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1

      

By Patrick Wood


Forget ‘fake news’. Google IS fake news. It is re-writing history, the present and the future. It is using its enormous control over the ‘news feed’ to control how people think, react and act. Worse, it is working beyond their wildest imagination.


We can thank Project Veritas for breaking this story, and I expect there will be additional Google insiders who come out as whistleblowers to reveal more sordid details.


In short, Google is weaponizing its AI programs to decimate all conservative voice in America, and to make sure that Donald Trump does not get elected in 2020.


         



      

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had the opportunity to grill Maggie Stanphill, Director of Google User Experience, on the undercover video of another Google executive and leaked internal documents. Here is a partial transcript:


CRUZ: Are you familiar with the report that was released yesterday from Veritas, that included a whistleblower from within Google that included videos from a senior executive at Google, and it included documents that are reportedly internal powerpoint documents from google.


GOOGLE: Yes I heard about that report in news.


CRUZ: Have you seen the report?


GOOGLE: No I did not.


CRUZ: So you didn’t review the report to prepare fr this meeting?


GOOGLE: It’s been a busy day and I have a day job which is Digital Well-being at Google so I’m trying to make sure…


CRUZ: Well I’m sorry that this meeting is impinging on your day job.


GOOGLE: It’s a great opportunity thank you.


CRUZ: One of the things in that report and I would recommend people interested in political bias at Google watch the entire report and judge for themselves, there’s a video from a woman Jen Gennai, it’s a secret video that was recorded, Jen Gennai as I understand is the head of responsible innovation for google. Are you familiar with Miss Gennai?


GOOGLE:  I work in user experience and I believe that AI group is somebody is somebody that works on AI principles. But it’s a big company and I don’t work directly with Jen.


CRUZ: Do you know her or no?


GOOGLE: I do not know Jen.


CRUZ: As I understand that she is shown in the video saying, and this is a quote, “Elizabeth warren is saying that we should break up google. And like I love her, but she is very misguided. Like that will not make it better. It  will make it worse. Because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do, will be charged with preventing the next trump situation. It’s like a small company cannot do that.” Do you think its Google’s job to quote, “prevent the next trump situation?”


GOOGLE: Thank you senator. I don’t agree with that. No sir.


CRUZ: So a different individual, a whistleblower identified simply as an insider at Google with knowledge of the algorithm, was quoted on the same report as saying, google is quote “bent on never letting someone like Donald Trump come to power again.” You think its google’s job to make sure quote “somebody like Donald Trump never comes to power again?”


GOOGLE: No sir I don’t think that is Google’s job and we build for everyone including every single religious belief, every single demographic, every single region, and certain every single political affiliation.


CRUZ: Well I have to say that certainly doesn’t appear to be the case. Of the senior executives at Google, do you know a single one that voted for Donald Trump?


GOOGLE: Thank you senator. I’m a user experience director and I work on google digital well-being, I can tell you we have diverse use…


CRUZ: Did you know of anyone that voted for Trump.


GOOGLE: I definitely know of people that voted for Trump.


CRUZ: Of the senior executives at Google.


GOOGLE: I don’t talk politics with my workmates.






CRUZ: Is that a no?


GOOGLE: Sorry is that a no to what?


CRUZ: DO you know any senior executives, even a single senior executive at the company that voted for Donald Trump?


GOOGLE: as the digital well-being expert I don’t think this is in my purview to comment… I definitely don’t know…



CRUZ: Let’s talk about one of the PowerPoints that was leaked. The Veritas report has Google internally saying “I propose we make machine learning intentionally human centered and intervene for fairness.” Is this document accurate?


GOOGLE: Thank you sir, I don’t know about this document so I don’t know.


CRUZ: Okay I’m going to ask you to respond to the committee in writing afterwards as to whether this PowerPoint and the other documents are included in the veritas report, whether  those are  accurate. And I recognize that your lawyers may want to write explanation, you’re welcome to write all the explanation that you want but I also want a simple clear answer is this an accurate document that was generated by google. Do you agree with the sentiment expressed in this document?


GOOGLE: No sir I do not.


CRUZ: Going to read you another, also in this report, it indicates that Google according this whistleblower, deliberately makes recommendations if someone is searching for conservative commentators, deliberately shifts the recommendations so instead of recommending other conservative commentators it recommends organizations like CNN or MSNBC or left leaning political outlets. Is that occurring?


GOOGLE: Thank you sir, I can’t comment I can’t comment on search algorithms or recommendations given my purview as Digital Well-being lead. I can take that back to my team though.


CRUZ: So is it part of Digital Well-being for search recommendations to reflect the where user wants to go than deliberately shifting where they want to go?


GOOGLE: As a user experience professional, we focus on delivering on user goals. So we try to get out of the way and on the task at hand.


CRUZ: So a final question, one of these documents that was leaked explains what Google is doing and it has a series of stamps, training data, collected and classified, algorithms are programmed, media are filtered ranked and aggregated, and that ends with, people, parenthesis, like us, are programmed. Does Google view its job as programming people with search results?




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GOOGLE: Thank you senator. I can’t speak for the whole entire company, but I can tell you that we make sure that we put our users first in design.


CRUZ: Well I think these questions, these documents raise very serious questions about political bias.


As Google scrambles to perform damage control, you can expect it to issue unending, inane public statements that contradict the clear evidence before the world. This is how things are done at the “Ministry of Truth.”


The Technocrat coup is in full swing now, and we should have illusions that there are “good people” somewhere in the midst of this. The battle lines have been drawn, but the war has barely begun.


If you are hot to conquer censorship, go immediately to Citizens For Free Speech (CFFS) and join the battle. CFFS defends and promotes the First Amendment that gives us the right to speak up. If we lose this right, it’s “game over.”



Patrick Wood is a leading and critical expert on Sustainable Development, Green Economy, Agenda 21, 2030 Agenda and historic Technocracy.


He is the author of Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation (2015) and co-author of Trilaterals Over Washington, Volumes I and II (1978-1980) with the late Antony C. Sutton.


Wood remains a leading expert on the elitist Trilateral Commission, their policies and achievements in creating their self-proclaimed “New International Economic Order” which is the essence of Sustainable Development on a global scale.


An economist by education, a financial analyst and writer by profession and an American Constitutionalist by choice, Wood maintains a Biblical world view and has deep historical insights into the modern attacks on sovereignty, property rights and personal freedom. Such attacks are epitomized by the implementation of U.N. policies such as Agenda 21, Sustainable Development, Smart Growth and in education, the widespread adoption of Common Core State Standards.


Wood is a frequent speaker and guest on radio shows around the nation. His current research builds on Trilateral Commission hegemony, focusing on Technocracy, Transhumanism and Scientism, and how these are transforming global economics, politics and religion.


This article was sourced from Technocracy.News.


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Image credit: Truthstream Media


   
            


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2

      

By Steven Maxwell


We’ve got a number of critical subjects on the plate in front of us, the first one being that a recession is nearing. It’s closer than it has ever been in the past 10 years and Trump is under extreme pressure to get the FED to lower rates and close a deal with the Chinese, before his approval ratings dwindle and his re-election hopes look slim.


Recessions are part of economic cycles; they are literally IMPOSSIBLE to avoid. All a government, a central bank, an investment institution, a corporation, or an individual can ever do is to prepare, manage, and operate within that context in the right manner, but no one has ever invented or will ever come up with a way to end recessions or slowdowns. Nature is cyclical, seasonal really, and so are economies.


The problem is that, as I just said, preparation is the first step towards circumnavigating recessions successfully, and the fact of the matter is that 80% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, 50% are dead broke or one salary away from it, and very few own assets or have savings to fall back on.


         



      

No, America is only thinking about the good times when it operates. The government has put zero thought into how much expenditures (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) will remain mandatory during the next slowdown and they’ve just had a RECORD spending month. Not since the republic was founded did any government spend as much as in May 2019; all while the president keeps saying that it’s the hottest economy on the planet, implying that he understands that this is as good as it gets.



Courtesy: Zerohedge.com



When we came out of the Great Recession in 2010, government debt was 65% of GDP and it is now 105% of GDP. This stat is so alarming, since it proves that the U.S. can NEVER, not in a million years, tax its way back to a balanced budget; it’s not strong or vibrant enough.


Two options are left on the table, which are to (1) drastically cut spending, or (2) inflate the debt away. The 3rd option is to not lower the debt levels and remain indebted for good, which will effectively turn this country into a nation of slaves.


What’s certain is that the wealthy, who have a record amount of cash on hand, will again benefit tremendously from the coming recession, as they consolidate more assets, more businesses, and more power, while prices decline and the general population gets distressed once more.




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In boom times, Washington is projected for a $1T annual deficit, but you can’t shut off the entitlements hose in the next recession, so I calculated tax receipts would drop, making the deficit an insane $1.8T, on an annual basis.


Zero rates have made it so that the hurdle to borrow money for corporations and for zombie enterprises, which should have gone bust many years ago, is zilch.


Just think of it this way: in 2010, U.S. corporations owed $6T and now they owe $10T, while total profits have risen from $1.7T to $2.2T. Thus, in 9 years, businesses borrowed $4T and generated $0.5T. That’s horrible. The reason the markets are up this much, despite this crazy statistic, is because (1) there is no viable alternative for your cash when interest rates are so meaningless, and (2) because CEOs spent (get ready for it) $5.7T on share buybacks and only $2.2T on capital expenditures since 2010.



Courtesy: U.S. Global Investors



Billionaires, smart as hell, people like Stanley Druckenmiller, Ray Dalio, Jeff Gundlach, and Paul Tudor Jones, who have all STARTED their careers in commodities, are voting with their money on gold right now.




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What they’re doing is betting on which way traffic will go on a one-way street. When a car pulls out of the driveway, it is 99% likely to go where the signal tells it to go. Otherwise, it is breaking the law. Therefore, betting that IF a car pulls out of the driveway, it will follow the rules is a high probability bet. The only risks are if NO car pulls out of the driveway for a very long time, thus frustrating the bettors, or that a highly unlikely event occurs and the car goes the wrong way.


And so, with rates extremely likely to be cut in July, they’re buying Treasuries, which go up in price as yields come down, and gold, which soars on low yields, coupled with slowing economic conditions (2009-2011). Rates are NOT going up, which is the reason this is such a high probability bet – the likelihood that the FED goes the wrong way is next to non-existent.


In the chart above, you can see that this is the 3rd time the mining stocks are attempting a breakout. You can already sense the demand for them is beginning to resume.


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3

      

By Sayer Ji, GreenMedInfo


Earlier this month, in one devastating algorithmic stroke, Google removed many of the top natural health and health freedom websites from their organic search results — some losing as much as 90% of their traffic. In fact, the term “organic” should no longer be used to describe Google’s referral traffic, as a jaw-dropping undercover investigation by Project Veritas reveals: Google surreptitiously manipulates its search results and auto-suggestions to conform to a very specific set of sociopolitical and economic agendas intended to manipulate elections and promote private interests.


We live in amazing times, albeit intense, filled with incredible darkness and light.


But thanks to the power of the internet, we have a level of freedom of information never enjoyed before by any previous generation on Earth — and that information is the very life’s blood of democratic ideals, and the necessary ingredient for informed consent and health freedom, our primary advocacies.


         



      

But what happens when the gate-keepers of the content that flows through this incredible invention, like Facebook and Pinterest, censor and shadow ban certain of its users or content, or their ability to send you messages via email service provider platforms like MailChimp, as we’ve recently experienced on GreenMedInfo.com? Where do we go for information then?


Why not skip the social media filtering and email platform censorship and go back to using Google, you might ask. Aren’t they the very archetype and modern-day oracle of fairness, having become synonymous with looking for and finding objective answers.


After all, wouldn’t you expect that if you typed in turmeric research, GreenMedInfo.com would come up on the first page, given we have the world’s largest, open access resource on the topic which curates over 2,700 peer-reviewed studies relevant to over 800 diseases, on the topic? Whereas a few years ago, our search traffic was growing, today it’s as if we don’t exist on the internet any longer (unless you specifically search for us by name).


Instead, today, you find first page google results on turmeric like: “Turmeric May Not Be a Miracle Spice After All” from Time.com, or “Turmeric: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning” from WebMD.com, which overlook much of the research we have gathered, and make turmeric sound like it’s just another drug that you have to be very careful take.


Apparently, this is entirely by design! On June 3rd, in fact, Google rolled out its latest core algorithm change, which obliterated the organic search results for the majority of the top sites in the natural health and health freedom advocating sector of the internet. Sites like DrAxe.com, Kellybroganmd.com (stats depicted in the image below), and Naturalnews.com saw most of their traffic removed overnight.



Mercola.com, perhaps the most heavily hit of all, broke the story in its two-part report: “Google buries Mercola in their latest search engine update, Part 1 and 2.”


Mercola.com has been a source of whistle-blowing information about Big Pharma and Big Tech collusion for decades, so it is no surprise why Google would take this action against his platform, and similar ones. In fact, signs of the coming purge came back in 2016, when GlaxoSmithKline signed a $715 million contract to partner with Google. Google, it appears, has become a pay-to-play operation, and contains a specific sociopolitical and economic agenda that is built directly into its search algorithms.



Amazingly, on the same day of Mercola’s report, June 24th, an investigative reporter by the name of James O’ Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, released an undercover video of a top Google executive and a whistleblower from within Google, revealing how the company is manipulating search results to unduly influence elections, but how they are applying an Orwellian-type narrative to the autosuggestions, search results, and google news aggregator feed used by billions daily. This is a must watch video, and was almost immediately removed by YouTube (owned by Google), further validating how badly they don’t want the information to get out there.






Amazingly, the timing of this video could not be worse for Google. As reported by the Wall Street Journal on June 24th, the Justice Department is preparing an antitrust case against Google. Additionally, on June 19th, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced Senate Bill 1914, “A bill to amend the Communications Decency Act to encourage providers of interactive computer services to provide content moderation that is politically neutral,” which would strip Big Tech companies of the immunity they presently enjoy from lawsuits for exactly the type of political manipulation Project Veritas’ video above exposed.


Until Google is held accountable for their actions, and there is industry reform, it will be difficult to get around their full spectrum dominance (Gmail, Google, YouTube, Google Calendar, Google Documents, etc.) unless we find better, privacy-secured, platforms.  And there are quite a few you may not have heard about, including the internet browser alternatives to Google Chrome, such as Brave Browser and Opera, search engines like Startpage.comduckduckgo.com or ecosia.org, and email programs like protonmail.com. You can also use the communications app Signal, which provides a level of encryption that may be the best out there.


Lastly, this newsletter is one of the only lifelines people will have to receive our content in the future. And we highly encourage you to share it with others. They can sign up here and receive our most information-packed gift ever here, a 500+ page natural remedy guide entirely backed up by peer-reviewed science. It’s truly an invaluable resource and we are happy to give it away to support our readers taking back control of their health. Download it here. Also, if you are not yet a member, please consider becoming one today.


ADDENDUM: TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS THAT GOOGLE IS MANIPULATING THEIR RESULTS


In order to confirm that O’ Keefe’s accusations against Google are correct, and that they are engaged in manipulating search term auto suggestions, I typed into Google “Vaccines cause…” to see what results it would retrieve. This is the result:



In order to ascertain what the actual search volume for the term in question is, we went to another Google product called Google trends which allows you to see the volume, and what people are searching for, over time. So, we compared the searches: “Vaccines Cause Adults” with “Vaccines Cause Autism.” You’ll see the profound disparity in volume between the two, in favor of the latter.



You can visit the Google trends search and see for yourself here.


Clearly, this demonstrates with Google’s own data that they are intentionally removing certain auto-suggestions from their search to cover up the truth about what people are actually searching for. This also corroborates the hypothesis that they are censoring sites critical of vaccines, or which question vaccine safety; namely, natural health and health freedom promoting websites like our own.



Sayer JiSayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.


© [June 26,2019] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.”


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4

      

By B.N. Frank


When one Silicon Valley parent was quoted as saying, “The Devil lives in our phones,” she probably never dreamed that less than a year later there would be research suggesting that excessive smartphone use could affect posture so profoundly that horn-like protrusions could grow on the back of users’ skulls.  This is getting a lot of media coverage.



         



      



Of course – like all research that reflects poorly on tech use – the horn-growing theory is being heavily debated.  Regardless, research has already confirmed that excessive smartphone use can give you a whole host of other undesirable conditions other than horns.  Activist Post published an article about this last December:


“Selfie Wrist,” “Text Neck,” Screen Addiction, Macular Degeneration and Blindness, Insomnia, Anxiety, Brain Cancer and Tumors – Ain’t Smart Phones Grand


For those of us old enough to be concerned, research has also determined it can also age our skin faster.  Argh.


American Academy of Pediatrics, other health experts, and children’s advocates (including PBS) have been warning how kids are affected more by excessive tech use and exposure to harmful cell phone radiation and WiFi.  Despite warnings, telecom and tech companies continue to manufacture and market tech to kids, their parents, and schools.  Talk about devilish.




For more information, visit the following websites:



Center For Safer Wireless
Clear Light Ventures
ElectromagneticHealth
EMF Safety Network
Environmental Health Trust
Generation Zapped
National Association for Children and Safe Technology
Parents for Safe Technology
Physicians for Safe Technology
SaferEMR
SafeTechForSchools
Wireless Right to Know
Wireless Information Network

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5

      

By The Conscious Resistance


On Tuesday June 25, 2019, journalist Derrick Broze returned to Houston City Council to speak about growing concerns surrounding the roll out of 5G technology.



         



      

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The Conscious Resistance Network is an independent media organization focused on empowering individuals through education, philosophy, health, and community organizing. We work to create a world where corporate and state power does not rule over the lives of free human beings.


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6

      

Op-Ed by Rosanne Lindsay, ND


Does a government-issued license protect your right to travel, practice medicine, or choose for yourself?


The Institute for Justice estimates that one out of four American workers needs some sort of government-issued license to do their job. But, having a license is no guarantee of job protection, safety, or health.


That’s because a license is permission to do something otherwise deemed to be illegal by government. A license is a standard to which everyone is measured to be “average, “ordinary, nothing special.” A license turns inherent “rights” into “privileges,” granted by government, that can be altered, suspended or revoked.


         



      

Licensure Creates Turf Wars


When Heather Del Castillo began her practice as a holistic health coach with a private license in California she was not precluded from offering nutritional advice. However, when she moved to Florida, the turf changed. In Florida, Heather was targeted by a licensed Nutritionist for practicing nutrition without a license. It doesn’t matter that she writes about what she practices, which is not illegal. Based on a new interpretation of existing law, she can no longer practice what she preaches.


A License Destroys Careers


A license is power in the hands of government, or a group, to legislate choice. It grants government the right to say whom you can and cannot do business with. It restricts the right of individuals to travel freely. It prevents practitioners from sharing holistic health advice and individuals from choosing holistic options of their own free will. It destroys careers.


When Dr. Dave Laposky, M.D., signed up to be a physician and opened up practice in Pine River, MN, he didn’t expect that he would be mandated to take a seasonal flu vaccine to keep his job decades later. Yet he is one of 69 employees who were fired by Essentia Health for refusing to take the flu jab. Even without any published scientific evidence that the flu shot prevents transmission of the influenza virus, Dave Laposky and others are being coerced to choose between a jab and a job.


As government granteth, it also taketh away. An 84-year-old doctor, Anna Konopka, M.D., who once saw 25 patients a week in New Hampshire, felt forced to surrender her medical license after she refused to use a computer. The “New Hampshire Board of Medicine officials challenged her record-keeping, prescribing practices and medical decision-making.” Perhaps the real reason was that Dr. Konopka saw anyone who could pay $50 in cash, kept hand-written notes, and refused to use technology to diagnose her patients or log her patients’ prescriptions as part of New Hampshire’s mandatory electronic drug monitoring program.


In this dog-eat-dog world, the government says every dog must have a license. But, if you practice licensed medicine and do not toe the party line of the health insurance industry, or the policies of the licensing board, be prepared to give up your license and your ability to practice.


A License Does Not Protect Patients


The push for all holistic practitioners to become licensed is happening nationwide. Uniformity over unity. Homogeneity over identity. Medicalized (licensed) naturopaths are becoming like their conventional medical counterparts in attempting to pass laws that would criminalize all traditional (unlicensed) naturopaths for practicing medicine without a license, while allowing themselves to perform risky procedures that can cause harm that include puncturing the skin, diagnosing, prescribing drugs and treating. Note: “Prescribe,” “treat,” and “diagnose” are medical terms.


In California, it was a licensed Naturopathic doctor (ND) who caused the death of a patient by injecting a serum of curcumin as a treatment for eczema. Such a trend to “fence out” traditional naturopaths would not only prevent the choice for safer alternatives, but would damage the reputation of traditional naturopaths everywhere.


Meanwhile, 40% of Americans spend $40 billion annually on supplements and use alternative health care approaches to achieve wellness. The State of Wisconsin was featured in the March 2000 issue of the Journal of Family Practice showing consumer demand for more (not less) alternative healing options. Four reasons emerged as the basis for this: 1) Holism, or “whole person approach”, 2) Empowerment, 3) Access, and 4) Legitimization.


Licensed medicine would prefer all citizens to roll up their collective sleeves under the Healthy People 2020 Act (it’s all an Act) under the guise of Public Health over Individual Health. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You always have a choice.


Medicine is an art to be PRACTICED, not CONTROLLED.


Ask yourself, what qualifications does the government have when it comes to determining individual health? Why should anyone be forced to follow the government’s advice on health as we see rising rates of obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disease, opioid addiction, and cancer?


More importantly, why should we allow an entity or one group of people to give themselves power to legislate choice for all others? There is a place for complimentary modes of healing, from homeopathy, to naturopathy, to Ayurveda, to Energy medicine. No matter what mandates come down the pipeline there is always the choice to say NO because alternatives exist.


Just as Drs. Laposky and Konopka stood their ground and said, “No more,” anyone can do so. It only takes practice. The practice of saying “No” does not require a license.



Diane Miller, JD, Dir. of Law and Public Policy for National Health Freedom Coalition and Action non-profit organizations



The National Health Freedom Coalition and Action non-profit groups protect choice in 11 states through legislation to protect access to natural healing modalities and also protect holistic practitioners from being criminalized for “practicing medicine without a license.” Contact NHFC to learn more.



Rosanne Lindsay is a writer, blogger, Naturopath, and president of the NHFC. She is the author of two books, The Nature of Healing: Heal the Body, Heal the Planet, and her story of thyroid disease reversal: Free Your Voice, Heal Your Thyroid, Reverse Thyroid Disease Naturally. Find her on Facebook at Natureofhealing. Consult with her (Skype or Zoom consults available) at natureofhealing.org. Subscribe to her blog at http://www.natureofhealing.org/blog/.


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7

      

By Michael Snyder


It is going to take a miracle for the U.S. economy to pull out of this tailspin, because the economic numbers are really starting to deteriorate very rapidly now.  On Tuesday we got some more new numbers, and they were just as bad as we thought they might be.


But even before today’s numbers all of the data were telling us the exact same thing.  The New York Fed’s Empire State manufacturing index just suffered the worst one month decline in U.S. history, Morgan Stanley’s Business Conditions Index just suffered the largest one month decline that we have ever seen, global trade numbers are the worst they have been since the last recession, and just last week I detailed the complete and utter “bloodbath” that we are witnessing in the U.S. trucking industry right now.  So considering what we already knew, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that new home sales in the U.S. were down a whopping 7.8 percent during the month of May…



Sales of new U.S. homes slumped 7.8% in May, as sales plunged in the pricier Northeastern and Western markets.


The Commerce Department said Tuesday that new homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 626,000 in May, down from 679,000 in April. During the first five months of the year, purchases of new homes have fallen 3.7% compared to the same period in 2018.



         



      

Those are absolutely horrible numbers, and this is precisely what a recession looks like.


On Tuesday we also learned that U.S. consumer confidence is rapidly declining…



Consumer confidence is on the decline.


The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index tumbled to 121.5 in June, dropping from a downwardly revised reading of 131.3 in May and snapping three consecutive months of improvements.


June’s results missed consensus expectations for a reading of 131.0, according to Bloomberg-compiled data, and marked the lowest level in nearly two years.



Once again, this is precisely what we would expect to see during a recession.


And yet I continue to see some clueless mainstream media reports that insist that the U.S. economy is doing well.  Apparently FedEx didn’t get that memo, because they lost nearly 2 billion dollars in the quarter ending May 31st…


In the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended May 31, FedEx reported a loss of $1.97 billion, compared with profit of $1.13 billion a year earlier.


FedEx blamed this horrible number on the ongoing global economic slowdown, and unfortunately things are not likely to get any better for them any time soon.


Many in the mainstream media continue to speak of “the next recession” as some future event, but when we get the final economic numbers many months from now we may discover that it had already started by now.  In fact, one prominent economist recently stated that he believes that “we’re probably already in a recession”…







Gary Shilling, an economist and financial analyst who is credited with predicting several recessions over the past 40 years, thinks the U.S. is in a relatively mild slump.


“I think we’re probably already in a recession but I think it will probably be a run-of-the-mill affair, which means real GDP would decline 1.5% to 2%, not the 3.5% to 4% you had in the very serious recessions,” Shilling, president of economic and financial research firm A. Shilling & Co., said in a recent interview broadcast this week by Real Vision.



And even Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is now admitting that our economic outlook has become “cloudier”.  The following comes from ABC News…



Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday the economic outlook has become cloudier since early May, with rising uncertainties over trade and global growth causing the central bank to reassess its next move on interest rates.


Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Powell said the Fed is now grappling with the question of whether those uncertainties will continue to weigh on the outlook and require action.



I find it very interesting that Powell chose the Council on Foreign Relations as the venue for this address.  I think that tells us a lot about where Powell’s true loyalties are.  The Council on Foreign Relations has dominated the political landscape in Washington for a long time, and this has been true no matter which political party has been in power.


Meanwhile, the global trade war continues to intensify, and over 300 companies are literally begging the Trump administration to find a way to end it…






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More than 300 companies are talking to government officials in Washington this month about how detrimental the trade war between the U.S. and China has been and will be to their business.


Testifying in front of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, major U.S. companies including Best Buy, HP and Hallmark Cards are voicing concerns about how the additional tariffs that President Donald Trump threatened to slap on China would impact their businesses and cause them to lose business to foreign competitors.



Sadly, it isn’t likely that the trade war will end any time soon.


In fact, it is probably much more likely that a shooting war will start in the Middle East instead.  And if that happens, our current economic problems will dramatically escalate.


The wheels are starting to come off, and the U.S. economy is beginning to spin out of control.  Perhaps the Federal Reserve will be able to pull another rabbit out of the hat and pull off a miracle once again, but I doubt it.  We haven’t seen conditions like this since the great financial crisis of 2008, and the remainder of 2019 threatens to be extremely “interesting” indeed.


About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.


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8

      

By B.N. Frank


In February, telecom industry representatives gave congressional testimony that they have no scientific evidence that 5G is safe.  Many studies say it’s not.  Regardless, 5G is being installed everywhere despite worldwide opposition and warnings from doctors, scientists, environmentalists and many other credible sources.  (see also 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  Where 5G has already been installed, few seem interested in subscribing to it.


Recently Activist Post published two articles about how bees and other insects are harmed by all sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) (see 1, 2).


         



      

Thanks to EMF Safety Network for posting this fantastic new flyer and take-action instructions to help fight widespread 5G installation in American communities:



Peer-reviewed studies show that wireless radiation harms bees, birds, and humans. In 2018 Newsweek reported “Technology is quite literally destroying nature” and 5G could make it even worse. Click on the flyer below to learn more, and then TAKE ACTION! What is 5G? See this fact sheet.


TAKE ACTION!




Contact your local, state and federal representatives. See letter template and how to find your representatives below.


Reduce your wireless use. See this


Download and share the Stop 5G bee flyer, and use this flyer (best when printed on bright yellow paper) to post on telephone and light poles in your neighborhood where 5G could be installed.


Suggested letter template


Dear ______________________,


The science is in:  EMFs are harmful to nature. I am calling on you to stop 5G to protect bees, birds and humans! 5G requires significantly more cell towers which will increase involuntary exposure to wireless radiation in our communities. There is no scientific evidence to support any claim of 5G safety! (1) Scientists and public health experts from around the world are calling for a moratorium on 5G.(2) 


In 2018 Newsweek reported: “Technology is quite literally destroying nature, with a new report further confirming that electromagnetic radiation from power lines and cell towers can disorientate birds and insects and destroy plant health. The paper warns that as nations switch to 5G this threat could increase.” (3)






Peer-reviewed studies show worker bees did not return to their hives because of wireless radiation, which led to a colony collapse. (4) Radiation impacts on wild birds documented nest abandonment, plumage deterioration and death. Lab studies of chick embryos documented heart attacks and death. (5) In 2019 the Swiss environmental group Pro Natura reported 5G increases the body temperature of insects. (6)


The 30 million dollar, ten year US National Toxicology Program study found clear evidence of cancer from exposure to wireless radiation. (7)


The telecommunication industry’s unbounded profit motive should never outweigh safety. Communications are safer using wired and corded connections. Stop 5G!


Sincerely,  [your name and address]


How to find your representatives




Local: search online for: “contact information for city and county officials in (your zip code)”

State: https://openstates.org


US Senators:https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/senators_cfm.cfm 


US Representatives:https://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep


US President: phone 202-456-1111 (TTY/TTD 202-456-6213); The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/




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For more information on what you can do to stop 5G installation in your community, visit the following websites:



Americans for Responsible Technology
5GCrisis
5GExposed
5G Information
Environmental Health Trust
In Power Movement
Last Tree Laws
My Street, My Choice
Parents for Safe Technology
Physicians for Safe Technology
SaferEMR
Scientists for Wired Tech
TelecomPowerGrab.com
Whatis5G.Info
Wireless Information Network
Zero5G

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9

      

By Chris Menahan


Facebook is going to work in concert with the government of France to rat out its own users so they can be prosecuted for “hate speech.”


The move comes just three months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged a “privacy-focused” overhaul of the social network.


From Reuters, “In a world first, Facebook to give data on hate speech suspects to French courts”:



In a world first, Facebook has agreed to hand over the identification data of French users suspected of hate speech on its platform to judges, France’s minister for digital affairs Cedric O said on Tuesday.


O, whose father is South Korean, is one of French President Emmanuel Macron’s earliest followers, and has been influential in shaping the president’s thinking on Big Tech as an advisor at the Elysee palace in the first two years of Macron’s presidency.


         



      

The decision by the world’s biggest social media network comes after successive meetings between Zuckerberg and Macron, who wants to take a leading role globally on the regulation of hate speech and the spread of false information online.


So far, Facebook has cooperated with French justice on matters related to terrorist attacks and violent acts by transferring the IP addresses and other identification data of suspected individuals to French judges who formally demanded it.



All French citizens are to be treated as terrorists now if they hold the wrong opinions.



Following a meeting between Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs, and O last week, the social media company has extended this cooperation to hate speech.


“This is huge news, it means that the judicial process will be able to run normally,” O told Reuters in an interview. “It’s really very important, they’re only doing it for France.”


O, who said he had been in close contact with Clegg over the last few days on the issue, said Facebook’s decision was the result of an ongoing conversation between the internet giant and the French administration.






Since his nomination as minister in March, O has made the fight against hate speech online a key priority through regular contacts with Facebook’s top executives, including founder Mark Zuckerberg.



BuzzFeed reported in March that Macron had begun working with Facebook to “solve” its “deep-rooted anti-Semitism problem.”


From BuzzFeed:



France — home to the world’s third-largest Jewish population — is in the middle of what Macron has described as being the worst period of anti-Semitism since World War II, and much of it is playing out online.


Calling for a “collegial approach” to regulation last November, Macron announced what he called an “unprecedented field experiment” with Zuckerberg to take French officials behind the scenes of content moderation process. After reviewing the tools Facebook uses to evaluate and take down offensive and violent content, Macron said, policymakers would work with Facebook to “jointly develop specific and concrete proposals to fight offensive and hate content.”




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[…] Just after Macron announced his partnership with Zuckerberg last November, the Yellow Vest protests exploded onto streets across France. The movement tapped into deep-seated anger at economic stagnation among the French middle class, but it transformed into a political force through Facebook groups that were also hotbeds of conspiracy theories, anti-Semitic abuse, and anti-vax misinformation.


[…] The Yellow Vest movement helped unleashed a new wave of anti-Semitic abuse. President Macron was called a “whore of the Jews” by commenters who seized on his work for the Rothschild Bank. People in the Yellow Vest groups also shared videos by Dieudonné, a comedian who has been convicted of many crimes over the past 15 years, including advocating terrorism and denying the Holocaust, yet still has a page on Facebook. Dieudonné has become close to figures around France’s historic far-right party, the National Front — recently renamed the National Rally — many of whose supporters joined the Yellow Vest protests.


With the Yellow Vest protests hitting week 32 and the National Front beating Macron’s party in the recent EU elections, you can be sure this new law will quickly be put to use.



Follow InformationLiberation, where this article first appeared, on Twitter, Facebook, Gab and Minds.


Image credit: Anthony Freda Art


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10

      

By Catherine J. Frompovich


If ever there were statistics to play “hard ball” with regarding vaccines and vaccinations, boy have I found a grouping, which I will counterpunch using CDC/FDA reported science papers, not “vaccine voodoo, consensus science.”


The chart below is taken from Journal of Communication in Healthcare Volume 9, 2016, Issue 3:



         



      

What makes anti-vaccine websites persuasive? A content analysis of techniques used by anti-vaccine websites to engender anti-vaccine sentiment,”  which states upfront in the article Abstract:



Anti-vaccine websites contain a considerable amount of misinformation, most commonly that vaccines are dangerous, cause autism and brain injury. Websites used both scientific evidence and anecdotes to support these claims. [CJF emphasis]


“We know from the example of the MMR vaccine and its now disproven link to autism in children that scaremongering can lead to a loss of public confidence and knee-jerk reactions that can lead to outbreaks of disease, she said.”


Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/24/vets-warn-mmr-moment-animal-health-increasing-number-owners/


How about the various times the CDC/FDA called conferences to decide how to negate the scientific findings vaccines DO cause Autism?  Simpsonwood Meeting in June 2000; the infamous William Thompson, whistleblower, admitting and providing thousands of files to Congressman William Posey as proof that the MMR vaccine caused Autism in young black boys less than three years of age, but CDC researchers had to destroy that data!



Vaccine acolytes, such as those who wrote the above article, often are not fully versed regarding the ‘universe’ in vaccinology, in particular, students in med school are not taught about the neurotoxic and other harmful chemical ingredients in vaccines, nor the potentialities for adverse health reactions.  That, unfortunately, is left to practicing physicians to find out on their own from reading vaccine package inserts, which almost all never do, since they believe the propaganda-hype “vaccines are safe.”


Personally, I was aghast recently when I had an MD, highly credentialed, ask me what are vaccine excipients.  I couldn’t believe my ears!  I asked what he learned in med school about vaccines and his answer was not very much other than to believe Big Pharma’s hype.


How can CDC/FDA websites information be considered “misinformation” as opposed to affirmations?  What don’t vaccine pushers and acolytes really get?


Below is my rebuttal to all vaccine pushers, at every level, regarding the factualness about vaccines and what may be regarded as their hyped safety status and capability for preventing diseases; check out  “Confirmed: India’s Polio Eradication Campaign in 2011 Caused 47,500 Cases of Vaccine-Induced Polio Paralysis.”


However, recent research is indicating many partially- or fully-vaccinated individuals are the persons contracting those very diseases for which they have been inoculated.


Web Pages analyzed claiming % of “misinformation”:



62% found Vaccines are dangerous

Counterpunch: Read every vaccine package insert published by law http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/package_inserts.htm for all vaccines and refer to Sections: Contraindications; Warnings; Precautions; Adverse Reactions; Other



4% found Vaccines contain mercury

Counterpunch:  Multiple dose vial vaccines still contain mercury [vaccine containing 0.01% thimerosal as a preservative contains 50 micrograms of thimerosal per 0.5 mL dose or approximately 25 micrograms of mercury per 0.5 mL dose. See list of vaccines containing mercury on the FDA website: https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/safety-availability-biologics/thimerosal-and-vaccines#cstat]



1% found mercury is dangerous

Counterpunch:  EPA website https://www.epa.gov/mercury/health-effects-exposures-mercury   Ethyl mercury in vaccines PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23401210  Note the last sentence: However, our knowledge on this subject is still incomplete, and studies are required to address the predictability of the additive or synergic toxicological effects of etHg and meHg (or other neurotoxicants).”  What’s taking them so long?


Legal “wiggle-room” consensus science words to prove “safety”?


Added Counterpunch:  CDC’s Verstraeten at Simpsonwood clandestine meeting re: mercury in vaccines [June 25, 2019 article]



6% found Vaccines contain thimerosal

Counterpunch: Refer to the above two counterpunches



1% found Thimerosal is dangerous  

Counterpunch: Read the 42.1% found mercury is dangerous Counterpunch



3% found Vaccines weaken the immune system

Counterpunch:  The CDC Trusted Source advises certain individuals should NOT receive specific vaccines https://www.healthline.com/health/vaccinations/immunization-complications



1% found Vaccines are ineffective





Counterpunch: flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine.” https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/vaccineeffect.htm


This year’s flu shot is less than 50% effective in preventing infection, CDC says https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/14/health/flu-vaccine-effectiveness-cdc/index.html



6% found Vaccines are made from animal products

Counterpunch: Nothing less than the CDC’s Pinkbook of “Vaccine Excipient Summary”  lists animal products for each vaccine, e.g., bovine serum albumin; egg proteins; Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cell protein; recombinant human albumin; bovine calf serum; human albumin; 2% human serum albumin; hydrolyzed gelatin; calf bovine serum albumin; chicken protein; polygeline; fetal bovine serum;


Vero cell DNA from African green monkey.  Mouse brain cells used to be listed but apparently have been ‘sanitized’ from the ingredient list.




11% found Vaccines are made from aborted human fetuses


Counterpunch:  CDC’s Pinkbook of “Vaccine Excipient Summary”  lists the various lines of “human diploid cells” used in the manufacturer of vaccines, e.g., MRC-5 cellular proteins; MRC-5 human diploid cells; MRC-5 cells including DNA and protein.


Note: HUMAN FETAL VACCINES


Informed Consent and Product Content Disclosure:  Almost 92% of our children have been given vaccines made using human fetal cell lines, which are contaminated with human fetal cell DNA and a retrovirus. To date, 24 vaccines (10 of these are used in the US) contain components that are produced using human fetal cell lines. These cell lines are MRC-5 and WI-38 .


Source: https://www.soundchoice.org/aborted-fetal-products/vaccines/


As an aside, please refer to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4162048/ regarding genetically modified protein carriers.


So, anyone obviously can see, and determine, that false and misleading vaccine information is NOT being promoted by “anti-vaxxer” websites!  That’s the biggest fake news and propaganda the media, CDC/FDA and Big Pharma have been able to convince healthcare consumers into believing!




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However, instead of apologizing for their jaded actions, pro-vaxxers have taken a rabid stance demanding, while enabling, what’s called the USA medical police stateDon’t believe that?  Just research how many states are enacting legislation to deprive vaccine exemptions, or even vaccinate children at “gunpoint”.


Furthermore, IF vaccines really were what they are hyped up to be, being fully vaccinated should not scare the pants off parents regarding unvaccinated children because they should KNOW their kids are ‘immunized’.


However, what does such moronic tactics really admit about the belief in vaccines and immunization?


Resource:


Percentage of young U.S. children who don’t receive any vaccines has quadrupled since 2001https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/percentage-of-young-us-children-who-dont-receive-any-vaccines-has-quadrupled-since-2001/2018/10/11/4a9cca98-cd0d-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html?utm_term=.e82cb917612b


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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11

      

By Jeffrey A. Tucker


Sometimes forces line up in just the right way to mark the end of an era. That era is dollar supremacy.


Colin Lloyd has marshaled some impressive evidence that the dollar’s status as the global reserve currency may not last. Indeed, its status is weakening. Should it come to lose its monopoly status, the place of the U.S. on the world stage will undergo a substantial change. The ability to call the shots, as it has done in the entire postwar period, will be weakened. Monetary policy will no longer be able to presume infinite markets abroad for dollar creation. The market for U.S. currency could come into question. All the implications here are impossible to foresee.


Let’s consider five trends that make the prospect very real.


         



      

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Pullout


One of the first actions of the Trump administration was to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (January 23, 2017). The pact involved 12 nations including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. There was plenty wrong with the agreement – and I would list its burdensome treatment of intellectual property to top the list. However, that’s not why Trump pulled out. His problem was that the U.S. has a technical (but inaccurate) “trade deficit” with some of these countries, from which he concludes that “they” owe “us” money, so no deal.


The presumption of this walkout was that the agreement would die. Not so. Later in the year, the remaining 11 carried on and struck a deal without the U.S. The great irony is that the deal was immediately made better by virtue of the U.S withdrawal. The intellectual property provisions that had been such an imposition were made far less threatening and more friendly to market innovation. The new deal was actually quite radical: it removes more than 98 percent of tariffs for trade between Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, and Peru. It covers 500 million people and represents 13 percent of global trade.


The end result was exactly what had been predicted: a huge gain for China and a loss of export markets by the U.S. As just one example, the Los Angeles Times points out that “Australian wine entering Japan is taxed at 5.6% and will eventually drop to zero. There’s no duty at all for wine from the EU and Chile. But for California, it’s 15%.” As it turns out, all these countries did have other options besides complying with every demand by the U.S. and dealing only in U.S. dollars. The loss from the pullout: forgone gains of $131 billion and a direct loss of $2 billion due to advantages remaining partners enjoy by trading with each other.


The Libra and the Bitcoin Rally


Cryptocurrency keeps being declared dead, even from the time Bitcoin was worth less than $1. Even the “crashes for the history books” result in new gains over time. The crypto sector in general is now sporting a $330 billion market capitalization. These are non-state money-like assets that are not just tradable in dollars but any money, good, or service. They are also global assets not restricted by the geographic lines of the nation-state. They are uncontrolled by any nation’s central bank. Whether Bitcoin or some other crypto can emerge as a serious global power is the stuff of speculation. But that these market-based tools have a future is no longer in doubt.


A key indication of this is the introduction of the new global currency connected with the Facebook platform, the Libra. Those of us who have long followed the crypto markets know with confidence that money can emerge from outside the state and be well managed by protocols that operate without human volition. For mainstream opinion, this is still quite the shock. They are appalled even.


Matt Stoller writes in the New York Times:


A permissionless currency system based on a consensus of large private actors across open protocols sounds nice, but it’s not democracy. Today, American bank regulators and central bankers are hired and fired by publicly elected leaders. Libra payments regulators would be hired and fired by a self-selected council of corporations. There are ways to characterize such a system, but democratic is not one of them…. The way we structure money and payments is a question for democratic institutions. Any company big enough to start its own currency is just too big.


What’s funny about this claim is that anyone can create a currency right now. You don’t have to be a big company. Giving it market value is another matter. And yes, there are a gazillion scams out there. The Libra will not likely be among them. This author seems completely lost in the new world of private money.


Remember that central banking (and monetary central planning) is premised on the idea that everyone in a jurisdiction uses the same money, it flows through regulated banks, and those regulated banks report to the same central bank, which manages the whole system. It’s a monopoly by design. Even a 5 percent penetration of that market with a private currency breaks that control and can upset and destabilize central bank control. The money that the centralized system controls loses its weight and power to influence macroeconomic outcomes. That is the world to which we are headed.


Protectionist USA






For a government to be responsible for managing the world reserve currency is an awesome privilege. With it comes certain responsibilities for engaging the world economy and helping to become ever more open with ever fewer barriers. The U.S. right now is going in the other direction with ever more tariffs, random threats, bad-faith negotiations, and a president that celebrates tariffs as the key to prosperity. The U.S. has even created a watchlist of countries that is basically a list of targets that include Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Vietnam – as if any country running a trade deficit owes the U.S. money. It’s utterly preposterous but some people believe it. Reversing the flows of trade here is the equivalent of the Soviet plan to reverse ocean currents.


Moreover, the U.S. imposes sanctions against many countries, including Russia, Burma, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Liberia, Sudan, Belarus, Congo, Zimbabwe, Iraq, and Congo. The list keeps growing. The world is to the point of ignoring them, because, in the end, there are assets and there are markets, and people have the need and right to trade. U.S. sanctions policy has, in the old phrase, “jumped the shark” to the point that traders are seeking alternatives to both the dollar and U.S.-controlled systems of payment and settlement. This has further weakened the dollar.


The tightening of sanctions against Iran are further incentivizing the search for the workaround. The Wall Street Journal reports on the Instex system:



Planning in Europe began after the U.S. threatened action against Swift—the Belgium-based system that banks use to communicate with each other about money movements—unless it cut off Iran’s banks. In response, Germany, France and the U.K. decided to set up Instex, an acronym for Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges.


The system, which isn’t yet operational, will be based on the euro, the second-most-used currency in international trade. Initially, it will allow for trade with Iran of goods not covered by new U.S. sanctions, such as consumer products and medicine. It is needed because U.S. sanctions bar dollar transactions with Iranian banks, even on deals for unsanctioned goods. Once operational, Instex’s members could expand it to cover any trade with Iran.



Technology Blacklists


The attack on Huawei takes this a big step further. Digital technology is a knowledge-based industry, and knowledge doesn’t like borders. The imposition of blacklists could end up being devastating to 5G technology in a way that directly harms American consumers and producers. American tech firms have been forced not to use the products and systems of one of the world’s most advanced and developed firms. Where previously there had been mutually beneficial cooperation there are now violence-based rules. This would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. This can’t be good for the status of the dollar.


Talk of Devaluation


The Trump administration is convinced that foreign countries benefit from gaining export markets by currency devaluation. This is not true. But if you believe it, you might be tempted also to believe that devaluing one’s own national currency is a good trade strategy. This partially accounts for why the Trump administration has been aggressively and loudly demanding that the Fed adopt a loose monetary policy, thinking that this will help exports and reverse the trajectory of trade flows. The actual result is exactly what the policy intends: the weakening of the dollar and the shrinking of markets willing to hold dollars.




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It’s not a far-flung prediction that the Trump administration will continue to work toward dollar devaluation. It follows from the policy presumptions behind a mercantilist trade policy. However, one can’t both pursue such a course and expect that it will not affect the dollar’s status on the world stage. It’s not shocking that Reuters reports that “the U.S. dollar remains the world’s dominant reserve currency but central banks around the globe appeared to continue to diversify their reserves away from the greenback.”


The IMF reports that the dollar share of global reserves has fallen for three straight quarters.  Fifteen years ago, the dollar’s share was 71.5 percent; today it is down to 61.7 percent and falling. Globalization of commerce is the single most prescient change in the world economy over the last quarter century. If the managers of the dollar instead seek isolation, protection, sanctions, blacklisting, and devaluation, powerful market forces will continue to seek alternatives.


No one of these factors will do the deed. But all five combined could fundamentally reshape the global monetary order, away from dollar centralization toward a wild mix of trading zones relying on non-dollar-based strategies and a melange of crypto-based private tokens that allow markets to continue to function despite every attempt of the U.S. government to control them.



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Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages, most recently The Market Loves You. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. He is available for speaking and interviews via his email.  Tw | FB | LinkedIn


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Op-Ed by Janet Phelan


Legal reform initiatives now litter the landscape. From new bills proposed in state and national legislatures, to the efforts of established groups like the ACLU and the CCR, to jury nullification efforts, to groups dedicated to propping up the co-opted grand jury system, the political landscape is now populated with people trying to reform what is an obviously ailing system. A number of efforts have also been launched to beseech international tribunals to weigh in on and correct the injustices in American courts.


This article will focus on some of these efforts as they impact adult guardianship proceedings. Nevertheless, the concerns stated herein, concerning the integrity of the judiciary, are equally applicable to family and criminal court and appellate proceedings. The “elephant in the room” would be visible in all these courts.


         



      

As the grave civil rights violations inherent in adult guardianships gain more public awareness and more media attention, various attempts have been launched by a number of states to amend their laws surrounding these guardianships.


Guardianships in essence constitute a legal loophole through which an individual can lose his rights and all access to his funds, upon allegations of incapacity. The potential for abuse through such a process is obvious. The fact that these abuses have become an epidemic is reflected not only in a number of GAO reports but also in recent articles in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The New York Times and numerous local publications, as well. Even the US Senate has weighed in — Courts Fail To Protect 1.3 Million Vulnerable Americans In Guardianship Charges Senate Report.


However, the media coverage and the subsequent proposed legal remedies have carefully avoided the obvious—the elephant in the room. For it is now a matter of mounting concern that the judges in these proceedings are receiving under the table monies in order to throw these cases.


The very concept of a bribed judiciary is anathema to the idea of impartial justice. Not one word concerning the possibility that the guardianship judges are bought and paid for has been uttered by any mainstream publication. And when guardianship abuses hit the local press, as they recently did in Nevada the subsequent legislative efforts to pass laws to “reform” adult guardianships make a studied detour around the problem of “Da Judge.”


The state of Oregon, a hotbed of continued focus on potential elder abuse issues, due to its long standing legislation permitting euthanasia, has recently passed a guardianship reform package. The new law was heralded by Representative Nancy Nathanson as adding “safeguards to protect vulnerable elders and people with disabilities in guardianship.” Representative Nathanson goes on to assure us that “…national standards of practice will be put in place to ensure that the ward’s wishes and choices are taken into consideration.”


In fact, the new Oregon law, HB 2601, does no so such thing. The law states the following:


(2) A guardian may not limit a protected person’s preferred associations, except: (a) As specifically allowed by the court; or (b) To the extent the guardian determines necessary to avoid unreasonable harm to the protected person’s health, safety or well-being.


In other words, the court has all the power to limit a ward’s associations, as stated in 2) a) and as codified in b), the guardian may make his or her own unilateral determination that an association may result in harm.


Missing is the voice of the protected person. In a scenario where a judge is known to be entirely honest and dedicated to impartiality, such an omission would still be of concern. In the current climate, such an omission could be seen as a guarantee that justice will stumble and fail.


In another attempt to reform guardianship legislation, this time in Washington state, we see again the removal of any locus of power from the protected person and lodged with the judge. Attorney Cheryl Mitchell has done an extensive analysis of the Washington bill, SB 5604.




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Mitchell writes, “…it seems clear that the new law will no longer allow incapacitated persons to make their own health care choices and the guardian will apparently make those decisions based on the ‘best interests’ test.” Mitchell goes on to assert that “It appears that if this legislation goes into effect, an incapacitated person’s past preferences may be completely disregarded by guardians and the courts.”


The Washington bill, which was just signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee, does afford the protected person the right to counsel, due to some last minute changes. As it stands, a protected person may ask the judge to appoint him an attorney. However, Cheryl Mitchell has asserted that she is aware of cases wherein the judge refused to allow an attorney to be appointed. “There is a disconnect between the way the statute is written and actual practice,” she stated.


Concerning the importance of the right to representation, Mitchell writes that:


…. I find this alarming because in a guardianship case, every constitutional right a person has can be removed from a person who is found to be incapacitated, including the right to vote, the right to marry, and the right to decide where a person will live. And these are only a few of the rights that a person can lose when a guardian is appointed.


In fact, Mitchell has noted that an emergency petition for guardianship can be filed without notice given to the prospective ward. In other words, a Washingtonian could wake up one morning to discover that he no longer has any rights left and can not even access his bank accounts.


Through the adult guardianship process, the various states in the Union have created a new class of people, a non-person class. The individuals in this group have no legal rights, no voice and no access to their assets. Legislative “reform” has so far only guaranteed that a judge will weigh in on the fate of the non-person, ignoring the growing voices of concern that the judges in these cases are bought and paid for.





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Individuals in Nevada, California and the state of Washington have contacted their local US attorneys in efforts to turn over evidence that judges have laundered payoffs through their home loans. In each and every case, the US attorney has refused to accept the evidence.


It has been estimated that roughly two thirds of the judges already checked have mortgage histories redolent of money laundering.


As long as the elephant—who is simply a white collar criminal with a considerable legal education and societal standing, receiving monies to commit heinous crimes against an American—is ignored, legal reform will continue to fail. And as the non-person class expands—approximately 1.5-2 million people are under guardianship in America today—the entire concept of a civil rights in America drifts further and further into history.



Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist and author of the groundbreaking exposé, EXILE. Her articles previously appeared in such mainstream venues as the Los Angeles Times, Orange Coast Magazine, Long Beach Press Telegram, etc. In 2004, Janet “jumped ship” and now exclusively writes for independent media. She is also the author of two collections of poetry—The Hitler Poems and Held Captive. She resides abroad. You can follow her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012703457651


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By John W. Whitehead


“She was asked what she had learned from the Holocaust, and she said that 10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and that 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and that the remaining 80 percent could be moved in either direction.”—Kurt Vonnegut


Please spare me the media hysterics and the outrage and the hypocritical double standards of those whose moral conscience appears to be largely dictated by their political loyalties.


Anyone who believes that the injustices, cruelties and vicious callousness of the U.S. government are unique to the Trump Administration has not been paying attention.


No matter what the team colors might be at any given moment, the playbook remains the same. The leopard has not changed its spots. Scrape off the surface layers and you will find that the American police state that is continuing to wreak havoc on the rights of the people under the Trump Administration is the same police state that wreaked havoc on the rights of the people under every previous administration.


Brace yourselves.


         



      

While we squabble over which side is winning this losing battle, a tsunami approaches.


Case in point: in Charlottesville, Va.—home of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, champion of the Bill of Rights, and the nation’s third president—city councilors in a quest for so-called “equity” have proposed eliminating Jefferson’s birthday as a city holiday (which has been on the books since 1945) and replacing it with a day that commemorates the liberation of area slaves following the arrival of Union troops under Gen. Philip Sheridan.


In this way, while the populace wages war over past injustices, injustice in the here and now continues to trample innocent lives underfoot. In Charlottesville, as in the rest of the country, little is being done to stem the tide of the institutional racism that has resulted in disproportionate numbers of black Americans being stopped, frisked, shot at, arrested and jailed.


Just recently, in fact, Phoenix police drew their guns, shouted profanities, assaulted and threatened to shoot a black couple whose 4-year-old daughter allegedly stole a doll from a dollar store. The footage of the incident—in which the cops threaten to shoot the pregnant, young mother in the head in the presence of the couple’s 1- and 4-year-old daughters—is horrifying in every way.


Tell me again why it’s more important to spend valuable political capital debating the birthdays of dead presidents rather than proactively working to put a stop to a government mindset that teaches cops it’s okay to treat citizens of any color with brutality and a blatant disregard for their rights?


It doesn’t matter that Phoenix and Charlottesville are 2100 miles apart. The lethal practices of the American police state are the same all over.


No amount of dissembling can shield us from the harsh reality that the danger in our midst is posed by an entrenched government bureaucracy that has no regard for the Constitution, Congress, the courts or the citizenry.


We’ve got to get our priorities straight if we are to ever have any hope of maintaining any sense of freedom in America. As long as we allow ourselves to be distracted, diverted, occasionally outraged, always polarized and content to view each other—rather than the government—as the enemy, we’ll never manage to present a unified front against tyranny (or government corruption and ineptitude) in any form.


Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats. Rather, I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.


This is the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedoms of its citizenry.


So stop with all of the excuses and the hedging and the finger-pointing and the pissing contests to see which side can out-shout, out-blame and out-spew the other. Enough already with the short- and long-term amnesia that allows political sycophants to conveniently forget the duplicity, complicity and mendacity of their own party while casting blame on everyone else.


This is how evil wins.


This is how freedom falls and tyranny rises.


This is how good, generally decent people—having allowed themselves to be distracted with manufactured crises, polarizing politics, and fighting that divides the populace into warring us vs. them camps—fail to take note of the looming danger that threatens to wipe freedom from the map and place us all in chains.


Anytime you have an entire nation so mesmerized by the antics of the political ruling class that they are oblivious to all else, you’d better beware. Anytime you have a government that operates in the shadows, speaks in a language of force, and rules by fiat, you’d better beware. And anytime you have a government so far removed from its people as to ensure that they are never seen, heard or heeded by those elected to represent them, you’d better beware.


The world has been down this road before.


As historian Milton Mayer recounts in his seminal book on Hitler’s rise to power, They Thought They Were Free:


Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people‑—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies’, without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us.


We are no longer living the American Dream. We’re living the American Lie.


Indeed, Americans have been lied to so sincerely, so incessantly, and for so long by politicians of all stripes—who lie compulsively and without any seeming remorse—that they’ve almost come to prefer the lies trotted out by those in government over less-palatable truths.


The American people have become compulsive believers: left-leaning Americans are determined to believe that the world has become a far more dangerous place under Trump, while right-leaning Americans are equally convinced that Trump has set us on a path to prosperity and security.


Nothing has changed.


The police state is still winning. We the people are still losing.


In fact, the American police state has continued to advance at the same costly, intrusive, privacy-sapping, Constitution-defying, heartbreaking, soul-scorching, relentless pace under the current Tyrant-in-Chief as it did under those who occupied the White House before him (Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.).


Police haven’t stopped disregarding the rights of citizens. Having been given the green light to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip, shoot and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts, America’s law enforcement officials are no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace. Indeed, they continue to keep the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies and slaves rather than citizens.


SWAT teams haven’t stopped crashing through doors and terrorizing families. Nationwide, SWAT teams continue to be employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activities or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession. With more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans for relatively routine police matters and federal agencies laying claim to their own heavily armed law enforcement divisions, the incidence of botched raids and related casualties continue to rise.






The Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security haven’t stopped militarizing and federalizing local police. Police forces continue to be transformed into heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones. In training police to look and act like the military and use the weapons and tactics of war against American citizens, the government continues to turn the United States into a battlefield and “we the people” into enemy combatants.


Schools haven’t stopped treating young people like hard-core prisoners. School districts continue to team up with law enforcement to create a “schoolhouse to jailhouse track” by imposing a “double dose” of punishment for childish infractions: suspension or expulsion from school, accompanied by an arrest by the police and a trip to juvenile court. In this way, the paradigm of abject compliance to the state continues to be taught by example in the schools, through school lockdowns where police and drug-sniffing dogs enter the classroom, and zero tolerance policies that punish all offenses equally and result in young people being expelled for childish behavior.


For-profit private prisons haven’t stopped locking up Americans and immigrants alike at taxpayer expense. States continue to outsource prison management to private corporations out to make a profit at taxpayer expense. And how do you make a profit in the prison industry? Have the legislatures pass laws that impose harsh penalties for the slightest noncompliance in order keep the prison cells full and corporate investors happy.


Censorship hasn’t stopped. First Amendment activities continue to be pummeled, punched, kicked, choked, chained and generally gagged all across the country. The reasons for such censorship vary widely from political correctness, safety concerns and bullying to national security and hate crimes but the end result remained the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”


The courts haven’t stopped marching in lockstep with the police state. The courts continue to be dominated by technicians and statists who are deferential to authority, whether government or business. Indeed, the Supreme Court’s decisions in recent years have most often been characterized by an abject deference to government authority, military and corporate interests.


Government bureaucrats haven’t stopped turning American citizens into criminals. The average American now unknowingly commits three felonies a day, thanks to an overabundance of vague laws that render otherwise innocent activity illegal, while reinforcing the power of the police state and its corporate allies.


The surveillance state hasn’t stopped spying on Americans’ communications, transactions or movements. On any given day, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether it’s your local police, a fusion center, the National Security Agency or one of the government’s many corporate partners, is still monitoring and tracking your every move.


The TSA hasn’t stopped groping or ogling travelers. Under the pretext of protecting the nation’s infrastructure (roads, mass transit systems, water and power supplies, telecommunications systems and so on) against criminal or terrorist attacks, TSA task forces (comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams) continue to do random security sweeps of nexuses of transportation, including ports, railway and bus stations, airports, ferries and subways, as well as political conventions, baseball games and music concerts. Sweep tactics include the use of x-ray technology, pat-downs and drug-sniffing dogs, among other things.


Congress hasn’t stopped enacting draconian laws such as the USA Patriot Act and the NDAA. These laws—which completely circumvent the rule of law and the constitutional rights of American citizens, continue to re-orient our legal landscape in such a way as to ensure that martial law, rather than the rule of law, our U.S. Constitution, becomes the map by which we navigate life in the United States.


The Department of Homeland Security hasn’t stopped being a “wasteful, growing, fear-mongering beast.” Indeed, this is the agency that is notorious for militarizing the police and SWAT teams; spying on activists, dissidents and veterans; stockpiling ammunition; distributing license plate readers; contracting to build detention camps; tracking cell-phones with Stingray devices; carrying out military drills and lockdowns in American cities; using the TSA as an advance guard; conducting virtual strip searches with full-body scanners; carrying out soft target checkpoints; directing government workers to spy on Americans; conducting widespread spying networks using fusion centers; carrying out Constitution-free border control searches; funding city-wide surveillance cameras; and utilizing drones and other spybots.


The military industrial complex hasn’t stopped profiting from endless wars abroad. America’s expanding military empire continues to bleed the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour). The Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military industrial complex at taxpayer expense.


The Deep State’s shadow government hasn’t stopped calling the shots behind the scenes. Comprised of unelected government bureaucrats, corporations, contractors, paper-pushers, and button-pushers who are actually calling the shots behind the scenes, this government within a government continues to be the real reason “we the people” have no real control over our so-called representatives. It’s every facet of a government that is no longer friendly to freedom and is working overtime to trample the Constitution underfoot and render the citizenry powerless in the face of the government’s power grabs, corruption and abusive tactics.


And the American people haven’t stopped acting like gullible sheep. In fact, many Americans have been so carried away by their blind rank-and-file partisan devotion to their respective political gods that they have lost sight of the one thing that has remained constant in recent years: our freedoms are steadily declining. And it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican at the helm, because the bureaucratic mindset on both sides of the aisle now seems to embody the same philosophy of authoritarian government.


So you can try to persuade yourself that you are free, that you still live in a country that values freedom, and that it is not too late to make America great again, but to anyone who has been paying attention to America’s decline over the past 50 years, it will be just another lie.


The German people chose to ignore the truth and believe the lie.


They were not oblivious to the horrors taking place around them. As historian Robert Gellately points out, “[A]nyone in Nazi Germany who wanted to find out about the Gestapo, the concentration camps, and the campaigns of discrimination and persecutions need only read the newspapers.”




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The warning signs were definitely there, blinking incessantly like large neon signs.


“Still,” Gellately writes, “the vast majority voted in favor of Nazism, and in spite of what they could read in the press and hear by word of mouth about the secret police, the concentration camps, official anti-Semitism, and so on. . . . [T]here is no getting away from the fact that at that moment, ‘the vast majority of the German people backed him.’”


Half a century later, the wife of a prominent German historian, neither of whom were members of the Nazi party, opined: “

  • n the whole, everyone felt well. . . . And there were certainly eighty percent who lived productively and positively throughout the time. . . . We also had good years. We had wonderful years.”


In other words, as long as their creature comforts remained undiminished, as long as their bank accounts remained flush, as long as they weren’t being discriminated against, persecuted, starved, beaten, shot, stripped, jailed and turned into slave labor, life was good.


Life is good in America, too.


Life is good in America as long as you’re not one of the hundreds of migrant children (including infants, toddlers, preschoolers) being detained in unsanitary conditions by U.S. Border Patrol without proper access to food and water, made to sleep on concrete floors, go without a shower for weeks on end, and only allowed to brush your teeth once every 10 days.


Life is good in America as long as you don’t have to come face to face with a trigger-happy cop hyped up on the power of the badge, trained to shoot first and ask questions later, and disposed to view people of color as a suspect class.


Life is good in America as long as you’re able to keep sleep-walking through life, cocooning yourself in political fantasies that depict a world in which your party is always right and everyone else is wrong, and distracting yourself with bread-and-circus entertainment that bears no resemblance to reality.


Life is good in America as long as you’ve got enough money to spare that you don’t mind being made to pay through the nose for the government’s endless wars, subsidization of foreign nations, military empire, welfare state, roads to nowhere, bloated workforce, secret agencies, fusion centers, private prisons, biometric databases, invasive technologies, arsenal of weapons, and every other budgetary line item that is contributing to the fast-growing wealth of the corporate elite at the expense of those who are barely making ends meet—that is, we the 99%.


Life is good in America for the privileged few, but as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it’s getting worse by the day for the rest of us.




ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at [email protected].


Publication Guidelines / Reprint Permission


John W. Whitehead’s weekly commentaries are available for publication to newspapers and web publications at no charge. Please contact [email protected] to obtain reprint permission.


Image credit: Anthony Freda Art


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By John Vibes


This week, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that will legalize marijuana for recreational use throughout the state. Illinois will now be the 11th state in the US to legalize the substance for recreational use. The bill will allow residents of the state to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis at a time. Non-residents will be limited to just 15 grams.


“Change is hard, but an essential tenet of good governance is recognizing the need to change the laws that have failed. In the past 50 years, the war on cannabis has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders and disproportionately disrupted black and brown communities,” Pritzker said during a press conference before he signed the bill.


“With this legislation, our state once again is a leader, putting forward the most equity-centric cannabis legalization in the nation,” he added.


         



      

The bill also goes a step further to expunge the criminal records for anyone who was arrested for purchasing or possessing 30 grams or less.


The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2020, and will allow adults over the age of 21 to purchase the plant from approved dispensaries. However, until then, possession will still be a crime in the state.


The governor initially projected that taxation of cannabis industry could generate $800 million to $1 billion a year, but more recent estimations suggest that $500 million annually is a more realistic number, and it could take the state at least 5 years to get to that point.


As with cannabis in most other legal US states, the sales will be taxed heavily. Consumers in Illinois can expect a tax of up to 34.75% on all of their purchases. The taxes will reportedly fluctuate depending on the potency of the product.


Money raised by the new taxes would first be dedicated to expunging about 770,000 minor cannabis-related cases, according to USA Today.


There were also provisions in the bill intending to prevent monopolization and corruption in the newly legal cannabis industry. For example, a conflict of interest provision bans state employees and their family members from being able to get a cannabis business license for at least two years.






The industry will also bring many new jobs to the state as it has in other areas where cannabis has been legalized.


A 2015 study, published in the journal, Scientific Reports, suggests that smoking cannabis is roughly 114 times safer than drinking alcohol. Ironically, out of all the drugs that were researched in the study, alcohol was actually the most dangerous, and it was the only legal drug on the list.


A study published last year by researchers at the University of Michigan has shown that cannabis use among teens and college students is increasing while alcohol and tobacco use is declining. In fact, for the first time ever, the rate of daily cannabis use has now surpassed the rate of daily cigarette use. This is a great discovery considering the fact that cigarettes and alcohol kill tens of thousands a year while marijuana kills no one.


Earlier this year, Truth Theory reported that The World Health Organization (WHO) has finally recognized cannabis as a medicine and has formally proposed that legislators take a “more rational” approach to drug laws.





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John Vibes is an author and journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture, and focuses solutions-oriented approaches to social problems. He is also a host of The Free Your Mind Conference and The Free Thought Project Podcast. Read More stories by John Vibes


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google smart cityBy Derrick Broze


The “Smart City” Quayside project in Toronto, Canada continues to receive criticism from privacy advocates as well as current and former members of the project.


Quayside is a smart city located on 12 acres of waterfront property southeast of downtown Toronto, Canada. The city represents a joint effort by the Canadian government agency Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. Sidewalk Labs claims Quayside will solve the problems of traffic congestion, rising home prices and environmental pollution.


There are even plans for housing developments and a school within the smart city. However, Quayside has consistently faced pushback due to a failure to build-in the necessary privacy protections.


         



      

The Guardian recently reported that US venture capitalist Roger McNamee warned that tech companies like Google cannot be trusted to safely manage the data they collect on residents. McNamee wrote to Toronto’s city council warning them that Quayside is “the most highly evolved version to date of” something called “surveillance capitalism.” McNamee told the council that Google will use “algorithms to nudge human behavior” in ways that “favor its business.” McNamee is co-founder of Silver Lake Partners, one of the world’s largest technology investors and one of the early investors in Google and Facebook.


No matter what Google is offering, the value to Toronto cannot possibly approach the value your city is giving up. It is a dystopian vision that has no place in a democratic society.


McNamee has not been the only voice warning about the dangers of the Quayside project. The Guardian also notes that Jim Balsille, co-founder of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, called the project “a colonizing experiment in surveillance capitalism attempting to bulldoze important urban, civic and political issues.”


At least two officials involved in the project have also resigned. Saadia Muzaffar resigned from Waterfront Toronto, the advisory panel responsible for Quayside, after the board showed “apathy and a lack of leadership regarding shaky public trust.”




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Recently, Ann Cavoukian, one of Canada’s leading privacy experts and Ontario’s former privacy commissioner, became the latest person to resign from the project. Cavoukian was brought on by Sidewalk Toronto as a consultant to help install a “privacy by design” framework. She was initially told that all data collected from residents would be deleted and rendered unidentifiable. She later learned that third parties would be able to access identifiable information gathered at Quayside and decided to resign.


“I imagined us creating a Smart City of Privacy, as opposed to a Smart City of Surveillance,” Cavoukian wrote in her resignation letter.


Despite the many concerns and vocal opponents, Sidewalk Labs has released their master plan for Quayside, including plans to expand the project. The Toronto Star reports that Sidewalk Labs is calling for “an independent, government-sanctioned data trust to establish responsible data-use guidelines, approve and oversee proposed collections of urban data, make publicly accessible data that could be considered a public asset and improve transparency.” Sidewalk has claimed they will not sell personal data gathered as part of the smart city project and will not use personal information for advertising purposes.


Beyond the health and privacy concerns related to the project, it’s important to consider what the roll-out of this technology means for someone who does not consent to the technology. Residents cannot simply go in their homes or easily opt out of it, as it is everywhere. Julie Di Lorenzo, a real estate developer who left Waterfront’s board in July, explained to the AP that she wanted to know if those who didn’t opt-in would be told that they can’t live there.




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As one Toronto journalist wrote, “It’s one thing to willingly install Alexa in your home. It’s another when publicly owned infrastructure—streets, bridges, parks and plazas—is Alexa, so to speak.”



By Derrick Broze | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com


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