The Gray Curtain Descends, Part 1
by Robert Gore
Posted February 7, 2021
Compromise between good and evil spells death for the good. If I ask you to drink a cup of cyanide and you refuse, but we compromise on half a cup, who wins?
It’s these sort of compromises, exacted bit by bit over decades, that have destroyed a once great nation. It’s understandable how it happened. There’s a problem and more power for the rulers is always the solution: a Civil War, central bank fiat debt, an income tax, make the world safe for democracy, a New Deal, Frontier, or Covenant, Hope and Change, leader of the Free World, wars on poverty, drugs, terror, and now, germs, and so on.
The compromises serve as precedents that launch the next compromises and consequent government accretions of power. (The Civil War was precedent for both the income tax and fiat currency 48 years later.)
Solutions are always presented in a blinding blaze of propaganda. There are always the unblinded few who question and dissent. They are always ostracized or worse. More…
How Lulz Took Down Wall Street
by Douglas Rushkoff
Posted February 6, 2021
WallStreetBets delivered cybernetic karma to those who deserve it. As the hedge fund billionaires suffering catastrophic losses in the r/WallStreetBets activist campaign now realize, we reap what we sow. Even more so in a digital age.
For a while, it seemed that the traditional players would maintain their stranglehold over the economy, crushing businesses at will, with no regard for employees, small investors, or the rest of the on the ground economy. The bailout of the most nefarious actors in the manufactured 2008 recession seemed to confirm our helplessness — our supposed digital empowerment notwithstanding.
But all this sharing of technology and information with ground-level consumers eventually came back to haunt the big firms feeding off our human ignorance and the latency of our inferior internet connections. The gamers analyzed the whole situation from their own perspective, and found a way to play. More…
Powerful Mobile Phone Surveillance Tool Operates in Obscurity Across the Country
by Sam Richards
Posted February 6, 2021
Until now, the Bartonville, Texas, company Hawk Analytics and its product CellHawk have largely escaped public scrutiny. CellHawk has been in wide use by law enforcement; the software is helping police departments, the FBI, and private investigators around the United States convert information collected by cellular providers into maps of people’s locations, movements, and relationships. Police records obtained by The Intercept reveal a troublingly powerful surveillance tool operated in obscurity, with scant oversight.
CellHawk’s maker says it can process a year’s worth of cellphone records in 20 minutes, automating a process that used to require painstaking work by investigators, including hand-drawn paper plots. The web-based product can ingest call detail records, or CDRs, which track cellular contact between devices on behalf of mobile service providers, showing who is talking to whom. It can also handle cellular location records, created when phones connect to various towers as their owners move around. More…
The TPP Was All but Dead, Now DC Think Tanks Are Quietly Urging Biden to Bring It Back
by Alan Macleod
Posted February 5, 2021
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was dead and buried. But now, with the imminent arrival of the new Biden administration, many of the most influential policy groups in Washington are quietly trying to resurrect it.
While it was negotiated in secret, away from public eyes, when it was completed, there was a massive public relations campaign aimed at pushing the American public to accept it. This included some utterly bizarre and brazen pieces of public propaganda, including President Obama appearing on The Tonight Show to sing a love song dedicated to the TPP.
Once it was established that corporations could sue governments for lost profits over issues like environmental regulations, safety standards on foods and other goods, or costly safety protections for workers, public anger mounted. There were mass protests across virtually every signatory country to the TPP, leading to an unlikely alliance between trade unions, farmers, libertarians, members of the Tea Party, socialists, and many other groups who would have been negatively affected. More…
GameStop was a warning: Elites are weaponizing censorship to keep the outsiders out
by David Sacks
Posted February 4, 2021
As the apex predators of capitalism, hedge funds are accustomed to raking in billions by driving companies into the ground and feasting on the carcasses. So there was widespread satisfaction last week when members of an online discussion group called WallStreetBets started beating the Wall Street bully boys at their own game. Ringleaders of the group noticed that hedge funds had taken a short position in the videogame retailer GameStop that far exceeded the number of shares available to trade.
Motivated as much by revenge as by profit, these influencers in the group encouraged the 2.7 million members (since risen to around 8 million) to purchase the stock in order to drive the price higher and create a massive short squeeze. This quickly became a movement with a cause similar to that of Occupy Wall Street, except much more effective because it hit the intended target where they would feel it the most, in the wallet. “The only way to beat a rigged game,” one WallStreetBets leader said, “is to rig it even harder.”
As a massively decentralized online group of scrappy outsiders, the only tools at WallStreetBets’ disposal were online trading and social networking. Both were frozen at the crucial moment, and the hedge fund insiders were let off the hook. The weaponization of censorship is a big part of the reason why. More…
U.S. Gov’t Knew Decades Ago About Health Impact from WiFi Radiation According to 4000 Documents
by BN Frank
Posted February 4, 2021
Recently, the National Academies of Sciences declared that American Embassy workers in China and Cuba were injured by microwave radiation exposure. The cause has yet to be determined. It may not have been from weapons.
Of course, there is plenty of research that has determined that exposure to all sources of microwave radiation – including from common wireless sources – can cause “Microwave Sickness” (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Common sources include cell towers, utility “Smart” Meters, Bluetooth, Activity Trackers and other wearables, cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, wireless chargers, and other personal and home devices.
Researcher Zorach Glaser, Ph.D. spent decades archiving studies that examine the link between certain health issues and exposure to microwave and radio frequencies. Scholars and the public are now invited to help review Glaser’s documents. More…
Big Media: Selling the Narrative and Crushing Dissent for Fun and Profit
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted February 3, 2021
The U.S. has entered an extremely dangerous time, and the danger has nothing to do with the Covid virus. Indeed, the danger long preceded the pandemic, which has served to highlight how far down the road to ruin we have come.
The danger we are ill-prepared to deal with is the consolidation of the private-sector media and its unification of content into one Approved Narrative which is for sale to the highest bidders. This is the perfection of for-profit Totalitarianism in which dissent is crushed, dissenters punished and billions of dollars are reaped in managing the data and content flow of the one Approved Narrative.
So don’t post content containing the words (censored), (censored) or (censored), or you’ll be banned, shadow-banned, demonetized, demonized and marginalized. Your voice will be erased from public access via the Big Media platforms and you will effectively be disappeared but without any visible mess or evidence–or recourse in the courts. More…
Yes Virginia, the system is clearly rigged
by Omid Malekan
Posted February 2, 2021
The real controversy last week was about who was winning and who was losing. Retail people on apps like Robinhood aren’t supposed to stick it to the big boys. They are supposed to be the so-called dumb money, the schools of tiny fish that exist so whales like Softbank and Citadel have something to feast on. People who go to Davos aren’t supposed to lose money to kids from Denver. But last week, they did. That’s why the financial establishment reacted so strongly.
I am outraged by the hypocrisy of the financial services industry. Any doubt that the l system is rigged has been eliminated. Why do the rich only ever get richer? Because of what happened last week.
In all my years of working in this industry, I have never heard of brokers pulling the plug on their clients because they were making too much money.
If anyone is to be banned from putting on risky trades, it should be the supposedly sophisticated hedge funds who’ve needed to be bailed again and again, not your cousin who recently bought a few shares of GME in her Robinhood app. Your cousin wasn’t the one who fucked up in 1998 or 2008 or 2019 or 2020. She didn’t drive Lehman Brothers into the ground or destroy MF Global. More…
The End Is Coming Very Soon, and Few Americans Are Willing to Do Anything to Stop It!
By Gary D. Barnett
Posted February 2, 2021
Is this country facing the end of times? Are the people in this country oblivious to any reality or truth, or are they simply consumed by ignorance, passivity, cowardice, and mediocrity? Will this onslaught of tyranny by the controlling class and the politicians continue unabated, or will enough wake up in time to stand against the total decimation of their lives, their property, their freedom, and their land? What could possibly motivate the masses to voluntarily accept their own servitude, a servitude that can only lead to their imminent demise?
Even the most simplistic life forms on this planet possess the basic instinct of self defense, so why is it that the supposed most intelligent of all living beings can be controlled and brutalized to the point of extinction, without lifting a finger to protect their own interests? Today in America, the people are drowning in a pool of their own blood, while their chosen masters are feasting on the remains.
There is very little time left to change this course we are on today, as this plot toward the great reset of the world is close at hand. In the past when liberty has been threatened, some fought back and won, but most sat back and waited, hoping others would come to their rescue, and save them from themselves. Every time threats have come and gone, there was less freedom and much more control. More…
[Economic] [Social] [Political]
A Million Hobby Traders Just Glimpsed What Racism Feels Like
by John Kennedy
Posted February 1, 2021
Outsmarted by savvy internet users, investment institutions rewrote the rules to maintain the status quo.
For many of these determined investors, inflating these stocks wasn’t just a money grab. On the subreddit Wall Street Bets, where much of the activity was centered, users celebrated toppling massive hedge funds like Melvin Capital. By running up the price of these stocks, these Reddit-roused investors were literally costing fat-cat Wall Street folks billions of dollars. This felt like David clocking Goliath in the domepiece. The redistribution of wealth that was unfolding was damn-near poetic.
After all of these stocks posted huge gains through the first half of the week — and the frenzy around the internet-powered middle finger to the man began to circulate — the powers that be stepped in. Robinhood restricted trading of the very stocks that had generated so much buzz online, citing an effort to protect the market and its investors. The brokerage only allowed people to sell their shares, not buy more, stalling the momentum and sending the prices toppling (the service resumed “limited” trading on Friday). More…