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Tag Archives: north
Posted: July 21, 2016 at 2:09 am
11 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
Warsaw Declaration on Transatlantic Security Warsaw Summit Communiqu NATO-EU Joint Declaration Commitment to Enhance Resilience Cyber Defense Pledge NATO Policy for the Protection of Civilians
10 July | Fact Sheets, U.S. & NATO
FACT SHEET: U.S. and NATO Efforts in Support of NATO Partners, including Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova From The White House The United States strongly
10 July | Fact Sheets, U.S. & NATO
FACT SHEET: U.S. Contributions to Enhancing Allied Resilience From The White House At the NATO Warsaw Summit, heads of state and government will commit their
9 July | NATO Summits, President Barack Obama, Speeches, Transcripts
Remarks by President Obama at Press Conference After NATO Summit July 9,2016 PRESIDENT OBAMA:Good evening, everybody. Once again, I want to thank the government and
9 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
Joint statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the Level of Heads of State and Government We, the Heads of State and Government of the
9 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
The Warsaw Declaration on Transatlantic Security Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Warsaw
9 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
Endorsed by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Warsaw 8-9 July 2016 I. INTRODUCTION 1.
9 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Warsaw 8-9 July 2016 1. We, the
9 July | Fact Sheets
FACT SHEET: NATOs Enduring Commitment to Afghanistan From The White House NATOs mission in Afghanistan has been the Alliances largest and one of its
9 July | NATO Summits, Speeches
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Opening Remarks Following the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the Level of Heads of State and Government in
9 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
Issued by the Heads of State and Government of Afghanistan and Alliesand their Resolute Support Operational Partners We, the Heads of State and Government of
8 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
Cyber Defence Pledge 1. In recognition of the new realities of security threats to NATO, we, the Allied Heads of State and Government, pledge to
8 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Warsaw, 8-9 July 2016 We, the Heads
8 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
Joint statement of the NATO-Georgia Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers We, Allied Foreign Ministers and the Foreign Minister of Georgia, met today in
8 July | NATO Summits, Speeches, Transcripts
Press Statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Signing Ceremony of the EU-NATO Joint Declaration Followed by Statements by President Tuskand PresidentJuncker July
8 July | NATO Summits, President Barack Obama, Speeches
Remarks by President Obama, President Tusk of the European Council, and President Juncker of the European Commission After U.S.-EU Meeting July 8, 2016 PRESIDENT OBAMA:
8 July | Cooperative Security, Fact Sheets, U.S. & NATO
FACT SHEET: U.S. Assurance and Deterrence Efforts in Support of NATO Allies From The White House In the last 18 months, the United States
8 July | Key Documents, NATO Summits
Joint Declaration by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
U.S. Mission to NATO
Posted: July 12, 2016 at 6:20 am
Alternative title: NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and eastern Europe after World War II. Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952); West Germany (1955; from 1990 as Germany); Spain (1982); the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004); and Albania and Croatia (2009). France withdrew from the integrated military command of NATO in 1966 but remained a member of the organization; it resumed its position in NATOs military command in 2009.
The heart of NATO is expressed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which the signatory members agree that
an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in 2001, after terrorist attacks organized by exiled Saudi Arabian millionaire Osama bin Laden destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City and part of the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., killing some 3,000 people.
Article 6 defines the geographic scope of the treaty as covering an armed attack on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America. Other articles commit the allies to strengthening their democratic institutions, to building their collective military capability, to consulting each other, and to remaining open to inviting other European states to join.
Barkley, Alben W.: North Atlantic Treaty signingEncyclopdia Britannica, Inc.After World War II in 1945, western Europe was economically exhausted and militarily weak (the western Allies had rapidly and drastically reduced their armies at the end of the war), and newly powerful communist parties had arisen in France and Italy. By contrast, the Soviet Union had emerged from the war with its armies dominating all the states of central and eastern Europe, and by 1948 communists under Moscows sponsorship had consolidated their control of the governments of those countries and suppressed all noncommunist political activity. What became known as the Iron Curtain, a term popularized by Winston Churchill, had descended over central and eastern Europe. Further, wartime cooperation between the western Allies and the Soviets had completely broken down. Each side was organizing its own sector of occupied Germany, so that two German states would emerge, a democratic one in the west and a communist one in the east.
In 1948 the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which infused massive amounts of economic aid to the countries of western and southern Europe on the condition that they cooperate with each other and engage in joint planning to hasten their mutual recovery. As for military recovery, under the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low CountriesBelgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourgconcluded a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. It was soon recognized, however, that a more formidable alliance would be required to provide an adequate military counterweight to the Soviets.
By this time Britain, Canada, and the United States had already engaged in secret exploratory talks on security arrangements that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations (UN), which was becoming paralyzed by the rapidly emerging Cold War. In March 1948, following a virtual communist coup dtat in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussions on a multilateral collective-defense scheme that would enhance Western security and promote democratic values. These discussions were eventually joined by France, the Low Countries, and Norway and in April 1949 resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.
Spurred by the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the United States took steps to demonstrate that it would resist any Soviet military expansion or pressures in Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the leader of the Allied forces in western Europe in World War II, was named Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) by the North Atlantic Council (NATOs governing body) in December 1950. He was followed as SACEUR by a succession of American generals.
The North Atlantic Council, which was established soon after the treaty came into effect, is composed of ministerial representatives of the member states, who meet at least twice a year. At other times the council, chaired by the NATO secretary-general, remains in permanent session at the ambassadorial level. Just as the position of SACEUR has always been held by an American, the secretary-generalship has always been held by a European.
NATOs military organization encompasses a complete system of commands for possible wartime use. The Military Committee, consisting of representatives of the military chiefs of staff of the member states, subsumes two strategic commands: Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). ACO is headed by the SACEUR and located at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Casteau, Belgium. ACT is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. During the alliances first 20 years, more than $3 billion worth of infrastructure for NATO forcesbases, airfields, pipelines, communications networks, depotswas jointly planned, financed, and built, with about one-third of the funding from the United States. NATO funding generally is not used for the procurement of military equipment, which is provided by the member statesthough the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force, a fleet of radar-bearing aircraft designed to protect against a surprise low-flying attack, was funded jointly.
A serious issue confronting NATO in the early and mid-1950s was the negotiation of West Germanys participation in the alliance. The prospect of a rearmed Germany was understandably greeted with widespread unease and hesitancy in western Europe, but the countrys strength had long been recognized as necessary to protect western Europe from a possible Soviet invasion. Accordingly, arrangements for West Germanys safe participation in the alliance were worked out as part of the Paris Agreements of October 1954, which ended the occupation of West German territory by the western Allies and provided for both the limitation of West German armaments and the countrys accession to the Brussels Treaty. In May 1955 West Germany joined NATO, which prompted the Soviet Union to form the Warsaw Pact alliance in central and eastern Europe the same year. The West Germans subsequently contributed many divisions and substantial air forces to the NATO alliance. By the time the Cold War ended, some 900,000 troopsnearly half of them from six countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands)were stationed in West Germany.
Frances relationship with NATO became strained after 1958, as President Charles de Gaulle increasingly criticized the organizations domination by the United States and the intrusion upon French sovereignty by NATOs many international staffs and activities. He argued that such integration subjected France to automatic war at the decision of foreigners. In July 1966 France formally withdrew from the military command structure of NATO and required NATO forces and headquarters to leave French soil; nevertheless, de Gaulle proclaimed continued French adherence to the North Atlantic Treaty in case of unprovoked aggression. After NATO moved its headquarters from Paris to Brussels, France maintained a liaison relationship with NATOs integrated military staffs, continued to sit in the council, and continued to maintain and deploy ground forces in West Germany, though it did so under new bilateral agreements with the West Germans rather than under NATO jurisdiction. In 2009 France rejoined the military command structure of NATO.
From its founding, NATOs primary purpose was to unify and strengthen the Western Allies military response to a possible invasion of western Europe by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. In the early 1950s NATO relied partly on the threat of massive nuclear retaliation from the United States to counter the Warsaw Pacts much larger ground forces. Beginning in 1957, this policy was supplemented by the deployment of American nuclear weapons in western European bases. NATO later adopted a flexible response strategy, which the United States interpreted to mean that a war in Europe did not have to escalate to an all-out nuclear exchange. Under this strategy, many Allied forces were equipped with American battlefield and theatre nuclear weapons under a dual-control (or dual-key) system, which allowed both the country hosting the weapons and the United States to veto their use. Britain retained control of its strategic nuclear arsenal but brought it within NATOs planning structures; Frances nuclear forces remained completely autonomous.
A conventional and nuclear stalemate between the two sides continued through the construction of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s, dtente in the 1970s, and the resurgence of Cold War tensions in the 1980s after the Soviet Unions invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the election of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1980. After 1985, however, far-reaching economic and political reforms introduced by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev fundamentally altered the status quo. In July 1989 Gorbachev announced that Moscow would no longer prop up communist governments in central and eastern Europe and thereby signaled his tacit acceptance of their replacement by freely elected (and noncommunist) administrations. Moscows abandonment of control over central and eastern Europe meant the dissipation of much of the military threat that the Warsaw Pact had formerly posed to western Europe, a fact that led some to question the need to retain NATO as a military organizationespecially after the Warsaw Pacts dissolution in 1991. The reunification of Germany in October 1990 and its retention of NATO membership created both a need and an opportunity for NATO to be transformed into a more political alliance devoted to maintaining international stability in Europe.
After the Cold War, NATO was reconceived as a cooperative-security organization whose mandate was to include two main objectives: to foster dialogue and cooperation with former adversaries in the Warsaw Pact and to manage conflicts in areas on the European periphery, such as the Balkans. In keeping with the first objective, NATO established the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1991; later replaced by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council) to provide a forum for the exchange of views on political and security issues, as well as the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program (1994) to enhance European security and stability through joint military training exercises with NATO and non-NATO states, including the former Soviet republics and allies. Special cooperative links were also set up with two PfP countries: Russia and Ukraine.
The second objective entailed NATOs first use of military force, when it entered the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 by staging air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions around the capital city of Sarajevo. The subsequent Dayton Accords, which were initialed by representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, committed each state to respecting the others sovereignty and to settling disputes peacefully; it also laid the groundwork for stationing NATO peacekeeping troops in the region. A 60,000-strong Implementation Force (IFOR) was initially deployed, though a smaller contingent remained in Bosnia under a different name, the Stabilization Force (SFOR). In March 1999 NATO launched massive air strikes against Serbia in an attempt to force the Yugoslav government of Slobodan Miloevi to accede to diplomatic provisions designed to protect the predominantly Muslim Albanian population in the province of Kosovo. Under the terms of a negotiated settlement to the fighting, NATO deployed a peacekeeping force called the Kosovo Force (KFOR).
The crisis over Kosovo and the ensuing war gave renewed impetus to efforts by the European Union (EU) to construct a new crisis-intervention force, which would make the EU less dependent on NATO and U.S. military resources for conflict management. These efforts prompted significant debates about whether enhancing the EUs defensive capabilities would strengthen or weaken NATO. Simultaneously there was much discussion of the future of NATO in the post-Cold War era. Some observers argued that the alliance should be dissolved, noting that it was created to confront an enemy that no longer existed; others called for a broad expansion of NATO membership to include Russia. Most suggested alternative roles, including peacekeeping. By the start of the second decade of the 21st century, it appeared likely that the EU would not develop capabilities competitive with those of NATO or even seek to do so; as a result, earlier worries associated with the spectre of rivalry between the two Brussels-based organizations dissipated.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization: flag-raising ceremony, 1999NATO photosDuring the presidency of Bill Clinton (19932001), the United States led an initiative to enlarge NATO membership gradually to include some of the former Soviet allies. In the concurrent debate over enlargement, supporters of the initiative argued that NATO membership was the best way to begin the long process of integrating these states into regional political and economic institutions such as the EU. Some also feared future Russian aggression and suggested that NATO membership would guarantee freedom and security for the newly democratic regimes. Opponents pointed to the enormous cost of modernizing the military forces of new members; they also argued that enlargement, which Russia would regard as a provocation, would hinder democracy in that country and enhance the influence of hard-liners. Despite these disagreements, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia were admitted in 2004; and Albania and Croatia acceded to the alliance in 2009.
Meanwhile, by the beginning of the 21st century, Russia and NATO had formed a strategic relationship. No longer considered NATOs chief enemy, Russia cemented a new cooperative bond with NATO in 2001 to address such common concerns as international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, and arms control. This bond was subsequently subject to fraying, however, in large part because of reasons associated with Russian domestic politics.
Events following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 led to the forging of a new dynamic within the alliance, one that increasingly favoured the military engagement of members outside Europe, initially with a mission against Taliban forces in Afghanistan beginning in the summer of 2003 and subsequently with air operations against the regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya in early 2011. As a result of the increased tempo of military operations undertaken by the alliance, the long-standing issue of burden sharing was revived, with some officials warning that failure to share the costs of NATO operations more equitably would lead to unraveling of the alliance. Most observers regarded that scenario as unlikely, however.
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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) | Britannica.com
Posted: at 6:19 am
The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says State instead of Country (the Framers knew the difference see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginias vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.
In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the slave patrols, and they were regulated by the states.
In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.
As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of CaliforniaLaw Reviewin 1998, The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds.
Its the answer to the question raised by thecharacter played byLeonardo DiCaprio inDjango Unchainedwhen he asks, Why dont they just rise up and kill the whites? If the movie were real, it would have been a purely rhetorical question, because every southerner of the era knew the simple answer: Well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains.
Sally E. Haden, in herbookSlave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas, notes that, Although eligibility for the Militia seemed all-encompassing, not every middle-aged white male Virginian or Carolinian became a slave patroller. There were exemptions so men in critical professions like judges, legislators and students could stay at their work. Generally, though, she documents how most southern men between ages 18 and 45 including physicians and ministers had to serve on slave patrol in the militia at one time or another in their lives.
And slave rebellions were keeping the slave patrols busy.
By the time the Constitution was ratified, hundreds of substantial slave uprisings had occurred across the South. Blacks outnumbered whites in large areas, and the state militias were used to both prevent and to put down slave uprisings. As Dr. Bogus points out, slavery can only exist in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.
If the anti-slavery folks in the North had figured out a way to disband or even move out of the state those southern militias, the police state of the South would collapse. And, similarly, if the North were to invite into military service the slaves of the South, then they could be emancipated, which would collapse the institution of slavery, and the southern economic and social systems, altogether.
These two possibilities worried southerners like James Monroe, George Mason (who owned over 300 slaves) and the southern Christian evangelical, Patrick Henry (who opposed slavery on principle, but also opposed freeing slaves).
Their main concern was that Article 1, Section 8 of the newly-proposed Constitution, which gave the federal government the power to raise and supervise a militia, could also allow that federal militia to subsume their state militias and change them from slavery-enforcing institutions into something that could even, one day, free the slaves.
This was not an imagined threat. Famously, 12 years earlier, during the lead-up to the Revolutionary War, Lord Dunsmore offered freedom to slaves who could escape and join his forces. Liberty to Slaves was stitched onto their jacket pocket flaps. During the War, British General Henry Clinton extended the practice in 1779. And numerous freed slaves served in General Washingtons army.
Thus, southern legislators and plantation owners lived not just in fear of their own slaves rebelling, but also in fear that their slaves could be emancipated through military service.
At the ratifying convention in Virginia in 1788, Henry laid it out:
Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8 of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .
By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither . . . this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory.
George Mason expressed a similar fear:
The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practised in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretences, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution] . . .
Henry then bluntly laid it out:
If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress . . . . Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia.
And why was that such a concern forPatrick Henry?
In this state, he said, there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free.
Patrick Henry was also convinced that the power over the various state militias given the federal government in the new Constitution could be used to strip the slave states of their slave-patrol militias. He knew the majority attitude in the North opposed slavery, and he worried theyd use the Constitution to free the Souths slaves (a process then called Manumission).
The abolitionists would, he was certain, use that power (and, ironically, this is pretty much what Abraham Lincoln ended up doing):
[T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission, said Henry. And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?
This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it.
He added: This is a local matter, and I can see no propriety in subjecting it to Congress.
James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and a slaveholder himself, basically called Patrick Henry paranoid.
I was struck with surprise,Madison said, when I heard him express himself alarmed with respect to the emancipation of slaves. . . . There is no power to warrant it, in that paper [the Constitution]. If there be, I know it not.
But the southern fears wouldnt go away.
Patrick Henry even argued that southerners property (slaves) would be lost under the new Constitution, and the resulting slave uprising would be less than peaceful or tranquil:
In this situation, Henry said to Madison, I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone.
So Madison, who had (at Jeffersons insistence) already begun to prepare proposed amendments to the Constitution, changed his first draft of one that addressed the militia issue to make sure it was unambiguous that the southern states could maintain their slave patrol militias.
His first draft for what became the Second Amendment had said: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a freecountry[emphasis mine]: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.
But Henry, Mason and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government. So Madison changed the word country to the word state, and redrafted the Second Amendment into todays form:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a freeState[emphasis mine], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Little did Madison realize that one day in the future weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as persons by a Supreme Court some have called dysfunctional,would use his slave patrol militia amendment to protect their right to manufacture and sell assault weapons used to murder schoolchildren.
Read the rest here:
The Second Amendment was ratified to preserve slavery
Posted: July 10, 2016 at 6:07 pm
Oceania is the eighth studio album by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, released on June 19, 2012 through EMI, Reprise Records and Martha’s Music. Produced by Billy Corgan and Bjorn Thorsrud, the album is part of the band’s ongoing 44-song box set, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. As of September 2012, Oceania has sold over 102,000 copies in the US.
A live performance of the album, Oceania: Live in NYC, was released on September 24, 2013.
On April 26, 2011, in a video on the band’s Facebook fan page, frontman Billy Corgan announced plans to release Oceania as “an album within an album,” relating to Teargarden by Kaleidyscope which involved releasing songs one by one, for free on the Internet from late 2009, and then releasing them in EPs after claiming that albums are a dead medium. While Oceania may appear to contradict that, Corgan explains:
“I still stand by my view that I don’t think albums are particularly relevant at this time. That may change. But as far as making music…from a writing point of view, it’s really going to focus me to put a group of songs together that are supposed to go together.”
Corgan later admitted that they switched back to the album format because he “…reached a point where I saw that the one-song-at-a-time idea had maxed itself out…I just saw we weren’t getting the penetration in to everybody that I would have hoped.”
The band finished mixing the album on September 18, 2011.
Oceania was the first full-length album recorded with guitarist Jeff Schroeder, and the only album recorded with drummer Mike Byrne and bassist Nicole Fiorentino. The band was supplemented in-studio by an unnamed session keyboardist. Fiorentino had this to say about her role in recording Oceania:
“I think because we are all working together on this record it is naturally going to have a different vibe than any of the other records on which Billy played most of the instruments himself. I think we delved into new territory for sure, but what I love about this record is that it has that familiar old-school Pumpkins feel to it, with a modern twist. The cool thing is he was able to capture the energy of the old material without ripping it off. Billy’s definitely found his way back to whatever he was tapping into when writing Gish and Siamese Dream.”
Guitarist Jeff Schroeder also hinted that the album may be less heavy than past albums, stating “In this day and age, with what’s going on politically and socially, it just feels right to play something that’s a little more spacey and dreamy. We want music to move people on an emotional level.”
In November 2011, the album’s release date was pushed back to spring 2012 and announced via Twitter.
Corgan has said that Oceania is the Pumpkins’ “best effort since Mellon Collie”. Comparing it to his previous works, he said, “it is the first time where you actually hear me escape the old band. I’m not reacting against it or for it or in the shadow of it.” 
In describing Oceania’s theme, Billy Corgan said the album is partly about “people struggling to find a social identity in today’s fast-paced, technology-rich culture”, adding “I think alienation seems to be the key theme alienation in love and alienation in culture,” he says.
Regarding the album’s lyrical content, Corgan noted “If you listen to the lyrics, it was written around some serious relationship strife. When somebody breaks your heart, you can choose to accept, embrace, and forgive them, as opposed to condemn them. I got a few albums out of [sic] condemn! Now I’m working on compassion as a device.”
The album was tentatively scheduled to be released on September 1, 2011, but the release date was pushed to June 19, 2012. On March 27, 2012, EMI/Caroline Distribution announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Martha’s Music to release the album on June 19, 2012. In late May 2012, the band announced that they were holding a event called “Imagine Oceania”, requesting fans to take and submit their own photos for the album. On June 12, the album was made available to stream in full via iTunes. The album also became available for full streaming on Spotify, Soundcloud, Spinner, and Ustream. Corgan appeared on The Howard Stern Show on June 19, performing an acoustic version of “Tonight, Tonight”. Howard Stern interviewed Corgan for more than an hour and premiered “Violet Rays” from the album. On June 21, 2012, “The Celestials” was released as the album’s first single. They performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on August 23, 2012. “Panopticon” was released as the second single on September 15, 2012. In 2014, the song “My Love is Winter” was featured on the soundtrack for the video game Watch Dogs.
The album cover features the North Shore Sanitary District Tower.
According to Billboard, the album in its first week of release sold 54,000 copies in the US, debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart and at number one on the Independent Albums chartmaking it the band’s seventh top 10 album to date. The album has received generally positive reviews, with many reviewers finding Oceania to be a return to form for Corgan. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received thus far an average score of 72, indicating “generally favorable reviews”.RedEye gave the album three stars out of four, saying “Oceania, the first full-length Pumpkins album since 2007’s Zeitgeist, is the best thing Corgan and Co. have produced in quite some time. Longtime fans will hear hints of the grungy, vicious band of the Gish era and also the mellow, almost pop Adore era. It’s a mix that works.” Antiquiet gave album four out of five stars and called it “best Corgan work in a decade”.Gigwise gave the album four stars out of five and praised its production and themes.Toronto Sun gave the album four stars out of five, saying “With Billy Corgan, bigger is better. And his latest projectthe ongoing 44-song Teargarden by Kaleidyscopeis his most ambitious since 2000’s Machina. In keeping, this ‘album-within-an-album’ bears all the classic Pumpkins hallmarks: Searing guitars and busy drums, epic songs and complex arrangements, wistful romanticism and bombastic grandeur. His best work in years.”
PopMatters gave the album seven out of 10 stars, describing the album as “…a spinoff that doesn’t hold the brilliance of an original, but is charismatic in its own right. A more grown-up manifestation of the adolescent self-obsessed gloomy beginnings.”BBC gave the album a positive review, saying “On Oceania Smashing Pumpkins sound energised and alive.” About.com gave the album four stars out of five, saying “Corgan has claimed that friends who had heard Oceania had claimed it was his best since Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Time will tell, but for now it’s clear that Oceania is the first Smashing Pumpkins record since then to fully stimulate the senses and stir the heart.” Allmusic gave the album four out of five stars, saying “On Oceania there are some of the most memorable and rousing songs Corgan has delivered since 1993’s Siamese Dream”. ARTISTdirect gave the album a five out of five stars, saying “Oceania is the year’s best rock record and a milestone for the genre. Hopefully, it incites and inspires a new generation. The Pumpkins are no strangers to that concept…”Ology gave the album a B+, stating it is “…simply a really good new album, one that deserves to be referenced and included in the company of the classic Smashing Pumpkins albums it delightfully demonstrates little interest in resembling.” The Chicago Sun-Times gave the album four out of four stars, saying “this album within an album revives Corgan’s gutter-epic vision with a clarity and ferocity not seen since 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.”Daily Express gave the album four out of fivestars, saying “Oceania is Corgan on especially potent form”. Sputnikmusic gave the album four out of fivestars, saying “SP have forged ahead to create a record that could well be the catalyst of a stellar second era for one of rock’s more interesting groups”.
Kerrang gave the album four stars. and NME gave the album six out of 10 stars and criticised the album because it doesn’t feature the original band members. In a brief review, Rolling Stone gave the album three out of five stars and called it “bong prog” and said that Oceania “sounds like Yes hanging in a German disco circa 1977”,Stereogum gave album a positive review, calling it a return to form.USA Today gave the album 3.5 out of four stars, praising the production and song writing.The A.V. Club gave the album a B and called it “a solid start to a new Smashing Pumpkins era”.Pitchfork Media rated the album 6.3 out of 10, purporting that on Oceania, Corgan plays with a “hired-via-contest crew of strangers” and that it is “difficult not to notice he’s repeating himself,” comparing several new songs to earlier Smashing Pumpkins hits.Daily Nebraskan gave the album A and called it “one of this years best rock records”.Consequence of Sound gave the album four out of five stars and called it “best Corgan work in a long time”.CraveOnline gave Oceania an 8 out of 10 review, stating that “If Oceania is a testament of what’s to come, I may need to pull my old Smashing Pumpkin t-shirt out of the closet.”SPIN gave a rating of 7 out of 10, declaring that it is “easily Corgan’s best work since his rat-in-a-cage heyday.” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer scored the album with 4.5 out of five stars, stating it “is full of winners.” The album was listed at #48 on Rolling Stone’s list of the top 50 albums of 2012, saying “The most recent dispatch from whatever far-off planet Billy Corgan currently resides on is the finest slab of cosmic prog he’s thrown down since the Pumpkins’ early-Nineties heyday.”
All songs written and composed by Billy Corgan.
Credits adapted from Oceania album liner notes and Allmusic.
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Posted: at 5:53 pm
Identity is an interesting concept. For the most part we like to believe that we define our own identity. The truth is a lot goes into defining our identity. And what it comes down to is what we accept as our own. The more we know about ourselves, our own experiences, our families past and heritage, and so on – the more our own identity changes and evolves and becomes further defined in our minds and accepted as our own. I have a lot of thoughts and experiences around this topic that have caused my own identity do grow and evolve over time. Here is a snap shot:
I was born in NYC, the youngest of 5 kids. My parents and three older siblings were born in Bogota, Colombia. My family migrated to NYC in the late 70s looking for a better life. After my brother and I were born in the early 80s my parents had begun to realize what a dangerous city it was at that time and decided to head back to Colombia. They worked hard to build a 3 story building where we would live, work, and rent out space. It was a 3 year process. But sadly Colombia at that time was worsening. Bomb threats throughout the city and in front of our new building became too much for my family. We made the trip back to NYC and a year later drove to Salt Lake City where we have lived for about 27 years.
People look at me and often wonder what I am.
People look at me and often wonder what I am. It is often both entertaining and frustrating when people attempt to find out where I am from. My name implies Hispanic/Latino and considering that is the largest ethnic/minority population in Utah its a pretty safe guess. However, when Im with my Polynesian friends people think Im Hawaiian or a mix of Polynesian and something else. In fact in high school I MCd a Polynesian dance group because I could pull off the look. When I travel my friend have told me that they like having me around because I blend in just about anywhere. I recently attended a Nepali church service and had a few people ask me what part of Nepal I was from. Its fun when people assume I am from a different culture/heritage then I am. And I have to admit its kind of entertaining watching people try to skirt around the inquiry as to where I am from.
I identify myself as Colombian, But the sad thing is that when I go to Colombia some family members consider me North American because I was born in the U.S. However, in the U.S. I am defined as Hispanic/Latino in just about every form of paper work I fill out, by associates, friends, and strangers. I often weave in and out of the wonderful experience of growing up straddling two worlds and cultures and the feeling of being neither from here nor there. There is a constant pull between how other identify and define me and how I chose to define and accept myself, my heritage, my culture, and the unknown history that somehow contributes to who I am.
As my dad and I have begun to explore our genealogy the past 7 years or so, weve found that our family is largely from Spain which is no big surprise. My mom is white; her mother was also fair skinned with grayish blue eyes. Some of her cousins that live in Colombia are blond and blue eyed. But that isnt rare in Colombia, let alone south/central america. Colombians have a wide range of ethnicities and consequently a lot of racial discrimination. The Spanish influence is very much present and often people can easily say how many generations back are from Spain. My dad also suspects we have German ancestry somewhere back there.
I received an AncestryDNA kit a few years ago for my birthday. My friend knew I had been working on family history and thought I should give it a shot. Since then Ive had my mother and grandmother on my fathers side tested as well. What surprised me the most in my results was that Im 35% Native American, 5% African, and 29% from the Iberian Peninsula. This has drastically broadened the way I think about my identity and heritage. I feel a sense of connectedness with those areas of the world now and am now anxious to dig deeper and see how far back our records can go. In a less personal sense, I feel like information like this can have a great influence on how people think and treat each other. My grandmother, who took pride in being of pure blood, meaning Spanish, would have completely rejected the notion that Im 5% African, and likely would have blamed it on my fathers side.
There is great power in understanding our deepest heritage and history and in giving ourselves permission to connect with others through that heritage and knowledge. Its liberating in many ways.
Like many who work on their family history, our family had a few lines where we were really struggling to find more information. My 2nd great-grandfather was a mystery ancestor on one of those lines. We could not pin him to a specific census, nor could we find any information about his arrival in the United States. We did however believe he came from Jewish descent.
With this DNA cousin match, weve been able to add a generation to our family tree.
Shortly thereafter, we were contacted by another Ancestry member who used the AncestryDNA kit. He was the descendant of our mystery ancestor and as it turns out, was the 2nd cousin once removed of my father. He was able to point us to the correct 1860 census for the family where we were able discover other family members, and we should now be able to trace their family back to France. So with this DNA cousin match, weve been able to add a generation to our family tree, as well as identify several siblings and their spouses. For immigration research, its so much easier to find a town of origin when youre looking at an entire family who came over rather than just one individual, so Im really excited about the prospects.
In December of 2012 I received an AncestryDNA kit as a gift from my brother-in-law who was hoping to help me learn more about my roots as I was adopted.
More recently, an Ancestry employee was describing the AncestryDNA test to a potential investor and suggested he take the test to experience it. He did, and when his test results came back he was surprised to discover he was related to me either through a grandfather or great-grandfather. He did not recognize my name and when he shared the results with his father Greg, Greg was inspired to take the test as well. Greg’s results indicated that I was a possible first cousin, and so he sent me a message.
This has opened a new chapter in my lifeand it is a most welcome life interruption.’
In May of 2014 (less than two years after taking my own test), I received that letter from Greg. We eventually confirmed that we were half-brothers. While Greg’s father was my father as well, my birth mother was in her early 20s when she was pregnant with me and had not informed my father. Within days of Gregs letter, I discovered my half-brother and half-sister that I had never met.
Unfortunately, both of my biological parents have since passed away. But instead, I now have connected with my half-siblings Greg and Carole, his half-nephews and niece (Gregs three sons and daughter), and their families. Ive had the most heartwarming embrace from my new brother, sister, and their kids. This has opened a new chapter in my lifeand it is a most welcome “life interruption.” I look forward to meeting my family in person in December 2014.
Posted: July 3, 2016 at 12:21 pm
Offshore drilling is a mechanical process where a wellbore is drilled below the seabed. It is typically carried out in order to explore for and subsequently extract petroleum which lies in rock formations beneath the seabed. Most commonly, the term is used to describe drilling activities on the continental shelf, though the term can also be applied to drilling in lakes, inshore waters and inland seas.
Offshore drilling presents environmental challenges, both from the produced hydrocarbons and the materials used during the drilling operation. Controversies include the ongoing US offshore drilling debate.
There are many different types of facilities from which offshore drilling operations take place. These include bottom founded drilling rigs (jackup barges and swamp barges), combined drilling and production facilities either bottom founded or floating platforms, and deepwater mobile offshore drilling units (MODU) including semi-submersibles and drillships. These are capable of operating in water depths up to 3,000 metres (9,800ft). In shallower waters the mobile units are anchored to the seabed, however in deeper water (more than 1,500 metres (4,900ft) the semisubmersibles or drillships are maintained at the required drilling location using dynamic positioning.
Around 1891, the first submerged oil wells were drilled from platforms built on piles in the fresh waters of the Grand Lake St. Marys (a.k.a. Mercer County Reservoir) in Ohio. The wells were developed by small local companies such as Bryson, Riley Oil, German-American and Banker’s Oil.
Around 1896, the first submerged oil wells in salt water were drilled in the portion of the Summerland field extending under the Santa Barbara Channel in California. The wells were drilled from piers extending from land out into the channel.
Other notable early submerged drilling activities occurred on the Canadian side of Lake Erie in the 1900s and Caddo Lake in Louisiana in the 1910s. Shortly thereafter wells were drilled in tidal zones along the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast. The Goose Creek Oil Field near Baytown, Texas is one such example. In the 1920s drilling activities occurred from concrete platforms in Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo.
One of the oldest subsea wells is the Bibi Eibat well, which came on stream in 1923 in Azerbaijan.[dubious discuss] The well was located on an artificial island in a shallow portion of the Caspian Sea. In the early 1930s, the Texas Co., later Texaco (now Chevron) developed the first mobile steel barges for drilling in the brackish coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico.
In 1937, Pure Oil (now Chevron) and its partner Superior Oil (now ExxonMobil) used a fixed platform to develop a field 1 mile (1.6km) offshore of Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana in 14 feet (4.3m) of water.
In 1945, concern for American control of its offshore oil reserves caused President Harry Truman to issue an Executive Order unilaterally extending American territory to the edge of its continental shelf, an act that effectively ended the 3-mile limit “freedom of the seas” regime.
In 1946, Magnolia Petroleum (now ExxonMobil) drilled at a site 18 miles (29km) off the coast, erecting a platform in 18 feet (5.5m) of water off St. Mary Parish, Louisiana.
In early 1947, Superior Oil erected a drilling and production platform in 20 feet (6.1m) of water some 18 miles (29km) off Vermilion Parish, La. But it was Kerr-McGee Oil Industries (now Anadarko Petroleum), as operator for partners Phillips Petroleum (ConocoPhillips) and Stanolind Oil & Gas (BP) that completed its historic Ship Shoal Block 32 well in October 1947, months before Superior actually drilled a discovery from their Vermilion platform farther offshore. In any case, that made Kerr-McGee’s well the first oil discovery drilled out of sight of land.
When offshore drilling moved into deeper waters of up to 30 metres (98ft), fixed platform rigs were built, until demands for drilling equipment was needed in the 100 feet (30m) to 120 metres (390ft) depth of the Gulf of Mexico, the first jack-up rigs began appearing from specialized offshore drilling contractors such as forerunners of ENSCO International.
The first semi-submersible resulted from an unexpected observation in 1961. Blue Water Drilling Company owned and operated the four-column submersible Blue Water Rig No.1 in the Gulf of Mexico for Shell Oil Company. As the pontoons were not sufficiently buoyant to support the weight of the rig and its consumables, it was towed between locations at a draught mid-way between the top of the pontoons and the underside of the deck. It was noticed that the motions at this draught were very small, and Blue Water Drilling and Shell jointly decided to try operating the rig in the floating mode. The concept of an anchored, stable floating deep-sea platform had been designed and tested back in the 1920s by Edward Robert Armstrong for the purpose of operating aircraft with an invention known as the ‘seadrome’. The first purpose-built drilling semi-submersible Ocean Driller was launched in 1963. Since then, many semi-submersibles have been purpose-designed for the drilling industry mobile offshore fleet.
The first offshore drillship was the CUSS 1 developed for the Mohole project to drill into the Earth’s crust.
As of June, 2010, there were over 620 mobile offshore drilling rigs (Jackups, semisubs, drillships, barges) available for service in the competitive rig fleet.
One of the world’s deepest hubs is currently the Perdido in the Gulf of Mexico, floating in 2,438 meters of water. It is operated by Royal Dutch Shell and was built at a cost of $3 billion. The deepest operational platform is the Petrobras America Cascade FPSO in the Walker Ridge 249 field in 2,600 meters of water.
Notable offshore fields include:
Offshore oil and gas production is more challenging than land-based installations due to the remote and harsher environment. Much of the innovation in the offshore petroleum sector concerns overcoming these challenges, including the need to provide very large production facilities. Production and drilling facilities may be very large and a large investment, such as the Troll A platform standing on a depth of 300 meters.
Another type of offshore platform may float with a mooring system to maintain it on location. While a floating system may be lower cost in deeper waters than a fixed platform, the dynamic nature of the platforms introduces many challenges for the drilling and production facilities.
The ocean can add several billion meters or more to the fluid column. The addition increases the equivalent circulating density and downhole pressures in drilling wells, as well as the energy needed to lift produced fluids for separation on the platform.
The trend today is to conduct more of the production operations subsea, by separating water from oil and re-injecting it rather than pumping it up to a platform, or by flowing to onshore, with no installations visible above the sea. Subsea installations help to exploit resources at progressively deeper waterslocations which had been inaccessibleand overcome challenges posed by sea ice such as in the Barents Sea. One such challenge in shallower environments is seabed gouging by drifting ice features (means of protecting offshore installations against ice action includes burial in the seabed).
Offshore manned facilities also present logistics and human resources challenges. An offshore oil platform is a small community in itself with cafeteria, sleeping quarters, management and other support functions. In the North Sea, staff members are transported by helicopter for a two-week shift. They usually receive higher salary than onshore workers do. Supplies and waste are transported by ship, and the supply deliveries need to be carefully planned because storage space on the platform is limited. Today, much effort goes into relocating as many of the personnel as possible onshore, where management and technical experts are in touch with the platform by video conferencing. An onshore job is also more attractive for the aging workforce in the petroleum industry, at least in the western world. These efforts among others are contained in the established term integrated operations. The increased use of subsea facilities helps achieve the objective of keeping more workers onshore. Subsea facilities are also easier to expand, with new separators or different modules for different oil types, and are not limited by the fixed floor space of an above-water installation.
See also ecological effects of oil platforms.
Offshore oil production involves environmental risks, most notably oil spills from oil tankers or pipelines transporting oil from the platform to onshore facilities, and from leaks and accidents on the platform.Produced water is also generated, which is water brought to the surface along with the oil and gas; it is usually highly saline and may include dissolved or unseparated hydrocarbons.
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Posted: at 12:14 pm
ROHTEK LLC is a specialized automation distributor company principally serving the aerospace and defense industries. Our goal is to help our customers achieve greater productivity and results leveraging our highly reliable automation control systems, accessories, and technical support. Simply put: ROHTEK LLC will provide the support and easy-to-use automation systems to our customer base to achieve immediate positive impact in their productivity.
Our Human Machine Interface (HMI) products also known as Operator Interface Terminals (OIT) are compatible and able to connect via Ethernet or using the serial ports with most Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) including Allen Bradley, Fuji, Hitachi, Schneider Electric, Panasonic, Omron, Siemens, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. This attribute, combined with our world-class reliability and easy-to-use software interfaces makes us the best solution for any existing automation line.
Our Fatek PLC products and training devices are a professional line of controllers focused on small, high-quality and high-functionality micro PLC controllers. With a tradition of high quality and break-through engineering innovation since 1992 our Fatek PLCs are increasingly reaching market share in high-reliability applications in Europe and North America.
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Posted: July 1, 2016 at 9:40 pm
On April 3, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit the Virginia Military Institute, the NATO headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, and deliver remarks at the World Affairs Council at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk.
At approximately noon, Secretary Clinton will receive the Distinguished Diplomat Award from the Virginia Military Institute. Established in 1996 by the board of advisers for VMIs Department of International Studies and Political Science, the Distinguished Diplomat Award is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in advancing U.S. interests abroad through diplomacy.
Secretary Clintons work throughout her public life representing the United States in numerous venues and on issues of national and international importance makes this award highly appropriate, said Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, superintendent of the military college.
Secretary Clinton will also visit members of the only NATO command in North America and the only permanent NATO headquarters outside of Europe. Upon arriving at Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia, Secretary Clinton will receive a briefing on NATO activities. Following the briefing, Secretary Clinton will attend a meet and greet with ACT community members.
In the evening, Secretary Clinton will serve as a guest speaker at the World Affairs Council NATO Fest 2012 Banquet at The Norfolk Sheraton Waterside Hotel. The NATO Festival is one of the World Affairs Councils most successful programs. The program honors the NATO nations and focuses on different aspects of issues the transatlantic alliance faces.
Tuesday, April 3
Approximately 12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton receives the Distinguished Diplomat Award from Virginia Military Institute, at VMIs Cameron Hall, in Lexington, Virginia. (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE) Press pre-set times to follow.
For further information, please contact the Department of States press office at (202) 647-2492 or Colonel Stewart MacInnis (540) 464-7207 (office) or (540) 570-0464 (cell) or by email at email@example.com.
6:10 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks to the World Affairs Council 2012 NATO Fest, at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel, in Norfolk, Virginia. (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)
This event is open to credentialed members of the media.
For more information please contact Lori Crouch (757) 664-4067 or (757) 646-5381 or Major Robin Ochoa COM: 757-747-3227 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.