The newest cover story in The Economist deplores the situation of cities in developed countries that are left behind in terms of economic development by the digitized, globalized economy. One such is Scranton, Pennsylvania, where, since 2007, the local government has spent over $6bn on corporate subsidies in an effort to encourage redevelopment and boost local infrastructure. Such places and their disengaged, disgruntled workers are also fueling the rise in anti-globalization rhetoric which has propelled several new faces into the political arena in the US, France, and Britain, and produced unexpected election results. The Economist suggests three new avenues for reviving these economically laggard cities, all of which involve heavy-handed government policies: (1) spreading know-how to better help local firms, (2) help colleges train local firms in mastering new technologies, and (3) using tax incentives and subsidies to encourage local investment. But the premise on which these suggestions are based is entirely flawed: it is not sweeping globalization that has kept these cities behind, but government policies.
In yet another shocking example of the violent rhetoric coming from the hard-left, a socialist student group at Iowa State University has used their social media account to threaten to murder conservatives. The threats have come in a series of Tweets that have left many horrified over the calls for violence. Amazingly, the school itself has claimed that calling for murder is ‘protected free speech.’ In one recent Tweet the group, Young Democratic Socialists of America, (YDSA) publicly calls for exterminating what amounts to tens of millions of Americans. ‘The left has done a good job radicalizing juggalos, weebs, furries, but I will not rest until ‘hXc’ stands for hang+Xterminate capitalists,’ the school administration backed group declared before eventually deleting the Tweet. As Campus Reform noted, after the students brought the tweet to the attention of the university, they were told that this ‘falls under free speech’ while being offered ‘resources’ if the student felt threatened by a literal call for extermination. That’s right, school officials are defending this groups right to call for us to be murdered. Can you imagine if the roles were reversed?!
A Texan substitute elementary school teacher got booted from a classroom after she duct taped at least 10 students’ mouths, according to a Thursday statement. The unnamed substitute teacher had taught at Maxdale Elementary School in Killeen, Texas, reported CBS News. The 10 students whose mouths she duct taped, as well as three other students who had reportedly duct taped their own mouths, received attention from the school nurse but were deemed uninjured.
A socialist student group at Iowa State University has repeatedly made threatening comments about conservatives on social media, but the school says the comments are protected speech. In one recent tweet, the school’s Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) chapter called for the hanging and extermination of all ‘capitalists.’ ‘The left has done a good job radicalizing juggalos, weebs, furries, but I will not rest until ‘hXc’ stands for hang+Xterminate capitalists,’ the group wrote in an October 4 tweet that has since been deleted. After students brought the tweet to attention of the university, it replied via twitter by stating ‘this falls under free speech’ and then offering available ‘resources’ to student if they ‘feel threatened or harassed.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 20, 2017.
In yet another stunning example of the left openly floating the idea of using the government to stifle free speech on the internet, the former Democratic chair of the FEC has written a piece that essentially calls for the regulation of ALL political content on the internet while threatening the American people with lawsuits if they fail to comply. Ann Ravel, who led the FEC under the Obama Administration and now is a lecturer at Berkeley, co-authored the piece with Abby K. Wood, a professor at the University of California, and a student at USC Gould School of Law, Irina Dykhne. The shocking proposal by the trio uses the purposefully undefined term, ‘disinformation’ as the reasoning behind what would be an unprecedented crackdown on free speech by both the government and media platforms across the web. In the proposal, government regulators would target Americans who shared stories that were deemed ‘fake news’, even going as far as to threaten them with libels suits if they shared the ‘disputed’ content after a warning from the ‘acceptable speech overseers. The entire proposal is a must read but some of the more shocking segments include: (take note that this is indeed a direct threat to sue Americans who share content the establishment has labeled disinformation)
A meeting of the College Republicans at the University of California, Santa Cruz was taken over and subsequently shut down by hard-left students who literally screamed that the groups very existence was a threat to their safety. The leftist group initially organized the effort to derail the free speech of Republicans on campus in a Facebook post that openly called for shutting down the groups ‘right of assembly’ while also labeling mainline conservatives as white supremacists and fascists. ‘White Supremacist, fascist-sympathizing College Republicans are having a meeting at McHenry library, room 0332. Everybody be aware of this violent racist activity happening everyday on this campus!’ wrote a student. ‘We need a movement of people on this campus that rejects the ‘right of assembly,’ or ‘right of free speech’ for white supremacists and fascists.’
This post was published at shtfplan on October 19th, 2017.
In one of the most reckless and chilling attacks on free speech, the former chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Berkeley lecturer Ann Ravel is pushing for a federal crackdown on ‘disinformation’ on the Internet – a term that she conspicuously fails to concretely define. Ravel is pushing a proposal that she laid out in a a paper co-author with Abby K. Wood, an associate professor at the University of Southern California, and Irina Dykhne, a student at USC Gould School of Law. To combat ‘fake news,’ Ravel and her co-authors would undermine the use of the Internet as a forum for free speech. The regulation would include the targeting of people who share stories deemed fake or disinformation by government regulators. The irony is that such figures are decrying Russian interference with our system and responding by curtailing free speech – something Vladimir Putin would certainly applaud.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.
The vanishing of insects around the globe is causing scientists to issue and ‘ecological armageddon’ warning. The abundance of insects has plunged by three quarters and scientists feel now is the time to sound the alarm. Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say. According to The Guardian, insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife. It was known that some species, such as butterflies, were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is ‘on course for ecological Armageddon’, with profound impacts on human society. ‘The fact that the number of flying insects is decreasing at such a high rate in such a large area is an alarming discovery,’ said Hans de Kroon, at Radboud University in the Netherlands and who led the new research which discovered the plummeting insect population. The research, published in the journal Plos One, is based on the work of dozens of amateur entomologists across Germany who began using strictly standardized ways of collecting insects in 1989.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 19th, 2017.
The future of burrito delivery has arrived in Australia. Google drones will soon be able to drop burritos into the yards of customers in the land down under. The plan for Google affiliate Project Wing, which on Tuesday announced new tests of its drone delivery service with two Australian businesses, a Mexican taqueria chain, and a drugstore company, is to drop piping hot burritos into people’s yards. Last year, Wing launched a pilot program with the University of Virginia thanks to a Federal Aviation Authority-approved partnership with Chipotle. According to The Verge, Wing’s drones will be delivering third-party products in Australia to individual homes. Australia is a more fertile testing ground for drone delivery technology because of its lax regulatory environment. For example, last year, Wing had to deliver to Virginia Tech students in a large open field. Strict FAA regulations, along with leadership changes, have also made it difficult for Wing to secure more partnerships in the US.
A new study done on ancient volcanic ash revealed that we may experience an eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano even sooner than previously warned. Scientists are also concerned that we will probably have much less advance warning time than we had thought before. According to National Geographic, we may have mere decades before Yellowstone erupts. If the supervolcano underneath Yellowstone national park erupts again, we could also have far less time to prepare than originally thought. After analyzing minerals in fossilized ash from the most recent mega-eruption, researchers at Arizona State University think the supervolcano last woke up after two influxes of fresh magma flowed into the reservoir below the caldera. The new paper adds to the lengthening list of surprises scientists have uncovered over the last few years as they have continued to study and closely monitor the supervolcano. A 2013 study, for instance, showed that the magma reservoir that feeds the supervolcano is about two and a half times larger than previous estimates. Scientists also think the reservoir is drained after every monster blast, so they thought it should take a long time to refill. Based on the new study, it seems the magma can rapidly refresh – making the volcano potentially explosive in the geologic blink of an eye. -National Geographic
This post was published at shtfplan on October 16th, 2017.
A drone reportedly has been used to try to lure kids off an elementary school playground in a bizarre story out of Ohio. A letter was issued to school parents by Windemere principal Megan Lee-Wilfong on Monday, warning of what may be an attempted abduction, WKYC CBS reported. The incident occurred at the Windemere Community Learning Center, a school in Akron, Ohio. ‘Three to four times, they have seen a drone up over the playground,’ principal Megan Lee-Wilfong told WJW. Lee-Wilfong states that several witnesses – kids and adults – have claimed the voice even tried to lure kids off the playground. ‘They shared with me that this drone had some type of voice capability and that it was actually communicating with the kids that were here playing, so it was talking to them,’ Principal Megan Lee-Wilfong said. ‘Even if I am not here on the evenings or on the weekends, they are still my students so I wanted to make sure they were OK.’
Nearly two years after the historic, and still mysterious “Shanghai Accord” which in early 2016 halted what at the time appeared to a global collapse in capital markets courtesy of what appears to have been unprecedented political, fiscal and monetary coordination between the developed world and China, on October 18 the world turns its attention to what is arguably the most important political event of the year, and the logical conclusion to the stabilization process which started with the Accord, when the Chinese Communist Party kicks off its 19th Party Congress, the political event that will determine the country’s leadership lineup and policy priorities for the next five years. Given the emphasis on maintaining stability in the run-up to this pivotal political transition, what the Congress will mean for China’s economy, its markets, and its place in the world is why Goldman has dedicated its latest “Top of Mind” periodical to the Congress, with editor Allison Nathan asking two experts on Chinese politics how Xi Jinping – who is already widely regarded as the most powerful leader of China since Mao Zedong – can use the reshuffle to further consolidate power. And, more importantly, what he intends to do with it: pursue economic reforms more aggressively or maintain the status quo. Specifically, five of seven seats on the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) – the senior-most CCP leadership – are expected to turn over, as is about half of the Politburo, the 25-member decision-making body that sits just below the PSC. To explore these issues, Goldman sat down with two Chinese political experts, David Shambaugh of the George Washington University and Willy Lam of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Both anticipate the Congress will cement Xi Jinping’s absolute authority over the CCP and the country. And both raise the possibility that Xi could be paving the way to stay in power beyond two terms, in a break with historical norms. However, Shambaugh and Lam view Xi as a visionary, not a reformist. They believe his overriding goal is to strengthen and perpetuate CCP rule, with no tolerance for policies that could destabilize the political order. (Lam argues, for example, that Xi is determined to avoid the political self-criticism that he believes brought down the USSR.) As such, both experts see only limited prospects for economic reform. But one possibility to watch: a potential reshuffling involving the role of premier that might signal a more aggressive reform stance.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 15, 2017.
Like the old joke goes: Those who can’t, teach. And after losing an election to the most controversial and unpopular candidate in American history, Hillary Clinton is going back to school. *** The New York Post is reporting, citing sources close to the Clinton camp, that the former Secretary of State is in talks to accept a professorship at Columbia University in Morningside Heights. ‘She’s been in discussions about a professorship, but nothing has been locked down,’ a friend of the ex-secretary of state said Thursday.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 14, 2017.
Historians are puzzled over the recent announcement from the Obama Foundation. Apparently, the foundation is taking an unprecedented approach and has chosen to only house digital copies of the former president Barack Obama’s correspondences. Although it will still be at least four years before the Obama library will open, the decision to not house any documents is creating some concern. The Obama Foundation has indicated that there will be no actual documents on hand at the Obama library in Chicago. The foundation is casting its approach as simply keeping pace with the times. But that has left historians and scholars baffled. ‘All archivists are waiting to see how this will work, because we are all struggling with how to make things available digitally,’ Peggy Glowacki, a manuscripts librarian at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune. ‘The foundation’s goal is to create, with NARA, a new model for the next generation of presidential centers that reflects the way people access information in this digital age,’ an Obama Foundation spokesperson told Fox News, referring to the National Archives and Records Administration.’The Obama Foundation will be funding through private funds the digitization of all non-classified presidential records in order to help facilitate better access to these documents to a broader audience.’
Analysts say cyber capabilities have become a key asset in North Korea’s war chest. Pyongyang’s increasingly bold attacks in the virtual space have come in tandem with the hermit nation’s rapidly progressing ballistic missile and nuclear programs and some say that it’s time this is taken very seriously. The rogue regime has used cyber attacks for a wide range of purposes including hacking adversaries like South Korea and pilfering money. North Korea’s hackers have been accused of carrying out some of the most audacious cyber attacks of the past few years, from siphoning millions of dollars to stealing state secrets. ‘North Korea’s cyber weapons are as destructive as its conventional weapons,’ Lim Jong-in, a cybersecurity professor at Korea University, told CNN. ‘Tomahawk missiles can paralyze a major country’s power grid and financial system. So do North Korea’s cyber weapons.’ Lim continued, saying: ‘Cyber experts say North Korea should be ranked among the top 5 in the world. I believe North Korea can steal anything they want through cyber espionage. No country is safe from its cyber espionage.’
This post was published at shtfplan on October 11th, 2017.
US and South Korean officials are nervously watching to see if North Korea follows through with its threats to carry out another nuclear test – or to fire a rumored long-range missile capable of accurately striking the west coast of the US into the Pacific – in celebration of the Oct. 10 anniversary of the Communist Party’s creation. Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that South Korea has developed a new weapon to hobble the North’s infrastructure should an armed conflict erupt on the peninsula. Given that it’s almost daybreak in North Korea, such a test could happen as soon as Monday night, Eastern Time. The weapon is a graphite bomb – otherwise known as a ‘blackout bomb’ – which South Korean officials say will be capable of shutting down North Korea’s entire power grid. Blackout bombs were first used by the US in Iraq in the 1990 Gulf War and work by releasing a cloud of extremely fine, chemically treated carbon filaments over electrical components. The filaments are so fine that they act like a cloud, but cause short circuits in electrical equipment. As News.com.au points out, North Korea tends to celebrate the Oct. 10 holiday with military parades and aggressive rhetoric. But this year’s festivities could include new provocative weapons tests. ‘The Kim regime usually uses these sorts of occasions to demonstrate some show of strength – in this current climate a missile test is a likely result,’ says Dr Genevieve Hohnen, lecturer in politics and international relations at Edith Cowan University.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.
Scientists have now revealed that there is a way to hack the human brain in order to experience the feeling of ‘being high’ without the use of drugs. The brain is a super complex organ, but with a few tricks, an incredible feeling of euphoria can be experienced using only the power of the mind. This experience we all participate in known as ‘reality’ is actually just a trick that our brains play on us by carefully filtering the sensory information that the world presents to us in order to generate a workable perspective on things. So scientists have summarized that the parameters of our consciousness can, therefore, be modified by destabilizing these finely tuned filters, and one way to do this is by altering their electrical signals, or brainwaves to give one the feeling of ‘being high’ on drugs. Depending on what you want to feel, you’ll need to choose carefully from the menu of different brainwaves and their associated effects. Theta waves, for example, have a frequency of 4 to 8 Hz and are linked to intuition, but can also lead to excessive daydreaming when they are too high in amplitude. Heather Hargraves studies the therapeutic applications of altered states of consciousness at the University of Western Ontario, and told IFLScience that, when going into trance, ‘shamans enter into theta states, which is dreamy, intuitive, open but focused in an internal way.’ Because of this, it was previously thought that theta waves were the key to psychedelic experiences, yet this all changed when scientists began performing electroencephalography (EEG) studies on people under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. -IFLScience
This post was published at shtfplan on October 9th, 2017.
Delinda and Kyle Jensen have always been open to talking to customers about the opinions they have at their Mother Nature Vegan Cuisine food truck. But their opinions have now resulted in death threats since the comments made about the Las Vegas shooting did not go over very well. Delinda Jensen, who is 60 years old, has gotten several death threats after posting this Facebook comment: ‘Yes I am jaded. Fifty-nine meat eaters dead. How many animals will live because of this?’ She then made a comment under that same post that said: ‘I don’t give a (expletive) about carnists anymore.’ According to the Washington Post, Jensen has since deactivated her Facebook account, hidden her food truck, and canceled all of her bookings. She has also installed a security camera at her home. Her son said people have driven by their home shouting threats and obscenities, and they have had to call the police several times out of fear for their safety. Jensen said she became a vegan two years ago and started the Mother Nature Vegan Cuisine food truck with her son. She said she was trying to make the point that she believes animals are tortured and killed unnecessarily for their meat, however, now the former adjunct history professor at Marywood University said she is living in fear since her post set off an intense and immediate backlash on social media last week. Many Facebook users shared Jensen’s post, which generated hundreds of hate-filled comments and threats with very little defense of her stance.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 9th, 2017.
Reports that North Korea is planning to test an ICBM capable of reaching the US west coast opened a trapdoor under stocks this morning, suggesting that investors are taking president’s ominous warnings about ‘the calm before the storm’ seriously. But in the unlikely event that you’re not sufficiently terrified already, researchers at Johns Hopkins have sought to quantify the horrifying consequences of a North Korean nuclear strike in a new research report published by the university’s 38th Parallel project. The US carrying out any military option raises a significant risk of military escalation by the North, including the use of nuclear weapons against South Korea and Japan. According to the calculations presented below, if the ‘unthinkable’ happened, nuclear detonations over Seoul and Tokyo with North Korea’s current estimated weapon yields could result in as many as 2.1 million fatalities and 7.7 million injuries. In the report, author Michael Zagurek calculates that an all-out nuclear strike launched by North Korea against Tokyo or Seoul could kill as many as 2.1 million people and injure another 8 million. Combined, the number of dead and injured would equal 10% of the South Korean population – affirming that a nuclear strike by the North would be – by a considerable margin – the single deadliest attack in human history. By comparison, the US killed a combined 120,000 Japanese civilians when dropped nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 6, 2017.
A group of hard-left agitators affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement disrupted a free speech event put on by the American Civil Liberties Union at the College of William & Mary, rushing the stage and preventing the guest from even speaking while chanting Antifa like slogans about how bad the country is and the need to shut down free speech once and for all. The ACLU’s Claire Gastaaga was at the college to speak on the subject of ‘Students and the First Amendment’ but shortly after taking the stage she was overrun with BLM protesters who made it clear they were there to do one thing – shut down free speech completely. As Reason Magazine reported, the disruption was livestreamed and documented a variety of different shocking statements made by the group that paint a clear picture of who the people on the hard-left really are as well as what they seem to be willing to do to achieve their goals. The agitators began to chant ‘ACLU, you protect Hitler too,’ in apparent reference to the ACLU’s continued stance on protecting all Americans right to free speech, including idiot white supremacists. ‘Shame, shame, shame,’ they continued before then making a series of chants that should shock any decent American who supports our system of government. In what could easily be interpreted as meaning that the protesters were willing to break other Americans Constitutional rights as long as it achieved their own goals, the group shouted, ‘the revolution will not uphold the Constitution.’
This post was published at shtfplan on October 6th, 2017.