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21
Huffington Post General Discussion / Why Do People Hate the Engine of Progress?
« Last post by administrator on February 21, 2019, 02:39:29 AM »

      

Op-Ed by Stefan Kløvning


Can you list up all the ways that the world has improved since the Industrial Revolution? I think one hardly can, though one could get very far trying. We’re enjoying living standards that were unimaginable to the people of the 19th century: twice as high life expectancy; an abundance of new goods and services that have transformed our lives radically through innovation; luxury goods have become commonplace; the poverty rate has plummeted, and so on. I cannot see any way that one can look at the data and honestly conclude that things on a net basis have gotten worse since then, though it didn’t come about completely without a sacrifice (see: creative destruction).


There has been no single person – or a few people – that coordinated economies towards such progress. Such attempts made during the 20th century by Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot and others failed miserably and collectively left a legacy of over a hundred million deaths, systematized famines, and placing a halt on their peoples’ freedoms, happiness and potential for innovation. These failures were the result of total state intervention in the private and economic activities of its citizens. Their desires, wishes and hopes – all stomped by rulers with visions of the perfect world, damned be whoever got in their way.


         



      

Leonard Read made a brilliant illustration of this in his essay I, Pencil [1, 2]. A pencil looks rather small and simple, but, Read emphasizes, “if you can understand me [the pencil]—no, that’s too much to ask of anyone—if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing.” For what is needed to make a pencil? You certainly need wood, so somebody will have to cut down a tree, for which saws, trucks, ropes, etc. are needed, each of which are the result of further activities, such as mining ores, making steel, and so on. And the workers cutting down the trees naturally need some food and drinks to nurture themselves at work, which has its own history and thus become part of the process of creating a pencil. Talking for the pencil, Read therefore says, “it impossible for me to name and explain all my antecedents” and that “millions of human beings have had a hand in my creation, no one of whom even knows more than a very few of the others.”


I, Pencil, am a complex combination of miracles: a tree, zinc, copper, graphite, and so on. But to these miracles which manifest themselves in Nature an even more extraordinary miracle has been added: the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human masterminding! Since only God can make a tree, I insist that only God could make me. Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring me into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree.


Adam Smith referred to this phenomenon by saying that people were “led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.” Others have called it “spontaneous order”. “By pursuing his own interest”, Smith then says, “he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.”


This can explain a great deal of how the economy works and produces the great abundance of goods and services that we have access to, but we’re still missing a major piece of the puzzle – that which I call the “engine of progress”. For there are prerequisites that must not be impaired if one wishes spontaneous order to create prosperity through economic freedom. Dictators are unable to efficiently coordinate the economic activity through force, but the market actually still require coordinators.


The real coordinators in the economy are the entrepreneurs and business owners. It is they who have to coordinate the factors of production – land, labor and capital – in order to produce goods and services which the public desires. It is they who innovate and thereby contribute to great progress for their contemporary society, either through self-interest by trying to out-compete their competitors or through an altruistic vision of human progress – or both. Most workers, that is, those who are not self-employed, have to rely upon them in order to get a job and earn a living, and thus be guided by the invisible hand to the benefit of society.


Despite entrepreneurs and business owners playing such an essential role in the progress we have seen since the Industrial Revolution, they are subjected to constant critique and condemnation. This is especially seen from Socialists, who label employer-employee relationships for “wage slavery” and accuse employers for “exploiting” their workers. The choice of the worker is either to work or to die, they say, and insist that the power imbalance therefore means that the exchange between labor and wages can hardly be called voluntary and consensual. It is therefore necessary, they say (even self-proclaimed “Anarcho-Communists”), that the government interferes and places restrictions and conditions which the employer must follow in order to be able to hire them. This, they say, will ensure that the worker will enjoy a “livable wage” and a “tolerable environment.”


Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to have a conviction in a variety of the argument mentioned above, or at least find it more or less plausible. But as Henry Hazlitt asserts in Economics In One Lesson (p. 118), “you cannot make a man worth a given amount by making it illegal for anyone to offer him anything less.” I think that most of the sentiment for the argument is actually more rooted in entitlement and ingratitude than any legitimate philosophical meditation. Thomas E. Woods particularly emphasizes this in his talk with the telling title “Socialists and Other Grotesque Ingrates”. The opportunity of a job and the source of revenue that the worker derives from it is simply taken for granted. A job, they say, is a “human right”, and not just any kind of job – it must also pass the criteria that the activists acclaim in order to be legitimate. Any employer who offers anything less gets vilified, despite what contributions they may have made to their community. The concept of human rights from natural rights were from Franklin Roosevelt and onward thereby turned on its head. Rather than being understood as “a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context,” as Ayn Rand defined it, it is now used to justify that the government interferes with and impairs others’ freedom to exchange and being able to keep the product of one’s labor for the gain of oneself or one’s interest group. The results? The exact people that the activists claimed to fight for are the ones harmed the most by the policies they advocated.




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“But,” the Socialists will object, “the employer does not allow his employees to keep the full product of his labor, which is seen by the fact that the former exploits some of it in the form of profits.” I addressed this in my book review of Ludwig von Mises’ book “Profit and Loss”, but I’ll repeat some important points again here.


First of all, it’s important to understand what “profits” and “losses” mean. “Profit,” according to Investopedia, is “a financial benefit that is realized when the amount of revenue gained from a business activity exceeds the expenses, costs and taxes needed to sustain the activity.” Simply said,  profits can mathematically be understood as Revenue minus Expenses when the result is positive, and losses when it is negative. The revenue here is the source of income that the business earns by selling the goods and services it produces to its customers. Those goods and services are the result of, as mentioned earlier, the business owner mixing the factors of production (land, labor and capital), which constitute the expenses of the business. He needs a facility or several facilities for the production to take place in, machines and other capital meant for producing certain goods, and naturally also workers to operate them. The employer is the one who must organize all of this, but the effort required to do that is by itself actually not the real reason why profits exist. Mises explains,


What makes profit emerge is the fact that the entrepreneur who judges the future prices of the products more correctly than other people do buys some or all of the factors of production at prices which, seen from the point of view of the future state of the market, are too low.


In other words, for the entrepreneur to achieve profits (without state intervention), he has to structure the factors of production in a way that produces, in the aggregate, higher value for its customers than it had cost for the entrepreneur to buy in and coordinate to produce it. In light of this, I think it should be clear that Marx’ claim that “capital begets profits” automatically is unbelievably absurd and fallacious.


Even with all this understood, however, the Socialist (and even Social Democrats) could respond by pointing to the fact that the employer likely will seek to pay his workers as little as possible. This may indeed be the case, in the same way that you as a consumer would like to buy goods and services as cheaply as possible. But the (potential) employee most likely wouldn’t have taken the job if it wasn’t the best alternative that he was aware of. In a competitive market, very few people would actually want to work for wages far lower than what the worker would contribute to the business. To attract workers towards one’s own business and away from one’s competitors, therefore, employers are incentivized to set wages closer and closer to the value that they contribute to the business, lest they leave for some other employer who would value their competence more. Even if it was the case that all or most employers were purely self-interested and didn’t really care about their workers, which in itself is an unreasonable assumption, then they would still have to pay workers by their merit in order to make their business remain competitive.




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The most reliable way that real wages rise from there, which is not the result of coercion, is that of increased worker productivity by investing in more capital and innovating so that the workers are able to work faster and more efficiently with the tasks they’re ascribed to. With the competence one gains over time in the job, one can also potentially climb up the hierarchy and achieve higher positions. From lower to middle class, and maybe even the upper class!


The solution to alternatives that are perceived as bad, I say, is to open up for more alternatives, by making the markets more free and competitive by lowering tax rates, decreasing regulations, and by rolling back systematic barriers to entry which make it more difficult for small new businesses to compete. Sweatshop jobs don’t become middle class jobs by a swing of legislation, but through innovation and economic progress (see: Causes to the Reduction of Child Labor During the Industrial Revolution). Do you really want to take away the best alternatives from the people you proclaim to champion? Or do you just not see them as reasonable enough to make the right decisions for themselves, and that they are in need of an enlightened overlord like yourself or others of your persuasion to coordinate their activities? If people want to refer to people with such a sentiment as having “good intentions”, then I perceive it at best as either just naïve or short-sighted and at its worst as delusional.


You know best for yourself what you want. Though you (and I!) may not always make the best decisions for your own well-being, I certainly trust you more with making the right decisions for yourself than some power-hungry politicians and bureaucrats. In my view, no one is truly competent or moral enough to hold such positions over other peoples’ lives.


Footnotes



If you don’t have time to read it, check out Milton Friedman’s 2.5-minute video about it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67tHtpac5ws

For more commentary on this essay and Read’s point, check out FEE’s series of articles on it: https://fee.org/resources/10-essays-celebrating-60-years-of-i-pencil/


Stefan M. Kløvning is a Norwegian high school student studying economics in his spare time, with aspirations of eventually taking a PhD in economics and afterward contributing to growth in the private sector. He’s a follower of the Austrian School of Economics, drawing inspiration mainly from Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, and blogs regularly about thoughts on a variety of topics, mainly economics and politics, but also philosophy, psychology and history.


This article was republished with permission from MisesRevived.


Image credit: Pixabay


   
            


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22
Huffington Post General Discussion / What I Mean By“The Left Is Going INSANE”
« Last post by administrator on February 21, 2019, 02:28:33 AM »

      

By Tim Pool


I made a video about the left being overrun by far left and leftist insanity a few weeks ago but wanted to go in depth on several instances I think exemplify why I feel the left has become insane.


From science denial, extreme social justice hysteria, banning people from banks, staging hoaxes, and the media piling onto kids there have been several moments in recent history that have not been called out by the mainstream left. To the contrary, establishment left has been ignoring often defending the insane behavior from the regressive left and letting it run wild. Intersectional feminist has become prevalent in the Democratic party and now they advocate for extreme positions or even target people with outright physical intimidation.


         



      


#FarLeft#TheLeft#RegressiveLeft


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23

      

By Jon Miltimore


The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that state and local governments are subject to constitutional prohibitions on “excessive fines” on citizens.


This decision will provide Americans robust constitutional protection against exorbitant fines imposed by local governments.


“For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote. “Excessive fines can be used, for example, to retaliate against or chill the speech of political enemies. . . . Even absent a political motive, fines may be employed in a measure out of accord with the penal goals of retribution and deterrence.”


The ruling is a big win for property rights. Civil asset forfeiture is a widespread and unjust practice that often affects the most vulnerable people in American society.


The Supreme Court’s ruling won’t end the practice, but it will limit the abuse. The rest of the work will be left up to states and local governments.


As I recently noted, 11 states—California, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, and Vermont—have laws that prevent law enforcement from seizing property from people who have not been convicted of a crime. Three states—North Carolina, New Mexico, and Nebraska—have abolished civil forfeiture entirely.


You can read more about the practice here:



Asset Forfeiture Isn’t about Crime. It’s about the Money. This Is How We Can Tell
I Called Police for Help and They Stole My Car: My Brush with Civil Asset Forfeiture
We’d Return Your Seized Property, Except We Already Sold It



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]


This article was sourced from FEE.org


   
24

      

By Catherine J. Frompovich


Ever since I learned from physicians with whom I was working in the late 1980s about Mothers complaining to them that their child got a vaccine and hasn’t been the same since, I’ve been on the vaccine trail trying to decipher the best I could from published vaccine research ‘science’, journals, vaccine package inserts, plus thousands of VAERS reports and other corroborating documents such as the HHS HRSA payouts for vaccine damage claims (over $4 Billion to date Pg.9) and explicit “before and after” photographs and videos showing children are being damaged after receiving shots, especially certain multivalent  vaccines.


I’m not the only person who has been on such a campaign, but I was one of the very first healthcare professionals to start bringing attention to the matter.  The coalition I directed published a huge file on vaccine information for parents, which contained everything to date we could find during that time.


         



      

For healthcare professionals, especially those who were not born before the 1960s, it is my opinion you have a learning curve to undertake, since you have been taught in med school how to castrate the innate immune system Nature provides, and substitute it with Big Pharma’s reprogramming body chemistry to make the humoral system the body’s prime immune system, which, quite frankly, is “ass backwards.”



Humoral immunity or humoural immunity is the aspect of immunity that is mediated by macromolecules found in extracellular fluids such as secreted antibodies, complement proteins, and certain antimicrobial peptides. Humoral immunity is so named because it involves substances found in the humors, or body fluids.


Source: Wikipedia



Humoral immunity kicks in after the Nature-given Innate Immune System does its job, which would mean life-long immunity regarding transmittable infections and maybe some viruses.


Why do CDC-FDA-Pharma ‘love’ deliberately restructuring (castrating) the natural immune system of the human body? 


Because they feel (actually believe!) they have verifiable proof of antigen responses, which neurotoxic aluminum and other toxic chemicals DO provide, and, in their opinion, indicates immunity.  Ha,ha,ha!


Because you can take a blood test to find antigens, those antigens also can cause cytokine storms in the brain, thereby short-circuiting all biological systems, but still there’s proof of humoral immunity, which they want to call “herd immunity” or “community immunity.”



Cytokine storm causes. When the immune system is fighting pathogens, cytokines signal immune cells such as T-cells and macrophages to travel to the site of infection. In addition, cytokines activate those cells, stimulating them to produce more cytokines.


Source: Sino Biological





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Thus, there’s the profitable need for booster shots into old age.  However, that ‘preventive health care’ ideology provides an accelerated pace for conditions such as ASIA Syndrome (Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants) to proliferate.  Below are well-documented vaccine-induced autoimmune diseases.


Vaccination and autoimmune diseases: is prevention of adverse health effects on the horizon?EMPA Journal, July 20, 2017


Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5607155/


*HBV, Hepatitis B vaccine
BCG, a tuberculosis vaccine
HIB, Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine
MMR, Measles, Mumps & Rubella vaccine


However, what vaccines really are doing is implementing an excellent “business model” for guaranteeing life-long pharmaceutical and prescription-drug users from cradle to grave!




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Furthermore, a couple of generations of children born to Mothers who have been vaccinated for all the recommended diseases, no longer can pass on to their fetuses, and newborns in their breast milk, the natural immunity factors those who are not vaccinated can, due to their innate immunity!


Need statistical proof of what I say above?


Attorney Alan Phillips provided the following charts, which ought to cause “shock and awe” among parents, health departments everywhere, and even at HHS-CDC-FDA if they are open to factual science, not consensus fraudulent science.


Note, the above figure currently is over US$4Billion


Is there such a thing as correlation can be equated with causation?


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


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


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


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


Catherine’s NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities ©2016 Catherine J Frompovich is now available


   
            


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25

      

By Brandon Smith


Establishment elites have always had a predilection for regime change. Obviously, this strategy helps weed out nation states that might be uncooperative with their future plans for a fully centralized global economic and political order. We have also seen regime change occur when former puppet leaders go rogue and refuse to follow the script they have been given. Most of these men have acted as dictators and are not very empathetic public figures, so we rarely care when they get overthrown or murdered. That said, there are always wider implications to such events.


I believe the reasons for regime change and the destabilization of particular countries have evolved in recent years. In the past it was about bringing each country under the new world order umbrella. Today, the goal seems to be an attempt to create points of global contention. That is to say, the elites want to draw much of the world into various forms of conflict, and they are using special regions of the globe as nexus points for these conflicts.


Syria was and still is one of those nexus points. The transmutation of Syria began as an extension of the Arab Spring. Western funded and organized coups in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt inspired even more extremism as well as a vast flow of black market military grade armaments. The CIA under the Obama Administration in particular took advantage of this chaos to fill training camps in Jordan with “moderate rebels”, the same rebels that would go on to launch ISIS and start a civil war in Syria.


         



      

While the billion dollar program to arm and supply Syrian rebel groups, many of which were closely tied to ISIS, was finally “officially ended” under the Trump administration in 2017, more covert US support continued for these groups as well support for Israeli incursions into sovereign Syrian air space.


Syria has had the potential to draw multiple nations into close and hostile proximity with each other, including the US, Russia, Israel and Iran. This was not a mistake, it was entirely deliberate.


I warned of the potential exploitation of Syria as a global point of contention for years before the actual insurgency took place because of the unique military alliances in the region. The only reason Syria has not yet been exploited to its full potential is because of the effective exposure of the conspiracy by the alternative media. The establishment push to use American troops to help ISIS extremists overthrow Bashar al-Assad presidency was thwarted. The mainstream media originally portrayed ISIS groups as courageous clean cut rebels fighting for freedom. This ended after the alternative media flooded the web with evidence of rebel led genocide and atrocities.


Had the American public and American troops been tricked into even deeper involvement in Syria as well as helping ISIS overthrow Assad, this could have potentially pushed us into direct confrontation with either Russia or Iran or both. We would be seen as the villains, supporting monsters as they commit war crimes in the name of an ideology many Americans despise.


Those unfamiliar with the concept of the False East/West Paradigm will probably be at a loss as to why the establishment would WANT to deliberately undermine America’s geopolitical or economic position. Once they understand that both China and Russia maintain close ties to the globalist framework, and that they represent false opposition to the “new world order”, the reality of the situation becomes more clear.


I recommend my article ‘In The New “Multipolar World” The Globalists Still Control All The Players’ for facts and evidence on this dynamic. The engineered destabilization of the US and parts of Europe and the rise of the East is intended to cause the removal of the current economic model of sovereign nations and currencies led by the US dollar as the world reserve. This would leave quite a void in the global economic structure, a void which the elites plan to fill with a new centralized one world currency system.


This system, to be managed by the IMF, has been openly supported by both the Chinese and Russian governments. The delusion that the East is somehow opposed to the NWO melts away when we examine their long time alliances to the banking cabal, as well as the IMF programs the East now champions. But how do the elites plan to get the masses to go along with such a historic and painful shift in global economic architecture?


In my view, the confrontations in regions of confluence like Syria are intended to lead to World War; not in the form of a nuclear war, but in the form of a full spectrum economic war and smaller regional wars. There is another nation beyond Syria that I have also been warning about for many years as a potential nexus, or what the elites might call a “linchpin”. That region is Venezuela.


In my article ‘How A Collapse In Venezuela Could Trigger Martial Law In the US’, published in May of 2016, I outlined how the socialist structure of Venezuela in particular was so unstable that the slightest push could cause the entire country to topple. Venezuela did indeed crash economically to the point that martial law is the only mainstay holding the system together.




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I have also warned that a collapse in Venezuela could spread into surrounding countries, already weakened by fiscal uncertainty and debt. Such a collapse in South America rather strangely matches the scenario described in Operation Garden Plot and Rex 84, a secret Pentagon plan exposed during the Iran/Contra affair which would use mass migrations from South or Central America as a rationale to enforce martial law measures within the United States.


In recent months, however, the Trump Administration has added a new dimension to the problem. Expanding sanctions against Venezuela are adding fire to the flames of economic collapse. With an even more aggressive stance against Nicolás Maduro including possible military action, the prospect of a direct US led coup is now on the table.


One would think that if the US government wanted a breakdown in Venezuela, all they would have to do is sit back and wait as the socialist nation imploded under it’s own faulty economic policies. But apparently the country was not collapsing fast enough for the elites. My theory – the goal is to create another Syria, but this time much closer to US borders.


Venezuela has close ties to not only Russia, but also China. Venezuela’s military ties to Russia are well known. Their military is supplied to this day by Russia, and Russia has been very vocal in their opposition to any US military involvement in the region.


Both China and Russia continue to support Nicolás Maduro as the president of Venezuela in the face of opposition from assembly leader Juan Guaidó. The US and a number of European nations support Guaidó. The question is, how far will a confrontation in Venezuela go?


US involvement in South and Central America does not paint a pretty picture. Reagan era coups in countries like El Salvador in the name of stopping communism created not only civil war, but also the installation of more violent dictators and regimes (look up the White Hand death squads in El Salvador for the ugly details). Not coincidentally, we also saw the use of death squads and extremists in the destabilization of Syria.


I find it interesting that extreme leftists like Ilhan Omar are suddenly interested in exposing the underhanded nature of such tactics. They remain decidedly quiet on the same kind of subversion in Syria, and aggressively push for a continued American presence there. My suspicion is that this might be an establishment attempt to gain conservative support for a US supported coup in Venezuela. Whatever their leftist puppets attack, we are supposed to defend, right?




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But in this case, the Trump Administration is just as insidious as the leftists in its activities, and support for such a coup would be an affront to true conservative principles.


It should be noted that the arming and training of insurgents in Syria started out undercover. At the time it was labeled “humanitarian aid”. In Venezuela, the US is once again offering “aid” to the people of Venezuela and the opposition party, backed by a US military aircraft. The establishment is not generally very creative in their tactics; they simply use the same methods over and over again because historically they succeed more than they fail.


If this dynamic happens again in Venezuela, I predict immediate and aggressive economic response from Russia and China, including yet another excuse for China to dump its US Treasury Bond holdings and dollar reserves, effectively killing the dollar’s world reserve status. The US would be hit the hardest by this reset, and with the Trump Administration driven by globalist warmongers like John Bolton, there would be little sympathy from the rest of the world when the consequences land on our doorstep.


It should not be considered a coincidence that the situation with Venezuela is being accelerated at the same time as tensions between the US , China and Russia are hitting a crescendo. Add yet another regional conflict similar to Syria on top of the trade war, and the potential for a financial “World War III” is high. If allowed to play out uninterrupted, such an event provides even more cover for the “global reset” and the shift to a one world economic model.  Not only this, but a collapse epidemic in South America could lead to vast migrant caravans swarming to the southern US border far beyond what we have already seen.  As Operation Garden Plot outlines, this would inevitably be used as a rationale for martial law measures.


If you would like to support the publishing of articles like the one you have just read, visit our donations page here.  We greatly appreciate your patronage.


You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected]


You can read more from Brandon Smith at his site Alt-Market.com. With global tensions spiking, thousands of Americans are moving their IRA or 401(k) into an IRA backed by physical gold. Now, thanks to a little-known IRS Tax Law, you can too. Learn how with a free info kit on gold from Birch Gold Group. It reveals how physical precious metals can protect your savings, and how to open a Gold IRA. Click here to get your free Info Kit on Gold.


   
            


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26

      

By Aaron Kesel


The media is in a frenzy in regards to a Saudi Arabian app that allows men to monitor and control women, including wives and unmarried daughters, with many human rights organizations calling to ban the app, NY Times reported.


The app, Absher, was created in 2015 by the Saudi government and, more specifically, by the National Information Center within the Saudi Ministry of Interior, but hasn’t received much attention until now, according to PC MAG.  Some basic background on Saudi Arabia and how the country functions; Saudi men have what’s known as guardianship laws, which is a decree stating that every woman must have a male guardian to make critical life decisions on her behalf. The guardian can be a father, brother, husband, or son, according to Human Rights Watch.


The app is described in the app store as software that helps you to “safely browse your profile or your family members, or labors working for you, and perform a wide range of eServices online.”


The Absher app also handles some standard government functions such as paying fines, according to a report by the ThisIsInsider.


         



      

ThisIsInsider ran a bombshell story entitled: “Saudi Arabia runs a huge, sinister online database of women that men use to track them and stop them from running away.” They recounted a horrifying example where a Saudi woman escaped from her father and family while on vacation in Turkey. As a result, the woman had to steal the family’s smartphones because the Absher app was loaded on them, which allowed them to track her every move.


Several human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), are urging Apple and Google to remove Absher from their app stores.


“We call on Apple and Google to assess the risk of human rights abuses on women, which is facilitated by the App, and mitigate the harm that the App has on women,” Amnesty International said in a statement. “The use of the Absher app to curtail the movement of women once again highlights the disturbing system of discrimination against women under the guardianship system and the need for genuine human rights reforms in the country, rather than just social and economic reforms.”


“Saudi men can also reportedly use Absher to receive real-time text message alerts every time these women enter or leave the country or to prevent these women from leaving the country,” Sen. Ron Wyden wrote.


“By permitting the app in your respective stores, your companies are making it easier for Saudi men to control their family members from the convenience of their smartphones and restrict their movement,” Wyden expressed in a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.




Cook replied uncertainly when asked about the app during an NPR interview this week. “I haven’t heard about it,” he said. “But obviously we’ll take a look at it if that’s the case.”


Meanwhile, Google told CNN the company would “look into it” when it was questioned about the app.


However, Absher is far from the only app that can track a user on the app store; there are several others which advertise someone’s location in a dangerous manner or are advertised to spy on another person. While many media reports are focusing on the obvious oppression by the app against women, very few are mentioning that Absher and other apps like it could put women in danger. The following screenshot below is not related to Absher; however, its an alleged app going around that allows would-be attackers to track the person who downloads the app.



In which case all sorts of bad things can happen; you can end up kidnapped, killed or raped if you are a woman or child. The scary part is it doesn’t even need to be a malicious app; unfortunately, apps that enable other users to see each others’ location are all a risk.


In 2013, you may find it sickening to know that an app developer suggested making an app called kidnApp where users could opt to be kidnapped.




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Motherboard had a now-deleted article on the shocking app which allowed people willing to be kidnapped called Waiters. How that seemed like a good idea, this author will never know, but the app literally allowed users (Waiters) to post an ad to be kidnapped for X amount of time. Although, what if the person known as a “Taker” never let the willing participant go and it turned into a hostage situation? Again, I am unsure how this would ever be a good idea in anyone’s head.


Back in 2017, when Snapchat first released its Snap Map update, which has since been updated, police warned parents of the dangers of the app’s new addition and to turn off Snap Map on their children’s phones. In the UK, Preston Police had this to say on the department’s Facebook page:



For all the snapchat users on here, in the last few days they have released a new update which connects to your GPS, and automatically (unless activated ghost mode) shows where you are on a map to anyone who is on your friends list and posts can possibly seen publically depending on your settings!!


…Obviously this may cause concern for certain users, particularly those who have young children who use the app.



The Telegraph quoted a spokesperson for the National Society for the Protection of Children:



It’s worrying that Snapchat is allowing under 18s to broadcast their location on the app where it can potentially be accessed by everyone in their contact lists.


With public accounts, this will include those who are not known to the user. This highlights why it’s vital children are automatically offered safer accounts on social media to ensure they are protected from unnecessary risks.



The UK Safer Internet Centre said:



It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.




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Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat – giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map – we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.


Snap Map allows users to share their location with friends they choose. However, that’s not the end of the interactive map — snaps you submit to ‘Our Story’ – a collection of snaps submitted from different users throughout the community – can still show up on the map.


In 2017, a woman claimed she was kidnapped and raped in a horrific ordeal after using the Whisper App on her smartphone. She assumed that she was speaking to a female friend when the person on the other end was really an older male, according to the report.



The victim told police that she thought she was talking to a female friend on the Whisper app and invited her friend over to her house. When a car pulled up in the driveway, she approached it and an unknown man, armed with a handgun, jumped out and demanded she gets in the car.


After the victim got into the car, she told Mobile Police that he drove to a vacant house, took her inside and forced the victim to have sex with him.



Whether its Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Absher or another app — all over the Internet, there are horror stories of bad guys using cell phone location data to cause harm on innocent people. For example, in 2017, shortly after releasing the Snap Map feature, a 25-year-old French man was arrested after he used geolocation information provided by Snapchat to track down the location of his girlfriend and stabbed a man that she was with at the time, France Bleu reported.


More recently, a counter-terrorism officer, Peter Drummond, was accused of sex attacks at 14-year-old’s home using the Snapchat app to track her through the geolocation, The Independent reported.


So how does one avoid being put into a situation like any of these scenarios? The best prevention is to make sure you know what apps you are installing on your device, but even then legitimate apps can use geolocation without your knowledge. So be aware of each app’s permissions and, if needed, disable an app’s access to your phone’s GPS. Be careful when online, use your better judgment and don’t click on links or install unknown applications. Always use common sense and due diligence.


Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.


Top image credit: Public Radio International


   
            


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Activist Post Editor’s Note: As the social media and big tech purge of independent voices continues, entire supposedly democratic countries are banning certain voices as well.


David Icke has been one of the foremost leaders of free expression and has greatly influenced us here at Activist Post. His 10-hour lectures, in particular, speak to his fortitude and his breadth of knowledge into areas most people would completely shut their minds to. Since the beginning, he has encountered censorship in nearly every form possible. But now David Icke details below what amounts to true censorship – any government that would silence the mere act of speaking on its soil. Australia is the latest country to now become a mockery in the eyes of anyone who values liberty. Here is what a petition at Change.org states about the situation:


Hundreds of people have paid good money to hear him speak and attend these events in advance. The Australian government today however has announced that they are cancelling Icke’s visa and not allowing him to enter the country citing the reason as “character” grounds.


We will always be grateful for the support that David Icke has given to our site. Please sign the petition here and help us give the support that David needs.


And please do get a ticket for his World Tour … while you still can.


         



      


To have David’s Dot Connector Videocast sent to you in full every week, click here http://www.davidicke.com/register


All David’s Books Now Available Here https://www.ickonic.com


Latest News From David Icke – www.davidicke.com


   
28

      

Activist Post Editor’s Note: As the social media and big tech purge of independent voices continues, entire supposedly democratic countries are banning certain voices as well.


David Icke has been one of the foremost leaders of free expression and has greatly influenced us here at Activist Post. His 10-hour lectures, in particular, speak to his fortitude and his breadth of knowledge into areas most people would completely shut their minds to. Since the beginning, he has encountered censorship in nearly every form possible. But now David Icke details below what amounts to true censorship – any government that would silence the mere act of speaking on its soil. Australia is the latest country to now become a mockery in the eyes of anyone who values liberty. Here is what a petition at Change.org states about the situation:


Hundreds of people have paid good money to hear him speak and attend these events in advance. The Australian government today however has announced that they are cancelling Icke’s visa and not allowing him to enter the country citing the reason as “character” grounds.


We will always be grateful for the support that David Icke has given to our site. Please sign the petition here and help us give the support that David needs.


And please do get a ticket for his World Tour … while you still can.


         



      


To have David’s Dot Connector Videocast sent to you in full every week, click here http://www.davidicke.com/register


All David’s Books Now Available Here https://www.ickonic.com


Latest News From David Icke – www.davidicke.com


   
29

      

By Tony Cartalucci


The United States and its NATO partners are attempting to make the case for Washington’s decision to abandon the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.


Claims that the Russian Federation has been violating the treaty have yet to be substantiated with anything resembling credible evidence. Also missing is any rational explanation as to why Russia would develop or deploy nuclear weapons capable of launching a nuclear strike on Europe without warning – a scenario the INF Treaty was created to deter.


Bloomberg in its article, “Nuclear Fears Haunt Leaders With U.S.-Russian Arms Pact’s Demise,” would claim:



Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s top civilian, cited recent Russian deployments and evoked a Cold War-style threat of nuclear destruction at a global conference of security and defense officials this weekend in Munich, the baroque German metropolis that’s one of Europe’s richest cities.


“These missiles are mobile, easy to hide and nuclear-capable,” Stoltenberg said. “They can reach European cities, like Munich, with little warning.”



         



      

Stoltenberg, the rest of NATO, Washington, and the many media organizations that work for and answer to both have failed categorically to explain why Russia would ever use nuclear-capable missiles against cities “like Munich, with little warning.”


Would Moscow Nuke Russia’s Closest Trade Partners?


While Russia has invested greatly in recent years to expand its economic trade with Asia, it is still heavily dependent on trade with Europe.


The Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity reveals not only Europe as the most important region for Russian trade, particularly for Russian exports, but nations like the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy as among Russia’s top trade partners.



Russia is currently working with Germany on its Nord Stream 2 pipeline – a pipeline transporting Russian hydrocarbons to Western Europe without passing through politically unstable nations like Ukraine. The project is a keystone of recent Russian efforts to modernize and adapt its hydrocarbon industry around complications arising from US interference across Europe – particularly in the form of the US-engineered 2014 coup in Ukraine and NATO’s constant US-led expansion along Russian borders.


And Russian companies aren’t the only ones benefiting from Nord Stream 2 or other economic ties between Russia and Europe. Russia imports more from Germany than any other European nation, and Germany is only second to China among all nations Russia imports goods from.




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It is highly unlikely Russia is going to launch nuclear missiles at “Munich, with little warning” – because to do so would be entirely without rational justification. Characters like Stoltenberg and the rest of NATO gloss over this obvious gap in their narrative to sell Russia as an unpredictable adversary and an enduring threat to Western Europe, as well as the United States. But by filling in this obvious gap in NATO’s logic, we can see who really benefits from turning Europe into a potential nuclear battlefield by stationing short-range nuclear weapons across the region.


Nuclear Battlefield Europe


It is Washington, not Germany nor Russia that opposes the Nord Stream 2 project. It is Washington who seeks to drive a wedge between Western European and Russian economic trade. It is Washington who seeks to galvanize – or coerce – Europe into a united front against Russia – even if it means compromising regional stability – both in terms of economics and security.


Washington – by withdrawing from the INF Treaty – doesn’t jeopardize the security of its own territory – but opens up a new dimension to an already ongoing nuclear arms race in the heart of Western Europe. It will be Western Europeans and Russians who face the consequences that emerge from the abandoning of the INF Treaty and any unpredictable – or even accidental – incidents that result from the stationing of short-range nuclear weapons across the region.


As pointed out many times before – NATO itself more than any external threat – represents the greatest danger to its member states in terms of pilfering national treasuries, miring nations in protracted wars and occupations thousands of miles from their own shores, and exposing member nations to the consequences of these wars including the deluge of refugees fleeing to Europe from them.


The US – by causing chaos and division both within Europe and between Europe and its trade partners – is able to continue exercising control over the continent – literally an ocean away from Washington DC.




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The withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the dangerous arms race sure to follow is another example of the US playing the roles of arsonist and fire brigade as a means to maintain the relevance of the international order it constructed over the last century – an order the US serves as the self-appointed leader of.


In terms of simple economics and genuine European security – the United States could not be more irrelevant.



While Germany maintains the United States as its top export destination – the overall European and Asian regions by far contribute more to the German economy. Any instability or crisis in Europe would have an impact on the German economy its trade with the US would in no way compensate for. In terms of imports, the role of the US is even less.


While European trade with Russia is relatively small in comparison to inter-European trade, or with partners in Asia or even the US – Russian hydrocarbons serve an important role in European energy security. And while the cutting of ties between Europe and Russia would certainly hurt Russia more – the chaos used to cut those ties may disrupt stability within Europe itself – chaos that would impact inter-European trade – trade that ties with the US or Asia would not compensate for.


Washington plays a dangerous game, with short-range nuclear missiles being the latest point of leverage it seeks to use in prying Europe away from Russia. It is another illustration of just which nation’s government truly poses the greater threat not only to Europe, but to global peace, security and stability in general.


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


   
            


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Op-Ed  by Catherine J. Frompovich


Lies, lies, and more lies?


“It’s legal to lie in the swamp.”



With all the accusations, allegations and what at times are perceived as “lies” by enthusiasts regarding political agendas “owned” by either the Democrat or Republican parties, it’s almost impossible to figure out what’s factual, truth, hyperbole, spin, subterfuge, provable or downright “fake news” for which The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN TV network have been called on the carpet, then had to issue retractions or corrections.


Nevertheless, all the recent “Kabuki-like theatrics” regarding “RussiaGate” and other “hot topic items de jour,” which basically amount to power-play pissing contests, in my opinion, tickled my interests and I began to wonder if there were some unknown legal loophole(s) somewhere within the U.S. Code.  Apparently, that specifically “cherry-picked favor” was not granted to certain individuals in the federal “swampland” until 1996.


         



      

Washington, DC, “swamp critters” apparently received a “perquisite/privilege law” in 1996 which, quite frankly, ought to be illegal!  That piece of legislation, H.B. 3166, introduced into the 104th U.S. Congress during the Bill Clinton Administration, was presented by a one-term freshman House member, William J. Martini, who later became a federal judge.  How very interesting!



In 1994, the Republican Party nominated Martini for Congress in New Jersey’s 8th congressional district. He faced off against one-term incumbent Herbert Klein, who had fallen out of favor with the voters. …. Martini defeated Klein and took one of the 54 seats in the House of Representatives the Republicans gained that year.[2]


Martini was defeated for re-election in 1996 by Paterson mayor Bill Pascrell, and was one of eight Republican Representatives elected in the 1994 Republican Revolution to be defeated in their re-election bids.[3] He has not run for political office since then.


Source: Wikipedia



According to Congress.gov, a significant and interesting co-sponsor of that bill was none other than the then-Rep. Charles Schumer (D, NY)!


However, the information presented below, which recently was published online, stated the bill included “a peculiar Subsection (b) that permits judges, attorneys and parties to lie to Congress, courts and agencies without liability…”



SEC. 2. RESTORING FALSE STATEMENTS PROHIBITION.
Section 1001 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:


Is this the section being referred to?‘‘§ 1001. Statements or entries generally‘‘(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party’s counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.”  [CJF emphasis]Source: https://www.fbcoverup.com/docs/librar…





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If so, then I wonder if those who use this “perk of law” are not entitled to such an exemption, since no one supposedly is above the laws in the USA, as is being demonstrated by the determination to “find something if you can” legal approach to President Trump’s winning the 2016 election and the apparent New World Order’s, Deep State’s and Shadow Government’s apparent sheer dismay, and who now are enacting a “Plan B”.


The video below explains issues readers may enjoy learning about, especially since they probably won’t be discussed by the mainstream, lamestream, controlled U.S. media.


How They Lie and Always Get Away With It
3:30 minutes




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2-96mcyHCs


The narration in this article/video does not constitute an endorsement of its contents or point of view by this Internet Platform. My/our readers are encouraged to draw their own conclusions.




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FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 106A-117 of the U.S. Copyright Law.



Image credit: Anthony Freda Art


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


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


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


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


Catherine’s NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities ©2016 Catherine J Frompovich is now available


   
            


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