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HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2125 due to election of US President trump.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Is There Too Much Capital ?



Most economists recognize that income inequality is too high and problematic for the well-being of the population.

That is true today regardless of which country is considered.

One of the secondary effects of high income inequality is a rise in savings; people with high incomes have extra cash to save or invest.

The ratio of Bank Deposits to GDP is about 60% for Brazil and over 80% for the USA. The St. Louis FED has prepared charts which are available at these links:


USA - https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DDOI02USA156NWDB

BRAZIL - https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DDOI02BRA156NWDB

There is so much cash floating in the banking systems that interest rates have fallen to just about zero. It can be argued that interest rates this low obscure the real cost of projects and encourage marginal investments.

Interestingly, the marginal income tax rate in the US was cut from 70% in 1984 to under 30%. The current USA marginal tax rate is about 39%

The ratio of bank deposits to GDP peaked at about 70% then, fell to historical levels of about 55% in 1995 and then rose to current levels.



Sunday, July 21, 2019

Family Love Letter to a Trump Supporter


[No offense is intended here, it's just an effort to reach the widest possible audience; so don't go getting your panties in a bunch.]

Hey Cuz - Hope Betty and your family are doing real well. Haven't heard much from you recently, and you know me and my big mouth.

Anyways, it seems you're hard to talk with these days and also you seem to have got a case of bad attitude recently and, well frankly it's beginning to worry us all out here.

We're all family you know and, well, we are really worried about you. We stand or fall together. We ARE family and you are always welcome; but, the welcome comes with a little bit of advice, for free.

It's no secret these times are hard for you, and for us too, truth be told. But that orange headed grifter stayin with you, well you know he is up to no good.

I know you say he's your bud and that you really like him, but Cuz, we are seeing some real problems.

First off, he's raping your 14 year old little girl. Maybe you don't know that. You better look into it. If he knocks her up, he'll take off like a scared rabbit. Then his buddies in church, well they have run all the abortion docs out of town. Gonna leave you and your girl with a big problem. Maybe you thought that family planning was a settled issue and help was easy to get, but think again. Your darlin girl will be left to fend for herself with no help at all.

And, his drug dealin buddies are just ruining your town with the prescription pain meds. Another thing, you know that national park you like to hunt and fish in, well he sold that to an oil company and they gonna rip it up real soon. There won't be any jobs though - all the jobs will go to foreigners and out of towners. Some of his Wall Street buddies want to take your Social Security too. He's a real piece of work alright.

I know the orange grifter says he'll take care of you, but mostly he is taking care of his buddies, of which you are not one. Your water well will be ruined when the new oil company starts pumping crap into the ground to force up the oil and, ooops, also ruins the aquifer.

Here's another thing - that guy has installed a bunch of dog cages around your property and he's locking up children in there. Hard to believe, but it's true. On top of that, some of the guards are raping and beating the kids. This is all on your land and some of us are real upset about it. That's another thing you better be looking at.

I know he says that those foreign kids are taking your jobs, but, Cuz, the only people taking your job is the corporation you work for. The ones taking your jobs sure as hell ain't no helpless kids or desperate immigrants. As for immigrants, well we're them too; our grandparents came from Europe and Africa. It's a lot harder to get here now than it was. The stuff they have to go through is unbelievable. They know more about America than you or I combined. Those folks are just looking for a safe place to raise their kids, after all.

You can go ahead and hate on them if you want to; your hate just shows your fear. But, if you harm anyone of them, you'll go directly to jail, just as sure as anyone of them will go to jail if they harm any one of us.

I could go on, but you get the idea. We love you and we are in it together. We all make mistakes and it just proves we are human after all.

We want to help you, really help you. There a lot of folks working real hard to help you.

But this orange grifter is in the way, You gotta help us get rid of him so we can make your life better.

If you don't help us get rid of him, we'll be in for a world of hurt.

Your Cuz

Modern Monetary Theory, a Primer



There is some discussion of MMT, or Modern Monetary Theory as a way to pay for social programs.

The essential idea is to install a new program and then expand the deficit and debt by borrowing money through Treasury Bills to pay for the new program.

The logic appeals - if Republicans can use that mechanism to pay for tax cuts, then perhaps Democrats can use it to pay for new social programs.

It's like paying for a new car with a credit card - you hope that the new job you may get will give you the income to make the monthly payments for the car.

But Republicans use the discredited Laffer curve to hope that tax cuts will pay for themselves through increased economic activity and new tax revenues. But, it doesn't work.

It's possible that a Democrat program might actually raise economic activity so much that it would pay for itself, but right now I can't think of any program that might do that.

Perhaps it is better to just do things because they are right for the country and figure out how to pay for them later. That idea seems to work for most Nordic countries. It can work here if we are brave.

In the meantime, the critical question arises of our debt, interest payments and GDP levels.

Investors are willing to buy Treasuries and fund our deficits because they seem safe. And, they will continue to appear safe IF we can maintain the current percentage ratios among GDP, debt as a percentage of GDP and interest payments as a percentage of federal expenditures.

Once we blow up that delicate balance, then investors may ask for higher interest rates on T-Bills.

Then, our party will be over and we'll be just like Greece.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Sale of Our Freedom


There are some things we know.

Trump, Senate Republicans and FOX are cooperating with Putin to force our country to further Putin's goal. Putin's goal is to allow his associates free access to our markets, policies and intelligence in order to financially benefit him and his associates. Putin and his associates are thugs who murder their enemies in cold blood regardless of where they reside.

While the FBI has systematically documented the cooperation between Trump and Russia, many of the United States intelligence specialists who conducted the investigation have been fired and the report has been buried. The public has the right to read the report, but access has been withheld. The separate Mueller report had a limited, criminal focus. It was published in large part despite the Administrations' efforts to stop that release and subsequent publicity.

Democratic party leaders are trying to create public opinion in favor of prosecuting Trump for his many crimes. Since impeachment is a censure device and does not necessarily result in removal from office, and since it requires Senate approval to proceed, the better course is to build an overwhelming consensus among voters that the election must defeat Republicans and Trump. If he wins the 2020 election it is likely that Trump will install a tyrannical government . Among other things, Democracy in the United States will be gone. The likely result of that eventuality is a civil war.

See Rachel Maddow for some background: https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/trump-attacks-intel-leaders-alarmed-by-russia-s-support-for-trump-63375429721

Monday, July 1, 2019

Putin Uses Chechen Thugs Internally



Dear Sir/Madam,

Chechnya’s Significance to Russia’s Internal and Foreign Policy

The Polish Institute of International Affairs presents the next issue of the PISM Bulletin.

Jakub Benedyczak

The actions of the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, towards the neighbouring republics of the Russian Federation have increased tensions in the North Caucasus region. The Russian authorities tolerate Kadyrov’s policy because of the significance of Chechnya to Russian politics in the Middle East and the fight against terrorism. Kadyrov remains loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the most important guarantor of the Chechen leader’s position. However, in the long run, once Putin leaves office, the Chechen Republic may attempt to gain independence.

In autumn last year, Kadyrov forced the neighbouring Republic of Ingushetia to resolve a territorial conflict with the Chechen Republic that had lasted since the collapse of the USSR. As a result of the agreement, Ingushetia renounced 10% of its territory to Chechnya. This led to massive protests of the Ingush people, and as a result, the resignation of Ingushetia’s head. Then, Kadyrov forced the Republic of Dagestan to join similar talks on territorial changes. Fearing a repetition of the Ingushetia scenario in April, the parties suspended negotiations. Despite the tensions in Ingushetia, the Russia’s Constitutional Court approved the Chechnya-Ingushetia border agreement, and the central authorities will not intervene in this unprecedented shifting of borders within the Russian Federation.

Chechnya’s Quasi-Sovereignty. Since the end of the active phase of the Second Chechen War (2000), the Russian authorities have transferred control over the republic to local elites in exchange for tamping down aspirations of independence. This has led to the formation of an informal and unique status for the Chechnya Republic in the Russian Federation called an “internal foreign”, which is characterized by the limited authority of the central authorities over the republic. In the republic, the institutions and offices of federal offices only formally function based on the law of the Russian Federation. In practice, they are subject to Kadyrov directives, informal local schemes, and customary Chechen laws.

Contrary to federal law, the authorities of the Chechen Republic conduct their own Chechenisation and Islamisation practices based on at times extreme interpretations of local cultural and religious jurisprudence: allowing polygamy, marriages of underage women, “matrimonial” kidnappings, honour killings, and the domination of the Chechen language in media, offices, and local government meetings. This has been taking place with the tacit agreement of the central authorities, along with mass persecution of opponents and the use of torture and collective repression.

The basis of Chechnya’s autonomy is the 10,000–30,000-strong local armed formation, the so-called Kadyrovtsy. Formally, they are subject to the Russian Ministry of International Affairs and the National Guard. In reality, they are Kadyrov’s private army, led by his associates. Almost all defence and security units are under the control of the authorities in the Chechen Republic, with only the local Federal Security Service left.

Kadyrov’s clan has monopolised the local economy. The Russian government controls only the energy sector in the republic, although 80% of its revenues comes from the federal budget. The Chechen authorities also derive tribute paid by local state and private institutions in the form of payments for the benefit of the Akhmad Kadyrov Foundation, connected to the leader of the republic.

The quasi-sovereignty of the Chechen Republic and the politics of Chechenisation strengthen the strong feeling of separateness and superiority among Chechens over other Caucasian nations. This also makes the Russian language, culture, andate alien to the inhabitants of the republic, consolidating the conviction of their area as an independent country belonging to the Chechens, including the neighbouring republics of the North Caucasus, which further increases the separatist tendencies.

Chechnya’s Significance in Russian Politics. Chechnya is an important element of Russia’s fight against terrorism in the North Caucasus. The Kadyrovtsy supported the Russian services in the so-called “zachistka” (mopping-up) of separatists and Islamic fundamentalists, consisting of the fighters’ absorption into their ranks or killing them, isolating them from cities and depriving their families of their livelihoods. The Kadyrovtsy also reportedly supported 4,000–5,000 of the region’s militants’ travel to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS, including around 600–1,500 Chechens, and now are preventing their return. This has made it easier for Russian military intelligence to infiltrate ISIS and also to break up the Caucasus Emirate, a terrorist organisation responsible for many acts of terror in Russia. Fighting Islamic radicals with the Chechen forces increases the effectiveness of Russia’s anti-terrorist policy. In 2010-2018, the number of victims of violence and acts of terror in the North Caucasus decreased by almost 90% (from 1,710 to 110), and in Chechnya by over 70% (from 250 to 35). In addition, the involvement of Chechen troops allows federal authorities to avoid responsibility for acts against civilians.

The Kadyrovtsy often act without agreement with the federal authorities. Justifying this by the fight against terrorism, they have fought Kadyrov’s political opponents, organised armed raids in Ingushetia and Dagestan, and carried out murders outside the territory of the Chechen Republic. Thanks to Kadyrov’s protection, the Kadyrovtsy avoid criminal liability for these actions—the exception being the Chechens convicted in 2017 for the murder of former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov. This has led to the emergence of a conflict between Kadyrov and the heads of Russian power structures, who would like to limit the leader of the Chechnya’s freedom to act as he wishes. However, they are currently unable to weaken his position because he enjoys Putin’s personal protection.

The Russian president perceives the Chechen leader as a guarantor of Russian priorities towards the North Caucasus, ensuring the stability of Chechnya and keeping it within the Russian Federation. It can be assumed that only if Kadyrov attempts to take over further Russian Federation territory will he meet a firm reaction from Putin.

Chechnya’s Significance in Russian Foreign Policy. Kadyrov has become an important instrument of Russian politics in North Africa and the Middle East. In the last four years, he and his associates, as special representatives of President Putin and the Russian Federation, have held dozens of meetings with the highest authorities of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, and Libya. Two close Kadyrov advisors pursue Russian policy in the region: Lev Dengov is the head of the Russia-Libya contact group, working to regain Russian influence in the Libyan economy, and Ziyad Sabsabi, Kadyrov’s envoy for the Middle East and North Africa, is responsible for the repatriation of Russian women and children from Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

An important role is played by Kadyrov’s troops, who have fought or are fighting in the Russian-Georgian conflict, in Donbas in the Ukraine, and also in Syria, where the Russian military sided with Bashar Al-Assad. Currently, about 1,000 Chechens are stationed in Syria. In addition to intelligence tasks, they protect strategic objects, humanitarian aid and the reconstruction of mosques, financed by the Akhmad Kadyrov Foundation. The foundation also establishes contacts with the relatively large Chechen diaspora, including in Turkey, Syria, and Jordan, thus building Kadyrov’s influence in the Middle East. This strengthens the Chechen leader on the Russian political scene, leveraging power over structures hostile to him.

Conclusions and Perspectives. For the Russian authorities, Kadyrov’s seemingly independent actions are the price for his contribution to the fight against terrorism and the stabilisation of Chechnya. For this reason, the quasi-sovereignty of the republic will be preserved, allowing Kadyrov to further strengthen his political position, deepen Chechnya’s independence within the Federation, and expand its influence in the region. This will be supported by maintaining Kadyrov’s role as an intermediary in Russian politics in the Middle East and North Africa.

In the short term, a scenario in which Kadyrov’s actions threaten the stability of the North Caucasus or the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation is unlikely. The massive scale of repression Kadyrov has used against the Chechens, as well as the conflict with the Russian power structures, mean that the republic’s leader must remain loyal to the federal authorities to maintain his power and security. However, if he attempts to change the status quo in the region, the Russian authorities will use all means, including military force, to restore full control over the North Caucasus.

As the most important guarantor of the current status of Chechnya and Kadyrov’s position is Putin, in the long term, after the change in the leader of the Russian Federation, the existing model of relations between the central authorities and the republic could be revised. If Putin’s departure weakens the federal authorities, it is possible that Chechnya will attempt to gain independence and expand its borders into neighbouring republics, as it did after the collapse of the USSR and considering the separatist tendencies still present in the republic.


Yours faithfully,


Katarzyna Staniewska

Bulletin PISM
Research Office
Polish Institute of International Affairs
1A Warecka Street
00-950 Warsaw, Poland

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

RUSSIAN NUCLEAR POWERED MISSILES. Report



June 24, 2019


Dear Sir/Madam,

The Polish Institute of International Affairs presents the next issue of the PISM Bulletin.

Military Application of Nuclear Propulsion:
Russian 9M730/SSC-X-9 Cruise Missile Project

Marcin Andrzej Piotrowski

Russia presents its Burevestnik cruise missile with nuclear propulsion as a new type of strategic weapon that should change the strategic balance with the U.S. and open new areas of arms control and arms-reduction negotiations. However, a series of failed tests has resulted in the perception of the missile as an element of Russian propaganda. Nevertheless, the continued development of this missile might prompt stronger NATO nuclear deterrence and missile defence against all types of Russian cruise missiles.

What We Know. In March 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented six new models of weapons in response to advancements in U.S. missile defence systems. According to Putin, these models disrupt strategic stability between Russia and the U.S. He focused especially on the projects named 2M39 Poseidon, a drone-torpedo with a 10,000 km range, and 9M730 Burevestnik, a cruise missile described as having “unlimited range”. Both weapons are based on nuclear propulsion (small reactors that supply non-stop power) and both could deliver nuclear warheads. Putin’s presentation was illustrated with a few images of the 9M730 being launched as well as a computer visualisation of its flight path. In 2018, Russian media often featured the 9M730 project, but always illustrated their reports with virtual visualisations. In July 2018, the Russian Ministry of Defence made an announcement from an assembly building belonging to defence contractor Novator where at least four 9M730 missiles were visible, or at least mock-ups of them. The presentation was aimed at weakening the effects of Western media reports about the crash of a prototype missile and the subsequent Russian search mission in the Barents Sea. In February 2019, Russia announced it had conducted a successful test flight of the missile. Also noteworthy is that, in available sources, so far there is has been no discussion about the future role of this missile in either Russia’s military doctrine or strategy.

That Russia is developing the 9M730 was confirmed by a few media leaks from U.S. intelligence, which reportedly detected it for the first time in 2016 at the Kapustin Yar range, with the missile then designated as KY-30. After further flights at this range and in Novaya Zemlya, the missile was designated by NATO as SSC-X-9 Skyfall. By January 2019, U.S. intelligence had detected altogether 13 tests of prototypes, with 11 ending in crashes just after the missile left its launcher. In all cases, the problem appeared to be with the continuation of flight in the transition from the start-engine to the initiation of the reactor as the missile’s main engine. Even the two relatively successful flights ended after just a few minutes and a short distance. According to U.S. intelligence, the majority of the missile tests were prepared at Putin’s demand and against the suggestions of engineers from Novator and the research centre responsible for the development of nuclear propulsion. These tests are seen as the cause of the increased presence of radioactive Ruthenium and Iodine in Scandinavia, possibly stemming from the 9M730’s main engine.

Problems with Nuclear Propulsion. Russian information about the miniaturisation of nuclear reactors has been questioned by some Western non-governmental experts. They point to the many difficulties with the miniaturisation of nuclear propulsion. These opinions, though, do not seem to consider that Rosatom, the state company responsible for the development of civilian and military nuclear technologies, has received since 2010 around a 30% real increase in its budget. These funds could have allowed Russia to make significant progress in the construction of miniature nuclear reactors and propulsion systems for the Burevestnik and Poseidon systems.

It also should be noted that the Burevestnik’s development faces many of the same technical and safety issues identified in projects initiated by the U.S. and USSR at the beginning of the Cold War. Then, the concept of nuclear propulsion on strategic bombers was studied, which would give aircraft the capability of long-endurance flights and near permanent combat readiness. However, after the construction of a few prototypes in both countries, it became clear that an aeroplane-based reactor presented a threat to crews and materials. Moreover, with the start of the 1960s, both powers activated relatively secure nuclear-powered submarines with ballistic missiles, which ended the need for further work on nuclear-powered aeroplanes. The U.S. refocused its efforts on the SLAM missile-drone, which could carry up to 24 thermonuclear warheads, but even with successful tests of its main engine, the project was cancelled in 1964 because of the risk of a huge radioactive dust cloud emitted by its main engine. It’s also likely that similar risks associated with the potential crash of a Global Hawk reconnaissance drone with nuclear propulsion were the reason for halting research into it (2003-2012).

Problems of the New START Treaty (NST). Even if Russia is still facing technical issues with the development of the Burevestnik and Poseidon projects, they have huge political and propaganda importance. These are tied to the uncertain future of the NST, the last treaty limiting the Russian and American nuclear arsenals after Russia’s violation of the Treaty on Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces and planned August 2019 withdrawal of the U.S. Signed in 2010, the NST limited the quantity of strategic nuclear warheads and means of delivery—intercontinental ballistic missiles, sea-launched ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers. The NST will expire in February 2021, though there is the possibility of an extension to 2026. Russia has declared its support for the NST extension because the quantity and quality limits are the best guarantees for parity with the U.S. With the continuation of the NST, Russia would avoid the risk of additional costs for maintaining its strategic forces at levels above what they are today.

Until recently, there has been no clear position from the Trump administration regarding the U.S. position on extending the NST. The president’s suggestion that the NST and INF should expand to include China is unrealistic due to the Chinese categorical rejection of both treaties. On the other hand, an extension of the NST for another five years may allow the U.S. not only to remain on par with Russia’s strategic capabilities but also to monitor and verify its nuclear arsenal. At the same time, Trump and his advisors see the expiration or termination of the NST as a chance at more flexible paths to the modernisation of U.S. nuclear forces. If the NST expires, they view the lack of quantitative and qualitative limits as a means to strengthen the credibility of U.S. deterrence toward Russia and China.

Thus, the importance of the Burevestnik missile is tied to the fact that it is not subject to the precise definitions and limits of the NST but that it is still a strategic weapon system, with its planned intercontinental range and nuclear warhead. From the point of view of the Russian government, the missile is intended as a bargaining chip during negotiations with the U.S., meant to preserve the value of maintaining the rules of the NST. A new ground-launched cruise missile could illustrate that Russia has the capabilities to develop new strategic systems not foreseen by the treaty. If the NST expires in 2021, Russia is hoping that this new missile could be treated as a negotiation tool to gain a brand new bilateral treaty or agreement. However, the lack of successful long-range tests seems to limit Russia’s goals. Further tests and investments in the development of the 9M730 missile, or other innovative weapons, has become even more probable after 2021. Only with success in these efforts will there be a credible reason for the U.S. to conclude that the interests of both nuclear powers are better ensured by treaties controlling their strategic arsenals.

Conclusion. The limited information about the actual progress of development of the 9M730 Burevestnik suggests problems with the missile, even though the programme is personally supported by President Putin. Contrary to the opinions of some experts, this missile project has more than a disinformation-propaganda function and Russia’s desire to miniaturise reactors should not be dismissed. A U.S. decision not to extend the NST could encourage Russia to develop new nuclear weapons technology and new strategic weapons systems. Uncertainty about the future of the NST and the direction of the nuclear triad modernisation plans of Russia and the U.S. increase the concern among American allies. They want to avoid an uncontrolled arms race between the U.S. and Russia at both the strategic and regional levels. In this context, and especially with Russia’s testing of systems not covered by the NST, there is the possibility NATO members may arrive at different political positions. Nevertheless, the Burevestnik missile’s development needs to be treated as a potential military threat to NATO states. It is capable of delivering nuclear warheads at long range and with a flight profile similar to other Russian cruise missiles. These factors support the argument for a parallel strengthening of nuclear deterrence and building up a multi-layered NATO missile defence—topics so far avoided or blocked by some allies.

Yours faithfully,


Katarzyna Staniewska

Bulletin PISM
Research Office
Polish Institute of International Affairs
1A Warecka Street
00-950 Warsaw, Poland

https://clearinghouseprojectrussia.blogspot.com/2019/06/russian-nuclear-powered-mssiles-report.html


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

REVISED: Effective Campaign Finance Reform


This is a very long post with the entire text of the proposal.

[Links to sources available only in Kindle edition. ©2019, Mike P. McKeever, San Francisco, CA, USA]

TOWARD EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: Adapting Ancient Codes


PREFACE

Do we need to worry about the fact that 40% of United States Congressmen and Congresswomen women are millionaires?

Maybe it's just fine that rich people make our laws and policies, after all they must be good at stuff since they are rich.

But, wait a second. In a word: No. They're not good at everything just because they are rich.

It is not OK that rich people make our laws.

The reason is simple - rich people want to stay rich and get richer. It's what they do.

And, when you're rich and in Congress you can make laws that make you even richer. Or, hear about opportunities for profit before the rest of us.

And, yes, all that is illegal. But, guess what: the laws ain't working. Income and wealth divides in the USA are getting bigger and bigger. And this is despite the fact that some elected officials have been prosecuted for ethics violations.

I think Americans want people in our government to do things that are right for all of us. It's time to take away the opportunity for the rich to profit at our expense while they are in government.

It's especially important today since the problems we face are species wide. If we don't get the right answers, homo sapiens might become extinct. That's right. As a species, we are facing real threats to our survival.

That means we need people in government who make decisions for all of us, not just for themselves.

SOLUTION

Here is a proposed solution: require all public servants to place their assets into a blind trust while they are serving.

That way, they won't be able to make a profit from their actions and, perhaps, will make better decisions for all of us. It's a really good idea and there is more about it below.

But, it is unlikely that the rich people in our government will agree to make it a mandatory thing.

So, perhaps it is time to ask all our officials whether or not they have VOLUNTARILY placed their assets into a trust. Officials whose assets are not under their control while they are serving will be more likely to make better decisions for all of us.

TOWARD EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM


Table of Contents

a. Introduction

b. Biographical Note

c. Past response History

d. Suggested Goal

e. Look to Ancient Codes

f. Ancient advice to a ruler

g. Adapting Ancient Codes

h. Creating a Blind Trust Process


INTRODUCTION

It is apparent to all but the most myopic observers that our current political and economic systems are based on a zero sum game model; that is to say, I can have more for me and my family only by taking it from you and your family.

The result of this approach is an adversarial society in which businesses try to lower wage costs by any available means and workers are disadvantaged since they don’t have the political power that business owners have. Labor unions were an attempt to balance the scales; and, when unions were effective, they did a reasonably effective job of balancing incomes and wealth.

Capital responded in the legislature by weakening the power of labor unions to negotiate for workers. The days of unions representing workers effectively are over. Capital runs amok.

But, even that was tolerable so long as the challenges that we as human beings faced were relatively benign and stable.

Unfortunately the challenges we face today are species wide. These challenges – global warming, population growth, the rise of tyranny – are simply stronger than the collective will that we can assemble in an adversarial society. Collectively these challenges are existential to our species.

Many observers have noted that when a political body is severely unbalanced, the likelihood of a violent change becomes stronger.

The United States has a recent history of providing opportunities for the ‘few’ to enrich themselves at the expense of the ‘many’.

Those conditions are well documented elsewhere and are taken as givens here.


PAST AMERICAN RESPONSE - HISTORY

Those conditions referred to above have led to past and current calls for ‘campaign finance reform’ as a means to encourage our system to protect the ‘many’. These calls, however, are based on the simplistic assumption that the primary reason for the American system’s failure to protect the many is due to direct campaign contributions to politicians in exchange for access to the politicians who can influence legislation affecting the donors’ interests.

The logic of past proposals has been this: Once the identities of the donors are made public, the receiving politicians will be ashamed to provide favors for the donors.

Congressional ethics and conflict of interest laws were adopted in the 1970's in an attempt to control legislative behavior. [https://ethics.house.gov/financial-dislosure/policies-underlying-disclosure]

But, several members of Congress have been jailed or fined due to corruption since the 1980's; a detailed list prepared by the Washington Post is available here:

[washingtonpost - the-fix, 2015.07.29]

Here are a few examples from that article:
‘2015
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.): on 29 counts (with others involved), accused of racketeering and misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars following his failed run for mayor of Philadelphia in 2007.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.): on 14 counts, including eight counts of bribery, in connection with helping a friend and supporter with his business interests. The case is still open, and Menendez is still in the Senate, vowing to fight.
2013
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) : on 20 counts, including five counts of mail and and wire fraud and three counts related to filing false tax returns, in connection with a Manhattan restaurant he ran called "Healthalicious." He was sentenced this month to eight months in prison.
2008
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska): on seven counts, including making false statements, in connection with more than a quarter of a million dollars allegedly gifted from oil company executives to upgrade his home. His subsequent conviction was later overturned.
Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.): on 35 counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering, and accused of influencing a land deal in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was sentenced to three years in prison.
2007
Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.): on 16 counts, accused of accepting about $500,000 in bribes. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison. The FBI found $90,000 in his freezer.
2005
Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas): accused of conspiring with political associates to influence Texas state legislative races through a PAC that illegally gave corporate contributions for candidates. He was convicted, but the conviction was overturned by a court in 2013.
2001
Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio): on multiple counts, including bribery, tax evasion and accepting illegal gifts, and accused of a "pattern of racketeering" by soliciting bribes in return for official favors. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.’

The campaign finance laws adopted in the 1970’s did not eliminate the problem. Elected officials did not rise to the challenges we face as a species.

An apparent weakness of Congressional Ethics laws seems to be that the laws rely on public disclosure as the primary punishment for illegal behavior, failing any criminal prosecutions. In other words, there does not appear to be any enforcement mechanism except court actions resulting from public disclosure or voter disapproval. These disclosure principles and practices operate in an environment where incumbents have a distinct advantage in re-election campaigns AND in a society where many businesses believe - and act - that a criminal act is a good business decision whenever the reward is more than the fine or punishment.


SUGGESTED GOAL

One goal can be a legislature which acts for our common good instead of for their own self-interest.

But, current laws designed to reduce the influence of money and self-interest have proven ineffective in achieving that goal.

Perhaps the question becomes this: How do we create a group of legislators that will act for the common good of the species?

What we want is a government composed of people who serve to make our lives better. Since our past efforts at campaign reform have failed to provide that, perhaps it is time to consider a different approach.

It would be good if any proposed system will improve governing even if it is not universally adopted. That means that adopting the proposal can be voluntary and not forced.

If a few legislators adopt the proposal, voters will see their actions as more responsive and less self interested. The hope is that those few officials are re-elected easily. Once the share of legislators approaches 50%, it is likely that most will join voluntarily. Any remaining holdouts will become pariahs.


LOOK TO ANCIENT CODES FOR A NEW SOLUTION

The proposed system herein is modeled on our ancient practices of rulers who governed very closely to their subjects.

The proposal will remove the possibility of Legislators profiting from their decisions while in office. Perhaps then legislators will make choices for our nation instead of their own wealth.

This may be less naive than it appears. That’s because the people who aspire to public service will do so because they think that they can make things better for the entire country instead of looking to profit personally from their decisions.

As background, I return to an ancient philosophy of governing from a time when leaders were known to the people. Government was more direct - if the leader failed it was evident immediately and the leader was replaced or the society suffered.

Perhaps we can adapt some ideas from that earlier time. Although the ideas herein were generated in Medieval Ireland, it is very likely that such ideas were universal at that time. It was a time in which the Cathedrals and forts, remains of which dot the European landscape today, were built.

The following is taken from a blog post by Stiofán MacAmhalghaidh in 'Fír Flathemon, Collective Responsibility and Social Order in Early Medieval Ireland', a link to which is provided below.


ADVICE TO A RULER

Audacht Morainn

"Let him raise truth, it will raise him.
Let him exalt mercy, it exalth him
Let him care for his tribes, they will care for him
Let him help his tribes, they will help him
Let him soothe his tribes, they will soothe him"

[Fergus Kelly, A Guide To Early Irish Law, DIAS, 1988, 18-21. Kelly tends to favour 'justice' as a translation of fírinne, though one of the purposes of the present discussion is to show that 'truth' may be closer to the original meaning in most cases.]

'The advice in Audacht Morainn is built on a set of ideas about the individual's place in society and the rights and responsibilities this brings, about proper social order and the impact individual action has on this order and about the proper ordering of nature and the impact that the balance of social order has on that natural order. Cath Maige Tuired, though a mythical tale of the Túatha Dé Danann, is structured such as to demonstrate both the effects of disrupting the social and natural order and of restoring the balance to both systems. The central role of the rí, as the pinnacle of the social hierarchy, means that attention naturally falls on the actions of the holder of that position in both texts, especially in Audacht Morainn. This does not mean that his actions are the only ones that have an impact, and while this is implied in Audacht Morainn it is a constant theme in Cath Maige Tuired. Everyone has a place in society, everyone's actions have consequences, and everyone is affected by those consequences. Lug's request for knowledge from Bres completes the loop of action and consequences, linking individual, society and nature. The individual affects society, society affects nature, nature affects the individual.

Audacht Morainn, though written in the form of advice sent to a young ruler, contains within it a world-view capable of informing the actions of everyone in early medieval Irish society. Cath Maige Tuired, written as a mythical history of the gods and goddesses of Ireland's ancient past, contains in it a working-out of the world-view of Audacht Morainn and, though not structured as a lesson, it, too, can also inform the actions of the medieval Irish individual. For us, Cath Maige Tuired, though perhaps failing to give us a 'mirror on the Iron Age' can at least hold up a mirror to the society of early medieval Ireland.'

Blog post by Stiofán MacAmhalghaidh; Stiofán MacAmhalghaidh is Project Manager of the IRQUAS online Irish heritage project and Editor of INSIGHT Journal

Fír Flathemon, Collective Responsibility and Social Order in Early Medieval Ireland: Using Audacht Morainn to Interpret Cath Maige Tuired


ADAPTING ANCIENT CODES TO A 21ST CENTURY SYSTEM

So then, the question becomes: "How is it possible to adapt that concept of responsibility to 21st Century Society?"

One answer for the United States may be to change the ethics rules for all United States Federal employees who are elected and/or Confirmed by the Senate so that they do NOT have any incentive to act in their own, personal interests and against the people's interests.

The goal is to ensure as much as possible that all Officials cannot make a monetary gain from their positions while serving.

The Proposal

** Require that all elected officials have an option to place all their assets exceeding One Million Dollars into a blind trust so that they cannot make any additions to or subtractions from the trust until 90 days after they are out of office.

** Require that all appointed and confirmed officials must place their assets above One Million Dollars into a blind trust so long as they serve.

** Require that all elected or appointed officials submit their federal tax returns each year to the FBI OFFICE OF ETHICS ENFORCEMENT while they hold the office.

** The FBI shall proactively examine each individual's financial transaction to look for violation of conflict of interest or other pecuniary gain and shall bring enforcement actions whenever it is warranted.

This is different from the current system, which relies on public disclosure to ensure compliance.

CREATING A BLIND TRUST PROCESS

The House Ethics Committee shall create a procedure whereby the Committee Staff will provide a blind trust facility to all qualified and interested parties.

HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND STAFF CONTACTS

Ethics Committee Members - Republicans

Susan W. Brooks, Indiana - Chairwoman; Kenny Marchant, Texas; Leonard Lance, New Jersey; Mimi Walters, California; John Ratcliffe, Texas

Democrats

Ted Deutch, Florida - Ranking Member; Yvette D. Clarke, New York; Jared Polis, Colorado; Anthony Brown, Maryland; Steve Cohen, Tennessee

The Staff Director is Tom Rust, Chief Counsel & Staff Director

HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE
1015 Longworth House Office Building (LHOB)
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-7103
Fax: 202-225-7392
Office Hours: Mon. - Fri.
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Spring 2019 Country Studies


The Mike P. McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis [MIEPA] is pleased to announce the publication of its Spring 2019 Country Studies.

Four Specialists have written analyses of the economic condition of the United States of America in cooperation with MIEPA.

Each study can be read here: http://www.mkeever.com/usa.html

The Specialists are: Specialist Steven Choi; Specialist Alex Colina; Specialist Seth Hill; and, Specialist
Antonio Sanahuja.

The Mike P. McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis [MIEPA]

www.mkeever.com

Friday, May 24, 2019

Two Existential Threats to the United States Today



The underlying structure of the United States Constitution is under direct attack today by the Administration. Currently, there are two initiatives which will fundamentally alter our country if they proceed unchecked.

The first existential threat is to Freedom of the Press - the First Amendment.

The Government has charged Julian Assange with a crime of publishing secret government information. Regardless of the personal merits of Mr. Assange, if he is convicted, then the government will be able to punish any journalist with jail for the crime of publishing government information.

A free press which publishes government information is the major deterrent to misuse of power by government officials.

An example of the power of the free press is the children locked in cages on our Southern border. Without a free press, some of them would die without our knowledge.

If the First Amendment is destroyed, then we will no longer be free.

Here is a link to an article, from the free press, about this threat: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/assange-indictment-free-press-advocates-see-peril-journalism-n1009536

The second existential threat is to the sources and methods which our National Security agencies use to protect the United States from covert and overt attacks.

The Administration has ordered all the Security Agencies to cooperate with the new probe into 'spying' on trump during his election campaign. There have already been two investigations into this issue which found no wrongdoing.

The effect, and perhaps the purpose, of this order will be to compromise our intelligence sources and methods. People will die.

And, combined with the Administration's refusal to construct adequate cyber defenses, the United States will be vulnerable to any foreign actors who wish to plunder our country.

Now is the time for all the Security employees to make a decision - cooperate with this order and weaken the constitution or refuse to cooperate and risk termination.

The choice is that stark.

Here is a link to a discussion of the order:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLfucxDAMx8

Some may wonder at the purpose behind these attacks. I suggest that they are part of a Russian operation to weaken the United States - and the European Union Countries as well.

Russia has nurtured a hatred of the United States for more than one hundred years. During that time they have developed and refined plans to weaken us. Now is their time to implement those plans.

Fifty years ago, their goal was to install Communism once we were weak. Now their goal is simply greed - their thug oligarchs want to loot us. It is just that simple.

To see how Russia works, read this article on the collapse of Austria's far right government: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/20/austrian-government-collapses-after-far-fight-minister-fired

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Lithuanian Model in the Fight against Disinformation





23 May 2019
Kinga Raś
no. 67 (1313)
The Lithuanian Model in the Fight against Disinformation

To counter Russian disinformation and cyberattacks, Lithuania has adapted its administrative structures and modified national legislation. At the same time, it aims to mobilise the other countries of the European Union to systemically counteract the use of fake news to manipulate public opinion. Poland, which is also exposed to Russian disinformation campaigns, can take advantage of the Lithuanian experience.
Goals and Methods of the Russian Activities

Disinformation inspired by Russia is aimed at interfering in the social and political processes of other countries. It takes the form of intentional actions to manipulate public opinion. Since November 2015, the EU vs Disinfo team, operating under the East StratCom Task Force, has identified more than 5,000 cases of disinformation in Europe that favours Russian interests.

Currently, Russian activity targeted on Lithuania focuses on important strategic matters and publicly sensitive areas such as historical memory, and social and economic issues (including those related to the energy sector). In the broader context, the use of disinformation reflects Russia’s long-term interests and aspiration to maintain control and influence over the information space in post-Soviet states.

Russia wants, above all, to undermine public confidence in Lithuania’s defence and security policy. This is confirmed by official reports by the Lithuanian intelligence and security services, which emphasize that although in 2018 the number of cases of false information about NATO’s military presence in Lithuania decreased, Russia maintained a steady message against the Alliance and the Lithuanian armed forces.

The disinformation activities are often paired with cyberattacks, such as the intentional spread of malware to computer networks of state institutions, to steal sensitive data. For example, in 2018, after a hack of the systems of television channel TV3, false information about the sexual orientation of Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis was disseminated. The message, along with a link and an infected file, was forwarded via e-mail and disseminated to media and state institutions.

At the same time, Russia is actively involved in intelligence activities (cyber-espionage). It has conducted this activity, among others, through the spread of the “Agent.btz” or “Snake” viruses. Their latest versions have been detected in data-processing systems and Lithuanian state institutions. The attacks are carried out by, among others, APT28, a hacker group directly connected to Russian intelligence and whose activity has been identified in the Lithuanian cyberspace.
Lithuania’s Methods of Fighting Disinformation

Lithuania, with its historical background, geographical proximity, and the presence of the Russian minority (about 5%), is a country greatly exposed to Russian disinformation activities. These clearly intensified after Russia’s aggression on Ukraine in 2014. One of the reasons for this was Lithuania’s policy stances that put it amongst the group of states most principled in opposing Russia’s aggressive actions in the region. Lithuania also has indirectly supported social circles in Russia critical of the Russian authorities, for example, after the protests of December 2011. As a result, Lithuania is a strong advocate of the sanctions on Russia despite the costs to itself, especially in the economic dimension. In addition, the Russian authorities continue to perceive Lithuania (and other Baltic states) as part of a zone of Russia’s privileged interest.

In response to the disinformation attempts, Lithuania takes action in several dimensions. For example, it has modified its management model for the national cybersecurity system. It assumes the cooperation of state bodies, including the uniformed services, as well as institutions and entities with critical infrastructure (such as energy companies). For this purpose, in 2015, the National Cybersecurity Centre (NCC) was established, and in 2017, the country’s law on cybersecurity was amended to, among others, centralise information-security management and to integrate the monitoring of national electronic communications networks.

Lithuania is also trying to adapt existing procedures to meet the new threats by enabling and facilitating the identification and detection of disinformation and countering it. A regulation allowing authorised state bodies (including the NCC) to temporarily block the servers of an entity being used in a cyberattack or to spread fake news.

The Lithuanian authorities also have attempted to limit the influence of Russian media in the Lithuanian public space. They have blocked, temporarily, the possibility of broadcasting Russian television in Lithuania (although it is still available on the internet). In April, the Lithuanian parliament voted in amendments that will allow the Lithuanian Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting (LRTK) to quickly stop television channels from broadcasting in the event of a threat to national security.

The Lithuanian authorities also strive to increase public awareness of the threats. The high level of competence and broad administrative powers are not enough to fight disinformation, which is why bottom-up initiatives, such as the “movement of elves” is very helpful in this case. This group consists mainly of Lithuanian volunteers who are focused on identifying and combating the Russian trolls. Their main task is to expose fake online accounts to prevent the spread of false information. To assist with this task, the platform Demaskuok.lt was established, bringing together representatives of state institutions as well as journalists and IT professionals.

Tangible proof of the effectiveness of Lithuania’s actions is the growing number of unmasked fake news and false accounts (which are subsequently blocked). This was confirmed also by the rapid action against German sporting goods maker Adidas, which, under scrutiny from the public and Lithuanian diplomacy, withdrew a jubilee collection commemorating USSR sports clothing.
Conclusions and Perspectives

The mechanisms used by Russia against Lithuania are also used against other EU and NATO countries (e.g., Germany or Poland). The coordinated approach of the Lithuanian authorities to the problem of disinformation turns out to be an effective recipe to counter the Russian actions. It is supported by organisational and institutional solutions, as well as by a high level of public awareness and debate.

Lithuanian experts signalled an increase in Russian disinformation activity in connection with European Parliament elections and called for closer cooperation between the Member States, media, and information companies operating in the EU. Here again, the Lithuanian example can be an effective model in the fight against disinformation.

Poland and Lithuania’s joint actions to strengthen energy and military security will be one of the main and more prominent targets of Russian disinformation. It can be expected that Polish and Lithuanian efforts to strengthen NATO’s Eastern Flank and increase the U.S. military presence in the region will be subject to Russian disinformation and cyberattacks. The cooperation between Poland and Lithuania in the energy sector also will remain a target, especially since both countries not only oppose the construction of Nord Stream 2 but are implementing projects themselves to increase their independence from Russian energy supplies by expanding their own gas terminals or interconnector gas connections (GIPL). For Poland, not only is the Lithuanian experience of integrating countering disinformation into the wider context of cybersecurity useful but also its centralised organisational solutions and procedures in case of cyberattack.

The common fight against disinformation offers the chance to increase cooperation at the institutional level and among IT experts and journalists, for example, through special training workshops devoted to the analysis of content and disclosure of disinformation. Poland may also strengthen cooperation within the EU’s Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CRRTs) and support Lithuania in implementing the “cyber Schengen” initiative. In practice, this would improve the response to cyberattacks, including by allowing fast data and information exchange. Lithuania emphasizes that the EU could more effectively support countries in its neighbourhood, including Ukraine, in strengthening cybersecurity and combating disinformation.
Bulletin PISM no 67 (1313) 23 May 2019
Bulletin PISM no 67 (1313) 23 May 2019 (366 KB)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

PUTIN'S PLAY BOOK FOR 2020


This is a discussion of the 2020 Presidential election in the United States.

It is inspired by Giuliani’s trip to Ukraine to find dirt on Joe Biden. [News reports are that the trip has been cancelled, but nothing changes as a result of a cancellation.]

While the trip and its motivations are despicable, it is more than that.

The trip is the first indication that there will be NO restraints on trump in 2020. He likely will go full bore toward installing a tyranny in the USA.

It is despicable since it is an attempt to find dirt on Joe Biden's deceased son in order to hurt Biden emotionally and politically. It is a shameless attack on the private man who suffers daily from a lost son. It is a transparent attempt to divert attention away from trump and Russia toward Biden and Russia. Whether the diversion has truth behind it or not is irrelevant - the attack will raise doubts.

The trip is illegal as well as immoral. Taking help of value from a foreign government or entity in a US election is illegal. But, with the Justice Department compromised, it is likely that there will be no prosecution.

Russia has a long history of controlling foreign governments with political and subversive methods which do not require armed forces.

The plan of attack has been rehearsed and perfected in many countries. It is simple: Step 1 - install a head of government who is controllable and amenable to furthering the aims of Russia. This is accomplished in the US.

Step 2 - identify and neutralize all domestic opposition to the Head of Government. That can mean remove them from power and discredit or assassinate them.

Probable targets in the US include but are not limited to the Court system, the Justice Department, especially the FBI, the Treasury, Congressional committees which target trump, influential Newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post and their reporters, widely respected television journalists on CNN and MSNBC personally as well as social media trolls and campaigns.

While I could write a list of individual people who could be targeted, I do not want to give Putin any ideas.

The Court System is currently under attack with the Supreme Court already compromised. The Republican senators under Putin's control are presently engaged in a systematic campaign of stacking Federal Courts with sympathizers.

The Justice Department and the FBI are compromised.

The Treasury is compromised.

Many Committees in the House of Representatives are still functioning as they are supposed to function, but will likely be targeted for attacks, especially on the Chairs.

Committees in the Senate are compromised.

The war against newspaper reporters is under full steam with constant verbal abuse and threats of violence against reporters. This campaign includes severely limiting access of the press to the President's statements and policies. Jeff Bezos has been attacked in an attempt to silence the Washington Post. Look for further attacks on the NY Times, especially its more effective reporters.

The campaign to impugn the integrity of the mainstream media is up and running. Most people now do not believe the news is accurate.

Cable news and commentary and its commenters will likely be targeted for personal attacks and neutralization.

Social media will be flooded with false news stories designed to further the above goals.

And, the alternative right vigilantes have been recruited from the US and then trained in Moscow and St. Petersburg with the goal of providing muscle in the event of disturbances.

Of course, the original and first agenda items from the 45th President should be mentioned: Election tampering and compromising the State Department and realigning United States foreign policy to favor Russia.

An army of Russian computer soldiers is attacking our election machinery to change election results in favor of Putin's choice.

United States Foreign Policy has been re-aligned to assist Russia and away from protecting the National Security of the Homeland. We are defenseless.

Tillerson's first act was to fire all the Department officials who were coordinating policy with Europe and other allies. The word of the United States no longer has meaning in foreign capitals.


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

POTUS Endangers National Security


Due to trump's design or accident, several issues of national security importance are left unaddressed by the United States.

It is worth considering forming and unofficial task force composed of Democrat leaders, Republican leaders who are not in thrall to trump and some public spirited wealthy citizens. This task force would consult and advise the federal officials working on the questions and identify wherein the National Interest of the United States lies.

This is the role normally performed by POTUS. The United States must not be allowed to drift with no guidance in these areas.

The first rule of the task force is full public disclosure by means of archived transcripts of all deliberations and announcements easily available to the public. The exception would be information that covers intelligence sources and methods which might be compromised.

I propose that Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama take the lead Democrat positions. Two equally distinguished Republicans might be identified. Two or more wealthy and public spirited citizens will be asked to provide funding for the enterprise.

The issues below are suggested, in no particular order, as places to begin.

REMOVAL PLAN

It is likely that trump will not leave the Presidency peacefully if he loses the election. It is time to create a step by step plan to both determine that he has lost and then a plan to remove him involuntarily.


WHITE SUPREMACISTS

Some people in this classification may be inclined to mass shootings. In addition to tracking their social media postings, perhaps there is some intervention that can be designed to reduce their desire for violence. Perhaps there is a public figure who commands respect from this group who can be encouraged to campaign against violence.

AR - 15 ASSAULT RIFLES

Our country appears unable to control these weapons. Perhaps some public minded citizen can join the manufacturer's board and change the policy and sales strategy to simply discontinue making these weapons available to non-military buyers. The same can be done for ammunition. Then, as Eric Swawell has proposed, we can buy them all back and destroy them.

RUSSIA CYBER ATTACKS AND ELECTION MEDDLING

This will continue. The United States requires the skills, tools and motivations to fight this information war. We must first secure our election process and then attack and destroy all the Russian and other warriors who seek to destabilize the country.

REPUBLICAN SENATORS

Unfortunately several Republican Senators have decided to block any law or action supported by the American public. This may be due to fear of trump rage or from favors granted to campaign donors. The cause is irrelevant. The Senators blocking the public's will should be targeted in primaries and general elections.

RUSSIA DIPLOMACY

Russia is a third rate country run by thugs. It is trying to create trouble in the West in order to mollify its restive population. We should counter their every diplomatic move aggressively since they will continue to attack until they meet resistance. We should re-affirm our support of NATO and the EU.

INCOME AND WEALTH DISPARITY

80% of the American population feels economic stress and has little hope for the future. When this happened in the 1930's, we saw the rise of Hitler, Mussolini and others.

CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING

This is simply evil and must be stopped regardless of whom it affects.

BANK REGULATIONS

The private commercial banking system operates with insufficient regulation. Unless checked, it will cause a financial panic and recession in the near future.


Friday, April 26, 2019

USA Revolution


Here is a pessimistic forecast of the situation in the United States of America

There is in the world today a movement toward populist authoritarian governments. Our world of representative democratic governance is directly threatened by this movement.

It is hard to overstate the impact that this movement can have on our lives today.

About 80% of American voters think we are on the brink of a revolution [from a recent opinion poll]. Nearly 80% of Americans working full time jobs think they are one financial setback from homelessness [Indeed.com]. In a FB poll, 83% of Americans responded favorably to a suggestion of Class Warfare.

Most of the movement which installed trump is a result of the precariousness with which Americans view their financial future. And, that view is shared in many of the world's 'Democracies'.

Momentum toward any such revolution is helped by the continuing worsening trend toward income and wealth inequality.

Nothing seems to have changed since trump was elected. All rhetoric aside, the system has not helped middle class families improve their financial position.

REVOLUTION

So, what will a possible Revolution look like?

We should not expect armed conflict on the streets. But, we should expect a continuance of the tyranny and repression that trump has attempted to install.

If he is re-elected and the Republicans gain control over Congress, then we can expect a continued push to overthrow the rule of law and to substitute a despotic tyranny in its place. There is no doubt that trump will continue to attack institutions which support the rule of law instead of his tyrannical actions.

He will continue to appoint judges, Cabinet officers and whomever else he can who will do his bidding regardless of what the courts say.

Russia offers an object lesson of what can happen internally when the population is not satisfied with their lot. Here's what the PISM says about Russia:

'The Polish Institute of International Affairs presents the next issue of the PISM Bulletin: The Influence of the Domestic Situation on Russia’s Foreign Policy by Jakub Benedyczak. Apr 24, 2019

'The increasing dissatisfaction of the Russians due to the deteriorating socio-economic situation in their country has resulted in declining support for President Vladimir Putin and the government of Dmitry Medvedev. To strengthen their position, the authorities may be more inclined towards confrontational foreign policy, which corresponds to the great-power ambitions of Russian society. If so, the EU might expect more intensive actions aimed at weakening its unity, and for Poland specifically (indicated in the polls of the Russian public as one of their country’s greatest enemies) there could be a continuation of the campaign that disavows its “anti-Russian” foreign and historical policy.'

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Evidence of Obstruction by trump


Mueller Report included strong evidence of trump's Obstruction of justice -

See Rachel Maddow discussion here - [copy and paste link to video] - https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/mueller-report-a-narrative-of-obstruction-laid-plain-1504903747927?fbclid=IwAR1fTBNxAN22digLE1mJU_pW50gfhAXisehrBpi7oee7hHu6IS8iyngpHTE

Senate Report: Likely That Russians Helped Trump Win Election



Read the report summary here [copy and paste into browser] -

https://www.burr.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SSCI%20ICA%20ASSESSMENT_FINALJULY3.pdf

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Full but redacted Mueller Report




Read the Full but redacted Mueller Report here:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/18/politics/full-mueller-report-pdf/index.html

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Status of Russia Missile Programs



ON RUSSIAN MISSILE PROGRAMS - The Polish Institute of International Affairs presents the next issue of the PISM Bulletin.

Russia’s Missile Development:
Potential and Limitations

Anna Maria Dyner

Russia’s development of missile capabilities, including hypersonic weapons, is intended to overcome the U.S.’s global conventional advantage. More advanced armaments can be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations on new restrictions, such as barring the deployment of weapons in space. At the same time, with a lower military budget than the U.S., the Russian authorities are afraid of entering a costly arms race, especially those involving defensive systems.

In 2018, Russia’s defence budget was about $63 billion (RUB 2.7 trillion), much less than the U.S. ($712 billion) or China ($168 billion). However, in 2018, from a budget surplus, Russia allocated for the development of modern weapons—with primarily offensive capability—the equivalent of over $15 billion. Moreover, the classified part of the budget, which includes armaments expenditures, in 2019 is estimated to be almost $46 billion. The amount of the Russian and Chinese expenditures on the development of hypersonic weapons is not known but the U.S. will allocate about $2 billion for this purpose in the coming years.

The Nuclear Triad. Strategic nuclear systems with a range of over 5,500 km have the priority under Russia’s rearmament plan. In accordance with the limits of the New START Treaty, in February 2018 Russia declared it had 779 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and strategic bombers, of which 527 were in combat readiness, and 1,444 nuclear warheads.

At the beginning of 2018, Russia had about 313 ballistic missiles, of which 165 were mobile-based. In the coming years, with modernisation of its arsenal, Russia will have three types of missiles: Topol-M (NATO: SS-27 Mod 1), Yars (SS-27 Mod 2), and Sarmat (SS-30), which will enter into service in 2019. Russia is also testing the 9M730 Burevestnik (SSC-X-9), an intercontinental nuclear-powered, nuclear-tipped cruise missile with virtually unlimited range and which probably could carry nuclear warheads. Its sea potential is based on the slowly withdrawn R-29R missiles (SS-N-18) and their modern upgrades, the Sinieva / Layner (SS-N-23) and Bulava missiles (SS-NX-30). They are deployed on 13 submarines. Russia also has 76 strategic bombers.

Kalibr Medium Range System. In response to the suspension and termination of the INF Treaty by the U.S., Russia announced, among other things, the creation of a land-based launcher for Kalibr missiles. This can happen quickly because the existing medium-range ground-based cruise missile—the 9M729 (SSC-X-8)—is probably adapted to the platforms of the modified Iskander system. According to the U.S. and other NATO countries, its potential range is about 2,500 km, which violates the provisions of the INF Treaty. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that he would not decide to deploy medium-range missiles in the European part of Russia unless such systems appear in the territory of other European countries. However, Russia will most likely decide to do it, using as a pretext the completion of the construction of the U.S. missile-defence system in Poland and indicating that the system’s Mk-41 launchers can be used to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles. If the Kalibr missiles are deployed in Kaliningrad oblast and occupied Crimea, almost all of Europe will be within their range. Thus, Russia will gain an advantage over European NATO countries that do not have missiles of this type or even missile defences at all. Considering the costs of both the offensive and defensive systems, this advantage will last for at least several years.

Hypersonic Weapons. Research into hypersonic weapons began in the USSR in the 1980s. Russia returned to the project in the first decade of the 21st century. It is developing both air-based (Kinschal) and sea-based (Cirkon) systems. Russia is also testing the Avangard vehicle, a hypersonic platform that will eventually be placed on Sarmat ICBMs and can deliver nuclear payloads. This is in response to U.S. plans for the development of missile defences and the doctrine of Conventional Prompt Global Strike, which aims to be able to target any point in the world with conventional missiles.

According to the Russian military, the hypersonic, long-range manoeuvring Avangard vehicle can reach a speed equal to Mach 27. It is assumed, however, that such a speed may prevent corrections to its trajectory, which would change its purpose and impair the accuracy of its internal guidance system.

In 2017, Russia introduced the Kinschal manoeuvring missile, which has a range of up to 2,000 km and was created based on Iskander missiles. It is carried to its launch altitude by modernised MiG-31 fighters and other aircraft and has a top speed of around Mach 7–10. Meanwhile, testing of the Zirkon missile (SS-N-33), designed for use against ships and ground targets, is still underway. The missile is to have a range of up to 400 km and speed of Mach 8.

Russia has also announced the development of medium-range hypersonic vehicles (500 km-5,5000 km). For now, it is not known what missile will become their main carrier. Among the proposals are modified Yars missiles or the older Pioneer systems (SS-20).

Challenges in Space. Russia lacks a ballistic-missile early warning satellite system. In 2014, due to the disadvantages of its satellites, the Oko-1 system ceased to function. A new system, Tundra, is being developed, but it has not reached full readiness. To be able to work efficiently, it needs 10 satellites, and now there are only two, because Russia has had problems funding and producing the Soyuz rockets used to carry the satellites to orbit. This is because of the rockets’ high failure rate and the lack of possibilities to substitute electronic components. Until 2014, when international sanctions connected with the annexation of Crimea were imposed on Russia, 70% of such components came from Europe and the U.S. Moreover, there is a shortage of experienced engineering staff, and the results of changes implemented in recent years, such as the reform of education for the needs of the army, will be visible at the earliest in a few years. In addition, it is necessary to expand the network of satellite ground-control stations, which increases the cost of operating space systems.

Conclusions and Perspectives. Russia has decided to develop systems with offensive capabilities due to the costs (cheaper than defensive ones) and problems related to the lack of acquiring technology. In the near future, the country will focus on missile systems, especially hypersonic variants, hoping to balance the American capabilities, albeit with a significantly smaller military budget. Russia’s advantage is its ability to independently produce weapons such as the Yars, Sarmat, or Kalibr systems. The Russian authorities know that the development of its own hypersonic systems is a serious challenge for NATO and U.S. missile defence. Their potential use significantly shortens the time for a response and increases the threat of unintentional entry into conflict, for example, caused by a “false alarm” stemming from incorrect assessment of satellite photos from early detection systems.

At the same time, especially in the production of satellites, Russia is limited by international sanctions. Some armaments companies (including Almaz Antey, specializing in rocket weapons, or Obyedinyonnaya Aviastroitelnaya Korporatsiya, which includes enterprises producing military aircraft) have been put on the “black” list, cutting them off from western loans and investment and cooperation with EU and U.S. companies, which have stopped supplying them with technology and spare parts.

Russia does not have sufficient funds to compete with the U.S. (i.e., after the possible termination of the New START Treaty). It is also afraid of repeating the scenario from the 1980s when an expensive arms race contributed to the collapse of the USSR.

Thus, its hypersonic weapons, having unique characteristics, will be used by Russia as both an asset and a pretext to force talks on regulation at the international level. It may be willing to make concessions regarding permissible use (i.e., a prohibition on placing nuclear warheads on hypersonic vehicles), most likely in exchange for limiting the development of U.S. missile defence and a prohibition on deploying weapons in space, and a new arrangement on this issue. For this purpose, Russia may also propose limits on the possession of strategic hypersonic manoeuvring warheads, similar to the current restrictions of the New START Treaty. Regardless of possible attempts to regulate these issues, an element of NATO’s response should be to strengthen its missile-defence systems and air defences, taking into account the sum of the threats from Russia.

Yours faithfully,

Katarzyna Staniewska

Bulletin PISM
Research Office
Polish Institute of International Affairs
1A Warecka Street
00-950 Warsaw, Poland
tel. +48 22 556 80 00
fax +48 22 556 80 99
analyses@pism.pl
www.pism.pl/en

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

"Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad"


Whom the gods would destroy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The phrase "Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad" is spoken by Prometheus, in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem "The Masque of Pandora" (1875).[1]
Other versions

An early version of the phrase Whom the gods would destroy... appears in verses 620–23 of Sophocles’ play Antigone: "τὸ κακὸν δοκεῖν ποτ᾽ ἐσθλὸν τῷδ᾽ ἔμμεν' ὅτῳ φρένας θεὸς ἄγει πρὸς ἄταν" to mean that "evil appears as good in the minds of those whom god leads to destruction".

In the 17th century the phrase was used in the neo-Latin form "Quem Iuppiter vult perdere, dementat prius" (Whom Jupiter would ruin, he first makes mad)[2]; in a Christianized Greek version, "Iuppiter" was replaced by "God" as in "μωραίνει Κύριος ον βούλεται απολέσαι".

Another version ("Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad") is quoted as a "heathen proverb" in Daniel, a Model for Young Men (1854) by William Anderson Scott (1813–85).

Brigham Young quoted the phrase in a discourse delivered on March 16, 1856, attributing it as an "ancient proverb".[3]

A prior Latin version is "Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat" (Life of Samuel Johnson, 1791) but this involves God, (presumably the Christian God) not 'the gods'.

This phrase was also used by British politician (and classicist) Enoch Powell in his 1968 speech on immigration commonly known as the "Rivers of Blood" speech.[4]
References

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth (1893), The Complete Poetical Works, Houghton, Mifflin & Co, p. 303.
Sophocles (1900), Jebb, ed., The Plays and Fragments, 3–4, Cambridge: University Press, p. 256, "The use of dementat as = dementem facit proves of course a post-classical origin."
Joe, MRM.
Is "those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad" a classical quotation?, Roger Pearse, 2015-10-31.

Monday, March 25, 2019

THE MILLS OF GOD (THE GODS) GRIND SLOWLY


"At some point a sinner will be punished; many decisions or events that are important in one's life take time in coming. Some 1,600 years ago the Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus wrote: 'The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small.'

One of Longfellow's translations was a 17th century poem, 'Retribution,' by Friedrich Von Logau:

'Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.'

From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985); quoted in https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/59/messages/502.html

Sunday, March 17, 2019

SURPRISE! 86.2% of Americans Want Class Adjustments



This space reports that a test of sentiment among the American population shows an overwhelming support for changes in the current class structure.

Most Americans see the current class structure as unfair and want politicians to change it so that Working class and Middle Class families can have a secure future.

Here is the actual test: Two separate FB ad campaigns were conducted in February by targeting adults over 40 years old who live in areas of mixed political population with a promotion of the idea of a United States Class War.

There was a surprisingly high rate of support for the idea among those who engaged with the ad. The numbers are below, but in summary, it appears that 86.2% of the respondents had a favorable reaction to the idea.

While the first promotion was a generic ad about the idea, the second, and longer promotion supported this book: UNITED STATES CLASS WAR FIELD MANUAL https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NKVSQ6B/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2.



Promo one: OH,IL,PA,IND,GA; OVER 40 YRS; 2 WEEKS,

Promo Two: FL,MINN,NY,VA,WISC; OVER 40 YRS; 17 DAYS.

The conclusion is clear - Politicians seeking elective office will increase their chances of election by addressing class, income and wealth imbalances directly.

BUT, any politician promising an improvement MUST deliver or face loss of office.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

"The Sixth Extinction,"



The earth is losing species rapidly....

'Elizabeth Kolbert, author of the book "The Sixth Extinction," told National Geographic that the outlook from that study is dire; it means 75% of animal species could be extinct within a few human lifetimes. '

Full article at this link:
https://www.businessinsider.com/signs-of-6th-mass-extinction-2019-3?utm_source=hearst&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=allverticals#species-that-live-in-fresh-water-are-impacted-by-a-warming-planet-too-10

WHAT IF???


Here's a scenario: What if trump is convicted and forced to resign the Office of President?

Who makes the decision that he is not entitled to the office??

Nixon resigned and left while Clinton was not convicted and stayed. Is there a precedent or law for involuntary removal?

AND, then, who will carry him away forcibly? Then, where will he go?

It is unlikely that he will leave voluntarily, even after he has been deposed.

While he has made vague threats of violence and civil war, I think it is unlikely that our military and police forces will choose to honor him when he has been legally judged as removed from the office since they are sworn to uphold the Constitution and not the person. More likely it is the delusional rambling of a frightened and confused old man.

Strange times.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

trump and CIA Starting War in Venezuela



From the VOX - https://www.vox.com/world/2019/2/20/18233394/mccabe-trump-venezuela-war-oil-lawrence

'In a July 2017 private briefing with intelligence officials, President Donald Trump apparently asked why the US wasn’t at war with Venezuela, noting that “they have all that oil and they’re right on our back door.”

If true, it calls into question why the president has focused so intently on overthrowing the country’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro, and if he plans to send troops in the future.

The claim comes in a surprisingly overlooked passage in a new book by Andrew McCabe, the former acting FBI director, who notoriously has a testy relationship with the president.

McCabe details what an FBI agent told him directly after briefing Trump. According to McCabe’s telling, the president reportedly derailed the meeting, which was supposed to be about Russian spies, by making unrelated comments about North Korea and other countries.'

From The Independent: - https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/cia-venezuela-crisis-government-mike-pompeo-helping-install-new-remarks-a7859771.html

'The head of the CIA has suggested the agency is working to change the elected government of Venezuela and is collaborating with two countries in the region to do so.'

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Countering Radical Islam Today



The generational challenge from Islam that Western secular governments will face is that there are schools, many reportedly financed by Saudi interests, which proselytize restrictive and vindictive views of Islam to young students worldwide.

One method of countering this propaganda is to provide a voice for disillusioned former ISIS converts and captives.

Western countries should encourage those people to speak out instead of banning them from returning to their original home.

The threat we will face is from naive youth who believe the ISIS propaganda.

Here is a list from the UN of organizations working to do just that:

[https://www.un.org/victimsofterrorism/en/directory]

[Disclaimer - This list ....is provided for informational purposes only. The United Nations is not responsible for the content or information contained in the linked websites, nor does it in any way support or endorse the organizations to whom they belong. Website links found on UN site above]

All these organizations need more funds since this problem will continue to grow.

Association française des Victimes du Terrorisme

L’Association française des Victimes du Terrorisme (AfVT.org), fondée en 2009, a pour objet d'apporter une assistance aux victimes du terrorisme ou à leurs familles. Cette assistance est morale, administrative, financière, juridique, médicale, mémorielle ou autre. L’AfVT.org assure trois types de mission : - Psychologique : en plus d’un suivi thérapeutique individuel pour les victimes du terrorisme, l’association assure un accompagnement psychologique au travers de programmes collectifs sur le modèle des ateliers d’art-thérapie et des groupes de parole. - Juridique : suivi des victimes dans toutes leurs démarches juridiques et administratives. - Prévention : informer, sensibiliser, prévenir et protéger l’opinion publique des dangers de la radicalisation, de la propagande extrémiste et de l’embrigadement terroriste au travers de la voix des victimes. L’AfVT.org assure également des séminaires de formation adressés aux agents de l’Etat pouvant être confrontés aux problématiques de la radicalisation. Enfin, dans une perspective internationale, l’AfVT.org supervise et encadre les activités de la Fédération Internationale des Associations de Victimes du Terrorisme (FIAVT).

Association IMAD pour la jeunesse et la paix

L'association IMAD pour la jeunesse et la paix oeuvre: - à la mise en place d'un dialogue interreligieux, - à prévenir les dérives sectaires de l'extrémisme, - à soutenir une éducation laïque et républicaine, - à promouvoir la laïcité, - à créer un cadre public et officiel pour favoriser l'échange.

Association Libanaise des Victimes du Terrorisme

L’Association libanaise des victimes du terrorisme est une organisation à but non lucratif dont l’objectif est de venir en aide à tous ceux et toutes celles qui sont touchés par un acte de terreur.

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross relief fund gives immediate financial help to people who have been seriously injured or bereaved by terrorist incidents overseas. When terrorist incidents occur, it can be hard for the people affected to get financial help from insurance bodies. This fund – which we set up at the request of the government – provides an immediate payment of £3,000 to help people recover from the incident. This grant is not compensation for what victims have suffered.

Canadian Coalition Against Terror C-CAT

A non-partisan advocacy body comprised of Canadian terror victims, counterterrorism professionals and other individuals committed to enhancing Canada's counterterrorism policies. It has been active since 2004 and has been involved in the national dialogue on terrorism and national security (the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security). CRCVC has a number of resources, some of which were funded by the Victims Fund, which are relevant to victims of terrorism and to service providers.

Canadian National Day of Service Foundation (CNDSF)

CNDSF raises awareness and strives to provide education to the public about the effects of terrorism and to provide support for those who have been impacted by terrorist violence, either directly or by virtue of its impact on an immediate family member.


Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime (CRCVC)

The CRCVC is a non-profit victim advocacy group that lobbies for victims' interests and effective justice reform. The Centre has conducted research and consultations regarding the needs of victims of terrorism.


Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) are responsible for support for victims of terrorism after the initial operational response. This includes support in the criminal justice system and for the management of compensation schemes for victims.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)


DCLG is responsible for coordinating and supporting local authorities in their role as leaders of the humanitarian assistance response to a terrorist attack.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Department of Health (DH)

DH provides guidance to the National Health Service and local authorities on how to plan for responding to the psychological and mental health needs of victims of emergencies

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


European Union

Assistance to victims of terrorism and their families is a key part of EU counter-terrorism efforts. For more information, visit European Commission's.

Fédération nationale des victimes d’attentats et d’accidents collectifs (FENVAC)

The FENVAC (National federation of the victims of catastrophes) is an organization created by victims’ families in 1994. It gathers the victims’ families of accidents like air crash landings, fires, explosions, collisions, natural disasters… 70 different accidents since its creation. The goals of the FENVAC are : - Mutual aid. - Solidarity. - Justice and the truth. - Prevention. - Memory.

Civil Society France

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

For a major incident on UK territory that impacted on foreign nationals, FCO’s role is to ensure that foreign embassies were signposted to the correct sources of information. The FCO’s role in overseas incidents takes a number of forms including: provision and maintenance of travel advice via FCO website; consular assistance overseas including assistance with evacuation in extreme circumstances; and, signposting to further sources of information. The Foreign Secretary is responsible for the designation of terrorist attacks for the purposes of the Victims of Overseas Terrorism Scheme 2012

Government United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Foundation for Peace

We are a national charity working to support those affected by conflict, acts of terror and politically motivated violence. We support victims of conflict and terrorism and veterans, enabling them to use their traumatic experiences to do something positive and to move forward with their lives. We support young people to turn away from violence, and we work to build stronger communities without prejudice and discrimination.

Civil Society United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Home Office, Office for Security and Counter Terrorism

The Home office is responsible for the initial operational response to a major or complex incident, including acts of terrorism. It also leads on communicating with the victims of the “7/7” terrorist attacks that took place in London on 7 July 2005.

Government United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Iraqi Al-Amal Association

Iraqi Al-Amal Association is a non-political, non-sectarian association of volunteers actively engaged in projects for the benefit and well being of the Iraqi population regardless of race, gender and political or religious affiliation. Its programmes aim to combat all forms of violence and discrimination, the promotion of the culture of Human Rights, Gender Equality, tolerance and social peace, the carrying-out of income-generating projects as well as providing psychosocial assistance and training courses to vulnerable sectors, so that they can participate efficiently in public life. Al-Amal also works on the question of law reform, along with the rehabilitation of workers in police and judicial fields, with the aim of securing the supremacy of law and justice in society.

Civil Society Iraq

Ministry of Justice (MOJ)

Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) are responsible for support for victims of terrorism after the initial operational response. This includes support in the criminal justice system and for the management of compensation schemes for victims.

Government United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

National Conciliation Commission

The National Conciliation Commission is an independent and autonomous entity, created by the Catholic Church and composed of citizens from various sectors and aspects of thought. It which searches for of political solutions to the social and armed conflict including all the actors in it; brings awareness to the respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law; supports comprehensive education for peaceful coexistence and affects the design of public policies of peace and reconciliation.

Civil Society Colombia

Strength to Strength

Strength to Strength is a nonprofit organization established to support victims of terrorism around the world with long-term psychological needs through regular meetings, provision of information and advice, and raising awareness of the unmet needs of victims and their families. Strength to Strength enables victims of terrorism to share experiences and empowers them to live life to their best potential. The mission of Strength to Strength is to bring victims of terrorism together globally in order to share their experiences through peer to peer support and move forward with their lives despite the trauma they have been through.

Civil Society United States of America

The National Center for Historical Memory’s

The National Center for Historical Memory’s (NCHM) purpose is to contribute to the comprehensive reparation and to the right to the truth for the victims of the Colombian armed conflict as well as society in general. The Center accomplishes this by reconstructing, through the testimony of victims, the serious human rights violations that occurred in the framework of the conflict, searching for truth, justice, reparation and the construction of a sustainable and lasting peace.

Government Colombia

The National Network of Initiatives for Peace and Against War

The National Network of Initiatives for Peace and Against War is a meeting space, convergence and coordination of local, regional and national experiences of peace, from civil society with the aim of "weaving peace with hand citizen "and defending the right to peace as a fundamental right of Colombians"

Civil Society Colombia

The Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies - NKVTS

Established in 2004 supports the regional centres by compiling and generating new knowledge on traumatic stress. As a part of the governmental action plan, NKVTS will in collaboration with RKBU (Regional Centres for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare) and RBUP (The Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Eastern and Southern Norway) develop expertise in how the health services can work with violent extremism in a more effective way.

Government Norway

The Unit for Attention and Reparation of Victims

The Government channels attention to victims by the the Unit for Attention and Reparation of Victims, whose mission is to lead the actions of state and society to address and full reparations to victims, to contribute to social inclusion and peace.

Government Colombia


Tuesday's Children

Formed in the aftermath of Tuesday, September 2001, Tuesday’s Children is a response and recovery organization that supports youth, families, and communities impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss.

Civil Society United States of America

Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forum

Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forum (UMYDF) is a not for profit, nonpartisan youth-led faith based development organization based in Kampala district, which exists to provide a link for connecting all Muslim youth across clusters and development policy processes in Uganda so as to promote their active, responsible and continuing participation in local and global development.

Civil Society Uganda


V-Europe

The international non profit organisation V-Europe in progress is an association for victims of terrorism and in particular for all victims of the terrorist attacks perpetrated on Belgian soil, as well as the Belgian victims of attacks perpetrated on foreign soil. V-Europe was created by victims of the attacks of 22 march 2016 in Brussels, to get united and to progress for a better future. The association explained in a nutshell by the letter “V” of V-Europe : • Victims: getting to know each other, share our experiences and determine our needs. • Values: to expose and defend our interests and values. • Veritas: to act for the manifestation of the truth and to understand everything that has happened. • Victory: our experiences are unique. Let’s give them a sense and make them contribute to a better society, including on the legal and administrative levels. Together we can make a difference.

Civil Society Belgium

Victim Support

Apoyo a las Victimas (Victim Support) es una organización benéfica independiente, para las víctimas y testigos de delitos en Inglaterra y Gales. Establecida hace 40 años, ha crecido hasta convertirse en la organización más grande y antigua de víctimas en el mundo.

Civil Society United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Victim Support Finland

Victims Support Finland is a nation-wide organisation founded in 1994. It is run by six Finnish organisations. It receives also State financial aid. Victim Support Finland offers practical advice and support to victims of crime, their close ones as well as for those who have witnessed a crime by maintaining helplines and social media services, giving legal advice, providing an online support service called Rikunet, accompanying victims when attending police hearings or court sessions as well as assisting in filing for a restraining order or applying for compensation. Victim Support Finland is a member organisation of Victim Support Europe.

Victims of Terrorism Organization

Victims of Terrorism Organization (Kenya) is an NON-Profit making organization based in Nairobi Kenya. The organization was established in 2010 with the main aim of working with victims of terrorism in Kenya and around the world to promote peace and harmony. It was from the effects of the US Embassy bombing in Nairobi on August 7th 1998 that the founders of the organization sat down and came up with the proposal to work with terror victims and the local authority to promote peace and reduce radicalization.

Civil Society Kenya

Young Christian Association (YMCA) Colombia

YMCA Colombia, has begun working with young people on the issue of victim assistance and post-conflict. To develop this theme, the YMCA organized the meeting "Recovering the voice of youth in the Post-Conflict in Colombia", which seeks to know the opinion, the feel and the projection of the youth who have been victims of the conflict who now face a changing context and should raise the course of their life project and their community.

Civil Society Colombia

Youth Coalition against Terrorism

Youth Coalition against Terrorism (YOCAT) is a volunteer-based youth organization working to unite youth against violent extremism in north-eastern Nigeria. YOCAT is a coalition of students, lawyers, health care professionals, educators, development workers, and most importantly, all dedicated young activists between 18 to 29 years. It was founded by Imrana Alhaji Buba on 12th August 2010 in Maiduguri, Borno state (one of the hotspots of Boko Haram insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria). It is affiliate member of the International Action Against Terrorism (IYAAT) and the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY). The main aim of YOCAT is to weaken the appeal of violent extremism in north-eastern Nigeria, through organizing enlightenment and empowerment programs for young people, and amplifying the voices of the victims of terrorism.

Civil Society Nigeria

Directorate- General of Support for Victims of Terrorism

"Spain has a terrorism victim assistance unit , the Directorate- General of Support for Victims of Terrorism, that includes, for example, personnel with special training in the following areas: psycho-social (social workers), medical ( the Medical Advisory Board), and financial process experts, among others. a) Social workers contact victims as soon as security and medical condition allow after a terrorist attack and provide information to victims and the families. Information is conveyed to victims and their families clearly and accurately. Also, they attend people to manage their compensations, pensions, labour rights, subsidies and other benefits. b) The Medical Advisory Board: in order to categorize the injuries, evaluate the permanent consequences of the damages: disabilities, permanent non- disabling injuries or psychological damages. c) Financial process experts: the procedure for recognizing entitlement to compensation for damage is processed and resolved by the Ministry of the interior.- The maximum period for resolving the procedure is 12 months."

Government Spain

European Union's RAN (Radicalisation Awareness Network)

The objective of RAN VVT is to make the voices of the victims heard, their positive values understood and their role empowered. This creates a strong instrument to raise people awareness of the dangers of terrorism and violent radicalisation.

Inter-govermental International

ADO (Arbeits-kreis der Opferhill e. V)

The Committee of Victims Support Organizations (Arbeits-kreis der Opferhill e. V) ado is an umbrella association of varios professional victims services in Germany and has existed since October 1988. Its fundamental interest is to make a contribution to the comprehensive social task of supporting human rigths of victims.

Civil Society Germany

Miguel Ángel Blanco Foundation of Victims of Terrorism

The Fundación Miguel Ángel Blanco was created on December 18, 1997 in order to keep the memory of Miguel Angel Blanco and all victims of terrorism alive.

Civil Society Spain

Council of Europe

The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation. It includes 47 member states, 28 of which are members of the European Union. All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Inter-govermental International

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. All 57 participating States enjoy equal status, and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.

Inter-govermental International

Organization of the Americas

Terrorism continues to be one of, if not the, most critical threat facing both the Western Hemisphere as well as the entire global community. The OAS and its member states have, therefore, developed comprehensive policies to work together closely in order to combat the threat of terrorism in the Hemisphere. The Inter-American Convention against Terrorism seeks to prevent the financing of terrorist activities, strengthen border controls and increase cooperation among law enforcement authorities in different countries. In addition, the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism plays an important role in carrying out efforts in this field and is considered a model for other regional organizations involved in counter-terrorism.

Inter-govermental International

Weisse Ring e.V. - Germany

"The WHITE RING was founded on September 24, 1976 in Mainz as e-profit organization to support victims of crime and crime prevention V. We help in Germany. Regardless of gender, age, religion, nationality, political opinion, victims of crime direct aid. We maintain a network of more than 3,000 volunteer helpers victims and victim supporters in 420 nationwide branch offices. We are knowledgeable and recognized contact point for politics, law, management, science and the media in all aspects of victim support and protection of victims. The WHITE RING currently has around 50,000 members."