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1

      

By Tyler Durden


Californians trying to justify living in the Golden State might be updating their pro/con list by occasional candlelight for up to a decade, according to PG&E.


On Friday, the state’s largest utility announced that intentional power outages aimed at preventing wildfires may continue for up to a decade.


CEO Bill Johnson later clarified during a Friday meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission, saying “I didn’t mean to say we’d be doing it on this scale for 10 years. I think they’ll decrease in size and scope every year.”


         



      

Any of PG&E’s 5 million electric customers can be affected by the practice known as Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), which cuts electricity to avoid causing fires during high winds and dry conditions.


California Public Utilities Commission said it held the emergency meeting specifically to hear from PG&E’s executives regarding “the mistakes and operational gaps identified in the utility’s latest Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) events and to provide lessons learned to ensure they are not repeated.” –CNN



Last week nearly 800,000 Californians lost power after PG&E shut it off to lower the risk of wildfires caused by the company’s equipment. The outage cost the city of San Jose at least half a million dollars, according to the mayor.



According to PG&E, however, “dealing with wildfires is the new abnormal within California.”


The utility faced harsh comments during Friday’s meeting, with Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer saying she was “astonished” at PG&E’s lack of modern technology and services – citing the fact that even their website crashed during the shutdown.



“This is not hard,” Batjer told PG&E execs. “You guys have failed on so many levels on pretty simple stuff. You need to get there now. Not at the end of the year. Now.


In response to a Monday demand from California Governor Gavin Newsom that the company reimburse those affected by the shutoffs, PG&E wrote:


We understand that shutting off power is an extreme measure that disrupts lives, and we certainly recognize that there are areas of our operations and communications which we must improve. I do believe our decision to execute this PSPS for the safety of our customers and the communities we are privileged to serve was the right decision.


This article was sourced from ZeroHedge.com


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2

      

By B.N. Frank


Research has determined that exposure to blue light from LED light bulbs and screens can cause a multitude of health issues (see 1, 2, 3).  Unfortunately, despite this research, the reality is that exposure is now very difficult – if not impossible to avoid.


American Medical Association (AMA) and American Academy of Pediatrics have warned that exposure to blue light from screens is particularly hard on children.  The American Medical Association and other medical experts have also been warning about the health impacts to all of us from LED streetlights.


A recent article from Fast Company supports similar depressing research about exposure – it may also age us faster.


         



      

In the study, researchers looked at what happened to fruit flies that were exposed to 12-hour stretches of blue LED light each day. The light damaged both eye cells and brain cells in the flies and impaired the flies’ ability to move around their enclosures—and it also shortened their lives compared to other flies that lived in complete darkness or those that were exposed to light with blue filtered out. Even flies that were born without eyes were affected by the blue light, suggesting that it isn’t necessary to see the light to be harmed by it.


The research started serendipitously, says Jaga Giebultowicz, a professor of integrated biology at Oregon State who studies biological clocks. “We thought that cycles of light and darkness were good for flies,” she says. “And then we found that they live longer in constant darkness. So we got very interested in this, and then by looking at different light wavelengths, different colors, we found that blue was most detrimental.” The blue light used in the lab is similar to the blue light that emanates from phones, computers, and other electronics.


If you don’t feel like you have much in common with a fly, previous studies in humans have looked at short-term effects of blue light exposure. A Harvard study, for example, found that when people were exposed to several hours of blue light, it suppressed the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, and shifted their circadian rhythms. A similar study at the University of Toronto found that when people wore glasses that blocked blue light, it had an impact on their melatonin levels. But no long-term, lifelong studies in humans have been conducted, in part because our attachment to gadgets that emit blue light is a relatively new phenomenon.






It would also be challenging to study the effects over a human lifespan, but the study of flies can give clues about potential long-term effects. “Flies are not humans, but the cells work the same,” says Giebultowicz. After long-term exposure, the flies’ cells started to show damage. “The genes that protect cells from stress are upregulated or very active in blue light,” she says. “That means after 12 hours of blue light, they have high activity, which is telling us that the cells are under stress.” If the flies are given a choice, they avoid blue light. The researchers are now continuing to study why the damage happens.



12 hours a day = cells are under stress.  Too bad we all aren’t given a choice on whether or not we can avoid blue light.






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Activist Post regularly reports about issues associated with blue light from screens as well as LED bulbs used in street lights, vehicle headlights, and everywhere else.  For more information visit our archives.



Image credit: Pixabay


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3

      

By Janet Phelan


It is clear to many who are inflicted with abuses by our legal system that we are dealing with state-sponsored crimes. Judges are breaking the law all too often in their actions on the bench and have immunity for so doing. Prosecutorial misconduct has become rampant and police seem to have a “Get out of Jail Free” card for many of their crimes against citizens, including murder. It is generally the case, with a few well-publicized exceptions, that the FBI and DOJ are passing on state-sponsored crimes.


In light of the nature of this situation, heroic efforts to involve legislators in correcting the careening plunge towards wholesale state abuse have shown themselves to be largely useless.  While the determined efforts of those who are dedicated to engaging the state in efforts to self correct must be applauded, such efforts are generally fruitless.


It’s not only a matter of looking at the fate of new laws. Common sense asks why new laws would be enforced when old laws are not.


         



      

Statists will argue that we have not yet pushed the right button. We have not filed the right pleadings, we have not gone to the right law enforcement agency, we have not gone to the right legislator.


Pressure needs to be exerted on the renegade state if it is indeed to self-correct. Passing new laws functions more as an escape valve, relieving the pressure for awhile as it appears that there has been change when in fact there has not.


Non-statist solutions are beginning to emerge. A few will be highlighted here.


MEDIA


Yes, there are big problems with mainstream media. If and when the statist abuses are covered by the press, the stories are slanted to exonerate the state actor or, should he be under the gun, to vilify him as if his behavior was not the new normal. For example, when a guardian faces criminal charges, the press discreetly defers its attention away from the complicity (and often self-enrichment) of the judicial officer who approved the guardian’s criminal actions. In this way the problem is encapsulated and presented in such a manner that the judicial officer is relieved of culpability.


However, an increasingly robust independent media exists. While the WaPo and NY Times may be covering for state involvement in many crimes, there are numerous independent media outlets which will delve into the complicity of state actors. Seek us out. We can and will publish these stories.


And hats off to Gretchen Rachel Hammond’s recent series of articles in Daily Kos on Michigan’s probate court system. Many may not know that inappropriate actions by the Detroit Free Press forced Hammond to seek independent publication for this ground-breaking series. Similar accounts of retaliatory or inappropriate acts by mainstream media relevant to the guardianship issue are accumulating. One recalls the Fox News/New York series on guardianship abuse some years ago, launched by veteran investigative reporter Mary Garofalo, which resulted in her firing.


RESEARCH THE STATE ACTORS


The question must be posed: Are these judges and prosecutors just Constitution-hating meanies who get their jollies from ripping off your legal rights? Are they just ignorant of the law? Or is there a backroom deal, an under-the-table transfer of money which has encouraged these judges to betray their positions of authority and honor? Recently, a veterans’ group in the State of Washington looked into suspicious loans taken out by the US Attorney, Annette Hayes, and came up with a determination that Hayes appeared to be on the take.




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Hayes then resigned her office.


Focusing on a state official’s financial dealings seems to be an effective course of research and such investigations are proliferating, with promising results.



A QUICK WORD ABOUT PRESENTMENTS AND NOTICES OF LIABILITY


Notices of Liability as an alternative to court processes have been around for a long time. The InPower Movement is currently getting attention to these NOLs as a possible means of stopping the installation of smart meters. While some public officials who received the NOLs may have resigned, questions have been raised as to the overall effectiveness of this process.


In fact, those who have been victimized by the state are often enamored with alternative dispute processes and with “quick fix” recommendations, which often have not proven to be very effective. An interesting blip on this radar is the ctc movement, based on Pete Hendrickson’s book, Cracking the Code. Those attending to the research in this book have filed amended returns with the IRS, claiming a different perception of what wages are taxable. Some of the people following Hendrickson’s work have gotten large refunds from the IRS. Others have gotten prison time.


AND FINALLY, PROTESTS


We have changed quite a bit, as a people, since the days of the Vietnam War. The eagerness of people to go out to the streets and raise their voices has been dampened. Whether this is an effect of apathy, or a generalized hopelessness in the face of mounting evidence of totalitarianism, or aided by the mass infusion of mind numbing chemicals in drinking water, food and pharmaceuticals is up for grabs. Possibly the prevalence of social media has also discouraged people from more animated means of protest. After all, if you get hundreds of “likes” for your inflammatory post on Facebook, haven’t you done your part?




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The statists will tell you that things aren’t so bad, that we just need to find the right button to push. In fact, it is said that when the Jews fled Egypt in the Exodus, one third chose to stay behind. But it was those who got on their feet and made a decision who made history. It was those who did not wait until Pharaoh’s men were breaking down the door who launched what is undeniably one of the most renowned acts of protest in history.


The oppression now is indisputable. It is everywhere you look. The times call for a new appraisal of our plight and exceptional acts of courage and resourcefulness. It is time to talk to your neighbor, to the fellow sitting next to you on the bus. It is time to listen to each other and to strategize. Your solutions may be unlike anything we have seen. And whether you know it or not, we are waiting for you.



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


Image credit: Pixabay


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4

      

By Aaron Kesel


A U.S. Senator called for an end to facial recognition in airports due to lack of oversight on the technology. Meanwhile, facial recognition is spreading across the U.S. in schools everywhere according to a report.


Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., brought up several issues with facial recognition technologies and warned against moving forward without sufficient protections for data being collected, during a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Security on the use of biometric tech, Nextgov reported.


“As we work to keep pace with emerging threats to aviation travel, civil liberties cannot be an afterthought,” Markey said. “The public lacks enforceable rights and rules to protect travelers’ privacy and address unique threats that TSA’s biometric data collection poses to our civil liberties.”


Markey questioned TSA operations at Denver International Airport using its Chief Operations Officer, Chris McLaughlin, to express his concerns about the programs.


         



      

“Do you agree that any collection of Americans’ biometric information at airports should always be voluntary?” Markey asked.


“Yes, I do,” McLaughlin replied.


“Do you agree that TSA should enact enforceable rules and take all necessary steps to ensure that biometric data it collects is secure?”


“Yes.”


“Do you agree that TSA should enact binding safeguards to ensure that its use of biometric technology does not disproportionately burden or misidentify people of color?”


“Absolutely, yes.”


“I agree with you. I agree with all of your answers,” Markey said. “We’re, however, quickly moving toward a point of no return when it comes to the deployment of facial recognition technology.”


Markey called on TSA to halt deployment of facial recognition technology given these lack of protections to Americans’ civil  liberties, problems with misidentification and accuracy which has failed numerous tests from local police to federal law enforcement.


“TSA should stop using these invasive tools in the absence of formal rules that reflect our values and protect our privacies,” he said. “I call upon the agency to formalize these rules. It’s absolutely essential. We should not be moving forward until we’ve decided what those protections are going to be.”


Some of the biggest airports in the U.S. — estimated at 16 airports across the nation — are now scanning us as we board international flights. CBP (Customs And Border Protection) expects to scale up the program to cover more than 97 percent of passengers flying outside of the U.S. by 2021 according to Nextgov.


It’s all a part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Biometric Exit” agenda, which was originally signed into law under the Obama administration, BuzzFeed News reported.


Further, the policy director of U.S. CBP believes that facial recognition has already become essential. The agency’s head Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner has also hilariously said that its facial tracking technology isn’t surveillance, as Activist Post reported.


In 2017, Homeland Security clarified their position on domestic spying stating that Americans who don’t want their faces scanned leaving the country “shouldn’t travel.”






“The only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling internationally is to refrain from traveling,” the DHS wrote in a document.


Trump’s executive immigration order on January 27th, 2017 — best known for suspending visitors to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries — also included an article expediting the biometric exit program. The order further stated that there will be three progress reports to be made over the next several years on the program. Trump’s executive order in March built on that, specifically limited biometric scans at the border to “in-scope travelers” or those who aren’t U.S. or Canadian citizens.


Meanwhile, as a Senator is calling for a halt to the TSA roll out of facial recognition cameras in airports, across the country the tech is being adopted more and more in schools as a safety measure, Gov Tech reported.


“Large cities like Chicago and Detroit, frequently courted by companies, have seen a recent push towards widespread adoption, while school districts in cities in states as diverse as Florida, Texas, Missouri, and Colorado, among others, are also seeing investment,” Gov Tech wrote.


Activist Post previously reported that facial recognition was coming to schools in the United States after numerous school shootings over the years, and that these centers of “higher learning” were installing police-grade surveillance “gunshot-detection systems,” metal detectors and even biometric locks requiring facial recognition or a person’s iris.


Shockingly, or perhaps not, some schools are even suggesting to install non facial recognition cameras in student bathrooms to protect students, as Activist Post reported last year. Although that decision caused outrage amongst parents.


Facial recognition security cameras are heavily flawed. The ACLU’s New York branch raised concerns in an open letter to the New York State Department of Education, expressing that the Lockport school district (one of the first to use facial recognition) has failed to provide information about data retention policies, while adding that the technology is heavily flawed and invasive.


This brings up several notable questions highlighted by the ACLU about these facial recognition cameras in schools.



Who will have access to the database? Will it be shared with local law enforcement or federal enforcement authorities like ICE?
Who is being added to the “unwanted person” database? How does someone get on that list and how might they get off of it?
Will this technology be used to track who students associate with? Will it be used to crack down on minor misbehavior and enforce code of conduct violations, as indicated by one email from a school official?



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Public school is becoming more and more like a prison in the U.S. and UK; prisoners have a camera on them in the bathroom and at all times, not students going to a school of “higher learning” to get an education. This is just more indoctrination to accept the nanny state. The ramifications on privacy could set a huge precedent.


Congress as a whole has weighed in on the debate, earlier this year, legislators called for putting a “time out” on facial recognition technology until regulations are in place. So far, Congress has held two oversight hearings on the topic and there are at least four bills in the works to limit the technology.


However, Amazon and FaceFirst want a say in the regulations of the technology two companies that have a big stake on whether the technology is allowed or not as Activist Post has reported.


On top of that, some cities in the U.S. have outright banned the biometric technology like San Francisco, Somerville, Massachusetts, and Oakland, California, as Activist Post reported.


The rapid growth of this technology has triggered a much-needed debate to slow down the rollout. Activists, politicians, academics and even police forces all over the world are expressing serious concerns over the impact facial recognition could have on our society.


Fight For The Future has previously launched a first-of-its-kind interactive map that tracks where in the U.S. facial recognition technology is being used and where it is being resisted, along with a tool-kit for local activists who want to help kickstart a ban in their city or state, as Activist Post reported.



Image credit: The Tenth Amendment Center


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


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5

      

By B.N. Frank


A recent opinion piece from Mercury News reveals more of the same – hackers continue to use wireless devices to threaten people and this happens a lot.  In this case – the hacker used a Nest camera.


It was an unremarkable Wednesday afternoon when our nanny texted my wife and me asking if we were speaking through one of the Nest cameras in our house. We both replied that we were not.


In April, Mercury News published a similar article about a hacker using a Nest camera to threaten a child.



Tara Thomas thought her daughter was just having nightmares. “There’s a monster in my room,” the almost-3-year-old would say, sometimes pointing to the green light on the Nest Cam installed on the wall above her bed.


Then Thomas realized her daughter’s nightmares were real. In August, she walked into the room and heard pornography playing through the Nest Cam, which she had used for years as a baby monitor in their Novato, California, home.



         



      

Families being stalked and threatened through wireless devices is not new (see 1, 2).  Many people still don’t realize that anything connected wirelessly is vulnerable to hacking.  Accessing the internet through a wired connection with an Ethernet cord is not as easy to hack.




Wired internet connections also don’t emit harmful and carcinogenic wireless WiFi radiation.  Children are more vulnerable to exposure because they are smaller and their skulls are thinner (see 1, 2, 3).





For many years telecom companies have been warning their investors how they may eventually be found liable for causing harm with their products and transmitters.  Insurance companies don’t do business with them anymore because it’s too risky (see 1, 2).


Activist Post reports regularly about risks and warnings associated with all wireless technology including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) (see 1, 2, 3, 4) and the following websites:



Center For Safer Wireless
Clear Light Ventures
ElectromagneticHealth
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
Environmental Health Trust
Generation Zapped
National Association for Children and Safe Technology
Parents for Safe Technology
Physicians for Safe Technology
Wireless Information Network

Image credit: Nest


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6
Huffington Post General Discussion / The High Cost of Bad Money
« on: October 19, 2019, 09:26:51 PM »

      

Op-Ed by George Gilder


This decade of the financial crisis — the “Great Recession,” with constant rumors and alarms of war — saw an epochal confrontation between the dollar and gold.


At first, through 2011, gold surged and the dollar merely survived. Goldbugs claimed vindication.


In a series of ardent books and speeches, the brilliant libertarian Peter Schiff predicted the total destruction of the dollar and the massive appreciation of precious metals.


The internet seethed with predictions of the collapse of all fiat currencies. Many of the warnings were intended to sell various gold-based products. But the doomsayers were honest in their belief that the dollar could not survive the Fed’s fivefold increase in its dollar holdings of “high-powered” reserves.


         



      

Many imagined that China and other holders and users of massive dollar reserves would join to overthrow the American dollar as the world’s reserve currency.


Then, against all odds, at least as understood by hard-money economists and bullion enthusiasts, what eventually cracked and crashed was not the dollar — but gold.


The Unyielding Power of Paper Currency


From 2012 to 2014, the precious metal lost 40 percent of its value against the dollar, which went on an awesome tear against nearly all the world’s currencies and commodities.


Today it handles more than 60 percent of world trade, denominates more than half the market capitalization of world stocks, and partakes in 87 percent of global currency trades.


To advocates of paper currency, the lesson seemed unanswerable.


Even in a global monetary crisis — exacerbated by wildly loose monetary policy in Washington, with quantitative easing following stimulative buying, and with an explicit zero-interest-rate policy — the full faith and credit of the U.S. government behind the dollar roundly trumped the intrinsic value and scarcity of gold.


Paul Krugman gloated mercilessly in his New York Times column. He seemed to have a point. He rubbed in his argument by regularly quoting Milton Friedman’s case for floating currencies.


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Friedman held that floating currencies could respond to real changes in the economy far faster and more easily than real factors could adjust to a fixed standard.


With an acute imbalance of trade, it was radically more efficient to change simply one outside price — the exchange rate of the currency. Rather than change every internal price, every wage, every pension, every salary, the cost of every item in the grocery store, and every rent payment — one at a time — across an entire economy.


Radical surgery becomes imperative when a nation adopts economic policies that disable its businesses in international competition.


Rather than merely devaluing the currency so the nation could import fewer foreign goods and export more goods overseas (thus rebalancing its trade), a nation under a gold standard would have to change its most self-defeating policies.


Otherwise the miscreant country would have to force down all at once its wages, salaries, costs, prices, and government spending — nearly impossible in democratic politics.


Krugman clinched his argument by comparing the experience of the United States with that of Europe during the Great Recession. Europe attempted to enforce the rule of a single currency, the euro, on seventeen nation-states. No floating permitted.


This campaign seemed to mimic on a continental scale the effect of a gold standard globally.


Krugman pointed out that American states vary as drastically in their economic performance as European states do — Texas and North Dakota booming with energy gains while Florida and Nevada crash with the popping of their real estate bubbles.


But the states that suffered the most from the crash benefited from federal cushions supplied by more prosperous states.


Federal welfare, medical, education, Social Security, unemployment, disability, and disaster relief benefits, as well as dozens of other subventions, compensated for recessionary tax revenue losses and cutbacks in state programs.


The $800 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program bailed out state governments. Meanwhile, in the eurozone, countries such as Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal faced acute shrinkage of their social services and welfare systems in exchange for relatively modest aid from Germany and other solvent European economies.


When the dollar surged against nearly all other currencies in 2014 with no resulting inflation, the ideas of Krugman and his allies seemed to have prevailed.


Led by the dollar, floating paper currencies both outperformed gold and trumped the European experiment with many nation-states forced to adapt to a single standard of value.


As Krugman argued, gold is simply a single standard applied to the world. Surely, Krugman said, citing Milton Friedman, the unitary gold standard would wreak global havoc like that inflicted by the unitary euro standard.


So why do we push to end the current monetary regime?


The reason is not irrational nostalgia for a misremembered “golden age.”


The reason is a decade and a half of economic failure so crippling and pervasive that it has led to a global revulsion against capitalism.


Global Innovation and Advancement Grinds to a Halt


Leading economists, such as the former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers and Robert Gordon of the National Bureau of Economic Research, have concluded that the world’s economies are entering an era of “secular stagnation.” Not merely a cyclical slowdown but a permanent decline of entrepreneurial innovation and technological advance.






Peter Thiel, by all odds the world’s most visionary venture capitalist-philosopher, has declared that of four possibilities for the world economy — recurrent collapse, plateau, extinction, and technological takeoff — “the hardest one to imagine [is] accelerating takeoff toward a much better future.”


Deepening the global economic doldrums is a forced transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street so gigantic that it has sharply skewed global measures of the distribution of wealth and income, bringing to a halt fifty years of miraculous and broad-based advances in global living standards.


At the root of these catastrophes is a drastic abuse and debauch of money and banking led by U.S. and European megabanks.


The expansion of federal regulations and other laws has increased federal control of credit, skewing it away from technology and manufacturing and into real estate.


The Basel process in Europe has extended these policies overseas.


In a hypertrophy of finance, an ever-increasing share of global profits has migrated to incestuous exchanges of liquidity by financial institutions transfixed by the oceanic movements of currency values.


Trivializing banks, government policy has transformed them from a spearhead of investment in business to an obsequious role of borrowing money from the Fed at near-zero rates and lending it to the Treasury at rates as high as 2 percent — yielding a tidy risk-free profit expandable through leverage protected by implicit and explicit government guarantees.


Intimidating the financial sector with constant litigation and addicted to fees and fines, regulators have turned banks into well-fed court eunuchs, periodically whipped and blandished and finally stultified.


During the spurious expansion of the early 2000s, government policies, together with supportive litigation by nonprofits, pushed U.S. banks to bet the bulk of American investment capital on housing. Housing is essentially a consumption good and it was already in oversupply.


Banks and policy-makers then spread this error to Europe, pushing mortgage-backed securities on Irish, Spanish, and even German banks. For these egregious errors, private and public, U.S. bankers collected $2.2 trillion, mostly in bonuses over a seven-year period.


Also profiteering on the crisis was Washington, which expanded regulations and controls under the amorphous Dodd-Frank blob of laws and even enriched housing subsidies under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


In October 2014, as if nothing at all had been learned, the required down payments for taxpayer-guaranteed mortgages were dropped back down from a meager 5 percent to a risible 3 percent.


Meanwhile, as David Malpass has documented, crucial U.S. manufacturing and technology companies have been on a capital starvation diet since 2008 as private sector credit has shrunk as a share of GDP.


Government money has shielded banks from many of the effects of these blunders and from mild but persistent consumer price index (CPI) inflation.




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But average American households have gone through an economic wringer with surging medical, education, food, utilities, and even — with ups and downs — fuel costs.


Doggedly opposed by the administration and the academy, fracking technology together with the strengthening dollar offer economic relief. But the damage has been done.


The real incomes and net worth of the middle class have incurred a steady deterioration with falling labor hours, anemic employment growth, flat productivity, and the breakdown of families.


This persistent disaster would not have been possible without the concession by conservatives (with the delighted concurrence of liberals) that money is the one great exception to their general opposition to government monopoly. That among all the powers of the earth, only the power over money does not corrupt.


Milton Friedman was wrong to think that control over the money supply empowers governments beneficently to stabilize its value.


Instead, governments exploit their monetary control to steer money and credit away from productive enterprise and toward pet projects, political donors, and perverse policies.


Monetary Policy Punishes Capitalist Growth


This monetary coup, changing money from the medium of economic activity to the message itself, has thwarted economic growth, punished savers, and rewarded prestidigitator finance over innovation.


Casting a shroud of uncertainty over all valuations, monetary manipulations shorten the time horizons of the economy. In information theory, the dominant science of our age, when a medium sends messages of its own — static on the line — it’s called noise.


Noise in the channel reduces the channel’s capacity to transmit accurate information. Obfuscating all economic activity, government money causes inequitable redistribution of wealth.


Unlike mere inequality, these arbitrary government favors — and privileges for producers of everything from ethanol and windmills to mortgage-backed securities and oceanic currency shuffles — are actually destructive to the morale of capitalism and to the economic growth that fuels the opportunities of the middle class.


This result is not surprising or even accidental.


The actual purpose of both Keynesianism and monetarism, as well as every coin-clipping king or emperor in the history of the world, is to transform money, a measure of wealth, into wealth itself.


It is driven by the delusionary dream that the government can create economic wealth for its rulers to spend. But changing the measuring stick has never improved the process of building economic value or anything else that has to work.


 



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7

      

By John Klyczek


On both sides of the political aisle, workforce-training reforms are being touted as the be-all, end-all of America’s public education system. Right-wing “school choice” proponents, such as President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, push corporate charter school programs with workforce-training curriculums. Left-wing “community schooling” advocates, such as Democratic Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Julián Castro, push “lifelong-learning” programs with school-to-work curriculums. Both “conservatives” and “liberals” concur: the purpose of public education is workforce development.


It’s nice to know that, in this divisive era of Trump outrage, America’s political representatives can still reach across the aisle to agree on something. Too bad this bipartisan movement will reduce the US schooling system to a corporate-government bureaucracy that deploys Big Data to train students to fill labor quotas prescribed by workforce-planning algorithms.


         



      

Career-Aptitude Pigeonholes:


In this new age of rapidly advancing technologies that are automating “low-skill” jobs, many parents are understandably concerned that their children’s schooling will fail to prepare them to survive in a hi-tech future where the economy is driven by computers. However, parents should be skeptical of hyped-up “career pathways” curriculums that train students in hi-tech skills prescribed for job placement in the fields of “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics” (STEM). While this polytechnical training might offer quick shortcuts to hi-tech jobs, such vocational tech-training pigeonholes the student into a predetermined job with limited upward mobility.


Such “cradle-to-career” training is based on three of the “six basic functions” of schooling systematized by Harvard Professor of Education, Alexander Inglis, who believed that public schools are instruments of Statecraft and social engineering. In “Against School,” Inglis’s authoritarian “principles of education” are paraphrased by the renowned New York State Teacher of the Year (1991), John Taylor Gatto:



The diagnostic and directive function. School is meant to determine each student’s proper social role. . . .
The differentiating function. Once their social role has been “diagnosed,” children are to be sorted by role and trained only so far as their destination in the social machine merits—and not one step further. . . .
The propaedeutic function. The social system implied by these rules will require an elite group of caretakers. To that end, a small fraction of the kids will quietly be taught how to manage this continuing project, how to watch over and control a population deliberately dumbed down and declawed in order that government might proceed unchallenged and corporations might never want for obedient labor.

This documentary will change the way you think about moneyMoney Revealed


By pipelining students directly from the classroom to the jobsite, career-pathways curriculums diagnose each student’s social role by consigning him or her to a job caste that is directed by Big Business partnering with publicly funded school-to-work programs. Furthermore, to efficiently determine each student’s socioeconomic role, the cradle-to-career “conveyor belt” differentiates the student body into a hierarchy of managers and wage slaves who are trained with minimal job competences so that the chain of economic command is not destabilized by social ambitions.


Simply put, career-pathways do not teach students how to choose their own careers and social roles; rather, they teach students job-specific skills for limited employment openings which are predetermined by the market projections of the politically connected corporations that partner with government-funded schools.


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Rather than applaud school-to-work curriculums that train students to keep up with the evolution of a hi-tech economy, perhaps schoolboards should be disconcerted about the encroachment of the Big Tech economy on schools and learning. With growing popularity, Big Data is becoming an integral component of career-pathways training through “adaptive-learning” computers that literally reduce students to numbers. By data-mining a student’s responses to digital lessons, adaptive-learning software (such as Dreambox, Alta, and Brightspace Leap™) can tabulate student-learning algorithms which diagnose students as mentally “fit” or “unfit” for certain jobs. The result is a psychometrical “bell curve” system that pathologizes a student’s workforce “competences” based on his or her “cognitive-behavioral” algorithms.


Such data-mining of student psychometrics might be an efficient way to distribute job placement through workforce-schooling programs. Nonetheless, acclaimed education theorist Alfie Kohn documents that the psychological conditioning methods of schooling advocated by “economists and a diehard group of orthodox behaviorists (who have restyled themselves ‘behavior analysts’)” usually “backfire” and “undermine the very thing we’re trying to promote.” Indeed, workforce-schooling psychometrics are “undermined” when “personalized” student-learning profiles “backfire” by socially engineering the student body into a workforce caste hierarchy with limited job opportunities that restrict upward mobility.


A Post-Humanism?


If parents are worried that their children may get run over by the hi-speed, hi-tech automation economy on the horizons, their attempts to reform education so that students can “compete” with the new computerized economy may actually exacerbate the problem. Rather than encourage school-to-work curriculums that train students to “interface” with a techno-automated workforce, perhaps it is more important to teach the humanities of philosophy, history, and the arts so that the next generations can make humane decisions which ensure that technological evolution serves the inalienable rights of human dignity and conscience.




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We are at a crossroads here: the “career pathways” to a technocratic economy, or the “classical way” to a moral economy based on the “categorical-imperative” values of human dignity and conscience. I am not saying that technological advancement cannot progress alongside the preservation of human values. But in a computer-automated economy driven by Big Data, algorithms must be programmed with certain values; and without the preservation of humane values in the minds of students, there will be nothing to ensure that human morality is programmed into the algorithms that plan the workforces of the future. If we amputate the arts and humanities from the “new education,” which worships the supposed infallibility of data, what will it profit our children to gain the world of hi-tech jobs only to lose their humanity?



John Klyczek has an MA in English and has taught college rhetoric and research argumentation for over seven years. His literary scholarship concentrates on the history of global eugenics and Aldous Huxley’s dystopic novel, Brave New World. He is the author of School World Order: The Technocratic Globalization of Corporatized Education (TrineDay Books); and he is a contributor to the Centre for Research on Globalization, OpEdNews, the Dissident Voice, Blacklisted News, the Activist Post, News With Views, The Saker, and Natural News. His website is https://www.schoolworldorder.info/


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8
Huffington Post General Discussion / 55 Ways to Starve the Beast
« on: October 19, 2019, 06:02:45 PM »

      

By Daisy Luther


A term coined in 1985 by an unnamed staffer of the Reagan administration was “Starve the Beast”.  This referred to a fiscally conservative political strategy to cut government spending by paying less in taxes.  So, in the original sense, “the Beast” was the government, and people were to starve said beast by spending less and using loopholes to pay less in taxes.


Now the Beast is a whole lot bigger.

These days the Beast has a lot more tentacles than just the government.


The system now consists of the government and all aspects of corporatism.  Big Agri, Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big Food, Big Banking, and Big Oil, to name a few.  It seems that now it’s the Beast that’s doing the starving, as small businesses close because they can’t compete with Walmart, bigger chains are run out of existence by Amazon, the family farm is on its way out because it can’t compete with the huge, subsidized mega-farms, and people are going bankrupt because they can’t pay the outrageous medical bills…


         



      

These mega-corporations aren’t there to make our lives better or easier. They’re there to make as much money as possible and they’ll run you over if you get in their way.


(Please note that there are Amazon links in this article to show you the books I recommend. You may be able to find these books from local sellers.)


When I first wrote this article in 2013, Big Tech wasn’t quite as prevalent. I’ve added some recommendations from the comments over the years to expand this list.


Perhaps more of us need to starve the beast.




Is it convenient to starve the beast and avoid doing business with mega-corporations or to work around funding endless wars that kill and maim our young people while enriching the Military-Industrial Complex?


No, but it’s time.


It’s time for another financial revolution – one where people group together and use the power of the pocketbook to starve all the arms of this Beast that would swallow us whole.  If we vote with our dollars, eventually there will, of necessity, be a paradigm shift that returns us to simpler days, when families who were willing to work hard could make a living without selling their souls to the corporate monoliths.


This documentary will change the way you think about moneyMoney Revealed


Every penny you spend with small local businesses is a penny that the big box stores won’t have.  Everything that you buy secondhand or barter for is an item on which you won’t pay sales tax.  Disassociate yourself completely with “the system” that is making Western civilization broke, overweight and unhealthy.


Here are 55 ways to starve the Beast.


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Starve the Beast by taking as many of these steps as possible…



Grow your own food.
Shop at local businesses with no corporate ties.
Use natural remedies instead of pharmaceuticals whenever possible.
Homeschool your children. If you can’t homeschool, at the very least, spend time undoing the indoctrination by giving them the tools to think critically.
Walk or bike instead of driving when you can.
When possible, get care from naturopaths and healers instead of doctors.
Make paper logs from scraps for free heat if you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove.
Boycott all processed foods.

Shop at local farmer’s markets or buy directly from the farms themselves.
Don’t buy from corporate stores: Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot. Instead, pay a few extra dollars and buy from local vendors.
Give vouchers as gifts for an evening of babysitting, a homemade meal, walking the dog, doing a repair, or cleaning.
Join a CSA or farm co-op.
Ditch television (and all the propaganda and commercials). If you want to view programs, enroll in a streaming service without commercials like Netflix.
Participate in the barter system – although remember that even if no money changes hands, the government would like for you to let them know so you can be duly taxed.
Buy secondhand from yard sales, Craigslist, and thrift stores.
Sell your own unwanted goods by having a yard sale or putting an ad on Craigslist.

Repair things instead of replacing them.
Avoid fast-food restaurants and chain restaurants.
Dine at locally owned establishments if you eat out.
Brew your own beer and wine.

Cook from scratch to avoid all those Big Food chemicals and additives.
Grow or gather medicinal herbs.

Give homemade gifts.

Attend free local activities: lectures, concerts, play days at the park, library events.
Dumpster dive and pick up things from the curb.
Play outside: hike, bike, picnic.
Mend clothing.
Invite someone over for dinner instead of meeting at a chain restaurant.
Throw creative birthday parties at home for your kids instead of renting a venue.
Travel to other countries and note how most are not filled with mega-corporations, and local businesses still thrive.
Bring your coffee with you in a travel mug.
Do all of your Christmas shopping with small local businesses and artisans.

Reduce your electricity usage with candles, solar power, and non-tech entertainment.
Drop the thermostat and put on a sweater.
Bring your snacks and drinks in a cooler when you go on a road trip.

Stay home – it’s way easier to avoid temptations that way. Shopping should not be a form of entertainment.
Pack lunches for work and school.
Make delicious homemade treats as a hostess gift.

Close your bank account or at the very least, strictly limit your balance.
Visit u-pick berry patches and orchards, then preserve your harvest for the winter.
Use precious metals stored at home as your savings account.
Raise backyard chickens for your own eggs.
If you are a smoker, roll your own cigarettes – if possible go one step further and grow tobacco.
Brew your own beer, wine, and liquor.
Use solar power for lighting or cooking.

Collect rainwater for use in the garden.
Learn to forage.

Buy heavy, solid, handmade furniture instead of the flimsy imported stuff
At the holidays, focus on activities and traditions instead of gifts.
Make your own bath and body products using pure ingredients like coconut oil, essential oils, and herbal extracts
Use alternative social media.
Get an old-fashioned flip phone while you still can.
Drive an older car without GPS tracking.
Use a VPN like ExpressVPN to keep your location information masked on your electronic devices.
Avoid adding surveillance technology such as Ring or Nest to your home.

Will these activities save America from corporatism and government overreach? Maybe not, but at least you’ll be doing your small part to rebel. Like David fighting Goliath, we are small but we are mighty enemies.


How do you Starve the Beast?

Do you make an effort to avoid doing business with massive corporations? Do you try to extricate yourself from government controls as often as possible? Please, add your suggestions below.



Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.


   
            


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9

      

By Jake Anderson


A mysterious set of patents filed recently by a U.S Navy researcher has caught the eyes of technologists and conspiracy theorists alike.


These patents describe exotic technologies that do not exist in the commercial or military spheres—as far as we know—and that usually only surface in UFO lore, including high-energy electromagnetic force fields, revolutionary propulsion systems, and a “hybrid aerospace-underwater craft.”


The newest patent is for a practical fusion reactor that could be stored in aircraft to help achieve unimaginable speeds and maneuverability.


         



      

The mystery around these patents continues to grow during a time in which the Navy and State Department have stunningly reversed their decades-old policy of not acknowledging UFO sightings. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division is the home of the high-level Navy researcher, the equally mysterious Salvatore Cezar Pais, who in recent years has filed patents for supposedly operable revolutionary technologies such as  room temperature superconductor (RTSC) and the high-energy electromagnetic field generator (HEEMFG).


Perhaps the most surprising patent concerns the “hybrid aerospace-underwater craft,” which can supposedly navigate with equal precision through space, air, and water with no heat signature and “engineer the fabric of our reality at the most fundamental level.”


In the patents filed, Pais has revealed that Chinese scientists are already way ahead of the United States in such fields. The reason this is a shocking admission is because military personnel, Navy officers, and air pilots have for years reported USOs (unidentified submerged objects) that seem to fly in and out of the sea at incomphrensible speeds.






The newest patent teases the discovery of the “Holy Grail” of energy production, the long-sought nuclear fusion reactor, which could revolutionize life on Earth by creating a sustainable long-term fuel source and reduce radioactive waste and greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, scientists do not know how to manage systems that utilize high-pressure plasma in the range of hundreds of millions of degrees Fahrenheit and can only create split second controlled nuclear fusion reactions.


However, the patent for Pais’ “Plasma Compression Fusion Device,” which was only disclosed September 26, 2019 states:


“At present there are few envisioned fusion reactors/devices that come in a small, compact package (ranging from 0.3 to 2 meters in diameter) and typically they use different versions of plasma magnetic confinement. Three such devices are the Lockheed Martin (LM) Skunk Works Compact Fusion Reactor (LM-CFR) , the EMC2 Polywell fusion concept, and the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC) machine. […] These devices feature short plasma confinement times, possible plasma instabilities with the scaling of size, and it is questionable whether they have the ability of achieving the break – even fusion condition, let alone a self-sustained plasma burn leading to ignition.”




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Pais states that this technology would be capable of producing as much as a terawatt (1 trillion watts) of power, which vastly surpasses America’s largest current nuclear power plant. While it’s not known whether such technology is possible at all, much less in a compact structure, we do know that the U.S. military and private firms like Lockheed Martin are competing with the government run-Chinese Academy of Sciences to create the world’s first compact nuclear reactor.



By Jake Anderson | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com


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10

      

By J.G. Martinez


Dear fellow readers.


This week has been “interesting” in South America. Interesting, indeed, but as in the ancient Chinese curse style.


For those of us on this side of the hemisphere, having been able to witness first-hand, in the front line, how the very same plot that made us get the heck out of our country, is unleashing a vendetta against the countries that have received us Venezuelans.


I know geopolitical issues are not the intention of this blog (The Organic Prepper), but please allow me to continue. It will be necessary to establish a context of the circumstances. This vendetta I mentioned, has the exact same features that Fidel Castro once sent to Miami, from Mariel, in Cuba (a pilot test?). President Moreno has directly accused Maduro of sending hidden terrorists, camouflaged between the refugees. For those readers interested who maybe are going to buy the book Daisy and I are writing, you will find a direct relationship between travels of communist leaders to South America, and civilian turmoil generated within a suspiciously short time frame after their “visit”. This is not the only indicator of troubles, indeed. If we remember, in 1988 the Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez invited Fidel to his ceremony of possession. Some people who were there informed that a significant part of the companions of Fidel for that ceremony did not come back to Cuba. They stayed in Venezuela.


         



      

This said, it is not hard to suppose what kind of influence these “visitors” had in the 1989 coup d’etat. The incredible violence unleashed in the cities was something totally unexpected, and rarely seen in a country such as Venezuela. For more details, you will read about it in the book, with some testimonies of friends and acquaintances, and some anecdotal data. I was like 15 at the time and remember everything as it was yesterday.


The objective, finally, of this article is getting to the reader accustomed to this idea: civilian turmoil presents itself so suddenly that maybe the only option you will have is to bug in.


A couple of weeks ago, everything was so quiet in Ecuador that it was even boring. Don’t believe me? Watch the news. A few days ago, a violent mob kicked the police out of their way and invaded the National Assembly (something very similar, indeed to what happened in Venezuela).


A very volatile situation is brewing in all of South America.

Countries that had been relatively peaceful are now (thanks to the hidden terrorists sent by the Maduro regime) a powder keg. The timing could not be worse for me and my reduced family group. An old illness has come back and I’m struggling to recover at least partially before things get worse. Fortunately, we are in a popular neighborhood where there are lots of Venezuelans, and the people renting to me have no complaints because I’ve been quite a good tenant: no noises, paying on time (thanks to my extreme frugality and the generosity of a few readers, I have to acknowledge). They are a senior couple and hardly would allow me to get hurt by an angry mob or someone of my family. However, I’m ready to defend myself and mines.


OK, here’s the thing. Maybe you can have some indications in the nearby days about how bad things can get, all of a sudden, but you might not really notice it until you’re in the middle. If you don’t believe me just ask to Ecuadorians. They were caught in the middle of a geopolitical storm stirred from abroad. Looting, empty shelves as a result, and half of the country blocked because of the mobs. Tear gas, and shootings. Three young men thrown from a bridge by other angry enemies. Things like this happen when people are exposed, and unaware.


I want to tell you something. I’m not in my better moment these days. But every time I need to go outside for some reason, I do it with the firm, strong idea in my mind, of defending myself and my family (and the means to do it). Being partially impeded, defense will have to be lightning quick and disabling. No mercy and I am sorry about this, but it’s true. It’s the survivor’s mindset clicking in since I saw the chain of events. Facing the law afterward? Sure, as much as the taken down predators face it too. There is footage of an angry mob (identified with leftist guerrilla colors by the way) beating with batons innocent people inside a building. Same as Germany in the ’30s. Jeez.


If for some reason in the future these few paragraphs save your life or someone’s you love, I will feel rewarded.


Although our exposition to xenophobic behavior has been minimal, I’m pretty aware of how bad things can get under the current social climate. Therefore, signals definitely can’t be ignored. Every society of the world, unfortunately, seems to have the potential for civilian turmoil, and the possibility of the appearance of more or less organized gangs of marauders NEVER can be dismissed. (I’m sorry Canada, never been there but maybe even you have some percentage of this happening somewhere in the future).


Here are 6 signs that civilian unrest is imminent or already occurring.

The first sign, of course, is bad looks when you walk on the street. Small groups of people (especially young men) staring at you? Don’t show fear, but leave the place fast, and find a safe spot. A shop, a restaurant, someplace with guards, preferably. If you’re classified as a “vulnerable” inhabitant (a migrant, ethnic minority, etc.) you know what I’m talking about. Don’t expose yourself and become gray. No one will open an investigation until much time after an attack under these circumstances. And what we want to avoid is an attack.


The second sign, perhaps this is more subtle, when you see people that normally would be polite or indifferent, as a minimum, starts to look at you in sort of aggressive manner. It’s surprising the number of women from a certain age up that have insulted and been racist with Venezuelans in some countries. (Well maybe surprising for some single people…not as much for me already anyway LOL.)


The third sign, of course, is people disappearing off the streets. I think one of my worst nightmares would be walking with my kid in the middle of downtown and suddenly to find ourselves roaming in deserted streets because there is an aggressive gang coming and you can’t see it. One of my friends was caught in the middle of the coup d’etat to Rafael Correa a few years ago in Ecuador, and when he finally could arrive at the hostel he supposed to have booked in, the lady running the place kicked his suitcase by the stairs, closed the door and never opened. Go figure. A Venezuelan never would have treated someone like that, and I am proud to say this.






The fourth sign is (obviously) LEOs presence in massive amounts in the streets. Any kind of uniform is a strong indication of expected turmoil. Find cover.


The fifth sign in modern times would be (because in the demonstrations the uniforms used it massively to identify potential groups as a target) drones flying close to some blockade or LEO control point. And I know this because people who took part in the demonstrations informed me. Everything was peaceful, and after they saw the drones, minutes later all hell broke lose.


The sixth sign, and the last one, is when you start seeing people wearing a single color. All in black, or all in white, or all sharing a bandana, or some symbol that indicates they are part of a group.


Be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones.

This said, the logical protection measures have to be taken: carry a baton, disguised as a cane. This will work better if one can simulate a limp or something. That’s my first choice. The second one (depending on the laws of the area) would be a concealed knife. A small brown paper bag with a loaf of bread, a peach or apple and some cheese could be useful to explain why we are carrying this, just in case. This would be in my briefcase. I walk decently dressed, but not too much that I attract attention. For some reason I think that someone in a cheap jacket could be attacked by a racist mob faster than someone dressed up with a suit (maybe they think one can be a lawyer?).


Any other blunt weapon that can be concealed should work. Be creative. Nunchakus (for those who have practiced martial arts like me) can be easily concealed under loose gym pants, for instance.


But the best protection is exposing yourself as little as possible. This is what I like most about home-based jobs. An old friend complained about crime rate being so high…but he was a young man in his early 30s and loved partying all night long as a male cat….That saddlebag comes with the horse when you buy it, fellow!


Thank you very much.

Thanks for your comments. Thanks very much for your patronage and much-needed assistance.




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Thanks for your companionship, and making me feel with courage to keep struggling and walking ahead.


And especially, thanks for giving me back the trust in God!


See you in the next article!


Love,


Jose.



Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151


This article was sourced from The Organic Prepper.


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11

      

By Tyler Durden


Central Barcelona has reportedly been paralyzed as mass protests which international reports estimate to number over a half-million people are driven by outrage at harsh prison sentences for pro-independence leaders handed down by the top Spanish court.


Protest leaders are vowing “the streets will be ours” as they push for Catalan independence, and as riot police have begun clashing with stone-throwing activists, who are also in some places of the city setting makeshift roadblocks ablaze.


With night fall, reporters on the ground are describing what’s beginning to resemble a war zone, with increasing violence against police, as also both far-left and far-right agitators are said to be infiltrating the crowd and engaged in increasing violence and vandalism.


         



      

The turmoil began Monday after Spain’s Supreme Court handed out extreme prison sentences to nine politicians who spearheaded the referendum on Catalonia’s independence in 2017.





Protesters blocked at least 20 major roadways Friday, via Sky News.


They were given a whopping 13 years behind bars for what amounts to pro-independence activism, but which Madrid sees as an “illegal” secession attempt which undermined the state.


Though protests started out relatively minor by some student groups, a mass body of people began marching from various parts of Catalonia earlier in the week, and then began inundating Barcelona starting at about noon on Friday, resulting in absolute gridlock.


In total about five separate marches converged at once on the city, also amid a general strike in solidarity with the jailed activists.








Acting Spanish Prime Minster Pedro Sanchez warned those inciting riots and violence would face the swift justice of security forces: “There is no space for impunity in relation to the serious acts of violence we have witnessed over recent days in different cities in Catalonia,” he said.


Indeed it appears the state’s response is set to escalate, give at the end of the week of unrest Spain’s civil guard is to be deployed in Barcelona, Madrid authorities have announced. The civil guard is essentially a militarized police force which has authority to deploy across the whole country. 




Protesters clashed with riot police in central Barcelona, via Sky News.


Meanwhile, demonstrators were said to have blocked at least 20 major roads in and around Barcelona, also causing a much-anticipated soccer match between Spanish rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid to be postponed.



12

      

By Elias Marat


The U.S. national defense budget is one of the most bloated in the world, with funding exceeding $1 trillion as the Pentagon and defense industry-friendly politicians seek to secure the unquestioned dominance of the U.S. Armed Forces across the globe.


However, advances in the military-technical field by U.S. rivals like China and Russia—who have each developed advanced hypersonic deterrent weapons—have gripped U.S. war-planners with a feeling of insecurity over the state of the U.S. military’s overstocked arsenals, as well as a nagging sense that U.S. power is on the long-term decline.


With that in mind, the U.S. Army set about developing a brand-new weapon: a powerful cannon that can fire a projectile over a distance of more than 1,150 nautical miles—or the same distance between Nashville, Tennessee and New York City.


         



      

The service branch hopes to demonstrate a prototype of the new super-cannon by 2023, after which it will be determined whether the cannon is worthy of undergoing further tests, Defense News reports.


The Army is tackling the new project with the Research and Analysis Center at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, as well as the Center for Army Analysis “to confirm the service can accomplish what is expected from such a system,” Col. John Rafferty said.


Before entering live trials, the program first has to pass through what Rafferty described as “big technology gates,” and one will be completed “very soon” in what is said to be an early ballistic test at a Virginia facility.


The Army hopes that the new cannon can offer an edge on U.S. adversaries who have their own formidable defensive and deterrent capabilities. Rafferty believes that a U.S. strategy imbued with long-range air defense systems and artillery and coastal defense seamlessly integrated with long-range, over-the-horizon radars will be difficult to counter for U.S. foes.


Rafferty explained:



“That integrated system challenges even our most sophisticated aircraft and challenges our most sophisticated ships to gain access to the area.






That layered enemy standoff at the strategic level was really the fundamental problem. One of the ways to solve that problem is to deliver surface-to-surface fires that can penetrate this [anti-access, area-denial] complex and disintegrate its network and create windows of opportunity for the joint force to exploit.”



However, the key question is whether the new project can successfully enhance the Army’s capabilities without being too expensive—a key criteria for passing each of the technology gates.


Rafferty added:


This idea of volume and affordability and lethality is first and foremost in our minds.




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In a recent interview, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told Defense News:



A lot of that comes down to cost.


If we are able to develop the strategic, long-range cannon system, the rounds may be only $400,000 or $500,000 compared to multimillion-dollar rounds.  Cost does matter, and we are concerned about cost.


There are some, definitely, physics challenges in doing these types of things, and that is the trade-off.



The chief added that the Army is “trying to be innovative, but what they have to do is demonstrate the capability at each phase along the way. And if that doesn’t happen, we are not doing it.”


By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com


   
            


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13

      

By B.N. Frank


The J.D. Power survey about consumer fears was released in August.  Since then, an Uber whistleblower revealed AVs are NOT safer than human drivers and that manufacturers are hiding the truth about this.  And a AAA study determined that Semi-Autonomous Vehicles can’t see pedestrians and hit child-sized “Dummies” 89% of the time and adult-sized “dummies” 60% of the time DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS AND DRIVING AT LOW SPEEDS.  That seems terrifying.


From J. D. Power:



The J.D. Power survey found that consumers trust auto-driving cars as much as they trust Skynet.


Survey and research powerhouse J.D. Power released the results of its Power Mobility Confidence Index, and the news was terrible for self-driving and electric vehicles. That, in turn, means bad news for Tesla, Uber, Lyft and other electric car manufacturers.


         



      

In short, the J.D. Power survey found that consumers trust auto-driving cars as much as they trust Skynet – the infamous AI network that destroys the human race in “The Terminator” film series.


JD Power’s survey is a confidence index, in which a score between zero and 40 indicates low confidence in whatever matter is being inquired about, a score of 41 to 60 means the public is neutral on the matter, and a score of 61 or higher indicates consumers are positive about the issue.


When it comes to self-driving vehicles as a whole, the J.D. Power confidence score was only 36. The two lowest scores amongst the J.D. Power survey questions were low confidence about the comfort of writing in a self-driving vehicle (which scored 34) and the comfort of being on the road with others in a self-driving vehicle (which scored 35).


When it came to safety, consumers were split 40 percent each on whether self-driving vehicles would improve traffic safety or make it worse. Age demographics didn’t matter too much on this count, with about 50 percent of both the younger and older generations in the J.D. Power survey thinking safety would be better (and therefore, 50 percent thought it would be worse).


Digging deeper into the safety category, consumers expressed a lot of worry about multiple aspects of auto-driving safety. Maybe Tesla’s auto-driving engineers got word of this survey and that’s why they bolted!


71 percent of consumers said they were the most worried about technology failures occurring. 57 percent were fearful of the vehicle they were driving being hacked, and 55 percent were concerned about liability should there be a collision.






The safety concerns are so widespread that 39 percent of consumers said they are not excited about any form of self-driving technology, and that includes public transit and delivery service.


A lack of enthusiasm over electric vehicles in the first place does not bode well for future sales. If 50 percent of the older generation, who has more disposable income and therefore more likely to buy a Tesla, distrust self-driving vehicles, that’s not going to help Tesla either.


This is also bad news for Uber and Lyft. both companies presently give up the vast majority of revenue to the drivers. As it is, price wars are forcing both companies to subsidize every ride.


Getting rid of drivers and replacing them with robots is still many years off, but based on JD Powers survey results, the use of rideshare will dramatically decline because people don’t trust Skynet – operated vehicles.


And why should they? The technology is nowhere close to being ready or accepted. Not to mention that insurance companies will have a hard time signing on.






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On a related note – for many years insurance companies have also been refusing to cover telecom companies because their products are also too risky (see 1, 2).


Activist Post reports regularly about opposition, risks, and warnings associated with all “Smart” technology including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) (see 1, 2, 3, 4)


For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:



Americans for Responsible Technology
Environmental Health Trust
Wireless Information Network


Image credit: Pixabay


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14

      

By Simon Black, Sovereign Man


Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances and your prosperity.


Singapore officially bans ‘fake’ news


Singapore is great for a lot of things– banking, business, trade, etc. But it ranks rather poorly for civil liberties.


Case in point: a new law intended to stop fake news came into effect in Singapore this month; the law will force social media platforms to remove any content that’s deemed contrary to the government’s opinion.


Singapore defines fake news as anything that is disruptive to the “tranquility of the nation”, and to that of its friendly allies. And failure to comply with the law can now land you in prison for ten years.


You can read the full article by clicking here.


         



      

China’s “Study the Great Nation” app spies on its users


Speaking of information control, Chinese authoritarianism just got even worse.


China’s government recently released an app called “Study the Great Nation”, which pushes government-sponsored news and information to Chinese citizens.


It also features quizzes to learn about President Xi Jinping.


The Chinese government has not only promoted the app, but made it mandatory for government workers to sign in and use the app daily. 


Some corporations are requiring this as well of their own employees.


And now a German cybersecurity company discovered the app has a back door, enabling Chinese authorities to spy on the app’s 100 million users.


Should we be surprised?


Click here for the full story


Ontario dentist loses his license after treating his wife


In the Canadian province of Ontario, it’s considered professional misconduct if a dentist has “sexually abused a patient.”






According to the Regulated Health Professions Act, sexual abuse includes any sexual intercourse or other types of sexual relations.


Consent is irrelevant. Any sexual contact is considered abuse. But the strange thing here is that the definition of ‘patient’ includes a spouse.


So when an Ontario dentist treated his wife’s teeth, he was stripped of his license to practice (the government obviously assumed that the dentist and his wife are sexually active…)


This is another blatant example of how stupid, outdated regulations cripple small business owners.


You can read the full story by clicking here.


Sex robots have rights too…


And speaking of sexual consent… take a deep breath.


Last month a pair of university professors published a paper advocating for ‘virtual sex robots’ who should have to provide consent before engaging in intimate acts with their owners.


I’ll pause for a moment, because you might be thinking, ‘What? Sex robots?’ Yes. That’s a thing. Brave new world, I know.




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But what’s also a thing is ultra-woke university professors who believe that the world’s most critical challenges include the rights of sex robots.


In their paper, the professors suggest that sex robots should be equipped with a “consent-module”, so that a robot could refuse sex, you know, in case it has a headache.


They further suggest that this approach could “support the cultivation of compassion when used in supervised, therapeutic scenarios.”


I can only imagine the thrill of robot sex under the watchful supervision of bureaucrats and academics…


You can read the full story by clicking here.


This article was sourced from The Daily Bell.


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15

      

By Mac Slavo


Sales of retail goods and food services dropped 0.3 percent last month as consumers tightened their belts. Lower rates of consumer spending will often precede an economic recession.


It was bound to happen. After all, the consumer cannot prop up the economy forever. Although it was recently reported that consumer sentiment was high even when business sentiment is low, spending in the month of September dropped.


In spite of the trade war and tariffs driving up prices, the latest evidence that the American consumer is unaware that a recession could be on the way is the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey released Friday. Consumer sentiment rose to a three-month high of 96, beating consensus expectations and remaining near record levels. Even as economic growth abates and business investment and confidence have faltered in the face of an ongoing United States-China trade dispute, the U.S. consumer has continued to spend money and reflect confidence in sentiment surveys. –SHTFplan


         



      

A 0.3% drop may not seem like much, but when 70% of the U.S. economy revolves around consumerism, it can be a pretty big deal. According to the Hill, it is entirely possible that things are on a downward trajectory. While the U.S. economy has held steady amid global turmoil, it has grown and added jobs at a slower rate throughout 2019. Rising trade tensions and fading foreign demand for American goods have also stunted U.S. business investment, manufacturing activity, and exports.


Throwing another wrench in the machine is President Donald Trump’s additional tariffs. Trump is set to impose tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese-made consumer goods by December 15, raising costs on articles of clothing, shoes, toys, electronics and other crucial imports. These tariffs will pose the most direct economic threat to consumers from Trump’s trade war with China.


This could be a huge problem for Trump.  His reelection depends on the economy and the health of consumers’ wallets.  If people start to feel the pinch, his reelection chances will drop dramatically.


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This article was sourced from SHTFPlan.com


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