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61

      

By Tyler Durden


It looks as though something big was taking place around Area 51 over the weekend, according to “fragmented reports from various sources” compiled by The Drive.


The report notes that “significant tests” could have been happening over the weekend after learning that Notices To Airman (NOTAMs) had been published that marked certain areas within the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) off limits to any air traffic at any altitude.


The NOTAMs are generally for military aircrews, not civilian or commercial air traffic. They were first pointed out by an aviation enthusiast on Twitter.


         



      

62

      

By Arzu Geybullayeva


On August 4, the Ankara Criminal Court of Peace issued an order to withhold four Twitter accounts in Turkey. The order affects the accounts of Oya Ersoy, member of the left-wing HDP party (People’s Democratic Party); Turkish music band Grup Yorum, and two accounts related to the Gezi Park protest movement: Taksim Gezi Parki and Gezi Savunmasi.


Ersoy, whose account is certified, is a lawyer and politician. In 2018 she was elected as a parliament member representing the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP).


Grup Yorum is a veteran Turkish folk band known for their political songs since 1987. “Yorum” means “to comment” and many of the band’s songs look at the problems in the country and channel criticism in lyrics of their songs. For years, their concerts have faced bans and censorship in the country. Most recently, the band’s July concert was banned in the Turkish province of Hatay, and twelve people were detained for singing their songs on the day of the concert. In February 2018, six of its members were declared terrorists. Two of them fled the country for France.


         



      

The Taksim Gezi Parki account was set up at the onset of Gezi Park protests, while Gezi Savunmasi tracks court proceedings of protesters and activists arrested during the Gezi Park protests. The 2013 protests first started as an environmental protest movement against the planned demolition of Gezi Park in Istanbul, before turning into a nationwide anti-government uprising bringing together hundreds of thousands of protesters.


At the time of publication, Twitter was yet to comply with the decision, and all four accounts were still accessible in Turkey. The basis for the court’s decision was the protection of national security and public order, in accordance with Law No. 5651 on the Regulation of Publications on the Internet.


These four accounts are among hundreds—if not thousands— of Twitter accounts targeted by the Turkish government using the platform’s “Country Withheld Content” tool (CWC). In 2010, Twitter unveiled the tool which allows it to censor content on a country by country basis. At that time, Twitter may not have completely envisaged how its tool could be abused by a number of of increasingly authoritarian countries where social media platforms have been targeted by the authorities in the face of growing crackdown and censorship, most notably Turkey.


In fact, one of the Turkish government’s tactics to silence users on the Internet and deny them their rights to access and impart information, is submitting requests to Twitter and other platforms to withhold content deemed in violation of its local laws. When platforms refuse to comply, they could be blocked, a risk commercial platforms may not be willing to undertake in a market with nearly 60 million Internet users.


For example, in 2013, during the popular Gezi Park protests during which protesters and activists used Twitter and other social media platforms to report on the demonstrations while traditional Turkish broadcasters didn’t over it, the then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the platform as a “scourge”.


In March 2014, the Turkish government blocked the platform for spreading audio recordings that appeared to implicate Erdoğan’s inner circle in a corruption investigation. The government said the platform did not respond to court rulings to remove some links. At a local election rally at that time, Erdoğan said that he had a court order and vowed to ‘’eradicate Twitter’’.


While the Twitter ban has since been lifted, before it was blocked and unblocked again in 2015, the Turkish government has continued to exploit Twitter’s country-withheld content tool to silence users on the platform.



Removal requests received by Facebook and Google


In 2018, Facebook restricted access to more than 2,300 items in Turkey at the request of the authorities. These restrictions took place on Facebook and Instagram and affected items like posts, comments, and accounts and media that were deemed in violation of local laws such as Law No. 5651 which ”covers a range of offenses including personal rights violations, personal privacy, defamation of Ataturk”.


Google received a total of 10,379 removal requests and 57,851 total items named for removal since 2009 over a number of violations related to national security, privacy, “obscenity/nudity” and defamation. Between the second half of 2009 and the end of 2017, Google restricted access to 19,423 of the items on its different services including YouTube, Google Search and Blogger.



According to the most recent Twitter transparency report, covering the second half of 2018, Turkey submitted more than five thousand requests for content removal, more than any other country. One of the most disturbing conclusions of the report is that Turkey, together with Russia, are the top two countries when it comes to the volume of total global requests, leading with a total of 74% of the total removal requests made to Twitter.


The Turkish government is adopting the same tactic with other platforms including Facebook, YouTube, WordPress and even the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia.


In fact, access to all versions of Wikipedia has been blocked by the Turkish government since 2017 for refusing to take down entries containing accusations against the Turkish government of supporting terrorist groups in Syria. At that time, the government accused Wikipedia of ‘’running a smear campaign against Turkey’’, and blocked it using Law No. 5651 or the Internet Act of 2007.


Domestic laws used to withhold content 




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The Turkish government repeatedly refers to domestic legislation such as Law No.5651 and others to request platforms to carry out censorship on their behalf, and to block them when they do not comply.


In fact, under Law No.5651, hosting companies are required to take down illegal or infringing content once served with a notice from the authorities. However, what counts as illegal content in Turkey includes speech that is protected under international human rights standards. For example, law No. 5651 prohibits the defamation of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Article 301 of the Penal Code contains provisions prohibiting the “denigration of the Turkish nation” and state institutions such as the parliament and the government. Article 299 of the same code prohibits insults against the President.


In addition, the list of government and judicial institutions with power vested in them to request blocking through court order or directly is extensive. These include the criminal judgeships of peace who have the power to order the removal of content and the closure of websites under No. 5651 and law No. 5846 on Intellectual and Artistic Works. Other bodies such as the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA), which the telecommunications industry regulator, the Access Providers Union  established in February 2014 and the Information Technologies and Communication Board can issue administrative censorship decisions under certain circumstances.


Implications


The implications of these platforms’ compliance with government requests is detrimental to freedom of expression and press freedom.


In January 2018, Buzzfeed published a story documenting Twitter accounts that were blocked in certain countries, chief among them Turkey. According to the authors, the Turkish government “have led Twitter to block hundreds of users for what appear to be political reasons.”


According to a data set of more than 1,700 Twitter accounts withheld in at least one country between October 2017 and January, Buzzfeed identified at least 59 accounts belonging to journalists and media outlets withheld in Turkey.


During the second half of 2018, Twitter identified 253 accounts of verified journalists and news outlets that were the subject of 146 legal removal demands. In response to the demands, the company said that it withheld three tweets and one account in Turkey for violating local anti-terrorism laws.


Ahmet Sabanci, a freelance journalist told Global Voices in an interview, that companies like Twitter comply with domestic court decisions because “Twitter does not want to anger the Turkish government. The same compliance goes for Russia and other countries”. Sabanci added that although an account holder can protest the decision of the platform, “it happens so often and the chances of winning the case are so slim that people keep opening new accounts.”




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Throughout the second half of 2018, Twitter filed legal objections for court orders from Turkey that specifically involved journalists or news outlets, but none of these objections prevailed. In fact, between  2014 and 2017 only 3% of the objections filed by Twitter were accepted by Turkish courts.


While the Buzzfeed data set offers a glimpse into the accounts impacted by the Turkish government’s use of the CWC tool, it remains unclear just how many of the withheld accounts belong to the representatives of the Turkish civil society and human rights defenders. In fact, Twitter and other platforms do not publish the list of accounts they withhold for violating local laws.


“Complicit” in crackdown


In its 2012 blog post announcing the CWC tool, Twitter said that “one of [its] core values as a company is to defend and respect each user’s voice”. ”We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can’t. The Tweets must continue to flow.”


But it remains to be seen whether this statement holds true today, when countless countries, including Turkey, keep resorting to national laws to silence online critical voices inside the country on a regular basis.


“Twitter, Facebook, [and] Google…are responsible to their shareholders primarily, I don’t consider them as guardians of free speech”, Efe Kerem Sözeri, a Turkish researcher based in the Netherlands, said back in 2018. “But the imbalance in the tools they offer to users versus governments make them complicit in the authoritarian rulers’ crackdown against the opposition”, he added.


Originally intended to keep the tweets flowing, Twitter’s CWC tool—and similar tools provided by other platforms— seem to have actually contributed to the silencing of critical voices in Turkey.



A regional analyst and a blogger, Arzu holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey and a Master’s of Science degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her areas of interest include regional politics, conflict resolution, and new social media.


This article was sourced from GlobalVoices.org


Cartoon by Khalid Albaih [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0].


   
            


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63

      

By B.N. Frank


The Federal Communications Commission is not a health or environmental agency.  Its role is to protect the public by regulating the Telecom Industry but it’s been doing the exact opposite for many years and has been identified as a “Captured Agency”.  Staff has primarily included former Telecom employees who return to the industry as soon as they stop working for the government.


The agency’s blind loyalty to the Telecoms has only become more obvious and more dangerous via the “Race for 5G” which is being opposed by a growing list of credible agencies, individuals and organizations (see 1, 2), in addition to hundreds of doctors and scientists (see 1, 2, 3).


The good news is that they’ve lost another court case on 5G deregulation.  The bad news is these folks don’t ever seem to give up, 5G is already running in some U.S. cities, people are sick, and more cities are scheduled to start operating it this year.


         



      

From Ars Technica:



One of Ajit Pai’s attempts to eliminate regulation of 5G deployment has been overturned by federal judges.


The Federal Communications Commission last year approved an order that “exempted most small cell construction from two kinds of previously required review: historic-preservation review under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),” federal judges said in their decision partially overturning the order.


The FCC claimed its deregulation of small cells was necessary to spur deployment of 5G wireless networks. But the commission was sued by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, the Blackfeet Tribe, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The FCC order was of particular interest to tribal groups because it affected construction on “sites of religious and cultural importance to federally recognized Indian Tribes,” the judges noted. “The Order also effectively reduced Tribes’ role in reviewing proposed construction of macrocell towers and other wireless facilities that remain subject to cultural and environmental review.”


The FCC’s opponents argued that the elimination of historic-preservation and environmental review was arbitrary and capricious, that it violated both the NHPA and NEPA, and that the changes to tribes’ role in reviewing construction was arbitrary and capricious. A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its unanimous ruling today.






Judges wrote that Pai’s order “does not justify the Commission’s determination that it was not in the public interest to require review of small cell deployments. In particular, the Commission failed to justify its confidence that small cell deployments pose little to no cognizable religious, cultural, or environmental risk, particularly given the vast number of proposed deployments and the reality that the Order will principally affect small cells that require new construction.


The FCC also failed to “adequately address possible harms of deregulation and benefits of environmental and historic-preservation review,” which means the commission’s “deregulation of small cells is thus arbitrary and capricious,” judges concluded.




Register Now for The 5G Crisis: Awareness & Accountability Summit. Online and FREE from August 26 – September 1, 2019.


The Telecom Industry gave congressional testimony in February that they have no scientific evidence that exposure to 5G is safe.  The FCC continues to champion widespread  installation anyway – by any means necessary.  This includes allowing companies to send satellites into space to blast it from there, and trying to loosen regulations so homeowners can be paid to put 5G antennas on their roofs.






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Research has indicated that exposure to all sources of wireless radiation is harmfulnot just 5G – and children are more vulnerable to it than adults. 


Activist Post regularly reports about the ne’er-do-wells at the FCC and growing opposition to 5G.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites.



Wireless Information Network
Americans for Responsible Technology
5GCrisis
5GExposed
5G Information
Center For Safer Wireless
Center For Electrosmog Prevention
Clear Light Ventures
Ecological Options Network
ElectromagneticHealth
EMF Safety Network
Environmental Health Trust
Generation Zapped
Last Tree Laws
My Street, My Choice
Parents for Safe Technology
Physicians for Safe Technology
SaferEMR
SafeG
Scientists for Wired Tech
TelecomPowerGrab.org
The People’s Initiative
Whatis5G.Info

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64

      

By Elias Marat


Accused child sex trafficker and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s private island was the subject of a major FBI raid Monday that was joined by law personnel from U.S. Customs and Border Protection along with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office task force on the case.


The multi-agency raid on the island of Little St. James, infamously dubbed “Pedophile Island,” was confirmed by a spokesman for the FBI to NBC News after British tabloid the Daily Mail published photos and details about a large group of FBI special agents arriving to the island on speedboats and swarming it on golf carts.




         



      

An anonymous onlooker who captured footage of the raid said:


I’m on a boat charter with guests. We are the only guests out here at the moment. We were enjoying lunch when we saw over a dozen people getting off their speedboats and landing on the island.




For years, allegations have circulated that underage girls were held captive as sex slaves and faced horrible abuse on the island, including in a strange temple-like structure.



According to Bloomberg:


Back in his heyday, before his 2008 guilty plea in Florida, Epstein would visit his piece of the Virgin Islands archipelago about two or three times a month for stays of three or four days, according to the former staffer, who asked not to be named because Epstein insisted on secrecy from his employees. He described it as a Zen-like retreat when Epstein was there, padding around shirtless in shorts and flip-flops, with meditative music piped into the area around the main house, the cabanas and the pool, where women would sometimes sunbathe topless or in the nude.


The island appears to have avoided attention from law enforcement officials until now. Despite the many rumors, the telling nickname of “Pedophile Island,” and reports from locals, Little St. James appeared to be operating as usual since Epstein’s arrest.



Thanks to a YouTube account by the name of “Rusty Shackleford,” photographs and drone footage of the island have recently been made available to the public. The first video showcasing the island previously shrouded in mystery was posted on July 10 and was supposedly recorded in April of 2019—prior to Epstein’s arrest.



Footage of the island, both from drone and filmed from a nearby boat, has shown employees working and tending to the landscaping in addition to showing evidence of construction, leading some to question whether evidence related to the case was being destroyed, hidden, or tampered with.



Prior to the footage released on YouTube, few images of Little St. James were available online.


Epstein, 66, was arrested in early July on sex trafficking charges. However, this is apparently the first such raid by federal agents on the notorious island property. The deceased financier bought the 71.5-acre island in 1998 for $7.95 million.


Epstein, a registered sex offender, had pled guilty in 2008 to prostitution charges filed by Florida prosecutors related to soliciting a minor. However, he was largely let off the hook by then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta in a non-prosecution plea relating to his sexual exploitation of underage girls.


The search follows a dramatic chain of events surrounding the case of Epstein, who counted Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton among his friends, which has included a large number of notable figures from political elites across the globe—ranging from U.S. lawmakers to U.K. royalty, Israeli defense figures, and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos.


On Friday, 2,000 pages of court documents were unsealed that confirmed how the disgraced financier was accused in 2016 of sending an underage girl to meet and have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) and former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine) as part of his sex ring, fueling the government case against the accused sex trafficker. While the documents contained little new information, the release of the documents served as an opportunity for the mainstream media to finally acknowledge just how deep and dark the Epstein case truly is.






On Saturday, the wealthy financier was found dead in his jail cell at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan of an apparent hanging. At the time of his death, Epstein was being held in custody without bond.


Epstein’s death came barely two weeks after he was discovered in a fetal position with marks around his neck in his cell, raising questions about the circumstances of his incarceration and the absence of measures that would have prevented him from taking his own life.


MCC protocol had required that prison guards would check on Epstein every half hour, but the procedure was apparently ignored on the night of his death. He was being held in the special housing unit (SHU) of the prison, where inmates are held in isolation from the general population. It was revealed on Sunday that no video footage of the inside of Epstein’s cell at MCC exists.




Epstein faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted for his crimes. Prosecutors accused Epstein of sexually exploiting dozens of underage girls for years—including those as young as 14—at his luxurious properties in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and in Palm Beach, Florida.


The Justice Department’s inspector general is investigating the billionaire pedophile’s death.


The FBI raid comes on the same day that U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced that co-conspirators in the sex-trafficking ring “should not rest easy.” At a police event in New Orleans, Barr noted that he was “angry” that Epstein’s jailers failed to prevent his suicide, saying:


We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.




65

      


This is a critical update from one of the best financial commentators I know, a good friend of ours, Mr. Lior Gantz of WealthResearchGroup.com and we’re excited to share this one with you!


For years (2013-2019), gold traded within a tight range. Before that, in the 2000s, the price went from $250/ounce to $1,900/ounce in 2011. That was the most unique bull market in history. No other asset class in history had EVER gone up eleven years in a row, without fail. In 2011, central banks had to put the brakes on precious metals; currencies were weakening too fast and that hurt the economy.


In 2013, after the price corrected down from $1,900 to the $1,300s range, it stabilized for nearly 6 years, trading between $1,100 and $1,300, most of the time. Currencies regained their stability versus gold, but it was mostly the dollar that enjoyed strength, while other ones kept drowning.


         



      

In more than 83 national fiat currencies, gold now trades either at 52-week highs or all-time highs, including some of the commodity-based ones, like Canadian Dollars, South African Rand, and Australian Dollars.


2018 was the peak of this era of currency strength. The dollar became so relatively strong that it was the best-performing ASSET CLASS in the world – better than stocks, bonds, metals and emerging markets. That is a crazy anomaly, which signals an extreme, the end of an era and that’s exactly what it was.


In 1969, two years before the most important currency event of all time, the Nixon Shock, which marked the end of the gold standard, the dollar was the best-performing ASSET CLASS in the world as well. You can see how rare that is. Washington understood, back then, that the dollar was artificially overvalued, since it was printing more currency units than the $35/ounce fix it supposedly anchored, so it had this secret to keep. It knew the dollar was in a bubble, so it forced the default by getting rid of the gold standard, instead of coming out, openly, saying they cheated the $35/ounce fix.


The world is in a funny situation today, because of that; the world’s largest economy, the United States, is also the biggest debtor nation in history and its need for issuance of new debt is ONLY GROWING. At the same time, its currency is the reserve for the rest of the world and it makes up 61% of global currency units.


It’s overvalued, but this time around, it’s at a time when Washington wants it to be more “competitive,” since the Treasury is paying $1.5B in INTEREST every single day, while other governments pay their lenders nothing. It wants a weaker currency.


The end result is that after 6 years of stability in gold prices, we’re breaking out!


The U.S. dollar is the strongest major currency, by far. The demand for it in these uncertain times is massive. This becomes especially evident when realizing that the Treasury pays the highest interest rates of all developed economies.


The dollar is TOO TRUSTED (hard to believe).


Russia has jumped ship, though, and will soon prove that it can stabilize its currency using gold reserves. China will attempt to break loose of the dollar in the next 5-10 years and by 2029, once millennials’ peak employment is reached, the U.S. will not have the same status and empire symbolism it still possesses. It will stagnate.


This decade (2020-2029) marks the transition and some people will benefit greatly from it, while others will lose a fortune. We stand to greatly benefit, by owning metals.






What’s happening now is a return to the policies of the 1970 period. Trump is Nixon 2.0 (on the dollar matter) and there is no official gold standard, but there’s a way to make the dollar weaker and that’s through lowering rates to zero, which would be MIND-BOGGLING to investors that buy bonds as a safe haven.


Right now, we’re in a clear inflection point. Fund managers will begin to allocate clients’ money into precious metals and chase the trend.


They have NO CHOICE in the matter. Gold $2,000 is only a 25% move from here. Since September 2018 (11 months ago), we’ve experienced a 26% surge in gold prices. The 2nd leg will be shorter.


In mid-September, the FED will meet and decide where interest rates should go.



Courtesy: Zerohedge.com



The likelihood of a recession is extremely high and not only is Rabobank putting it at elevated levels, but so is JPMorgan!



Courtesy: Zerohedge.com



Therefore, I’m raising my target price for gold to $2,285/ounce for this cycle and my silver price to $35.17/ounce.




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I’ve received scores of emails asking me if I think the commercial shorts, the banking cartel, won’t try to stop this from happening. Understand that it is now their AGENDA to have higher gold prices.


Expect the most monumental announcement in our newsletter’s history in the coming days.


Image credit: The Daily Coin


      
                     

ActivistPost.com absolutely loves the articles, contributed by WealthResearchGroup.com


            

Of all the investment and economic commentators we're tracking, this one is, by far, part of the top echelon.


            

We read his free newsletter daily


            

In fact, he's opened-up registration to our readers, so you can subscribe to his award-winning free letter right here!


         




   
   

   

   
      
      
       
   
   
   




      
      
   
            


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66

      

By Nicholas West


One aspect often lost in the immigration debate is the rollout of government solutions that are set to restrict the freedom of the perfectly innocent.  A key component of this is the increased collection of passenger biometrics.


As I’ve discussed before, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a mandate that’s been 15 years in the making to integrate government databases for ID verification. Private companies have been enlisted to ensure that there is a “quick and easy roll out across U.S. airports,” according to Jim Peters, chief technology officer for SITA, one of the information technology companies working with airlines.


This is predictably moving from isolated and elective collection into mandatory compliance for all inbound and outbound international travelers. This, too, has always been part of the program as shown in this 2017 document from DHS:


         



      



TVS PIA (PDF)TVS PIA (Text)

As Nextgov reports, this increased data collection will begin before passenger arrival, and is now coupled with transferring everything to centralized cloud storage:



In addition to expanding its biometric capabilities, the agency is also working to migrate all of its traveler processing tech to the cloud, create more self-service tools for the public and let officers use mobile devices to verify people entering the country, officials said in a solicitation published Thursday.


[…]


“The paradigm will evolve from biographic data focused to biometric data centric,” officials said in the solicitation. “A biometric-based approach allows threats to be pushed-out further beyond our borders before travelers arrive to the U.S.”


“Integration of facial recognition technologies is intended throughout all passenger applications,” they added.


[…]


Officials aim to have all of the agency’s traveler processing and vetting applications housed in the cloud by 2024, the solicitation said, and they also want to allow “officers to admit or refer travelers using mobile technology.”







I’m not sure how many more hacks or government intrusions we need for the world to understand that cloud storage is not secure. But the key aspect — “all passenger applications” — is far more ominous.


As I reported almost a year ago in “Biometric ID For Travel Goes Global With New CBP Tourism Partnership,” The World Travel & Tourism Council made it known that biometric data collection would be demanded for all aspects of travel and could be integrated across the globe:


This begins at the point of booking with a travel company and continues at the airport, through airline check-in, security, boarding, border management, car hire, and hotel check-in, and then on the return, through immigration and departure in a round-trip between two continents.


As the Nextgov article also confirms, speculation about this type of system coming for domestic travel inside the U.S. is not unfounded conspiracy theory:



The Transportation Security Administration is also in the early stages of rolling out facial recognition software for domestic travelers, and the Homeland Security Department is in the process of upgrading its enterprisewide biometric identification capabilities.


In the solicitation, officials included a lengthy list of applications and programs they would expect the selected vendor to support, many of which at least partly relied on biometric technology.





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It’s important to keep in mind that warnings about the faulty design of facial recognition systems, in particular, continue to increase even among U.S. law enforcement, and some cities have banned the use of government facial recognition in public. The artificial intelligence that underpins the analytics of the data collection also has received a stern rebuke from the world’s leading university experts on predictive modeling.


It appears that CBP has not been receiving the memos, as there is a tip of the hat to pre-crime discovery in their conclusion:


“The future of CBP relies on modern technology,” officials said. “To be successful, officers and agents need tailored, intuitive, and advanced capabilities to anticipate and combat emerging threats.


So it looks like the future of travel is having all of our biological information collected by untrustworthy governments, centralized into unsecure databases, and being judged by flawed artificial intelligence as to whether or not we are fit to travel. What’s not to love?



Nicholas West writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon for as little as $1 per month. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.


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By Mark J. Perry


New York City businesses have been struggling with higher labor costs brought about by the new $15 an hour city minimum wage that went into effect at the end of last year for “large employers” of 11 employees or more. That’s the third minimum wage increase in three years, and is an increase of more than 36 percent over the last two years from the $11 an hour minimum wage at the end of 2016, and a whopping increase of 107 percent since 2013 when the minimum wage in New York State (and NYC) were determined by the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.


The current state minimum wage outside of NYC is $11.10 an hour, so employers in the city are faced with paying a large 35 percent wage premium compared to their counterparts outside of the metro area for low-skilled workers. And it’s having a devastating effect on the city’s small businesses and restaurants.



         



      

Here are some of the recent news reports on the fallout from New York City’s $15 an hour minimum wage:


1. New York City Businesses Struggle to Keep Up After Minimum Wage Increase


Thomas Grech, president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said he has seen an uptick in small-business closures during the past six to nine months, and he attributed it to the minimum-wage legislation. “They’re cutting their staff. They’re cutting their hours. They’re shutting down,” he said. “It’s not just the rent.”


2. New York City’s $15 Minimum Wage Is Now Officially a Disaster


Roughly 77 percent of NYC restaurants have slashed employee hours. Thirty-six percent said they had to layoff employees and 90 percent had to increase prices following the minimum wage hike, according to a NYC Hospitality Alliance survey taken just one month after the bill took effect.


3. Not A Surprise: New York City $15 Minimum Wage Leads to Layoffs, Fewer Hours, And Slow Growth


4. Small Businesses Struggle With $15 Minimum Wage Hike in NY: ‘They’re Shutting Down’


5. New Yorkers Discover Something Bad About Minimum Wage Hike




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6. Restaurant jobs on the decline


Last year the city lost about 6,000 restaurant jobs, a decline of 3.4%, according to an analysis by the Independent Budget Office, which used seasonally adjusted numbers for the fourth quarter, marking the first time in more than a decade that jobs in the industry declined.


7. Art Laffer: Raising the minimum wage is the best way to hurt the poor


The chart above shows graphically the New York City “restaurant recession” that has resulted from the recent minimum wage increases. According to BLS data, the restaurant job losses in the city this year are even steeper and longer-lasting than the job losses during the Great Recession and are the most severe loss of food service jobs since the 2001 recession and the devastating effects the 9/11 terrorist attacks had that year on tourism and restaurant traffic.


Compared to the first half of last year when there was an average of about 318,000 restaurant jobs in the city, there were only slightly more than 314,000 restaurant employees during the same period this year, representing a loss of nearly 4,000 food jobs over the last year at a rate of 11 jobs lost on average every day.


We hear a lot of concern from politicians like Sen. Sanders and AOC about the importance of “living wages” for low skilled workers, but they show no concern about the “living profitability” of small business owners and restaurateurs in places New York City who struggle to remain profitable paying artificially high government-imposed wages and are forced to lay off workers and many close down.




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New York City could be the “canary in the coal mine” that predicts what happens when politicians engage in “political wage setting” and force significantly higher labor costs on business owners that put jobs at great risk as well as jeopardizing the financial profitability and long-term viability of many restaurants and other small businesses.




This article is republished with permission from the American Enterprise Institute.


Mark J. Perry is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus.


This article was sourced from FEE.org


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By Mike Gleason


Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back our good friend David Morgan of The Morgan Report. David, it’s always good to have you on and appreciate you joining us today. How are you, sir?


David Morgan: Mike, I’m doing all right and it’s good to be with you.


Mike Gleason: Well, David, I know we don’t have a whole lot of time today, but I’m really glad we’re able to speak to you this week because we’re finally seeing some real fireworks here in the metals lately. And I wanted to get your comments.


I should mention that we’re talking here on Thursday morning and we’ve got gold hovering around $1,500 and silver right at about $17. They both popped above those respective key levels yesterday, Wednesday. So first off, what do you make of this move, David? What’s driving it? And the bigger question, will it be sustained?


David Morgan: Well, what’s driving it is something that no one’s really, really talking about. This is my opinion. Of course, you’re asking for my opinion. A lot is the financial press, “Well, It’s all about this trade war with China and the trade war is getting worse. And there’s going to be more sanctions coming in,” and on and on and on. And that may have something to do with it.


         



      

But first of all, the underlying fundamental is financial uncertainty. That’s number one. But beyond that, it’s really something going on in the physical market that no one’s really writing about and I don’t know enough about the state other than it’s got to be part of it. The reason I say that is that the paper paradigm is very clear on how the markets move in the futures markets with trading this paper back and forth for contracts to buy and sell silver. And all they really do is set the paper price.


And of course the metals price goes along with that. I’m not trying to discount that very much. What I’m trying to state is that the paper markets dominate the price over and over again. And every now and again you’ll get in a situation like this where something’s going on, where something needs to be fulfilled and accomplished, and it hasn’t been settled out yet.


So for an example, let’s say there’s some bank that’s demanding a physical settlement in gold and they haven’t received it yet. Once that’s accomplished, you may, and most likely, see the market cool off and go more into some type of trading range where you’re more apt to be able to look at the paper trades, more of what we call levels that we’re used to seeing.


So, I think there’s something out there. Whether that’s occurring with silver or not, I doubt it, right now based on the fact that silver has been lagging gold so much. And there’s a couple of gaps in the charts that will probably be filled, one, you haven’t missed this move at all. If you bought yesterday at maybe the high, I don’t know yet, and it goes down and let’s say silver makes it all the way back down into the, I don’t know, $15.50 range or something, you haven’t missed much. Yeah, you wouldn’t want to buy and see a loss right away. But what I’m trying to state is this, I’m convinced, is the real move. It’s going to be multi-year. And silver and gold, at the end of three, four years from now are going to be substantially higher than they are today.


Mike Gleason: Certainly strong comments. You’re always take a very level-headed approach and have not been just pumping sunshine over these last several years every time we get a rally. So, that’s definitely something that we should all take note of.


Now, silver, you mentioned this, silver does seem to be underperforming a little bit vis-a-vis gold. And now we’ve seen the gold-silver ratio come down from, I think I saw it 93 to one, maybe about there, within the last few months. It’s about 88 to one right now. So, silver has gained somewhat but maybe not quite like you would expect given a big bull move and given that silver should vastly outperform gold in a bull market. So is this seeming lack of out performance from silver a cause for concern?


David Morgan: Somewhat still it is. First of all, I like to see, I mean 80 to 1 at a minimum. And even there that’s an extreme.


When I started the previous website – my website, I think everyone knows is TheMorganReport.com – I rebranded that for years now because I want everyone to be aware that I cover all the resource sector, lithium, rare-earths, et cetera, and not just silver.


But back in the older days with Silver-Investor.com, when I started that website, the ratio was 80 to one, and that was an extreme. And if you would have asked me, even, I don’t know, three years ago, a couple years ago, “Will you see the gold-silver ratio above 80 to one?” I would’ve said, “No. I really, really doubt it” and I’m wrong. It’s got to about 93, 4, 5, somewhere in that range.


So, to really be convinced that, and first of all, I’m convinced that we’re in a new bull market, to be convinced that things are, let’s say, going to show both metals really outperform many other sectors, the equity markets, the bond market, the real estate market, everything else, and take the dominating lead as this currency crisis continues, I want to see silver below a 70-to-one ratio. That would be ultimate confirmation for me, Mike that okay, we’re well on our way, and we’re not. We’re at 88.


Silver has some work to do. Silver is, in my view, much more difficult to analyze than gold, but it can make these moves rather drastically and quickly as gold is doing. Of course, silver’s done pretty good job here of late picking up some momentum and moving from the doldrums into the 17, which is still dirt cheap.


I mean, if you take an AISC, all-in sustaining cost, for some of the major silver producers, they’ll tell you they’re at $15 but they don’t tell you is what their taxes are. So if you add those in, a lot of them are right at basically where we’re at, in other words $17. They’re just break even.






And for any company, what they’re making dresses or corn chips or cola, you want as wide a margin as you can get commensurate with what the market’s willing to pay for your product. And in the case of silver, these companies are still struggling at these levels. So, silver’s got a long ways to go, as does gold, for the margins to be large enough for these companies to breathe easy and have a viable business and be able to have a cashflow that allows them to go out and explore further or retain assets or whatever. So, I see a lot of upside but I’m also anxious for silver to kind of show its wings and fly, and that type of thing.


Mike Gleason: Gold has risen to levels last seen in 2013 when it broke down. But silver obviously is nowhere near those levels, which was say the mid-20s at about that point. What is it going to take for silver to get back above that say into the $20 plus range and what are some of the key resistance points you’re watching for silver between here and there and then beyond?


David Morgan: Okay. Well for, yeah, it does take more interest in the metals all together. Obviously there’s a lot of interests coming in, but it’s mostly institutional. It’s not your retail (investors) at this time. I talk to many dealers such as yourself, Mike. And what I found out was a little bit surprising. A lot of this trading is going through, as I said, institutions which means futures trading and ETFs and a lot of the retail investors are saying, you know what gold’s back to where I bought it, I bought it at this $1,450. It’s there, I’m selling it back. So a lot of the retail investors aren’t believing this rally is for real. And what they’re doing is basically getting their money back. Not all of them of course, but so there’s a lot of work to be done on the silver side. There is lots of areas of resistance on this.


Pulling up a chart as we’re speaking, Mike, because I anticipated this. So there’s huge resistance at $17, which is where we’re at right now as we speak. Will it get through that? Yes. Eventually it will. Will it instantly? I doubt it. I think it’ll come back and fill the gap. And I’m going to do an update for my paid members here, show them where a good entry point is. If they have stopped, if they want to get into this market or add to their positions, whatever. Normally I do that all through equities. I use the futures as a proxy for the overall market. Doesn’t mean you should do futures. In fact, a dissuade anybody from using the futures market. It’s just, that’s where the price is set. So it’s easier to analyze, and I can show them on the chart when silver gets to this level, that’s a good time to start buying your top tier or your favorite junior or whatever you’re going to do.


So, $17… $17 to $17.25 is a pretty big area of resistance. After that, it floats up to a really $19-20 pretty easily. So once we work through that level, Mike, you’ll probably see an acceleration of silver from, I’m going to say $17.50 up to $19.50 I expect it to go to that level fairly quickly. It won’t be like two trading days, but it may probably won’t take very long. Silver could surprise anybody, even me as far as how it reacts. It doesn’t seem to ever do what you expect it to do. But regardless it will outperform and we do need to see a higher level. Once again, over the $20 level, I think the psychology will change and people will say, “It’s silver, not so bad.” Now, they won’t touch at $15. I know you guys sell silver at all levels and every day and there’s always purchases.


But, mark my words, you check the volume and activity at your business. How many people are calling in and buying silver or when it gets silver when it gets over $20, what it’s doing now, and I’m sure you’ll be selling more at that level. People just love to buy the metals at a higher price. When I’m pounding the table saying “This is it.”


Because most people don’t want to put up with, the time, the patience that’s required, if you bought silver at $14 at the end of 2015. Watched it rally all the way up to $21. I was convinced at that time where the bull mark was back in tact. And in a way it is, I mean if you look at gold from that perspective, that’s where it bottomed and has had high or lows all the way up. Silver’s chart doesn’t look like that. Silver bottoms at the same time as gold, which is December, 2015. and it has not made high or lows all the way up. And we’ve basically stayed flat to about $15.75 and then it broke down from there and it got down as low as the 14s. So still higher than it was in December, 2015 but a messy chart, let’s say.


Mike Gleason: Yeah, there’s certainly some big, big levels above us and yeah, I agree. I think when we see silver, get that two handle again. I think that’s when a lot of people are going recognize that okay, it’s time to start moving and the smart people will do it before then.




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Again, thanks David for fitting us in. I know we had a tight window here and it’s been great to have you on. But as we wrap up though, I want to give you a chance to fill our audience in on any of the other markets that you’re looking at here.


David Morgan: Sure. Always looking at the equity market and of course the bonds are the key and the currency markets – we looking at everything really. I think the stock market is showing some wear. It’s been a bull market for quite some time. It’s overvalued by any metric you want to use. I’m looking at that and see it get rolled over further. And then bond market of course is the key because this is the debt markets that everything depends on and how much faith there is in that is going to determine the future of the financial system. So, those are key currencies. As I’ve said many times you can see gold and the dollar go up. Dollar’s making new highs. Gold’s making a six year high. And I said “Watch.” And of course here we are. There’s a reason for that. So, I think that’s about it.


I just close out, I got this email. “I’m a young guy, I have a high conviction, precious metal is the best place to be in the next three to five years. I’m in need of guidance of how to build a long-term precious metals portfolio. I want to fund this as soon as possible. I know you’re not a financial adviser, but you offer services that will help me start a precious metal portfolio. I continue to monitor the market on an ongoing basis with your analysis, can you help me?” And that’s almost precisely what I do. So, I will get with this gentleman and kind of reaffirm what he’s already asking. Can you help me? Yeah, that’s what our business is. So anyway, if you want to learn more, just go TheMorganReport.com put in a first name and an email address, be happy to put you on our free list. And you can determine from there, if you want to go further.


Mike Gleason: There’s probably no better time to get in and get on board with services like The Morgan Report, and the great commentary that David and his team put out there. And, and just see what’s going happen and what they have to say about these markets as we could be entering this new bull phase. I mean, you heard David say it, he’s convinced we’re in a new bull market and this is going to be an exciting time and the time that precious metals investors have been waiting for, for a number of years. So definitely urge people to take advantage of that and go to TheMorganReport.com it’s truly great stuff. You have just heard what David was talking about. A great approach to all these markets and lots and lots of experience over the years. He’s seen everything.


Well good stuff David. Always appreciate it. Thanks so much. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and I can’t wait for our next conversation, take care.


David Morgan: Thanks so much Mike. It’s great to be back with you.


Mike Gleason: Well that will do it for this week. Thanks again to David Morgan, publisher of The Morgan Report. To follow David, just visit TheMorganReport.com you can follow him on Twitter, it’s @silverguru22. And if you haven’t already, grab a copy of the book titled Second Chance: How to Make and Keep Big Money During the Coming Gold and Silver Shock Wave, which is available at MoneyMetals.com and other places where books are sold. Be sure to check that out. And check out the TheMorganReport.com and start getting wonderful commentaries from David and his team on a regular basis.


Mike Gleason is a Director with Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer with over 50,000 customers. Gleason is a hard money advocate and a strong proponent of personal liberty, limited government and the Austrian School of Economics. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason has extensive experience in management, sales and logistics as well as precious metals investing. He also puts his longtime broadcasting background to good use, hosting a weekly precious metals podcast since 2011, a program listened to by tens of thousands each week.


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By Graham Smith


Negative interest rates have been making big headlines lately, as several countries and big banks are now experimenting with the unorthodox monetary policy. While typically viewed as a last-ditch effort to shock some life back into struggling economies, these policies are getting a shiny new spin thanks to mainstream media outlets promoting government talking points and agendas. Instead of facing the ominous problems of inflation and devaluation of money, now there’s a new solution: normalize the negative, and sweep the consequences under the rug.


Also Read: Owning Fiat Just Got More Expensive – NIRP Strikes Again


Normalizing Catastrophe

Recently, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the current state of affairs globally in regard to negative interest rate policy (NIRP). More than ever, banks and national policymakers are experimenting with unorthodox cuts to interest rates, resulting in things like negative rate 10-year mortgage deals in Denmark, negative yielding bonds, bank closures and consolidations in Japan, and depositors being forced to move their money into alternative means of savings such as fiduciary call deposits. The problem is plaguing banks even in traditionally strong countries like Germany.


         



      

If quantitative easing is a hail mary attempt at stimulating a chilled economy, one might wonder why so many now view its long-term implementations as desirable. Former COO of Goldman Sachs, and former chief economic advisor to Donald Trump, Gary Cohn’s well-known quote comes to mind:


We’re in a currency war. One of the easier ways to stimulate your economy is to weaken your currency.


To most in America and elsewhere, strong money is a good thing. It encourages saving, and gives the consumer more purchasing power. To governments, however, who depend on credit, savings can be a threat. A population of hard-working savers means that politicians and bureaucrats are not getting their desired cut of the value being held, and are unable to spend for those things they deem necessary.


Further, deflation can be a natural signal that a market readjustment is needed to solve real value debt — not a call for the synthetic, centralized creation of more of the same. Now, even respected business publications like Forbes and Bloomberg are jumping on the NIRP bandwagon, and publishing articles attempting to normalize the devaluation of money.


Bloomberg and Forbes See the Silver Lining

In an article published on August 8 in Bloomberg Businessweek entitled “The Non-Weirdness of Negative Interest Rates,” the author states:


Savers in Europe are having to pay to store their wealth. That’s not so crazy when saving is all too plentiful.


The piece goes on to detail how folks have to pay to store anything, and don’t mind paying a fee for a safe deposit box, so why should they complain when they’re charged to store cash? Individuals in NIRP countries and banking at NIRP banks should simply go along for the ride, for the greater good of the economy, and stop grumbling.






Ignoring that saving or spending is solely the prerogative of the individual value holder, and not an opinionated third party writing for a news publication, an even bigger error seems to be made. The author is correct in saying that negative rates are not weird, but for all the wrong reasons.


NIRP is to be expected in societies whose economies are being blasted by the devaluation inherent to Keynesian economics. Using a simple inflation calculator, one can verify the global trend for themselves. For example, $100 in 1956 would be worth $937.44 in 2019. 100 Japanese yen would be worth 607.57 yen today, and 100 Australian dollars from 1949 would have the current purchasing power of about 3,002.63 AUD.


Just because someone is forced to get more and more credit cards to pay for groceries and necessities as they descend into insurmountable debt doesn’t make those credit cards a good or normal thing. They may not be “weird,” but they are certainly not sound in the long run. The food is needed, but the debt is racking up exponentially, and will come home to roost, at some point.


Normalizing the Negative: It’s Flabbergasting How Closely Media Parrots the GovernmentOne U.S. dollar in 1860 could purchase the equivalent of 30 USD today. Prices in the U.S. today are 2,986.06% higher than in 1860. Source: http://www.in2013dollars.com/1860-dollars-in-2017?amount=1

On the same day Bloomberg published this piece, Forbes also published an article in the same vein, with a similar, sweep-it-under-the-rug type spin. In “Who’s Helped By Federal Interest Rates Cut? Start With Millennials,” contributor Jamie Hopkins lists four reasons that the July 31 Federal Reserve interest rate cut is good for young Americans. The reasons given all amount to — every last one of them — more debt. Reason number two is “Lower Mortgage Rates” and number three is “Credit Card Rates Could Drop.”


The Fed’s rate cut is the first since the global economic downturn of 2008-09, caused by easy mortgages and easy credit. One wonders why these top media outlets would publish views praising the very same causes and bad policies. To be fair, the aforementioned articles are both opinion pieces, but an austere, Austrian school criticism of these ideas via the same outlets doesn’t seem to be found anywhere.


2008 All Over Again, But Potentially Worse

With media narratives like these being pushed, and countries worldwide beginning to experiment more and more with slashing rates, it would seem stimulation could soon be quantitatively easing the world right into another severe financial downturn. This in combination with the continued attacks on the free exchange of sound, non-inflationary money, including secure cryptocurrencies worldwide, via FATF regulations and severe punishment of those trading outside legal channels.


Even in currently non-negative rate countries, the NIRP trend is catching on. For example, New Zealand Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr has his own ideas about coercing spending, stating in a recent interview:


Another one, of course, is a simple one, is saying: well, let’s remove the arbitrage between a negative interest rate and holding cash. Let’s tax cash holdings, simple as that: we’re back to monetary policy as usual; people are disincentivised to be holding large lumps of physical cash; they are having to think harder about putting money to work.


Taxing cash, cutting the cash rate, and eliminating 100 dollar bills. These ideas are all on the table in a country that has just cut its own interest rates 50 basis points last week. Should the global trend toward currency devaluation continue, it may not be long until another gigantic bubble looms over the world economy. This time, dwarfing the bubble of 2008. If it bursts, no amount of easy credit is likely to save the day. Still, governments and mainstream media worldwide have now begun to cheer on negative rates, pushing the policies on many who feel they have already found a better way via crypto.




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What do you think about the normalization of negative interest? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images Pixabay, fair use.



Graham Smith is an American expat living in Japan, and the founder of Voluntary Japan—an initiative dedicated to spreading the philosophies of unschooling, individual self-ownership, and economic freedom in the land of the rising sun.


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


This article was sourced from Bitcoin.com


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By Daisy Luther and Dagny Taggart


Nobody was really surprised when it was reported last weekend that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell of an apparent “suicide.” And also, nobody really believed the official story. I find it heartening to know that the American people no longer swallow the stories without question.


The results of our informal poll over the weekend show that hardly any of our readers believe that an egomaniacal narcissist like Epstein would have voluntarily killed himself.




         



      

You can still pop over to go vote in this poll.


So what happened to Jeffrey Epstein? Here are 5 theories aside from the official story.


Russia, of course.

The Russia hysteria that swept through the election of Donald Trump shows little sign of abating and some people even think that the Russians were responsible for the death of Epstein.


Joe Scarborough, host of Morning Joe on MSNBC got the ball rolling with this offhand tweet:




After a whole bunch of outraged tweets, it turned out he was just kidding.




Marco Rubio thinks the Russians are involved but only because the Russians are blaming the Clintons.




This leads us to our next theory.


The Clintons, of course.

There are a lot of powerful people who wouldn’t want the world hearing what Epstein had to say about their unsavory sexual predilections. Topping that list could be a guy with frequent flier miles on the Lolita Express.


A trending hashtag on Twitter right now is #ClintonBodyCount. And we’ve got to be honest, there are a lot and we mean a lot of bodies that have fallen in the wake of Bill and Hil, so many that the term “Arkancide” is listed in Urban Dictionary. Totally unrelated, we’re sure, despite what this book on Amazon or this documentary says.




RationalWiki, recently updated with information on how the Clintons didn’t kill Jeffrey Epstein, also says they didn’t kill these people either.



And there was fury on Twitter (when isn’t there fury on Twitter?) when President Trump retweeted this theory.



It’s complete with video.




But don’t worry, none of this Clinton stuff could possibly be true because Snopes has debunked it.


Instead, it’s obviously another political leader. One who tried to point the finger at the always-innnocent-and-benevolent Clintons.


Trump, of course.

#TrumpBodyCount is trending on Twitter, and the people making such Tweets are accusing Donald Trump of playing a role in Epstein’s supposed death.




The people writing those Tweets seem to be ignoring the substantial documented ties Bill Clinton has to Epstein. Yes, Trump had a past relationship with Epstein, as evidenced by photographs and comments Trump made about Epstein in a 2002 interview: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump booms from a speakerphone. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”


Donald Trump reportedly cut off contact with Epstein in 2004 after a real estate squabble. It has also been reported that Trump banned Epstein from Mar-a-Lago (where Virginia Roberts Giuffre allegedly met Epstein when she was 16). Last month, Trump said he knew Epstein “like everybody in Palm Beach knew him” and “I had a falling out with him a long time ago, I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn’t a fan…I was not a fan of his…I feel very badly actually for Secretary Acosta.”


However, Bradley J. Edwards, the lawyer for several of Epstein’s alleged victims, said in an interview that Trump was the only high-powered person who was willing to talk to him when Edwards served subpoenas and notices to high-profile individuals connected to Epstein.


That being said, one can’t help but wonder why Trump selected Alexander Acosta as his Secretary of Labor and William Barr as Attorney General, considering their questionable ties to Epstein. Of course, none of this means that Trump or his administration had anything to do with Epstein’s death.


The Mossad killed him, of course.


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You’ve probably heard the theory that Epstein may have an operator for the Mossad, getting all sorts of dirt on powerful perverts in order to strongly urge them to comply when asked for favors in the future. Dagny Taggart reported:



The Epstein case is filled with bizarre details that are difficult to unravel.


Maurene Comey, daughter of fired FBI Director James Comey, is reportedly one of the prosecutors in the Jeffrey Epstein case. She is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the SDNY who has worked on cases involving alleged racketeering, drugs and weapons offenses, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, and robbery.


Robert Mueller led the FBI at the time of the original charges against Epstein.


There are additional bizarre details in the Epstein story, as Michael Krieger explains in The Jeffrey Epstein Rabbit Hole Goes a Lot Deeper Than You Think. Krieger works through a series of connections (to read them, click on the link to his article – his points are made in a series of Tweets) and eventually forms a theory that Epstein’s entire operation was designed to ensnare the rich and powerful – and that the billionaire may be funded by Israeli spy agency Mossad. (source)



Another interesting source believes that not only was Epstein Mossad, but that the Mossad could be involved in a cover-up surrounding his death. (Or “death” if you prefer.) Philip Giraldi, a former CIA operative writes:



As a former intelligence officer myself, there is little doubt in my mind that what Epstein did and how he did it was an intelligence operation. There is no other viable explanation for his filming of prominent politicians and celebrities having sex with young girls. And as for the question of whom Epstein might have been working for, the most likely answer is Mossad. The CIA would have had no interest in compiling dossiers on prominent Americans, but American movers and shakers like Bill Clinton, with his 26 trips on the Lolita Express, former Governor Bill Richardson, or former Senator George Mitchell are precisely the types of “agents of influence” that the Mossad would seek to coerce or even blackmail into cooperation…


…Epstein is now dead. But the key questions go unanswered including was he a spy for Israel? And what about the Krischer-Dershowitz connection that kept him from being punished commensurate with his crimes? Did those instructions also come from Israel or from its friends in the U.S. Justice Department? Will the three simultaneous investigations currently taking place even continue and ask the right questions now that the target of the investigation is gone? Given the high stakes in the game, quite likely, there will be a cover-up both of how Epstein lived and how he died. We the public will never know what Epstein was all about. (source)



He’s not actually dead, of course.

Is there a chance that Epstein is not actually dead?


Maybe he’s in witness protection. A whole lot of people have BIG reasons to want him dead. Maybe one of his excessively wealthy and powerful friends helped him escape and he’s somewhere drinking mojitos and laughing at the coverage of his untimely demise.


There are some mysteries about how he could have managed to commit suicide or be murdered in his recent situation.



He tried to commit suicide 2 weeks ago.
Or maybe a bodybuilder-murderer-ex-cop-cellmate tried to take Epstein out in a hit although the bodybuilder-murderer-ex-cop-cellmate says he saved him.

He was taken off suicide watch despite allegedly trying to kill himself two weeks previously. It is now being reported that he was removed from suicide watch at the request of his attorneys.
“Epstein” was carted out in an open body bag so the paparazzi could get a good look at someone “who looked like Epstein” being dead. Specifically, “A gurney carrying a man who looked like Epstein was wheeled into New York Downtown Hospital around 7:30 a.m. A call for a reported cardiac arrest came in at 6:38 a.m., Fire Department sources said,” reported NY Post.
The autopsy is apparently complete but the coroner apparently requires more information. “The New York City medical examiner’s office said Sunday that it had completed an autopsy on the financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein but that it needed more information before determining the cause of death,” reported NBC News.

So maybe, just maybe, the guy isn’t actually dead but in the witness protection program, because if ever a witness would require protection, it would be this one. Is it possible that the DoJ wants to build a case against even bigger fish than Epstein?


Or maybe he is free as a bird in the most outrageous jailbreak in American history. The world my never know.


What do you think happened to Jeffrey Epstein?

Share your thoughts here or go vote on our poll.



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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71

      

By Sean Walton


Unlike some other payment processors who have allowed themselves to become politicized, Visa CEO Alfred Kelly has promised not to block purchases of firearms made through the company.


Asked if Visa would continue to facilitate firearms purchases, Kelly told CNBC, “We are guided by the federal laws in a country, and our job is to create and to facilitate fair and secure commerce.”


Adding that Visa would continue to “follow the laws of the land,” Kelly emphasized that private companies should not be dictating what people can or cannot buy, so long as it’s legal.


“The reality is that it’s very hard for us to do it. … If we start to get in the mode of being legislators it’s a very slippery slope,” Kelly said. “We shouldn’t be determining what’s right or wrong in terms of people’s purchases.”


         



      

Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard, also said that it wasn’t the company’s place to decide what consumers can purchase.


Other payment companies like PayPal and Square have barred the purchase of guns via their platforms.


Kelly’s promise is crucial given that “deplatforming” has now moved on to banks and payment processors, with conservative commentators and activists having their accounts shut down in some cases for having the wrong opinions.


The pledges come as firearms sales have surged with Americans looking to protect themselves and their families in the wake of recent “mass shootings” and the calls for firearm bans.






The Washington Examiner reports that gun shops are seeing an uptick in business, particularly from first-time buyers.


“While we have seen a measured rise in sale of certain tactical rifles and accessories this week, most customers are looking for concealed carry handguns,” said Justin Anderson, Marketing Director of Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, N.C.


“Just this week we have fielded hundreds of calls from people that have never purchased a gun before. Our concealed carry training classes are filling up quickly.” Anderson added.


“People are realizing that even a trip to Walmart isn’t safe these days and they want to be able to protect themselves.”


“Remember that nothing stops a lunatic bent on carnage better than a law-abiding citizen with a gun. I continue to urge people to get a gun, get trained with that gun, and carry, always,” he added.




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FBI Figures show another jump in purchases and background checks, with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System showing that 2019 is likely to be the second biggest year since 2016, when sales soared in anticipation of Hillary Clinton winning the election.



Sean Walton is a researcher and journalist for The Daily Sheeple. Send tips to [email protected]


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72

      

By Michael Snyder


Did Jeffrey Epstein commit suicide or was he murdered?  This is a question that is being debated by millions of Americans right now, and without a doubt this is the biggest story of this news cycle.  Unfortunately, the mainstream media is already dropping the ball.


Instead of going wherever the evidence leads them, there already seems to be a tremendous effort to marginalize any explanations for his death other than “suicide”.  And it may turn out that “suicide” is where the evidence takes us, but while things are unclear we should not be afraid to ask the hard questions.


The following are 7 unanswered questions about Jeffrey Epstein’s death that the mainstream media needs to be talking about…


         



      

#1 Why are the autopsy results being delayed?  According to NBC News, the New York City medical examiner’s office is requesting “more information” before determining the cause of Epstein’s death…


The New York City medical examiner’s office said Sunday that it had completed an autopsy of the financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein but that it needed more information before determining the cause of death.


#2 What will the cameras show?  By now most people have heard that there were no cameras filming what was going on inside Epstein’s cell, but there were cameras filming the doors of each cell…



The news of the delay to the autopsy results comes after a source told the New York Post there was no video of the moment he died in his jail cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center.


Cameras are said to film the doors to each cell which would show anyone who entered or exited, but they do not point inside.



So if someone paid a “visit” to Epstein, there should be video evidence of it.


#3 Why was Jeffrey Epstein taken off suicide watch?  After Epstein attempted to “kill himself” the first time, he was put on suicide watch, but only for a short period.  The following comes from CNN…



No. Epstein was temporarily placed on a suicide watch after he was found in his jail cell July 23 with marks on his neck, a law enforcement source and a source familiar with the incident told CNN at the time.


It wasn’t clear whether those injuries, which were not serious, were self-inflicted or the result of an assault, the sources said. Epstein told authorities he had been beaten up and called a child predator, they said.



#4 Why did the guards break prison rules and not check on him every 30 minutes?  Apparently these guards had been working a lot of overtime, but that is no excuse for breaking prison rules…



Epstein should have been checked on by guards in his cell every 30 minutes, but that didn’t happen the night before his apparent suicide, a law enforcement official told the Times.


The Times spoke to the official on the condition of anonymity. The Associated Press has not independently confirmed the information.


A law enforcement source also said he was alone in his cell Saturday night after his cellmate was transferred. An official with knowledge of the investigation told the Times that the Justice Department was told Epstein would have a cellmate and be monitored by a guard every 30 minutes.



#5 Why would Jeffrey Epstein try to kill himself if he was adjusting so well to prison life?  According to a “prison insider” interviewed by the Daily Mail, Epstein “seemed to be in good spirits” just before his life ended…



The insider, who had seen the disgraced financier on several occasions during his incarceration at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, also claims that the normally reserved Epstein seemed to be in good spirits.


‘There was no indication that he might try to take his own life,’ the source told DailyMail.com.


‘From what I saw, he was finally starting to adjust to prison. I think he was comforted by the rigidity of his new life.’







#6 Why did Jeffrey Epstein tell guards that someone was trying to kill him?  It has been reported by the mainstream media that Epstein previously tried to kill himself, but apparently that report was being directly contradicted by Epstein himself.  Of course it is entirely possible that Epstein was lying, but according to multiple reports he claimed that someone had tried to kill him…



The 66-year-old convicted sex offender reportedly told guards and fellow inmates he believed someone was trying to kill him.


The multimillionaire, who was being held on sex trafficking charges at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, had previously been on suicide watch.



#7 How could Epstein kill himself in a prison where the cells had been specifically designed to prevent that from happening?  I shared this quote in another article that I just posted, but it is deeply relevant to this article as well.  According to a former inmate of the Metropolitan Correction Center in lower Manhattan that was just interviewed by the New York Post, there is no way that Epstein would have been able to hang himself…



There’s no way that man could have killed himself. I’ve done too much time in those units. It’s an impossibility.


Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything.


You have sheets, but they’re paper level, not strong enough. He was 200 pounds — it would never happen.



Everything in these cells was designed to keep hanging deaths from happening, but that is not the only way that prisoners kill themselves.


According to a study cited by The Los Angeles Times, over 90 percent of all prison suicides are hangings, and drug overdoses are the second most common cause…


According to news reports, Epstein was not on suicide watch when he died, but even if he had been the outcome might have been the same. A study by the U.S. Marshal Service found that about 8% of suicides in correctional facilities occurred even though an inmate was on suicide watch. According to the report, the vast majority of suicides (more than 90%) are hangings, with the second most common being drug overdoses.




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So is it possible that Epstein could have come up with a way to kill himself?


Yes, although it wouldn’t have been easy.  Epstein was certainly a miserable human being, and without anything positive to live for, he probably imagined that he would rot away in a prison cell for the rest of his life.


In the end, it definitely would not be a surprise if someone in his position chose the cowardly route of committing suicide.


But without a doubt, something doesn’t smell right here.


There were reports that Epstein was willing to start testifying against his rich and powerful friends, but now that will never happen.


It is clear that there are certain people that have greatly benefited from his death, and in many of those cases it appears that justice will probably never be served.



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.


Image credit: Pixabay


This article was sourced from End of the American Dream


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73

      

By Michael Snyder


Was there a conspiracy to kill Jeffrey Epstein?  Over the past 24 hours, the mainstream media has been full of stories about the various “conspiracy theories” that have sprung up around Jeffrey Epstein’s death.  And of course the term “conspiracy theory” has essentially become a shorthand way for the mainstream media to dismiss any explanation that does not fit with the “official” interpretation of a particular news event.  So far, the mainstream media is pushing the narrative that Jeffrey Epstein’s death was a “suicide” even though we don’t actually have any evidence that this is true yet.  Perhaps when we finally get the autopsy results things will become clearer, but then again they might not.  In any event, it has been quite remarkable to see how big names from across the political spectrum have been responding to Epstein’s death.  Many of them are demanding an investigation into what happened, and quite a few of them already seem convinced that his death was definitely not a “suicide”.


If Epstein’s death was not a suicide, then there almost certainly had to have been more than one person involved.


And if more than one person was involved, that would fit the legal definition of a “conspiracy”.


         



      

According to Cornell Law School, a “conspiracy” exits when there is an “agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal act, along with an intent to achieve the agreement’s goal.”


Wealthy and powerful people work together to commit illegal acts all the time.  If you don’t believe that, then you need to wake up and learn how the world really works.  Only time will tell if Jeffrey Epstein’s death was the result of a “conspiracy”, but right now a lot of prominent individuals are questioning the official narrative.  The following are 10 quotes from big names across the political spectrum that are suspicious about the cause of Epstein’s death…


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “We need answers. Lots of them.”


U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz: “Chairman @RepJerryNadler should prioritize a Judiciary investigation into how Jeffrey Epstein died in federal custody (in Nadler’s own neighborhood!) over the Kavanaugh confirmation (which already happened), and the Russia hoax (which never happened).”


Joe Scarborough: “A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably…Russian.”


Lou Dobbs: “Dead Men Tell No Tales. Jeffrey Epstein found dead in Manhattan jail cell; multiple reports claim death by suicide #MAGA #AmericaFirst #Dobbs”


U.S. Representative Al Green: “The suicide of Mr. Epstein is an impossibilty. When an impossiblty occurs involving powerful people and possible criminality there must be an investigation to end speculation. Because the public has a right to know, I’m calling for a congressional investigation. #JefferyEpstein”


Rudy Giuliani: “What does the word watch mean in the phrase suicide Watch? Who was watching? What does camera show? It is inconceivable Epstein could have hung himself if there was a suicide Watch? Follow the motives.”


Harlan Z. Hill: “Dead men tell no tales. Just as Jeffrey Epstein starts to name names, he decides to kill himself? Mkay. Totally believable.”


Former U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill: “Something stinks to high heaven. How does someone on suicide watch hang himself with no intervention? Impossible. Unless…..”


Paul Krugman: “If we were living in a paranoid fantasy universe, I would be very suspicious about the Epstein suicide, even about whether it was really suicide. And you know what? The Epstein case itself shows that we *are* kind of living in a paranoid fantasy universe.”


Attorney General William Barr: “I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody. Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”


President Trump also jumped into this debate when he retweeted something that a conservative comedian named Terrence K. Williams had posted.




But to me, there was one quote that stood out above all the quotes that I have shared with you so far.


The New York Post interviewed a former inmate of the Metropolitan Correction Center in lower Manhattan, and according to that inmate it would have literally been impossible for Epstein to kill himself…



There’s no way that man could have killed himself. I’ve done too much time in those units. It’s an impossibility.


Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything.




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You have sheets, but they’re paper level, not strong enough. He was 200 pounds — it would never happen.


You can read the rest of his account right here.  After reading that account, I was certainly persuaded that it was extremely unlikely that Epstein would have been able to kill himself.


Of course it is always possible that Epstein could have died from natural causes, but it is probably much more likely that he was killed to protect wealthy and powerful people that Epstein could have testified against.


I am sorry if this doesn’t fit with your view of the world, but the truth is that we live in a society that is saturated with evil.  That has been true since the very beginning, and human nature hasn’t changed.


Hopefully there will be an investigation into what happened, and hopefully the truth will come out.  But I am certainly not optimistic, and the mainstream media will undoubtedly do their best to cover up this entire sordid affair.


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.


Image credit: Pixabay


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74

      

By Caitlin Johnstone


Plutocratic propaganda outlet MSNBC has just run a spin segment on the breaking news that the medical examiner’s determination of the cause of Jeffrey Epstein’s death is “pending further information”.


“Our sources are still saying that it looks like suicide, and this is going to set conspiracy theorists abuzz I fear,” said NBC correspondent Ken Dilanian. “NBC News has been hearing all day long that there are no indications of foul play, and that this looks like a suicide and that he hung himself in his cell.”


Dilanian, who stumbled over the phrase “conspiracy theorists” in his haste to get it in the first soundbyte, is a known asset of the Central Intelligence Agency. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a well-documented fact. A 2014 article in The Intercept titled “The CIA’s Mop-Up Man” reveals email exchanges obtained via Freedom of Information Act request between Dilanian and CIA public affairs officers which “show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication.” There is no reason to give Dilanian the benefit of the doubt that this cozy relationship has ended, so anything he puts forward can safely be dismissed as CIA public relations.


         



      

When I mentioned Dilanian’s CIA ties on MSNBC’s Twitter video, MSNBC deleted their tweet and then re-shared it without mentioning Dilanian’s name. Here is a screenshot of the first tweet followed by an embedded link to their current one (which I’ve archived just in case):







Up until the news broke that Epstein’s autopsy has been unable to readily confirm suicide, mass media headlines everywhere have been unquestioningly blaring that that was known to have been the cause of the accused sex trafficker’s death. This despite the fact that the FBI’s investigation has been explicitly labeling it an “apparent suicide”, and despite the fact that Epstein is credibly believed to have been involved in an intelligence-tied sexual blackmail operation involving many powerful people, any number of whom stood plenty to gain from his death.


So things are moving in a very weird way, and people are understandably weirded out. The response to this from mass media narrative managers has, of course, been to berate everyone as “conspiracy theorists”.


“Jeffrey Epstein: How conspiracy theories spread after financier’s death” reads a BBC headline. “Epstein Suicide Conspiracies Show How Our Information System Is Poisoned” reads one from the New York Times. “Conspiracy Theories Fly Online in Wake of Epstein Death” warns The Wall Street Journal. “Financier Epstein’s Death Disappoints Victims, Launches Conspiracy Theories” reads the headline from US government-funded Voice of America.


These outlets generally match Dilanian’s tone in branding anyone who questions the official story about Epstein’s death as a raving lunatic. Meanwhile, normal human beings all across the political spectrum are expressing skepticism on social media about the “suicide” narrative we’re all being force-fed by the establishment narrative managers, many of them prefacing their skepticism with some variation on the phrase “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but…”






“I’m not a conspiracy theorist but there are an awful lot of very powerful people who would like to see this Epstein thing go away. Is anyone investigating the guard on duty?” tweeted actor Patricia Heaton.


“I am not into conspiracy theories. But Epstein had destructive information on an extraordinary number of extraordinarily powerful people. It is not easy to commit suicide in prison. Especially after being placed on suicide watch. Especially after already allegedly trying,” tweeted public defender Scott Hechinger.




Journalist Abi Wilkinson summed up the silliness of this widespread preface very nicely, tweeting, “’I’m not a conspiracy theorist’ is such a weird assertion when you think about it, the idea there’s a binary between believing all conspiracies and flat out rejecting the very concept of conspiracy in all circumstances.”


Indeed, I think it’s fair to say that everyone is a conspiracy theorist if they’re really honest with themselves. Not everyone believes that the official stories about 9/11 and the JFK assassination are riddled with plot holes or what have you, but I doubt that anyone who really sat down and sincerely grappled with the question “Do powerful people conspire?” would honestly deny it. Some are just more self-aware than others about the self-evident reality that powerful people conspire all the time, and it’s only a question of how and with whom and to what extent.


The word “conspire” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement”. No sane person would deny that this is a thing that happens, nor that this is likely a thing that happens to some extent among the powerful in their own nation. This by itself is a theory about conspiracy per definition, and it accurately applies to pretty much everyone. Since it applies to pretty much everyone, the label is essentially meaningless, either as a pejorative or as anything else.




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The meaningless of the term has been clearly illustrated by Russiagate, whose adherents react with sputtering outrage whenever anyone points out that they’re engaged in a conspiracy theory, despite the self-evident fact that that’s exactly what it is: a theory about a band of powerful Russian conspirators conspiring with the highest levels of the US government. Their objection is not due to a belief that they’re not theorizing about a conspiracy, their objection is due to the fact that a highly stigmatized label that they’re accustomed to applying to other people has been applied to them. The label is rejected because its actual definition is ignored to the point of meaninglessness.




The problem has never been with the actual term “conspiracy theory”; the problem has been with its deliberate and completely meaningless use as a pejorative. The best way to address this would be a populist move to de-stigmatize the label by taking ownership of it. Last month Cornell University professor Dave Callum tweeted, “I am a ‘conspiracy theorist’. I believe men and women of wealth and power conspire. If you don’t think so, then you are what is called ‘an idiot’. If you believe stuff but fear the label, you are what is called ‘a coward’.” This is what we all must do. The debate must be forcibly moved from the absurd question of whether or not conspiracies are a thing to the important question of which conspiracy theories are valid and to what degree.


And we should probably hurry. Yahoo News reported earlier this month that the FBI recently published an intelligence bulletin describing “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” as a growing threat, and this was before the recent spate of US shootings got establishment narrative-makers pushing for new domestic terrorism laws. This combined with the fact that we can’t even ask questions about extremely suspicious events like Jeffrey Epstein’s death without being tarred with this meaningless pejorative by the mass media thought police means we’re at extreme risk of being shoved into something far more Orwellian in the near future.



75

      

By Jason Bermas


It has been announced that the autopsy results are in, but the official cause of death report has been delayed by the doctor “pending further information.”  This, of course, comes after a laundry list of strangeness — including no video evidence — surrounding this event and is sure to give rise to more theories about what really happened.


Jason Bermas covers the latest in this “JFK-like event” that is sure to be discussed for generations to come.


         



      


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