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Scientists Getting Closer to “Smart Dust” Brain Implants That Communicate Via Wireless Network

Fri, 2019-06-14 02:48

By Nicholas West

Neural Dust – “Smart Dust” – previously entered mainstream discussion via the 2016 Independent article: “Tiny implant could connect humans and machines like never before.” It was implied to be a new technology that can wirelessly link a human brain to a computer via the implantation of a device the size of a grain of sand. This invention, however, is much older and was officially supported by the National Nanotechnology Initiative 2011 Strategic Plan.

In 2013, I covered how researchers at Berkeley Engineering discussed moving nanotechnology from environmental sensor applications toward human applications such as brain-computer interfaces. Their paper stated:

A network of tiny implantable sensors could function like an MRI inside the brain, recording data on nearby neurons and transmitting it back out. The smart dust particles would all contain an extremely small CMOS sensor capable of measuring electrical activity in nearby neurons. The researchers envision a piezoelectric material backing the CMOS capable of generating electrical signals from ultrasound waves. The process would also work in reverse, allowing the dust to beam data back via high-frequency sound waves. The neural dust would also be coated with polymer. (Source)

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Now scientists believe that they have crossed a new threshold toward making the concept of smart dust a reality that would offer a far wider scope than originally envisioned.  At the recent IEEE Conference, researchers from Brown University, Qualcomm and the University of California San Diego announced that they are the first to have achieved a wireless transfer of information from an implanted neural device to an external computer that interpreted the data received.

It allows bidirectional communication between the implants and an external device with an uplink rate of 10 megabits per second and a downlink rate of 1 Mb/s.

“We believe that we are the first group to realize wireless power transfer and megabits per second communications” in a neural implant, says Wing Ching (Vincent) Leung, technical director at the Qualcomm Institute Circuits Lab at UC San Diego.

Nurmikko calls the 0.25-square-millimeter implants “neurograins.” They each consist of a chip capable of harvesting RF energy; that chip powers an electrode that senses spikes of voltage from individual neurons, as well as the wireless communications. An antenna set outside of the skull provides the RF power, transmits to the implants, and receives data from them.

Source: IEEE Spectrum

Researchers believe that the introduction of thousands of “neurograins” will enable far more complex data collection and transference than a single implant.

As I’ve highlighted in previous articles on the topic, this type of communication is a two-way street — some people might feel content, for example, with sending their brain’s information out to a doctor for evaluation, but this sensor network could also transmit data back, as was admitted by MIT in their 2013 article “How Smart Dust Could Spy on Your Brain.”

That’s why Seo and co have chosen ultrasound to send and receive data. They calculate that the power required to use electromagnetic waves on the scale would generate a damaging amount of heat because of the amount of energy the body absorbs and the troubling signal-to-noise ratios at this scale.

By contrast, ultrasound is a much more efficient and should allow the transmission of at least 10 million times more power than electromagnetic waves at the same scale. (emphasis added).

This is also an area of research that continues to interest DARPA as one of the future methods of mind control.  A smart dust neural network that can communicate externally could form the basis for reading soldiers’ minds and creating thought-controlled weapons.

Back in May, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) announced that six teams will receive funding under the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program. Participants are tasked with developing technology that will provide a two-way channel for rapid and seamless communication between the human brain and machines without requiring surgery.

“Imagine someone who’s operating a drone or someone who might be analyzing a lot of data,” said Jacob Robinson, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice University, who is leading one of the teams. “There’s this latency, where if I want to communicate with my machine, I have to send a signal from my brain to move my fingers or move my mouth to make a verbal command, and this limits the speed at which I can interact with either a cyber system or physical system. So the thought is maybe we could improve that speed of interaction.”

[…]

The agency is interested in systems that can read and write to 16 independent locations in a chunk of brain the size of a pea with a lag of no more than 50 milliseconds within four years, said Robinson, who is under no illusion about the scale of the challenge.

“When you try to capture brain activity through the skull, it’s hard to know where the signals are coming from and when and where the signals are being generated,” he told Live Science. “So the big challenge is, can we push the absolute limits of our resolution, both in space and time?” -Live Science

Scientists continue to push into territories that require the strictest examination of ethical implications. However, thus far, those discussions have lagged far behind the experimentation that is taking place.

Nicholas West writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon for as little as $1 per month. Follow us on

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Categories: News for progressives

CBD for the Mind: The Many Mental Health Benefits of CBD

Fri, 2019-06-14 02:05

By Steven Maxwell

CBD. It’s currently a celebrated phenomenon in the US as more and more people are realizing the positive effects of cannabis. You can find it in many stores, and it’s perfectly legal in many states. If you have mental health issues, CBD may be the medicine you need, and it can be even better than some prescription medications. We will explain what it is and what it can do for you.

Before You Look at the Benefits

If you are suffering from severe depression, anxiety, or another mental health problem, speaking to a counselor is an important first step. Sites such as Regain.us can help treat your mental illnesses in the comfort of your own home, and offer some peace of mind you might desperately need. By learning mental health management techniques, you can grow as a person who will be able to tackle all of what life throws at you.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis has shown many mental health benefits, and CBD allows you to get the most out of them. For those who do not want to get high, no worries; CBD-related products lack THC, the compound that gets you high. This makes CBD great for all types of people.

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Yes, it’s perfectly legal in many states. The 2018 Farm Bill gave it an even bigger boost, allowing hemp products to be sold in the US. However, CBD at the federal level still remains prohibited. This is understandably causing great confusion, so please consult The Tenth Amendment Center for the latest on the legal status in your area, as well as for information on how states are moving toward nullifying federal prohibition. CBD has, in fact, become more normalized, especially with recent TSA revisions that can even allow CBD on planes in certain cases.

With that said, our police force is still so used to enforcing laws against a plant that they still love to arrest people for carrying CBD. People have been thrown in jail just for carrying legal CBD oil.  It is important to know your rights and stay up to date on this very fast-moving trend toward full legalization of CBD.

Is it Safe?

Much, much safer than most prescriptions! CBD is safe, and you can’t overdose on it. One of the biggest reasons for quick move toward the legalization of cannabis is the fact that cannabis has never directly killed anyone, while alcohol and other legal drugs have in massive numbers. While there may be a few minor, rare side effects, they aren’t anything major; diarrhea and fatigue may occur, for instance.

How to Take CBD

CBD is available in many forms. Some people vape, while others may take it in the form of a tea, gummies, or other edibles. CBD flower looks and smells like a marijuana flower, but it won’t get you high, and some people prefer to smoke it.

People will have different preferences when it comes to CBD flower. Try out a few of them and see what you can come up with.

The Many Mental Health Benefits of CBD

CBD is still being studied; the legality on the cannabis plant is still a little shaky, so we haven’t fully uncovered its benefits. Some have been proven, while others require more evidence, but there is a growing body of scientific and anecdotal evidence to suggest a wide range of health benefits. Let’s look at a few of them now.

May Help With Insomnia

One of the biggest reasons for our mental health woes is that we simply aren’t getting enough sleep. Our busy lives and our thoughts keep us up at night, and technology winds us up. There are many ways to improve your sleep regimen in order to get a better night’s rest. You can take a nice bath before bed, stop looking at your phone … and perhaps have some CBD.

Cannabis has had a history of treating insomnia. Indica strains are known for being relaxing and promoting better sleep. While CBD doesn’t have the indica high, it still can relax and calm you. To us, it’s much better than going to a doctor and being prescribed some of the Big Pharma drugs that have been known to worsen the condition and cause other even more serious issues.

A good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining or helping to repair mental health issues. This is one area of study that needs much more investigation, and as the use of CBD widens and more federal funding is permitted for scientific study, we have no doubt that many thousands if not millions of people can be helped.

May Be Good for Anxiety and Depression

If you suffer from chronic depression and anxiety, or you just have the occasional moment where you’re feeling down or anxious about something, CBD can help.

With having anxiety and depression, the last resort should be pharmaceutical drugs. They can make the problem worse for many and come with many side effects. Therapy, mindfulness, and self-discipline are some good ways for you to treat your anxiety and depression, along with CBD. The calming effects of CBD can work greatly on depression and anxiety for many people. Not only that, but its insomnia-treating powers offer the necessary balance and routine sleep patterns that can be greatly helpful.

Great for Epilepsy

If you or someone you know has epilepsy, CBD is a godsend. More and more people are have offered health testimonials that support this. It may be able to help prevent seizures, especially in children, and help with multiple sclerosis. If you or someone you know is prone to this, CBD has been proven to help in some cases.

Can Reduce Inflammation

Many people take CBD for its anti-inflammatory properties. Every part of your body can be inflamed, including your brain. Inflammation in the brain may lead to dementia and other mental health problems down the road. CBD also can help alleviate the inflammatory symptoms of migraine headaches that so many millions of people suffer from. Other conditions such as fibromyalgia might also be lessened through the use of CBD.

May Help With Addiction

Getting off drug addiction is a problem for many, especially since the advent of the opioid crisis exacerbated by Big Pharma and the over-prescription of these dangerous drugs. For some, their addictions come from these legal drugs, and can even lead to people turning to heroin or other drugs to get an even greater fix. While it’s not a magic cure-all, CBD may be able to help reduce your addiction as well as the detox symptoms that come from stopping synthetic drug use. It’s worth trying if you or someone you know is an addict and you feel like you’re all out of options. As always, consult a physician who is knowledgeable and up to date on the science as well as the laws in your area.
Conclusion

As the world continues to embrace CBD, more of its health benefits will be discovered. It’s a great medicine, and it can be beneficial for all ages. If your child is having stress, anxiety, or even seizures it can be particularly helpful for them. Speaking of children, for good tips and ideas for your entire family here are two good resources:  FamilyHype or MomJunction.

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Categories: News for progressives

Deep Fake Technology Will Soon Be So Advanced That Reality Won’t Be Distinguishable Without A.I.

Fri, 2019-06-14 01:34

By Aaron Kesel

Videos utilizing Deep Fake technology, are spreading at a rampant rate online, as social media users are finding themselves questioning whether something is real or edited by the tech.

In recent weeks, there was a Facebook scandal where the company knowingly allowed a Deep Fake video of Nancy Pelosi slurring her words to spread on the social network. Following that was a scandal on Instagram where Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg himself was suddenly proclaiming the shocking truth about Facebook being used as a spy tool against its users. However, there was just one problem — that video was too good to be true and was also a Deep Fake.

In 2017, a startup called “Lyrebird” made headlines with AI-generated replications of celebrity voices that were extremely convincing. (This appears to be one of the first real Deep Fakes that was uploaded to the Internet.)

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All over the Internet companies are popping up that specialize in Deep Fake voices and videos. Activist Post previously told readers about Lyrebird, one company that makes these fake voice recordings.

One such voice recording is a conversation between Donald Trump and Barack Obama where fake President Trump’s voice says, “They can make us say anything now.”

That’s exactly what another company did with Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump (again) and Kim Kardashian advertising some software called Spectre, Mashable reported.

The scary lifelike video, created by artists Bill Posters and Daniel Howe in partnership with advertising company Canny, shows Zuckerberg sitting at a desk, giving a sinister speech about Facebook’s power over its users. The video is framed with a fake CBS broadcast with the banner, “We’re increasing transparency on ads,” to make it look like it’s part of a news segment.

“Imagine this for a second. One man, with total control of millions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures. I owe it all to Spectre. Spectre showed me that whoever controls the data, controls the future,” the fake Zuckerberg appears to say in the video.

The Mind Unleashed previously reported that Joe Rogan was the first celebrity target for AI developers wanting to show off how far this technology has come in just two years since 2017. “A video released last month features Rogan talking about training a hockey team made up of intelligent chimps, among other equally ridiculous and amusing rants,” John Vibes wrote.

“I just listened to an AI generated audio recording of me talking about chimp hockey teams and it’s terrifyingly accurate. At this point, I’ve long ago left enough content out there that they could basically have me saying anything they want, so my position is to shrug my shoulders and shake my head in awe, and just accept it. The future is gonna be really f***ing weird, kids,” Rogan said on Facebook this week.

The prospects are worrying as Deep Fake tech advances into artificial intelligence, and now LiveScience reports that researchers are using voices to reconstruct faces by utilizing a technology called Speech2Face.

Thankfully, AI doesn’t (yet) know exactly what a specific individual looks like based on their voice alone. The neural network recognized certain markers in a speech that pointed to non-identifying factors such as gender, age and ethnicity — features that are shared by many people, the study authors noted — expressing the results of the experiments were a “mixed performance.”

“As such, the model will only produce average-looking faces,” the scientists wrote. “It will not produce images of specific individuals.”

With such technology as Face2Face, can we even trust what we see anymore being “live”? Like Benjamin Franklin said, “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.” Hell, you shouldn’t even believe that’s a quote from him, but whoever said it is right with this technology; and if it’s all combined, no one will be able to tell the difference between what’s real and fake. A German team wrote that the Face2Face program in the wrong hands would allow anyone to change the mouth and words of a person speaking in a video even if it’s live. In their clip Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos, they demonstrate how this technology works on video recordings of world leaders Bush, Obama, and Putin.

Watch the video below by Truthstream Media from Melissa and Aaron Dykes for why you can’t trust anything you see on the news, even far beyond just astroturfing.

In a SecureTeam video uploaded in 2017 to YouTube titled “These People Don’t Exist” (below), you can see a slew of faces which have been fabricated with a software called pix2pix. In reality, none of these people are actually real, they are computer generated CGI. Further, if you look closely, some of the faces display choppiness, others are strange and disproportionate; however, the rest are eerily lifelike to a scary extent.

Pix2pix allows a user to sketch any object (e.g. a person, place or thing, etc.). The AI then takes that input and renders it to produce a colorful, lifelike version, complete with depth – so real that, in the case of half the examples in the video, it is highly doubtful that anyone would be able to tell the difference. With the few examples that look fake, it is only a matter of time before the AI gets good enough where it can fool anyone.

The third advancement shown in the video is Diminished Reality software that takes video footage and can actually erase objects from footage in real-time. The way it does this is by taking a frame, lowering the resolution, isolating the object, deleting it, using the surrounding pixels to fill in the gap, then bringing up the resolution again. It can do all this in real-time without you noticing. The software allows the user to circle an object he/she wants to be removed from the video, and it’s gone, then filled in with the same background that surrounds it.

So this technology is not only a danger for editing words and faces, it can also be used to edit objects … and it’s only a matter of time until it can be used to edit live news footage.

Activist Post reported in January 2019, that’s exactly what happened when one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s speeches was doctored live and rebroadcasted to millions of people, repainting him orange and showing him sticking out his tongue.

RT did a comparison of the since-deleted videos noting that, “Q13 Fox in Seattle appears to have edited its coverage of Trump’s address, turning the president’s skin color a ludicrous shade of orange. In between sentences, the station seems to have doctored the footage to show Trump sticking out his tongue and licking his lips,” RT wrote.

That employee was later fired from the station following an apology letter from the broadcaster.

“We’ve completed our investigation into this incident and determined that the actions were the result of an individual editor whose employment has been terminated,” said Q13’s news director to KTTH.

“This does not meet our editorial standards and we regret if it is seen as portraying the President in a negative light,” Q13 told KTTH and MyNorthwest.

All of this tech has its hurdles and is far from perfect yet. But the days of being able to trust photo evidence and video evidence are disappearing – and the implications for human knowledge are far-reaching.

However, as Activist Post previously reported researchers at NYU Tandon School of Engineering are turning to that same artificial intelligence to thwart artificial intelligence by using digital watermarks to verify the authenticity of photos and videos.  It’s important to note that they do not address audio production, only image, and video.

For more on tech to identify Deep Fakes watch this video by Full Measure with former CBS Sharyl Attkisson describing how we can identify them … for now at least.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.

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Categories: News for progressives

Leaked Documents From Google, Pinterest Reveal Censorship of Alternative Media

Fri, 2019-06-14 01:29

By Derrick Broze

As more and more Americans question the practices of tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, the topic of censorship on social media and in search results continues to be a hotly debated topic. Do these companies essentially act as publishers and, if so, should they be regulated as such? Should the government make efforts to break up the tech giants? These questions and more need answering as the public grapples with the reality that “Big Tech” is gaining more control over what we see, hear, and read while surfing the Internet.

Now, more fuel has been added to the fire as the controversial conservative investigative outlet Project Veritas has released leaked documents which show Pinterest blocking links of alternative media websites and search terms related to Christianity and abortion. The apparent blacklist is part of a “porn domain block list” designed to keep the social media platform free of sexually explicit content. Veritas published the internal documents and reportedly interviewed a company insider who claimed Pinterest directly and indirectly censors content related to pro-life and Christian themes, as well as alternative health sites, and several independent news websites known for challenging the U.S. government narrative on a range of topics, including the War on Terror. These sites include ZeroHedge, The Anti-Media, NewsWars (operated by Alex Jones’ Infowars), The PedoGate, Tracking Vaccinations, and Organic Healthy Tips.

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Other documents leaked to Project Veritas include a large text file titled “Sensitive Terms List” containing search terms that Pinterest considers “sensitive.” A user searching one of these “sensitive” terms will received modified search results per Pinterest internal policy. The documents note that search terms are assigned an “abusive,” “sensitive,” and “brand unsafe” value. Pinterest employees have the option to either block auto-complete results in the search bar, show the user a warning, or remove the term from recommended or trending feeds. The so-called “Sensitive Terms List” reveals that Christianity-related terms like “christian easter” and “bible verses” were marked as “brand unsafe.”

This is not the first time Pinterest made the news for censoring certain material. In February, the platform also blocked searches related to “anti-vaccination” material.

However, the company is not alone in their efforts to remove unpopular opinions and alternative media from their platforms. One day after Project Veritas’ report, the Daily Caller reported that a whistleblower within Google leaked screenshots of two apparent blacklists of websites which are being scrubbed from the search engine’s results. The Daily Caller reviewed documents and found that employees are instructed to add the line “# REMOVE url” to ensure that a “fringe” website is removed from Google’s “featured snippets” search results. The “featured snippets” feature is responsible for finishing users sentences when they type questions into Google’s search box. The document suggests that the removal of certain websites from featured snippets is being conducted manually by a human employee rather than the result of a mistake by an algorithm or artificial intelligence.

The Caller also reports that a second blacklist, called “all_fringe_domains,” is designed to block websites labeled “fringe.” Some of the websites being blocked include “the American Spectator, Breitbart, Breaking911, the website of pastor Brian Jones, the website of Bring Your Bible to School Day, Consortium News (published by Robert Parry), St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, speakerryan.com, The Franklin Society (a cryptocurrency blog), Free Thought Project, The Gateway Pundit, and The Gorka Briefing”.

The leaked documents reported on by the Daily Caller and Project Veritas raise a number of questions regarding how much control and influence the Big Tech giants have over public discourse. Even more worrisome is the fact that websites like the Free Thought Project, the Anti-Media, and ZeroHedge have been facing waves of censorship for over a year, with both the Anti-Media and the Free Thought Project being purged from Facebook in October 2018.

By Derrick Broze | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Categories: News for progressives

The Answer to the Social Media Conundrum Will Not Come From Government

Fri, 2019-06-14 01:23

By Alexandra Hudson

This week, YouTube chose to ban the channel of right-of-center comedian Steven Crowder. This situation is the same as when Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos or Facebook banned Louis Farrakhan. In other cases, YouTube is not deleting accounts but simply demonetizing them so that creators can no longer support themselves.

Large-scale platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have, however inadvertently, sowed the seeds of their own destruction and incentivized the creation and ultimate decentralization of media. On one hand, the algorithms of the biggest players favor sensational and bombastic users who play on people’s baser instincts. Yet the moment those same users test the limits of our public discourse, social media platforms are criticized for being the arbiters of what is and is not acceptable.

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However, it’s a mistake to think that the policies of technology companies will fix these problems. The problems are much deeper than that, and the solution resides in viewers and American citizens choosing to reward the producers of good content instead of the bad.

In the backdrop here, there is the undeniable coarsening of our political rhetoric — which inevitably leads to platforms like Facebook choosing to censor, or for people to begin clamoring for one legislative fix or another.

If this were a question of what government should do, I could provide the same answers as the framers of the Constitution and the liberal tradition generally: it is not for the government to decide. What we need is maximum freedom to speak in whatever form that takes. But with social media, we are dealing with a different animal: institutions that are slowly migrating themselves from open platforms to become full-scale media platforms. That requires curation.

And here the problems begin. Who is to solve them? That has to be within the realm of the stakeholders in the platform themselves. No one has a human right to access them. This is not a First Amendment issue. It is a question of management. Management is fallible. It is a process of discerning best practices to meet audience demand, and that requires careful thinking about trade-offs.

On a deeper level, it is a question for all of us to manage ourselves in a civil way that is consistent with the kind of society we want to live in.

The future of free speech depends not on laws, but on America’s commitment to civility — consciously restricting our own expression for the sake of others. Civility is a form of “private governance,” a phrase economist Edward Stringham is fond of using. As we lose both free speech and civility, we lose our democracy. Judge Learned Hand observed over 70 years ago, “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.”

America’s free speech rights are among the most protective in the world. We should take pride in them, but we must also protect them through the decisions we make every day. That our nation protects free speech means that our laws permit a wide range of expression, even when it is seditious, offensive, or false. This reflects a good and noble principle, but the practical reality is that public toleration of dangerous or offensive speech is only finite. If the public square becomes increasingly inhospitable, Americans will demand — as they already have — that the government more strictly regulate speech.

Public support for free speech depends on how we use our freedom of expression each day. Pseudonymous blogger Scott Alexander formulates the dynamic thus: “Every time we invoke free speech to justify some unpopular idea, the unpopular idea becomes a little more tolerated, and free speech becomes a little less popular.”

Free speech is unpopular, especially among young people — a problematic notion, considering the future of this constitutional principle depends on them. In one study, fewer than half of 18- to 21-year-olds agreed that people should be free to voice nonviolent opinions if those opinions are offensive to minorities. Another study of American college students showed a sharp decrease in the portion of students who think the right to freedom of speech is secure — down to 64 percent this year from 73 percent in 2016. These trends reveal the urgency of renewing our country’s commitment to freedom of speech, but also the responsibilities that come with that freedom.

Those committed to freedom of speech must recognize that, valuable as it is, the principle is not costless. But, at least historically, we have decided as a nation that the benefits of this freedom outweigh the costs of offensive and harmful speech. But in our divided and violent era, people — even classical liberals — are concluding that costs of offensive and violent speech are too great to bear.

A free society can function without strict governmental restraints only when individuals exercise self-restraint. In the context of our public discourse, civility constitutes this self-restraint. Edmund Burke, in his Thoughts and Details on Scarcity, wrote, “Statesmen … ought to know the different departments of things; what belongs to laws, and what manners alone can regulate. To these, great politicians may give a leaning, but they cannot give a law.”

America continues to tolerate more objectionable speech than other countries. We are right to do so. With freedom comes responsibility, and we must wield our freedoms wisely. For this tolerance, and the principle of free speech that underlies it, to survive, we must not depend on the nine robed oracles working at 1 First Street, Congress, or social media giants to be the arbiters.

To address this complicated problem, we must rely on innovation, diversification, decentralization, settled cultural norms, and individual discipline. Which is to say, we must rely on ourselves.

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Alexandra Hudson is a Research Fellow for the American Insitute for Economic Research. She earned her graduate degree from London School of Economics as a Rotary Scholar and is working on a book on civility.

This article was sourced from AIER.org

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Categories: News for progressives

FREE Rerun of Online EMF Health Summit Featuring 34 of World’s Leading Experts, June 14-20, 2019

Fri, 2019-06-14 01:22

By B.N. Frank

Digital, electronic, and wireless products, infrastructure, and applications continue to be invented, promoted, and installed despite decades of research that prove exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) are biologically and environmentally harmful.  The “Race for 5G” and all it entails is taking this to a whole new level of awful.  The telecom industry can’t provide scientific evidence that 5G is safe and many researchers say it’s definitely not.  Regardless “the race” to install it continues worldwide despite increased warnings and opposition.

Thanks to Lloyd Burrell of Electricsense for airing a free viewing of last year’s EMF Health Summit.

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From Lloyd:

Headaches, fatigue, depression, brain fog… sound familiar? Learn how to know in just 7 days if your symptoms are EMF related & what to do to start the healing process.  

Could cell phone radiation really cause and cancer? Regular cell phone use by adults can increase the risk of gliomas (brain tumors) by 40%. FACT. Discover simple ways to protect yourself.

Do you suffer from inflammation like 60% of Americans? Discover a simple technique that takes just 20 to 30 minutes that reduces inflammation and brings about significant pain relief… with no side effects.

Would you like to improve your sleep? Learn how to improve your sleep and reduce your nighttime exposure to EMFs by up to 90% with one simple FREE change in your bedroom.  

Would you like to reverse the aging process? It sounds to good to be true I know, but you can also learn how to reverse the aging process and put yourself in control of your life and future.  

At the EMF Health Summit I’ve gathered together 34 of the worlds leading experts on EMFs and health including medical doctors, scientists, researchers, building biologists, electrical engineers, nutritionists and electromagnetic field specialists.

These experts are passionate about dispelling the health myths and confusion around the effects of cell phone radiation, particularly 5G, dirty electricity, Wi-Fi and many other forms of EMF’s – and they’re eager to share everything they know to help you and your loved ones.

Register at: emfhealthsummit.com

Trailer:



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Categories: News for progressives

MIT Scientists Psyched About Harmful 5G and 6G Wireless, Dangerous AI and IoT Applications, and Their Laser That Remotely Beams Audio Into People’s Ears

Fri, 2019-06-14 00:33

By B.N. Frank

Why are MIT scientists so psyched about unleashing biologically and environmentally harmful technology that also creates tremendous public safety and cybersecurity risks?  Is it because exposure to wireless radiation has saturated their brains so deeply that impulse control and common sense has been severely compromised?  Because they seem to be acting like the mad scientists portrayed in every book, comic strip, movie, and TV show in their enthusiasm to make us all guinea pigs for known-to-be dangerous technology.

Activist Post reported in January about how MIT scientists created a new laser to transmit audio directly into people’s ears.  That was freaky enough.

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Now they are promoting 5G, 6G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) despite the fact that a growing number of credible experts have warned about their biological, environmental, and safety risks as well as their catastrophic and embarrassing failures (see 1, 2, 3).  In fact, even the Telecom Industry has stated they have no scientific evidence that 5G is safe.  So why are MIT scientists endorsing any or all of this?

From MIT Technology Review“Ready for 6G? How AI will shape the network of the future.”

The latest technology—the fifth generation of mobile standards, or 5G—is currently being deployed in select locations around the world. And that raises an obvious question. What factors will drive the development of the sixth generation of mobile technology? How will 6G differ from 5G, and what kinds of interactions and activity will it allow that won’t be possible with 5G?

[…]

5G base stations, for example, are designed to handle up to a million connections, versus the 4,000 that 4G base stations can cope with. That should make a difference to communication at major gatherings such as sporting events, demonstrations, and so on, and it could enable all kinds of applications for the internet of things.

Then there is latency—the time it takes for signals to travel across the network. 5G is designed to have a latency of just a single millisecond, compared with 50 milliseconds or more on 4G. Any gamer will tell you how important that is, because it makes the remote control of gaming characters more responsive. But various telecoms operators have demonstrated how the same advantage makes it possible to control drones more accurately, and even to perform telesurgery using a mobile connection.

So how can 6G better that? 6G will, of course, offer even faster download speeds—the current thinking is that they could approach 1 terabit per second.

But what kind of transformative improvements could it offer? The answer, according to Stoica and Abreu, is that it will enable rapidly changing collaborations on vast scales between intelligent agents solving intricate challenges on the fly and negotiating solutions to complex problems.

Take the problem of coordinating self-driving vehicles through a major city. That’s a significant challenge, given that some 2.7 million vehicles enter a city like New York every day.

The self-driving vehicles of the future will need to be aware of their location, their environment and how it is changing, and other road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, and other self-driving vehicles. They will need to negotiate passage through junctions and optimize their route in a way that minimizes journey times.

Of course, this is just one example of the kind of collaboration that 6G will make possible.  Stoica and Abreu envision a wide range of other distributed challenges that become tractable with this kind of approach.

These will be based on the real-time generation and collaborative processing of large amounts of data. One obvious application is in network optimization, but others include financial-market monitoring and planning, health-care optimization, and “nowcasting”—that is, the ability to predict and react to events as they happen—on a previously unimaginable scale.

Artificially intelligent agents are clearly destined to play an important role in our future. “To harness the true power of such agents, collaborative AI is the key,” say Stoica and Abreu. “And by nature of the mobile society of the 21st century, it is clear that this collaboration can only be achieved via wireless communications.”

That’s an interesting vision of the future. There is much negotiating and horse-trading to be done before a set of 6G standards can even be outlined, let alone finalized. But if Stoica and Abreu are correct, artificial intelligence will be the driving force that shapes the communications networks of the future.

For more information on tech craziness, visit Activist Post archives and the following websites:

Image credit: Pixabay

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Categories: News for progressives

Kudos To Louisiana State Rep. Abramson For Introducing House Resolution 145 “to study the environmental and health effects of evolving 5G technology and report its findings”

Fri, 2019-06-14 00:02

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Well, well, well!  It’s happening:  The push to learn the hazards threatening human health and the environment from 5G cellular network technology by State Representative, Neil C. Abramson. Democrat, District 98 (Orleans Parish, New Orleans).

How lucky are those living in that state to have a legislator who “gets it” regarding the fact no health or environmental hazards/adverse effects from INDEPENDENT SCIENCE STUDIES have been performed regarding fifth generation microwave technology (5G) currently being forced dogmatically—similar to mandatory vaccines enforcement—on to consumers, who have absolutely no idea what is about to befall them, their children, pets, an over-stressed environment including tech’s anti-natural workings compromising “Mother Nature,” i.e., weather geoengineering.  Can/will 5G interfere with numerous high technologies, e.g., HAARP and spy satellites?

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How will 5G beaming down from satellites ‘perched’ above Earth; transmitting from poles outside bedroom windows or small cell towers erected anywhere, including your back yard which you cannot protest nor remove, affect your ability to perform cognitively, all while malfunctioning, or suffering, from “electrosmog” at its super-charged RF energy transmissions?

As with previous generations, 5G is dependent on spectrum in many different bands. The three 5G ranges are: Sub-1 GHz, 1-6 GHz and above 6 GHz. The 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands fall in the latter group.

Source: https://www.gsma.com/spectrum/resources/26-ghz-28-ghz/

[Note: One GHz is one billion Hz oscillations of RF microwave energy per second!]

However, the actual 5G communication range is being offered in the millimeter wave length, i.e., 5G Ultra Wideband 24 GHz and above.

Since 5G is a “given and known weaponized military microwave genre,” not just a communications technology, shouldn’t the public have access to the military’s research?  Why did the military choose to ‘share’ 5G with microwave industry corporations?  Is there more to it than just “business as usual,” e.g., complete control and surveillance, all while promoting 5G as “better and much faster tech”?

Louisianans certainly want to know “what 5G communication RFs do,” so they are asking for research and facts, something every state also should be engaged in soliciting.  Below is the Louisiana House Resolution in the current 2019 Regular Session.

I offer the Louisiana Resolution verbatim so consumers can/will request the same of their respective state legislators, plus the Federal Communications Commission via phone 1 (888) 225-5322 or via email at https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact.

2019 Regular Session
HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 145
BY REPRESENTATIVE ABRAMSON
A RESOLUTION

To urge and request the Department of Environmental Quality in conjunction with the Louisiana [insert YOUR state’s] Department of Health to study the environmental and health effects of evolving fifth generation cellular network technology (5G) and report its findings to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment and the House Committee on Health and Welfare no later than sixty days prior to the convening of the 2020 Regular Session of the Legislature.

WHEREAS, 5G technology is intended to greatly increase device capability and connectivity but also may pose risks to the environment due to increased radio-frequency radiation exposure; and

WHEREAS, a study is necessary to examine the advantages and risks associated with 5G technology, with a focus on the environmental impact and potential related effects; and 

WHEREAS, peer-reviewed studies on this topic show the potential for wide-range effects; and 

WHEREAS, 5G technology requires small cellular towers to be placed a short distance apart, closer than existing towers, at telephone pole height, and will operate in conjunction with the 3G and 4G technology infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, the insurance industry may have placed exclusions in policies to exempt damage caused by this technology; and

WHEREAS, certain manufacturers provide warnings to consumers regarding the reception of devices using this technology; and 

WHEREAS, input is needed from the technological and other communities as well as persons involved with developing 5G technology.

HR NO. 145 ENROLLED

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the Legislature of Louisiana [insert YOUR state] does hereby urge and request the Department of Environmental Quality in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health to study the environmental and health effects of evolving 5G technology and report its findings to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment and the House Committee on Health and Welfare no later than sixty days prior to the convening of the 2020 Regular Session of the Legislature.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality and the secretary of the Louisiana [insert YOUR state’s] Department of Health. 

If readers doubt there can be adverse health effects from constant 24/7/365 5G, which you can’t hide nor get away from, then please consider the ELF and RF Radiation Health Risks in the chart below.

Source: https://www.nuclearweatherforecast.com/directed-energy-weapons-DEW-5G-EMP-HAARP.html

Just because ‘science’ can provide 5G tech, doesn’t mean corporations have to force it upon us without appropriate human and environmental risk assessments to prove it factually is safe, rather than depend upon consensus science dogma.

Shouldn’t consumers be demanding risk assessment studies from CDC, FDA, EPA and other alphabet agencies, especially the FCC?

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice, plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer health ​issues researcher ​and holistic health advocate since the late 1970s; she continues researching and writing in retirement. Her career in holistic healthcare began in the early 1970s when she had to save, and restructure, her life resulting from having “fallen through the allopathic medical paradigm cracks.”

Catherine has written numerous books. The following can be purchased on Amazon books:

Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities (2016)
Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines (2013)
A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments (2012)
Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009)
Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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Categories: News for progressives

How Can U.S. Politics Ever Get Past “RussiaGate”?

Thu, 2019-06-13 23:47

By Catherine J. Frompovich

The truth of the matter is the Democrats didn’t get what they want!

Where did the Clinton campaign and FBI, who were on parallel tracks, MERGE?

Even though I am not a Trump supporter, specifically since he’s not draining the swamp, but adding more polluted politics to it, i.e., signing a Presidential Executive Order to ‘mainstream GMOs’,  I do, however, believe in a “level playing field” and “transparency”.

The “RussiaGate” fiasco is emblematic of both having gone off the rails and into a deep abyss of lies.  Now that the Mueller Report is written and being bandied about by Democrats for ostensible reasons to impeach President Trump, I think it is only ethical journalism to bring to readers’ attention the documented facts, which the mainstream, lamestream U.S. media are not reporting, but need to be made public.

In retrospect, I cannot give the issues of level playing fields and transparency more credibility than what the three videos below discuss: Truth and Consequences!

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Devin Nunes Opening Statement on the Russia Hoax
5:14 minutes


https://youtu.be/ELBRVvjzlf8?t=30

Tom Fitton: Obama State Department Was “All Hands On Deck” For
Targeting Trump With Steele Dossier

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton on Christopher Steele, etc.
“…new emails exposing Christopher Steele’s State Department contacts.”
“It goes back a number of years.”  “There was more than one dossier.” … Tom Fitton
5:40 minutes


https://youtu.be/LrazRXyW_2s?t=8

Deep State Abuse of Power
DOJ seeks to question CIA officers in Russia probe review
7:33 minutes


https://youtu.be/fpbWXgKsFRs?t=15

Most of the time, we see only what we want to see, or what others tell us to see, instead of really investigate to see what is really there. We embrace illusions only because we are presented with the illusion that they are embraced by the majority. When in truth, they only become popular because they are pounded at us by the media with such an intensity and high level of repetition that its mere force disguises lies and truths. And like obedient schoolchildren, we do not question their validity and swallow everything up like medicine. Why? Because since the earliest days of our youth, we have been conditioned to accept that the direction of the herd, and authority anywhere — is always right.
― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Source: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/dirty-politics

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice, plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer health ​issues researcher ​and holistic health advocate since the late 1970s; she continues researching and writing in retirement. Her career in holistic healthcare began in the early 1970s when she had to save, and restructure, her life resulting from having “fallen through the allopathic medical paradigm cracks.”

Catherine has written numerous books. The following can be purchased on Amazon books:

Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities (2016)
Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines (2013)
A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments (2012)
Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009)
Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on Minds, Twitter, Steemit, and SoMee.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.

Image credit: ZeroHedge

Categories: News for progressives

Police To Use Automatic Facial Recognition Sunglasses To Watchlist People

Thu, 2019-06-13 22:31

By MassPrivateI

Sometimes I have trouble coming up with a title for one of my articles, but this one came easy because the two companies involved in this article helped create it.

A New York-based company called Vuzix along with a UAE software company called NNTC worked together to produce the world’s first automatic facial recognition sunglasses for law enforcement.

Not only did they create the world’s first automatic facial recognition sunglasses but they purposely made them to resemble Oakley sunglasses. Which makes it harder for people to tell if they are being spied on.

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The above video warns that police will have access to a database of at least one million faces.

According to NNTC, they created the iFalcon Face Control Mobile sunglasses specifically for law enforcement.

The bodycam or smart glasses screen the crowd to match faces against a database of violators, missing people or suspects. Once there is a match, the solution retrieves relevant information from the database and instantly sends an alert via AR smart glasses. (Click here to see iFalcon’s infographic)

How will police really use iFalcon sunglasses you ask? To watchlist or white list people of course.

The iFalcon Face Control Mobile brings face recognition capabilities anywhere, even without the network of CCTV cameras covering every inch of the city. It proves particularly effective in:

  • Detects people at public events, sports facilities and in other crowded areas: violators, ‘watchlisted’ individuals and missing people
  • Public surveillance in transportation stations, airports, subway and other transport facilities
  • Monitoring immigrants and identification of violators and imposters at border customs control
  • Verification of identity according to ‘white list’
  • Preventing terrorism, espionage and unauthorized access to sensitive areas

Back to how I created my title; a company purposefully creates spying sunglasses to help law enforcement watchlist individuals. It does not get anymore disturbing than that or does it?

CEO explains U.S. military connections to iFalcon glasses



If you can get through the crappy music and Erica Blackwell fawning over CEO Paul Travers, the first two minutes of the above video spells out his connections to the U.S. military and how he purposely designed their new iFalcon Face Control sunglasses to be indistinguishable from Oakley sunglasses.

A recent Vuzix press release also does a great job of explaining how police will use their new iFalcon Face Control sunglasses.

Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses, which are nearly indistinguishable from everyday sunglasses, utilize the built-in camera on the glasses to detect faces and then transmits the information to a wearable portable computer over a wireless channel. The portable computer processes face images and compares them with faces from the database stored locally to find the match. Once there is a match, the solution retrieves relevant information from the database and instantly sends an alert to the wearer via the Vuzix Blade AR Smart Glasses.

A pro-industry website called DealerScope claims that iFalcon sunglasses could also be used by the public to identify someone whose name you forgot.

Imagine a day where you’d never have to experience one of those awkward encounters where you bump into someone who clearly remembers who you are, calls you out by name, and yet, there you stand, unable to connect a name with the face you’re staring at.

Using facial recognition to identify old acquaintances, really? Sorry, DealerScope we are not buying it.

Time after time we see companies with suspect ties to the military and law enforcement try and push facial recognition onto an unsuspecting public but this is not one of those times.

Giving law enforcement facial recognition sunglasses with the ability to watchlist or white list people in real-time must be stopped before we find ourselves living in mirror-image of China.

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Categories: News for progressives

Polish Ministry of Digitalisation Denies Polish Prime Minister Supported 5G Appeal

Thu, 2019-06-13 22:21

By Julian Rose

The Polish Ministry of Digitalisation has denied (June 11) that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki signed the Global Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space.*

The refutation was put out by the Ministry of Digitalisation, the government department that deals with telecommunications. The same department put out a related statement that “The opponents of 5G are heating-up the mood, serving customers fake news – we want to give Poles a reliable source of information about 5G so that no one misleads them.”

Hopes raised that Prime Minister Morawiecki might have some genuine humanitarian concerns for his people appear to have been proved unduly optimistic.

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This week, according to the present parliamentary schedule, Mateusz Morawiecki will lead his government into presenting a new Act that will annul the existing law on ‘acceptable levels’ of Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF) in order to introduce microwave frequency transmission levels 10 to 100 times more intense than current levels. This is being done to satisfy the telecommunications industry’s ambition to install tens of thousands of 5G transmitters across the length and breadth of the country.

If this Act is passed, the Prime Minister and government parliamentarians will be complicit in introducing a completely untested technology which over 2,000 scientists and 1,400 medical doctors from all over the world have described as presenting a direct threat to the health of humans, animals, insect and plant life.

The government of Poland appears determined to ignore such medical and scientific warnings. Also to ignore the safety-net known as ‘the precautionary principle’ in which anything judged as causing potential harm cannot be put in the public domain without first undergoing independent assessment for its safety.

This refusal to follow responsible principles demonstrates that the Prime Minister is ready to sell the freedom of Poland, the health of the electorate and the welfare of future generations, to corporate interests. The fact is that all decisions on 5G are made without any public consultation or any opportunity to object.

Awareness of the threat that 5G poses is rapidly growing. Protests in different parts of Poland are demonstrating the anger people feel at being forced to accept this highly controversial technology. Some protesters held-off for a while in the hope that Prime Minister Morawiecki had shown a human face. But since it is now officially denied that he supports stopping 5G, resistance will undoubtedly grow, with the effect that in the autumn election the Polish government (Pis) is likely to be shown a red card for its refusal to listen to the people.

*https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/

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Categories: News for progressives

Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems

Thu, 2019-06-13 22:20

Op-Ed by Caitlin Johnstone

A new article by Forbes reports that the CEO of Crowdstrike, the extremely shady cybersecurity corporation which was foundational in the construction of the official CIA/CNN Russian hacking narrative, is now a billionaire.

George Kurtz ascended to the billionaire rankings on the back of soaring stocks immediately after the company went public, carried no doubt on the winds of the international fame it gained from its central protagonistic role in the most well-known hacking news story of all time. A loyal servant of empire well-rewarded.

Never mind that US government insiders like Hillary Clinton had been prepping for escalations against Russia well in advance of the 2016 elections, and that their preexisting agendas to shove a geostrategic obstacle off the world stage benefited from the hacking narrative as much as George Kurtz did.

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Never mind that Crowdstrike is tied to the NATO narrative management firm known as the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the US government, the EU, NATO, Gulf states and powerful international oligarchs. Never mind either that Crowdstrike was financed with a whopping $100 million from Google, which has had a cozy relationship with US intelligence agencies since its very inception.

Never mind that to this day the DNC servers have not been examined by the FBI, nor indeed were they examined by the Special Counsel of Robert “Iraq has WMD” Mueller, preferring instead to go with the analyses of this extremely shady outfit with extensive and well-documented ties with the oligarchic leaders of the US-centralized empire. Also never mind that the Crowdstrike analyst who led forensics on those DNC servers had in fact worked for and was promoted by Robert Mueller while the two were in the FBI.

The CEO of the Atlantic Council-tied Crowdstrike, which formed the foundation of the official CIA/CNN Russian hacking narrative, is now a billionaire. I’m telling you, the real underlying currency of this world is narrative and the ability to control it.https://t.co/XsBCvkIDzJ

— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) June 12, 2019

As I never tire of saying, the real underlying currency in our world is not gold, nor bureaucratic fiat, nor even raw military might. The real underlying currency of our world is narrative, and the ability to control it.

As soon as you really grok this dynamic, you start noticing it everywhere. George Kurtz is one clear example today of narrative control’s central role in the maintenance and expansion of existing power structures, as well as an illustration of how the empire is wired to reward those who advance pro-empire narratives and punish those who damage them; just compare how he’s doing to how Julian Assange is doing, for example.

But you see examples pop up every day:

  • The US State Department just got busted using a $1.5 million troll farm to manipulate public discourse on social media about Iran.
  • Video footage has just surfaced of the OPCW Director General admitting that the OPCW did indeed deliberately omit any mention in its official findings of a report from its own investigation which contradicts the establishment narrative about a chemical strike in Douma, Syria, an admission which answers controversial questions asked by critics of Western imperialism like myself, and which the mainstream media have not so much as touched.
  • Mintpress News broke a story the other day about a new narrative management operation known as “The Trust Project”, a coordinated campaign by establishment-friendly mass media outlets for “gaming search-engine and social-media algorithms in collusion with major tech companies like Google and Twitter.”
  • In a new interview with The Canary, UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer explicitly named the mass media as largely responsible for Assange’s psychological torture, excoriating them for the way that they “have shown a remarkable lack of critical independence and have contributed significantly to spreading abusive and deliberately distorted narratives about Mr Assange.”
  • In a new essay called “Freeing Julian Assange“, journalist Suzie Dawson reports that “Countless articles appear to have been obliterated from the internet” about Assange and WikiLeaks, amounting to some 90 percent of the links Dawson examined which were shared in tweets by or about WikiLeaks and Assange since 2010.
  • I just finished reading this excellent Swiss Propaganda Research essay about the little-known fact that “most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.”

Any one of these could have a full-length Caitlin Johnstone essay written about it. I write about this stuff for a living, and even I don’t have the time or energy to write full articles about every single narrative control tool that the US-centralized empire has been implementing into its arsenal. There are too damn many of them emerging too damn fast, because they’re just that damn crucial for maintaining existing power structures.

Because whoever controls the narrative controls the world.

Power used to be much easier to identify in our society: just look for the fellow with the sparkly hat made of gold sitting in a really big chair and bossing everyone around. As our society advanced philosophically, however, people began to tire of having every aspect of their society determined by some schmuck in a golden hat, and started fighting for ideals called “freedom” and “democracy” in their respective nations. And, as far as our parents and teachers have taught us, freedom and democracy are exactly what we have now.

Except that’s all crap. Freedom and democracy only exist within the Western empire to the extent that it keeps up appearances. Because the trouble with democracy, it turns out, is that human minds are very hackable, as long as you’ve got the resources. Wealthy and powerful people do have the resources, which means that it’s very possible for wealthy and powerful people to manipulate the masses into voting in a way that consistently benefits the wealthy and powerful. This is why billionaires and narrative control consistently go hand-in-hand.

This dynamic has allowed for Western power structures to operate in a way that Western democracy was explicitly designed to prevent: for the benefit of the powerful instead of for the benefit of the voting populace. So now we’ve got people in so-called liberal democracies voting to maintain governments which advance wars which don’t benefit them, to advance intrusive surveillance and police state policies which oppress them, to advance austerity policies which harm them, to advance labor policies which exploit them, and to maintain ecocidal environmental policies which threaten the very survival of our species. All because the wealthy and powerful are able to use their wealth and power to manipulate the way people think and vote.

I remember in the run-up to the Iraq War a friend I had known all my life suddenly said to me, ‘We must do something about this monster in Iraq.’ I said, ‘When did you first think that?’ He answered honestly, ‘A month ago’. #Propaganda @medialens

— Malcolm Pryce (@exogamist) April 12, 2018

This is why I pay far more attention in my work to narrative control than to politics. Politics is downstream from narrative control, which is why the 2020 US presidential race is already a contest to see what level of Democratic corporatist warmonger will be running against the incumbent Republican corporatist warmonger. The narrative-controlling class does its level best to hide the fact that anything’s fundamentally wrong with the system, then when people notice it’s deeply broken they encourage them to use completely impotent tools to fix it. “Don’t like how things are run? Here, vote for our other puppet!”

The root of all our problems right now is the fact that human minds are very hackable with enough resources, combined with the fact that war, oppression, exploitation and ecocide are highly profitable. This dynamic has caused human collective consciousness to generally dead-end into a kind of propagandized, zombified state in which all our knowledge and all our thinking moves in alignment with the agendas of existing power structures. It’s much easier to continue believing the official narratives than to sort through everything you’ve been told about your society, your nation and your world since grade school and work out what’s true and what’s false. Many don’t have the time. Many more don’t have the courage.

We will remain in this collective dead-end, hurtling toward either Orwellian dystopia or extinction via climate collapse or nuclear Armageddon, until we find a way out of it. It won’t come from the tools our rulers have given us, and it won’t come from repeating any of the old patterns which got us here. In order to escape from the increasingly adept narrative control matrix that is being built around our collective mind by the powerful, we’re going to have to change our relationship with narrative altogether. We will either pass this great test or we will fail it, and we absolutely have the freedom to go either way.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me onFacebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or PayPalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permissionto republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Categories: News for progressives

Three Steps to Making Your Personal Finances More Private in a Digital Age

Thu, 2019-06-13 22:18

By Stefan Gleason

Imagine a world where every financial move you make gets recorded in databases that are accessible by any number of third parties – from bankers, to government bureaucrats, to data thieves.

It’s the world of the cashless, all-digital economy. And it’s rapidly approaching.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to secure your financial privacy – or at least make your wealth less vulnerable to digital prying – before it’s too late.

(function(w,d,s,i){w.ldAdInit=w.ldAdInit||[];w.ldAdInit.push({slot:10841224714367334,size:[0, 0],id:"ld-6931-3360"});if(!d.getElementById(i)){var j=d.createElement(s),p=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];j.async=true;j.src="//cdn2.lockerdomecdn.com/_js/ajs.js";j.id=i;p.parentNode.insertBefore(j,p);}})(window,document,"script","ld-ajs"); 1. Don’t Trash Your Cash Stash (Yet)

Paper Federal Reserve Notes are a terrible store of value (in fact, they’re guaranteed to lose value over time). Even so, they are still highly useful in everyday commerce.

In some circumstances, it’s just more convenient to use paper money – or you may wish to keep your transactions off the digital grid whenever it’s possible to do so.

In these situations, $20, $50, or $100 bills are superior to checks, credit cards, smartphone payment apps, or even cryptocurrencies.

Contrary to what some Bitcoin enthusiasts believe, blockchain transactions are not “private.” They are recorded on a public ledger and can sometimes be traced back to individual identities.

Obviously, any transactions that get processed through bank or credit card payment systems create digital records that can be exploited. If the financial industry (not to mention the IRS) had its way, all payments would take place in the digital dollar realm.

Anti-money laundering laws already make it legally risky to carry around large amounts of cash – or to deposit or withdraw cash at banks beyond vague “suspicious activity” thresholds. Some politicians are openly calling for $100 and $50 bills to be abolished to further discourage the use of cash for large transactions.

Given the government’s war on cash, it may be more of a privacy risk than advantage to, for example, insist on paying for a new car in physical cash. But for smaller, more routine transactions where paying in cash won’t seem “suspicious” to anyone, you can avoid generating digital records.

As noted above, Federal Reserve Notes are depreciating assets, so you wouldn’t want to keep a large amount of your wealth in them. In the event of a hyperinflationary collapse of the currency, you wouldn’t want to be stuck holding paper cash for any length of time. It could lose half its value literally overnight.

For superior wealth preservation over time, hoard hard money – gold and silver.

2. Invest in Non-Traceable Tangibles

The United States dollar may not necessarily be on the cusp of a Weimer Germany or Zimbabwe-style collapse. But even slow and steady depreciation at the Federal Reserve’s inflation target of 2% can have devastating consequences when compounded over the years.

That’s why it’s essential to park wealth in contra-dollar assets including precious metals.

Sure, you can potentially stay ahead of inflation during good times by owning assets such as rental properties and dividend stocks. But it’s nearly impossible to do so privately.

People who take extraordinary steps to try to hide their financials assets through trusts, corporations, offshore entities, or supposedly anonymous “numbered accounts” risk causing themselves even more trouble by running afoul of laws.

In recent years, most all loopholes for attaining financial privacy legally have been closed.

However, it is still legal to hold high-value tangible assets including memorabilia, diamonds, and gold and silver coins, bars, and rounds without having to set up an account for them, register them with the government, or pay any federal taxes on them unless and until you decide to sell and have capital gains to report.

Obviously, to keep your tangible wealth private, you’ll need to keep quiet about it. Tempting though it may be to show off your latest bullion purchase on Instagram or Twitter, some things are best kept out of the digital public square.

3. Stay Off Social Media

Social media giants and their advertisers are mining our personal data, our time, and our attention spans for billions in profits. We’re only now beginning to fully realize the dangers of social media usage on everything from our mental health and physical safety to our careers and finances.

Over the past year, Facebook, Twitter, and Google have all come out and admitted that they collect more data on us than they previously disclosed – and that they have done a poor job of protecting it from abuse.

It’s not hard to find countless stories of jobs lost and finances wrecked due to simple (and easily avoidable) social media posts. Leftist outrage mobs wage organized and institutionally funded campaigns to expose and punish people for offensive posts.

A Daily Beast “journalist” credited Facebook staff with helping him pin down the identity of the Trump supporter whose recent viral video made Nancy Pelosi’s speech sound inebriated.

A Jordanian-American female novelist who tweeted about a D.C. Metro worker acting inappropriately was cyber bullied off Twitter and lost a book deal potentially worth millions. Why? Because the rule-breaking worker was a black female whose identity currently occupies a more protected place on the left’s “protected group” hierarchy than a lighter-skinned Arab woman with economic privilege.

Even if you never get political on social media, anything you post with the most innocuous of intentions could be interpreted through a warped political lens by people who have nothing better to do than find offense where none was intended.

Just having your name, face, and/or location displayed on social media can enable scammers, hackers, and artificial intelligence bots to connect more dots about you than you even knew existed online.

Social media usage is akin to a dangerous and highly addictive drug. There are always reasons to post, to check notifications, to connect. The side effects are often various levels of jealousy, guilt, anxiety, and stress.

Social media’s next way to keep us hooked may be through digital currencies. Facebook is expected to soon release its own cryptocurrency, which reportedly will be a “stablecoin” linked to global government-issued fiat currencies.

When Big Tech and Big Government combine forces, you can be sure your privacy gets squeezed.

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, a precious metals dealer recently named “Best in the USA” by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC and in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, The Street, and Seeking Alpha.

Image credit: Pixabay

Categories: News for progressives

US Wipes Out Entire Afghan Security Forces Unit in Second Major Friendly Fire Incident

Thu, 2019-06-13 22:17

By Jason Ditz

(ANTIWAR.COM— For the second time in less than a month, US forces carried out airstrikes “in self defense” in Afghanistan, only to discover that they were actually attacking Afghan security forces. The Wednesday strike ended up wiping out an entire unit, though officials have yet to disclose the exact number of deaths, beyond it apparently being everyone present.

The previous attack saw US ground troops believing they were under fire, and the warplanes attacking police, killing 18. In this case, too, US officials said they believed the troops came under fire, and the airstrikes targeted the Afghan forces, who had been firing machine guns.

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Despite all the talk of self defense and US troops being “under effective fire,” officials insist not a single US casualty occurred. US officials expressed “regret” for the deaths of Afghan partners.

Interestingly, however, US spokesman Col. David Butler praised the operation as “extensively planned and coordinated” with the Afghan forces, with an eye toward preventing exactly what ended up happening.

An investigation is promised, but all too often the investigations into incidents like these, where the result was particularly embarrassing, never really publicly end, and the day of the attack ends up the last we hear about it.

By Jason Ditz / Republished with permission / ANTIWAR.COM / Report a typo

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Categories: News for progressives

Now It’s Gotten Personal!

Thu, 2019-06-13 22:16

By Michael Maharrey

I’ve been fighting federal overreach for years, but now it’s getting personal!

I’ve been working with the Tenth Amendment Center for almost a decade. That’s a lot of activism.

It should be pretty obvious that I am passionate about the work and that I believe deeply in the principles. You don’t work for an organization like the TAC for fame and fortune. You have to really believe in what you’re fighting for to stay in the fight. To call it wearisome at times would be an understatement.

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But I have to be honest; most of the time I’m fighting for an abstraction. We talk about things like “liberty” and “freedom” and “limited government.” I believe deeply in these concepts, but most of the time, they are just that — concepts. Despite tremendous government overreach, I can still go through most days without being consciously aware of it. Of course, I catch glimpses of the beast, like when I’m standing in line in my socks at the airport waiting to get felt up. Or when I write those checks to the IRS. Or when I don’t get to keep my doctor as promised. But by and large, we live under a soft tyranny. It’s like a fish in water. He isn’t really aware that he’s wet.

But this week, the tyranny got really personal.

A friend and fellow liberty activist was indicted on federal marijuana charges. He could face 10 years to life in prison. You read that right.

Life.

For a plant.

I don’t care what you might think about weed; there is no justice in locking a man in a cage for the rest of this life for a plant. I can kill my next door neighbor and not get that much prison time.

Millions of people use marijuana. Many of them use it for medical reasons. Thirty-three states have legalized cannabis for medical use. Ten states have legalized it for general adult use. And yet the feds continue to maintain complete prohibition.

I have to pause here and emphasize that the federal government lacks the constitutional authority to prohibit a plant. If you doubt me, ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to institute alcohol prohibition.

But it goes beyond that. The real question is who owns you? If you own yourself, then government bureaucrats don’t have the right to dictate what you can and cannot put in your body. And they don’t have the right to lock people in cages who chose to put a substance that other people disapprove of into their bodies. And they don’t have the right to lock people in cages who engage in voluntary exchanges involving such substances.

Anybody who thinks otherwise doesn’t believe in self-ownership. Somebody else owns you. That means you’re a slave.

It’s as simple as that.

Seeing somebody I know caught up in the system has made the idea of tyranny very real to me. Maybe in some ways, it’s a good reminder. Because I’ll tell you this — liberty isn’t an abstraction to me right now.

You can hear more on this subject in my latest Thoughts from Maharrey Head podcast.

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

Image credit: Pixabay

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Categories: News for progressives

18 Ways Julian Assange Changed The World

Wed, 2019-06-05 08:30

By Lee Camp

WikiLeaks revealed US war crimes, government corruption, and corporate media’s servile flattery to the power elite. If you’re a member of our ruling class, you would view those as textbook examples of treachery…

In an evolved and fully realized society, the oligarchy would see Assange as a dangerous criminal (which they do), and the average working men and women would view him as justice personified (which they don’t). We would celebrate him even as the mass media told us to hope for his downfall—like a Batman or a Robin Hood or an Ozzy Osbourne (the early years, not the cleaning-dog-turds-off-his-carpet years).

But we are not evolved and this is not Gotham City and average Americans don’t root for the truth. Many Americans cheer for Assange’s imprisonment. They believe the corporate plutocratic talking points and yearn for the days when we no longer have to hear about our country’s crimes against humanity or our bankers’ crimes against the economy. Subconsciously they must believe that a life in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains and know all about it thanks to the exhaustive efforts of an eccentric Australian is worse than one in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains yet know nothing about it.

“Ignorance is bliss” is the meditative mantra of the United States of America.

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Julian Assange has been arrested and is now locked away in British custody. The U.S. government wants to extradite him, regardless of the official version, for the crime of revealing our government’s crimes. Nearly every government on our third rock from the sun despises the man for bringing transparency to the process of ruling the unwashed masses. (The level of wash has, however, increased thanks to aggressive marketing campaigns from a variety of shampoo brands.)

It is politically inconvenient at this time for the screaming corporate news to remind our entire citizenry what exactly WikiLeaks has done for us. So you won’t see the following list of WikiLeaks’ accomplishments anywhere on your corporate airwaves—in the same way the mainstream media did not begin every report about Chelsea Manning’s trial with a rundown of the war crimes she helped reveal.

And Chelsea Manning’s most famous leak is arguably also WikiLeaks’ most famous leak, so it’ll top this list:

1) That would be the notorious Collateral Murder video, showing U.S. air crew gunning down unarmed Iraqi civilians with an enthusiasm that couldn’t be matched by an eight-year-old winning a five-foot-tall stuffed animal at the county fair. They murdered between 12 and 18 innocent people, two of them Reuters journalists.

Zero people have been arrested for the collateral murders. Yet Julian Assange has been arrested for revealing them.

2) WikiLeaks brought us the Guantanamo Bay “Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures”—showing that many of the prisoners held on the U.S. military detention facility were completely innocent, and that some were hidden from Red Cross officials. (Because when you’re torturing innocent people, you kinda want to do that in peace and quiet, away from prying eyes. It’s very easy to get distracted, and then you lose your place and have to start all over again.)

None of the soldiers torturing innocent people at Gitmo have been arrested for it. Yet Julian Assange has been arrested for revealing it.

3) Not content with revealing only war crimes, WikiLeaks in 2008 came out with the secret bibles of Scientology, which showed that aliens, um, run the world or… aliens are inside all of us or… aliens give us indigestion. I can’t really remember.

But no one has ever been arrested for perpetrating that nutbag cult. Yet Julian Assange has for revealing it.

Many people believe WikiLeaks has unveiled only crimes of the American government, but that’s completely false. The U.S. corporate media doesn’t want average Americans to understand that WikiLeaks has upped the level of transparency around the world.

4–9) WikiLeaks posted videos of Tibetan dissidents in China fighting back, videos which were not allowed to be viewed in China. They revealed the Peru oil scandal, and that Russia was spying on its citizens’ cell phones, and the Minton Report on toxic dumping in Africa, and the Syria Files—showing the inner workings of the Syrian government. And WikiLeaks displayed to the global audience a secret Australian supreme court gag order that stopped the Australian press from reporting on a huge bribery scandal that involved the central bank and international leaders.

Assange is hated by governments around the world. As much as they may like transparency, when it comes to other countries (specifically the United States), they don’t want their own particular pile of s**t on full display. It’s kinda like when most people laugh heartily after an up-skirt photo of a celebrity is published in the tabloids, but at the same time, none of us want up-skirt photos of us all over the Web. (I know I don’t because I haven’t shaved up there since Carter was in office.)

As far as I know, none of the political figures involved in these scandals have gone to prison for participating in them. Yet Julian Assange has for revealing them.

10) Let’s not forget the Iraq War logs—hundreds of thousands of documents relating to America’s illegal invasion of Iraq, which we called a “war,” but I think a war needs to have two sides. Iraq’s elite Republican Guard turned out to be three guys and a donkey… and the donkey didn’t even have good aim.

So far as I can tell, no one committing the war crimes evidenced in the Iraq War logs has been locked up for them. Yet Julian Assange has for revealing them.

11) WikiLeaks showed us the highly secretive Bilderberg Group meeting reports. The Bilderberg Group is made up of incredibly powerful men and women who get together and decide how to rule over all of us street people, all the while sitting on thrones made from the bones of the babies of nonbelievers. They’re often accused of being lizard people, but really they’re just regular ol’ sociopaths with lizard skin they purchased from a plastic surgeon in Malibu for half a million dollars. I don’t think anyone from the Bilderberg Group is being tortured in solitary confinement right now. Yet Julian Assange is for revealing who they are.

12) The Barclays Bank tax avoidance scheme netted Barclays one billion pounds a year.

While it was ordered to pay 500 million pounds in lost taxes, no one was arrested for that theft from citizens. Yet Julian Assange was for revealing it.

13) The Afghan War Diaries consisted of 92,000 documents related to our destruction of Afghanistan. They detailed friendly fire incidents and civilian casualties. According to WikiLeaks, the diaries showed that “When reporting their own activities U.S. Units are inclined to classify civilian kills as insurgent kills, downplay the number of people killed or otherwise make excuses for themselves.”

It’s tough to read this without being floored at the comedy routine that our military actions have become. I picture this scenario happening every day in Afghanistan:

U.S. Soldier #1: This guy we just killed was an insurgent.

U.S. Soldier #2: How do you know?

U.S. Soldier #1: Because we killed him.

U.S. Soldier #2: Why’d we kill him?

U.S. Soldier #1: Because he’s an insurgent.

U.S. Soldier #2: How do you know?

U.S. Soldier #1: Because we killed him.

(Repeat until lightheaded.)

I am unaware of anyone locked away for these war crimes. Yet Julian Assange is locked away—for revealing them.

14) WikiLeaks also unveiled hundreds of thousands of U.S. State Department cables that showed more clearly than ever how our secretive government rules its empire with little to no input from the American people. Among many other things, the cables revealed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered diplomats to spy on French, British, Russian and Chinese delegations at the U.N. Security Council. It also showed that Arab nations urged the U.S. to strike Iran, and much more.

Our ruling elite of course view this as a massive breach of national security. That’s understandable. But that world view comes into play only if you think the elites are the only ones who should know how our nation is run. To answer this question for yourself, do the following experiment. Pull up a photo of Donald Trump—a really close-up image of his blister-colored, bulbous face. Now, look at it intensely for five minutes… After you’ve done that, tell me you want the ruling elite to be the only ones who know what the f**k is going on. Go ahead and try it—I’ll wait.

Ostensibly, the concept of our government was that the ruling class would be accountable to us, the average Americans. To you and me. To the workers and the number crunchers. To the single moms and the cashiers and the street sweepers and the fluffers on the porn sets. We’re supposed to vote based on our knowledge of how our government is functioning. But if the entirety of our representatives’ criminal behavior is labeled top secret for national security purposes, then we aren’t really an informed populace, are we?

So for all that was unveiled in the State Department cables, no one has been locked up. But Julian Assange has been for revealing them.

15) The Stratfor emails—this was millions of emails that showed how a private intelligence agency was used by its U.S. corporate and government clients to target activists and protesters.

No one at Stratfor is currently locked away. But Julian Assange is for revealing the truth.

16) Then there’s the trade deals. TPP, TISA and TTIP—all three amount to one of the largest attempts at corporate takeover ever conceived. All three were more secretive than Donald Trump’s taxes. Government officials and corporate lawyers and lobbyists wrote every word in private. Not even Congress saw the Trans-Pacific Partnership until very late in the process. The only organization to show the American citizens (and European citizens) some of those documents before they were made into law? WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks made us aware of the corporate restraints that were about to be placed on us, and that’s what allowed activists to pressure Trump to pull out of the TPP.

None of those secretive corporate titans are imprisoned for their attempted power grab, but Julian Assange is for revealing it.

17) The DNC emails. I’ll explain for those of you who have been living in a cave that is itself inside a yellow-and-blue-makes-green sealed Tupperware container. The Democratic National Committee’s emails gave us proof concerning just how rigged the Democratic primaries really are. They proved the media was in bed with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. They even showed that Obama’s entire first-term cabinet was selected by Citibank. Yes, Citibank. (I would find it less offensive if his cabinet had been decided by a rabid raccoon, or the pus oozing out of Darth Vader’s face or Vince McMahon’s concussed frontal lobe.)

Whatever election integrity movement exists right now, it owes a lot to these revelations by WikiLeaks. After being sued over this matter, the DNC’s lawyers admitted in court that the DNC has no obligation to have a fair primary election. It’s their right to rig it.

But don’t try to get angry about this, because if you do, the CIA has a myriad ways to f**k up your life.

18) In 2017 WikiLeaks posted a trove of CIA documents called “Vault 7.” It detailed their capabilities, including remotely taking over cars, smart TVs, web browsers and smartphones.

After I found out about that, for a solid two weeks I thought, “Screw it. I’m going full Amish. One hundred percent. Let’s see the CIA hack my butter churn. Are they going to use backdoor software to get inside my rustic wooden bow-saw? Even if they could, what are they going to listen to—my conversation about how mee bobblin fraa redd up for rutschin’ ’round. Say no more! Schmunzla wunderbar!”

So is anybody at the CIA chained up for violating our privacy in every way possible? No, but Julian Assange is for revealing it.

By thrusting the truth upon the people of earth, WikiLeaks helped create movements worldwide like the Arab Spring and Occupy. And don’t forget, at first WikiLeaks and Assange were celebrated for their amazing work. In 2011 even Amnesty International hailed WikiLeaks as one of the Arab Spring catalysts. The Guardian said: “The year 2010 may well be remembered as a watershed year when activists and journalists used new technology to speak truth to power and, in so doing, pushed for greater respect for human rights… It is also the year when repressive governments faced the real possibility that their days were numbered.”

So why have so many outlets and people turned against Assange and WikiLeaks? Because it turned out he wasn’t revealing only repressive Arab regimes. He also revealed U.S.-backed coups and war crimes around the world. He exposed the criminality and villainy of the American ruling elite.

Nothing published on WikiLeaks has ever been proven untrue. Compare that record to CNN, MSNBC, Fox News or any mainstream outlet. Assange has been nominated for multiple Nobel Peace Prizes, and nearly every respected media outlet has used source material from WikiLeaks in their reporting. Yet after all this and after seven years in captivity, the man who laid bare our criminal leaders and showed each one of us our chains is not receiving parades and accolades. He and those who helped him reveal the truth are the only ones endlessly punished.

We are all Julian Assange. As long as he’s imprisoned, we can never be free.

Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and activist. Dubbed by Salon as the “John Oliver of Russia Today”, Camp is the host of RT America’s first comedy news show Redacted Tonight, which tackles the news agenda with a healthy dose of humor and satire. Lee’s writing credits are vast, having written for The Onion, Comedy Central and Huffington Post, as well as the acclaimed essay collections Moment of Clarity and Neither Sophisticated Nor Intelligent. Lee’s stand-up comedy has also been featured on Comedy Central,  ABC’s Good Morning America, Showtime’s The Green Room with Paul Provenza, Al-Jazeera, BBC’s Newsnight, E!, MTV, and Spike TV.

This article was originally published by Truthdig.

This column is based on a monologue Lee Camp wrote and performed on his TV show “Redacted Tonight.”

This article was sourced from RT.com

Image: © Global Look Press / ZUMAPRESS.com / Paco Freire

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Categories: News for progressives

Teen Is Legally Euthanized For Depression In The Netherlands

Wed, 2019-06-05 08:14

By Jason Bermas

Do we even value human life anymore?

Dutch girl, 17, who was sexually abused, is legally euthanized at her home by ‘end-of-life’ clinic because she felt her life was unbearable due to depression. About 4.4% of deaths in The Netherlands are by legal euthanasia.

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Independent reporter Jason Bermas covers the story in the video below:

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Categories: News for progressives

30 Years Since Tiananmen Square: The State of Chinese Censorship and Digital Surveillance

Wed, 2019-06-05 07:52

By EFF Threat Lab

Thirty years ago today, the Chinese Communist Party used military force to suppress a peaceful pro-democracy demonstration by thousands of university students. Hundreds (some estimates go as high as thousands) of innocent protesters were killed. Every year, people around the world come together to mourn and commemorate the fallen; within China, however, things are oddly silent.

The Tiananmen Square protest is one of the most tightly censored topics in China. The Chinese government’s network and social media censorship is more than just pervasive; it’s sloppy, overbroad, inaccurate, and always errs on the side of more takedowns. Every year, the Chinese government ramps up VPN shutdowns, activist arrests, digital surveillance, and social media censorship in anticipation of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. This year is no different; and to mark the thirtieth anniversary, the controls have never been tighter.

(function(w,d,s,i){w.ldAdInit=w.ldAdInit||[];w.ldAdInit.push({slot:10841224714367334,size:[0, 0],id:"ld-6931-3360"});if(!d.getElementById(i)){var j=d.createElement(s),p=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];j.async=true;j.src="//cdn2.lockerdomecdn.com/_js/ajs.js";j.id=i;p.parentNode.insertBefore(j,p);}})(window,document,"script","ld-ajs"); Keyword filtering on social media and messaging platforms

It’s a fact of life for many Chinese that social media and messaging platforms perform silent content takedowns via regular keyword filtering and more recently, image matching. In June 2013, Citizen Lab documented a list of words censored from social media related to the anniversary of the protests, which included words like “today” and “tomorrow.”

Since then, researchers at the University of Hong Kong have developed real-time censorship monitoring and transparency projects—“WeiboScope” and “WechatScope”—to document the scope and history of censorship on Weibo and Wechat. A couple of months ago, Dr. Fu King-wa, who works on these transparency projects, released an archive of over 1200 censored Weibo image posts relating to the Tiananmen anniversary since 2012. Net Alert has released a similar archive of historically censored images.

Simultaneous service disruptions for “system maintenance” across social media platforms

This year, there has been a sweep of simultaneous social media shutdowns a week prior to the anniversary, calling back to similar “Internet maintenance” shutdowns that happened during the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. Five popular video and livestreaming platforms are suspending all comments until June 6th, citing the need for “system upgrades and maintenance.” Douban, a Chinese social networking service, is locking some of their larger news groups from any discussion June 29th, also for “system maintenance.” And popular messaging service WeChat recently blocked users from changing their status messages, profile pictures, and nicknames for the same reason.

Apple censors music and applications alike

Since 2017, Apple has removed VPNs from its mainland Chinese app store. These application bans have continued and worsened over time. A censorship transparency project by GreatFire, AppleCensorship.com, allows users to look up which applications are available in the US but not in China. Apart from VPNs, the Chinese Apple app store has also censored applications from news organizations, including the New York Times, Radio Free Asia, Tibetan News, Voice of Tibet, and other Chinese-language human rights publications. They have also taken down other censorship circumvention tools like Tor and Psiphon.

Leading up to this year’s 30-year Tiananmen anniversary, Apple Music has been removing songs from its Chinese streaming service. A 1990 song by Hong Kong’s Jacky Cheung that references Tiananmen Square was removed, as were songs by pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement protest.

Activist accounts caught in Twitter sweep

On May 31st, a slew of China-related Twitter accounts were suspended, including prominent activists, human rights lawyers, journalists, and other dissidents. Activists feared this action was in preparation for further June 4th related censorship. Since then, some of the more prominent accounts have been restored, but many remain suspended. An announcement from Twitter claimed that these accounts weren’t reported by Chinese authorities, but were just caught up in a large anti-spam sweep.

The lack of transparency, poor timing, and huge number of false positives on Twitter’s part has led to real fear and uncertainty in Chinese-language activism circles.

Beyond Tiananmen Square: Chinese Censorship and Surveillance in 2019

Xinjiang, China’s ground zero for pervasive surveillance and social control

Thanks to work by Human Rights Watch, security researchers, and many brave investigators and journalists, a lot has come to light about China’s terrifying acceleration of social and digital controls in Xinjiang in the past two years. And the chilling effect is real—as we approach the end of Ramadan, a holiday which is discouraged and banned for Party members and public school students to observe—mosques remain empty. Uighur students and other expatriates abroad fear returning home, as many of their families have already been detained for no cause.

China’s extensive reliance on surveillance technology in Xinjiang is a human rights nightmare, and according to the New York Times, “the first known example of a government intentionally using artificial intelligence for racial profiling.” Researchers have noticed that more and more computer vision papers coming out of China are specifically trained to build facial recognition for Uighurs.

China has long been a master of security theater, overstating and over-performing its own surveillance capabilities in order to spread a “chilling effect” over digital and social behavior. Something similar is happening here, albeit at a much larger scale than we’ve ever seen before. Despite the government’s claims of fully automated and efficient systems, even the best automated facial recognition systems they use are only accurate in less than 20 percent of cases, leading to mistakes and the need for hundreds of workers to monitor cameras and confirm the results. These smoke-and-mirrors “pseudo-AI” systems are more than common in the AI startup industry. For a lot of “automated” technologies, we just aren’t quite there yet.

Resource or technical limitations aren’t going to stop the Chinese government. Security spending since 2017 shows that Chinese officials are serious about building a panopticon, no matter the cost. The development of the surveillance apparatus in Xinjiang shows us just how expensive building pervasive surveillance can be; local governments in Xinjiang have accrued hundreds of millions (in USD) of “invisible debt” as they continue to ramp up investment in their surveillance state. A large portion of that cost is labor. “We risk understating the extent to which this high-tech police state continues to require a lot of manpower,” says Adrien Zenz for the New York Times.

Client-side blocking of labor movements on Github

996 is a recent labor movement in China by white-collar tech workers who demand regular 40-hour work weeks and the explicit outlaw of the draconian but standard “996” schedule; that is, 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. The movement, like other labor-organizing movements, has been to subject to keyword censorship on social media platforms, but individuals have been able to continue organizing on Github.

Github itself has remained relatively immune to Chinese censorship efforts. Thanks to widespread deployment of HTTPS, Chinese network operators must either block the entire website or nothing at all. Github was briefly blocked in 2013, but the backlash from developers was too great, and the site was unblocked shortly thereafter. China’s tech sector, like the rest of the world, rely on open-source projects hosted on the website. But although Github is no longer censored at the network level, Chinese-built browsers and Wechat’s web viewer started blacklisting specific URLs from being accessed, including the 996 Github repository.

Google’s sleeping Dragonfly

Late last year, we stood in solidarity with over 70 human rights groups led by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, calling on Google to end their secret internal project to architect a censored Chinese search engine codenamed Dragonfly. Google employees wrote their own letter protesting the project, some resigning in protest, demanding transparency at the very least.

In March, some Google employees found that changes were still being committed to the Dragonfly codebase. Google has yet to publicly commit to ending the project, leading many to believe the project could just be on the back burner for now.

How are people fighting back?

Relatively little news gets out of Xinjiang to the rest of the world, and China wants to keep it that way— journalists are denied visas, their relatives are detained, and journalists on the ground are arrested. Any work by groups that help shed light on the situation is extremely valuable. Earlier this year, we wrote about the amazing work by Humans Rights Watch, Amnesty International, other human rights groups, and other independent researchers and journalists in helping uncover the inner workings of China’s surveillance state.

Censorship transparency projects like WechatScope, WeiboScope, Tor’s OONI, and GreatFire’s AppleCensorship, as well as ongoing censorship research by academic centers like The Citizen Lab and organizations like GreatFire continue to shed light on the methods and intentions of broader Chinese censorship efforts.

And of course, we have to take a look at the individuals and activists within and outside China who continue to fight to have their voices heard. Despite the continued rise of crackdowns on VPNs, VPN usage across Chinese web users continues to rise. In the first quarter of 2019, 35% of web users use VPNs, not just for accessing better music and TV shows, but also commonly for accessing blocked social networks, and blocked news sites.

Human rights groups, security researchers, investigators, journalists, and activists on the ground continue to make tremendous sacrifices in fighting for a more free China.

This article was sourced from EFF.org

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Categories: News for progressives

Parkland School Police Officer Arrested on 11 Charges Tied to Shooting

Wed, 2019-06-05 07:44

By John Vibes

A police officer who hid for nearly an hour at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last year while a horrible shooting took place just feet away, has been arrested for his negligence during the shooting.

Former Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson was arrested this week and charged with seven counts of child neglect, three counts of culpable negligence, and one count of perjury.

Peterson was the sole school resource officer on duty at the time of the shooting that day but did nothing to intervene in the attack. Seventeen people died and 17 more were injured in the shooting that may have been prevented, investigators believe, if Peterson had intervened.

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Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Rick Swearingen told reporters that Peterson “did absolutely nothing” to help save the children whose lives were in danger that day despite having been tasked with their protection.

“There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives,” Swearingen said in a statement.

The arrest comes just days after Peterson was fired by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for “neglecting his duty.” Another officer was also reportedly fired along with Peterson, but it remains unclear whether or not that officer will also be facing charges.

Sheriff Gregory Tony, the commanding officer who fired Peterson, said, “We cannot fulfill our commitment to always protect the security and safety of our Broward County community without doing a thorough assessment of what went wrong that day.”

In the extensive 458-page report released by investigators this week, Peterson is also accused of lying and giving false statements when he was questioned about the incident.

“Peterson was in a position to engage Cruz and mitigate further harm to others, and he willfully decided not to do so,” the report stated.

Fred Guttenberg, a parent of one of the children who were killed in the shooting, tweeted that he hopes Peterson “rots in hell.”

US President Donald Trump even called officer Peterson a “coward” after the shooting. Trump told reporters:

He trained his whole life. When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage or something happened, but he certainly did a poor job, there’s no question about that. He was there for five minutes, for five minutes that was during the entire shooting. He heard it right at the beginning, so he certainly did a poor job. That’s a case where somebody was outside. They’re trained. They didn’t react properly under pressure or they were a coward.

While Peterson was the first line of defense for the children in the school that day, he was not the only officer who was criticized for failing to intervene. In fact, three other officers were taking cover instead of trying to help during the deadly ordeal. All officers who hid were apparently from the Broward County Sheriff’s office, having been the first to arrive on the scene.

The officers apparently waited for reinforcements before doing anything, but according to officers with the Coral Springs Police Department, the officers from Broward County remained outside and did not immediately follow them to apprehend the suspect.

By John Vibes | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Categories: News for progressives

When Will The Collective Voices Of The World’s Populations Regarding Mandatory Vaccination Mandates Be Heard & Not Violated Daily?

Wed, 2019-06-05 05:10

By Catherine J. Frompovich

With great respect for all who are in the ultimate “fight for healthful lives and medical freedoms,” I bring you the exceptional video sponsored by Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his Children’s Health Defense titled “Vaccine Mandate Legislation Update.”

Mr. Kennedy synthesizes the global vaccine safety movement, which is totally captivating, especially in view of the fact the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with Big Pharma’s corporate lobbyists are pushing hard to have every last human on the fact of the earth vaccinated.  Why, when their paradigm of artificial ‘immunity’, if you can call it that due to chemical castration of the innate immune system, is to create the pharmacological version of the immune system called “Adaptive Immunity.”

Adaptive immunity refers to antigen-specific immune response[1], which means life-long booster shots are necessary to keep that ‘adaptive immunity’ active because the innate immune system has, for all intents and purposes, been castrated, tagged or “turned off,” thus responsible for contraindications and adverse reactions to vaccines, especially involving mitochondria cells.

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Vaccine adverse reactions are validated by the CDC’s very own VAERS reporting system for vaccine adverse health reactions, plus the HHS HRSA Claims Payouts, now totals over $4.1 BILLION per Vaccine Compensation Data Monthly Stats to May 2019, Pg. 9.

Adaptive Immunity basically is the CDC/FDA and Big Pharma messing around with human biology to castrate the immune system which, in effect, reprograms the evolutionary natural mechanisms of human physiology and immunity to become ‘captives’ of chemical adjuvants, i.e., aluminum, ASO4[2], in vaccines.

As a result of that devious consensus vaccinology science, great harms have been perpetrated upon two generations of global children since 1986—anything from ASIA (autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants) to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to various types of cancers, now the second primary cause of death in young children: After accidents, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14.”

People around the United States, plus other vaccine-mandated countries, by the thousands, if not millions, now are pushing back on repressive mandatory vaccination laws introduced and/or enacted in their locations.  The video below documents an ever-growing movement to retain our rights to self-determination and medical freedoms, if freedom still exists within the New World Order paradigm.

United For Medical Freedom
4:52 minutes


https://youtu.be/pQWAb8yfhKo?t=5

Notes:

[1] http://www.biology.arizona.edu/immunology/tutorials/immunology/page3.html
[2] https://www.niaid.nih.gov/research/vaccine-adjuvants-types

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice, plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer health ​issues researcher ​and holistic health advocate since the late 1970s; she continues researching and writing in retirement. Her career in holistic healthcare began in the early 1970s when she had to save, and restructure, her life resulting from having “fallen through the allopathic medical paradigm cracks.”

Catherine has written numerous books. The following can be purchased on Amazon books:

Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities (2016)
Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines (2013)
A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments (2012)
Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009)
Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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Categories: News for progressives

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