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September 3, 2015

Study estimates Earth has over three trillion trees

Study estimates Earth has over three trillion trees

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

A study published yesterday by Nature estimates the global tree population at just over three trillion. Previous work estimated the total at 400 billion.

A young tree in Saudi Arabia
Image: Francisco Anzola.

The international research, led by Yale University in the US, used satellite images to examine over 400,000 plots of land for estimated tree density. Subarctic regions of Scandinavia, Russia, and North America had the highest densities but the largest forested areas were tropical. The study puts 43% of trees in the tropics, where deforestation is particularly common.

The study also claims the number has been cut by human activity from around six trillion 12,000 years ago. Lead researcher Thomas Crowther said “We have nearly halved the number of trees on the planet, and we have seen the impacts on climate and human health as a result. This study highlights how much more effort is needed if we are to restore healthy forests worldwide.” Crowther was “surprised” to come up with a number as high as the trillions.

The study was made at the request of a United Nations project which wanted an estimate on which to base reforestation targets. As well as numbers and distribution the study looks at what factors might control the density of trees in any given area, such as soil type. The study suggests trees outnumber humans by around 422 to one.

“It’s not like we’ve discovered a load of new trees; it’s not like we’ve discovered a load of new carbon”, cautioned Crowther, speaking to the BBC. “So, it’s not good news for the world or bad news that we’ve produced this new number.” He says the estimate is valuable for lawmakers, academics, and the general public.


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April 24, 2011

U.S. Coast Guard investigation finds \’poor safety culture\’ contributed to Deepwater Horizon disaster

U.S. Coast Guard investigation finds ‘poor safety culture’ contributed to Deepwater Horizon disaster

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Deepwater Horizon disaster
Other stories about the Deepwater Horizon disaster
NASA photo of Deepwater oil slick

Oil  spreading north-east from the leaking Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico

Fireboats tackling the fire on Deepwater Horizon last year. The explosion on the rig killed eleven people and began the largest oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.
Image: United States Coast Guard.

An investigation by the United States Coast Guard has concluded the largest oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry was partly the result of a “poor safety culture” aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The April 2010 explosion aboard the rig, which is located in the Gulf of Mexico, triggered a disaster that led to widespread environmental damage.

The report squarely blames Transocean, which managed the Deepwater Horizon, for being largely responsible for the explosion that claimed eleven lives. The rig had “serious safety management system failures and a poor safety culture,” the report says. Transocean fiercely rejected allegations that crews aboard the rig were badly trained and equipment was poorly maintained.

Cquote1.svg Deepwater Horizon and its owner, Transocean, had serious safety management system failures and a poor safety culture. Cquote2.svg

United States Coast Guard

A slapdash safety environment on Deepwater Horizon would mean equipment was not mended or replaced if it meant losing valuable hours of drilling, the Coast Guard found. Electrical equipment believed to have caused a spark that ignited flammable gas was described as being in “bad condition” and “seriously corroded.” The report found that other deficiencies—improperly assembled gas detectors and emergency equipment; audible alarms switched off because of nuisance false warnings; complacency with fire drills; and poor preparation for dealing with a well blowout—all contributed to the disaster.

Transocean attacked the report’s conclusions and suggested the Coast Guard may have played a role in the disaster. A spokesperson for the company said Deepwater Horizon had been inspected by Coast Guard officials only months before the explosion, officials who said it complied with safety standards. “We strongly disagree with—and documentary evidence in the Coast Guard’s possession refutes—key findings in this report,” the company said.

This week, Deepwater Horizon owner BP launched legal action against Transocean. It also filed a lawsuit against Halliburton, the company that cemented the well, and Cameron, which manufactured the rig’s failed blowout preventer. BP is reportedly seeking to claim US$40 billion in damages, and alleges it has taken a massive financial hit and loss of reputation. In a statement, BP said it filed the lawsuits “to ensure that all parties … are appropriately held accountable for their roles in contributing to the Deepwater Horizon accident”.

A robotic submarine working on the blowout preventer of Deepwater Horizon while oil was leaking from the well. BP is suing Cameron, who manufactured the blowout preventer.
Image: United States Coast Guard.

In the lawsuit against Transocean, BP claims the company missed signs that a disaster was imminent and that it “materially breached its contractual duties in its actions and inactions leading to the loss of well control, the explosion and the loss of life and injuries onboard the Deepwater Horizon, as well as the resulting oil spill.” Halliburton, BP alleges, was riddled with “improper conduct, errors and omissions, including fraud and concealment” which led to the disaster, and continues to refuse to cooperate with investigators.

Transocean dismissed the lawsuit as “desperate” and “unconscionable,” and announced a countersuit against BP, which it claims was responsible for the disaster “through a series of cost-saving decisions that increased risk, in some cases severely.” Halliburton and Cameron, which is also countersuing, announced they would defend themselves against BP’s allegations.

U.S. President Barack Obama marked the anniversary of the explosion by conceding that although “progress” has been made to ensure the safety of deep water drilling rigs, “the job isn’t done.” Obama’s comments came less than a week after leading experts raised serious questions over the security of deep water drilling as the U.S. government approves more exploration without improving safety measures.

Barack Obama marked the anniversary by conceding that although “progress” has been made to ensure the safety of deep water drilling rigs, “the job isn’t done.”
Image: Obama-Biden transition project.

Charles Perrow, a professor at Yale University, said the oil industry “is ill prepared at the least” to deal with another oil spill, despite repeated assurances from the industry and the government, which insists lessons have been learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. “I have seen no evidence that they have marshaled containment efforts that are sufficient to deal with another major spill,” he said. “Even if everybody tries very hard, there is going to be an accident caused by cost-cutting and pressure on workers. These are moneymaking machines and they make money by pushing things to the limit.”

However, politicians have insisted they are doing all they can to help clean the coast of oil. “Cleanup efforts in some places are still ongoing, and the full scale of the damage done to our state has yet to be calculated, but the good news is that most all of our fishing waters are back open again,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at a press conference. “All of us here today want the entire nation to get the message that Louisiana is making another historic comeback.”

Cquote1.svg I don’t see any hope at all. We thought we’d see hope after a year, but there’s nothing. Cquote2.svg

Gulf Coast fisherwoman

Gulf Coast residents, activists and relatives of the crewmen who were killed in the explosion paused this week for the anniversary of the oil spill’s beginning. A helicopter took the victims’ families from New Orleans to over the site where the rig stood, where it circled. “It was just a little emotional, seeing where they were,” said one victim’s mother. Remembrance services and candlelight vigils were held in the Gulf Coast region, which continues to suffer from the fallout of the catastrophe. The families have expressed anger at BP, who they say is being unfair and slow in paying out compensation from a $20 billion fund.

The area is still heavily affected by the disaster and reconstruction of the seafood industry that once thrived is slow. While tourists are beginning to return to the region, many are angry at BP and the Obama administration over how they handled the disaster. All the fishing waters in the area have now opened again, but people who live in the area remain dissatisfied. “I don’t see any daylight at the end of this tunnel,” one fisherwoman said. “I don’t see any hope at all. We thought we’d see hope after a year, but there’s nothing.”


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February 18, 2011

Yale University builds world\’s first anti-laser

Yale University builds world’s first anti-laser

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Friday, February 18, 2011

A team at Yale University in the US has built the world’s first anti-laser — or coherent perfect absorber (CPA). The device, constructed from silicon, absorbs light and dissipates the energy as heat.

Cquote1.svg We couldn’t have expected to do any better Cquote2.svg

—Professor Stone

Professor Hui Cao’s researchers were following on from theoretical work last year by Professor Douglas Stone. Stone explained “we were working on a theory that could predict what could be used to form a laser,” and the theory also predicted the possibility of an anti-laser. Lasers amplify light to produce coherent pulses.

Laser beams can now be absorbed and turned into heat by anti-lasers

The new anti-laser focuses two identical laser beams towards each other. The light is trapped in an optical cavity and bounces until all the energy is converted into heat. The one constructed by Yale used a piece of silicon 110 micrometers wide; it absorbed 99.4% of light at a wavelength of 998.5 nanometers, which is close to infrared.

Stone felt “[t]heory and experiment matched very well. We couldn’t have expected to do any better.” The theory suggests that 99.999% could be absorbed, but Yale blamed “experimental limitations” for not achieving this. Yale explained that more sophisticated anti-lasers may approach this absorption rate, and added that simulations suggest much smaller versions could be made.

The research team believes it could have applications in supercomputing, with machines using light and not electrons like regular computers. Many computer components are already manufactured from silicon. Since the energy is dissipated as heat, however, use is limited against laser weapons since the heat would damage the target anyway.

General light-absorption is not difficult, according to Stone, but this is the first time a device has been built targeted to the specific-wavelength beams produced by lasers.



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October 17, 2010

Mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot dies aged 85

Mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot dies aged 85

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
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Mandelbrot in 2007
Image: Rama.

The Mandelbrot set, named after Benoît Mandelbrot, forms a fractal.
Image: Wolfgang Beyer.

Benoît B. Mandelbrot, a French-American mathematician and pioneer of fractal geometry, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Thursday. Mandelbrot, aged 85, died of pancreatic cancer, according to a family statement.

Mandelbrot was born to Lithuanian parents on November 20, 1924, in Warsaw. Mandelbrot and his family, who were Jewish, fled Nazi persecution in 1936, moving to France. He later studied at Paris’ École Polytechnique and received a master’s degree in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology. In 1952, Mandelbrot went back to Paris for a doctorate in mathematics, and worked with John von Neumann at Princeton, New Jersey’s Institute for Advanced Study to earn a postdoctoral degree. He later described a series of complex shapes when studying the concept of roughness. Calling these shapes “fractals,” he found that they were present in nature and applied his work to other fields, including finance, physics, and biology.

In a statement, French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised Mandelbrot, who had “a powerful, original mind that never shied away from innovation and battering preconceived ideas.” Sarkozy said that his country “is proud to have received Benoît Mandelbrot and to have allowed him to benefit from the best education.”

In 1958, Mandelbrot began working for for I.B.M. at the company’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. In 1987, he began teaching at Yale University, later becoming Sterling Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences. Mandelbrot received the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1993 and the Japan Prize in 2003, in addition to more than fifteen honorary degrees.

Of his own career, Mandelbrot once said, “If you take the beginning and the end, I have had a conventional career. But it was not a straight line between the beginning and the end. It was a very crooked line.” He is survived by Aliette, his wife, Laurent and Didier, his sons, and three grandchildren.



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April 17, 2010

Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn‎ talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.


Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam SaturnWikinews waves Right.png I was reading the January 2009 article In the 2008 presidential campaign, it was Joe the Plumber. In 2012, it’s going to be Joe the Painter from the Star Beacon , and it says that you’re “a former print journalist and addictions counselor who switched to house painting when he felt guided to run for president.” Why did you feel guided to run for president?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJoe SchrinerWikinews waves Right.pngOk, ‘Joe the painter’… While the Star Beacon article was done quite well as a whole, the wording in this part about ‘the presidency and house painting’ is a bit too abbreviated, and a bit too disjointed. The more accurate version is… I have a degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and have worked for several intermediate sized newspapers in Ohio. A ways into this, I changed professions and became a licensed chemical dependency counselor who started one of the first outpatient treatment programs in the Midwest for people who were raised in addictive/dysfunctional families. (As an aside, during Campaign 2000, I told CBS News in Monterey, that: “To heal the country, we have to heal the family.” [1] After working in the chemical dependency field for about eight years, I felt a spiritual prompting – as other people at times feel spiritual promptings to do any number of things – to leave this profession and go out on the road to look for people trying to make a difference when it came to things like healing the family, saving the environment, helping the poor, creating peace [2]…I felt compelled to gather these stories, using my journalism background, then share them with others – with the hopes of planting “seeds of change.” After a long, considered discernment process, I decided to go on the road and left Cleveland, in 1990. This was the start of an eight-year research period where I logged close to 100,000 miles. What I learned was a lot of tremendously creative, common sense solutions to practically all the issues of our day. Armed with this, I started to running for president in 1999, and have been doing it ever since (four successive election cycles). In each newspaper interview, each radio show, each speech… I share parts of what I researched with the hopes people will try some of it in their own town, and who knows how far out it will ripple from there. (I found that running for president is a great way to get a message out. And yes, I am indeed trying to win as well. Then I could get the information out a lot quicker, and further.) Now as far as the house painting, because I’m on the road some six to eight months a year campaigning, it’s logistically quite hard to hold down a counseling or journalism job. So, instead, I do some part-time house painting to make ends meet. And thus, “Joe the painter.” [3] Note: As an example, in the heart of Buffalo, I interviewed Dr. Myron Glick who felt his own ‘spiritual prompting’ to move his family to inner city Buffalo and start the Jericho Road Health Clinic. He uses a minimal sliding fee scale and has seen people from at least 50 different countries (Buffalo is a port city). Why? Because he’s Christian, he told me, and it is Jesus Christ’ edict that we help the poor. I have shared Dr. Glick’s story all over the country, with the hopes of inspiring other doctors to consider doing some version of the same. And each time that happens, I get a component of our healthcare bill passed – and another little kid living below the poverty line gets the medical help they might have otherwise not gotten. For more on our healthcare position paper, see [4] or, listen to my “Fireside Podcast” on healthcare, and podcasts on other pressing issues of the day, at [5]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngWhen you announced your candidacy following the 2008 election, you remarked that this would be your final run. Why did you make that decision, and why did you announce your candidacy so early in the electoral process?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngGiven the strategy about using running for president as a way of getting a message out to help change America now, I always announce early and start hitting the road often just as early. For instance, I was just on the front page of the LaGrange (GA) News talking about a project we’d researched (the Alterna Project) to provide long-term, affordable housing for new Hispanic immigrants in a community setting. Now if I had walked in the doors of that newspaper, approached an editor and said: “Hi. I’m Joe from Cleveland and I have some great ideas I’d like to share with you.” He/she would have looked at me, not like I was from Cleveland, but rather like I was from, oh, Mars… Also being on the road early, gives me that much more time to continue my cross country research for our position papers, and such. [6] And it gives me more time to, well, campaign in general. When you’re short on Lear Jets and have to travel in a 1984 family camper, it just takes you a bit more time to get around. “America is a lot bigger than it looks on the map,” I often joke. And as far as this being our final run… we’re planning on winning this time. [7] Although it just occurred to me that when I win this time, I’ll have to run again for a second term. They don’t call me “average Joe” for nothing. (My wife Liz says I’m sometimes a bit short on forward planning.) For more about Liz [8].

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngBack in 2000, Steve Chawkins with Ventura County News, wrote to you “You won’t win, you won’t be president.” Why do you believe you lost that particular election as well as the 2004 and 2008 elections? What have you done differently during this run?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngWhy I didn’t win in 2000, 2004 and 2008? I didn’t get enough votes. (Sorry.) Actually, each election I have been somewhat quietly, and under-the-radar, going about meeting with people on the ground, giving talks, doing local media, putting up fliers…We do all the things the other campaigns do, only with a much smaller budget. I recently told the Sun News in Lakewood, that this, indeed, is “…a serious attempt by an average citizen to run for president.” Yet as for the current state of election dynamics in America, we’re up against this huge Goliath(s), and our ‘sling shot and stone’ – if one allows that metaphor – will be sparking a grassroots revolution. But for this to happen, and for this to become a national story with staying power (and not a 15-minutes-of-fame national media blip), people would have to know that there has been tremendous depth and breadth to the research and campaigning. (As just another example, I have traveled more than 80,000 miles campaigning in the past 11 years. And I might well be the most well traveled presidential candidate (domestic road miles) — in the history of U.S. politics.) [9] So as to what we’ll do different in this election? Not much. I intend to stick to our “back road to the White House” strategy [10] , continuing to go from town to town – waiting for that long caravan – both literally and metaphorically – to start lining up behind us.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngIn some sources it says you are running for the Green Party nomination, while in others it says you are running as an Independent. Let’s clear this up, are you running for any particular party’s nomination, or as an Independent?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngI have primarily run as an independent candidate during these four election cycles. And I am currently running as an independent candidate now. However, in 2007 I vied for the presidential nomination with the Green Party. [11] I didn’t get their nomination, yet I continued to run in the 2008 election as an independent candidate. For campaign 2012, I might vie for the Green Party nomination again, once their Primary process starts. Or, and this is another possibility, there has been some talk over the years of a “fusion candidacy” among Third Parties. That is, say, the Constitution Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party… would all get behind a single presidential candidate to increase the chances of a Third Party candidate winning. If this evolves, I would consider vying for that kind of candidacy as well. Running with a Party increases your chances of getting ballot access exponentially.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngHow large is your campaign?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngIn comparison to the size of most major two Party campaigns, I once told a network news show in Indianapolis, in response to a similar question about our size: “Think the movie Hoosiers.” This, by the way, played well in Indiana.

Has your campaign received any notable endorsements?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngBill Samuels, president of the organization Consistent Life, has personally endorsed us in several campaigns. (Consistent Life embodies valuing the sanctity of life at all stages from the “womb to the tomb” and is a network uniting organizations and individuals who support a consistent life ethic. Their issues revolve around improving a spectrum of issues from poverty, to healthcare, to abortion, to global warming… and anything else that has the potential to end life prematurely.) “[Schriner] is a Christian who is running as a consistent life ethic candidate. He is right on all the life issues on which Obama is wrong,” Samuel wrote in 2008… Then there have been the media endorsements. Some examples: “…he (Schriner) seems to make a lot more sense than most politicians I try not to listen to.” Steve Zender, editor, The Progressor-Times newspaper, Carey. “Isn’t our generation ready to truly make our world better? The first step? Vote for Joe!” Leah Beth Bryson, columnist for The Vision student newspaper, Lambuth University. “A lot of what Joe says really would come across as good, common sense to many Americans. They would gladly have someone like him leading the country…” –editor David Green, The Observer, Morenci. Then there have been all the ‘average Joe’ endorsements – ‘notable’ to us – from around the U.S. The following are a smattering of excerpts from a few of these comments (which came in e-mails and letters): “Just wanted you to know that I’m really impressed with all the research on a variety of local initiatives Mr. Schriner has done. I was looking for a candidate I could actually support, and I found one here.” –Iowa. “I had been searching for a candidate with a consistent life ethic, a commitment to actively working for peace and justice, and concern for the environment… I will happily support you at the voting booth today.” – Washington. “I was tired of not voting for someone, but rather against the other main candidate.” –Ohio “My conscience will be clear when I leave the voting booth… and I approve of this message.” –Georgia. And from more short media takes on the campaign… [12]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngDescribe to me an average day in the life of Joe Schriner. How do you spend your time?

Schriner’s family
Image: Joe Schriner.

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngWhen I’m on the road campaigning, my day looks something like this. (Incidentally, we often move from town to town daily, where versions of this template repeat over, and over, and…). First, we generally get up early and either go to Mass, or do family prayer. Then after breakfast (often oatmeal), Liz starts to do homeschooling – or as we colloquially refer to it: “motor-home schooling” – with our three children. [13] Meanwhile I’ll go, often unannounced, to a local newspaper (radio stations, TV stations…) and inform them about a corner whistle-stop event we’ll be doing at noon in their town. Sometimes they’ll have me stay to do an interview right then, other times they’ll send a reporter to the event. Around 10:30 a.m., we’ll go to a local library where Liz will continue with the homeschooling and I’ll update our campaign website blog about the events of the day before. [14] Shortly before noon, we’ll arrive at the downtown venue where we’ll unfurl banners, flags and go into “street corner whistle-stop mode.” We’ll wave and call out to passing motorists, the kids and I will walk about passing out fliers, our young Jonathan will try to get passing truck drivers to honk… It’s all rather festive. Afterward we do media interviews, [15] then head out to lunch at Taco Bell, or wherever. After some Dollar Menu bean burritos, we’ll take the kids to a park or local YMCA where we all exercise a bit. Afterward, a variety of things might happen. Sometimes we go door-to-door in a town passing out fliers and putting them up in downtown businesses as well. Other times, there’s a brief window of time in the late afternoon, and early evening, to write the speech for an event we’re doing later that night. Other times we’ll take the kids to, say, a Little League ballgame early in the evening. And as they watch the game, I go about passing out campaign literature and talking with folks. Other evenings, we’re meeting with supporters in their homes, or I’m out doing research on one of the projects we’ve come across, or for that matter, I’m sometimes out throwing the football around with the boys… Then, as the evening starts to wind down, we’ll look for somewhere to park – whether a campground, church parking lot, Wal-Mart parking lot… And as the kids settle in, we tell “stories from the road,” or read the kids a book, or the kids will draw, write letters, do Lego stuff on their own… We then say evening prayers together as a family before the kids go to sleep. And finally, Liz and I will often stay up late playing Scrabble, or talking about the day, or working on the scheduling and itinerary for the next several stops. Or some nights, after a day of, well, too close quarters with the kids, Liz and I will simply sit and stare out the camper windows, in silence. Silence that is only occasionally broken by an exhausted Liz, or an exhausted me, repeating the refrain: “I think we need a staff.”

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngIf you had complete power at this moment, what would you do? How would you change America?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngIf this means complete power, as opposed to having to deal with the checks and balances built into our federal government, this is some of what I’d do: I’d end abortion and all the precipitating factors leading to it (poverty, dysfunctional family dynamics, relaxed sexual mores, alcohol and drug addiction…). I’d mobilize a set of dramatic initiatives to, not just curb global warming, but to actually start to reverse it. I would unilaterally disarm our nuclear weapons. I’d stop the production of nuclear energy. (Anybody hear of Chernobyl?) I would grant amnesty and family reunification to illegal immigrants. [16] (During a talk at an immigration rally in Arizona several years ago, I said we walked through the slums of Juarez, where violence is off the charts and many of the children are extremely hungry. If I was their parent, I’d do everything I could to get these children out of harms way and get them something to eat – even if it meant risking crossing the border illegally.) I would end the death penalty. Also in Arizona, I read a newspaper story about a death penalty protester who posed: “Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?” Good question. I would increase, exponentially, American foreign aid (it is currently only 4% of the budget) to try to help stem world hunger much more – 24,000 people starve to death every day in the world – and to help realize Habitat for Humanity’s goal of providing adequate housing, (“…for every person in the world.”) I would bring peace to urban war zones around the country. [17] (In part of this effort, our family moved into a dangerous part of Cleveland, Ohio, to be part of the solution.) I would end homelessness. (We take homeless people into our home. And we will be doing the same in the West Wing. I mean the Lincoln bedroom is free, as an example.) I would tremendously jack down and simplify the economy, shifting America back to much more of a local production for local consumption orientation, like it was in the “old days.” I would mobilize efforts for a tremendous come back of the small family farm and the practice of growing organically. This was once the backbone of our country, I told the newspaper Country Today in Wisconsin. And it should be again. [18] I would get people to tighten their belts and pay off the National Debt so our children don’t inherit it. During a talk at the University of Notre Dame recently, I said I would redirect the technical smarts at NASA toward coming up with better water filtration systems, solar panels, wind turbines…, as opposed to working on things like going to space destinations where we: can’t breathe the air, there’s no gravity and there’s no food! “That might be, oh, a hint God doesn’t want us there,” I said. I would give some of the land back to the Native Americans so it’s equitable, like it should have been from the beginning. [19] And I would give the African Americans tangible reparations for past atrocities and the ongoing trans-generational problems slavery caused. And, I would ensure – as impossible as this seems – that the Cleveland Browns had a winning season, soon… For a look at how I would actually try to make a lot of this happen, the Cleveland Browns notwithstanding, go to my rather extensive position papers at [20]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngWhen you say “we are left of the Green Party,” does that mean you view yourself as a socialist?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngNo, I’m not a socialist. In the article you allude to, I made that comment (as I often do) in relationship to being “left of the Green Party” when it comes to the environment. And that’s hard to do. If fact, I told the Freemont Messenger newspaper in Ohio that when it comes to helping the environment, no Party even comes close to matching the Green Party. I have merely used the ‘left of the Green Party’ thing to illustrate how serious we are about the environment. During a Third Party presidential candidate debate at the National Press Club in Washington, I said that our family had established a “Kyoto Protocol Home Zone.” We don’t use air conditioning, cut the thermostat back in the winter, dry clothes on the line, recycle practically everything, live simply with few material items, bicycle or walk practically everywhere within a five-mile radius of our home, use lights sparingly… And at the White House, we’d be doing the same. Not to mention, there would be solar panels and a wind turbine on the White House roof. Our point being that we can’t wait for something more tangible than the Copenhagen Accord at this point, but rather the time for each American to voluntarily act on this is: now! Note: We have traveled extensively looking at things like a wind turbine installation in Mandan; a geothermal home installation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan ($17 heating bill in: January); a Southwest Sustainability Project for retrofitting homes with insulation and alternative energy… And our administration would attempt to move America away from being the leading ‘Society of Consumers’ in the world, to be the leading ‘Society of Conservers.’ I mean if we’re going to lead, why not lead in the right way – for our kids and for future generations. At the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, I interviewed Winona LaDuke. Ms. LaDuke is an Ojibwe Tribe member who ran for vice-president with Ralph Nader in Campaign 2000. She said her tribe believes they are environmentally responsible for the next: seven generations.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngAs a former addictions counselor, would you like to see some prohibitions on the sale of alcohol? Would you consider yourself a member of the temperance movement?

Joe Schriner campaign photo
Image: Joe Schriner.

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngI would, indeed, be an advocate for temperance (more responsible drinking); but not for a return to prohibition. At the outset, let me draw some parallels to smoking. It was determined that smoking was hazardous to one’s health. (Currently more than 160,000 people die of lung cancer each year, as an example.) Then there are other smoking related respiratory issues (like emphysema), and second hand smoke issues, and… In light of all this, anti-smoking campaigns gained incremental traction over the past 50 years. These led to eventually getting cigarette smoking ads banned in many media and created a climate favorable for significantly increased taxes on cigarettes. (President Obama just signed a law increasing federal tax on cigarettes from 32 cents a pack to $1 a pack.) And a wide variety of programs started up to alert youth about the dangers of smoking. As a result of all this, fewer than 20% of adult Americans still smoke, according to a recent Time Magazine article. This figure is down significantly from when the campaign started… Now, while again, I’m not advocating prohibition, common sense says you have to look at the level of drinking in our society at this point – and how destructive it’s becoming. As a former addictions counselor, I did indeed see the destruction alcohol can wreak. It lubricates things like domestic violence between spouses, child abuse, broken families… During our cross country research, I also interviewed Mark West, who started a cutting edge two-year treatment model for recovering alcoholics and addicts in prisons nationwide. He said 80% of prisoners these days have committed crimes under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or were trying to get money for alcohol or drugs when they committed the crime(s). Then there are all the alcohol related traffic fatalities and maiming. Then factor in all those alcoholics who have died of cirrhosis of the liver, or have hemorrhaged to death internally from alcohol addiction, or who have committed suicide under the influence. And add to all this, the number of people in mental institutions with “wet brains” and other mental health complications from alcoholism. In essence, the numbers with all this are staggering. And by comparison, because of the tremendously broad ramifications, alcohol abuse has a much more wide sweeping effect on society than smoking… So, like with cigarettes, our administration would push for things like a significant jump in taxes on alcohol. The higher costs, like with cigarettes, will curtail some drinking. Like with what happened with smoking, we would also push for banning drinking ads in the media (There is currently more money spent on ads for alcohol, than on any other product in America.) Another strategy that we’re looking at is proposing: drinking licenses. Seriously. A former bartender in Columbiana County, proposed this to us. For instance, he said just like with getting a driver’s license, there should be a written test for a drinking license. It would cover such topics as how many drinks it takes approximately to move one’s blood alcohol level over the legal limit in a state. Another set of questions might include identifying the signs and symptoms of alcoholism. In the event of, say, a DWI, or other criminal offense (robbery, domestic violence…) involving alcohol, a person’s drinking license could be revoked for a period of time. And if he/she was caught drinking during this time, more penalties would be levied.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngYour Pro-Life stance seems to be a big issue in your campaign. What are your thoughts on Scott Roeder, who assassinated George Tiller? Was this action justified? How far are you willing to go to end abortion?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngI believe abortion is a form of murder. And I told the Range News in Wilcox, that with abortion American society has “become its own worst terrorist.” During an abortion, a baby is systematically dismembered in the mother’s womb, then suctioned out. I mean, c’mon! Yet even with all this (some 4,000 abortions a day in America now), I don’t condone the George Tiller killing. Because, well, it’s yet another ‘killing.’ As I mentioned earlier, I don’t believe in the death penalty in any form – even a pro-life vigilante one. I give talks all over the country explaining that I believe that if pro-life people really want to end this evil, they need to organize – much better than they are now – and take to the streets en mass, day in and day out, the same as what was mobilized in the South to end the evil of Segregation. (We’ve reached the 50 million abortion mark since 1973. That’s staggering!)) People should regularly be out with protest signs, not just in front of abortion clinics, but in their neighborhoods. As we’ve traveled, our family has protested on neighborhood street corners and in front of abortion clinics in California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota… And we’d be doing the same as the First Family, I told the Lewiston Argus newspaper in Montana.) What’s more, the newspapers should be flooded with an avalanche of pro-life letters to the editor. Legislator offices should be deluged with pro-life letters. A lot of people in the South didn’t want Segregation to end, but they wanted the protests to end even more. So, eventually, Segregation ended. It could well be the same with abortion. Note: As I mentioned earlier, I would also work stridently to help end precipitating factors (poverty, dysfunctional family dynamics, relaxed sexual mores, alcohol and drug addiction…) that lead to many abortions. As I would work to highlight models for the many crisis pregnancy centers we’ve researched across the country. Centers that provide food, shelter, clothing, college scholarship money, day care… for moms (and dads) who want to keep their baby. We’ve researched these centers in Minnesota, Indiana, Rhode Island… For more on our stance on abortion, see: [21] or for a more in-depth paper, see [22]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are your thoughts on President Obama?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngMixed. Given, for instance, my stance on abortion (last answer), I find Mr. Obama’s strong backing of abortion extremely troubling. Conversely, I find his efforts toward scaling back nuclear weapons, cutting down on greenhouse gases, getting more access to healthcare for individuals… as commendable (and in line with the Consistent Life Ethic I espouse). I would, however, push for much stronger action on each of these fronts. (Granted President Obama might have as well in some of these categories, but, as has been the case with healthcare, he has been hamstrung to a degree by Congress.) I do disagree with the president’s troop surge strategy in Afghanistan. I believe this will lead to a situation analogous to what essentially devolved into the ‘Iraq quagmire.’ And I believe the stepped up drone attacks in the mountain region between Pakistan and Afghanistan is a mistake, considering all the civilians being killed. (What we so often refer to as a war’s “inevitable collateral damage,” is: children, moms, dads…) Admittedly however, when it comes to both Afghanistan and Iraq, Mr. Obama inherited tremendous dilemmas, with no easy solutions. On the environmental/energy front, I strongly disagree with Mr. Obama’s plans for more drilling offshore in the Atlantic, and promoting a new generation of nuclear energy plants… For more on our energy policy, see: [23] In regard to personal characteristics, I do admire Mr. Obama’s tenacity, which was demonstrated graphically in the last election process and with his relentless pursuit of the healthcare bill. An addendum: There has been much written about Mr. Obama’s oratory skills and negotiating skills. Yet I believe this has to be weighed in the context of: Is he saying the right stuff? Is he negotiating for the right stuff? In my opinion, not always.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are your thoughts on the Tea Party movement?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngI just recently read a Newsweek article about the Tea Party. An excerpt that particularly caught my eye was: The Tea Party rejects the idea that “…a government of brainy people can solve thorny problems through complex legislation.” The Tea Party finds its strongest spirit among conservative Republicans. Yet a powerful current of ‘blame both sides’ also pulses through the movement.” Lynne Roberts, a volunteer organizer of a Tea Party gathering in Albany, New York said: “We’re equally disgusted with Republican and Democrat Congressmen.” …The day I was answering this question for this article, I was also interviewed by the Americus (GA) Enterprise newspaper. I said when you objectively step back from society and take a look—we have a mess. We have a $13 trillion National Debt and we are mired in a deep recession. We have just crossed the 50 million abortion threshold. Global warming looms as a scary doomsday scenario. Violence and poverty are almost off the charts in many of our big city urban cores. Our prisons are bursting at the seams. Children are being shot in schools and abducted from the streets… And one of the main common denominators in this: For the last couple decades, we’ve had ‘brainy’ presidents who have come out of Yale or Harvard. So what does this say? I believe it says that, apparently, the education one receives at Yale or Harvard (while impressive to many), isn’t the type of education that equips people to, well, solve many of the societal problems I just mentioned. I mean if it was… I told the reporter in Georgia that to solve the National Debt problem, for instance, we need a common sense president – “with a calculator that works.” I’m serious. But it’s not just the presidents (Congress people, Wall Street bankers, corporate CEOs…), it’s us, the American people. We have gotten ourselves into this mess. We’re in this global warming crisis, as an example, not because the politicians failed to come up with tangible measures at carbon dioxide reduction in Copenhagen; but rather because many of us are failing here. We drive too much, use too much air conditioning, heat too much, buy too much (it takes the burning of fossil fuels to make the products)… We’re a society addicted to comfort and immediate gratification. And what’s more, just like an alcoholic, we don’t want our politicians confronting us about it. So we elect people who don’t confront us – and the dysfunction (read: destruction) continues. For a candid look at what we propose for global warming, see: [24] and [25]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngWhich historical figure do you most identify with and why?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngGeorge Plimpton. He was a rather famous sports journalist who was known for ‘walking a mile in an athlete’s shoes.’ For instance, he spent a spring training practicing with the Detroit Lions and even played quarterback for several downs during an exhibition game. He then went on to write the book: Paper Lion from the experience. And that’s how I’ve been, to a degree, as a presidential candidate. That is, I try to live the platform I espouse. For instance, as part of our urban platform, we exhort some people in suburban and small town America to roll up their sleeves and move into the urban cores of LA, Chicago, Minneapolis… to work on systemically changing things.(Just throwing more money and police presence at the problem is like metaphorically putting a band aid on something that needs major surgery.) Taking our own advice – in a very ‘Plimpton-like’ manner – our family moved from Bluffton (pop. 3,857 and think Mayberry) to a hardscrabble part of Cleveland (the poorest big city in the country). We moved into a block where a group of Catholic Workers were living every 3rd or 4th house down from each other. There we all helped transform an old asphalt parking lot into an urban farm, volunteered at a drop-in center for the marginalized up the street; coached Rec. Center soccer and baseball teams (many of the kids not having dads at home) [26] and [27] … Besides participating in the transformation of this area, like George Plimpton again, I wrote a book about the experience titled America’s Best Urban Neighborhood…[28] We also, as another example, promote an agricultural platform that would push for the return of the small family farm, en mass. And as we traveled the country, not only did we research the various dynamics of the family farm, but our family worked on a number of them as well. This included chores like chopping wood, bailing hay, weeding by hoe in an organic bean field… And these were not 20-minute photo-ops, so to speak. These were long, sweaty days out on the farm. The essence of my candidacy has been ‘being on the ground’ and working side-by-side with ordinary folks, listening to their thoughts, translating them into positions… Ours, truly, is an ‘American peoples’ platform.’ Note: While not a bona-fide historical figure (more fiction, but you wish he was real), I also identify with: Rocky. [29] “Some may feel it’s another Rocky Balboa story about an Ohio man against the millionaires.” — Alban Mehling, Associated Content

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngCould you take this test, and let us know where you stand on the political spectrum?

Schriner’s results for the World’s Smallest Political Quiz

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngOn the test, I scored as a “centrist.” (Surprised me too.)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSWikinews waves Right.pngAnything else you want to add?

Wikinews waves Left.pngJSWikinews waves Right.pngAnything else I want to add… My wife Liz and I are running for president as “concerned parents from the Midwest.” What we’re concerned about is the alarming increase in climate change, the scary levels of nuclear proliferation (including in this country, even with the new treaty with Russia), mounting violence in our inner cities and stark abject poverty in the Third World. Then there’s astronomical national debt, 4,000 babies being killed in their mothers’ wombs here each day, endless war, terrorism… During Campaign 2004, I told a newspaper reporter in La Cross, that I didn’t want to be sitting on my death bed someday, staring our children in the eye and saying: “I knew all this stuff was going on, but I was too busy making money.” So our family gave up our normal lives and took to the roads of America to look for solutions to these dilemmas. And we found them, in the most unlikely of places at that. We found how to balance the National Budget in tiny Atwood (pop. 1,500). We found how to stop abortion in Portland. We found how to end nuclear proliferation in Luck. We found how to stop terrorism in w:Comers, Georgia. And we found how to realign most of the rest of America in Bluffton (pop. 3,857), ‘America’s best town.’ [30] and [31] And as these were the most unlikely of places, the people behind the projects were often the most unlikely of people. That is, they were often common sense people with the common good in mind. Not profit. Not fame. Just the common good. We’ve done, maybe, more than 1,000 interviews with these types of people. And from these interviews, as I mentioned before, we’ve developed a solid platform. The best platform out there for where the country needs to go at this point, we believe. You see, in the face of all the pressing problems I describe at the outset of this particular answer, a lot of the current policies seem to me to be “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.” What we need is leadership at this point that can steer the boat away from the iceberg altogether, and quick. (That is, ironically enough, if there’s going to be any iceberg’s left in the wake of global warming.) Our common sense platform does that, in spades. So Americans have a choice this next election. They can go with yet another Ivy League type choice, contemplating the refrain: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Or they can go with this quite “average” family from Cleveland, who will bring good old fashion common sense (think Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) to a White House that will look, oh, a bit different—including perhaps even the color. I mean knowing my wife (soon to be First Lady), she’ll have me painting stuff there on the weekends. I’m thinking about going with, like, a soft green on the outside. [32] –Joe P.S. Don’t let the occasional humor fool you. This is, indeed, a very serious attempt by an average citizen to run for president. And wouldn’t it be refreshing if someone like me won?

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March 30, 2010

Miami of Ohio and Boston College advance to 2010 NCAA men\’s ice hockey Frozen Four

Miami of Ohio and Boston College advance to 2010 NCAA men’s ice hockey Frozen Four

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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Cquote1.svg Obviously it was an unbelievable feeling Cquote2.svg

—Miami forward Alden Hirschfeld

Miami of Ohio beat the Michigan Wolverines 3–2 at the finals of the NCAA Midwest regional ice hockey tournament Sunday night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Miami sophomore forward Alden Hirschfeld scored at 1:54 into the second overtime when his shot from the top of the left face off circle deflected into the goal off the skate of the Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick.

Pat Cannone led the scoring with two power play goals for Miami during regulation. It looked as though Michigan had won the game in the first overtime when Michigan’s forward Kevin Lynch appeared to score. Unfortunately for Michigan the referee blew the whistle calling a penalty just before the puck went in the net. The Miami goaltender Connor Knapp who made 53 saves in the game was named the most outstanding player of the midwest regional tournament.

This was the first multiple overtime game for the Miami of Ohio RedHawks in their 23 years. Miami will be going to the Frozen Four for the second straight year.

Cquote1.svg It was great to see all those hats on the ice Cquote2.svg

—BC coach Jerry York

The Boston College Eagles advanced to the Frozen Four in a shoot out with the Yale Bulldogs. BC defeated Yale 9–7 last night at the finals of the NorthEast regionals in front of 6,054 fans at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.

BC forward Cam Atkinson had a hat trick and an assist. Mark Arcobello of Yale also had a hat trick. In an attempt to find a way to stop the Eagles scoring Yale played three different goalies during the game. The sixteen total goals is a NCAA record for a regional tournament game. The previous record was thirteen.

This will be the 22nd time that Boston College has made it to the Frozen Four, it is the ninth for coach Jerry York and their third trip in the past four seasons. BC will face Miami of Ohio in the semifinals on April 8 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.



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September 15, 2009

Yale graduate student who went missing before wedding found dead

Yale graduate student who went missing before wedding found dead

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

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Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
Image: Ragesoss .

A graduate student attending Yale University who went missing five days before her planned wedding was found dead on Sunday, police said.

Annie Le, an American doctoral student seeking a degree in medicine, went missing on September 8, five days before her planned wedding. Investigators reviewed footage from the security cameras of 10 Amistad, the building where Le last entered, and found no evidence that she had left. Police scouring the building found a body, later identified as Le’s, hidden in a wall. Earlier, police had found bloody clothes in the ceiling, which they think belonged to the killer.

According to the medical examiner, Le had been strangled.

Le was set to marry Jonathan Widawsky, a graduate student studying physics at Columbia University.

Police believe that there was a motive, and that the slaying was not random. A lab technician, who was labeled a “person of interest” by police, had failed a polygraph and had defensive wounds on his chest, was detained and later released. However, no arrests have been made in connections with the homicide, according to a police spokesman.

In December 1998, Suzanne Jovin was found murdered on the Yale campus.


Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Murder of Annie Le

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March 1, 2008

Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President

Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

2008 United States Presidential Election
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While nearly all coverage of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. We now interview independent Presidential candidate Frank Moore, a performance artist.


Why do you want to be President?

I have been running for president for about a year now. I started running basically because none of the prominent candidates are talking honestly and directly about the state of things, are committed to fundamental change, and have a clear plan to create a humane, sustainable, and just plain enjoyable society. So I took on that role. When everyday people in the “real world” hear about my candidacy, they become extremely excited. They don’t see a performance artist in a wheelchair. They don’t check the odds of my winning. Instead they see someone who they could excitedly vote for… somebody who shares their dreams, talks deeply about what really affects their lives. And then they read my platform. Then they got more excited at how possible it is to bring our dreams for our society into reality… to remove fear and isolation; to get the boot of big corporations off our neck; to provide everyone health care, life-long education, a minimum income, and a livable wage; to restore our rights and freedoms; and to bring our troops home now! We everyday people know the real state of the union! But more importantly, we have the sense of what is possible! We need leaders who share our dreams and who do not sell us short. Or sell us out!
I am running to raise the bar, to raise expectations, to expand the possibilities, to replace fear with hope and joy. I am running because what we want is within our grasp. I am running to get results. Things can work. Truth is political power is based on things not working. This is why things do not work. I am not running for political power, but to get things to work. That simple!

Have you ever run for political office before? Have you ever been a member of a political party? Have you ever campaigned for another political candidate?

Well, the only thing I ran for before was president of the student government in college. I almost won…which freaked the other candidate out because he had spent $900, while I spent $25! This is the same story in this campaign. The only public office I have held is when I was appointed to the rent board in Santa Fe after a successful rent strike in the early 70’s. I helped to found the San Bernardino chapter of the Peace and Freedom Party in the late 60’s.
I have always been dumb to what is impossible. So I just figure how to do the “impossible.” I have been doing this all my life! I am 61. I was born with cerebral palsy. I communicate using a laser-pointer and a board of letters, numbers and commonly-used words. But I am the host of a popular public access TALK show. Go figure it! So now I am setting my sights, as president, on eliminating poverty, hunger, war, etc. Impossible, eh?
When I was born, doctors told my parents that I had no intelligence, that I had no future, that I would be best put into an institution and be forgotten. So the struggle for freedom, and against the powers-that-be has been my life. And it has been a continuous struggle, struggling with schools to let me in, etc. I have always been a radical. But that became obvious when I was 18 and invented my head pointer with which I type and communicate…I started writing political columns for the high school paper…as well as putting out an underground paper. I was in the first special class placed on a regular high school campus so that the disabled students could be in regular classes and be a part of campus life. I was involved in the civil rights and anti-war movements. This was 1965…before it was popular to be against the Vietnam War. In the school paper I got into a debate with a GI in Vietnam. I was sat down and told that, because of my political philosophy and activities, I was hurting the chances of the disabled students who would come after me. I replied that the goal was to get the rights for the disabled [and for all people] to be complete and equal…and that included the right to be political. I would not surrender that, or any other, right.
So I started doing political columns for underground newspapers, joined Students for Democratic Society. Did political pranks…such as rolling in my wheelchair into the Marines Recruiting Office to join, offering to push the BUTTON with my head pointer. But after the Kent State killings, I switched from straight politics to art, performance, and community building as my tools for effecting social change. In the early 90s I and five other performance artists were targeted by Sen. Jesse Helms in what is commonly seen as the first battle of the cultural wars. This placed me in a great position to fight for our freedoms!

Frank Moore in front of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1991.

What is your current job? What skills or ideas do you bring from this position, or previous positions, that will benefit the Oval Office?

“Artist” covers a lot of different “jobs”…and “performance artist” is even vaguer! I am a performance artist. I work outside boxes, using improvisation to draw people into the state of community where they can reach their potential. This is what I will do as President.
Because I came from a suppressed group…the so-called “disabled”…I know how to struggle successfully for equality, freedom, justice, etc. I do have this disability of not knowing what is “impossible.” So, I just figure out how to do it. When I was born, the doctors told my parents I had no IQ. Obviously the doctors were wrong. So I don’t pay any intention to the supposed limitations. I just do what is needed. When I was growing up, I struggled to get educated, struggled against discrimination and prejudices. I really enjoy the righteous struggle. This enjoyment of struggle gives me an advantage when struggle is needed. When Senator Jesse Helms tried to blacklist me, when the Berkeley City Council tried to ban my public access cable show… there have been so many struggles! My enjoying righteous struggle has been a winning element. I also enjoy when struggle is successful. I’m looking forward to the huge struggle of taking away controlling power from the big corporations, of reclaiming the rights and freedoms that have been stolen from the people of this country, of creating a new post-oil social order in which we will eliminate fear of getting sick, of getting old, of the future, of the Other.
I know how to get things done. In the 70s, I developed an extremely successful relationship counseling practice. This created a community with both many thriving businesses and artistic projects…one of which was my caberet show, the outrageous beauty review, which ran for years. The 80’s found me publishing the zine the cherotic ®evolutionary, giving artists, writers, and photographers a home. I also started d.u.d.e., a free distribution service for the small press and indie musicians. When the internet arrived, I used it to further this community building on But when I started our web station over 9 years ago, a genii was released. Not only did we pioneer streaming media, but luver quickly became a powerful uncensored channel for dangerous ideas, voices, dreams!
We need to stop listening to people who keep telling us our dreams are impossible!

Obviously, the next American President and his or her administration will face many diverse issues. But if you were to narrow identify the three most important issues, what would they be? How will you address these issues?

We need to kick the military addiction and the greedy addiction of huge corporate profits and invest the savings into the real welfare of people, thereby creating a new sustainable society for the coming post-oil era.
We invaded Iraq on lies or blunders…take your pick. Almost everyone…with a few notable and impeachable exceptions…now agree that we should not have invaded Iraq. I would bring our troops home now. If someone tells you that s/he will stay in a failed marriage to avoid admitting mistakes, hoping things will somehow improve…you would rightfully question that person’s judgment.
I will change this country’s self-image from that of THE SUPER POWER/ WORLD LEADER to that of a member of the global community. I will cut our military budget by at least half.
We need to stop supporting dictators. On the nuclear issue, we need to get rid of double standards. We need to treat all nations with the same expectations, be it Pakistan, Israel, France, the U.S., Iran, etc. In other words, my policies would be even-handed. I will join the rest of the world in pressuring Israel to live up to treaties, and to dismantle its nuclear arms. I will use the “special relationship” between Israel and the U.S. to motivate Israel to do this.
I will work for the global shutting down of all nuclear reactors and dismantling of all nuclear [and biological and chemical] weapons. I will start this in the U.S. All countries should be expected to live under the same rules….not one set for the “super powers” and another for the “developing” nations like Iran. I will push for a global development of clean, safe energy sources as alternatives to nuclear power.
We have been robbed during the recent years of many of our rights and freedoms. I will have repealing parties in the White House, scrapping all the rules and policies in every department and agency that infringe on our rights, freedoms, privacy, health and welfare. We will have similar parties in both houses of Congress to repeal bad laws such as the so-called Patriot Act. We will return to the common English language in which “torture” means torture. I will declassify documents that were classified to hide questionable actions rather than to protect the real national interests. I will push the Justice Department to investigate the war on The Left by the F.B.I. since the 60’s. Terrorism is a criminal matter. It should be dealt with as such, not as a war. We shouldn’t abandon our principles, freedoms, rights, The Constitution and The Bills of Rights to live in fear. Whenever there is an attempt to fudge the limits of power for convenience of “safety,” we the people get screwed.
I’ll do away with welfare, medicare and social security. Instead, every American will receive a minimum income of $1,000 a month. This amount will be tied to the cost of living and will not be taxable.
We will have universal prenatal-to-the-grave health care and universal free education with equal access.
The universal health care would include all medicine, medical equipment and supplies, long-term care, personal attendants, etc. There will be no pre-authorization ritual. So your doctor will be free to prescribe whatever you need. There may be a review of treatment afterward if there are any questions. Everybody will have the same care as the President now has. Preventative medicine will be stressed and the so-called alternative medicine will be included. You will notice that health insurance companies are not in this picture!
I’ll do away with all tax deductions for over $12,000 income. Instead, there will be a flat tax of 10% on annual income of less than one million dollars for an individual and less than five million dollars for a corporation. But the flat tax will jump to 75% on annual income exceeding these limits.
The guaranteed minimum income of $1,000 a month adjusted to the cost of living is meant to be a safety net rather than a replacement for work. I think most want to work…in an expanded concept of work. But to get a true feeling of what it would be like if you had to live on your minimum income, you have to crank in that you wouldn’t pay for health care, education, mass transit, etc. It all adds up. The combined minimum income couple…or a single parent with a child…would be $2,000 a month. This should provide a realistic basic living. This allows the single parent the option of being home doing the important work of raising a child. But free childcare provided by the universal free education system would open a whole host of new possibilities to the single parent.
The minimum income would encourage people to form the cooperative communal family [of all kinds] groupings who pool their incomes together…using their minimum incomes as a base to create more nourishing homes, to start and maintain small businesses. These communal groupings will be much more financially stable, emotionally nourishing, and environmentally friendly than today’s common isolating model of living.
It is all about caring and choice. If a senior wants to stay in her own home, the $1,000 a month will make that possible as will the home attendants provided by the healthcare system. This is also true if she wants to live with her family or in communal housing. This will actually be much cheaper than the scary mess we have now. The warehouse nursing home will be a thing of the past. Seniors will be an important, active element of every part of our society. We need everyone actively involved. We simply cannot afford on any level to warehouse portions of our population. It is a waste of potential! If we are to survive, we need to end hunger, poverty, and fear.
Basically the problem is not a lack of money, but what we have spent our money on…war, pork, waste, etc. It has been a standard trick to distract us with supposed waste, fraud, etc. in the social programs while milking us out of billions in military waste, corporate welfare, etc.
Again, the minimum income of $1,000 a month for every citizen will give people money to spend, save, invest, or pool with others to create more effective financial communities which will open up a wide range of opportunities for the average person…to start small businesses, to stay on the family farm, to do art, to raise kids, etc. Free health care [which will include long-term care, home attendants, medicine, etc.], free life time education [including child care], free mass transit, etc. will in effect put more real money in the pocket of the average person. But more importantly the fear of the future will fade, releasing what is now horded away for old age, for when your health fails you, for your kid’s education…releasing the knot in your belly of knowing that no matter how much you manage to save [if any] it will not be enough.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Campaigning for the American presidency is one of the most expensive exercises in the world. How do you deal with the cost and fundraising?

Well, it doesn’t have to be. I probably will have spent around $1,000-$3,000 for the 2 years of the campaign. I’m use to doing things without much money. Is it effective? You asked me to do this interview! And I have a waiting line! This kind of campaign is made easier by the internet, the indie media, public access cable tv, etc. And it will probably get easier to do this kind of campaign in the next few years. European mainstream press has covered our campaign quite a lot. I expect that the mainstream press here will discover our campaign via Europe after the conventions.
So our campaign has no paid ads, no paid staff, no travel expenses [I tie my campaign appearances to my performance tours], etc. Our biggest expenses are things like buttons, bumper stickers, and booths at street festivals.
Historically the goal of independent and third-party candidates is not to “win.” Realistically the process is rigged to prevent us from “winning.” The function of such a candidate as I is to introduce ideas, to induce change, to raise the bar. Within this context, my campaign is extremey effective. But on the other hand, I JUST MAY WIN THIS SUCKER!

Do you have a running mate yet? Who are they? What are you/were you looking for in a running mate?

My vice president is Susan Marilyn Block, Ph.D.
Part philosopher, part therapist, part humorist and part-time horny housewife, Dr. Susan M Block is a world-renowned sex educator, best-selling author, award-winning documentary filmmaker, art dealer, cable TV host and political activist. A familiar face on HBO’s late-night programming through her #1 Nielsen-rated show, Radio Sex TV and her episodes on Real Sex, she also hosts The Dr. Susan Block Show, rated by The LA Weekly as “The Best of LA Phone-In Shows,” airing weekly on cable TV stations around the world, from Hollywood to the Holy Land.
A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University (BA, Theater Studies, With Distinction), Block went on to study at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State, receiving her masters and doctorate in philosophy with an emphasis in psychology from Pacific Western. Her first book, Advertising for Love, forecast the current online dating explosion. Her second book, Being A Woman, a popularization of her doctoral thesis on Dr. Toni Wolfe’s theory of feminine psychology, became a NY Times bestseller. Her third book, The 10 Commandments of Pleasure has been published in 15 countries (coming soon to Israel, where her cable TV show is a big hit). Creator of the award-winning documentary series, Encyclopedia of Sex, Block is an active member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She has been featured in numerous documentaries and appeared on multiple radio and TV shows, from Oprah to Today.
Chosen as one of “America’s Greatest Thinkers” (twice) by the Great American Think-Off, and dubbed “the Erin Brockovitch of the Bonobo” by Salon, Block is an active advocate of the extremely endangered bonobos, using their highly sexual, non-violent and gender-egalitarian “lifestyle” as a prototype for her philosophy of Peace through Pleasure. She is a visiting lecturer in the Human Sexuality Department at University of Southern California (USC), and at her alma mater Yale University, as well as a founder, coordinator and regular lecturer at “Sex Week at Yale” (now in its fourth season). Also a consultant to the LA Public Defenders’ Office (Sex Crimes Division), her columns on sex, health, politics and culture are published in various print and online magazines, from Counterpunch to Perfect 10.

Can you win the 2008 Presidential election? Can any third party or independent candidate ever win?

Realistically it is impossible for any of us independent/third-party candidates to win…and for that matter candidates such as Edwards whom the mainstream media labels hopeless. It is not really about a lack of money.
First of all a large number of states either out-right ban write-in candidates or make it virtually impossible to qualify to be a write-in candidate. These states throw out the entire ballot with a write-in on it. This disenfranchises the voters in those states from the full choices. It freezes in place not only the 2-party system…which is a product of evolution, not of the Constitution…but the two parties that happen to be the major parties at the present moment. This has to change before we will have a chance of winning. One effect of my campaign has been forcing several states to clean up their write-in processes.
The mainstream media wants to simplify the story down to as few candidates as possible as fast as possible…focusing on the candidates the closest to the corporate interest and painting the rest as fringe….and hence not worth coverage or be included in debates.
But the indie media has developed as a meaningful alternative to the mainstream media. And it will get much more powerful in the coming years as a hammer breaking down the monopolistic control of the corporate media. Both Wikinews and are part of this movement. This in-depth interview is an example of what is excluded in the corporate media. Moreover, when I received your email asking us independent/third-party candidates for this interview…with all the addresses of the candidates…I switched my candidate hat for my luver hat and offered my fellow candidates luver as a platform to get their messages out. We have created a weekly show, from the margins, for that purpose. It is politics of inclusion rather than of exclusion.

If you can’t make it into the Oval Office, who would you prefer seeing taking the presidency?

Ralph Nader. I have always used my vote as a way to inch society to what I know is a better place. I always vote for the candidate who represents our dreams.

What should the American people keep in mind, when heading to the polls this November?

It will be an exciting, fun four years! Just imagine a world in which somebody like you or me could really become president. Now keep imagining it and we just may win! Do not throw your vote away on a candidate who does not share your dreams, who is not committed to bring your dreams into reality! Go for it! It is the only practical thing to do because if we don’t go for it, we will never get what we need, what we want, what we are dreaming. Hey, it just makes sense… right? So go to and read my platform. If you like what read, get involved! Print out the platform and give it everybody! Become an elector for me! Do whatever you can think of to get the message out.
And then write Frank Moore in on Election Day!


This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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October 20, 2007

Half of life could go extinct by century\’s end, warn eminent biologists

Half of life could go extinct by century’s end, warn eminent biologists

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spoken content icon This article features in a News Brief from Audio Wikinews:

E. O. Wilson
Image: Sage Ross.

Wilson and Raven pose with their Verrill Medals.
Image: Sage Ross.

In a “fireside chat” at Yale University on Wednesday, prominent naturalists Edward O. Wilson and Peter H. Raven predicted dire consequences for the planet’s biodiversity and habitability unless current trends in consumption and environmental degradation are reversed. The two scientists were awarded the Addison Emery Verrill Medal by the Peabody Museum of Natural History for their contributions to natural science before a capacity crowd at Yale’s Sprague Hall. Both are known for their environmental activism as well as extensive research and popular writing.

Wilson, known for his contributions to island biogeography as well as the controversial field of sociobiology, said that humans—like all earth species—are adapted to this world. But most people have the dangerous attitude that this world is “a waystation for a better world”, warned Wilson. Humans could cause the extinction of half of all species by the end of the next century, he stated.

The event was billed as a debate between the two scientists, but they found little to disagree about. (Raven quipped that he did not care for Wilson’s tie, the extent of their disagreement for the evening.) Raven pointed to unsustainably high levels of consumption, especially in the United States, that will lead to ecological disaster if left unchecked. Levels of consumption have to be cut drastically, he argued. But Wilson claimed that it would be possible to maintain and even improve quality of life even while significantly reducing the population’s ecological footprint. Current models, he said, predict that human population will peak at around 9 billion, and that “if we use what we have” intelligently, the world could be a sustainable paradise by the 22nd century.

Raven and Wilson both argued for the compatibility of Christian and environmentalist viewpoints. According to the second chapter of Genesis, said Raven, man was put on the earth in order to preserve it. Wilson said that we need to “form an alliance” to save life on earth—an alliance including both religious and non-religious people—and that one can be a “conservative right-wing Christian” and an environmentalist. His recent work, including the Encyclopedia of Life, has focused on creating such an alliance.

The most important thing, Raven said, is to expose children to nature. Invoking the argument of Rachel Carson’s 1965 A Sense of Wonder, Raven said that children between the ages of four and ten are extremely impressionable, and that teaching them to appreciate the natural world will be the most effective way to ensure environmental consciousness in the next generation. But although Raven was a naturalist from a young age, he said that he “didn’t give a thought to conservation” while in graduate school in the 1950s. Carson’s 1962 book on the dangers of pesticides, Silent Spring, was Raven’s introduction to dangers of environmental degradation. Wilson also emphasized Carson’s legacy for the environmental movement; he proudly noted that Carson biographer Linda Lear had recently called him the “only surviving person who actually helped Rachel Carson” put together Silent Spring.

Raven and Wilson were only the 16th and 17th, respectively, to receive the Verrill Medal, which is the highest honor awarded by the Peabody Museum. Before a sympathetic crowd, Wilson tactfully avoided any mention of his own institution, Yale’s rival Harvard University.


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Presentation of the Verrill Medals, October 17, 2007


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February 22, 2007

On bereavement and acceptance: Yale study of grief process

On bereavement and acceptance: Yale study of grief process

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Grief captured at a funeral during the Siege of Sarajevo in 1992.
Photo by Evstafiev Mikhail.

Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.

Originally formulated in 1973 by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, these five stages are well-known to many as the “Five Stages of Grief”. However, despite their familiarity, the five-stage theory had remained untested empirically, until Paul K. Maciejewski, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and the Yale Bereavement Study completed several years of research, findings for which were published in the February 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

According to Dr. Kübler-Ross’s theory, denial is the first and most defining indicator of grief. The Yale Bereavement Study’s findings, in contrast, show acceptance to be the most common indicator, and yearning the strongest negative indicator.

The authors explain, “Disbelief decreased from an initial high at one month postloss, yearning peaked at four months postloss, anger peaked at five months postloss, and depression peaked at six months postloss. Acceptance increased steadily through the study observation period ending at 24 months postloss.”

Study author Holly Prigerson, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Center for Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care Research, says, “This would suggest that people who have extreme levels of depression, anger or yearning beyond six months would be those who might benefit from a better mental health evaluation and possible referral for treatment.”

The Yale Bereavement Study followed the progress of 233 participants from January 2000 through January 2003 who had lost family, most often a spouse, and was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Center for Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Women’s Health Research at Yale University.



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