“Pity The Nation”
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Posted March 1, 2020
Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.”
The Global Economy Was Sinking Long Before The Coronavirus Appeared
by Brandon Smith
Posted February 28, 2020
In order to determine if a geopolitical or economic threat is legitimate, I find it helps to watch how the mainstream propaganda narrative flows and changes. For example, for the past year as almost every fundamental indicator was flashing warning signs on the global economy the primary message in the mainstream was that central banks would never allow any major shocks to the financial system. In other words, they would pour in cash at the slightest hint of trouble. The conclusion for the investment world? To “buy the F’ing dip!” Why not? You can’t lose.
Despite the fact that fraudulent stock markets artificially inflated by corporate stock buybacks are irrelevant to the health of our system, they still represent a psychological placebo for the masses. Very few people care that it is a historic bubble; as long as everything is in the green they assume that all is well with the economy. More…
Wells Fargo paid more in criminal penalties than it paid in interest to its depositors
by Simon Black
Posted February 28, 2020
What’s really remarkable about this is that, over the past decade, Wells Fargo has paid a TOTAL of just $2.03 billion in interest to its retail customers.
In other words, the fine that Wells Fargo just got hit with last week is more money than they have paid in interest to their retail checking account customers over the last ten years combined!
Oh yeah… and out of the $3 billion fine, only $500 million will be set aside for the Wells Fargo customers who actually got scammed. The rest ($2.5 billion) goes to the government. This pretty much tells you everything you need to know about justice in the financial system: Wells Fargo scams customers for years. Then they finally get caught… and it still takes years to sort it all out in the courts.
By the time they get slapped with the big fine, the government takes most of the money… more money, in fact, than the defrauded customers earned in interest over the previous ten years combined.
Why would any rational person continue to put their money in this system??? More…
Wells Fargo has been hit with billions of dollars in fines for fraud on their customers.
Most of us would not even consider giving our money to a known criminal to hold for us. Yet we do not exercise the same caution with corporate criminals. Why is this so?
How to Disappear in a “Smart” City
by Jessica Leigh Hester
Posted February 28, 2020
Is it possible to move through a smart city undetected?
Smart technologies can ease traffic, carve out safer pedestrian passages, and analyze environmental factors such as water quality and air pollution. But, as my colleague Linda Poon points out, their adoption is also stirring up a legal maelstrom. Surveillance fears have been aroused in Oakland, California, Seattle, and Chicago, and the applications of laws protecting citizen privacy are murky. For instance: data that’s stored on a server indefinitely could potentially infringe on the “right to be forgotten” that’s protected in some European countries. But accountability and recourse can be slippery, because civilians can’t necessarily sue cities for violating privacy torts, explains Gidari.
What would it look like to leapfrog that murkiness by opting out entirely? Can a contemporary urbanite successfully skirt surveillance? More…
Newly released emails reveal how Monsanto conspired to discredit its critics
by Sam Bloch
Posted February 27, 2020
Monsanto-allied researcher: “Beat the shit out of” moms worried about Roundup.
A recently released trove of emails shows that Monsanto’s plans to defend Roundup, its signature, controversial weedkiller, included an idea to “beat the shit” out of an advocacy group that claimed it caused diseases in children.
Documents made public as part of the discovery process in ongoing litigation against Monsanto’s parent company Bayer show that executives sought advice from public university research scientists in dealing with blowback from Moms Across America, a California-based nonprofit with ties to the organic industry. More…
Emails from July of 2013, reported today by New Food Economy, reveal an exchange between Dr. Daniel Goldstein of Monsanto and two outside consultants about how to respond to an open letter from Moms Across America, a grassroots advocacy group.
There’s a reason why Glyphosate is banned by multiple countries around the world. It’s approval highlights the corruption, deceit and control big corporations have over our federal health regulatory agencies who are supposed to protect us.
New Cambridge Analytica Leaks Reveal Psychological Manipulation of Global Population
by Derrick Broze
Posted February 26, 2020
On New Year’s Day 2020, Twitter account @HindsightFiles began posting documents from data firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) which expose the extensive infrastructure used to manipulate voters on a global scale.
More than 100,000 documents are said to be released in the coming months, revealing Cambridge Analytica’s activity in a shocking 68 countries, including elections in Malaysia, Kenya, and Brazil. The Guardian reported that the documents come from Brittany Kaiser, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica who turned whistleblower and star of the documentary The Great Hack.
Cambridge Analytica first made headlines following the 2016 Presidential election after it was revealed the company had gained access to 87 million Facebook profiles. Whistleblower Christopher Wylie exposed how he helped set up CA and obtain the data of millions of Americans. This is when the public began to understand the scope of Cambridge Analytica’s operations. More…
NYC Taxpayers Spending Millions on Cyber Center with Ties To Israel
By Randi Nord
Posted February 26, 2020
New York City taxpayers are on the hook for a multi-million dollar cyber center in the heart of Manhattan with deep ties to Israel’s high-tech intelligence apparatus.
Early last week, the city of New York launched — with little media scrutiny — one of two new massive cybersecurity centers that will be run by private Israeli firms with close ties to Israel’s government, the so-called “Mega Group” tied to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and prominent pro-Israel lobby organizations operating in the United States. The centers were first announced in 2018 as was the identity of the firms who would run them: Israel-based Jerusalem Venture Partners and SOSA.
As MintPress has reported on several occasions, all three of these entities have a history of aggressively spying on the U.S. federal government and/or blackmailing top American politicians, raising concerns regarding why these companies were chosen to run the new centers in the heart of Manhattan. The news also comes as Israeli cybersecurity companies tied to Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200 were revealed to have access to the U.S. government’s most classified systems and simulating the cancellation of the upcoming 2020 presidential election. More…
ABC of Modern Empire
by Naresh Jotwani
Posted February 25, 2020
Suppose someone says to me, ‘My neighbour Bob is a very greedy person’. Then my mind turns naturally to Bob, rather than to greed. Our talk veers to Bob, or to other greedy persons – but not to greed. After all, Bob is the subject of that sentence, not greed.
Our subject here, however, is greed and rapacity – not any specific individual or group. No effort will be wasted to identify specific individuals or groups who are consumed by greed or rapacity. Suffice it to say that, at any given time, there are plenty such among Homo Sapiens. The point is that a mind consumed by greed is diminished, its powers of discrimination being totally enslaved to greed. So it serves no purpose to even attach a name to such a mind!
Also, terms such as ‘capitalism’, ‘free markets’ et cetera usually mean different things to different people. But if we speak in terms of the basic human drives at work, greater clarity may well emerge from the ensuing discussion. More…
The Rise of Smart Camera Networks, and Why We Should Ban Them
by Michael Kwet
Posted April 12, 2020
There’s widespread concern that video cameras will use facial recognition software to track our every public move. Far less remarked upon — but every bit as alarming — is the exponential expansion of “smart” video surveillance networks.
Private businesses and homes are starting to plug their cameras into police networks, and rapid advances in artificial intelligence are investing closed-circuit television, or CCTV, networks with the power for total public surveillance. In the not-so-distant future, police forces, stores, and city administrators hope to film your every move — and interpret it using video analytics.
The rise of all-seeing smart camera networks is an alarming development that threatens civil rights and liberties throughout the world. Law enforcement agencies have a long history of using surveillance against marginalized communities, and studies show surveillance chills freedom of expression — ill effects that could spread as camera networks grow larger and more sophisticated. More…