled and shipped to the RAF Museum Cosford where it will be re-assembled for display.[175]

Seven complete Comet 4s are housed in museum collections. The Imperial War Museum Duxford has a Comet 4 (G-APDB), originally in Dan-Air colours as part of its Flight Line Display, and later in BOAC livery at its AirSpace building.[176] A Comet 4B (G-APYD) is stored in a facility at the Science Museum at Wroughton in Wiltshire, England.[177] Comet 4Cs are exhibited at the Flugausstellung Leo Junior at Hermeskeil, Germany (G-BDIW),[178] the Museum of Flight near Seattle, Washington (N888WA),[165] the National Museum of Flight near Edinburgh, Scotland (G-BDIX),[179] and the Parque Zool"gico Irapuato in Guanajuato, Mexico (N777WA).[180]

The last Comet to fly, Comet 4C Canopus (XS235),[1] is kept in running condition at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, where fast taxi runs are regularly conducted.[181] Since the 2000s, various parties have proposed restoring Canopus, which is maintained by a staff of volunteers,[182] to airworthy, fully flight-capable condition.[132] The Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome also displays a related Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR2 aircraft.[182]

[edit]SpecificationsComet 1Comet 2Comet 3Comet 4Cockpit crew4 (2 pilots, flight engineer and radio operator/navigator)[183]Passengers36''44[16]36''44[149]58''76[153]56''81[184]Length93 ft (28 m)[147]96 ft 1 in (29.29 m)[147]111 ft 6 in (33.99 m)[153]111 ft 6 in (33.99 m)[185]Wingspan115 ft (35 m)[185][186]Tail height29 ft 6 in (8.99 m)[185]Wing area2,015 sq ft (187.2 m2)[147]2,015 sq ft (187.2 m2)[147]2,015 sq ft (187.2 m2)[147]2,121 sq ft (197.0 m2)[185]AirfoilNACA 63A116 mod root, NACA 63A112 mod tip[187]Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW)110,000 lb (50,000 kg)[147]120,000 lb (54,000 kg)[147]150,000 lb (68,000 kg)[147]156,000 lb (71,000 kg)[185]Operating range (typical performance)1,500 mi (1,300 nmi; 2,400 km)[69]2,600 mi (2,300 nmi; 4,200 km)[186]2,700 mi (2,300 nmi; 4,300 km)[188]3,225 mi (2,802 nmi; 5,190 km)[183]Cruising speed740 km/h (400 kn; 460 mph)[147]790 km/h (430 kn; 490 mph)[186]840 km/h (450 kn; 520 mph)[186]840 km/h (450 kn; 520 mph)[189]Cruise altitude42,000 ft (13,000 m)[147]42,000 ft (13,000 m)[186]45,000 ft (14,000 m)[186]42,000 ft (13,000 m)[183]Powerplants (x 4)Halford H.2 Ghost 50 turbojets: 5,000 lbf (22,000 N)[147]Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 503/504 turbojets: 7,000 lbf (31,000 N)[147]Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 502/521 turbojets: 10,000 lbf (44,000 N)[153]Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 524 turbojets: 10,500 lbf (47,000 N)[189]Sources: Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1965''66,[183]De Havilland Aircraft since 1909,[190] and Flight International.[147][153][184][185][186][189]

[edit]See alsoComet 4B 3-view schematic (front, side, and dorsal views)

Comet 1 3-view in silhouette (note differences in Comet 4 insert, reproduced in same scale)

Other early jet-powered commercial aircraft

Related lists[edit]ReferencesNotes^Total of Comets in production: 114,[2] or 136 (when including refitting of original airframes and conversions).[3]^The Avro Tudor and Vickers VC.1 Viking, fitted with Rolls-Royce Nene turbojets, had flown earlier but were experimental models.^During the same era, both Lockheed with their Lockheed L-188 Electra and Vickers with the ground-breaking Vickers Viscount discounted the advantages of "pure" jet power to develop turboprop-powered airliners.[7]^The "Type IV" Specifications issued on 3 February 1943 provided for a "high-speed mail-carrying airliner, gas-turbine powered."[8]^From 1944 to 1946, the design group prepared submissions on a three-engined twin-boom design, a three-engined canard design with engines mounted in the rear, and a tailless design that featured a swept wing and four "podded" engines.[10]^The Ministry of Supply's order for DH 108s was listed as Operational Requirement OR207 to Specification E.18/45.[12]^BOAC's requested capacity increase was known as Specification 22/46.[6]^The wing was drastically redesigned from a 40ŤŻ sweep.[15]^The name "Comet", previously used by the de Havilland DH.88 racing aircraft, was revived.[17]^British South American Airways merged with BOAC in 1949.[6]^The fuselage sections and nose simulated a flight up to 70,000 ft at a temperature of -70ŤŻC, with 2,000 lb pressure applications at 9 lb pressure/square in.[14]^BOAC flight crew revelled in standing a pen on end and pointing that out to passengers; invariably, the pen remained upright throughout the entire flight.[35]^The Sud-Est SE 530/532/535 Mistral (FB 53) was a single-seat fighter-bomber version of the de Havilland Vampire jet fighter, used by L'Arm(C)e de l'Air.[46]^Fuselage alloys detailed in Directorate of Technical Development 564/L.73 and DTD 746C/L90.^The Avro Canada C102 Jetliner, for which it was coined, first used the term; "jetliner" later became a generic term for all jet airliners.[67]^Depending on weight and temperature, cruise fuel consumption was 6 to 10 kg per nautical mile, the higher figure being at the lower altitude needed at high weight.^The court acted under the provisions of Rule 75 of the Indian Aircraft Rules 1937.[90]^Cunningham: "[the Comet] flew extremely smoothly and responded to the controls in the best way de Havilland aircraft usually did."[94]^The Abell Committee, named after Chairman C. Abell, Deputy Operations Director (Engineering) of BOAC, consisted of representatives of the Allegation Review Board (A.R.B.), BOAC, and de Havilland.[98]^On 4 April, Lord Brabazon wrote to the Minister of Transport, "Although no definite reason for the accident has been established, modifications are being embodied to cover every possibility that imagination has suggested as a likely cause of the disaster. When these modifications are completed and have been satisfactorily flight tested, the Board sees no reason why passenger services should not be resumed."[99]^Hall: "In the light of known properties of the aluminium alloy D.T.D. 546 or 746 of which the skin was made and in accordance with the advice I received from my Assessors, I accept the conclusion of RAE that this is a sufficient explanation of the failure of the cabin skin of Yoke Uncle by fatigue after a small number, namely, 3,060 cycles of pressurisation."[114]^Avon-powered Comets were distinguished by larger air intakes and curved tailpipes that reduced the thermal effect on the rear fuselage.[148]^The 2R ELINT series was operational until 1974, when replaced by the Nimrod R1, the last Comet derivative in RAF service.[152]^The MoT subsequently backed BOAC's order of Conway-powered Boeing 707s.[160]Citations^ abcWalker 2000, p. 169.^ abLo Bao 1996, pp. 36''47.^Walker 2000, pp. 185''190.^"Great Airliners 11: de Havilland Comet".Flight, 14 March 1974. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^ abcTrischler and Helmuth 2003, p. 88.^ abcdefBirtles 1970, p. 124.^Kodera et al. 2010, p. 16.^Jones 2010, p. 60.^Jackson 1988, p. 453.^ abcJones 2010, p. 62.^ abTrischler and Helmuth 2003, p. 90.^ abWatkins 1996, p. 39.^Darling 2001, p. 11.^ abcdBirtles 1970, p. 125.^ abJones 2010, pp. 62''63.^ abcWinchester 2004, p. 109.^Jackson 1988, p. 356.^ abDarling 2001, p. 17.^ abcdeDarling 2001, p. 18.^"Tank Test Mk 2."Flight, 1955, pp. 958''959. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^ abcDavies and Birtles 1999, p. 30.^Dick and Patterson 2010, pp. 134''137.^Green and Swanborough April 1977, p. 174.^Prins 1998, p. 43.^Swanborough 1962, p. 45.^Gunn 1987, p. 268.^ abWalker 2000, p. 25.^ abcFrancis 1950, p. 99.^ abFrancis 1950, pp. 100''101.^Hill 2002, p. 27.^ abCookman, Aubery O. Jr. "Commute by Jet."Popular Mechanics, 93(4), April 1950, pp. 149''152.^Smith 2010. 30(4), pp. 489, 506.^Francis 1950, p. 98.^ abWalker 2000, p. 69.^Windsor-Liscombe, Rhodri. "Usual Culture: The Jet."Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies (Toronto: York University), Number 11, Spring 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^Francis 1950, p. 100.^Darling 2001, pp. 35''36.^ abDarling 2001, p. 36.^Abzug and Larrabee 2002, pp. 80''81.^Darling 2001, p. 2.^Darling 2001, pp. 16''17.^Darling 2001, p. 40.^Darling 2001, p. 45.^"F.R. equipment speeds refuelling."Flight, 11 May 1951. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^ abDarling 2001, pp. 40''41.^Watkins 1996, pp. 181''182.^Motem 1990, p. 143.^Darling 2001, p. 96.^ abc"Comet Engineering: The Performance of Airframe, Engines, and Equipment in Operational Service."Flight International, 1 May 1953, p. 551. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^"Comet Enters Service."Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. Retrieved 1 November 2010.^Moss, C. J. "Metal to Metal Bonding '' For Aircraft Structures: Claims of the Redux Process."Flight International, 8 February 1951, p. 169. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^Jefford 2001, pp. 123''125.^Birtles 1970, p. 132.^Jones 2010, p. 67.^Francis 1950, pp. 101''102.^Darling 2001, pp. 35, 46.^ abWithun 1976, p. 88.^Francis 1950, p. 103.^"Ghost engine."Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. Retrieved 1 November 2010.^Francis 1950, pp. 98''102.^Gunn 1987, p. 269.^ abWalker 2000, p. 190.^ abcdeDarling 2001, p. 33.^"Comet Gets Stronger Engines."Popular Science, 160(6), June 1952, p. 142.^Davies and Birtles 1999, p. 31.^Davies and Birtles 1999, p. 34.^Floyd 1986, p. 88.^ abMcNeil 2002, p. 39.^ ab"On This Day: Comet inaugurates the jet age."BBC News, 2 May 1952. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^"I Rode The First Jet Airliner."Popular Mechanics, July 1952, pp. 90''94. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^Jackson 1988, pp. 173''174.^Lane 1979, p. 205.^Davies and Birtles 1999, p. 22 (Route map illustration).^Schnaars 2002, p. 71.^ abSchnaars 2002, p. 70.^"Preludes and Overtures: de Havilland Comet 1".Flight, 4 September 1953. Retrieved 30 May 2012.^Darling 2001, p. 20.^Cacutt 1989, p. 146.^ abcDarling 2005, p. 119.^ abcdefghijklmnoRoach and Eastwood 1992, pp. 331''335.^ abDarling 2005, p. 128.^Proctor et al. 2010, p. 23.^Gunn 1987, pp. 268''270.^"Comet Accident Record."Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved: 22 September 2010.^"CF-CUN"Ed Coates' Civil Aircraft Photograph Collection. Retrieved: 18 February 2011.^ abcWithun 1976, p. 85.^Birtles 1970, p. 127.^Beaty 1984, pp. 113''114.^Darling 2005, p. 36.^ abcdWalker 2000, p. 37.^Lo Bao 1996, p. 7.^Job 1996, p. 14.^Darling 2001, p. 26.^ abcFaith 1996, pp. 63''64.^ abcdeWithey, P. A. "Fatigue Failure of the de Havilland Comet I."Engineering Failure Analysis, 4(2), June 1997, pp. 147''154. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^"B.O.A.C. Comet Lost: Services Suspended."Flight, January 1954, p. 58. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^Faith 1996, p. 66.^Keith 1997, p. 288.^ abcdeDarling 2001, pp. 28-30.^"Report of the Public Inquiry into the causes and circumstances of the accident which occurred on the 10 January 1954, to the Comet aircraft G-ALYP, Part IX (d)."geocities.com. Retrieved: 3 September 2010.^Job 1996, p. 11.^"Elba Accident Developments."Flight, January 1954, p. 108. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^"Report of the Public Inquiry into the causes and circumstances of the accident which occurred on the 10 January 1954, to the Comet aircraft G-ALYP, Part IX (c): Action taken after the accident and prior to the accident to Comet G-ALYY: Naval search for wreckage."geocities.com. Retrieved: 3 September 2010.^"Comet Failure."Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. Retrieved 1 November 2010.^Flight 29 October 1954, p. 652.^Birtles 1970, pp. 128''129.^ abDavies and Birtles 1999, pp. 30''31.^ abcdJones 2010, p. 68.^Atkinson et al. 1962, p. 9.^Atkinson et al. 1962, pp. 4, 6, 27.^ ab"Comet."RAF Museum. Retrieved 3 September 2010.^Withun 1976, p. 87.^"Summary: Aircraft Investigation." Aircraft Engineering, 37, 1965, p. 38.^Report of the Public Inquiry into the causes and circumstances of the accident which occurred on 10 January 1954, to the Comet aircraft G-ALYP, Part XI (a. 69).^ abLo Bao 1996, p. 11.^Swanborough 1962, pp. 47''48.^"Capital Comet." Canadian Aviation, 29(9-12), 1956, p. 51.^Walker 2000, pp. 187''188.^"De Hhavilland."Flightglobal.com, 18 November 1960. Retrieved 13 August 2012.^"The Comet's chance to shine."The New Scientist, 4(98), 2 October 1958, p. 940. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^Haddon-Cave 2009, p. 16.^Lo Bao 1996, p. 12.^Darling 2005, p. 114.^ abDavies and Birtles 1999, p. 62.^Jackson 1987, p. 459.^"Comet 4Cs for Mexicana."Flight International, 76, 6 November 1959, p. 491. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^Howard, Paul. "De Havilland DH.106 Comet 4C, OD-ADT, MEA '' Middle East Airlines."Air-Britain Photographic Images Collection. Retrieved 19 November 2010.^The Feb 1959 OAG shows eight transatlatic Comets a week out of London with 10 BOAC Britannias and 11 DC-7Cs. In April 1960, 13 Comets, 19 Britannias and 6 DC-7Cs. Comets quit flying the North Atlantic in October 1960 (but reportedly made a few flights in summer 1964).^Lo Bao 1996, p. 13.^"De Havilland - Post War", rafmuseum.org.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2012^Swanborough 1980, p. 35.^ abDarling 2001, p. 5.^Bibel 2008, p. 68.^Bibel 2008, pp. 115''116.^Faith 1996, p. 72.^"Obituary: Tony Fairbrother."The Times, 26 January 2005.^Ramsden, J.M."Jet Transport's Next 40 Years."Flight International, 29 July 1989. Retrieved: 2 May 2012.^Job 1996, p. 21.^Stroud 1968, p. 201.^Taylor 1996, p. 151.^Tegler 2000, p. 6.^Dennies 2005, p. 27.^"Last Comet 1."Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. Retrieved 1 November 2010.^ abcWalker 2000, p. 40.^Walker 2000, pp. 171''172.^ abcdJackson 1980, p. 175.^ abcdefghijklmn"Commercial Aircraft 1953: De Havilland Comet."Flight International, 6 March 1953. Retrieved 1 May 2012.^ abMunson 1967, p. 155.^ ab"Comet Service To South America Planned" (News). The Times, Saturday, Issue 52516, 10 January 1953, col G, p. 3.^Jackson 1987, p. 456.^ abcdSwanborough 1962, p. 48.^ abWalker 2000, p. 159.^ abcde"The New Comet."Flight International, 30 July 1954, p. 132. Retrieved 1 May 2012.^ abJackson 1987, p. 457.^ abBirtles 1970, p. 129.^Walker 2000, pp. 51''52.^Davies and Birtles 1999, p. 36.^ abHaddon-Cave 2009, p. 17.^Davies and Birtles 1999, p. 50.^ abWalker 2000, p. 62.^Haddon-Cave 2009, p. 19.^"Nimrod R1 makes final flight"Defence Management Journal, 28 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.^ abcDarling 2001, pp. 47-61.^Macfarlane, Ian. "De Havilland DH.106 Comet 4, G-APDJ, Air Ceylon."Air-Britain Photographic Images Collection. Retrieved 19 November 2010.^ ab"de Havilland D.H. 106 Comet Mk. 4C."Museum of Flight. Retrieved 2 November 2010.^Darling 2005, p. 117.^Darling 2005, p. 138.^Davies and Birtles 1999, p. 54.^Institution of Electrical Engineers 1978, p. 89.^ abc"de Havilland Comet hull-losses."Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved: 28 May 2012.^"ASN Aircraft accident de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4 G-APDN Sierra del Montseny". Aviation Safety Network, 28 May 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012.^ ab"de Havilland Comet 1A."Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. Retrieved 1 November 2010.^Kern, Brian. "DH106 Comet 1A: F-BGNX Fuselage Restoration."de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2 November 2010.^Barratt, Tristan p. "Gate Guardian Comet C2 Sagittarius '' XK699 '' RAF Lyneham."Flickr. Retrieved 2 November 2010.^ abAraujo, Ignacio. GB-High Wycombe: "Dismantlement and relocation of Gate Guardian Comet C2 XK699."Defence Equipment & Support. Retrieved 31 May 2012.^Oakey, Michael, ed. "Duxford's AirSpace opens". Aeroplane, Vol. 35, No. 9, September 2007.^"De Havilland Comet 4B airliner, serial no 6438, 1960."Science & Society Picture Library. Retrieved 2 November 2010.^"DeHavilland DH 106 Comet 4 C."luftfahrtmuseum.com. Retrieved 2 November 2010.^"emdjt42." "De Havilland Comet 4C G-BDIX Interior View Scottish Museum of Flight."Flickr. Retrieved 2 November 2010.^Soto, Ernesto Perales. "A treasure found!"Flickr. Retrieved 2 November 2010.^"De Havilland Comet XS235 G-CPDA Fast Taxi Run."youtube.com. Retrieved 2 November 2010.^ ab"Bruntingthorpe Aircraft Museum". Bruntingthorpe Aviation. Retrieved 2 June 2012.]^ abcdTaylor 1965, pp. 153''154.^ abFlight, 28 March 1958, pp. 422''423.^ abcdef"Comet 4C: More Payload on Medium Stages."Flight International, 15 November 1957, p. 764. Retrieved 1 May 2012.^ abcdefg"Transport Aircraft - 1955."Flight International, 11 March 1955, p. 337. Retrieved 1 May 2012.^Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage."UIUC Applied Aerodynamics Group, 15 September 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2012.^Darling 2001, p. 35.^ abc"The De Havilland Aircraft Co., Ltd."Flight International, 30 August 1957, p. 302. Retrieved 1 May 2012.^Jackson 1987, p. 464.BibliographyAbzug, Malcolm J. and Eugene Larrabee. Airplane Stability and Control: A History of the Technologies That Made Aviation Possible. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-80992-4.Antennas and Propagation, Part 1. London: Institution of Electrical Engineers, 1978. ISBN 0-85296-196-0.Atkinson, R. J., W. J. Winkworth and G. M. Norris. "Behaviour of Skin Fatigue Cracks at the Corners of Windows in a Comet I Fuselage."Ministry of Aviation via Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1962.Avrane, A. Sud Est Caravelle. London: Jane's Publishing, 1981. ISBN 0-7106-0044-5.Beaty, David. Strange Encounters: Mysteries of the Air. London: Atheneum, 1984. ISBN 978-0-689-11447-2.Bibel, George D. Beyond the Black Box: The Forensics of Airplane Crashes. Baltimore, Maryland: JHU Press, 2008. ISBN 0-8018-8631-7.Birtles, P.J. Classic Civil Aircraft 3: De Havilland Comet. Shepperton, UK: Ian Allen, 1990. ISBN 0-7110-1947-9.Birtles, P.J. "The de Havilland Comet Srs. 1''4." Aircraft in Profile, Volume 5. New York: Doubleday, 1970, First edition 1967.Cacutt, Len. The World's Greatest Aircraft. Devon, UK: Exeter Books, 1989. ISBN 0-7917-0011-9."The Comet Accidents: History of Events: Sir Lionel Heald's Introductory Summary at the Enquiry". Flight, 29 October 1954, pp. 652''654."Comet Resurgent: A decade of D.H. Jet Transport Design". Flight, 28 March 1958, pp. 420''425.Darling, Kev. De Havilland Comet. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2001. ISBN 1-58007-036-1.Darling, Kev. De Havilland Comet. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press, 2005. ISBN 1-86126-733-9.Davies, R.E.G. and Philip J. Birtles. Comet: The World's First Jet Airliner. McLean, Virginia: Paladwr Press, 1999. ISBN 1-888962-14-3.Dennies, Daniel P. How to Organize And Run a Failure Investigation. Materials Park, Ohio: ASM International, 2005. ISBN 0-87170-811-6.Dick, Ron and Dan Patterson. 50 Aircraft That Changed the World. Erin, Ontario, Canada: Boston Mills Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-55407-658-1.Faith, Nicholas. Black Box: Why Air Safety is no Accident, The Book Every Air Traveller Should Read. London: Boxtree, 1996. ISBN 0-7522-2118-3.Floyd, Jim. The Avro Canada C102 Jetliner. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press, 1986. ISBN 0-919783-66-X.Francis, Decon. "I Saw This Jet Liner Fly 500 m.p.h."Popular Science, 156(5), May 1950, pp. 98''104.Green, William and Gordon Swanborough, eds. "Jet Jubilee (Part 1)". Air International, Vol. 12, No. 3, March 1977, pp. 124''131 (Part 2); Air International, Vol. 12, No. 4, April 1977, pp. 171''180.Gunn, John. Challenging Horizons: Qantas 1939''1954. St Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 1987. ISBN 0-7022-2017-5.Haddon-Cave, Charles. The Nimrod Review: an Independent Review into the Broader Issues Surrounding the Loss of the RAF Nimrod MR2 Aircraft XV230 in Afghanistan in 2006. London: The Stationery Office, 2009.Hill, Malcolm L. "de Havilland's Comet: Pushing the Boundaries." Airliners, Volume 15, No. 4, July/August 2002.Jackson, A.J. British Civil Aircraft 1919''1972: Volume II. London: Putnam (Conway Maritime Press), 1988. ISBN 0-85177-813-5.Jackson, A.J. De Havilland Aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam, Third edition, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-802-X.Jefford, C.G., ed. The RAF and Nuclear Weapons, 1960-1998. London: Royal Air Force Historical Society, 2001.Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster: Volume 1. Fyshwick, Australian Capital Territory: Aerospace Publications, 1996. ISBN 1-875671-11-0.Jones, Barry. "Database: D.H. 016 Comet." Aeroplane, Volume 38, No. 4, Issue no. 444, April 2010.Keith, Ronald A. Bush Pilot with a Briefcase: The Incredible Story of Aviation Pioneer Grant McConachie. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd., 1997, First edition 1992. ISBN 978-1-55054-586-9.Kodera, Craig, Mike Machat and Jon Proctor. From Props to Jets: Commercial Aviation's Transition to the Jet Age 1952''1962. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-58007-146-8.Lane, Peter. The Queen Mother. London: Hale, 1979. ISBN 0-7091-7648-1.Lo Bao, Phil, ed. The de Havilland Comet (Airlines & Airliners). Middlesex, UK: The Aviation Data Centre Ltd., 1996.McNeil, Ian, ed. An Encyclopedia of the History of Technology. London: Routledge, 2002 (E-edition), First edition 1990. ISBN 0-203-19211-7.Motem, John, ed. "European Civil Background."The Putnam Aeronautical Review, Volume Three. London: Conway Maritime Press, 1990. ISBN 1-55750-676-0.Munson, Kenneth. Civil Airliners since 1946. London: Blandford Press, 1967.Painter, Martin. The DH. 106 Comet: An Illustrated History. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2002. ISBN 0-85130-330-7.Proctor, Jon, Mike Machat and Craig Kodera. From Props to Jets: Commercial Aviation's Transition to the Jet Age 1952''1962. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2010. ISBN 1-58007-146-5.Prins, Fran§ois. "World Beater: Homage to the DH. 106 Comet." Air Enthusiast, Issue 78, November/December 1998.Roach, J. R. and A. B. Eastwood. Jet Airliner Production List. West Drayton, UK: The Aviation Hobby Shop, 1992, ISBN 0-907178-43-X.Schnaars, Stephen P. Managing Imitation Strategies. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002. ISBN 0-7432-4265-3.Smith, Adrian. "The Dawn of the Jet Age in Austerity Britain: David Lean's The Sound Barrier". Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 2010. 30(4), pp. 487''514.Stewart, Stanley. Air Disasters. London: Arrow Books, 1989, First edition 1986. ISBN 0-09-956200-6.Stroud, John. Soviet Transport Aircraft since 1945. London: Putnam, 1968. ISBN ISBN 0-370-00126-5.Swanborough, F. G. Civil Aircraft of the World. London: C. Scribner's Sons, 1980. ISBN 0-684-12895-0.Swanborough, F. G. Turbine-engined Airliners of the World. London: Temple Press Books, 1962.Taylor, John W. R.Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1965''66. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1965.Taylor, John William Ransom. The Lore of Flight. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1996, First edition 1988. ISBN 0-7607-0364-7.Tegler, Jan. B-47 Stratojet: Boeing's Brilliant Bomber (Walter J. Boyne Military Aircraft Series). New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000. ISBN 0-07-135567-7.Trischler, Helmuth and Stefan Zeilinger, eds. Tackling Transport, Volume 3 (Artefacts Series: Studies in the History of Science and Technology). London: NMSI Trading Ltd, 2003. ISBN 1-900747-53-7.Walker, Timothy. The First Jet Airliner: The Story of the de Havilland Comet. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Scoval Publishing Ltd., 2000. ISBN 1-902236-05-X.Watkins, David. de Havilland Vampire: The Complete History. Thrupp, Stroud, UK: Budding Books, 1996. ISBN 1-84015-023-8.Winchester, Jim, ed. "De Havilland DH.106 Comet." Civil Aircraft (The Aviation Factfile). London: Grange Books plc, 2004. ISBN 1-84013-642-1.Withun, Bill. "Triumph, Tragedy and Triumph Again'... The Comet Story." Air Classics Airliner Special No. 2, Summer 1976.[edit]External links

Hillary platic surgery?

Benghazi penalties are bogus - m.NYPOST.com

The four officials supposedly out of jobs because of their blunders in the run-up to the deadly Benghazi terror attack remain on the State Department payroll -- and will all be back to work soon, The Post has learned.

The highest-ranking official caught up in the scandal, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Boswell, has not "resigned" from government service, as officials said last week. He is just switching desks. And the other three are simply on administrative leave and are expected back.

EUROLand

Eurozone crisis live: Monti and Berlusconi set for election battle

Link to Article

Source: The Guardian World News

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 11:16

Today's Financial Times.Good morning, and welcome back to our rolling coverage of the eurozone financial crisis - and other events across the world economy as we edge nearer to the end of 2012.

With Boxing Day behind us, a meaty scrap is underway in Italy. Having resigned as Italian prime minister, Mario Monti is holding negotiations that could see him stay on as PM after next February's elections.

Monti is expected to meet with prospective coalition partners today to discuss electoral strategy, and 'candidate lists' for the upcoming election.

He published his agenda for Italy last weekend -- the big question for Italy (and arguably the eurozone too) is whether he will rally enough support for a credible election bid.

The Financial Times believes Monti is gearing up for a clash with his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, reporting this morning that:

Italy's centrist politicians are rallying behind Mario Monti's offer to lead an alliance into elections in February, setting the stage for a confrontation with Silvio Berlusconi in his attempt to return to power.

adding:

His decision to seek a second stint as prime minister, while not yet official, could lead to an even more fragmented parliament than had been expected. It injects a fourth element into a battle between the centre-left Democrats, Mr Berlusconi's centre-right People of Liberty and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.

And Berlusconi's party has already hit back, accusing Monti of mishandling the Italian economy over the last 13 months.

As PDL member Anna Maria Bernini put it:

It is shocking to see how a man can present himself as a saviour after bringing the country to recession, taking all the merit (for successes) and attributing all the disasters to others.

So it's looking like a tasty battle, which will play a significant part in Europe's fortunes in 2013.

I'll be tracking the developments in Italy, and beyond, through the day....

Elite$

Sam Donaldson charged with DUI in Delaware | Fox News

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Wed, 26 Dec 2012 22:50

In this Sept. 5, 2012 file photo, Sam Donaldson is seen on the floor at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.AP

ABC News veteran and former correspondent Sam Donaldson is facing a drunken driving charge in Delaware.

Police in the southern coastal town of Lewes say the 78-year-old Donaldson was stopped Dec. 1 for a traffic violation. Police say the officer determined Donaldson had been drinking and gave him field sobriety tests.

Donaldson was arrested and later released. An arraignment is set for Friday.

A phone call to Donaldson's home in McLean, Va., on Wednesday was not immediately returned. McLean is about 110 miles west of Lewes.

Donaldson was twice chief White House correspondent for ABC News, covering Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He also co-hosted "PrimeTime Live" with Diane Sawyer and the ABC News Sunday morning broadcast "This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts."

Keep Piers Morgan in the USA | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

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Wed, 26 Dec 2012 21:58

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Take your meds slave!

New York's Mental Health System Thrashed by Services Lost to Storm - NYTimes.com

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Wed, 26 Dec 2012 22:03

Marcus Yam for The New York Times

Dr. Richard Rosenthal of Continuum Health Partners, which owns Beth Israel, Roosevelt and St. Luke's hospitals, said he noticed more mentally ill people in the streets now than he had in years.

When a young woman in the grip of paranoid delusions threatened a neighbor with a meat cleaver one Saturday last month, the police took her by ambulance to the nearest psychiatric emergency room. Or rather, they took her to Beth Israel Medical Center, the only comprehensive psychiatric E.R. functioning in Lower Manhattan since Hurricane Sandy shrank and strained New York City's mental health resources.

The case was one of 9,548 ''emotionally disturbed person'' calls that the Police Department answered in November, and one of the 2,848 that resulted in transportation to a hospital, a small increase over a year earlier. But the woman was discharged within hours, to the shock of the mental health professionals who had called the police. It took four more days, and strong protests from her psychiatrist and caseworkers, to get her admitted for two weeks of inpatient treatment, said Tony Lee, who works for Community Access, a nonprofit agency that provides supportive housing to people with mental illness, managing the Lower East Side apartment building where she lives.

Psychiatric hospital admission is always a judgment call. But in the city, according to hospital records and interviews with psychiatrists and veteran advocates of community care, the odds of securing mental health treatment in a crisis have worsened significantly since Hurricane Sandy. The storm's surge knocked out several of the city's largest psychiatric hospitals, disrupted outpatient services and flooded scores of coastal nursing homes and ''adult homes'' where many mentally ill people had found housing of last resort.

One of the most affected hospitals, Beth Israel, recorded a 69 percent spike in psychiatric emergency room cases last month, with its inpatient slots overflowing. Instead of admitting more than one out of three such cases, as it did in November 2011, it admitted only one out of four of the 691 emergency arrivals this November, records show. Capacity was so overtaxed that ambulances had to be diverted to other hospitals 15 times in the month, almost double the rate last year, in periods typically lasting for eight hours, officials said.

Dr. Richard Rosenthal, physician in chief of behavioral services for Continuum Health Partners, Beth Israel's parent organization, said he was proud of how much Continuum's hospitals had done to handle psychiatric overflow since storm damage shuttered Bellevue Hospital Center, the city's flagship public hospital; NYU Langone Medical Center; and the Veterans Affairs Hospital. But these days, he said, as he walks on Amsterdam Avenue between Continuum's Roosevelt hospital on West 59th Street and its St. Luke's hospital on West 114th Street, he notices more mentally ill people in the streets than he has seen in years.

''When you have the most vulnerable folks, all you need is one chink in the system and you lose them,'' Dr. Rosenthal said. ''Whether they lost their housing, or the outpatient services they usually go to were closed and they were lost to follow-up, they have become disconnected, with predictable results.''

Similar patterns are playing out in Brooklyn, where Maimonides Medical Center has been overwhelmed with mental health emergencies from the Coney Island vicinity since Coney Island Hospital, one of the city's largest acute care psychiatric hospitals, suspended operations, hospital officials said.

''Triage has reached a different level: You have to get sicker to get in,'' said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the chairman of psychiatry at Maimonides, citing a 56 percent increase in psychiatric emergency room visits there from Oct. 26 to Dec. 7, compared with the same period last year, and a 24 percent rise in admissions. The increase in admissions was possible only with emergency permission from the state to exceed licensed limits.

''Not only is there decreased capacity, because Bellevue and Coney Island are off line,'' Dr. Kolodny added, ''but there's increased demand because the storm or the loss of their residence has been a stressor for mental illness.''

The storm battered a mental health system that still relies heavily on private nursing homes and substandard adult homes to house people with mental illness. Such institutions have a sordid history of neglect and exploitation, and the courts have repeatedly found their overuse by the state isolates thousands of people in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Plans are under way to increase supportive housing '-- dwellings where mentally ill people can live relatively independently, with support services. But even before Hurricane Sandy, the expansion fell far short of demand.

The storm underscored the fragility of the system. Many disabled evacuees who were sent first to makeshift school shelters lost access to the psychiatric medications that kept their symptoms at bay, Dr. Kolodny said. Even those lucky enough to have the drugs they need are at greater risk of relapse as they experience crowded living conditions. ''If they're now sleeping in a gym with 100 people, that can tip them over the edge and start making them really paranoid,'' he said.

On Staten Island, where the chief of psychiatry at Richmond University Medical Center says psychiatric resources have been stretched to the limit, clergy members report that mentally ill people transferred to a large adult home in New Brighton from one that was washed away in Far Rockaway, Queens, are now showing up at church rectories, begging for socks and underwear.

''It's heartbreaking, because they just found us by chance,'' said Margaret Moschetto, a missionary at the Church of Assumption-St. Paul in New Brighton. ''They were just walking around the neighborhood. They really didn't know where they were.''

Ana Marengo, a spokeswoman for the Health and Hospitals Corporation, which operates city's public hospitals, would not answer questions about where emotionally disturbed people were being taken for evaluation in the absence of Bellevue and Coney Island, which were not expected to reopen before February. Nor would she say where the city had transferred hundreds of psychiatric patients when the two hospitals were evacuated, or how many outpatients had been lost to follow-up.

Fiscal Cliff

Turbo Timmy: U.S. Will Hit Debt Limit New Year's Eve'...

Link to Article

Source: Weasel Zippers

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 09:19

Via Politico:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned Congress on Wednesday that the nation will hit its debt ceiling on New Year's Eve '-- but that the administration will again take a series of so-called ''extraordinary measures'' to hold off default.

In a letter released Wednesday, Geithner said the extraordinary measures by the Treasury Department will give the government about $200 billion of breathing room, which would give thenation about two more months until it defaults on its legal obligations.

Shut Up Slave!

Federal Register | Control of Communicable Diseases: Interstate; Scope and Definitions

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 22:14

In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing to update the definitions for interstate quarantine regulations to reflect modern terminology and plain language used by private industry and public health partners. These updates will not affect current practices. As part of the update, we are updating two existing definitions and adding eight new definitions to clarify existing provisions, as well as updating regulations to reflect the most recent Executive Order addressing quarantinable communicable diseases.

Submit written or electronic comments by January 25, 2013.

You may submit comments, identified by ''RIN 0920-AA22'': By any of the following methods:

Internet: Access the Federal e-rulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.Mail: Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-03, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, ATTN: Part 70 NPRM.Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. All relevant comments will be posted without change to http://regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the ''Public Participation'' heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, please go to http://www.regulations.gov. Comments will be available for public inspection Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Eastern Time, at 1600 Clifton Road NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30333. Please call ahead to 1-866-694-4867 and ask for a representative in the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) to schedule your visit. To download an electronic version of the rule, access http://www.regulations.gov.

For questions concerning this notice of proposed rulemaking: Ashley A. Marrone, JD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop E-03, Atlanta, Georgia 30333; telephone 404-498-1600.

HHS/CDC is simultaneously publishing a companion direct final rule (DFR) in the Federal Register that proposes identical updates because we believe that these requirements are non-controversial and unlikely to generate significant adverse comment. If HHS/CDC does not receive any significant adverse comments on the DFR within the specified comment period, we will publish a document in the Federal Register withdrawing this NPRM and confirming the effective date of the DFR within 30 days after the comment period on the DFR ends. If HHS/CDC receives any timely significant adverse comment, we will withdraw the DFR in part or in whole by publication of a document in the Federal Register within 30 days after the comment period. HHS/CDC will carefully consider all public comments received before proceeding with any subsequent final rule based on the NPRM. A significant adverse comment is one that explains: (1) Why the DFR is inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach; or (2) why the DFR will be ineffective or unacceptable without a change.

This preamble is organized as follows:

Interested persons are invited to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written views, opinions, recommendations, and data. Comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Do not include any information in your comment or supporting materials that you do not wish to be disclosed publicly. Comments are invited on any topic related to this NPRM.

The primary authority supporting this rulemaking is section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 264). Section 361 authorizes the Secretary of HHS to make and enforce regulations as in the Secretary's judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the states or possessions of the United States and from one state or possession into any other state or possession. Regulations that implement federal quarantine authority are currently promulgated in 42 CFR Parts 70 and 71. Part 71 contains regulations to prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases into the states and possessions of the United States, while Part 70 contains regulations to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from one state into another. The Secretary has delegated to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the authority for implementing these regulations.

Authority for carrying out most of these functions has been delegated to HHS/CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ). The Secretary's authority to apprehend, examine, detain, and conditionally release individuals is limited to those quarantinable communicable diseases published in an Executive Order of the President. This list currently includes cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis (TB), plague, smallpox, yellow fever, and viral hemorrhagic fevers, such as Marburg, Ebola, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and influenza caused by novel or re-emergent influenza viruses that are causing or have the potential to cause a pandemic (see Executive Order 13295, as amended by Executive Order 13375 on April 1, 2005).

Regulations that implement federal authority for interstate quarantine are currently promulgated in 42 CFR part 70. The Secretary of HHS has delegated to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the authority for implementing 42 CFR part 70.

Through this NPRM, HHS/CDC proposes to update the Definitions for 42 CFR part 70, under section 70.1, to reflect modern terminology and plain language commonly used by private sector industry and public health partners, as well as clarify the intent of the provisions that follow. Specifically, we are proposing to update two existing definitions, add eight new definitions to clarify existing provisions, and update 70.6 to reflect the language of the most recent Executive Order concerning quarantinable communicable diseases.

Section 70.1 (b) contains the definitions used in this NPRM. The NPRM proposes new or updated definitions to be consistent with modern quarantine concepts and current medical and public health principles and practice. Table 1 lists the current definitions found in the 42 CFR part 70 and the definitions proposed in this NPRM.

Table 1'--Definitions and Corresponding Changes in Definitions in the Final Rule Back to TopExisting definitions in 42 CFR Part 70Corresponding, new or updated definition in NPRMCDC.Communicable diseasesNo Change.Communicable periodNo Change.Conditional release.ConveyanceNo Change.Director.Incubation periodNo Change.Interstate trafficNo Change.Isolation.Master or Operator.PossessionUpdated.Quarantine.Quarantinable communicable disease.StateUpdated.U.S. Territory.VesselNo Change.A. Definitions Updated Under Section 70.1Possession. To best add clarity to Part 70, we propose to update the term ''possession'' to mean ''U.S. Territory'' and propose to define U.S. Territory to include American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Currently, only Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are explicitly listed in the definition. Thus, CDC is updating this provision to explicitly list the other U.S. jurisdictions to which this part applies.

State. To best add clarity to the regulations of Part 70, specifically where roles and responsibilities are outlined, we propose to include a definition of ''state'' to mean any of the 50 states within the United States, plus the District of Columbia.

B. Definitions Added to Part 70.1CDC. We proposed to define ''CDC'' to mean the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the Department of Health and Human Services to clarify the provisions under Part 70.

Conditional release. We propose to define ''conditional release'' to have the same meaning as ''surveillance,'' as that term is defined in the NPRM for updates to 42 CFR § 71.1. We have included this definition to best add clarity to the provisions and practices under Part 70, specifically section 70.6 as well as ensure that conditional release and surveillance are both used consistently in both Parts 70 and 71.

Director. To clarify the provisions under Part 70, we propose to define ''Director'' to mean the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, or another authorized representative as approved by the CDC Director or the Secretary of HHS.

Isolation. We are proposing to separately define ''isolation'' as the separation of an individual or group reasonably believed to be infected with a quarantinable communicable disease from those who are healthy to prevent the spread of the quarantinable communicable disease. This NPRM clarifies the distinction between quarantine and isolation by separately defining ''quarantine'' and ''isolation'' to distinguish these common public health measures. Isolation as currently used in 42 CFR 71.1 applies to both persons and groups of persons. Thus, CDC is changing the definition in Part 70 so that the term is used consistently in both Part 70 and 71. Applying isolation measures to groups of individuals is consistent with CDC's current practice and does not constitute a substantive change.

''Master'' or ''Operator''. We are proposing to define ''Master'' or ''Operator'' as the aircrew or sea crew member with responsibility respectively for aircraft or vessel operation and navigation or a similar individual with responsibility for a conveyance. We have included this definition to better identify and assign responsibilities under this subpart (according to current practices).

Quarantine. We are proposing to define ''quarantine'' as the separation of an individual or group reasonably believed to have been exposed to a quarantinable communicable disease, but who is not yet ill, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the quarantinable communicable disease. In this NPRM, HHS/CDC is separately defining quarantine and isolation to distinguish these common public health measures. Applying quarantine measures to groups of individuals is consistent with HHS/CDC's current practice and does not constitute a substantive change.

Quarantinable communicable disease. Under the proposed definition, ''quarantinable communicable disease'' means any of the communicable diseases listed in an Executive Order, as provided under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 264). Executive Order 13295, of April 4, 2003, as amended by Executive Order 13375 of April 1, 2005, contains the current revised list of quarantinable communicable diseases, and may be found at http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine and in the docket as supplemental documents. If this Executive Order is amended, HHS/CDC will enforce the amended order immediately and update its Web site. The proposed definition for ''quarantinable communicable disease'' is being added to Part 70 through this NPRM to reflect the most recent Executive Order regarding quarantinable communicable diseases. This addition does not reflect a substantive change from current practice.

U.S. Territory. We are proposing to define ''U.S. Territory'' to mean any territory (also known as possessions) of the United States including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs, the federal government's cognizant agency for U.S. territories, no longer uses the term ''possession'' to refer to these jurisdictions. Consequently, HHS/CDC is adding a new definition for U.S. territory consistent with current federal usage.

Section 70.6, Apprehension and detention of persons with specific diseases, contains the general authority for the Director to take measures with respect to persons to protect the public's health against the spread of communicable diseases ''listed in an Executive Order setting out a list of quarantinable communicable diseases, as provided under section 361(b) of the Public Health Service Act.'' The current section 71.32(a) lists Executive Order 13295, of April 4, 2003. The subpart states that ''If this Order is amended, HHS will enforce that amended order.'' On April 1, 2005, this Executive Order was amended by Executive Order 13375. Therefore, as part of the non-controversial changes in this NPRM, we are also proposing to update section 70.6 to reflect the most recent amendment to the Executive Order which lists the ''quarantinable communicable disease,'' which we have also defined. These proposed changes are not substantive and will not affect current practices.

Under Executive Order 13563 agencies are asked to consider all feasible alternatives to current practice and the rule as proposed. HHS/CDC notes that the main impact of this proposed rule is to update current definitions and clarify language in the current regulation to reflect modern terminology and plain language commonly used by global private sector industry and public health partners. The intent of these updates is to clarify the provisions of the existing regulation to help the regulated community comply with current regulation and protect public health. HHS/CDC believes that this rulemaking complies with the spirit of the Executive Order; updating current definitions, clarifying language, and updating the referenced Executive Order provides good alternatives to the current regulation.

A. Required Regulatory Analyses Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563Under Executive Order 12866 (EO 12866), Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) HHS/CDC is required to determine whether this regulatory action would be ''significant'' and therefore subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the requirements of the Executive Orders. This order defines ''significant regulatory action'' as any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may:

Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or state, local, or tribal governments or communities;Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients; or,Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in EO 12866.Executive Order 13563 (EO 13563), Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), updates some of the provisions of EO 12866 in order to promote more streamlined regulatory actions. This EO charges, in part, that, while protecting ''public health, welfare, safety, and our environment'' that regulations must also ''promote predictability and reduce uncertainty'' in order to promote economic growth. Further, regulations must be written in common language and be easy to understand. In the spirit of EO 13563, we propose to enhance definitions related to the control of communicable diseases and add more current medical terminology where appropriate.

HHS/CDC has determined that this NPRM is simply an update and clarification of definitions and terms used in the current regulation. As such, the NPRPM complies with the spirit of EO 13563. Further, HHS/CDC has determined that this NPRM is not a significant regulatory action as defined in EO 12866 because the NPRM is definitional and does not change the baseline costs for any of the primary stakeholders.

B. Regulatory Flexibility ActWe have examined the impacts of the rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612). Unless we certify that the rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), requires agencies to analyze regulatory options that would minimize any significant economic impact of a rule on small entities. We certify that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the RFA.

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996This proposed rule is not a major rule as defined by Sec. 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in cost or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

D. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995HHS/CDC has already determined that the Paperwork Reduction Act applies to the data collection and record keeping requirements of 42 CFR Part 70 and has obtained approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to collect data and require record keeping under OMB Control No. 0920-0488, expiration 03/31/2013. The changes proposed in this rule do not impact the data collection or record keeping requirements and do not require revision to the approval from OMB.

E. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)Pursuant to 48 FR 9374 (list of HHS/CDC program actions that are categorically excluded from the NEPA environmental review process), HHS/CDC has determined that this action does not qualify for a categorical exclusion. In the absence of an applicable categorical exclusion, the Director, CDC, has determined that provisions proposing to amending 42 CFR Part 70 will not have a significant impact on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

F. Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under this rule: (1) All state and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

G. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)HHS/CDC has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with Executive Order 13132 regarding Federalism, and has determined that it does not have ''federalism implications.'' The proposed rule does not ''have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.''

H. Plain Language Act of 2010Under Public Law 111-274 (October 13, 2010), executive Departments and Agencies are required to use plain language in documents that explain to the public how to comply with a requirement the Federal Government administers or enforces. HHS/CDC has attempted to use plain language in promulgating this rule consistent with the Federal Plain Writing Act and requests public comment on this effort.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proposes to amend 42 CFR part 70 as follows:

begin regulatory text

1. The authority citation for part 70 continues to read as follows:

Authority:Secs. 215 and 311 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 216, 243); section 361-369, PHS Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 264-272); 31 U.S.C. 9701.

2. Amend § 70.1 as follows:

a. Remove paragraph designations (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g).

b. Add in alphabetical order definitions of CDC, Conditional release, Director, Isolation, Master or Operator, Quarantine, Quarantinable communicable disease, and U.S. Territory.

c. Revise the definitions of Possession and State. The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 70.1 General definitions.* * * * *

CDC means the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.

* * * * *

Conditional release means ''surveillance'' as that term is defined in 42 CFR 71.1.

* * * * *

Director means the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, or another authorized representative as approved by the CDC Director or the Secretary of HHS.

* * * * *

Isolation means the separation of an individual or group reasonably believed to be infected with a quarantinable communicable disease from those who are healthy to prevent the spread of the quarantinable communicable disease.

Master or Operator means the aircrew or sea crew member with responsibility respectively for aircraft or vessel operation and navigation, or a similar individual with responsibility for a conveyance.

Possession means U.S. Territory.

Quarantine means the separation of an individual or group reasonably believed to have been exposed to a quarantinable communicable disease, but who are not yet ill, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the quarantinable communicable disease.

Quarantinable communicable disease means any of the communicable diseases listed in an Executive Order, as provided under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act. Executive Order 13295, of April 4, 2003, as amended by Executive Order 13375 of April 1, 2005, contains the current revised list of quarantinable communicable diseases, and may be obtained at http://www.cdc.gov and http://www.archives.gov/federal_register. If this Order is amended, HHS will enforce that amended order immediately and update that Web site.

State means any of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

U.S. Territory means any territory (also known as possessions) of the United States, including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

* * * * *

3. Revise § 70.6 to read as follows:

§ 70.6 Apprehension and detention of persons with specific diseases.Regulations prescribed in this part authorize the detention, isolation, quarantine, or conditional release of individuals, for the purpose of preventing the introduction, transmission, and spread of the communicable diseases listed in an Executive Order setting out a list of quarantinable communicable diseases, as provided under section 361(b) of the Public Health Service Act. Executive Order 13295, of April 4, 2003, as amended by Executive Order 13375 of April 1, 2005, contains the current revised list of quarantinable communicable diseases, and may be obtained at http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine and http://www.archives.gov/federal_register. If this Order is amended, HHS will enforce that amended order immediately and update its Web site.

Dated: December 13, 2012.

Kathleen Sebelius,

Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 2012-30726 Filed 12-21-12; 4:15 pm]

BILLING CODE 4163-18-P

Syria

'Sarin-like gas' kills 7 in Homs

Link to Article

Source: ynet - News

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 09:24

Opposition activists tell Al-Jazeera poisonous gas sprayed by Assad's forces in Homs neighborhood; German weekly says elite Israeli, American, French units operating deep in Syria to take control of chemical arms arsenals Ynet

Seven people were killed in Homs' rebel-held neighborhood of al-Bayyada when they inhaled a poisonous gas sprayed by Syrian Army forces, opposition activists told Al-Jazeera early Monday.

According to the activists, scores of others suffered from side effects, including nausea, relaxed muscles, blurred vision, and breathing difficulties.

Related articles:

Residents said they did not know the nature of the gas sprayed.

"The situation is very difficult. We do not have enough facemasks. We don't know what this gas is but medics are saying it's something similar to Sarin gas," Raji Rahmet Rabbou, an activist in Homs, told Al Jazeera.

In a video posted online a man who inhaled the gas said, "I felt something within a few seconds. I felt my throat block up as I tried to breathe. I couldn't see; I was blinded. I felt that my muscles were relaxed. I was paralyzed. People had to carry me here."

Meanwhile, the online edition of the German weekly Focus reported Sunday that elite soldiers from foreign armies are operating deep within Syrian territory in an effort to take control of the country's chemical arsenals.

According to the report, which is based on information from a NATO officer, soldiers from the IDF's Sayeret Matkal and elite French and American forces are working to prevent armed insurgent groups "with a strong presence of Islamic radicals" from seizing the dangerous substances in the event that the Syrian government collapses.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Syrian authorities are unlikely to use chemical weapons as it would be a "political suicide" for them.

"I don't believe Syria would use chemical weapons. It would be a political suicide for the government if it does," he said in an interview with the RT television network.

On Sunday opposition activists reported that dozens of people were killed and wounded in an air strike on a bakery in Syria's central Hama province, with some reporting up to 200 dead.

"There is no way to really know yet how many people were killed. When I got there, I could see piles of bodies all over the ground. There were women and children," said Samer al-Hamawi, an activist in the town of Halfaya, where the strike hit. "There are also dozens of wounded people."

Halfaya was seized by rebels last week as part of a campaign to push into new territories in the 21-month-old revolt against President Bashar Assad.

VIDEO-Report: Assad Uses Nerve Gas Against Syrian Rebels In Homs'... | Weasel Zippers

Link to Article

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 09:10

If true, Obama would have no choice but to intervene militarily thanks to his ''red line'' talk, right?

Via Al Jazeera:

This video shows medics in a besieged area in Homs city trying to help a person struggling to breath. They say he inhaled poisonous gas sprayed by regime forces in the rebel-held al-Bayada neighbourhood.

Al Jazeera cannot independently verify the accounts given by him.

HT: Nickarama

Egypt

Iran Congratulates Egypt For Approving Sharia-Based Constitution'...

Link to Article

Source: Weasel Zippers

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 21:27

Via Egypt Independent:

Iran has welcomed the early results of Egypt's constitutional referendum, which indicate that the draft constitution backed by Islamists is likely to be approved.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran considers the constitution a crucial step toward democracy in Egypt, according to Iranian Students' News Agency.

Diplomatic relations between Tehran and Cairo were cut in 1980 following Iran's Islamic Revolution, largely due to the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel in 1979.

Tehran has expressed a desire to exchange ambassadors with Egypt since the election of President Mohamed Morsy, but this has not yet occurred.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Claims Victory For Sharia-Based Constitution In Final Round Of Voting'...

Link to Article

Source: Weasel Zippers

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 09:20

Egypt now officially an Islamic state.

(RT) '-- Egypt's new Sharia-based constitution has been approved in a second round of voting, the ruling Muslim Brotherhood party said. The country's opposition leveled accusations of fraud, saying it will appeal the referendum results.

The new charter was approved by 64 percent of Egyptian voters in a ''resounding victory,'' state news agency al-Ahram reported on Sunday. The preliminary tallies were calculated from reports by polling station officials. Egypt's election committee will confirm the final results on Monday.

Egypt's main opposition party the National Salvation Front (NSF) announced Sunday it will appeal the results of the referendum. NSF members alleged there were multiple instances of ''fraud and violations'' during the voting process.

''The referendum is not the end of the road. It is only one battle,'' the NSF's Abdel Ghaffer Shokr said, pledging to continue ''the fight for the Egyptian people.''

The opposition has asked the electoral commission to ''investigate the irregularities'' before the vote's official results are announced on Monday.

''They've seen a number of instances of possible vote rigging, including unsupervised polling stations, missing ballot papers, stuffed ballot boxes,'' Cairo-based journalist Bel Trew told RT. There were also reports of Salafist groups at polling stations coercing people into voting 'yes' on the new document, Trew said.

Keep reading'...

HT: DRUDGE

Internet Freedom

Victory for the tabloids! Online porn to be filtered by default in UK

Link to Article

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 21:24

Save the children! UK Prime Minister David Cameron wants porn filters to come on, by default, in any British houses that have children in them.

"A silent attack on innocence is underway in our country today, and I am determined that we fight it with all we've got," wrote Cameron in today's Daily Mail.

The system Cameron promises will be in the works by February, when British ISPs will have to present plans for how they will present the filter options. Every owner of a new computer will be asked when they log in through their Internet service provider if they have children in the house. If they answer yes, it will immediately prompt them to set up filters blocking content, individual sites, or restricting access at particular times of day, according to the Mail.

If those options just get clicked through rapidly, filters that keep out porn and "self-harm" sites will be "on" by default.

Cameron's pledge seems to be a response to a vocal campaign by the Daily Mail, a century-old British tabloid with a daily readership of more than four million. The newspaper has been pressuring British politicians to filter Internet porn for most of this year, with screaming headlines like "Children Grow Up Addicted to Online Porn Sites," "How Internet Porn Turned My Beautiful Boy Into A Hollow, Self-Hating Shell," and "Online Porn 'Is Turning Children Into Sex Attackers'."

A headline in the same newspaper earlier this week trumpeted a study allegedly showing that online porn "can make you lose your memory."

The newspaper is taking credit for the announcement as well. Today's Daily Mail accompanied Cameron's essay about the new "filter by default" policy with a headline crowing: "Victory for the Mail! Children WILL be protected..."

Cameron's promise to filter Internet traffic by default replaces an earlier suggestion in which, rather than prompt parents to set up filters, the filters were simply already turned on. "All the evidence suggests that wouldn't work very well in practice," said Cameron. He gave the example of one parent who tried to access things like TV stations on demand, but found they were blocked as well. These "blanket filters" will just get turned off, he said.

That automatic block was rejected by Cameron's ministers earlier this week. Opposition politicians accused the government of "bow[ing] to pressure from the Internet industry, which is opposed to restrictions on the lucrative porn sector," as reported in the Daily Mail. "The fight MUST go on: Furious charities hit out after ministers refuse to order an automatic block on Internet filth," read the headline.

Conservative Member of Parliament Claire Perry will take charge of making sure the system gets implemented. She said the age checks would probably involve using credit card numbers and electoral rolls to make sure kids can't get around the new system.

The UK proposal is reminiscent of the years-long effort to install porn filtering by default in Australia. That plan was finally abandoned in November.

"All this comes back to something really important. It's not just about the Internet, or modern technology''it's about childhood," Cameron concluded in his announcement today. "These should be distinct and precious years, full of security and love, untainted by the worries and complexities of adulthood."

Joe Mullin / Joe Mullin has covered the intersection of law and technology '-- including the world's biggest copyright and patent battles '-- for a number of years, mostly at The American Lawyer.

2TTH

SEAL Team 4 commander fired - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Link to Article

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 08:38

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/11/navy_seal_fired_112509w/

By Mark D. Faram - Staff writerPosted : Wednesday Nov 25, 2009 14:08:24 EST

NORFOLK, Va. '-- The commanding officer of SEAL Team 4 was fired Wednesday after five months in command, a Navy spokesman said.

Cmdr. Dennis Debobes was fired because of loss of confidence in ''his ability to perform his duties,'' said Lt. j.g. Arlo Abrahamson, spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2. The relief was carried out by Capt. Colin Kilrain, commander of Group 2. The team is based at Little Creek, Va.

''The relief is not related to any specific incident or issue, and there is no pending disciplinary action,'' Abrahamson said. ''He has been assigned duties at another command within Naval Special Warfare.''

As yet, no one has been appointed to succeed Debobes at Team 4, but Abrahamson said another SEAL commander would be named as an interim commander in the next few days until a permanent relief can be found.

''Commanding officers in the Navy are held to a very high standard,'' Abrahamson said. ''When an immediate superior in command feels their trust and confidence has been compromised, it is that commander's duty to act accordingly and relieve the officer of their position of command and influence.''

According to a news story released by the Navy in June, Debobes graduated from Northwestern University in 1992 and completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in August 1993. He arrived at SEAL Team 4 on June 19 after serving on the staff of the chief of naval personnel.

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Drone Nation

Revealed: U.S. carried out 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan this year alone - more than the entire drone strikes in Pakistan over the past eight years COMBINED | Mail Online

Link to Article

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 08:44

U.S. carried out 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2012, report says, up from 294 in 2011Controversial method of fighting uses remote pilots to operate aircraftsBy Beth Stebner

PUBLISHED: 20:00 EST, 20 December 2012 | UPDATED: 20:00 EST, 20 December 2012

The United States carried out more drone strikes in Afghanistan this year than it has done in all the years put together in Pakistan since it launched the covert air war there eight years ago, it has been revealed.

The statistics, published by the U.S. Air Force and published by Wired's Danger Room blog, show that there were 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2012 alone, up from 294 in the previous year and 278 in 2010.

It is far more than an estimated 338 strikes carried out by the CIA in Pakistan since it began hunting down remnants of al Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas eight years ago.

The U.S. carried out more drone strikes in Afghanistan this year than it has done in all the years put together in Pakistan since it launched the air war there eight years ago

The U.S. Air Force supplied information of drone strikes shows a sharp increase from 2011 to 2012

All of these strikes, Wired notes, are occurring during a time when U.S. troops are thinning out their presence in Afghanistan and the war is winding down.

The incredible use of remotely-piloted drones mark a new way of fighting the war in Afghanistan as the forces left behind depend more and more on these weapons.

According to the military report, there was an average of 33 drone strikes per month in 2012, up from an average of 24.5 the year before.

Earlier this month, Congress held a rare hearing to address the use of unmanned drones as a means of killing, asking for transparency from the White House where the program is involved.

According to the Huffington Post, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) helmed the House Judiciary Committee demanding all confidential White House documents on drone strikes carried out.

The measure was instantly dismissed.

The Predator aircrafts which can loiter in an area for as long as 20 hours are a low-cost alternative to having F-18s fly all over the country to carry out these strikes, as Joshua Foust, a fellow at the American Security Project, told Reuters.

The plains near Mazar-Sharif, Afghanistan; the U.S. is readying for a 2014 withdraw of troop

Unlike the remotely piloted flights in Pakistan run by the CIA, local military commanders order such operations in Afghanistan, usually to help troops under fire.

But they are also used by Special Forces for targeted killings as in Pakistan if intelligence points that way or to thwart insurgents trying to plant roadside bombs, still the biggest killer of foreign and local forces.

One piece of argument in support of greater use of unmanned aerial vehicles is that because they stay long and slow over an area undetected, unlike a bomber aircraft, and are equipped with powerful video cameras, the chances of getting it wrong and killing civilians are reduced, Reuters reported.

Commanders have been known to stack drones upon drones over a compound to track all movement for hours before unleashing a Hellfire missile.

Still, ultimately it's a judgement call made by teams on the ground and in the rear and these have sometimes gone wrong in the past. Just because you see two people digging something in the ground on your video screen and because that happens to be in an area used by militants doesn't necessarily mean they are planting bombs.

Pilot operators control an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on a mission; drone operators typically work out of small bunkers such as these

Der Spiegel revealed a harrowing account of a former drone pilot who has seen both ends of the war from his bunker in New Mexico.

Brandon Bryant spoke of his first mission in Iraq when his job was to watch over a group of U.S. soldiers returning to their base camp as their guardian angel.

The Montana native said that he operated military drones from within a small, windowless bunker. One strike in particular stood out horrifically in his mind '' when he sent a Predator drone shooting a Hellfire missile in Afghanistan.

Moments before the bomb was slated to go off, he saw a child walk around the corner of the street. Five people died as a result of the strike.

From then on, he couldn't keep the five lives lost out of his thoughts.

There are now about 68,000 U.S. troops in the Afghanistan

'I saw men, women, and children die during that time,' Brandon Bryant, 27, told the magazine. 'I never thought I would kill that many people. In fact, I thought I couldn't kill anyone at all.'

The Guardian's George Monibot wrote in an editorial earlier this week that while President Obama has shown his sorrow for the deaths of the 20 children killed in last Friday's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, not a word has been spoken by the president over the children killed overseas by such drone strikes.

'These children are just as important, just as real, just as deserving of the world's concern.

'Yet there are no presidential speeches or presidential tears for them, no pictures on the front pages of the world's newspapers, no interviews with grieving relatives, no minute analysis of what happened and why,' he writes.

The Guardians George Monibot wrote in an editorial that while Mr Obama has shown his sorrow for the deaths of the 20 children killed in Newtown, not a word has been spoken by the president over the children killed overseas by drone strikes

'Obama does not kill children deliberately. But their deaths are an inevitable outcome of the way his drones are deployed.'

Until another mission, this time over a mud house in northern Afghanistan where seconds after he pressed the button on a Hellfire missile a child stepped into the frame.

A part of the house was obliterated and there was no sign of the kid. The operator and his colleague were left to agonise over whether the child was dead, and worse '-- never knowing for sure.

Suicide Bomber Kills Three In Attack On NATO Base In Afghanistan

CIA Drone Airstrike Kills Two Al-Qaeda Fighters In Yemen'...

Link to Article

Source: Weasel Zippers

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 21:30

Sweet.

(Reuters) '' At least two militants were killed on Monday in what security and local officials said was a U.S. drone strike on a suspected position of al Qaeda-linked insurgents in southern Yemen.

Washington has escalated its use of drones to kill suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen, where the group exploited anti-government protests last year to seize swathes of territory in the south of the country before being driven out by a military offensive in June.

The officials said the drone hit a vehicle in a town in southern al-Bayda province, killing at least two suspected militants. One of those killed in the attack was a Jordanian citizen, a local official and a resident said.

Sandy Hook

DNA of Newtown Shooter Adam Lanza to Be Studied by Geneticists - ABC News

Geneticists have been asked to study the DNA of Adam Lanza, the Connecticut man whose shooting rampage killed 27 people, including an entire first grade class.

This seems to be the first time a study of this nature has been conducted, but it raises concerns in some geneticists and others in the field that there could be a stigma attached to people with these genetic characteristics if they are able to be narrowed down.

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Arthur Beaudet, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, said the University of Connecticut geneticists are most likely trying to "detect clear abnormalities of what we would call a mutation in a gene…or gene abnormalities and there are some abnormalities that are related to aggressive behavior."

"They might look for mutations that might be associated with mental illnesses and ones that might also increase the risk for violence," said Beaudet, who is also the chairman of Baylor College of Medicine's department of molecular and human genetics.

Beaudet believes geneticists should be doing this type of research because there are "some mutations that are known to be associated with at least aggressive behavior if not violent behavior."

The study, which experts believe may be the first of its kind, is expected to be looking for abnormalities or mutations in Lanza's DNA.

Connecticut Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver has reached out to University of Connecticut's geneticists to conduct the study.

University of Connecticut spokesperson Tom Green says Carver "has asked for help from our department of genetics" and they are "willing to give any assistance they can."

Green said he could not provide details on the project, but said it has not begun and they are "standing by waiting to assist in any way we can."

Lanza, 20, carried out the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., just days before Christmas. His motives for the slaughter remain a mystery.

The scapegoating of Nancy Lanza | Lionel Shriver | Comment is free | The Guardian

FEMA Was Running a "Drill" Between 9am and 4pm on December 14th, in Connecticut!

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 08:15

It's not as big of a coincidence when you look at that calendar and see they also had the very same course in 4 other towns, including one in Watertown on 12/6, about the same distance away as Bridgeport.

Plus on top of that, they have all sorts of other ridiculous courses and educational material...IED Awareness/Bomb Threat Management Workshop, IED Search Procedures Workshop, Mass Decontamination DVD's, Hostile Surveillance Detection course, Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program all throughout January, and that's far from everything (I only looked at 3 months).

aangirfan: KIDNAPPINGS AT SANDY HOOK?

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 10:48

Drillat Sandy Hook,November.There is a theory that the Sandy Hook children were 'kidnapped'.

'Photos of the no doubt incredibly bloody crime scene' are missing

On 25 December 2012, at Global Research, Prof. James F. Tracy wrote:The Sandy Hook School Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information

According to the professor:1. The only people who claim to have seen any dead bodies are medical examiner H. Wayne Carver and his staff.Emilie Parker

2. There is no visual evidence of the shooter's alleged violent entry into the school.

There is no evidence of the crime scene's aftermath.

No eyewitness, photo or video evidence of broken glass.

No evidence of blasted security locks and doors, bullet casings and holes.

No evidence of bloodied walls and floors.

All of these are common in such investigations and reporting.

3. Why Were Medical Personnel Turned Away From the Crime Scene?

Medical personnel were forced to set up their operation not at the school, but at the fire station.

Medical responders who rushed to Sandy Hill Elementary were denied entry to the school.

"You may not be able to save everybody, but you damn well try," emergency medical technician James Wolff told NBC News. "And when (we) didn't have the opportunity to put our skills into action, it's difficult."

Drill at sandy Hook, in November.

4. Did a mass evacuation of the school take place?

There is no photographic or video evidence of an evacuation of the 600 children.

Limited video and photographic imagery shows at most several dozen students leaving the school.

There is a highly circulated photo showing students walking in single file with their hands on each others' shoulders and eyes shut.

BUT, this is the image of a drill that took place some many weeks before the event itself.

aangirfan: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO ALL THOSE CHILDREN?

5. The Police assigned officers to each of the 26 families who suffered loss.The families have been effectively gagged.6. We witnessed the "unusual and apparently contrived appearance" by Emilie Parker's "alleged father".7. Early on, journalists reported that Ryan Lanza was the gunman, and that pistols were used in the shooting.

8. "One is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place - at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation's news media have described."Sandy Hook.9. Initial press accounts suggest that no school personnel or students heard definite 'gunshots'.

This contrasts with the updated version where:

The masked shooter, unseen by anyone in the car park, walked up to the front entrance and fired at least a half dozen rounds into the glass doors. "The thunderous sound" alerted Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach.The two of them mysteriously ran towards the gunman, and were killed. Breaching the school's security system in such a way should have likely triggered some automatic alert.Two staff members saw the shooter just after he had entered and called the emergency number 911.

This contrasts with earlier reports that the first 911 call reported that students "were trapped in a classroom" with someone who had two guns.

Recordings of the first police dispatch following the 911 call at 9:35:50 indicate that someone "thinks there's someone shooting in the building." Nothing about being almost mortally caught in a "hail of bullets."

10. How did the gunman fire so many shots in such little time?

According to Dr. Carver and State Police, the shooter must have been averaging about one shot per second - extremely skilled use of a single firearm for a young man with absolutely no military training.

11. We witnessed "the wholly bizarre" and "amateurish" and "out of character" performance of Connecticut's top medical examiner H. Wayne Carver II at a December 15 press conference.

"The H. Wayne Carver who showed up to the December 15 press conference is an almost entirely different man, appearing apprehensive and uncertain, as if he is at a significant remove from the postmortem operation he had overseen. "The multiple gaffes, discrepancies, and hedges in response to reporters' astute questions suggest that he is either under coercion or an imposter. "While the latter sounds untenable it would go a long way in explaining his sub-pedestrian grasp of medical procedures and terminology.Excerpts:Reporter: So the rifle was the primary weapon?H. Wayne Carver: Yes.Reporter: But the long rifle was discovered in the car...Carver: The bullets are designed in such a fashion that ... the energy is deposited in the tissue so the bullet stays in (the tissue).(In fact, the Bushmaster .223 Connecticut police finally claimed was used in the shooting is designed for long range field use and utilizes high velocity bullets averaging 3,000 feet-per-second, the energy of which even at considerable distance would penetrate several bodies before finally coming to rest in tissue.)Reporter: Do you know the difference of the time of death between the mother in the house and the bodies recovered (in the school).Carver: Uh, no, I don't. Sorry [shakes head excitedly] I don't! [embarrassed laugh]Reporter: Did the gunman kill himself with the rifle?Carver: No. I - I don't know yet. I'll - I'll examine him tomorrow morning. But, but I don't think so.(Why has Carver left arguably the most important specimen for last? And why doesn't he think Lanza didn't commit suicide with the rifle?)Reporter: In terms of the children, were they all found in one classroom or -Carver: Uhm '... (Turns to Lieutenant Vance) Paul and company will deal with that.Reporter: Were (the students) sitting at their desks or were they running away when this happened?Carver: I'll let the guys who - the scene guys talk - address that issue. I, uh, obviously I was at the scene. Obviously I'm very experienced in that. But there are people who are, uh, the number one professionals in that. I'll let them - let that.

Notes

[1] State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, ''State Police Investigate Newtown School Shooting'' [Press Release] December 15, 2012.

[2] State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, ''Update: Newtown School Shooting'' [Press Release], December 19, 2012.

[3] CNN, ''Family of 6 Year Old Victim,'' December 14, 2012, ''Sandy Hook School Shooting Hoax Fraud,'' Youtube, December 17, 2012.

[4] Hartford Courant, ''Finally 'Enough' For Chief Medical Examiner'' [Editorial], January 30, 2012.

[5] John Christofferson and Jocelyn Noveck, ''Sandy Hook School Shooting: Adam Lanza Kills 26 and Himself at Connecticut School,'' Huffington Post, December 15, 2012.

[6] Edmund H. Mahoney, Dave Altmari, and Jon Lender, ''Sandy Hook Shooter's Pause May Have Aided Escape,'' Hartford Courant, December 23, 2012.

[7] Jaweed Kaleem, ''Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting: Newtown Connecticut Students, Administrators Among Victims, Reports Say,'' Huffington Post, December 14, 2012.

[8] RadioMan911TV, ''Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police / Fire and CT State Police,'' Youtube, December 14, 2012. At several points in this recording audio is scrambled, particularly following apprehension of a second shooting suspect outside the school, suggesting a purposeful attempt to withhold vital information.

[9] Miranda Leitsinger, ''You Feel Helpless: First Responders Rushed to School After Shooting, Only to Wait,'' US News on NBC, December 20.

[10] http://thenetng.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Sandy-Hook-Elementary-School-600ų400.jpg

[11] Rob Dew, ''Evidence of 2nd and 3rd Shooter at Sandy Hook,'' Infowars Nightly News, December 18, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nCFHImNeRw. A more detailed yet less polished analysis was developed by citizen journalist Idahopicker, ''Sandy Hook Elem: 3 Shooters,'' December 16, 2012. See also James F. Tracy, ''Analyzing the Newtown Narrative: Sandy Hook's Disappearing Shooter Suspects,'' Memoryholeblog.com, December 20, 2012.

[12] W. Lance Bennett, News: The Politics of Illusion 9th Edition, Boston: Longman, 2012, 47.

The Sandy Hook School Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information | Global Research

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 10:39

''[My staff] and I hope the people of Newtown don't have it crash on their head later.'' ''Connecticut Medical Examiner D. Wayne Carver II, MD, December 15, 2012

Inconsistencies and anomalies abound when one turns an analytical eye to news of the Newtown school massacre. The public's general acceptance of the event's validity and faith in its resolution suggests a deepened credulousness borne from a world where almost all news and information is electronically mediated and controlled. The condition is reinforced through the corporate media's unwillingness to push hard questions vis- -vis Connecticut and federal authorities who together bottlenecked information while invoking prior restraint through threats of prosecutorial action against journalists and the broader citizenry seeking to interpret the event on social media.

Along these lines on December 19 the Connecticut State Police assigned individual personnel to each of the 26 families who lost a loved one at Sandy Hook Elementary. ''The families have requested no press interviews,'' State Police assert on their behalf, ''and we are asking that this request be honored.[1] The de facto gag order will be in effect until the investigation concludes'--now forecast to be ''several months away'' even though lone gunman Adam Lanza has been confirmed as the sole culprit.[2]

With the exception of an unusual and apparently contrived appearance by Emilie Parker's alleged father, victims' family members have been almost wholly absent from public scrutiny.[3] What can be gleaned from this and similar coverage raises many more questions and glaring inconsistencies than answers. While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place'--at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation's news media have described.

The Accidental Medical Examiner

An especially important yet greatly underreported feature of the Sandy Hook affair is the wholly bizarre performance of Connecticut's top medical examiner H. Wayne Carver II at a December 15 press conference. Carver's unusual remarks and behavior warrant close consideration because in light of his professional notoriety they appear remarkably amateurish and out of character.

H. Wayne Carver II has an extremely self-assured, almost swaggering presence in Connecticut state administration. In early 2012 Carver threatened to vacate his position because of state budget cuts and streamlining measures that threatened his professional autonomy over the projects and personnel he oversaw.

Along these lines the pathologist has gone to excessive lengths to demonstrate his findings and expert opinion in court proceedings. For example, in a famous criminal case Carver ''put a euthanized pig through a wood chipper so jurors could match striations on the bone fragments with the few ounces of evidence that prosecutors said were on the remains of the victim.''[4] One would therefore expect Carver to be in his element while identifying and verifying the exact ways in which Sandy Hook's children and teachers met their violent demise.

Yet the H. Wayne Carver who showed up to the December 15 press conference is an almost entirely different man, appearing apprehensive and uncertain, as if he is at a significant remove from the postmortem operation he had overseen. The multiple gaffes, discrepancies, and hedges in response to reporters' astute questions suggest that he is either under coercion or an imposter. While the latter sounds untenable it would go a long way in explaining his sub-pedestrian grasp of medical procedures and terminology.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE0OT5od9DA

With this in mind extended excerpts from this exchange are worthy of recounting here in print. Carver is accompanied by Connecticut State Police Lieutenant H. Paul Vance and additional Connecticut State Police personnel. The reporters are off-screen and thus unidentified so I have assigned them simple numerical identification based on what can be discerned of their voices.

Reporter #1: So the rifle was the primary weapon?

H. Wayne Carver: Yes.

Reporter #1: [Inaudible]

Carver: Uh (pause). Question was what caliber were these bullets. And I know'--I probably know more about firearms than most pathologists but if I say it in court they yell at me and don't make me answer [sic]'--so [nervous laughter]. I'll let the police do that for you.

Reporter #2: Doctor can you tell us about the nature of the wounds. Were they at very close range? Were the children shot at from across the room?

Carver: Uhm, I only did seven of the autopsies. The victims I had ranged from three to eleven wounds apiece and I only saw two of them with close range shooting. Uh, but that's, uh y'know, a sample. Uh, I really don't have detailed information on the rest of the injuries.

[Given that Carver is Connecticut's top coroner and in charge of the entire postmortem this is a startling admission.-JT]

Reporter #3: But you said that the long rifle was used?

Carver: Yes.

Reporter #3: But the long rifle was discovered in the car.

State Police Lieutenant Vance: That's not correct, sir.

Unidentified reporter #4: How many bullets or bullet fragments did you find in the autopsy. Can you tell us that?

Carver: Oh. I'm lucky I can tell you how many I found. I don't know. There were lots of them, OK? This type of weapon is not, uh '... the bullets are designed in such a fashion that the energy'--this is very clinical. I shouldn't be saying this. But the energy is deposited in the tissue so the bullet stays in [the tissue].

[In fact, the Bushmaster .223 Connecticut police finally claimed was used in the shooting is designed for long range field use and utilizes high velocity bullets averaging 3,000 feet-per-second, the energy of which even at considerable distance would penetrate several bodies before finally coming to rest in tissue.]

Reporter #5: How close were the injuries?

Carver: Uh, all the ones (pause). I believe say, yes [sic].

Reporter #6: In what shape were the bodies when the families were brought to check [inaudible].

Carver: Uh, we did not bring the bodies and the families into contact. We took pictures of them, uhm, of their facial features. We have, uh, uh'--it's easier on the families when you do that. Un, there is, uh, a time and place for the up close and personal in the grieving process, but to accomplish this we thought it would be best to do it this way and, uh, you can sort of, uh '... You can control a situation depending on the photographer, and I have very good photographers. Uh, but uh'--

Reporter #7: Do you know the difference of the time of death between the mother in the house and the bodies recovered [in the school].

Carver: Uh, no, I don't. Sorry [shakes head excitedly] I don't! [embarrassed laugh]

Reporter #8: Did the gunman kill himself with the rifle?

Carver: No. I'--I don't know yet. I'll-I'll examine him tomorrow morning. But, but I don't think so.

[Why has Carver left arguably the most important specimen for last? And why doesn't he think Lanza didn't commit suicide with the rifle?]

Reporter #9: In terms of the children, were they all found in one classroom or'--

Carver: Uhm '... [inaudible] [Turns to Lieutenant Vance] Paul and company will deal with that.

Reporter #9: What?

Carver: Paul and company will deal with that. Lieutenant Vance is going to handle that one.

Reporter #10: Was there any evidence of a struggle? Any bruises?

Carver: No.

Reporter #11: The nature of the shooting; is there any sense that there was a lot of care taken with precision [inaudible] or randomly?

Carver: [Exhales while glancing upward, as if frustrated] Both. It's a very difficult question to answer '... You'd think after thousands of people I've seen shot but I '... It's '... If I attempted to answer it in court there'd be an objection and then they'd win'--[nervous laughter].

[Who would win? Why does an expert whose routine job as a public employee is to provide impartial medical opinion concerned with winning and losing in court? Further, Carver is not in court but rather at a press conference.]

Reporter #12: Doctor, can you discuss the fatal injuries to the adults?

Carver: Ah, they were similar to those of the children.

Reporter #13: Doctor, the children you had autopsied, where in the bodies were they hit?

Carver: Uhm [pause]. All over. All over.

Reporter #14: Were [the students] sitting at their desks or were they running away when this happened?

Carver: I'll let the guys who'--the scene guys talk'--address that issue. I, uh, obviously I was at the scene. Obviously I'm very experienced in that. But there are people who are, uh, the number one professionals in that. I'll let them'--let that [voice trails off].

Reporter [#15]: How many boys and how many girls [were killed]?

Carver: [Slowly shaking his head] I don't know.

More Unanswered Questions and Inconsistencies

In addition to Carver's remarks several additional chronological and evidentiary contradictions in the official version of the Sandy Hook shooting are cause for serious consideration and leave doubt in terms of how the event transpired vis- -vis the way authorities and major media outlets have presented it. It is now well known that early on journalists reported that Adam Lanza's brother Ryan Lanza was reported to be the gunman, and that pistols were used in the shooting rather than a rifle. Yet these are merely the tip of the iceberg.

When Did the Gunman Arrive?After Adam Lanza fatally shot and killed his mother at his residence, he drove himself to the elementary school campus, arriving one half hour after classes had commenced. Dressed in black, Lanza proceeds completely unnoticed through an oddly vacant parking lot with a military style rifle and shoots his way through double glass doors and a brand new yet apparently poorly engineered security system.

Further, initial press accounts suggest how no school personnel or students heard gunshots and no 911 calls are made until after Lanza begins firing inside the facility. ''It was a lovely day,'' Sandy Hook fourth grade teacher Theodore Varga said. And then, suddenly and unfathomably, gunshots rang out. ''I can't even remember how many,'' Varga said.[5]

The recollection contrasts sharply with an updated version of Lanza's arrival where at 9:30AM he

walked up to the front entrance and fired at least a half dozen rounds into the glass doors. The thunderous sound of Lanza blowing an opening big enough to walk through the locked school door caused Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach to bolt from a nearby meeting room to investigate. He shot and killed them both as they ran toward him.

Breaching the school's security system in such a way would have likely triggered some automatic alert of school personnel. Further, why would the school's administrators run toward an armed man who has just noisily blasted his way into the building?

Two other staff members attending the meeting with Hocksprung and Scherlach sustained injuries ''in the hail of bullets'' but returned to the aforementioned meeting room and managed a call to 911.[6] This contrasted with earlier reports where the first 911 call claimed students ''were trapped in a classroom with the adult shooter who had two guns.''[7] Recordings of the first police dispatch following the 911 call at 9:35:50 indicate that someone ''thinks there's someone shooting in the building.''[8] There is a clear distinction between potentially hearing shots somewhere in the building and being almost mortally caught in a ''hail of bullets.''

How did the gunman fire so many shots in such little time?According to Dr. Carver and State Police, Lanza shot each victim between 3 and 11 times during a 5 to 7 minute span. If one is to average this out to 7 bullets per individual'--excluding misses'--Lanza shot 182 times, or once every two seconds. Yet according to the official story Lanza was the sole assassin and armed with only one weapon. Thus if misses and changing the gun's 30-shot magazine at least 6 times are added to the equation Lanza must have been averaging about one shot per second'--extremely skilled use of a single firearm for a young man with absolutely no military training and who was on the verge of being institutionalized. Still, an accurate rendering of the event is even more difficult to arrive at because the chief medical examiner admittedly has no idea exactly how the children were shot or whether a struggle ensued.

Where is the Photo and Video Evidence?Photographic and video evidence is at once profuse yet lacking in terms of its capacity to demonstrate that a mass shooting took place on the scale described by authorities. For example, in an era of ubiquitous video surveillance of public buildings especially no visual evidence of Lanza's violent entry has emerged. And while studio snapshots of the Sandy Hook victims abound there is little if any eyewitness testimony of anyone who's observed the corpses except for Carver and his staff, and they appear almost as confused about the conditions of the deceased as any layperson watching televised coverage of the event. Nor are there any routine eyewitness, photo or video evidence of the crime scene's aftermath'--broken glass, blasted security locks and doors, bullet casings and holes, bloodied walls and floors'--all of which are common in such investigations and reportage.

Why Were Medical Personnel Turned Away From the Crime Scene?Oddly enough medical personnel are forced to set up their operation not at the school where the dead and injured lay, but rather at the fire station several hundred feet away. This flies in the face of standard medical operating procedure where personnel are situated as close to the scene as possible. There is no doubt that the school had ample room to accommodate such personnel. Yet medical responders who rushed to Sandy Hook Elementary upon receiving word of the tragedy were denied entry to the school and forced to set up primary and secondary triages off school grounds and wait for the injured to be brought to them.

Shortly after the shooting ''as other ambulances from neighboring communities rolled up, sirens blaring, the first responders slowly realized that their training would be tragically underutilized on this horrible day. 'You may not be able to save everybody, but you damn well try,''' 44 year old emergency medical technician James Wolff told NBC News. '''And when (we) didn't have the opportunity to put our skills into action, it's difficult.'''[9]

In light of this, who were the qualified medical practitioners pronounced the 20 children and 7 adults dead? Who decided that none could be revived? Carver and his staff are apparently the only medical personnel to have attended to the victims'--yet this was in the postmortem conducted several hours later. Such slipshod handling of the crime scene leaves the State of Connecticut open to a potential array of hefty civil claims by families of the slain.

Did a mass evacuation of the school take place?Sandy Hook Elementary is attended by 600 students. Yet there is no photographic or video evidence of an evacuation on this scale. Instead, limited video and photographic imagery suggest that a limited evacuation of perhaps at most several dozen students occurred.

A highly circulated photo depicts students walking in a single file formation with their hands on each others' shoulders and eyes shut. Yet this was the image of a drill that took place prior to the event itself.[10] Most other photos are portraits of individual children. Despite aerial video footage of the event documenting law enforcement scouring the scene and apprehending one or more suspects in the wooded area nearby the school,[11] there is no such evidence that a mass exodus of children from the school transpired once law enforcement pronounced Sandy Hook secure. Nor are there videos or photos of several hundred students and their parents at the oft-referenced fire station nearby where students were routed for parent pick up.

Sound Bite Prism and the Will to Believe

Outside of a handful of citizen journalists and alternative media commentators Sandy Hook's dramatically shifting factual and circumstantial terrain has escaped serious critique because it is presented through major media's carefully constructed prism of select sound bites alongside a widespread and longstanding cultural impulse to accept the pronouncements of experts, be they bemused physicians, high ranking law enforcement officers, or political leaders demonstrating emotionally-grounded concern.

Political scientist W. Lance Bennett calls this the news media's ''authority-disorder bias.'' ''Whether the world is returned to a safe, normal place,'' Bennett writes, ''or whether the very idea of a normal world is called into question, the news is preoccupied with order, along with related questions of whether authorities are capable of establishing or restoring it.''[12]

Despite Carver's bizarre performance and law enforcement authorities' inability to settle on and relay simple facts, media management's impulse to assure audiences and readerships of the Newtown community's inevitable adjustment to its trauma and loss with the aid of the government's protective oversight'--however incompetent that may be'--far surpasses a willingness to undermine this now almost universal news media narrative with messy questions and suggestions of intrigue. This well-worn script is one the public has been conditioned to accept. If few people relied on such media to develop their world view this would hardly be a concern. Yet this is regrettably not the case.

The Sandy Hook tragedy was on a far larger scale than the past year's numerous slaughters, including the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting and the Batman theater shooting in Colorado. It also included glaringly illogical exercises and pronouncements by authorities alongside remarkably unusual evidentiary fissures indistinguishable by an American political imagination cultivated to believe that the corporate, government and military's sophisticated system of organized crime is largely confined to Hollywood-style storylines while really existing malfeasance and crises are without exception returned to normalcy.

If recent history is a prelude the likelihood of citizens collectively assessing and questioning Sandy Hook is limited even given the event's overtly superficial trappings. While the incident is ostensibly being handled by Connecticut law enforcement, early reports indicate how federal authorities were on the scene as the 911 call was received. Regardless of where one stands on the Second Amendment and gun control, it is not unreasonable to suggest the Obama administration complicity or direct oversight of an incident that has in very short order sparked a national debate on the very topic'--and not coincidentally remains a key piece of Obama's political platform.

The move to railroad this program through with the aid of major media and an irrefutable barrage of children's portraits, ''heartfelt'' platitudes and ostensible tears neutralizes a quest for genuine evidence, reasoned observation and in the case of Newtown honest and responsible law enforcement. Moreover, to suggest that Obama is not capable of deploying such techniques to achieve political ends is to similarly place ones faith in image and interpretation above substance and established fact, the exact inclination that in sum has brought America to such an impasse.

Notes

[10] http://thenetng.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Sandy-Hook-Elementary-School-600ų400.jpg. 12/25/12Update/Correction: Note that this photo of approximately fifteen children allegedly being evacuated from Sandy Hook Elementary was reportedly produced on December 14. See Connor Simpson, Alexander Abad-Santos et al, ''Newtown School Shooting: Live Updates,'' The Atlantic Wire, December 19, 2012. Still, the paltry number of children confirms the claim that little photographic evidence exists of Sandy Hook's 600 students being moved from the facility on December 14. This photo was purportedly from a Tweet of a Sandy Hook drill published by the school's slain principal Dawn Hochsprung titled, ''Safety First.''

[11] Rob Dew, ''Evidence of 2nd and 3rd Shooter at Sandy Hook,'' Infowars Nightly News, December 18, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nCFHImNeRw. A more detailed yet less polished analysis was developed by citizen journalist Idahopicker, ''Sandy Hook Elem: 3 Shooters,'' December 16, 2012. See also James F. Tracy, ''Analyzing the Newtown Narrative: Sandy Hook's Disappearing Shooter Suspects,'' Memoryholeblog.com, December 20, 2012.

[12] W. Lance Bennett, News: The Politics of Illusion 9th Edition, Boston: Longman, 2012, 47.

Andrew Whooley provided suggestions and research for this article.

School Obama's Daughters Attend Has 11 Armed Guards

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 10:15

The school, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, has 11 security officers and is seeking to hire a new police officer as we speak.

If you dismiss this by saying, "Of course they have armed guards -- they get Secret Service protection," then you've missed the larger point.

The larger point is that this is standard operating procedure for the school, period. And this is the reason people like NBC's David Gregory send their kids to Sidwell, they know their kids will be protected from the carnage that befell kids at a school where armed guards weren't used (and weren't even allowed).

Shame on President Obama for seeking more gun control and for trying to prevent the parents of other school children from doing what he has clearly done for his own. His children sit under the protection guns afford, while the children of regular Americans are sacrificed.

Top 10 myths about mass shootings - James Alan Fox - Crime & Punishment blog - Boston.com

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Dec 2012 21:32

Myth: Mass shootings are on the rise.Reality: Over the past three decades, there has been an average of 20 mass shootings a year in the United States, each with at least four victims killed by gunfire. Occasionally, and mostly by sheer coincidence, several episodes have been clustered closely in time. Over all, however, there has not been an upward trajectory. To the contrary, the real growth has been in the style and pervasiveness of news-media coverage, thanks in large part to technological advances in reporting.

Myth: Mass murderers snap and kill indiscriminately.Reality: Mass murderers typically plan their assaults for days, weeks, or months. They are deliberate in preparing their missions and determined to follow through, no matter what impediments are placed in their path.

Myth: Enhanced background checks will keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of these madmen.Reality: Most mass murderers do not have criminal records or a history of psychiatric hospitalization. They would not be disqualified from purchasing their weapons legally. Certainly, people cannot be denied their Second Amendment rights just because they look strange or act in an odd manner. Besides, mass killers could always find an alternative way of securing the needed weaponry, even if they had to steal from family members or friends.

Myth: Restoring the federal ban on assault weapons will prevent these horrible crimes.Reality: The overwhelming majority of mass murderers use firearms that would not be restricted by an assault-weapons ban. In fact, semiautomatic handguns are far more prevalent in mass shootings. Of course, limiting the size of ammunition clips would at least force a gunman to pause to reload or switch weapons.

Myth: Greater attention and response to the telltale warning signs will allow us to identify would-be mass killers before they act.Reality: While there are some common features in the profile of a mass murderer (depression, resentment, social isolation, tendency to blame others for their misfortunes, fascination with violence, and interest in weaponry), those characteristics are all fairly prevalent in the general population. Any attempt to predict would produce many false positives. Actually, the telltale warning signs come into clear focus only after the deadly deed.

Myth: Widening the availability of mental-health services and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness will allow unstable individuals to get the treatment they need.Reality: With their tendency to externalize blame and see themselves as victims of mistreatment, mass murderers perceive the problem to be in others, not themselves. They would generally resist attempts to encourage them to seek help. And, besides, our constant references to mass murderers as ''wackos'' or ''sickos'' don't do much to destigmatize the mentally ill.

Myth: Increasing security in schools and other places will deter mass murder.Reality: Most security measures will serve only as a minor inconvenience for those who are dead set on mass murder. If anything, excessive security and a fortress-like environment serve as a constant reminder of danger and vulnerability.

Myth: Students need to be prepared for the worst by participating in lockdown drills.Reality: Lockdown drills can be very traumatizing, especially for young children. Also, it is questionable whether they would recall those lessons amid the hysteria associated with an actual shooting. The faculty and staff need to be adequately trained, and the kids just advised to listen to instructions. Schools should take the same low-key approach to the unlikely event of a shooting as the airlines do to the unlikely event of a crash. Passengers aren't drilled in evacuation procedures but can assume the crew is sufficiently trained.

Myth: Expanding ''right to carry'' provisions will deter mass killers or at least stop them in their tracks and reduce the body counts.Reality: Mass killers are often described by surviving witnesses as being relaxed and calm during their rampages, owing to their level of planning. In contrast, the rest of us are taken by surprise and respond frantically. A sudden and wild shootout involving the assailant and citizens armed with concealed weapons would potentially catch countless innocent victims in the crossfire.

Myth: We just need to enforce existing gun laws as well as increase the threat of the death penalty.Reality: Mass killers typically expect to die, usually by their own hand or else by first responders. Nothing in the way of prosecution or punishment would divert them from their missions. They are ready to leave their miserable existence, but want some payback first.

In the immediate aftermath of the Newtown school shootings, there seems to be great momentum to establish policies and procedures designed to make us all safer. Sensible gun laws, affordable mental-health care, and reasonable security measures are all worthwhile, and would enhance the well being of millions of Americans. They may do much to impact the level of violent crime that plagues our nation daily. We shouldn't, however, expect such efforts to take a big bite out of crime in its most extreme form. Of course, a nibble or two from the prevalence of mass murder would be reason enough. And efforts to promote real change in our social policies would be a fitting legacy to the tragedy in Newtown.

Note: An version of this blog post appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Author's note: You can follow me on twitter at @jamesalanfox or Facebook at Professor James Alan Fox for notifications of new blog postings. Also, you can find me on the Web at www.jamesalanfox.com or contact me by e-mail at j.fox@neu.edu.

[CTRL] THE PEDOPHILE NETWORK IN CONNECTICUT

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Dec 2012 13:44

-Caveat Lector-Thanks Dale,OmK-----------------------------------------------------------------------------THE PEDOPHILE NETWORK IN CONNECTICUT------------------------------------------------------------------------THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONI am publishing this information now in its incomplete form because thecurrent pedophile ticket of BUSH/CHENEY represents a threat to the nationalsecurity of these UNITED STATES.Pedophiles of the ruling class are honored as our future leaders while we areherded like cattle into NEW WORLD ORDER. Unlike the American voters, itappears that pedophile GERALD FORD has not suffered any brain damage from histwo minor strokes at the Republican convention in PHILADELPHIA.LINDA WIEGAND/BO GRITZMy decision to serve as a volunteer for LINDA WIEGAND in her effort to regaincustody of her two boys in CONNECTICUT (CT) from her 'accused' pedophileex-husband, THOMAS WILKINSON (TW) has led me into a labyrinthine world ofjudicial and political corruption with many tantalizing links to a nationalpedophile network closely identified with BUSH family.This article is a follow up to my previous publication about the BO GRITZtrial and the FBI effort to frame him for conspiracy to kidnap LINDA'schildren, in effect to achieve the same result in NEBRASKA, where accordingto JOHN DECAMP, some 15 people close to investigation of THE FRANKLIN COVERUP died, many of them violently. The result was to silence some witnesses,coerce others to change their testimony, and with death of privateinvestigator, GARY CARADORI and his son in a fatal air crash JUL 11 1990, endthe NEBRASKA state legislature's investigation into the homosexualprostitution ring being run thru BOYS TOWN by REAGAN/BUSH politicalassociate, LAWRENCE E. (LARRY) KING, JR. (not the radio announcer).Notwithstanding, FBI and judicial corruption to suppress evidence of GEORGEBUSH, SR.'spresence at sex parties organized by KING in CHICAGO and WASH DC, in FEB 1999PAUL BONNACCI won a $1 million civil judgment against KING for satanic ritualand sexual abuse.WARREN BUFFETTThe national media, of course, did not report this astounding ruling. It wasnot appealed by KING to keep a publicity lid on this sensitive issue,allegedly under pressure from BUSH family political interests. How such anews story might be managed is not too difficult to imagine when you considerthat WALLSTREET's favorite pedo- phile, WARREN BUFFETT, was on BOARD ofDIRECTORS of BOYS TOWN and is now on BOARD of WASHINGTON POST.WARREN BUFFETT, ironically, forms one of several links between NEBRASKA andCONNECTICUT in what appears to be a national pedophile network. The POSTparent company owns channel 5 in HARTFORD, CT where the BO GRITZ trial wasunderrreported and then virtually ignored when he and his co-defendant werefound not guilty.Had he been found guilty as intended by the ruling class, the head of BOGRITZ would have been mounted on a pole and paraded from coast to coast bythe toadies of the CIA controlled press.Please note, that BO GRITZ was one of the first people to expose drug runningoperations of the CIA and NEW WORLD ORDER business interests.For example, he helped expose RICHARD ARMITAGE, assistant to FRANK CARLUCCI,DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF CIA when GEORGEBUSH left as DIRECTOR in 1976, for his involvement with gun running and drugsmuggling.Today he is an advisor to GOVERNOR BUSH.THE CONNECTICUT MEDIAThe media cover up of this pedophile network in CONNECTICUT continues withrecent purchase of HARTFORD COURANT by CHICAGO based, TRIBUNE CORP. ItsPRESIDENT/CE) is CFR member.The COURANT was effectively silenced as a voice of objective news reportingwhen it settled out of court to pay TW's pitbull lawyer, LOUIS KIEFER, areported judgment of $300,000 ( in 1997 or 1998, I believe). Thereafter theyavoided mentioning name of TW and repeated the mantra that no court hadproven LINDA WIEGAND's allegations, while ignoring the legal manipulations ofKIEFER to keep the testimony and allegations of her two boys ot of court.The trial in ENFIELD was reported more objectively in the small townnewspaper, THE JOURNAL. When the results of the MASSAMENO REPORT were postedon INTERNET, the COURANT stopped repeating that particular lie because theSTATE's ATTORNEY investigation concluded that LINDA's credibility was greaterthan that of TW. She had passed a lie detector test counteracting TWallegations that she coached boys to make up stories, and assistantprosecutor JOHN MASSAMENO concluded TW should be prosecuted.WHERE DOES JUDICIAL CRIME BEGIN?Despite, or maybe because of, MASSAMENO's conclusions STATE ATTORNEY JOHNTHOMAS, appointed by GOVERNOR JOHN ROWLAND, announced in DEC 1998 that TWwould not be prosecuted and sealed report from public scrutiny withoutexplanation or justification. ROWLAND, a REPUBLICAN, is a BUSH familycheerleader; last year while in FLORIDA he suggested he might be GOVERNORBUSH's running mate.How can one explain the high level of political influence and protectionreceived by TW? One common thread that I found is the insurance industrywhich is now due to recent CLINTON approved legislation is more closelylinked to corporate bank interests than ever.As head of SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE in 1998, SENATOR ALPHONSE D'AMATO gavestrong support to plans by international bankers to end limitations ofGLASS-SEGAL ACT (1933). Newly formed CITIGROUP, owned 10% by BERKSHIREHATHAWAY/BUFFETT, benefitted greatly from this deregulation of financialindustry.The ROWLAND family has been in the insurance business for severalgenerations, HARTFORD is considered by many to be the insurance capital ofthe world (HARTFORD FINANCIAL SERVICES boasts $165 BILLION in assets), andthe father of TW, ROBERT WILKINSON (RW ret.) was general counsel for ALLSTATEINSURANCE. Without proof, I can only conjecture that RW used his influence inHARTFORD to secure judge favorable to his son.Last year billionaire WARREN BUFFETT, president and CEO of BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYpurchased CT/STAMFORD-based GENERAL RE, the largest reinsurance company inthe USA. Thus he has a big financial stake in that state, and while certainpeople like ROWLAND may not be pedophiles, they do not want to upset thefinancial marketplace with the truth.Another interesting link is formed by WALTER BERMAN, WASH DC lobbyist andmajor fundraiser for GOV BUSH in CT in part thru annual PRESCOTT BUSH DINNERheld by state Republican Party. He was being interviewed by FBI as part ofits investigation of former state treasurer SILVESTRI and his investment ofstate pension funds with political friends like CARLYLE GROUP, which includesGBUSH, SR as advisor and FRANK CARLUCCI as well as JAMES BAKER, III on itsBOARD OF DIRECTORS.BERMAN would pick up D'AMATO as business partner after latter left SENATE.ROWLAND/CFR/NWOGOVERNOR ROWLAND has another serious conflict of interest in this matter: asformer lobbyist for UNITED TECHNOLOGIES (UT), which is on COUNCIL OF FORIEGNRELATIONS corporate membership list, he would have had an interest ininstructing THOMAS to not prosecute TW who is employed by HAMILTONSUNDSTRAND, a subsidiary of UT, the largest employer in this state. ItsPRESIDENT/CEO GLENN DAVID is CFR member and major cheerleader for globaleconomy as member of INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS which includes thelikes of AIG billionaire HANK GREENBERGon its BOARD of DIRECTORS.The fact is: the truth about pedophilia is not good for corporate AMERIKA.Some WALLSTREET insiders have even dared to criticize what appears to be anunfair advantage given to WARREN BUFFETT by the SECURITIES EXCHANGECOMMISSION. He and a few chosen others are not required to publiclyacknowledge their vested interest in pending stock deals, giving them ahidden advantage to manipulate value of stock.Since corporate interests typically own and control both Democratic andRepublican parties, ( both SENATORS JOE BIDEN and CHRIS DODD are DEMOCRAPSand BILDERBERGERS), it would not be too difficult to imagine howjudges/lawyers appointed by governors decide the law to protect thosecorporate interests.SUPPRESSION OF EVIDENCEWhen JOHN MASSAMENO threatened to call a press conference in FEB 2000 unlessPROSECUTOR JOHN MALONE released his report to defense, it was released to BOGRITZ attorney, and sealed again by JUDGE NICOLA RUBINOW to continue cover upof children's allegations against TW.As a very young judge assigned to her first criminal case in BO GRITZ trialand niece of senior JUDGE JAY RUBINOW, the question must be raised: whoseagenda did she serve by sealing MASSAMENO REPORT? Who arranged for her to beappointed to this case and rule against defense motion to subpoena JOHNMASSAMENO to testify in GRITZ trial?Perhaps the most significant fact achieved by this cover up of judicialcorruption was the sealing of the boys taped testimony to court appointedpsychiatrist, DR. KEN ROBSON of THE INSTITUTE FOR LIVING. According toMASSAMENO REPORT, tapes were sealed because they contained allegations ofsexual abuse by boys against TW, a fact readily admitted by ROBSON.LINDA claims there is a payoff network between judges, lawyers, clientsaccused of sexual abuse,and court appointed psychiatrists in CONNECTICUT ( DRs BLACK, DAVID MANTELL,and KEN ROBSON) to cover up this pedophile network.In support of this allegation, I can only offer indirect confirmation: LOUISKIEFER, TW lawyer,includes notorious DR RALPH UNDERWAGER in his his list of recommended expertwitnesses to testify for clients accused of being child molesters.He helped found FALSE MEMORY SYNDROMEFOUNDATION created by CIA/MKULTRA mind controllers DRS LOUIS WEST and MARTINORNE to suppress evidence gathered by regressed hypnosis. How KIEFER isconnected to this larger network remains unknown.Fortunately, UNDERWAGER, who has testified in FRANCE for CHILDREN OF GOD cultcharged with child prostitution, outraged even his own supporters when in aninterview with PAIDIKA, a DUTCH pedophile magazine, he encouraged pedophilesto come out of closet and show the world that their love for children was nodifferent from GOD's love for children.Apparently he was speaking as a Christian minister (Escopalian) and from hisheart, be that as it may! He was pressured to resign from FMSFBOARD of ADVISERS, but his wife, DR. HOLLIDA WAKEFIELD, more circumspect insame interview, remains on this BOARD.Again these links might appear to be rather tenuous to the skeptical, andwould not stand up in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion, Ibelieve these 'coincidences' should be further explored to find more evidenceof this national pedophile network. The CHILDREN of GOD cult was very activein CHILE during PINOCHET regime, and it sang at WHITE HOUSE during BUSHpresidency; perhaps that is why CIA PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH wrote to governmentin ENGLAND asking for clemency for fascist GENERAL PINOCHET.Evidence of BUSH/CLINTON alliance in NEW WORLD ORDER, in matters reallysensitive, was manifested when CLINTON refused to release to SPANISH judgeseeking to prosecute PINOCHETcertain CIA documents that would have implicated GBUSH involvement withOPERATION CONDORwhile CIA DIRECTOR. This assassination hit team was organized by PINOCHET tokill leftists like LETALIER and TOWNLEY in WASH DC.-----Aloha, He'Ping,Om, Shalom, Salaam.Em Hotep, Peace Be,All My Relations.Omnia Bona Bonis,Adieu, Adios, Aloha.Amen.Roads End<A HREF="http://www.ctrl.org/";>www.ctrl.org</A>DECLARATION & DISCLAIMER==========CTRL is a discussion & informational exchange list. Proselytizing propagandicscreeds are unwelcomed. Substancenot soap-boxingplease! These aresordid matters and 'conspiracy theory'with its many half-truths, mis-directions and outright fraudsis used politically by different groups withmajor and minor effects spread throughout the spectrum of time and thought.That being said, CTRLgives no endorsement to the validity of posts, andalways suggests to readers; be wary of what you read. CTRL gives nocredence to Holocaust denial and nazi's need not apply.Let us please be civil and as always, Caveat Lector.========================================================================Archives Available at:http://peach.ease.lsoft.com/archives/ctrl.html <A HREF="http://peach.ease.lsoft.com/archives/ctrl.html";>Archives of[EMAIL PROTECTED]</A>http:[EMAIL PROTECTED]/ <A HREF="http:[EMAIL PROTECTED]/";>ctrl</A>========================================================================To subscribe to Conspiracy Theory Research List[CTRL] send email:SUBSCRIBE CTRL [to:] [EMAIL PROTECTED]To UNsubscribe to Conspiracy Theory Research List[CTRL] send email:SIGNOFF CTRL [to:] [EMAIL PROTECTED]Om

War on Weed

MADD wants drivers' saliva tested for drugs - Canada

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 09:50

MADD Canada wants police officers to screen drivers for drugs using saliva tests, a precaution against impaired driving that now only emphasizes testing motorists for drinking.

Police officers are out in force this time of year, with roadside stops to check that holiday revellers are not drinking and getting behind the wheel.

But few are trained to look for drivers on drugs, and breathalyzers don't detect drug levels. Blood or urine tests that do detect drug traces are too invasive for roadside checks, police say.

A Western University law professor, hired by MADD Canada to examine driving while on drugs, recommends that Canada implement a system of random roadside saliva testing.

In her recent report, Erica Chamberlain urged Canadian lawmakers to restructure their approach to drug-impaired driving.

Driving on drugs 'under-enforced'Her research showed that drugs are a major problem on the roads, but drivers are rarely checked, she said.

"Of the fatally injured drivers tested for drugs, one-third tested positive for drugs," Chamberlain told CBC News. " So it's a fairly substantial factor."

Police charge about 900 Canadian drivers annually with driving while on drugs, a small fraction of the 60,000 drunk-driving charges each year.

"With drugs, because the enforcement mechanisms in Canada right now are pretty cumbersome and not always available in every detachment, it is under-enforced."

MADD Canada says if police had the right tools to test for drugs '-- such as a saliva swab test that can detect traces of THC, the main ingredient in marijuana, as well as ecstasy and methamphetamines '-- the statistics would change.

"I think any tools we can give to the police to enable them to do their job better is a good thing," MADD spokeswoman Christine Taleski told CBC News.

Drug impairment difficult to measureChamberlain travelled to Australia to observe how police officers test people for driving while on drugs.

"It was shocking, actually. We were out at about 10:30 on a weekday morning. I was there for about a half-hour and they detected three people who were on meth," she told CBC News.

However, one recent case in Saskatchewan illustrates the difficulty in measuring the level of drug impairment. A woman who admitted to smoking marijuana before getting into her car and failed a series of impairment tests when stopped in June 2011 was acquitted in August of impaired driving.

A urine sample was also taken and confirmed the Saskatchewan woman used marijuana.

However, unlike drunk-driving cases where a blood-alcohol level of .08 per cent is the legal limit in Canada, there's no equivalent for marijuana-impaired driving. Instead, officers must rely on a lengthy list of tests to establish impairment.

The Saskatoon judge in the case said he was not convinced that her ability to operate a vehicle was affected.

In her recommendation, Chamberlain said roadside testing should be coupled with more sophisticated tests tied to drug limits for commonly used illicit drugs.

"This would bring Canada's law more into line with that of most comparable countries and the world leaders in traffic safety," she wrote in her September report.

Distraction of the Season

President George HW Bush Hospitalized Over Christmas

VIDEO-BBC News - George H W Bush in intensive care after 'setbacks'

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 11:35

26 December 2012Last updated at23:29 ETFormer US President George H W Bush has been in intensive care with a fever since Sunday, a spokesman has revealed.

Jim McGrath said he had had a "series of setbacks" and remained in a "guarded condition", but was alert and conversing with family and doctors.

Mr Bush, aged 88, has been in the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, since he was taken there for bronchitis treatment on 23 November.

He is the oldest living former president and a World War II veteran.

Mr Bush was Ronald Reagan's vice-president for two terms and became the 41st president in 1989, but was defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton when he stood for re-election in 1992.

'Humorous banter'Mr Bush was now on a liquids-only diet, the spokesman said, describing his ailment as "a stubborn fever that won't go away".

He said the former president had not been able to celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense but his family was with him.

"He's conscious and he's able to engage in humorous banter with his doctor," Mr McGrath said.

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

Family spokesman Jim McGrath said George H W Bush had suffered a series of setbacks

He also said that doctors were cautiously optimistic about Mr Bush's treatment.

When first admitted, the former president had only been expected to stay in hospital a few days, but a persistent fever kept him in hospital until and over Christmas.

On Christmas Day, Mr Bush was visited by his wife, Barbara, his son Neil and other family members.

He has also been visited twice by his son George W Bush, who served as 43rd president in 2001-09.

The boagtive frontier

SpaceX Successfully Test Launches First Ever Fully Reusable Space Rocket

Space Expedition Corporation

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 10:34

Rocket engines have been around since the early 1930's, right? Wrong. The ones that are developed for our XCOR Lynx shuttle burn bio-jetfuel and can be switched on-and-off for over 5000 times, making them revolutionary safe and sustainable.

Buy your ticket here

The war on Ammo

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As passed by the Congress:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.[8]

Repeal of the 2nd Amendment would not Abolish any Right -- Tenth Amendment Center

President Obama Responds to We the People Petitions Related to Gun Violence | The White House

NBC's David Gregory Displays 30-Round Magazine On TV, Matter Is 'Under Investigation' By Police

Link to Article

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 09:20

NBC's David Gregorymay have violated D.C.'s gun laws by brandishing a 30-round magazine on his show, Meet The Press Sunday, and now the matter is ''under investigation'' by the police. The round was purportedly for an AR-15 or other similar assault rifle.

According to D.C. gun laws, even possessing such a magazine would be a violation. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told Breitbart, ''Yes, we are investigating the incident to determine if the magazine was in fact real.''

Gregory displayed the magazine during a contentious interview with NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre. D.C. police have a ''Zero Tolerance'' policy on gun law violations.

The law in question is D.C. Official Code 7-2506.01, titled ''DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines.'' It reads:

(b) No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term large capacity ammunition feeding device means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term large capacity ammunition feeding device shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

Mediaite's own Tommy Christopher took on the topic of conservative outrage over Gregory's possible legal transgression.

h/t Breitbart

F-Japan

Toyota pays more than $1bn over car faults | Business | The Guardian

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 11:18

A Toyota on show in Los Angeles. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Toyota car company has agreed to pay more than $1bn to settle claims that its cars could unintentionally accelerate out of control. A judge must approve Toyota's offer of $1.1bn (£683m), which was filed in a Californian court on Wednesday.

Toyota was taken to court by owners of its cars who claimed there was an electronic fault in the acceleration system. Toyota said any accelerator problems were caused by driver error, pedals sticking or badly fitted mats. The settlement means Toyota does not admit blame and avoids a lengthy trial.

The deal includes payments to customers as well as installation of a brake override system that prevents unintentional acceleration in about 3.25m vehicles. The terms include a $250m fund for former Toyota owners who sold vehicles at reduced prices because of adverse publicity, and a separate $250m fund for owners not eligible for the brake override system. Lawyers will receive $200m in fees and $27m in costs.

Steve Berman, representing the car owners, said the settlement is the largest in American history involving car defects.

Toyota has recalled more than 14m vehicles worldwide due to acceleration problems in several models and brake defects with the Prius hybrid.

"This was a difficult decision, especially since reliable scientific evidence and multiple independent evaluations have confirmed the safety of Toyota's electronic throttle control systems," Christopher Reynolds, general counsel for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, said in a statement.

"However, we concluded that turning the page on this legacy legal issue through the positive steps we are taking is in the best interests of the company, our employees, our dealers and, most of all, our customers."

The biggest safety crisis in Toyota's history started in August 2009 when an off-duty California highway patrol officer Mark Saylor and three members of his family were killed in a Lexus ES 350 that crashed at a high speed.

A separate lawsuit over the death of the Saylor family was settled out-of-court. A handful of wrongful death and personal injury cases are still pending, but it is understood that the vast majority of the litigation over the issue will be completed if the proposed settlement is approved.

Within a half year of the Saylor family crash, Toyota president Akio Toyoda and other company executives were questioned in a high-profile US congressional hearing. Toyoda made a public apology but the company maintained all along that its electronic throttle control system was not at fault. It reiterated that on Wednesday.

A study by US safety regulator the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Nasa found no link between the reports of unintended acceleration and Toyota's electronic throttle control system.

The settlement is "a landmark, if not a record, settlement in automobile defect class action litigation in the United States," according to a memo filed in court by the plaintiff's lawyer. Hag ens Berman, the law firm representing Toyota owners who brought the lawsuit in 2010, issued a statement saying that the settlement was valued between $1.2bn and $1.4bn.

The settlement, which must be approved by a California federal judge, includes direct payments to customers as well as the installation of a brake override system in more than 2.7m vehicles, according to the settlement agreement filed in court.

The terms include a $250m fund for former Toyota owners who sold vehicles at reduced prices and a separate $250m fund for owners not eligible for the brake override system.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are to receive up to $200m in fees and $27m in costs, according to court documents.

Richard Cupp, a professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, said the settlement was large for the automotive sector but was dwarfed by other litigation involving economic loss claims. State cases against the tobacco industry, for instance, amounted to more than $200bn.

"That could mean that lawsuits like these could become increasingly common, even where there is not provable physical injury on large scale," Cupp said.

F-Russia

Russian Lawmakers Pass Ban on Adoptions to US - ABC News

Magnitsky List Extension Plea Gains Steam | World | RIA Novosti

Link to Article

Sun, 23 Dec 2012 11:28

MOSCOW, December 23 (RIA Novosti) '' An online petition to make Russian lawmakers, who voted in favor of the US adoptions ban, accountable under the Magnitsky Act, has gained the required number of signatures to be considered by the US administration, the US White House announced on Sunday.

The petition was posted on the White House website on December 21 and has gained the required 25,000 signatures within just two days. By Sunday afternoon, 26,750 people have signed it.

The petition says lawmakers of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, who approved the ban in the third and final reading on Friday, have ''breached all imaginable boundaries of humanity, responsibility, or common sense and chose to jeopardize lives and well-being of thousands of Russian orphans.''

A total of 420 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, written as a retaliatory response to the US Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations. The Russian bill is nearly identical. It imposes sanctions on Americans accused of human rights violations, but it also imposes a ban on Americans adopting Russian children.

Seven lawmakers voted against, with one abstention.

To become a law, the adoption bill still needs to be approved by the upper house, the Federation Council, and signed by the president.

The Magnitsky Act was named in part for whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow jail three years ago.

Magnitsky was arrested on tax fraud charges after accusing a group of Russian officials of embezzling $230 million of state money. He died after 11 months in pretrial detention.

Magnitsky's death was officially blamed on his health problems, but the Kremlin's own human rights council said in 2011 that he was severely beaten hours before dying, and Magnitsky's supporters claim the case against him was fabricated in revenge for his exposes.

The Cloud

Latest Netflix Disruption Highlights Challenges of Cloud Computing - NYTimes.com

Link to Article

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 11:15

For some on Christmas Eve, ''White Christmas'' was a blackout on Netflix.

That's because problems with Amazon's cloud computing service, which provides storage and computing power for all kinds of Web sites and services, caused Netflix to go down for much of the day.

In updates on a Web site that reports on the status of its online services, Amazon traced the trouble to Elastic Load Balancing, a part of its service that helps spread heavy traffic among multiple servers to prevent overload. The company gave few details about the problems in its data center in Northern Virginia beyond this and did not offer an official statement or explanation.

Social networks filled with complaints. Some customers also complained that Amazon's own streaming service, Amazon Prime, was down. Amazon said it had fixed the problem completely by the afternoon of Christmas Day, and Netflix said it had restored its services to most of the affected consumers by late Christmas Eve. But the episode highlighted how consumers are increasingly using ''the cloud.''

As more everyday devices, appliances and even automobiles rely on services connected to the Internet, consumers expect those services to be available at all times. Yet all sorts of disruptions '-- harsh weather conditions or an apparent overload '-- can knock a service out for hours.

Last month, problems with the same Amazon data center in Virginia took down Reddit, Foursquare and Heroku. The instance was explained on the status Web site as ''degraded performance'' in some parts of Amazon's storage service. In June, a lightning storm hit the Virginia data center, taking Netflix as well as Pinterest, Instagram and other sites off line for hours. That time, too, customers were offered little insight into what had happened.

In April 2011, an Amazon failure took down many smaller sites that had rented cloud storage space from the Internet giant. That time, the companies that were most affected were start-ups that were less likely to pay for so-called redundancies, or backup systems that kick in when a service fails. Netflix was not affected then, and said at the time it was because it had taken advantage of the redundancies that Amazon offers.

Netflix has said that it has built several redundancies into its cloud-based system. For instance, it stores its data across multiple ''zones,'' so if there is a failure in one zone, it can retry in another. It says it also spends money on more capacity than it needs, so that if there are large spikes in customer activity, the service is less likely to go down.

Joris Evers, a Netflix spokesman, declined to elaborate on why Netflix went down despite these safeguards. He said the company was investigating the cause and would do what it could to prevent the interruption from recurring.

''We are happy that people opening gifts of Netflix or Netflix-capable devices on Christmas morning could watch TV shows and movies and apologize for any inconvenience caused Christmas Eve,'' Mr. Evers said.

Tera Randall, an Amazon spokeswoman, said the company has been ''heads down'' to ensure services are running smoothly and that a full summary of the incident would be published in a few days.

Amazon is one of the biggest players in online services, hosting data storage and computation for hundreds of companies, including Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest. Once a sideline Amazon set up six years ago, the cloud service has since exploded into a business that is expected to bring in about $1 billion to the company this year.

Other companies offer similar services, notably Google, which introduced its competitor in June. Microsoft is also in the business with Windows Azure.

Although the service disruptions may annoy some companies and their customers, it's unlikely many businesses will end their partnerships with Amazon in light of this latest Netflix failure, said James McQuivey, an analyst for Forrester Research. He added that it was unlikely that a temporary service failure for Netflix was going to cause many to cancel subscriptions.

He said companies can pay extra to Amazon to add safeguards that increase reliability of their online services, but they typically choose to save costs and take the risk of their services going down temporarily. He said that Amazon has been especially popular among businesses because it has been gradually improving its services and lowering its costs.

Businesses, ''of course, are going to say, 'Gee, Amazon, what's going on?' '' Mr. McQuivey said. ''But in reality they're all getting such a great deal. I don't see them getting that upset about it.''

For consumers, though, it may be a different matter. On Christmas Eve, Merrilee and Alex Barton were watching an episode of ''It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'' when their Netflix feed started to stammer and finally froze, then began to buffer excessively. ''It would try to load and get to about 2 to 7 percent of the way through and then just hang there for five minutes,'' Mrs. Barton said.

Eventually the two said they gave up and '-- with nothing else going on in Farmingdale, N.Y. '-- decided to ''nerd it up.'' They played a few games of Minecraft, a video game in which the players can build whatever they wish. In the game, all the technology worked.

Chemtrails

Bullying

Food allergies make kids a target of bullies - CNN.com

Link to Article

Tue, 25 Dec 2012 12:35

Some children go all day without eating their lunch because they are ridiculed for eating special foods.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

About a third of food-allergic kids have experienced some form of teasing, bullyingThe warning signs are similar to other forms of bullying: The child may be sad, anxiousParents should inform teachers and administrators right away if an incident occursBullying is in our schools, and now it's online. Why do kids do it? What can be done to put an end to it? Don't miss an "AC360°" special report in collaboration with Cartoon Network: "Stop Bullying: Speak Up," starting Monday night at 10 ET on CNN.

(CNN) -- It's tough enough having to avoid products with peanuts and other ingredients as a kid with severe food allergies. It's tougher when someone at school waves a granola bar in your face at the peanut-free lunch table.

That's what happened last week to a Pennsylvania fifth-grader whose mother asked that he not be identified. The boy had experienced allergic reactions to merely touching peanuts or breathing peanut particles in the past, so the act of granola-waving was more serious than for other allergy sufferers.

"He said [he was] scared, and 'sad that he would do that to me,' and 'mad that he would do that to me,' and worried that it's going to happen again," the boy's mother said.

Are you being bullied at school? Share your story

As the prevalence of food allergies grows in America, doctors are becoming more conscious of a disturbing trend in children getting picked on for not being able to eat certain foods.

According to a new study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, about 35 percent of children over age 5 with food allergies have experienced bullying, teasing or harassment. The study, which mostly surveys the parents of these children, said those negative social experiences, which included physical and verbal incidents, happened because of food allergies.

"The school has to really address it. It's not the child's job to take care of this problem, because there's already an imbalance of power," said study author Dr. Scott Sicherer, pediatric allergist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Gina Clowes, director of allergymoms.com and a coach for parents on food allergies, hears stories about food-allergic kids targeted by others in school all the time.

Eatocracy's lunchtime poll: The peanut butter ban

"They'll make fun of what they're eating," she said. "I don't know if it's innocent or malicious, but some kids will literally threaten them with the peanut, or 'I'm going to throw peanuts at you.' "

While bullying with regard to food allergies isn't all that different from bullying about other attributes, children with food allergies have an additional burden because they have the responsibility of taking care of themselves medically already, Clowes and Sicherer stressed.

"Here you have a child who already has to deal with not eating the same things as the other children; they already have to worry about is this meal safe for them; about having an allergic reaction," Sicherer said. "This is an additional problem of someone making it even harder on them."

The warning signs are similar to other forms of bullying, Clowes said: A child may appear sad, upset, withdrawn, anxious or say that he or she doesn't want to go to school. But parents should also look for changes in their kids' eating habits: They may come home with an untouched lunchbox, for example.

"I've had parents say kids go the entire day without eating because they're being made fun of for special foods," Clowes said.

The latest data from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention show that about 3.9 percent of children younger than 18 in the United States have food allergies, representing an 18 percent increase from 1997 to 2007.

None of the incidents reported in the study resulted in allergic reactions, but the danger of them resulting in a dangerous reaction is self-evident, the study authors wrote. The emotional toll is also great. Common consequences included feelings of sadness or depression and embarrassment or humiliation.

This is the first study to address the scope of bullying as it relates to food allergies, the authors said. The information about allergic individuals came from 353 surveys, most of which were completed by parents who were attending various Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network conferences.

More children with food allergies may experience acts of bullying and other targeted negative behaviors than their peers, Sicherer said. A 2001 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study found that about 17 percent of children in grades six to 10 reported being bullied. By comparison, 50 percent of kids in that age group in the food allergy study were reported to have experienced bullying, teasing or harassment.

The study had the limitation of obtaining most data from parents, rather than children themselves. On the other hand, some children likely do not report these incidents to their parents, meaning Sicherer and colleagues could have underestimated behaviors targeted at food-allergic children.

Parents should inform teachers and administrators right away if an incident occurs, Clowes said.

Children should try to stay away from the person who has bullied them and stand by trusted friends, Sicherer said. Ultimately, it also takes intervention on someone else's part to speak to whomever is doing the bullying, so children should tell trusted adults what's going on, he said.

Dr. Stanley Fineman, a practicing allergist with the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic, said allergists don't normally ask children if they've been bullied or harrassed, but that this study suggests they should. In his own practice, Fineman has heard of incidents such as a child eating peanut butter and then spitting on a peer. He will more regularly inquire about allergy-related incidents because of the new data, he said.

"We as physicians need to specifically ask our patients directly what sort of bullying or harassment type situations have they had in school, because this is something that has not been on our radar screen as it probably should be," he said.

The Pennsylvania mother whose child got a granola bar waved in his face last week isn't worried about her son managing his allergies -- it's the other kids she's nervous about. The teachers at the school have been understanding, but she believes there needs to be more education that one person's allergy is not the same as another's -- and her son is particularly sensitive. She also dislikes that the school puts her son into a category called "peanut kids," who get a peanut-free table.

"It's very open, it's obvious who has a problem and what the problem is," she said. "Sometimes I don't think people understand the severity of it."

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Link to Article

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 11:26

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- It's a grocery staple that many of us start drinking as children. The price of milk may jump to $6-8 a gallon after the first of the year.

This could happen because Congress hasn't passed a new Farm Bill. Farmers have been waiting anxiously for this legislation for some time.

CBS news is calling it the "dairy cliff" and with days left until the New Year, local farmers to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture have little hope for the passage of a Farm Bill.

Read More:Milk, Grocery Prices on the Rise if Congress Ignores Farm BillMissouri Farmers Anxiously Await Last-Minute Farm Bill Decision

Most people are going to find milk at $6-8 a gallon hard to swallow.

"Well, it's high enough now," says Ruby Reynolds.

Shoppers of all ages find it hard to believe.

"It's definitely unfortunate though," says Roman Harty. "Milk is like kind of like a staple in everyone's diet I feel like. I mean, everyone buys milk so the fact that it would be going up around the board is not cool."

But, for people who rely on milk at work and at home, like South Side Senior Center cook Teena Jacobs, the news is concerning.

"I heard on the news it's supposed to go up to seven dollars a gallon," she says.

Jacobs and other cooks serve milk as part of a balanced diet for seniors.

"The seniors get milk with their lunch everyday. They get their choice of chocolate: 2 percent, 1 percent, whole. They enjoy their milk."

Jacobs says she can't think of anyone who won't be affected.

"Even at home my children still drink a lot of milk and I am very upset about it."

Jacob's assistant Doreen Martin says she relies on milk for her recipes for the seniors.

"I order gallons of milk because I use it in my baking," she says. "I use it in my bread puddings, my regular puddings -- just, I use it in my baking."

But, some of the seniors are more concerned about others.

"I think it is going to be very hard on families that have children," says Gloria Boudreau.

Shopper Aaron Orlowski says what most dairy farmers fear with higher prices, that milk will get passed over and left on the shelves.

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If true, Obama would have no choice but to intervene militarily thanks to his ''red line'' talk, right?

Via Al Jazeera:

This video shows medics in a besieged area in Homs city trying to help a person struggling to breath. They say he inhaled poisonous gas sprayed by regime forces in the rebel-held al-Bayada neighbourhood.

Al Jazeera cannot independently verify the accounts given by him.

HT: Nickarama

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