The Truth About Project Labor Agreements

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 F Bliss map(2)Recently, there was a Department of Defense contract awarded to Archer Western Federal JV for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Complex (UAV) located on Fort Bliss Army Military Installation in El Paso, Texas. Archer Western Federal JV, of Chicago, was awarded a $30,197,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of an Unmanned aerial vehicle launch and recovery complex within restricted airspace.

Primary facilities include Standard Design UAV Maintenance Hangar with associated maintenance shops, administrative space, storage space, 5-ton bridge crane, oil/water separator, aircraft container and forklift storage, UAV runway, taxiway, access apron, oil and hazardous waste storage buildings, and vehicle storage facilities.

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) installation, Energy Monitoring and Control Systems (EMCS) connection, building information systems, and Fire protection/alarm systems, will be provided. Sustainability and energy enhancement measures are included. Supporting facilities include utilities (electrical service, water, sewer, gas), paving, walks, curbs and gutters, parking, storm drainage, landscaping, security lighting, information systems, and site improvements. Measures in accordance with the Department of Defense DoD Minimum Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings standards will be provided. Comprehensive building and furnishings related interior design services are required.

M3391M-1012Work performed at Ft. Bliss, Texas estimated completion date of Dec. 21, 2015. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) had solicited the construction community and specifically the use of a government-mandated project labor agreement (PLA) under federal construction contract.

USACE and other federal agencies have issued more than 175 similar surveys requesting information about the potential use of PLAs on specific construction projects across the country as a result of regulations and federal agency policies stemming from President Obama’s pro-government-mandated PLA Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to mandate PLAs on a case-by-case basis for federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in total cost.

In 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to mandate project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in total cost on a case-by-case basis. Many merit shop advocates of fair and open competition predicted it would lead to billions of dollars’ worth of federal construction contracts being awarded to unionized contractors and their all-union workforces—without true competition from qualified merit shop contractors.

Government Mandated Project Labor Agreements mapIndustry experts feared the executive order would result in taxpayers needlessly paying nearly 20 percent more per federal contract procured with a PLA requirement. Faced with finite building budgets, it would generate less building and create fewer jobs for the experienced men and women employed by merit shop contractors who deliver projects safely, on time and on budget every day to the federal government.

Stakeholders turned to Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) to defend fair and open competition in federal contracting. ABC and the merit shop contracting community mobilized an aggressive campaign of effective public relations, political, legal and legislative strategies to restrict the devastating impact of anti-competitive and costly government-mandated PLAs on federal, state and local public works projects.

Executive Order 13502The campaign is producing impressive results. Efforts helped prevent PLA mandates and preferences on nearly 99 percent of federal contracts exceeding $25 million from FY2009-FY2013, freeing up a total of $64.78 billion worth of work from PLA requirements so all qualified firms can fairly compete to win these contracts.

From FY2009-FY2013, ABC member prime contractors won 61 percent of large-scale federal contracts subject to President Obama’s pro-PLA Executive Order 13502. That’s 577 contracts valued at a total of $40.31 billion won by ABC members.

PLA Data Table FY2009-FY2013Defense Tactics

Legal tactics proved effective at stopping federal PLA mandates. Federal contractors, with the support of ABC, filed five Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protests against PLAs mandated by four different federal agencies on large-scale federal construction projects. In each instance, federal agencies abandoned the PLA requirements after GAO officials suggested they violate federal contracting laws in specific circumstances.

The latest legal victory against a PLA mandate on a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Job Corps Center in Manchester, N.H., was the DOL’s second failed attempt to require a PLA on the project. It was also the first apples-to-apples comparison of a federal project bid with and without a PLA requirement.

Advocates of fair and open competition were not surprised when the PLA-free project experienced three times as many bidders and bid prices that were 16 percent lower than when the project was bid with a PLA mandate, saving taxpayers more than $6.2 million.

Helping merit shop contractors respond to more than 225 surveys issued by federal agencies to determine if a PLA is appropriate for a federal project has been another effective strategy in the fight against PLAs. A robust response from the merit shop contracting community resulted in no PLA requirements on any surveyed projects.

Construction-Worker-Thumbs-Up-255x125More importantly, ABC’s campaign prevented the expansion of Executive Order 13502 onto federal projects costing less than $25 million, as well as thwarted an additional push for costly PLA mandates on private, state and local projects receiving federal assistance.

Since 2011, 17 states responded to the threat of discriminatory PLA mandates and preferences by adopting legislation or executive orders banning government-mandated PLAs on state, local and publicly funded projects, bringing the total number of states to enact such measures to 21.

In 2014, Mississippi, South Dakota and Alabama enacted laws prohibiting state government entities from requiring contractors to sign a PLA or other agreements with labor unions as a condition of performing work on public construction projects.

Dozens of communities across the country also have enacted similar rules for public works contracting.

These efforts ensure a level playing field, increase competition, reduce costs and eliminate cronyism in public works contracting at the local and state level.

However, some states controlled by union-friendly Democrats have enacted legislation or executive orders pushing the use of PLAs on state and state-assisted projects. In addition, federal agencies have encouraged state and local governments to require PLAs on billions of dollars worth of state and local projects receiving federal money and other forms of federal assistance.

While our campaign is making remarkable progress, lawmakers requiring and encouraging the use of PLA mandates cost taxpayers a fortune and harm qualified merit shop contractors and their skilled trades employees.

stock-footage-flag-hanging-from-a-craneContinuing the Fight

Faced with another 30 months of President Obama’s pro-PLA policies, ABC will continue to make defending fair and open competition in public contracting a top priority. In the 113th Congress, ABC is promoting the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act (S. 109/H.R. 436), which would restore a level playing field in federal contracting by preventing entities procuring federal and federally assisted projects from requiring PLAs as a condition of winning a taxpayer-funded contract.

Because the passage of a legislative solution to the PLA problem in a divided federal government in a mid-term election year will be highly unlikely, ABC will continue to complement effective legislative, legal and regulatory strategies with a communications and grassroots campaign to educate federal agency procurement officials, lawmakers, industry stakeholders, the media and taxpayers about the harmful effects of special interest PLA schemes.

The merit shop contracting community can overcome economic and political adversity, but it needs industry leaders to dedicate resources to fight for fair and open competition until a political solution is achievable.

The Truth About PLAs has taken the opportunity to respond to all PLA surveys as they are issued and encourages the merit shop contracting community to do the same. Responding with accurate and timely information is critical to creating more work for qualified merit shop contractors and their skilled employees.

The magnitude of construction is estimated to be between $ 25 Million – $ 100 Million.

 

Related:

Y–FY14 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Complex (UAV)

USACE Project Labor Agreement Survey for Ft. Bliss, Texas

Archer Western Contractors

Executive Order 13502 — Use of Project Labor Agreements

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

Get the Truth – The Truth About PLAs

Army Manual Calls for the Use of Lethal Force Against Peaceful Protesters

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Posse Comitatus Act of 1878Here’s When Cops Are Justified In Using Force Against Protesters

The new Army manual, known as ATP 3-39.33, provides discussion and techniques about civil disturbances and crowd control operations that occur in the Continental United States Field Command (CONUS) and outside the continental United States (OCONUS).This document, just published this past Friday, August 15, 2014, promises to change the way the “authorities” deal with protesters, even peaceful ones.

The consequences of ATP 3-39.33 CIVIL DISTURBANCES could prove deadly for protesters. Further, the provisions of this Army manual could prove to be the end of the First Amendment right to assemble peaceably.

In section 1-2., the manual states that “Civil unrest may range from simple, nonviolent protests that address specific issues, to events that turn into full-scale riots.” This section of the manual clearly states that protesting is a right protected by the Constitution. However, the authorities leave themselves an out to “legally” engage in lethal force toward protesters when the manual states that “peaceful protests can turn into full-scale riots” and field commanders have the right to make that determination.
Subsequently, all protests, peaceful or not, need to be managed by the potential for violence. In other words, all protests are to be considered to be violent and handled accordingly. This certainly explains the violent manhandling of the media by the DHS controlled and Police Militarization In Ferguson, MO.

On the surface, the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S. Code § 1385) act should prevent the Army from deploying the troops in the midst of a protest that is not on the scale of something like the 1992 LA Riots. However, the Army claims exemption from Posse Comitatus in the four following areas.

10 USC 331. When a state is unable to control domestic violence and they have requested federal assistance, the use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized.

10 USC 332. When ordinary enforcement means are unworkable due to unlawful obstructions or rebellion against the authority of the United States, use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized.
10 USC 333. When a state cannot or will not protect the constitutional rights of the citizens, due to domestic violence or conspiracy to hinder execution of State or Federal law, the use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized.
House Joint Resolution 1292. This resolution directs all departments of the U.S. government, upon request of the Secret Service, to assist in carrying out its statutory duties to protect government officials and major political candidates from physical harm. With regard to 10 USC 331, if the local authorities have lost control in the midst of a profound display of domestic violence (e.g. LA Riots), most Americans support the use of National Guard or the military. However, in 10 USC 332, 333 and House Joint Resolution 1292 are ripe with exceptions which open the door to federal authorities abusing the public for exercising their Constitutional right to protest.

In 10 USC 332, the phrase “unlawful obstructions or rebellion against the authority of the United States, use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized,” permits the federal government from being demonstrated against.

An act of demonstration, or the most benign demonstrations of civil disobedience gives the government the authority to take “deadly action” against the public because there are no clear distinctions on when the use of lethal and nonlethal force is appropriate (see the two charts displayed below).

In 10 USC 333, any disruption of federal law can be decisively dealt with by the federal government. The phrase “…conspiracy to hinder execution of State or Federal law, the use of the militia or Armed Forces is authorized” is a telling passage of this Army document. If 10 USC 333 is applied to the letter of the written Army policy, the protesters who recently objected to illegal aliens being deposited in Murietta, California, could be subject to deadly force. Further, the protesters in Ferguson could be subject to the use of lethal force as well (Again, see the charts below). The next time a community decides that it does not want to accept illegal immigrants, or protest the shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old, they could be met by the following:

Swat_1

The fourth exception claimed by the Army, with regard to the Army’s right to violate Posse Comitatus, is presented to the American people under the veil of the need to protect politicians.

Police Militarization in Ferguso

House Resolution HB 1292 claims any protest which makes a public official feel “threatened” would be illegal and subject to intervention by the U.S. Army. Hypothetically, if 100 protesters were to gather outside of Senator John McCain‘s office in Phoenix, would that be enough to trigger a violent response by the Army? If McCain says he feels threatened, regardless if his claims are legitimate or not, it most certainly would justify the strongest response possible from the Army. Therefore, all a politician has to do is to say they feel threatened by any gathering to have the gathering dispersed and the protesters dealt with in any manner seen fit by the field commander. Make no mistake about it, this is the end of the First Amendment’s right peaceably assemble.

Army Depictions On How Best to Kill An American Citizen Who Expresses Disagreement with the Government

Do you remember the uproar when DHS was caught distributing target practicing sheets of pregnant women to be used for DHS agents when they were engaged in target practicing?

dhs-target-2

And of course, I am certain that you recall the use of an elderly person’s image to be used by DHS agents for the same purpose. The implication is clear; The American people are the new terrorists.

Below, is the graphic depiction of the Army’s version of a terrorist, and worse yet, there are instructions on how to best maim and kill an American citizen who is engaged in their Constitutional right to protest
army-trauma-chart

The second chart is a sample guideline on when the application of lethal force is appropriate to be applied to protesters. Please note the ambiguity with regard to the application of lethal force. It is also noteworthy to point out that the following chart provides for the planned use of snipers to target the perceived leaders of the protest. These procedures remind one of the events in Kiev prior to the ouster of the Russian-friendly Prime Minister. It would appear that CIA agents were beta testing these procedures in Kiev prior to the coup.

army-use-of-lethal-forceConclusion

ATP 39.33 is quite clear in its intent which is to eliminate the act of protesting from the American landscape. More disturbingly, the right to summarily execute peaceful protesters is contained in this Army manual due to the purposeful ambiguity of when it is appropriate to use deadly force against protesters. This Army manual is an example of hardcore, in-your-face martial law befitting the most violent regimes in the history of the planet.

Executive Order 13603There is another message contained in ATP 39.33, and that is the clear anticipation that the American people are going to feel the need to be protesting in earnest in the foreseeable future. What exactly are the American people going to feel compelled to protest that remains unspecified in this manual? Could it be resistance to mandatory Ebola vaccinations? Could we be looking at food riots in the future? Will it be a currency collapse that puts Americans in the street? Will America rise up and say no to the plans for World War III and the coming conscription of both potential military personnel and civilian labor slave force as described under Executive Order 13603?

Not only should this document be a frightening wake-up call for all Americans, it should also serve as a warning for what is to come.

 

 Here is the complete Army Manual:

ATP 3-39.33 CIVIL DISTURBANCES

  • 132 pages
  • April 2014
  • 4.9 MB

Download

DHS Takes Millions From FEMA, Coast Guard, TSA To Fund Border Operations

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The Obama administration had warned Congress that failure to pass a border funding bill by August would mean DHS would run out of money, and would have to “repurpose” funding from other parts of the government in order to deal with the so-called “humanitarian crisis.”

That crisis involves the apprehension of 63,000 unaccompanied child immigrants, and tens of thousands of others from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

The legislative package passed 223-189 and includes funds for more immigration judges and National Guard troops, and provide aid to house and care for the thousands of undocumented minors held at the border.

Over the weekend, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said he has made these decisions, after Congress left without passing a border bill.

“We are disappointed that Congress left town a week ago for its August recess and did not act last week to help us,” Johnson said August 9.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson“You can’t fly an airplane without fuel, and I cannot fund a massive immigration enforcement effort without money.”                           “To sustain our campaign, I therefore had no choice but to re-program hundreds of millions of dollars away from other vital homeland security missions. There were no good choices.”

 

Dollar SignAccording to a DHS spokeswoman, DHS “repurposed” $405 million from other government programs to deal with the border crisis.

 

Dollar SignFirst, DHS took $267.6 million from the FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. The spokeswoman said this decision “could have a long-term impact on FEMA’s ability to respond to a natural disaster.”

 

Dollar SignDHS also took $31.5 million from the U.S. Coast Guard, which will force the Coast Guard to defer planned maintenance projects on some vessels.

 

Dollar SignLast, DHS took $34.7 million from TSA’s screening technology and maintenance, which will defer maintenance on aviation security screening equipment.

Dollar SignThe spokeswoman said the last $70.5 million will be taken from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which will “internally realign” that money to support work at the southern U.S. border.

Congress left for the August break without finishing work on a border funding bill. The House passed one bill that would have spent $694 million on enhanced border operations, and approved another bill that would have blocked President Barack Obama from expanding an amnesty program.

The Senate left without passing any border legislation, and it’s not clear the Senate will try again once it returns in September.

 

 

 

Resources:

Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Obama DREAM relief / Deferred Action / DACA

House Republicans

House approves border package

Immigration

Talk Wisdom

House Bill Would Keep Guns Away From Federal Regulators

TheBlaze

Southwest Border Unaccompanied Alien Children | U.S.

News for 63,000 unaccompanied child immigrants

Border Fence (U.S. – Mexico)

Washington Weekly | Vantage Point Strategies

House Republicans Pass Dead-End Border Security Bill

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border-immigrants

After delaying their five-week summer recess by a day, House Republican leaders passed a bill Friday designed to deal with the crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S-Mexico border – a bill that President Obama and Senate Democrats have said they won’t ever consider.

The bill, which passed 223-189 along party lines, would allocate $694 million to the cash-strapped agencies handling the crisis, including $35 million tacked on at the last minute to reimburse states such as Texas who have sent the National Guard to the border to help deal with the crisis.

Without a fresh infusion of funding, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is scheduled to run out of money in mid-August, according to the Department of Homeland Security, and Customs and Border Patrol will run out of money only a month later.

border military guard

President Obama criticized House Republicans before it passed accusing the vote of being merely for show, “just so they can check a box before they’re leaving town for a month.”

The White House, the Democrat-led Senate and the Republican-led House “all agree that there’s a problem that needs to be solved in a portion of our southern border,” Mr. Obama said, referring to the crisis-level surge of undocumented, unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

“And we even agree on most of the solutions. But instead of working together… House Republicans, as we speak, are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable versions of a bill that they already know is going nowhere, that can’t pass the Senate, and that if it were to pass the Senate, I would veto.”

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel responded, “When it comes to the humanitarian crisis on our southern border, President Obama has been completely AWOL – in fact, he has made matter worse by flip-flopping on the 2008 law that fueled the crisis. Senate Democrats have left town without acting on his request for a border supplemental. Right now, House Republicans are the only ones still working to address this crisis.”

Republican leaders postponed their recess on Thursday after they were forced to cancel a vote on the bill due to an insurrection among conservative members. They spent Friday tweaking the bill before passing it late in the day.

GOP leaders on Friday also passed a bill that would bar Mr. Obama from continuing or expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which suspends the threat of deportation for certain immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The second bill was largely seen as a way to bolster conservative support for the funding measure.

DREAM-ACT

Deferred Action. For Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The Republican-controlled House and Democratic-led Senate were initially at odds over a 2008 anti-trafficking law that makes it more difficult to deport Central American children than those from Mexico. Many of the unaccompanied minors at the heart of the crisis were driven northward from three Central American countries – Honduras El Salvador, and Guatemala – due to a surge in gang violence.

Many Democrats firmly opposed changing the 2008 law, saying the U.S. should not be sending the children back into certain danger, while Republicans said it was necessary to speed up deportations and deter more children from making the dangerous journey.

Those differences would have been hard enough to overcome. But to complicate matters further, the DACA vote was added to the schedule of votes Thursday, infuriating the White House and House Democrats.

As Mr. Obama repeated Friday, the White House had already promised to veto the House’s emergency funding bill, calling it “patchwork legislation that will only put more arbitrary and unrealistic demands on an already broken system” in a statement Wednesday afternoon. The news about the DACA vote only added fuel to their fire.

“It is extraordinary that the House of Representatives, after failing for more than a year to reform our broken immigration reform system, would vote to restrict a law enforcement tool that the Department of Homeland Security uses to focus resources on key enforcement priorities like public safety and border security, and provide temporary relief from deportation for people who are low priorities for removal,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement Thursday. “The House is instead driving an approach that is about rounding up and deporting 11 million people, separating families, and undermining DHS’ ability to secure the border.”

House leaders defended the move as a necessary check on Mr. Obama’s power, particularly in light of reports that the president is considering a range of executive actions he could undertake to provide deportation relief for anywhere from 550,000 to 4.4 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

“Such action would create an even greater incentive for more illegal crossings and make the crisis on our border even worse. That would be a grave mistake,” Boehner told reporters Thursday. “If the president takes this action he’ll be sealing the deal on his legacy of lawlessness.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Texas and Arizona Responsible for the Border Crisis

border security bill

Rumors swirl of undocumented immigrants arriving in South

the crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S-Mexico border

Michael Brown Death: Turmoil, Tear Gas and a No-Fly Zone in Ferguson, Missouri

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APTOPIX Police Shooting-Missouri

Residents have taken to the streets to express their anger at the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old shot dead by a police officer. Witnesses said that Brown was innocent and was doing nothing but jaywalking.

Character Assassination “strategic” move:

The officer who shot Brown was identified Friday as Darren Wilson, 28. His identity was released at the same time that a police report was made public alleging that Brown was suspected of having stolen a box of cigars from the convenience store supposedly assaulting a clerk before Wilson shot him.

Darren Wilson, the officer who murdered Brown, wasn’t even aware that Brown was a suspect in the robbery, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Friday afternoon.

President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder have weighed in on Brown’s death, which has led to a separate FBI investigation that will include the assistance of attorneys from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

As Obama vacationed in ritzy Martha’s Vineyard Thursday, Obama held a hastily convened press conference, where he tried to walk down the middle of the factions involved, suggesting that both sides were in the wrong.

Obama interrupting summer vacation

Obama was already on the golf course seven minutes after he made his comments on Thursday.

Even if the militant police assault on peaceful protestors, working journalists, and peaceful family neighborhoods was an isolated incident, it would still be driven by the Obama’s racial exploitation.

Racism

 

FAA sets no-fly zone over Ferguson

On Tuesday, a freelance journalist noticed that a no-fly zone had been issued over Ferguson, Missouri, the site of the recent protests over police violence.

The reason listed on the Federal Aviation Commission’s website for the no-fly zone over the city is “TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES.”

The helicopter dispatcher at the St. Louis County Police Department. St. Louis, not Ferguson, has been “responsible for crowd control,” a Ferguson Police spokesperson said.

According to the dispatcher, the department originally requested the no-fly zone — for certain flights; “the ceiling is only at 5,000 feet,” the dispatcher said, though the website actually lists 3,000 feet — for 24 hours. The department then asked the FAA to extend the ban on flying.

The reason? “It’s just for a no fly zone because we have multiple helicopters maneuvering in the area and we were having some problems with news aircraft flying around there,” the dispatcher, who would only identify himself by his first name, Chris.

Chris also said that police helicopters were a common occurrence over the city, but would not reveal whether there had been an increase in police helicopter presence as the protests have heated up.

ferguson no fly zone 2

Another reason for the no-fly zone is to stop media from flying over the area to film is troubling, especially in light of reports that police have turned journalists away from the sites of the protests.

A spokesperson for the St. Louis County Police Department told NBC News that “police helicopter came under fire on 3 or 4 occasions, so we requested that the FAA put up a no-fly zone for the safety of pilots who would be in the area.” He said that “no aircraft had been hit but that officers had seen shots fired into the air.”

It’s hard to get a sense of how often these requests are made, and a spokeswoman for the FAA was unable to immediately provide data to that effect. But a quick search over recent no-fly requests in the FAA database shows that most no-fly zones are issued either “TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR FIRE FIGHTING AVIATION OPERATIONS,” for a “VIP” — a situation when security forces clear the airspace for an important person like President Obama or a head of state — or for air shows. (One no-fly restriction over Socorro, New Mexico, was for the purpose of “EXPLOSIVE TESTING.”)

 

 

Related:

#US: No-fly zone enacted above #Ferguson Missouri to hide

The Murder of Michael Brown And The Subsequent Police

Michael Brown’s Family Accuses Police of ‘Character

Ferguson Under Seize: Why Michael Brown’s Murder And

Obama calls death of Michael Brown ‘heartbreaking’ and

Breitbart News: Big Government

Obama Campaign’s Racial

 

FEMA: Operation ‘Alaska Shield’

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FEMA_logo2Fifty Years Since the Great Alaska Earthquake:

Catastrophic Disaster Planning

If you work in the emergency management field, you’ve probably heard about the 2014 Capstone National Exercise.

For those who haven’t, it’s a complex activity comprised of five distinct, but linked, component events: Alaska Shield, Ardent Sentry 14, Nuclear Weapon Accident/Incident Exercise, EAGLE HORIZON and Silver Phoenix. Together, these activities help us examine the core capabilities described in the National Preparedness Goal.

More specifically, the events and participants included the following:

  • Alaska Shield: State emergency management agencies and FEMA will commemorate the anniversary of the 1964 9.2 magnitude Great Alaskan Earthquake with an exercise that tests response, recovery and mass casualty care.
  • Ardent Sentry 14: In conjunction with Alaska Shield and other exercise sponsors, the Department of Defense will exercise its Defense Support to Civilian Authorities’ mission.

Alaska Shield, Ardent Sentry 14

  • Nuclear Weapon Accident/Incident Exercise: The Department of Energy will participate in the Capstone with a scenario that tests response and recovery following an accident during secure transport convoy of nuclear weapons.
  • Eagle Horizon 2014: During this exercise, many federal departments and agencies will activate their continuity of operations and reconstitution planning to test their continuity plans and ensure that primary mission essential functions can take place from alternate facilities.
  • Silver Phoenix 2014: This recovery focused event is threaded across the entire Capstone and explores challenges associated with prioritizing, and conducting recovery activities involving multiple geographically-dispersed and competing events using the National Disaster Recovery Framework.

Planned activities like Capstone help participants think through how to respond to and recover from a catastrophe. Many different people play a role in how our nation responds to disasters, so these exercises included not only FEMA but also their partners in federal, state, tribal and local government, the private sector, and non-profit and faith-based-organizations.

Alaska Shield DrillBothell, Washington. –  FEMA Region X

In March and April, partners from the American Red Cross to the Bonneville Power Administration to the U.S. Army, and many others, joined FEMA for what is known as a table-top exercise, for a larger full-scale exercise.
A table-top is an exercise in which field and logistics movements are “simulated” – while planning and decision-making proceed as if they are actually to taking place.
A table-top is an exercise in which field and logistics movements are “simulated” – while planning and decision-making proceed as if they are actually to taking place.

A similar scenario will play out in late March when many of the same partners participate in a full-scale exercise with “real field and logistical activity.”
The table-top brings more than 100 people to the Region 10 Response Coordination Center in Bothell.
The scenario involves a magnitude 9.2 earthquake and resulting tsunami. Such a quake would be the second strongest in known history, and the largest in known U.S. history. In fact, that largest-ever U.S. quake inspired the scenario; the upcoming full-scale “Alaska Shield” exercise coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964.
The scenario projects the loss of hundreds of lives. Also, it has thousands displaced in an Alaska winter with no power or heat and possibly tens of thousands of buildings damaged. Other problems would include loss of communications and how to moving relief commodities to survivors despite destroyed roads and bridges.

fema-exercise-2014

Similar scenario are being played out throughout the US:

 

FEMA and Partners Exercising Earthquake Scenarios

Alaska National Guard participates in statewide disaster exercise

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska — Approximately 1,150 Air and Army National Guardsmen from Alaska, Hawaii, Ore., Wash., Neb., Wis., Ariz., Calif., Nev., Idaho, Minn., N.D. and Utah are set to participate in exercise Alaska Shield 2014 across the state, from March 27 through April 2.

“After coming off multiple years of deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq I think this is an invigorating chance for our soldiers to reintegrate themselves back into the community and our soldiers are learning again how to reconnect and this gives us that opportunity to do that”

Region 10 Administrator Kenneth Murphy said of the table-top, “This exercise is important for all of us to work with all of our partners leading up to Alaska Shield, and to make sure that all of our systems are working together smoothly and seamlessly.”
FEMA regularly tests procedures and practices in this way, together with local, state, tribes, and other federal agencies.

Volunteer pilots, photographers aid Alaska Shield disaster exercise

Joint Base Elmendorf-RichardsonJoint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska – Civil Air Patrol volunteers help ensure Alaska’s energy assets are safe and secure during natural disasters by taking pictures and downloading them to federal authorities for analysis.

On March 29, 2014, one such flight took off from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to inspect energy platforms as part of the disaster exercise Alaska Shield 2014.

After an earthquake strikes, volunteer pilots with the Civil Air Patrol immediately get up in the air and fly across the state on a damage assessment mission.

The Civil Air Patrol also trains its own photographers how to take pictures of energy production and transport facilities in the event of a natural emergency and how to send photos to federal authorities for analysis.

This day, Jeff Morton, a Civil Air Patrol mission observer, took several hundred pictures of a dozen oil rigs in Cook Inlet.

“We get different shots from many angles, and make sure they are up to the standards required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” said Morton.

tsunami damage to oil platforms

An earthquake can damage oil platforms by causing footings to slip and from tsunami activity all of which may cause the structures to ignite or cause large oil spills.

“When it comes to a bridge, the damage is not easily seen, with an oil rig, it’s there or not,” said Ron Preston, a mission pilot with the Alaskan Civil Air Patrol. “There are a cubic million feet in the pipeline [below the rig] at any given moment.”

One of the other oil rigs photographed on this mission was a “mono pod-style” rig with a single shaft of steel rising above the water.

“It’s a pedestal table that is designed to break the ice around it,” said Preston.

More Like This

  • The Valdez Fire Department participated in Alaska Shield 14 by conducting a glacier rescue scenario here March 30, 2014. Alaska Shield 14 is an exercise that involves federal, state, local and military designed to test response and coordination efforts during a disaster and is modeled after the 1964 earthquake.
  • As part of Alaska Shield 14, volunteers were stranded in frigid water simulating victims of a Tsunami here, March 29, 2014. This was a planned event to test disaster response by the U.S. Coast Guard and Army National Guard.
  • The city of Valdez participated in Alaska Shield 14, a disaster exercise hosted by State of Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management with federal, state, local community, and Non-Government Organization participation. The exercise started with an aftershock that put the city into a communication blackout – no phones or internet connections.
  • Alaska Vigilant Guard 2014, a full-scale disaster response exercise, kicked off at 10:10 a.m., March 27, 2014, when a mock earthquake with the magnitude of 9.2 occurred in Jonah Bay in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

50th anniversary warning: A megathrust quake like Alaska’s 9.2 will hit Seattle

The devastating megathrust earthquake that struck Alaska 50 years ago Thursday is a pretty good indication of what’s in store for Seattle and the upper regions of the West Coast when the Cascadia Subduction Zone lets one fly.

And we all thought the Nisqually Earthquake of February 28, 2001 was big … well look at these photos from the 9.2 magnitude Alaskan megathrust quake:

Damage from the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964

Damage from the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964Luckily these megathrust, magnitude-9 quakes happen only every few hundred years, so Alaska should be fine for many more decades. Unlucky for this part of the Northwest, however: The last Cascadia Megathrust was a few hundred years ago … so we’re due.

On the 314-year anniversary of the last one, the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) published an updated scenario document for what that magnitude of quake would do to us now. The group said in a news release:

“Cascadia’s last great earthquake occurred on January 26, 1700 and ‹stresses have been building on the fault ever since. While the full extent of the earthquake hazard was not realized until the 1980s, the Cascadia subduction zone is now one of the most closely studied and monitored regions in the world.”

And no wonder.

big-quake-zone

THE CASCADIA SUBDUCTION ZONE: The North American Plate collides with a number of smaller plates: the largest of these is the Juan de Fuca Plate, flanked by the Explorer Plate to the north and the Gorda plate to the south. These smaller plates “subduct” (descend) beneath the North American Plate as they converge along a 700-mile long (1,130 km) boundary. A large portion of the boundary between the subducting and overriding plates resists the convergent motion, until this part of the boundary breaks in a great earthquake.

Ketchikan Plans Alaska Shield 2014 Exercise

Ketchikan Plans Alaska Shield

“Alaskans must be aware of the threat of distant tsunamis and be prepared and ready in the case of a locally generated one,” said Aimee Devaris, acting director of the National Weather Service Alaska Region. “It is critically important that people recognize nature’s warning signs that a tsunami may be imminent such as intense ground shaking, the ocean roaring, or the ocean suddenly retreating.”

Here’s the TEST scenario of what happens in Ketchikan: On Thursday, after weeks of preparation and community outreach, Ketchikan dispatch and the public will be notified of the live code TEST from the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) by the National Weather Service’s (NWS) direct phone and the Emergency Alerting System (EAS). This TEST provides the community an opportunity to practice a DROP! COVER! HOLD ON! Exercise area wide.

As part of Ketchikan’s TEST scenario: Ketchikan experiences a large/intense earthquake throughout the island.  The earthquake causes Ketchikan Public Utilities (KPU) concern about the Ketchikan Lakes dam which then triggers the KPU Ketchikan Lakes Emergency Action Plan, at a Condition C; “Non Failure Emergency”.  The Ketchikan Borough Fire Chiefs and Ketchikan City Emergency Manager and Police Chief are then contacted by dispatch.

In the TEST, concurrently, the earthquake scenario causes a fuel tank spill at Petro Marine Services’ upper tank farm which escalates to a fire. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT) work crews realize the Ward Creek Bridge experienced substantial structural damaged during the earthquake.  The ADOT maintenance crew contact Ketchikan dispatch regarding the damage, consequentially the bridge is immediately shut down, closing all vehicle access from North Tongass area to the City of Ketchikan and, more importantly the hospital until the damage can be assessed by ADOT engineers. Damage to several residential homes is also reported to dispatch by the public.

As part of the Alaska Sheild exercise, the Ketchikan area Incident Management Team (IMT) will assemble a Joint Information Center (JIC) to address public concern and disseminate the information from the local, state, and federal authorities to the public, quelling the public panic and rumors.

The incidents are handled in less than one operational period and then the Ketchikan area IMT and JIC are demobilized.

QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS earthquake

Earthquakes are not rare events in Southeast Alaska. In October 2012, a 7.7 magnitude quake that shook the Queen Charlotte Islands grabbed Ketchikan’s attention. This was followed in January 2013 by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that ripped the sea floor about 80 miles west of Craig around midnight on Jan. 4th. That earthquake released most of its energy in the first 20 seconds, but it took 50 seconds for 85 miles of the Queen Charlotte Fault to rupture. The fault slices Earth in a north-south swath just west of Southeast Alaska. The great Alaska earthquake of 1964, by comparison, tore the sea floor for six full minutes.

On June 28, 2004 at approximately 1:49:36 am Alaska Time, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake was also reported off the coast of Southeast Alaska 65 miles WSW of Craig, Alaska.

The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964” occurred in Prince William Sound. When it was finally over, Anchorage was in ruins, a victim of a massive magnitude 9.2 earthquake, the second largest earthquake ever recorded in world history. The 1964 Alaskan Tsunami generate by the quake was the second largest ever recorded, following the May 1960 Chile earthquake with a magnitude 9.5.

1964 Alaskan TsunamiMuch of the damage and most of the lives lost during the 1964 quake were due to the effects of water waves. These were mainly of two kinds: the tsunami of open-ocean sea wave, generated by large-scale motion of the sea floor; and the local wave, generated by underwater landslides in bays of fiords. Of the deaths attributable to the effects of the ocean, about one-third were due to the open-ocean tsunami: 4 at Newport Beach, Oregon; 12 at Crescent City, California; and about 21 in Alaska. Local waves claimed at least 82 lives. Maximum height reported for these waves were 229 feet in Valdez Arm.

The 1964 earthquake effects were heavy in many other Alaska towns, including Chitina, Glennallen, Homer, Hope, Kasilof, Kenai, Kodiak, Moose Pass, Portage, Seldovia, Seward, Sterling, Valdez, Wasilla, and Whittier.

Tsunami Preparedness WeekDuring the 2014 Tsunami Preparedness Week, many television systems are programmed to scroll a standard emergency alert text message and in some cases, the message may not contain the word “TEST.”  An audio message will say that the message is only a test, but if the volume is turned down or otherwise unheard, viewers may not realize the message is a test.  In addition, siren audio may not contain the word “TEST.”

The test is part of Tsunami Preparedness Week, proclaimed by Gov. Sean Parnell as March 23 to 29, and is a cooperative effort of NOAA’s National Weather Service, Alaska’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Alaska Broadcasters Association, and local emergency management officials.

Emergency managers urge coastal residents to review information on what to do in the event of a tsunami. NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center web site offers complete information, including the current status of tsunami watches, warnings and advisories. A list of frequently asked tsunami questions and answers as well as tsunami safety rules can be found on the Center’s site under “Education.”

New map shows likely tsunami flood zones

traveltimes_map

U.S. Tsunami Warning Centers issue tsunami travel time forecasts for a pre-determined set of coastal locations.

When the big wave comes, will my house be under water? Researchers at the Alaska Earthquake Information Center released a a new map outlining which parts of Sitka would be affected by a major tsunami.

On January 4, 2013, just before midnight, Sitkans woke up to feel the ground shaking beneath them. Then came the tsunami siren, warning everyone to get to high ground.

“The thing that got people excited about it was that we actually felt the quake, and we heard the siren, and we hadn’t heard the siren in probably 20 years.”

Tsunami Flood Zones

Matt Goff takes a look at the new tsunami inundation map created by the Alaska Earthquake Information Center.

In the end, there was no wave. But for many people, it was a wake-up call – what would happen if a big wave did come?

Elena Suleimani is a tsunami modeler at the Alaska Earthquake Information Center, and it’s her model that the new map is based on.

“I’ve been studying tsunamis all my life,” she said.

According to Suleimani, the worst-case-scenario for Sitka – the scenario on which the map is based – would be a big earthquake on the subduction fault that stretches from Kodiak to Prince William Sound. That fault produced The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964, the second largest quake ever recorded anywhere.

Alaska_earthquakes

The Queen Charlotte Fault

Closer to home, the Queen Charlotte Fault – which got Sitkans out of bed in January – is a strike-slip fault: the plates are sliding past each other, instead of colliding head-on, and during earthquakes.

They can, however, cause landslides, both on land and on the continental shelf, under water. These landslides can cause their own waves – and it’s almost impossible to model them. That’s, in part, because they occur along smaller faults that haven’t been studied.

Rich Koehler works with Suleimani.

“We haven’t looked at these,” he said. “Nobody has. Partially because they’re covered in – it’s rugged terrain, covered in forest, it’s hard to get to. Anyway. There’s nothing known about these faults, how often earthquakes happen, how big they could be, nothing.”

Still, Suleimani and Koehler said that the largest wave caused by a landslide would still be smaller than the worst-case-scenario “plotted” on the map.

So, at the end of the day, what’s the takeaway? According to Suleimani, no matter what the map says, if you feel the ground shake, go uphill:

“If you are in a coastal area and you feel the ground shaking, just get uphill immediately,” she said.”Don’t wait for any official announcement, don’t wait for sirens. Just go uphill. And stay there for 24 hours.”

Sitka Fire Chief Miller says the key point is to know ahead of time where you’re going, and be ready to head there on a moment’s notice – something many Sitkan’s weren’t prepared for in January.

Alaska quake meets California

“You get 9,000 people trying to move all at one time, it’s a zoo at best.” Miller said. “There’s a lot of cars, there were cars going hither and yon at any given time on the street in front of the fire hall.”

“The thing that you’ve got to remember is, this is a computer generated map,” Miller said “In Japan they had the same thing, they did the same studies, had the same results…and then they had the earthquake and   Mother Nature said, get ready. I’m coming!”

 

Related:
Imagine: A great Alaska earthquake meets southern California

An expected event in Alaska could affect millions of Americans. Here’s how:
On Thursday, March 27, 2014, a slab of the seafloor larger than human imagination fractures, rumbling beneath the Alaska Peninsula. In several planet-ringing minutes, thousands of years of potential energy releases to become kinetic. A great earthquake occurs right where scientists predicted it would. – More

News Source:

National Tsunami Warning Center

West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center – NOAA

AlaskaDepartment of Military and Veterans Affairs

Alaska Division of Homeland Security & Emergency

DHSEM ExerciseAlaska Division of Homeland Security

Frank Share
Fire Chief, City of Ketchikan

FEMA and Partners Exercising Earthquake Scenarios

Follow the Follow the Alaska Shield Exercise at @AlaskaDHSEM and FEMA online at twitter @FEMARegion10 , facebook FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency, and FEMAYouTube. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
News Desk: 425-487-4610 and FEMA online at twitter @FEMARegion10 , facebook FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency, and FEMAYouTube. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
News Desk: 425-487-4610

 

Resources:

The Nazi Road To The “Final Solution”

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 Madagascar-PosThe Madagascar Plan was a proposal of the Nazi government of Germany to relocate the Jewish population of Europe to the island of Madagascar. Franz Rademacher, head of the Jewish Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Nazi government. This wasn’t formally proposed until June 1940, shortly before France’s defeat in the Battle of France. The proposal called for the handing over of Madagascar, then a French colony, to Germany as part of the French surrender terms.

The idea of deporting Polish Jews to Madagascar was investigated by the Polish government in 1937, but the task force sent to evaluate the island’s potential determined that only 5,000 to 7,000 families could be accommodated. As efforts by the Nazis to encourage emigration of the Jewish population of Germany were only partially successful, the idea of deporting Jews to Madagascar was revived by the Nazi government in 1940.

TogetherThe plan was postponed after the Germans failed to defeat the British in the Battle of Britain later in 1940 and was permanently shelved in 1942 with the commencement of the extermination of European Jewry.

Origins

Paul_Anton_de_LagardeAs early as 1885 there were a number of resettlement plans for European Jews that were precursors to the Madagascar Plan.

Paul de Lagarde, aka Bötticher, an Orientalist and German scholar, was the first to suggest evacuating the European Jews to Madagascar in 1885. He was one of the prime movers in the revival of anti-Semitism in the later years of the 19th c., demanding a national Christianity purge of Jewish and, in particular, Pauline elements.

Members of the Zionist movement in 1904–1906 seriously debated the British Uganda Programme, by which Russian Jews, who were in immediate danger from ongoing Pogrom, would be settled in what today is Kenya. The plan was later rejected as unworkable by the Zionist Congress. Adherents of territorialism split off from the main Zionist movement and continued to search for a location where Jews might settle and create a state, or at least an autonomous area.

 Zionist Conference

The idea of Jewish resettlement was taken up in the 1920s by British Antisemites Henry Hamilton Beamish, Arnold Leese, and others. With the cooperation of the French, the Polish government commissioned a task force in 1937 to examine the possibility of deporting Polish Jews to the island. The head of the commission, Mieczysław Lepecki, felt the island could accommodate 5,000 to 7,000 families, but Jewish members of the group estimated that only 500 or even fewer families could safely be accommodated.

Henry Hamilton BeamishThe Planning begins

Violence and economic pressure were used by the Nazis to encourage Jews to voluntarily leave the country. By 1939 around 250,000 of Germany’s 437,000 Jews emigrated to the United States, Argentina, Great Britain, Madagascar, Mexico, Palestine, and other countries.

Treatment of Alien Races in the East, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler.

The Nazi leadership seized on the idea of deporting the remaining German Jews overseas. Barren unproductive lands were viewed as appropriate destinations as this would prevent the deportees from flourishing in their new location.

Although some initial discussion took place in 1938 among Nazi ideologues such as Julius Streicher, Göring, Alfred Rosenberg, and Joachim von Ribbentrop, it was not until 1940 that planning formally began. Franz Rademacher, recently appointed head of the Jewish Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, forwarded on 3 June to his superior, the diplomat Martin Luther, a memorandum on the fate of the Jews. He recommended that the French colony of Madagascar should be made available as a destination for the Jews of Europe as one of the terms of the surrender of France, which the Germans had invaded on 10 May 1940. The resettled Jews, noted Rademacher, could be used as hostages to ensure “future good behaviour of their racial comrades in America.”

Final SolutionOn receiving the memorandum, Luther broached the subject with Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, who was simultaneously developing a similar scheme. By 18 June, Hitler and Ribbentrop spoke of the Plan with Italian leader Benito Mussolini as a possibility that could be pursued after the defeat of France.

Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), insisted that Ribbentrop relinquish any future responsibility for the Plan to that office. As Heydrich had been appointed by Hermann Göring in January 1939 to oversee Jewish evacuation from German-occupied territory, the Jewish Question was hence under his purview.

Adolf Eichmann, head of the RSHA Sub-Department IV-B4, which dealt with Jewish affairs and evacuation, soon became involved. On 15 August, with Adolf Hitler‘s approval, Adolf Eichmann released a Memorandum titled Reichssicherheitshauptamt: Madagaskar Projekt (Reich Main Security Office: Madagascar Project), calling for the resettlement of a million Jews per year for four years and abandoning the idea of retaining any Jews in Europe.

The RSHA, he emphasised, would control all aspects of the program. While Rademacher called for the colony to be under German control but self-governing under Jewish administration, Eichmann made it plain that he intended for the SS to control and oversee every aspect of life on the island, which they would govern as a police state.

Most Nazi officials, especially Hans Frank, governor of the General Government (the occupied portion of Poland), viewed ‘the forced resettlement to Madagascar as being preferable to the heretofore piecemeal efforts at deportation into Poland. As of 10 July, deportations into Poland were cancelled and construction of the Warsaw ghetto was halted, since it appeared to be unnecessary.’

Planning continues

Rademacher envisioned the founding of a European bank that would ultimately liquidate all European Jewish assets to pay for the plan. This bank would then play an intermediary role between Madagascar and the rest of the world, as Jews would not be allowed to interact financially with outsiders. Göring’s office of the Four Year Plan would oversee the administration of the plan’s economics.

Ministry of Public Enlightenment and PropagandaAdditionally, Rademacher foresaw roles for other government agencies. Ribbentrop’s Foreign Affairs Ministry would negotiate terms with the French for the handover of Madagascar to Germany. It would also play a part in crafting other treaties to deal with Europe’s Jews. Its Information Department, along with Joseph Goebbels and his Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, would control the flow of information at home and abroad. Viktor Brack, a division chief in the Chancellery of the Führer, would oversee transportation. The SS would undertake the expulsion of the Jews from Europe and govern the island as a police state. The Nazis expected that after the invasion of Great Britain in Operation Sea Lion that they would commandeer the British merchant fleet to transport the Jews to Madagascar. Many deportees were expected to perish in the harsh conditions or die at the hands of the SS.

Plan abandoned

After Germany’s failure to defeat the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain in 1940, the invasion of Britain was postponed indefinitely. This meant the British merchant fleet would not be at Germany’s disposal for use in evacuations, and planning for the Madagascar proposal stalled. In late August 1940 Rademacher entreated Ribbentrop to hold a meeting at his ministry to begin drawing up a panel of experts to consolidate the plan. Ribbentrop never responded. Likewise, Eichmann’s memorandum languished with Heydrich, who never approved it. Establishment of ghettos in Warsaw and other cities in Poland resumed in August 1940. Hitler continued to mention the plan until February 1942, when the idea was permanently shelved. British Empire forces took the island from Vichy France in the Battle of Madagascar in November 1942 and control was transferred to the Free French.

General Plan Ost

At the end of 1940, Hitler asked Himmler to draft a new plan for the elimination of the Jews of Europe, and Himmler passed along the task to Heydrich. His draft proposed the deportation of the Jews to the Soviet Union via Poland. The later Generalplan Ost (General Plan for the East), prepared by Professor Konrad Meyer and others, called for deporting the entire population of occupied Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to Siberia, either for use as slave labour or to be murdered after the Soviet defeat. After the German failure in the Battle of Moscow in December 1941, Hitler resolved that the Jews of Europe were to be exterminated immediately rather than after the war, which now had no end in sight. Since transporting masses of people into a combat zone would be impossible, Heydrich decided that the Jews would be killed in extermination camps set up in occupied areas of Poland.

Text of the Madagascar Proposal

The approaching victory gives Germany the possibility, and in my view also the duty, of solving the Jewish question in Europe. The desirable solution is: all Jews out of Europe.

The task of the Foreign Ministry:

a) To include this demand in the Peace Treaty and to insist on it also by means of separate negotiations with the European countries not involved in the Peace Treaty;

b) to secure the territory necessary for the settlement of the Jews in the Peace Treaty, and to determine principles for the cooperation of the enemy countries in this problem;

c) to determine the position under international law of the new Jewish overseas settlement;

d) as preparatory measures:

1) clarification of the wishes and plans of the departments concerned of the Party, State and Research organizations in Germany, and the coordination of these plans with the wishes of the Reich Foreign Minister, including the following:

2) preparation of a survey of the factual data available in various places (number of Jews in the various countries), use of their financial assets through an international bank;

3) negotiations with our friend, Italy, on these matters.

Office of the Reichsführer-SSWith regard to beginning the preparatory work, Section D III has already approached the Reich Foreign Minister via the Department Germany [interior affairs], and has been instructed by him to start on the preparatory work without delay. There have already been discussions with the Office of the Reichsführer-SS in the Ministry of Interior and several departments of the Party. These departments approve the following plan of Section D III:

Section D III proposes as a solution of the Jewish question: In the Peace Treaty France must make the island of Madagascar available for the solution of the “Jewish Question,” and to resettle and compensate the approximately 25,000 French citizens living there. The island will be transferred to Germany under a mandate. Diego Suarez and the port of Antsirane, which are strategically important, will become German naval bases (if the Navy wishes, these naval bases could be extended also to the harbors – open road-steads –Tamatave, Andevorante, Mananjara, etc.). In addition to these naval bases, suitable areas of the country will be excluded from the Jewish territory (Judenterritorium) for the construction of air bases. That part of the island not required for military purposes will be placed under the administration of a German Police Governor, who will be under the administration of the Reichsfuehrer SS. Apart from this, the Jews will have their own administration in this territory: their own mayors, police, postal and railroad administration, etc. The Jews will be jointly liable for the value of the island. For this purpose their former European financial assets will be transferred for use to a European bank to be established for this purpose. Insofar as the assets are not sufficient to pay for the land which they will receive, and for the purchase of necessary commodities in Europe for the development of the island, the Jews will be able to receive bank credits from the same bank.

As Madagascar will only be a Mandate, the Jews living there will not acquire German citizenship. On the other hand, the Jews deported to Madagascar will lose their citizenship of European countries from the date of deportation. Instead, they will become residents of the Mandate of Madagascar.

This arrangement would prevent the possible establishment in Palestine by the Jews of a Vatican State of their own, and the opportunity for them to exploit for their own purposes the “symbolic importance” which Jerusalem has for the Christian and Mohammedan parts of the world. Moreover, the Jews will remain in German hands as a pledge for the future good behavior of the members of their race in America.

This can be made for propaganda purposes of the generosity shown by Germany in permitting cultural, economic, administrative and legal self-administration to the Jews; it can be emphasized at the same time that our German sense of responsibility towards the world forbids us to make the “gift of a sovereign state” to a race which has had no independent state for thousands of years: this would still require the test of history.

Signed, Franz Rademacher

Berlin, July 3, 1940

 

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Sedlec Ossuary “Bone Church”

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Sedlec Ossuary Bone Church

 

The Art of Human Remains

The Sedlec Ossuary, known to most as “The Bone Church,” it displays some of the world’s more macabre art. In addition to a splendid bone chandelier composed from almost every bone in a human body, the ossuary displays two large bone chalices, four baroque bone candelabras, six enormous bone pyramids, two bone monstrances (a vessel used to display the Eucharistic host).  Another impressive artwork is the Coat Of Arms Of The Schwarzenberg Family that is also made of human bones. While there are other macabre places to visit in Europe like the Paris Catacombe, the Sedlec Ossuary is really unique in nature.

OssuaryAn Ossuary is a chest, box, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. They are frequently used where burial space is scarce. A body is first buried in a temporary grave, then after some years the skeletal remains are removed and placed in an ossuary.

Coat Of Arms Of The Schwarzenberg Family

You may wonder how all these bones ended up being craved in a small chapel located in the Czech Republic. It all goes back to 1278 when the King of Bohemia sent an abbot of the Sedlec Cistercian monastery to the Holy Land of Palestine.

The Abbot of the Sedlec Monastery (Abbot Henry) brought brought back a jar of Holy earth from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the place where Jesus was crucified at Golgotha.

He scattered this “holy soil” across the Sedlec cemetery, securing its place as one of the most desired burial sites for people all over Bohemia and the surrounding countries. The rumor about his act soon spread out all over the place, and thus Sedlec became a desired place to be buried.

Sedlec-Ossuary-Photo2

Everyone wanted to be buried in that handful of the Holy Land and an estimated  70,000 were. But it wasn’t long before there simply wasn’t enough room for everyone to rest in peace, and the bodies were moved to a crypt to make room for the newly dead.

In 1870, a Gothic church was built near the cemetery and its basement was used as an ossuary. A local woodcarver, František Rint was employed by the House of Schwarzenberg to organize the human bones interred at the Sedlec Ossuary.

František Rint bone church

Rint came up with the Bone Church’s stunning chandelier, as well as the amazing Schwarzenberg coat of arms, which includes a raven pecking at the severed head of a Turk–all made of human bone. Rint was responsible for bleaching all of the bones in the ossuary in order to give the room a uniform look. His artist’s signature is still on the wall today–naturally, in his medium of choice, bones.

Related:

Roman Catholic

Many examples of ossuaries are found within Europe such as the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini in Rome, Italy, the San Bernardino alle Ossa in Milan, Italy, the Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic, the Skull Chapel in Czermna in Lower Silesia, Poland, and Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of bones) in the city of Évora, in Portugal.

Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini in Rome, Italy

Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini or Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins, is a church in Rome, Italy. This church has a crypt that contains the bones from monk who used to live or/and work there.

The village of Wamba in the province of Valladolid, Spain has an impressive ossuary of over a thousand skulls inside the local church, dating from between the 12th and 18th centuries. A more recent example is the Douaumont ossuary in France, which contains the remains of more than 130,000 French and German soldiers that fell at the Battle of Verdun during World War I.

The catacombs beneath the Monastery of San Francisco in Lima, Peru also contain an ossuary.

Ursulakammer in the Basilica of St. Ursula in Cologne

The Ursulakammer in the Basilica of St. Ursula in Cologne, where in the seventeenth century the largest mosaic in human bones ever was created, that covers the four walls of the room.

Eastern Orthodox

The use of ossuaries is a longstanding tradition in the Orthodox Church. The remains of an Orthodox Christian are treated with special reverence, in conformity with the biblical teaching that the body of a believer is a “temple of the Holy Spirit” (I Corinthians, etc.), having been sanctified and transfigured by Baptism, Holy Communion and the participation in the mystical life of the Church. In Orthodox monasteries, when one of the brethren dies, his remains are buried (for details, see Christian burial) for one to three years, and then disinterred, cleaned and gathered into the monastery’s charnel house. If there is reason to believe that the departed is a saint, the remains may be placed in a reliquary; otherwise the bones are usually mingled together (skulls together in one place, long bones in another, etc.). The remains of an abbot may be placed in a separate ossuary made out of wood or metal.

The use of ossuaries is also found among the laity in the Greek Orthodox Church. The departed will be buried for one to three years and then, often on the anniversary of death, the family will gather with the parish priest and celebrate a parastas (memorial service), after which the remains are disinterred, washed with wine, perfumed, and placed in a small ossuary of wood or metal, inscribed with the name of the departed, and placed in a room, often in or near the church, which is dedicated to this purpose.

Jewish burial cave

Jewish

During the time of the Second Temple, Jewish burial customs included primary burials in burial caves, followed by secondary burials in ossuaries placed in smaller niches of the burial caves. Some of the limestone ossuaries that have been discovered, particularly around the Jerusalem area, include intricate geometrical patterns and inscriptions identifying the deceased. Among the best-known Jewish ossuaries of this period are: an ossuary inscribed ‘Simon the Temple builder’ in the collection of the Israel Museum, another inscribed ‘Elisheba wife of Tarfon‘, one inscribed ‘Yehohanan ben Hagkol’ that contained an iron nail in a heel bone suggesting crucifixion, another inscribed ‘James son of Joseph, brother of Jesus’, the authenticity of which is suspect, and ten ossuaries recovered from the Talpiot Tomb in 1980, several of which are reported to have names from the New Testament.

Jewish bones in a ossuary

During the Second Temple period, Jewish sages debated whether the occasion of the gathering of a parent’s bones for a secondary burial was a day of sorrow or rejoicing; it was resolved that it was a day of fasting in the morning and feasting in the afternoon. The custom of secondary burial in ossuaries did not persist among Jews past the Second Temple period nor appear to exist among Jews outside the land of Israel.

 

 

See also

Resources:

Kostnice Ossuary Beinhaus

Kutná Hora Sedlec, Ossuary, Sedlec Cathedral

Kostnice Ossuary Beinhaus, Czech Republic | UTS Library

Sedlec Ossuary – Photos

Czech Republic

Tomb of Our Lord – Jesus Christ – Jerusalem

Jesus Family Tomb: Skull Ossuary – The Lost Tomb of Jesus

The Tomb of the Most Holy Virgin, Jerusalem

House of Schwarzenberg

9 of the Strangest Bone Churches of Europe | BootsnAll

 

Codex Gigas: The Devil’s Bible

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Codex Gigas (the Devil’s Bible)

Codex Gigas (the Devil’s Bible) – the largest manuscript in the world.

Introduction:

The Codex Gigas (Latin for “Giant Book”) is interesting enough for being the largest and existing medieval manuscript in the world, but the legend behind it makes it all the more intriguing for oddballs like myself!

It is so large that it is said to have taken more than 160 animal skins to make it and takes two people to lift it. The codex is bound in a wooden folder covered with leather and ornate metal. At 36.2in. tall, 19.7in. wide and 8.6in. thick and weighing 165 pounds.

History

The Codex is believed to have been created by Herman the Recluse at the Benedictine Podlažice monastery in the early 13th century. Although the origin of the manuscript is unknown, a note written in the manuscript states that it was pawned by the monastery at Sedlec by its owners, the monks of Podlažice, in 1295 (f. 1v). It soon passed to the monastery of Břevnov near Prague. All of these monasteries were in Bohemia (near Chrudim in Czech Republic.).

The codex is richly illuminated throughout.According to legend Herman was a monk who breached his monastic code and was sentenced to be walled up alive.

In order to forbear this harsh penalty he promised to create – in one single night – a book to glorify the monastery forever, and included all vital human knowledge.

Indeed, an analysis on the text does strongly suggest that it was written by just one scribe due to the level of uniformity throughout.

Near midnight the monk became sure that he could not complete this task alone, so he “sold his soul to the devil” for help. The devil completed the manuscript and the monk added the devil’s picture out of gratitude for his aid.

Legends are funny things. It seems that the legend about Herman making a pact with the devil is more likely a mistranslation of the word ‘inclusus,’ which rather than meaning “walled up alive,” more literally means “choosing to live a solitary life.”

It is due to this unique illustration (below) that the Codex Gigas is also known as the religiously propagated, ‘Devil’s Bible.’

Codex Gigas

Codex Gigas contains a complete Vulgate Latin translation of the Bible as well as five other major texts, except for the books of Acts and Revelation. It begins with the Old Testament and continues with ‘The Antiquities of the Jews,’ by Flavius Josephus (1st century AD; ‘Encyclopedia Etymologiae’ by Isidore of Seville (6th century AD); a collection of medical works of Hippocrates, Theophilus; the New Testament; the ‘Chronicle of the Czechs,’ by Cosmas of Prague (1050 AD), and others.

It also contains mystical medical formulas for anything from Exorcisms, Medical practice, Form of conjuration, to treating epilepsy. It contains spells and incantations, as well as many other strange and bizarre inscriptions.

Conjurations in Codex Gigas: Smaller texts are also included in the manuscript with the most famous ones including: Conjurations (text on exorcism), and magic formulas.

Codex Gigas1The Codex initially contained 320 sheets, though some of these were subsequently removed. It is unknown who removed the pages or for what purpose but it seems likely that they contained the monastic Benedictine Rules.

From 1477–1593 it was kept in the library of a monastery in Broumov until it was taken to Prague in 1594 to form a part of the collections of the Emperor Rudolf II.

At the end of the Thirty Years’ War in the year 1648, the entire collection was stolen by the Swedish army as plunder. From 1649 to 2007 the manuscript was kept in the Swedish Royal Library in Stockholm. The site of its creation is marked by a maquette in the town museum of Chrast.

On May 7th, 1697, a fierce fire broke out at the royal castle in Stockholm, and the Royal Library suffered very badly. The codex was rescued from the flames by throwing it out of a window. The codex apparently injured a bystander and some of its leaves fluttered away and they are still missing today.

Codex Gigas with infamous illustration of Devil

Codex Gigas with infamous illustration of Devil

The Codex Gigas is now preserved at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm where you can also view the digital pages of the Codex. Anyone in Sweden should pay a visit to the see Codex Gigas – and do not be afraid, it is quite safe to read the so-called Devil’s Bible!

According to the National Geographic, it would take one person working continuously, day and night, for five years to recreate the contents of Codex Gigas by hand (excluding the illustrations). Therefore, realistically it would have taken at least 25 years for the scribe to create the codex from scratch. Yet, all this time, the writing retained an incredible uniformity from start to finish. This would make sense if Herman was simply living a solitary life.

The National Geographic documentary (below) included interviews with manuscript experts who pointed towards evidence (handwriting analysis and a credit to herman inclusus – “herman the recluse”) that indicates the manuscript was the work of just one scribe.

 

Related:

The history of Codex Gigas

Highlights

Resources:

Codex Gigas

Codex Gigas – Kungliga biblioteket

Book collections in Bohemia – Kungliga biblioteket

Vulgate

Binding Books in Human Skin | NewsWaning Moon

Kristina, Queen of Sweden (1626-1689) – The Royal Forums

Sedlec Ossuary “Bone Church” | Atlas Obscura

 

Antibiotic Resistance Declared A ‘Serious Health Threat’

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 CDC Report

Every year in the US, more than two million people are infected with a bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, and more than 20,000 people die every year due to such infections.

Many more Americans die every year from conditions that are complicated by an infection that is resistant to antibiotics. This is a growing public health problem that many public health professionals are having to spend much more time combating.

Antibiotic resistance represents a looming pandemic that will affect nearly all aspects of modern medicine. Common infections that are currently relatively easy to treat will become serious threats. While this threats has been recognized for some time, public policy has yet to get serious about tackling the problem. This is especially true in modern agriculture where antibiotic use is rampant and largely unregulated, which provides breeding grounds for new and more virulent bacteria.

A recent CDC report highlights the growing pandemic of superbugs that have out-evolved even our best antibiotics.

Antibiotic use in the meat and poultry industry has skyrocketed over the past decade. Nearly 30 million pounds were sold for livestock use in the U.S. in 2011, almost four times the amount used by humans. That means 73 percent of all antibiotics sold in America go to meat production.

Infections that are resistant to antibiotics may happen anywhere. Data indicates that most occur in the general US community.

CDC

The CDC report, Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013 gives a first-ever snapshot of the burden and threats posed by the antibiotic-resistant germs having the most impact on human health.

The CDC has sent out a serious warning about bacteria that is resistant to many strong antibiotics. And these strains of bacteria are spreading fast. The video below shows what has caused these bacteria to mutate and what you can do to protect yourself.

The report is a good reference for anyone who needs information about resistance to antibiotics. It is designed to be easy to access for many different audiences. It covers many types of bacteria that can cause severe infections in humans, and the antibiotics that are currently used to treat such infections. Also, Candida, which is a fungus that can cause serious illnesses, also is included because it is showing a higher resistance to drugs that are being used for treatment.

Drug resistance that is related to HIV and influenza are not in this report, and drug resistance to malaria is not included either. These, the report notes, are very important problems, but are beyond the scope of this particular report.

The introduction of the CDC report states that infections that are resistant to antibiotics can cause serious and avoidable costs to an overburdened health care system. In many cases, these infections require longer and more expensive treatments, longer hospital stays, more doctor visits and hospital visits, and the result is more death and disability when compared to infections that can be treated with antibiotics. The total cost to the economy of antibiotic resistance in the US has been hard to figure, but estimates are as high as $20 billion in extra health care costs, and $35 billion a year for additional costs to society in terms of lost productivity.

Antibiotic use is the most important reason that antibiotic resistance is increasing around the world. Antibiotics are some of the most frequently prescribed drugs that are used in human medicine. However, as much as 50% of all antibiotics that are prescribed are not needed, or are not as effective as they are prescribed to be. Antibiotics also are often used in animal feed to prevent disease, and to promote growth of animals that produce food. Antibiotic use to promote growth is not needed, the CDC report states, and the practice should be stopped.

Another major reason for the growth of antibiotic resistance is the increase of resistant strains of many types of bacteria that are spread from one person to the other, or from sources that are non human in our environment, including food.

There are four actions that the report states will help to fight such deadly infections:

  • Stop infections and stop the spread of resistance

  • Track bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics

  • Improve use of antibiotics in medicine

  • Promote the growth of new antibiotics, and develop new tests for resistant bacteria

The report states that while many bacterial resistance problems are serious, gram-negative pathogens are a particular problem. They are getting more resistant to all types of drugs that may be considered for treatment. The report notes that the most serious infections are associated with health care, and the most common ones are Enterobacteriaceae, pseudomonas aeruginosa, and acinetobacter.

Danish livestockEuropean authorities have no records on the new spread of resistance germs from pigs to humans. Scientists say the total death toll for resistant antibiotics is outdated and too low.

The news of four deaths in Denmark caused by infections from livestock associated (LA) resistant germs has not reached European authorities, except through media reports.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based in Solna, Sweden keeps no record of infections from different strains of resistant bacteria.

Dominique L. Monnet, Head of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections Programme at ECDC, explains in a written comment:

No EU survey on human infections due to LA-MRSA CC398 is currently planned by ECDC. In most European Union member states, MRSA infections are mostly associated with healthcare. The focus of ECDC is therefore on surveillance and prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections, including healthcare-associated infections due to MRSA.

EU-commission has no knowledge of dangerous big-bacteria

Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the EU-commission José Manuel Barroso, adds to this when asked by Investigative Reporting Denmark:

If the ECDC does not know, then there is no knowledge of this in the Commission either. But I will pass on your question to our newly formed working group of scientific advisers.”

The unknown figures of how germs spread from animals to man is not the only grey area concerning antibiotic resistance.

Estimated in 2009: 25,100 deaths caused by resistant bacteria:
The first and so far only scientific study on a European level was done by ECDC and European Medicines Agency, EMA, in London, UK in 2009. The report, ”Time to react”, was based on data collected two years earlier.

The report estimated a death toll of 25,100 per year– which covers the effects of all different kinds of antibiotic resistance, not only from MRSA – and has become an established number since.

Most likely it is set far too low.

Underestimated numbers of deaths caused by resistant bacteria

Otto Cars, a professor of Infectious Diseases at Uppsala University in Sweden and a chairman of ReAct, a network and campaign organization on antibiotic resistance, says there are only three global studies on the subject:

The EU-study from 2009, a study from Thailand 2012 claiming 38,000 yearly deaths, and a US-study 2013 finding 23,000 extra deaths per year.

There are most likely considerable underestimates in all these studies, as they have only documented some infections from chosen bacteria,” comments professor Cars.

A recent study by the German Association for Hospital Hygiene, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Krankenhaushygiene, estimates as many as 42,000 yearly deaths from hospital-acquired infections in the country, although the role of resistant germs is not specified.

Antibiotic resistance – a threat with the same magnitude as global warming
In spite of weak data on the actual conditions, scientists are in very little doubt about the perspectives.

EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF)At an annual conference EuroScience Open Forum held in Copenhagen in June 2014 attention was given to ‘antibiotic resistance as a threat with the same magnitude as global warming.’

Anne Glover, scientific adviser and microbiologist, gave a provocative presentation titledDo you want to die by carelessness

To the individual patient the side effects of antibiotics are small, but they are truly large for society. That’s why the use of antibiotics cannot be a choice by the individual. The use should only be allowed on prescription. And we ought to take to the streets to protest against the excessive use in agriculture,” she said.

Analogy of a tsunami built up in slow motion

Henrik C. Wegener, Chief Academic Officer at Technical University of Denmark, made the analogy of a tsunami built up in slow motion:

We are standing on the shore, watching the wave rolling in and keep discussing whether we should build dykes or ditches or learn to swim.”

 

Related:

Foreword Adobe PDF file [page 5]
Executive Summary Adobe PDF file [page 6]
Section 1: The Threat of Antibiotic Resistance Adobe PDF file [page 11]
Section 2: Fighting Back Against Antibiotic Resistance Adobe PDF file [page 31]
Four Core Actions to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance Adobe PDF file [page 31]
Section 3: Current Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States,
by Microorganism

Important documents from the Copenhagen-conference:

Birgitta Henriques Normark: Spread of Antibiotic Resistance

Animals on drugs causes resistance bugs.

For more discussion on antibiotic resistant threats, please see these insightful sources:

 

 

Resources:

Threat Report 2013 | Antimicrobial Resistance | CDC

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Domestic Preparedness CNS

California Emergency Management

HONR 3700 – H03: Antibiotic Resistance – A Looming

The cost of antibiotic resistance: 25000 deaths per year, and ..

Threat Report 2013 | Antimicrobial Resistance | CDC

Antibiotic Resistance Declared A ‘Serious Health Threat’

Should We Be Worried About Antibiotic Resistance Threat

Emergency Medical Services Authority Disaster Medical

The Global Infectious Disease Threat and Its Implications for

National Intelligence Estimate: Global Infectious Disease

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