Two liberal professors from San Diego State University are now claiming that the existence of farmers markets in urban areas, outside the control of corporations, is racist and normalizes the eating habits of white people. Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J Bosco made the insane claims in a chapter of a new anthology released this month that ‘researches’ the correlation between how white a specific farmers market supposedly is and the gentrification in said area. As Campus Reform notes, ‘The anthology, which features contributions from a variety of professors, aims to highlight the harms of ‘environmental gentrification,’ a process in which ‘environmental improvements lead to…the displacement of long-term residents.’ The Washington Times also reported on this hardcore liberal insanity:
This post was published at shtfplan on December 28th, 2017.
The internet may be an international system of interconnecting networks sharing a rough global consensus about the technical details of communicating through them – but each country manages its own internet environment independently. As the US debate about the role of government in overseeing and regulating the internet continues, it’s worth looking at how other countries handle the issue. Our research and advocacy on internet regulation in the US and other countries offers us a unique historical and global perspective on the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 decision to deregulate the internet in the US The principle of an open internet, often called ‘net neutrality,’ is one of consumer protection. It is based on the idea that everyone – users and content providers alike – should be able to freely spread their own views, and consumers can choose what services to use and what content to consume. Network neutrality ensures that no one – not the government, nor corporations – is allowed to censor speech or interfere with content, services or applications. As the US continues to debate whether to embrace internet freedom, the world is doing so already, with many countries imposing even stronger rules than the ones the FCC did away with.
Authored by Nafeez Ahmed and Andrew Markell via CounterPunch.org, When a system enters into the final stage of its deterioration – whether that is an institutional system, a state, an empire, or the human body – all the important information flows that support coherent communication breakdown. In this final stage, if this situation is not corrected the system will collapse and die. It has become obvious to nearly everyone that we have reached this stage on the planet and in our democratic institutions. We see how the absolute dysfunction of the global information architecture? – ?represented in the intersection of mainstream media outlets, social technology platforms and giant digital aggregators? – ?is generating widespread apathy, despair, insanity and madness at a scale that is terrifying. And we are right to be terrified, because this situation is paralyzing us from taking the action required to solve global and local challenges. While liberals fight conservatives and conservatives fight liberals we lose precious time. While progressives fight government, the corporations and the super-rich we drown in despair. While philanthropists, fueled by their own certainty and wealth, fight for justice or equality or for some poor hamlet in Africa we become apathetic and distracted from the real source of the problem. And while the president fights everyone and everyone fights the president, the collective goes mad.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.
Submitted by iBankCoin.com Former Clinton campaign manager John Podesta jumped down the throat of feminist and Political Science major Nicole Kiprilov in front of 300 people at Duke University Wednesday, after the undergrad asked Podesta questions about how he responds to various controversies including ‘Pizzagate,’ Uranium One, The Podesta Group, and Joule Unlimited – a now-defunct Boston green energy company Podesta sat on the board of along with to two Russian officials, which received $35 million from the Kremlin while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Via the Duke Chronicle: ‘When junior Nicole Kiprilov asked him how he was dealing with accusations of being involved with the now-debunked ‘Pizzagate’ scandal, that he owned 75,000 ‘undisclosed’ shares of stock from a company with Russian Kremlin ties and Uranium One being a client of the Podesta Group – among other allegations – he didn’t hold back. ‘This is how the alt-right does fake news,’ Podesta said. ‘It’s personally painful because a lot of this is really total bullsh*t. My family and I have been put through this Pizzagate bullsh*t now for a year – which has totally been debunked, by the way.’ Kiprilov didn’t have a chance to ask a followup question such as what playing dominoes on cheese vs. pasta means, before the 68 year-old Podesta launched into a defense of his involvement with failed green energy company Joule Unlimited – which he owned 75,000 shares that were reportedly transferred to his daughter via a shell corporation before joining Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.
The Surveillance State has created an apparatus whose implications are staggering. It’s a different world now. And sometimes it takes a writer of fiction to flesh out the larger landscape. Brad Thor’s novel, Black List, posits the existence of a monster corporation, ATS, which stands alongside the NSA in collecting information on every move we make. ATS’ intelligence-gathering capability is unmatched anywhere in the world. On pages 117-118 of Black List, Thor makes a stunning inference that, on reflection, is as obvious as the fingers on your hand: ‘For years ATS had been using its technological superiority to conduct massive insider trading. Since the early 1980s, the company had spied on anyone and everyone in the financial world. They listened in on phone calls, intercepted faxes, and evolved right along with the technology, hacking internal computer networks and e-mail accounts. They created mountains of ‘black dollars’ for themselves, which they washed through various programs they were running under secret contract, far from the prying eyes of financial regulators.
Retired National Security Agency (NSA) chief technology officer William Binney is being branded as a “conspiracy theorist” by corporate media outlets, most notably, the Comcast-owned National Broadcasting Corporation, for co-authoring a controversial memo issued this past summer by a group of former intelligence officers – Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. *** The memo opined that the leak of Democratic National Committee e-mails during the 2016 presidential campaign were not the result of Russian state-sponsored hacking but the result of an inside job by a DNC staffer who loaded the purloined e-mails onto a thumb drive. That view is contrary to an assessment made in a 2017 intelligence assessment by 17 US intelligence agencies. That assessment claimed that Russian government-sponsored hackers broke into the email servers of the DNC and then provided the emails to WikiLeaks. However, the assessment was not the unanimous view of 17 US intelligence agencies, but merely four – the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was provided a chapeau of legitimacy by the Director of National Intelligence. Contrary to news reports, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and intelligence elements of the military services did not provide input to the assessment.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 28, 2017.
At least 45 teachers have quit their jobs in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania due to constant attacks by violent students, including first graders. From The Daily Mail: The Harrisburg Education Association (HEA) said that at least 45 teachers resigned between July and October, and more have followed since. Those who remain are now demanding more help from administrators. ‘I have been kicked, punched, hit, scratched. I’ve had a student physically restraining me in front of my other students,’ first-grade teacher Amanda Shaeffer told board members, according to Penn Live.
Judicial Watch has just dumped a new treasure trove of FBI emails regarding Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s conflict check relative to the Clinton email investigation (for those who missed it, we reviewed all of McCabe’s many scandals here: “FBI Director McCabe Subject Of Three Separate Federal Inquiries Into Alleged Misconduct: Report“). Ironically, this particular FOIA request was filed in October 2016 under the Obama administration but they apparently just “didn’t have time” to get to it. Judicial Watch today released 79 pages of Justice Department documents concerning ethics issues related to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s involvement with his wife’s political campaign. The documents include an email showing Mrs. McCabe was recruited for a Virginia state senate race in February 2015 by then-Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s office. The news that Clinton used a private email server broke five days later, on March 2, 2015. Five days after that, former Clinton Foundation board member and Democrat party fundraiser, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, met with the McCabes. She announced her candidacy on March 12. Soon afterward, Clinton/McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40% of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her campaign. Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a July 24, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to an October 24, 2016, FOIA request Among other things, the new FOIA dump reveals a panicked FBI’s efforts to enlist the support of an army of lawyers and public relations personnel to deal with the original Wall Street Journal article (see: “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife“) that first revealed McCabe’s ties to the Clintons and his simultaneous oversight of the Clinton email investigation.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.
The mainstream media is a fickle beast beholden to the direction of the prevailing political winds. Unfortunately for Facebook, Google and Twitter, those winds have turned about face in recent weeks as the political establishment thrashes about in its misguided efforts to prove that – aided by social media – Russia changed the course of the 2016 presidential election. While Facebook’s share price has suffered very little so far, the mainstream media is going to work on the reputations of Facebook and its billionaire founder. For example, according to Vanity Fair last month. “…the tech giant is broadly focused on repairing its reputation following revelations that its platform was weaponized by Russia in the 2016 election.” ‘Weaponized’ seemed a very strong word to use. With the social media platform deemed ‘fair game’ in the mainstream media, the Financial Times has lined up Mark Zuckerberg in its crosshairs. The FT journalist who penned the piece on Zuckerberg, Edward Luce, is cut from establishment cloth…and then some. Luce is the son of Richard Luce, now Baron Luce, the former MP, former Lord Chamberlain to the Queen and Knight of the Garter. Edward Luce read PPE at Oxford, took a sabbatical as a speech writer for Larry Summers and is the FT’s chief US commentator. We are no fans of Zuckerberg and sympathise with some of it, but we recognise a hatchet job when we see it. In the article, Luce accuses Zuckerberg of… Self-evident observation, or ‘stating the bleeding obvious’, to use the English vernacular:
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.
There is a positive and negative version of the ‘total manipulation’ paradigm. On the negative side, secret societies and giant corporations and bankers dominate world events to such a degree, resistance is futile. Nothing can be done. And since nothing can be done, individual freedom is useless. On the positive side (if you can call it that), the universe, or superior space aliens, or some other Entity is working out a plan that is destined to succeed and usher in an era of joy and glory – in which case, one only need wait until the moment arrives. In this case as well, individual freedom is beside the point. In both versions of this paradigm, passivity is the actual outcome. A person operating under its banner is advocating a massive excuse for his own inaction. That’s what he’s after. That’s his Holy Grail. Arriving at a vacuum and rationalizing it. I have seen this play out on many fronts. The wisdom of waiting. The wisdom of spectatorship. The wisdom of having ‘superior intelligence.’ The wisdom of ‘submitting to a greater force.’ The wisdom of surrender.
The Crown Prince is trying to strengthen his domestic standing after his unprecedented power play over the weekend, and his bellicose threats might be more about showing off his anti-Iranian/-Shiite ‘credentials’ and mimicking Trump’s ‘Mad Man’ policy than preparing for an imminent war. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman executed an anti-oligarchic and Bolshevik ‘deep state’ coup over the weekend in preemptively thwarting a pro-US royalist plot designed to reverse the far-reaching socio-economic and religious reforms initiated under his ambitious Vision 2030 project, as well as to undermine his country’s newfound Great Power partnerships with Russia and China. In the days since, however, the Kingdom’s de-facto leader has instilled fear all throughout the region after declaring that the recent Houthi missile strike on Riyadh might be an ‘act of war’ by his hated archrivals in Tehran. In response, Saudi Arabia vowed to tighten its blockade against Yemen, thereby risking an exacerbation of the already terrible humanitarian crisis there in a de-facto blackmail bid to force the Houthis to agree to unconditional talks with the reinstalled ‘government’ in Aden on Riyadh’s terms. Lastly, the third example of bellicosity spewed by Mohammed Bin Salman across the region was against Lebanon, which his government said ‘declared war’ on Saudi Arabia because of its incorporation of Hezbollah into the country’s political fabric. All of these statements have rightly given rise to profound concern about the Mideast’s stability, and some observers have questioned whether Mohammed Bin Salman might simply be going crazy and trying to spark a regional war as a last-ditch attempt to stave off a coup. While nothing of the sort can ever be discounted in Mideast affairs, that’s probably not the most accurate interpretation of events.
On March 11, 2016, the National Archives released a trove of documents related to the work of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) and their investigation of the causes of the 2007-2010 financial crisis. As a result of reviewing those documents, Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a September 15, 2016 letter to the Inspector General of the Justice Department and to then FBI Director James Comey seeking to find out why the Justice Department had not prosecuted any of the individuals or corporations that were referred to it by the FCIC. Senator Warren indicated in her letter to James Comey that her staff had ‘identified 11 separate FCIC referrals of individuals or corporations to DOJ in cases where the FCIC found ‘serious indications of violation[s]’ of federal securities or other laws consistent with this statutory mandate. Nine specific individuals were implicated in these referrals – yet not one of these nine has gone to prison or been prosecuted for a criminal offense.’ Warren asked Comey to ‘promptly facilitate the release of any and all materials related to the FBI’s investigations and prosecutorial decisions regarding these referrals.’ It’s been more than a year since Warren sent her letters to the DOJ’s Inspector General and to the FBI – and the sound of silence on this critical matter has been deafening.
In a key speech to the families of illegal immigrant crime victims, Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon exposed the real reasons that the elites in the United States support illegal immigration – cheap labor and guaranteed votes. Speaking at a conference held by the Remembrance Project which is made up of families who have lost loved ones at the hands off illegal aliens, Bannon destroyed the notion that support for illegal immigration is based on caring about the actual people who cross into the country illegally. ‘We could stay up here all weekend and do this,’ Bannon noted as he read off a list of Americans who have been killed. ‘And each of the victims stories is heart-rendering. But what gets me is what about the American victims dreams? Why are illegal aliens called DREAMers and not the victims?’ Bannon noted that the Americans killed by illegal immigrants aren’t simply a tragedy that just randomly happened but rather are a direct effect of the elites in the country supporting them.
Today, on her program, The Current, Anna Maria Tremonti introduced the broadcast of a 23-minute documentary record of the voices of 8-year-old Bana Alabed and her mother, Fatima, produced at the studios of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in New York City.
Bana Alabed has been exposed recently, in several forums, as a spectacular example of the media exploitation of children for the purpose of promoting war and conquest. (1) Bana was the poster child of the ‘Stand With Aleppo’ campaign one year ago which falsely alleged that the Syrian Arab Army was committing horrible atrocities against civilians while it liberated eastern Aleppo from the control of terrorist mercenaries. In fact, the Syrian forces were extremely professional and humane during that military operation. They opened corridors regularly for citizens to escape from the control of the terrorists in eastern Aleppo, and tens of thousands of Aleppans took advantage of these escape routes to flee to government-controlled western Aleppo. Russian military forces daily delivered tractor-trailer loads of humanitarian aid to the fleeing civilians. Rather than carpet-bomb eastern Aleppo, the Syrian armed forces liberated the city house by house and street by street. In the end, the Syrian government allowed nearly ten thousand terrorists from all sorts of groups ranging from Al Qaeda to ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood to leave Aleppo with their families and their small arms in buses it provided en route to neighbouring Idlib Province.
The most recent, and perhaps most important, network challenge to hierarchy comes with the advent of virtual currencies and payment systems like Bitcoin. Since ancient times, states have reaped considerable benefits from monopolizing or at least regulating the money created within their borders. It remains to be seen how big a challenge Bitcoin poses to the system of national fiat currencies that has evolved since the 1970s and, in particular, how big a challenge it poses to the ‘exorbitant privilege’ enjoyed by the United States as the issuer of the world’s dominant reserve (and transaction) currency. But it would be unwise to assume, as some do, that it poses no challenge at all. Clashes between hierarchies and networks are not new in history; on the contrary, there is a sense in which they are history. Indeed, the course of history can be thought of as the net result of human interactions along four axes. The first of these is time. The arrow of time can move in only one direction, even if we have become increasingly sophisticated in our conceptualization and measurement of its flight. The second isnature: Nature means in this context the material or environmental constraints over which we still have little control, notably the laws of physics, the geography and geology of the planet, its climate and weather, the incidence of disease, our own evolution as a species, our fertility, and the bell curves of our abilities as individuals in a series of normal distributions. The third is networks. Networks are the spontaneously self-organizing, horizontal structures we form, beginning with knowledge and the various ‘memes’ and representations we use to communicate it. These include the patterns of migration and miscegenation that have distributed our species and its DNA across the world’s surface; the markets through which we exchange goods and services; the clubs we form, as well as the myriad cults, movements, and crazes we periodically produce with minimal premeditation and leadership. And the fourth is hierarchies, vertical organizations characterized by centralized and top-down command, control, and communication. These begin with family-based clans and tribes, out of which or against which more complex hierarchical institutions evolved. They include, too, tightly regulated urban polities reliant on commerce or bigger, mostly monarchical, states based on agriculture; the centrally run cults often referred to as churches; the armies and bureaucracies within states; the autonomous corporations that, from the early modern period, sought to exploit economies of scope and scale by internalizing certain market transactions; academic corporations like universities; political parties; and the supersized transnational states that used to be called empires…
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Michael Krieger | Posted Tuesday Oct 31, 2017.
This is an interesting article to read; yes, it comes from someone who is well-known as Democrat, but the breadth of the charges leveled is quite breath-taking — and if anything, in my view, understates the problem. There is a widespread sense of powerlessness, both in our economic and political life. We seem no longer to control our own destinies. If we don’t like our Internet company or our cable TV, we either have no place to turn, or the alternative is no better. Monopoly corporations are the primary reason that drug prices in the United States are higher than anywhere else in the world. Whether we like it or not, a company like Equifax can gather data about us, and then blithely take insufficient cybersecurity measures, exposing half the country to the risk of identity fraud, and then charge us for but a partial restoration of the security that we had before a major breach. Some century and a quarter ago, America was, in some ways, at a similar juncture: Political and economic power seemed concentrated in a few hands, in ways that were inconsonant with our democratic ideals. We passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1890, followed in the next quarter-century by other legislation trying to ensure competition in the market place. Importantly, these laws were based on the belief that concentrations of economic power inevitably would lead to concentrations in political power.
‘If I fund you, I own you.’ ‘No you don’t.’ ‘Want to see what happens if I cut off the funding flow?’ ‘No.’ ‘I’ve made my point. Case closed.’ In ‘classical’ socialism, the government owns the means of production. It owns all business and companies and corporations. It decides what is produced, where it is distributed, who benefits, who suffers. This classical definition allows an escape hatch. ‘Look at America. How many companies are actually owned by the federal government? How many are in private hands? America isn’t even close to being a socialist nation…’ Now let’s get real. In actual practice, socialism means the central government controls increasing chunks of the economy by funding them. The government doesn’t literally have to own thousands of businesses. Government can FUND businesses. With contracts. In that case, what these companies produce is flowing from government money. ‘I don’t literally own you. But I bankroll you. If I removed that money, you would be in a great deal of trouble…’ That IS a covert form of government owning the means of production. In 2014, the US federal government budget was $3.5 trillion. What did it do with that money (besides hiding and stealing some portion of it)? It spent it. It spent it by giving out contracts to private companies and government entities. Government was so obsessed with spending it, the budget went into the red to the tune of $484 billion.
Refer to the table in this article — note how Amazon is turning nearly a negative 20% margin on goods sold not including SG&A (that is, their sales and administrative expenses, such as the buildings and their employees) but only counting the cost of goods sold and their fulfillment (shipping and warehousing) expense. I wish to note that generally cross-subsidizing is legal provided it’s not done for an unlawful purpose. For example it is legal to sell something as a “loss leader” to get people into your store in the hope that they will buy a profitable product or service (which makes enough profit to cover the cost of both), whether that other sale takes place at the same time or somewhere down the road. There’s nothing illegal about using a “teaser” product to get people to shop with you, in short. However, if the purpose of said intentional selling at a loss is to destroy competitors in your market and you have the market power to do so that’s against the law under the Sherman Act. In fact, it’s a felony. Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.
Authored by John Pilger via Counterpunch.org, On 16 October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States. Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant experience, like a stomach upset. Smears and tears. Threats and enemies. ‘They’ (voters) were brainwashed and herded against her by the odious Donald Trump in cahoots with sinister Slavs sent from the great darkness known as Russia, assisted by an Australian ‘nihilist’, Julian Assange. In The New York Times, there was a striking photograph of a female reporter consoling Clinton, having just interviewed her. The lost leader was, above all, ‘absolutely a feminist’. The thousands of women’s lives this ‘feminist’ destroyed while in government – Libya, Syria, Honduras – were of no interest. In New York magazine, Rebecca Traister wrote that Clinton was finally ‘expressing some righteous anger’. It was even hard for her to smile: ‘so hard that the muscles in her face ache’. Surely, she concluded, ‘if we allowed women’s resentments the same bearing we allow men’s grudges, America would be forced to reckon with the fact that all these angry women might just have a point’. Drivel such as this, trivialising women’s struggles, marks the media hagiographies of Hillary Clinton. Her political extremism and warmongering are of no consequence. Her problem, wrote Traister, was a ‘damaging infatuation with the email story’. The truth, in other words. The leaked emails of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, revealed a direct connection between Clinton and the foundation and funding of organised jihadism in the Middle East and Islamic State (IS). The ultimate source of most Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia, was central to her career.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 23, 2017.