Community Articles from 2017
The Thin Blue Line Versus the Robust Red Line
by Gary Z McGee
Posted November 17, 2017
You take the blue pill –the story ends, you wake up believing what you’ve been conditioned to believe. You take the red pill –you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how to question what you think you believe using knowledge, freedom, passion, and the painful truth of reality.
First, ask yourself: would you rather choke on the red pill of Truth, or easily swallow the blue pill of Deception? Sure, ignorance is bliss and knowledge is pain, but wouldn’t you rather the pain that comes from knowledge than the bliss that comes from ignorance? Wouldn’t you rather be slapped with the truth than kissed with lies?
Similarly, wouldn’t you rather the dangerous freedom of the liberating Red Line than the comfort, security, and safety of the tyrannical Blue Line? I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery. Which would you prefer? More…
How our banking system destroys the free market
By Chris Kanthan
Posted November 6, 2017
It will be shocking to many Americans that our free market system is deeply and fundamentally flawed. Many people understand that we have crony capitalism that creates loopholes to benefit those at the top. The financial crisis of 2008 and the following bailouts also exposed the rotten financial system and the rigged Wall Street. But there’s something else that’s even more significant and innate in the corruption of our economy: the Federal Reserve Bank. This is an arcane issue that puts most people to sleep, so let’s make it easy and fun by story-telling. It’s about a small town called Murika.
One fateful day, Murika changed forever! That’s when a woman named Janet came to Murika and told the people she had an amazing solution to bring unimaginable prosperity. She talked in really complex jargons that nobody understood, which only convinced them that she was really smart. They agreed to turn over their banks and money to Janet.
Janet’s miracle was a money-printing machine! She told Murikans that nobody will stop them from their dreams. You want to buy a house or a car? Janet will give you the money you want! Want to start a restaurant or even a factory? Come to Janet. Forget the old, cranky bankers. This is the new and improved Murika! More…
How Big Pharma Fuels the Opioid Epidemic
By Lynn Parramore
Posted November 5, 2017
Over a 40-year career, Philadelphia attorney Daniel Berger has obtained millions in settlements for investors and consumers hurt by a rogues’ gallery of corporate wrongdoers, from Exxon to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. But when it comes to what America’s prescription drug makers have done to drive one of the ghastliest addiction crises in the country’s history, he confesses amazement.
The U.S. prescription drug industry has opened a new frontier in public havoc, manipulating markets and deceptively marketing opioid drugs that are known to addict and even kill. It’s a national emergency that claims 90 lives per day. Berger lays much of the blame at the feet of companies that have played every dirty trick imaginable to convince doctors to over-prescribe medication that can transform fresh-faced teens and mild-mannered adults into zombified junkies. More…
By Jason Mark
Posted November 3, 2017
Cathy Miorelli doesn’t think of herself as an environmentalist. When Miorelli decided to run for the city council of Tamaqua Borough – a small town in central Pennsylvania where she has lived her entire life – she didn’t have any sort of eco-agenda. It was 2004, and the hottest controversy in Tamaqua involved a proposal by an outside company to dump sewage sludge and coal fly ash into abandoned mining pits on the edge of town. But the main issue on Miorelli’s mind was creating more transparent governance on the council, which she says had long been dominated by an old boys’ network.
She did change the world, though. Halfway through her one-term stint on the council, Miorelli spearheaded the passage of an anti-sewage sludge ordinance that included a provision recognizing the rights of “natural communities” to flourish – the first law of its kind in the world. The Tamaqua Borough ordinance inspired dozens of other communities in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania – including the city of Pittsburgh – to adopt similar rights of nature laws. Those ordinances then helped influence the people of Ecuador to put legal rights for ecosystems in that country’s new constitution. The idea that nature, just like people, possesses inalienable rights has percolated up to the United Nations, which has considered a proposal to adopt a “Charter on the Rights of Mother Nature.” More…
KRACK Wi-Fi bug: Here’s how to protect yourself
by Taylor Martin
Posted October 20, 2017
If you thought your protected Wi-Fi was safe, think again. Nearly all devices are affected by the new KRACK exploit. Solid advice for setting up a new wireless router or Wi-Fi network in your home is to password-protect it. Set a secure password using Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) and only share it with those you trust.
Since the WPA2 standard became available in 2004, this was the recommended setup for wireless area networks everywhere — and it was thought to be relatively secure. That said, like the deadbolt on your house, password protection is really only a strong deterrent. Like most things, as secure as WPA2 was believed to be, it was only ever as strong as your password or any vulnerabilities discovered in its security.
Over the weekend, a vulnerability was indeed discovered and turned the Internet on its head. More…
It’s Time to Question the Modern Nation-State Model of Governance
by Michael Krieger
Posted October 20, 2017
I typically try to avoid news on Sundays, but I spent much of yesterday in complete awe of the extraordinary strength and fortitude of the Catalan people in the face of totalitarian violence from the Spanish state against citizens attempting to vote in a peaceful referendum. Before you start telling me about how the vote is illegal and goes against the Spanish constitution, let me be perfectly clear. That line of thinking is entirely irrelevant to the point of this post.
Specifically, I believe humanity is reaching a point in its evolution, both from a consciousness perspective as well as a technological one, where we’ll begin to increasingly question many of our silly contemporary assumptions about how governance should work. The primary one is this absurd notion that a nation-state should be seen as a permanent structure of political governance which only becomes dissolvable in the event of violent revolution or war.
When it comes to great leaps in human progress, a crucial component to lasting change is convincing enough people that a particular way of organizing human affairs is outdated and harmful. I think if we take a step back and look at how people are governed across the world, there are very few places where “the people” feel they live in societies in which they exert any sort of genuine political self-determination. More…
DEA Whistleblowers Take Down Nominee, Expose Govt’s Role in US Opiate Crisis
by Whitney Webb
Posted October 19, 2017
In the same week that he decided that the U.S. opiate epidemic is a “national emergency,” Trump was forced to withdraw his nominee for Drug Czar, when Rep. Tom Marino was recognized as a congressional water-carrier for Big Pharma opiate producers and one who has impeded the effort to battle the epidemic.
For years, illicit opiate use has been on the rise in the United States, leading to the worst drug crisis in U.S. history, one that has claimed ten times more lives in a single year than all terrorist attacks (including 9/11) on U.S. soil over the last two decades. While the federal government has made public attempts to curb the problem — including President Donald Trump’s recent decision to declare the crisis a “national emergency” — little has resulted from these initiatives, as the harrowing surge in opiate use continues unabated.
Though some may blame government incompetence or perhaps a lack of funding for the failure of federal initiatives to effectively combat the crisis, two whistleblowers from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have come forward, stating plainly that the U.S. government is fully complicit in fueling the crisis. More…
Puerto Rico Without Electricity, Wifi, ATMs Shows Importance of Cash, Gold and Silver
By Mark O’Byrne
Posted October 16, 2017
Puerto Rico should be a warning to us all. No matter how wealthy your country, how “sophisticated’ your central bankers and central banking system and how technologically advanced your infrastructure, we can all be rendered poor overnight by the power of Mother Nature.
‘Cash Only’ is reportedly a common phrase across many of the retailers on the territory. The majority of gas stations and grocery stores are only accepting cash payments. Citizens have little choice but to try and find cash.
However, shoppers have the same problem retailers do – they can’t get the cash they need. Fewer than half of Puerto Rico’s bank branches and cash machines are up and running, still crippled by diesel shortages, damaged roads and severed communications lines. Bank officials say they are struggling even to find employees who can get to work when there is no public transportation and gasoline is hard to find. More…
This story should serve as a stark warning to all those advocating and embracing the idea of a cashless society.
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