Social Articles from 2018

The Friendly Mask Of The Orwellian Oligarchy Is Slipping Off

[Social]
The Friendly Mask Of The Orwellian Oligarchy Is Slipping Off
by Caitlin Johnstone
Posted May 24, 2018

friendly mask of Orwellian oligarchy is slipping offIt really couldn’t be more fitting that the US now has an actual, literal torturer as the head of the CIA. It also couldn’t be more fitting that it has a reality TV star billionaire President, an Iraq-raping Bush-era neoconservative psychopath as National Security Advisor, a former defense industry director as Secretary of Defense, a former Goldman Sachs executive as Secretary Treasurer, and a former Rothschild, Inc. executive as Secretary of Commerce. These positions have always facilitated torture, oppression, war profiteering and Wall Street greed; the only thing that has changed is that they now have a more honest face on them.

The mask of the nationless Orwellian oligarchy which dominates our world is slipping off all over the place. More…

Three Key Reforms for Facial Recognition and Body Cameras

[Justice]
Three Key Reforms for Facial Recognition and Body Cameras
by Project on Government Oversight
Posted May 23, 2018

police body cameras could become even more surveillanceIn recent years, we at The Constitution Project have warned that adding facial recognition scanning to police body cameras poses serious risks that could undermine basic privacy and due process rights. Unfortunately, the time to prepare for these risks is running out. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that body camera vendors are preparing body cameras with real-time facial recognition capabilities, and law enforcement agencies could potentially deploy them as soon as this fall.

Real-time facial recognition is especially concerning because it means that body cameras will continuously scan the face of everyone passing police officers on the street, and immediately log and relay data. Before adding real-time facial recognition to body cameras, it’s critical that departments and lawmakers implement necessary measures to avert the unprecedented mass collection of the identity and location of individuals in public: More…

RED FLAG: Homeland Security Hiring “Media Monitoring Services” to Compile Journalist and Media Influencer Database

[Social]
RED FLAG: Homeland Security Hiring “Media Monitoring Services” to Compile Journalist and Media Influencer Database
By The Daily Bell Staff
Posted May 21, 2018

DHS will be monitoring The DHS wants the ultimate surveillance dashboard where they can know real time anything anyone is saying about them around the world.

They want to monitor worldwide media that has any mention of the Department of Homeland Security, or any specific event that they are interested in. They make repeated mention of social media. This is not just journalists the DHS will monitor, it is any conversation on social media which mentions the DHS.They literally want the name of every Facebook and Twitter user that mentions the DHS. They will also have the ability to zero-in on everyone discussing a mass shooting or terrorist attack.

The DHS will profile any journalist that has been critical of the agency. But they will also have access to any influencers who could spin the DHS in a positive light. This is all on the official government website. No conspiracy theory, no secret sources. They said it openly. More…

How a “location API” allows cops to figure out where we all are in real time

[Justice]
How a “location API” allows cops to figure out where we all are in real time
by Cyrus Farivar
Posted May 20, 2018

cell carriers are selling your location dataThe digital privacy world was rocked late Thursday evening when The New York Times reported on Securus, a prison telecom company that has a service enabling law enforcement officers to locate most American cell phones within seconds. The company does this via a basic Web interface leveraging a location API—creating a way to effectively access a massive real-time database of cell-site records.

Securus’ location ability relies on other data brokers and location aggregators that obtain that information directly from mobile providers, usually for the purposes of providing some commercial service like an opt-in product discount triggered by being near a certain location. (“You’re near a Carl’s Jr.! Stop in now for a free order of fries with purchase!”) More…

The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?

[Justice]
The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?
By Vicky Peláez
Posted May 20, 2018

for profit prisons benefiting the already richHuman rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” More…

The Oligarchs’ ‘Guaranteed Basic Income’ Scam

[Economic]
The Oligarchs’ ‘Guaranteed Basic Income’ Scam
by Chris Hedges
Posted May 20, 2018

oligarchs want government to pay their consumersA number of the reigning oligarchs—among them Mark Zuckerberg (net worth $64.1 billion), Elon Musk (net worth $20.8 billion), Richard Branson (net worth $5.1 billion) and Stewart Butterfield (net worth $1.6 billion)—are calling for a guaranteed basic income. It looks progressive. They couch their proposals in the moral language of caring for the destitute and the less fortunate. But behind this is the stark awareness, especially in Silicon Valley, that the world these oligarchs have helped create is so lopsided that future consumers, plagued by job insecurity, substandard wages, automation and crippling debt peonage, will be unable to pay for the products and services offered by the big corporations.

The oligarchs do not propose structural change. They do not want businesses and the marketplace regulated. They do not support labor unions. They will not pay a living wage to their bonded labor in the developing world or the American workers in their warehouses and shipping centers or driving their delivery vehicles. They have no intention of establishing free college education, universal government health or adequate pensions. They seek, rather, a mechanism to continue to exploit desperate workers earning subsistence wages and whom they can hire and fire at will. The architects of our neofeudalism call on the government to pay a guaranteed basic income so they can continue to feed upon us like swarms of longnose lancetfish, which devour others in their own species. More…

Public Health’s Response to Decline: Loyalty to the 1%

[Social]
Public Health’s Response to Decline: Loyalty to the 1%
by Dan Bednarz
Posted May 17, 2018

!% pprotected from masses by hired policeAmerican institutions are in decline and rife with corruption brought on by a combination of hitting the limits to growth while under the control of neoliberal capitalism. To the extent one deviates from the appearance and demeanor of staid white middle or upper class norms, an encounter with the police in many localities can be dangerous to ones person and pocket. The government’s reaction to the “the most destructive epidemics of elite financial frauds in history” has been to further enrich –rather than jail- financiers, and protection of the banks continues to harm and ruin the lives of millions of citizens. Higher education is embroiled in several scandals, from encouraging students to take out usurious loans few will able to retire, to the exploitation of adjunct professors, to covering up campus rape cabals. Many Americans are trapped in debt with virtually no possibility of paying it off; trust in government and corporations is at all time lows; and in fashions too lugubrious to list the federal government –and the two major political parties- do not promote the public interest, preferring instead to serve political/economic elites.

In the obscure yet critical institution of public health organizational leadership and academic researchers either blithely ignore or erroneously frame these indicators of cultural decline and corruption as the unfortunate fallout from “The Great Recession.” I suggest these leaders are trapped in a tightening contradiction between the field’s mission, protecting the health of the entire public, and acquiescence to social policies that serve the private interests of the 1%. More…

The next huge GMO crime is here: It’s “genome-editing” of food crops.

[Social]
The next huge GMO crime is here: It’s “genome-editing” of food crops.
by Jon Rappoport
Posted May 13, 2018

remind me again, who is it that wants GMO food?We’re on the cusp of a new level of GMO crime-business, and the man in charge of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Sonny Perdue, is cheerleading from the sidelines.

Perdue says the newest gene-edited plants won’t be any different from those developed by traditional non-GMO breeding methods.

Which is like saying a missile fired from a tank is identical to an arrow shot from a bow.
Here is the brand new policy from the USDA:

“Under its biotechnology regulations, USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques… This includes a set of new [gene-editing] techniques that are increasingly being used by plant breeders to produce new plant varieties that are indistinguishable from those developed through traditional breeding methods.”

Yes, indistinguishable, if you’re wearing a blindfold and wandering around in a pitch-black lab. More…

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