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Tag Archives: governor
Posted: September 20, 2016 at 7:18 pm
The following is a script from The Libertarian Ticket which aired on Sept. 18, 2016. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. L. Franklin Devine and Maria Gavrilovic, producers.
When you look at your presidential ballot in November, somewhere below the Democratic and Republican lines you will find the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, but for many voters this year they might as well read none of the above.
In a race that features the most unpopular Democratic and Republican party choices in memory, they are the two alternatives to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and for the first time in 16 years third parties could well determine the outcome of the election. Right now, of the two alternatives, the Libertarian Party has the most support and is the only one on the ballot in all 50 states. The ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld is currently favored by about eight or nine percent of the electorate even though 70 percent of the voters dont know who Johnson and Weld are. We thought it was time to give you a primer.
Libertarian presidential candidateGary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld
If you dont recognize them, the tall guy on the left is vice presidential candidate Bill Weld. The shorter one is former New Mexico governor and presidential nominee Gary Johnson. Right now they can stroll through a park unmolested by the press and the public. Their rallies usually attract only a few hundred people but they can still make some noise and are not without enthusiastic support.
[Rally: Gary Gary Gary. Bill Weld: The next president of the United States, Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson: You rock. You rock.]
Steve Kroft: Why are you doing this?
Gary Johnson: I think that we would do a really good job.
Mitt Romney wished for it, so Steve Kroft asked-why isn’t Bill Weld at the top of the Libertarian ticket?
Bill Weld: I feel its something of a patriotic duty given how the election season is unfolding. We feel a responsibility to offer the country sort of a sober, sensible alternative.
[Gary Johnson: Has life in this country ever been better?]
They are no political neophytes. Each one won two terms as Republican governors in heavily Democratic states.
On 60 Minutes in 2000, Gary Johnson explained his unconventional thoughts on drug policy –and why he thought using marijuana was “cool”
Steve Kroft: Do you really think you have a chance to win?
Gary Johnson: Neither of us would be doing this if we didnt think that that was a possibility.
Steve Kroft: Let me be a little skeptical here. I mean, right now the people–
Bill Weld: We expected no less.
Steve Kroft: Right. Right. Yeah. The people that do this for a living, to try and do polling, and public opinion surveys and make odds– some of the most prominent experts put your chances at about less than one percent, less than one percent.
The Libertarian candidates have a plan that embraces immigration-so what do they think of Donald Trump’s plan?
Gary Johnson: I think that Donald Trump started out that way. And I wouldve given him that– I wouldve given him that percentage at the very start. But as crazy as this election season is, I think it could be the ultimate crazy and that is is that the two of us actually do get elected.
Steve Kroft: Right. And how does that happen?
Gary Johnson: Well presidential debates– a third alternative, 70 percent of America doesnt even know who we are. And yet we exist. I think theres a lot of opportunity here. And theres still a lot of time left.
[Bill Weld: –we are in a way breaking a glass ceiling–]
Theyre hoping to get a place in at least one of the presidential debates but right now they dont meet the threshold of 15 percent in the national polls.
Steve Kroft: Are you running against a two-party system?
Gary Johnson: Absolutely.
Bill Weld: Absolutely.
Gary Johnson: And Iand I do believe this is going to be the demise of the Republican Party.
Steve Kroft: So you see yourself as a protest vote?
Gary Johnson: No way. I think, a conciliatory vote. Look this is how we wanna come together.
Bill Weld: It happens, Steve, if people do think for themselves and focus on the choices available because the polling shows that nationally people do tend to agree with our approach. As Gary sometimes says, youre a libertarian. You just dont know it yet.
[Libertarian Party Convention: Lets bring back liberty.]
Gary Johnson tells Steve Kroft why he believes marijuana use shouldn’t be a crime-and why changing policy is a matter of when, not if
The Libertarians were founded 45 years ago as an off-shoot of the Republicans. They tend to be fiscally conservative and social liberals who want the federal government out of their pockets, out of their schools, out of their computers, and out of their bedrooms.
[Supporter: So the hats are 25.]
They support the right to bear arms, even assault weapons. But they also believe women have the right to an abortion, gays have the right to marry, and adults the right to smoke pot.
[Supporter: Anybody looking for a bumper sticker?]
They oppose almost every federal program not mentioned specifically in the Constitution, including Social Security and Medicare and the regulatory agencies.
The Libertarian candidate tells Steve Kroft how he plans to combat the terrorist organization, though he thinks there’s a bigger threat
Steve Kroft: Youre making yourself seem like mainstream candidates. But in fact, you know, your positions and the positions of the party arent mainstream, you know. Phasing out Medicare, youre for doing away with private health insurance– as a way to bring down medical costs. Youre talking about abolishing the IRS and imposing a 29 percent or 28 percent sales tax, essentially a sales tax. You call it a consumption tax. Talk about eliminating the Department of Homeland Security. I mean, these arent exactly mainstream opinion.
Gary Johnson: Well what you can count on the two of us to provide is consistency. Were going to always be consistent in looking for lower taxes. And much of what you cite is the Libertarian platform which, you know, we are the Libertarian nominees for president and vice president. But were not looking to eliminate Medicare. We do believe in a safety net. But there has to be reforms for Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security. And if were going to put our heads in the sand, if we say were going to do nothing in any of these areas, its a fiscal cliff.
Bill Weld: And nobody can tell me that no changes are necessary in Washington. Those bozos think that unless the appropriation of every single account goes up five percent, they call that a cut. Well, thats not how we approached our state budgets. And thats not what we would do in Washington either.
Steve Kroft: Do you think most people want to do away with the Department of Homeland Security?
Gary Johnson: Yeah, I do. I do. I think theres a real skepticism. I mean, really, we have the FBI. Wha– why another agency? I mean– and all these Homeland Security cars driving around these days, what are they doing?
Bill Weld: There are functions that youd have to retain and make sure they were attended to. But therere some who remind me of the, you know, muddled bureaucracy in Washington that nobody can quite tell you why theyre essential. And thats where I would go hunting.
They also want to abolish the Departments of Education, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development. They want to cut the Defense Budget by around 20 percent and get American troops out of Korea.
As theyve said, they dont agree with their party on everything — sometimes they dont even agree with each other.
Gary Johnson earned a fortune in construction before making his political name as the first governor ever to advocate the legalization of marijuana, and until earlier this year was CEO of a marijuana branding company.
Steve Kroft: Until recently, you were a consumer
Gary Johnson: Thats correct
Steve Kroft: –of marijuana.
Gary Johnson: One of 100 million Americans who have consumed marijuana. I am guilty. The unforgivable in life, hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing anothertelling the truth– I hope more than anything, Im credited here with telling the truth.
Steve Kroft: But youre not using marijuana now?
Gary Johnson: Im not.
[Bill Weld: running on the Libertarian ticket. Live free or die, baby, you know what they say.]
Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is a card-carrying member of the Eastern Establishment, whose libertarian bonafides are still questioned by the true believers. Until his nomination in May he was a member of the nearly-extinct political species known as moderate Republicans.
Steve Kroft: You werent a Libertarian until a couple of months ago.
Bill Weld: Well, I considered myself a small L Libertarian since the 1970s. And people called me the Libertarian Republican.
They run a frugal low-key campaign in jeans and sneakers and keep a very loose schedule that can change by the hourly. When we were with them, their version of a presidential limousine was a rented red Toyota.
Steve Kroft: Do you have a motorcade?
Bill Weld: No. We dont have a motorcade.
Steve Kroft: You stop for red lights?
Gary Johnson: We do stop for red lights.
Steve Kroft: Do you have a campaign plane?
Bill Weld: We dont have a campaign plane.
Gary Johnson: No. No. We dont.
Bill Weld: We do fly commercial.
Steve Kroft: Do you have a campaign headquarters?
Bill Weld: Yes.
Gary Johnson: Yes. We do. But its– but if you went to the campaign headquarters, you wouldnt find anybody there because this is– you know, this is social media.
[Gary Johnson: Come on, get selfie, get selfie ready!]
They have a big presence on the Internet and claim to have 50 million followers — most of them young people. Johnson and Weld are good friends and say they plan to run a co-presidency sharing the same staff. On the campaign they often stay at each others homes.
Theyve tried everything to get more attention in hopes their campaign would go viral. And 10 days ago it did.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Willie Geist: Governor good to have you with us.
But it was the wrong kind when Johnson was unable to identify Aleppo as the center of the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Mike Barnicle: Aleppo.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip/Governor Gary Johnson: And what is Aleppo?
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Mike Barnicle: Youre kidding.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip/Governor Gary Johnson: No.
Steve Kroft: Youve been on the front page a lot this month. You made a big splash. And it was a belly flop. Were talking about Aleppo here. Tell me about Aleppo. I mean, how did that happen?
Gary Johnson: Well, the– I– I blame no one but myself. I understand the underlying policy.
Steve Kroft: People have said,This guysnot qualified to be president. I mean, did– how do react to that?
Gary Johnson: Well– that– that I am human. I have a filter. And it starts with honesty. It starts with the truth. It starts with transparency– and would serve as president– in that capacity. When I was asked the question, the first thing that came into my mind was this is an acronym– ALEPPO– American– l–
Steve Kroft: Did it sound familiar to you?
Gary Johnson: Well, it didnt or I think I..but, but look I do not, in any way, want to make an excuse for myself. You know, so many people have said, Look, 90 percent of America doesnt know ALEPPO. Well, 90 percent of America is not running for president of the United States, no excuse. No excuse.
Bill Weld: But at the– at the end of the day, this is just my view, is Aleppo is a very important place name. But its a place name. Does that mean theyre disqualified from running for president? I mean, youd have very few people at the debates if that sort of thing was a disqualify– disqualification to run.
Gary Johnson: Thanks, Bill. But nonetheless, look, we are running for president and vice president.
Steve Kroft: Youre acknowledging that your candidacy has some flaws.
Gary Johnson: As do all candidacies. But I think–
Steve Kroft: But nobody– I– I– Im trying to remember a presidential candidate admitting that.
Gary Johnson: Well, that is the difference here. Thats what youre going to buy into is is that it will be transparent. And theres no quicker way to fix mistakes than actually acknowledging them in the first place.
Steve Kroft: Do you have foreign policy advisers?
Gary Johnson: Well, certainly.
Steve Kroft: Do you have military strategists?
See the rest here:
Posted: September 8, 2016 at 6:47 am
19th centuryEdit OriginsEdit
The Liberals are descended from the mid-19th century Reformers who agitated for responsible government throughout British North America. These included George Brown, Robert Baldwin, William Lyon Mackenzie and the Clear Grits in Upper Canada, Joseph Howe in Nova Scotia, and the Patriotes and Rouges in Lower Canada led by figures such as Louis-Joseph Papineau. The Clear Grits and Parti rouge sometimes functioned as a united bloc in the legislature of the Province of Canada beginning in 1854, and a united Liberal Party combining both English and French Canadian members was formed in 1861.
At the time of confederation of the former British colonies of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the radical Liberals were marginalized by the more pragmatic Conservative coalition assembled under Sir John A. Macdonald. In the 29 years after Canadian confederation, the Liberals were consigned to opposition, with the exception of one stint in government.Alexander Mackenzie was able to lead the party to power for the first time in 1873, after the MacDonald government lost a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons due to the Pacific Scandal. Mackenzie subsequently won the 1874 election, and served as Prime Minister for an additional four years. During the five years the Liberal government brought in many reforms, which include the replacement of open voting by secret ballot, confining elections to one day and the creation of the Supreme Court of Canada. However the party was only able to build a solid support base in Ontario, and in 1878 lost the government to MacDonald. The Liberals would spend the next 18 years in opposition.
In their early history, the Liberals were the party of continentalism and opposition to imperialism. The Liberals also became identified with the aspirations of Quebecers as a result of the growing hostility of French Canadians to the Conservatives. The Conservatives lost the support of French Canadians because of the role of Conservative governments in the execution of Louis Riel and their role in the Conscription Crisis of 1917, and especially their opposition to French schools in provinces besides Quebec.
It was not until Wilfrid Laurier became leader that the Liberal Party emerged as a modern party. Laurier was able to capitalize on the Tories’ alienation of French Canada by offering the Liberals as a credible alternative. Laurier was able to overcome the party’s reputation for anti-clericalism that offended the still-powerful Quebec Roman Catholic Church. In English-speaking Canada, the Liberal Party’s support for reciprocity made it popular among farmers, and helped cement the party’s hold in the growing prairie provinces.
Laurier led the Liberals to power in the 1896 election (in which he became the first Francophone Prime Minister), and oversaw a government that increased immigration in order to settle Western Canada. Laurier’s government created the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta out of the North-West Territories, and promoted the development of Canadian industry.
Until the early part of the century, the Liberal Party was a loose, informal coalition of local, provincial and regional bodies with a strong national party leader and caucus (and when in power, the national cabinet) but with an informal and regionalized extra-parliamentary organizational structure. There was no national membership of the party, an individual became a member by joining a provincial Liberal party. Laurier called the party’s first national convention in 1893 in order to unite Liberal supporters behind a programme and build the campaign that successfully brought the party to power in 1896; however, once in power, no efforts were made to create a formal national organization outside of parliament.
As a result of the party’s defeats in the 1911 and 1917 federal elections, Laurier attempted to organize the party on a national level by creating three bodies: the Central Liberal Information Office, the National Liberal Advisory Committee, and the National Liberal Organization Committee. However, the advisory committee became dominated by members of parliament and all three bodies were underfunded and competed with both local and provincial Liberal associations and the national caucus for authority. The party did organize the national party’s second convention in 1919 to elect William Lyon Mackenzie King as Laurier’s successor (Canada’s first ever leadership convention), yet following the party’s return to power in the 1921 federal election the nascent national party organizations were eclipsed by powerful ministers and local party organizations largely driven by patronage.
As a result of both the party’s defeat in the 1930 federal election, and the Beauharnois bribery scandal which highlighted the need for distance between the Liberal Party’s political wing and campaign fundraising, a central coordinating organization, the National Liberal Federation, was created in 1932 with Vincent Massey as its first president. The new organization allowed individuals to directly join the national Liberal Party for the first time. With the Liberals return to power the national organization languished except for occasional national committee meetings, such as in 1943 when Mackenzie King called a meeting of the federation (consisting of the national caucus and up to seven voting delegates per province) to approve a new platform for the party in anticipation of the end of World War II and prepare for a post-war election. No national convention was held, however, until 1948; the Liberal Party held only three national conventions prior to the 1950s in 1893, 1919 and 1948). The National Liberal Federation remained largely dependent on provincial Liberal parties and was often ignored and bypassed the parliamentary party in the organization of election campaigns and the development of policy. With the defeat of the Liberals in the 1957 federal election and in particular 1958, reformers argued for the strengthening of the national party organization so it would not be dependent on provincial Liberal parties and patronage. A national executive and Council of presidents, consisting of the presidents of each Liberal riding association, were developed to give the party more co-ordination and national party conventions were regularly held in biennially where previously they had been held infrequently. Over time, provincial Liberal parties in most province’s were separated from provincial wings of the federal party and in a number of cases disaffiliated. By the 1980s, the National Liberal Federation was officially known as the Liberal Party of Canada.
Under Laurier, and his successor William Lyon Mackenzie King, the Liberals promoted Canadian sovereignty and greater independence within the British Commonwealth. In Imperial Conferences held throughout the 1920s, Canadian Liberal governments often took the lead in arguing that the United Kingdom and the dominions should have equal status, and against proposals for an ‘imperial parliament’ that would have subsumed Canadian independence. After the King-Byng Affair of 1926, the Liberals argued that the Governor General of Canada should no longer be appointed on the recommendation of the British government. The decisions of the Imperial Conferences were formalized in the Statute of Westminster, which was actually passed in 1931, the year after the Liberals lost power.
The Liberals also promoted the idea of Canada being responsible for its own foreign and defence policy. Initially, it was Britain which determined external affairs for the dominion. In 1905, Laurier created the Department of External Affairs, and in 1909 he advised Governor General Earl Grey to appoint the first Secretary of State for External Affairs to Cabinet. It was also Laurier who first proposed the creation of a Canadian Navy in 1910. Mackenzie King recommended the appointment by Governor General Lord Byng of Vincent Massey as the first Canadian ambassador to Washington in 1926, marking the Liberal government’s insistence on having direct relations with the United States, rather than having Britain act on Canada’s behalf.
In the period just before and after the Second World War, the party became a champion of ‘progressive social policy’. As Prime Minister for most of the time between 1921 and 1948, King introduced several measures that led to the creation of Canada’s social safety net. Bowing to popular pressure, he introduced the mother’s allowance, a monthly payment to all mothers with young children. He also reluctantly introduced old age pensions when J. S. Woodsworth required it in exchange for his Co-operative Commonwealth Federation party’s support of King’s minority government.
Louis St. Laurent succeeded King as Liberal leader and Prime Minister on November 15, 1948. In the 1949 and 1953 federal elections, St. Laurent led the Liberal Party to two large majority governments. As Prime Minister he oversaw the joining of Newfoundland in Confederation as Canada’s tenth province, he established equalization payments to the provinces, and continued with social reform with improvements in pensions and health insurance. In 1956, Canada played an important role in resolving the Suez Crisis, and contributed to the United Nations force in the Korean War. Canada enjoyed economic prosperity during St. Laurent’s premiership and wartime debts were paid off. The Pipeline Debate proved the Liberal Party’s undoing. Their attempt to pass legislation to build a natural gas pipeline from Alberta to central Canada was met with fierce disagreement in the House of Commons. In 1957, John Diefenbaker’s Progressive Conservatives won a minority government and St. Laurent resigned as Prime Minister and Liberal leader.
Lester B. Pearson was easily elected Liberal leader at the party’s 1958 leadership convention. However, only months after becoming Liberal leader, Pearson led the party into the 1958 federal election that saw Diefenbaker’s Progressive Conservatives win the largest majority government, by percentage of seats, in Canadian history. The Progressive Conservatives won 206 of the 265 seats in the House of Commons, while the Liberals were reduced to just 48 seats. Pearson remained Liberal leader during this time and in the 1962 election managed to reduce Diefenbaker to a minority government. In the 1963 election Pearson led the Liberal Party back to victory, forming a minority government. Pearson served as Prime Minister for five years, winning a second election in 1965. While Pearson’s leadership was considered poor and the Liberal Party never held a majority of the seats in parliament during his premiership, he left office in 1968 with an impressive legacy. Pearson’s government introduced Medicare, a new immigration act, the Canada Pension Plan, Canada Student Loans, the Canada Assistance Plan, and adopted the Maple Leaf as Canada’s national flag.
Under Pierre Trudeau, the mission of a progressive social policy evolved into the goal of creating a “just society”.
The Liberal Party under Trudeau promoted official bilingualism and passed the Official Languages Act, which gave French and English languages equal status in Canada. Trudeau hoped that the promotion of bilingualism would cement Quebec’s place in Confederation, and counter growing calls for an independent Quebec. The party hoped the policy would transform Canada into a country where English and French Canadians could live together, and allow Canadians to move to any part of the country without having to lose their language. Although this vision has yet to fully materialize, official bilingualism has helped to halt the decline of the French language outside of Quebec, and to ensure that all federal government services (including radio and television services provided by the government-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada) are available in both languages throughout the country.
The Trudeau Liberals are also credited with support for state multiculturalism as a means of integrating immigrants into Canadian society without forcing them to shed their culture. As a result of this and a more sympathetic attitude by Liberals towards immigration policy, the party has built a base of support among recent immigrants and their children.
The most lasting effect of the Trudeau years has been the patriation of the Canadian constitution and the creation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Trudeau’s Liberals supported the concept of a strong, central government, and fought Quebec separatism, other forms of Quebec nationalism, and the granting of “distinct society” status to Quebec. Such actions, however, served as rallying cries for sovereigntists and alienated many Francophone Quebeckers.
The other primary legacy of the Trudeau years has been financial. Net federal debt in fiscal 1968, just before Trudeau became Prime Minister, was about $18billion CAD, or 26 percent of gross domestic product; by his final year in office, it had ballooned to over 200billionat 46 percent of GDP, nearly twice as large relative to the economy.
After Trudeau’s retirement in 1984, many Liberals, such as Jean Chrtien and Clyde Wells, continued to adhere to Trudeau’s concept of federalism. Others, such as John Turner, supported the failed Meech Lake and Charlottetown Constitutional Accords, which would have recognized Quebec as a “distinct society” and would have increased the powers of the provinces to the detriment of the federal government.
Trudeau stepped down as Prime Minister and party leader in 1984, as the Liberals were slipping in polls. At that year’s leadership convention, Turner defeated Chrtien on the second ballot to become Prime Minister. Immediately, upon taking office, Turner called a snap election, citing favourable internal polls. However, the party was hurt by numerous patronage appointments, many of which Turner had made supposedly in return for Trudeau retiring early. Also, they were unpopular in their traditional stronghold of Quebec because of the constitution repatriation which excluded that province. The Liberals lost power in the 1984 election, and were reduced to only 40 seats in the House of Commons. The Progressive Conservatives won a majority of the seats in every province, including Quebec. The 95-seat loss was the worst defeat in the party’s history, and the worst defeat at the time for a governing party at the federal level. What was more, the New Democratic Party, successor to the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, won only ten fewer seats than the Liberals, and some thought that the NDP under Ed Broadbent would push the Liberals to third-party status.
The party began a long process of reconstruction. A small group of young Liberal MPs, known as the Rat Pack, gained fame by criticizing the Tory government of Brian Mulroney at every turn. Also, despite public and backroom attempts to remove Turner as leader, he managed to consolidate his leadership at the 1986 review.
The 1988 election was notable for Turner’s strong opposition to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement negotiated by Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Although most Canadians voted for parties opposed to free trade, the Tories were returned with a majority government, and implemented the deal. The Liberals recovered from their near-meltdown of 1984, however, winning 83 seats and ending much of the talk of being eclipsed by the NDP, who won 43 seats.
Turner announced that he would resign as leader of the Liberal Party on May 3, 1989. The Liberal Party set a leadership convention for June 23, 1990, in Calgary. Five candidates contested the leadership of the party and former Deputy Prime Minister Jean Chrtien, who had served in every Liberal cabinet since 1965, won on the first ballot. Chrtien’s Liberals campaigned in the 1993 election on the promise of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and eliminating the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Just after the writ was dropped for the election, they issued the Red Book, an integrated and coherent approach to economic, social, environmental and foreign policy. This was unprecedented for a Canadian party. Taking full advantage of the inability of Mulroney’s successor, Kim Campbell, to overcome a large amount of antipathy toward Mulroney, they won a strong majority government with 177 seatsthe third-best performance in party history, and their best since 1949. The Progressive Conservatives were cut down to only two seats, suffering a defeat even more severe than the one they had handed the Liberals nine years earlier. The Liberals were re-elected with a considerably reduced majority in 1997, but nearly tied their 1993 total in 2000.
For the next decade, the Liberals dominated Canadian politics in a fashion not seen since the early years of Confederation. This was because of the destruction of the “grand coalition” of Western socially conservative populists, Quebec nationalists, and fiscal conservatives from Ontario that had supported the Progressive Conservatives in 1984 and 1988. The Progressive Conservatives Western support, for all practical purposes, transferred en masse to the Western-based Reform Party, which replaced the PCs as the major right-wing party in Canada. However, the new party’s agenda was seen as too conservative for most Canadians. It only won one seat east of Manitoba in an election (but gained another in a floor-crossing). Even when Reform restructured into the Canadian Alliance, the party was virtually non-existent east of Manitoba, winning only 66 seats in 2000. Reform/Alliance was the official opposition from 1997 to 2003, but was never able to overcome wide perceptions that it was merely a Western protest party. The Quebec nationalists who had once supported the Tories largely switched their support to the sovereigntist Bloc Qubcois, while the Tories’ Ontario support largely moved to the Liberals. The PCs would never be a major force in Canadian politics again; while they rebounded to 20 seats in the next election, they won only two seats west of Quebec in the next decade.
Ontario and Quebec combine for a majority of seats in the House of Commons by virtue of Ontario’s current population and Quebec’s historic population (59 percent of the seats as of 2006[update]). As a result, it is very difficult to form even a minority government without substantial support in Ontario and/or Quebec. No party has ever formed a majority government without winning the most seats in either Ontario or Quebec. It is mathematically possible to form a minority government without a strong base in either province, but such an undertaking is politically difficult. The Liberals were the only party with a strong base in both provinces, thus making them the only party capable of forming a government.
There was some disappointment as Liberals were not able to recover their traditional dominant position in Quebec, despite being led by a Quebecer from a strongly nationalist region of Quebec. The Bloc capitalized on discontent with the failure of the 1990 Meech Lake Accord and Chrtien’s uncompromising stance on federalism (see below) to win the most seats in Quebec in every election from 1993, onward, even serving as the official opposition from 1993 to 1997. Chrtien’s reputation in his home province never recovered after the 1990 leadership convention when rival Paul Martin forced him to declare his opposition to the Meech Lake Accord. However, the Liberals did increase their support in the next two elections because of infighting within the Bloc. In the 1997 election, although the Liberals finished with a thin majority, it was their gains in Quebec which were credited with offsetting their losses in the Maritime provinces. In particular, the 2000 election was a breakthrough for the Liberals after the PQ government’s unpopular initiatives regarding consolidation of several Quebec urban areas into “megacities”. Many federal Liberals also took credit for Charest’s provincial election victory over the PQ in spring 2003. A series of by-elections allowed the Liberals to gain a majority of Quebec ridings for the first time since 1984.
The Chrtien Liberals more than made up for their shortfall in Quebec by building a strong base in Ontario. They reaped a substantial windfall from the votes of fiscally conservative and socially liberal voters who had previously voted Tory, as well as rapid growth in the Greater Toronto Area. They were also able to take advantage of massive vote splitting between the Tories and Reform/Alliance in rural areas of the province that had traditionally formed the backbone of provincial Tory governments. Combined with their historic dominance of Metro Toronto and northern Ontario, the Liberals dominated the province’s federal politics even as the Tories won landslide majorities at the provincial level. In 1993, for example, the Liberals won all but one seat in Ontario, and came within 123 votes in Simcoe Centre of pulling off the first clean sweep of Canada’s most populated province. They were able to retain their position as the largest party in the House by winning all but two seats in Ontario in the 1997 election. The Liberals were assured of at least a minority government once the Ontario results came in, but it was not clear until later in the night that they would retain their majority. In 2000, the Liberals won all but three seats in Ontario.
While the Chrtien Liberals campaigned from the left, their time in power is most marked by the cuts made to many programs in order to balance the federal budget. Chrtien had supported the Charlottetown Accord while in opposition, but in power opposed major concessions to Quebec and other provincialist factions. In contrast to their promises during the 1993 campaign, they implemented only minor changes to NAFTA, embraced the free trade concept andwith the exception of the replacement of the GST with the Harmonized Sales Tax in some Atlantic provincesbroke their promise to replace the GST.
After a proposal for Quebec independence was narrowly defeated in the 1995 Quebec referendum, the Liberals passed the “Clarity Act”, which outlines the federal government’s preconditions for negotiating provincial independence. In Chrtien’s final days, he supported same-sex marriage and decriminalizing the possession of small quantities of marijuana. Chrtien displeased the United States government when he pledged on March 17, 2003, that Canada would not support the 2003 invasion of Iraq. A poll released shortly after showed widespread approval of Chrtien’s decision by the Canadian public. The poll, which was conducted by EKOS for the Toronto Star and La Presse, found 71 percent of those questioned approved of the government’s decision to not enter the United States-led invasion, with 27 percent expressing disapproval.
Several trends started in 2003 which suggested the end of the Liberal Party’s political dominance. Notably, there would be a high turnover of permanent party leaders, in contrast to their predecessors who usually served over two or more elections, particularly Trudeau and Chrtien who each led for over a decade. The Liberals were also hampered by their inability to raise campaign money competitively after Chrtien passed a bill in 2003 which banned corporate donations, even though the Liberals had enjoyed by far the lion’s share of this funding because of the then-divided opposition parties. It has been suggested that Chrtien, who had done nothing about election financing for his 10 years in office, could be seen as the idealist as he retired, while his rival and successor Paul Martin would have the burden of having to fight an election under the strict new rules.Simon Fraser University professor Doug McArthur has noted that Martin’s leadership campaign used aggressive tactics for the 2003 leadership convention, in attempting to end the contest before it could start by giving the impression that his bid was too strong for any other candidate to beat. McArthur blamed Martin’s tactics for the ongoing sag in Liberal fortunes, as it discouraged activists who were not on side.
Paul Martin succeeded Chrtien as party leader and prime minister in 2003. Despite the personal rivalry between the two, Martin was the architect of the Liberals’ economic policies as Minister of Finance during the 1990s. Chrtien left office with a high approval rating and Martin was expected to make inroads into Quebec and Western Canada, two regions of Canada where the Liberals had not attracted much support since the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. While his cabinet choices provoked some controversy over excluding many Chrtien supporters, it at first did little to hurt his popularity.
However, the political situation changed with the revelation of the sponsorship scandal, in which advertising agencies supporting the Liberal Party received grossly inflated commissions for their services. Having faced a divided conservative opposition for the past three elections, Liberals were seriously challenged by competition from the newly united Conservative Party led by Stephen Harper. The infighting between Martin and Chrtien’s supporters also dogged the party. Nonetheless, by criticizing the Conservatives’ social policies, the Liberals were able to draw progressive votes from the NDP which made the difference in several close races. On June 28, 2004 federal election, the Martin Liberals retained enough support to continue as the government, though they were reduced to a minority.
In the ensuing months, testimony from the Gomery Commission caused public opinion to turn sharply against the Liberals for the first time in over a decade. Despite the devastating revelations, only two Liberal MPsDavid Kilgour (who had crossed the floor from the PC Party in 1990) and Pat O’Brienleft the party for reasons other than the scandal. Belinda Stronach, who crossed the floor from the Conservatives to the Liberals, gave Martin the number of votes needed, although barely, to hold onto power when an NDP-sponsored amendment to his budget was passed only by the Speaker’s tiebreaking vote on May 19, 2005.
In November, the Liberals dropped in polls following the release of the first Gomery Report. Nonetheless, Martin turned down the NDP’s conditions for continued support, as well as rejected an opposition proposal which would schedule a February 2006 election in return for passing several pieces of legislation. The Liberals thus lost the no-confidence vote on November 28; Martin thus became only the fifth prime minister to lose the confidence of the House, but the first to lose on a straight no-confidence motion. Because of the Christmas holiday, Martin advised Governor General Michalle Jean to dissolve Parliament and call an election for January 2006.
The Liberal campaign was dogged from start to finish by the sponsorship scandal, which was brought up by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) criminal investigation into the leak of the income trust announcement. Numerous gaffes, contrasting with a smoothly run Conservative campaign, put Liberals as many as ten points behind the Conservatives in opinion polling. They managed to recover some of their momentum by election night, but not enough to retain power. They won 103 seats, a net loss of 30 from when the writs were dropped, losing a similar number of seats in Ontario and Quebec to the Tories. However, the Liberals managed to capture the most seats in Ontario for the fifth straight election (54 to the Tories’ 40), holding the Conservatives to a minority government. While the Conservatives captured many of Ontario’s rural ridings, the Liberals retained most of the population-rich Greater Toronto Area. Many of these ridings, particularly the 905 region, had historically been bellwethers (the Liberals were nearly shut out of this region in 1979 and 1984), but demographic changes have resulted in high Liberal returns in recent years.
Martin resigned as parliamentary leader after the election and stepped down as Liberal leader on March 18, having previously promised to step down if he did not win a plurality.
On May 11, 2006, La Presse reported that the Government of Canada would file a lawsuit against the Liberal Party to recover all the money missing in the sponsorship program. Scott Brison told reporters that same day that the Liberals has already paid back the $1.14million into the public purse; however, the Conservatives believed that there was as much as $40million unaccounted for in the sponsorship program.
After their election defeat Martin chose not to take on the office of Leader of the Opposition. He stepped down as parliamentary leader of his party on February 1, and the Liberal caucus appointed Bill Graham, MP for Toronto Centre and outgoing Defence Minister, as his interim successor. Martin officially resigned as leader in March, with Graham taking over on an interim basis.
The leadership election was set for December 2, 2006 in Montreal; however, a number of prominent members such as John Manley, Frank McKenna, Brian Tobin, and Allan Rock had already announced they would not enter the race to succeed Martin. Throughout the campaign 12 candidates came forward to lead the party, but by the time of the leadership convention only eight people remained in the race; Martha Hall Findlay, Stphane Dion, Michael Ignatieff, Gerard Kennedy, Bob Rae, Scott Brison, Ken Dryden, Joe Volpe.
Throughout the campaign Ignatieff, Rae, Dion and Kennedy were considered to be the only candidates with enough support to be able to win the leadership, with Ignatieff and Rae being considered the two front-runners. However polling showed Ignatieff had little room to grow his support, while Dion was the second and third choice among a plurality of delegates. At the leadership convention Ignatieff came out on top on the first ballot with 29.3 percent, followed by Rae with 20.3 percent, Dion with 17.8 percent, Kennedy with 17.7 percent, Dryden with 4.9 percent, Brison with 3.9 percent, Volpe with 3.2 percent and Hall Findlay with 2.7 percent. Brison and Volpe voluntarily dropped out before the second ballot while Hall Findlay was eliminated. Dryden was eliminated after the second ballot and while the order of the other candidates remained the same the gap between Dion and Kennedy grew. In what was believed to be a pre-arranged agreement Kennedy dropped off after the second ballot and threw his support behind Dion. With Kennedy’s support Dion was able to leapfrog both Rae and Ignatieff on the third ballot, eliminating Rae. On the fourth and final ballot Dion defeated Ignatieff to become leader of the Liberal Party.
Following the leadership race the Liberal Party saw a bounce in support and surpassed the Conservative Party as the most popular party in Canada. However, in the months and years to come the party’s support gradually fell. Dion’s own popularity lagged considerably behind that of Prime Minister Harper’s, and he often trailed NDP leader Jack Layton in opinion polls when Canadians were asked who would make the best Prime Minister.
Dion campaigned on environmental sustainability during the leadership race, and created the “Green Shift” plan following his election as leader. The Green Shift proposed creating a carbon tax that would be coupled with reductions to income tax rates. The proposal was to tax greenhouse gas emissions, starting at $10 per tonne of CO2 and reaching $40 per tonne within four years. The plan was a key policy for the party in the 2008 federal election, but it was not well received and was continuously attacked by both the Conservatives and NDP. On election night the Liberal Party won 26.26 percent of the popular vote and 77 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons. At that time their popular support was the lowest in the party’s history, and weeks later Dion announced he would step down as Liberal leader once his successor was chosen.
New Brunswick Member of Parliament Dominic LeBlanc was the first candidate to announce he would seek the leadership of the Liberal Party on October 27, 2008. Days later Bob Rae, who had finished third in 2006, announced he would also be a candidate for the leadership. The party executive met in early November and chose May 2, 2009, as the date to elect the next leader. On November 13 Michael Ignatieff, who finished second in 2006, announced he would also be a candidate.
On November 27, 2008, Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty provided the House of Commons with a fiscal update, within which were plans to cut government spending, suspend the ability of civil servants to strike until 2011, sell off some Crown assets to raise capital, and eliminate the existing $1.95 per vote subsidy parties garner in an election. The opposition parties criticized the fiscal update, and announced they would not support it because it contained no stimulus money to spur Canada’s economy and protect workers during the economic crisis. With the Conservative Party only holding a minority of the seats in the House of Commons the government would be defeated if the opposition parties voted against the fiscal update. With the Conservatives unwilling to budge on the proposals outlined in the fiscal update the Liberals and NDP signed an agreement to form a coalition government, with a written pledge of support from the Bloc Qubcois. Under the terms of the agreement Dion would be sworn in as Prime Minister, however he would only serve in the position until the next Liberal leader was chosen. Dion contacted Governor General Michalle Jean and advised her that he had the confidence of the House of Commons if Prime Minister Harper’s government was to fall. However, before the fiscal update could be voted on in the House of Commons Prime Minister Harper requested the Governor General to prorogue parliament till January 26, 2009, which she accepted.
While polls showed Canadians were split on the idea of having either a coalition government or having the Conservatives continue to govern, it was clear that because of Dion’s personal popularity they were not comfortable with him becoming Prime Minister. Members of the Liberal Party therefore called on Dion to resign as leader immediately and for an interim leader to be chosen, this person would become the Prime Minister in the event that the Conservatives were defeated when parliament resumed in January. With an estimated 70 percent of the Liberal caucus wanting Ignatieff to be named interim leader, Dion resigned the post on December 8, 2008 (effective December 10, upon Ignatieff’s becoming interim leader). LeBlanc announced on the same day that he was abandoning the Liberal leadership race and endorsing Ignatieff as the next leader. The following day Rae announced he was also dropping out of the race and was placing his “full and unqualified” support to Ignatieff.
With Ignatieff named interim leader of the party (on December 10), the Liberal’s poll numbers saw significant gains, after they plummeted with the signing of the coalition agreement. When parliament resumed on January 28, 2009, the Ignatieff Liberals agreed to support the budget as long as it included regular accountability reports, which the Conservatives accepted. This ended the possibility of the coalition government with the New Democrats.
Throughout the Winter of 200809, opinion polls showed that while the Ignatieff led Liberals still trailed the Conservatives their support had stabilized in the low 30 percent range. However, by the time Ignatieff was confirmed as party leader on May 2, 2009, the Liberal Party had a comfortable lead over the governing Conservatives. After a Summer where he was accused of being missing in action, Ignatieff announced on August 31, 2009, that the Liberals would not support the minority Conservative government. After this announcement the Liberal Party’s poll numbers, which had already declined over the summer, started to fall further behind the Conservatives. On October 1, 2009, the Liberals put forth a non-confidence motion with the hope of defeating the government. However, the NDP abstained from voting and the Conservatives survived the confidence motion.
The Liberal Party’s attempt to force an election, just a year after the previous one, was reported as a miscalculation, as polls showed that most Canadians did not want another election. Even after the government survived the confidence motion popularity for Ignatieff and his party continued to fall. Over the next year and a half, with the exception of a brief period in early 2010, support for the Liberals remained below 30 percent, and behind the Conservatives. While his predecessor Dion was criticized by the Conservatives as a “weak leader”, Ignatieff was attacked as a “political opportunist”.
On March 25, 2011, Ignatieff introduced a motion of non-confidence against the Harper government to attempt to force a May 2011, federal election after the government was found to be in Contempt of Parliament, the first such occurrence in Commonwealth history. The House of Commons passed the motion by 156145.
The Liberals had considerable momentum when the writ was dropped, and Ignatieff successfully squeezed NDP leader Jack Layton out of media attention, by issuing challenges to Harper for one-on-one debates. In the first couple weeks of the campaign, Ignatieff kept his party in second place in the polls, and his personal ratings exceeded that of Layton for the first time. However opponents frequently criticized Ignatieff’s perceived political opportunism, particularly during the leaders debates when Layton criticized Ignatieff for having a poor attendance record for Commons votes saying “You know, most Canadians, if they don’t show up for work, they don’t get a promotion”. Ignatieff failed to defend himself against these charges, and the debates were said to be a turning point for his party’s campaign. Near the end of the campaign, a late surge in support for Layton and the NDP relegated Ignatieff and the Liberals to third in opinion polls.
The Liberals suffered their worst defeat in history in the May 2, 2011, federal election. The result was a third-place finish, with only 19 percent of the vote and returning 34 seats in the House of Commons. Notably, their support in Toronto and Montreal, their power bases for the last two decades, all but vanished. All told, the Liberals won only 11 seats in Ontario (seven of which were in Toronto) and seven in Quebec (all in Montreal)their fewest totals in either province. Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province with majority Liberal seats at 4 out of 7. They also won only four seats west of Ontario. The Conservatives won 40 percent of the vote and formed a majority government, while the NDP formed the Official Opposition winning 31 percent of the vote.
This election marked the first time the Liberals were unable to form either government or the official opposition. Ignatieff was defeated in his own riding, and announced his resignation as Liberal leader shortly after. Bob Rae was chosen as the interim leader on May 25, 2011.
On April 14, 2013 Justin Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, was elected leader of the Liberal Party on the first ballot, winning 80% of the vote. Following his win, support for the Liberal Party increased considerably, and the party moved into first place in public opinion polls.
An initial surge in support in the polls following Trudeau’s election wore off in the following year, in the face of Conservative ad campaign after Trudeau’s win attempting to “[paint] him as a silly dilettante unfit for public office.”
In 2014, Trudeau removed all Liberal senators from the Liberal Party caucus. In announcing this, Trudeau said the purpose of the unelected upper chamber is to act as a check on the power of the prime minister, but the party structure interferes with that purpose. Following this move, Liberal senators chose to keep the designation “Liberal” and sit together as a caucus, albeit one not supported by the Liberal Party of Canada. This independent group still refers to itself in publications as the Senate Liberal Caucus.
By the time the 2015 federal election was called, the Liberals had been knocked back into third place. Trudeau and his advisors planned to mount a campaign based on economic stimulus in the hopes of regaining the mantle of being the party that best represented change from the New Democrats.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals would win the 2015 election in dramatic fashion: becoming the first party to win a parliamentary majority after being reduced to third party status in a previous general election, besting Brian Mulroney’s record for the largest seat increase by a party in a single election (111 in 1984), and winning the most seats in Quebec for the first time since 1980.Chantal Hbert deemed the result “a Liberal comeback that is headed straight for the history books”, while Bloomberg’s Josh Wingrove and Theophilos Argitis similarly described it as “capping the biggest political comeback in the countrys history.”
Scholars and political experts have recently used a realignment model to explain what was considered a collapse of a dominant party, and put its condition in long-term perspective. According to recent scholarship there have been four party systems in Canada at the federal level since Confederation, each with its own distinctive pattern of social support, patronage relationships, leadership styles, and electoral strategies. Steve Patten identifies four party systems in Canada’s political history:
Stephen Clarkson (2005) shows how the Liberal Party has dominated all the party systems, using different approaches. It began with a “clientelistic approach” under Laurier, which evolved into a “brokerage” system of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s under Mackenzie King. The 1950s saw the emergence of a “pan-Canadian system”, which lasted until the 1990s. The 1993 election categorized by Clarkson as an electoral “earthquake” which “fragmented” the party system, saw the emergence of regional politics within a four party-system, whereby various groups championed regional issues and concerns. Clarkson concludes that the inherent bias built into the first-past-the-post system, has chiefly benefited the Liberals.
Pundits in the wake of the 2011 election widely believed in a theme of major realignment. Lawrence Martin, commentator for the Globe and Mail, claimed that “Harper has completed a remarkable reconstruction of a Canadian political landscape that endured for more than a century. The realignment sees both old parties of the moderate middle, the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals, either eliminated or marginalized.”Maclean’s said that the election marked “an unprecedented realignment of Canadian politics” as “the Conservatives are now in a position to replace the Liberals as the natural governing party in Canada”; Andrew Coyne proclaimed “The West is in and Ontario has joined it,” noting that the Conservatives accomplished the rare feat of putting together a majority by winning in both Ontario and the western provinces (difficult because of traditionally conflicting interests), while having little representation in Quebec. Books such as The Big Shift by John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker, and Peter C. Newman’s When the Gods Changed: The Death of Liberal Canada, provocatively asserted that the Liberals had become an “endangered species” and that an NDP-led opposition would mean that “fortune favours the Harper government” in subsequent campaigns.
The Liberal victory in 2015, leaving Alberta and Saskatchewan as the only two Conservative-held provinces in the country, has now challenged that narrative.
See more here:
Posted: August 29, 2016 at 7:47 am
Euthanasia is illegal in most of the United States. Physician aid in dying (PAD), or assisted suicide, is legal in the states of Washington, Oregon, California, and Vermont; its status is disputed in Montana. The key difference between euthanasia and PAD is who administers the lethal dose of medication: Euthanasia entails the physician or another third party administering the medication, whereas PAD requires the patient to self-administer the medication and to determine whether and when to do this. Attempts to legalize PAD resulted in ballot initiatives and “legislation bills” within the United States of America in the last 20 years. For example, the state of Washington voters saw Ballot Initiative 119 in 1991, the state of California placed Proposition 161 on the ballot in 1992, Oregon voters passed Measure 16 (Death with Dignity Act) in 1994, the state of Michigan included Proposal B in their ballot in 1998, and Washington’s Initiative 1000 passed in 2008. Vermont’s state legislature passed a bill making PAD legal in May 2013. However, on May 31, 2013, Maine rejected a similar bill within its state legislature (95-13).
Debates about the ethics of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide date from ancient Greece and Rome. After the development of ether, physicians began advocating the use of anesthetics to relieve the pain of death. In 1870, Samuel Williams first proposed using anesthetics and morphine to intentionally end a patient’s life. Over the next 35 years, debates about euthanasia raged in the United States which resulted in an Ohio bill to legalize euthanasia in 1906, a bill that was ultimately defeated.
Euthanasia advocacy in the U.S. peaked again during the 1930s and diminished significantly during and after World War II. Euthanasia efforts were revived during the 1960s and 1970s, under the right-to-die rubric, physician assisted death in liberal bioethics, and through advance directives and do not resuscitate orders.
Several major court cases advanced the legal rights of patients, or their guardians, to practice at least voluntary passive euthanasia (physician assisted death). These include the Karen Ann Quinlan (1976), Brophy and Nancy Cruzan cases. More recent years have seen policies fine-tuned and re-stated, as with Washington v. Glucksberg (1997) and the Terri Schiavo case. The numerous legislative rulings and legal precedents that were brought about in the wake of the Quinlan case had their ethical foundation in the famous 1983 report completed by the Presidents Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine, under the title “Deciding to Forgo Life-Sustaining Treatment” (Angell, Marcia. “How to Die in Massachusetts.” The New York Review of Books. 21 February 2013: 60.3. Web. 14 Jul. 2014.). The Commission sustained in its findings that it was morally acceptable to give up a life-supporting therapy and that withholding or withdrawing such a therapy is the same thing from an ethical stand-point, while artificial feeding and other life-supporting therapy are of the same importance for the patients and doctors. Before this report, to withdraw a medical therapy was regarded as much more serious decision than not to start a therapy at all, while artificial feeding was viewed as a special treatment. By 1990, barely a decade and a half after the New Jersey Supreme Courts historic decision, patients were well aware that they could decline any form of medical therapy if they simply choose to do that either directly or by expressing their wish via appointed representative.
In a 2004 article in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Brown University historian Jacob M. Appel documented extensive political debate over legislation to legalize physician-assisted suicide in both Iowa and Ohio in 1906. The driving force behind this movement was social activist Anna S. Hall. Canadian historian Ian Dowbiggen’s 2003 book, A Merciful End, revealed the role that leading public figures, including Clarence Darrow and Jack London, played in advocating for the legalization of euthanasia.
In the 1983 case of Barber v. Superior Court, two physicians had honored a family’s request to withdraw both respirator and intravenous feeding and hydration tubes from a comatose patient. The physicians were charged with murder, despite the fact that they were doing what the family wanted. The court held that all charges should be dropped because the treatments had all been ineffective and burdensome. Withdrawal of treatment, even if life-ending, is morally and legally permitted. Competent patients or their surrogates can decide to withdraw treatments, usually after the treatments are found ineffective, painful, or burdensome.
The California legislature passed a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide in September 2015, and the bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 5, 2015.  The law went into effect in June 2016.
On May 31, 2013, the Maine state legislature rejected decriminalization of physician assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia (95-43).
On December 5, 2009, state District Court judge Dorothy McCarter ruled in favor of a terminally ill Billings resident who had filed a lawsuit with the assistance of Compassion & Choices, a patient rights group. The ruling states that competent, terminally ill patients have the right to self-administer lethal doses of medication as prescribed by a physician. Physicians who prescribe such medications will not face legal punishment. On December 31, 2009, the Montana Supreme Court delivered its verdict in the case of Baxter v. Montana. The court held that there was “nothing in Montana Supreme Court precedent or Montana statutes indicating that physician aid in dying is against public policy,” although prosecutions under the state’s assisted suicide statute are still possible.
In the United States legal and ethical debates about euthanasia became more prominent in the case of Karen Ann Quinlan who went into a coma after allegedly mixing tranquilizers with alcohol, surviving biologically for 9 years in a “persistent vegetative state” even after the New Jersey Supreme Court approval to remove her from a respirator. This case caused a widespread public concern about “lives not worth living” and the possibility of at least voluntary euthanasia if it could be ascertained that the patient would not have wanted to live in this condition.
Measure 16 in 1994 established the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which legalizes physician-assisted dying with certain restrictions, making Oregon the first U.S. state and one of the first jurisdictions in the world to officially do so. The measure was approved in the 8 November 1994 general election in a tight race with the final tally showing 627,980 votes (51.3%) in favor, and 596,018 votes (48.7%) against. The law survived an attempted repeal in 1997, which was defeated at the ballot by a 60% vote. In 2005, after several attempts by lawmakers at both the state and federal level to overturn the Oregon law, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6-3 to uphold the law after hearing arguments in the case of Gonzales v. Oregon.
In 1999, the state of Texas passed the Advance Directives Act. Under the law, in some situations, Texas hospitals and physicians have the right to withdraw life support measures, such as mechanical respiration, from terminally ill patients when such treatment is considered to be both futile and inappropriate. This is sometimes referred to as “passive euthanasia”.
In 2005, a six-month-old infant, Sun Hudson, with a uniformly fatal disease thanatophoric dysplasia, was the first patient in which “a United States court has allowed life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn from a pediatric patient over the objections of the child’s parent.”
In 2008, the electorate of the state of Washington voted in favor of Initiative 1000 which made assisted suicide legal in the state through the Washington Death with Dignity Act.
On May 20, 2013, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a legislative bill making PAD legal in Vermont.
Attempts to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide resulted in ballot initiatives and legislation bills within the United States in the last 20 years. For example, Washington voters saw Ballot Initiative 119 in 1991, California placed Proposition 161 on the ballot in 1992, Oregon passed the Death with Dignity Act in 1994, and Michigan included Proposal B in their ballot in 1998. Despite the earlier failure, in November 2008 physician-assisted dying was approved in Washington by Initiative 1000.
In 2000, Maine voters defeated a referendum to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The proposal was defeated by a 51%-49% margin.
Reflecting the religious and cultural diversity of the United States, there is a wide range of public opinion about euthanasia and the right-to-die movement in the United States. During the past 30 years, public research shows that views on euthanasia tend to correlate with religious affiliation and culture, though not gender.
In one recent study dealing primarily with Christian denominations such as Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, and Evangelicals and Catholics tended to be opposed to euthanasia. Moderate Protestants, (e.g., Lutherans and Methodists) showed mixed views concerning end of life decisions in general. Both of these groups showed less support than non-affiliates, but were less opposed to it than conservative Protestants. Respondents that did not affiliate with a religion were found to support euthanasia more than those who did. The liberal Protestants (including some Presbyterians and Episcopalians) were the most supportive. In general, liberal Protestants affiliate more loosely with religious institutions and their views were not similar to those of non-affiliates. Within all groups, religiosity (i.e., self-evaluation and frequency of church attendance) also correlated to opinions on euthanasia. Individuals who attended church regularly and more frequently and considered themselves more religious were found to be more opposed to euthanasia than to those who had a lower level of religiosity.
Recent studies have shown white Americans to be more accepting of euthanasia than black Americans. They are also more likely to have advance directives and to use other end-of-life measures. Black Americans are almost 3 times more likely to oppose euthanasia than white Americans. Some speculate that this discrepancy is due to the lower levels of trust in the medical establishment. Select researchers believe that historical medical abuses towards minorities (such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study) have made minority groups less trustful of the level of care they receive. One study also found that there are significant disparities in the medical treatment and pain management that white Americans and other Americans receive.
Among black Americans, education correlates to support for euthanasia. Black Americans without a four-year degree are twice as likely to oppose euthanasia than those with at least that much education. Level of education, however, does not significantly influence other racial groups in the US. Some researchers suggest that black Americans tend to be more religious, a claim that is difficult to substantiate and define. Only black and white Americans have been studied in extensive detail. Although it has been found that minority groups are less supportive of euthanasia than white Americans, there is still some ambiguity as to what degree this is true.
A recent Gallup Poll found that 84% of males supported euthanasia compared to 64% of females. Some cite the prior studies showing that women have a higher level of religiosity and moral conservatism as an explanation. Within both sexes, there are differences in attitudes towards euthanasia due to other influences. For example, one study found that black American women are 2.37 times more likely to oppose euthanasia than white American women. Black American men are 3.61 times more likely to oppose euthanasia than white American men.
In “Gender, Feminism, and Death: Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia” Susan M. Wolf warns of the gender disparities if euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide were legal. Wolf highlights four possible gender effects: higher incidence of women than men dying by physician-assisted suicide; more women seeking physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia for different reasons than men; physicians granting or refusing requests for assisted suicide or euthanasia because of the gender of the patient; gender affecting the broad public debate by envisioning a woman patient when considering the debate.
Posted: June 17, 2016 at 4:55 am
The thought police are watching you. Back in the 1990s, lots of jokes were made about political correctness, and almost everybody thought they were really funny. Unfortunately, very few people are laughing now because political correctness has become a way of life in America. If you say the wrong thing you could lose your job or you could rapidly end up in court. Every single day, the mainstream media bombards us with subtle messages that make it clear what is appropriate and what is inappropriate, and most Americans quietly fall in line with this unwritten speech code. But just because it is not written down somewhere does not mean that it isnt real. In fact, this speech code becomes more restrictive and more suffocating with each passing year. The goal of the thought Nazis is to control what people say to one another, because eventually that will shape what most people think and what most people believe. If you dont think this is true, just try the following experiment some time. Go to a public place where a lot of people are gathered and yell out something horribly politically incorrect such as I love Jesus and watch people visibly cringe. The name of Jesus has become a curse word in our politically correct society, and we have been trained to have a negative reaction to it in public places. After that, yell out something politically correct such as I support gay marriage and watch what happens. You will probably get a bunch of smiles and quite a few people may even approach you to express their appreciation for what you just said. Of course this is going to vary depending on what area of the country you live in, but hopefully you get the idea. Billions of dollars of media programming has changed the definitions of what people consider to be acceptable and what people consider to be not acceptable. Political correctness shapes the way that we all communicate with each other every single day, and it is only going to get worse in the years ahead. Sadly, most people simply have no idea what is happening to them.
The following are 20 outrageous examples that show how political correctness is taking over America
#1 According to a new Army manual, U.S. soldiers will now be instructed to avoid any criticism of pedophilia and to avoid criticizing anything related to Islam. The following is from a recent Judicial Watch article
The draft leaked to the newspaper offers a list of taboo conversation topics that soldiers should avoid, including making derogatory comments about the Taliban, advocating womens rights, any criticism of pedophilia, directing any criticism towards Afghans, mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct or anything related to Islam.
#2 The Obama administration has banned all U.S. government agencies from producing any training materials that link Islam with terrorism. In fact, the FBI has gone back and purged references to Islam and terrorism from hundreds of old documents.
#3 Authorities are cracking down on public expressions of the Christian faith all over the nation, and yet atheists in New York City are allowed to put up an extremely offensive billboard in Time Square this holiday season that shows a picture of Jesus on the cross underneath a picture of Santa with the following tagline: Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!
#4 According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against criminals because it has a disproportionate impact on minorities.
#5 Down in California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will allow large numbers of illegal immigrants to legally get California drivers licenses.
#6 Should an illegal immigrant be able to get a law license and practice law in the United States? That is exactly what the State Bar of California argued earlier this year
An illegal immigrant applying for a law license in California should be allowed to receive it, the State Bar of California argues in a filing to the state Supreme Court.
Sergio Garcia, 35, of Chico, Calif., has met the rules for admission, including passing the bar exam and the moral character review, and his lack of legal status in the United States should not automatically disqualify him, the Committee of Bar Examiners said Monday.
#7 More than 75 percent of the babies born in Detroit are born to unmarried women, yet it is considered to be politically correct to suggest that there is anything wrong with that.
#8 The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) initiated an aggressive advertising campaign earlier this year that included online videos, billboards, and lectures that sought to raise awareness about white privilege.
#9 At one high school down in California, five students were sent home from school for wearing shirts that displayed the American flag on the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo.
#10 Chris Matthews of MSNBC recently suggested that it is racist for conservatives to use the word Chicago.
#11 A judge down in North Carolina has ruled that it is unconstitutional for North Carolina to offer license plates that say Choose Life on them.
#12 The number of gay characters on television is at an all-time record high. Meanwhile, there are barely any strongly Christian characters to be found anywhere on television or in the movies, and if they do happen to show up they are almost always portrayed in a very negative light.
#13 House Speaker John Boehner recently stripped key committee positions from four rebellious conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is believed that this purge happened in order to send a message that members of the party better fall in line and support Boehner in his negotiations with Barack Obama.
#14 There is already a huge push to have a woman elected president in 2016. It doesnt appear that it even matters which woman is elected. There just seems to be a feeling that it is time for a woman to be elected even if she doesnt happen to be the best candidate.
#15 Volunteer chaplains for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department have been banned from using the name of Jesus on government property.
#16 Chaplains in the U.S. military are being forced to perform gay marriages, even if it goes against their personal religious beliefs. The few chaplains that have refused to follow orders know that it means the end of their careers.
#17 All over the country, the term manhole is being replaced with the terms utility hole or maintenance hole.
#18 In San Francisco, authorities have installed small plastic privacy screens on library computers so that perverts can continue to exercise their right to watch pornography at the library without children being exposed to it.
#19 You will never guess what is going on at one college up in Washington state
A Washington college said their non-discrimination policy prevents them from stopping a transgender man from exposing himself to young girls inside a womens locker room, according to a group of concerned parents.
#20 All over America, liberal commentators are now suggesting that football has become too violent and too dangerous and that it needs to be substantially toned down. In fact, one liberal columnist for the Boston Globe is even proposing that football should be banned for anyone under the age of 14.
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Posted: June 16, 2016 at 5:57 pm
Wisconsin has slipped slightly since the last edition of the index and is now just outside the bottom 10. However, this is one state that may already be improving due to legislative changes since the data cutoff for this study. For example, Governor Scott Walker and the state legislature have agreed to budget cuts in education and other areas, while passing Act 10which aims to limit the bargaining power of public employee unions (though it is unclear whether this law will survive legal challenges). A study by the Wisconsin-based MacIver Institute for Public Policy argues that Act 10 has already saved taxpayers $2 billion.1 Therefore, Wisconsins rank is likely to improve in the next edition of Freedom in the 50 States.
Wisconsin ranks near the bottom in economic freedom, due primarily to its poor fiscal policy. Wisconsins overall tax burden is very high, as are individual income and property taxes. State spending and debt are roughly average. However, its benefit payments are quite high, as is its level of transportation spending. Moreover, Wisconsin government employment is quite large relative to the private workforce.
Wisconsin fares a lot better in regulatory policy, ranking 15th. It is slightly worse than average in terms of land-use regulation but has passed some eminent domain reforms. Wisconsins labor market freedom, occupational freedom, health insurance freedom, and liability system are mediocre. It is not (yet) a right-to-work state, but has avoided mandating a minimum wage above the federal average or requiring employers to buy short-term disability insurance. Wisconsin does not have community rating (though there are small-group rate bands) or rate reviews. Wisconsin has also deregulated cable and telecom. It does quite well in terms of insurance rate filing requirements. However, it is almost a standard deviation worse than the mean on occupational licensing.
Wisconsin performs below average in a number of personal freedom categories. The state has high victimless crimes arrest rates, though its drug enforcement rate is below average. It has the worst gaming laws in the country (social gambling is not allowed) and almost the strictest campaign finance laws. The state also performs below average on gun freedom and travel freedom. Home schools are regulated with some onerous notification requirements. Wisconsin has some of the best alcohol laws in the country, with taxes fairly low across the board. However, its cigarette taxes are very high and smoking bans are extensive. Wisconsin recently enacted a domestic partnership law. Its asset forfeiture laws score well (over one standard deviation better than average).
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Posted: June 12, 2016 at 8:25 pm
Alternative title: germ weapon
Biological weapon, also called germ weapon, any of a number of disease-producing agentssuch as bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, fungi, toxins, or other biological agentsthat may be utilized as weapons against humans, animals, or plants.
The direct use of infectious agents and poisons against enemy personnel is an ancient practice in warfare. Indeed, in many conflicts, diseases have been responsible for more deaths than all the employed combat arms combined, even when they have not consciously been used as weapons.
Biological weapons, like chemical weapons, radiological weapons, and nuclear weapons, are commonly referred to as weapons of mass destruction, although the term is not truly appropriate in the case of biological armaments. Lethal biological weapons may be capable of causing mass deaths, but they are incapable of mass destruction of infrastructure, buildings, or equipment. Nevertheless, because of the indiscriminate nature of these weaponsas well as the potential for starting widespread pandemics, the difficulty of controlling disease effects, and the simple fear that they inspiremost countries have agreed to ban the entire class.
As of 2013 a total of 180 states and Taiwan had signed the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and 170 of those states and Taiwan had signed and ratified the treaty, which was opened for signature in 1972. Under the terms of the BWC, member states are prohibited from using biological weapons in warfare and from developing, testing, producing, stockpiling, or deploying them. However, a number of states have continued to pursue biological warfare capabilities, seeking a cheaper but still deadly strategic weapon rather than following the more difficult and expensive path to nuclear weapons. In addition, the threat that some deranged individual or terrorist organization will manufacture or steal biological weapons is a growing security concern.
Biological warfare agents differ greatly in the type of organism or toxin used in a weapons system, lethality, length of incubation, infectiousness, stability, and ability to be treated with current vaccines and medicines. There are five different categories of biological agents that could be weaponized and used in warfare or terrorism. These include:
Some of these biological agents have properties that would make them more likely candidates for weaponization, such as their lethality, ability to incapacitate, contagiousness or noncontagiousness, hardiness and stability, and other characteristics. Among the agents deemed likely candidates for biological weapons use are the toxins ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), botulinum toxin, and T-2 mycotoxin and the infectious agents responsible for anthrax, brucellosis, cholera, pneumonic plague, tularemia, Q fever, smallpox, glanders, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and viral hemorrhagic fever. Various states at various times have looked into weaponizing dozens of other biological agents in addition.
Most weaponized lethal biological agents are intended to be delivered as aerosols, which would cause infections when breathed by the targeted personnel. For this reason, the most-effective defense against biological weapons is a good protective mask equipped with filters capable of blocking bacteria, viruses, and spores larger than one micron (one micrometre; one-millionth of a metre) in cross section from entry into the wearers nasal passages and lungs. Protective overgarments, including boots and gloves, are useful for preventing biological agents from contacting open wounds or breaks in the skin. Also, decontaminants can neutralize biological agents in infected areas after a biological attack.
Developing and fielding effective biological weapon sensors that can trigger an alarm would allow personnel to don masks before exposure, get into protective overgarments, and go inside, preferably into toxic-free collective protection shelters. Medical teams could then immediately go into action to check and treat those who may have been exposed.
Biological warfare attacks can be made less effective, or ineffective, if the targeted persons have been vaccinated against the specific disease-causing agent used in an attack.
Civil defense against biological weapons has greatly improved since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, but progress does not necessarily equal success. A successful civil defense against major biological attacks requires that significant progress be made in sensors, warning systems, vaccines, medicines, training of responders, and public education as well as in planning of emergency procedures. These aspects of civil defense are described briefly in this section, using as examples certain practices put into effect in the United States since September 11.
The foundation of any civil defense against a biological weapons attack is the medical system that has already been set up to deal with naturally occurring diseases. Special vaccines have been created, tested, and approved to deal with the two most lethal biological agents that can also be most easily weaponized: anthrax and smallpox. For example, the U.S. government has enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate the entire American population and enough anthrax vaccine to inoculate at least every member of the U.S. military.
Effective vaccines for plague and cholera now exist and have been approved for use, but only small quantities have been produced, far short of what might be needed if large numbers of people were to be infected. Furthermore, in the United States a number of vaccines are still in the Investigational New Drug (IND) category and await further trials before the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) can validate their effectiveness and safety. Included among these are vaccines for Q fever, tularemia, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, viral hemorrhagic fever, and botulism.
At present no effective vaccines exist for preventing infections from glanders, brucellosis, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, ricin, or T-2 mycotoxinsall biological agents that some countries have researched for military use or have weaponized in the past. However, in some cases where vaccines are not yet available, medicines have been developed that help the sick to recover.
Long-term medical research is being conducted to investigate the possibility of developing vaccines and supplements that, when administered, might raise the effectiveness of the recipients immune system to protect against the whole spectrum of probable biological warfare agents.
One U.S. civil defense program that might make a difference in a biological emergency is the Strategic National Stockpile program, which has created 50-ton push packages of vaccines, medicines, decontamination agents, and emergency medical equipment, which are stored in a dozen locations across the country in preparation for emergencies. Furthermore, every U.S. state has bioterrorism response plans in place, including plans or guidelines for mass vaccinations, triage, and quarantines. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also drafted model legislation on emergency health powers for states to adopt in order to deal with such crises.
A new emergency response system was created in the United States following the September 11 attacks. The National Guard increased the number of its Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams, which respond to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons attacksaugmenting the police, fire, and medical first responders in the local area of any attacks. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security, working with the Department of Health and Human Services, invested heavily in passive defenses against biological attacks, focusing on such programs as Project BioShield and the Laboratory Response Network. The CDC also embarked on a training program on bioterrorism for thousands of medical lab technicians, and the National Institutes of Health funded new biocontainment research laboratories to further research in vaccines, medicines, and bioforensics.
Sensors to detect the presence of biological agents in the air, in water, or on surfaces are still relatively ineffective, but the aim of research is to create a detect-to-warn system that would provide enough time for potential victims to don masks, cover up, and take shelter before they are infected. The current detect-to-treat capability is unsatisfactory because responders would be treating many persons already infected. Most current biological detectors are point detectors, which are not capable of giving advance warning after scanning an airborne cloud of particles to discern if those particles contain biological agents of a specific type.
One of the first recorded uses of biological warfare occurred in 1347, when Mongol forces are reported to have catapulted plague-infested bodies over the walls into the Black Sea port of Caffa (now Feodosiya, Ukraine), at that time a Genoese trade centre in the Crimean Peninsula. Some historians believe that ships from the besieged city returned to Italy with the plague, starting the Black Death pandemic that swept through Europe over the next four years and killed some 25 million people (about one-third of the population).
In 1710 a Russian army fighting Swedish forces barricaded in Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia) also hurled plague-infested corpses over the citys walls. In 1763 British troops besieged at Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) during Pontiacs Rebellion passed blankets infected with smallpox virus to the Indians, causing a devastating epidemic among their ranks.
During World War I (191418) Germany initiated a clandestine program to infect horses and cattle owned by Allied armies on both the Western and Eastern fronts. The infectious agent for glanders was reported to have been used. For example, German agents infiltrated the United States and surreptitiously infected animals prior to their shipment across the Atlantic in support of Allied forces. In addition, there reportedly was a German attempt in 1915 to spread plague in St. Petersburg in order to weaken Russian resistance.
The horrors of World War I caused most countries to sign the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning the use of biological and chemical weapons in war. Nevertheless, Japan, one of the signatory parties to the protocol, engaged in a massive and clandestine research, development, production, and testing program in biological warfare, and it violated the treatys ban when it used biological weapons against Allied forces in China between 1937 and 1945. The Japanese not only used biological weapons in China, but they also experimented on and killed more than 3,000 human subjects (including Allied prisoners of war) in tests of biological warfare agents and various biological weapons delivery mechanisms. The Japanese experimented with the infectious agents for bubonic plague, anthrax, typhus, smallpox, yellow fever, tularemia, hepatitis, cholera, gas gangrene, and glanders, among others.
Although there is no documented evidence of any other use of biological weapons in World War II, both sides had active research and development (R&D) programs. The Japanese use of biological warfare agents against the Chinese led to an American decision to undertake biological warfare research in order to understand better how to defend against the threat and provide, if necessary, a retaliatory capability. The United Kingdom, Germany, and the Soviet Union had similar R&D programs during World War II, but only Japan has been proved to have used such weapons in the war.
In the Cold War era, which followed World War II, both the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as their respective allies, embarked on large-scale biological warfare R&D and weapons production programs. Those programs were required by law to be halted and dismantled upon the signing of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1972 and the entry into force of that treaty in 1975. In the case of the United States and its allies, compliance with the terms of the treaty appears to have been complete. Such was not the case with the Soviet Union, which conducted an aggressive clandestine biological warfare program even though it had signed and ratified the treaty. The lack of a verification regime to check members compliance with the BWC made it easier for the Soviets to flout the treaty without being detected.
After the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 and its subsequent division into 15 independent states, Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin confirmed that the Soviet Union had violated the BWC, and he pledged to terminate what remained of the old Soviet biological weapons program. (See also yellow rain.) However, another problem remainedthat of the potential transfer of information, technical assistance, production equipment, materials, and even finished biological weapons to states and groups outside the borders of the former Soviet Union. The United States and the former Soviet republics pledged to work together to contain the spread of biological warfare capabilities. With financing from the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and other sources, help in obtaining civilian jobs in other fields was also made available for some of the estimated 60,000 scientists and technicians who had worked in the Soviet biological warfare programs.
Of the more than 190 members of the United Nations, only a dozen or so are strongly suspected of having ongoing biological weapons programs. However, such programs can be easily hidden and disguised as vaccine plants and benign pharmaceutical-production centres. Biological weapons are not as expensive to manufacture as nuclear weapons, yet a lethal biological weapon might nonetheless be the strategic weapon that would win a war. This prospect of military advantage might tempt some regimes to acquire the weapons, though perhaps clandestinely.
Since the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) has no existing verification or inspection procedures to verify compliance by its signatories, cheating on the treaty might be done with no outside proof to the contrary. It is entirely possible that even a small and relatively poor state might successfully embark on a biological warfare program with a small capital investment and a few dozen biologists, all of which could be secretly housed within a few buildings. In fact, a biological weapons program might also be within the technical and financial reach of a terrorist organization. In summary, the degree of biological weapons proliferation is highly uncertain, difficult to detect, and difficult to quantify.
Biological weapons have been used in a few instances in the past by terrorist organizations. In the 1980s followers of the exiled Indian self-proclaimed guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh settled on a ranch in Wasco county, Oregon, U.S. The Rajneeshies took political control of the nearby town of Antelope, changing its name to Rajneesh, and in 1984 they attempted to extend their political control throughout the county by suppressing voter turnout in the more populous town of The Dalles. Leading up to the countywide elections, cult members experimented with contaminating groceries, restaurants, and the water supply in The Dalles with Salmonella bacteria. Their efforts made at least 751 people ill. The plot was not discovered until the year after the attack, when one of the participants confessed.
In the period from April 1990 to July 1995, the AUM Shinrikyo sect used both biological and chemical weapons on targets in Japan. The members biological attacks were largely unsuccessful because they never mastered the science and technology of biological warfare. Nevertheless, they attempted four attacks using anthrax and six using botulinum toxin on various targets, including a U.S. naval base at Yokosuka.
Al-Qaeda operatives have shown an interest in developing and using biological weapons, and they operated an anthrax laboratory in Afghanistan prior to its being overrun by U.S. and Afghan Northern Alliance forces in 200102. In 2001 anthrax-laden letters were sent to many politicians and other prominent individuals in the United States. The letters killed 5 people and sent 22 to the hospital while forcing the evacuation of congressional office buildings, the offices of the governor of New York, several television network headquarters, and a tabloid newspaper office. This event caused many billions of dollars in cleanup, decontamination, and investigation costs. In early 2010, more than eight years after the mailings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation finally closed its investigation, having concluded that the letters were mailed by a microbiologist who had worked in the U.S. Armys biological defense effort for years and who committed suicide in 2008 after being named a suspect in the investigation.
Information on the manufacture of biological and chemical weapons has been disseminated widely on the Internet, and basic scientific information is also within the reach of many researchers at biological laboratories around the world. Unfortunately, it thus seems likely that poisons and disease agents will be used as terrorist weapons in the future.
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Posted: April 19, 2016 at 7:44 am
Lynchburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,568. The 2014 census estimates an increase to 79,047. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the James River, Lynchburg is known as the “City of Seven Hills” or the “Hill City”. Lynchburg was the only major city in Virginia that was not captured by the Union before the end of the American Civil War.
Lynchburg is the principal city of the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Lynchburg, near the geographic center of Virginia. It is the fifth largest MSA in Virginia with a population of 254,171 and hosts several institutions of higher education. Other nearby cities include Roanoke, Charlottesville, and Danville. Lynchburg’s sister cities are Rueil-Malmaison, France and Glauchau, Germany.
A part of Monacan country upon the arrival of English settlers in Virginia, the region had traditionally been occupied by them and other Siouan Tutelo-speaking tribes since ca. 1270, driving Virginia Algonquians eastward. Explorer John Lederer visited one of the Siouan villages (Saponi) in 1670, on the Staunton River at Otter Creek, southwest of the present-day city, as did Batts and Fallam in 1671. The Siouans occupied the area until c. 1702, when it was taken in conquest by the Seneca Iroquois. The Iroquois ceded control to the Colony of Virginia beginning in 1718, and formally at the Treaty of Albany in 1721.
First settled in 1757, Lynchburg was named for its founder, John Lynch, who at the age of 17 started a ferry service at a ford across the James River to carry traffic to and from New London. He was also responsible for Lynchburg’s first bridge across the river, which replaced the ferry in 1812. He and his mother are buried in the graveyard at the South River Friends Meetinghouse. The “City of Seven Hills” quickly developed along the hills surrounding Lynch’s Ferry. Thomas Jefferson maintained a home near Lynchburg, called Poplar Forest. Jefferson frequented Lynchburg and remarked “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be useful to the town of Lynchburg. I consider it as the most interesting spot in the state.”
Lynchburg was established by charter in 1786 at the site of Lynch’s Ferry on the James River. These new easy means of transportation routed traffic through Lynchburg, and allowed it to become the new center of commerce for tobacco trading. In 1810, Jefferson wrote, “Lynchburg is perhaps the most rising place in the U.S…. It ranks now next to Richmond in importance…” Lynchburg became a center of commerce and manufacture in the 19th century, and by the 1850s, Lynchburg (along with New Bedford, Mass.) was one of the richest towns per capita in the U.S. Chief industries were tobacco, iron and steel. Transportation facilities included the James River Bateau on the James River, and later, the James River and Kanawha Canal and, still later, four railroads, including the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad and the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad.
Early on, Lynchburg was not known for its religiosity. In 1804, evangelist Lorenzo Dow wrote of Lynchburg “… where I spoke in the open air in what I conceived to be the seat of Satan’s Kingdom. Lynchburg was a deadly place for the worship of God.” This was in reference to the lack of churches in Lynchburg. As the wealth of Lynchburg grew, prostitution and other “rowdy” activities became quite common and, in many cases, ignored, if not accepted, by the “powers that be” of the time. Much of this activity took place in an area of downtown referred to as the “Buzzard’s Roost.”
During the American Civil War, Lynchburg, which served as a Confederate supply base, was approached within 1-mile (1.6km) by the Union forces of General David Hunter as he drove south from the Shenandoah Valley. Under the false impression that the Confederate forces stationed in Lynchburg were much larger than anticipated, Hunter was repelled by the forces of Confederate General Jubal Early on June 18, 1864, in the Battle of Lynchburg. To create the false impression, a train was continuously run up and down the tracks while the citizens of Lynchburg cheered as if reinforcements were unloading. Local prostitutes took part in the deception, misinforming their Union clients of the large number of Confederate reinforcements.
From April 610, 1865, Lynchburg served as the Capital of Virginia. Under Governor William Smith, the executive and legislative branches of the commonwealth escaped to Lynchburg with the fall of Richmond. Then Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, roughly 20 miles east of Lynchburg, ending the Civil War.
In the latter 19th century, Lynchburg’s economy evolved into manufacturing (sometimes referred to as the “Pittsburgh of the South”) and, per capita, made the city one of the wealthiest in the United States. In 1880, Lynchburg resident James Albert Bonsack invented the first cigarette rolling machine. Shortly thereafter Dr. Charles Browne Fleet, a physician and pharmacological tinkerer, introduced the first mass marketed over-the-counter enema. About this time, Lynchburg was also the preferred site for the Norfolk & Western junction with the Shenandoah Valley Railroad. However, the citizens of Lynchburg did not want the junction due to the noise and pollution it would create. Therefore, it was located in what would become the City of Roanoke.
In the late 1950s, a number of interested citizens, including Virginia Senator Mosby G. Perrow, Jr., requested the federal government to change its long-planned route for the interstate highway now known as I-64 between Clifton Forge and Richmond. Since the 1940s, maps of the federal interstate highway system depicted that highway taking a northern route, with no interstate highway running through Lynchburg, but the federal government assured Virginia that the highway’s route would be decided by the state. A proposed southern route called for the Interstate to follow from Richmond via US-360 and US-460, via Lynchburg to Roanoke and US-220 from Roanoke to Clifton Forge, then west following US-60 into West Virginia. Although the State Highway Commission’s minutes reflected its initial approval of the northern route, the issue remained in play, proponents of the southern route ultimately succeeded in persuading a majority of Virginia Highway Commissioners to support the change after a study championed by Perrow demonstrated that it would serve a greater percentage of the state’s manufacturing and textile centers. But in July 1961 Governor Lindsay Almond and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges announced that the route would not be changed. This left Lynchburg as the only city with a population in excess of 50,000 (at the time) not served by an interstate.
For several decades throughout the mid-20th century, the state of Virginia authorized compulsory sterilization of the mentally retarded for the purpose of eugenics. The operations were carried out at the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, now known as the Central Virginia Training School, located just outside Lynchburg in Madison Heights. An estimated 8,300 Virginians were sterilized and relocated to Lynchburg, known as a “dumping groun
d” of sorts for the feeble-minded, poor, blind, epileptic, and those otherwise seen as genetically “unfit”.
Sterilizations were carried out for 35 years until 1972, when operations were finally halted. Later in the late 1970s, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit against the state of Virginia on behalf of the sterilization victims. As a result of this suit, the victims received formal apologies and counseling if they chose. Requests to grant the victims reverse sterilization operations were denied.
Carrie Buck, the plaintiff in the United States Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell, was sterilized after being classified as “feeble-minded”, as part of the state’s eugenics program while she was a patient at the Lynchburg Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded.
The story of Carrie Buck’s sterilization and the court case was made into a television drama in 1994, Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story.
“Virginia State Epileptic Colony,” a song by the Manic Street Preachers on their 2009 album ‘Journal For Plague Lovers,’ addresses the state’s program of eugenics.
Downtown Lynchburg has seen a significant amount of revitalization since 2002 with hundreds of new loft apartments created through adaptive reuse of historic warehouses and mills. Since 2000, there has been more than $110 million in private investment in downtown and business activity increased by 205% from 2004 – 2014. In 2014, 75 new apartments were added to downtown with 155 further units under construction increasing the number of housing units downtown by 48% from 2010 – 2014. In 2015, the $5.8 million Lower Bluffwalk pedestrian street zone opened to the public in downtown which has seen a significant amount of residential and commercial development around the zone in recent years. Notable projects underway in downtown by the end of 2015 include the $25 million Hilton Curio branded Virginian Hotel restoration project, $16.6 million restoration of the Academy Center of the Arts, and $4.6 million expansion of Amazement Square Children’s Museum. 
Over 40 sites in Lynchburg are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lynchburg is located at 372413N 791012W / 37.40361N 79.17000W / 37.40361; -79.17000 (37.403672, 79.170205).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 49.6 square miles (128.5km2), of which 49.2 square miles (127.4km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3km2) (1.0%) is water.
Lynchburg has a four-season humid subtropical climate (Kppen Cfa), with cool winters and hot, humid summers. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 35.1F (1.7C) in January to 75.3F (24.1C) in July. Nights tend to be significantly cooler than days throughout much of the year due in part to the moderate elevation. In a typical year, there are 26 days with a high temperature 90F (32C) or above, and 7.5 days with a high of 32F (0C) or below. Snowfall averages 12.9 inches (33cm) per season but this amount varies highly with each winter; the snowiest winter is 199596 with 56.8in (144cm) of snow, but the following winter recorded only trace amounts, the least on record.
Temperature extremes range from 106F (41C), recorded on July 10, 1936, down to 11F (24C), recorded on February 20, 2015. However, several decades may pass between 100F (38C) and 0F (18C) readings, with the last such occurrences being July 8, 2012 and February 20, 2015, respectively.
As of the 2010 census, there were 75,568 people, 25,477 households, and 31,992 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,321.5 people per square mile (510.2/km). There were 27,640 housing units at an average density of 559.6 per square mile (216.1/km). The racial makeup of the city was 63.0% White, 29.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population.
There were 25,477 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.92.
The age distribution of the city had: 22.1% under the age of 18, 15.5% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 84.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,234, and the median income for a family was $40,844. Males had a median income of $31,390 versus $22,431 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,263. About 12.3% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.4% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.
Lynchburg ranks below the 2006 median annual household income for the U.S. as a whole, which was $48,200, according to the US Census Bureau.
The city’s population was stable for 25+ years: in 2006, it was 67,720; in 2000, it was 65,269; in 1990, it was 66,049; in 1980, it was 66,743.
In 2009 almost 27% of Lynchburg children lived in poverty. The state average that year was 14 percent.
Lynchburg features a skilled labor force, low unemployment rate, and below average cost of living. Of Virginia’s larger metro areas, Forbes Magazine ranked Lynchburg the 5th best place in Virginia for business in 2006, with Virginia being the best state in the country for business. Only 6 places in Virginia were surveyed and most of Virginia’s cities were grouped together by Forbes as “Northern Virginia”. Lynchburg achieved the rank 109 in the whole nation in the same survey.
Industries within the Lynchburg MSA include nuclear technology, pharmaceuticals and material handling. A diversity of small businesses with the region has helped maintain a stable economy and minimized the downturns of the national economy. Reaching as high as 1st place (tied) in 2007, Lynchburg has been within the Top 10 Digital Cities survey for its population since the survey’s inception in 2004.
The Lynchburg News & Advance reports that while more people are working than ever in greater Lynchburg, wages since 1990 have not kept up with inflation. Central Virginia Labor Council President Walter Fore believes this is due to lack of white-collar jobs. According to the Census Bureau, adjusted for inflation, 1990 median household income was about $39,000 compared to 2009 median household income of $42,740. As of 2009 Forbes has named Lynchburg as the 70th best metro area for business and careers, ahead of Chicago and behind Baton Rouge. The reason for the decent ranking was due to the low cost of living and low wages in Lynchburg. In other areas, the region didn’t come in as strong. It ranked at 189 for cultural and leisure and at 164 for educational attainment.
ess Magazine reports that Young Professionals in Lynchburg recently conducted a study that clearly showed how much of its young workforce has been lost.
According to Lynchburg’s 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top private employers in the city are:
The city is served by the Lynchburg City Public Schools. The school board is appointed by the Lynchburg City Council.
The city is also home to a number of mostly religious private schools, including Holy Cross Regional Catholic School, James River Day School, Liberty Christian Academy, New Covenant Classical Christian School, Appomattox Christian Academy, Temple Christian School, and Virginia Episcopal School.
Lynchburg is also home to the Central Virginia Governor’s School for Science and Technology located in Heritage High School. This magnet school consists of juniors and seniors selected from each of the Lynchburg area high schools. As one of eighteen Governor’s Schools in Virginia, the Central Virginia Governor’s School focuses on infusing technology into both the math and science curriculum.
Further education options include a number of surrounding county public school systems.
Colleges and universities in Lynchburg include Central Virginia Community College, Liberty University, Lynchburg College, Randolph College, Sweet Briar College, and Virginia University of Lynchburg.
The Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC) operates the local public transport bus service within the city. The GLTC additionally provides the shuttle bus service on the Liberty University campus.
The GLTC has selected a property directly across from Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station as its top choice of sites upon which to build the new transfer center for their network of public buses. They are interested in facilitating intermodal connections between GLTC buses and the intercity bus and rail services which operate from that location. The project is awaiting final government approval and funding, and is expected to be completed around 2013.
Intercity passenger rail and bus services are based out of Kemper Street Station, a historic, three-story train station recently restored and converted by the city of Lynchburg to serve as an intermodal hub for the community. The station is located at 825 Kemper Street.
Greyhound Lines located their bus terminal in the main floor of Kemper Street Station following its 2002 restoration. Greyhound offers transport to other cities throughout Virginia, the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Amtrak’s long distance Crescent and a Northeast Regional connect Lynchburg with Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans and intermediate points.
In October 2009, Lynchburg became the southern terminus for a Northeast Regional that previously had overnighted in Washington. The forecast ridership was 51,000 for the 180-mile extension’s first year, but the actual count was triple that estimate, and the train paid for itself without any subsidy. By FY 2015, the Regional had 190,000 riders. The Lynchburg station alone served a total of 85,000 riders in 2015. It is located in the track level ground floor of Kemper Street Station.
Lynchburg has two major freight railroads. It is the crossroads of two Norfolk Southern lines. One is the former mainline of the Southern Railway, upon which Kemper Street Station is situated. NS has a classification yard located next to the shopping mall. Various yard jobs can be seen. Railfans who wish to visit the NS Lynchburg yard are advised to inquire with an NS official. CSX Transportation also has a line through the city and a small yard.
Lynchburg Regional Airport is solely served by American Eagle to Charlotte. American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines, is the only current scheduled airline service provider, with seven daily arrivals and departures. In recent years air travel has increased with 157,517 passengers flying in and out of the airport in 2012, representing 78% of the total aircraft load factor for that time period.
Primary roadways include U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 501, U.S. Route 221, running north-south, and U.S. Highway 460, running east-west. While not served by an interstate, much of Route 29 has been upgraded to interstate standards and significant improvements have been made to Highway 460.
In a Forbes magazine survey, Lynchburg ranked 189 for cultural and leisure out of 200 cities surveyed.
The following attractions are located within the Lynchburg MSA:
Lynchburg is home to sporting events and organizations including:
The first neighborhoods of Lynchburg developed upon seven hills adjacent to the original ferry landing. These neighborhoods include:
Other major neighborhoods include Boonsboro, Rivermont, Fairview Heights, Fort Hill, Forest Hill (Old Forest Rd. Area), Timberlake, Windsor Hills, Sandusky, Linkhorne, and Wyndhurst.
Notable residents of Lynchburg include:
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Lynchburg, Virginia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Posted: April 9, 2016 at 12:40 am
Experience and Results Like No Other
Gov. John R. Kasich continues to be a strong supporter of the right to bear arms and, as governor, has signed every pro-2nd amendment bill that has crossed his desk to defend this basic, constitutional right. John Kasich is a gun-owner himself, and in his 2014 reelection was endorsed by the National Rifle Association for his support of the Second Amendment as an inviolate part of our Constitution.
Removing Burdensome Restrictions for Law-Abiding Concealed Carry Licensees: John Kasich enacted legislation protecting Ohios concealed carry laws, including protecting the privacy of permit holdersandallowing for reciprocity licenses with other stateswhere permit holders can carry their firearms.
Opposing Barack Obamas Gun Control Efforts: John Kasich opposes President Obamas gun control executive orders. The Second Amendment is too important and Obamas hostility to it is too well known for him to be allowed to go around Congress and undermine the Second Amendment. His efforts to expand the federal governments interference with Americans Right to Keep and Bear Arms are wrong and the governor opposes them.
Upholding Ohios Outdoors Traditions: In addition to having a $3.6 billion annual economic impact in Ohio, hunting and fishing are parts of Ohios long tradition of enjoying our natural places. John Kasich upheld this heritage by enacting legislation that removes restrictions on licensing requirements for hunters and by creating new policies to expand hunting rights in Ohio.
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Defending the Second Amendment – Kasich for America
Posted: March 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm
Automation or automatic control, is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated.
The biggest benefit of automation is that it saves labor; however, it is also used to save energy and materials and to improve quality, accuracy and precision.
The term automation, inspired by the earlier word automatic (coming from automaton), was not widely used before 1947, when General Motors established an automation department. It was during this time that industry was rapidly adopting feedback controllers, which were introduced in the 1930s.
Automation has been achieved by various means including mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, electronic devices and computers, usually in combination. Complicated systems, such as modern factories, airplanes and ships typically use all these combined techniques.
One of the simplest types of control is on-off control. An example is the thermostats used on household appliances. Electromechanical thermostats used in HVAC may only have provision for on/off control of heating or cooling systems. Electronic controllers may add multiple stages of heating and variable fan speed control.
Sequence control, in which a programmed sequence of discrete operations is performed, often based on system logic that involves system states. An elevator control system is an example of sequence control.
The advanced type of automation that revolutionized manufacturing, aircraft, communications and other industries, is feedback control, which is usually continuous and involves taking measurements using a sensor and making calculated adjustments to keep the measured variable within a set range. Moreover, it can be understood as the relation of two variables, one for the “x” axis and a second for the “y” axis. If the value of “y” increases, then the value on the “x” axis will also increase, and vice versa.
All the elements constituting the measurement and control of a single variable are called a control loop. Control that uses a measured signal, feeds the signal back and compares it to a set point, calculates and sends a return signal to make a correction, is called closed loop control. If the controller does not incorporate feedback to make a correction then it is open loop.
Loop control is normally accomplished with a controller. The theoretical basis of open and closed loop automation is control theory.
Sequential control may be either to a fixed sequence or to a logical one that will perform different actions depending on various system states. An example of an adjustable but otherwise fixed sequence is a timer on a lawn sprinkler.
States refer to the various conditions that can occur in a use or sequence scenario of the system. An example is an elevator, which uses logic based on the system state to perform certain actions in response to its state and operator input. For example, if the operator presses the floor n button, the system will respond depending on whether the elevator is stopped or moving, going up or down, or if the door is open or closed, and other conditions.
An early development of sequential control was relay logic, by which electrical relays engage electrical contacts which either start or interrupt power to a device. Relays were first used in telegraph networks before being developed for controlling other devices, such as when starting and stopping industrial-sized electric motors or opening and closing solenoid valves. Using relays for control purposes allowed event-driven control, where actions could be triggered out of sequence, in response to external events. These were more flexible in their response than the rigid single-sequence cam timers. More complicated examples involved maintaining safe sequences for devices such as swing bridge controls, where a lock bolt needed to be disengaged before the bridge could be moved, and the lock bolt could not be released until the safety gates had already been closed.
The total number of relays, cam timers and drum sequencers can number into the hundreds or even thousands in some factories. Early programming techniques and languages were needed to make such systems manageable, one of the first being ladder logic, where diagrams of the interconnected relays resembled the rungs of a ladder. Special computers called programmable logic controllers were later designed to replace these collections of hardware with a single, more easily re-programmed unit.
In a typical hard wired motor start and stop circuit (called a control circuit) a motor is started by pushing a “Start” or “Run” button that activates a pair of electrical relays. The “lock-in” relay locks in contacts that keep the control circuit energized when the push button is released. (The start button is a normally open contact and the stop button is normally closed contact.) Another relay energizes a switch that powers the device that throws the motor starter switch (three sets of contacts for three phase industrial power) in the main power circuit. Large motors use high voltage and experience high in-rush current, making speed important in making and breaking contact. This can be dangerous for personnel and property with manual switches. The “lock in” contacts in the start circuit and the main power contacts for the motor are held engaged by their respective electromagnets until a “stop” or “off” button is pressed, which de-energizes the lock in relay.
Commonly interlocks are added to a control circuit. Suppose that the motor in the example is powering machinery that has a critical need for lubrication. In this case an interlock could be added to insure that the oil pump is running before the motor starts. Timers, limit switches and electric eyes are other common elements in control circuits.
Solenoid valves are widely used on compressed air or hydraulic fluid for powering actuators on mechanical components. While motors are used to supply continuous rotary motion, actuators are typically a better choice for intermittently creating a limited range of movement for a mechanical component, such as moving various mechanical arms, opening or closing valves, raising heavy press rolls, applying pressure to presses.
Computers can perform both sequential control and feedback control, and typically a single computer will do both in an industrial application. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are a type of special purpose microprocessor that replaced many hardware components such as timers and drum sequencers used in relay logic type systems. General purpose process control computers have increasingly replaced stand alone controllers, with a single computer able to perform the operations of hundreds of controllers. Process control computers can process data from a network of PLCs, instruments and controllers in order to implement typical (such as PID) control of many individual variables or, in some cases, to implement complex control algorithms using multiple inputs and mathematical manipulations. They can also analyze data and create real time graphical displays for operators and run reports for operators, engineers and management.
Control of an automated teller machine (ATM) is an example of an interactive process in which a computer will perform a logic derived response to a user selection based on information retrieved from a networked database. The ATM process has similarities with other online transaction processes. The different logical responses are called scenarios. Such processes are typically designed with the aid of use cases and flowcharts, which guide the writing of the software code.
The earliest feedback control mechanism was used to tent the sails of windmills. It was patented by Edmund Lee in 1745.
The centrifugal governor, which dates to the last quarter of the 18th century, was used to adjust the gap between millstones. The centrifugal governor was also used in the automatic flour mill developed by Oliver Evans in 1785, making it the first completely automated industrial process. The governor was adopted by James Watt for use on a steam engine in 1788 after Watts partner Boulton saw one at a flour mill Boulton & Watt were building.
The governor could not actually hold a set speed; the engine would assume a new constant speed in response to load changes. The governor was able to handle smaller variations such as those caused by fluctuating heat load to the boiler. Also, there was a tendency for oscillation whenever there was a speed change. As a consequence, engines equipped with this governor were not suitable for operations requiring constant speed, such as cotton spinning.
Several improvements to the governor, plus improvements to valve cut-off timing on the steam engine, made the engine suitable for most industrial uses before the end of the 19th century. Advances in the steam engine stayed well ahead of science, both thermodynamics and control theory.
The governor received relatively little scientific attention until James Clerk Maxwell published a paper that established the beginning of a theoretical basis for understanding control theory. Development of the electronic amplifier during the 1920s, which was important for long distance telephony, required a higher signal to noise ratio, which was solved by negative feedback noise cancellation. This and other telephony applications contributed to control theory. Military applications during the Second World War that contributed to and benefited from control theory were fire-control systems and aircraft controls. The word “automation” itself was coined in the 1940s by General Electric. The so-called classical theoretical treatment of control theory dates to the 1940s and 1950s.
Relay logic was introduced with factory electrification, which underwent rapid adaption from 1900 though the 1920s. Central electric power stations were also undergoing rapid growth and operation of new high pressure boilers, steam turbines and electrical substations created a large demand for instruments and controls.
Central control rooms became common in the 1920s, but as late as the early 1930s, most process control was on-off. Operators typically monitored charts drawn by recorders that plotted data from instruments. To make corrections, operators manually opened or closed valves or turned switches on or off. Control rooms also used color coded lights to send signals to workers in the plant to manually make certain changes.
Controllers, which were able to make calculated changes in response to deviations from a set point rather than on-off control, began being introduced the 1930s. Controllers allowed manufacturing to continue showing productivity gains to offset the declining influence of factory electrification.
Factory productivity was greatly increased by electrification in the 1920s. Manufacturing productivity growth fell from 5.2%/yr 1919-29 to 2.76%/yr 1929-41. Field notes that spending on non-medical instruments increased significantly from 192933 and remained strong thereafter.
In 1959 Texacos Port Arthur refinery became the first chemical plant to use digital control. Conversion of factories to digital control began to spread rapidly in the 1970s as the price of computer hardware fell.
The automatic telephone switchboard was introduced in 1892 along with dial telephones. By 1929, 31.9% of the Bell system was automatic. Automatic telephone switching originally used vacuum tube amplifiers and electro-mechanical switches, which consumed a large amount of electricity. Call volume eventually grew so fast that it was feared the telephone system would consume all electricity production, prompting Bell Labs to begin research on the transistor.
The logic performed by telephone switching relays was the inspiration for the digital computer.
The first commercially successful glass bottle blowing machine was an automatic model introduced in 1905. The machine, operated by a two-man crew working 12-hour shifts, could produce 17,280 bottles in 24 hours, compared to 2,880 bottles made by a crew of six men and boys working in a shop for a day. The cost of making bottles by machine was 10 to 12 cents per gross compared to $1.80 per gross by the manual glassblowers and helpers.
Sectional electric drives were developed using control theory. Sectional electric drives are used on different sections of a machine where a precise differential must be maintained between the sections. In steel rolling, the metal elongates as it passes through pairs of rollers, which must run at successively faster speeds. In paper making the paper sheet shrinks as it passes around steam heated drying arranged in groups, which must run at successively slower speeds. The first application of a sectional electric drive was on a paper machine in 1919. One of the most important developments in the steel industry during the 20th century was continuous wide strip rolling, developed by Armco in 1928.
Before automation many chemicals were made in batches. In 1930, with the widespread use of instruments and the emerging use of controllers, the founder of Dow Chemical Co. was advocating continuous production.
Self-acting machine tools that displaced hand dexterity so they could be operated by boys and unskilled laborers were developed by James Nasmyth in the 1840s.Machine tools were automated with Numerical control (NC) using punched paper tape in the 1950s. This soon evolved into computerized numerical control (CNC).
Today extensive automation is practiced in practically every type of manufacturing and assembly process. Some of the larger processes include electrical power generation, oil refining, chemicals, steel mills, plastics, cement plants, fertilizer plants, pulp and paper mills, automobile and truck assembly, aircraft production, glass manufacturing, natural gas separation plants, food and beverage processing, canning and bottling and manufacture of various kinds of parts. Robots are especially useful in hazardous applications like automobile spray painting. Robots are also used to assemble electronic circuit boards. Automotive welding is done with robots and automatic welders are used in applications like pipelines.
The main advantages of automation are:
The following methods are often employed to improve productivity, quality, or robustness.
The main disadvantages of automation are:
In manufacturing, the purpose of automation has shifted to issues broader than productivity, cost, and time.
Lights out manufacturing is when a production system is 100% or near to 100% automated (not hiring any workers). In order to eliminate the need for labor costs all together.
Another major shift in automation is the increased demand for flexibility and convertibility in manufacturing processes. Manufacturers are increasingly demanding the ability to easily switch from manufacturing Product A to manufacturing Product B without having to completely rebuild the production lines. Flexibility and distributed processes have led to the introduction of Automated Guided Vehicles with Natural Features Navigation.
Digital electronics helped too. Former analogue-based instrumentation was replaced by digital equivalents which can be more accurate and flexible, and offer greater scope for more sophisticated configuration, parametrization and operation. This was accompanied by the fieldbus revolution which provided a networked (i.e. a single cable) means of communicating between control systems and field level instrumentation, eliminating hard-wiring.
Discrete manufacturing plants adopted these technologies fast. The more conservative process industries with their longer plant life cycles have been slower to adopt and analogue-based measurement and control still dominates. The growing use of Industrial Ethernet on the factory floor is pushing these trends still further, enabling manufacturing plants to be integrated more tightly within the enterprise, via the internet if necessary. Global competition has also increased demand for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems.
Engineers can now have numerical control over automated devices. The result has been a rapidly expanding range of applications and human activities. Computer-aided technologies (or CAx) now serve as the basis for mathematical and organizational tools used to create complex systems. Notable examples of CAx include Computer-aided design (CAD software) and Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM software). The improved design, analysis, and manufacture of products enabled by CAx has been beneficial for industry.
Information technology, together with industrial machinery and processes, can assist in the design, implementation, and monitoring of control systems. One example of an industrial control system is a programmable logic controller (PLC). PLCs are specialized hardened computers which are frequently used to synchronize the flow of inputs from (physical) sensors and events with the flow of outputs to actuators and events.
Human-machine interfaces (HMI) or computer human interfaces (CHI), formerly known as man-machine interfaces, are usually employed to communicate with PLCs and other computers. Service personnel who monitor and control through HMIs can be called by different names. In industrial process and manufacturing environments, they are called operators or something similar. In boiler houses and central utilities departments they are called stationary engineers.
Different types of automation tools exist:
When it comes to Factory Automation, Host Simulation Software (HSS) is a commonly used testing tool that is used to test the equipment software. HSS is used to test equipment performance with respect to Factory Automation standards (timeouts, response time, processing time).
Many roles for humans in industrial processes presently lie beyond the scope of automation. Human-level pattern recognition, language comprehension, and language production ability are well beyond the capabilities of modern mechanical and computer systems (but see Watson (computer)). Tasks requiring subjective assessment or synthesis of complex sensory data, such as scents and sounds, as well as high-level tasks such as strategic planning, currently require human expertise. In many cases, the use of humans is more cost-effective than mechanical approaches even where automation of industrial tasks is possible. Overcoming these obstacles is a theorized path to post-scarcity economics.
The Paradox of Automation says that the more efficient the automated system, the more crucial the human contribution of the operators. Humans are less involved, but their involvement becomes more critical.
If an automated system has an error, it will multiply that error until its fixed or shut down. This is where human operators come in.
A fatal example of this was Air France Flight 447, where a failure of automation put the pilots into a manual situation they were not prepared for.
Food and drink
The food retail industry has started to apply automation to the ordering process; McDonald’s has introduced touch screen ordering and payment systems in many of its restaurants, reducing the need for as many cashier employees.The University of Texas at Austin has introduced fully automated cafe retail locations. Some Cafes and restaurants have utilized mobile and tablet “apps” to make the ordering process more efficient by customers ordering and paying on their device.[spamlink?] Some restaurants have automated food delivery to customers tables using a Conveyor belt system. The use of robots is sometimes employed to replace waiting staff.
Many Supermarkets and even smaller stores are rapidly introducing Self checkout systems reducing the need for employing checkout workers.
Online shopping could be considered a form of automated retail as the payment and checkout are through an automated Online transaction processing system. Other forms of automation can also be an integral part of online shopping, for example the deployment of automated warehouse robotics such as that applied by Amazon using Kiva Systems.
Involves the removal of human labor from the mining process. The mining industry is currently in the transition towards Automation. Currently it can still require a large amount of human capital, particularly in the third world where labor costs are low so there is less incentive for increasing efficiency through automation.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) started the research and development of automated visual surveillance and monitoring (VSAM) program, between 1997 and 1999, and airborne video surveillance (AVS) programs, from 1998 to 2002. Currently, there is a major effort underway in the vision community to develop a fully automated tracking surveillance system. Automated video surveillance monitors people and vehicles in real time within a busy environment. Existing automated surveillance systems are based on the environment they are primarily designed to observe, i.e., indoor, outdoor or airborne, the amount of sensors that the automated system can handle and the mobility of sensor, i.e., stationary camera vs. mobile camera. The purpose of a surveillance system is to record properties and trajectories of objects in a given area, generate warnings or notify designated authority in case of occurrence of particular events.
As demands for safety and mobility have grown and technological possibilities have multiplied, interest in automation has grown. Seeking to accelerate the development and introduction of fully automated vehicles and highways, the United States Congress authorized more than $650 million over six years for intelligent transport systems (ITS) and demonstration projects in the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). Congress legislated in ISTEA that “the Secretary of Transportation shall develop an automated highway and vehicle prototype from which future fully automated intelligent vehicle-highway systems can be developed. Such development shall include research in human factors to ensure the success of the man-machine relationship. The goal of this program is to have the first fully automated highway roadway or an automated test track in operation by 1997. This system shall accommodate installation of equipment in new and existing motor vehicles.” [ISTEA 1991, part B, Section 6054(b)].
Full automation commonly defined as requiring no control or very limited control by the driver; such automation would be accomplished through a combination of sensor, computer, and communications systems in vehicles and along the roadway. Fully automated driving would, in theory, allow closer vehicle spacing and higher speeds, which could enhance traffic capacity in places where additional road building is physically impossible, politically unacceptable, or prohibitively expensive. Automated controls also might enhance road safety by reducing the opportunity for driver error, which causes a large share of motor vehicle crashes. Other potential benefits include improved air quality (as a result of more-efficient traffic flows), increased fuel economy, and spin-off technologies generated during research and development related to automated highway systems.
Automated waste collection trucks prevent the need for as many workers as well as easing the level of labor required to provide the service.
Home automation (also called domotics) designates an emerging practice of increased automation of household appliances and features in residential dwellings, particularly through electronic means that allow for things impracticable, overly expensive or simply not possible in recent past decades.
Industrial automation deals primarily with the automation of manufacturing, quality control and material handling processes. General purpose controllers for industrial processes include Programmable logic controllers, stand-alone I/O modules, and computers. Industrial automation is to replace the decision making of humans and manual command-response activities with the use of mechanized equipment and logical programming commands. One trend is increased use of Machine vision to provide automatic inspection and robot guidance functions, another is a continuing increase in the use of robots. Industrial automation is simply done at the industrial level.
Energy efficiency in industrial processes has become a higher priority. Semiconductor companies like Infineon Technologies are offering 8-bit micro-controller applications for example found in motor controls, general purpose pumps, fans, and ebikes to reduce energy consumption and thus increase efficiency.
Industrial robotics is a sub-branch in the industrial automation that aids in various manufacturing processes. Such manufacturing processes include; machining, welding, painting, assembling and material handling to name a few. Industrial robots utilizes various mechanical, electrical as well as software systems to allow for high precision, accuracy and speed that far exceeds any human performance. The birth of industrial robot came shortly after World War II as United States saw the need for a quicker way to produce industrial and consumer goods. Servos, digital logic and solid state electronics allowed engineers to build better and faster systems and overtime these systems were improved and revised to the point where a single robot is capable of running 24 hours a day with little or no maintenance.
Industrial automation incorporates programmable logic controllers in the manufacturing process. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) use a processing system which allows for variation of controls of inputs and outputs using simple programming. PLCs make use of programmable memory, storing instructions and functions like logic, sequencing, timing, counting, etc. Using a logic based language, a PLC can receive a variety of inputs and return a variety of logical outputs, the input devices being sensors and output devices being motors, valves, etc. PLCs are similar to computers, however, while computers are optimized for calculations, PLCs are optimized for control task and use in industrial environments. They are built so that only basic logic-based programming knowledge is needed and to handle vibrations, high temperatures, humidity and noise. The greatest advantage PLCs offer is their flexibility. With the same basic controllers, a PLC can operate a range of different control systems. PLCs make it unnecessary to rewire a system to change the control system. This flexibility leads to a cost-effective system for complex and varied control systems.
Agent-assisted automation refers to automation used by call center agents to handle customer inquiries. There are two basic types: desktop automation and automated voice solutions. Desktop automation refers to software programming that makes it easier for the call center agent to work across multiple desktop tools. The automation would take the information entered into one tool and populate it across the others so it did not have to be entered more than once, for example. Automated voice solutions allow the agents to remain on the line while disclosures and other important information is provided to customers in the form of pre-recorded audio files. Specialized applications of these automated voice solutions enable the agents to process credit cards without ever seeing or hearing the credit card numbers or CVV codes
The key benefit of agent-assisted automation is compliance and error-proofing. Agents are sometimes not fully trained or they forget or ignore key steps in the process. The use of automation ensures that what is supposed to happen on the call actually does, every time.
Research by the Oxford Martin School showed that employees engaged in “tasks following well-defined procedures that can easily be performed by sophisticated algorithms” are at risk of displacement. The study, published in 2013, shows that automation can affect both skilled and unskilled work and both high and low-paying occupations; however, low-paid physical occupations are most at risk. However, according to a study published in McKinsey Quarterly in 2015 the impact of computerization in most cases is not replacement of employees but automation of portions of the tasks they perform.
Based on a formula by Gilles Saint-Paul, an economist at Toulouse 1 University, the demand for unskilled human capital declines at a slower rate than the demand for skilled human capital increases. In the long run and for society as a whole it has led to cheaper products, lower average work hours, and new industries forming (I.e, robotics industries, computer industries, design industries). These new industries provide many high salary skill based jobs to the economy.
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Posted: October 4, 2015 at 4:44 pm
Utah Data Center Background
The Utah Data Center, code-named Bumblehive, is the first Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (IC CNCI) data center designed to support the Intelligence Community’s efforts to monitor, strengthen and protect the nation. Our Utah “mission data repository” is designed to cope with the vast increases in digital data that have accompanied the rise of the global network.
NSA is the executive agent for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and is the lead agency at the center.
The 1.5 billion-dollar one million square-foot Bluffdale / Camp Williams LEED Silver facility houses a 100,000 sq-ft mission critical Tier III data center. The remaining 900,000 SF is used for technical support and administrative space. Our massive twenty building complex also includes water treatment facilities, chiller plants, electric substation, fire pump house, warehouse, vehicle inspection facility, visitor control center, and sixty diesel-fueled emergency standby generators and fuel facility for a 3-day 100% power backup capability.
As proof of our genuine concern for privacy protection, we recently gave permission for several privacy groups to fly their little blimp over our massive data center. We would like to thank these airborne privacy pioneers for the stunning photo below of our impressive facility. By allowing harmless publicity stunts like these, we can have our data and store it too.
In recent months, numerous Top Secret documents have been leaked to the media relating to surveillance activities carried out by our Intelligence Community. In an effort to increase transparency, a new website called “IC OFF THE RECORD” was created to provide the American People immediate, ongoing and direct access to these unauthorized leaks.
Visit the IC OFF THE RECORD website
In February 2012, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert revealed that the Utah Data Center would be the “first facility in the world expected to gather and house a yottabyte”. Since then, conflicting media reports have also estimated our storage capacity in terms of zettabytes and exabytes. While the actual capacity is classified for NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS, we can say this: The Utah Data Center was built with future expansion in mind and the ultimate capacity will definitely be “alottabytes”!
The steady rise in available computer power and the development of novel computer platforms will enable us to easily turn the huge volume of incoming data into an asset to be exploited, for the good of the nation.
Learn more about the domestic surveillance data we process and store in the Utah Data Center. Also, view our strategy for using the PRISM data collection program, nationwide intercept stations, and the “Boundless Informant” mapping tool to gather and track this data.
The Utah Data Center is powered by the massively parallel Cray XC30 supercomputer which is capable of scaling high performance computing (HPC) workloads of more than 100 petaflops or 100,000 trillion calculations each second.
Code-named “Cascade”, this behemoth was developed in conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to meet the demanding needs of the Intelligence Community.
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm is used worldwide to encrypt electronic data on hard drives, email systems, and web browsers. Computer experts have estimated it would take longer than the age of the universe to break the code using a trial-and-error brute force attack with today’s computing technology.
In 2004, the NSA launched a plan to use the Multiprogram Research Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to build a classified supercomputer designed specifically for cryptanalysis targeting the AES algorithm. Our classified NSA Oak Ridge facility made a stunning breakthrough that is leading us on a path towards building the first exaflop machine (1 quintillion instructions per second) by 2018. Since the capability to break the AES-256 encryption key within an actionable time period may still be decades away, our Utah facility is sized to store all encrypted (and thereby suspicious) data for safekeeping.
We are pleased to announce that as of 8/31/2014, the Utah Data Center is 100% complete. Here is a nice collection of wintry photos taken in early 2014:
Aerial view of the Utah Data Center – 2014
Chiller plant and generator plant
Administration building and our four data halls
Utah Data Center Administration building
Visitor Control Center
Our massive cooling systems at work
Water tanks for our chiller plant
Are you interested in a career in Domestic Surveillance? Check out our Utah Data Center jobs page for exciting employment opportunities.
It takes a large dedicated team to keep a data center up and running. Here are just some of the positions staffed by contractors at the UDC:
We are Americans first, last, and always. We treasure the U.S. Constitution and understand that a spirited debate is often a necessary precursor to acceptance.
The site plan below shows the location of the administration building, chiller plant, data halls, generators, fuel storage tanks, storage warehouse, power substations, visitor control center, and vehicle inspection facility. View the full-size Utah Data Center Site Plan
Aerial front view of the Utah Data Center under construction – March 2012
Close-up view of a data hall and the Administration building – March 2012
Aerial view of the UDC construction site – July 2012
Last two data halls still under construction – July 2012
Chiller plant, generator plant, and tank storage under construction – July 2012
Close-up view of completed data hall and Administration building – June 2013
Four completed data halls and the Administration building – June 2013
Completed chiller/generator plants and fuel tanks – June 2013
Close-up view of the cooling units – June 2013
Storage warehouse, canine kennel, and sprinkler system water tank – June 2013
Vehicle cargo inspection facility
View the NSA Utah Data Center on Google Maps and Bing Maps