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7171

   

      

mark_of_the_beastBy Michael Snyder


We always knew that it was coming.  All over the world, governments and big corporations are pushing us toward a fundamentally different way of doing things.  They insist that this new way will be more safe, more secure and more efficient.  They are telling us that we should embrace new technology and be open to new ways of buying and selling.  And they assure us that new methods of identification will not be intrusive and will simply allow them to crack down on criminals such as identity thieves, tax evaders and terrorists.  But could it be possible that there is more going on here than we are being told?  Could it be possible that we should actually be highly alarmed by this huge push for “Mark of the Beast” technology?


This week, we learned that a new form of identification for the Internet is being proposed in the European Union.  When I first came across this story, I was absolutely horrified…




The European Union is proposing a government ID for using the Internet which will eradicate both on-line privacy and free speech.


Spearheaded by former communist official Andrus Ansip, the European Commission published a draft document outlining its proposed electronic ID that would not only allow the EU to track what you say on-line, but also what you buy.



When it is initially introduced, this government-issued form of Internet identification may be purely voluntary, but once enough people have adopted it, then it will be quite easy for the European Union to make it mandatory for everyone else.  The following is an excerpt from a page on the official EU website that describes this new program…









It is recognised that a multitude of username and password combinations is both inconvenient and a security risk. However, the frequent practice of using one’s platform profile to access a range of websites and services often involves non-transparent exchanges and cross- linkages of personal data between various online platforms and websites. As a remedy, in order to keep identification simple and secure, consumers should be able to choose the credentials by which they want to identify or authenticate themselves. In particular, online platforms should accept credentials issued or recognised by national public authorities, such as electronic or mobile IDs, national identity cards, or bank cards.

So what form would such identification take in the future?


Photo IDs are so easily lost or stolen.  In order to make identification more safe and more secure, many advocates are now suggesting that we find ways to make identification a permanent part of a person.


One way that this could be done is by using microchips.  If this sounds creepy, it is because it is very creepy.


But all over the world this is already being done to pets, and just recently a local NBC News report promoted the idea that we will all microchip our children someday.


I know that I will never allow anyone to microchip me or anyone in my family, but there are others out there who are enthusiastically embracing the concept of starting to merge humanity with technology.


In fact, Tesla CEO Elon Musk insists that we are all going to have to become cyborgs someday…



Elon Musk, the billionaire boss of Tesla and SpaceX, has said that humans need to become cyborgs to avoid becoming “house cats” for vastly more intelligent robots.


Musk said that as artificial intelligence advances, people will need to augment their brain power with digital technology to prevent them becoming irrelevant.


He backed the idea of a “neural lace” – a new electronic layer of the brain that would allow us to instantly access online information and greatly improve cognitive powers by tapping into artificial intelligence.



Could you imagine “downloading” an entire set of encyclopedias into your brain in just seconds?


Someday, technology may make this entirely possible.


And in the not too distant future, we may actually have “mind reading machines” that can understand what you are thinking.  The following comes from a recent article in the Daily Mail



A mind-reaching machine that can translate thoughts into speech is coming closer to reality.


The research has been ongoing for several years, and recently, scientists successfully managed to playback a word that someone is thinking by monitoring their brain activity.


While there remains a long way to go, they say this could help victims of stroke and others with speech paralysis to communicate with their loved ones.



We will soon be living in a world that looks nothing like the world that our grandparents grew up in.  Technology is increasing at an exponential rate, and even now it is hard to grasp just how rapidly our planet is being transformed.


As technology becomes even more important to our lives, there will be even more of a push to move all transactions online.  That means phasing out the current system of physical cash and coins, and going to a system that will eventually be entirely cashless.


In fact, in some areas of the world this is already happening to a very large degree…


In Sweden, 95 percent of all retail transactions are already cashless, and ATM machines are being removed by the hundreds.  In Denmark, government officials actually have a stated goal of “eradicating cash” by the year 2030.  And in Norway, the biggest bank in the country has publicly called for the complete elimination of all cash.


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In Spain, all cash transactions of more than 2,500 euros have been banned, and in France and Italy all cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros have been banned.


We don’t have those kinds of caps on cash transactions in the United States just yet, but given enough time they would come eventually.


Right now, there are more than 400 billion cashless transactions conducted around the globe annually, and that number may hit 500 billion for 2016.


Of course in a fully cashless society the government would be able to serve as the gatekeeper for who is permitted to use the cashless system and who is not.  It would be all too easy for a tyrannical government to mandate that everyone receive a “government identification chip” before being allowed to buy or sell or do anything else online.  We are living at a time when the Book of Revelation is coming to life right in front of our eyes, and that is one of the reasons why I wrote my new book entitled The Rapture Verdict.  As our world starts going crazy, Bible prophecy is going to be the number one thing that people are interested in as far as the Christian faith is concerned, and so it is imperative that we have solid answers ready.


The stage is being set for the Mark of the Beast, and the time is coming when we are all going to be faced with some very tough choices.


When you and your family don’t have any food and you can’t buy or sell without proper “government-sponsored identification,” will you give in and do whatever they tell you to do?


You may not have to make that decision right now, but if you are able to stay alive long enough someday you will.


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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mainstream-mediaBy Nick Bernabe


As of June 1st, Ghost Squad Hackers – the same group leading #OpIcarus – have launched a series of coordinated attacks against leading members of the corporate mainstream media. Giving credit where credit is due, Tec.mic and Softpedia were the first to report the operation. But their reports only tell a portion of the whole story, we will explain why in a moment.


Broadly speaking, the goal of the #OpSilence is to attack all the corrupt major news networks that mislead and censor information from the general public. More specifically, the news agencies who conceal the crimes of Israel, while misleading the population about the mistreatment of the Palestinian people. The operation is off to a quick start, Ghost Squad has successfully” carried out DDoS attacks on CNN and FOX News” already just this month. More attacks are promised, NBC and MSM appears to be their next target.







When Tech.mic and Softpedia presented their coverage of the hacks, they included images and references directly to Anonymous. But upon reading these articles, Ghost Squad had a message of their own that they want everyone to hear:






It is no secret Ghost Squad has a close affiliation with Anonymous; I am sure this is how the group got started in the first place. The group insists they speak for themselves, they are essentially trying to get their own reputation – credibility.








But there is a second layer to this discussion highlighting the recent divide within Anonymous. There has been a “Civil War” of sorts in recent months, and the reputation of the Anonymous collective as a whole has been damaged. Last winter, prominent hacktivist group Ghostsec also cut their ties with Anonymous. In a statement they said “Anonymous has a habit of shooting in every direction and asking questions later.” In other interviews they imply that Anonymous has developed a reputation for behaving immature – more concerned with silly DDoS’ing attacks than changing the world.


Since the quarreling of #OpWhiteRose many people have splintered off, or left Anonymous entirely – just another in the long list of strange effects Donald Trump has had on the entire world. Ghost Squad is one of the groups effected by this ‘Civil War.’ In the time since this happened last March, the group has exploded onto the scene, quickly becoming one of the most influential and talked about hacking groups in the entire world in 2016.


I have no doubt about the origins of this operation though, this goes back to#OpMediaControl which began last June. The operation called for the hacking of every major news network in the United States, testing their email systems, DDoS’ing web sites, attempting to hack in teleprompters or live feeds – anything you could think of. Last I heard back in December, they were still trying to recruit people to join them for an event this summer. Sound familiar to what Ghost Squad is doing right now?


The following video was from #OpMediaControl release last June:



For the purposes of accuracy, AnonHQ News reached out to our contacts in #OpMediaControl. We gave them a preview of the article and asked them what they thought. They showed us a press release dating May 28, 2016, a video proclaiming that#OpMediaControl has been re-engaged. Of course, #OpSilence proceeded to begin June 1st. In another interesting note, earlier last month Anonymous Resistance Movement, one of the groups behind #OpMediaControl,  conducted an interview with GhostSquad. So as you can see, the two groups are well acquainted with one another – these operations are no coincidence.


Ghost Squad may be stepping up from the pack here, but make no mistake, this operation has been in the making for over a year and Anonymous led the way.


This article (#Anonymous Declares War on Mainstream Media: Attacks Fox, CNN, NBC and More) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to AnonHQ.com. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: AntiMedia. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.


   

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visa-payment-ring-3-1200-80By Derrick Broze


Visa will launch a new cashless pay system exclusively for athletes at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Brazil.


When the 2016 Olympic games begin in Rio, Brazil this August, employees and partners of Visa will debut a new method of cashless payment. Visa has designed an as of yet unnamed wearable ring that will allow the user to pay for purchases without a card, wallet, or cellphone. EndGadget reported on the recent development:


The unnamed band is pretty simple in design. The interior contains a secure microchip from Gemalto and an embedded antenna; the exterior is simply a black or white ceramic loop. The addition of any kind of decorative metal or dye would interfere with the antenna. It also won’t be custom-fitted but, with 20 sizes available during its trial run, most testers should be able to find a good match. That initial group includes employees and partners, but most notably the 45 athletes sponsored by the payment provider, including swimmer Missy Franklin and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.



Visa told EndGadget that the design came after talks with Olympic athletes regarding the struggles they face when using wallets and constantly changing in and out of uniforms. Apparently decathlete Ashton Eaton told Visa he wanted a payment method that could be integrated into his daily routine without any extra effort. The ring is designed to be water resistant up to 50 meters and does not require an external charge. If users lose the ring they can remotely deactivate the device using a smartphone so thieves cannot make use of the device.








For the last several years Activist Post has consistently followed the shift towards a cashless society. All throughout our world we can find examples of the elimination of cash and a cultural embrace of digital only payments. In late 2015 we reported that Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology released a statement discussing Sweden’s move to 100 percent digital bank branches that do not accept cash.


“Simultaneously, we are witnessing legislation and internal banking policies that make it – or will make it – virtually impossible to use cash unless you want to be investigated for money laundering or ties to terrorism,” wrote Nicholas West. “We have begun to hear an increasing chorus from central banks, lackey politicians and of course the United States IRS who are openly declaring a war on cash. So what will the new economic world look like?”


The call for digital money has not only come from governments and banking institutions, however. In March Activist Post reported on a new “Ultimate Banking” version of the Monopoly board game which promotes a future of centralized bank surveillance and management via the use of digital payment systems.  Also in March, Joshua Krause wrote about the European Central Bank’s suggestions that the 500 Euro note needed to be eliminated. Krause also noted that academics and policy makers in the US have called for the elimination of the $100 bill.


Conspiracy researchers have long warned about the coming age where cash would be extinct and the possibility that all transactions would be conducted using implanted microchips. The theories are being confirmed now that publications like Buzzfeed have begun to promote the idea of digital payments conducted via implants. In a recent report, Charlie Warzel, a senior writer at Buzzfeed News, discusses his recently implanted chip that allows him to make purchases by swiping his hand. The report, “I Ditched My Wallet And Ended Up With A Chip Implanted In My Hand,” has received over 3 million views in just two weeks.


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https://www.facebook.com/BuzzFeedVideo/videos/1977789935695212/


In the report Warzel goes to Sweden to get the microchip implanted in his hand. As Warzel notes, “Sweden happens to be way far ahead of the U.S. when it comes to getting rid of cash.” Thankfully, nearly all of the top comments on the Facebook video are from users who reject the idea.



“NO! Mark of the beast! You do realize once you get a chip in your hand the government will be able to keep tabs on you 24/7. And people are worried about “Big Brother” now with cameras everywhere. Why would you volunteer for this?”


“This is part of the new world order….”


“A stupid and disgusting idea. I wish people would stop blindly following whatever the next new thing is.”


“ I am NOT religious in any way but I do think this is a bad fucking idea!!! No thank you, I’ll stick to my cards and wallet and cash.”



It seems fairly obvious that the governments and banking institutions of the world would like to have the ability to easily monitor their subjects’ payments and movements by eliminating cash and hard assets in favor of digital only payment systems and invasive implants. Is this truly a part of the so-called New World Order? Would you choose to shift to digital only payments in the form of Visa’s ring or Buzzfeed’s hand implant? Let us know your thoughts below.


 


Image Credit


Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter.


Derrick is available for interviews.


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


   

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big_pharma_controlBy Tony Cartalucci


Like a mythical sea monster, the true nature of a Wall Street-London centered global corporatocracy is often talked about but rarely seen. However, on rare occasions, a tentacle breaks the surface and affords the public an opportunity to examine and assess its true, gargantuan dimensions.


Just such a moment occurred when leaked diplomatic letters from the Colombian Embassy in Washington D.C. revealed just how far the United States government is willing to go on behalf of the corporate-financier interests that clearly shape the entirety of its foreign policy.



The Intercept would report in its article, “Leaks Show Senate Aide Threatened Colombia Over Cheap Cancer Drug,” that:



Leaked diplomatic letters sent from Colombia’s Embassy in Washington describe how a staffer with the Senate Finance Committee, which is led by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, warned of repercussions if Colombia moves forward on approving the cheaper, generic form of a cancer drug.


The drug is called imatinib [Gleevec]. Its manufacturer, Novartis, markets the drug in Colombia as Glivec. The World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines last year suggested it as treatment not only for chronic myeloid leukemia, but also gastrointestinal tumors. Currently, the cost of an annual supply is over $15,000, or about two times the average Colombian’s income.









The repercussions included threats to derail the $450 million “Peace Colombia” initiative aimed at ending decades of fighting in the South American nation that has claimed nearly a quarter of a million lives.


Leveraging peace and stability in Colombia to force Bogotá to capitulate to pharmaceutical giants like Novartis seems extreme, but upon closer examination of other episodes in recent history – including the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, the subversion of Libya and Syria, and admitted US ambitions to encircle and contain China, such coercion is a common feature of the Wall Street-London centric “international order” Washington eagerly promotes.


What is perhaps most appalling about this most recent episode is that Novartis’ “patent” is for a drug developed using public funding over several decades through the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Indeed, in 1990, NIH-funded researcher Dr. Brian Druker began developing model systems integral to bringing “Glivec” to market. He would eventually partner directly with Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) before clinical trials began.


The NIH’s own report, “Fighting Cancer: Ushering in a New Era of Molecular Medicine (.pdf),” would proudly admit:


The NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), along with many other public and private organizations, played a vital role in developing Gleevec®.


The nature of pharmaceutical giants building fortunes upon publicly funded research, with Gleevec serving as a primary example, was in even the subject of an entire paper published by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the title, “Public R&D Investments and Private-sector Patenting: Evidence from NIH Funding Rules (.pdf).”


Who Runs Washington?


If corporate-financier interests would jeopardize the peace and stability of an entire nation to maintain a monopoly over a single pharmaceutical – developed not even by them, but by publicly funded research – what would these same sort of corporate-financier interests do if the stakes were infinitely higher – say as high as pushing through a region-wide trade deal that would give such interests monopolies not over a single chemical compound, but over entire industries?


It is clear that elected representatives in Washington, London, and across the rest of the European Union do not represent the interests of those who elected them. Instead, they are clearly subject to and instruments of corporate-financier special interests – not just from across the pharmaceutical industry, but from a variety of industries ranging from finance and banking to big-oil, big-ag, and big-defense.


Understanding this simple truth – demonstrated unequivocally amid Washington’s latest row with its “ally” Colombia – is the first step in formulating a means to rebalance this inequity.


Dealing With Unwarranted Influence


The leaks revealing Washington’s handling of Colombia, however, provide a valuable potential means of confronting and confounding this immense, unwarranted influence in the immediate future.


The leaks take pressure off the Colombian government itself and put the narrative into the hands of third parties who can more credibly pass on the information to the public. Other nations facing behind-the-scenes coercion might likewise use the “leaked communique” method to take pressure off of themselves, and shift it onto the immense corporate-financier interests bearing down on them.


For the pharmaceutical industry specifically – which has attempted to guard its monopolies under the pretext of providing humanity with invaluable, irreplaceable products and services essential for humanity’s well-being – since pharmaceuticals and other medical therapies are indeed essential matters of life and death, they should be nationalized and the “intellectual property” held by these corporations – paid for by public funding – should be rendered as opensource. This arrangement would be not entirely unlike how the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) approaches space exploration.


For corporate-financier special interests in general, it is essential for both individual nations and local communities around the world to create alternatives to these monopolies and begin the process of systematically and permanently boycotting and replacing them. Not only will this redistribute wealth pragmatically rather than politically, it will create a more equitable balance of power geopolitically.


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


   

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audio-recording-flight-93By Matt Agorist


So far, 2016 is proving to be the year the September 11th attacks have been blown wide open. But when the U.S. Government is involved, it’s one step forward, then two steps back.


For the first time since that fateful September day, a once oblivious populace has begun to question why the US invaded Iraq in spite of the fact that 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.


Then, in an April episode of 60 Minutes, former Florida governor, Democratic U.S. Senator and onetime chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Bob Graham implicated a US ally for their role in the September 11th attacks.



“I think it’s implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn’t speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many didn’t have a high school education, could have carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States,” said Graham in the interview, implicating Saudi Arabia for their role in 9/11.


Graham mentioned that a redacted portion of the 9/11 investigation, now popularly known as the 28 pages, implicates the Saudi Kingdom in aiding the attackers.








Just when it seemed that Americans were finally going to get a glimpse into the facts of what really happened on 9/11, Saudi Arabia threatened the US with the collapse of the dollar if they released the 28 pages.


Predictably, Obama caved to the Saudis.


Ah, but there was another glimmer of hope after the U.S. Senate’s unanimous passage of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which allowed the families of victims of 9/11 to sue the Saudi government in federal court.


Last week, after the victims’ families had their hopes built up by the passage of JASTA, it was revealed that the bill’s co-sponsor Chuck Schumer slipped in a last-minute loophole, effectively castrating the entire bill.


While JASTA would allow for families of victims of 9/11 to overcome the current restrictions, the new section of the bill would essentially allow the heads of the Justice and State departments to stay any lawsuits indefinitely. The provision allows for the organizational heads to simply “inform the judge hearing the case that the US government has engaged with Riyadh in diplomatic talks to resolve the issue” — indefinitely.


As if rendering JASTA irrelevant wasn’t enough, this week, a U.S. government prosecutor, Ed Ryan, announced that a military court is being asked to withhold from the public a cockpit recording from a hijacked jet in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, because it contains evidence needed for upcoming trials. Joanne Stocker, reporting for Sputnik News in Guantanamo Bay explains:


“[The voice recording] has significant events for the purposes of the government’s case-in-chief,” Ryan told Judge James Pohl. “It proves hijacking in the first place. It proves intent. It proves the initial murders of the crew in the cockpit — the sounds of which can be heard — and, at the end, it contains the attempts to retake the airliner.”


The recording is from United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a field in Pennsylvania before reaching its intended target. Flight 93’s recording is unique as it is the only one which survived the September 11 attacks.


The recording allegedly captured passengers taking back over the plane from the hijackers before the plane crashed.


According to Sputnik, Ryan stated that the prosecution plans to play the audio at upcoming trials of suspects detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison.


He explained that the protective order must be in place before the US government can turn the audio over to lawyers who are defending terrorist suspects, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.


Keeping the recording a secret is a kick in the teeth for the families who lost their loved ones on that day, especially the ones on Flight 93. It is also entirely unnecessary. The ones who are allegedly on trial are in Gitmo, and American citizens listening to that audio would have zero impact on the outcome of these hearings.


The court’s keeping this audio secret is just another reason American citizens, and the victims’ families in particular, have no reason to trust their government any longer.


Matt Agorist is the co-founder of TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Follow @MattAgorist.


   

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maharrey-limit-itselfBy Shane Trejo


Once again, the New York Times has published an editorial attacking constitutional principles. This time, it calls for the virtual dissolution of the Republic.


The reasoning behind this assertion? That the government is too small.


Parag Khanna wrote an op-ed article in the May 30 edition of the Times suggesting a dissolution of the states because of “an antiquated political structure of 50 distinct states” holds back the grand fantasies of central planners in Washington D.C. It reads, in part:




The problem is that while the economic reality goes one way, the 50-state model means that federal and state resources are concentrated in a state capital — often a small, isolated city itself — and allocated with little sense of the larger whole. Not only does this keep back our largest cities, but smaller American cities are increasingly cut off from the national agenda, destined to become low-cost immigrant and retirement colonies, or simply to be abandoned…


Washington currently provides minimal support for regional economic efforts and strategies; it needs to go much further, even at the risk of upsetting established federal-state political balances. A national infrastructure bank, if it ever gets off the ground, should have as part of its charter an obligation to ignore state lines when weighing projects to support.



Khanna doesn’t seem to have any concept or regard for decentralized government, or the danger of consolidated power in the hands of a few powerful people. Those are just pesky little obstacles that need to be overcome while pressing toward the goal of “national greatness” achieved through new federal banking apparatuses, more spending binges, and power further centralized in Washington D.C.








Although Khanna may be correct that our nation’s infrastructure is dismal, there is simply no money left to fix it. The federal government blew through nearly $20 trillion while neglecting infrastructure. Even if the feds were to spend more taxpayer dollars to supposedly fix infrastructure, history dictates that they would not do any better of a job allocating those funds than they did with the previous $20 trillion.


Unfortunately, though, this is the mindset that is dominant among the political class and its backers.


The bad news for Khanna is that the public is starting to reject what he is selling. Distrust of the federal government is near all-time highs, something which has become a long-lasting trend. This makes it less likely for centralizers like Khanna to rally public opinion behind lofty fantasies about massive infrastructure projects and the elimination of state sovereignty, regardless of what is published in the New York Times.


On a positive note, the time-tested American principle of decentralization is starting to catch on again. In larger numbers, people are getting sick of the federal government’s heavy-handed nature, and want the power to returned home. States and people are more than equipped to handle their own infrastructure without bringing unaccountable Washington D.C. bureaucrats into the equation. If the momentum continues and gets firmly behind local control, Khanna’s prescriptions will never get off the ground.


Shane Trejo writes for The Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared.


   

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obamacare_rate_hikeBy Melissa Dykes


If you like your healthcare provider you can keep your healthcare provider… provided you pay a whopping 60% rate hike starting next year.


The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Blue Cross Blue Shield has requested a 60% rate increase in 2017 in Texas following complaints from the company that it is “losing money in the federal health exchanges because some customers have proven more costly to cover than anticipated.”


In other words, the cost of insuring people under the so-called “Affordable” Care Act is going to force prices to skyrocket to potentially unaffordable levels for everyone.



According to filings listed on healthcare.gov, Blue Cross and Blue Shield seeks increases between 57.33 percent and 59.35 percent for two of its Blue Advantage Plus plans. A Blue Advantage Health Maintenance Organization Plan is asking for a 58.6 percent hike…








In a country where the cost of living is going up on virtually all fronts but wages and jobs are not increasing, exactly who is going to be able to afford this insane rate hike? And that’s just to pay for the insurance in case you get sick…


According to the report, it is unclear what will happen if the rate hike request is not granted. When the same company requested a 51% increase in rates in New Mexico last year and the request was denied, the company simply withdrew all healthcare plans from the entire state.


It’s a domino effect. Obamacare is imploding the nation’s health care system.


Insurers across the nation, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, have complained vigorously that they are losing money in the federal exchanges as some customers have proven more costly to cover than anticipated.


Blue Cross Blue Shield isn’t the only company that has been reporting large profit losses due to Obamacare. UnitedHealthcare has reported losses of $650 million. Humana reported a 46% loss in the first quarter of 2016 alone.


As more and more private health insurance companies complain of profit losses and pull out of states who refuse to hike rates to unaffordable levels, it is highly likely the situation will become unsustainable and ultimately used as an excuse for the government to take control over all healthcare, moving the US to a national system just like in the UK or Canada.


In fact, this is exactly what Senator Harry Reid said that Obamacare was a step towards when it was first rolled out: a single-payer national health care system. Now we’re watching it happen.


But look at the way our servicemen and women who go to the VA in this country are treated. They die waiting in two-year-long lines to receive care. It’s so bad, one Navy vet recently set himself on fire in front of a VA in protest.


Considering our government can’t even make a noodle salad efficiently, the crash and burn of Obamacare as a problem-reaction-solution forcing us onto a single-payer national system could be a nightmare for anyone who depends on America’s already broken health care system for their health.


Image Credit


Melissa Dykes is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple and a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa also co-founded Nutritional Anarchy with Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, a site focused on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Wake the flock up!


   

7178

   

      

bigstock-Domestic-Hemp-Sign-7677881-1200By TJ Martinell


The industrial hemp industry in Colorado is expanding in spite of federal prohibition after the people of the state voted to legalize hemp farming. It demonstrates how the people themselves can nullify unconstitutional federal laws by taking direct action at the ballot box and through market activity.


According to Pueblo Chieftain, the amount of acreage used to grow industrial hemp in the state is poised to double this year.



“We’re getting 10-15 registrants per day,” said Duane Sinning, program manager for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “And there are already 60 applications in progress.”


What the state does know: More than 4,700 acres of outdoor production and 800,000 square feet of indoor space are included in the 347 active registrations. That’s a boost already from 3,600 acres and 571,000 square feet last year.




The industry is now moving into farming areas in the South Platte, Arkansas and Rio Grande valleys, the article further notes.


Amendment 64 to the Colorado state Constitution legalized both recreational marijuana and industrial hemp, though they are regulated separately by the state. While industrial hemp and recreational marijuana are both prohibited under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, they are different strains of the same plant. Industrial hemp has practically no trace of THC, the chemical in found in marijuana that makes it potent.








During the Colonial era, industrial hemp’s strong fibers made it ideal for making rope, clothing and fishing nets. Today, industrial hemp is primarily used for CBD oil, as it is the most lucrative product. However, the Chieftain article also notes that processing plants could make industrial hemp useful for other products as well. There are over 25,000 uses for hemp from textiles to biofuel production.


The expanding industry shows that federal prohibition falls apart without state cooperation. When states open the door for people to ignore constitutional federal laws, the feds generally do nothing. They don’t have the resources.


Most importantly, the more the hemp market grows the less likely the feds will try to enforce prohibition. Amendment 64 only legalized hemp at the state level. It had not legal effect at the federal level. But Colorado hemp farmers make nullification a reality by cultivating the plant in defiance of the federal government’s attempt at prohibition.


Nullification is not a mere legal concept. It ultimately requires more than words on paper. Without people willing to carry out these prohibited activities, any such laws passed by the people themselves or by their state legislatures mean nothing. Just as federal laws are meaningless if the feds won’t or can’t enforce them, so too is any legislation “nullifying” those laws if there is no one willing to engage in the specific activity.


The U.S. is the only developed nation that hasn’t developed an industrial hemp crop for economic purposes – something George Washington did on all five of his farms. In fact, the U.S. currently ranks as the number one hemp importer in the world.


Recently the feds have allowed limited hemp production for research purposes by colleges and universities, and state agriculture departments, but all industrial production like the kind George Washington engaged in remains banned under federal law.


Colorado joins with a number of other states – including Vermont, Oregon, South Carolina, Connecticut, Maine and North Dakota – simply ignoring federal prohibition and legalizing industrial hemp production within their state borders.


While prospective hemp growers still have to take federal law into consideration, by eliminating the state requirement for federal permission, state hemp legalization clears away a major obstacle to widespread commercial hemp farming within the borders of the state.


Other states can join Colorado by taking steps to nullify the federal ban on industrial hemp.


TJ Martinell is a Seattle-based reporter and author of the Orwellian novel The Stringers. Visit his personal site at tjmartinell.com. TJ writes for The Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared.
   

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matrixBy Melissa Dykes


Billionaire Tesla head Elon Musk recently told a tech conference in California that the chance is “one in billions” that we are not living in a simulated world.


In other words, it’s almost a certainty that we’re all walking around in something akin to The Matrix — a computer-generated reality run by artificial intelligence — right this minute and the majority of us don’t even realize it.




He also said we should actually hope it is true because if it isn’t, it means we’re doomed to destruction by some other calamitous event.


Musk is not the only person to suggest this. Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick told the Metz Sci-Fi Convention in France the same thing back in 1977:


Dick said this explains the odd sense of déjà vu we all have from time-to-time.



The difference is, Musk is a respected billionaire everyone seems fascinated by; or at least they aren’t letting on that they think his suggestion is in any way out of the realm of possible… By contrast, while Dick was also a respected sci-fi writer, when he gave the audience his opinion about The Matrix, they all sort of looked at him like he was nuts.


Considering the upside-down bizarre way the world is run, it almost makes sense somehow. At the very least, one could argue that something like the movie Surrogates with Bruce Willis is coming once virtual reality becomes the main platform.


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Melissa Dykes is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple and a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa also co-founded Nutritional Anarchy with Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, a site focused on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Wake the flock up!


   

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Barack-Obama-At-FEMA-Public-DomainBy Michael Snyder


When Barack Obama speaks to the public, it is very rare that he does so without a specific purpose in mind.  So why is he urging Americans “to be prepared for a disaster” all of a sudden?  On May 31, Obama took time out of his extremely busy schedule to deliver an address at the FEMA National Response Coordination Center in Washington.  During his speech, he stressed that every American is responsible for preparing for disasters, and that includes “having an evacuation plan” and “having a fully stocked disaster supply kit.” These are basic steps that I have been encouraging people to do for years, but if they won’t listen to me, perhaps they will listen to the man currently residing in the White House.  The following excerpt from Obama’s speech comes directly from the official White House website…


One of the things that we have learned over the course of the last seven and a half years is that government plays a vital role, but it is every citizen’s responsibility to be prepared for a disaster.  And that means taking proactive steps, like having an evacuation plan, having a fully stocked disaster supply kit.  If your local authorities ask you to evacuate, you have to do it. Don’t wait.



This speech was timed to coincide with the beginning of the hurricane season, although hurricanes have not posed much of a threat lately.


In fact, a major hurricane has not made landfall in the United States for 127 straight months.








But without a doubt, we all need to be preparing for disaster.  Hurricanes can create a short-term emergency that can last for a few days, but there are other threats that could create a major emergency that could potentially last for an extended period of time.  That list of potential threats includes a major volcanic eruption, a natural or engineered pandemic, a west coast earthquake, a New Madrid earthquake, a tsunami on either the east or west coasts, a meteor impact, Islamic terror, war, an EMP burst that takes down the power grid, cyberwarfare, economic collapse, and civil unrest resulting in the imposition of martial law.


Of course the items that I just mentioned are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, in different scenarios we could actually see multiple events happen in rapid succession.


It is interesting to note that during his speech Barack Obama also noted that the American people seem to have become very complacent about getting prepared…


And what we’ve been seeing is some public complacency slipping in; a large portion of people not having preparedness kits, not having evacuation plans.


This is exactly what I have been noticing as well.  There appears to be a tremendous amount of apathy out there, and relatively few people really seem to feel much urgency to get prepared these days.


My contacts in the emergency preparedness industry have been telling me that sales are way down right now.  There was a big peak last fall, but since then it is like interest in prepping has just fallen off the map.


Ultimately, those companies are going to be okay because interest will pick back up shortly as global events begin to spiral completely out of control.  However, of much greater concern is the fact that people have not been using this period of relative calm constructively.


Just like we have seen in Venezuela, time to prepare eventually runs out.  And someday there will be millions of parents that are absolutely horrified when their children come to them crying out for food and they don’t have anything to give to them because they didn’t heed the warnings and they didn’t get prepared.


When that day arrives, many of those families may be forced to turn to whatever help the government is offering at the time.


One more thing that I found particularly noteworthy about Obama’s speech was that he said that there is now “a FEMA app” that can direct you to the nearest “FEMA shelter” in the event of a major emergency.


If you need information about how to put together an evacuation plan, how to put together a disaster preparedness kit, as Craig said, we’ve got an app for everything now.  We have a FEMA app in English and in Spanish to help you prepare your family for a disaster.  You can update the National Weather Service alerts.  You can get safety tips for more than 20 kinds of hazards.  It provides you directions to nearby shelters.


         

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Could you envision yourself and your family having to take refuge in a “FEMA shelter” someday?


If not, you should do what you can to get prepared now.  Over the next couple of days, my wife and I will be releasing a couple of new videos about preparation on our YouTube channel.  I hope that many of you will check them out.


Unlike Venezuela, it looks like we may still have a little bit more time to prepare for what is ahead.  Some people will relax and use this time to party, but those that are wise will work diligently and will do what they can to get ready for the exceedingly challenging times that are rapidly approaching.


Hopefully you are listening to the warnings and are heeding what the watchmen are saying.


If not, the consequences for what will happen to you and your family will ultimately be on your own hands.


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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Stingray_Harris_handle_side-wikimedia-e1464812069180By Kelli Sladick


Two local New York law enforcement agencies spent over $550,000 purchasing and maintaining stingray devices to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications. Documents obtained by the ACLU reveal the departments went to great lengths to hide the existence of the devices and rarely obtain court orders for their use.


Harris Corporation along with the FBI gagged local and state police departments in New York from releasing information regarding cell-site simulators. These are more commonly known as Stingrays, but come in a variety of models such as KingFish and AmberJack. All devices are made by Harris Corporation.


When the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) tried to obtain documents relating to stingray technology, upstate New York police departments refused to release any documents relating to the purchase of these devices under the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). The FBI/Harris Corporation non-disclosure agreement and the FOIL refusal key points match almost verbatim.



In order to obtain these documents, the NYCLU successfully sued the Erie County Sheriff’s. The Rochester Police Department also released information after the successful suit.


“These records confirm some of the very worst fears about local law enforcement’s use of this expensive and intrusive surveillance equipment,” NYCLU Staff Attorney Mariko Hirose said.








According to the NYCLU, Rochester PD used a cell-site simulator 13 times from January 2012 to May 2015. The department only obtained a probable cause warrant six times. It appears that the RPD’s stingray unit attaches to a department vehicle and can be used to identify and track a cell phone on the move.


“Even though StingRays are military-grade technology often touted as a counterterrorism tool, grant documents show that the Rochester Police Department obtained the StingRay technology to perform everyday law enforcement activity, such as keeping track of people they thought might be in gangs,” the NYCLU reported.


Documents indicate the funding primarily came from state grants. It remains unclear if the state money flowed from the federal government.


The Erie County Sheriff Department paid  $350,000 for its two stingrays and used them 47 times over a four-year period. The department obtained a court order only once. The sheriff’s department not only deployed the devices for its own investigations, it also utilized them on behalf of other law enforcement agencies.


The information obtained by the ACLU and media organizations underscore the need to place strict limits on the use of these devices.


A FEDERAL PROGRAM


While it appears the RPD utilized state grants to purchase its stingray device, the federal government funds the vast majority of state and local stingray programs, attaching one important condition. The feds require agencies acquiring the technology to sign non-disclosure agreements. This throws a giant shroud over the program, even preventing judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys from getting information about the use of stingrays in court. The feds actually instruct prosecutors to withdraw evidence if judges or legislators press for information. As the Baltimore Sun reported last fall, a Baltimore detective refused to answer questions on the stand during a trial, citing a federal non-disclosure agreement.


Defense attorney Joshua Insley asked Cabreja about the agreement.


“Does this document instruct you to withhold evidence from the state’s attorney and Circuit Court, even upon court order to produce?” he asked.


“Yes,” Cabreja said.


As privacysos.org put it, “The FBI would rather police officers and prosecutors let ‘criminals’ go than face a possible scenario where a defendant brings a Fourth Amendment challenge to warrantless stingray spying.”


The feds sell the technology in the name of “anti-terrorism” efforts. With non-disclosure agreements in place, most police departments refuse to release any information on the use of stingrays. But information obtained from the Tacoma Police Department revealed that it uses the technology primarily for routine criminal investigations.


Some privacy advocates argue that stingray use can never happen within the parameters of the Fourth Amendment because the technology necessarily connects to every electronic device within range, not just the one held by the target. And the information collected by these devices undoubtedly ends up in federal data bases. The feds can share and tap into vast amounts of information gathered at the state and local level through a system known as the “information sharing environment” or ISE. In other words, stingrays create the potential for the federal government to track the movement of millions of Americans with no warrant, no probable cause, and without the people even knowing it.


According to its website, the ISE “provides analysts, operators, and investigators with information needed to enhance national security. These analysts, operators, and investigators… have mission needs to collaborate and share information with each other and with private sector partners and our foreign allies.” In other words, ISE serves as a conduit for the sharing of information gathered without a warrant.


The federal government encourages and funds stingrays at the state and local level across the U.S., thereby undoubtedly gaining access to a massive data pool on Americans without having to expend the resources to collect the information itself. By placing restrictions on stingray use, state and local governments limit the data available that the feds can access.


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stingray-use-unconstitutionalBy Derrick Broze


On Tuesday a federal appeals court with jurisdiction in Virginia and Maryland ruled that police do not need a search warrant to obtain cell tower location information using ‘Stingray’ surveillance devices.


In a vote of 12 to 3 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has ruled that police can legally gather “cell site” location information (CSLI) without judicial approval via a search warrant. The 4th Circuit made the ruling based on rules implemented before the growth of cellphones and computers which allow law enforcement to collect business or “third party” records without a court order. The rules were originally intended to govern banking transactions and phone calls made by a traditional landline.


Writing for the majority opinion, Judge Diana Gribbon Motz said the Supreme Court could eliminate the third-party doctrine at a future date and Congress could require a warrant for CSLI, “but without a change in controlling law, we cannot conclude that the Government violated the Fourth Amendment in this case.” Motz also stated that overturning the ruling would conflict with recent rulings by federal appellate courts in Florida and Cincinnati, New Orleans and Philadelphia.



The judgement relates to two Maryland men, Aaron Graham and Eric Jordan, who were convicted of armed robberies in Baltimore. Both men were under investigation for seven months. During that time period police investigators gathered evidence using cell site simulators, also known by the name Stingrays. Stingrays are the brand name of a popular cell-site simulator manufactured by the Harris Corporation.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation describes Stingrays as “a brand name of an IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) Catcher targeted and sold to law enforcement. A Stingray works by masquerading as a cell phone tower – to which your mobile phone sends signals to every 7 to 15 seconds whether you are on a call or not – and tricks your phone into connecting to it.” As a result, whoever is in possession of the Stingray can figure out who, when, and to where you are calling, the precise location of every device within the range, and with some devices, even capture the content of your conversations.








Graham and Jordan’s attorneys argued that the use of cell site simulators amounted to dragnet surveillance because police were able to gather sensitive data about their lives, thus violating the Fourth Amendment right “of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches.”


The three dissenting judges called the majority decision a dangerous expansion of the third-party doctrine. Judge James A. Wynn stated that “the Fourth Amendment, necessarily, is in retreat.” The Washington Post reports that Wynn stated that CSLI is different from other types of data because phone users do not “voluntarily convey” the information and are likely unaware they are providing local cell towers with sensitive data that can be scooped up by law enforcement.


“I suppose we can also expect no privacy in data transmitted by networked devices such as the ‘Fitbit’ bracelet, which ‘can track the steps you take in a day, calories burned, and minutes asleep,’” Wynn said in a footnote discussing the popular device that can track an individual’s temperature, and heart and breathing rates.


The decision by the 4th Circuit overturns a ruling from August 2015 which found that accessing cell site information without a warrant was unconstitutional because law enforcement are able to gather sensitive data, including a person’s daily routine in both public and private spaces.


“Because months’ worth of cell phone location data can reveal extraordinarily private details of a person’s life, the right way to protect people’s privacy interest in that information is to require a warrant,” said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “The Fourth Circuit’s decision is not the last word on this issue. Other appellate courts will surely address these questions soon, and the Supreme Court may well need to weigh in.”


The ruling is likely to make its way to the Supreme Court as local, state, and federal officials grapple with the rise of invasive technology that is slowly eroding the concept of privacy. On May 18, Illinois passed Senate Bill 2343 which forces police to obtain “a court order based on probable cause that a person whose location information is sought has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime, is required for any permitted use” before using a Stingray or similar surveillance device.


Both the Harris Corp. and the Federal Bureau of Investigations require police to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) related to the use of the devices. Through these NDAs local police departments have become subordinate to Harris, and even in court cases in front of a judge, are not allowed to speak on the details of their arrangements. This has created a dangerous precedent which allows law enforcement on the local, state, and federal level to operate the devices with impunity. Americans remain largely ignorant to the fact that numerous agencies are gathering their private information without a warrant.


Follow this link for more information on the Stingrays.


Image Credit: TheFreeThoughtProject.com


Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter.


Derrick is available for interviews.


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


   

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national_debt_cartoonOp-Ed by Catherine J. Frompovich


Who’s watching whom?


Below are several videos, which are self-explanatory, regarding screw-ups by the Department of Homeland Security regarding verified criminal aliens whom DHS has released FREE in to U.S. society, instead of deporting them back to their countries of origin.


In this video, Chairman Jason Chaffetz, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, recites an impressive litany of those criminals’ crimes and releases by DHS during the April 28, 2016 hearing, which you probably will find exceptionally hard to believe could have happened, but did.



https://youtu.be/2QOwAJ2ez6U?t=195


In this video Chairman Chaffetz takes on a witness, Jonathan E. Meyer, the deputy general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, and accused the DHS counsel of “witness intimidation”!  What?


https://youtu.be/wOZ1PQB9_HU?t=34


“I wasn’t in the room, but what I’ve been told by staff is he [the witness] was willing to answer the question, he started to answer the question, when counsel jumped in and insisted that he not answer the question, that’s what I have a problem with,” Chaffetz said. [1]   And rightfully so, Chairman Chaffetz.


Maybe The Donald isn’t that off the wall with his immigration remarks.  Listen for yourself how American citizens and our safety are being jeopardized by Homeland Security and current immigration protocols.  Rep. DeSantis of Florida talks about criminals released in this video.


https://youtu.be/VInvLzFerjw?t=34


Rep. Trey Gowdy mentions “sanctuary cities” plus more, and asks some very pointed questions here.


https://youtu.be/Vhj-mZWoKrs?t=11


After listening to the above regarding immigration-enforcement-gone-wrong with alien criminals roaming freely in the USA as ‘guests’ of the DHS, we really need to consider seriously what happened a few years back to a former DHS agent and what’s the DHS up to anyway.  From whom do such harassment and intimidation orders come?  Is there really such a thing as a “shadow government” alive and well in the USA, as has been bandied around?  If so, shouldn’t it be exposed by mainstream media, TV and a congressional investigation?  Good question?!








Here’s something to consider:  The dramatic and chilling story told by former DHS agent, Julia Davis, as she talks about her experiences being declared a “domestic terrorist” because she followed the book regarding reporting an unprecedented breach of security during a heightened terror alert.  Furthermore, she says that there were 54 investigations against her, plus a Blackhawk helicopter landing on her front lawn; agents broke down her door—commando-style—with no search warrant!  Moreover, those agents worked over her elderly sick father.  During that “work over,” he experienced a heart attack but they provided no help when he told them he was having a heart attack and asked for his medicine and water.  That heart attack proved to be a fatal event.  Is that the way humans are to be treated by U.S. government agencies and agents?  I certainly hope not!


https://youtu.be/0LL9Jnos-GA?t=38


Julia Davis’s chilling first-hand report of government agency terror perpetrated on a former government employee of the USA for doing her job correctly should have everyone questioning what’s really going on and demanding answers from Congress and the media. Furthermore, and even more tragic, Davis’s neighbor, who had made the video of that raid during real time, then gave it to Julia, subsequently was found dead in his house.  He was a young man too!


Shouldn’t immigration be a dominant main issue in the 2016 presidential election and openly discussed as part of party platforms?


Reference:


[1] http://freebeacon.com/politics/chaffetz-dhs-witness-intimidation/


Top Image: Townhall Conservative Cartoon of the Day: ©Lisa Benson


Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.


Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.


Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.


Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)


Catherine’s NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities ©2016 Catherine J Frompovich coming in Summer 2016


   

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yahoo-exposes-fbiBy Claire Bernish


For the first time since the implementation of the USA Freedom Act, Yahoo! published three National Security Letters — perhaps the most secretive and contentious method the FBI has for obtaining information on individuals — after the lifting of repressive and equally-contentious gag orders.


Mainstays of the USA PATRIOT Act, National Security Letters (NSLs) generally request customer data information from businesses such as banks, internet service providers, travel agencies, and phone and telecommunications companies — without a warrant required. Worse, NSLs include onerous, mandatory orders prohibiting their recipients from disclosing to anyone — including coworkers, friends, and family — that they even received the letter.



“Yahoo has always maintained a strong commitment to protecting our users’ safety, security and privacy,” the company said in an announcement of the disclosure. “The release of these documents and information regarding NSLs today is consistent with our commitment to share as much information as we legally can regarding government data requests. We believe there is value in making these documents available to the public to promote an informed discussion about the legal authorities available to law enforcement.”


“Each NSL included a nondisclosure provision that prevented Yahoo from previously notifying its users or the public of their existence,” the company ominously stated.








Largely due to these mandatory nondisclosure orders, gauging exactly how many NSLs have been issued remains impossible — though as of 2013, the Obama administration admitted an average of 60 per day were being issued. Alarmingly, in its latest transparency report, Apple claimed the number of “national security orders” — including NSLs — had doubled in just six months. Yahoo! said it plans updates to its own transparency report as additional nondisclosure orders are lifted.


Though they haven’t received quite the notoriety of more sweeping surveillance programs — perhaps due to the extensive reporting after revelations from Edward Snowden — NSLs are at least equally troubling. As EFF previously noted, “in march 2007 the Department of Justice’s inspector general released a report confirming extensive misuse of NSLs in a sample of four FBI field offices. An internal audit by the FBI confirmed that the problem was far more extensive than first thought.”


So insidious are NSLs, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) once described them as “one of the most frightening and invasive” facets of the PATRIOT Act.


Essentially anything surrounding the account of the user targeted by the FBI must be disclosed, except for the actual content of communications. But plenty of information can be derived, without having to delve into the content, Vocativ noted, as metadata could include “the dates when an account was opened, IP addresses used to log in, any physical address or phone number associated with the account, the credit card number it used to pay for any service, any listed aliases — pretty much anything a user gives when they create an account.”


“Our understanding is that the vast majority of NSLs of these kind that are issued go to tech companies, and that it’s a basic tool that the FBI uses to start investigations involving people’s communications,” Andrew Cocker, staff attorney at EFF, told Vocativ in discussing NSLs specific to companies like Yahoo!.


Yahoo!’s decision to disclose these NSLs marks the company’s “ongoing commitment to transparency.” A minor concession in the Freedom Act requires the FBI to periodically assess whether gag orders should remain in place. In the case of Yahoo!’s three NSLs, the termination of ongoing nondisclosure indicates the FBI completed those investigations.


“We believe this is an important step toward enriching a more open and transparent discussion about the legal authorities law enforcement can leverage to access user data,” Yahoo! stated.


While the Freedom Act basically continued many of the same programs from the PATRIOT Act that had expired, minor changes like the requirement to review FBI nondisclosure arrangements provide a degree of transparency desperately needed. Now, thanks to Yahoo!, NSLs became a little less secretive.


Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.


   

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flesh eating disease


By Brandon Turbeville


As if the people of Syria were not troubled enough with five years of Western-engineered destruction, warfare, and economic oppression, a new disease is working its way across the country. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease allegedly being spread by infected sand flies although the disease is also described as tropical in nature.


The disease causes open wounds and purplish scarring, a gross disfigurement of its victims.



ISIS-Leishmaniasis-desease-main

source: mirror.co.uk




As The Daily Mail reports,



Many of the temporary refugee settlements can increase the risk of picking up the disease because of malnutrition, poor housing, deficient medical facilities and overcrowding.


This, coupled with the favourable climate – the sand flies only operate in humid temperatures [a minimum of 27/28 degrees at night] – has created the conditions for the disease to spread.


For instance, refugee settlements in Nizip in southern Turkey have reported several hundred cases.
Speaking to MailOnline, Dr Waleed Al-Salem, one of the authors of the research was carried out in the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said: ‘It’s a very bad situation. The disease has spread dramatically in Syria, but also into countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and even into southern Europe with refugees coming in.








‘There are thousands of cases in the region but it is still underestimated because no one can count the exact number of people affected.

‘When people are bitten by a sand-fly – which are tiny and smaller than a mosquito – it can take anything between two to six months to have the infection.


‘So someone might have picked it up in Syria but then they may have fled into Lebanon or Turkey, oreven into Europe as they seek refuge.


‘Prior to the outbreak of war there was good control of diseases, parasites and sand flies but when the conflict started no one cared, conditions worsened and the health system broke down, which has created an ideal environment for disease outbreaks.’


Of course, it wasn’t that “no one cared.” It was that no one was able to provide adequate care because the United States, Israel, the GCC, and NATO had overrun the country with savage terrorists and destroyed the infrastructure, not to mention the Western sanctions imposed upon the country which, alone, would have made it difficult to treat.
The World Health Organization, however, does categorize the disease as “neglected.”


The Daily Mail also summarizes the prevalence of the disease both in Syria, the Middle East, and Africaby writing:
Between 2000 and 2012, there were only six reported cases of the disease in Lebanon.
But in 2013 alone there were 1,033 cases reported, of which 96 per cent occurred among the displaced Syrian refugees, according to the Lebanese Ministry of Health.


Turkey, Jordan, Easter Libya and Yemen have also reported hundreds of cases.
With Yeminis migrating to Saudi Arabia, the fear is the disease might spread there too.


There could even be refugees with the disease who have reached Europe.



According to the Syrian Ministry of Health, the number of cases of Leishmaniasis went from 23,000 before the war to 41,000 in 2013. The World Health Organization donated 10,000 of meglumineantimonate for treatment in Lebanon.


Oddly enough, according to maps circulating in mainstream reports, while cases of the disease have appeared all across Syria, they seem to be concentrated in Palestine and Israel as well as Southern Lebanon. At this time, it is unclear whether or not the disease is indeed becoming an epidemic and/or a pandemic or if the Western media is simply using it to stir up humanitarian concerns in order to help justify some type of intervention in Syria or even panic over Syrian refugees. While the level of emergency may be debatable, the disease is undoubtedly present in Syria.


Regardless, the reason this disease is making a comeback is directly a result of Western policies of destabilization, sanctions and proxy war that has resulted in the evisceration of Syrian living standards, health facilities and sanitation infrastructure.


Top image source: marlonwayans.tv


This article (New “Flesh-Eating” Disease Spreading Across Syria and the Middle East) can be republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Brandon Turbeville and Natural Blaze.com.


Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense SolutionsandDispatches 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 600 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.


   

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