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1

      

By B.N. Frank


Research has already determined that exposure to all sources of cell phone and wireless WiFi radiation is harmful to all living beings – including insects.


New Swiss research has found that insects’ body temperature increase when exposed to 5G.


From Androidpit.com



The Swiss organization Pro Natura has published new studies, which indicate that the frequencies used by 5G increase the body temperature of insects. Are we taking another step against nature?


Both insects and 5G need antennas: insects use them as an olfactory organ, and 5G use them to propagate waves, which are invisible, but not harmless. Now, new studies indicate that insects are sensitive to 5G waves: A recent study has shown that insects exposed to 5G radiation have experienced an increase in their body temperature.


[…]


The study is based on the fact that, with current development, telecommunication systems will move from 6 GHz used by 2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks to frequencies up to 120 GHz used by 5G networks. According to the scientists in charge, the frequency range around 6 GHz does not pose any risk to the health of insects, but from 10 GHz an increase in temperature is observed in the body of exposed individuals. This means that the use of the 5G could cause a reaction in insects, altering their behavior and physiology.



         



      

Research has also determined that humans exposed to 5G may experience an increase in body temperature which can cause excessive sweating.



In February, telecom industry representatives gave congressional testimony that they could offer NO scientific evidence that 5G is safe.



So anyone who claims that 5G exposure is safe is defending a product its providers won’t even defend (see 1, 2).


The worldwide opposition to 5G is increasing every day and for multiple reasons – not only biological and environmental risks.  Please see Activist Post archives for more details.


For more information, visit the following websites:



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

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2

      

By Tyler Durden


(ZH) — Not long after he reportedly agreed to send another 1,500-2,000 troops to the Middle East in yet another show of strength to combat an increasingly belligerent Iran, President Trump steamrolled Congress on Friday to approve $8 billion in arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia and expedite delivery, WSJ reports.


The administration invoked a rarely used provision of American arms control laws to bypass Congress and approve the weapons sales, citing the escalating tensions with Iran as justification. WSJ’s sources said the $8 billion figure encapsulates a package of 22 separate deals.


Predictably, Democratic lawmakers who have opposed selling more arms to Saudi Arabia groused about the administration’s latest Congressional end-run.


         



      

“If Iran’s provocations or the Syrian civil war is an emergency under the statute, then there’s a permanent emergency in the Middle East that will never allow Congress to oversee an arms sale,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), a critic of Trump administration policy in the Middle East.


Rep. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the decision “another slap in Congress’s face.”


“Congress wrote the law so that weapon sales would reflect broad consensus on foreign policy, consistent with our values, and the notion that there’s an emergency that justified upending our checks and balances is false, plain and simple,” he said.



For the past two years, Saudi Arabia has led the world in arms purchases – and the US has been its top supplier.


Support has been growing in Congress – among both Democrats and Republicans – to oppose more arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the kingdom’s involvement in the proxy war in Yemen. But given its longstanding rivalry with Iran, Saudi Arabia remains an important ally in that fight.


By Tyler Durden / Republished with permission / Zero Hedge / Report a typo


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3

      

Op-Ed by Caitlin Johnstone


(CJ Opinion) — Rachel Maddow has aired a segment condemning the new indictment against Julian Assange for 17 alleged violations of the Espionage Act.


Yes, that Rachel Maddow.


MSNBC’s top host began the segment after it was introduced by Chris Hayes, agreeing with her colleague that it’s surprising that more news outlets aren’t giving this story more “wall to wall” coverage, given its immense significance. She recapped Assange’s various legal struggles up until this point, then accurately described Assange’s new Espionage Act charges for publishing secret documents.


         



      

“And these new charges are not about stealing classified information or outsmarting computer systems in order to illegally obtain classified information,” Maddow said. “It’s not about that. These new charges are trying to prosecute Assange for publishing that stolen, secret material which was obtained by somebody else. And that is a whole different kettle of fish then what he was initially charged with.”


“By charging Assange for publishing that stuff that was taken by Manning, by issuing these charges today, the Justice Department has just done something you might have otherwise thought was impossible,” Maddow added after explaining the unprecedented nature of this case. “The Justice Department today, the Trump administration today, just put every journalistic institution in this country on Julian Assange’s side of the ledger. On his side of the fight. Which, I know, is unimaginable. But that is because the government is now trying to assert this brand new right to criminally prosecute people for publishing secret stuff, and newspapers and magazines and investigative journalists and all sorts of different entities publish secret stuff all the time. That is the bread and butter of what we do.”



Maddow carefully explained to her audience that these new charges have nothing at all to do with the 2016 election or any of the Russiagate nonsense the MSNBC pundit has been devoting her life to, correctly calling what the Trump administration is doing with Assange “a novel legal effort to punch a huge hole in the First Amendment.” She tied this in with Trump’s common references to the mass media as the “enemy of the people”, finally taking mainstream liberalism into a direct confrontation with Trump’s actual war on the press instead of nonsense about his tweeting mean things about Jim Acosta. She rightly highlighted the dangers of allowing a president with a thick authoritarian streak the ability to prosecute journalists he doesn’t like, and discussed the possibility that the UK may not comply with this new agenda in extradition proceedings.


“I think these 17 espionage charges against the WikiLeaks guy are a huge deal, and a very dark development,” Maddow concluded. “Chris Hayes this evening called it a ‘four alarm development’, and I absolutely share that.”


“And, you know, I know you,” Maddow continued, pointing to the camera. “Given everything else that we know about the WikiLeaks guy, I can feel through the television right now your mixed feelings about what I am saying. I can feel what may be, perhaps, a certain lack of concern about Julian Assange’s ultimate fate, given his own gleeful and extensive personal role in trying to help a hostile foreign government interfere in our election in order to install their chosen president with WikiLeaks’ help. Okay? I know. Okay, I feel ya. I got it. But, it is a recurring theme in history, heck, it is a recurring theme in the Bible, that they always pick the least sympathetic figures to try this stuff on first. Despite anyone’s feelings about this spectacularly unsympathetic character at the center of this international drama, you are going to see every journalistic institution in this country, every First Amendment supporter in this country, left, right and center, swallow their feelings about this particular human and denounce what the Trump administration is trying to do here. Because it would fundamentally change the United States of America.”


Wow. Make no mistake, this is a hugely significant development. This isn’t just some columnist for the New York Times or the Guardian, this is Rachel effing Maddow, the Queen Mother of all tinfoil pussyhat-wearing Russiagate insanity. This same pundit was just a couple of months ago not just smearing but outright lying about Assange, deceitfully telling her audience that the new legal rings closing around Assange were about his 2016 publications then instructing viewers not to Google anything about it because they’ll get computer viruses. Now that she’s recognized that this could actually hurt her and her network directly, she’s finally feeding her audience a different narrative out of sheer enlightened self-interest.



The fact that such a hugely influential figure in mainstream liberal media is now pushing back against Assange’s prosecution, and doing so in a way that her mainstream liberal anti-Trump audience can relate to, cannot be over-appreciated. Maddow’s credulous audience would eat live kittens if she told them to, so the way she’s pushing back against a dangerous legal precedent in language they can understand will make a difference in the way American liberals think about Assange’s predicament. It won’t make them like him, it won’t make them value the things he’s done, but it will get them to finally begin resisting something that badly needs to be resisted. And that’s huge.


The danger has always been that this fatal blow to journalism would be meted out with total compliance and support from a population hammered into docility by the ongoing narrative war which has been waged on Assange’s and WikiLeaks’ reputations with the help of the mass media. There was a very real danger that thought leaders like Maddow were going to choose their feelings over reasoning when the foot finally fell and the charges that criminalize journalism as “espionage” were finally put into play. I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if she’d applied that giant intellect of hers into making it possible to ignore it without upsetting her audience and try and figure it out later when it was too late and the legal precedent was set. It would have been so easy to keep feeding into the dominant “Assange is bad so everything bad that happens to him is good” sentiment, but she didn’t. She directly contradicted it.


She actually chose to do the right thing. I’m gobsmacked, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my hope for humanity sparked up a little today.




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If the resting smugfaced apex of liberal psychosis is getting this one right, then many more will surely follow. And indeed, many already are. In addition to Hayes’ coverage of the story, MSNBC’s Ari Melber also did a segment harshly criticizing the implications of Trump administration’s new charges. We’re seeing multiple segments from CNN about the grave dangers of the legal precedent that is being set with the superseding indictment, as well as urgent warnings about the new charges from major publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian.




The outlets which have been smearing Assange relentlessly are now finding themselves forced to defend him.



A typical comment under Maddow’s YouTube share of this segment reads “This is very strange. Very alarming! There we go again. The GOP is preparing the country for a Dictatorship.” And okay, that’s not exactly what is happening (this has been a bipartisan push and it’s not just preparations, we’re in full swing), but whatever, now this viewer can actually see the monster’s outlines. Finally the Maddow crowd which has been fruitlessly expending all their energy so far on punching at Russian shadows will actually be attacking a real thing.


And I’m quietly excited about that. I’m eager to see what happens to the #Resistance if it actually starts #Resisting something. It doesn’t matter that this is only happening because mainstream liberal media outlets realized that they might be next on the chopping block; it matters that it’s happening, period.




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For years mainstream liberals have been fixating on the fake Russiagate psyop and rending their garments about Trump’s rude tweets while commentators like me desperately implored them to pay attention to the actual dangerous agendas that this administration is actually advancing. They’ve been in a holding pattern of adamantly refusing to do that, and now, because it’s threatening them personally, we’re suddenly seeing a sharp deviation from that holding pattern.


As Bill Murray said at the end of Groundhog Day, something is different. Anything different is good.




Support Caitlin’s work on Patreon or PayPal.


Opinion by Caitlin Johnstone / Republished with permission / Medium / Report a typo


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4

      

By Tyler Durden


A former CIA analyst-turned-whistleblower says that an extradited Julian Assange would have no chance of a fair trial in front of a federal judge who “reserves every national security case for herself.”


John Kiriakou, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison by Eastern District of Virginia Judge Leonie Brinkema for telling ABC News about CIA waterboarding, told Russian state-sponsored RT, They are going to try to make an example of Julian,” adding “He’s been charged in the Eastern District of Virginia. His judge was also my judge and ex-Snowden’s judge and [CIA whistleblower] Jeffry Sterling’s judge who reserves every national security case for herself.”


“She is a hanging judge. She will not give him a fair trial. It’s impossible for Julian to receive a fair trial in the Eastern District of Virginia,” added Kiriakou.


         



      



Speaking from his own experience with the same district court, Kiriakou argued that it “gonna try to give him as many years as they can,” which means a “sentence of 30-40 years” if served concurrently.


The only avenue worth taking a shot on is to protest the constitutionality of the Espionage Act, notorious for its vague language, to the US Supreme Court, Kiriakou said.


“He’ll have immediate standing to appeal on the basis that the Espionage Act is unconstitutionally vague,” he said. “The Supreme Court has never ruled on this issue. That may be the way to go.” –RT


John Kiriakou at 7:38 below




By Tyler Durden / Republished with permission / Zero Hedge


This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed


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5

      


Capping credit card interest rates could lead to worse outcomes for risky borrowers.


By Steven Maxwell


At first glance credit cards with high interest rates seem predatory. They primarily affect the working class who are already struggling to make ends meet. Big bad banks create the credit out of thin air and are profiting off the borrower’s suffering. And it violates usury laws in holy books! It’s easy emotional fodder for politicians to drum up support for laws that cap interest rates. But will government-enforced interest rate caps actually help risky borrowers?


Congresswoman Alexandria Ocazio-Cortez (AOC) and Senator Bernie Sanders recently introduced the Loan Shark Prevention Act to cap credit card rates at 15%.


“Under the legislation we are introducing today, we would establish a national usury rate to make sure that no bank or store in America could charge an interest rate higher than 15 percent,” Senator Sanders said in an announcement for the proposal.


         



      

“The reality is that today’s modern-day loan sharks are no longer lurking on street corners breaking kneecaps to collect their payments,” said Sanders. “They wear three-piece suits and work on Wall Street, where they make hundreds of millions in total compensation and head financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and American Express.”


Representative Ocasio-Cortez stated, “There is no justifiable reason that a person—no matter their background—should be charged an interest rate higher than 15 percent. Rates higher than 15 percent are predatory debt traps, designed to keep working families underwater and allow predatory companies to enrich themselves off the misfortune of others.”


Politicians dictating what economic prices “should be” always creates unnatural market incentives that usually result in worse outcomes for the very people these proposals seek to help.


In an op-ed, Diego Zuluaga, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, points out flaws in their proposal:


The ostensible aim of their proposal is laudable: to make credit more affordable for American households at a time when they carry a collective balance of $870 billion, with an average credit-card APR of 17.73%. But the consequences of a cap would be disastrous, removing access to credit for millions of low- and moderate-income households and forcing them to rely on family members, tighten their belts or seek higher-cost forms of credit.


Forcing them to “rely on family members” and to “tighten their belts” seems like a benefit to me. Isn’t that the advice a financially responsible person would give to those who borrow beyond their means? Maybe it will also spur credit customers to do more research to find the absolute best interest rates available to them.






The fact is banks will not lend to risky customers because the interest rate is capped. They will simply stop issuing unsecured credit to the people AOC and Sanders aim to help. And those high-risk borrowers will be forced to seek dangerous forms of credit if banks are prevented from offering legal products to them.


Zuluaga points out:


Back in the early 1900s, Progressives helped drive loan sharks out of business by lobbying to lift state usury caps. Those caps had barred lenders from charging interest above 6% to 10% a year, forcing low-income Americans to seek credit in the illegal market.


Popular free-market economist and investor, Peter Schiff, also emphasized this point on episode 468 of his podcast starting at the 22-minute mark below:



Schiff concludes:





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If somebody really needs a loan and they can’t get one within the legal statutory limit, then they end up having to go to the mafia. They have to go to a loan shark. They have to borrow the money illegally because they can’t borrow it legally.


So what the government does when they fix the price, is they create a shortage. They create a shortage of credit and then the black market is delivering the solution.


When you borrow money from a loan shark and he’s charging you a rate of interest that exceeds the statutory limit, he has no recourse in the courts to enforce the loan. So the only way he can enforce the loan is through violence.


As Senator Sanders celebrates the absence of loan sharks on street corners, this legislation creates the incentives (fewer legal credit products at a time of increasing demand) to put them back in business.


I think high-risk borrowers who voluntarily accept terms of loans would prefer a bruised credit score to broken kneecaps when they fail to pay it back.


Steven Maxwell writes for Activist Post. Subscribe to Activist Post for truth and freedom news to your inbox. Follow us on Minds, Steemit and Twitter.


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6

      

By Kevin Samson


The ease of gaining access to results about one’s own DNA, coupled with the ease of DNA being databased for potential access by others, has presented a health and privacy crossroad.


Perhaps people always have had some level of curiosity about their origins, but the digital age has provided us with unprecedented access to scientific results at a very low cost.  The technology of DNA testing now tells us not only about our ethnic origins, but can also offer detailed assays that can cover a range of potential hereditary health conditions.


         



      

According to one poll conducted by NPR, this ease of access has created a rising interest in services offered by DNA testing companies:



First off, we found that 29 percent of respondents said they or family members had considered getting a genetic test, a 5-percentage-point increase from 2016, although the uptick wasn’t statistically significant, according to Truven Health, a unit of IBM Watson Health.


The people most interested in the idea are younger than 35. The poll found that 43 percent of them said they had considered genetic testing, a 10-percentage-point increase from 2016.


The proportion of interested people who said they or a family member had ever ordered a direct-to-consumer test was 32 percent. Thirty-four percent of people who said they or a family member had considered a test and got one did it through a doctor.




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When we asked why people had gotten a direct-to-consumer genetic test, the most common response — 30 percent — was ancestry or genealogy. Among people 65 and older, 74 percent said ancestry or genealogy was the reason. For people who got a test through a doctor, the most common reason was to help with a diagnosis — 31 percent.



When comparing myheritage vs 23andme — considered two companies among the 3 “DNA Giants” — we can see that DNA databases now include millions of people. Furthermore, as NPR also cites, the corresponding increase in advertising has created a powerful self-reinforcing trend in “precision healthcare” services, of which DNA testing done from home can be a core component:



However, as we have come to learn (almost daily) the security surrounding databases of all types is an equally concerning trend.  This is also borne out by the results from the above poll where nearly half of respondents said they had some level of worry about who has the right to access and analyze this information. As we’ll see, there are a host of reasons why this nearly 50% number of concerned respondents should probably be much higher.


Earlier this year, it was revealed that government agencies might have partnered with ancestry websites to offer up information about users. FamilyTreeDNA was at the heart of the controversy and stunningly made the admission that, yes, they were providing information to the FBI and even felt that it could be a “moral responsibility” to do so.  Other companies have been working hand in hand with pharmaceutical companies, very often without users being aware of exactly what privacy they are giving up under long and convoluted Terms of Service agreements.


And this goes even further than threats to personal privacy.  According to researchers at Colorado State University, an entirely new industry has sprung from this exact crossroad between the new reality of digitized DNA and the life sciences. Cyberbiosecurity now comprises an extraordinary range of disciplines from the fields of health, computing, and on to the military. As the researchers note, the benefits must be weighed against some very serious real-world consequences:



The marriage of computer science and biology has opened the door for amazing discoveries. With the help of computers, we’re decoding the human genome, creating organisms with new capabilities, automating drug development and revolutionizing food safety.




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Stuxnet demonstrated that cybersecurity breaches can cause physical damages. What if those damages had biological consequences? Could bioterrorists target government laboratories studying infectious diseases? What about pharmaceutical companies producing lifesaving drugs? As life scientists become more reliant on digital workflows, the chances are likely rising.


[…]


With the help of computers, editing and writing DNA sequences is almost as easy as manipulating text documents. And it can be done with malicious intent.


It is important to keep in mind that low-cost services many times come with other much higher personal costs that need to be considered. At the very least, it would be wise for anyone considering taking advantage of the quick access to such powerful science such as DNA analysis to take the time and read the Terms of Service, ask probing questions of these companies, and conduct strict due diligence before committing you and your entire family into one of these databases.  After all, the world’s leading experts in health and security are working to solve a range of potential misuses with our DNA. Unfortunately, although we are the ones most greatly affected, we are often the last to know about the dangers that have been discovered.


Image credit: Pixabay


   
            


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7

      

By Steven Maxwell


The modern tools of connectivity, innovation, research, and freedom of expression offered to us in the digital age have been turned against us. This clearly is a sad state of affairs when worded so bluntly, but it is also an opportunity for us to learn where we might have gone wrong and accept some responsibility, even in small part, about our current predicament.


Yes, we have been lied to about data security; we have had our most intimate conversations scooped up by robot algorithms and catalogued for all time; and we have had our intellectual pursuits and livelihoods stymied by overt censorship based on thought crimes in the digital realm.  However, largely in the name of entertainment and convenience, we have handed over our information to centralized systems that are not equipped to handle the many nuances of the free individual. Moreover, not only do we consent through participation, but we now very often pay our hard-earned money for compromised devices marketed by compromised companies. There is no longer the need for the digital backdoor; some of us have happily opened the front door and rolled out the welcome mat.


That said, I do sense a widespread uneasiness growing with each new revelation about what is being collected on each of us and where it goes without our consent.  Even some of my family and friends who have been in the “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about” department are starting to wonder if things have gone too far. For the rest of us who have been paying close attention, we can begin to educate those who might not yet understand why the right to remain anonymous is so fundamental to preserving personal sovereignty as well as personal security.


         



      

My mom, for example, is nearly as outraged as I am about the censorship taking place in media, as well as the near-total surveillance in modern society, but not long ago fell victim to identity theft and had her life turned completely upside-down in an instant. This is a gap that still exists for far too many people. The truth is that it is much more likely for the average person to be the victim of identity theft or some other form of petty cybercrime than to have an intelligence agency target their every written and spoken word. Yet how many people are aware of the many tools available that can greatly reduce all of these modern threats?


At the front line of personal digital security is how one chooses to access the Internet in the first place. Privacy has become a valuable commodity, where before it was so taken for granted that only free services would be considered.  And, yet, the average person shells out thousands per year in various forms of other insurance (often grossly overpriced, and never needed or delivered satisfactorily).


A VPN essentially encrypts and re-routes your traffic to eliminate IP restrictions and other methods of geolocation and identification. This can help reduce the threat of cybercrime as well as censorship because it makes it much more difficult for anyone to access your info based on data collected to identify you as a potential target. VPNs are seen as threats in countries like China that are at the forefront of government censorship and surveillance precisely because VPNs are effective. This review can help you learn more about VPNs, should you need to set one up.




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As concern about privacy has risen across the planet, so has competition among companies who want to deliver products geared to consumer protection. This has resulted in much easier to use, more efficient, and far more effective tools. New VPNs are easy to set up, have real customer support, can be used on nearly any device and are perfectly compatible with all of the entertainment products we have come to enjoy. Essentially, almost all of the compromise has been removed.


The Blockchain is another area that holds great promise for a range of digital protection, especially as the world continues to transition to the Internet of Things.  The current vulnerabilities of smart technology are completely unacceptable despite the race to 5G which will only supercharge the connectivity of smart home devices, government infrastructure, and even military systems. Some experts have put the current fail rate at 75%!


The Blockchain also offers new means of publishing and accessing information that is being used more widely now that we are seeing certain independent voices being de-platformed (censored) by establishment media and social media companies often taking their directives from government. A new BCH-powered blockchain initiative called Bookchain is going so far as to say that this technology can “protect literature from a dystopian future.”


“Items on the blockchain cannot be subject to censorship, banning or silencing for the duration of the internet,” Bookchain’s creator details on the platform’s website.




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Our colleagues over at Anti-Media recently partnered with LBRY for publishing their entire website on The Blockchain. Nick Bernabe, founder of Anti-Media, commented on this exciting new technology.


These new tools from LBRY will insulate Anti-Media from the corporate censorship we’ve recently been dealing with from Facebook and Twitter. Now our fans can find all of our content on lbry.theantimedia.com, a decentralized hub for our publishing, and our team will never lose access to our work again.


We must admit that we’ve been a bit complacent and maybe a bit naive thus far, but new tools have been created to help educate us about how serious the threats have become to our personal freedom. It is time that we fully realize exactly how  valuable our privacy is and what we can do to contribute to its defense.


Image credit: Pixabay


   
            


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8

      

By Jon Miltimore


On Feb. 7, US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and US Sen. Ed Markey introduced legislation known as the Green New Deal.


You’ve probably heard of it. It’s a big deal, to paraphrase Joe Biden.



Wikipedia, the Internet’s fountain of knowledge, describes the legislation as “a proposed stimulus package that aims to address climate change and economic inequality.”


Okay. But what is that?


         



      

If the term “new deal” sounds familiar, it should. It’s a reference to FDR’s New Deal, which was itself a play off of Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal. (Politicians don’t win extra points for originality.)


So just imagine FDR’s New Deal took the Paris Climate Agreement out for drinks, one thing led to another, and—voila—nine months later they had a baby: The Green New Deal.


So what should we make of this Green New Deal? Since climate change is bad, and inequality is bad, can we assume the Green New Deal is good?



Well, that’s for you to decide. But here are 44 facts and reflections on the GND to consider:


1. The GND is necessary, we’re told, because global warming will cause “more than $500,000,000,000 in lost annual economic output in the United States by the year 2100.”


2. That’s a scary number. But even if we accept such a figure, it’s important to note, as Tim Worstall has, that we’re talking about .05 percent of the total US economy in 2100.


3. That $500 billion price tag, in context, is rather small, then—at least compared to what AOC’s legislation would cost. Some estimates put the price tag at $93 trillion.


4. Relax, relax. Fact-checking organizations are probably right when they say that these figures are mostly pulled out of a, ahem, hat (much like AOC’s own $500 billion figure).


5. In fact, all these big numbers make me think of this:



6. So why do we need to spend all those trillions in the first place? One reason AOC cites is “a 4-decade trend of wage stagnation.”


7. The problem? The wage narrative, as Bloomberg recently pointed out, is a myth. As in not true.


8. That’s right. Although wages flattened (briefly) in the mid-’90s, they have grown steadily since, according to Federal Reserve data.


9. Uh, that’s actually good news.


10. Ditto on overall economic growth. Fact: Real GDP growth, per capita, has averaged nearly 1.7 percent per year since 1980. At that rate, the average person’s standard of living doubles every four decades or so.


11. Well, you wouldn’t know this by reading the GND. It cites grievance—“the top 1 percent of earners [accrue] 91 percent of gains”—after grievance—“a large racial wealth gap”—after grievance—“a gender earnings gap that results in women earning approximately 80 percent as much as men.”


12. Some of these are accurate. Others are not. But the point is that from reading the GND, one would have no idea that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is living in the most prosperous era in human history.


13. The capitalism AOC decries as “irredeemable” has given us this:



14. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez can cite “life expectancy declining” as a reason to pass her GND. But take a look at the actual data on US life expectancy over the last 135 years.



15. Sure, life expectancy did briefly dip between 2014 and 2016—by three-tenths of 1 percent. However, that decline was the result of drug overdoses and suicides. The trend has nothing to do with climate change and, more importantly, it’s a trend that’s not expected to continue.



16. Okay, okay, okay, you say. But what about the climate? What good is wealth and a long life if the planet BOILS IN A LAKE OF FIRE?!


17. Because that’s what AOC said is going to happen. “We’re, like, the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,” she explained in January.


18. It gets worse. Climate scientist Politician Beto O’Rourke says 12 years is actually wishful thinking. It’s more like 10.


19. AOC might be right. Or maybe O’Rourke is. On the other hand, some scientists who have, like, Nobel Prizes, are less convinced that a global warming apocalypse is upon us.



20. Perhaps realizing that there is a small chance the world will still be here in 2031, AOC recently hedged on her assertion that the world will end in 12 years if we don’t act.




21. It was all big joke, you see.


22. The world’s not really ending in 12 years.


23. And yet—the GND is still on the table, and fossil fuels are still the enemy. In fact, the stated goal of the GND is to meet “100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”


24. Is this possible? The cars we drive, the homes we cool and heat, and the lights that illuminate our world all require vast amounts of energy. How much energy? Well, Americans on average use about 310 million BTU annually. That’s roughly 1.005400000E+17 nationally.


25. The lowest cost alternative to coal and natural gas is nuclear energy. The US currently has 99 nuclear reactors, each of which have a generating capacity between 582 megawatts and 3937 megawatts. Together, these 99 reactors generate 20 percent of US electricity.


26. Sixty-three percent of US electricity comes from fossil fuels, however. To switch that 63 percent to nuclear energy would require more than 200 additional nuclear reactors. At approximately $15 billion per plant, the total cost over the 10-year period would be around $3 trillion just to build the reactors.


27. Yeah, that’s a pretty penny. In fact, that’s nearly all federal revenue collected in 2017. So it’s doable but extremely expensive. However, AOC said building more nuclear plants is off-limits.


28. Graciously, however, she said she will allow nuclear plants already built to continue operating… for now. Her office said that’s because it’s unclear just how fast “we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant.”


29. This is odd because nuclear power is safe, cheap, reliable, and generates zero greenhouse gasses. That’s why the Union of Concerned Scientists recently said nuclear energy is necessary to address climate change.


30. In fact, the idea that we could come close to meeting our energy needs without fossil fuels, nuclear plants, or a historic breakthrough in fusion is, well…


31. Perhaps this is why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came up with pet name for the Green New Deal: “The Green Dream or Whatever.”




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32. Pelosi didn’t stop there. “It’s enthusiastic, and I appreciate the enthusiasm,” said the House Speaker.


33. Ouch. Perhaps this is why AOC backed off and said maybe nuclear energy is still on the table.


34. Either way, the Green New Deal would mean big changes. But how big? And how would those changes be made? Steve Inskeep, a journalist at NPR and host of the Morning Edition program, asked AOC if her plan requires “massive government intervention.”


35. “It does. It does. Yeah. I have no problem saying that,” she responded, according to the transcript.


36. Say what you will about AOC, she deserves points for honesty. At least that morning she did. Here is what she said later in the day: “One way the right tries to mischaracterize what we’re doing as though it’s like some kind of massive government takeover… obviously, it’s not that.”


37. The Green New Deal, it’s safe to say, is rather confusing. The big question: How worried should you be?


38. Not that worried, actually. The legislation that comprises the GND, as Factcheck.org explains, is nonbinding. This means that if the bill passes, it will not “have the force of law.”


39. That’s right. Political parties and pundits have spent millions of hours(ish) talking about legislation that is essentially meaningless. The GND, one could say, is a massive PR stunt. (Consider this: if you Google “Green New Deal,” you’ll get 2.32 billion—billion—hits in .62 seconds.)


40. That’s frustrating, but keep in mind: a) politics is dumb; b) we should be thankful—exceedingly thankful—the Green New Deal will not have the power of law behind it should it actually pass.


41. Why? Because as former Greenpeace president Patrick Moore pointed out, untold numbers of people likely would die if the GND became binding law.


You don’t have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get food into the cities. Horses? If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating. You would bring about mass death.


42. Yeah, that’s kind of terrifying. Now, nobody is saying AOC wants millions to die. No one wants that. But it’s an overlooked fact that most of the horrors of the 20th century were committed by people attempting to use government and force to improve the world, not markets and free exchange.


43. “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to [humans] how little they really know about what they imagine they can design,” the Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek observed in The Fatal Conceit.


44. Hayek’s statement includes everyone—even the charming young congresswoman from the Bronx New York City.


READ THE GREEN NEW DEAL FOR YOURSELF HERE.



Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has appeared in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Washington Times. 


He previously served in editorial roles at The History Channel magazine, Intellectual Takeout, and Scout. He is an alumni of the Institute for Humane Studies journalism program, a former reporter for the Panama City News Herald, and served as an intern in the speechwriting department of George W. Bush.


Reach him at [email protected]


For the full GIF-ed out version, be sure to see the original post at FEE.org


Original photo in public domain, modification by Tim Webster
   
            


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By Jason Ditz


(ANTIWAR.COM) — Over the course of a five-year war in Yemen, a vast majority of the people killed by Saudi Arabia have been civilians. The killings were overwhelmingly from airstrikes, which brings uncomfortable attention to the US.


The Saudi airstrikes, after all, are done almost exclusively in US-made warplanes, and dropping largely US-made munitions. The US has also, for much of the war, refueled the warplanes in-air to keep them going.



         



      

US officials have been concerned about their culpability in Saudi war crimes for some time. Not enough to actually withdraw from the war, but worried enough that they sent advisers to Riyadh to try to consult to reduce casualties.


Those advisers have largely failed to reduce the rate of casualties from airstrikes; and while the Pentagon has tried to claim the US is not in the “kill chain,” they’ve still manufactured the weapons that make up the chain itself.


That continued problem is driving Congress to try to limit US involvement in the war, and to cut arms sales to the Saudis. So far, Congress has enjoyed mixed results, and some are predicting President Trump will use a loophole to rush through delivery of more bombs to the Saudis.


By Jason Ditz / Republished with permission / ANTIWAR.COM / Report a typo


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10

      

By Mac Slavo


A new battle has broken out over who gets access to Julian Assange’s computer in the aftermath of the journalist’s arrest. WikiLeaks says Assange took the time to scrub his computer before he was taken into custody, meaning anything found on it would be “false evidence” and planted by the United States government.


At the request of the U.S. government, Ecuadorian authorities took all of Assange’s possessions after his arrest. WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson told The Associated Press that because Assange cleared the computers, any information found on them will be put there by the U.S. or Ecuadorian authorities. “If anything surfaces, I can assure you it would’ve been planted,” he said.


         



      

The U.S. is attempting to extradite Assange on charges of “computer hacking” and Sweden has also re-opened its investigation into rape claims against Assange first made in 2010. This means British authorities may have to decide whether to prioritize the US or Swedish claims first … after Assange serves his 50 weeks in a British jail for “breaching bail conditions.”


“Julian isn’t a novice when it comes to security and securing his information. We expected this to happen and protections have been in place for a very long time,” Hrafnsson said. WikiLeaks’ future plans were among information scrubbed from the computer. “Ecuador granted him asylum because of the threat of extradition to the U.S. and now the same country, under new leadership, is actively collaborating with a criminal investigation against him,” Hrafnsson added of the handling of Assange’s possessions by Ecuadorian authorities, according to Business Insider.


Hrafnsson said that Assange predicted that his arrest was imminent as Ecuador’s current president, Lenin Moreno, had exhibited less support for Assange than his predecessor, Rafael Correa, who had granted Assange asylum. He accused Moreno of following the US in light of its financial assistance to Ecuador.



Moreno decided to evict Assange from the embassy after accusing him of working with political opponents to hack into his phone and release damaging personal documents and photos, including several that showed him eating lobster in bed and the numbers of bank accounts allegedly used to hide proceeds from corruption.


Moreno’s actions immediately were celebrated by the Trump administration, which was key in helping Ecuador secure a $4.2 billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund and has provided the tiny South American country with new trade and military deals in recent weeks. –The Associated Press



“The Americans are the ones pulling the strings, and Moreno their puppet dancing to the tune of money,” said Hrafnsson.


“One of the best ways to achieve justice is to expose injustice.” ― Julian Assange


This article was sourced from SHTFplan.


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