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Story 1: President Trump United Nations Speech Calling For The End of Religious Persecution and Protecting Religious Freedom — Videos —

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Religious persecution

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Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs or affiliations or lack thereof. The tendency of societies or groups within society to alienate or repress different subcultures is a recurrent theme in human history. Moreover, because a person’s religion often determines to a significant extent his or her morality, worldview, self-image, attitudes towards others, and overall personal identity, religious differences can be significant cultural, personal, and social factors.

Religious persecution may be triggered by religious bigotry (i.e. members of a dominant group denigrating religions other than their own) or by the state when it views a particular religious group as a threat to its interests or security. At a societal level, this dehumanisation of a particular religious group may readily turn into violence or other forms of persecution. Indeed, in many countries, religious persecution has resulted in so much violence that it is considered a human rights problem.

Contents

Definition

Religious persecution is defined as violence or discrimination against religious minorities, actions intending to deprive political rights and force minorities to assimilate, leave, or live as second-class citizen.[1] In the aspect of state policy, it may be defined as violations on freedom of thoughtconscience and belief spread by systematic and active state policy and actions of harassment, intimidation and punishment that infringes or threatens the right to lifeintegrity or liberty.[2] The distinction with religious intolerance is that the latter in most cases is in the sentiment of the population, which may be tolerated or encouraged by the state.[2] Denial of civil rights on the basis of religion is most often described as religious discrimination, rather than religious persecution.

Examples of persecution is confiscation or destruction of property, incitement to hate, arrest, imprisonment, beatings, torture, murder, and execution. Religious persecution can be considered the opposite of freedom of religion.

Bateman has differentiated different degrees of persecution. “It must be personally costly… It must be unjust and undeserved… it must be a direct result of one’s faith.”[3]

Forms

Cleansing

“Religious cleansing” is a term that is sometimes used to refer to the removal of a population from a certain territory based on its religion.[4] Throughout antiquity, population cleansing was largely motivated by economic and political factors, although ethnic factors occasionally played a role.[4] During the Middle Ages, population cleansing took on a largely religious character.[4] The religious motivation lost much of its salience early in the modern era, although until the 18th century ethnic enmity in Europe remained couched in religious terms.[4] Richard Dawkins has argued that references to ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq are euphemisms for what should more accurately be called religious cleansing.[5] According to Adrian Koopman, the widespread use of the term ethnic cleansing in such cases suggests that in many situations there is confusion between ethnicity and religion.[5]

Ethnicity

During Nazi rule, Jews were forced to wear yellow stars identifying them as such. Jews are an ethno-religious group and Nazi persecution was based on their race

Other acts of violence, such as wartorture, and ethnic cleansing not aimed at religion in particular, may nevertheless take on the qualities of religious persecution when one or more of the parties involved are characterized by religious homogeneity; an example being when conflicting populations that belong to different ethnic groups often also belong to different religions or denominations. The difference between religious and ethnic identity might sometimes be obscure (see Ethnoreligious); cases of genocide in the 20th century cannot be explained in full by citing religious differences. Still, cases such as the Greek genocide, the Armenian Genocide, and the Assyrian Genocide are sometimes seen as religious persecution and blur the lines between ethnic and religious violence.

Since the Early modern period, there were increased religious cleansing entwined with ethnic elements.[6] As religion is an important or central marker in ethnic identity, some conflicts can be described as “ethno-religious conflicts”.[7]

Nazi antisemitism provides another example of the contentious divide between ethnic and religious persecution, because Nazi propaganda tended to construct its image of Jews as race, and de-emphasized Jews as being defined by their religion. The Holocaust made no distinction between secular Jews, atheistic Jews, orthodox Jews and Jews that had converted to Christianity. The Nazis also persecuted the Catholic Church in Germany and Poland.

Persecution for heresy and blasphemy

The persecution of beliefs that are deemed schismatic is one thing; the persecution of beliefs that are deemed heretical or blasphemous is another. Although a public disagreement on secondary matters might be serious enough, it has often only led to religious discrimination. A public renunciation of the core elements of a religious doctrine under the same circumstances would, on the other hand, have put one in far greater danger. While dissenters from the official Church only faced fines and imprisonment in Protestant England, six people were executed for heresy or blasphemy during the reign of Elizabeth I, and two more were executed in 1612 under James I.[8]

Similarly, heretical sects like CatharsWaldensians and Lollards were brutally suppressed in Western Europe, while, at the same time, Catholic Christians lived side-by-side with ‘schismatic’ Orthodox Christians after the East-West Schism in the borderlands of Eastern Europe.[9]

Persecution for political reasons

Protestant Bishop John Hooper was burned at the stake by Queen Mary I of England

More than 300 Roman Catholics were put to death by English governments between 1535 and 1681 for treason, thus for secular rather than religious offenses.[8] In 1570, Pope Pius V issued his papal bull Regnans in Excelsis, which absolved Catholics from their obligations to the government.[10] This dramatically worsened the situation of the Catholics in England. English governments continued to fear the fictitious Popish Plot. The 1584 Parliament of England, declared in “An Act against Jesuits, seminary priests, and such other like disobedient persons” that the purpose of Jesuit missionaries who had come to Britain was “to stir up and move sedition, rebellion and open hostility”.[11] Consequently, Jesuit priests like Saint John Ogilvie were hanged. This somehow contrasts with the image of the Elizabethan era as the time of William Shakespeare, but compared to the antecedent Marian Persecutions there is an important difference to consider. Mary I of England had been motivated by a religious zeal to purge heresy from her land, and during her short reign from 1553 to 1558 about 290 Protestants[12] had been burned at the stake for heresy, whereas Elizabeth I of England “acted out of fear for the security of her realm.”[13]

By location

The descriptive use of the term religious persecution is rather difficult. Religious persecution has occurred in different historical, geographical and social contexts since at least antiquity. Until the 18th century, some groups were nearly universally persecuted for their views about religion, such as atheists,[14] Jews[15] and Zoroastrians.[16]

Roman Empire

Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus, was executed by the Romans

Early Christianity also came into conflict with the Roman Empire, and may have been more threatening to the established polytheistic order than had been Judaism, because of the importance of evangelism in Christianity. Under Nero, the Jewish exemption from the requirement to participate in public cults was lifted and Rome began to actively persecute monotheists. This persecution ended in 313 AD with the Edict of Milan, and Christianity was made the official religion of the empire in 380 AD. By the eighth century Christianity had attained a clear ascendancy across Europe and neighboring regions, and a period of consolidation began marked by the pursuit of hereticsheathensJewsMuslims, and various other religious groups.

Early modern England

One period of religious persecution which has been extensively studied is early modern England, since the rejection of religious persecution, now common in the Western world, originated there. The English ‘Call for Toleration’ was a turning point in the Christian debate on persecution and toleration, and early modern England stands out to the historians as a place and time in which literally “hundreds of books and tracts were published either for or against religious toleration.”[17]

The most ambitious chronicle of that time is W.K.Jordan‘s magnum opus The Development of Religious Toleration in England, 1558-1660 (four volumes, published 1932-1940). Jordan wrote as the threat of fascism rose in Europe, and this work is seen as a defense of the fragile values of humanism and tolerance.[18] More recent introductions to this period are Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558–1689 (2000) by John Coffey and Charitable hatred. Tolerance and intolerance in England, 1500-1700 (2006) by Alexandra Walsham. To understand why religious persecution has occurred, historians like Coffey “pay close attention to what the persecutors said they were doing.”[17]

Ecclesiastical dissent and civil tolerance

No religion is free from internal dissent, although the degree of dissent that is tolerated within a particular religious organization can strongly vary. This degree of diversity tolerated within a particular church is described as ecclesiastical tolerance,[19] and is one form of religious toleration. However, when people nowadays speak of religious tolerance, they most often mean civil tolerance, which refers to the degree of religious diversity that is tolerated within the state.

In the absence of civil toleration, someone who finds himself in disagreement with his congregation doesn’t have the option to leave and chose a different faith – simply because there is only one recognized faith in the country (at least officially). In modern western civil lawany citizen may join and leave a religious organization at will; In western societies, this is taken for granted, but actually, this legal separation of Church and State only started to emerge a few centuries ago.

In the Christian debate on persecution and toleration, the notion of civil tolerance allowed Christian theologians to reconcile Jesus’ commandment to love one’s enemies with other parts of the New Testament that are rather strict regarding dissent within the church. Before that, theologians like Joseph Hall had reasoned from the ecclesiastical intolerance of the early Christian church in the New Testament to the civil intolerance of the Christian state.[20]

Europe

Religious uniformity in early modern Europe

The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of French Protestants in 1572

By contrast to the notion of civil tolerance, in early modern Europe the subjects were required to attend the state church; This attitude can be described as territoriality or religious uniformity, and its underlying assumption is brought to a point by a statement of the Anglican theologian Richard Hooker: “There is not any man of the Church of England but the same man is also a member of the [English] commonwealth; nor any man a member of the commonwealth, which is not also of the Church of England.”[21]

Before a vigorous debate about religious persecution took place in England (starting in the 1640s), for centuries in Europe, religion had been tied to territory. In England there had been several Acts of Uniformity; in continental Europe the Latin phrase “cuius regio, eius religio” had been coined in the 16th century and applied as a fundament for the Peace of Augsburg (1555). It was pushed to the extreme by absolutist regimes, particularly by the French kings Louis XIV and his successors. It was under their rule that Catholicism became the sole compulsory allowed religion in France and that the huguenots had to massively leave the country. Persecution meant that the state was committed to secure religious uniformity by coercive measures, as eminently obvious in a statement of Roger L’Estrange: “That which you call persecution, I translate Uniformity”.[22]

However, in the 17th century writers like Pierre BayleJohn LockeRichard Overton and Roger William broke the link between territory and faith, which eventually resulted in a shift from territoriality to religious voluntarism.[23] It was Locke who, in his Letter Concerning Toleration, defined the state in purely secular terms:[24] “The commonwealth seems to me to be a society of men constituted only for the procuring, preserving, and advancing their own civil interests.”[25] Concerning the church, he went on: “A church, then, I take to be a voluntary society of men, joining themselves together of their own accord.”[25] With this treatise, John Locke laid one of the most important intellectual foundations of the separation of church and state, which ultimately led to the secular state.

Russia

The Bishop of Vladimir Feodor turned some people into slaves, others were locked in prison, cut their heads, burnt eyes, cut tongues or crucified on walls. Some heretics were executed by burning them alive. According to an inscription of Khan Mengual-Temir, Metropolitan Kiril was granted the right to heavily punish with death for blasphemy against the Orthodox Church or breach of ecclesiastical privileges. He advised all means of destruction to be used against heretics, but without bloodshed, in the name of ‘saving souls’. Heretics were drowned. Novgorod Bishop Gennady Gonzov turned to Tsar Ivan III requesting the death of heretics. Gennady admired the Spanish inquisitors, especially his contemporary Torquemada, who for 15 years of inquisition activity burned and punished thousands of people.[citation needed] As in Rome, persecuted fled to depopulated areas. The most terrible punishment was considered an underground pit, where rats lived. Some people had been imprisoned and tied to the wall there, and untied after their death.[26] Old Believers were persecuted and executed, the order was that even those renouncing completely their beliefs and baptized in the state Church to be lynched without mercy. The writer Lomonosov opposed the religious teachings and by his initiative a scientific book against them was published. The book was destroyed, the Russian synod insisted Lomonosov’s works to be burned and requested his punishment.[citation needed]

…were cutting heads, hanging, some by the neck, some by the foot, many of them were stabbed with sharp sticks and impaled on hooks. This included the tethering to a ponytail, drowning and freezing people alive in lakes. The winners did not spare even the sick and the elderly, taking them out of the monastery and throwing them mercilessly in icy ‘vises’. The words step back, the pen does not move, in eternal darkness the ancient Solovetsky monastery is going. Of the more than 500 people, only a few managed to avoid the terrible court.[27]

Contemporary

President Donald Trump meets with survivors of religious persecution from 17 countries in July 2019

Although his book was written before the September 11 attacks, John Coffey explicitly compares the English fear of the Popish Plot with the contemporary Islamophobia in the Western world.[28] Among the Muslims imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp there also were Mehdi Ghezali and Murat Kurnaz who could not have been found to have any connections with terrorism, but had traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan because of their religious interests.

By religion

Persecutions of atheists

Used before the 18th century as an insult,[29] atheism was punishable by death in ancient Greece, in ancient Israel,[30] in Christian countries during the Middle Ages and in Muslim countries. Today, atheism is punishable by death in 13 countries (AfghanistanIranMalaysiaMaldivesMauritaniaNigeriaPakistanQatarSaudi ArabiaSomaliaSudanUnited Arab Emirates and Yemen), all of them Muslim, while “the overwhelming majority” of the 192 United Nation member countries “at best discriminate against citizens who have no belief in a god and at worst can jail them for offences dubbed blasphemy”.[31][32]

State atheism

State atheism has been defined by David Kowalewski as the official “promotion of atheism” by a government, typically by active suppression of religious freedom and practice.[33] It is a misnomer referring to a government’s anti-clericalism, which opposes religious institutional power and influence, real or alleged, in all aspects of public and political life, including the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen.[34]

State atheism was first practised during a brief period in Revolutionary France[citation needed] and repeated only in Revolutionary Mexico and Communist states. The Soviet Union had a long history of state atheism,[35] in which social success largely required individuals to profess atheism, stay away from churches and even vandalize them; this attitude was especially militant during the middle Stalinist era from 1929-1939.[36][37][38] The Soviet Union attempted to suppress religion over wide areas of its influence, including places like central Asia,[39] and the post-World War II Eastern bloc. One state within that bloc, the Socialist People’s Republic of Albania under Enver Hoxha, went so far as to officially ban all religious practices.[40]

Persecution of Baha’is

The Bahá’ís are Iran’s largest religious minority, and Iran is the location of one of the largest Bahá’í populations in the world. Bahá’ís in Iran have been subject to unwarranted arrests, false imprisonment, beatings, torture, unjustified executions, confiscation and destruction of property owned by individuals and the Bahá’í community, denial of employment, denial of government benefits, denial of civil rights and liberties, and denial of access to higher education.

More recently, in the later months of 2005, an intensive anti-Bahá’í campaign was conducted by Iranian newspapers and radio stations. The state-run and influential Kayhan newspaper, whose managing editor is appointed by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei[3], ran nearly three dozen articles defaming the Bahá’í Faith. Furthermore, a confidential letter sent on October 29, 2005 by the Chairman of the Command Headquarters of the Armed Forced in Iran states that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei has instructed the Command Headquarters to identify people who adhere to the Bahá’í Faith and to monitor their activities and gather any and all information about the members of the Bahá’í Faith. The letter was brought to the attention of the international community by Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on freedom of religion or belief, in a March 20, 2006 press release [4].

In the press release the Special Rapporteur states that she “is highly concerned by information she has received concerning the treatment of members of the Bahá’í community in Iran.” She further states that “The Special Rapporteur is concerned that this latest development indicates that the situation with regard to religious minorities in Iran is, in fact, deteriorating.” [5].

Persecution of Buddhists

Persecution of Buddhists was a widespread phenomenon throughout the history of Buddhism lasting to this day, beginning as early as the 3rd century AD by the Zoroastrian Sassanid Empire. Anti-Buddhist sentiments in Imperial China between the 5th and 10th century led to the Four Buddhist Persecutions in China of which the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution of 845 was probably the most severe. In the 20th century Buddhists were persecuted by Asian communist states and parties, Imperial Japan and by the Kuomintang among others.

Persecution of Christians

According to tradition, early Christians were fed to lions in the Colosseum of Rome

The persecution of Christians is for the most part, historical.[41] Even from the beginnings of the religion as a movement within JudaismEarly Christians were persecuted for their faith at the hands of both Jews and the Roman Empire, which controlled much of the areas where Christianity was first distributed. This continued from the first century until the early fourth, when the religion was legalised by the Edict of Milan, eventually becoming the State church of the Roman Empire.

Today, Christians are persecuted in Iran for proselytising.[42][43] Proselytising is illegal in Iran.[44]

Persecution of Falun Gong

The persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice began with campaigns initiated in 1999 by the Chinese Communist Party to eliminate Falun Gong in China. It is characterised by multifaceted propaganda campaign, a program of enforced ideological conversion and re-education, and a variety of extralegal coercive measures such as arbitrary arrests, forced labor, and physical torture, sometimes resulting in death.[45]
There have being reports of Organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Several researchers—most notably Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, former parliamentarian David Kilgour, and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann—estimate that tens of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience have been killed to supply a lucrative trade in human organs and cadavers.[46]

Persecution of Hindus

The Bangladesh Liberation War (1971) resulted in one of the largest genocides of the 20th century. While estimates of the number of casualties was 3,000,000, it is reasonably certain that Hindus bore a disproportionate brunt of the Pakistan Army’s onslaught against the Bengali population of what was East Pakistan. An article in Time magazine dated 2 August 1971, stated “The Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees and a majority of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Muslim military hatred.”[47] Senator Edward Kennedy wrote in a report that was part of United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations testimony dated 1 November 1971, “Hardest hit have been members of the Hindu community who have been robbed of their lands and shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places, painted with yellow patches marked “H”. All of this has been officially sanctioned, ordered and implemented under martial law from Islamabad“. In the same report, Senator Kennedy reported that 80% of the refugees in India were Hindus and according to numerous international relief agencies such as UNESCO and World Health Organization the number of East Pakistani refugees at their peak in India was close to 10 million. Given that the Hindu population in East Pakistan was around 11 million in 1971, this suggests that up to 8 million, or more than 70% of the Hindu population had fled the country.The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Sydney Schanberg covered the start of the war and wrote extensively on the suffering of the East Bengalis, including the Hindus both during and after the conflict. In a syndicated column “The Pakistani Slaughter That Nixon Ignored”, he wrote about his return to liberated Bangladesh in 1972. “Other reminders were the yellow “H”s the Pakistanis had painted on the homes of Hindus, particular targets of the Muslim army” (by “Muslim army”, meaning the Pakistan Army, which had targeted Bengali Muslims as well), (Newsday, 29 April 1994).

Hindus constitute approximately 0.5% of the total population of the United States. Hindus in the US enjoy both de jure and de facto legal equality. However, a series of attacks were made on people Indian origin by a street gang called the “Dotbusters” in New Jersey in 1987, the dot signifying the Bindi dot sticker worn on the forehead by Indian women.[48] The lackadaisical attitude of the local police prompted the South Asian community to arrange small groups all across the state to fight back against the street gang. The perpetrators have been put to trial. On 2 January 2012, a Hindu worship center in New York City was firebombed.[49] The Dotbusters were primarily based in New York and New Jersey and committed most of their crimes in Jersey City. A number of perpetrators have been brought to trial for these assaults. Although tougher anti-hate crime laws were passed by the New Jersey legislature in 1990, the attacks continued, with 58 cases of hate crimes against Indians in New Jersey reported in 1991.[50]

In Bangladesh, on 28 February 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Vice President of the Jamaat-e-Islami to death for the war crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Following the sentence, activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked the Hindus in different parts of the country. Hindu properties were looted, Hindu houses were burnt into ashes and Hindu temples were desecrated and set on fire.[51][52] While the government has held the Jamaat-e-Islami responsible for the attacks on the minorities, the Jamaat-e-Islami leadership has denied any involvement. The minority leaders have protested the attacks and appealed for justice. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has directed the law enforcement to start suo motu investigation into the attacks. US Ambassador to Bangladesh express concern about attack of Jamaat on Bengali Hindu community.[53][54] The violence included the looting of Hindu properties and businesses, the burning of Hindu homes, rape of Hindu women and desecration and destruction of Hindu temples.[55] According to community leaders, more than 50 Hindu temples and 1,500 Hindu homes were destroyed in 20 districts.[56]

Persecutions of Jews

Woodcut of the Seleucid persecution depicting martyrs refusing to sacrifice from Die Bibel in Bildern

A major component of Jewish history, persecutions have been committed by Seleucids,[57] ancient Greeks,[15] ancient Romans, Christians (Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant), Muslims, Nazis, etc. Some of the most important events constituting this history include the 1066 Granada massacre, the Rhineland massacres (by Catholics but against papal orders, see also : Sicut Judaeis), the Alhambra Decree after the Reconquista and the creation of the Spanish Inquisition, the publication of On the Jews and Their Lies by Martin Luther which furthered Protestant anti-Judaism and was later used to strengthen German antisemitism in pogroms and the Holocaust.

Persecution of Samaritans

The Samaritan Temple at Mount Gerizim was destroyed by John Hyrcanus in about 128 BC, partly because it was attracting some northern Jews as a place of worship. In 107 BC, Hyrcanus destroyed Schechem.[58] In the seventeenth century, Muslims from Nablus forced some Samaritans to convert to Islam and forbade access to Mount Gerizim.[58]

Persecution of Muslims

The French military in Algeria

Persecution of Muslims is the religious persecution inflicted upon followers of the Islamic faith. In the early days of Islam at Mecca, the new Muslims were often subjected to abuse and persecution by the pagan Meccans (often called Mushrikin: the unbelievers or polytheists).[59][60]

Muslims have been the target of persecution ever since the emergence of Islam, sometimes to the point of being martyred for their faith.[61]

In the 20th century, Muslims were persecuted by various governments including MyanmarFrenchItaliaChina, and many more.

Persecution of minorities in Islamic lands

Victims of Muslim persecution include JewsChristiansZoroastriansHindusBuddhists,[62][63][64][65][66] Bahá’ís,[67] Serers[68][69] and Atheists. Muslim persecution of fellow Muslims include as victims ShiaAhmadisSufiAlevisand Salafis.

Persecutions of Sikhs

The 1984 anti-Sikhs riots were a series of pogroms[70][71][72][73] directed against Sikhs in India, by anti-Sikh mobs, in response to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. There were more than 8,000[74] deaths, including 3,000 in Delhi.[72] In June 1984, during Operation Blue StarIndira Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to attack the Golden Temple and eliminate any insurgents, as it had been occupied by Sikh separatists who were stockpiling weapons. Later operations by Indian paramilitary forces were initiated to clear the separatists from the countryside of Punjab state.[75]

The violence in Delhi was triggered by the assassination of Indira Gandhi, India’s prime minister, on 31 October 1984, by two of her Sikh bodyguards in response to her actions authorising the military operation. After the assassination following Operation Blue Star, many Indian National Congress workers including Jagdish TytlerSajjan Kumar and Kamal Nath were accused of inciting and participating in riots targeting the Sikh population of the capital. The Indian government reported 2,700 deaths in the ensuing chaos. In the aftermath of the riots, the Indian government reported 20,000 had fled the city, however the People’s Union for Civil Liberties reported “at least” 1,000 displaced persons.[76] The most affected regions were the Sikh neighbourhoods in Delhi. The Central Bureau of Investigation, the main Indian investigating agency, is of the opinion that the acts of violence were organized with the support from the then Delhi police officials and the central government headed by Indira Gandhi‘s son, Rajiv Gandhi.[77] Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as Prime Minister after his mother’s death and, when asked about the riots, said “when a big tree falls (Mrs. Gandhi’s death), the earth shakes (occurrence of riots)” thus trying to justify communal strife.[78]

There are allegations that the Indian National Congress government at that time destroyed evidence and shielded the guilty. The Asian Age front-page story called the government actions “the Mother of all Cover-ups”[79][80] There are allegations that the violence was led and often perpetrated by Indian National Congress activists and sympathisers during the riots.[81] The government, then led by the Congress, was widely criticised for doing very little at the time, possibly acting as a conspirator. The conspiracy theory is supported by the fact that voting lists were used to identify Sikh families. Despite their communal conflict and riots record, the Indian National Congress claims to be a secular party.

Persecution of Serers

The persecution of the Serer people of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania is multifaceted, and it includes both religious and ethnic elements. Religious and ethnic persecution of the Serer people dates back to the 11th century when King War Jabi usurped the throne of Tekrur (part of present-day Senegal) in 1030, and by 1035, introduced Sharia law and forced his subjects to submit to Islam.[82] With the assistance of his son (Leb), their Almoravid allies and other African ethnic groups who have embraced Islam, the Muslim coalition army launched jihads against the Serer people of Tekrur who refused to abandon Serer religion in favour of Islam.[68][83][84][85] The number of Serer deaths are unknown, but it triggered the exodus of the Serers of Tekrur to the south following their defeat, where they were granted asylum by the lamanes.[85] Persecution of the Serer people continued from the medieval era to the 19th century, resulting in the Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune. From the 20th to the 21st centuries, persecution of the Serers is less obvious, nevertheless, they are the object of scorn and prejudice.[86][87]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_persecution

United Nations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Map showing the member states of the United Nations[a]

Headquarters New York City(international territory)
Official languages
Type Intergovernmental organization
Membership 193 member states
2 observer states
Leaders
António Guterres
Amina J. Mohammed
Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
Mona Juul
Vasily Nebenzya
Establishment
• UN Chartersigned
26 June 1945 (74 years ago)
• Charter entered into force
24 October 1945 (73 years ago)
Website
UN.org
UN.int

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international co-operation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.[3] It was established after World War II, with the aim of preventing future wars, and succeeded the ineffective League of Nations.[4] Its headquarters, which are subject to extraterritoriality, are in ManhattanNew York City, and it has other main offices in GenevaNairobiVienna and The Hague. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law.[5] The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.

On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, which was adopted on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House, and signed on 26 June 1945 in the Herbst Theatre auditorium in the Veterans War Memorial Building. This charter took effect on 24 October 1945, when the UN began operations. The organisation’s mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. Its missions have consisted primarily of unarmed military observers and lightly armed troops with primarily monitoring, reporting and confidence-building roles.[6] The organization’s membership grew significantly following widespread decolonization which started in the 1960s. Since then, 80 former colonies had gained independence, including 11 trust territories, which were monitored by the Trusteeship Council.[7] By the 1970s its budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a wide variety of complex tasks.[8]

The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly; the Security Council; the Economic and Social Council; the Trusteeship Council; the International Court of Justice; and the UN Secretariat. The UN System agencies include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food ProgrammeUNESCO, and UNICEF. The UN’s most prominent officer is the Secretary-General, an office held by Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres since 1 January 2017. Non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN’s work.

The organization, its officers, and its agencies have won many Nobel Peace Prizes. Other evaluations of the UN’s effectiveness have been mixed. Some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called the organization ineffective, biased, or corrupt.

Contents

History

Background

In the century prior to the UN’s creation, several international treaty organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross was formed to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.[9]In 1914, a political assassination in Sarajevo set off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. As more and more young men were sent down into the trenches, influential voices in the United States and Britain began calling for the establishment of a permanent international body to maintain peace in the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson became a vocal advocate of this concept, and in 1918 he included a sketch of the international body in his 14-point proposal to end the war. In November 1918, the Central Powers agreed to an armistice to halt the killing in World War I. Two months later, the Allies met with Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles to hammer out formal peace terms. President Wilson wanted peace, but the United Kingdom and France disagreed, forcing harsh war reparations on their former enemies. The League of Nations was approved, and in the summer of 1919 Wilson presented the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations to the US Senate for ratification. On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations formally comes into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, takes effect.[10] However, at some point the League became ineffective when it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria as in February 1933, 40 nations voted for Japan to withdraw from Manchuria but Japan voted against it and walked out of the League instead of withdrawing from Manchuria.[11] It also failed against the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite trying to talk to Benito Mussolini as he used the time to send an army to Africa, so the League had a plan for Mussolini to just take a part of Ethiopia, but he ignored the League and invaded Ethiopia, the League tried putting sanctions on Italy, but Italy had already conquered Ethiopia and the League had failed.[12] After Italy conquered Ethiopia, Italy and other nations left the league. But all of them realised that it had failed and they began to re-arm as fast as possible. During 1938, Britain and France tried negotiating directly with Hitler but this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia. When war broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war.[13] Although the United States never joined the League, the country did support its economic and social missions through the work of private philanthropies and by sending representatives to committees.

1942 “Declaration of United Nations” by the Allies of World War II

1943 sketch by Franklin Roosevelt of the UN original three branches: The Four Policemen, an executive branch, and an international assembly of forty UN member states

The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U.S. State Department in 1939.[14] The text of the “Declaration by United Nations” was drafted at the White House on December 29, 1941, by President Franklin D. RooseveltPrime Minister Winston Churchill, and Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins. It incorporated Soviet suggestions, but left no role for France. “Four Policemen” was coined to refer to four major Allied countries, United StatesUnited KingdomSoviet Union, and Republic of China, which emerged in the Declaration by United Nations.[15] Roosevelt first coined the term United Nations to describe the Allied countries.[b] “On New Year’s Day 1942, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, Maxim Litvinov, of the USSR, and T. V. Soong, of China, signed a short document which later came to be known as the United Nations Declaration and the next day the representatives of twenty-two other nations added their signatures.”[16] The term United Nations was first officially used when 26 governments signed this Declaration. One major change from the Atlantic Charter was the addition of a provision for religious freedom, which Stalin approved after Roosevelt insisted.[17][18] By 1 March 1945, 21 additional states had signed.[19]

A JOINT DECLARATION BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND, THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS, CHINA, AUSTRALIA, BELGIUM, CANADA, COSTA RICA, CUBA, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EL SALVADOR, GREECE, GUATEMALA, HAITI, HONDURAS, INDIA, LUXEMBOURG, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NORWAY, PANAMA, POLAND, SOUTH AFRICA, YUGOSLAVIA

The Governments signatory hereto,

Having subscribed to a common program of purposes and principles embodied in the Joint Declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of Great Britain dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter,

Being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world,

DECLARE:

  1. Each Government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents with which such government is at war.
  2. Each Government pledges itself to cooperate with the Governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are, or which may be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.

During the war, “the United Nations” became the official term for the Allies. To join, countries had to sign the Declaration and declare war on the Axis.[20]

Founding

The UN in 1945: founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue

The UN was formulated and negotiated among the delegations from the Allied Big Four (the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and China) at the Dumbarton Oaks Conferencefrom 21 September 1944 to October 7, 1944 and they agreed on the aims, structure and functioning of the UN.[21][22][23] After months of planning, the UN Conference on International Organizationopened in San Francisco, 25 April 1945, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizations involved in drafting the UN Charter.[24][25][26] “The heads of the delegations of the sponsoring countries took turns as chairman of the plenary meetings: Anthony Eden, of Britain, Edward Stettinius, of the United States, T. V. Soong, of China, and Vyacheslav Molotov, of the Soviet Union. At the later meetings, Lord Halifax deputized for Mister Eden, Wellington Koo for T. V. Soong, and Mister Gromyko for Mister Molotov.”[27] The UN officially came into existence 24 October 1945, upon ratification of the Charter by the five permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US—and by a majority of the other 46 signatories.[28]

The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented,[c] and the Security Council took place in Methodist Central HallWestminsterLondon beginning on 10 January 1946.[28]The General Assembly selected New York City as the site for the headquarters of the UN, construction began on 14 September 1948 and the facility was completed on 9 October 1952. Its site—like UN headquarters buildings in GenevaVienna, and Nairobi—is designated as international territory.[31] The Norwegian Foreign Minister, Trygve Lie, was elected as the first UN Secretary-General.[28]

Cold War era

Dag Hammarskjöld was a particularly active Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in 1961.

Though the UN’s primary mandate was peacekeeping, the division between the US and USSR often paralysed the organization, generally allowing it to intervene only in conflicts distant from the Cold War.[32] Two notable exceptions were a Security Council resolution on 7 July 1950 authorizing a US-led coalition to repel the North Korean invasion of South Korea, passed in the absence of the USSR,[28][33] and the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement in 27 July 1953.[34]

On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly approved a resolution to partition Palestine, approving the creation of the state of Israel.[35] Two years later, Ralph Bunche, a UN official, negotiated an armistice to the resulting conflict.[36] On November 7, 1956, the first UN peacekeeping force was established to end the Suez Crisis;[37] however, the UN was unable to intervene against the USSR’s simultaneous invasion of Hungary following that country’s revolution.[38]

On 14 July 1960, the UN established United Nations Operation in the Congo (UNOC), the largest military force of its early decades, to bring order to the breakaway State of Katanga, restoring it to the control of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by 11 May 1964.[39] While travelling to meet rebel leader Moise Tshombe during the conflict, Dag Hammarskjöld, often named as one of the UN’s most effective Secretaries-General,[40] died in a plane crash; months later he was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[41] In 1964, Hammarskjöld’s successor, U Thant, deployed the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, which would become one of the UN’s longest-running peacekeeping missions.[42]

With the spread of decolonization in the 1960s, the organization’s membership saw an influx of newly independent nations. In 1960 alone, 17 new states joined the UN, 16 of them from Africa.[37] On 25 October 1971, with opposition from the United States, but with the support of many Third World nations, the mainland, communist People’s Republic of China was given the Chinese seat on the Security Council in place of the Republic of China that occupied Taiwan; the vote was widely seen as a sign of waning US influence in the organization.[43] Third World nations organized into the Group of 77 coalition under the leadership of Algeria, which briefly became a dominant power at the UN.[44] On 10 November 1975, a bloc comprising the USSR and Third World nations passed a resolution, over strenuous US and Israeli opposition, declaring Zionism to be racism; the resolution was repealed on 16 December 1991, shortly after the end of the Cold War.[45][46]

With an increasing Third World presence and the failure of UN mediation in conflicts in the Middle EastVietnam, and Kashmir, the UN increasingly shifted its attention to its ostensibly secondary goals of economic development and cultural exchange.[47] By the 1970s, the UN budget for social and economic development was far greater than its peacekeeping budget.

Post-Cold War

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006

Flags of member nations at the United Nations Headquarters, seen in 2007

After the Cold War, the UN saw a radical expansion in its peacekeeping duties, taking on more missions in ten years than it had in the previous four decades.[48] Between 1988 and 2000, the number of adopted Security Council resolutions more than doubled, and the peacekeeping budget increased more than tenfold.[49][50][51] The UN negotiated an end to the Salvadoran Civil War, launched a successful peacekeeping mission in Namibia, and oversaw democratic elections in post-apartheid South Africa and post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia.[52] In 1991, the UN authorized a US-led coalition that repulsed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.[53] Brian Urquhart, Under-Secretary-General from 1971 to 1985, later described the hopes raised by these successes as a “false renaissance” for the organization, given the more troubled missions that followed.[54]

Though the UN Charter had been written primarily to prevent aggression by one nation against another, in the early 1990s the UN faced a number of simultaneous, serious crises within nations such as Somalia, Haiti, Mozambique, and the former Yugoslavia.[55] The UN mission in Somalia was widely viewed as a failure after the US withdrawal following casualties in the Battle of Mogadishu, and the UN mission to Bosnia faced “worldwide ridicule” for its indecisive and confused mission in the face of ethnic cleansing.[56] In 1994, the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda failed to intervene in the Rwandan genocide amid indecision in the Security Council.[57]

Beginning in the last decades of the Cold War, American and European critics of the UN condemned the organization for perceived mismanagement and corruption.[58] In 1984, the US President, Ronald Reagan, withdrew his nation’s funding from UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, founded 1946) over allegations of mismanagement, followed by Britain and Singapore.[59][60] Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General from 1992 to 1996, initiated a reform of the Secretariat, reducing the size of the organization somewhat.[61][62] His successor, Kofi Annan (1997–2006), initiated further management reforms in the face of threats from the United States to withhold its UN dues.[62]

In the late 1990s and 2000s, international interventions authorized by the UN took a wider variety of forms. The UN mission in the Sierra Leone Civil War of 1991–2002 was supplemented by British Royal Marines, and the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was overseen by NATO.[63]In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq despite failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution for authorization, prompting a new round of questioning of the organization’s effectiveness.[64] Under the eighth Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the UN has intervened with peacekeepers in crises including the War in Darfur in Sudan and the Kivu conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and sent observers and chemical weapons inspectors to the Syrian Civil War.[65] In 2013, an internal review of UN actions in the final battles of the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009 concluded that the organization had suffered “systemic failure”.[66] One hundred and one UN personnel died in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the worst loss of life in the organization’s history.[67]

The Millennium Summit was held in 2000 to discuss the UN’s role in the 21st century.[68] The three day meeting was the largest gathering of world leaders in history, and culminated in the adoption by all member states of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a commitment to achieve international development in areas such as poverty reductiongender equality, and public health. Progress towards these goals, which were to be met by 2015, was ultimately uneven. The 2005 World Summit reaffirmed the UN’s focus on promoting development, peacekeeping, human rights, and global security.[69] The Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015 to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.[70]

In addition to addressing global challenges, the UN has sought to improve its accountability and democratic legitimacy by engaging more with civil society and fostering a global constituency.[71] In an effort to enhance transparency, in 2016 the organization held its first public debate between candidates for Secretary-General.[72] On 1 January 2017, Portuguese diplomat António Guterres, who previously served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, became the ninth Secretary-General. Guterres has highlighted several key goals for his administration, including an emphasis on diplomacy for preventing conflicts, more effective peacekeeping efforts, and streamlining the organization to be more responsive and versatile to global needs.[73]

Structure

The UN system is based on five principal organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Court of Justice and the UN Secretariat.[74] A sixth principal organ, the Trusteeship Council, suspended operations on 1 November 1994, upon the independence of Palau, the last remaining UN trustee territory.[75]

Four of the five principal organs are located at the main UN Headquarters in New York City.[76] The International Court of Justice is located in The Hague, while other major agencies are based in the UN offices at Geneva,[77] Vienna,[78] and Nairobi.[79] Other UN institutions are located throughout the world. The six official languages of the UN, used in intergovernmental meetings and documents, are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.[80] On the basis of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, the UN and its agencies are immune from the laws of the countries where they operate, safeguarding the UN’s impartiality with regard to the host and member countries.[81]

Below the six organs sit, in the words of the author Linda Fasulo, “an amazing collection of entities and organizations, some of which are actually older than the UN itself and operate with almost complete independence from it”.[82] These include specialized agencies, research and training institutions, programmes and funds, and other UN entities.[83]

The UN obey the Noblemaire principle, which is binding on any organization that belongs to the UN system. This principle calls for salaries that will draw and keep citizens of countries where salaries are highest, and also calls for equal pay for work of equal value independent of the employee’s nationality.[84][85] In practice, the ICSC takes reference to the highest-paying national civil service.[86] Staff salaries are subject to an internal tax that is administered by the UN organizations.[84][87]

Principal organs of the United Nations [88]

UN General Assembly
— Deliberative assembly of all UN member states —
UN Secretariat
— Administrative organ of the UN —
International Court of Justice
— Universal court for international law —
UN General Assembly hall
Headquarters of the UN in New York City
International Court of Justice
  • May resolve non-compulsory recommendations to states or suggestions to the Security Council (UNSC);
  • Decides on the admission of new members, following proposal by the UNSC;
  • Adopts the budget;
  • Elects the non-permanent members of the UNSC; all members of ECOSOC; the UN Secretary General (following his/her proposal by the UNSC); and the fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Each country has one vote.
  • Supports the other UN bodies administratively (for example, in the organization of conferences, the writing of reports and studies and the preparation of the budget);
  • Its chairperson – the UN Secretary General – is elected by the General Assembly for a five-year mandate and is the UN’s foremost representative.
  • Decides disputes between states that recognize its jurisdiction;
  • Issues legal opinions;
  • Renders judgment by relative majority. Its fifteen judges are elected by the UN General Assembly for nine-year terms.
UN Security Council
— For international security issues —
UN Economic and Social Council
— For global economic and social affairs —
UN Trusteeship Council
— For administering trust territories (currently inactive) —
UN security council
UN Economic and Social Council
UN Trusteeship Council
  • Responsible for co-operation between states as regards economic and social matters;
  • Co-ordinates co-operation between the UN’s numerous specialized agencies;
  • Has 54 members, elected by the General Assembly to serve staggered three-year mandates.
  • Was originally designed to manage colonial possessions that were former League of Nations mandates;
  • Has been inactive since 1994, when Palau, the last trust territory, attained independence.

General Assembly

Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet general secretary, addresses the UN General Assembly in December 1988.

The General Assembly is the main deliberative assembly of the UN. Composed of all UN member states, the assembly meets in regular yearly sessions, but emergency sessions can also be called.[89] The assembly is led by a president, elected from among the member states on a rotating regional basis, and 21 vice-presidents.[90] The first session convened 10 January 1946 in the Methodist Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations.[28]

When the General Assembly decides on important questions such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required.[91][92] All other questions are decided by a majority vote. Each member country has one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, resolutions are not binding on the members. The Assembly may make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security that are under consideration by the Security Council.[89]

Draft resolutions can be forwarded to the General Assembly by its six main committees:[93]

As well as by the following two committees:

  • General Committee – a supervisory committee consisting of the assembly’s president, vice-president, and committee heads
  • Credentials Committee – responsible for determining the credentials of each member nation’s UN representatives

Security Council

Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demonstrates a vial with allegedIraqi chemical weapon probes to the UN Security Council on Iraq warhearings, 5 February 2003.

The Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countries. While other organs of the UN can only make “recommendations” to member states, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions that member states have agreed to carry out, under the terms of Charter Article 25.[94] The decisions of the Council are known as United Nations Security Council resolutions.[95]

The Security Council is made up of fifteen member states, consisting of five permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term date)—Belgium (term ends 2020), Côte d’Ivoire (2019), Dominican Republic (2020), Equatorial Guinea (2019), Germany (2020), Indonesia (2020), Kuwait (2019), Peru (2019), Poland (2019), and South Africa (2020).[96] The five permanent members hold veto power over UN resolutions, allowing a permanent member to block adoption of a resolution, though not debate. The ten temporary seats are held for two-year terms, with five member states per year voted in by the General Assembly on a regional basis.[97] The presidency of the Security Council rotates alphabetically each month.[98]

UN Secretariat

The UN Secretariat is headed by the secretary-general, assisted by the deputy secretary-general and a staff of international civil servants worldwide.[99] It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by UN bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies.[100]

The secretary-general acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the UN. The position is defined in the UN Charter as the organization’s “chief administrative officer”.[101] Article 99 of the charter states that the secretary-general can bring to the Security Council’s attention “any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”, a phrase that Secretaries-General since Trygve Lie have interpreted as giving the position broad scope for action on the world stage.[102] The office has evolved into a dual role of an administrator of the UN organization and a diplomat and mediator addressing disputes between member states and finding consensus to global issues.[103]

The secretary-general is appointed by the General Assembly, after being recommended by the Security Council, where the permanent members have veto power. There are no specific criteria for the post, but over the years it has become accepted that the post shall be held for one or two terms of five years.[104] The current Secretary-General is António Guterres, who replaced Ban Ki-moon in 2017.

Secretaries-General of the United Nations[105]
No. Name Country of origin Took office Left office Notes
1 Trygve Lie Norway 2 February 1946 10 November 1952 Resigned
2 Dag Hammarskjöld Sweden 10 April 1953 18 September 1961 Died in office
3 U Thant Burma 30 November 1961 31 December 1971
4 Kurt Waldheim Austria 1 January 1972 31 December 1981
5 Javier Pérez de Cuéllar Peru 1 January 1982 31 December 1991
6 Boutros Boutros-Ghali Egypt 1 January 1992 31 December 1996
7 Kofi Annan Ghana 1 January 1997 31 December 2006
8 Ban Ki-moon South Korea 1 January 2007 31 December 2016
9 António Guterres Portugal 1 January 2017

International Court of Justice

The court ruled that Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independencefrom Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague, in the Netherlands, is the primary judicial organ of the UN. Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges who serve 9-year terms and are appointed by the General Assembly; every sitting judge must be from a different nation.[106][107]

It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, sharing the building with the Hague Academy of International Law, a private centre for the study of international law. The ICJ’s primary purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference, ethnic cleansing, and other issues.[108] The ICJ can also be called upon by other UN organs to provide advisory opinions.[106] It is the only organ that is not located in New York.

Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social co-operation and development. ECOSOC has 54 members, which are elected by the General Assembly for a three-year term. The president is elected for a one-year term and chosen amongst the small or middle powers represented on ECOSOC. The council has one annual meeting in July, held in either New York or Geneva. Viewed as separate from the specialized bodies it co-ordinates, ECOSOC’s functions include information gathering, advising member nations, and making recommendations.[109][110] Owing to its broad mandate of co-ordinating many agencies, ECOSOC has at times been criticized as unfocused or irrelevant.[109][111]

ECOSOC’s subsidiary bodies include the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which advises UN agencies on issues relating to indigenous peoples; the United Nations Forum on Forests, which co-ordinates and promotes sustainable forest management; the United Nations Statistical Commission, which co-ordinates information-gathering efforts between agencies; and the Commission on Sustainable Development, which co-ordinates efforts between UN agencies and NGOs working towards sustainable development. ECOSOC may also grant consultative status to non-governmental organizations;[109] by 2004, more than 2,200 organizations had received this status.[112]

Specialized agencies

The UN Charter stipulates that each primary organ of the United Nations can establish various specialized agencies to fulfil its duties.[113] Some best-known agencies are the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Food and Agriculture OrganizationUNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN performs most of its humanitarian work through these agencies. Examples include mass vaccination programmes (through WHO), the avoidance of famine and malnutrition (through the work of the WFP), and the protection of vulnerable and displaced people (for example, by UNHCR).[114]

Organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations
No. Acronym Agency Headquarters Head Established in
1 FAO Food and Agriculture Organization Italy RomeItaly Brazil José Graziano da Silva 1945
2 IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency Austria ViennaAustria Japan Yukiya Amano 1957
3 ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization Canada Montreal, QuebecCanada China Fang Liu 1947
4 IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development Italy RomeItaly Nigeria Kanayo F. Nwanze 1977
5 ILO International Labour Organization Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland United Kingdom Guy Ryder 1946 (1919)
6 IMO International Maritime Organization United Kingdom LondonUnited Kingdom South Korea Kitack Lim 1948
7 IMF International Monetary Fund United States Washington, D.C.United States France Christine Lagarde 1945 (1944)
8 ITU International Telecommunication Union Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland China Houlin Zhao 1947 (1865)
9 UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization France ParisFrance France Audrey Azoulay 1946
10 UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization Austria ViennaAustria China Li Yong 1967
11 UNWTO World Tourism Organization Spain MadridSpain Jordan Taleb Rifai 1974
12 UPU Universal Postal Union Switzerland BernSwitzerland Kenya Bishar Abdirahman Hussein 1947 (1874)
13 WBG World Bank Group United States Washington, D.C.United States United States David Malpass (President)
Bulgaria Kristalina Georgieva (CEO)
1945 (1944)
14 WFP World Food Programme Italy RomeItaly United States David Beasley 1963
15 WHO World Health Organization Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland Ethiopia Tedros Adhanom 1948
16 WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland Australia Francis Gurry 1974
17 WMO World Meteorological Organization Switzerland GenevaSwitzerland Finland Petteri Taalas (Secretary-General)
France Michel Jarraud (President)
1950 (1873)

Membership

With the addition of South Sudan 14 July 2011,[115] there are 193 UN member states, including all undisputed independent states apart from Vatican City.[116][d] The UN Charter outlines the rules for membership:

  1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states that accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.
  2. The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. Chapter II, Article 4.[117]

In addition, there are two non-member observer states of the United Nations General Assembly: the Holy See (which holds sovereignty over Vatican City) and the State of Palestine.[118] The Cook Islands and Niue, both states in free association with New Zealand, are full members of several UN specialized agencies and have had their “full treaty-making capacity” recognized by the Secretariat.[119]

Group of 77

The Group of 77 (G77) at the UN is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members’ collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the UN. Seventy-seven nations founded the organization, but by November 2013 the organization had since expanded to 133 member countries.[120] The group was founded 15 June 1964 by the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries” issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The group held its first major meeting in Algiers in 1967, where it adopted the Charter of Algiers and established the basis for permanent institutional structures.[121] With the adoption of the New International Economic Order by developing countries in the 1970s, the work of the G77 spread throughout the UN system.

Objectives

Peacekeeping and security

Bolivian “Blue Helmet” at an exercise in Chile, 21 October 2002

The UN, after approval by the Security Council, sends peacekeepers to regions where armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the UN does not maintain its own military, peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states. These soldiers are sometimes nicknamed “Blue Helmets” for their distinctive gear.[122][123] The peacekeeping force as a whole received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.[124]

In September 2013, the UN had peacekeeping soldiers deployed on 15 missions. The largest was the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), which included 20,688 uniformed personnel. The smallest, United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), included 42 uniformed personnel responsible for monitoring the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. UN peacekeepers with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) have been stationed in the Middle East since 1948, the longest-running active peacekeeping mission.[125]

A study by the RAND Corporation in 2005 found the UN to be successful in two out of three peacekeeping efforts. It compared efforts at nation-building by the UN to those of the United States, and found that seven out of eight UN cases are at peace, as compared with four out of eight US cases at peace.[126] Also in 2005, the Human Security Report documented a decline in the number of wars, genocides, and human rights abuses since the end of the Cold War, and presented evidence, albeit circumstantial, that international activism—mostly spearheaded by the UN—has been the main cause of the decline in armed conflict in that period.[127] Situations in which the UN has not only acted to keep the peace but also intervened include the Korean War (1950–53) and the authorization of intervention in Iraq after the Gulf War (1990–91).[128]

UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus was established in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

The UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures. In many cases, member states have shown reluctance to achieve or enforce Security Council resolutions. Disagreements in the Security Council about military action and intervention are seen as having failed to prevent the Bangladesh genocide in 1971,[129] the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s,[130] and the Rwandan genocide in 1994.[131] Similarly, UN inaction is blamed for failing to either prevent the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 or complete the peacekeeping operations in 1992–93 during the Somali Civil War.[132] UN peacekeepers have also been accused of child rape, soliciting prostitutes, and sexual abuse during various peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[133] Haiti,[134] Liberia,[135] Sudan and what is now South Sudan,[136] Burundi, and Ivory Coast.[137] Scientists cited UN peacekeepers from Nepal as the likely source of the 2010–13 Haiti cholera outbreak, which killed more than 8,000 Haitians following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[138]

In addition to peacekeeping, the UN is also active in encouraging disarmament. Regulation of armaments was included in the writing of the UN Charter in 1945 and was envisioned as a way of limiting the use of human and economic resources for their creation.[94] The advent of nuclear weapons came only weeks after the signing of the charter, resulting in the first resolution of the first General Assembly meeting calling for specific proposals for “the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction”.[139] The UN has been involved with arms-limitation treaties, such as the Outer Space Treaty (1967), the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968), the Seabed Arms Control Treaty (1971), the Biological Weapons Convention (1972), the Chemical Weapons Convention (1992), and the Ottawa Treaty (1997), which prohibits landmines.[140]Three UN bodies oversee arms proliferation issues: the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission.[141]

Human rights

One of the UN’s primary purposes is “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion”, and member states pledge to undertake “joint and separate action” to protect these rights.[113][142]

In 1948, the General Assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by a committee headed by American diplomat and activist Eleanor Roosevelt, and including the French lawyer René Cassin. The document proclaims basic civil, political, and economic rights common to all human beings, though its effectiveness towards achieving these ends has been disputed since its drafting.[143] The Declaration serves as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations” rather than a legally binding document, but it has become the basis of two binding treaties, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.[144] In practice, the UN is unable to take significant action against human rights abuses without a Security Council resolution, though it does substantial work in investigating and reporting abuses.[145]

In 1979, the General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, followed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.[146] With the end of the Cold War, the push for human rights action took on new impetus.[147] The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was formed in 1993 to oversee human rights issues for the UN, following the recommendation of that year’s World Conference on Human Rights. Jacques Fomerand, a scholar of the UN, describes this organization’s mandate as “broad and vague”, with only “meagre” resources to carry it out.[148] In 2006, it was replaced by a Human Rights Council consisting of 47 nations.[149] Also in 2006, the General Assembly passed a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,[150] and in 2011 it passed its first resolution recognizing the rights of LGBT people.[151]

Other UN bodies responsible for women’s rights issues include United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a commission of ECOSOC founded in 1946; the United Nations Development Fund for Women, created in 1976; and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, founded in 1979.[152] The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, one of three bodies with a mandate to oversee issues related to indigenous peoples, held its first session in 2002.[153]

Economic development and humanitarian assistance

Millennium Development Goals[154]
  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

Another primary purpose of the UN is “to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character”.[142] Numerous bodies have been created to work towards this goal, primarily under the authority of the General Assembly and ECOSOC.[155] In 2000, the 192 UN member states agreed to achieve eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015.[156] The Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015 to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.[70] The SDGs have an associated financing framework called the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), an organization for grant-based technical assistance founded in 1945, is one of the leading bodies in the field of international development. The organization also publishes the UN Human Development Index, a comparative measure ranking countries by poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, and other factors.[157][158] The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), also founded in 1945, promotes agricultural development and food security.[159] UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) was created in 1946 to aid European children after the Second World War and expanded its mission to provide aid around the world and to uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[160][161]

Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme read the news that smallpox had been globally eradicated, 1980.

The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are independent, specialized agencies and observers within the UN framework, according to a 1947 agreement. They were initially formed separately from the UN through the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944.[162] The World Bank provides loans for international development, while the IMF promotes international economic co-operation and gives emergency loans to indebted countries.[163]

In Jordan, UNHCR remains responsible for the Syrian refugeesand the Zaatari refugee camp.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which focuses on international health issues and disease eradication, is another of the UN’s largest agencies. In 1980, the agency announced that the eradication of smallpox had been completed. In subsequent decades, WHO largely eradicated polioriver blindness, and leprosy.[164] The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), begun in 1996, co-ordinates the organization’s response to the AIDS epidemic.[165] The UN Population Fund, which also dedicates part of its resources to combating HIV, is the world’s largest source of funding for reproductive health and family planning services.[166]

Along with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the UN often takes a leading role in co-ordinating emergency relief.[167] The World Food Programme (WFP), created in 1961, provides food aid in response to famine, natural disasters, and armed conflict. The organization reports that it feeds an average of 90 million people in 80 nations each year.[167][168] The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), established in 1950, works to protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people.[169] UNHCR and WFP programmes are funded by voluntary contributions from governments, corporations, and individuals, though the UNHCR’s administrative costs are paid for by the UN’s primary budget.[170]

Other

Since the UN’s creation, over 80 colonies have attained independence. The General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960 with no votes against but abstentions from all major colonial powers. The UN works towards decolonization through groups including the UN Committee on Decolonization, created in 1962.[171] The committee lists seventeen remaining “Non-Self-Governing Territories“, the largest and most populous of which is Western Sahara.[172]

Beginning with the formation of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1972, the UN has made environmental issues a prominent part of its agenda. A lack of success in the first two decades of UN work in this area led to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which sought to give new impetus to these efforts.[173] In 1988, the UNEP and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), another UN organization, established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assesses and reports on research on global warming.[174] The UN-sponsored Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, set legally binding emissions reduction targets for ratifying states.[175]

The UN also declares and co-ordinates international observances, periods of time to observe issues of international interest or concern. Examples include World Tuberculosis DayEarth Day, and the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.[176]

Funding

Top 25 contributors to the United Nations budget for the period 2019–2021[177]
Member state Contribution
(% of UN budget)
United States

22.000

China

12.005

Japan

8.564

Germany

6.090

United Kingdom

4.567

France

4.427

Italy

3.307

Brazil

2.948

Canada

2.734

Russia

2.405

South Korea

2.267

Australia

2.210

Spain

2.146

Turkey

1.371

Netherlands

1.356

Mexico

1.292

Saudi Arabia

1.172

Switzerland

1.151

Argentina

0.915

Sweden

0.906

India

0.834

Belgium

0.821

Poland

0.802

Algeria

0.788

Norway

0.754

The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states. The General Assembly approves the regular budget and determines the assessment for each member. This is broadly based on the relative capacity of each country to pay, as measured by its gross national income (GNI), with adjustments for external debt and low per capita income.[178] The two-year budget for 2012–13 was $5.512 billion in total.[179]

The Assembly has established the principle that the UN should not be unduly dependent on any one member to finance its operations. Thus, there is a “ceiling” rate, setting the maximum amount that any member can be assessed for the regular budget. In December 2000, the Assembly revised the scale of assessments in response to pressure from the United States. As part of that revision, the regular budget ceiling was reduced from 25% to 22%.[180] For the least developed countries (LDCs), a ceiling rate of 0.01% is applied.[178] In addition to the ceiling rates, the minimum amount assessed to any member nation (or “floor” rate) is set at 0.001% of the UN budget ($55,120 for the two year budget 2013–2014).[181]

A large share of the UN’s expenditure addresses its core mission of peace and security, and this budget is assessed separately from the main organizational budget.[182] The peacekeeping budget for the 2015–16 fiscal year was $8.27 billion, supporting 82,318 troops deployed in 15 missions around the world.[125] UN peace operations are funded by assessments, using a formula derived from the regular funding scale that includes a weighted surcharge for the five permanent Security Council members, who must approve all peacekeeping operations. This surcharge serves to offset discounted peacekeeping assessment rates for less developed countries. the largest contributors for the UN peacekeeping financial operations for the period 2019–2021 are : the United States 27.89% China 15.21%, Japan 8.56%, Germany 6.09% , the United Kingdom 5.78%, France 5.61%, Italy3.30% and the Russian Federation 3.04%. [2]

Special UN programmes not included in the regular budget, such as UNICEF and the World Food Programme, are financed by voluntary contributions from member governments, corporations, and private individuals.[183][184]

Evaluations, awards, and criticism

The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the UN—diploma in the lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York City

A number of agencies and individuals associated with the UN have won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their work. Two Secretaries-General, Dag Hammarskjöld and Kofi Annan, were each awarded the prize (in 1961 and 2001, respectively), as were Ralph Bunche (1950), a UN negotiator, René Cassin (1968), a contributor to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the US Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1945), the latter for his role in the organization’s founding. Lester B. Pearson, the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, was awarded the prize in 1957 for his role in organizing the UN’s first peacekeeping force to resolve the Suez Crisis. UNICEF won the prize in 1965, the International Labour Organization in 1969, the UN Peace-Keeping Forces in 1988, the International Atomic Energy Agency (which reports to the UN) in 2005, and the UN-supported Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2013. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees was awarded in 1954 and 1981, becoming one of only two recipients to win the prize twice. The UN as a whole was awarded the prize in 2001, sharing it with Annan.[185] In 2007, IPCC received the prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”[186]

To mark the UN’s 70th anniversary – Budapest, 2015

Since its founding, there have been many calls for reform of the UN but little consensus on how to do so. Some want the UN to play a greater or more effective role in world affairs, while others want its role reduced to humanitarian work. There have also been numerous calls for the UN Security Council’s membership to be increased, for different ways of electing the UN’s Secretary-General, and for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Jacques Fomerand states the most enduring divide in views of the UN is “the North–South split” between richer Northern nations and developing Southern nations. Southern nations tend to favour a more empowered UN with a stronger General Assembly, allowing them a greater voice in world affairs, while Northern nations prefer an economically laissez-faire UN that focuses on transnational threats such as terrorism.[187]

After World War II, the French Committee of National Liberation was late to be recognized by the US as the government of France, and so the country was initially excluded from the conferences that created the new organization. The future French president Charles de Gaulle criticized the UN, famously calling it a machin (“contraption”), and was not convinced that a global security alliance would help maintain world peace, preferring direct defence treaties between countries.[188] Throughout the Cold War, both the US and USSR repeatedly accused the UN of favouring the other. In 1953, the USSR effectively forced the resignation of Trygve Lie, the Secretary-General, through its refusal to deal with him, while in the 1950s and 1960s, a popular US bumper sticker read, “You can’t spell communism without U.N.”[189] In a sometimes-misquoted statement, President George W. Bush stated in February 2003 (referring to UN uncertainty towards Iraqi provocations under the Saddam Hussein regime) that “free nations will not allow the UN to fade into history as an ineffective, irrelevant debating society.”[190][191][192] In contrast, the French President, François Hollande, stated in 2012 that “France trusts the United Nations. She knows that no state, no matter how powerful, can solve urgent problems, fight for development and bring an end to all crises … France wants the UN to be the centre of global governance.”[193] Critics such as Dore Gold, an Israeli diplomat, Robert S. Wistrich, a British scholar, Alan Dershowitz, an American legal scholar, Mark Dreyfus, an Australian politician, and the Anti-Defamation League consider UN attention to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to be excessive.[194] In September 2015, Saudi Arabia‘s Faisal bin Hassan Trad has been elected Chair of the UN Human Rights Council panel that appoints independent experts,[195] a move criticized by human rights groups.[196][197]

Since 1971, the Republic of China on Taiwan has been excluded from the UN and since then has always been rejected in new applications. Taiwanese citizens are also not allowed to enter the buildings of the United Nations with ROC passports. In this way, critics agree that the UN is failing its own development goals and guidelines. This criticism also brought pressure from the People’s Republic of China, which regards the territories administered by the ROC as their own territory.[198][199]

Critics have also accused the UN of bureaucratic inefficiency, waste, and corruption. In 1976, the General Assembly established the Joint Inspection Unit to seek out inefficiencies within the UN system. During the 1990s, the US withheld dues citing inefficiency and only started repayment on the condition that a major reforms initiative was introduced. In 1994, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) was established by the General Assembly to serve as an efficiency watchdog.[200] In 1994, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN to Somalia Mohamed Sahnoun published “Somalia: The Missed Opportunities”,[201] a book in which he analyses the reasons for the failure of the 1992 UN intervention in Somalia, showing that, between the start of the Somali civil war in 1988 and the fall of the Siad Barre regime in January 1991, the UN missed at least three opportunities to prevent major human tragedies; when the UN tried to provide humanitarian assistance, they were totally outperformed by NGOs, whose competence and dedication sharply contrasted with the UN’s excessive caution and bureaucratic inefficiencies. If radical reform was not undertaken, warned Mohamed Sahnoun, then the UN would continue to respond to such crisis with inept improvization.[202] In 2004, the UN faced accusations that its recently ended Oil-for-Food Programme—in which Iraq had been allowed to trade oil for basic needs to relieve the pressure of sanctions—had suffered from widespread corruption, including billions of dollars of kickbacks. An independent inquiry created by the UN found that many of its officials had been involved, as well as raising “significant” questions about the role of Kojo Annan, the son of Kofi Annan.[203]

In evaluating the UN as a whole, Jacques Fomerand writes that the “accomplishments of the United Nations in the last 60 years are impressive in their own terms. Progress in human development during the 20th century has been dramatic and the UN and its agencies have certainly helped the world become a more hospitable and livable place for millions.”[204] Evaluating the first 50 years of the UN’s history, the author Stanley Meisler writes that “the United Nations never fulfilled the hopes of its founders, but it accomplished a great deal nevertheless”, citing its role in decolonization and its many successful peacekeeping efforts.[205] The British historian Paul Kennedy states that while the organization has suffered some major setbacks, “when all its aspects are considered, the UN has brought great benefits to our generation and … will bring benefits to our children’s and grandchildren’s generations as well.”[206]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ This map does not represent the view of its members or the UN concerning the legal status of any country,[1]
  2. ^ Roosevelt suggested the name as an alternative to the name “Associated Powers.” The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, accepted it, noting that the phase was used by Lord Byron in the poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (Stanza 35).
  3. ^ Poland had not been represented among the fifty nations at the San Francisco conference due to the reluctance of the Western superpowers to recognize its post-war communist government. However, the Charter was later amended to list Poland as a founding member, and Poland ratified the Charter on 16 October 1945.[29][30]
  4. ^ For details on Vatican City’s status, see Holy See and the United Nations.

References…

External links

Official websites

Others

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations

 

Story 2: Driving The Repo Rate Higher — Cash For Collateral — Fed Conducts Even More Repo Operations Through Middle of October 2019 — Videos

See the source image

Here’s what drove the repo rate higher

Fed Announces Plans to Provide More Support for Repo Market

Federal Reserve announces it will supplying infusions of cash into repo market in coming weeks.

The Associated Press

FILE – In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 file photo, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee in Washington. A peculiar thing is happening in financial markets this week _ a corner of the financial system where banks and others go for billions of dollars in short-term loans is suddenly in need of cash. To that end, the Federal Reserve has stepped in to inject about $200 billion into the market over the past three days, with plans for another $75 billion on Friday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BY MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

 The Federal Reserve will keep pumping cash into a vital but obscure corner of U.S. financial markets in coming weeks.

The New York Federal Reserve Bank, which handles the central bank’s interactions with financial markets, said Friday that it will offer daily repurchase, or “repo,” operations of at least $75 billion through Oct. 10. The aim is to maintain the Fed’s key policy rate within its target range.

For the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed this week conducted a series of major repo operations, injecting $278 billion into the market to deal with a jump in short-term interest rates.

Officials say this week’s spike in rates is not a precursor of the type of underlying troubles that preceded the 2008 market meltdown.

In addition to the daily overnight operations of $75 billion, the New York Fed said it would conduct longer 14-day repo operations of at least $30 billion on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of next week.

The Fed said that it would be ready to conduct further operations as needed after Oct. 10 but the amount and timing of those auctions has not been determined.

In the fourth operation on Friday, banks asked for $75.55 billion in reserves, only slightly higher than the $75 billion limit set by the Fed.

The Fed began conducting these operations to calm money markets. Rates on short-term repo agreements had briefly spiked to nearly 10% earlier this week as financial firms scrambled to find short-term funding.

The Fed seeks to manage its operations to keep the repo rate near the target it has set for its key policy rate, the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other for overnight borrowing.

The Fed announced on Wednesday that it was cutting the benchmark rate by a quarter-point to a new range of 1.75% to 2% as it seeks to cushion the U.S. economy from various threats, ranging from a slowing global economy to shocks from President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

The repo market covers billions of dollars of daily operations in which one party lends out cash in exchange for a roughly equivalent value of securities, usually Treasury notes. The market allows companies that own lots of securities to get the cash they need at cheap rates.

The borrower of the cash agrees to repurchase the securities it has loaned as collateral at a later date, often as soon as the next day.

The turbulence this week has been attributed to various factors, including corporations needing to come up with cash to settle quarterly tax payments.

Analysts do not believe the rate spike this week is similar to the troubles seen as the nation was heading into the 2008 financial crisis. They believe banks are much better capitalized now due to the reforms put in place after the crisis.

 

Fed Mulls Lessons of Money-Market Spike After Curbing Volatility

New York Fed officials examining whether distribution of reserves contributed to cash shortages earlier this week

The New York Fed said it would continue to offer to add at least $75 billion daily to the financial system through Oct. 10. PHOTO: CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Federal Reserve officials are studying whether market plumbing issues contributed to a spike in short-term lending rates this week, after the central bank said it would extend recent operations to inject cash into money markets.

Investors this week have highlighted declines in bank deposits held at the Fed, known as reserves, as a driver of this week’s funding volatility. But New York Fed officials said Friday they were also examining whether the distribution of those reserves across the banking system—and not just the absolute level—had contributed to cash shortages earlier this week.

“That ability of the system to move money around and redistribute—it didn’t work the way we’ve seen in the past,” said New York Fed President John Williams in an interview on Friday.

The New York Fed said on Friday it would continue to offer to add at least $75 billion daily to the financial system through Oct. 10, prolonging its efforts to relieve pressure in money markets.

In addition to at least $75 billion in overnight loans, the Fed said it would also offer three separate 14-day cash loans of at least $30 billion each next week. The Fed will conduct further operations as needed after Oct. 10.

“This is, I would say, Central Banking 101,” said Mr. Williams. “This is what the Fed’s open-market operations are designed to address—directly provide liquidity into the system, which supports market functioning.”

On Monday, corporate tax payments were due to the Treasury, and Treasury debt auctions settled, leading to large transfers of cash from the banking system.

The level of reserves in the system at the beginning of the week appeared “above what we thought banks’ minimum level of reserves was,” said Lorie Logan, the New York Fed executive who is interim manager of the portfolio.

But those reserves can be concentrated in a few institutions, and officials weren’t sure “what the distribution process would look like as different shocks like this take place and how those reserves would then redistribute to other entities that needed liquidity,” she said.

One of the lessons this week was that this distribution process “was definitely stickier than we expected,” and repo markets experienced greater dysfunction than anticipated as a result, she said.

The Fed is adding money to the financial system through the market for repurchase agreements, or repo. In those transactions, banks offer collateral such as government bonds in exchange for short-term loans, for periods as brief as overnight. The market is a major way that banks and financial firms raise capital to fund their businesses.

But the Fed restored confidence, particularly through its decision Friday to offer two-week cash loans. “Everybody saw that as their bazooka,” Mr. Carpenter said.

The newly scheduled operations give financial markets an assurance that the Fed will continue adding liquidity through the end of the coming quarter. Banks tend to hold on to cash at the ends of quarters because that is when regulators typically examine their balance sheets to ensure they are following rules that safeguard the banking system.

“It doesn’t take a lot of cash to right the system,” said Glenn Havlicek, the chief executive at GLMX, which provides technology to repo trading desks, and who formerly oversaw the repo desk at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The timing is also important because there have been periods in the past year when demand for cash has exceeded the ability or willingness of investors to provide it, leading to spikes in the rates investors charge banks in repo.

That happened at the end of last year when the repo rate traded as high as 6%, pushing the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.’s GCF Repo Index to a then-record 5.14%. Repo rates also notably rose in April when people withdrew cash from the banking system to pay federal income taxes.

Separately, the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee lowered its benchmark federal-funds rate by a quarter percentage point on Wednesday to a range between 1.75% and 2%.

As a result of volatility in the repo market, the fed-funds rate spiked to trade outside of its range on Tuesday, but by Thursday was again trading firmly within the target band.

Mr. Williams said the central bank had effectively diagnosed and deployed its tools to take “forceful, decisive action that addressed the problem,” he said. “We are consistently and constructively supporting stability in these markets, and supporting the FOMC’s desired interest rate.”

On Friday, banks asked for $75.55 billion in reserves, $550 million more than the amount offered by the Fed, offering collateral in the form of Treasury and mortgage securities.

The New York Fed hasn’t had to intervene in money markets since 2008 because during and after the financial crisis, the Fed flooded the financial system with reserves. It did this by buying hundreds of billions of dollars of long-term securities to spur growth after cutting interest rates to nearly zero.

Reserves over the last five years have been declining, especially over the last two years, when the Fed began shrinking securities holdings. Reserves fell to less than $1.4 trillion this week from a peak of $2.8 trillion in 2014.

The Fed stopped shrinking its asset holdings last month. But because other Fed liabilities such as currency in circulation and the Treasury’s general financing account are rising, reserves are likely to grind lower in the weeks and months ahead.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-adds-75-billion-to-financial-system-in-fourth-repo-transaction-this-week-11568984725

Repo and Reverse Repo Agreements

The New York Fed is authorized by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to conduct repo and reverse repo operations for the System Open Market Account (SOMA) to the extent necessary to carry out the most recent FOMC directive. The New York Fed’s Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) executes these repo and reverse repo operations in the tri-party repo market.

Repurchase agreements (also known as repos) are conducted only with primary dealers; reverse repurchase agreements (also known as reverse repos) are conducted with both primary dealers and with an expanded set of reverse repo counterparties that includes banks, government-sponsored enterprises, and money market funds.

Repo and reverse repo operations were used prior to the financial crisis to adjust the supply of reserve balances and keep the federal funds ratearound the target level established by the FOMC. At that time, repo operations were typically conducted daily to fine-tune the supply of reserves in the system.

In a repo transaction, the Desk purchases Treasury, agency debt, or agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from a counterparty subject to an agreement to resell the securities at a later date. It is economically similar to a loan collateralized by securities having a value higher than the loan to protect the Desk against market and credit risk. Repo transactions temporarily increase the quantity of reserve balances in the banking system.

In a reverse repo transaction, the opposite occurs: the Desk sells securities to a counterparty subject to an agreement to repurchase the securities at a later date at a higher repurchase price. Reverse repo transactions temporarily reduce the quantity of reserve balances in the banking system.

Overnight Reverse Repo Operations
Currently, the Desk conducts overnight reverse repo operations daily as a means to help keep the federal funds rate in the target range set by the FOMC. The overnight reverse repo program (ON RRP) is used to supplement the Federal Reserve’s primary monetary policy tool, interest on excess reserves (IOER) for depository institutions, to help control short-term interest rates. ON RRP operations support interest rate control by setting a floor on wholesale short-term interest rates, beneath which financial institutions with access to these facilities should be unwilling to lend funds. ON RRP operations are conducted at a pre-announced offering rate, against Treasury securities collateral, and are open to a wide range of financial firms, including some that are not eligible to earn interest on balances at the Federal Reserve.

Story 3: Alarmist Adult Abuses of Climate Change Children — Hysterical Greta Thunberg — A Very Ignorant and Abused Child — Brainwashed Indoctrination of Children By Parents and Schools –Seek Professional Help — Weather and Climate Have Always Been Changing — Adapt and and Live With It — Get Your Priorities and Solutions in Order — Videos —

See the source image

School strike for climate – save the world by changing the rules | Greta Thunberg | TEDxStockholm

Greta Thunberg Rips World Leaders at the U.N. Over Climate Change

Bjorn Lomborg: Global priorities bigger than climate change

Greta Thunberg

Adolescent climate change protester Greta Thunberg has stage parents, literally. Her mother sang opera internationally until the teenager convinced her to quit due to greenhouse gas emissions from flying, and her father and grandfather both gained fame through acting and directing.

Now, they’ve pivoted into the parental act of every stage parent looking to secure the next generation of fame. Apparently, the Swedish version of a Teri Shields is pimping her kid out, not to Penthouse, but to the cause of climate apocalypse.

For all that, conservatives have rightly griped at the performative pointlessness of Thunberg’s schtick, and for all that, liberals have rightly griped that a waning but still significant segment of conservatives deny the reality of anthropogenic climate change; the biggest travesty lost in the hype about the Swedish activist who recently sailed to American shores is that her parents, the media, and the climate alarmist Left are basically engaging in child abuse.

Cases of kids entering public discourse out of sheer discourse, such as Parkland survivors Cameron Kasky and Kyle Kashuv, are sometimes inevitable and sometimes valuable. Some political causes require spokesmen with lived experiences. But even as we saw in the aftermath of Parkland, putting children in the public spotlight is more likely to backfire on them than not.

The case of Thunberg is even more egregious. She began suffering from depression as a child, by her own admission, in part because she learned about climate change at age 8. She was later diagnosed with autism and obsessive compulsive disorder and gradually became despondent as she obsessed over her fear of climate change. She developed mutism and an eating disorder so severe that she once went two months without food, and she stopped going to school. Her only sibling, a sister named Beata, also suffers from Asperger’s and OCD, as well as ADHD.

Now tell me, does it seem healthy to place a child with this many mental illnesses under the spotlight of public scrutiny, with a sole focus on the very phenomenon and associated alarmism that triggered her in the first place?

If you’re a fading opera starlet married into a family of fame, and your only two children are having exceptional trouble even attending school, then I suppose you can secure a bit more fame by milking your child’s clinically diagnosed obsession. But given that Greta’s mental struggles and triggers actually led her to the brink of death, the whole thing smacks of child abuse.

Conservatives shouldn’t mock her. They should worry for her. Social media has made it too easy to prop up children as moral authorities — even children especially predisposed to crack under the pressure.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/this-greta-thunberg-thing-is-child-abuse

 

 

Greta Thunberg

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Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg au parlement européen (33744056508), recadré.png

Thunberg in April 2019
Born 3 January 2003 (age 16)

Stockholm, Sweden
Occupation Environmental activist
Years active 2018–present
Movement School strike for climate
Relatives
Malena Ernman (mother)
Svante Thunberg (father)
Olof Thunberg (grandfather)

Greta Thunberg[a] FRSGS; (born 3 January 2003[1]) is a Swedish environmental activist focused on the risks posed by global warming.

In August 2018, when she was 15, Thunberg took time off school to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament, holding up a sign calling for stronger climate action. Soon, other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together they organized a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future. After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were at least two coordinated multi-city protests involving over one million pupils each.[2][3]

Thunberg is known for her blunt,[4] matter-of-fact speaking manner,[5] both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she urges immediate action to address what she describes as the climate crisis. At home, Thunberg convinced her parents to adopt several lifestyle choices to reduce their own carbon footprint, including giving up air travel and not eating meat.

In May 2019, Thunberg was featured on the cover of Time magazine, which named her a “next generation leader” and noted that many see her as a role model.[6] Thunberg and the school strike movement were also featured in a 30-minute Vice documentary titled Make the World Greta Again. Some media have described her impact on the world stage as the “Greta Thunberg effect”.[7]

Contents

Life

Greta Thunberg was born on 3 January 2003 in Stockholm,[8][9] the daughter of opera singer Malena Ernman and actor Svante Thunberg.[10] Her paternal grandfather is actor and director Olof Thunberg.[11]

Thunberg says she first heard about climate change in 2011, when she was 8 years old, and could not understand why so little was being done about it.[12] Three years later she became depressed and lethargic, stopped talking and eating, and was eventually diagnosed with Asperger syndrome,[13] obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD),[13] and selective mutism.[13][14] While acknowledging that her diagnosis “has limited me before”, she does not view her Asperger’s as an illness and has instead called it her “superpower”.[14]

For about two years, Thunberg challenged her parents to lower the family’s carbon footprint by becoming vegan and giving up flying, which in part meant her mother had to give up her international career as an opera singer.[10][15] Thunberg credits her parents’ eventual response and lifestyle changes with giving her hope and belief that she could make a difference.[10] The family story is recounted in the 2018 book Scenes from the Heart.[16]

In late 2018, Thunberg began the school climate strikes and public speeches by which she has become an internationally recognized climate activist. Her father does not like her missing school, but said: “[We] respect that she wants to make a stand. She can either sit at home and be really unhappy, or protest, and be happy”.[15] Thunberg says her teachers are divided in their views about her missing class to make her point. She says: “As people they think what I am doing is good, but as teachers they say I should stop.”[15]

Thunberg published a collection of her climate action speeches, No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, in May 2019[17] with the earnings being donated to charity.[18] In one of her first speeches demanding climate action, Thunberg described the selective mutism aspect of her condition as meaning she “only speaks when necessary”.[12] In 2019, Thunberg also contributed a voiceover for a release of “The 1975”, the theme song of an English band by the same name. Thunberg finishes by urging: “So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.” Proceeds will go to Extinction Rebellion at Thunberg’s request.[19]

Transatlantic voyage

In August 2019, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, UK, to New York, US, in a 60 ft racing yacht equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines. The trip was announced as a carbon-neutral transatlantic crossing serving as a demonstration of Thunberg’s declared beliefs of the importance of reducing emissions.

The voyage lasted 15 days, from 14 to 28 August 2019. While in the Americas, Thunberg attended the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City, and will attend the COP 25 Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile, in December.[20][21]

School strike for climate

Inspiration

Thunberg in front of the Swedish parliament, holding a “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (transl. School strike for the climate) sign, Stockholm, August 2018

Bicycle in Stockholm with references to Thunberg: “The climate crisis must be treated as a crisis! The climate is the most important election issue!” (11 September 2018)

Sign in Berlin, 14 December 2018

In an interview with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!, Thunberg said she first got the idea of a climate strike after school shootings in the United States in February 2018 led to several youths refusing to go back to school.[10]These teen activists at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, went on to organize the March for Our Lives in support of greater gun control.[22][23]

In May 2018, Thunberg won a climate change essay competition held by Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. In part, she wrote that “I want to feel safe. How can I feel safe when I know we are in the greatest crisis in human history?”[24] The paper published her article after which she was contacted by Bo Thorén from Fossil Free Dalsland, a group interested in doing something about climate change. Thunberg attended a few of their meetings, and at one of them, Thoren also suggested that school children could strike for climate change.[25] Thunberg tried to persuade other young people to get involved but “no one was really interested” so eventually, she decided to go ahead with the strike by herself.[10]

Beginning

On 20 August 2018, Thunberg, who had just started ninth grade, decided to not attend school until the 2018 Swedish general election on 9 September after the heat waves and wildfires during Sweden’s hottest summer in at least 262 years.[15] Her demands were that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, and she protested by sitting outside the Riksdag every day for three weeks during school hours with the sign Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for the climate).[26] She also handed out leaflets that stated: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”[15]

Role of social media

Thunberg posted her original strike photo on Instagram and Twitter and other social media accounts quickly took up her cause.[27] According to Ingmar Rentzhog, founder of a Swedish climate-focused social media company, We Don’t Have Time (WDHT), her strike began attracting public attention after he turned up with a freelance photographer and then posted Thunberg’s photograph on his Facebook page and Instagram account. He also made a video in English that he posted on the company’s YouTube channel that had almost 88,000 views.[28] A representative of the Finnish bank, Nordea, quoted one of Thunberg’s tweets to more than 200,000 followers. Thunberg’s social media profile attracted local reporters whose stories earned international coverage in little more than a week.[27]

After the general elections, Thunberg continued to strike only on Fridays. She inspired school students across the globe to take part in student strikes.[29] As of December 2018, more than 20,000 students had held strikes in at least 270 cities.[29]

After October 2018, Thunberg’s activism evolved from solitary protesting to taking part in demonstrations throughout Europe; making several high-profile public speeches, and mobilising her growing number of followers on social media platforms. By March 2019, she was still staging her regular protests outside the Swedish parliament every Friday, where other students now occasionally join her. Her activism has not interfered with her schoolwork, but she has had less spare time.[13]

Support

In February 2019, 224 academics signed an open letter of support stating they were inspired by the actions of Thunberg and the striking school children in making their voices heard.[30] United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres also endorsed the school strikes initiated by Thunberg, admitting that “My generation has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change. This is deeply felt by young people. No wonder they are angry.”[31]

In June 2019, Thunberg spoke by video link with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who had submitted the Green New Deal to the U.S. House of Representatives in February 2019, which calls for the United States to achieve “net-zero” greenhouse gases within a decade. They discussed how it feels when their views are not taken seriously because they are young, and what tactics really work.[32]

Speaking at an event in New Zealand in May 2019, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said his generation was “not winning the battle against climate change” and that it’s up to youth to “rescue the planet”.[33]

Thunberg’s message

File:Greta Thunberg- World Economic Forum (Davos).webm

Thunberg promoting her campaign at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos

When Thunberg began her protest outside the Swedish Parliament in 2018 at age 15, she had two simple messages: a sign which said “school strike for the climate” and leaflets she handed out which said: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”[34] As her protest gained momentum, she was invited to give speeches at a variety of forums which enabled her to expand on her concerns. So far, she has espoused four interwoven themes. Thunberg argues that the crisis caused by global warming is so serious that humanity is facing an existential crisis,[35] “that will most likely lead to the end of our civilization as we know it,” and that she holds the current generation of adults responsible, with statements such as “You are stealing our future”.[36][37] She is especially concerned about the impact the climate crisis will have on young people like her. Speaking at Parliament in London she said: “You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to.” Thunberg also states that we need to wake up and change[38] because very little is being done to solve the problem.[39] She says the situation is so dire, we should all panic.[40] She feels that that politicians and decision-makers need to listen to the scientists,[41] pointing out in 2019 that “according to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes.”[42]

Thunberg uses graphic analogies to highlight her concerns and speaks bluntly to business and political leaders, often scolding them for their lack of action. For instance, she told a panel of prominent business and political leaders at Davos: “Some people, some companies, some decision-makers, in particular, have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”[43] She went on to say: “I want you to act as if the house was on fire—because it is”.[40] In London in October 2018, she said: “We’re facing an immediate unprecedented crisis that has never been treated as a crisis and our leaders are all acting like children.”[44]

Thunberg points out that the strategies adopted by various governments to limit global warming to 1.5 °C as part of the Paris Agreement are insufficient and that the greenhouse gas emissions curve needs to start declining steeply no later than 2020.[45] In January 2019, she told the UK parliament that Britain needs to stop talking in terms of “lowering” emissions and start thinking in terms of eliminating them.[46] In February 2019, at a conference of the European Economic and Social Committee, she said that the EU must reduce their CO
2
 emissions by 80% by 2030, double the 40% goal set in Paris.[47][48]

Thunberg’s main theme is everyone needs to unite behind the science. She says if everyone listened to the scientists and acknowledged the facts, “then we (students) could all go back to school”.[49] On Thunberg’s trip across the Atlantic Ocean (en route to New York City) she travelled via a carbon-neutral yacht. Emblazoned on the yacht’s sail in capital letters were the words “UNITE BEHIND THE SCIENCE”.[50] In one of her first statements after arriving in New York, she had a similar message for Donald Trump, admonishing him to “listen to the science”.[51]

Impact

“Greta Thunberg effect”

Thunberg has inspired a number of her school-aged peers in what has been described as the “Greta Thunberg effect”.[52] In response to her outspoken stance, various politicians have also acknowledged the need to focus on climate change. Britain’s secretary for the environment, Michael Gove, said: “When I listened to you, I felt great admiration, but also responsibility and guilt. I am of your parents’ generation, and I recognise that we haven’t done nearly enough to address climate change and the broader environmental crisis that we helped to create.” Labour politician Ed Miliband, who was responsible for introducing the Climate Change Act 2008, said: “You have woken us up. We thank you. All the young people who have gone on strike have held up a mirror to our society … you have taught us all a really important lesson. You have stood out from the crowd.”[7] In June 2019, a YouGov poll in Britain found that public concern about the environment had soared to record levels in the UK since Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion had “pierced the bubble of denial”.[53]

In August 2019, a doubling in the number of children’s books being published which address the climate crisis was reported, with a similar increase in the sales of such books—all aimed at empowering young people to save the planet. Publishers attribute this to the “Greta Thunberg effect”.[54]

Inspired by Thunberg, wealthy philanthropists and investors from the United States have donated almost half a million pounds to support Extinction Rebellion and school strike groups to establish the Climate Emergency Fund.[55] Trevor Neilson, one of the philanthropists, said the three founders would be contacting friends among the global mega-rich to donate “a hundred times” more in the weeks and months ahead.[56]

In February 2019, Thunberg shared a stage with the then President of the European CommissionJean-Claude Juncker, where he outlined “In the next financial period from 2021 to 2027, every fourth euro spent within the EU budget will go towards action to mitigate climate change”.[57] Climate issues also played a significant role in European elections in May 2019[58] as Green parties nearly doubled their vote to finish second on 21%,[59] boosting their MEP numbers to a projected 71.[60] Many of the gains came from northern European countries where young people have taken to the streets inspired by Thunberg.[59] The result gives the Greens a chance of becoming ‘kingmakers’ in the new European parliament.[60]

In June 2019, Swedish Railways (SJ) reported that the number of Swedes taking the train for domestic journeys had risen by 8% from the previous year, reflecting growing public concern about the impact of flying on CO
2
 emissions that is highlighted by Thunberg’s refusal to fly to international conferences. Being embarrassed or ashamed to take a plane because of its environmental impact has been described on social media as ‘Flygskam’ or “Shame of flying”, along with the hashtag #jagstannarpåmarken, which translates as #istayontheground.[61][62]

Criticism and response

Criticism of Thunberg and her campaign

In an opinion column, Christopher Caldwell has claimed that Thunberg’s simplistic, straightforward approach to climate change will bring climate protesters into conflict with the complexities of decision-making in Western democracies.[63][64] The French philosopher Raphaël Enthoven claims that many people “buy virtue” with their support for Thunberg but do not actually do anything to help.[65]

In July 2019, Agence France-Presse reported that OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) secretary-general Mohammed Barkindo “complained of what he called ‘unscientific’ attacks on the oil industry by climate change campaigners, calling them ‘perhaps the greatest threat to our industry going forward'”, and said he was apparently referring “to the recent wave of school strikes inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s ‘Fridays for Future’ movement”.[66] Thunberg and other climate activists responded by calling his remarks a badge of honour.[67][68]

In the United States, opinion writer Tiana Lowe, of the Washington Examiner, stated that Thunberg’s “fame-seeking”, “stage-parents”, particularly her “fading opera starlet mother” who performed internationally, were “pimp(ing) her out” without regard for Thunberg’s alleged mental problems, which included Lowe’s long list of disabilities, by which Greta and her sister were claimed to be handicapped. By so doing, Lowe wrote, they were subjecting her to “child abuse.”[69]

Swedish opinion writer Paulina Neuding invoked mental health issues to question the idea that Thunberg should be leading climate change activism.[70] Thunberg has also been criticised by the Australian climate-change denier Andrew Bolt[71] after Thunberg announced she would travel to the United States in a carbon-zero yacht. Bolt said she had a cult following, calling her “freakishly influential”[72] for a “girl so young and with so many mental disorders”.[73]

Following Thunberg’s filing of a lawsuit against France, Germany and other countries for not being on track to meet the emission reduction targets they committed to in their Paris Agreement pledges, French president Emmanuel Macron criticized her, saying that “such radical positions (as held by Thunberg) antagonize our societies”. He added that “she should focus on those that are blocking, those that are the furthest”, and that “he doesn’t feel like either the French or the German governments are trying to block”. French secretary of state for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Brune Poirson also criticized her, saying that “she doesn’t know what solutions she is putting forward”, adding that “you can’t mobilize with despair, even hate”.[74]

Criticism of attacks on Thunberg

By August 2019, Scientific American was reporting that Thunberg’s detractors have “launched personal attacks”, “bash (her) autism”, and “increasingly rely on ad hominem attacks to blunt her influence.”[75]

Writing in The Guardian, Aditya Chakrabortty said that columnists including Brendan O’NeillToby Young, the blog Guido Fawkes, as well as Helen Dale and Rod Liddle at The Spectator and The Sunday Times had been making “ugly personal attacks” on Thunberg.[76] As part of its climate change denial, Germany’s right wing Alternative for Germany party has attacked Thunberg “in fairly vicious ways”, according to Jakob Guhl, a researcher for the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.[77] British businessman Arron Banks released a post on Twitter appearing to wish harm upon Thunberg as she began her transatlantic voyage warning that “Freak yachting accidents do happen in August”.[78]

Banks’ comments outraged a number of MPs (Member of Parliament), celebrities and academics. Tanja Bueltmann, founder of EU Citizens’ Champion, said Banks had “invoked the drowning of a child” for his own amusement, and noted that most of those attacking Thunberg “are white middle-aged men from the right of the political spectrum”.[79] Writing in The GuardianGaby Hinsliff, said Thunberg has become “the new front in the Brexit culture war” arguing that the outrage generated by personal attacks on Thunberg by Brexiteers “gives them the welcome oxygen of publicity”.[80] British philosopher Julian Baggini said ‘thuggish’ personal criticisms of Thunberg are indicative of “a moral and intellectual bankruptcy”.[65]

Essayist Steve Silberman, writing in Vox, points out that being on the autism spectrum enables Thunberg to be fearless in her rhetoric.[81] In an interview with Suyin Haynes in Time magazine, she addressed the criticism she has received online saying: “It’s quite hilarious when the only thing people can do is mock you, or talk about your appearance or personality, as it means they have no argument or nothing else to say.”[82]

Misuse of her name

In late 2018, Ingmar Rentzhog, who claims to be one of the first to publicize Thunberg’s climate strike, asked her to become an unpaid youth advisor to his climate startup company. He then used her name and image without her knowledge or permission to raise millions for a WDHT for-profit subsidiary, We Don’t Have Time AB, of which Rentzhog is the chief executive officer.[83] Thunberg received no money from the company.[28] She terminated her volunteer advisor role with WDHT once she realised they were making money from her name, stating “[I am] not part of any organization… am absolutely independent… [and] do what I do completely for free.”[84]

List of speeches

Extinction Rebellion

In London in October 2018, she addressed the ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ organized by Extinction Rebellion opposite the Houses of Parliament. She said: “We’re facing an immediate unprecedented crisis that has never been treated as a crisis and our leaders are all acting like children. We need to wake up and change everything”.[44][85]

TEDxStockholm

On 24 November 2018, she spoke at TEDxStockholm.[12][86] She spoke about realizing, when she was eight years old, that climate change existed and wondering why it was not headline news on every channel, as if there was a world war going on. She said she did not go to school to become a climate scientist, as some suggested, because the science was done and only denial, ignorance, and inaction remained. Speculating that her children and grandchildren would ask her why they had not taken action in 2018 when there was still time, she concluded with “we can’t change the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.”[87]

COP24 summit

Thunberg addressed the COP24 United Nations climate change summit on 4 December 2018,[29] and also spoke before the plenary assembly on 12 December 2018.[88][89] During the summit, she also participated in a panel talk together with representatives of the We Don’t Have Time foundation, in which she talked about how the school strike began.[90]

Davos

On 23 January 2019, Thunberg arrived in Davos after a 32-hour train journey,[91] in contrast to the many delegates who arrived by up to 1,500 individual private jet flights,[92] to continue her climate campaign at the World Economic Forum.[93][94] She told a Davos panel “Some people, some companies, some decision makers in particular have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”[43]

Later in the week, she warned the global leaders that “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire—because it is”.[40] She wrote in an article for The Guardian in January 2019: “According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes. In that time, unprecedented changes in all aspects of society need to have taken place, including a reduction of our CO
2
 emissions by at least 50%”.[42]

European Economic and Social Committee

On 21 February 2019, she spoke at a conference of the European Economic and Social Committee and to European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, where she said that to limit global warming to less than the two degrees C goal established at the Paris Agreement, the EU must reduce their CO
2
 emissions by 80% by 2030, double the 40% goal set in Paris. “If we fail to do so” she said, “all that will remain of our political leaders’ legacy will be the greatest failure of human history.” Later, she joined 7,500 Belgian students in a climate protest in Brussels.[47][95]

Berlin

File:FFF Berlin 2019-03-29 262 Greta Thunberg.webm

Thunberg speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate on 29 March 2019

In the weekend 29–31 March 2019, Thunberg visited Berlin. She spoke in front of some 25,000 people near the Brandenburg Gate on 29 March, where she argued that “We live in a strange world where children must sacrifice their own education in order to protest against the destruction of their future. Where the people who have contributed the least to this crisis are the ones who are going to be affected the most.”[96] After the speech, Thunberg and fellow climate activist Luisa Neubauer visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and met with scientists there. On 30 March, Thunberg received the ‘Golden Camera‘ Special Award on Germany’s annual film and television award show. In her acceptance speech at the gala, Thunberg urged celebrities everywhere to use their influence and do their fair share of climate activism to help her.[97][98][99]

EU leaders

At an April 2019 meeting at the European Parliament in Strasbourg with MEPs and EU officials, Thunberg chided those present “for three emergency Brexit summits and no emergency summit regarding the breakdown of the climate and the environment”. Climate change discussions have not been dominant at EU summits because other issues have taken precedence.[100] She said the world is facing its “sixth mass extinction” and said: “We have not treated this crisis as a crisis; we see it as another problem that needs to be fixed. But it is so much more than that. It’s an existential crisis, more important than anything else.”[100][35]

Austrian World Summit R20

In May 2019, Thunberg met with Arnold Schwarzenegger, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen at the launch of a conference organised by Schwarzenegger to speed up progress toward the Paris Agreement.[101] Quoting the most recent IPCC report she said: “If we haven’t made the changes required by approximately the year 2030, we will probably set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control. Then we will pass a point of no return which will be catastrophic.” 17,000 people attended the event from 30 different countries.[102]

Prix Liberté Normandy: 2019 Freedom Prize

On 21 July 2019, Thunberg received the Normandy’s Freedom Prize. In her speech she said: “Yesterday I spent the day with the D-day veteran Charles Norman Shay at Omaha beach. It was a day I will never forget. Not only because of the unimaginable bravery and sacrifices made by those who gave their lives to defend the freedom and democracy of the world. But also because they managed to do the seemingly impossible possible. I think the least we can do to honour them is to stop destroying that same world that Charles, Léon and their friends and colleagues fought so hard to save for us.”[103]

U.S. Congress on climate change

On 18 September 2019, Thunberg appeared before the United States House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis: “Voices Leading the Next Generation on the Global Climate Crisis” and delivered an eight sentence statement instead of offering testimony. She said: “My name is Greta Thunberg. I have not come to offer prepared remarks at this hearing. I am instead attaching my testimony. It is the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C [SR1.5] which was released on October 8, 2018. I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists. And I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take action.”[104]

New York City: 2019 Global Climate Strike

On 20 September 2019, Thunberg spoke to New York City’s contingent of the Global Climate Strike. The demonstration in New York City was one of hundreds around the world with millions of people taking part. Young people were joined by adults for the first time since the strikes began. Thunberg drew laughter when she described how the politicians that she met asked her for selfies and “tell us they really, really admire what we do yet have done nothing to address the climate crisis.” [105][106]

United Nations: Climate Action Summit 2019

On 23 September 2019, Thunberg addressed the assembled world leaders at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit held in New York City. Accusing world leaders of stealing her dreams and her childhood by their inaction on climate change, she opened her speech to the General Assembly with an impassioned introduction, which was widely covered by the media.

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”[107]

US President Donald Trump, who had attended the meeting for 10 minutes and then left, tweeted a video of her opening remarks and commented: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”[108] Thunberg did not directly comment on Trump’s tweet but she did make a change to her Twitter bio wherein she described herself as “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”

Legal actions

Thunberg, et al, v. Argentina, et al

On 23 September 2019, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) hosted a press conference where Thunberg joined 15 other children (Ayakha MelithafaAlexandria VillaseñorCatarina LorenzoCarl Smith, et al) and together the group announced they had filed a lawsuit against five nations that are not on track to meet the emission reduction targets they committed to in their Paris Agreement pledges: Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey.[109][110] The lawsuit is challenging the nations under the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (specifically the right to life, health, and peace). If the complaint is successful, the countries will be asked to respond, but any suggestions are not legally binding.[111][112]

Honours and awards

Svenska Dagbladet: writing competition: Before starting her climate strike, Thunberg was one of the winners of Svenska Dagbladets debate article writing competition on the climate for young people in May 2018.[24]

Children’s Climate Prize: In November 2018, about three months into her school climate strike, Thunberg was nominated for the Children’s Climate Prize, which is awarded by the Swedish electricity company Telge Energi. However, Thunberg declined to accept the award because many of the finalists would have to fly to Stockholm for the ceremony and a required meeting with one another.[113][114]

Fryshuset Scholarship: 2018 Young Role Model of the Year: Thunberg was awarded the Fryshuset scholarship of the Young Role Model of the Year.[115]

Time Magazine: 2018 World’s 25 Most Influential Teenagers: Time magazine named Thunberg one of the world’s 25 most influential teenagers of 2018.[116]

International Women’s Day: Swedish Woman of the Year: On the occasion of International Women’s Day Thunberg was proclaimed the most important woman of the year in Sweden in 2019. The award was based on a survey by the institute Inizio on behalf of the newspaper Aftonbladet.[117]

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee: On 13 March 2019, two deputies of the Swedish parliament and three deputies of the Norwegian parliament nominated Thunberg as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. The nominating politicians explained their decision by arguing that global warming will be the cause of “wars, conflict and refugees” if nothing is done to halt it. Thunberg responded that she was “honoured and very grateful” for the nomination.[118] If Thunberg receives the Prize later this year, she will become the youngest person ever to receive it.[119]

Golden Kamera 2019: On 31 March 2019, Thunberg received the German Goldene Kamera Special Climate Protection award.[120]

Prix Liberté Normandy: 2019 Freedom Prize: On 1 April 2019, the Prix Liberté from France’s region Normandy was awarded to Thunberg, which she received in Caen on 21 July that year.[121] Thunberg is the first recipient of this new award, which was designed to honour a young person engaged in a fight for peace and freedom.[122] Thunberg said she would donate the $25,000 Euro prize money to four organisations working for climate justice and helping areas already affected by climate change.[103]

Fritt Ords Prize: On 12 April 2019, Thunberg shared the Norwegian Fritt Ords Prize, which celebrates freedom of speech, with the Nature and Youth organization. The conferring organization, Fritt Ord noted their determined committed activism even in the face of pervasive online and media harassment. Thunberg donated her share of the prize money to a lawsuit which seeks to halt Norwegian oil exploration in the Arctic.[123]

Time Magazine: 100 Most Influential People of 2019: In April 2019, Time magazine named Thunberg as one of the 100 most influential people of 2019.[124] In the same month, the Chilean-based organization, Fundación Milarepa para el Diálogo con Asia, headed by Mario Aguilar of the University of St Andrews, announced that Thunberg had been selected as the recipient of the organization’s Laudato Si’ Prize.[125]

Doctor Honoris Causa: On 16 May 2019, the University of Mons announced it had awarded a doctor honoris causa (honorary degree) to Thunberg. The doctoral diploma and insignia will be bestowed at the official opening of the university’s 2019-2020 academic year on 10 October 2019.[126]

Thunberg mural: In May 2019, artist Jody Thomas painted a 50-foot-high (15 m) mural of Thunberg on a wall in Bristol. It portrays the bottom half of her face as if under rising sea water.[127]

Time Magazine: In May 2019, Thunberg was featured on the cover of Time magazine where she was described as a role model,[82] and one of the “next generation leaders”.[6]

Vice Documentary: In May 2019, Vice released a 30-minute documentary, Make the World Greta Again. It features interviews with a number of youth protest leaders in Europe.[128][129]

Amnesty International: Ambassador of Conscience Award: On 7 June 2019, Amnesty International announced that it will give Thunberg their most prestigious award, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, to Thunberg for her leadership in the climate movement. Thunberg then said the prize equally belongs to everyone who has taken part in the Fridays for Future Movement in school strike for climate.[130]On 17 September 2019, Thunberg received the award during a ceremony that took place in Washington D.C. The activist said the award is “for all those millions of people, young people, around the world who together make up the movement called Friday’s for Future.”[131][132]

Royal Scottish Geographical Society: Geddes Environment Medal: On 12 July 2019, Thunberg was awarded the Geddes Environment Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society,[133] which automatically granted her its Honorary Fellowship.[134]

British Vogue: The September 2019 issue of British Vogue magazine’s cover featured Thunberg (along with fifteen women); the cover was created by guest editor Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.[135]

Right Livelihood Award: On 25 September 2019, Thunberg was named as one of four winners of the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, known as Sweden’s alternative Nobel Prize. Thunberg won the award “for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts,” the Right Livelihood Foundation said in a statement.[136]

See also

Notes

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg

Bjørn Lomborg

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Bjørn Lomborg
Bjørn Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg
Born 6 January 1965 (age 54)
FrederiksbergDenmark
Occupation Author, visiting professor, think tank director
Subject Environmental economics
Website
lomborg.com

Bjørn Lomborg (Danish: [pjɶɐ̯n ˈlɒmpɒːˀʊ̯]; born 6 January 1965) is a Danish author and President of his think tankCopenhagen Consensus Center. He is former director of the Danish government’s Environmental Assessment Institute (EAI) in Copenhagen. He became internationally known for his best-selling and controversial book, The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001), in which he argues that many of the costly measures and actions adopted by scientists and policy makers to meet the challenges of global warming will ultimately have minimal impact on the world’s rising temperature.[1]

In 2002, Lomborg and the Environmental Assessment Institute founded the Copenhagen Consensus, a project-based conference where prominent economists sought to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methods based on the theory of welfare economics.

In 2009, Business Insider cited Lomborg as one of “The 10 Most-Respected Global Warming Skeptics”.[2] While Lomborg campaigned against the Kyoto Protocol and other measures to cut carbon emissions in the short-term, he argued for adaptation to short-term temperature rises, and for spending money on research and development for longer-term environmental solutions. His issue is not with the reality of climate change, but rather with the economic and political approaches being taken (or not taken) to meet the challenges of that climate change. He is a strong advocate for focusing attention and resources on what he perceives as far more pressing world problems, such as AIDS, malaria and malnutrition.[3][4] In his critique of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Lomborg stated: “Global warming is by no means our main environmental threat.”[5]

Contents

Education

Lomborg was an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, earned an M.A. degree in political science at the University of Aarhus in 1991, and a Ph.D. degree in political science at the University of Copenhagen in 1994.

Career

Lomborg lectured in statistics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Aarhus as an assistant professor (1994–1996) and associate professor (1997–2005). He left the university in February 2005 and in May of that year became an adjunct professor in Policy-making, Scientific Knowledge and the Role of Experts at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School.[6]

Early in his career, his professional areas of interest lay in the simulation of strategies in collective action dilemmas, simulation of party behavior in proportional voting systems, and the use of surveys in public administration. In 1996, Lomborg’s paper, “Nucleus and Shield: Evolution of Social Structure in the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma”, was published in the academic journalAmerican Sociological Review.[7]

Later, Lomborg’s interests shifted to the use of statistics in the environmental arena. In 1998, Lomborg published four essays about the state of the environment in the leading Danish newspaper Politiken, which according to him “resulted in a firestorm debate spanning over 400 articles in major metropolitan newspapers.”[8] This led to the Skeptical Environmentalist, whose English translation was published as a work in environmental economics by Cambridge University Press in 2001. He later edited Global Crises, Global Solutions, which presented the first conclusions of the Copenhagen Consensus, published in 2004 by the Cambridge University Press. In 2007, he authored a book entitled Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming.

In March 2002, the newly elected center-right prime ministerAnders Fogh Rasmussen, appointed Lomborg to run Denmark’s new Environmental Assessment Institute (EAI). On 22 June 2004, Lomborg announced his decision to resign from this post to go back to the University of Aarhus,[9] saying his work at the Institute was done and that he could better serve the public debate from the academic sector.

Lomborg has created several short videos for the educational website Prager University, a US-based conservative think tank founded by talk show host Dennis Prager. His videos focus on environmental science.[10]

Copenhagen Consensus

Lomborg (right) with DeAnne Julius (center) and Stephen Sackur (left), at WTTC Global Summit 2014

Lomborg and the Environmental Assessment Institute founded the Copenhagen Consensus in 2002, which seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics. A panel of prominent economists was assembled to evaluate and rank a series of problems every four years. The project was funded largely by the Danish government and was co-sponsored by The Economist. A book summarizing the conclusions of the economists’ first assessment, Global Crises, Global Solutions, edited by Lomborg, was published in October 2004 by Cambridge University Press.

In 2006, Lomborg became director of the newly established Copenhagen Consensus Center, a Danish government-funded institute intended to build on the mandate of the EAI, and expand on the original Copenhagen Consensus conference.[11] Denmark withdrew its funding in 2012 and the Center faced imminent closure.[12][13] Lomborg left the country and reconstituted the Center as a non-profit organization in the United States.[14][15] The Center was based out of a “Neighborhood Parcel Shipping Center” in Lowell, Massachusetts, though Lomborg himself was based in Prague in the Czech Republic.[16] In 2015, Lomborg described the Center’s funding as “a little more than $1m a year…from private donations”,[13] of which Lomborg himself was paid $775,000 in 2012.[16]

In April 2015, it was announced that an alliance between the Copenhagen Consensus Center and the University of Western Australia would see the establishment of the Australian Consensus Centre, a new policy research center at the UWA Business School. The University described the Center’s goals as a “focus on applying an economic lens to proposals to achieve good for Australia, the region and the world, prioritizing those initiatives which produce the most social value per dollar spent.”.[17] This appointment came under intense scrutiny, particularly when leaked documents revealed that the Australian government had approached UWA and offered to fund the Consensus Centre, information subsequently confirmed by a senior UWA lecturer.[18] Reports indicated that Prime Minister Tony Abbott‘s office was directly responsible for Lomborg’s elevation.[19] $4 million of the total funding for the Center was to be provided by the Australian federal government,[13] with UWA not contributing any funding for the centre.[20]

On 8 May 2015, UWA cancelled the contract for hosting the Australian Consensus Centre as “the proposed centre was untenable and lacked academic support”.[21][22] The Australian federal education minister, Christopher Pyne, said that he would find another university to host the ACC.

In July 2015, Flinders University senior management began quietly canvassing its staff about a plan to host the renamed Lomborg Consensus Centre at the University, likely in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. A week later the story was broken on Twitter by the NTEU (National Tertiary Education Union)[23] and Scott Ludlam.[24] The story appeared the next day in The Australian,[25] but described as “academic conversations” with no mention of Bjorn Lomborg’s involvement and portrayed as a grassroots desire for the Centre by the University.[26] The following week, a story appeared in The Guardian quoting two Flinders University academics and an internal document demonstrating staff’s withering rejection of the idea.[27] Flinders staff and students vowed to fight against the establishment of any Centre or any partnership with Lomborg,[28] citing his lack of scientific credibility, his lack of academic legitimacy and the political nature of the process of establishing the Centre with the Abbott federal government. The Australian Youth Climate Coalition and 350.orglaunched a national campaign to support staff and students in their rejection of Lomborg.[29]

On 21 October 2015, education minister Simon Birmingham told a senate committee the offered funding had been withdrawn.[30] It was subsequently unclear whether the Australian Government would honour its original commitment and transfer the funds directly to the Centre to cover the costs incurred, in particular given Lomborg’s unique expertise and contribution.

Several of Bjørn Lomborg’s articles in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph have been checked by Climate Feedback, a worldwide network of scientists who collectively assess the credibility of influential climate change media coverage. The Climate Feedback reviewers assessed that the scientific credibility ranged between “low” and “very low”. The Climate Feedback reviewers come to the conclusion that in one case Lomborg “practices cherry-picking”,[31] in a second case he “had reached his conclusions through cherry-picking from a small subset of the evidence, misrepresenting the results of existing studies, and relying on flawed reasoning”,[32] in a third case “[his] article [is in] blatant disagreement with available scientific evidence, while the author does not offer adequate evidence to support his statements”,[33] and, in a fourth case, “The author, Bjorn Lomborg, cherry-picks this specific piece of research and uses it in support of a broad argument against the value of climate policy. He also misrepresents the Paris Agreement to downplay its potential to curb future climate change.”[34]

The Skeptical Environmentalist

In 2001, he attained significant attention by publishing The Skeptical Environmentalist, a controversial book whose main thesis is that many of the most-publicized claims and predictions on environmental issues are wrong.

In the chapter on climate change in The Skeptical Environmentalist, he states: “This chapter accepts the reality of man-made global warming but questions the way in which future scenarios have been arrived at and finds that forecasts of climate change of 6 degrees by the end of the century are not plausible”.[35] Cost–benefit analyses, calculated by the Copenhagen Consensus, ranked climate mitigation initiatives lowest on a list of international development initiatives when first done in 2004.[36] In a 2010 interview with the New Statesman, Lomborg summarized his position on climate change: “Global warming is real – it is man-made and it is an important problem. But it is not the end of the world.”[37]

Formal accusations of scientific dishonesty

After the publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Lomborg was formally accused of scientific dishonesty by a group of environmental scientists, who brought a total of three complaints against him to the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD), a body under Denmark’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MSTI). Lomborg was asked whether he regarded the book as a “debate” publication, and thereby not under the purview of the DCSD, or as a scientific work; he chose the latter, clearing the way for the inquiry that followed.[38] The charges claimed that The Skeptical Environmentalist contained deliberately misleading data and flawed conclusions. Due to the similarity of the complaints, the DCSD decided to proceed on the three cases under one investigation.

In January 2003, the DCSD released a ruling that sent a mixed message, finding the book to be scientifically dishonest through misrepresentation of scientific facts, but Lomborg himself not guilty due to his lack of expertise in the fields in question.[39] That February, Lomborg filed a complaint against the decision with the MSTI, which had oversight over the DCSD. In December, 2003, the Ministry annulled the DCSD decision, citing procedural errors, including lack of documentation of errors in the book, and asked the DCSD to re-examine the case. In March 2004, the DCSD formally decided not to act further on the complaints, reasoning that renewed scrutiny would, in all likelihood, result in the same conclusion.[38][40]

Response of the academic community

The original DCSD decision about Lomborg provoked a petition[41] signed by 287 Danish academics, primarily social scientists, who criticised the DCSD for evaluating the book as a work of science, whereas the petitioners considered it clearly an opinion piece by a non-scientist.[42][43] The Danish Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation then asked the Danish Research Agency (DRA) to form an independent working group to review DCSD practices.[44] In response to this, another group of Danish scientists collected over 600 signatures, primarily from the medical and natural sciences community, to support the continued existence of the DCSD and presented their petition to the DRA.[42]

Recognition

The alumni network of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL) voted The Skeptical Environmentalist among its list of the top 50 sustainability books.[45]

Continued debate and criticism

The rulings of the Danish authorities in 2003–2004 left Lomborg’s critics frustrated. Lomborg claimed vindication as a result of MSTI’s decision to set aside the original finding of DCSD.

The Lomborg Deception, a book by Howard Friel, claims to offer a “careful analysis” of the ways in which Lomborg has “selectively used (and sometimes distorted) the available evidence”,[46] and that the sources Lomborg provides in the footnotes do not support—and in some cases are in direct contradiction to—Lomborg’s assertions in the text of the book;[47] Lomborg has denied these claims in a 27-page argument-by-argument response.[48] Friel has written a reply to this response, in which he admits two errors, but otherwise in general rejects Lomborg’s arguments.[49]

Arthur Rörsch, Thomas Frello, Ray Soper and Adriaan De Lange published an article in 2005 in the Journal of Information Ethics,[50] in which they concluded that most criticism against Lomborg was unjustified, and that the scientific community misused its authority to suppress Lomborg.

The claim that the accusations against Lomborg were unjustified was challenged in the next issue of Journal of Information Ethics[51] by Kåre Fog, one of the original plaintiffs. Fog reasserted his contention that, despite the ministry’s decision, most of the accusations against Lomborg were valid. He also rejected what he called “the Galileo hypothesis”, which he describes as the conception that Lomborg is just a brave young man confronting old-fashioned opposition. Fog and other scientists have continued to criticize Lomborg for what one called “a history of misrepresenting” climate science.[52][53]

In 2014, the government of Australia offered the University of Western Australia $4 million to establish a “consensus centre” with Lomborg as director. The university accepted the offer, setting off a firestorm of opposition from its faculty and students and from climate scientists around the world. In April 2015 the university reversed the decision and rejected the offer. The government continued to seek a sponsor for the proposed institution.[54] On 21 October 2015 the offered funding was withdrawn.[30] (For further details see the “Copenhagen Consensus” sub-section of the “Career” section, above.)

Lomborg’s approach evolved in directions more compatible with action to restrain climate change. In April 2015 he gained further attention when he issued a call for all subsidies to be removed from fossil fuels on the basis that “a disproportionate share of the subsidies goes to the middle class and the rich”…making fossil fuel so “inexpensive that consumption increases, thus exacerbating global warming”.[55] In publications such as the Wall Street Journal he argued that the most productive use of resources would be a massive increase in funding for research to make renewable energy economically competitive with fossil fuels.[56]

Personal life

Lomborg is gay and a vegetarian.[57] As a public figure he has been a participant in information campaigns in Denmark about homosexuality, and states that “Being a public gay is to my view a civic responsibility. It’s important to show that the width of the gay world cannot be described by a tired stereotype, but goes from leather gays on parade-wagons to suit-and-tie yuppies on the direction floor, as well as everything in between”.[58]

Recognitions and awards

Discussions in the media

After the release of The Skeptical Environmentalist in 2001, Lomborg was subjected to intense scrutiny and criticism in the media, where his scientific qualifications and integrity were both attacked and defended. The verdict of the Danish Committees for Scientific Dishonesty fueled this debate and brought it into the spotlight of international mass media. By the end of 2003 Lomborg had become an international celebrity, with frequent appearances on radio, television and print media around the world. He is also a regular contributor to Project Syndicate since 2005.

  • Scientific American published strong criticism of Lomborg’s book. Lomborg responded on his own website, quoting the article at such length that Scientific American threatened to sue for copyright infringement. Lomborg eventually removed the rebuttal from his website; it was later published in PDF format on Scientific Americans site.[67] The magazine also printed a response to the rebuttal.[68]
  • The Economist defended Lomborg, claiming the panel of experts that had criticised Lomborg in Scientific American was both biased and did not actually counter Lomborg’s book. The Economist argued that the panel’s opinion had come under no scrutiny at all, and that Lomborg’s responses had not been reported.[69]
  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit! — the U.S. Showtime television programme featured an episode entitled “Environmental Hysteria” in which Lomborg criticised what he claimed was environmentalists’ refusal to accept a cost-benefit analysis of environmental questions, and stressed the need to prioritise some issues above others.[70]
  • Rolling Stone stated, “Lomborg pulls off the remarkable feat of welding the techno-optimism of the Internet age with a lefty’s concern for the fate of the planet.”[71]
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists strongly criticised The Skeptical Environmentalist, claiming it to be “seriously flawed and failing to meet basic standards of credible scientific analysis”, accusing Lomborg of presenting data in a fraudulent way, using flawed logic and selectively citing non-peer-reviewed literature.[72] The review was conducted by Peter GleickJerry D. MahlmanEdward O. WilsonThomas LovejoyNorman MyersJeff Harvey, and Stuart Pimm.

Publications

  • Lomborg, Bjørn, “Nucleus and Shield: Evolution of Social Structure in the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma”, American Sociological Review, 1996.
  • Lomborg, Bjørn, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World, Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 0521010683
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.), Global Crises, Global Solutions, Copenhagen Consensus, Cambridge University Press, 2004
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.), How to Spend $50 Billion to Make the World a Better Place, Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-521-68571-9
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (ed.), Solutions for the World’s Biggest Problems – Costs and Benefits, Cambridge University Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-521-71597-3, offers an “… overview of twenty-three of the world’s biggest problems relating to the environment, governance, economics, and health and population. Leading economists provide a short survey of the state-of-the-art analysis and sketch out some policy solutions for which they provide cost-benefit ratios.”
  • Lomborg, Bjørn, Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming, 2007, argues against taking immediate and “drastic” action to curb greenhouse gases while simultaneously stating that “Global warming is happening. It’s a serious and important problem …”. He argues that “… the cost and benefits of the proposed measures against global warming. … is the worst way to spend our money. Climate change is a 100-year problem — we should not try to fix it in 10 years.”
  • Lomborg, Bjørn, Smart Solutions to Climate Change, Comparing Costs and Benefits, Cambridge University Press, November 2010, ISBN 978-0-521-76342-4.[73][74]
  • Lomborg, Bjørn, The Nobel Laureates Guide to the Smartest Targets for the World 2016–2030, Copenhagen Consensus Center, April 2015. ISBN 978-1940003115
  • Lomborg, Bjørn (editor), Prioritizing Development: A Cost Benefit Analysis of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Cambridge University Press 2018 ISBN 1108415458

Documentary film

Bjørn Lomborg released a documentary feature film, Cool It, on 12 November 2010 in the US.[75][76] The film in part explicitly challenged Al Gore‘s 2006 Oscar-winning environmental awareness documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and was frequently presented by the media in that light, as in the Wall Street Journal headline, “Controversial ‘Cool It’ Documentary Takes on ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.”[77][78] The film received a media critic collective rating of 51% from Rotten Tomatoes[79] and 61% from Metacritic.[80] The Atlantic review by Clive Crook, who describes himself in the article as a “friend” of Lomborg’s and having taken “his side in the controversy that followed the publication of the Skeptical Environmentalist–a terrific book,” called it “An urgent, intelligent, and entertaining account of the climate policy debate, with a strong focus on cost-effective solutions.”[81]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B8rn_Lomborg

Story 4: WeWork Initial Public Offer Postponed Over Big Losses — Pushing For CEO Adam Neumann Removal — Videos

Kara Swisher: WeWork has gotten out of control

Some WeWork board members discuss replacing CEO Adam Neumann

WeWork’s business model depends on raising more money: WSJ reporter

SoftBank has been throwing money around: WSJ reporter Liz Hoffman

SoftBank CEO: We’ve invested around $65-$70 billion

Masa Son on SoftBank’s WeWork Investment

WeWork’s board is responsible for CEO Neumann’s conflicts, says Charles Elson

Adam Neumann, the sometimes over the top chief executive of the company that owns WeWork, is facing a possible coup by investors unhappy with the shared office space startup’s widening losses and his grip over the firm.

Japan‘s SoftBank, the biggest investor in WeWork’s parent, We Co, is exploring how to replace Neumann, four people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The plan to ouster Neuman would have support from some on the We company board of directors, the sources said. The exact number of directors opposed to Neumann is not clear, reports the Wall Street Journal.

One option that SoftBank is considering is asking Neumann to serve as interim chief executive officer while a headhunting firm finds an outside replacement, one of the sources said.

A WeWork location (pictured above) in Manhattan's financial district

No challenge to Neumann has yet been tabled, the sources said. A We board meeting will be held this week, and the issue of his leadership could be raised then, according to the sources.

The possible ouster comes after We put off its initial public offering last week, with investors unhappy over losses, as well as Neumann, who was alleged to have smoked marijuana with friends on a private jet flight from New York to Israel, reports the Journal.

The plane’s operator, after discovering pot concealed in a cereal box for the return flight, was so upset that Neumann was ditched and had to find another flight back, the Journal reports.

Neumann has not only been a standout for co-founding WeWork with with Miguel McKelvey nine years ago, he’s also been known for his energetic style and penchant for excess.

Combined with his entrepreneurial skill and and a willingness to take risks, Neumann helped WeWork rake in more than $2 billion in annual revenue to become the country’s most valuable startups.

His style, however, has come under fire for mounting problems at WeWork. Investor concerns include special voting shares that Neumann holds, allowing him to dismiss dissident board directors and shoot down challenges to his authority.

It was a bad sign for relations between SoftBank and WeWork when Neumann last week passed on a meeting of executives backed by the bank and organized by its CEO Masayoshi Son (pictured above)

It was a bad sign for relations between SoftBank and WeWork when Neumann last week passed on a meeting of executives backed by the bank and organized by its CEO Masayoshi Son (pictured above)

In a sign of souring relations between SoftBank and WeWork, Neumann did not participate in a meeting of executives of companies backed by SoftBank that took place in Pasadena, California, last week.

The gathering was organized by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, according to two people familiar with the matter.

SoftBank had been hoping boost profits to woo investors for its second $108 billion ‘Vision Fund.’ But the postponement of We’s IPO last week derailed that plan.

The bank already was sore that it had invested in We at a $47 billion valuation in January, only to see it drop to as low as $10 billion this month, due to stock market investor skepticism, Reuters reported.

Venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, another big investor in We, would also like him to step aside, one of the sources said.

Benchmark, SoftBank and Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital each have one representative on We Company’s seven-member board, that includes Neumann.

Hony Capital’s position on whether Neumann should remain CEO could not be immediately determined.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

We and SoftBank declined to comment, while Neumann, Schwartz, Benchmark Capital and Hony Capital could not be immediately reached for comment.

Were a board challenge against Neumann to prove successful, it could end up follwoing what happened to Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who resigned as CEO of the ride-hailing start-up in 2017 after facing a rebellion from his board over a string of scandals, including allegations of enabling a chauvinistic and toxic work culture.

Uber replaced Kalanick with an outsider, former Expedia Group Inc CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, and completed its IPO last May.

Were a board challenge against Neumann to prove successful, it could follow what ended up happening to Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick (pictured above), who resigned as CEO of the ride-hailing start-up in 2017

Were a board challenge against Neumann to prove successful, it could follow what ended up happening to Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick (pictured above), who resigned as CEO of the ride-hailing start-up in 2017

Uber replaced Kalanick with an outsider, former Expedia Group Inc CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (picture above), and completed its IPO last May

Uber replaced Kalanick with an outsider, former Expedia Group Inc CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (picture above), and completed its IPO last May

It is not uncommon for founders of fast-growing start-ups to be eccentric and control their companies tightly, even as they seek to attract stock market investors.

Neumann, however, has been criticized by investors and corporate governance experts for arrangements that went beyond the typical practice of having majority voting control through special categories of shares.

These included giving his estate a major say in his replacement as CEO, and tying the voting power of shares to how much he donates to charitable causes.

Neumann pictured above with his wife Rebekah, who at one time was part of a plan to help pick his successor. The pan was scrapped following criticism by potential investors

Neumann pictured above with his wife Rebekah, who at one time was part of a plan to help pick his successor. The pan was scrapped following criticism by potential investors

Neumann also entered into several transactions with We over the years, making the company a tenant in some of his properties and charging it rent. He has also secured a $500 million credit line from banks using company stock as collateral.

Following criticism by potential investors, Neumann agreed to some concessions without relinquishing majority control. He agreed to give We Company any profit he receives from real estate deals he has entered in to with the New York-based start-up.

No member of Neumann’s family will be on the company´s board and any successor will be selected by the board, scrapping a plan for his wife and co-founder, Rebekah Neumann, to help pick the successor.

WeWork coup: Investors plan to force the startup’s chief Adam Neumann out after its IPO was postponed amid big losses and anger over his tight grip on the company and news that he smoked pot on a private plane

  • Japan’s SoftBank, the biggest investor in WeWork’s owner, We Co, is exploring ways to replace the firm’s head, Adam Neumann
  • Softbank’s move to ouster Neumann comes after We cancelled its IPO last week, following pushback from investors over widening losses
  • It’s also revealed that Neumann smoked marijuana with friends on a private jet to Israel that ditched him on the return after discovering cannabis on the plane
  • Investors aren’t happy either with Neumann’s control over the startup.  He can dismiss dissident board members and shoot down challenges to his authority
  • Frictions were noticeable when Neumann passed on a meeting of executives of companies backed by SoftBank that took place in Pasadena, California, last week
  • We’s last potential valuation was $10 billion, down from $47 billion in January, under pressure from investor skeptism

Adam Neumann, the sometimes over the top chief executive of the company that owns WeWork, is facing a possible coup by investors unhappy with the shared office space startup’s widening losses and his grip over the firm.

Japan‘s SoftBank, the biggest investor in WeWork’s parent, We Co, is exploring how to replace Neumann, four people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The plan to ouster Neuman would have support from some on the We company board of directors, the sources said. The exact number of directors opposed to Neumann is not clear, reports the Wall Street Journal.

One option that SoftBank is considering is asking Neumann to serve as interim chief executive officer while a headhunting firm finds an outside replacement, one of the sources said.

A WeWork location (pictured above) in Manhattan's financial district

A WeWork location (pictured above) in Manhattan’s financial district

WeWork slashes IPO valuation to under $20 billion

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No challenge to Neumann has yet been tabled, the sources said. A We board meeting will be held this week, and the issue of his leadership could be raised then, according to the sources.

The possible ouster comes after We put off its initial public offering last week, with investors unhappy over losses, as well as Neumann, who was alleged to have smoked marijuana with friends on a private jet flight from New York to Israel, reports the Journal.

The plane’s operator, after discovering pot concealed in a cereal box for the return flight, was so upset that Neumann was ditched and had to find another flight back, the Journal reports.

Neumann has not only been a standout for co-founding WeWork with with Miguel McKelvey nine years ago, he’s also been known for his energetic style and penchant for excess.

Combined with his entrepreneurial skill and and a willingness to take risks, Neumann helped WeWork rake in more than $2 billion in annual revenue to become the country’s most valuable startups.

His style, however, has come under fire for mounting problems at WeWork. Investor concerns include special voting shares that Neumann holds, allowing him to dismiss dissident board directors and shoot down challenges to his authority.

It was a bad sign for relations between SoftBank and WeWork when Neumann last week passed on a meeting of executives backed by the bank and organized by its CEO Masayoshi Son (pictured above)

It was a bad sign for relations between SoftBank and WeWork when Neumann last week passed on a meeting of executives backed by the bank and organized by its CEO Masayoshi Son (pictured above)

In a sign of souring relations between SoftBank and WeWork, Neumann did not participate in a meeting of executives of companies backed by SoftBank that took place in Pasadena, California, last week.

The gathering was organized by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, according to two people familiar with the matter.

SoftBank had been hoping boost profits to woo investors for its second $108 billion ‘Vision Fund.’ But the postponement of We’s IPO last week derailed that plan.

The bank already was sore that it had invested in We at a $47 billion valuation in January, only to see it drop to as low as $10 billion this month, due to stock market investor skepticism, Reuters reported.

Venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, another big investor in We, would also like him to step aside, one of the sources said.

Benchmark, SoftBank and Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital each have one representative on We Company’s seven-member board, that includes Neumann.

And then there’s retired Goldman Sachs investment banker Mark Schwartz, an unaffiliated member of We’s board, previously sat on SoftBank’s board.

Hony Capital’s position on whether Neumann should remain CEO could not be immediately determined.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

We and SoftBank declined to comment, while Neumann, Schwartz, Benchmark Capital and Hony Capital could not be immediately reached for comment.

Were a board challenge against Neumann to prove successful, it could end up follwoing what happened to Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who resigned as CEO of the ride-hailing start-up in 2017 after facing a rebellion from his board over a string of scandals, including allegations of enabling a chauvinistic and toxic work culture.

Uber replaced Kalanick with an outsider, former Expedia Group Inc CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, and completed its IPO last May.

Uber CEO Kalanick resigned over harassment scandal in 2017

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Were a board challenge against Neumann to prove successful, it could follow what ended up happening to Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick (pictured above), who resigned as CEO of the ride-hailing start-up in 2017

Were a board challenge against Neumann to prove successful, it could follow what ended up happening to Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick (pictured above), who resigned as CEO of the ride-hailing start-up in 2017

Uber replaced Kalanick with an outsider, former Expedia Group Inc CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (picture above), and completed its IPO last May

Uber replaced Kalanick with an outsider, former Expedia Group Inc CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (picture above), and completed its IPO last May

It is not uncommon for founders of fast-growing start-ups to be eccentric and control their companies tightly, even as they seek to attract stock market investors.

Neumann, however, has been criticized by investors and corporate governance experts for arrangements that went beyond the typical practice of having majority voting control through special categories of shares.

These included giving his estate a major say in his replacement as CEO, and tying the voting power of shares to how much he donates to charitable causes.

Neumann pictured above with his wife Rebekah, who at one time was part of a plan to help pick his successor. The pan was scrapped following criticism by potential investors

Neumann pictured above with his wife Rebekah, who at one time was part of a plan to help pick his successor. The pan was scrapped following criticism by potential investors

Neumann also entered into several transactions with We over the years, making the company a tenant in some of his properties and charging it rent. He has also secured a $500 million credit line from banks using company stock as collateral.

Following criticism by potential investors, Neumann agreed to some concessions without relinquishing majority control. He agreed to give We Company any profit he receives from real estate deals he has entered in to with the New York-based start-up.

No member of Neumann’s family will be on the company´s board and any successor will be selected by the board, scrapping a plan for his wife and co-founder, Rebekah Neumann, to help pick the successor.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7494507/WeWork-Chief-Adam-Neumann-targeted-coup-startup-suspends-IPO-news-smoked-pot.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1290, July 16, 2019, Part 2: Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense Against America and Trump Haters — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Squad — Fresh Fascist Faces — Women of Color — RED — Videos — Story 2: Democrat Controlled House of Representatives Condemns Trump’s Tweets As Racist — Human Racist?  — 240 (Democrats Plus 4 Republicans) vs. 187(Republicans) — Love America or Leave America — Videos — Story 3: ANTIFA (Anti-fascist) 69-Year Old Man With Rifle Who Threw Incendiary Device at Northwest Detention Center Shot Dead By Tacoma Police — Videos — Story 4: Establishment Democrats Support Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden — Videos– Story 5: European Union’s Galileo Global Positioning Satellites Down For Four Days — Videos — Story 6: Manhattan Lights Go Out with Electrical Outage — Celebrating 42th Anniversary of Great Blackout — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense Against America and Trump Haters — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Squad — Fresh Fascist Faces — Women of Color — RED — Videos —

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Tucker Carlson Tonight 7/15/19 | URGENT!TRUMP BREAKING News July 15, 2019

Trump’s tweets at Democratic women of color denounced as racist

Trump: If you want to leave America, you can leave America

Donald Trump: AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley “hate our country”

Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley condemn Trump in explosive press conference

Radical Democrats demonize Border Patrol and ICE

Pelosi under fire for urging Dems to stand against ICE

Trump: If You’re Not Happy Here, You Can Leave

President Trump Takes His Attacks On Four Congresswomen To A New Low | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Omar Cites Corruption, Ineptitude Among Reasons To Impeach Donald Trump | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

AOC and Ilhan Omar Fire Back at Trump’s Racist Tweets | NowThis

‘The Five’ react to The Squad’s fiery presser on Trump’s tweets

President Donald Trump Ramps Up Attacks On Democrats Congresswomen | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Trump Tells Democratic Congresswomen To “Go Back” Where They Came From

Trumps tweets ARE NOT racist

Dr. Qanta Ahmed: Rep. Omar is a disgrace to Islam

Ilhan Omar faces more anti-semitic controversy over Israel

‘These Are Her Beliefs’: Scalise Says Omar Must Be Removed From Committee Over Anti-Semitic Comments

Ilhan Omar’s Disgusting Attack: ‘This is Un-American’

Pelosi condemns ‘anti-Semitic’ comments by Rep. Omar

Tucker: Radical Democrats turn on Nancy Pelosi

 

‘The agenda of white nationalists’: AOC, other congresswomen respond to Trump’s attacks

The foursome of minority lawmakers were responding to the president’s “openly racist comments attacking the duly elected members of Congress,” they said in a statement.
By Dareh Gregorian and Adam Edelman

The four progressive congresswomen of color attacked by President Donald Trump responded on Monday afternoon at a joint news conference, saying his “blatantly racist” assault on them is nothing more than an effort to distract from his corrupt administration and inhumane policies.

The Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, portrayed Trump as lawless and condemned his treatment of migrants on the border and deportations.

“This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms or happening in national TV. And now it’s reached the White House garden,” Omar said of what she called Trump’s “blatantly racist attack.”

AOC on Trump’s comments, tweets: ‘This is all a distraction’

JULY 15, 201903:07

“This president operates in complete bad faith,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “He does not know how to defend his policies, so instead he attacks us personally. That’s what this is all about”

She added that she and her colleagues aren’t going anywhere.

“We don’t leave the things we love,” Ocasio-Cortez said, and “we love all people in this country.”

Omar called it a “pivotal moment in our country,” with Trump “openly violating the oath he took” with “human rights abuses” involving the conditions in which migrants are being detained at the border. She called for his impeachment and accused him of “colluding with a foreign government” in the 2016 presidential election, a charge he’s repeatedly denied.

The congresswoman said she would not respond to Trump’s “ridiculous” claims earlier Monday that she supports al Qaeda.

“It’s beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists,” she said.

Omar also ripped Trump as a hypocrite for saying that she should leave the country if she’s not happy with the government, noting his campaign was all about what terrible shape the United States was in.

Pressley urged Americans to not “take the bait” from the “occupant” in the White House.

“This is a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern and consequence to the American people” they were sent to Washington to work on, she said.

 

Tlaib again called for her colleagues to begin impeachment proceedings.

“Sadly, this is not the first, nor will it be the last time that we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president. We know this is who he is,” she said.

Trump started tweeting about the four again shortly after their press conference was scheduled to start.

“IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!” he wrote in the first of three tweets, which were posted before the four took to the podium.

Earlier Monday, Trump escalated his attacks on the congresswomen, accusing them of loving terrorists, “hating” the United States and Israel and saying they should feel free to leave the country if they’re not happy here.

Trump first went after the quartet over the weekend, tweeting that they should “go back” to the countries they “originally came from” — even though three of them are from the United States — and has repeatedly doubled down since.

His incessant lashing-out prompted lawmakers of both parties to condemn his remarks.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/aoc-other-congresswomen-hold-news-conference-answer-trump-attacks-n1030141

Trump steps up attacks on Democratic congresswomen: “They hate our country”

A White House event quickly spiraled into chaos on Monday as President Trump launched into a defiant defense of his earlier racist tweets suggesting Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their countries.

A reporter asked, “Does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?”

The president responded, “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me. And all I’m saying, they want to leave, they can leave.”

On Sunday, the president sparked a firestorm with a series of tweets seemingly targeting freshmen Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar that were immediately and widely condemned as racist. He wrote that the representatives — three of whom were born in the U.S., and all American citizens — should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

At Monday’s event, the president repeatedly insisted that people who don’t love America should leave, as reporters — positioned far from the president during the event — continued to lob questions.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, very simply, you can leave. You can leave right now. Come back if you want, don’t come back, it’s OK too. But if you’re not happy, you can leave,” he said. The audience applauded many of the president’s remarks.

When a reporter pointed out that many of the congresswomen the president appears to be criticizing were born in America and all are citizens, Mr. Trump responded that, “All they do is complain.”

Mr. Trump’s tweets on Sunday prompted intense criticism from Democrats but very little criticism from Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House will vote on a resolution to condemn the president’s statement about her colleagues.

But Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning that the people he offended should apologize to him, not the other way around.

“When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning.

The president’s remarks at the event come the same morning his administration has announced it’s moving to end asylum protections for migrants coming from Central American countries, a step that’s all but certain to face challenges in the courts. The American Civil Liberties Union has already announced its intention to sue.

During Monday’s “Made in America” event, the president insisted the U.S. has to defend its borders, and will do so and build a wall, despite any legal challenges.

“The philosophy of my administration is simple if we can build it grow it or make it in the United States, we will,” the president said.

The executive order the president signed towards the end of the event, increasing requirements for the government’s purchase of products made in the U.S., was overshadowed.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-hosts-made-in-america-event-at-white-house-today-2019-07-15-live-updates/

Trump digs in on racist tweets: ‘Many people agree with me’

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President Donald Trump speaks during a Made in America showcase event on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defiant in the face of widespread criticism, President Donald Trump renewed his belligerent call on Monday for four Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now,” cementing his position as the most willing U.S. leader in generations to stoke the discord that helped send him to the White House.

Content to gamble that a sizeable chunk of the electorate embraces his tweets that have been widely denounced as racist, the president made clear that he has no qualms about exploiting racial divisions once again.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump said at the White House. “A lot of people love it, by the way.”

The episode served notice that Trump is willing to again rely on incendiary rhetoric on issues of race and immigration to preserve his political base in the leadup to the 2020 election.

There was near unanimous condemnation from Democrats for Trump’s comments and a rumble of discontent from a subset of Republicans — but notably not from the party’s congressional leaders.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the GOP White House nominee in 2012 and now one of the president’s most vocal GOP critics, said Trump’s comments were “destructive, demeaning, and disunifying.”

Far from backing down, Trump on Monday dug in on comments he had initially made a day earlier on Twitter that if lawmakers “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries. His remarks were directed at four congresswomen: Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, you can leave, you can leave right now,” he said.

The president’s words, which evoked the trope of telling black people to go back to Africa, may have been partly meant to widen the divides within the House Democratic caucus, which has been riven by internal debate over how best to oppose his policies. And while Trump’s attacks brought Democrats together in defense of their colleagues, his allies noted he was also having some success in making the controversial progressive lawmakers the face of their party.

The president questioned whether Democrats should “want to wrap” themselves around this group of four people as he recited a list of the quartet’s most controversial statements.

The four themselves fired back late Monday, condemning what they called “xenophobic bigoted remarks” from the president and renewing calls for their party to begin impeachment proceedings.

Trump “does not know how to defend his policies and so what he does is attack us personally,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said Trump’s campaign slogan truly means he wants to “make America white again,” announced Monday that the House would vote on a resolution condemning his new comments. The Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, said his party would also try to force a vote in the GOP-controlled chamber.

Trump, who won the presidency in 2016 in part by energizing disaffected voters with inflammatory racial rhetoric, made clear he has no intention of backing away from that strategy in 2020.

“The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four ‘progressives,’ but now they are forced to embrace them,” he tweeted Monday afternoon. “That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!”

Trump has faced few consequences for such attacks in the past. They typically earn him cycles of wall-to-wall media attention. He is wagering that his most steadfast supporters will be energized by the controversy as much, or if not more so, than the opposition.

“It’s possible I’m wrong,” Trump allowed Monday. “The voters will decide.”

The president has told aides that he was giving voice what many of his supporters believe — that they are tired of people, including immigrants, disrespecting their country, according to three Republicans close to the White House who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Trump on Monday singled out Omar, in particular, accusing her of having “hatred” for Israel, and expressing “love” for “enemies like al-Qaida.”

“These are people that, in my opinion, hate our country,” he said.

Omar, in an interview, once laughed about how a college professor had spoken of al-Qaida with an intensity she said was not used to describe “America,” ″England” or “The Army.”

She addressed herself directly to Trump in a tweet, writing: “You are stoking white nationalism (because) you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”

Republicans, for their part, largely trod carefully with their responses.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of the president who golfed with him over the weekend, advised him to “aim higher” during an appearance on “Fox and Friends,” even as he accused the four Democrats of being “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American.”

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said “I don’t think that the president’s intent in any way is racist,” pointing to Trump’s decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born outside the country, as his transportation secretary.

Chao is one of the few minorities among the largely white and male aides in high-profile roles in Trump’s administration. She is the wife of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who declined comment on Trump’s attacks on Monday.

The latest provocation came just two days after Trump inserted himself further into a rift between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez, offering an unsolicited defense of the Democratic speaker. Pelosi has been seeking to minimize Ocasio-Cortez’s influence in the House Democratic caucus in recent days, prompting the freshman lawmaker to accuse Pelosi of trying to marginalize women of color.

Trump told advisers later that he was pleased with his meddling, believing that dividing Democrats would be helpful to him, as would elevating any self-proclaimed socialists as a way to frighten voters to steer clear of their liberal politics, the Republicans said.

Among the few GOP lawmakers commenting on Monday, Rep. Pete Olson of Texas said Trump’s tweets were “not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people” in his district. “We are proud to be the most diverse Congressional district in America. I urge our President immediately disavow his comments,” he wrote.

Several other Republicans went out of their way to say they were not condoning the views of the Democrats, while encouraging Trump to retract his comments.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who is up for re-election next year, said Trump’s tweet was “way over the line and he should take that down.”

Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania said of the Democrats: “We should defeat their ideas on the merits, not on the basis of their ancestry.”

In an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll from February 2017, half of Americans said the mixing of culture and values from around the world is an important part of America’s identity as a nation. Fewer — about a third — said the same of a culture established by early European immigrants.

But partisans in that poll were divided over these aspects of America’s identity. About two-thirds of Democrats but only about a third of Republicans thought the mixing of world cultures was important to the country’s identity. By comparison, nearly half of Republicans but just about a quarter of Democrats saw the culture of early European immigrants as important to the nation.

___

AP writer Hannah Fingerhut contributed from Washington.

https://apnews.com/9924c846abf84cfeabb76e6045190b42

Trump under fire for attacks on Democratic congresswomen

Jerome CARTILLIER
AFP News

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US President Donald Trump stepped up his attack on four Democratic lawmakers, saying if they are not happy in the United States, “they can leave”
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US President Donald Trump came under fire from Democrats and even some members of his own Republican Party on Monday after launching an extraordinary xenophobic attack on four progressive Democratic congresswomen.

“All they do is complain,” Trump told reporters at a White House event featuring products “Made in America.”

“These are people that hate our country,” he said of the four Democratic lawmakers. “If you’re not happy here, you can leave.”

Trump also accused the four first-term Democratic congresswomen — who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African-American origin — of having “love” for US “enemies like Al-Qaeda.”

Asked by a reporter whether he was concerned that many people saw his comments as racist, Trump said: “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.”

Several hours after his remarks, the four — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who is of Puerto Rico origin, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who is of Somali origin, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who is African-American — hit back at a news conference.

Pressley condemned Trump’s “xenophobic and bigoted” comments and said “we will not be silenced.”

Omar said Trump made a “blatantly racist attack” on four lawmakers “of color.” “This is the agenda of white nationalists,” she said.

Omar and Tlaib repeated calls for Trump to be impeached.

– ‘Destructive’ –

The president first attacked the lawmakers with a series of tweets on Sunday, saying they should “go back” to their countries of origin if they didn’t like the United States.

His comments prompted outrage from Democrats — and, initially, silence from Republicans.

On Monday, several of his party faithful began to speak up.

“My view is that what was said and what was tweeted was destructive, was demeaning, was disunifying, and frankly it was very wrong,” said Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah.

“There is no excuse for the president’s spiteful comments -– they were absolutely unacceptable and this needs to stop,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska. “We must demand a higher standard of decorum and decency.”

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine said she disagreed with the policies espoused by the “far-left” Democratic lawmakers but Trump was “way over the line.”

For Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, “the citizenship of all four is as valid as mine.” “They are entitled to their opinions, however misguided they may be,” he said.

Texan Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House of Representatives, told CNN that Trump’s behavior was “unbecoming of the leader of the free world.”

And Senator Tim Scott, a black Republican from South Carolina, criticized the president for using “unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language.”

– ‘Cold, hard strategy’ –

Trump’s comments appear to be aimed at galvanizing his mostly white electoral base ahead of the 2020 presidential vote — while also stoking racial tensions and divisions among his political opponents.

“With his deliberate, racist outburst, @realDonaldTrump wants to raise the profile of his targets, drive Dems to defend them and make them emblematic of the entire party,” said David Axelrod, who served as chief strategist for Barack Obama’s two White House campaigns.

“It’s a cold, hard strategy,” Axelrod said on Twitter. “Fasten your seatbelts, it will only get worse as the election approaches.”

“The voters will decide,” Trump told reporters.

“If (the Democrats) want to gear their wagons around these four people, I think they’re going to have a very tough election, because I don’t think the people of the United States will stand for it.”

In his initial Twitter attack on Sunday, Trump — who before becoming president pushed the racist “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama was not born on US soil — said the congresswomen came from corrupt, poorly managed countries to which they should return.

Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley were all born in the United States while Omar arrived from war-torn Somalia when she was a child.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, denounced Trump as the most “openly racist and divisive” president in US history.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/eyeing-2020-election-trump-doubles-down-xenophobic-tweets-163003718.html

Rashida Tlaib

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Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib, official portrait, 116th Congress (cropped 2).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan‘s 13th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Brenda Jones
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 6th district
12th district (2009–2012)
In office
January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2014
Preceded by Steve Tobocman
Succeeded by Stephanie Chang
Personal details
Born
Rashida Harbi

July 24, 1976 (age 42)
DetroitMichigan, U.S.

Political party Democratic
Other political
affiliations
Democratic Socialist
Spouse(s)
Fayez Tlaib
(m. 1998; div. 2015)
Children 2
Education Wayne State University (BA)
Thomas M. Cooley Law School (JD)
Website House website

Rashida Harbi Tlaib (/təˈlb/;[1] born July 24, 1976) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district since 2019.[2] The district includes the western half of Detroit, along with several of its western suburbs and much of the Downriver area. A member of the Democratic Party, Tlaib represented the 6th and 12th districts of the Michigan House of Representatives before her election to Congress.[3] She was the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan legislature.[4]

In 2018 Tlaib won the Democratic nomination for the United States House of Representatives seat from Michigan’s 13th congressional district. She ran unopposed in the general election and became the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress and, with Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.[5][6]

Tlaib is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). She and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are the third and fourth DSA members to serve in Congress; and they are the first female DSA members to serve in Congress. Tlaib is the first DSA member from a Mid-West district elected to the U.S. House.[7][8] Tlaib has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and advocated impeachment of the President. On foreign affairs, she has sharply criticized the Israeli government, called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Tlaib is a member of the informal group known as “The Squad“, whose members form a unified front to push for progressive changes such as the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all. The other members of “The Squad” are Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) [9].

 

Contents

Early life and education

The eldest of 14 children, Rashida Tlaib (née Harbi) was born on July 24, 1976, to working-class Palestinian immigrants in Detroit. Her mother was born in Beit Ur El Foka, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Her father was born in Beit Hanina, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. He moved first to Nicaragua, then to Detroit. He worked on an assembly line in a Ford Motor Company plant. As the eldest, Tlaib played a role in raising her siblings while her parents worked, but the family sometimes had to rely on welfare for support.[10]

Rashida Tlaib attended elementary school at Harms, Bennett Elementary, and Phoenix Academy. She graduated from Southwestern High School in Detroit in 1994. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1998 from Wayne State University. She earned a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 2004.[11]

Earlier political career

Tlaib began her political career in 2004 when she interned with State Representative Steve Tobocman. When Tobocman became Majority Floor Leader in 2007, he hired Tlaib to his staff.[12][13]

Michigan House of Representatives

In 2008 Tobocman encouraged Tlaib to run for his seat, which he was vacating due to term limits. The urban district is 40% Hispanic, 25% African-American, 30% non-Hispanic white, and 2% Arab American. Tlaib faced a crowded primary that included several Latinos, including former State Representative Belda Garza. She emerged victorious, carrying 44% of the vote in the eight-way Democratic primary and winning the general election with over 90% of the vote.[14]

In 2010 Tlaib faced a primary election challenge from Jim Czachorowski in his first bid for office.[15] Tlaib picked up 85% of the vote to Czachorowski’s 15%, and won the general election with 92% of the vote against Republican challenger Darrin Daigle.

In 2012 Tlaib won reelection again to the Michigan House in the newly redrawn 6th District against fellow incumbent Maureen Stapleton. She could not run for the Michigan House a fourth time in 2014 because of term limits and ran for the Michigan Senate, losing to incumbent Senator Virgil Smith Jr. in the Democratic primary in August 2014.

During her tenure as a legislator, Tlaib was one of ten Muslims serving in state legislatures across the United States. She is the second Muslim to serve in the Michigan State House of Representatives, after James Karoub. Tlaib is the second Muslim woman to serve in a state legislature nationwide, after Jamilah Nasheed of Missouri.[16] She and Justin Amash, a Republican who was also elected in 2008, were the first two Palestinian-American members of the Michigan legislature.

After leaving the state legislature, Tlaib worked at Sugar Law Center, a Detroit nonprofit that provides free legal representation for workers.[17]

U.S. House of Representatives

Rashida Tlaib at her campaign headquarters in 2018

2018 Special Election

In 2018 Tlaib announced her intention to run for John Conyers‘s seat in Congress. She filed in both the Democratic primary in the special election for the balance of Conyers’s 27th term, and in the general election for a full two-year term. Both elections were to be held the same day. No Republican qualified for either primary, but the 13th is so heavily Democratic that any Republican would have faced nearly impossible odds. With a Cook Partisan Voting Indexof D+33, the 13th is the most Democratic district in Michigan and tied for the 20th-most Democratic district in the nation. Conyers held the seat without serious difficulty from 1965 until his resignation in 2017 (it was numbered as the 1st from 1965 to 1993 and as the 14th from 1993 to 2013), and never won with less than 77 percent of the vote.

As of July 16, 2018, Tlaib had raised $893,030 in funds, more than her five opponents in the August 7 Democratic primary.[18]

In the Democratic primary for the special election, Tlaib finished second to Detroit City Council president Brenda Jones, who received 32,727 votes (37.7% of the total) to Tlaib’s 31,084 (35.9%). Bill Wild, mayor of Westland, received 13,152 votes (15.2%) and Ian Conyers, the great-nephew of former Congressman Conyers, took fourth with 9,740 (11.2%).[19] Jones faced no major-party opposition in the special election.

2018 general election

In the Democratic primary for the general election, Tlaib defeated Jones and Wild, among others.[20] She received 27,803 votes, or 31.2%. She faced no major-party opposition in November 2018, though Jones mounted an eleventh-hour independent bid.

Tlaib became the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress and simultaneously one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, along with fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.[5] She took the congressional oath of office on January 3, 2019, swearing in on an English-language translation of the Quran.[21][22] She wore a thawb (thobe), a traditional embroidered Palestinian dress, to the swearing-in ceremony. This inspired a number of Palestinian and Palestinian-American women to share pictures on social media with the hashtag #TweetYourThobe.[23]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Tlaib has said she opposed providing aid to a “Netanyahu Israel” and supported the Palestinian right of return and a one-state solution.[24][25][26][27] Tlaib is one of the few members of Congress who openly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. In January 2019, she criticized anti-BDS legislation proposed by Senators Marco Rubio and Jim Risch. Tlaib argued that boycotting is a right and said that Rubio and Risch “forgot what country they represent”. Tlaib’s comments were criticized by several Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which said, “Though the legislation discussed is sponsored by four non-Jewish Senators, any charge of dual loyalty has special sensitivity and resonance for Jews, particularly in an environment of rising anti-Semitism.”[28][29][30][31][32] In response Tlaib said that her comments were directed at Rubio and Risch.[33]

Saudi Arabia

Tlaib has criticized Saudi Arabia‘s human rights violations and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[34][35]

Trump administration

Tlaib supports efforts to impeach President Trump. In August 2016 she protested a speech Trump gave at Cobo Center and was ejected from the venue.[36] On her first day in Congress, January 3, 2019, she called for the impeachment of Trump in an op-ed article co-authored with John Bonifaz for the Detroit Free Press.[37] In the op-ed Tlaib differs from top Democratic leaders on how to move forward with impeachment: “Those who say we must wait for Special Counsel Mueller to complete his criminal investigation before Congress can start any impeachment proceedings ignore this crucial distinction [referring to Congressional powers of impeachment].”[37]

Later that day Tlaib attended a reception for the MoveOn campaign and spoke on stage. She ended the speech recounting a conversation she had with her son, him saying: “Look, mama, you won. Bullies don’t win.” Tlaib replied to him, she recounted, “Baby, they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and impeach the motherfucker.”[38] The next day at a White House press conference, Trump said, “Well, you can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job…I think she dishonored herself and I think she dishonored her family. I thought it was highly disrespectful to the United States of America.”[39][40]

In a radio interview with Mehdi Hasan of The Intercept, Tlaib reiterated her frequent call for Trump’s impeachment, saying, “Look, it’s not a waste of time to hold the president of the United States accountable … We need to understand our duties as members of Congress and I believe looking at even Nixon’s impeachment, or his—literally, his resignation, it was Republicans and Democrats coming together and putting country first, coming together and putting our values first. You’re seeing it now more and more. Even now, they’re standing up to Steve King.”[41]

Other issues

  • Democratic party: Tlaib, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, aligns politically with the left wing of the Democratic Party.[42][43]
  • Domestic policy: She supports domestic reforms, including “Medicare For All” (single-payer healthcare) and a $15 hourly minimum wage.[44]
  • Immigration: Tlaib was an early supporter of the movement to abolish the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency.[42] In June 2019 she was one of four Democratic representatives to vote against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, a $4.5 billion border funding bill that required Customs and Border Protection enact health standards for individuals in custody such as forming standards for individuals for “medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training.”[45][46]

Personal life

In 1998, at the age of 22, Tlaib married Fayez Tlaib. They have two sons, Adam and Yousif. The couple have since divorced. In 2018 a campaign spokesperson called Tlaib a single mother.[47]

In September 2018 The New York Times reported that Tlaib walked into her family’s mosque to express her gratitude for the opportunity to run for Congress by saying “Today I was being thankful, embracing how incredibly blessed I am to grow up here, to have this tremendous opportunity…Sometimes I say ‘Thank her’ because my Allah is She.”[48] The Detroit Free Press reported that, although she recognizes that some in her faith community consider her not “Muslim enough”,[49] she believes that “Allah [. . .] understands”[49] and “knows that I am [. . .] giving back and doing things that I think are reflective of Islam”.[49]

Electoral history

  • 2008 campaign for State House
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 90%
    • Darrin Daigle (R), 10%
  • 2008 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 44%
    • Carl Ramsey (D), 26%
    • Belda Garza (D), 9%
    • Daniel Solano (D), 7%
    • Lisa Randon (D), 7%
    • Denise Hearn (D), 5%
    • Rochelle Smith (D), 1%
    • Nellie Saenz (D), 1%
  • 2010 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 85%
    • Jim Czachorowski (D), 15%
  • 2010 campaign for State House
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 92%
    • Darrin Daigle (R), 8%
  • 2014 campaign for State Senate, Democratic Primary
    • Virgil Smith (D), 50%
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 42%
    • Howard Worthy (D), 8%
Democratic primary results, 2018 Michigan’s 13th congressional district special election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brenda Jones 32,727 37.7
Democratic Rashida Tlaib 31,084 35.9
Democratic Bill Wild 13,152 15.2
Democratic Ian Conyers 9,740 11.2
Total votes 86,703 100.0
Democratic primary results, 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan § District 13
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Rashida Tlaib 27,803 31.2
Democratic Brenda Jones 26,916 30.2
Democratic Bill Wild 12,589 14.1
Democratic Coleman Young II 11,162 12.5
Democratic Ian Conyers 5,861 6.6
Democratic Shanelle Jackson 4,848 5.3
Total votes 89,179 100.0

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashida_Tlaib

Ilhan Omar

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Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota‘s 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Keith Ellison
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 60B district
In office
January 2, 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded by Phyllis Kahn
Succeeded by Mohamud Noor
Personal details
Born
Ilhan Abdullahi Omar

October 4, 1982 (age 36)
MogadishuSomalia

Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (m. 2009, div. 2011 [within Muslim faith], 2017 [civilly])[1]

Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi
(m. 2002 [faith-based], div. 2008; 2nd m. 2018)[1]

See Personal life section below

Children 3
Education North Dakota State University(BA)
Website House website

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (born October 4, 1982) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019. The district includes all of Minneapolis and some of its suburbs.

Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016 on the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party line. In 2018 she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, marking a number of historic electoral firsts: she is the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa, and the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim women (along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) to serve in Congress.[2][3][4]

Omar is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and has advocated for a living wageaffordable housing and healthcarestudent loan debt forgiveness, the protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She has strongly opposed the immigration policies of the Trump administration, including the Trump travel ban. She has been the subject of several conspiracy theories, death threats, and other harassment by political opponents.

A frequent critic of Israel, Omar has denounced its settlement policy and military campaigns in the occupied Palestinian territories, and what she describes as the influence of pro-Israel lobbies such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In early 2019 Omar was criticized by a number of Democrats, Republicans and Jewish civil rights groups for comments about American support for Israel that they said drew on anti-Semitic tropes. Omar apologized for some of the remarks.

Contents

Early life and education

Omar was born in Mogadishu on October 4, 1982,[5][6] and spent her early years in BaidoaSomalia.[7][8] She was the youngest of seven siblings, including Sahra Noor. Her father Nur Omar Mohamed, an ethnic Somali, worked as a teacher trainer,[9] and her mother, Fadhuma Abukar Haji Hussein, a Benadiri (a community of partial Yemeni descent), died when Ilhan was two.[10][11][12][13] She was raised by her father and grandfather thereafter.[14] Her grandfather Abukar was the director of Somalia’s National Marine Transport and some of Omar’s uncles and aunts also worked as civil servants and educators.[9] She and her family fled Somalia to escape the war and spent four years in a Dadaab refugee camp in Garissa County, Kenya, near the Somali border.[15][16][17]

After first arriving in New York in 1992,[18] Omar’s family finally secured asylum in the U.S. in 1995 and lived for a time in Arlington, Virginia,[12] before moving to and settling in Minneapolis,[12] where her father worked first as a taxi driver and later for the post office.[12] Her father and grandfather emphasized the importance of democracy during her upbringing, and at age 14 she accompanied her grandfather to caucus meetings, serving as his interpreter.[14][19] Omar became a U.S. citizen in 2000 when she was 17 years old.[20][12] She has spoken about being bullied for wearing a hijab during her time in Virginia, recalling classmates sticking gum on it, pushing her down stairs, and jumping her when changing for gym class.[12] Omar remembers her father’s reaction to these incidents: “They are doing something to you because they feel threatened in some way by your existence.”[12]

Omar attended Edison High School and volunteered there as a student organizer.[21] She graduated from North Dakota State University[19] with bachelor’s degrees in political science and international studies in 2011.[22] Omar was a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota‘s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.[23]

Early career

Omar with John Sullivan in Paris as part of Minnesota’s World’s Fair Bid Committee

Omar began her professional career as a community nutrition educator at the University of Minnesota, working in that capacity from 2006 to 2009 in the Greater Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. In 2012 she served as campaign manager for Kari Dziedzic‘s reelection campaign for the Minnesota State Senate. Between 2012 and 2013 she was a child nutrition outreach coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education.[24]

In 2013, Omar managed Andrew Johnson‘s campaign for Minneapolis City Council. After Johnson was elected, she served as his Senior Policy Aide from 2013 to 2015.[23] During a contentious precinct caucus that turned violent in February 2014, she was attacked by five people and was injured.[9] According to MinnPost, the day before the caucus, Minneapolis city councilmember Abdi Warsame had told Johnson to warn Omar not to attend the meeting.[25]

As of September 2015 Omar was the Director of Policy Initiatives of the Women Organizing Women Network, advocating for women from East Africa to take on civic and political leadership roles.[23] In September 2018, Jeff Cirillo of Roll Call called her a “progressive rising star.”[26]

Minnesota House of Representatives

Elections

Omar, then a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives, speaks at a Hillary for Minnesota event at the University of Minnesota in October 2016

Omar at the Twin Cities PrideParade in 2018

In 2016 Omar ran on the Democratic–Farmer–Labor (DFL) ticket for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 60B, which includes part of northeast Minneapolis. On August 9 Omar defeated Mohamud Noor and incumbent Phyllis Kahn in the DFL primary.[27] Her chief opponent in the general election was Republican nominee Abdimalik Askar, another activist in the Somali American community. In late August, Askar announced his withdrawal from the campaign.[28] In November 2016 Omar won the general election, becoming the first Somali American legislator in the United States.[29] Her term began on January 3, 2017.[30]

Tenure and activity

During her tenure as state Representative for District 60B, Omar was an Assistant Minority Leader for the DFL caucus.[31][32] She authored or co-authored at least 266 bills during the 2017–2018 legislative session.[33][non-primary source needed]

Committee assignments

  • Civil Law & Data Practices Policy
  • Higher Education & Career Readiness Policy & Finance
  • State Government Finance[34]

Financial transparency issues

In 2018 Republican state representative Steve Drazkowski publicly accused Omar of campaign finance violations,[6] claiming that she used campaign funds to pay a divorce lawyer, and that her acceptance of speaking fees from public colleges violated Minnesota House rules. Omar responded that the attorney’s fees were not personal but campaign-related; she offered to return the speaking fees.[35][36] Drazkowski later accused Omar of improperly using campaign funds for personal travel to Estonia and locations in the U.S.[6][37][20]

Omar’s campaign dismissed the accusations as politically motivated and accused Drazkowski of using public funds to harass a Muslim candidate.[20][38] In response to an editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune arguing that Omar should be more transparent about her use of campaign funds, she said: “these people are part of systems that have historically been disturbingly motivated to silence, discredit and dehumanize influencers who threaten the establishment.”[20]

In June 2019, Minnesota campaign finance officials ruled that Omar had to pay back $3,500 that she had spent on out-of-state travel and tax filing in violation of state law. She was also ordered to pay a $500 fine.[39]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

Welcoming several of the new female Congressional Black Caucusmembers in January 2019

On June 5, 2018, Omar filed to run for the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota’s 5th congressional district after six-term incumbent Keith Ellison announced he would not seek reelection to that office.[40] On June 17 she was endorsed by the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party after two rounds of voting.[41] Omar won the August 14 primary with 48.2% of the vote.[42] The 5th district is the most Democratic district in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, (it has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+26) and the DFL has held it without interruption since 1963. She faced health care worker and conservative activist Jennifer Zielinski in the November 6 general election[43] and won with 78.0% of the vote, becoming the first Somali American elected to the U.S. Congress, the first woman of color to serve as a U.S. Representative from Minnesota,[3] and (alongside former Michigan state representative Rashida Tlaib) one of the first Muslim women elected to the Congress.[44][45][46]

Omar received the largest percentage of the vote of any female candidate for U.S. House in state history,[47] as well as the largest percentage of the vote for a non-incumbent candidate for U.S. House (excluding those running against only non-major-party candidates) in state history.[47] She was sworn in on a copy of the Quran owned by her grandfather.[48][49]

After her election, the ban on head coverings in the U.S. House was modified, and Omar became the first woman to wear a hijab on the House floor.[12]

Omar is a member of the informal group known as “The Squad“, whose members form a unified front to push for progressive changes such as the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all. The other members of “The Squad” are Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) [50].

Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, 2018[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Ilhan Omar 267,703 77.97
Republican Jennifer Zielinski 74,440 21.68
n/a Write-ins 1,215 0.35
Total votes 343,358 100.0
DFL hold
Committee assignments
116th Congress (2019–21)[52][53][54]
Party leadership and caucus memberships

Congressional committee assignments

Caucuses

Political positions

Omar speaking at worker protest against Amazon, December 2018

Education

Omar supports broader access to student loan forgiveness programs as well as free tuition for college students whose family income is below $125,000.[57] Omar supports Bernie Sanders‘s plan to eliminate all $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt, funded by an 0.5% tax on stock transactions and an 0.1% tax on bond transactions.[58] She will introduce a companion bill in the House of Representatives.[59] In June 2019 Omar and Senator Tina Smith(D-MN) introduced the bill No Shame at School to end marking of and punishments for students with school meal debts.[60]

Health care

She supports Medicare for All as proposed in the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.[12][61]

Immigration

Omar has said she is in favor of the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.[62] She supports prosecuting federal officials who have been accused of physical and sexual assault of people in their detention.[63] She supports the protection of sanctuary cities and a path to permanent status for DREAMers and their families.[62] She opposes efforts to seal the border, calling Donald Trump‘s border wall plan “racist and sinful.”[64] In March 2019 Politico reported that Omar criticized Barack Obama‘s “caging of kids” along the Mexican border.[65][66] Omar accused Politico of distorting her comments and said that she had been “saying how [President] Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics,” adding, “One is human, the other is really not.”[67]

In June 2019 Omar was one of four Democratic representatives to vote against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, a $4.5 billion border funding bill that required Customs and Border Protection to enact health standards for individuals in custody such as standards for “medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training.” “Throwing more money at the very organizations committing human rights abuses—and the very Administration directing these human rights abuses—is not a solution. This is a humanitarian crisis … inflicted by our own leadership,” she said.[68][69]

Military policy

Omar has been critical of U.S. foreign policy, and has called for reduced funding for “perpetual war and military aggression,”[70] saying, “knowing my tax dollars pay for bombs killing children in Yemen makes my heart break,” with “everyone in Washington saying we don’t have enough money in the budget for universal health care, we don’t have enough money in the budget to guarantee college education for everyone.”[70] She has also said, “By principle, I’m anti-war because I survived a war. I’m also anti-intervention. I don’t think it ever makes sense for any country to intervene in a war zone with the fallacy of saving lives when we know they are going to cause more deaths. I also don’t believe in forced regime change. Change needs to come from within.”[71] Omar has criticized the U.S. government’s drone assassination program, citing the Obama administration’s policy of “droning of countries around the world.”[65][66] She has said, “we don’t need nearly 800 military bases outside the United States to keep our country safe.”[72]

In 2019 Omar signed a letter led by Representative Ro Khanna and Senator Rand Paul to President Trump asserting that it is “long past time to rein in the use of force that goes beyond congressional authorization” and that they hoped this would “serve as a model for ending hostilities in the future—in particular, as you and your administration seek a political solution to our involvement in Afghanistan.”[73][74]

Human rights

Omar has criticized Saudi Arabia‘s human rights abuses and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[75][76] In October 2018 she tweeted: “The Saudi government might have been strategic at covering up the daily atrocities carried out against minorities, women, activists and even the #YemenGenocide, but the murder of #JamalKhashoggi should be the last evil act they are allowed to commit.”[76] She also called for a boycott of Saudi Arabia’s regime, tweeting: “#BDSSaudi.”[77] The Saudi Arabian government responded by having dozens of anonymous Twitter troll accounts it controlled post tweets critical of Omar.[75]

Omar condemned China‘s treatment of its Muslim ethnic Uyghur people.[78] In a Washington Post op-ed, Omar wrote, “Our criticisms of oppression and regional instability caused by Iran are not legitimate if we do not hold Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to the same standards. And we cannot continue to turn a blind eye to repression in Saudi Arabia—a country that is consistently ranked among the worst of the worst human rights offenders.”[72] She also condemned the Assad regime in Syria.[79]

Omar condemned the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, tweeting, “No person, of any faith, should be fearful in their house of worship.”[80]

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Criticism of the Israeli government

While she was in the Minnesota legislature, Omar was critical of the Israeli government and opposed a law intended to restrict the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.[81] She compared the movement to people who “engage[d] in boycotts” of apartheid in South Africa.[77] During her House campaign she said she did not support the BDS movement, describing it as counterproductive to peace.[82][83] After the election her position changed, as her campaign office told Muslim Girl that she supports the BDS movement despite “reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.”[84][85][82] Omar has voiced support for a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[77][72] She criticized Israel’s settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.[86]

In 2018 Omar came under criticism for statements she made about Israel before she was in the Minnesota legislature.[81][83] In a 2012 tweet she wrote, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”[81][87] The comment, particularly the notion that Israel had “hypnotized the world,” was criticized as drawing on anti-Semitic tropes.[81] The New York Times columnist Bari Weiss wrote that Omar’s statement tied into a millennia-old “conspiracy theory of the Jew as the hypnotic conspirator.”[88] When asked in an interview how she would respond to American Jews who found the remark offensive, Omar replied, “I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans. My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza War and I’m clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war.”[87] After reading Weiss’s commentary, Omar apologized for not “disavowing the anti-Semitic trope I unknowingly used.”[89]

Remarks on AIPAC and American support for Israel

In an exchange with the journalist Glenn Greenwald in February 2019, Omar tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in reference to American politicians’ support for Israel and invoked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). A number of Democratic leaders—including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn—condemned the tweet, which was interpreted as implying that money was fueling American politicians’ support of Israel.[90] The Democratic House leadership released a statement accusing Omar of “engaging in ‘deeply offensive’ anti-Semitic tropes.”[91] The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) also denounced her statements.[92] Omar issued an apology the next day, saying, “I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” and adding, “I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry.”[91]

On February 27, 2019, Omar spoke at a bookstore and said of her critics: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” The statements were quickly criticized as allegedly drawing on anti-Semitic tropes of dual loyalty. House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel said it was “deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens” and asked Omar to retract her statement.[93] House Appropriations Committee chairwoman Nita Lowey also called for an apology and criticized the statements in a March 3 tweet, which led to an online exchange between the two. In response, Omar reaffirmed her remarks, insisting that she “should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”[94][95] Omar said she was simply criticizing Israel, drawing a distinction between criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu and being anti-Semitic.[96][97] Omar’s spokesman, Jeremy Slevin, said Omar was speaking out about “the undue influence of lobbying groups for foreign interests.”[98]

Reaction among Democratic presidential candidates was mixed. Senators Elizabeth WarrenKamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders defended Omar.[99] Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio regarded her statements as disturbing.[100][101] According to The Guardian, election records archived by OpenSecrets “suggest a correlation between pro-Israel lobby campaign contributions and Democratic presidential candidates’ position on the controversy.”[102] Some members of the Black Caucus believed Omar was unfairly targeted because she is a black Muslim, noting that “the Democratic leadership did not draft a resolution condemning Donald Trump or other white male Republicans over their antisemitic remarks.”[102] The second round of remarks prompted the Democratic leadership to introduce a resolution condemning antisemitism but without naming Omar. Following objections from a number of congressional progressive Democrats, the resolution was amended to include Islamophobia, racism, and homophobia,[103] and on March 7 the House passed the amended resolution. Omar called the resolution “historic on many fronts,” and said, “We are tremendously proud to be part of a body that has put forth a condemnation of all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white supremacy.”[104] Some Minnesota Jewish and Muslim community leaders subsequently expressed continued concern over Omar’s rhetoric and language and indicated that the issue remained divisive with Omar’s district.[105]

On May 20, 2019, protesters gathered in Times Square in New York City to call for Omar’s removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other politician who presents a bigger threat to the alliance between the US and Israel and to America’s Jews,” “Ilhan Must Go” founder and rally organizer Joe Diamond told The Jerusalem Post ahead of the protest.[106] Across the street, a smaller group of counter-protesters organized by progressive Jewish organization IfNotNow supported Omar; “I’m just sick and tired of seeing this one part of the Jewish community try to silence those who criticize Israel,” one said.[107]

LGBT rights

Omar was endorsed in 2018 by the Human Rights Campaign, a major LGBT civil rights advocacy group. In response to the endorsement, Omar stated, “I will fight for LGBTQIA+ rights in Washington D.C.”[108]

In March 2019 Omar addressed a rally in support of a Minnesota bill that would ban gay conversion therapy in the state. She co-sponsored a similar bill when she was a member of the Minnesota House.[109] In May 2019 Omar introduced legislation that would sanction Brunei over a recently introduced law that would make homosexual sex and adultery punishable by death.[110]

Minimum wage

Omar supports a $15 hourly minimum wage.[111][12]

Venezuela crisis

In January 2019, amid the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, Omar joined Democrats Ro Khanna and Tulsi Gabbard in denouncing the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Juan Guaidó, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, as Venezuela’s interim president.[112] She described Trump’s action as a “U.S. backed coup” to “install a far right opposition”. Omar added that the U.S. should not “hand pick” foreign leaders[113] and should support “Mexico, Uruguay & the Vatican’s efforts to facilitate a peaceful dialogue.”[112]

In February 2019 Omar questioned whether Elliott Abrams, whom Trump appointed as Special Representative for Venezuela in January 2019, was the correct choice given his past support of right-wing authoritarian regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, his initial doubts about the number of reported deaths in the El Mozote massacre in 1982, and his two 1991 misdemeanor convictions for withholding information from Congress about the Iran–Contra affair, for which he was later pardoned by George H. W. Bush.[114][115]

In May 2019, Omar said in an interview on Democracy Now! that U.S. foreign policy and economic sanctions are aimed at regime change and have contributed to the “devastation in Venezuela.”[116]

Threats, conspiracy theories and harassment

Assassination plot

In February 2019 the FBI arrested United States Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hasson, who was allegedly plotting to assassinate various journalists and left-of-center political figures in the United States, including Omar. According to prosecutors, Hasson is a self-described “long time White Nationalist” and former skinhead who wanted to use violence to “establish a white homeland.” Prosecutors also alleged that Hasson was in contact with an American neo-Nazi leader, stockpiled weapons, and compiled a hit list. Prosecutors allege that Hasson’s plans to commit domestic terrorism were inspired by Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik‘s 2011 domestic terrorist attacks.[117][118][119]

False connection to 9/11

On March 1, 2019, the West Virginia Republican Party held “WV GOP Day,” an event to celebrate the Republican Party, at the West Virginia Capitol. An exhibitor, not associated with the GOP, displayed a poster at the event falsely connecting Omar to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, along with Islamophobic flyers. State delegate Mike Pushkin, in attendance at the event, said that no Republican delegates condemned the poster. The poster was condemned the following day by the WV GOP party, which said, “The West Virginia Republican Party does not approve, condone, or support hate speech.” Omar pointed to the poster as an example of why she is targeted with violence, also citing white nationalist domestic terrorist Christopher Hasson placing her on his hit list and “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” being written in a Minnesota gas station.[120][121][122][123][124][120]

Jeanine Pirro’s hijab comments

On March 9, 2019, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro made what were widely condemned as prejudiced[125] and Islamophobic comments on her show when she questioned Omar’s loyalty to the United States because she wears a hijab.[126][127][128] Fox also condemned the remarks and Pirro’s show was not aired the following week.[127][129][130]

Death threats

On or before February 22, 2019, “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” was graffitied in a Rogers, Minnesota Holiday gas station restroom, prompting an FBI investigation.[131]

On April 7, 2019, Patrick Carlineo Jr., an ardent supporter of President Trump, was arrested for threatening to assault and violently murder Omar. The threats were made in a phone call to Omar’s office.[132][133] In May 2019 Carlineo was released from custody and placed on house arrest.[134]

9/11 comments and World Trade Center cover

On April 11, 2019, the front page of The New York Post carried an image of the World Trade Center burning following the September 11 terrorist attacks and a quotation from a speech Omar gave the previous month. The headline read, “REP. ILHAN OMAR: 9/11 WAS ‘SOME PEOPLE DID SOMETHING'”, and a caption underneath added, “Here’s your something … 2,977 people dead by terrorism.”[135] The Post was quoting a speech Omar had given at a recent Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) meeting. In the speech Omar said, “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us [Muslims in the U.S.] were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”[136][137][138][139] (In fact CAIR was founded in 1994, but many new members joined after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.)[139][140]

On April 12, President Donald Trump retweeted an altered video that selectively edited Omar’s remarks to remove context, showing her saying, “Some people did something.”[141][142][143] Her remarks were first criticized by fellow representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas.[144] Some Democratic representatives condemned Trump’s retweet, predicting that it would incite violence and hatred. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Trump to “take down his disrespectful and dangerous video” and asked the U.S. Capitol Police to increase its protection of Omar.[145][140]

On April 30, 100 black women activists held a demonstration in support of Omar in Washington in response to Trump’s comments, urging Democratic leaders to formally censure the president.[146] Speaking at the event, Omar blamed Trump and his allies for inciting Americans against both Jews and Muslims.[147]

Awards and honors

In 2014 Omar was named a rising star in the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party’s Women’s Hall of Fame.[148]

She received the 2015 Community Leadership Award from Mshale, an African immigrant media outlet based in Minneapolis. The prize is awarded annually on a readership basis.[149]

In 2017 Time magazine named Omar among its “Firsts: Women who are changing the world,” a special report on 46 women who broke barriers in their respective disciplines, and featured her on the cover of its September 18 issue.[150] Her family was named one of the “five families who are changing the world as we know it” by Vogue in their February 2018 issue featuring photographs by Annie Leibovitz.[151]

Media appearances

In 2018 Omar was featured in the video for Maroon 5‘s “Girls Like You.”[152]

The 2018 documentary film Time for Ilhan, directed by Norah Shapiro, chronicles Omar’s political campaign.[153] It was selected to show at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Personal life

Omar is Muslim and belongs to the Majeerteen clan from Northeastern Somalia.

In 2002 she became engaged to Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi (né Aden). The couple applied for a marriage license, but the application was not finalized. They did, however, have a faith-based marriage.[1] The couple had two children together before separating in 2008. The next year Omar married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a British citizen.[1] In 2011 she and Elmi had a faith-based divorce,[154] and that year she reconciled with Hirsi, with whom she had a third child in 2012. In 2017 Elmi and Omar were legally divorced,[36] and in 2018 Omar and Hirsi were legally married.[20] They and their three children live in Minneapolis.[23] Her daughter, Isra Hirsi, is one of the three principal organizers of the school strike for climate.[155]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilhan_Omar

Story 2: Democrat Controlled House of Representatives Condemns Trump’s Tweets As Racist — Human Racist?  — 240 (Democrats Plus 4 Republicans) vs. 187(Republicans) — Love America or Leave America — Videos —

WATCH: Pelosi calls Trump’s tweets about congresswomen ‘racist’ in House speech

US house condemns Trump over racist comments

House’s condemnation of Trump may just be the beginning

Now the debate is over push by some Democrats for impeachment

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and senior aide Wendell Primus leave the House floor on Tuesday as turmoil gripped the chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Although Tuesday’s long day of heated debate ended with the House voting to condemn President Donald Trump for racist tweets, the chamber’s brawl over the president’s behavior may be just beginning.

The House voted, 240-187, to approve a nonbinding resolution that says the chamber “strongly condemns” Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

[‘I abandon the chair’: House floor in chaos over Pelosi speech on Trump tweets]

The House’s majority Democratic leadership went forward with the resolution after Trump’s comments from Sunday, when he tweeted that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” (Only Omar, a refugee from Somalia, was born outside the United States.) 

“I am a proud naturalized citizen born in India, a proud patriot, a proud person who belongs in this country. And it’s not the first time I’ve heard, ‘Go back to your own country.’ But it is the first time I have heard it coming from the White House,” Washington Democrat Pramila Jayapal said shortly before the vote on the resolution.

The hours before the vote, though, were tumultuous.

During the debate, with Cleaver presiding, Jayapal made a request that comments from Wisconsin Republican Sean P. Duffy calling some fellow members of Congress “un-American” be taken down.

Cleaver ruled that her request was out of order. And then Pelosi came to the well to deliver remarks.

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“Every member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us to condemn the president’s racist tweets,” the California Democrat said.

[With racist tweets and comments, Trump signals bare-knuckle reelection fight]

Georgia Republican Doug Collins interjected unsuccessfully, but once Pelosi was finished speaking, he made the Californian an offer.

“I was just going to give the gentle speaker of the House, if she would like to rephrase that comment?” he asked.

Pelosi responded that she cleared her remarks with the parliamentarian before she read them on the floor.

Collins then took the procedural step to “take down” the comments by Pelosi, saying they violated rules of decorum for the House, which forbid accusing the president of racism.

That led to a lengthy standoff on the floor and widespread confusion as to what was going on.

Stalemate on the floor

Finally, after a staffer could be heard saying to Cleaver that it was time to make his ruling and read a prepared statement, the onetime minister instead said he would make a statement of his own, casting aside the printed remarks handed to him.

“I came in here to try to do this in a fair way. I kept warning both sides let’s not do this, hoping we could get through,” the Missouri Democrat said.

“We don’t ever, ever, want to pass up an opportunity, it seems, to escalate. And that’s what this is,” Cleaver said. “I dare anybody to look at any of the footage and see if there was any unfairness, but unfairness is not enough, because we want to just fight.”

Adding a bit of dramatic flair, Cleaver dropped the gavel and declared simply, “I abandon the chair.” Then he walked off the rostrum.

“I’ve not seen it before,” said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer before taking the gavel himself to resume proceedings at Pelosi’s request.

The Maryland Democrat announced the parliamentarian’s ruling against the speaker that “the words should not be used in debate,” according to a precedent from May 15, 1984.

Collins then moved to strike Pelosi’s words from the record, leading to a series of votes on the matter before finally getting to the resolution itself. In the end, four Republicans — Susan W. Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan — and independent Justin Amash of Michigan voted with all 235 Democrats in favor of the resolution.

Far enough?

For all the drama over condemnation, at least a few dozen Democrats think that censuring or impeaching the president would be a more appropriate response to what they describe as a pattern of racist and xenophobic rhetoric.

“This sends a very, very clear message,” New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. said of the condemnation resolution. “But a censure … is more forceful.”

Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen on Monday introduced a resolution to censure Trump with nine co-sponsors, including the four progressive Democrats who were the targets of the president’s attacks. He said seven or eight other Democrats told him Tuesday they want to sign on to the resolution, but it’s been hard to rally support for it because Pelosi is opposed.

Some Democrats want to go even further and impeach the president or at least open an impeachment inquiry. Omar and Tlaib both reiterated their calls for impeachment during a press conference Monday evening.

Texas Rep. Al Green told reporters on Wednesday morning a vote on articles of impeachment he introduced would come in the afternoon. Several other members, however, said they expected leadership to move to refer the measure to the Judiciary Committee or to table it, standard procedure to dispense with such measures.

On Tuesday, Green did just that, right after the vote on the condemnation resolution, reading his privileged articles of impeachment on the floor. The move, called giving notice, triggers a two-day clock in which leadership must consider or dispense with the resolution by tabling it or referring it to the Judiciary Committee.

“It just seems to me that these things are in tandem with each other,” Green said. “I believe that condemnation is appropriate. But I also believe that it won’t be enough to deter or to put guardrails up for this president, who seems to have little respect for the courts, little respect for committees that are performing proper oversight. At some point, we have to develop the wherewithal to say to this president, enough is enough. I think this is an enough is enough resolution.”

Twice in the last Congress, Green brought privileged articles of impeachment to the floor, but Republican leaders — then in the majority— successfully moved to table them.

Green had long decided that he would force a third vote on impeaching Trump sometime this year, but it was the president’s Sunday tweet telling members of color to go back to their countries that pushed him to bring it up now.

“I’m 71. And I remember the ‘go back to Africa language’ that was commonplace in this country,” he said. “I’m a son of the segregated South. I had to go to back doors, drink out of colored water fountains, sit in the back of the movie, back of the bus. And that was all a part of it.”

“When I hark back and I hear that language, I remember all of these things. This was not a good time in the history of the country for persons of African ancestry,” he continued. “So I, at that point, I really felt that it was necessary to send to this president the message that there are some of us who believe that you are so unfit that you should be removed from office. And he is unfit, because he’s tried to infuse his bigotry into policy.”

Green offered the articles of impeachment a week before former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is scheduled to testify before two House panels — a point that several members have said they wanted to get to before deciding whether it was appropriate to open an impeachment inquiry.

“The Mueller testimony will have no impact on this, and this will have no impact on the Mueller testimony,” Green said. “They’re totally separate issues. … They’re both about impeachment, but they’re for different reasons.”

Green said the articles of impeachment focus more on Trump’s “bigotry” than obstruction of justice, even though he thinks Trump is guilty of that.

Democratic leaders have yet to decide how to handle Green’s resolution, Hoyer told CQ Roll Call Tuesday evening after he left the floor after listening to Green introduce his measure.

Earlier in the day, Hoyer told reporters he would not try to talk Green out of offering it.

“He has to do what he thinks is right,” the majority leader said.

And with Trump unlikely to temper his language any time soon, the debate about what to do about that will continue, regardless of votes to condemn his language or how Democratic leaders eventually deal with actions by members like Green.

https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/long-day-partisan-warfare-house-just-beginning

 

 

Story 3: ANTIFA (Anti-facist) 69-Year Old Man With Rifle Who Threw Incendiary Device at Northwest Detention Center Shot Dead By Tacoma Police — Videos

Tucker: Antifa has the support of the ‘respectable’ left

Man shot and killed after attacking ICE facility

AOC, Ilhan Omar repeatedly REFUSE to condemn Antifa attack on ICE! | Keean Bexte

Man throwing ‘incendiary devices’ fatally shot by police at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma

ANTIFA DOMESTIC TERRORIST ATTACK!

Far Left Publishes Praise Of Antifa Terrorist Who Attacked ICE, Possible Motivations Revealed

Man shot and killed in police confrontation outside Tacoma ICE detention facility

Anarchist Who Firebombed A Detention Center is Being Called a Hero

The Firebomber’s Manifesto: Inside the Mind of Willem Van Spronsen

Antifa lauds ‘martyr’ who attacked ICE detention center as manifesto circulates

– The Washington Times – Monday, July 15, 2019

The rifle-wielding attacker who tried to burn an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Washington over the weekend wrote a self-justifying manifesto repeating many standard Democratic talking points about the border crisis and other issues.

In a three-page document posted on Seattle TV station KIRO’s website, Willem Van Spronsen cited popular left-wing historian Howard Zinn, said that “i am antifa,” criticized the Electoral College and accused the U.S. of running “concentration camps” on the border.

Willem Van Spronsen, 69, declares early on in his manifesto that “evil says concentration camps for folks deemed lesser are necessary. the handmaid of evil says the concentration camps should be more humane,” using a term usually reserved for Nazi Germany’s death camps, but introduced in the border-security debate last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

He also mocked people criticizing Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for intellectual sloppiness, referring to “these days of highly profitable detention/concentration camps and a battle over the semantics.”

Van Spronsen, armed with an AR-15 assault weapon that his manifesto encouraged others to acquire to bring about a revolution, attacked the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma around 4 a.m. Saturday. He threw “incendiary devices” and set vehicles before officers shot him to death as he was trying to ignite a propane tank.

In his manifesto, he called the detention facility “an abomination” and that he was “not standing by” as it operated.

“i really shouldn’t have to say any more than this. i set aside my broken heart and i heal the only way i know how- by being useful. i efficiently compartmentalize my pain… and i joyfully go about this work,” he wrote.

He indicated that he intended the attack as a suicide mission, writing that “i regret that i will miss the rest of the revolution. thank you for the honor of having me in your midst. giving me space to be useful.”

Antifa activists declared him useful, too.

Seattle Antifascist Action called him “our good friend and comrade Willem Van Spronsen” and said he “became a martyr who gave his life to the struggle against fascism.”

The group went on to call for more such attacks in memory of Van Spronsen.

We cannot let his death go unanswered … May his death serve as a call to protest and direct action,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was asked Monday by the Daily Wire whether she would denounce antifa and whether she was to any degree responsible for the attack, since Van Spronsen repeatedly used her “concentration camp” language.

She ignored the reporter.

Rifle-toting man who threw incendiary devices at a Washington state immigration jail killed after four police officers opened fire at him

  • A man with a rifle threw incendiary devices at a Washington immigration jail 
  • The incident took place at 4am, six hours after a peaceful rally was held there 
  • Four police officers responded, warned the man and opened fire at him
  • The man was later found dead at the scene after having been shot
  • The officers were not wearing body cameras, but there is surveillance footage
  • It’s unclear what the man’s motives were for attacking the immigration center 

Antifa (United States)

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An antifa sticker

The antifa (/ænˈtfəˈæntiˌfɑː/)[1] movement is a conglomeration of left-wing autonomous, militant anti-fascist[7] groups in the United States.[11] The principal feature of antifa groups is their use of direct action,[12] with conflicts occurring both online and in real life.[13] They engage in varied protest tactics, which include digital activism, property damage, physical violence, and harassment against those whom they identify as fascist, racist, or on the far-right.[18]

Activists involved in the movement tend to be anti-capitalists[19] and subscribe to a range of ideologies, typically on the left. They include anarchistssocialists and communists along with some liberals and social democrats.[25] Their stated focus is on fighting far-right and white supremacist ideologies directly, rather than through electoral means.[12]

Contents

History

Logo of Antifaschistische Aktion, the militant anti-fascist network in 1930s Germany that inspired the Antifa movement
The logo as it appears on a flag held by an antifa member in Cologne, Germany in 2008

When Italian dictator Benito Mussolini consolidated power under his National Fascist Party in the mid-1920s, an oppositional anti-fascist movement surfaced both in Italy and countries such as the United States. Many anti-fascist leaders in the United States were syndicalist, anarchist, and socialist émigrés from Italy with experience in labor organizing and militancy.[26]

Although there is no organizational connection, the lineage of antifa in America can be traced to Weimar Germany,[27] where the first group described as “antifa” was Antifaschistische Aktion, formed in 1932 with the involvement of the Communist Party of Germany.[28]

After World War II, but prior to the development of the modern antifa movement, violent confrontations with fascist elements continued sporadically.[29]

Modern antifa politics can be traced to opposition to the infiltration of Britain’s punk scene by white power skinheads in the 1970s and 1980s, and the emergence of neo-Nazism in Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall.[24] In Germany, young leftists, including anarchists and punk fans, renewed the practice of street-level anti-fascism.[24] Columnist Peter Beinart writes that “in the late ’80s, left-wing punk fans in the United States began following suit, though they initially called their groups Anti-Racist Action (ARA) on the theory that Americans would be more familiar with fighting racism than they would be with fighting fascism.”[24]

Dartmouth College historian Mark Bray, author of Antifa:The Anti-Fascist Handbook, credits ARA as the precursor of the modern US antifa groups in the United States and Canada.[30] In the late 1980s and 1990s, ARA activists toured with popular punk rock and skinhead bands in order to prevent Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other assorted white supremacists from recruiting.[24][31][32] Their motto was “We go where they go” by which they meant that they would confront far-right activists in concerts and actively remove their materials from public places.[33] In 2002, the ARA disrupted a speech in Pennsylvania by Matthew F. Hale, the head of the white supremacist group World Church of the Creator, resulting in a fight and twenty-five arrests.[24] One of the earliest Antifa groups in the U.S. was Rose City Antifa, which was formed in Portland, Oregon in 2007.[34]

Other antifa groups in the U.S. have other genealogies, for example in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a group called the Baldies was formed in 1987 with the intent to fight neo-Nazi groups directly.[19]

Terminology

Although various antifascist movements have existed in the United States since the beginning of fascism, the word antifa, adopted from German usage,[27][35][36] only came into prominence as an umbrella term in English in 2017.[37][38]The ADL makes a point that the label “antifa” should be limited to “those who proactively seek physical confrontations with their perceived fascist adversaries,” and not be misapplied to include all counter-protesters.[13]

Ideology and activities

Antifa is not an interconnected or unified organization, but rather a movement without a leadership structure, comprising multiple autonomous groups and individuals.[13][21][33] Since it is composed of autonomous groups, and thus has no formal organization or membership,[24][39] it is impossible to know how many groups are active. Activists typically organize protests via social media and through websites and email lists.[24][39] Some activists have built peer-to-peer networks, or use encrypted-texting services like Signal.[40] According to Salon, it is an organizing strategy, not a group of people.[41] While its numbers cannot be estimated accurately, the movement has grown since the 2016 presidential election and approximately 200 groups currently exist in the US, of varying sizes and levels of engagement.[27] The activists involved subscribe to a range of ideologies, typically on the left and they include anarchists, socialists and communists along with some liberals and social democrats.[20][22]

According to Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the California State University, San Bernardino, antifa activists participate in violent actions because “they believe that elites are controlling the government and the media. So they need to make a statement head-on against the people who they regard as racist”.[8] According to Mark Bray, the adherents “reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville”.[21]

The idea of direct action is central to the antifa movement. Antifa organizer Scott Crow told an interviewer:

“The idea in Antifa is that we go where they [right-wingers] go. That hate speech is not free speech. That if you are endangering people with what you say and the actions that are behind them, then you do not have the right to do that. And so we go to cause conflict, to shut them down where they are, because we don’t believe that Nazis or fascists of any stripe should have a mouthpiece.”[8]

A manual posted on It’s Going Down, an anarchist website, warns against accepting “people who just want to fight”. It furthermore notes that “physically confronting and defending against fascists is a necessary part of anti-fascist work, but is not the only or even necessarily the most important part”.[42]

Rose City Antifa activists with modified anarchist red and black flagand transgender pride flag in a protest against Patriot Prayer in 2017

According to Beinart, antifa activists “try to publicly identify white supremacists and get them fired from their jobs and evicted from their apartments”, in addition to “disrupt(ing) [sic] white-supremacist rallies, including by force”.[43]According to a Washington Post book review, antifa tactics include “no platforming“, i.e. denying their targets platforms from which to speak; obstructing their events and defacing their propaganda; and when antifa activists deem it necessary, deploying violence to deter them.[22] According to National Public Radio, “people who speak for the Antifa movement acknowledge they sometimes carry clubs and sticks” and their “approach is confrontational”.[44] CNNdescribes antifa as “known for causing damage to property during protests”.[8] Scott Crow, described by CNN as “a longtime Antifa organizer”, argues that destroying property is not a form of violence.[8] The groups have been associated with physical violence in public against police[45] and against people whose political views its activists deem repugnant.[46] Antifa activists used clubs and dyed liquids against the white supremacists in Charlottesville[47]and caused property damage.[8] In one incident, an apparent antifa supporter punched white supremacist Richard Spencer in the face as he was giving an impromptu street interview,[48][49] and on another occasion, some threw Molotov cocktails in Berkeley, California.[8]

Apart from the other activities, antifa activists engage in mutual aid, such as disaster response in the case of Hurricane Harvey.[50][51][52] According to Natasha Lennard in The Nation, as of January 2017 antifa groups were working with interfaith groups and churches “to create a New Sanctuary Movement, continuing and expanding a 40-year-old practice of providing spaces for refugees and immigrants”.[53] Antifa activists also do research to monitor and track the “methods and movements of far-right leaders”, hold conferences and workshops on anti-fascist activism, and advocate ways of “fostering sustainable, peaceful communities”, such as “tending neighborhood gardens and setting up booths at book fairs and film festivals” where they provide printed materials.[54]

In June 2017, the antifa movement was linked to “anarchist extremism” by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.[55] In September 2017 Politico obtained confidential documents and interviews indicating that in April 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. Politicointerviewed law enforcement officials who noted a rise in activity since the beginning of the Trump administration, particularly a rise in recruitment (and on the part of the far right as well) since the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally. One internal assessment acknowledged an inability to penetrate the groups’ “diffuse and decentralized organizational structure”. By 2017, the FBI and DHS reported that they were monitoring suspicious Antifa activity in relation to terrorism.[56] In August 2017 a petition was lodged with the White House petitioning system “We the People” calling upon the government to formally classify “AntiFa” as terrorist. The White House responded in 2018 that federal law does not have a mechanism for formally designating domestic terrorist organizations.[57][58][59] The writer of the petition later said he had created it to “bring our broken right side together,” and to “prop up antifa as a punching bag.”[60]

In June 2018, a Nebraska antifa group published a list of names and photographs of 1,595 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, drawn from LinkedIn profiles.[61]

Antifa activists often use the black bloc tactic, in which people dress all in black and cover their faces, in order to thwart surveillance, and create a sense of equality and solidarity among participants.[62] Antifa activists wear masks to hide their “…identity from protestors on the other side (who might dox people they disagree with) or from police and cameras” and for philosophical reasons, such as the beliefs that “hierarchies are bad and that remaining anonymous helps keep one’s ego in check.”[63]

Notable activism

Antifa groups, along with black bloc activists, were among those who protested the 2016 election of Donald Trump.[24][53] They also participated in the February 2017 Berkeley protests against alt-right[64][65][66] speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, where they gained mainstream attention,[39] with media reporting them “throwing Molotov cocktails and smashing windows”[8] and causing $100,000 worth of damage.[67]

In April 2017, two groups described as “anti-fascist/anarchist”, including the socialist/environmentalist Direct Action Alliance, threatened to disrupt the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade after hearing the Multnomah County Republican Party would participate. The parade organizers also received an anonymous email, saying: “You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely”. The two groups denied having anything to do with the email. The parade was ultimately canceled by the organizers due to safety concerns.[68][69]

On June 15, 2017, some antifa groups joined protestors at Evergreen State College to oppose the far-right group Patriot Prayer‘s event. Patriot Prayer was supporting biology professor Bret Weinstein who became the central figure in a controversy after he criticized changes to one of the college’s events. In addition to peaceful antifa activists who held up a “community love” sign, USA Today reported that one slashed the tires of far-right activist Joey Gibson and another was wrestled to the ground by Patriot Prayer activists after being seen with a knife.[70]

Antifa counter-protesters at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 “certainly used clubs and dyed liquids against the white supremacists”.[47] Journalist Adele Stan interviewed an antifa protester at the rally who said the sticks carried by the protesters are a justifiable countermeasure to the fact that “the right has a goon squad”.[71] Some antifa participants at the Charlottesville rally chanted that counter-protesters should “punch a Nazi in the mouth”.[44] Antifa participants also protected Cornel West and various clergy from attack by white supremacists, with West stating he felt that antifa had “saved his life”.[72][73] Antifa activists also defended the First United Methodist Church, where the Charlottesville Clergy Collective provided refreshments, music and training to the counter-protesters and, according to a local rabbi, “chased [the white supremacists] off with sticks”.[72][74]

Antifa protesters during a Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona, August 22, 2017

Groups that had been preparing to protest the Boston Free Speech Rally saw their plans become viral following the violence in Charlottesville. The event drew a largely peaceful crowd of 40,000 counter-protestors. In The AtlanticMcKay Coppins stated that the 33 people arrested for violent incidents were “mostly egged on by the minority of ‘Antifa’ agitators in the crowd”.[75] President Trump described the protestors outside his August 2017 rally in Phoenix, Arizona as “Antifa”.[76]

During a Berkeley protest on August 27, 2017, an estimated one hundred antifa protesters joined a crowd of 2,000–4,000 counter-protesters to confront alt-right demonstrators and Trump supporters who showed up for a “Say No to Marxism” rally that had been cancelled by organizers due to security concerns.[67][77] Protestors threatened to smash the cameras of anyone who filmed them.[78] Jesse Arreguin, the mayor of Berkeley, suggested classifying the city’s antifa as a gang.[79] The far-right group Patriot Prayer cancelled an event in San Francisco the same day following counter protests. Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, blamed antifa, along with By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), for breaking up the event.[80]

In November 2018, police investigated the antifa group Smash Racism D.C. following a protest outside the home of The Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson.[81] Activists of the group said through a bullhorn that Carlson was promoting hate and chanted, “We will fight, we know where you sleep at night!” and defaced the driveway of Carlsons’ property by spray-painting an anarchist symbol onto it[82] Twitter suspended the group’s account for violation of Twitter rules by posting Carlson’s home addresses. The group also posted addresses of Carlson’s brother and a friend who co-founded The Daily Caller.[83][84][85][86][87][88]

In February 2019, anti-fascist activists marched in celebration through Stone Mountain, Georgia as a white supremacist, neo-confederate rally planned to be held at the adjacent Stone Mountain Park was cancelled due to infighting and fear of personal safety. White supremacist groups originally sought to attract attention by marching at the Stone Mountain, a Confederate landmark carving, during the Super Bowl weekend. The groups ignored the park’s denial of permit due to “clear and present danger to the public health or safety”, but was thwarted when Facebook and Twitter terminated their organizing accounts and pages, and one group leader’s retreat due to “fears of violence from counter-protesters”. In their absence, more than 100 antifa activists marched peacefully through the adjacent village, burned a Klansman effigy and chanted slogans such as “Good night, alt right” and “Death to the Klan”, before joining another civil rights rally at Piedmont Park held by the NAACP and the SPLC.[89][90][91]

Response

Antifa actions have been subject to criticism from Republicans, Democrats and political commentators in the U.S. media.[92][93][94] House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi condemned the violence of antifa activists in Berkeley on August 29, 2017.[95] Conservative talk show host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham suggested labeling antifa as a terrorist organization.[96] Noam Chomsky described them as “a major gift to the right”.[97] Other “anti-anti-fascists” on the left have argued that antifa attack a symptom of liberal democracyrather than combating structural racism itself, and in doing so distance themselves from revolutionary politics.[98] Dissent editor Michael Kazin stated “Non-leftists often see the left as a disruptive, lawless force. Violence tends to confirm that view.”[99] The historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat said in July 2019 that “Throwing a milkshake is not equivalent to killing someone, but because the people in power are allied with the right, any provocation, any dissent against right-wing violence, backfires”, with the effect that “[m]ilitancy on the left” can “become a justification for those in power and allies on the right to crack down” on the left.[34]

On the other hand, historian and political organizer Mark Bray has said “Given the historical and current threat that white supremacist and fascist groups pose, it’s clear to me that organized, collective self-defense is not only a legitimate response, but lamentably an all-too-necessary response to this threat on too many occasions.”[100] Alexander Reid Ross, a lecturer in geography and an author on the contemporary right, has said that antifa groups represented “one of the best models for channeling the popular reflexes and spontaneous movements towards confronting fascism in organized and focused ways.”[101] Eleanor Penny, an author on fascism and the far-right, argues against Chomsky that “physical resistance has time and again protected local populations from racist violence, and prevented a gathering caucus of fascists from making further inroads into mainstream politics.”[97] Cornel West, who attended a counter-protest to the Unite the Right rally, said in an interview, “we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the anti-fascists,” describing a situation where a group of 20 counter-protesters were surrounded by marchers who he described as, “neofascists.”[102]

The Anti-Defamation League stated that “All forms of antifa violence are problematic. Images of these ‘free speech’ protesters being beaten by black-clad and bandana-masked antifa provide right wing extremists with a powerful propaganda tool” but goes on to state “that said, it is important to reject attempts to claim equivalence between the antifa and the white supremacist groups they oppose.” They also mention that “most established civil rights organizations criticize antifa tactics as dangerous and counterproductive.”[13]

Hoaxes

There have been multiple efforts to discredit antifa groups via hoaxes on social media, many of them false flag attacks originating from members of the alt-right and 4chan posing as members of antifa groups on Twitter. Some of these hoaxes have been picked up and reported as fact by right-leaning media.[103]

These include an August 2017 “#PunchWhiteWomen” photo hoax campaign spread by fake antifa twitter accounts.[104] In one such instance, Bellingcat researcher Eliot Higgins discovered an image of British actress Anna Friel portraying a battered woman in a 2007 Women’s Aid anti-domestic violence campaign that had been re-purposed using fake antifa Twitter accounts organized by way of 4chan. The image is captioned “53% of white women voted for Trump, 53% of white women should look like this” and includes an antifa flag. Another image featuring an injured woman is captioned “She chose to be a Nazi. Choices have consequences” and includes the hashtag #PunchANazi. Higgins remarked to the BBC that “[t]his was a transparent and quite pathetic attempt, but I wouldn’t be surprised if white nationalist groups try to mount more sophisticated attacks in the future”.[105] A similar fake image circulated on social media after the Unite the Right rally; the doctored image, actually from a 2009 riot in Athens, was altered to make it look like someone wearing an antifa symbol attacking a member of the police with a flag.[106] After the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, similar hoaxes falsely claimed that the shooter was an antifa “member”; another such hoax involved a fake antifa twitter account praising the shooting.[107][108] Another high-profile fake antifa account was banned from Twitter after it posted with a geotag originating in Russia.[109] Such fake antifa accounts have been repeatedly reported on as real by right-leaning media outlets.[103]

Some of the opposition to antifa activism has also been artificial in nature; Nafeesa Syeed of Bloomberg reported that “[t]he most-tweeted link in the Russian-linked network followed by the researchers was a petition to declare Antifa a terrorist group”.[110]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifa_(United_States)

 

Story 4: Establishment Democrats Support Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden — Videos

Biden support slips below 30 percent in new poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden‘s support in the latest Hill-HarrisX poll of Democratic voters has fallen below 30 percent, his lowest mark in the survey so far.

The poll, released on Monday, found that 29 percent of likely Democratic primary voters support Biden as their first choice for president, while 16 percent back Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.).

This marks a 4-point drop for Biden from an identical poll conducted two weeks ago and immediately following the first 2020 Democratic debates. It also represents a 17-point drop from when same poll was first conducted in May, a month after Biden formally launched his campaign bid.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) retained their spots, with Harris getting 11 percent and Warren trailing close behind at 9 percent.

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who ranked as high as third place at one earlier poll, slipped to sixth place, garnering just 1 percent of support.

Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who has been lagging in national polls over the last few months, notched up 2 points to 3 percent.

A large number of respondents, 17 percent, were undecided.

The poll can be viewed as another setback for Biden, whose campaign has been grappling with attacks on his civil rights record in recent weeks.

Harris and Biden went head-to-head last month on the second night of the first Democratic presidential debates, where she confronted him on his past comments about working with segregationists senators and his past opposition to school busing.

The California senator saw a bump in a number of polls — including the Hill’s own Hill-HarrisX survey — following the confrontation.

Yet the poll continues to show Biden with a double digit lead over Sanders, and he has more than twice the support of Harris and more than three times the support of Warren to this point.

The Hill-HarrisX poll surveyed 1,003 voters between July 12 and July 13. The sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn

https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/453142-biden-slips-below-30-percent-among-2020-democrats

Biden: If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It

Repeats Obama pledge about Affordable Care Act

Former Vice President Joe Biden repeated one of his old boss’s most infamous pledges on Monday, saying under his proposal, “if you like your health care plan … you can keep it.”

The 2020 Democratic frontrunner released a health care plan Monday that would seek to build upon the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which included subsidies to lower prices on the exchanges and also allowing for a “public option” his campaign called similar to Medicare.

“I give people the option. If you like your health care plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it,” Biden told an audience at an AARP-sponsored forum. “If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it.”

Some of his 2020 rivals, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) are pushing for some form of a single-payer “Medicare for All” program. Some versions would completely eliminate private health insurance. Biden warned the crowd of that possible outcome if they liked the plans they have and said the transition would be difficult.

With his, Biden said, “you get a choice.”

“You get full coverage, and you can stay with your plan if you like it,” Biden said. “You can stay with your employer-based plan, or you can move on. I think it’s the quickest, most reasonable, rational and best way to get to universal coverage.”

His use of the phrase “you can keep it” created a stir, given how much it hurt President Barack Obama politically.

Obama pledged dozens of times during and after the passage of the Affordable Care Act that Americans who liked their current health care policies would be able to keep them, even punctuating his promise at times with an emphatic “period.” However, millions of cancellation notices went out upon the law’s implementation for not meeting Obamacare standards, leading him to get hit by PolitiFact with the 2013 “Lie of the Year.”

Biden has criticized his rivals for wanting to scrap Obamacare, one of the Obama administration’s main domestic accomplishments.

“Medicare goes away as you know it,” he said of his rivals’ proposals. “But the transition of dropping 300 million people on a new plan is, I think, kind of a little risky at this point.”

Story 3: European Union’s Galileo Global Positioning Statellites Down For Four Days — Videos

See the source image

First Blackouts, now EU GPS satellites down – what the heck is going on?

EU’s GPS satellites have been down for four days in mysterious outage

What is the UK-EU fight over Galileo all about?

Galileo goes live: Europe’s long-delayed satellite navigation service starts service

What is Galileo?

Coffee & a Chat #5 European GPS system is DOWN!

Why The US Military Made GPS Free-To-Use

Europe’s New GPS System Is Already Broken!… Can We Fix It?

How does GPS work?

Europe’s Galileo sat-nav satellites are OFFLINE: EU is forced to rely on American GPS after system suffers a FOUR DAY outage

  • EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system has been down for four days
  • Majority of satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage 
  • Galileo system is an alternative to the US-made GPS system and is free to use
  • European services have been relying on the US alternative since issues started  

The EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system has been knocked offline for four days following a ground-based technical incident.

Most of the satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage since Friday as the official status of all its crafts as currently ‘Not Usable’.

Two of the 26 are said to be ‘testing’ while two others have long been out of service due to unrelated issues.

It is believed the ability to locate and help people in distress situations is unaffected.

Experts are working to restore operations of the multibillion euro programme, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) said.

The system is provided for free and is used by private firms, government agencies, academics and the tech sector.

Scroll down for video

The EU's Galileo satellite navigation system has been down for four days as a result of a technical incident on the ground. The majority of satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage (stock)

The EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system has been down for four days as a result of a technical incident on the ground. The majority of satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage (stock)

Issues have persisted the duration of the weekend and it means satellites cannot currently give locations or times to smartphones or other devices.

The majority of popular handsets in use around Europe are reliant on Galileo – including all iPhones released since 2017.

It is still in its earl stages as a project and is therefore not trusted with vital systems, with crucial services using other means.

It operates independently of the US system as well as not relying on Russia’s GLONASS or China’s Beidou networks.

Galileo began testing in December 2016 as an alternative to the US-made Global Positioning System (GPS), designed to provide an exact location to commercial and government customers, with a full deployment expected in 2020.

Experts are working to restore operations of the multibillion euro programme, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) said on Sunday. The system is provided under both free and commercial ventures and is used by both private firms, government agencies, academics and the tech sector

Experts are working to restore operations of the multibillion euro programme, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) said on Sunday. The system is provided under both free and commercial ventures and is used by both private firms, government agencies, academics and the tech sector

The cause of the technical incident is identified and recovery actions are implemented to ensure that the nominal service is resumed as soon as possible while safeguarding quality of the services,’ the GSA said.

In November, Britain gave up on efforts to gain access to the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system for defence and critical national infrastructure purposes, after being frozen out by Brussels because of Brexit.

It is unclear whether the UK will get back the £1.2 billion it sank into Galileo.

Instead, it is aiming to build its own Global Navigation Satellite System, at a cost estimated by independent experts at £3 billion to £5 billion.

WHAT IS THE GALILEO SATELLITE CONSTELLATION?

An artist's impression of one of the satellites in the Galileo constellation

An artist’s impression of one of the satellites in the Galileo constellation

Galileo is a global navigation satellite system created by the European Union which was brought online in 2016.

The project was built to provide a high-precision global positioning system for the use of European nations that was independent of the US’ GPS and Russia’s GLONASS systems.

The setup can provide horizontal and vertical position measurements to a precision of within 1 metre.

It also provides a better service for users in higher latitudes than alternative systems.

Galileo’s low-precision services are free to use and open to everyone, while paying commercial customers can access the system’s higher-precision capabilities.

 The first test satellite for the project was launched in December 2005, while the first working satellite was put into orbit in October 2011.

The constellation is comprised of 26 satellites — two of which are being tested and 2 of which are non-functional. Another four are planned for launch by 2020, after which new satellites will be launched to replace older ones.

The whole project is estimated to have cost around €10 billion (£9 billion / $11.3 billion)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7248655/Europes-sat-nav-satellites-OFFLINE.html

EU’s GPS satellites have been down for four days in mysterious outage

EU’s Galileo global navigation satellite system nears 100 hours of downtime.

a satellite orbiting the earth with illuminated cities at night
3D rendering of a satellite orbiting the earth with illuminated cities at night. Map From: http://planetpixelemporium.com/earth.html Software for rendering: https://www.blender.orgGetty Images/iStockphoto

Galileo, the EU’s global navigation satellite system, has been down for four days, since July 11, following a mysterious outage. All Galileo satellites are still non-operational, at the time of writing.

According to a service status page, 24 of the 26 Galileo satellites are listed as “not usable,” while the other two are listing a status of “testing,” which also means they’re not ready for real-world usage.

The European GNSS Agency (GSA), the organization in charge of Galileo, has not published any information in regards to the root of the outage, which began four days ago, on Thursday, July 11.

On that day, the GSA published an advisory on its website alerting companies and government agencies employing the Galileo system that satellite signals have degraded and they “may not be available nor meet the minimum performance levels.”

The agency warned that the Galileo system “should be employed at users’ own risk.”

The GSA published a more dire warning on Saturday, July 13, when it said that Galileo was experiencing a full-service outage and that “signals are not to be used.”

At the time of writing, the service is nearing 100 hours of downtime.

The system going down forced the Galileo’s userbase (government agencies and private companies) to switch to alternatives.

The Galileo satellite system was launched in 2016 and was funded by the EU as an alternative to the US Air Force’s Global Position System (GPS) and the Russian government’s GLONASS.

It is provided under both free and commercial offerings and is widely used by governments agencies and private companies for navigation and search and rescue operations.

Because it’s provided for free, it is also widely used by the private tech sector and by most of the world’s academia.

The downtime also comes after widespread GPS outages were reported across Israel, Iran, Iraq, and Syria at the end of June. Israeli media blamed the downtime on Russian interference, rather than a technical problem.

Updated on July 15, 5:30am ET: In a statement published after this article’s publication, the GSA blamed the Galileo outage on “a technical incident related to its ground infrastructure.” The agency said that the search and rescue (SAR) feature — used for locating and helping people in distress situations for example at sea or mountains — remained operational during the outage, which impacted only navigational and satellite-based timing services.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/european-gps-satellites-have-been-down-for-four-days-in-mysterious-outage/

Story 6: Manhattan Lights Go Out with Electrical Outage — Celebrating 42th Anniversary of Great Blackout — Videos

Power outage strikes Manhattan on the same day of the 1977 NYC blackout

Breaking “Massive BLACKOUT Cripples New York City (Manhattan)

Parts of New York City go dark after power cut – BBC News

Documentary | What Happened When The Lights Went Out on July 13, 1977

Blackout, Chapter 1

NYC Blackout: What It Was Like When the City Lost Power in 1977 | NBC New York

Preliminary report shows faulty relay protection system caused NYC power outage

People wait in a Manhattan diner during a massive power outage that hit parts of New York City on July 13, 2019.

(CNN)Con Edison blamed their relay protection system Monday for the weekend power outage in New York City, saying the system didn’t operate as designed, according to preliminary findings from the company.

“That system detects electrical faults and directs circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize those faults,” the company said in a statement. “The relay protection system is designed with redundancies to provide high levels of reliability. In this case, primary and backup relay systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West 64th Street and West End Avenue.”
“Our analysis of data and testing of the relay protection equipment is continuing, and will provide more insight into why the system, and its multiple redundancies, did not operate as designed,” the company added.
Both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a full investigation.
“This could have been much worse,” said Governor Cuomo early Sunday morning. “When you’re talking about a city like New York, with a significant piece of the city basically suffering a blackout, that could be a very chaotic situation. We saw the exact opposite, actually. We saw New Yorkers at their best.”
It could take months to investigate why the outage happened, Con Edison President Timothy Cawley told reporters Sunday.
The outage started Saturday at 6:47 p.m., and the lights were back on shortly after midnight, officials said. It mostly affected midtown Manhattan and parts of the Upper West Side. No injuries or hospitalizations were reported.
At the height of the outage, 72,000 customers were in the dark, utility company Con Edison said. It had given a preliminary number of 73,000 — but lowered it early Sunday.

Revenge of the Power Grid

Radio City Music Hall sits dark during the 2019 Manhattan blackout.
DAVID DEE DELGADO / GETTY

Until they break. Then everyone notices.

That’s what happened Saturday night in New York City when a power outage struck Midtown Manhattan, from Hell’s Kitchen north to Lincoln Center and from Fifth Avenue west to the Hudson River. The blackout darkened the huge, electric billboards of Times Square, forced Broadway shows to cancel performances, and even disabled some subway lines.

A quick primer on how electricity works: First, power plants create it, mostly by burning fuel (or smashing atoms) that heats water to make steam that spins a turbine. (Hydroelectric generators harness the flow of water to spin turbines directly.) Those turbines move a generator, which produces electricity from the resulting kinetic energy. Plants then use transformers to step up the voltage of generated electricity and send it down high-voltage lines, which lose less energy in transit. Once it reaches its destination, other transformers step the voltage down to deliver it to substations, and eventually directly to customers.Saturday’s blackout was most likely caused by a disabled transformer at an area substation. There are at least 50 of those in New York City, which are fed in turn by at least 24, higher-voltage transmission substations. When it comes to power, New York is unusual because of the city’s age and the density of its population, both residential and commercial. That produces different risks and consequences.

In Atlanta, where I live, storms often down trees, which take out aboveground power lines. In the West, where wildfires are becoming more common, flames frequently dismantle power infrastructure (sometimes the power lines themselves cause the fires). But across the whole of New York City—not just Manhattan—more than 80 percent of both customers and the electrical load are serviced by underground distribution from area substations. That makes smaller problems less frequent, but bigger issues more severe.

When a transformer goes down in a populous place like Manhattan, it has a greater impact than it would on Long Island, say, or in Westchester County, where density is lower. The amount of power that central Manhattan uses on a regular basis also contributes to that impact. Times Square, the theater district, hundreds of skyscrapers—it’s a substantial load. In New York’s case, supplying that load is not usually the problem. Generating facilities can be located near or far away from where their power is used, and New York City draws power from a couple dozen plants. Some of it is imported from upstate.

But much of New York’s power is still generated locally, in large part at plants along the waterfront of Queens. Those plants are older, and more susceptible to disruption from local calamities, especially severe weather. When peak demand surges—most common during heat waves, such as the ones that struck the region in 2006 and 2011—the older, less efficient generating stations have a harder time keeping up, and brownouts or blackouts become more likely.

Superstorms can also disrupt Manhattan’s delivery infrastructure, despite the fact that it’s underground. In 2011, Hurricane Irene threatened to flood traffic and subway tunnels, also putting underground delivery at risk. The next year, Hurricane Sandy disrupted a third of the city’s electrical capacity. Flooding shut down five transmission substations. Other infrastructure was affected too, including natural gas and steam services (the latter provide heat and hot water, crucial during winter and for emergency facilities such as hospitals).

Sandy inundated the subway tunnels, which rely on pumps to bilge out the water. Electrical failures can disrupt the cleanup process as much as flooding can. And once a subway station gets incapacitated, the impact cascades throughout the system. On Saturday night, when the Midtown blackout occurred, the MTA was forced to cut service on some lines affected by signal or station outages.Failure, fire, and flood aren’t the only dangers that can befall transformer substations. Power infrastructure can be an appealing target for terrorism because the sites are poorly protected and the economic impact of a successful attack can be high—particularly in a city like New York. Cyberattacks are also possible. This March, a denial of service attack affected electrical systems in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, two major population centers. Intelligence suggests that the risk of similar foreign attacks is currently elevated. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee discussed those risks in a hearing the day before the Midtown Manhattan blackout.

One way to mitigate these dangers is to make utility infrastructure less susceptible to single points of failure. Underground distribution tends to make it easier to reach electrical customers via multiple paths. Regulatory agencies such as the New York State Reliability Council also impose requirements on utility service. Con Edison, which powers almost all of New York City, is expected to design its network to operate even if some of its components fail or are lost to disaster. But new risks associated with climate change, cyberwarfare, and other factors haven’t necessarily been accounted for in the design and operation of utility infrastructure.

The perils build on one another. Climate change amplifies the frequency of heat waves, which increases electrical load, which puts greater pressure on infrastructure. At the same time, it increases the likelihood of superstorms that can cause flooding, fire, and other disasters that might disrupt nodes in the network. When utility operators designed their equipment years or decades ago, they made assumptions about load, storm surge, and other factors. Those estimates might no longer apply.

Worse, planning and implementing updates to those systems is often stymied by paltry funding, strained political will, or other accidents. The utility industries are pushing for transformation, as it were, in infrastructure design, including efforts to make the “edges” of the grid more resilient and redundant. But those plans are similarly snared in the traps of outdated investment and regulation. Worse still, the same climatological, economic, and political instabilities that help increase the likelihood of electrical-grid collapse might also increase the risk of deliberate attacks to the grid, or reduce the agility of emergency response when accidents like this weekend’s Manhattan transformer fire occur.

None of these factors wafted up to street level Saturday night, as New Yorkers muddled through the inconvenience of a few hours without power. If anything, the scenes aboveground seemed inspiring, delightful even. Broadway-musical casts and Carnegie concert musicians hosted impromptu sidewalk performances for disappointed theatergoers. Citizens took it upon themselves to direct traffic in chaotic intersections. As New Yorkers are wont to do, city dwellers celebrated these and similar acts as telltale signs of the city’s vibrancy and resilience. When the power came back on, the horde of shadows cheered in unison as electric lamps fueled by burning coal miles away restored them to the technicolor of modern, artificial light. No injuries were reported during the blackout.

But such a generous response is only possible because power disruptions are still rare, especially absent the forewarning that accompanies a major hurricane or a serious thunderstorm. The chaos caused by similar, more frequent events would quickly snuff out the surprise and delight of unelectrified life. The theater performers would sneak home out the back, wondering whether the union would consider yet another disrupted performance complete. The citizen constables would spare their bodies, out of fear or boredom. The cheers would turn to groans, as the uncertainty and nuisance of the city’s physical caprices would wear thin.

Worsening political and economic circumstances would only fuel this fire. The July 13, 1977, blackout came amid a widespread economic crisis, the Son of Sam serial killings, a heat wave, and other social stressors. The looting and vandalism that accompanied that blackout 42 years ago were surely underwritten by the increased crime of the age and the totality of the blackout, which wiped out power to the whole city for two days. But those and worse effects are still possible. If you didn’t notice, things aren’t so great in 2019, either.

The blackout is a warning that infrastructure doesn’t only exist when it breaks. That’s true not just for New Yorkers, but for most of the U.S. population, which is scattered across regions with lower density, reduced wealth, and a more fickle public-service response. Whether it sleeps or not, a city is like an iceberg: You only see the smallest bit of it aboveground, but all of it is melting.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

IAN BOGOST is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His latest book is Play Anything.

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1278, June 20, 2019, Part 1– Story 1: President Trump: “Iran made a very big mistake” — Option A: Strong Message and Done , Option B: One Missile Attack and Done, Option C: Total War With Iran and World Recession Due To Spike in Oil and Gas Prices — Videos — Story 2: Federal Reserve Board Votes To Keep Federal Funds Target Range of 2.25% to 2.5% Waiting For July 2019 Jobs Report and Second Quarter Real GDP Growth Rate Number — Videos — Story 3: Creepy, Sleepy, Dopey Joey Biden in Praise of Civility of Democrat Segregationist Senators — Radical Extremist Democrats (REDS) Attack Biden — Videos — Part 2– Story 4: President Trump Pushes All The Right Buttons in 2020 Stump Speech in Orlando, Florida — Boom Boom Boom — Send Them Home — MAGA MAGA MAGA — Lock Them Up — Four More Years — Keep America Great — Win Win Win — Videos

Posted on June 20, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Abortion, Addiction, Addiction, Agenda 21, American History, Applications, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Canada, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, City, Climate Change, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Coal, Coal, Communications,