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17 февраля, 18:14

Ranked: Useful Fictions in International Politics

The normal ebb and flow of diplomacy relies on a few agreed-upon falsehoods.

17 февраля, 13:03

Cold War archive: How the USSR and U.S. battled each other with radio waves

A group of State Department announcers huddle around the microphone after the initial shortwave broadcast in Russian to Russia from New York City on Feb. 17, 1947. The announcers, Russian-born American citizens, are (front row) Boris Brodenov; James Schigorin; Elena Bates (seated); Victor Franzusoff; (rear row) Katherine Elene; Vladimir Postman and Tatiana Hecker. Sign in Russian on the microphone means "The Voice of the United States of America." Source: AP "Hello! This is New York calling. You are listening to the first radio broadcast of Voice of the United States of America." These words were heard on the radio in the USSR for the first time on Feb. 17, 1947, one year after the start of the Cold War. Known simply as Voice of America, or VOA, this was the first American state-run radio station to start daily broadcasts in Russian. During the first transmission announcers stated the purpose of their radio station: "To give listeners in the USSR a picture of American life" and to develop friendship between the Soviet and American peoples. Be that as it may, the Communist Party (CPSU) didn't believe in Washington’s friendly intentions, and by 1948 it started jamming the radio station. Enemy voices The position of the Soviet authorities was unequivocal - Western radio stations brainwash Soviet people with propaganda, and Soviet people are not allowed to listen to them. Special jamming stations were built around the country to block the frequencies on which the "enemy voices" were broadcasting. By the early 1960s, the number of Soviet jamming stations had reached 1,400. Journalist Oleg Rogov, who grew up in the Soviet Union, recalls that "jammers" worked poorly at night, and so those who wanted to listen to alternative information would sit by their radio receivers in the evening, trying to find the frequencies on which they could hear something. Another way to listen to a Western radio station was to get away from the big cities; there were fewer "jammers" in rural areas. People could often listen to Voice of America, Radio Liberty or BBC in the countryside or even on a beach. Another way was to buy a shortwave radio, but they were much more expensive than conventional transistor radios, and anyway, they often aroused suspicion from law-enforcement. This cartoon titled “Radio-Activity” appeared in the newspaper Soviet Estonia on Jan. 24, 1970 as part of the Soviet press campaign against the daily broadcasts of the voice of America. Source: AP Ideological war "American radio broadcasting is not a gift to the world in any way, but rather it is a tool of international politics to spread democratic values," said media analyst Donald Jensen, assessing Voice of America, and admitting that VOA played the role of a propaganda weapon in the fight against communism. Many people in the Soviet Union regarded "enemy voices" as an alternative viewpoint, and so this viewpoint was interesting. "We did not trust the Soviet media - reading Soviet newspapers was boring," recalled Pavel Balditsyn, a professor at Moscow State University. "Of course, it was interesting to hear voices from the outside, albeit they too were perceived as propaganda." Balditsyn said that those in the USSR who secretly listened to and discussed what they heard on Western radio stations also doubted the content because they were accustomed to homegrown propaganda. "But Voice of America broadcasts were seen as more or less trustworthy," he said. The news website, Lenta.ru, reported that VOA was the most popular of all the "enemy voices," with an audience of 30 million people each week.  Solzhenitsyn and jazz VOA was interesting not only because of its different political viewpoint. Listeners remember how they turned the dials on their receivers to hear music or literary programs. Balditsyn recalls that once when on duty at night while serving in the army he listened to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, which was banned in the USSR and only officially published in 1990. Human rights activist Boris Pustyntsev said his love for jazz started with VOA broadcasts. "Swing, early bebop and so on," recalled Pustyntsev. "I could not even go to sleep without first listening to the latest music program." "Swing, early bebop and so on," recalled Pustyntsev. "I could not even go to sleep without first listening to the latest music program." Photo: Two men listen to radio in the Soviet Union on April 1, 1958. Source: TASS Mission accomplished VOA’s fate was closely linked to politics, and as soon as relations with the U.S. thawed the "jammers" worked less intensively or were switched off altogether. This was the case during the detente between the superpowers in the second half of the 1970s, and up to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when relations worsened and transmissions were again subjected to jamming. The fight against "enemy voices" completely ceased under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 with a special resolution of the Communist Party. VOA transmissions were now allowed in the USSR, but five years later in 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed and that was the beginning of the end for the once-forbidden radio station. The end of the Cold War also meant the end of VOA’s glory days. The U.S. propaganda radio station had more or less accomplished its mission. By 1992 Russia had freedom of the press, alternative sources of information appeared, and overall interest in radio transmissions declined. In July 2007 VOA’s Russian Service stopped broadcasting and switched entirely to the Internet. Read more: The untold story: Why Stalin created a cult of Alexander Pushkin>>>

12 февраля, 21:24

What a Trade Surplus Doesn’t Mean

(Don Boudreaux) TweetHere’s a letter to a regular reader of Cafe Hayek: Mr. Tony Hart Mr. Hart: You ask “What about Germany’s massive trade surplus of $253 billion!!!  Are you as relaxed about that as the massive US deficit?  Doesn’t that $253 bn make Germany very much richer?  They can go out and buy assets all over […]

09 февраля, 18:52

Ibtihaj Muhammad Reveals She Was Detained By U.S. Customs Without Explanation

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Ibtihaj Muhammad, an Olympic fencer for Team USA, has revealed that she was held at an airport by U.S. Customs and Border Protection a few weeks ago without explanation. Muhammad, a U.S. citizen and the first American to compete in an Olympics wearing a hijab, told the website PopSugar on Tuesday that authorities detained her for about two hours. It’s not clear whether she was held after President Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority nations went into effect.  “I don’t know why. I can’t tell you why it happened to me, but I know that I’m Muslim. I have an Arabic name,” she said. “And even though I represent Team USA and I have that Olympic hardware, it doesn’t change how you look and how people perceive you.” Muhammad, a native of Maplewood, New Jersey, won bronze in the women’s team sabre event at 2016 Olympic games. The victory made her the first female Muslim American to medal for Team USA. Muhammad attempted to describe her emotions following the incident. “It’s really hard. My human response is to cry because I was so sad and upset and disheartened — and just disappointed,” she said. “At the same time, I’m one of those people who feels like I have to be strong for those people who may not be able to find that strength. I feel like I have to speak up for those people whose voices go unheard.” The Trump administration’s travel ban has been put on hold by a federal judge after a chaotic rollout and protests at airports across the country. Muhammad’s comments were made following an appearance at the MAKERS conference. The fencer appeared with gymnast Gabby Douglas for a conversation about empowerment, representation and athleticism. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

08 февраля, 22:58

McCain rebuffs White House's call for apology over Yemen raid

The White House and Sen. John McCain are feuding over the Trump administration’s characterization of a recent raid that resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL.White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday described the intelligence-gathering raid targeting al Qaeda militants in Yemen as “a huge success.” The White House initially cast the military effort as a “successful raid” in a Jan. 29 statement, but Spicer toned down that description last week, telling reporters it would be difficult to proclaim success after the raid resulted in the death of American service member.At his White House briefings this week, though, Spicer returned to the administration’s position that the raid was, indeed, successful and signaled Wednesday that McCain should apologize for calling it a “failure” on Tuesday. “I think anybody who undermines the success of that [raid] owes an apology and [does] a disservice to the life of Chief Owens,” Spicer told reporters.Asked Wednesday whether his sharp words were a direct message to McCain, Spicer retorted: “That’s my [message] to anybody who says that. Anybody.” His message was received. McCain, a former prisoner of war, didn’t apologize, though. Rather, he offered a rejoinder to NBC News, disputing the notion that an unsuccessful mission devalues the valiant effort of the troops who carried it out.“Many years ago when I was imprisoned in North Vietnam there was an attempt to rescue the POWs. Unfortunately, the prison had been evacuated but the brave men who took—risked their lives in an effort to rescue us prisoners of war were genuine American heroes,” McCain said. “Because the mission failed did not in any way diminish their courage and willingness to help their fellow Americans who were held captive. Mr. Spicer should know that story.”After telling reporters the raid was a “failure,” the Armed Services Committee chairman had softened his rhetoric in a statement released by his office later Tuesday — but even then he maintained that the military effort wasn’t “a success.”“Every military operation has objectives. And while many of the objectives of the recent raid in Yemen were met, I would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success,” he said. “We must continue to take the fight to our enemies wherever they are while recognizing that risk is inherent in war. Going forward, I am confident that our military will act on lessons learned from this operation to strengthen our fight against our terrorist enemies.”The intelligence raid resulted in the death of Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, the first American life lost during military action under President Donald Trump’s command. The president flew to Dover Air Force Base last Wednesday to receive Owens’ remains.“I think it’s hard to ever say something was successful when you lose a life,” Spicer had told reporters then. This Wednesday, however, he framed the raid as an unequivocal success, arguing that any sentiment to the contrary does a disservice to Owens.“The action that was taken in Yemen was a huge success,” he told reporters. “American lives will be saved because of it. Future attacks will be prevented. The life of Chief Ryan Owens was done in service to this country and we owe him and his family a great debt for the information that we received during that raid. I think any suggestion otherwise is a disservice to his courageous life and the actions that he just took. Full stop.” Owens, Spicer added, “fought knowing what was at stake in that mission, and anybody who would suggest otherwise doesn’t fully appreciate how successful that mission was, what the information that they were able to retrieve was, and how that will help prevent future terrorist attacks.”“It’s absolutely a success,” Spicer said. Matthew Nussbaum and Austin Wright contributed to this report.

08 февраля, 13:11

Can Trump Break the Democrats’ Grip on the Union Movement?

For generations, Republican presidents have tried to woo organized labor, with mixed and halting results. Donald Trump might be the first to actually do it more permanently.

06 февраля, 15:30

JOEL KOTKIN: Trump Ends A Corrupt World Order. In comparison with Barack Obama, who was well reg…

JOEL KOTKIN: Trump Ends A Corrupt World Order. In comparison with Barack Obama, who was well regarded in the foreign media, Donald Trump does not come off as a good guy. He is also clearly redefining the country’s identity and global focus. The first American president since the 1920s to walk away from a role […]

05 февраля, 00:00

Trump and the End of the World Order

Joel Kotkin, Orange County RegisterIn comparison with Barack Obama, who was well regarded in the foreign media, Donald Trump does not come off as a good guy. He is also clearly redefining the country's identity and global focus. The first American president since the 1920s to walk away from a role as global pooh-bah, Trump instead defines his job as helping the people who elected him.

03 февраля, 11:03

US economy created 227,000 new jobs in January, as jobless rate rises to 4.8% - live updates

Rolling coverage of the first American employment report since Donald Trump became US presidentNon-Farm Payroll - what to expectReports: Trump taking aim at Dodd-Frank regulationFiduciary rules to protect pensioners could be stalled 1.34pm GMT The wages figure is a disappointment!Average earnings only rose by 0.1% month-on-month in January, dashing hopes of a 0.3% gain.Average hour earnings up 0.1% in January vs. 0.3% expectations. YOY wages up 2.5% #JobsReport https://t.co/DClcu4FCnl 1.33pm GMT America’s jobless rate has risen to 4.8%, from 4.7% in December. Continue reading...

01 февраля, 23:30

Trump travels to honor remains of slain Navy SEAL

President Donald Trump made an unannounced trip to Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday to attend the return of the remains of the first American service member killed in action under his command.Trump, joined by his daughter Ivanka and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), flew by helicopter to the base for the arrival of the remains of Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, 36, who was killed during a special operations raid targeting al Qaeda militants in Yemen.Trump personally approved the raid, the White House said. Multiple other American service members were also wounded during the operation.Trump had previously spoken with Owens’ family members by phone. “I think it’s hard to ever say something was successful when you lose a life,” press secretary Sean Spicer said of the operation on Wednesday . “But you’ve got to understand that Chief Owens, he went back, deployed 12 times, because he loved this country and he believed in the mission. And knowing that we killed an estimated 14 AQAP members and that we gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil is something that I think most service members understand that that’s why they join the service.”“And I know that when the president spoke to Karen, his wife, and talked about, you know, the three children that he left behind, she continued to be impressed with — to impress upon the president, rather, that while it was an unbelievably sad and emotional time for her and her family, that he loved doing this,” Spicer added.

31 января, 15:31

Site That Helped Battle Brexit Will Fund Lawyers Challenging Trump Muslim Ban

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― CrowdJustice, a prominent British fundraising platform for legal representation, launched in the U.S. Tuesday, accepting donations for its first American case: a complaint in Virginia against President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. British activists used the for-profit company’s system to raise over £170,550 (more than $200,000) for a “people’s challenge” to their government’s decision to withdraw from the European Union following a referendum last summer. Last week, the British supreme court ruled in favor of those activists and other opponents of the government move, setting a historic precedent and forcing Prime Minister Theresa May to take the issue to Parliament. Now the site is fundraising for the Legal Aid Justice Center, a Virginia-based group that filed suit against Trump’s order on Monday. The order caused homeland security officials to lie to up to 60 individuals who traveled to Dulles International Airport in Virginia after Trump signed his ban, the suit alleges, forcing them to sign away their legally granted right to be in the U.S. under a false threat of a five-year ban on entry. Once they had obtained the travelers’ signatures, the border agents were able to deport or detain them. The center’s attorneys believe the government violated due process rights specifically because of a desire to discriminate against Muslims, they wrote.  “One can renounce one’s legal status. That might be for whatever personal reasons,” said Mary Bauer, the center’s executive director. “The issue here is that the Department of Homeland Security could not accomplish what they wanted lawfully, so we have reason to believe that they lied.” The suit names two affected individuals, Tareq Aqel Mohammed Aziz and Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz, both Yemeni citizens with U.S. visas. They arrived at Dulles on Saturday as part of their journey to reunite with their father, a U.S. citizen. Border agents did not allow them to board their connecting flight. Instead, they handcuffed them and took them to detention, where they made them sign the forms ― which specifically say they are to be used voluntarily. They placed the brothers on a flight back to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where they remain, Bauer said, unwilling to return to war-torn Yemen. They do not even have copies of the documents they signed, she continued. The other approximately 60 individuals who lawyers believe had similar experiences ― holding passports from countries on Trump’s list and valid U.S. immigration documents, such as green cards or visas ― are not named in the complaint. The center is working to identify and name those who were affected, Bauer said. The complaint notes that travelers who had similar documents were permitted to enter the country after some time in detention, citing this as further evidence that border officials lied. Dulles authorities have defied attorneys and lawmakers for days, even after a federal judge ruled Saturday that detainees with green cards must have access to counsel. After a trip to the airport Saturday night, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said he believed the border agents were defying the court ruling. He provided an affidavit on the events of the night for the complaint and sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly Monday evening. The Virginia suit is one of multiple legal challenges to Trump’s order, which the top Justice Department official refused to defend before Trump fired her Monday night. Meanwhile, protests against the administration’s actions are ongoing across the country.  CrowdJustice, the platform helping support the case, anticipates strong public backing for multiple suits in the Trump era. “We’re really, really excited to launch here in the U.S. ... at a time when the courts are proving a very valuable antidote to executive power,” said Julia Salasky, the firm’s chief executive.  Launched because of worries about increasingly unequal access to the courts in the United Kingdom and the U.S., the site allows individuals to choose which cases they want to support ― an option not currently available when donating to large organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union. It hopes to attract activists on the left and right. “There’s not really a political aspect to what we’re doing,” Salasky said. “There’s a huge democratization aspect.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

30 января, 17:41

12 Things You Can Add to Your Personal Blog That Would Catch An Employer's Eye

Nowadays, a quick internet search can tell employers all they need to know about you. But depending on what they find on your blog or social media profiles, this could be good -- or it could be very bad. So what can you be sure to include that would blow them away and set you up for career success? A. Ways You've Given Back Our company is passionate about giving back, promoting equality and making a difference. So, we want to see how give back in innovative and meaningful ways. How have you volunteered? Did you rescue your pet instead of buy one? Did you ever write about ways people can make a difference or share stories of people who have overcome serious obstacles in their lives? - Beth Doane, Main & Rose A. A Personal Touch If your blog is purely about marketing yourself and promoting your skill sets, many will likely roll their eyes and move on. Don't be afraid to get personal when blogging. You don't necessarily have to go so far as to discuss your dating life, but revealing things like hobbies and interests shows that you have unique talents and abilities and will allow you to stand out from the herd. - Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital A. A Visual Resume Page One of the best hires I've ever made was because of a visual resume page. After submitting an application, he instructed me to visit his website, where I found a visual representation of the work he'd done for every position he held over the past 10 years. He also included links to his reviews, mentions and even a video. I've since hired three people with similar pages. - John Rampton, Due A. Your Own Story Storytelling resonates. Tell a story about a unique experience that can help you stand out. If you did something like start a side business or a club, tell us about it and let us know how you did it -- tactically. - Ryan Shank, PhoneWagon A. Videos As a potential hire, you need to take every step possible to stand out, and posting videos is a great way to draw attention to yourself. Having a vlog highlights your personality, which is something that all employers look for. If you are outgoing and bubbly, put it out there. It could be the difference between getting tossed and being called in for an interview. - Jonathan Long, Market Domination Media® A. New Ideas and a Willingness to Embrace Change I gravitate towards people who have new ideas and aren't afraid to explore them. I also look for individuals who embrace change because I know they'll be able to keep up with my goals and objectives. When a new technology or strategy surfaces that I think will help my business, I don't want to have to talk my team members into adopting it. I want people who are ready to roll with the change. - Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now A. Your Accomplishments Use your blog to showcase something you've built and are proud of. It can be a website, an event you organized, an artistic endeavor, or anything else you took the initiative to do. Provide real insight on how you went about it and overcame any challenges you faced. - Hongwei Liu, mappedin A. A Love for Connecting With People When looking at a prospective employee's blog, I always like to see that they reach out to and connect with lots of other people. I like to see them creating conversations and engaging in current events and discussions. I also like to see them include other people and build on the things they say. - Matt Doyle, Excel Builders A. Your Skill Set It depends on the job, but what I want to see is competency in your role. If you're a designer, I'd like to see a portfolio showcasing your best work. If you're a strategist, I'd like to see case studies demonstrating an ability to develop effective strategies for moving a company forward. If you're an account manager, I'd like to see compelling articles on customer service and project management. - Brian Lischer, Ignyte A. Consistency Staying on top of your game and writing content on a consistent basis lets a future employer see two things: that you're constantly learning and that you're dedicated. These two combined traits can be hard to find. If you can demonstrate them both in a blog, you'll definitely stand out from the rest. - Volkan Okay Yazici, Stonexchange A. An Audience The most important thing you can have as a blogger is an audience. If you can demonstrate that you have a following, an employer will view you as a very valuable asset to their company. It can allow the business to expand its audience reach, leading to increased visibility and perhaps even more customers. - Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc. A. An Occasional Break in Professionalism It may sound counterintuitive, but if you're posting the same content most of your peers are, or using the same professional tone, you'll find yourself blending in with a fugue of individual voices that all sound the same. Instead of blending in, break the professional facade every once in a while and allow your personality to show through; we like to hire interesting people. - Blair Thomas, First American Merchant These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

30 января, 12:34

Raid in Yemen results in first U.S. combat death under Trump administration

The Pentagon on Sunday confirmed the death of a U.S. servicemember in a raid in Yemen targeting al-Qaeda, marking the first American combat death under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Zachary Goelman reports. Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/reuterssubscribe More updates and breaking news: http://smarturl.it/BreakingNews Reuters tells the world's stories like no one else. As the largest international multimedia news provider, Reuters provides coverage around the globe and across topics including business, financial, national, and international news. For over 160 years, Reuters has maintained its reputation for speed, accuracy, and impact while providing exclusives, incisive commentary and forward-looking analysis. http://reuters.com/ https://www.facebook.com/Reuters https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/reuters https://twitter.com/Reuters

26 января, 19:57

The End of the American Century

The country’s role as a global model and guarantor of freedom and rule of law is being brought to an end by Trump.

26 января, 19:57

The End of the American Century

The country’s role as a global model and guarantor of freedom and rule of law is being brought to an end by Trump.

25 января, 23:50

Saturday, January 21, 2017: A Nation Rises

There are times when it is darkest that all you have left is hope. That hope may be directed anywhere, from simple survival to revival, from protecting one's family to defending one's country. My family has lived through the darkest times in modern history, with most not having survived the darkness, and others having fought their way through to a better world. That better world was created by those with courage and vision, and today a new generation needs to project its courage and vision. There's something happening here But what it is ain't exactly clear There's a man with a gun over there Telling me I got to beware There's battle lines being drawn Nobody's right if everybody's wrong Young people speaking' their minds Getting so much resistance from behind What a field day for the heat A thousand people in the street Singing songs and carrying signs Mostly saying, "hooray for our side" It's time we stop Hey, what's that sound? Everybody look - what's going down? That courage and vision was on display worldwide the day after the First American Republic died. The deeds of the Second have now been planted. 3.2 million people, mostly women, took to the streets from Antarctica to Anchorage, with a million in DC and ¾ million in LA, and 1.5 million abroad. Strikingly, hundreds of smaller cities in the Heartland and Confederacy, from Helena to Jackson to Palmer, Alaska, had 10-20% of their populations turn out. Those estimates are low. The number for the DC rally was calculated simply on the Mall, but I know from personal experience that there were hundreds of thousands streaming along streets parallel to the Mall because there were too many barricades. Nobody bothered to look there. I was most struck by several things. First, the diversity of age was stunning. The next generation was out, with babies and parents and grandparents. Most attendees were Gen X and millennial women, many of whom had never been politically active. The racial, ethnic, and sexual diversity was evident, highly visible, and tactically irrelevant, putting the lie to the canard from both Republicans and some liberals as well that left politics is only about identity (as if Republican politics isn't just as much - country club Republicans, evangelicals, white supremacists, Second Amendment extremists, etc.). This rally was about women standing up to Trump, regardless of one's personal issues. Secondly, the participants were patient, peaceful and helpful, and I did not see a single person with headphones or earbuds. No one was in his bubble; everyone was listening, talking, and engaging, face to face. This was not a crowd of individuals; it was a movement. Thirdly, putting aside the wise Hawaiian grandmother who sparked the idea on November 9th, the organizers were all young women, with a majority women of color. More importantly, they did a great job. They kept expectations low, maintained a minor degree of control, and let the participants drive the events. There was too much talking from the stage; it seems rally organizers still haven't learned to keep things short, but the talking was surprisingly good. The talk included advice on how to move forward, and things to do for people who are not politically active. They included candid talk from Ashley Judd, whose recitation of a poem, "I'm a Nasty Women," from Nina Donovan of Tennessee smashed another ceiling, similar to the effect Eve Ensler had with The Vagina Monologues two decades ago. Intersectionality was present but neither didactic nor intrusive. None of this is to say that this largest demonstration in American history, which clearly got under the skin of the new regime and its Führer, is in and of itself the solution to the current crisis. As Nate Silver points out above, 80% of the attendees hailed from states won by Clinton, and most came from cities. More evidence of the need for ultimate disunion. But as I mentioned earlier, there were many smaller but even more impressive proportional turnouts across the country. When you add these immense responses to the end of American democracy, the toxic messages from the stained White House about carnage and illegal voting, the elevation of alternative facts in the alternative delusional universe of the PINO (President in Name Only) and the Nazi alt-right, you have a situation in this country that is as unprecedented as the previous 18 months and the victory of the narcissist-in-chief. Remarkably to me, while the Democrats appear to still be generally spineless, with a few notable exceptions such as John Lewis, the press is finally beginning to stand up. Politeness is gone. The New York Times is calling a lie a lie. Jim Rutenberg of The Times used footnotes in a story, the first time I've ever seen that in a newspaper. Laurence Tribe and colleagues have already filed a federal lawsuit against the illegitimate president for violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution the moment he finished his oath. The march organizers are already preparing for further demonstrations. And the counter-intelligence unit of the FBI is considering violations of the Espionage Act and acts of treason committed by General Flynn and other members of the Trump campaign, including Trump himself. And while it's only been six days, I must believe that when this regime starts actually doing its evil deeds, the response will be exponentially greater. Americans have never seen fascism at home. So far it looks like they don't like what they see. Republicans created this monster, own all of it, and will have to ride it forward. And next year, they will have nowhere to hide. Finally, in honor of the late Carrie Fisher and the many marchers who carried her picture and message of hope: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

25 января, 17:59

Almost 50 Years Ago, A U.S. Nuclear Sub Went On a Secret Mission to Spy on Russia’s Navy (And Sank)

Kyle Mizokami Security, A tragic tale for America's nuclear submarine force.  There will likely never be a conclusive explanation for the loss of USS Scorpion. While disconcerting, the U.S. Navy has not lost a submarine since. The loss of Thresher and Scorpion and their 228 crew were hard lessons for the Navy to absorb, but absorb them it did. Tens of thousands of submariners ultimately benefitted—and returned safely home. In May 1968, a U.S. nuclear-powered attack submarine was sent on a secret mission to spy on the Soviet navy. Seven days later, with the families of the crew waiting dockside for the USS Scorpion to return from a three-month patrol, the U.S. Navy realized that the submarine was missing. Scorpion had been the victim of a mysterious accident, the nature of which is debated to this day. The USS Scorpion was a Skipjack-class nuclear attack submarine. It was one of the first American submarines with a teardrop-shaped hull, as opposed to the blockier hull of World War II submarines and their descendants. It was laid down in August 1958 and commissioned into service in July 1960. The Skipjacks were smaller than nuclear submarines today, with a displacement of 3,075 tons and measuring just 252-feet long by 31-feet wide. They had a crew of ninety-nine, including twelve officers and eighty-seven enlisted men. The class was the first to use the Westinghouse S5W nuclear reactor, which gave the submarine a top speed of fifteen knots surfaced and thirty-three knots submerged. The primary armament for the Skipjack class was the Mk-37 homing torpedo. The Mk-37 had an active homing sonar, a range of ten thousand yards with a speed of twenty-six knots, and a warhead packed with 330 pounds of HBX-3 explosive. Scorpion was only eight years old at the time of its loss, relatively new by modern standards. Still, complaints from the crew that the sub was already showing its age were rampant. According to a 1998 article in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Scorpion had 109 unfulfilled work orders during its last deployment. It had “chronic problems” with its hydraulics, its emergency blow system didn’t work and emergency seawater shutoff valves had not yet been decentralized. At the start of its final patrol, 1,500 gallons of oil leaked from its conning tower as it left Hampton Roads. Read full article

24 января, 19:35

Emirates Finally Hits Turbulence

Deep in a lengthy Bloomberg Businessweek article on Emirates Airline was a quote that spoke volumes about the airline's strategy and confirmed the case that the U.S. carriers have been making for more than two years. In "Is Emirates Airline Running Out of Sky?" Chief Operations Officer Adel Ahmad al-Redha said: "We have never equated our investment into a dollar return."* Mr. al-Redha makes plain what longtime observers have been saying for years: Despite the flash of all those brand-new, big airplanes, a hub airport loaded with bling, Jennifer Anniston as celeb-spokeswoman and gushing accolades from passengers, Emirates does not rely on turning a profit to survive, a requirement for U.S. airline carriers and most other airlines and businesses. This acknowledgement demonstrates that Emirates is not a real airline. Having spent my entire working life in and near real airlines with investors and bank loans and other challenges, I was certain that sooner or later a credible business journalist would question whether, even with massive government subsidy and other big advantages, Emirates' business model was sustainable. It was heartening to read a simple truth that other journalists dance around; at the top of the article, author Matt Campbell wrote that Emirates is "owned by its government." And he did a nice job of uncovering other basics: The cozy linkages in what is essentially a single entity - call it Dubai, Inc. The author wrote, "The company's chairman is Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the uncle of Dubai's absolute monarch. He also runs the airport authority, the aviation regulator, and the city's largest bank, should Emirates ever need a loan." That the national regulator is essentially the airline is especially troubling. The absolute control that Emirates exercises over the company and its workers, from company dormitories with specified curfews for flight attendants to company doctors, all the way down to the precise shade of red lipstick for female cabin crew (the author noted they are "referred to invariably as 'girls'"). Creepy. The company's dizzying growth trajectory is bumping into slowing demand in many of the regions that have been the foundation for its global ambitions; in May 2016, Emirates reported the first revenue decline in a decade, and since then more warning lights have blinked on. The author noted these declines in the context of Emirates' orders for "50 A380s and 174 Boeing 777s, adding to the 92 and 148, respectively, it currently flies." As readers dive into the article, I would suggest keeping two important facts in mind. First, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have produced overwhelming evidence to prove the existence of massive amounts of government support provided to the three Gulf airlines. This is not a schoolyard "is too/is not" argument. The three U.S. airlines spent several years producing incontrovertible proof of at least $50 billion in subsidies and other support. They hired forensic accountants and investigators and built an enormously powerful case. Importantly, because the UAE does not comply with international accounting standards (called IFRS), it's impossible to really determine what's going on by looking at Emirates' annual report and other financial statements published in Dubai. (The U.S. airlines found the true numbers in reports Emirates and the other two airlines filed with authorities in Singapore, Hong Kong and other places with transparency and genuine accounting rules.) Second, it should not be forgotten that the massive subsides have allowed Emirates (and the other two Gulf titans) to divert traffic away from U.S. airlines and their European joint venture partners. As just one example from the U.S., India is the largest "beyond" market for Emirates, Etihad and Qatar, and their shares of bookings through travel agents and other intermediaries more than quadrupled from 2008 to 2014. More examples of traffic diversion are available in a Forbes article here. And the notion (in the article and many previous stories) that Emirates has grown the market only exists because massive government support allows them to flood markets with too many seats, thus driving down prices. That may be good for consumers in the short term, but totally distorts the market and creates instability in the medium and long term. The U.S. carriers, their customers, employees, and investors have benefited from the U.S. government's 120 Open Skies agreements, which have opened global markets, bringing new opportunities. But the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, and their state-owned airlines, have violated the terms of these agreements through the massive subsidies and other state assistance. As President-elect Trump takes office this week, I'm optimistic that the new Administration will see how damaging these trade violations are and seek to enforce our trade agreements and level the playing field for U.S. airlines and their workers. ____________________________________ * Emirates is by no means the only Gulf carrier where execs are free from normal commercial reality. Last month, I had lunch with a friend who was an executive at Air Berlin at the time Etihad Airways bought almost 30% of the German airline; on his first trip to Abu Dhabi, he met a senior Etihad official who told him, "Our goal is to make Etihad the best airline in the world, and if possible economically viable." -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

24 января, 05:42

Friday, January 20, 2017: The End Of the First American Republic

Transliteration: Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'mei raba b'alma di-v'ra chirutei, v'yamlich malchutei b'chayeichon uvyomeichon uvchayei d'chol beit yisrael, ba'agala uvizman kariv, v'im'ru: "amen." Y'hei sh'mei raba m'varach l'alam ul'almei almaya. Yitbarach v'yishtabach, v'yitpa'ar v'yitromam v'yitnaseh, v'yithadar v'yit'aleh v'yit'halal sh'mei d'kud'sha, b'rich hu, l'eila min-kol-birchata v'shirata, tushb'chata v'nechemata da'amiran b'alma, v'im'ru: "amen." Y'hei shlama raba min-sh'maya v'chayim aleinu v'al-kol-yisrael, v'im'ru: "amen." Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu v'al kol-yisrael, v'imru: "amen." Translation: Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen. May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity. Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen. May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen. He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

22 января, 15:29

Can History Prepare Us for the Trump Presidency?

Twenty-one historians explain which moments in history are closest to this one—and what we can learn.

25 сентября 2012, 15:11

The Zero Deficit Line in 2012

Now that the U.S. Census has released its newest estimate of median household income in the United States, it's time to consider where the U.S. federal government spending per U.S. household stands with respect to the Zero Deficit Line, which is the amount of spending that the typical American household can actually afford. The chart below shows those two measures for each year since 1967, when the Census first began reporting its median household income figure: Looking at the chart, we see that for the third year in a row, the amount of U.S. federal government spending per household is hovering just below $30,000 per U.S. household. Our tool below will reveal how much spending can actually be supported by the typical American household given its annual income of $50,054 (or whatever median household income level you might choose to enter!) Median Household Income Data Input Data Values Median Household Income How Much Federal Spending Per Household Can the U.S. Really Afford? Estimated Results Values Federal Spending per U.S. Household Using our tool, we find that in reality, the typical American household can only afford to have the federal government spend no more than $21,059. On a side note, do you remember the old Warner Brothers' Road Runner cartoons? The ones where Wile E. Coyote would be chasing after the bird, then suddenly find himself suspended in mid-air beyond the edge of a cliff, until he looked down and finally crashed back to earth? The level of federal spending per household since 2008 and the lack of meaningful growth in the incomes of U.S. households under President Obama, combined with all the talk these days of the approaching "fiscal cliff" suggests that there is one giant "splat" sound in the near future for the U.S.