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The Media Practice That Generates Clicks and Ruins Lives

[Justice]
The Media Practice That Generates Clicks and Ruins Lives
by Adam Johnson
Posted February 16, 2019

companies using mugshots of people before trial to generate clicksThe Columbia Journalism Review (10/24/18) ran a piece by Corey Hutchins on the practice of using mugshots by the media—both in terms of using mugshots for routine crime stories, and the broader practice of mugshot galleries that simply generate clicks. The piece didn’t take a clear editorial position on the ethics of publishing mugshots, instead aiming for a “both sides” approach by asking experts what they thought of the practice.

I interviewed three such people (whose names have been changed to protect their identities). Each had their lives up-ended because their mugshots were posted online, pre-trial, without any consideration for their well-being or innocence. What Hutchins painted as a thorny theoretical dilemma was, to those profiled, not a particularly difficult problem to figure out: The practice is wrong. It leads to summary public shaming, firings, diminished social status—all before a trial has even taken place. In the age of SEO, it’s a form of extrajudicial punishment that largely harms the poor and people of color. More…

The Facts:
Websites are posting mug shots of people arrested but not convicted of any crime. These people often lose their reputation, jobs, and social life, all without regard for their innocence or guilt.

Reflect On:
What can we do to not support this sort of public shaming with no trial? Should we post information on social media before we know all the facts? Should we click on the links providing those who post with exactly what they want?

7 Signs You May Be an Apocaloptimist

[Spiritual]
7 Signs You May Be an Apocaloptimist
By Gary Z McGee
Posted February 15, 2019

be the medicine we needAs an apocaloptimist, the glass is both half-full and half-empty. The glass-half-empty understanding of the world is the empathic realization that we are polluting the earth with unprecedented ignorance.

The first step in recovery is acceptance. Likewise, the first step toward apocaloptimism is the acceptance that we are sick. The second step is doing something about being sick, like being proactive about discovering medicine.

This is where the glass-half-full understanding of the world comes in. It’s the revelation that everything changes. There is no permanence. Even sickness passes. More…

The Ruling Elites Love How Easily We’re Distracted and Turned Against Each Other

[Politics]
The Ruling Elites Love How Easily We’re Distracted and Turned Against Each Other
By Charles Hugh Smith
Posted February 15, 2019

keeping us divided No wonder the ruling elites love how easily we’re distracted and divided against ourselves: it’s so easy to dominate a distracted, divided, blinded-by-propaganda and negative emotions populace.

Let’s say you’re one of the ruling elites operating the nation for the benefit of the oligarchy. What’s the best way to distract the populace from your self-serving dominance in a blatantly neofeudal system? More…

Is Big Tech Merging With Big Brother? Kinda Looks Like It

[Social]
Is Big Tech Merging With Big Brother? Kinda Looks Like It
by David Samuels
Posted February 14, 2019

surveillance is increasingThe machines and systems that the techno-monopolists have built are changing us faster than they or we understand. The scale of this change is so vast and systemic that we simple humans can’t do the math—perhaps in part because of the way that incessant smartphone use has affected our ability to pay attention to anything longer than 140 or 280 characters.

As the idea of a “right to privacy,” for example, starts to seem hopelessly old-fashioned and impractical in the face of ever-more-invasive data systems—whose eyes and ears, i.e., our smartphones, follow us everywhere—so has our belief that other individual rights, like freedom of speech, are somehow sacred.

Being wired together with billions of other humans in vast networks mediated by thinking machines is not an experience that humans have enjoyed before. The best guides we have to this emerging reality may be failed 20th-century totalitarian experiments and science fiction. More…

The Facts:
A “social credit system” is already being implemented in China, and US big tech forms are vacuuming up vast amounts of personal data.
Reflect On:
What will be the consequences not controlling our corporations (and governments) in their increasingly intrusive surveilance of our activities and relationships? Are we are willingly helping this surveillance? Is that phone app really necessary?

How a NeoCon-Backed “Fact Checker” Plans to Wage War on Independent Media

[Media]
How a NeoCon-Backed “Fact Checker” Plans to Wage War on Independent Media
By Whitney Webb
Posted February 13, 2019

1984 is hereSoon after the social media “purge” of independent media sites and pages this past October, a top neoconservative insider — Jamie Fly — was caught stating that the mass deletion of anti-establishment and anti-war pages on Facebook and Twitter was “just the beginning” of a concerted effort by the U.S. government and powerful corporations to silence online dissent within the United States and beyond.

While a few, relatively uneventful months in the online news sphere have come and gone since Fly made this ominous warning, it appears that the neoconservatives and other standard bearers of the military-industrial complex and the U.S. oligarchy are now poised to let loose their latest digital offensive against independent media outlets that seek to expose wrongdoing in both the private and public sectors.

As Newsguard’s project advances, it will soon become almost impossible to avoid this neocon-approved news site’s ranking systems on any technological device sold in the United States. More…

The Facts:
More and more alternative media sites are being targeted and shut down by the elites using a variety of tactics.

Reflect On:
What will be the consequences of a centralized “Ministry of Truth”? Who will control this entity? Who will provide independent oversight of its “findings”? What effect would such an entity have on controlling what people see and hear on the news?

Fire the Fed?

[Economic]
Fire the Fed?
by Ron Paul
Posted February 12, 2019

questioning fed policiesPresident Trump’s frustration with the Federal Reserve’s (minuscule) interest rate increases that he blames for the downturn in the stock market has reportedly led him to inquire if he has the authority to remove Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Chairman Powell has stated that he would not comply with a presidential request for his resignation, meaning President Trump would have to fire Powell if Trump was serious about removing him.

By firing Powell, President Trump would once and for all dispel the myth that the Federal Reserve is free from political interference. All modern presidents have tried to influence the Federal Reserve’s policies. Is Trump’s threatening to fire Powell worse than President Lyndon Johnson shoving a Fed chairman against a wall after the Federal Reserve increased interest rates? Or worse than President Carter “promoting” an uncooperative Fed chairman to Treasury secretary? More…

The Silence on Wall Street’s Dark Pools Is Deafening

[Justice]
The Silence on Wall Street’s Dark Pools Is Deafening
By Pam Martens
Posted February 11, 2019

In 2014 Citigroup Had Six Separate Trading Venues, Including Dark PoolsIt is destined to go down as one of the greatest journalistic and regulatory failures of our time – the lack of serious attention by investigative business reporters and the U.S. Department of Justice to the glaring fact that the largest Wall Street banks continue to trade their own and each other’s bank stocks in their own Dark Pools.

Dark Pools function as unregulated stock exchanges inside the bowels of the largest Wall Street banks. Making the situation even more dicey, some of the big banks own more than one Dark Pool, raising the possibility that there could be cross-trading between those pools to artificially inflate or depress stock prices. More…

The Facts:
The large banks are profiting while living in a legal environment of impunity despite repeated violations of the law. This happens regardless of which political party is in power.

Reflect On:
Consider why and how this is allowed. What are the root causes of this impunity and who benefits from it?

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Quotable Sayings

you create your own reality

Others believing in you is nice, but worthless if not matched by your own thought.

Scott Moore

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distinguishing between root cause and symptoms

A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved.

Author Unknown

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divide and conquer

The power of plutocracy depends on keeping the people divided against each other along gender, racial, religious, or other fault lines. The goal is to divert our attention from themselves so that they can maintain their power and continue to amass wealth.

David Korten

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Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives

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