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11

      

By MassPrivateI


Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s have become partners in Big Brother’s ever expanding public surveillance program.


Home Depot’s “You Can Do It. We Can Help” slogan should really say, “We Can Do It. We Can Help Big Brother.” And Lowe’s “Do It Right For Less. Start At Lowe’s” slogan should say, “Doing It Right And Identifying Every Customer, Starts At Lowe’s.”


According to the Cook County Record, two recent class action lawsuits accuse Home Depot and Lowe’s of secretly using facial recognition to identify customers as soon as they enter their stores.


         



      

On Sept. 4, 2019, a group of plaintiffs simultaneously filed virtually identical class action complaints in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago against Lowe’s and in federal court in Atlanta against Home Depot, accusing the retailers of violating the Illinois state law by “surreptitiously” scanning customers’ faces as they moved about the chains’ stores.


According to the Lowe’s lawsuit, home improvement stores are secretly using facial recognition to identify everyone.


Lowe’s has augmented its in-store security cameras with software that tracks individuals’ movements throughout the store using a unique scan of face geometry. Put simply, Defendants surreptitiously attempt to collect the faceprint of every person who appears in front of one of their facial-recognition cameras. (To find out more about Home Depot tracking customers, click here.)


The Home Depot and the Lowe’s case claim that they have failed to inform customers that their biometric data is being collected, and did not obtain written consent for doing so. Home Depot and Lowe’s have also neglected to post a publicly available retention schedule detailing when the data will be destroyed.


According to the Lowe’s class action, “defendants actively conceal their faceprinting practices from the public.”


The class action also claims that Lowe’s has been secretly using facial recognition for over 11 years. There is no mention of how long Home Depot has been using facial recognition.


Have private corporations secretly turned America into China? Since when did it become OK for private corporations to secretly surveil the public?


But that is not the end of this privacy nightmare. Things get worse, and I mean a lot worse.


Home Depot and Lowe’s scanned millions of customers faces


Can you imagine two competing corporations sharing millions of facial recognition photos and descriptions of customers?






Well imagine no more, because it is happening right now.


The class action claims that Home Depot and Lowe’s have shared facial recognition pictures of its customers with other stores.


Framed as a loss-prevention measure, these systems allow stores to follow customers, to identify particular individuals when they enter the store and, in some cases, to track shoppers across multiple stores and identify “suspicious” shopping activity.


Welcome to China, sorry I meant America, where everyone is treated like a potential criminal.


Activist Post Book Recommendation: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism


The plaintiffs seek to expand the case to include an additional class of perhaps “hundreds of thousands, if not millions” of additional plaintiffs; potentially including everyone who entered a Home Depot or Lowe’s store with the facial recognition surveillance program in place.


Think about what this means: both Home Depot and Lowe’s have secretly collected millions of customers’ faces and are sharing them with other stores, regardless of whether or not they have committed a crime.




Brave - The Browser Built for Privacy



Corporations and Big Brother do not care about our privacy, in fact the opposite is true. Corporations want to monetize our privacy and Big Brother wants to use it to track everyone.


By everyone, I mean your kids, family, friends, co-workers, and even your pets are all affected by facial recognition.


Stopping facial recognition should be everyone’s goal unless you like being treated like a potential criminal everywhere you go.



You can read more at the MassPrivateI blog, where this article first appeared.


Image credit: Ultinous


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12

      

By B.N. Frank


No matter how proponents try to spin it, the Telecom Industry has provided NO scientific evidence that 5G exposure is safe and many credible doctors and scientists insist that IT ISN’T (see 1, 2, 3).  Symptoms from exposure include irritated eyes, increased sweating, and more.  In fact, people and their pets are already suffering from exposure where it’s been installed (see 1, 2, 3).


This being said — a big congratulations to Aussies for stopping 5G from being installed in the Land Down Under.


From Yahoo:



In 2018, fears of Chinese espionage dashed Huawei’s bid to help roll out the 5G network here. Now TPG is having to explain why it scrapped its own 5G aspirations and it appears its hand was forced – at least in part – by fears from the community about health impacts of the technology.


[…]


“You don’t think there is any scientific rationale for this do you?” ACCC counsel Michael Hodge QC then asked Levy.


Levy responded that while it was “not his area of expertise…the equipment that we were using was well within the standard and it is very much acceptable in terms of the standards”.


Hodge then asked if “there was some segment of the community that held an irrational concern about the effects” of the small cells used in a 5G network.


“I wouldn’t call it irrational. I think people have rational concerns,” Levy responded.


[…]


While TPG has listed several reasons for pulling the plug on its new network, it has now testified that those health fears were a major factor.



         



      



Opposition to 5G is worldwide.  It’s also about more than health risks and concerns.  Warnings have been cited by



Environmentalists (see 1, 2, 3)
Engineers (see 1, 2)
Meteorologists, NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Navy
Security experts

Utility companies

Activist Post reports regularly about 5G as well as exposure risks from other sources of harmful Electromagnetic Radiation aka “Electrosmog”.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites.



5GCrisis
5GExposed
5G Information
The 5G Summit
ElectromagneticHealth
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
Electricsense
Environmental Health Trust
Physicians for Safe Technology
Whatis5G.Info
Zero5G


Image credit: Pixabay


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13
Huffington Post General Discussion / Oakland City Council Bans Facial Recognition
« Last post by administrator on September 19, 2019, 03:33:59 AM »

      

By Michael Maharrey


Yesterday, the Oakland City Council gave final approval for a ban of facial recognition technology by the city. The new ordinance not only increases privacy in Oakland; it also takes a step toward limiting a massive federal surveillance program.


The ordinance prohibits Oakland government agencies, including police, from “acquiring, obtaining, retaining, requesting, or accessing” facial recognition technology. The ban includes accessing information obtained through facial recognition technology used by agencies outside of the city. The ordinance defines facial recognition as “an automated or semi-automated process that assists in identifying or verifying an individual based on an individual’s face.”


The ordinance was approved with no dissenting votes.


         



      

Oakland became the third city to completely ban facial recognition technology. San Francisco became the first last May, and Somerville, Massachusetts followed suit in June. The Michigan legislature is considering a statewide ban on facial recognition technology.


American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California attorney Matt Cagel spoke in favor of the Oakland ordinance. He said facial recognition technology gives police “unprecedented ability to track people.”


“You simply cannot leave your face at home.”


IMPACT ON FEDERAL PROGRAMS


A recent report revealed that the federal government has turned state drivers’ license photos into a giant facial recognition database, putting virtually every driver in America in a perpetual electronic police lineup. The revelations generated widespread outrage, but this story isn’t new. The federal government has been developing a massive, nationwide facial recognition system for years.


The FBI rolled out a nationwide facial-recognition program in the fall of 2014, with the goal of building a giant biometric database with pictures provided by the states and corporate friends.






In 2016, the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law released “The Perpetual Lineup,” a massive report on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology in the U.S. You can read the complete report at perpetuallineup.org. The organization conducted a year-long investigation and collected more than 15,000 pages of documents through more than 100 public records requests. The report paints a disturbing picture of intense cooperation between the federal government, and state and local law enforcement to develop a massive facial recognition database.


“Face recognition is a powerful technology that requires strict oversight. But those controls, by and large, don’t exist today,” report co-author Clare Garvie said. “With only a few exceptions, there are no laws governing police use of the technology, no standards ensuring its accuracy, and no systems checking for bias. It’s a wild west.”


With facial recognition technology, police and other government officials have the capability to track individuals in real-time. These systems allow law enforcement agents to use video cameras and continually scan everybody who walks by. According to the report, several major police departments have expressed an interest in this type of real-time tracking. Documents revealed agencies in at least five major cities, including Los Angeles, either claimed to run real-time face recognition off of street cameras, bought technology with the capability, or expressed written interest in buying it.


In all likelihood, the federal government heavily involves itself in helping state and local agencies obtain this technology. The feds provide grant money to local law enforcement agencies for a vast array of surveillance gear, including ALPRs, stingray devices and drones. The federal government essentially encourages and funds a giant nationwide surveillance net and then taps into the information via fusion centers and the Information Sharing Environment (ISE).


Fusion centers were sold as a tool to combat terrorism, but that is not how they are being used. The ACLU pointed to a bipartisan congressional report to demonstrate the true nature of government fusion centers: “They haven’t contributed anything meaningful to counterterrorism efforts. Instead, they have largely served as police surveillance and information sharing nodes for law enforcement efforts targeting the frequent subjects of police attention: Black and brown people, immigrants, dissidents, and the poor.”




American Natural Superfood - Free Sample



Fusion centers operate within the broader ISE. 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. Known ISE partners include the Office of Director of National Intelligence which oversees 17 federal agencies and organizations, including the NSA. ISE utilizes these partnerships to collect and share data on the millions of unwitting people they track.


In a nutshell, without state and local cooperation, the feds have a much more difficult time gathering information. Passage of AB1215 would eliminate one avenue for gathering facial recognition data. Simply put, data that doesn’t exist cannot be entered into federal databases.



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


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14

      

By B.N. Frank


Swiss opposition to 5G is not new and not just from residents.  In 2017, Swiss doctor Bertrand Buchs launched a petition asking for a moratorium on its installation and since then doctors and scientists worldwide have signed it.  Research has determined that exposure can cause undesirable symptoms and conditions – to say the least (see 1, 2, 3).


Earlier this year, Vaud Switzerland adopted a 5G moratorium.  Regardless, 5G was installed in Geneva where some residents immediately started suffering from exposure.  Now opponents are planning a nationwide revolt.


         



      

From Yahoo:



Switzerland was among the first countries to begin deploying 5G, but health fears over radiation from the antennas that carry the next-generation mobile technology have sparked a nationwide revolt.


Demonstrators against the technology are due to fill the streets of Bern later this month, but already a number of cantons have been pressured to put planned constructions of 5G-compatible antennae on ice.


[…]


National carrier Swisscom thus says it expects 90 percent of the population to have 5G access by the end of the year.


Opponents meanwhile warn that 5G poses unprecedented health and environmental risks compared to previous generations of mobile technology, and are urging authorities to place a full-fledged moratorium on the rollout.


They will organise a large protest on September 21 in front of the government buildings in Bern, and are also working towards putting the issue to a popular vote.


[…]


In Geneva, it is Daniel Buchs, a doctor and a regional parliamentarian with the centrist Christian Democratic Party, who is leading the battle.


“We are waiting for a serious, independent study that shows whether, yes or no, 5G has a noxious effect for the population,” he told AFP.


Such a study, he insisted, could help avoid a health scandal similar to the one the world has seen with asbestos, which was long touted as safe but which today is known to kill at least 107,000 people around the world each year.



In February, the telecom industry gave U.S. congressional testimony that they have NO scientific evidence that 5G is safe.  People and their pets everywhere are feeling the effects where it’s been operating (see 1, 2, 3).


Opposition to 5G is happening everywhere.  Warnings have been issued by a variety of credible experts and not only about health risks (see 1, 2, 3).



Activist Post reports regularly about 5G and other sources of harmful Electromagnetic Radiation aka “Electrosmog”.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites.



5GCrisis
5GExposed
5G Information
The 5G Summit
ElectromagneticHealth
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
Electricsense
Environmental Health Trust
Physicians for Safe Technology
Whatis5G.Info
Zero5G

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on Minds, Twitter, Steemit, and SoMee. Become an Activist Post Patron for as little as $1 per month.


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15

      

By Arjun Walia



The Facts: Edward Snowden recently released a book titled Permanent Record. The US government is now suing the publisher of the book for not giving the CIA and the NSA a chance to erase classified details from the book.
Reflect On: What is the government really protecting? Are they protecting the well being of the citizenry or are they protecting immoral, unethical, political, corporate and elitist interests?

George Orwell’s 1984 is a classic book depicting a populace ruled by a political regime that persecutes individualism and independent critical thinking as “thoughtcrimes” that must be enforced by the “thought police.” This party seeks power above all, and, through the propagandist Ministry of Truth, presents the people with their version of truth and casts away all other information and opinion. Sound familiar?


This is exactly what’s happening today right in front of our eyes. The “Ministry of Truth” comes in the form, at least on social media, as Fake News watchdogs. These are entities that are flagging information that threatens corporate and political interests and labels it as “fake news” when a lot of it is, in fact, the complete opposite. Since when does an entity like the government have to step in and decide for the people what is real and what is not? Are people not capable of examining sources and determining this for themselves? These fake news watchdogs have some interesting sponsors. One of these sponsors, for example, is NewsGuard. They are funded by Clinton donors and big pharma, with ties to the CFR. You can read more about that entity here.


         



      

Companies and government agencies who are threatened by information also seem to be employing an “army of bloggers, surrogates, trolls, and bots on Twitter, Facebook, and by email” (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.) to try and sway discussion and brainwash people. We here at Collective Evolution have been experiencing them as well.


The world knows why the hunt for Julian Assange was ongoing for so long, it’s because he leaked secrets and exposed those who keep them. He exposed the lies, corruption and deceit that represents the backbone of the Western military alliance and the American empire. He exposed, in the words of John F. Hylan, former Mayor of New York City, the “real menace of Republic”, the “invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.” He exposes the ones “who virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.” (source)(source)


He exposed immoral and unethical actions that have no justification — he is a hero.


The same thing goes for National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden who leaked classified documents regarding the scope of the US governments surveillance programs, which is and was huge. He is and was not the first, William Binney did the same, along with Thomas Drake and many others.




Keep in mind that this is a global mass surveillance program. Snowden recently released a book about it, and more.


In the book, Snowden goes into great detail about how he risked everything to expose the US government’s system of mass surveillance. In it, he reveals the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to bring it down.


Mass surveillance, facial recognition, etc., are justified by the national security state for the purposes of combating terrorism, for example. But, what does the connection between terrorist organizations and the US government say about these programs? If the US government itself, or factions of it, are arming these terrorists, creating them, and carrying out false flag events and blaming them on terrorism in order to justify infiltration of a country for ulterior motives as well as a heightened the national security state which involves mass surveillance, this means that their justification for these programs is a complete lie. So what’s the real reason for them?






This is well known, a few years ago current democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard introduced the Stop Arming Terrorist Act, which would stop the U.S. government from using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups who are allied with and supporting groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in their war to overthrow the Syrian government. (source)


As far as false flag terrorist attacks go, many believe the chemical gas attacks in Syria were orchestrated by the Western military alliance in order to justify the infiltration of the country. The evidence for this is quite grand. 9/11 is another example many people believe was false flag terrorism.


‘Protecting National Security’ has now become an umbrella term to justify immoral and unethical actions.


Perhaps Snowden’s book sheds light on that. I have yet to read it.


William Binney is a former high-ranking intelligence official with the National Security Agency (NSA). He’s had quite the go, starting in 2002 when he let the public know of a system ( ‘Trailblazer’) intended to analyze data carried on communication networks (like the Internet). He exposed the agencies eavesdropping program and has faced harassment from the FBI, NSA and more. He has been in and out of the court room ever since he decided to resign and blow the whistle.




American Natural Superfood - Free Sample



Binney hasn’t stopped and is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever come out of the NSA. He is now saying:


At least 80% of fibre optic cables globally go via the US, this is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores. The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control. (source)


The Takeaway


At the end of the day, the US government suing the publisher of Snowden’s book is only bringing more attention to the truth of mass censorship and that this global elite is losing power. The more the global elite respond the way they are, like the mass censorship of information, alternative independent media outlets being shut down, and jailing people like Julian Assange, the more they hurt their own interests… which is inspiring for humanity as we awaken.


Also See from Activist Post: 21 Books The Ruling Elite Doesn’t Want You to Read



Arjun Walia — I joined the CE team in 2010 shortly after finishing university and have been grateful for the fact that I have been able to do this ever since

16

      

By Mac Slavo


For the first time, the U.S. Navy has acknowledged that the three UFO videos that were released by former Blink-182 singer Tom DeLonge and published by The New York Times are of real “unidentified” objects.  The U.S. government is finally, albeit slowly, acknowledging that there may be non-man-made objects flying around Earth.


“The Navy considers the phenomena contained/depicted in those three videos as unidentified,” Navy spokesman Joseph Gradisher told The Black Vault, a website dedicated to declassified government documents. Gradisher added that “the ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’ terminology is used because it provides the basic descriptor for the sightings/observations of unauthorized/unidentified aircraft/objects that have been observed entering/operating in the airspace of various military-controlled training ranges.”


         



      

The videos in question, known as “FLIR1,” “Gimbal” and “GoFast,” were originally released to the New York Times and to The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA). In December 2017, Fox News reported that the Pentagon had secretly set up a program to investigate UFOs at the request of former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.


In June 2019, Reid, now retired, expressed his desire for lawmakers to hold public hearings into what the military knows. “They would be surprised how the American public would accept it,” he said during a wide-ranging interview with a Nevada radio station. “People from their individual states would accept it.”


The first video of the unidentified object was taken on Nov. 14, 2004, and shot by the F-18’s gun camera. The second video was taken on Jan. 21, 2015, and shows another aerial vehicle with pilots commenting on how strange it is. The third video was also taken on Jan. 21, 2015, but it is unclear whether the third video was of the same object or a different one. –Fox News



“I very much expected that when the U.S. military addressed the videos, they would coincide with language we see on official documents that have now been released, and they would label them as ‘drones’ or ‘balloons,’” said John Greenwald Jr., the publisher of The Black Vault. Speaking to Vice, Greenwald further told the news outlet:


However, they did not. They went on the record stating the ‘phenomena’ depicted in those videos, is ‘unidentified.’ That really made me surprised, intrigued, excited and motivated to push harder for the truth.



This article was sourced from SHTFplan.com


Image credit: Pixabay


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17

      

By Sam Jacobs



Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice.


Arcesilaus, Greek philosopher and student of Plato on power and personal sovereignty

There’s no two ways about it: The United States of America and its 50 state governments love putting people in prison.


The U.S. has both the highest number of prisoners and the highest per capita incarceration rate in the modern world at 655 adults per 100,000. (It’s worth noting that China’s incarceration statistics are dubious, and they execute far more people than the United States. Indeed, the so-called People’s Republic executes more people annually than the rest of the world combined.)  Still, that’s more than 2.2 million Americans in state and federal prisons as well as county jails.


On top of those currently serving time, 4.7 million Americans were on parole in 2016, or about one in 56. These numbers do not include people on probation, which raises the number to one in 35. Nor does it include all of the Americans who have been arrested at one time or another, which is over 70 million – more than the population of France.


         



      

For firearm owners in particular, the growth in this “prison-industrial complex” is troubling because felons are forbidden from owning firearms and ammunition under the 1968 Gun Control Act. As the number of laws has grown and the cultural shift for police has gone from a focus on keeping the peace to enforcing the law, more and more Americans are being stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights (not to mention other civil rights like voting – as of 2017, 6.1 million Americans cannot vote because of their criminal records). All told, eight percent of all Americans cannot own firearms because of a felony conviction.


For American society as a whole, the prison-industrial complex has created a perverse incentive structure. Bad laws drive out respect for good laws because there are just so many laws (not to mention rules, regulations, and other prohibitions used by federal prosecutors to pin crimes on just about anyone). How did we get here?


History of Incarceration in the U.S.

The Prison-Industrial Complex: How a Profiting Prison Industry is Disarming AmericaUnited States law is, of course, based on English common law. Thus, no history of incarceration in the United States can start without first discussing the history of incarceration in the Kingdom of England and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain.


The prevailing notion of where crime came from in the old country and the colonies was idleness. Punishments often involved sending criminals to workhouses, which were quite distinct from the prisons we know today. Rehabilitation and reform weren’t strong currents in the English and later British penal system until the 1700s. Reformers sought to improve the criminal and to make him not want to offend.


Another historical fact worth noting is that incarceration is a relatively recent innovation in punishment. Historically, criminals were punished by shaming, corporal punishment, mutilation, exile and death. The purpose was generally not to make the criminal better, but to deter him from offending again while simultaneously providing the community with some awareness of his crimes for the purpose of allowing them to take measures to protect themselves (for example, branding a “B” on the forehead of a burglar). Where criminals were incarcerated, it was generally a temporary measure prior to trial or post-trial punishment, not a punishment in and of itself.


Remember, a significant portion of early American settlers were convict laborers. This convict labor was not incarcerated, but rather freely mingled with the general population. For the safety of the non-criminal elements, they had to be quickly and easily identified. However, the early American colonies were in no position to expend resources to house, feed and clothe criminals who were not providing productive labor – which is why incarceration made about as much sense as cutting off a criminal’s hand. Only four types of criminals were prohibited from being shipped across the ocean from England: murderers, rapists, burglars, and witches.


Prison became the primary means of punishment for felonies in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Two systems emerged: One where prisoners were incarcerated alone and another where they were incarcerated in groups. For what it’s worth, most prisons were in the North. Throughout the South, crime was largely viewed as a northern problem. Rather than prison, the Antebellum South relied heavily on extra-judicial violence and honor culture to keep their crime rates low.






Prison labor has been a feature of prisons going back to days of English and British colonial rule. However, the convict lease system changed this qualitatively in the late 1880s. This is when prisons began to be paid for the labor of their convicts. Many times, convicts were put to work on plantations. Building railroads and coal mining were other common uses of convict labor during this period. Death rates were high. In Alabama, a full 40 percent of convicts used for leased labor died in 1870.


The convict lease system gradually died out. However, it was replaced with systems not terribly distinct from convict labor. The chain gangs and prison farms closely identified with southern punishment throughout the 20th Century are examples of what began to replace the convict lease system. While there were rumblings about bringing back the chain gang system in the 1990s, it never amounted to much.


Overcriminalization = Less Civil Liberties

The Prison-Industrial Complex: How a Profiting Prison Industry is Disarming AmericaOne of the fundamental principles underpinning our Constitutional republic is that the citizenry should not accept “trust me” as an answer from the federal government. Yet in one of our most Orwellian of federal departments – the Department of Homeland Security – a surveillance state is growing as our private information “trusted” to the government is used against us.


This surveillance state is made possible by Fusion Centers, police intelligence agencies that allow different police agencies to share intelligence with one another. It is, in effect, the intelligence-gathering method of the burgeoning police state. And the information gathered, received, analyzed and disseminated by local and state police agencies is then shared with the federal government.


Fusion Centers aren’t the only way police surveil citizens. Cell-site simulator devices – known as Stingrays – mimic wireless carrier cell towers to connect to nearby mobile phones and cell data devices. These controversial devices can extract data, intercept communications, conduct denial-of-service attacks, find encryption keys, and more. It’s a serious threat to Americans’ privacy and civil liberties, first conceived during the War on Terror and now trickled down to local police departments and their militarized approach to enforcing the law.


Of course, while we’re assured that protections are being made for privacy and civil liberties, there is very little reason to trust the federal government – including the growing number of vague laws.




American Natural Superfood - Free Sample



It’s easy to blame the War on Some Drugs as the reason for the explosion in the prison population; however, this is simply not an adequate explanation. The real reason is a broad expansion in the total number of laws on the book and the vague manner in which they are written. What’s more, the concept of intent has largely disappeared from our national legal lexicon, meaning that simple mistakes are often enough to land a person in prison.


66-year-old George Norris provides a case study. He was greeted by three pickup trucks filled with six officers outfitted in flak jackets. He was held for four hours while the police searched his house, eventually seizing 37 boxes of his things with neither warrant nor explanation. He was indicted for orchid smuggling under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and for (what else) making false statements to an officer for a simple paperwork error. While being held for trial, he shared a cell with an accused murderer. He was facing five years for the original charge and five years for conspiracy. Because he couldn’t afford his legal bills, he plead guilty and was sentenced to 17 months in prison.


Another broad example is civil-contempt imprisonment. This is where people are put in jail or prison for failure to, for example, respond to a bench warrant for an unpaid parking ticket. This is what Anthony W. Florence was arrested for while riding as a passenger in his family’s car with proof that he had paid the tickets. He spent seven days in jail where he was strip searched twice. Guards also watched him shower and subjected him to a delousing. People have also been imprisoned for failing to pay debts in accordance with court-ordered settlements, which carries the specter of the return of debtors’ prisons with it.


Continue reading Locked Up: How the Prison Industrial Complex Puts So Many Americans in Jail at Ammo.com.


This article was sourced from The Daily Bell


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18

      

By Kurt Nimmo


First up, we have the neocon windup clown, Senator Marco Rubio.




Not to worry, Marco—the Saudis are on it.


         



      

No, wait. Early today the Saudis produced a pile of junk and said it came from Iranian drones and missiles.




From the BBC:



The Saudi defense ministry briefing said the wreckage showed the attacks were “unquestionably sponsored by Iran”.


Spokesman Turki al-Malki showed off what was said to be a delta wing of an Iranian UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) along with other weapons debris.





He said that 18 UAVs had been fired at the Abqaiq oil facility and seven cruise missile had been fired at the Khurais oilfield, three of which had fallen short of the target.


This assemblage of junk put on display for the media proves absolutely nothing.


Regardless, it will be used by the medieval kingdom and US neocons to blame Iran.


In response to the charred collection of metal, Donald the Clueless decided to impose yet another round of sanctions designed to punish the people of Iran.




Col. Al-Maliki thinks you’re an idiot—and you are if you believe Iran is the top sponsor of terror in the world. That designation is reserved for Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel.




We’re told Iran supports the “terrorism” of Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Palestinian groups, including Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.


Let’s not forget that Hamas was shepherded by Israel. Back in the day, the Zionists figured they could defeat the PLO by nurturing Palestinian Islamists. After the so-called Six Day War, Israel released Sheikh Ahmed Yassin from prison. Yassin went about building Hamas in the 1980s. The Israelis subsequently assassinated the wheelchair-bound imam with a Hellfire missile fired from a US-manufactured Apache helicopter.


History Commons:


David Shipler, a former New York Times reporter, later recounts that he was told by the military governor of the Gaza Strip, Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev, that the Israeli government had financed the Islamic movement to counteract the PLO and the communists. According to Martha Kessler, a senior analyst for the CIA, “we saw Israel cultivate Islam as a counterweight to Palestinian nationalism”… Yassin also receives funding from business leaders in Saudi Arabia who are also hostile to the secular PLO for religious reasons. The Saudi government, however, steps in and attempts to halt the private funds going to Yassin, because they view him as a tool of Israel.




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As for Hezbollah, we never get a straight answer from the corporate propaganda media. If we follow the “news,” it appears Hezbollah came out of nowhere with a psychopathic desire to kill Americans and Israelis.


Brookings and others claim Hezbollah is an Iranian “export.”


Hezbollah’s methods have evolved as its military and political powers and sophistication have expanded since the mid-1980s, with Lebanon itself rather than American citizens now held hostage. But then as now, Hezbollah serves as the most successful, and the most deadly, export of the 1979 Iranian revolution.


This completely ignores the fact Hezbollah came together in southern Lebanon after Israel invaded the country. Consider the following from the neocon-tinged and humanitarian interventionist “non-partisan” globalist think tank:


Enmeshed in poverty and high rates of illiteracy, Shiite peasants concentrated in the south also suffered disproportionately from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) attacked Israel from southern Lebanon, and the Israelis retaliated in kind. Given years of PLO abuses, Shiite residents of the south briefly welcomed the 1982 Israeli invasion, although Israeli tactics quickly alienated them, driving thousands from ancestral villages to the slums of Beirut’s impoverished southern suburbs.


Samia A. Halaby provides perspective, not that we should expect the “Newspaper of Record,” The New York Times, to tell us the truth about the Hezbollah self-defense organization.


I think residents of the southern Lebanon, of Palestine, and Iraq, especially the poorer ones and the working class are tired—way, way beyond feeling that this is ‘unfair’. We have suffered US/Israel behavior since way before 1948. Hezbollah is resistance to this historic attack.


The formation of Hezbollah is a direct result of Israel’s 1978 invasion of Lebanon (Operation Litani) and the 1982 civil war in Lebanon.


The Academic website cites Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh (The Path Of Hizbullah):


The Israelis killed more than one thousand civilian Shiites, leading to a mass exodus of yet more Shiites refugees to the Beirut slums. Israel’s 1982 invasion and occupation of Lebanon bolstered the fortunes of Hizbullah by “providing a politic-military environment that legitimated the group and gave a rationale for its guerrilla warfare. Similarly, the presence of the Western foreign troops in Lebanon, particularly of the U.S. Marines, also boosted the fortunes of Hezbollah, which considered fighting such forces to be as legitimate as fighting the Israeli occupation.”


Is it possible self-defense forces would be organized in Washington State if Chinese troops landed at the Port of Grays Harbor? If US citizens were shelled, massacred, and taken prisoner as thousands of Shia Lebanese were, do you think there might be an uprising and “terrorist attacks” on the invaders?


If Americans suffered like the Shia of southern Lebanon did—particularly those tortured (including children) at the Khiam detention center—wouldn’t resistance and retribution be justified?


19

      

By Tyler Durden


The attack on a Saudi Arabia oil facility, now being blamed on Iran, which caused crude oil futures to spike more than 10% to start the week is likely going to start hitting consumers at the pump over the next couple of days, according to Bloomberg.


Despite retail gasoline futures jumping as much as 20 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange early in the week, the average US retail gasoline gallon rose just 1 cent since Sunday. But the impact of futures rising will become more pronounced over the next day or two, according to Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.


The shift in prices at the pump will come after gasoline distributors adjust their prices to match gains in futures and regional spot markets, he says.


An increase of about 15 cents to 30 cents per gallon in the United States is going to be likely over the next several days while Saudi Arabia works to get production back up to speed.


         



      

Source: Bloomberg




Despite the huge move higher at the beginning of the week, where crude futures ran through the $63 mark, they have since pared gains and are trading at around $59 late in the day on Tuesday – still about 10% higher than prior to the weekend.



Source: Bloomberg



President Trump also said on Tuesday that it wasn’t going to be necessary to release oil from the Nation’s Strategic Reserves:


“I don’t think we need to. Oil has not gone up very much,” Trump told reporters Tuesday aboard Air Force One as he traveled to California for a series of fundraisers. “There’s a lot of oil in the world.”


As Trump is likely well aware, any type of prolonged increase in gas prices could keep low- and middle-income voters from the polls during election time, according to Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners in Washington.


Book continued:


No voter has ever been happy about a price increase. They might not vote for the other party, but they might not get off the couch if they are pissed off.


The potential for rising gas prices comes at a time during the year when winter grade gasoline, which is cheaper to make, usually sends prices lower. AAA had predicted $2 dollar gasoline in the US South this fall, where it is generally cheapest in the nation.


DeHaan concluded: “Right now you are seeing the stations rushing to get those tanks full. And those who are not able to fill up will be confronted with having to pay extra later.”



This article was sourced from ZeroHedge.com


Image credit: Pixabay


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20

      

By Michael Snyder


For the very first time since the last financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has been forced to conduct an emergency intervention in the repo market.  I know that a lot of people out there don’t know what the repo market is or how it works, and so let me start out with a very basic analogy that may help people understand what we are facing.


It doesn’t really matter how shiny your toilet is – if the pipes underneath don’t work, you are in a whole lot of trouble.  The repo market plays a critical role in our financial system, because it allows our banks to rapidly borrow money, and that money is often used to purchase financial instruments such as Treasury bonds.  But this week interest rates in the repo market started to shoot up to frightening levels, and the Federal Reserve was forced to intervene for the first time since the financial crisis of 2008.  The following comes from Yahoo News…



The New York Federal Reserve Bank on Tuesday stepped into financial markets for the first time in more than a decade to keep interest rates in line with the Fed’s target.


Analysts say the operation appears to have been successful but it caused some jitters, coming as the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee opens a two-day meeting expected to produce a second cut in the benchmark lending rate.



         



      

This is essentially a form of “quantitative easing”, and many are concerned that this temporary intervention will not fix the larger problems that have resulted in this crisis.


And of course officials at the Fed probably never imagined that they would be intervening so soon, but they were compelled to make a move when interest rates started to spiral wildly out of control on Monday and Tuesday…


The rate on overnight repurchase agreements hit 5% on Monday, according to Refinitiv data. That’s up from 2.29% late last week and well above the target range set in July by the Federal Reserve, which is 2% to 2.25%. The surge continued Tuesday, with the overnight rate hitting a high of 10% before the NY Fed stepped in.


An “overnight repo operation” was hastily put together as interest rates soared, and it ultimately resulted in 53 billion dollars being injected into our financial system…



On Tuesday morning, the NY Fed launched what’s called an “overnight repo operation,” during which the central bank attempts to ease pressure in markets by purchasing Treasurys and other securities. The goal is to pump money into the system to keep borrowing costs from creeping above the Fed’s target range .


The first attempt by the NY Fed was canceled because of “technical difficulties.” Minutes later, the NY Fed successfully injected $53 billion into the system.



And guess what?


The Fed has already announced that they are going to do it again on Wednesday, and this time the goal will be to inject approximately 75 billion dollars into the system.


If that sounds absurd to you, that is because it is absurd.


Sadly, the truth is that our financial system is starting to show signs of serious distress for the first time in more than a decade, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.


But everyone agrees that the Fed being forced to intervene in the marketplace is not a good sign.  In fact, one industry veteran said that it “is without a doubt one of the worst things that can happen”…



If the plumbing doesn’t work, then it’s going to dramatically affect secondary trading of Treasuries. Which is the last thing they need when there’s massive issuance going on.






This is without a doubt one of the worst things that can happen. In many respects it overshadows the Fed moving tomorrow, because if the plumbing doesn’t work everything starts to break down. Everything is predicated upon your getting a reasonable funding rate. Otherwise why would you buy this paper to begin with. If you’re funding your overnight position at 6 why would you buy a 10-year at 2?



And now that the Fed has begun to intervene, when will they be able to stop?


Will they have to keep doing it for the rest of the week?


And what happens if interest rates begin to go wild again next week or next month?


In essence, Pandora’s Box has now been opened, and things could get really crazy moving forward.  According to Zero Hedge, if this currently repo operation is not sufficient to calm things down, the Fed could soon formally launch a new quantitative easing program…



While the Fed did not disclose how many banks participated in the operation, it is safe to say it was a sizable number. Worse, the result from today’s unexpected repo operation, we can now conclude that in addition to $1.3 trillion in ‘excess reserves’, a Fed which is now cutting rates and will cut rates by 25bps tomorrow, the US financial system somehow found itself with a liquidity shortfall of $53 billion that almost paralyzed the interbank funding market.


Oh, and for those wondering why the Fed did a repo, the answer is simple: it did not want to launch QE just yet. But make no mistake, once repo is insufficient, the Fed will have no choice but to escalate to the next step which is open market purchases.


Which brings us to the bigger question of how long such overnight repos will satisfy the market, and how long before the next repo rate spike prompts the Fed to do the inevitable, and restart QE.



Of course, quantitative easing is something that should never be done unless we have a major crisis on our hands, and with each passing day it is becoming clearer that the global economy is headed for enormous trouble.  In fact, we just received some more alarming news about global manufacturing…





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The gloom of the world is centered around auto manufacturing, which is dragging on the global economy, fuelling fears that a worldwide trade recession has already begun.


The first domino to fall has been auto manufacturing, already hitting a near-record low in August, reported the Financial Times.


New data from IHS Markit global car industry purchasing managers’ index shows some of the sharpest declines across all sectors, not seen since 2009.


It is time to “batten down the hatches”, because rough weather is ahead.


Over and over again we keep seeing trouble signs that we haven’t seen since the last financial crisis, but most Americans still seem convinced that everything is going to be okay.


This move by the Fed is one of the biggest red flags yet, but I have a feeling that what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.



About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.


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