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Momus

Momus was in Greek mythology the personification of satire and mockery, two stories about whom figure among Aesop's Fables. During the Renaissance, several literary works used him as a mouthpiece for their criticism of tyranny, while others made him a critic of contemporary society. Onstage he became the figure of harmless fun; as a sharp-tongued spirit of unfair criticism, Momus was expelled from the company of the gods on Mount Olympus. His name is related to μομφή, meaning'blame','reproach', or'disgrace'. Hesiod said that Momus was a son of Night, "though she lay with none", the twin of the misery goddess Oizys. In the 8th century BCE epic Cypria, Momus was credited with stirring up the Trojan War in order to reduce the human population. Sophocles wrote a satyr play called Momos, now entirely lost, which may have derived from this. Two of Aesop's fables feature the god; the most reported of these in Classical times is numbered 100 in the Perry Index. There Momus is asked to judge the handiwork of three gods: a house and a bull.

He found all at fault: the man. Because of it, Plutarch and Aristotle criticized Aesop's story-telling as deficient in understanding, while Lucian insisted that anyone with sense was able to sound out a man's thoughts; as another result, Momus became a by-word for fault-finding, the saying that if not he could criticize something, the sign of its perfection. Thus a poem in the Greek Anthology remarks of statues by Praxiteles that "Momus himself will cry out,'Father Zeus, this was perfect skill'." Looking the lovely Aphrodite over, according to a second fable of Aesop's, number 455 in the Perry Index, it was light-heartedly noted that he could not find anything about her to fault except that her sandals squeaked. A social comedy from the 2nd century CE served as inspiration for criticisms of society; this was found in Lucian's "The Gods in Council", in which Momus takes a leading role in a discussion on how to purge Olympus of foreign gods and barbarian demi-gods who are lowering its heavenly tone.

At the start of the Renaissance, Leon Battista Alberti wrote the political work Momus or The Prince, which continued the god's story after his exile to earth. Since his continued criticism of the gods was destabilizing the divine establishment, Jupiter bound him to a rock and had him castrated. However, missing his candor, he sought out a manuscript that Momus had left behind in, described how a land could be ruled with regulated justice. At the start of the 16th century, Erasmus presented Momus as a champion of legitimate criticism of authorities. Allowing that the god was "not quite as popular as others, because few people admit criticism, yet I dare say of the whole crowd of gods celebrated by the poets, none was more useful." Giordano Bruno's philosophical treatise The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast looks back to Lucian's example. Momus there plays an integral part in the series of dialogues conducted by the Olympian deities and Bruno's narrators as Jupiter seeks to purge the universe of evil.

17th century English writers introduced the figure of Momus in a gentler spirit of fun, as in Thomas Carew's masque Coelum Britannicum, acted before King Charles I and his court. There too Momus and Mercury draw up a plan to reform the'Star Chamber' of Heaven. Two centuries on, it was to influence Henry David Thoreau. John Dryden's short "Secular Masque" mocks contemporary society through the medium of the Classical divinities, with Momus playing a leading part in deflating with sarcastic wit the sports represented by Diana and Venus, for "'Tis better to laugh than to cry", it is with similar wryness that Carl Sandburg's statue of "Momus" surveys the never-changing human scene, "On men who play in terrible earnest the old, solemn repetitions of history", as they continue to overpopulate the world and bleed it. Elsewhere in Europe, Momus was becoming softened into a figure of light-hearted and sentimental comedy, the equivalent of Harlequin in the French and Italian Commedia dell'arte. A typical production has him competing for the amorous favours of a nymph in Henry Desmarets' opéra-ballet Les amours de Momus.

By this period Momus was the patron of humorous satire, partnering the figures of comedy and tragedy. As such he appeared flanked by these female figures on the frontispiece to The Beauties of the English Stage, while in Leonard Defraine's Figures of Fabled Gods, he partners Comus, god of Carnival, Themis, patroness of assemblies; because of the Harlequin connection, as the character able to make home-truths palatable through the use of humour, Momus had now taken the place of the Fool on a French Minchiate card pack. He lent his name to George Saville Carey's satirical poem, Momus, or a critical examination into the merits of the performers and comic pieces at the Theatre-Royal in the Hay-Market; the god himself plays no part there, only the comic actors. Media related to Momus at Wikimedia Commons

Protect America Act of 2007

The Protect America Act of 2007, is a controversial amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, signed into law by U. S. President George W. Bush on August 5, 2007, it removed the warrant requirement for government surveillance of foreign intelligence targets "reasonably believed" to be outside the United States. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 reauthorized many provisions of the Protect America Act in Title VII of FISA. In December 2005, the New York Times published an article that described a surveillance program of warrantless domestic wiretapping ordered by the Bush administration and carried out by the National Security Agency in cooperation with major telecommunications companies since 2002. Many critics have asserted that the Administration's warrant-free surveillance program is a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution against warrantless search, and, a criminal violation of FISA; the Bush administration maintained that the warrant requirements of FISA were implicitly superseded by the subsequent passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, that the President's inherent authority under Article II of the Constitution to conduct foreign surveillance trumped the FISA statute.

However, the Supreme Court decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld placed the legitimacy of this argument into question. On July 28, 2007, President Bush announced that his Administration had submitted a bill to Congress to amend FISA, he suggested that the current law was "badly out of date" – despite amendments passed in October 2001 – and did not apply to disposable cell phones and Internet-based communications. The bill he submitted to Congress would address these new technologies, Bush said, as well as restore FISA's "original focus" on protecting the privacy of people within the United States, "so we don't have to obtain court orders to collect foreign intelligence about foreign targets located in foreign locations." He asked that Congress pass the legislation before its August 2007 recess, stating that "Every day that Congress puts off these reforms increases the danger to our nation. Our intelligence community warns that under the current statute, we are missing a significant amount of foreign intelligence that we should be collecting to protect our country".

On August 3, 2007, the Senate passed the bill in a vote of 60 to 28. The House followed by passing the bill, 227–183 on August 3, 2007; the bill altered the original 1978 law in many ways, including: The bill amended FISA to substitute the requirement of a warrant to conduct surveillance with a system of NSA internal controls. The bill required notification to the FISA Court of warrantless surveillance within 72 hours of any authorization; the bill required that "a sealed copy of the certification" be sent which would "remain sealed unless the certification is needed to determine the legality of the acquisition." The bill allowed the monitoring of all electronic communications of "Americans communicating with foreigners who are the targets of a U. S. terrorism investigation" without a court's order or oversight, so long as it is not targeted at one particular person "reasonably believed to be" inside the country. The Act removed the requirement for a FISA warrant for any communication, foreign-related if the communication involved a U.

S. location on the receiving or sending end of communication. Experts claimed that this deceptively opened the door to domestic spying, given that many domestic U. S. communications passed by virtue of old telephony network configurations. In the bill, the monitoring of data related to Americans communicating with persons outside the United States who are the targets of a U. S. government intelligence information gathering efforts was addressed. The Protect America Act differed from the FISA in that no discussion of actions or character judgment of the target was required for application of the statute; this data could be monitored only if intelligence officials acted in the context of intelligence information gathering. No mention of foreign agent status is made in the Protect America Act of 2007. Under prior FISA rules, persons targeted for surveillance must have been declared as foreign agents before a FISA warrant would be accorded by the FISC court. Vastly marketed by U. S. federal and military agencies as a law to prevent terror attacks, the Protect America Act was a law focused on the'acquisition' of desired intelligence information, of unspecified nature.

The sole requirement is geolocation outside the United States at time of Directive invocation. Implementation of Directives can take place outside the United States. No criminal or terrorism investigation of the person need be in play at time of the Directive. All that need be required is that the target be related to an official desire for intelligence information gathering for actions on part of persons involved in surveillance to be granted full immunity from U. S. criminal or civil procedures, under Section 105B of the Act. Under the bill, the director of national intelligence and the attorney general could authorize the surveillance of all communications involving persons outside the United States

Peter Brant

Peter M. Brant is an American industrialist. Brant was raised in Jamaica Estates, the son of Lily and Murray Brant. Brant's father – who emigrated from a small town near the border of Romania and Bulgaria – co-founded the paper converter Brant-Allen Industries with his cousin H. Joseph Allen, he was a childhood friend of Donald Trump. Brant attended the University of Colorado but did not graduate instead leaving to work for his father's company. Brant went to work at Brant-Allen Industries, a paper conversion company co-founded by his father, Murray Brant. In the early 1970s, Brant and a cousin, Joseph Allen — the son of Murray Brant's business partner — led the company into the manufacturing side of the business and expanded the company into paper mill ownership purchasing a mill in Rivière-du-Loup and partnering with the Washington Post and Dow Jones to purchase a mill in Ashland, Virginia. In the early 2000s, as paper demand continued to decline, Brant embarked on a buying spree purchasing a second Quebec mill in 2004 for $205 million and a third Quebec mill in 2006 for $135 million.

In 2008, he changed the name of the company to White Birch Paper Company. In 2008, he purchased SP Newsprint Co for $305 million, a newsprint manufacturer with operations in Oregon and Georgia; the purchase gave Brant control of 22% of the North American newsprint market, second to AbitibiBowater with 43%. Brant expanded SP Newsprint into paper recycling operating 23 recycling facilities through its SP Recycling unit. In a court filing around 2007, Brandt said the ailing newsprint market and the recession had slashed his net worth to less than $500 million from $1.4 billion that year. In February 2010, White Birch Paper restructured under Chapter 11 proceedings, due to excessive debt and declining demand for newsprint; the company emerged from bankruptcy in January 2012 and closed its main pulp and paper mill in Quebec City, sending home more than 600 workers. White Birch owns two other mills in Quebec and one in Ashland, Virginia. In 2012, Brant pledged a portion of his art collection as security to purchase White Birch Paper out of bankruptcy in partnership with Black Diamond Capital Management LLC for $94.5 million in cash and $78 million in debt.

Brant remains as CEO of White Birch Paper. In November 2011, SP Newsprint Co filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to excessive debt and declining demand for newsprint. SP Newsprint operates two mills in Dublin and Newberg, Oregon and 23 recycling facilities. In September 2012, SP Newsprint was purchased out of bankruptcy by SP Fiber Technologies LLC for an undisclosed amount. In May 2016, Brandt merged the magazines Art in America with its principal competitor ARTnews. Artnet News reported his company announced the ARTnews would go to a quarterly publication schedule, down from monthly; the latter had run an article asking whether the Brant Foundation was a tax scam or an art investment vehicle. In May 2017, White Birch Paper announced that it would idle paper making operations at its Bear Island newsprint mill in Ashland, Virginia; the Bear Island mill produced 240,000 metric tons of newsprint annually. Brant is the owner and chairman of Brant Publications, Inc. located in New York City, founded in 1984.

BPI publishes four magazines: Interview was founded by artist Andy Warhol and John Wilcock in late 1969. These interviews were unedited or edited in the eccentric fashion of Warhol's books and The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again. Brant Publications began publishing Interview shortly after Warhol's death in 1987; the magazine celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010. The magazine Antiques is a monthly arts publication that focuses on architecture, interior design, fine and decorative arts. Regular monthly columns include news on current exhibitions and art-world events, notes on collecting, book reviews; the magazine was founded in 1922 and underwent a complete redesign in 2009. Art in America is an illustrated monthly, international magazine concentrating on the contemporary art world, it has been published since 1913. ARTnews is an quarterly American visual-arts magazine merged with Art in America in June 2015. Modern, is a magazine devoted to design, decorative arts and architecture.

Brant's interest in art led him into film production. He was a producer of L’Amour in 1973 and Andy Warhol's Bad in 1977. Brant was an executive producer of the award-winning films Pollock. Brant was co-producer of the Peabody- and Emmy-award-winning PBS documentary, Andy Warhol: A Documentary. Brant is a producer of The Homesman, an 1850s period Western and official selection for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep. Brant bought his first pieces of art after turning an $8,000 investment into several hundred thousand dollars as a young man, his first purchases according to The New York Times, included "a couple of Warhols and a major Franz Kline.” In 1976, Brant commissioned Andy Warhol to paint Ginger. Warhol made two paintings of Ginger, as well as drawings. Brant's collection is on display to the public at the two locations of the The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, in Greenwich and the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Brant is a member of the Advisory Council of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles named Brant to its Board of Trustees in December 2009. Brant was a member of the partnership who owned Classic winner Swale, who won both the 1984 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes and was ch