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7156

   

      

pokemon go electionBy Tony Cartalucci


Some could have been excused for dismissing initial qualms surrounding the GPS-based augmented reality game, Pokemon Go. The game has swept the world, but its development is surrounded by disturbing connections between its developer Niantic, its former parent company Google, and the US State Department.


But while many before could only speculate as to the reason the US State Department may have been interested in developing such a game, it appears now there is at least a partial answer.


AFP would report in their article, “Pokemon Go a campaign weapon for presidential candidates,” that:


The global phenomenon Pokemon Go has made its way onto the US presidential campaign trail with the staff of both major candidates appealing to users of the smartphone game to catch voters.



AFP would also report (emphasis added):



Clinton staffers have since been cruising the streets looking for Pokemon hunters, hoping to divert their attention for the few minutes it takes to register to vote.


At a recent event in Ohio, the Democratic campaign encouraged players to come to its “lure module” — a feature that brings more Pokemon to a given location — to “get free Pokemon” and “learn more about Sec. Hillary Clinton!”



Quite literally then, the game is being used to lure people to physical locations through the promise of virtual payments. Once there they are subjected to political campaigning. One could imagine how this could be further expanded upon to manipulate people to an even greater degree.


AFP would also report something perhaps a bit more curious – that former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton alleged that she didn’t “know who created ’Pokemon Go.’”


Clinton Was Secretary of State When Google-Niantic-State Department Began Collaboration








Niantic is headed by John Hanke, a former employee of both Google and before that, the US State Department.


He specifically worked on Google Maps and Google Earth, and did so during the opening phases of the “Arab Spring” in 2011 when Google Maps and Google Earth were manipulating location names in real-time in cooperation with the US State Department and US-backed protesters and militant groups on the ground in Libya and Syria.


It was also revealed that at this time, former US State Department employee Jared Cohen, then employed by Google, approached Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a proposal of how to use location-based application to assist in the overthrow of the Syrian government.


The UK Independent in its article, “Google planned to help Syrian rebels bring down Assad regime, leaked Hillary Clinton emails claim,” would report that:



An interactive tool created by Google was designed to encourage Syrian rebels and help bring down the Assad regime, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails have reportedly revealed.


By tracking and mapping defections within the Syrian leadership, it was reportedly designed to encourage more people to defect and ‘give confidence’ to the rebel opposition.



The article would continue:



The email detailing Google’s defection tracker purportedly came from Jared Cohen, a Clinton advisor until 2010 and now-President of Jigsaw, formerly known as Google Ideas, the company’s New York-based policy think tank.


In a July 2012 email to members of Clinton’s team, which the WikiLeaks release alleges was later forwarded to the Secretary of State herself, Cohen reportedly said: “My team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from.”



Cohen would conclude:


Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition.


Interactive tracking applications used to overthrow a sovereign elected government, giving way to interactive, location-based augmented reality applications used to manipulate voters to put people into government, seems like a natural, logical progression.


For Hillary Clinton to claim not to know how this application was developed, under her tenure at the US State Department, indicates that she is either dishonest or ignorant – but either way – unfit for the presidency.


The degree to which technology is being used to reach into the personal lives of the general public and manipulate them toward the ends of special interests is becoming increasingly disturbing and pervasive. Worst of all, despite incremental admissions as to who created Pokemon Go and to what end, the general public appears inoculated from suspicion with readily dispensed catch phrases like “don’t be paranoid,” and “that’s just a conspiracy theory.”


While big-tech and big-government colluding together to manipulate global populations is most certainly a conspiracy, it is by no means a “theory.” It is now demonstrable fact reported on by AFP itself.


One should also wonder what is next for location-based applications wielded by combines of government tech-business interests. Could it be augmenting staged rallies with “extra” attendees searching for “free Pokemon” to help draw in larger segments of the population who are otherwise disinterested in politics, no less politics driven by special interests from abroad?


Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook,” where this article first appeared.


   

7157

   

      

Saudi-Arabia-Green-Sword-Grunge-Flag-WallpaperBy Brandon Turbeville


While the war in Syria continues to rage and the world’s focus oscillates between American elections, terror attacks in Europe, and panic over the Zika virus, a scrappy band of rebels in Yemen has not only withstood an onslaught from the Saudi-led coalition, they have managed to launch a counterattack that amounts to an invasion of Saudi Arabia.


Despite the fact that the Saudi-led coalition has launched a full-on attack and invasion of Yemen, a group of poorly armed and poorly trained “militiamen” have successfully defeated the Saudis, Qataris, and Emirates – themselves backed by the United States in terms of intelligence and strategic assistance – and have not only dealt massive blows to coalition forces but have now managed to inflict blows to the Saudis on their own territory.


In a story that went virtually unreported in the West, the Houthis managed to wrest control of three Saudi military bases in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan province, located near the Saudi-Yemen border in January of this year. The bases Jabal al-Doud, al-Aril, and Madba were all seized by Houthi forces and fighters with “allied Popular Committees.”



In addition, the Houthi forces along with Yemeni soldiers launched retaliatory shelling strikes inside Saudi Arabia’s al-Makhrouq military base in the southern Najran region.


Houthis and allied Yemeni fighters have long been inflicting heavy damage upon Saudi and Saudi-led coalition troops and vehicles deployed on the ground inside Yemen as well as occasionally downing coalition jets. The fighters have also managed to damage Saudi ships located off the coast.


In July, 2016, Houthi forces launched ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia. According to reports coming from Al-Masdar, Houthis launched a Tochka ballistic missile toward the Ahad al-Masarihah Military camp, resulting in a heavy death toll of Saudi soldiers as well the destruction of several armored vehicles.








Now, reports are coming from various sources that the Houthis have penetrated around 10 kms into Saudi Arabia.


Video footage has surfaced showing a battle between Houthi forces and Saudi Arabia’s tanks. Watching the video below, however, you would believe that it was merely target practice for Houthi fighters as two tanks were simply obliterated with ease by the Houthis.


In addition, it was announced in early August that a coalition that will function as a “political council” is in the works between the Houthis and fighters loyal to former President Saleh, a move that flies in the face of the GCC resolutions regarding the governing structure of Yemen.


Throughout the entire affair, Houthi forces have revealed the Saudis as nothing more than a military paper tiger incapable of actually defeating a rebel force in a neighboring country. However, after this string of victories and the fact that Houthi and Houthi-allied forces have actually managed to successfully invade Saudi territory, KSA’s weakness appears to be even greater than what many informed observers may have suspected.



Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.


This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


   

7158

   

      

cash-bannedBy Jay L. Zagorsky, The Ohio State University


We’ve been talking about society’s transition to a cashless society for a long time, but it begs an important question: Can stores and other retail establishments refuse to take your dollars and cents?


As odd as it sounds, this is not hypothetical anymore as a small number of stores and industries have stopped accepting cash and allow payment only by credit card, debit card or via a smartphone app.


Sweetgreen, a high-end salad restaurant, stopped accepting cash in its New York City stores in January. A Boston restaurant near Fenway Park went cashless this past December. Most airlines stopped taking cash for in-flight purchases of food and beverages around 2010.



While the trend of smaller stores refusing to accept credit cards because of the high fees is more well-established, the opposite trend of refusing to take cash hasn’t been as well-explored. Let’s examine why they do it and if they can get away with it.


Legal tender?


Businesses claim that not accepting cash reduces the chance of stores being robbed, eliminates the temptation for employees to steal money, eliminates the time needed for workers to travel to and from the bank and even reduces expenses by dispensing with the need for bulky cash registers.








Yet eliminating cash is a huge problem for the roughly 10 million U.S. households that have no banking accounts. These “unbanked” families have no direct access to financial services like credit and debit cards. For them, it is a hardship not to use cash.


Furthermore, some customers are quite confused by the policy since the front of every piece of U.S. currency states: “This note is legal tender for all debts public and private.”


Moreover, that statement has been enshrined in federal law in various forms since the late 1800s.


So the question is, why don’t the statements on each piece of currency and the various federal laws backing that up mean that a restaurant, shop or airline has to accept paper money?


When does a Coke become a debt?


The answer might surprise you.


Stores don’t have to accept paper money. Despite the greenback’s apparent claim, the right for a store to refuse cash is supported both by the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve.


There are two reasons that a business can reject cash even if it is “legal tender for all debts public and private.”


First, this statement means that the only circumstance when someone must accept the bill is when a person owes the business a debt. If no debt has been incurred, a person or business is not legally required to take U.S. currency.


Let us say it is very late at night and you need gasoline for your car. Many gas stations in the U.S. do not take large bills late at night to prevent robberies and theft. If the gas station requires customers to pay for gas before pumping it into their car, they have the legal right to refuse US$50 and $100 bills. They do not have to accept large bills because until the customer has put gas into the car, the customer does not owe the station owner anything. However, if the customer is allowed to pump gasoline into the car first and then pay, the owner must accept all types of U.S. bills because the customer has a debt to pay.


The same issue arises on an airplane. If you want to buy a drink for $5, the airline doesn’t have to accept your cash as long as it requires you to pay for the drink first. Until you have drunk your beverage, you owe no debt to the airline.


There oughta be a law

The second reason is that while the statement on each piece of currency is enshrined in federal law, there’s no actual federal statute that requires companies to accept it.


As the U.S. Treasury points out:


There is, however, no federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law which says otherwise.


Massachusetts is one state that actually does have a law on the books that requires all retail establishments to accept cash payments. However, at the present moment this law appears relatively unknown, the exact definition of a retail establishment is unclear, but most importantly the law specifies no penalties for breaking the law.


Airlines taking off from Boston’s airport clearly are not retail establishments, but do parking garages in Boston that take only credit cards fall into the retail category?


The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, an annual survey by the Boston Federal Reserve, shows that paying bills by cash is still very popular. In 2013, the latest year of data, roughly one-quarter of all payments made by individuals were still done by cash. However, the larger the payment, the lower the chance cash was involved.


What does all this mean? Cash might not be king anymore, especially for large debts.


However, cash is not dead or dying, even if some businesses wish that paper money would disappear.


Jay L. Zagorsky, Economist and Research Scientist, The Ohio State University


This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


   

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aleppo-tank_0By Brandon Turbeville


Aleppo has now been effectively encircled by the Syrian military. The encirclement is the result of years of heavy fighting between the SAA and the Western-backed terrorists who have managed to control a portion of the city and hold it for the majority of the crisis. The Syrian military has fought long and hard to retake the city with a number of failed attempts at clenching several important strategic sites that would allow it to surround the city over the course of the war.


As expected, terrorists did launch a massive counterattack but were repelled after suffering heavy losses. Some sources put the number of dead terrorists at 800 from this operation alone. Subsequently, the counterattack was abandoned and the terrorist forces located inside the city are now essentially cut off from supply lines and the support of their comrades. So long as any further attempts to break the siege of Aleppo will fail, then it is clear that the terrorists’ days are numbered.



If there is another counterattack – and we must assume there will be – then the Syrian military must hold the line long enough until the counterattack is repelled before moving to retake Aleppo.








Unfortunately, terrorists maintain a massive presence in the areas surrounding Aleppo and the possibility of a major counterattack to break the SAA encirclement is very real.


The Russians have thus been dropping an immense amount of bombs and missiles in the area, with airstrikes taking place almost by the minute in order to prevent a successful counterattack. Al-Masdar reports that there are nearly 8,000 terrorist fighters ready to launch an assault on Aleppo.


The Russian bombing played a major role in the ability of the SAA to encircle Aleppo in the first place.


Regardless, even if the siege is broken, terrorist forces will be welcomed by a large contingent of the SAA, Hezbollah, Palestinian, and Iranian forces.



Image Source


Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.


This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


   

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marijuana cannabis cancerBy Mike Maharrey


On Tuesday, an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana law went into effect, further nullifying federal prohibition in practice.


Rep. David Luneau (I) introduced House Bill 1453 (HB1453) earlier this year. The legislation adds ulcerative colitis to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify a patient to access medicinal cannabis under the state’s medical marijuana law.


The New Hampshire House and Senate both passed HB1453 on a voice vote.


This is the second time the New Hampshire legislature has expanded the conditions eligible for treatment with medicinal cannabis.The state legalized marijuana for medical use in 2013. The first dispensaries opened in the state earlier this year. Allowing patients suffering from ulcerative colitis to access medical marijuana will further expand the medicinal cannabis program in New Hampshire.



EFFECT ON FEDERAL PROHIBITION


New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program removes one layer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana, but federal prohibition remains in place.


Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate marijuana within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.








While New Hampshire law does not alter federal law, it takes a step toward nullifying in effect the federal ban. FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. By easing state prohibition, New Hampshire essentially sweeps away part of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.


Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly-budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.


New Hampshire is among a growing number of states simply ignoring federal prohibition. Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and Alaska have all legalized both recreational and medical marijuana, and more than two-dozen states now allow cannabis for medical use. With nearly half the country legalizing marijuana, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition any more. The feds need state cooperation to fight the “drug war,” and that has rapidly evaporated in the last few years with state legalization, practically nullifying the ban.


“The lesson here is pretty straight forward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said.


This proposal to expand the state’s medical marijuana law also demonstrates another important reality. Once a state puts laws in place legalizing marijuana, it tends to eventually expand. Once the state tears down some barriers, markets develop and demand expands. That creates pressure to further relax state law. HB1453 represents another step forward for patients seeking alternative treatments and a further erosion of unconstitutional federal marijuana prohibition.Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here.He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE


   

7161

   

      

Miovision-ALPR-2015-wikimedia-1200By Mike Maharrey


If you park your car in Newport Beach, police will likely scan your license plate with an automated license plate reader (ALPR). According to police, this automatically makes you the subject of a criminal investigation.


In an effort to find out what police do with all of the data they collect using automatic license plate readers (ALPRs), local activist Mike Glenn filed an open records request. The police refused to release the information.


Data collected by automated license plate readers is exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act.  The data collected by ALPRs is exempt from disclosure because it constitutes law enforcement records of investigation.


In other words, if you have ever parked in PCH or Balboa Peninsula, your license plate was likely scanned and that makes you part of a criminal investigation.



Residents of Newport Beach like to think of themselves as different. They are a speck of red in the blue-state of California, a bastion of conservatism in a land of progressives. But when it comes to embracing the surveillance state, Newport Beach is exactly like the rest of California.


The San Francisco Bay area city of Danville recently became the latest California municipality to obtain ALPRs.  As it turns out, Newport Beach has approved the use of this license plate tracking technology too. The stated purpose of ALPR scanning is parking control, but it remains unclear how police store the data and if they utilize it for other purposes.


Background


According to Glenn, in 2015 police floated the idea of installing ALPRs on the Balboa Island Bridge to monitor who comes on and off the island.


The pretext of this was that they could determine which criminals were entering and leaving– but the only way to know that would be to know which car had committed a crime, and what time they had committed it.  Only then would the license plate information become useful.  Obviously, the true purpose for this request was… not what was being communicated.








The system could ostensibly store location data for every single vehicle coming and going. This was clearly the intent in Danville, and the police chief even tacitly admitted it, saying, “Once a crime occurred, we have the ability to go back and look and get a lead to work on, where we wouldn’t have had that lead before.” Without a database containing information on every vehicle, how would cops be able to identify a vehicle after a crime? It seems unlikely the cameras will come equipped with magic chips that activate them only when a “criminals” passes by.


The 2015 effort failed, but recently the Newport Beach city council approved the use of ALPRs to scan a major segment of the peninsula. “The purported reason behind this was to create resident-only parking after 4 p.m., and having LPR be the method of enforcement,” Glenn said.


But with no restrictions on ALPRs in the state, residents and visitors have no guarantee that their license plate location information won’t find its way into a permanent database.


Glenn says the use of ALPRs may well expand in the future. Officials have proposed an ALPR zone on PCH in Corona del Mar, enforced by two roving police vehicles equipped with license plate readers.


Now they are even replacing our parking meters –we now have to ‘digitally pay’ and include our license plate numbers – and the roving ALPRs will determine if we are still allowed to be parked.


Again, we have no idea how police are storing and accessing this data. And we can’t find out because they claim it is all part of an ongoing criminal investigation.


Glenn thinks the whole setup violates city ordinances.


Taking a step back from the chaos of all of this, though – it all flies in the face of Measure EE, passed by the voters of Newport Beach in 2012, which banned the use of ‘Automated Traffic Enforcement Systems. Is it legal? Very doubtful. Are the records supposed to be public?  Yes, unless the data is part of an “ongoing police investigation”– which apparently we are all a part of now.


Enabling the Federal Surveillance State


There’s a good chance all of this information is finding its way into a giant federal database.


As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the federal government, via the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), tracks the location of millions of vehicles. They’ve engaged in this for nearly eight years, all without a warrant, or even public notice of the policy.


State and local law enforcement agencies operate most of these tracking systems. The DEA then taps into the local database to track the whereabouts of millions of people – for the simple act of driving – without having to operate a huge network itself.


Since a majority of federal license plate tracking data comes from state and local law enforcement, each additional local database potentially adds to the federal surveillance system.


Law enforcement generally configures ALPRs to store the photograph, the license plate number, and the date, time, and location of vehicles. But according to newly disclosed records obtained by the ACLU via a Freedom of Information Act request, the DEA is also captures photographs of drivers and their passengers.


According to the ACLU:


“One internal 2009 DEA communication stated clearly that the license plate program can provide ‘the requester; with images that “may include vehicle license plate numbers (front and/or rear), photos of visible vehicle occupants [redacted] and a front and rear overall view of the vehicle.” Clearly showing that occupant photos are not an occasional, accidental byproduct of the technology, but one that is intentionally being cultivated, a 2011 email states that the DEA’s system has the ability to store “up to 10 photos per vehicle transaction including 4 occupant photos.”


With the FBI rolling out facial a nationwide recognition program last fall, and the federal government building biometric databases, the fact that the feds can potentially access stored photographs of drivers and passengers, along with detailed location data, magnifies the privacy concerns surrounding ALPRs.


State and local government need to get serious about putting limits on ALPRs, especially on the storage of information. These systems not only threaten privacy in your towns, they enable an every-growing federal surveillance. We can stop it in its tracks simply by taking action at the local level.



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

   

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cia dagBy Joshua Krause


If you asked a typical American about conspiracy theories, he or she probably wouldn’t have any trouble rattling off an extensive list of theories ranging from the Kennedy assassination to 9/11. But if there’s one potential conspiracy that most Americans are totally unaware of, it’s the supposed CIA plot to kill UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld.


Dag had been the Secretary General for eight years, but died in an accidental plane crash in 1961, while en route to a cease-fire negotiation in the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia. But, over the years, there have been multiple claims that the plane was shot down, and that he was actually killed in an assassination plot that involved some combination of the CIA, a Belgian Mining Company, a South African paramilitary unit, and British intelligence. Why? Because he was pushing for Congo’s independence, which would have hurt the interests of any of those forces.




Adding fuel to the theories, was a copy of a secret government document that surfaced in South Africa 18 years ago, which suggested that the CIA, MI5, and the South African government were in on Dag’s death. They presented statements from CIA director Allen Dulles, saying that “Dag is becoming troublesome … and should be removed.” Unfortunately the original documents couldn’t be found, so there was no way to verify the copies.


But last year the South African government claimed to have found the original document, which has led the UN to reopen their investigation into Hammarskjöld’s death. The CIA has, of course, has dismissed these claims as “absurd and without foundation.”


Image Credit


Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.


   

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synthetic dnaBy Nicholas West


The very nature of any arms race is a study in one-upmanship that is presumed to be necessitated by that which came before. A perfect current example is the global drone arms race, where nearly every country is now acquiring technology that is assumed to be, at the very least, a protective measure against other countries which might develop offensive capability that threaten their nation. In the background is an international ethical debate about “killer robots” that has yet to be resolved, at least according to the United Nations. Nevertheless, development still continues unilaterally without pause as ethicists and average citizens alike are left scrambling to get ahead of a quickening curve.


Also developing at warp speed is a scientific race focused on genetics that is raising the old concerns about eugenics, as well as entirely new debates that, as yet, have only appeared in science fiction such as Gattaca. That film, for those who are unfamiliar, is the story of a future society where a centralized genetic and biometric database not only catalogues individual traits, but is used to identify those who are genetically superior, thus creating a fundamental divide in society between the “valids” and “the in-valids.”


Perhaps most poignantly, this is still carried out within a legal structure that has declared discrimination to be illegal. Regardless, such identification of genetic “disorders” has become irresistibly pragmatic to society, leading to the next step where parents who have the means can make the conscious decision to design their children for maximum abilities and longevity. The film was certainly ahead of its time when released in 1997, and could not be more relevant today.



As you will see in the article below written by G. Owen Schaefer, a Research Fellow in Biomedical Ethics at the National University of Singapore, we may be farther along the path to a Gattaca scenario than previously thought. Very often it takes a “seeing is believing” moment for people to acknowledge that their concerns have now become legitimate fears. After all, the concept of drones (and potential consequences) was discussed long before they started bombing wedding parties in the Middle East and spying domestically. And some of the news coming from China about creating superior animals – such as the super beagle – have made people take a much closer look at China’s other statements which were thought to be off the wall, such as replicating humans at clone factories.


One sign that people are indeed awakening to an impending dystopian reality is a recent poll (alluded to below) that was presented by Pew Research, where people specifically showed strong concern about human enhancement – superhumans. Whereas people have generally accepted the personal striving for longevity and preservation of appearance through supplementation, prescription drugs, and reconstructive surgeries, there is at least the acknowledgment that there are lines that still should not be crossed when it comes to genetic engineering.


So, here we are.  Is China attempting to lead a race toward superiority through genetics? Are they responding to where they believe the U.S. already has headed? Is either country obligated to loosen any ethical restrictions that they may have had, especially if not doing so would leave their citizens destined to be part of a permanent world underclass or would severely compromise their national defense? Is this debate proof that we need a stronger international health organization that will place an outright ban on this technology?


Depending upon your answers to the above questions, you might find it troubling or reassuring to know that just today it was announced that the U.S. National Institutes of Health would “lift a ban on research funds for part-human, part-animal embryos.” Emphasis added…



The National Institutes of Health is proposing a new policy to permit scientists to get federal money to make embryos, known as chimeras, under certain carefully monitored conditions.








The NIH imposed a moratorium on funding these experiments in September because they could raise ethical concerns.

One issue is that scientists might inadvertently create animals that have partly human brains, endowing them with some semblance of human consciousness or human thinking abilities. Another is that they could develop into animals with human sperm and eggs and breed, producing human embryos or fetuses inside animals or hybrid creatures.


….


But critics denounced the decision. “Science fiction writers might have imagined worlds like this — like The Island of Dr. Moreau, Brave New World, Frankenstein, says Stuart Newman, a biologist at New York Medical College. “There have been speculations. But now they’re becoming more real. And I think that we just can’t say that since it’s possible then let’s do it.”


(Source)



And the race is on…



The future of genetic enhancement is not in the West


By G. Owen Schaefer, National University of Singapore


Would you want to alter your future children’s genes to make them smarter, stronger or better-looking? As the state of the science brings prospects like these closer to reality, an international debate has been raging over the ethics of enhancing human capacities with biotechnologies such as so-called smart pills, brain implants and gene editing. This discussion has only intensified in the past year with the advent of the CRISPR-cas9 gene editing tool, which raises the specter of tinkering with our DNA to improve traits like intelligence, athleticism and even moral reasoning.


So are we on the brink of a brave new world of genetically enhanced humanity? Perhaps. And there’s an interesting wrinkle: It’s reasonable to believe that any seismic shift toward genetic enhancement will not be centered in Western countries like the U.S. or the U.K., where many modern technologies are pioneered. Instead, genetic enhancement is more likely to emerge out of China.


Attitudes toward enhancement


Numerous surveys among Western populations have found significant opposition to many forms of human enhancement. For example, a recent Pew study of 4,726 Americans found that most would not want to use a brain chip to improve their memory, and a plurality view such interventions as morally unacceptable.


Public expresses more worry than enthusiasm about each of these potential human enhancements.


A broader review of public opinion studies found significant opposition in countries like Germany, the U.S. and the U.K. to selecting the best embryos for implantation based on nonmedical traits like appearance or intelligence. There is even less support for editing genes directly to improve traits in so-called designer babies.


Opposition to enhancement, especially genetic enhancement, has several sources. The above-mentioned Pew poll found that safety is a big concern – in line with experts who say that tinkering with the human genome carries significant risks. These risks may be accepted when treating medical conditions, but less so for enhancing nonmedical traits like intelligence and appearance. At the same time, ethical objections often arise. Scientists can be seen as “playing God” and tampering with nature.


There are also worries about inequality, creating a new generation of enhanced individuals who are heavily advantaged over others. “Brave New World” is a dystopia, after all.


However, those studies have focused on Western attitudes. There has been much less polling in non-Western countries. There is some evidence that in Japan there is similar opposition to enhancement as in the West. Other countries, such as China and India, are more positive toward enhancement. In China, this may be linked to more generally approving attitudes toward old-fashioned eugenics programs such as selective abortion of fetuses with severe genetic disorders, though more research is needed to fully explain the difference. This has led Darryl Macer of the Eubios Ethics Institute to posit that Asia will be at the forefront of expansion of human enhancement.


Restrictions on gene editing


In the meantime, the biggest barrier to genetic enhancement will be broader statutes banning gene editing. A recent study found bans on germline genetic modification – that is, those that are passed on to descendants – are in effect throughout Europe, Canada and Australia. China, India and other non-Western countries, however, have laxer regulatory regimes – restrictions, if they exist, are often in the form of guidelines rather than statutes.


The U.S. may appear to be an exception to this trend. It lacks legal restriction of gene editing; however, federal funding of germline gene editing research is prohibited. Because most geneticists rely on government grants for their research, this acts as a significant restriction on germline editing studies.


By contrast, it was Chinese government funding that led China to be the first to edit the genes of human embryos using the CRISPR-cas9 tool in 2015. China has also been leading the way in using CRISPR-cas9 for non-germline genetic modifications of human tissue cells for use in treatment of cancer patients.


There are, then, two primary factors contributing to emergence of genetic enhancement technologies – research to develop the technologies and popular opinion to support their deployment. In both areas, Western countries are well behind China.


image-20160801-17177-1qaar9sDifferent countries have different expectations about working with human genes. Michael Dalder/Reuters


What makes China a probable petri dish


A further, more political factor may be at play. Western democracies are, by design, sensitive to popular opinion. Elected politicians will be less likely to fund controversial projects, and more likely to restrict them. By contrast, countries like China that lack direct democratic systems are thereby less sensitive to opinion, and officials can play an outsize role in shaping public opinion to align with government priorities. This would include residual opposition to human enhancement, even if it were present. International norms are arguably emerging against genetic enhancement, but in other arenas China has proven willing to reject international norms in order to promote its own interests.


Indeed, if we set ethical and safety objections aside, genetic enhancement has the potential to bring about significant national advantages. Even marginal increases in intelligence via gene editing could have significant effects on a nation’s economic growth. Certain genes could give some athletes an edge in intense international competitions. Other genes may have an effect on violent tendencies, suggesting genetic engineering could reduce crime rates.


Many of these potential benefits of enhancement are speculative, but as research advances they may move into the realm of reality. If further studies bear out the reliability of gene editing in improving such traits, China is well-poised to become a leader in the area of human enhancement.


Does this matter?


Aside from a preoccupation with being the best in everything, is there reason for Westerners to be concerned by the likelihood that genetic enhancement is apt to emerge out of China?


If the critics are correct that human enhancement is unethical, dangerous or both, then yes, emergence in China would be worrying. From this critical perspective, the Chinese people would be subject to an unethical and dangerous intervention – a cause for international concern. Given China’s human rights record in other areas, it is questionable whether international pressure would have much effect. In turn, enhancement of its population may make China more competitive on the world stage. An unenviable dilemma for opponents of enhancement could emerge – fail to enhance and fall behind, or enhance and suffer the moral and physical consequences.


Conversely, if one believes that human enhancement is actually desirable, this trend should be welcomed. As Western governments hem and haw, delaying development of potentially great advances for humanity, China leads the way forward. Their increased competitiveness, in turn, would pressure Western countries to relax restrictions and thereby allow humanity as a whole to progress – becoming healthier, more productive and generally capable.


Either way, this trend is an important development. We will see if it is sustained – public opinion in the U.S. and other countries could shift, or funding could dry up in China. But for now, it appears that China holds the future of genetic enhancement in its hands.


G. Owen Schaefer, Research Fellow in Biomedical Ethics, National University of Singapore This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


Nicholas West writes for ActivistPost.com. This article may be freely republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


   

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zika_fear


By Melissa Dykes


Classic Hegelian dialectic: we are seeing a ridiculous level of fearmongering over what has predominantly been a benign virus for decades right on cue to justify the proposed “emergency” release of millions of billionaire eugenicist Bill Gates’ $20 million genetically modified mosquitoes on a strongly opposed public in what will essentially be a giant science experiment with unpredictable results… problem — reaction — solution style.




Aaron & Melissa Dykes are the founders of TruthstreamMedia.com, Subscribe to them on YouTube, Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter.


   

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global-recessionBy David Haggith


This graph by 720Global shows how spot on my pronouncement of a US 2016 recession is. In spite of the lack of any official declaration by the US government or its economic priesthood, I’ve stated more than once in 2016 that the US is already in recession. Several interesting observations can be made from this graph:


GDP-growth-500x289



The red line marks current US GDP (1.2%) as estimated by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). At virtually every point in the last seventy years when US GDP hit 1.2%, the US has been solidly in recession (blue areas). In other words, the US was not ABOUT to go in recession at that level of growth, but was IN recession each time … with only three exceptions. Two of those are “exceptions that prove the rule” (i.e., the very reason these exceptions happened prove how significant the underlying rule or belief is):
Twice during the years since the Great Recession, GDP touched this low, and we did not go officially into recession, but look at why: In both of those instances the US only averted recession because the Federal Reserve immediately kicked in massive doses of quantitative easing. (The Federal Reserve is not going to do any immediate quantitative wheezing to keep us above the line this time because all of its talk has been about raising interest rates. More wheezing would prove the Fed is unable to raise interest rates (as I said last fall would be the case after made its first raise in December. So, the Fed will only apply QE at this point when it sees for certain that its patient is dying, which will be too late.)
The graph reminds us of something we’re all aware of: Based on the average frequency between recessions, the US is due for a recession in 2016 anyway.
An even more interesting observation to note is the general long-term decline of US economic growth. Seventy years ago, the US emerged from recession with 12% growth in GDP. For the next thirty years, it would emerge with about 8% growth. For the next twenty years after that, the best the US could hope to see was around 4% growth in GDP; and for the past decade, the highest peaks the US can manage in economic growth have been about 3% growth in GDP.


In part, the declining growth rate in GDP could be because it is harder to get as large of a percentage increase as GDP gets larger. (In the sense that it is easier to double your speed at ten miles per hour than it is at fifty miles per hour.)


However, I think it also reflects how, as US national debt has piled up, its ability to achieve growth has significantly diminished because of all the ballast it is carrying. The fact that it has taken enormously greater stimulus to achieve these steeply diminishing returns indicates the severe drag created by this ballast.


One could also blame increasing regulations; but there is one very interesting thing you cannot blame … and that is taxes. We consistently achieved much higher rates of growth back in times when income tax (and especially capital gains tax) was much, much higher (both corporate and individual). So, the growth decline certainly can’t be blamed on higher taxes because they aren’t higher.








It will annoy many I’m sure to see that significantly lowering taxes hasn’t done anything to boost the US rate of growth. We can dispel the notion for good that we are going to save our economy with anything as simple as tax breaks. Clearly we have a much more significant underlying problem that tax breaks have been unable to overcome, as they have given only temporary boosts and have given much less bang for the buck each time.


One cannot blame free trade for this trend because the worst declines in the growth rate happened long before free trade; but one can also say that free trade certainly hasn’t boosted the US rate of growth, just as lowering taxes hasn’t.


I think the one thing that is most consistent is the ever expanding chasm of debt that undermines our economy as we attempted to grow without paying for our growth as we went. (Expanding the debt to create stimulus in bad times, but never paying it off in good times. Acting as if debt is forever free.)


Whatever the cause, the US growth rate clearly has become consistently getting weaker for a long time and has now reached a point where economic growth is so elusive that only with extraordinary stimulus do we keep our heads barely above the waterline that is associated with all recessions. While the US did not officially go into recession every time it dipped to its present level of GDP (given the three exceptions, two of which only averted recessions by extreme measures), every recession the US has had in the last seventy years started at or before the point where it dropped to its present level of GDP. Every single one!


         

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The Great Recession rages on


Recessions, of course, only get officially declared after the fact, never when they first start. By definition, an officially declared recession requires two consecutive quarters of declining GDP. That means recessions can only be officially declared after both quarters have passed and then only after numbers for the second quarter are in. Usually, they don’t get declared until the numbers get revised, as all government reporting seems to run optimistic until revised (usually under a subsequent administration).


So, at the earliest, recessions are declared about seven months after they have begun. Often, they are not declared until a year or more after they began. We are practically out of them before we officially know we were in one. (And, if you’re Ben Bernanke, you can be standing right in the middle of one and declare there is none in sight … as far as the eye can see.)


I’ve maintained for years that we are still in the Great Recession. The graph shows how the first round of quantitative easing took us out of the belly of the Great Recession and back above the recessionary red line, but also how the economy immediately dove back to the recessionary redline as that round of QE and each subsequent round ended, requiring another shot of QE to keep the economy from going under. The economy relentlessly plunged toward the bottom every time economic stimulus ended. So, without stimulus, it is dead.


The graph also shows a staggering upward line from the last round of QE because that round was a dosed out in continuing measures of new money (a new shot every month for a couple of years), rather than a single big hit.


Notice how the US maintained a completely steady move down toward the red line again after the last round of continuous quantitative easing (QE3) was terminated in the fall of 2014. I want you to see that because that is exactly what said would in early 2014 before the QE ended. GDP growth moved steeply downhill ever since this steroid was removed from the economy with NO quarter that was an exception.


As I’ve said throughout my years of writing The Great Recession Blog, the economy has only been kept marginally alive by repeated rounds of stimulus upon which it is utterly dependent. This graph shows that better than others I’ve seen.


It took repeat doses of the largest money printing in the history of the world AND the lowest interest rates ever known, applied by central banks throughout the world, just to keep the patient artificially alive.


In early 2014, I predicted that, once this massive life support ended, we’d find out how dead the patient really is as we sink back into the belly of the Great Recession. This graph shows that we have been sinking back into recession as steeply as we did each time QE ended, that we are now back at the level of growth that is always associated with recessions; and this time there is no QE to be offered.


That is not to say that, once we go back below the red line, as we are doing, the Fed will not eat its claims of recovery by creating the most massive combination of stimulus ever seen just to keep the patient ever so slightly above the red line for a few moments more; but it is to say that the next round of QE will come to late and that no amount will be enough to do the job, which is also something I have said consistently — that 1) there will be ONE more round of massive stimulus by the Federal Reserve; 2) it will be applied too late because the Fed needs to prove its recovery has worked so it will delay: and 3) it will be almost completely ineffective, stirring only the most meager bleep, no matter how great the stimulus is that is applied.


Modern economists are the dumbest smart dinosaurs that ever roamed the earth


Modern economists cannot see a recession coming even when it is about to poke their eyes out.


You cannot beat the Law of Diminishing Returns, but modern economists at the Federal Reserve and in government and on television, don’t know that because they stopped believing in economics long ago. They live in a theoretical world of make-believe.


Thus, a person with no economic background (me) has to school them in their own field. There has, I believe, in the history of the world never been such a large group of intelligent people who look so consistently dumb in the area of their own expertise and who get so consistently rewarded for looking as dumb as eggplants.


This graph is a photograph of the utter bankruptcy of modern economic beliefs in a debt-based economy. It is a testimony to economists’ failed religious belief in central-bank stimulus and their refusal to believe in the ancient, proven Law of Diminishing Return.


The rate at which the benefits of stimulus have diminished over the past decades even while the size of stimulus has exponentially increased shows clearly that the next round (helicopter money that is being talked about along with negative interest rates) will be the most massive application of life support the world has ever seen and, yet, will result in the patient barely recovering to a comatose state on top of the red line … in essence, flatlining.


In fact, the stimulus, while it may stir a brief heart flutter, will actually kill him to a level of death where even artificial life support can no longer make him appear to be alive.


And that is why I call this the Year of the Epocalypse — the year in which we sink unrecoverable back into the swelling belly of the Great Recession. This is the year in which the greatest rounds of stimulus that will ever be applied only manage to put our heads above the waves long enough to see the next election through. And that’s a best-case scenario in light of it being an election year. Worst case scenario, the government and the Fed lose all control before the elections are over.


You couldn’t ask for a more consistent pattern of falling returns from exponentially greater efforts. The graph shows a relentless track into the belly of the Epocalypse — round two of the Great Recession … and by far the deeper round. The recovery is entirely artificial and unsustainable, and any economist who ever believed such a flamboyant disregard for true economics could succeed is riding the short bus. This graph is a testimony to their failure due to the bankruptcy of their beliefs. This is a zombie economy, and they are its priesthood.


You can read more from David Haggith at his site The Great Recession Blog, where this article first appeared.


   

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Operation Odyssey DawnBy Steven MacMillan


“Operation Unified Protector is one of the most successful in NATO’s history… We have done this together for the people of Libya, so they can take their future firmly and safely into their own hands. Libyans have now liberated their country. And they have transformed the region. This is their victory” – Former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking in October, 2011.


“In Libya, the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi showed that our role in protecting the Libyan people, and helping them break free from a tyrant, was the right thing to do” – US President, Barack Obama, speaking in October, 2011.


“I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Tripoli and on behalf of the American people I congratulate Libya. This is Libya’s moment, this is Libya’s victory, the future belongs to you” – Former US Secretary of State and Democratic Nominee for President, Hillary Clinton, speaking in October, 2011.



On August the 1st, US warplanes bombed Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) targets in the Libyan city of Sirte, almost exactly five years after Western imperialists declared NATO’s 2011 war in Libya a complete success.


These strikes are not the first conducted by the US in Libya this year, in a broader campaign that is officially aimed at defeating an enemy that the US had a major hand in creating in the first place (I’m sure the military-industrial complex isn’t complaining, however).


Peter Cook, the Pentagon’s Press Secretary, said in a statement released on the 1st of August in relation to the strikes that:


Today, at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), the United States military conducted precision air strikes [which is Orwellian/Pentagon-speak for dropping bombs (not uncommonly on civilians)] against ISIL targets in Sirte, Libya, to support GNA-affiliated forces seeking to defeat ISIL in its primary stronghold in Libya… The U.S. stands with the international community in supporting the GNA as it strives to restore stability and security to Libya.


Wait a minute though, have I missed something? I thought Libya was “liberated” in 2011 and the country is now a beacon of ‘freedom and democracy’ for the Middle East and North Africa? Are the Libyan people not enjoying being “free from a tyrant;” similar to the liberty the Syrian people will experience if Assad the ‘tyrant’ is overthrown and the country is handed over to al-Qaeda?








Since the future belonged to the Libyan people in 2011, is the country not a vibrant and prosperous democracy today? Is Libya not one of the major hubs of the Mediterranean, with trade booming and flocks of tourists travelling from across the world to sample the delights of the country – from the fascinating culture of the indigenous people to the stunning (I must admit) Roman ruins?


I thought the standard of living for the average Libyan was much higher than it was before the tyrant was deposed? Is Libya not helping to build the African continent up to try and alleviate the millions of people who live in poverty?


I thought the “most successful” campaign in NATO’s history meant that terrorism could not gain a foothold in the country, considering the Western alliance spends the majority of its time (after antagonising Russia that is) talking about fighting terrorism? I thought NATO’s love-bombs only hit the baddies, and never killed or maimed any civilians?


Are the Libyan people not enjoying the fruits of another Western foreign policy success story? Are the Libyan people not enjoying the stability that always follows a Western war of aggression? I thought the Libyan “kinetic military action” was yet another triumphant imperial endeavour, just like Afghanistan, Iraq and the numerous other countries that were lucky to be the targets of Western ‘humanitarian’ forces?


Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


   

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ring of fire activityBy Michael Snyder


So far this week, we have seen the most dangerous volcano in Mexico erupt, and three major volcanoes in Indonesia all erupted within the space of just 72 hours.  Mexico and Indonesia are both considered to be part of “the Ring of Fire,” and all along the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean volcanoes are starting to go off like firecrackers right now.  According to Volcano Discovery, 25 volcanoes in areas that are considered to be within the Ring of Fire have erupted recently.  Our planet appears to have entered a time of increased seismic activity, and those the follow my work regularly know that this is a theme that I revisit repeatedly.  Sadly, most Americans are not paying too much attention to this increase in seismic activity, but the truth is that it has very serious implications for the west coast of the United States.


It didn’t make a big splash in the mainstream media in the United States, but this week Mt. Popocatepetl erupted and coated homes and vehicles in Mexico City with a thick layer of volcanic dust.  And now some scientists are becoming concerned that this recent activity may be building up to “a major disastrous eruption”…




Residents of Mexico City woke this morning to find ash coating cars and buildings after the Popocatepetl volcano belched out another toxic cloud.


The volcano is considered one of the world’s most dangerous due to its proximity to the city with more than nine million inhabitants.


Around 25 million people live within 62 miles of the crater of the 5,426-metre magma mount, who could also be affected.


There are fears the peak is building towards a major disastrous eruption after activity increased over the past few years, although, it has been periodically erupting since 1994.









There is a very good reason why Mt. Popocatepetl is considered to be the most dangerous volcano in Mexico.  If there ever is “a major disastrous eruption,” millions upon millions of people will be directly affected and it will bring Mexico’s economy to a screeching halt.  The following comes from one of my previous articles…


Popocatepetl is an Aztec word that can be translated as “smoking mountain”, and more than 25 million people live within range of this extraordinarily dangerous mountain. Experts tell us that during the time of the Aztecs, entire cities were completely buried in super-heated mud from this volcano. In fact, the super-heated mud was so deep that it buried entire pyramids. In the event of a full-blown eruption, Mexico City’s 18 million residents probably wouldn’t be buried in super-heated mud, but it would still be absolutely devastating for Mexico’s largest city.


Meanwhile, the nation of Indonesia has been rocked by three significant volcanic eruptions in just a three-day period…



Giant clouds of ash engulfed the skies as Mount Sinabung became the third volcano to erupt in Indonesia, in the space of just three days.


Mount Rinjani on Lombok island near Bali erupted on Monday, with the Sinabung volcano on Sumatra island and Mount Gamalama in the Moluccas chain of islands following suit late yesterday.



There are approximately 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, but this is still very unusual even for them.


But of even greater concern for Indonesia (and for the rest of the planet) is the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that shook Mount Tambora on July 31st.  Back in 1815, an eruption at Mount Tambora was the largest that has ever been recorded, and there are concerns that this recent very large earthquake may be a sign that another mega-eruption is on the way.


If you are not familiar with the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, it was truly a historic event.  More than 70,000 people died from the immediate blast, and the climate of the entire planet was cooled substantially for years afterwards.  The following description of that eruption comes from Wikipedia…



After a large magma chamber inside the mountain filled over the course of several decades, volcanic activity reached a historic climax in the eruption of 10 April 1815.[5] This eruption had a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 7, the only unambiguously confirmed VEI-7 eruption since the Lake Taupo eruption in about AD 180.[6] (The 946 eruption of Paektu Mountain might also have been VEI-7.)


With an estimated ejecta volume of 160 km3 (38 cu mi), Tambora’s 1815 outburst is the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion was heard on Sumatra, more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) away. Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java, and the Maluku Islands.



The following year became known as “the year without a summer” because the global climate cooled down so dramatically.  There were crop failures all across the northern hemisphere, and as a result the world experienced the worst famine of the 19th century.


Someday, there will be another eruption of that magnitude at Mount Tambora or elsewhere along the Ring of Fire, and the world will experience another horrifying famine.


It is just a matter of time.


And let us not forget that the entire west coast of the United States also sits along the Ring of Fire.  In my novel and in my new book I warn about the coming eruption of Mt. Rainier.  But that is certainly not the only volcano on the west coast that we need to be concerned about.  In recent months there has also been increased seismic activity at Mt. Hood and at Mt. St. Helens.


We have been very fortunate not to have had any major volcanic eruptions in the continental United States since the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980, but scientists assure us that we are well overdue for the next one.


In addition, the Yellowstone supervolcano may not be considered to be directly along the Ring of Fire, but it has also been exhibiting very strange behavior this year as well.  When it finally erupts, all of our lives are going to change in a single moment.


So there are definitely some big reasons why we should be concerned about all of these volcanoes that are currently erupting around the world.  It may not be tomorrow, but eventually Americans are going to see firsthand how a major volcanic eruption can permanently alter their lives.


Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.


   

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obama_droneBy Kurt Nimmo


On Tuesday Obama cited national security as the reason he has ordered bombing raids in Libya. The administration claims the Islamic State presents a threat to the United States, although the Pentagon, Gulf Emirates, and CIA created terror group has never attacked America. Mentally disturbed individuals killing club goers does not qualify as a bona fide Islamic State attack on the United States.







Obama said during his remarks the air strikes were undertaken to make sure that Libyan forces were able to finish the job of fighting the radical militant group and to increase stability there, according to Reuters.


The United States, Europe and countries around the world “have a great interest in seeing stability in Libya because the absence of stability has helped to fuel some of the challenges that we’ve seen in terms of the migration crisis in Europe and some of the humanitarian tragedies that we’ve seen in the open seas between Libya and Europe,” Obama told reporters.


According to Eurostat, however, most of the migrants entering Europe are from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other regions, not Libya.


Obama did not elaborate on how the migration crisis, encouraged by the European Union, endangers US national security.








On Monday, the Pentagon said the air strikes are required to support Libyan Government of National Accord troops (GNA) reportedly attempting to drive IS out of the city of Sirte located halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi.


Following the US and NATO attack in 2011 and the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi, an interim government was formed in the war-ravage country under the auspices of the United Nations. The GNA was organized under the terms of the Libyan Political Agreement signed on December 17, 2015, after years of clashes between predominantly Misratan and Zintani led militias.


Military support for the GNA is aimed not only at ejecting IS from Sirte, but also removing the remnants of the National Salvation Government in western Libya. Strikes will likely also be aimed at the Islamist-backed government in Tripoli and other Islamic militias. In April the National Salvation government said it would “cease duties” as executive authority.


The United Nations recognizes the GNA as the legitimate government of Libya and supports its effort to gain control over the National Oil Corporation. The oil company accounts for around 70% the country’s oil output. Both the United States and the UN imposed sanctions on the company during the rule of Gaddafi.


Kurt Nimmo is the editor of Another Day in the Empire, where this article first appeared. He is the former lead editor and writer of Infowars.com. 


   

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reindeer-81227_960_720By Heather Callaghan


Snugly below layers of ice and permafrost on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia, a single reindeer carcass from the World World 2 era – host to many Anthrax spores – was just waiting for a good thaw in order to come forth and “spew anthrax.”


Anthrax-Spewing Zombie Deer


The “anthrax-spewing zombie deer” as Bloomberg calls it, was dated back to the World World 2 era. The area hasn’t seen anthrax since 1941, and was considered free from infection since the 1960s. However, the Arctic Siberian district has faced temperatures ranging from 77F to 95F for over a month. It is believed that when the permafrost melted, it exposed an old, infected carcass allowing bacteria “spores” to travel.



Anthrax is not just a biowarfare agent – it is a naturally occurring bacteria called Bacillus anthracis and used to commonly infect animals and humans that handled animals. Antibiotics can treat inhalation anthrax if caught early enough.


Treehugger reports the sad results of the outbreak:









As of now, a total of 72 people from nomadic herder families are in the hospital, 41 of them are children. One child has died and eight others have been officially diagnosed with anthrax, notes the Siberian Times, it is expected that the number will rise as more testing is confirmed.

Compounding the tragic news is the death of 1,200 reindeer that have succumbed to the heat and infection from the disease.


People in the region have been evacuated and Russia has sent biological warfare troops – Chemical, Radioactive and Biological Protection Corps, to be precise – to help quell the emergency.



Both mainstream, corporate-lite and Russian outlets are attributing this incident to global warming with no further explanation. This story follows some other recent odd happenings in the Russian region.


Earlier this year, a U.S. lab based in Russia was eyed for causing an outbreak that killed 20 Ukrainian soldiers and hospitalized 200 others. There was headline talk of blaming Putin for this outbreak dubbed the “California Flu” which demonstrated the increase in conflict whether any real blame was there or not. Around the same time, another flu epidemic spread to civilians in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk.


Last fall, Russian scientists decided to dig up a dormant, 30,000 year old virus from deep within the ground – just to study its potential effects on humans. A week before that was reported, 60,000 antelope dropped dead in Central Kazakhstan and no one has a clue why. Kazakhstan is a country in between Russia and China.


Notably, both the U.S. and Russia are constantly at work with germ labs. They are the only two countries allowed by the U.N. to house live smallpox vials – in high security government labs – “just in case.”


Interesting books for context (affiliate):



Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Germ Laboratory
Deadly Allies: Canada’s Secret War
The American Plague
Herbal Antivirals
The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy

This article (Dozens Hospitalized With Anthrax Contracted From Thawed WW2 Era Reindeer) can be republished with attribution to authors and Natural Blaze.com, keeping the bio intact.


Heather Callaghan is an independent researcher, natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com. Like at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


   

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artificial-intelligence-fear1By Nicholas West


Neural Dust – “Smart Dust” – has entered the mainstream via the Independent’s article: “Tiny implant could connect humans and machines like never before.”   It is implied to be a new technology that can wirelessly link a human brain to a computer via the implantation of a device the size of a grain of sand. The article below was published by me at Activist Post in 2013 and draws upon research from many years previous. This invention is clearly nothing new; but when the mainstream media begins highlighting something that is literally wireless mind control, it’s worth taking note. It is also worth noting that, as more people learn about science fiction becoming science reality, they are becoming increasingly hesitant about the lack of ethical boundaries for what is emerging.



Some people might have heard about Smart Dust; nanoparticles that can be employed as sensor networks for a range of security and environmental applications. Now, however, literal Smart Dust for the brain is being proposed as the next step toward establishing a brain-computer interface.



The system is officially called “neural dust” and works to “monitor the brain from the inside.” Inventors are attempting to overcome the hurdle of how to best implant sensors that can remain over the course of one’s life. Researchers at Berkeley Engineering believe they have found a novel way to achieve this:



This paper explores the fundamental system design trade-offs and ultimate size, power, and bandwidth scaling limits of neural recording systems.


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









The investment in neuroscience has received a $100 million dollar commitment via Obama’s BRAIN project, while Europe has committed $1.3 billion to build a supercomputer replica of the brain in a similarly comprehensive and detailed fashion as the Human Genome Project mapped DNA.


Concurrently, there is massive long-term investment in nanotech applications via the 60-page National Nanotechnology Initiative 2011 Strategic Plan (now updated to 88 pages in 2014 – Ed.) This document lays out a projected future “to understand and control matter” for the management of every facet of human life within the surveillance matrix of environment, health and safety. Twenty-five U.S. Federal agencies are participating.


The concept of Smart Dust has been applied and/or proposed for use in the following ways, just to name a few:



Nano sensors for use in agriculture that measure crops and environmental conditions.
Bomb-sniffing plants using rewired DNA to detect explosives and biological agents.
“Smart Dust” motes that wirelessly transmit data on temperature, light, and movement (this can also be used in currency to track cash).

However, this is the first time that there is a working plan to apply Smart Dust to the human brain. Researchers claim it will be some time before (if ever) this is workable. One aspect that is interesting to note, is that once these particles are sent into the brain, it will be ultrasound that activates the system for full monitoring. This is an area of research that also has been looked at by DARPA as one of the future methods of mind control.


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Their idea is to sprinkle electronic sensors the size of dust particles into the cortex and to interrogate them remotely using ultrasound. The ultrasound also powers this so-called neural dust.


Each particle of neural dust consists of standard CMOS circuits and sensors that measure the electrical activity in neurons nearby…


The neural dust is interrogated by another component placed beneath the scale but powered from outside the body. This generates the ultrasound that powers the neural dust and sensors that listen out for their response, rather like an RFID system.


The system is also tetherless–the data is collected and stored outside the body for later analysis. (source, MIT)



Read “tetherless” as “wireless” — or remote controlled analysis of the human brain, thus opening the door (theoretically) for remote mind control. As I’ve highlighted before, this is a two-way street — some people might feel content, for example, with sending their brain’s information out to a doctor for evaluation, but this sensor network could also transmit data back, as is admitted here:



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


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



In case anyone believes that this has little chance of success, MIT highlights that one of the authors of the research has already achieved this with a remote controlled beetle.


The human brain is clearly of vast, perhaps infinite, complexity — and this is without even introducing concepts such as “the mind” or “the soul.” Nevertheless, it is clear that the reductionists are doing their very best to “Solve the Brain” — measuring it, mapping it, and making sense of it. (source)


Are we to believe that “controlling it” has been left off the list for mere ethical reasons? Not likely.


Full paper available here:http://arxiv.org/pdf/1307.2196v1.pdf


Nicholas West writes for ActivistPost.com. This article may be freely republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link.


   

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