Social Articles from 2018
Transition Milwaukee and the Victory Garden Initiative
by Steve McAllister
Posted November 27, 2018
The following story is the seventh installment in a new series we’re calling “10 Stories of Transition in the US.” Throughout 2018, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Transition Movement here in the United States, we will explore 10 diverse and resilient Transition projects from all over the country, in the hope that they will inspire you to take similar actions in your local community.
During the first two world wars, governments in the US, Europe, and Australia promoted the development of “victory gardens” to increase food productivity and free up resources to support their respective war efforts. It is estimated that these victory gardens, planted and cultivated in the yards of ordinary citizens, yielded an amount of fruits and vegetables equal to contemporary commercial farms. Gardeners were also encouraged to keep backyard chickens for eggs and soil fertilization. To return this sense of empowerment, food sovereignty, and resilience to the people, Transition Milwaukee helped to launch and incubate the Victory Garden Initiative, which recently celebrated installing its 4,000th garden. More…
By becoming as self sufficient as possible, we break our dependence on corporations and governments. The most radical thing you can do is to grow your own food.
10 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
by Jake Anderson
Posted November 26, 2018
In recent years, the mere notion of conspiracy theories has increasingly been stigmatized and ridiculed by mainstream news outlets, internet trolls, and “rational” thinkers. Yet, with powerful revelations by Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks, and generations of intrepid journalists, we now know that many outlandish geopolitical and domestic “conspiracy theories” were and are cold-blooded truths of the modern world. Here are 10 that are well-documented and profoundly disturbing: More…
DARPA Seeks FAA Approval For Military Drones Over American Cities By 2030 – At The Latest
By Nicholas West
Posted November 24, 2018
Just a little over 10 years after drone surveillance inside U.S. borders was declared a conspiracy theory, it is now an indisputable fact of life. So, too, are military grade drones along the “border,” which in reality constitutes a 100-mile-wide swath that encircles the continental United States and 2/3 of its population.
According to a new report from Defense One, this level of access is still seen as a restriction by the DARPA-directed military apparatus. As new forms of autonomous aircraft take to the skies such as the latest Blackhawk helicopter drones that could be ready by 2019, DARPA and aircraft developers want permission to fly over large cities as needed. Utilizing a new artificial intelligence system that is literally called MATRIX, developers see an opportunity for more flexibility in potential use. Of course, surveillance isn’t mentioned among those uses. More…
America Is On The Brink Of A Nervous Breakdown
by John Whitehead
Posted November 23, 2018
Authoritarian regimes begin with incremental steps. Overcriminalization, surveillance of innocent citizens, imprisonment for nonviolent—victimless—crimes, etc. Bit by bit, the citizenry finds its freedoms being curtailed and undermined for the sake of national security. And slowly the populace begins to submit.
No one speaks up for those being targeted.
No one resists these minor acts of oppression.
No one recognizes the indoctrination into tyranny for what it is.
Historically this failure to speak truth to power has resulted in whole populations being conditioned to tolerate unspoken cruelty toward their fellow human beings, a bystander syndrome in which people remain silent and disengaged—mere onlookers—in the face of abject horrors and injustice. More…
How the government uses its giant facial recognition database
by Simon Black
Posted November 22, 2018
CBP (Customs and Border Protection) has now completed a pilot program for using biometric data for boarding flights exiting the country. Biometric data includes unique identity markers like fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition. The CBP, TSA, and DHS are building facial recognition databases for everyone– US citizens included.
These pilot programs scoop up whatever official pictures the US government has of you. This includes passport photos, ID photos, and photos taken upon reentering the United States after international travel. Delta Airlines has even started testing a new program that scans your face prior to boarding your flight and matches it against this government database.
JetBlue has a similar program, and claims that “The customers are really delighted by it. . . they think it’s cool and they’re having fun.” I’m not sure who these dairy cows are who think that it’s cool and fun for the government to have a giant database of biometric data. More…
Shadow Banning Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: We’re All Digital Ghosts Now
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted November 19, 2018
If you do a search of shadow banning, you’ll find sites that claim to help you identify whether Twitter or Instagram has shadow banned your account. The basic idea of shadow banning is to spoof the shadow-banned user into believing their public posts are visible to all while in reality the posts are visible only to the user or in some cases to the users’ followers.
Here is whatis.com’s description: “Shadow banning is controversial because it allows an administrator or moderator to effectively become a censor and prevent specific users from interacting with other members of an online community on an equal basis.”
Shadow banning and outright banning are only the tip of the iceberg: everyone who posts content on the web or social media is subject to much more subtle and completely opaque controls on how much of your digital presence has been ghosted–not just in social media communities but in searches and how links to your site/content and re-posts of your content are handled by the tech cartel that controls what’s visible and “found” on the web and social media. More…
Globalization Has Hollowed Out Rural America
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted November 17, 2018
Proponents of globalization claim the few hundred dollars in annual household savings generated by shipping in commoditized goods are so beneficial nothing else matters. But if the cost of these paltry, essentially meaningless savings is the destruction of the local economy except for a handful of global corporate outposts and jumble shops, was this trade-off a good deal for rural communities?
I have often discussed the tyranny of price: making the sticker price the sole arbiter of value distorts the concept of value to the point of meaninglessness. Proponents of globalization overlook the intrinsic value of local control and local capital.
Once control of the local economy has been ceded to global corporations, the community has lost control of its destiny: the global corporation has only one goal and reason to exist: to increase capital and maximize profits by any means available. More…
Energy Transfer: New Name for Pipeline Company But Same Spills and Violence Against Protesters
By Sharon Kelly
Posted November 16, 2018
Battles over new shale gas and oil pipelines involving Energy Transfer, formerly known as Energy Transfer Partners, have heated up in recent weeks — an escalation that carries a tilt, as one side stands accused of acts of violence.
Energy Transfer (ET) security contractors have been accused of physically assaulting pipeline opponents on multiple occasions, including incidents in which security allegedly pointed a gun at one pipeline opponent, struck another with the butt of a shotgun, and overturned two boats carrying a television film crew and pipeline opponents into a Louisiana swamp, according to a new report published by Greenpeace USA on October 18. More…
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