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ID: 153866
Uid: 341
Author: 40
Category: 0
Title: Has Obama "Betrayed " israel at the UN?
Source:
Body: <p></p><p> Guess Blog.&nbsp;Published on <a href="http://nationalinterest.org">The National Interest </a>.&nbsp;<a href="http://nationalinterest.org/feature/has-obama-betrayed-israel-the-un-18872">Source URL</a> (retrieved on December 28, 2016).<br><br>By Henry Siegman</p><div><br></div><div><i>Henry Siegman is President Emeritus of the U.S./Middle East Project. He is a former senior fellow on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations and formerly headed the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America.</i><br><br>Has America’s president betrayed Israel, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government bitterly accused after President Obama failed to veto a UN Security Council resolution that condemned Israel for its settlements in the West Bank?<br>True, President Obama told the international community in his address to the UN General Assembly in 2011 that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement can only be achieved by the parties themselves, not by outside imposition.<br>Obama, a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, surely knows the notion that international bodies have no role in the resolution of international conflicts to be entirely spurious, particularly when applied to a belligerent occupation that has been in place for half a century. It is an argument he presumably made to provide Netanyahu more time to advance a two-state agreement with the Palestinians without outside intervention, in the expectation, based on Netanyahu’s previous solemn promises, that he would do so.<br>Obama’s argument against outside intervention, in generous support of Netanyahu, should have persuaded Netanyahu to halt Israel’s settlement expansion and prove to the world that outside intervention is not necessary to advance the peace process. Instead he doubled down on the expansion of Israel’s settlements, proving to the world that a two-state solution will not happen without such intervention.<div><br>Netanyahu’s “j’accuse” against Obama and his administration is a concoction of the lies and deceptions that have characterized Israel’s defense of its settlement project from the outset.<br><br>The Security Council resolution did not contain any reference whatever to terms for a permanent status negotiation (as necessary as such provisions actually are), and therefore did not violate President Obama’s strictures against outside imposition of terms for an agreement. The resolution was limited to a reconfirmation of the flagrant illegality of the settlements in the Occupied Territories and of the changes made unilaterally by Israel to the internationally-recognized pre-1967 border.<br><br>Netanyahu lost whatever right he might have thought he had to President Obama’s and the world’s trust when he shamelessly and unapologetically reversed himself and declared publicly during the last Israeli national elections that he would not allow a Palestinian state to come into existence as long as he is Israel’s prime minister. For good measure, he added that he would not remove even a single Jewish settlement, no matter how remote its location from the pre-1967 border, even though such settlements were placed there to block the possibility of a Palestinian state.<br>Netanyahu and his fellow ministers are accusing President Obama of having violated President George W. Bush’s promise to support Israel’s retention of certain settlement blocs adjoining the pre-1967 border. They have claimed for some time now that President Bush’s commitment allows them to enlarge construction in these settlement blocs to their heart’s content.<br><br>This is a bald-faced lie. Both in his letter to Prime Minister Sharon and in his subsequent references to that letter, President Bush said clearly that his support for Israel’s retention of certain settlement blocs would come into play only when negotiations of the major permanent status issues took place. In 2006, Condoleezza Rice told Israel’s foreign minister Tzipi Livni, “the President did say that at the time of final status it will be necessary to take into account new realities on the ground that have changed since 1967, but under no circumstances… should anyone try and do that in a pre-emptive or predetermined way, because these are issues for negotiation at final status.” [Emphasis added]<br><br>Another lie is Netanyahu’s and his fellow ministers’ criticism of Obama for his acceptance of a resolution that refers to Israel’s settlements as “illegal,” instead of “illegitimate”—the euphemism Obama’s administration has used until now.<br>Israel’s government knows there is no real difference between these two terms—if settlements were legal, they would also be legitimate. They also know that it was Israel’s legal advisor to its ministry of foreign affairs Theodor Meron who ruled in a formal communication dated September 18, 1967, immediately following the 1967 war, that “civilian settlement in the administered territories contravene explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” and that the prohibition against such settlements is “categorical and not conditional upon the motives of the transfer or its objectives.”<br><br>The biggest lie of all has been Netanyahu’s claim to support a two-state solution. His scam should have been obvious to our diplomats from the get go. Why? Because he never presented the two-state idea for formal approval to any of the four governments he has headed. Because the official platform of the Likud opposes Palestinian statehood anywhere<br>in Palestine<br><br>And because most ministers who form Netanyahu’s government are members of a parliamentary caucus—the largest in Israel’s Knesset—whose official mandate is the prevention of Palestinian statehood anywhere in Palestine.<br>Is it not high time for Israel’s public to wake up to Netanyahu’s deceptions? The countries that voted for this Security Council resolution are not anti-Semitic outliers. They included every major democratic country that belongs to the Security Council. Not one of them voted for the Zionism is Racism resolution, to which Netanyahu so demagogically compared this resolution. Are UK Prime Minister Theresa May or German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose foreign minister warmly welcomed the Security Council’s action, anti-Semites? It was only yesterday that Netanyahu boasted of his friendship with Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, who voted for the resolution. Are they now Israel’s enemies?<br><br>If there has been a betrayal in this latest chapter of America’s relations with Israel, it is Netanyahu who has betrayed President Obama. The Obama administration has done more than any of its predecessors to assure Israel’s security. The tragedy is that everything that President Obama and his predecessors have done to protect Israel’s security will have been for naught as Netanyahu’s mad drive with the settlements towards an apartheid regime threatens to end Israel’s existence as a democratic and Jewish state, something its enemies could not have achieved on their own.<br>With President-elect Trump and his newly appointed far-right, settlement-promoting ambassador-designate to the Jewish state cheering Netanyahu on, that apartheid outcome is now clearly in sight.<br>_____________<br><br><br><br><br><br></div></div>
ID: 153867
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Man Whose Dream Became Israel
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;">History tries correcting the tricks memory plays on us—while respecting memory’s power.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/topics/thomas-jefferson.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">Thomas Jefferson</a>&nbsp;is famous for writing the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/topics/declaration-of-independence.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">Declaration of Independence</a>&nbsp;during the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/topics/american-revolution.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">Revolution</a>—although he served as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/topics/virgina-united-states.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">Virginia</a>’s governor during the war too. Paul Revere is best known for his Midnight Ride in 1775—although the poet&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/articles/2016/04/24/the-glamorous-life-and-tragic-fall-of-america-s-first-supermodel.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">Henry Wadsworth Longfellow</a>&nbsp;coined the phrase “One if by land, two if by sea” … 85 years later.</p></div><div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;">Similarly, Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, is mostly famous for launching his movement in reaction to the anti-Semitism of the Alfred Dreyfus trial. As with all great historical tales, Israel’s foundation story conveys one essential truth—reactions to European Jew hatred did inspire Zionism. But this too-simplistic story risks eclipsing other nuanced truths, making Zionism seem too defensive and a critique of French liberalism rather than a more affirmative nationalism that also feared Austro-Hungary’s blood-and-soil anti-Semitic right.</p></div><div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;">But first, Herzl’s Zionist Aha Moment.&nbsp; It’s December 1894 in Paris. Theodor Herzl, a 34-year-old assimilated Austrian-Hungarian Jew, is covering the Dreyfus Affair. This lawyer, playwright, and journalist, with piercing eyes and a beautiful black beard, embodies the Enlightened rationalism and liberalism that freed Europe from the Middle Ages and Jews from their ghettoes. Alfred Dreyfus, a French officer, stands trial for treason. On December 22, 1894, when the court convicts Dreyfus—on trumped up charges, leading later to Emile Zola’s famous J’accuse—the crowd, inflamed by nationalism, doesn’t shout “Down with Dreyfus.” Instead, they yell—in Enlightened Paris—“Down with the Jews"...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/01/the-man-whose-dream-became-israel.html"><i>Read whole article on the Daily Beast.</i></a></p></div>
ID: 153868
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Millionaire Who Took on McCarthy
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;">A melodramatic mix of half-truths, rants, and innuendoes made Wisconsin’s junior Senator Joseph P. McCarthy powerful and intimidating. By 1951, he had cowed some of the Senate’s all time all stars, including Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Estes Kefauver, Robert Taft, J. William Fulbright, and Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.&nbsp;</p></div><div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;">The rare senator willing at that time to confront this “<a href="http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/edwardrmurrowtomccarthy.htm" target="_blank" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">hit and run propagandist of the Soviet type</a>” was a rookie senator from Connecticut. For introducing a resolution to expel this blathering bully, William Benton suffered McCarthyite blowback, including a $2 million libel suit. Many also believe Benton’s heroism lost him his Senate seat in 1952. Still, Benton&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Politics-Fear-Robert-W-Griffith/dp/0870235559" target="_blank" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">insisted</a>: “Somebody had to do this job.” Years later, as his legend grew, he&nbsp;<a href="https://archive2.jfklibrary.org/JFKOH/Benton,%2520William%2520B/JFKOH-WBB-01/JFKOH-WBB-01-TR.pdf" target="_blank" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">would demur</a>: “Well of course I like to think I did a lot of things that showed courage in the Senate.” But he admitted, it may have been “in part because of my political inexperience.”</p></div><div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;">This political amateur also had something his other colleagues lacked: a real life awaiting back home. As a millionaire adman, publisher of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and owner of the Muzak Corporation, Benton could afford to be daring. Professional politicians, he would&nbsp;<a href="https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1959/04/26/89186948.html?pageNumber=290" target="_blank" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">lament</a>, “too often underestimate the long-range values of boldness and stubbornness in defense of an ideal.” As America’s new leaders take office, they should remember William Benton’s courage, deciding what ideals they will champion, no matter what...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><br></p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><i><a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/07/the-millionaire-who-took-on-mccarthy.html">Read whole article on The Daily Beast</a>.</i></p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><i><br></i></p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><em style="color: rgb(80, 80, 80); font-family: Arial; font-size: 14px; line-height: 21px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Gil Troy&nbsp;</strong>is the author of</span><strong><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&nbsp;</span><a href="http://giltroy.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=12bc4da52372e985504783f87&amp;id=7f64e23bdd&amp;e=ef66bbdca2" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=http://giltroy.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D12bc4da52372e985504783f87%26id%3D7f64e23bdd%26e%3Def66bbdca2&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1483956126454000&amp;usg=AFQjCNG__1TjXbyHecg9iwk2asnnbW6fwg" style="color: rgb(51, 102, 153); font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s</span></a></strong><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">, just published by Thomas Dunne Books of St. Martin's Press. His next book will update Arthur Hertzberg's&nbsp;The Zionist Idea.&nbsp;He is&nbsp;Professor of History at McGill University. Follow on Twitter&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><a href="http://giltroy.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=12bc4da52372e985504783f87&amp;id=a276275e97&amp;e=ef66bbdca2" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&amp;q=http://giltroy.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u%3D12bc4da52372e985504783f87%26id%3Da276275e97%26e%3Def66bbdca2&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1483956126454000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFDif2sNdnFjhxXhxTvrRTnxX1Zlw" style="color: rgb(51, 102, 153);">@GilTroy</a>.</span></em></p><div><br></div></div><div style="color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><div class="LazyLoad is-visible"></div></div><div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"></div>
ID: 153869
Uid: 341
Author: 40
Category: 0
Title: American Civil Obedience: Patriotically Accepting War
Source:
Body: <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/True-Flag-Theodore-Roosevelt-American/dp/1627792163/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1484006160&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+true+flag+kinzer"><img src="/sites/default/files/153869-pic.png"></a></p><p> <i>This post is by Murray Polner,&nbsp; a blogger, writer and HNN’s senior Book Department editor.</i></p><p>After the end of the Civil War, with 750,000 killed and many more wounded in body and mind, the historian Frederick Jackson Turner famously informed Americans in 1893 that the frontier was closed, suggesting to some that perhaps an era of peace lay ahead. Even so, the U.S., historically addicted to adventurism and expansionism, could never remain at peace for long. The 1890s opened, for example, with the attack on Wounded Knee, where 146 Sioux were massacred by U.S. cavalrymen and ended with the conquest of Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam. A world dominated by rapacious empires now had a new member of the club. &nbsp;</p> <p>But first Cuba. Though Spanish cruelty was irrefutable, the invasion of that island was aided and abetted by a stream of lies offered by the U.S. and&nbsp; the press, &nbsp;along with crocodile tears about poor, suffering Cubans, a sympathy which vanished once white Americans learned that many Cubans had dark skins. &nbsp;William Graham Sumner, the acerbic &nbsp;Social Darwinist and likely founder of modern sociology,&nbsp; wrote a fuming essay, "The Conquest of the United States by Spain." " My patriotism is of the kind which is outraged by the notion that the United States was never a great nation until in a petty three months' campaign it knocked to pieces a poor, decrepit, bankrupt old state like Spain." </p> <p>It got worse. When Spain surrendered Cuba in the Treaty of Paris in December 1898 Americans were allowed to buy the Philippines, a Spanish colony, for $20 million. But Americans knew little or nothing about that distant archipelago, or as the American satirist Finley Peter Dunne, AKA the Irish bartender Mr. Dooley, put it in his wonderful brogue, Americans barely knew if the Philippines were islands or canned goods. </p> <p>In 1896 a revolt &nbsp;in the Philippines against Spain was &nbsp;begun by a secret society, the Society of the Sons of the Country, or Katipunan, as it was commonly called by the local native elite who spoke Tagalog, which had much appeal to ordinary Filipinos. &nbsp;A few days after Admiral George Dewey's armada, acting on TR's orders after his boss went on vacation, arrived in Manila Harbor and destroyed the Spanish fleet, the influential expansionist Senator Albert Beveridge told an audience in the Middlesex Club in Boston: "We are a conquering race...we must obey our blood and occupy new markets, and if necessary new lands." He later expanded his highly popular views to the Senate: "We will not renounce our part in the mission of our [white] race, trustees under God .... [who] has marked us as his chosen people."</p> <p>And so it has been ever since. America as the unquestioned exceptional and indispensable nation.</p> <p>&nbsp;Emilio Aguinaldo, the Filipino leader, hoped&nbsp; the U.S. would recognize his self-proclaimed government. But the U.S.&nbsp; was convinced that acquisition of the islands would not only be very good for business, (with Guam as a naval station) but that it would also provide an entryway to potentially lucrative East Asia markets, and at least for President McKinney, it was God's will to have "benevolent assimilation" foisted on needy and ignorant Filipinos. </p> <p>10,000 US troops were dispatched to the Philippines; by 1900 there were 70,000. &nbsp;In the end, an estimated 120,000 &nbsp;U.S. troops served there.&nbsp; Like Vietnam, and to some extent Iraq as well, "Pacification of the rural population was sometimes affected by versions of forced relocations and other cruel actions," wrote Alfonso W. Quiroz in &nbsp;"A War in Perspective, 1898-1998: Public Appeals, Memory and the Spanish American Conflict" for a NY Public Library exhibit. &nbsp;</p> <p>The war, hailed by the overwhelming majority of Americans and their political leaders, led to the death of 4,234 American troops and 2,818 wounded, and an estimated 25,000 Filipino irregulars and 200,000 civilian casualties, writes Stephen Kinzer in his intriguing new book, "<a href="https://www.amazon.com/True-Flag-Theodore-Roosevelt-American/dp/1627792163/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1484006160&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+true+flag+kinzer">The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and the Birth of American Empire</a>." Both sides rarely refrained from torture, including waterboarding, an American specialty in Iraq. Once the Filipinos were put down, the road was open to future wars against Japan and North Korea and a growing competition with nuclear-armed North Korea and China.</p> <p>Still, there dissenters at home, notably the Anti-Imperialist League, "perhaps the most disjointed anti-war movement in U.S. history," wrote Michael Kazin in "A Godly Hero," his illuminating &nbsp;biography of William Jennings Bryan. Kazin called the League "mugwumps over the age of sixty" who, while exposing an unjust war and the carnage were, however, "unwilling and unable to stage mass demonstrations or mount a concerted lobbying campaign." The League included eminent elitists Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, ex-Presidents Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison, Samuel Gompers. Williams James and Charles Francis Adams, Carl Schurz and Senator George Frisbie Hoar yet were hardly a match for passionate &nbsp;pro-war Americans cheering on their "boys" in a brutal colonial war, much like the "Support Our Troops" campaign which masked the incredible blunder of invading Iraq and then setting the Mideast on fire. </p> <p>Yet to their credit and despite bitter condemnations by war supporters, the League's dissidents bravely protested as best they could, writing, publishing and lecturing. Divided by class interests and politics (e.g., the capitalist Carnegie and labor leader Gompers), at least they said "no," while most opponents of the war were silent. &nbsp;Not&nbsp; E.L. Godkin, The Nation's editor, who put it in its true context: </p> <p>"An immense democracy, mostly ignorant and completely secluded from foreign influence finds itself in possession of enormous power and is eager to use it in brutal fashion against anyone who comes along, without knowing how to do it, and is therefore constantly on the brink of some frightful catastrophe." </p> <p>It's the sort of comment hard to find nowadays.&nbsp;</p><p>When the war finally ended, there was a short-lived presidential&nbsp; boom for Admiral Dewey. And General Frederick Funston, "Fearless Freddie," who helped plan Aguinaldo's capture, received the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1900. He was accorded a hero's welcome when he returned home. In New York he denounced Filipinos as "a drunken uncontrollable mob" and said "all Americans who had recently petitioned Congress to sue for peace in the Philippines should be dragged out of their house and lynched."</p> <p>I rather prefer Massachusetts Senator George Hoar, my favorite Anti-Imperialist Leaguer. He delivered his final shot against the neocons of his era: "You chose war instead of peace. You chose force instead of conciliation... sacrificed nearly ten thousand [sic] American lives, the flower of our youth. You have devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of people you desire to benefit. You have established concentration camps. Your generals are coming home from their harvest, bringing their sheaves with them, in the shape of other thousands of sick and wounded and insane...."</p> <p>Who, asks Stephen Kinzer in "The True Flag," gave the U.S. the right to make decisions for the rest of the world? Or as one of our more astute pundits, Eric Margolis, posed in a slightly different way, "Who came down from the mountain and said the U.S. must police the globe?"</p>
ID: 153870
Uid: 78568
Author: 36
Category: 0
Title: The Other Slavery: An Interview with Historian Andrés Reséndez
Source:
Body: <p></p><p> Click&nbsp;<a href="http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/164562">here</a>&nbsp;to read the interview.</p>
ID: 153871
Uid: 292
Author: 11
Category: 0
Title: How Is It Still Possible for a Jury in South Carolina to Have Just One Black Member?
Source:
Body: <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/153871-jury.png"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">A 19th century jury, as depicted in 1861 by John Morgan in <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Jury_by_John_Morgan.jpg">Wikipedia</a>&nbsp;</span></p><p><i> Sociologist James W. Loewen is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lies-My-Teacher-Told-Everything/dp/0743296281"> Lies My Teacher Told Me</a>.</i></p><p>I wrote this essay the day after the hung jury in the trial of Michael Slager, the police officer in North Charleston. Slager repeatedly shot the Black driver, 50-year-old Walter Scott, until he was dead, even though the reason for the stop was a broken taillight, and even though Scott was running away from him, after an initial scuffle. The jury had eleven White members and one African American. </p><p>How is it possible, one might ask, for a jury in North Charleston, South Carolina, to have just one Black member? </p><p>Way back in 1969, I testified as an expert witness in Yazoo County, Mississippi, about the racial composition of its juries. Venires — the pool from which actual juries are drawn — were supposed to be selected randomly from the population of registered voters.<a href="#_ftn1">[1]</a> Each jury comprised fourteen people — twelve jurors and two alternates. The two were told they were alternates at the end of the trial, just before the jury retired to deliberate. This ensured all fourteen would pay attention throughout the proceeding. Usually the alternates were happy to be excused. It was a good system ... on paper. </p><p>In operation, however, juries in Yazoo County kept coming out with two or fewer Black jurors out of fourteen. Indeed, this had happened seven times in a row! Moreover, the two Black members often were the same two people! Neither of these outcomes was likely or even possible by chance, which is why I put exclamation points after them. </p><p>This Yazoo County case was my first of more than fifty cases as an expert witness. It was perfect for a beginner, because my job was to make the statistics clear to laypeople, including the judge. In class, professors use coin flips to get students thinking about probability. The voter registration roll in Yazoo county happened to be 50% Black, 50% White, perfect for the coin flip analogy. </p><p>The probability of getting two heads (or fewer) in fourteen flips of an unbiased coin is about .006. Try it yourself, if you don't agree. If you flip a coin fourteen times, then do so again, and continue a thousand times, you will get two heads (or fewer) about six times — not very likely. Statisticians, social scientists, and historians use the "1% level of significance" to say that a hypothesis — in this case, race influenced jury selection — is solidly confirmed. That's one in a hundred. This one result beats that standard. </p><p>The probability that two consecutive series would come out this way is .006 times .006 or .000036, fewer than four times in 100,000. The likelihood that seven consecutive juries would have no more than two African Americans each is less than once in 4 billion, or .00000000025. Impossible! </p><p>Our magistrate was a stereotypical White Southern judge: old, biased, incompetent. During my testimony, he even nodded off a couple of times, jerking back to consciousness when he heard the word "Objection!" Then he would peer down from the bench. If their side had objected, he would say "Sustained," if ours had, "Denied." </p><p>He was awake, however, when I reached the crux of my testimony, which was that juries as White as those drawn in Yazoo "could almost never happen by chance — the likelihood is less than one time in four billion." </p><p>Excursus 1: At this point, I must pause to denounce my own attorney. In my experience, most civil rights lawyers, especially those working for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, ACLU, NAACP, "the Inc. Fund" (NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.), and the DOJ are hardworking, idealistic, intelligent, and knowledgeable. Our team in this case included three different civil rights lawyers, because this was a test case designed to break open the unreasonable White bias of jury selection across the state. Unfortunately, the lead attorney knew himself to be intelligent, so he did not bother to prepare. The drive from Jackson to Yazoo City provided us with an hour together in the car, with someone else driving, so I suggested we might review my testimony. He could not be bothered. </p><p>I had supplied him with an outline of what I would say, and of course he was able to ask my name and address competently, explore my educational background and qualifications, and ask what data had been provided me — in this case, the racial composition and names of the last seven empaneled juries in Yazoo County. Unfortunately, he then went off the rails and found himself asking me to do something no expert should ever be asked to do by his own attorney: make new calculations on the stand. </p><p>For instance, he asked, "What is the likelihood of getting exactly two Black jurors, rather than two or fewer?" That is a silly question, because if a jury came in with just one Black, that would certainly show support for the same hypothesis that two Blacks showed, namely White bias. It also requires the expert to calculate the probabilities of just one and of no Black juror and then subtract those minuscule numbers from the also minuscule likelihood of getting two or fewer. Hard to do, error free, with at least a dozen people watching and waiting. </p><p>Luckily, I had at my disposal a brand new invention: an electronic calculator. Today's youngsters (anyone under the age of 70) have no idea how hard it was to do square roots before the electronic calculator (and it was uphill both ways!). One had to use <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slide_rule">slide rules</a>, which provided via physical methods approximations to three decimal places, or even worse, Monroe <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Calculating_Machine_Company#Mechanical_and_Electromechanical_Calculators">electro-mechanical calculators</a>, which had to be tricked into doing approximations of square roots. In 1968, just two electronic calculators were available in the United States. Each did the four basic calculations — addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division — and would do square roots if you poked "divide" and then "equal." Each had a memory. Wang made one, which was a base station about the size of the stand-on-the-floor computers of twenty years ago, to which four different calculator keyboards attached. It cost $5,000. Sharp made the other, a stand-alone unit the size of a large laptop computer of today, for $1,300. I had made the purchase of the latter a condition of my employment at Tougaloo College, because I knew I did not want to have to teach my students in "Methods and Statistics of Social Research" how to use a Monroe calculator. According to the distributor, ours was just the third electronic calculator in the state, and when I brought it out in the courtroom it caused quite a stir. </p><p>Nevertheless, calculating the answer to my attorney's aimless queries misused the court's time, irritating both the judge and me. Then, when I reached my core finding, my attorney asked a question that revealed he did not understand for a moment the nature of statistical probability. The racial disparity would happen by chance "less than one time in four billion," I said, and he asked, "How much less?!" </p><p>This is akin to asking someone who has compared a single grain of sand to a cement truck to discuss portions of the grain of sand. I wanted to reply, "Look, you ignorant unprepared idiot, you cannot get "much less" than one in four billion," but I did not see how that would help our case, so I simply said, "Oh, much less." </p><p>The other side was equally flummoxed by my testimony. They knew it had damaged them, but they had not engaged an expert of their own, and even if they had, s/he would have to abide by the laws of statistics. To disparage my testimony, they tried to disparage me. "Where are you from?" was the prosecutor's opening question on cross-examination. "Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi," I replied, as I had at the beginning of my direct testimony. "No, I mean where are you really from?" he retorted, referring to my outsider status in Mississippi. </p><p>"I don't understand the question," I replied, although of course I knew exactly what he was driving at, and looked beseechingly at the judge. </p><p>"You'll have to rephrase," the judge grudgingly told the prosecutor. </p><p>"Where do your parents live?" he asked. </p><p>"Decatur, Illinois," I replied. And now I lied, for the first and only time ever, in court: "That's in southern Illinois." Actually, Decatur is in central Illinois. I could not resist. </p><p>Soon his questions dwindled to a close. But it turned out that all my testimony went for naught, because to the surprise of all the attorneys in the courtroom, the jury hung. Even more surprising, it did not hang 10 to 2 for conviction of the two Black defendants, but 7 to 5. For the first time in memory in Yazoo County, some White jurists had voted to acquit a Black defendant. </p><p>To understand this occurrence, you need to know the nature of the charge. Yazoo City was in the midst of a boycott. Its downtown merchants had uniformly refused to hire any African Americans as sales clerks or cashiers. The only job Blacks could get was janitor. Yet the stores relied on their Black clientele. Worse, African Americans could not try on clothing, not even hats. They could buy, but they were not allowed to use the changing rooms. Civil Rights leaders were tired of such dehumanizing treatment and urged the Black community to shop in Jackson, an hour away. Conditions there were no better in some stores, but at least boycotting gave the Yazoo City Black community some leverage. </p><p>Saturday was the big shopping day in the Mississippi Delta, so each Saturday high school students walked the streets, talking with Black shoppers, trying to persuade them to go to Jackson. A deputy sheriff overheard two young Black males in conversation, one saying to the other, "If they [the merchants] don't give us something, we're gonna shut this mother-fucking town down." "You're damn right," replied the other. It happens that Yazoo City had a municipal ordinance dating from the nineteenth century making it illegal to curse on the streets, so the deputy called for backup and arrested the two young men. Now they were on trial. </p><p>Our attorneys asked that all witnesses be sequestered. They then asked the sheriff if <i>he</i> had ever sworn while on duty. He admitted he had. Then they put the deputy on the stand and asked if he had ever sworn while on duty. "Of course not," was the response. "Have you ever heard Sheriff ________" swear on duty? "Oh, no," came back. Then our attorney asked the court reporter to read back the sheriff's testimony, where he admitted doing so. "Would you like to amend your testimony?" the deputy was asked. Well, maybe once or twice, came back the reply. "Did you arrest him?" </p><p>A few other exchanges made clear the arrant silliness of the prosecution's case, affording Black jurors the courage to vote for acquittal and even persuading three White jurors to do likewise. Unlike the South Carolina matter, it was obvious that the case would not be retried, so justice had been served. Unfortunately, however, my testimony about the jury system was now moot. There was nothing to appeal. </p><p>As a result, a few months later I found myself in Wilkinson County, in the far southwest of the state, testifying all over again. Luckily the incompetent civil rights lawyer had gone back home to the North. The voter registration roll in Wilkinson was at least 70% Black, yet juries still wound up majority White, time after time. This time the judge was quite interested in my testimony, and although he did not decide the case then and there, he asked me afterward, "Most counties in Mississippi would show this kind of disparity, wouldn't they?" I think he did rule eventually that the juries would have to be redrawn. </p><p>It took years for White biased juries to be eliminated in all counties in the state. Indeed, probably they have not been, just as they have not been in Charleston County, South Carolina. Even when venires are actually drawn fairly from the underlying population, attorneys can use challenges to strike African Americans. Each side only gets a limited number of what are called "peremptory challenges" — for which no reason need be given. But each side gets an infinite number of challenges "for cause." If a prospective juror in the Charleston murder case was married to a police officer, for example, s/he got excused for cause. In Mississippi, some judges leaned toward letting the simple fact of being African American comprise a special interest group, so lawyers could excuse at least some African Americans for cause. Others got dropped via peremptory challenges. </p><p>Four years later, juries were still overwhelmingly White by design in many Mississippi counties. It seemed that each county had to be attacked individually. In 1973 I was again the expert witness in the criminal trial of two African Americans charged with theft in Hinds County, home of Jackson, the state capital. A private attorney had engaged me, W. S. Moore, who had graduated from Ole Miss Law School back in 1954. Very few White Mississippians of that generation showed the courage or idealism to defend Black clients in the early 1970s. William S. Moore had been part of the White establishment, but now word was that he had had a conversion and was working for justice for all. He had even changed his name, now going by W. Sebastian Moore, or "Sea-Bass" in the Black community. In Hinds County, as I recall, even the venire was biased, compared to the proportion of African Americans among the registered voters, which again was close to 50%. </p><p>Again, my testimony was telling, and when we all got on the elevators at the lunch break, the two prosecutors vented their frustration on Moore. "What are you doing, being in this case?" one asked. Moore answered forthrightly, "Well, now, you have to understand, my clients ain't nothin' but a pair of nigger crooks." The other attorneys were astonished that a lawyer would speak thus of his clients. Then Moore let the other shoe drop: "But you still should let Black folks be on juries." The two sentences, including the two very different terms for African Americans, were in their way perfect, contrasting the old and the new, the setup and the kill. </p><p>Excursus 2: I began by saying I wrote this essay the day after the hung jury in North Charleston. That was December 5, 2016. On that date I also sent a letter by U.S. mail to Atty. Moore, who I had found was still living, still near Jackson, Mississippi. I told him I considered him "a remarkable case of a white Mississippian who 'saw the light' and became a crusader for justice." I also noted that he "understood the statistics I used and were fine to work with." I attached this essay and said, "If you wish, I can change your name completely, so no one would think it might be you." I know Mr. Moore to be elderly and think he recently moved to assisted living, so I do not know that he received or considered my letter. Since I cannot imagine that my praiseful account of his work might offend him, I decided not to edit out his name. </p><p>Across the United States, we have made some progress in jury selection. Since 1986, "<a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/batson_challenge">Batson challenges</a>" can be filed against the racial use of peremptory challenges, for example. Still, we will do well to examine the racial and ideological makeup of our juries. In any jurisdiction where African Americans are in a small minority, it's easy for prosecutors to use their peremptory challenges to exclude them totally from juries. Then defendants are not being tried before a "jury of their peers," the legal requirement, which means a reasonable cross section of the community, just as the defendants were not in North Charleston, Yazoo City, or Hinds County. </p><p>Such exclusion may play a role in the astounding racial imbalances in the criminal justice systems in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Those states annually show up as incarcerating about nine times as many African Americans as European Americans, compared to their proportions in the population. In Mississippi, the imbalance is only about two and a half to one. To be sure, juries in white states (to say nothing of sundown towns) will always be overwhelmingly white. Nevertheless, the presence of one person of color, compared to none, still has an effect. Often it causes a difference in tone, in rhetoric, just as Donald Trump would probably not use his "locker room" rhetoric in a group of men that also included a woman. </p><p>Another source of jury imbalance comes from the measures that Republican state legislatures have passed to make it harder to register to vote. Since jurors are picked from the universe of registered voters, whitening that universe also whitens juries. This is yet another reason to undo the voter-suppression measures that so many states, North as well as South, have passed in the last few years. </p><p>Who would have thought we still have to win, in 2017, the victories won in Mississippi more than 40 years ago!</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;[1]Some courts use a three-step process, choosing venires from the underlying population, then dividing the venire on a given day into two or more panels if two or more courtrooms are in session, and then choosing actual jurors after calling groups from the panel into the courtroom for general instructions and questioning. </p> <p>Copyright James W. Loewen</p>
ID: 153872
Uid: 78605
Author: 42
Category: 0
Title: Obama's Legacy in Science, Technology, and Innovation
Source: https://theconversation.com/obamas-legacy-in-science-technology-and-innovation-70699
Body: <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/153872-pic.png" alt="153872-pic.png"></p><p><i>This is Jonathan Coopersmith's history of technology blog. He teaches history at Texas A &amp; M University. An Associate Professor of History at Texas A&amp;M University, Jonathan Coopersmith’s latest book is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Faxed-Machine-Hopkins-Studies-Technology/dp/1421415917">FAXED: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine</a>&nbsp;(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).</i></p><p>As the&nbsp;<a href="http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/10/20/no-predict/">old aphorism says</a>, it’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future. Assessing the legacy of Barack Obama will be easier in a few decades when we can see the long-term consequences of his presidential decisions and initiatives.</p><p>An immediate analysis of his science and technology policies, however, reveals significant accomplishments in the promotion of science and technology, education, space exploitation, clean energy, climate change and the environment. While major endeavors like the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-02-25/obama-precision-medicine-initiative-is-first-step-to-revolutionizing-medicine">Precision Medicine Initiative</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/05/obama-paris-climate-deal-ratification">Paris climate agreement</a>&nbsp;received the headlines, they were part of a larger, mostly successful goal to “<a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16452-obama-to-restore-science-to-its-rightful-place/">restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders</a>” in forming and implementing government policy.</p><p>The administration’s shortcomings around science – some of which reflected Republican political pressures – included limited funding overall and travel restrictions for government workers, both of which reduced the effectiveness of positive science and tech policies.</p><p><b>Psyched about science</b></p><p>In office Obama was fundamentally an&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wired.com/2016/10/president-obama-guest-edits-wired-essay/">optimist about the potential</a>&nbsp;of science and technology to improve society and safely expand the economy. His most significant (and low profile) near-term&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/initiatives">initiatives</a>&nbsp;elevated and institutionalized the foundations of scientific research – exploration, data-based experimentation and policy, openness, transparency, and access to information – into routine government activities. These steps should accelerate the commercialization and diffusion of research.</p><p>Many changes were small but improved the efficiency of programs. For example, modifications made&nbsp;<a href="http://freakonomics.com/podcast/white-house-gets-nudge-business/">based on the outcomes of behavioral science experiments</a>&nbsp;increased military employees’ participation in the Thrift Saving Plan while cutting program costs.</p><p>One visible sign of the importance the Obama administration placed on making sure research results made it out of labs and into practice was the expansion of the phrase “science and technology” (S&amp;T) to “<a href="http://issues.org/25-4/obama/">science, technology and innovation</a>” (ST&amp;I) by president Obama. The creation of the new positions of federal&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/09/what-does-the-chief-technology-officer-of-a-country-do/379665/">Chief Technology Officer</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/09/08/announcing-first-federal-chief-information-security-officer">Chief Information Security Officer</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.govtech.com/data/Introducing-the-Chief-Data-Scientist.html">Chief Data Officer</a>&nbsp;was another indication of this integration.</p><div><p>Obama strongly supported science, technology, engineering and math –&nbsp;<a href="http://physicstoday.scitation.org/do/10.1063/PT.5.1071/full/">STEM – education</a>. Hosting science fairs at the White House garnered lots of media attention. But other initiatives within the administration’s&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/k-12/educate-innovate">Educate to Innovate campaign</a>&nbsp;will prove more consequential in improving K-12 education in America. For instance, the&nbsp;<a href="https://100kin10.org/">100Kin10 effort</a>&nbsp;aims to train 100,000 new science teachers by 2021,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/21/impact-report-100-examples-president-obamas-leadership-science">STEM for All encourages active learning for the increasingly diverse student population, and SkillCommons creates</a>&nbsp;open-source online software for education.</p><p>Environmentally, Obama focused on slowing global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/01/president-obama-in-science-trump-renewables/512519/">promoting renewable energy and increasing the efficiency of energy use</a>&nbsp;domestically and internationally. The incoming Trump administration with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/11/climate-deniers-trump-administration">its climate deniers</a>&nbsp;may try to reverse many of Obama’s policies, but the last eight years have significantly&nbsp;<a href="http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aam6284">reshaped the structure</a>&nbsp;of energy production and consumption worldwide. In 2015,&nbsp;<a href="http://fs-unep-centre.org/sites/default/files/attachments/16008nef_smallversionkomp.pdf">new electricity capacity</a>&nbsp;from renewables exceeded new capacity from fossil fuels for the first time.</p><p>In space, the Obama administration strongly&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-2016-budget-big-leap-toward-manned-launches-commercialized-space-exploration-2230845">promoted commercialization</a>, directing NASA to pay private firms to launch supplies and, in 2018, astronauts to the International Space Station. This should reduce the high cost of reaching earth orbit and thus the exploration and exploitation of space.</p><p>While attracting fewer headlines, initiatives on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/13/executive-order-coordinating-efforts-prepare-nation-space-weather-events">space weather</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/NSTC/national_neo_preparedness_strategy_final.pdf">asteroids and comets that might strike our planet</a>&nbsp;may end up preserving civilization. In 1859, an extremely powerful solar storm disrupted Earth’s magnetic field. A similar “Carrington event” today would destroy satellites and much of the world’s electric power transmission grid. Worst-case scenarios (always good for pushing people to act) predict tens of millions of people dying because of the loss of electric power for years. A&nbsp;<a href="https://spaceguardcentre.com/what-are-neos/near-earth-objects-impact-effects/">large asteroid</a>&nbsp;striking Earth could devastate a large area, kill millions, and spark a new ice age.</p><p>Guarding against these rare but inevitable natural events will not excite voters, but demonstrates preventive stewardship. These initiatives coordinated government efforts across multiple departments to predict a dangerous event, provide warning, and equip satellites and terrestrial infrastructure to minimize harm and maximize resiliency.</p><p><b>On the other hand, restricted travel</b></p><p>One major negative effect on science from the Obama administration was its crippling of federal employees attending conferences.</p><p>In 2010, the General Services Administration, which supports federal agencies, held a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/us/politics/gsa-las-vegas-trip-is-the-talk-of-washington.html">lavish conference</a>&nbsp;in Las Vegas. Congressional Republicans and Democrats attacked this very visible misuse of taxpayer dollars. In response, the Obama administration overreacted by sharply restricting federal spending on conferences and creating an elaborate, expensive bureaucratic process for government employees to get permission to attend a conference, workshop or other professional meetings.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/668845.pdf">Reflecting these restrictions</a>, the number of defense scientists attending the Defense Security and Scanning conference of the International Society for Optics and Photonics dropped from 648 in 2012 to 206 in 2013, for example.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/files/152579/area14mp/image-20170112-18318-179e8d5.jpg"></a><a href="https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/files/152579/area14mp/image-20170112-18318-179e8d5.jpg"><img src="https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/files/152579/width754/image-20170112-18318-179e8d5.jpg" alt="image-20170112-18318-179e8d5.jpg"></a></div></div><div><div style="text-align: center;">Serendipitous face to face interactions are a crucial part of scientific gatherings.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ctbto/30256224650">CTBTO</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></div><p>The sharply curtailed government presence&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/SApprops%20S%26T%20Conference%20Travel%20Letter.pdf">frustrated scientific societies and researchers</a>, both federal employees and those in academia and the private sector. Despite the increasing ease of electronic communications, professional meetings remain&nbsp;<a href="https://hbr.org/2011/02/why-face-to-face-meetings-make">one of the most productive ways</a>&nbsp;for people to learn, exchange and debate ideas.</p><p>By decreasing opportunities for researchers to meet in person, the Obama administration hurt the creativity and productivity of the entire ST&amp;I community, not just federal workers. This was an entirely self-inflicted wound.</p><p><b>No real progress on cybersecurity</b></p><p>Cybersecurity remains a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/17468/sidetracked-obama-s-cybersecurity-legacy">weak area</a>&nbsp;for the Obama administration. The White House released a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/Cyberspace_Policy_Review_final.pdf">policy review</a>&nbsp;in 2009,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nist.gov/cyberframework">voluntary guidelines</a>&nbsp;for critical infrastructure in 2013 and its&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/cybersecurity_report.pdf">cybersecurity report</a>&nbsp;last month.</p><p>But while Obama was in office, new cyber issues kept emerging. The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wired.com/2016/12/obama-cybersecurity-plan/">theft of millions of records from the Office of Personnel Management by China</a>, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/how-russia-wins-an-election-214524">manipulation of the presidential election by Russia</a>, issues of&nbsp;<a href="https://epic.org/privacy/">privacy and surveillance</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ncsc.gov/publications/reports/fecie_all/Foreign_Economic_Collection_2011.pdf">economic cyberespionage</a>&nbsp;and the growing range of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao/priority-areas/cyber-crime">cybercrimes</a>&nbsp;all illustrate the axiom, “<a href="https://my.vanderbilt.edu/vanderbiltdivinity/2015/12/neither-good-nor-bad-nor-neutral/">Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral</a>.”</p><p>In fairness, cybersecurity was a fairly low priority throughout the country. There were seemingly few consequences to firms that fail to maintain adequate defenses. The burden of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.identitytheft.gov/Know-Your-Rights">identity theft</a>, for example, falls on the individual. The revelations of American cyberspying by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/snowdens-legacy-a-public-debate-about-online-privacy">Edward Snowden</a>&nbsp;and the deployment of the American-Israeli computer&nbsp;<a href="http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/security/the-real-story-of-stuxnet">Stuxnet virus</a>&nbsp;to destroy Iranian uranium centrifuges put the Obama administration on the defensive. Congressional and business skepticism, some partisan but mostly motivated by disagreement about what to do, resulted in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cio.com/article/2390298/government/cybersecurity-stalls-in-senate--obama-could-issue-executive-order.html">little legislative action</a>.</p><p><b>And never enough funding</b></p><p>Perhaps the most important shortcoming of the Obama administration’s science and technology agenda was its inability to increase S&amp;T funding.</p><p>Partly this reflects the demographic trend of an aging U.S. population focused more on its retirement and medical costs than investing in research and development for the future. As more people retire and live longer,&nbsp;<a href="https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33074.pdf">entitlements</a>&nbsp;– like Social Security and Medicare – increasingly crowd out the discretionary part of the federal budget.</p><p>Coupled with budget battles with Congressional Republicans, including a costly&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/reports/impacts-and-costs-of-october-2013-federal-government-shutdown-report.pdf">government shutdown in 2013</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2014/03/13/4-ways-sequestration-cost-taxpayers-money/">sequestration</a>, the result has been near-stagnant ST&amp;I budgets. That’s in contrast to the&nbsp;<a href="https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43580.pdf">long-term increases</a>&nbsp;proposed by the president in 2009 to expand public and private spending on research and development from 2.8 to 3.0 percent of GDP.</p><p>Consequently, many opportunities went unfunded or underfunded. Success rates for grants from the&nbsp;<a href="https://report.nih.gov/success_rates/">National Institutes of Health</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nsf.gov/nsb/publications/2015/nsb201514.pdf">National Science Foundation</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nature.com/news/us-astronomers-stuck-in-grant-rejection-cycle-1.18631">NASA</a>&nbsp;all decreased. Indeed, President Obama in 2010 and again in 2016 called for&nbsp;<a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/blue-planet-red-planet-politics-obama-s-giant-leap-for-legacy/">sending astronauts to Mars</a>&nbsp;but did not try to convince Congress to fund that undertaking, the latest of a series of presidents to do so.</p><p><b>Science’s rightful place?</b></p><p>Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration’s rhetoric outpaced its resources and restrictions. Nonetheless, the 44th president left a&nbsp;<a href="https://theconversation.com/obama-administrations-big-science-and-tech-innovation-socially-engaged-policy-67113">strong legacy</a>&nbsp;of supporting ST&amp;I not just for the goals of discovery and economic growth but to strengthen democracy and improve the processes of government.</p><p>If its campaign tweets, transition staff, and cabinet appointments are any indication, the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.aaas.org/election-transition">incoming Trump administration</a>&nbsp;will provide a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/donald-trumps-war-on-science">very strong contrast</a>. With&nbsp;<a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/report/science-and-the-trump-presidency/">top officials at odds with the data-based, open scientific approach</a>&nbsp;on many issues, science, technology, and innovation may take a beating.</p><p><i>This article originally appeared in theconversation.com&nbsp;</i></p></div>
ID: 153873
Uid: 14552
Author: 13
Category: 0
Title: Pre-Inaugural Special: The Toch Brothers Meet the President Elect
Source:
Body: <img src="http://www.joshbrownnyc.com/images/ldw466.jpg">
ID: 153874
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: An Inaugural Prayer: Stretch Yourself as Person and President – to Stretch us too…
Source: Jerusalem Post
Body: <p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color:#1A1A1A">O God, as we invoke Thy name, on this day consecrating national unity, we note that even belief in You no longer unites us. Still, just as we hope everyone will hear this invocation as an invitation to access our inner godliness, we hope Americans will again see the red, white and blue fibers of proud history, shared liberty, and common destiny connecting us, beyond the issues dividing us.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">As a Jew, I say “God Bless America” for welcoming us as fellow citizens, equal in every way. This is the American miracle, accepting the tired, the poor from all over, valuing all people as seeds of our future, not harbingers of decline. American nationalism is uniquely absorbent, a patchwork quilt creating&nbsp;</span><i style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">E Pluribus Unum,</i><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">one out of many.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Reading the book of Exodus this Sabbath, Jews will relive our liberation from Egypt, this wondrous template of revolutions for freedom. Moses inspired America’s revolutionaries. The escape to the Promised Land inspired African-American slaves. We too need liberation -- from consumerism’s excesses, from popular culture’s idolatry, from politics’ polarization, from social media’s nastiness.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">We extol America’s Founders for building this democracy with the Biblical building blocks of liberty, equality, and individual dignity, epitomized by that verse adorning the Liberty Bell proclaiming “liberty throughout the land.” The Framers fused yesterday’s wisdom with the sensibilities of their day– we should too. &nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">As Americans, standing in democratic awe, we mute partisanship momentarily. We note how terrorists bond us in anguish – we vow to bond in national pride too. Let us be motivated by love not fear, by mission not mourning, by hope not despair. Let us reach the highest heights of idealism and goodness together rather than just fighting evils abroad – or each other at home. Democracies don’t just bond for self-protection; liberal nationalism anchors us and propels us to improve the world.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">We honor our outgoing President, Barack Obama, for gloriously uniting us when he was elected. Whatever our partisan differences, we rejoiced that this land that once enslaved blacks was now led by one. And we thank the remarkable Obama family for their public service – and public spiritedness.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">We welcome Hillary Clinton to this podium. We thank her for validating this peaceful transfer of power, demonstrating that we don’t boycott the people’s choice. Winners and losers gracefully shake hands and move on, fulfilling Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural proclamation after the vicious election of 1800: “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">We don’t dodge passionate debates when necessary but don’t ignore common ties whenever possible. We will debate every presidential action vigorously, but as good patriots we also cherish and defend our system’s integrity, from the electoral process to rituals like this one.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">And as we beseech defeated Democrats to act gracefully, we ask victorious Republicans to act humbly. If after the Civil War Abraham Lincoln could offer “malice toward none… charity toward all,” so can we.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">We bless President Donald J. Trump, who now transitions from combative campaigning highlighting differences, to the patriotism of the presidency seeking commonalities too. As he joins America’s presidential pantheon, we wish him George Washington’s stability, Jefferson’s love of liberty, Lincoln’s nobility, Franklin Roosevelt’s magnanimity, Ronald Reagan’s fluency, George H.W. Bush’s dignity, Bill Clinton’s dexterity, George W. Bush’s constancy, and Obama’s integrity.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; color: rgb(26, 26, 26);">We entreat you Mr. President, on this hallowed day: heal this country, appeal to what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature,” leading wisely and generously. Remember, as FDR did in 1937, the forgotten Americans, the “ill-clad, ill-housed, ill-nourished.” And mobilize the patriotic self-sacrifice John Kennedy aroused in 1961, when he said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">Be strong enough to scare our enemies so you need not crush them, and courageous enough to be gentle enough to rally our friends at home and abroad in common cause.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">President Trump, stretch to be the best person and the best president you can be – and Americans will stretch with you; we know that leaders who shrivel into small-minded, divisive demagogues, diminish their followers too.</span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; color: rgb(26, 26, 26);">Sing the song Ronald Reagan sang in his second inaugural, rhapsodizing about “</span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">the American sound… hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent, and fair.”</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';">We pray, Mr. President, that you will save America from becoming a Republic of Nothing, lacking anchoring morals, consensus ideals. Forge a new consensus making America a Republic of Everything – open, welcoming, pluralistic – but also a Republic of Something, with core ideals, motivated by a renewed covenant offering every American a good life and maximum liberty, while pursuing genuine happiness in ways that improve America – and inspire the world. Amen.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Times New Roman';"><a href="http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Stretch-to-be-the-best-person-and-president-you-can-be-478763">Read original article on The Jerusalem Post.</a></span></p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>JA</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> 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table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <p class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Gil Troy, a professor of history at McGill University and a visiting professor at the Ruderman Program at Haifa University, is the author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s, published by St. Martin’s Press. His next book will update Arthur Hertzberg’s The Zionist Idea. Follow on Twitter @GilTroy.</span></i><span style="line-height: 6px; background-color: rgb(241, 241, 241);">&nbsp;</span></p>
ID: 153875
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The ‘Daddy King’ of the Civil Rights Movement
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><span class="s1">The Reverend Martin Luther King, Ebenezer Baptist’s charismatic pastor,&nbsp;<a href="https://books.google.co.il/books?id=PTI7AQAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT13&amp;lpg=PT13&amp;dq=martin+luther+king+%22my+duty,+as+a+christian%22&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=vi1kf5a9v0&amp;sig=4X9MrargokpN-adHDsS0tLWF6xA&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiCoYeZj73RAhUCXRoKHVYbCJ8Q6AEIODAF#v=onepage&amp;q=martin%20luther%20king%20%22my%20duty%2C%20as%20a%20christian%22&amp;f=false" target="_blank" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">taught his son</a>&nbsp;</span><span class="s3">“</span><span class="s1">not to hate the white man, but that it was my duty, as a Christian, to love him.” The Reverend Martin Luther King fought segregation by riding “the Whites Only” elevator in Atlanta’s City Hall and marching against segregated water fountains. The Reverend Martin Luther King fought for equality, not just liberty, chairing the Committee on the Equalization of Teachers’ Salaries. And the Reverend Martin Luther King, aka “Daddy King,” did all this in the 1930s and 1940s, years before his son, Martin Luther King Jr., began campaigning for justice.</span></p></div><div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><span class="s1">Sometimes, you wonder how impressive children like Bill Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt emerged, despite alcoholic fathers. By contrast, the Nobel Prize-winning younger King, known in the family as “M.L.,” so followed his father that the honorific “Daddy King” risks defining the elder King only by his more famous son. However, to the extent that the nickname reinforces Daddy King’s reputation as a guiding light of Civil Rights, it fits just right.&nbsp;</span></p></div><div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><span class="s1">More than his son, who grew up in a comparatively protective cocoon, the man originally named Mike King lived the American dream. Born in 1897 in hardscrabble Stockbridge, Georgia, this grandson of slaves grew up hard. Once, his mother thrashed a white man who beat him—forcing his father, having then protected his wife with a rifle, to hide for three months until white tempers calmed. A teen preacher, King moved to the big city, Atlanta, to refine his style. He ended up with the training he sought—and more than he dared hope—marrying the daughter of one of Atlanta’s great preachers, the Reverend A.D. Williams, whose pulpit both Kings ultimately inherited...</span></p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><span class="s1"><a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/16/the-daddy-king-of-the-civil-rights-movement.html"><i>Read whole article on The Daily Beast.</i></a></span></p></div>