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1

      

By Tyler Durden


Saturday night, televisions showed the perfectly state-managed scene of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, sitting down with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis conducting an interview recorded at Buckingham Palace this past Thursday.


In it, the Duke admits that he “let the side down” by maintaining a friendship with jet-setting billionaire and convicted serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In a grand mea culpa, Andrew concedes that it was not “becoming of a member of the Royal Family.”


But far from repairing the PR damage done to Britain’s Royal Family, his move may have been a ‘catastrophic’ own-goal by his Palace handlers.


When asked why he stayed at the Epstein mansion after knowing he was already branded a convicted offender, the Prince answered simply, “It was a convenient place to stay.”


         



      

“It was a convenient place to stay. I mean I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do.


“But at the time I felt it was the honorable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honorable but that’s just the way it is.”



This, and other gaffs has led top media lawyer, Mark Stephens, who previously represented Princess Diana’s lover James Hewitt, to issue harsh skepticism as to whether this was a wise move to push Andrew back into the spotlight.


He told the Guardian:



This strategy only works if you’ve got a complete and full answer to every possible question, and here there are too many loose ends.”


If he’d kept his silence he’d have been able to remain outside of the case, as he’s a witness and is entitled to diplomatic immunity. He was a private individual and now he’s waived that privacy.”



Entertainment PR agent Mark Borkowski, added:


Andrew has never enjoyed the company of journalists, and always kept the press firmly at arm’s length. Doing something so public is a high-risk strategy, and likely just to draw more attention to the issue without changing any minds.


During the interview, the Duke of York was also asked about Virginia Giuffre, who was pictured with and claimed she had sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old.



“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” said the Duke.


“You don’t remember meeting her?” he was then asked.






“No,” responded Prince Andrew.



During his answer, the Duke blinked no less than 10 times in the space of just 10 seconds…



He added that Ms Giuffre’s description of him “profusely sweating” was false because, at the time, he had a medical condition that meant he could not sweat. He said:



“I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falkland’s War when I was shot at, and I simply … it was almost impossible for me to sweat.


“And it’s only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again.”​



The Duke went on to question the validity of a photograph with his arm around Ms Giuffre in London – saying it was not possible to prove if the image had, or had not, been faked. He said:



I don’t believe it’s a picture of me in London because when I would out to… When I go out in London, I wear a suit and a tie.





That’s what I would describe as… those are my travelling clothes if I’m going to go… If I’m going overseas.



He added:


Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don’t recollect that photograph ever being taken.


On thing is certain: the British public were not clamoring for Andrew to do this media spot, and quite possibly would’ve forgotten about it as a hotly-contested UK General Election and Brexit begin to overtake all concerns heading into the Christmas season.


So why did the Palace do it?



By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge.com | Republished with permission


This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.


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2

      

By B.N. Frank


Research has determined that all sources of wireless radiation – including cell towers and WiFi – are biologically and environmentally harmful.


That’s why many environmentalists are fighting cell tower installation at national parks (see 1, 2).  Unfortunately, businesses still want to install WiFi in national parks anyway.  Yellowstone Park is asking for public comments about this.  The deadline is November 29.


         



      

From East Idaho News:


MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyoming — The National Park Service seeks public comment on a proposal to install indoor Wi-Fi networks and associated equipment throughout Yellowstone National Park’s developed areas for the benefit of park visitors and employees.


AccessParks has submitted an application for a right-of-way permit. If approved, the permit would allow for:



The installation of up to 484 small (10 x 10 inch or 7 inch diameter) antennas on employee housing and visitor lodging facilities at Canyon Village, Grant Village, Lake Village, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful.
To link the antennas to internet providers outside the park, 39 additional antennas would be required and would include:
– 29 x 9 inch antennas installed at various locations in the developed areas at Canyon Village, Grant Village, Lake Village, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful
– 6-foot-diameter antenna installed at an existing tower at Old Faithful
– One 2-foot and one 3-foot-diameter antenna installed on the existing tower at Mount Washburn
Coverage could eventually extend to other developed areas such as Norris, Madison, and Bechler for administrative and employee use.
Exterior antennas would be located in areas to minimize visibility. Where visible, the installations would be painted to match the buildings on which they are installed.
In an effort to have no adverse effect to historic properties or districts, many of the antennas on National Register of Historic Places eligible structures would be located in attic spaces or under eaves.
Examples of typical antenna placements and a list of affected properties are available here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ap


The proposed installations would provide internet service to park visitors and employees in hotels and housing in developed areas. Consistent with the Yellowstone National Park Wireless Communication Services Plan, wireless access to recommended wilderness and park road corridors would be excluded.



Activist Post regularly reports about biological and environmental harm caused by exposure to all sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) aka “Electrosmog”.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:



Wireless Information Network
Center For Safer Wireless
Center For Electrosmog Prevention
Ecological Options Network
ElectromagneticHealth
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
EMF Safety Network
Environmental Health Trust
Last Tree Laws
Physicians for Safe Technology


Image credit: Pixabay


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3

      

By Joe Wright


Contrary to what many police would like the public to believe, the Constitution isn’t null and void when in their presence.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite: it can be seen as the public’s duty to hold police accountable during any and all interactions with them.


True, federal courts have disputed such rights in the past, but it is still widely recognized in all 50 states that a person has the right to film police so long as they are not directly interfering with police work. That said, we have covered many cases where people have been threatened, abused, and arrested for filming police, so one must do so at one’s peril.


Checkpoints are particularly contentious, as they have cropped up in ever-increasing numbers across the U.S.  According to the latest information from the CDC, sobriety checkpoints in particular are permitted in 38 states and D.C., with only 13 states conducting weekly activity. Again, many people assume that all rights end there. Fortunately, courageous activists have steadfastly refused to obey the arbitrary orders given during these encounters.


         



      

The Free State Project in New Hampshire is one such organization that promotes the fundamentals of liberty and engages in a wide variety of activism in order to demonstrate their principles.  Despite New Hampshire ranking near the top for the freest states, activist Christopher Waid learned that these principles were not respected in Manchester, NH when he attempted to film a DWI checkpoint on April 20, 2017.


As reported by the New Hampshire Union Leader:



He was on the south side of Bridge Street and crossed two lanes of roadway to reach the median and get closer to the checkpoint. At that point, a confrontation occurred between Waid and Officer Robert Harrington with Harrington telling Waid to move to the sidewalk, according to the claim.


According to the claim, Harrington grabbed Waid’s camera; Waid said he was a member of the press and Harrington had no right to take it.


Harrington said, according to Waid’s lawsuit, “I don’t need you in my face” and demanded identification. Waid said he has no obligation to show an ID.


The lawsuit states that Harrington threatened to jail Waid unless he returned to the sidewalk; Waid said go ahead, and Harrington arrested him for disorderly conduct and jaywalking.


Prosecutors later dropped both charges.







Although Waid was not charged, he subsequently retained a lawyer who threatened to sue the police department for violating his constitutional rights (1st and 14th Amendments).  After a lengthy back-and-forth, the city has capitulated and awarded a settlement of $15,000 to Waid.


The city denies any wrongdoing, and the settlement was reached “to buy peace,” the settlement agreement reads.


It turns out that this particular department is fortunately an anomaly, according to Waid, who said that this was the first time he had ever had an issue with filming a checkpoint. However, this department also has had to pay out for other constitutional violations in the past, according to the report:


In 2017, it paid $275,000 to Alfredo Valentin, whom police arrested in 2015 when he recorded a raid on his house. In 2017, the city also paid $89,000 to Theresa Petrello, a veteran who was arrested in 2015 during a crackdown on panhandling.


Naturally, these expenses are paid by taxpayers, which illustrates the importance of police knowing that the public is watching their every move. Sadly, it can be dangerous simply to encounter police in modern-day America, let alone flex your rights and demand equal respect.





Interestingly, the $15,000 settlement is the same amount that a Colorado bill urged as a fine for police who interfere with the public filming them. Moreover, this bill urged that payment be taken from the officers themselves, which I suspect will do much more to alleviate this problem than passing it on to innocent taxpayers who are arguably already extorted from.


As always, it is important to know the laws in your area and proceed with due caution when interacting with police officers. Be respectful, but have the fortitude to assert your rights. Thank you to Christopher Waid and the many other activists who have shown us the way.



You can read more from Joe Wright at Activist Post, where this article first appeared.


H/T: MassPrivateI


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4

      

By Consortium News


Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate enmeshed in a conflict of interest, will no longer be presiding over the extradition proceedings of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, said WikiLeaks lawyer Jen Robinson, at an event in Sydney on Friday night.



“Yes, there was some controversy about her sitting on the case,” Robinson said.


“She won’t be sitting on the case going forward.” 



Robinson told Australian journalist Quentin Dempster at the event that she was “not sure” who would take over from Arbuthnot.


         



      

Robinson made her remarks in response to a question from the audience about Arbuthnot’s reported conflict of interest in the case. Robinson did not provide further details. She spoke in future tense, but it is not clear if she was referring to Arbuthnot maintaining supervision of the case while turning over the courtroom duties to another judge, which she did weeks ago, retaining the right to influence rulings, or whether Arbuthnot has recused herself from the case. Consortium News has contacted Robinson to provide clarification.




On Thursday, Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis of the Daily Maverick reported:







Lady Arbuthnot has recently appointed a district judge to rule on Assange’s extradition case, but remains the supervising legal figure in the process. According to the UK courts service, the chief magistrate is ‘responsible for… supporting and guiding district judge colleagues.’



The report said that Arbuthnot’s husband, Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former British defense minister, “has financial links to the British military establishment, including institutions and individuals exposed by WikiLeaks.” It said the judge herself had also received gifts “including from a military and cybersecurity company exposed by WikiLeaks.”


The Daily Maverick reported further on Friday:



The son of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate overseeing the extradition proceedings of Julian Assange, is the vice-president and cyber-security adviser of a firm heavily invested in a company founded by GCHQ and MI5 which seeks to stop data leaks, it can be revealed.


Alexander Arbuthnot’s employer, the private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has a multimillion-pound investment in Darktrace, a cyber-security company which is also staffed by officials recruited directly from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).


These intelligence agencies are behind the US government’s prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secret documents. Darktrace has also had access to two former UK prime ministers and former US President Barack Obama.


The revelations raise further concerns about potential conflicts of interests and appearance of bias concerning Lady Arbuthnot and the ties of her family members to the UK and US military and intelligence establishments. Lady Arbuthnot’s husband is Lord James Arbuthnot, a former UK defence minister who has extensive links to the UK military community.






UK legal guidance states that “any conflict of interest in a litigious situation must be declared.” Judicial guidance to magistrates from the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice is clear:


Members of the public must be confident that magistrates are impartial and independent. If you know that your impartiality or independence is compromised in a particular case you must withdraw at once… Nor should you hear any case which you already know something about or which touches upon an activity in which you are involved.


Our understanding is that Lady Arbuthnot has failed to disclose any potential conflicts of interest in her role as judge or chief magistrate.


Lady Arbuthnot is known to have stepped aside from adjudicating two other cases due to potential conflicts of interest, but only after investigations by the media.



This article was sourced from ZeroHedge.com


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5

      

By B.N. Frank


There’s no doubt that street lights are a good thing.  But LED and “Smart” street lights are often expensive AND designed with cameras, microphones, data collection technology, and more.


In addition to invading our privacy, the American Medical Association (AMA) and other experts warn there are biological and environmental risks associated with them as well (see 1, 2, 3). Many Americans oppose their installation – including San Diego residents and advocacy groups.


From GovTech:



Pushback against San Diego’s “smart street lights” program — which puts cameras on a few thousand street lights and collects data like pedestrian movements — continued Tuesday at a forum downtown where speakers called it intrusive and a data goldmine for the private sector.


Some of the street lights have already been retrofitted with the technology, but the coalition behind the forum wants a moratorium on installing data-gathering sensors until there is more public input.


Critics have raised several questions about how the data could be used, who gets access to it and who has oversight.


         



      

[…]


It’s been nearly three years since the city approved the project, which was initially presented as a cost-savings plan to replace lights on some 8,000 poles with energy-efficient LED lighting. Installation started last year but is not complete.


Earlier this year came the public revelation that the plan also included sensors for high-tech data gathering. The revelation led several community groups to come together to push back.


[…]


The city says it can take that real-time data in several applications for community benefit, including improving traffic congestion, making parking easier or enhancing public safety.


San Diego police have access to the videos, which were used in more than 160 investigations between August 2018 and September 2019.





Activist Post regularly reports about issues associated with LED light bulbs used for street lights, vehicle headlights, and everything else.  For more information visit our archives.



Image credit: Pixabay


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6

      

By Aaron Kesel


Google is facing an antitrust violation investigation into its practices of its search and Android software in all 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington DC by their respective attorneys general, CNBC reported.


The states investigating Google are preparing to expand their antitrust probe beyond the company’s advertising business to its search and Android businesses.


The attorneys general will write up subpoenas known as civil investigative demands, or CIDs, to support the ongoing investigation into Google’s practices. According to CNBC, “states will carry out the investigations of search and Android separately, the people said. It wasn’t clear which states would look at those businesses, however.”


The only holdout states are the attorney general of Alabama, where Google is building a US$600 million data center, and California, where Google has its headquarters.


         



      

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the probe into Google’s activities. The probe was announced during a September news conference. Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, Kent Walker, wrote a blog post shortly after the investigation was announced that said the company will cooperate with government investigations.


“There is nothing wrong with a business becoming the biggest game in town if it does so through free market competition, but we have seen evidence that Google’s business practices may have undermined consumer choice, stifled innovation, violated users’ privacy, and put Google in control of the flow and dissemination of online information,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said.


Google recently received its third antitrust violation fine from the European Union when Google was asked to pay €1.5 billion for its controversial business practices stifling competition earlier this year. Google has been fined €8.2 billion ($9.3 billion) by the EU over the last three years combined, according to The Verge.


Google was fined a record €4.3 billion last year for abusing its mobile market, and €2.4 billion the year before that for manipulating shopping search results. Google is currently appealing both cases and has in recent weeks gained support from two mobile phone makers, Gigaset and HMD Global Oy. Court proceedings are expected to start next year. The case is T-604/18 Google vs European Commission, Reuters reported.


The big tech giant has also faced antitrust probes in the U.S. in the past as well, but thus far there hasn’t been a fine handed out. In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opened an investigation into Google’s abuse of its dominance of Internet search and advertising to stifle competition.


One of those FTC complaints was filed by the founder of Presearch, Colin Pape, for another company he owns called ShopCity. The complaint with the Federal Trade Commission accused Google of rigging its search results to make it hard for consumers to find the ShopCity commerce websites.


Anyone with a quote like this who stands up against big tech has my full support! Colin gets it, information is sacred and needs to be protected against Alphabet.



“Tell the guy who’s had his business eradicated by an unintended consequence it’s not evil,” Colin Pape said of Google’s former slogan.


“While Google is generally thought of as a neutral entity for search,  the company answers to Wall Street and operates very secretively,” said Colin Pape, who founded Presearch and previously launched community commerce platform ShopCity.com.  “They’ve become known for promoting themselves at the expense of  alternatives and appropriating others’ information, blaming it on ‘the  algorithm.’ The reality is that they manipulate results and justify  changes as being best for the user. With Presearch, I wanted to flip  that business model on its head and put power over information back into  the hands of all internet users.”



One year later in 2012, a leaked internal FTC report stated Google engaged in “anticompetitive behavior to maintain the dominance of its search engine,” investigators at the Federal Trade Commission wrote in a private report obtained by the Wall Street Journal. The document recommended litigation and called Google a monopoly.


FTC staffers concluded that Google’s “conduct has resulted – and will result – in real harm to consumers and to innovation” in the online search market and the search giant’s actions resulted in “significant harm” to its rivals, Business Insider reported.


However, the FTC decided not to pursue an antitrust lawsuit against Google despite finding that Google’s search algorithm really was biased and instead closed the investigation in early 2013.


According to the 160-page report written by FTC staffers, the employees found evidence that Google was demoting its competitors and placing its own services on top of search results lists — exactly like Pape described in his lawsuit alleging that his ShopCity business was being buried in Google’s search results.


Google agreed in 2013 to change some of its business practices to resolve Federal Trade Commission concerns according to a document on the FTC’s website.




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Then in 2015, the Federal Trade Commission opened a preliminary investigation into whether Google used its Android operating system to dominate its competitors, Reuters reported. 


Two years later, Google faced another $8 million fine, this time from Russian regulators and was forced to open its Android mobiles to competing search engines in a yet another antitrust settlement.


“It’s now nearly impossible for any user to disentangle from Google, or for smaller competitors to make a dent in many industries,” Pape told this writer.


“Google has upped the ante since [the 2013 settlement], and bundled their products even tighter: They have the No. 1 browser, the No. 1 email, No. 1 mapping … there are just so many integral products and so many opportunities for them to control the flow of information,” added Pape.


Google is also reportedly facing an antitrust probe from the U.S. Department of Justice. Although not many details are known about that investigation.


The states and DOJ probes into antitrust violations comes as Google is looking to expand its business tentacles into the healthcare and finance banking industries with Project Nightingale and Project Cache. It is a worrying prospect for one company to have a monopoly on all of that personal data.


A study in 2012 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that while Americans like being able to use a search engine, they don’t like search engines tracking their search history and using it to tailor content and online ads to them.


Activist Post Recommended Book: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism


The statistics found that although 91 percent of those who use search engines find what they’re looking for, 73 percent consider it an invasion of privacy when such sites collect information about them and their search history.


According to that poll, sixty-eight percent of Internet users said they don’t like target advertising or having their online behavior tracked and analyzed.





A bipartisan effort by law makers including presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren have consistently expressed that “it’s time to break up big tech companies” like Google while more and more leaks have come out showing the true colors of the company in recent years like Project Nightingale, Project Cache, Project Dragonfly and The Selfish Ledger as Activist Post has reported.


In fact, so many leaks have come out of Google that CNBC reports:


“Google will no longer hold weekly all-hands meetings amid growing workplace tensions.”


This is awesome news for competitors like Presearch who are seeking to take away Google’s monopolized dominance on search by giving back to their users and allowing users more control over their own data. The ultimate goal of completely decentralizing search will allow an unbiased search engine that just works, and rewards you as a Presearch Community member for using it in PRE cryptocurrency.


Maybe in the future we will see a Presearch Android app that is pre-loaded on some manufacturers’ cell phones after this latest ruling. It is certainly not out of the realm of possibility since Presearch was given the incredible award by Nasdaq as a top cryptocurrency to “bet the house on” for 2018.


As former Senate antitrust subcommittee Chairman Michael S. Lee of Utah said Google “dodged a bullet” in the FTC’s former antitrust violation, but this time it faces 50 attorneys general, a DOJ probe, and a possible FTC probe. However, a recent denial by Joseph Simons, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, to withhold from Congress the 2012 staff report may indicate otherwise. Simons said the document is exempt from public disclosure and as a result, “we are not able to honor your request.”


The remaining question is, doesn’t Simons realize the document was leaked in 2015 all over the internet on various publications including the Wall St Journal? Absolutely anyone can go and read the document and recommendations for litigation against Google which FTC staffers referred to as a “monopoly.”


After years of privacy violations, abuse, and broken promises after each new scandal, it will seem refreshing to not use the term “Google it,” instead, soon users could be saying “Presearch it.” And that has a nice ring to it…



Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter.


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7

      

By Steven Maxwell


For the better part of the last 20 years I’ve chosen small business endeavors over a 9-5 corporate routine. My short time spent in the corporate world wasn’t terrible, but I felt that my more creative impulses and need for variety would be stifled if I stayed in that atmosphere for any length of time.


Since then, I believe that I have seen enough through my participation in more than 10 small businesses of varying styles and degrees of success and failure to offer a few observations. I won’t cover each business, but instead will offer what I hope are some helpful generalizations to prepare yourself for the high-risk high-reward world of entrepreneurship in small business.


A key component of any business, especially over the 10-15 years, has been the many ways that technology has transformed the tools we use to communicate with our customers, manage our day-to-day activities, and enhance what we are able to offer. I began my small business journey in the retail sector with an entirely inventory-based business with a single partner who fortunately had some experience with what we were selling. However, this was nearly two decades ago ago and his experience dated back even further, which put him firmly in a manual mindset for business management. Whether it was accounting, bill payments, payroll or marketing, things moved at a tedious snail’s pace. New tools had been developed such as invoice templates and computer accounting packages like Quicken. Coupled with this were the burgeoning online offerings that could expand the range of brick-and-mortar businesses through websites and e-mail that could enable newsletter delivery, special offers and event scheduling. I remember how the integration of all of these technologies gave us a feeling that we were a much bigger presence than our 2,000-square feet of anchored space.


         



      

After 10 years in retail with 10-12 hour days, virtually no real vacation and certainly no holidays, I became increasingly interested in the many new technologies that empowered people to work from home. We sold our brick-and-mortar shop, went our different ways and I embarked upon the path that led me to where I am today — writing from home where I can deliver information and earn income from an array of diverse online small businesses that I am involved with.


To be sure, the online businesses of today are still fraught with the many perils faced by brick-and-mortar businesses depending on the scope of the offering, which leads small businesses to have extremely high failure rates regardless of their positioning. However, the technology of today greatly minimizes risk if a few key areas are addressed.






From my experience, the number one pitfall (among many smaller ones) is over-investing — and this can happen at any stage of a small business’s trajectory.


In the brick-and-mortar world, this is incredibly easy to do even with the most frugal of mindsets. All of the start-up considerations such as property purchases or rent, decoration, signage, business cards, business equipment and more can put a business into an insurmountable hole of debt right out of the gate. Moreover, inventory-based businesses such as the one I had were a constant balancing act to keep from overextending month to month. The main challenge here is that it often takes years to understand traffic and sales numbers so that ordering products can be done with precision and top profitability. If these products are perishable, it adds a further layer of complexity and punishment for miscalculation.


These aspects of product management and accurate profit calculation are so much easier in the online world where virtual stores can be created to offer a massive array of products without ever needing to physically build anything, or ever even hold products. Built-in profit tracking and customer analytics make this a breeze compared to the trial-and-error cycle normally required. Stores can be built fully online, and items today can be ordered and dropshipped with services like Amazon and Shopify.  Sites like eBay and Craigslist have further enabled anyone to dip their toes into product sales and business management with very little risk.





The digital media side of modern small business – such as this website I’m currently writing for – can offer the utmost in flexibility, portability and adaptability.  It’s a feeling of freedom that in my experience is unsurpassed — the knowledge that I can open a laptop from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection and earn a living. Writing articles, creating videos, building social media, offering ebooks and newsletters, and sharing information with millions of people is almost taken for granted in this day and age but is incredibly liberating once the basic (and often free) tools are understood.


Yes, my current days working from home can often be equally as long as my former retail days; and, yes, all businesses can succumb to unpredictable external forces no matter their size and scope. But the technology of today can keep a business right where it needs to be in order to create the best conditions for success: lean and mean, and quick and nimble.  There has also never been a better time in history to utilize the many tools of technology to minimize the inherent risks of small business, maximize profits and ensure long-standing success while remaining as free as possible while doing it.


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8

      

By Tyler Durden


With protests and unrest raging in multiple hot spots around the globe from Latin America to Hong Kong to Lebanon and Iraq, it could be Iran’s turn to join in.


Amid a fresh price hike in gasoline — the latest in a string of woes to hit the sanctions ravaged Iranian economy, ultimately making life miserable for the common populace — rare mass protests have broken out in multiple cities.


Protests and clashes with police began Friday when petrol prices suddenly rose by at least 50% after government subsidies on it were slashed. Government statements said the plan is to divert the funds in order to make cash payments to low-income households.


         



      

In essence, Tehran authorities dubiously claim they were forced to “free up money” to assist the poor; however, it appears more drastic scrambling as Tehran struggles to find global purchasers to offload its oil.




And as of Saturday Reuters Persian reports that gas prices have tripled, taking millions of angry middle class demonstrators to the streets across the country.




The BBC reports that the protests are fierce enough to have already led to at least two deaths and multiple injured as demonstrations are active in at least a dozen cities:



One person was killed during protests in the central city of Sirjan. State news agency Irna said there were clashes with police when protesters attacked a fuel storage warehouse and tried to set fire to it.


Several more people were injured. A protester also died in the city of Behbahan.


Other cities were also affected including the capital, Tehran, Kermanshah, Isfahan, Tabriz, Karadj, Shiraz, Yazd, Boushehr and Sari.





The AP reported that while at the start of this week drivers were allotted up to 250 liters a month at the pump at at a controlled 10,000 rials per liter, as of Friday that changed drastically to an allowance of 60 liters (or 13 gallons) of petrol a month at 15,000 rials ($0.13; £0.10) a liter. Additional liters after that cost 30,000 rials.



9

      

By Caitlin Johnstone


The Washington-recognized interim government which just ascended to power via US-backed military coup in Bolivia is already shifting the nation’s foreign policy into alignment with the US-centralized empire, severing important ties with two governments which have resisted absorption into the imperial blob.


“Bolivia’s caretaker government isn’t wasting any time overhauling its foreign policy, announcing Friday that it will expel hundreds of Cuban officials and break ties with longtime ally Venezuela,” The Miami Herald reports. “In a series of statements, Bolivia’s new foreign minister, Karen Longaric, told local media that about 725 Cubans — including doctors and medical staff — would begin leaving Bolivia on Friday.”


“In that same interview she also said she’d be recalling Bolivia’s diplomatic staff from Venezuela,” Miami Herald adds. “Later, asked if she would maintain ties with Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, she said, ‘Of course we’ll break diplomatic relations with the Maduro government.’”


Of course they will.


         



      


This news comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention. US foreign policy is essentially an endless war on disobedience, in which governments that refuse to bow to US interests are toppled by any means necessary and replaced by governments who will.


International affairs are much easier to understand once you stop thinking in terms of separate, sovereign nations and start thinking in terms of alliances and empire. What we are witnessing can best be described as a slow-motion third world war between what amounts to an unofficial globe-spanning empire centralized around the United States and its military on one side, and all the nations which have refused to be absorbed into this empire on the other. Nations which allow themselves to be absorbed are rewarded with the carrot of military and economic alliance with the empire, and nations which refuse are punished with the stick of invasions, sanctions, trade wars, and coups, with the ultimate goal being total unipolar global domination. The bigger the imperial blob grows, the stronger and more effective it becomes in undermining the interests of unabsorbed nations like Venezuela and Cuba.


Nothing takes precedence over this agenda of unipolar hegemony. As long as a nation remains loyal to the empire, it can fund terrorists, butcher Washington Post columnists, and create the worst humanitarian crisis in the world without fear of any retribution of any kind from the US-centralized empire. As a leaked State Department memo explained in 2017, so far as the empire is concerned human rights violations are nothing more than a strategic narrative control weapon with which to attack unabsorbed nations, and to be ignored when they are perpetrated by absorbed nations.


It should therefore also surprise no one that this same Washington-recognized government installed via US-backed military coup is now murdering demonstrators who object to it.








As of this writing there have been five protesters confirmed to have been killed by gunfire in Cochabamba, where security forces are cracking down on demonstrations with extreme aggression against majority-Indigenous demonstrations in support of the ousted president Evo Morales.


The narrative managers at The New York Times are reporting on the events in Cochabamba with the obnoxious insinuation that it may actually be Morales and Bolivia’s Indigenous population who are to blame for current tensions. Here are a couple of excerpts from NYT’s latest contribution to the narrative matrix titled “Ethnic Rifts in Bolivia Burst Into View With Fall of Evo Morales” (emphases mine):



Mr. Morales’s nearly 14 years in power represented a breakthrough for the three-quarters of Bolivians who are either of Indigenous descent or identify as members of Indigenous groups. But he also reinforced his base of support with explicit appeals to racial identity that many Bolivians found threatening and polarizing.



“Racism exists in Bolivia; it existed before Evo, and it will never disappear,” said Michelle Kieffer, an insurance broker, as she sipped a cappuccino in an upper-middle-class neighborhood of the country’s administrative capital, La Paz.


“While Evo started an important discussion,” she added, “he also manipulated the race issue, and that has caused disunity. And now people of different races look at each other with suspicion.”



Right. Gotcha. Maybe it’s the impoverished brown-skinned people who are in fact the real fascists, and not the literal Christian fascist coupmongers whose US-backed government takeover they are protesting. Thanks, NYT.



10

      

By Caitlin Johnstone


The Washington-recognized interim government which just ascended to power via US-backed military coup in Bolivia is already shifting the nation’s foreign policy into alignment with the US-centralized empire, severing important ties with two governments which have resisted absorption into the imperial blob.


“Bolivia’s caretaker government isn’t wasting any time overhauling its foreign policy, announcing Friday that it will expel hundreds of Cuban officials and break ties with longtime ally Venezuela,” The Miami Herald reports. “In a series of statements, Bolivia’s new foreign minister, Karen Longaric, told local media that about 725 Cubans — including doctors and medical staff — would begin leaving Bolivia on Friday.”


“In that same interview she also said she’d be recalling Bolivia’s diplomatic staff from Venezuela,” Miami Herald adds. “Later, asked if she would maintain ties with Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, she said, ‘Of course we’ll break diplomatic relations with the Maduro government.’”


Of course they will.


         



      


This news comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention. US foreign policy is essentially an endless war on disobedience, in which governments that refuse to bow to US interests are toppled by any means necessary and replaced by governments who will.


International affairs are much easier to understand once you stop thinking in terms of separate, sovereign nations and start thinking in terms of alliances and empire. What we are witnessing can best be described as a slow-motion third world war between what amounts to an unofficial globe-spanning empire centralized around the United States and its military on one side, and all the nations which have refused to be absorbed into this empire on the other. Nations which allow themselves to be absorbed are rewarded with the carrot of military and economic alliance with the empire, and nations which refuse are punished with the stick of invasions, sanctions, trade wars, and coups, with the ultimate goal being total unipolar global domination. The bigger the imperial blob grows, the stronger and more effective it becomes in undermining the interests of unabsorbed nations like Venezuela and Cuba.


Nothing takes precedence over this agenda of unipolar hegemony. As long as a nation remains loyal to the empire, it can fund terrorists, butcher Washington Post columnists, and create the worst humanitarian crisis in the world without fear of any retribution of any kind from the US-centralized empire. As a leaked State Department memo explained in 2017, so far as the empire is concerned human rights violations are nothing more than a strategic narrative control weapon with which to attack unabsorbed nations, and to be ignored when they are perpetrated by absorbed nations.


It should therefore also surprise no one that this same Washington-recognized government installed via US-backed military coup is now murdering demonstrators who object to it.








As of this writing there have been five protesters confirmed to have been killed by gunfire in Cochabamba, where security forces are cracking down on demonstrations with extreme aggression against majority-Indigenous demonstrations in support of the ousted president Evo Morales.


The narrative managers at The New York Times are reporting on the events in Cochabamba with the obnoxious insinuation that it may actually be Morales and Bolivia’s Indigenous population who are to blame for current tensions. Here are a couple of excerpts from NYT’s latest contribution to the narrative matrix titled “Ethnic Rifts in Bolivia Burst Into View With Fall of Evo Morales” (emphases mine):



Mr. Morales’s nearly 14 years in power represented a breakthrough for the three-quarters of Bolivians who are either of Indigenous descent or identify as members of Indigenous groups. But he also reinforced his base of support with explicit appeals to racial identity that many Bolivians found threatening and polarizing.



“Racism exists in Bolivia; it existed before Evo, and it will never disappear,” said Michelle Kieffer, an insurance broker, as she sipped a cappuccino in an upper-middle-class neighborhood of the country’s administrative capital, La Paz.


“While Evo started an important discussion,” she added, “he also manipulated the race issue, and that has caused disunity. And now people of different races look at each other with suspicion.”



Right. Gotcha. Maybe it’s the impoverished brown-skinned people who are in fact the real fascists, and not the literal Christian fascist coupmongers whose US-backed government takeover they are protesting. Thanks, NYT.



11

      

By Lubomir Tassev


For various reasons, a growing number of nations are experiencing the rapid development of cashless society. Paper money may become extinct in some countries in the not-so-distant future. Prompted by the spread of private and decentralized cryptocurrencies and the threat of losing control over their monetary policies, more and more governments are now working to create central bank issued digital currencies to replace banknotes and coins. China has joined the campaign against cash, although not at the expense of centralized monetary power.


Also read: Japan Pushes Cashless Agenda by Rewarding Non-Cash Payments After Tax Hike


China to Trial ‘Large-Scale Cash Management’

In a move that many consider part of Beijing’s plans to introduce a digital version of the national fiat, the yuan, the People’s Bank of China (PBOS) has revealed plans to implement pilot programs aimed at exerting greater control over cash transactions. According to a notice issued by the central bank, the trials will be conducted in three Chinese regions, the provinces of Hebei and Zhejiang and Shenzhen City, within the next two years.


         



      

In a report addressing fears that the initiative will restrict public access to cash, the state-run news agency Xinhua explained that despite the rapid development of non-cash payment platforms in recent years, the total amount of cash in circulation has remained at a stable level while large-volume cash transactions have in fact continued to grow. Besides, these have been concentrating in specific areas, groups of people and periods, arguably lowering the overall efficiency of cash flow.


PBOS shares its own reasons to implement the new control mechanism. Large amounts of cash are widely used in China, the bank points out, and they are exploited in criminal activities such as corruption, tax evasion and money laundering. The regulator will impose stricter supervision and introduce reporting requirements for cash operations over certain thresholds – 500,000 yuan (approx. $70,000) for public accounts, and for private accounts – 100,000 yuan in Hebei province, 300,000 yuan in Zhejiang province, and 200,000 yuan in Shenzhen.


“Under the requirements of large-scale cash management, banks need to deepen their understanding of current customers, strengthen risk warning and information communication for customers who are prone to generate large cash transactions, and guide them to use non-cash payment tools,” the Chinese central bank demands. It also proposes the establishment of a special registration system for large cash withdrawals, emphasizing that as long as a bank customer fulfills their obligations under the applicable rules, access to large sums of cash will not be restricted.


Other developed countries have already adopted regulations to increase control over cash flows and China is now trying catch up. After the new system is tested in the three regions, it is expected to form the basis of a long-term large-scale cash management mechanism. According to the Xinhua report, Beijing’s main motive is to “promote the concept of rational use of cash.” But the new focus on increased oversight over cash transactions may also be related to the plan to issue a digital yuan, one of the main purposes of which is to exert greater control over financial transactions.


Is This the End of Paper Cash?

In the digital age, a walk away from cash sounds like a natural development. There is now a race between state actors, corporations, and communities to issue digital currencies that will replace paper notes and metal coins. There’s a lot of politics, geopolitics, macro- and microeconomics involved in the deepening competition to build the cashless society. If you visit a country like Sweden, you’ll realize it has already been created to a large extent. You’ll need a mobile app or a bank card far more often than banknotes to pay in stores. Consumer transactions with non-cash methods reach almost 60%. In fact, a number of bank branches in the country don’t accept or process cash deposits and withdrawals.


See: 177 Different Ways to Generate Extra Income


Cash is disappearing in the Nordic nation, an article published recently by the Guardian noted. The piece describes Britain’s own rapid departure from paper money as well. The amount of Swedish cash in circulation has dropped from 80 billion to 58 billion kronor in the last four years, a reduction of over 27%. During the same period, ATM withdrawals fell by more than half. Meanwhile, in the U.K. cash transactions declined by over 50% between 2008 and 2018. Even Japan, where almost 80% of people use cash every day, is now promoting cashless payments, as news.Bitcoin.com reported this week.




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But not all types of cashless relations are in the best interest of states, and governments are starting to realize that. Paper money has certain advantages for ordinary people, like better privacy for the holder, that governments don’t mind getting rid of, which to a large extent explains the initial push to create cashless societies. A banknote is a contract in ink and paper between the issuer, a central bank, and the bearer, a citizen or a resident. In modern cashless societies these contracts are replaced by contracts between people and companies, on the one hand, and third parties such as commercial banks and payment processors, on the other. When bank branches and stores in Sweden reject government issued bills that’s is a problem for the Swedish state and its sovereignty over money. The threat is even greater in the case with currencies issued by corporations such as Facebook or Alipay, for example, where government money will not be part of the contract at all.


It’s not surprising then that a growing number of states are trying to create their own digital currencies. Sweden’s Riksbank has been working on an e-krona for some time, which will be a central bank digital currency (CBDC). While the Bank of England has previously stated it is not planning to issue one, a couple of months ago Governor Mark Carney suggested that a network of CBDCs could unite to create a new “Synthetic Hegemonic Currency”. This sounds realistic as according to a study conducted by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), 70% of 63 polled central banks are exploring the issue of CBDCs. Now as China is vowing to become the first nation with a digital fiat, pressure has been mounting on the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to create a digital dollar and a digital euro.


While paper notes and metal coins still have an appeal because of their physical qualities, since the invention of fiat money part of the subject of the contract they represent has been lost. Sterling in the name of the British currency doesn’t refer to a silver alloy anymore and this isn’t going to change with the introduction of its digital version. Money based on other contracts, such as with corporate entities and third parties, certainly comes with many disclaimers as well. That creates a real window of opportunity for permissionless decentralized cryptocurrencies, now when societies are going cashless, and a recently conducted survey showed that almost a tenth of Chinese students already own crypto. To use digital cash in financial interactions with others, you neither need a contract, nor a third party.


What’s your prediction about the outcome of the race between various digital currencies to replace paper money? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.






Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Bulgaria, which sometimes finds itself at the forefront of advances it cannot easily afford. Quoting Hitchens, he says: ”Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.“ International politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.


This article was sourced from Bitcoin.com


Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Become an Activist Post Patron for as little as $1 per month at Patreon. Follow us on SoMee, Flote, Minds, Twitter, and Steemit.


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


   

12

      

By Lubomir Tassev


For various reasons, a growing number of nations are experiencing the rapid development of cashless society. Paper money may become extinct in some countries in the not-so-distant future. Prompted by the spread of private and decentralized cryptocurrencies and the threat of losing control over their monetary policies, more and more governments are now working to create central bank issued digital currencies to replace banknotes and coins. China has joined the campaign against cash, although not at the expense of centralized monetary power.


Also read: Japan Pushes Cashless Agenda by Rewarding Non-Cash Payments After Tax Hike


China to Trial ‘Large-Scale Cash Management’

In a move that many consider part of Beijing’s plans to introduce a digital version of the national fiat, the yuan, the People’s Bank of China (PBOS) has revealed plans to implement pilot programs aimed at exerting greater control over cash transactions. According to a notice issued by the central bank, the trials will be conducted in three Chinese regions, the provinces of Hebei and Zhejiang and Shenzhen City, within the next two years.


         



      

In a report addressing fears that the initiative will restrict public access to cash, the state-run news agency Xinhua explained that despite the rapid development of non-cash payment platforms in recent years, the total amount of cash in circulation has remained at a stable level while large-volume cash transactions have in fact continued to grow. Besides, these have been concentrating in specific areas, groups of people and periods, arguably lowering the overall efficiency of cash flow.


PBOS shares its own reasons to implement the new control mechanism. Large amounts of cash are widely used in China, the bank points out, and they are exploited in criminal activities such as corruption, tax evasion and money laundering. The regulator will impose stricter supervision and introduce reporting requirements for cash operations over certain thresholds – 500,000 yuan (approx. $70,000) for public accounts, and for private accounts – 100,000 yuan in Hebei province, 300,000 yuan in Zhejiang province, and 200,000 yuan in Shenzhen.


“Under the requirements of large-scale cash management, banks need to deepen their understanding of current customers, strengthen risk warning and information communication for customers who are prone to generate large cash transactions, and guide them to use non-cash payment tools,” the Chinese central bank demands. It also proposes the establishment of a special registration system for large cash withdrawals, emphasizing that as long as a bank customer fulfills their obligations under the applicable rules, access to large sums of cash will not be restricted.


Other developed countries have already adopted regulations to increase control over cash flows and China is now trying catch up. After the new system is tested in the three regions, it is expected to form the basis of a long-term large-scale cash management mechanism. According to the Xinhua report, Beijing’s main motive is to “promote the concept of rational use of cash.” But the new focus on increased oversight over cash transactions may also be related to the plan to issue a digital yuan, one of the main purposes of which is to exert greater control over financial transactions.


Is This the End of Paper Cash?

In the digital age, a walk away from cash sounds like a natural development. There is now a race between state actors, corporations, and communities to issue digital currencies that will replace paper notes and metal coins. There’s a lot of politics, geopolitics, macro- and microeconomics involved in the deepening competition to build the cashless society. If you visit a country like Sweden, you’ll realize it has already been created to a large extent. You’ll need a mobile app or a bank card far more often than banknotes to pay in stores. Consumer transactions with non-cash methods reach almost 60%. In fact, a number of bank branches in the country don’t accept or process cash deposits and withdrawals.


See: 177 Different Ways to Generate Extra Income


Cash is disappearing in the Nordic nation, an article published recently by the Guardian noted. The piece describes Britain’s own rapid departure from paper money as well. The amount of Swedish cash in circulation has dropped from 80 billion to 58 billion kronor in the last four years, a reduction of over 27%. During the same period, ATM withdrawals fell by more than half. Meanwhile, in the U.K. cash transactions declined by over 50% between 2008 and 2018. Even Japan, where almost 80% of people use cash every day, is now promoting cashless payments, as news.Bitcoin.com reported this week.




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Profit outside the rigged system! Protect yourself from tyranny and economic collapse. Learn to live free and spread peace!
Counter Markets Newsletter - Trends & Strategies for Maximum Freedom




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But not all types of cashless relations are in the best interest of states, and governments are starting to realize that. Paper money has certain advantages for ordinary people, like better privacy for the holder, that governments don’t mind getting rid of, which to a large extent explains the initial push to create cashless societies. A banknote is a contract in ink and paper between the issuer, a central bank, and the bearer, a citizen or a resident. In modern cashless societies these contracts are replaced by contracts between people and companies, on the one hand, and third parties such as commercial banks and payment processors, on the other. When bank branches and stores in Sweden reject government issued bills that’s is a problem for the Swedish state and its sovereignty over money. The threat is even greater in the case with currencies issued by corporations such as Facebook or Alipay, for example, where government money will not be part of the contract at all.


It’s not surprising then that a growing number of states are trying to create their own digital currencies. Sweden’s Riksbank has been working on an e-krona for some time, which will be a central bank digital currency (CBDC). While the Bank of England has previously stated it is not planning to issue one, a couple of months ago Governor Mark Carney suggested that a network of CBDCs could unite to create a new “Synthetic Hegemonic Currency”. This sounds realistic as according to a study conducted by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), 70% of 63 polled central banks are exploring the issue of CBDCs. Now as China is vowing to become the first nation with a digital fiat, pressure has been mounting on the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to create a digital dollar and a digital euro.


While paper notes and metal coins still have an appeal because of their physical qualities, since the invention of fiat money part of the subject of the contract they represent has been lost. Sterling in the name of the British currency doesn’t refer to a silver alloy anymore and this isn’t going to change with the introduction of its digital version. Money based on other contracts, such as with corporate entities and third parties, certainly comes with many disclaimers as well. That creates a real window of opportunity for permissionless decentralized cryptocurrencies, now when societies are going cashless, and a recently conducted survey showed that almost a tenth of Chinese students already own crypto. To use digital cash in financial interactions with others, you neither need a contract, nor a third party.


What’s your prediction about the outcome of the race between various digital currencies to replace paper money? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.






Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Bulgaria, which sometimes finds itself at the forefront of advances it cannot easily afford. Quoting Hitchens, he says: ”Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.“ International politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.


This article was sourced from Bitcoin.com


Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Become an Activist Post Patron for as little as $1 per month at Patreon. Follow us on SoMee, Flote, Minds, Twitter, and Steemit.


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


   

13

      

By Jack Burns


California — In what police accountability activists are claiming is not an isolated incident, more than 1,000 law enforcement officers accessed the California background check database for personal reasons. The Sacramento Bee (SacBee) reported the criminal background searches have absolutely nothing to do with the work the police officers do. Instead, the searches are indicative of police officers committing crimes in some cases for friends and family.


As an example, the SacBee uncovered the criminal case against San Francisco police Sgt. John Haggett. Haggett pleaded guilty to misusing the Department of Motor Vehicle’s database and was convicted of a misdemeanor, forced to pay $150 in restitution fees, and allowed to resign with his full pension after serving 30 years as a lawman.


However, what he was alleged to have done was used his login and password to have run criminal background checks on three individuals through the department’s database, the FBI’s database, and the DMV, all for his girlfriend because she wanted background checks on her tenants. The individuals who Haggett searched were, indeed, her tenants. It’s unclear how long Haggett had been using his position in law enforcement for his own personal gain.


         



      

Haggett is just the tip of the iceberg, however.


When speaking with police accountability activists, such as TFTP’s Matt Agorist, the belief is the practice is not at all limited to California law enforcement personnel. Accessing local, state, and federal databases for personal gain is one grey area where cops have largely been held unaccountable. After all, as TFTP has consistently reported, cops can create a probable cause for almost any action they take, including accessing your private data.


In September, CBS News investigated the phenomena of police officers illegally accessing databases for their own personal reason and gain. CBS concluded the problem is rampant and no governmental agency is keeping track of the violations:


No single agency tracks how often the abuse happens nationwide, and record-keeping inconsistencies make it impossible to know how many violations occur.


In other words, cops do it, they act with impunity, and no one seems to  care enough to put actionable preventative measures in place — even when these searches result in rapes.


CBS News continued, citing the only available disciplinary statistics which the Associated Press could locate:


[The] AP, through records requests to state agencies and big-city police departments, found law enforcement officers and employees who misused databases were fired, suspended or resigned more than 325 times between 2013 and 2015. They received reprimands, counseling or lesser discipline in more than 250 instances, the review found.






Just as in other even more serious crimes involving law enforcement personnel, often records request violations resulted in very little punishment if any towards cops:


Unspecified discipline was imposed in more than 90 instances reviewed by AP. In many other cases, it wasn’t clear from the records if punishment was given at all. The number of violations was surely far higher, since records provided were spotty at best, and many cases go unnoticed.


Administrative leave (usually paid) is what often happens when cops get caught doing something they shouldn’t, even though some of those crimes would land the average citizen in jail. What the SacBee, CBS, and the AP all found was unanimous. Crimes are being committed by cops who are misusing records databases, and they’re getting away with yet another slap on the wrist if there’s even any punishment at all.


The crimes are not limited to buddy favors either. Alexis Dekany was stalked by her ex-boyfriend, an Akron police officer. Dekany described her horror learning her stalker, a cop, used his position to access her private information in order to terrorize her. She said,


It’s personal. It’s your address. It’s all your information, it’s your Social Security number, it’s everything about you…And when they use it for ill purposes to commit crimes against you — to stalk you, to follow you, to harass you … it just becomes so dangerous.





CBS concluded:


The unauthorized searches demonstrate how even old-fashioned policing tools are ripe for abuse, at a time when privacy concerns about law enforcement have focused mostly on more modern electronic technologies. And incomplete, inconsistent tracking of the problem frustrates efforts to document its pervasiveness.


So, just in case you think you’re safe if you’ve done nothing wrong, remember this. If a pervert cop thinks you’re beautiful, after he/she pulls you over in a traffic stop, they can use the address they find when you hand them your license to later come to your door and ask you out on a date.



Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine. This article was sourced from The Free Thought Project.


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14

      

By Tyler Durden


The collision of demographics and automation will potentially reshape South Korea’s economy by 2030.


A new analysis via Bloomberg shows the collision of these forces could trigger economic disruptions that might lead to a decade of financial volatility.


South Korea has one of the fastest aging populations in the world, and to counter these upcoming demographic challenges, corporations and the government are investing billions of dollars into building “smart factories” where automation and artificial intelligence will replace human workers.


Already South Korea has embraced robots in its manufacturing sector. About 3 million people, or about two-thirds of the workers in manufacturing, are at serious risk of losing their jobs to robots in the next decade.




         



      




A new wave of investments in automation, artificial intelligence, and fifth-generation wireless networks could expedite the transition of robots replacing workers in smart factories.


The collision of automation in the workplace isn’t just going to reshape factories in South Korea — it will also lead to massive job losses in the service sector.


See: 177 Different Ways to Generate Extra Income


Services account for 70% of the South Korea economy, and this means job losses could be double or triple of what is expected in the manufacturing sector by 2030.


The most impacted service jobs are likely to be retailing, food services, and transportation.


The impact on the workforce is going to be so high that the government has already started creating “learning factories,” where about 50,000 people by 2022 will be reskilled to work on robots.



15

      

By Mac Slavo


While unsuspecting iPhone users read their daily dose of mainstream media news, the Facebook app is secretly accessing the camera on their smartphones. But Facebook says not to worry: it’s only a bug…


Users, however, are rightly concerned that Facebook is recording them as they use the app. Unlike on Apple’s computers, there is no indicator when an app is accessing the camera, so it is possible for an app to do so in secret, as reported by The Independent.


         



      

Facebook says the strange behavior is caused by a bug that was added to the code by accident and that there is no indication that photos or videos are being sent to its servers. The company claims an update has already been submitted to Apple that should remove it. In the meantime, the potential security flaw can be avoided by a simple fix in the iPhone settings that keeps Facebook from seeing the camera at all.


The bug first came to light after users noted that the app would occasionally shift the entire feed over to the right, as part of what appeared to be a bug. Underneath that main app a different screen could be seen – which showed video from the phone’s built-in camera. –The Independent



“We recently discovered that version 244 of the Facebook iOS app would incorrectly launch in landscape mode,” a Facebook spokesperson said.


“In fixing that issue last week in v246 (launched on 8 November) we inadvertently introduced a bug that caused the app to partially navigate to the camera screen adjacent to News Feed when users tapped on photos.”


“We have seen no evidence of photos or videos being uploaded due to this bug. We’re submitting the fix for this to Apple today.”


“We’ve confirmed that we didn’t upload anything to FB due to this bug and that the camera didn’t capture anything since it was in preview mode. We’ve submitted a fixed version to the App Store which is already rolling out,” wrote Facebook’s vice president of integrity Guy Rosen in a series of Tweets.


The problem can be fixed by revoking Facebook’s access to the camera. That is done by heading into the Settings app and navigating to the Facebook option – clicking that should bring up a number of permissions that have been granted to the app, including the ability to access the camera, which can be turned off by changing the toggle.



This article was sourced from SHTFPlan.com


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