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Who Wanted Pandemic Lockdowns?

[Politics] [Social]
Who Wanted Pandemic Lockdowns?
Jeffrey A. Tucker
Posted April 7, 2021

empty streetsPeople of the future will look back at these 11 months and be very confused. How could virtually the entire world have thrown out settled practices of civil, economic, and cultural liberties for a virus that resisted every attempt to control it?

This virus is not Ebola and it has come nowhere near approaching the death rates associated with H1N1 of 1918. By some measures, it’s not been as deadly as 1957-58, a virus that came and went without much public attention at all. New pathogens are part of life, and there was and is nothing particularly unusual about this one.

That we will look back with astonishment at what has happened to the world is a near certainty. The folly! And people of the future will never stop asking that great question of why. The answer is finally unsatisfying. It was a massive screw up by people and groups who wanted to try something completely new, none of whom were willing to bear responsibility for the results. It will be up to the rest of us to pick up the pieces and get life on the right track again. More…

A DNA Database Containing Data From 23andMe and Ancestry Is Vulnerable to Attacks

[Social]
A DNA Database Containing Data From 23andMe and Ancestry Is Vulnerable to Attacks
by Emily Mullin
Posted April 6, 2021

DNA data vulnerableBy one estimate, more than 26 million people have mailed their saliva in a plastic tube to get their DNA analyzed by genetic testing companies like 23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and Family Tree DNA. And more than a million of them have also uploaded their genetic information to a popular third-party website called GEDmatch to see what DNA they have in common with others in the database.

Now, computer scientists at the University of Washington have revealed that using GEDmatch comes with serious security risks. In a paper posted this week, researchers demonstrated that it’s possible to extract genetic details of any individual in the database, leaving their data vulnerable to leaks or hacks. As more people take DNA tests and third-party genetic genealogy databases grow, the risk of new kinds of biological and cyber attacks also increases. In the wrong hands, a person’s genetic data can be used for discrimination or extortion, and the implications are even greater if entire databases are leaked. More…

Pipeline Company Issues Broad Subpoena to News Site That Covered Protests Against It

[Media] [Justice]
Pipeline Company Issues Broad Subpoena to News Site That Covered Protests Against It
by Alleen Brown and Sam Richards
Posted April 6, 2021

Energy Transfer bullying independent media reportingLast week, members of the nonprofit news organization Unicorn Riot received a subpoena from the pipeline giant Energy Transfer seeking a wide range of documents, including newsgathering materials that would identify sources. The subpoena is part of an aggressive, yearslong legal effort launched by Energy Transfer in the wake of the Standing Rock movement, when thousands of opponents of the corporation’s Dakota Access pipeline came to camps at the border of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in an attempt to stop pipeline construction and protect the tribe’s drinking water from contamination.

Through a series of expensive conspiracy lawsuits against a disparate range of actors, the pipeline company has sought to paint the Standing Rock movement as the product of a vast misinformation-driven conspiracy to damage Energy Transfer.

Now, as part of that effort, Energy Transfer is demanding Unicorn Riot turn over virtually any documents, video footage, audio, article drafts, and communications related to the firm and its pipeline. The subpoena also sought information about the nonprofit’s organizational structure, social media accounts, and names of employees, volunteers, and supporters. Niko Georgiades, who was among the Unicorn Riot reporters covering Standing Rock, was separately subpoenaed. More…

The “Unvaccinated” Question

[Politics] [Social]
The “Unvaccinated” Question
by CJ Hopkins
Posted April 5, 2021

apartheid for unvaccinated has already startedSo, the New Normals are discussing the Unvaccinated Question. What is to be done with us? No, not those who haven’t been “vaccinated” yet. Us. The “Covidiots.” The “Covid deniers.” The “science deniers.” The “reality deniers.” Those who refuse to get “vaccinated,” ever.

There is no place for us in New Normal society. The New Normals know this and so do we. To them, we are a suspicious, alien tribe of people. We do not share their ideological beliefs. We do not perform their loyalty rituals, or we do so only grudgingly, because they force us to do so. We traffic in arcane “conspiracy theories,” like “pre-March-2020 science,” “natural herd immunity,” “population-adjusted death rates,” “Sweden,” “Florida,” and other heresies.

They do not trust us. We are strangers among them. They suspect we feel superior to them. They believe we are conspiring against them, that we want to deceive them, confuse them, cheat them, pervert their culture, abuse their children, contaminate their precious bodily fluids, and perpetrate God knows what other horrors. More…

We Mapped How the Coronavirus Is Driving New Surveillance Programs Around the World

[Social] [Political] [Media]
We Mapped How the Coronavirus Is Driving New Surveillance Programs Around the World
by Dave Gershgorn
Posted April 5, 2021

governments increasing surveillance using Corona as coverIt’s a complex trade-off: Governments need information to create containment strategies and know where to focus resources. At the same time, governments have a way of holding onto tools that undermine citizens’ privacy long after the moment of crisis has passed. Take, for example, the United States’ 2001 Patriot Act, which was passed in response to the 9/11 attacks. The Patriot Act gave the government broad surveillance powers with little oversight, including demanding customer data from telecoms without court approval. Twenty years later, it’s still around.

To document global surveillance measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, OneZero compiled press reports from more than 30 countries where potential privacy issues are occurring.

The most common form of surveillance implemented to battle the pandemic is the use of smartphone location data, which can track population-level movement down to enforcing individual quarantines. Some governments are making apps that offer coronavirus health information, while also sharing location information with authorities for a period of time. More…

Debt and the Demise of the Middle Class

[Economic]
Debt and the Demise of the Middle Class
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted April 5, 2021

debt levels destroying middle classUnfortunately for those at the top who’ve benefited immensely from speculative bubbles, speculative bubbles don’t create a vibrant middle class–they push what’s left of the middle class off a cliff.

What exactly is the Middle Class and what unique role does it serve in the economy? Given that the Middle Class is constantly invoked by politicos and economists, you’d think the status quo had a solid understanding of the Middle Class. Alas, it isn’t that simple.

The conventional view defines the middle class by income, education or type of labor being performed. These are all superficial attributes and ignore what actually differentiates the working class from the middle class. Yes, the middle class tends to earn more, have higher educational credentials and perform white-collar labor rather than blue-collar labor. More…

Deepfake detectors can be defeated, computer scientists show for the first time

[Media]
Deepfake detectors can be defeated, computer scientists show for the first time
by University of California – San Diego
Posted April 4, 2021

depp fakes detection can be defeatedSystems designed to detect deepfakes –videos that manipulate real-life footage via artificial intelligence–can be deceived, computer scientists showed for the first time at the WACV 2021 conference which took place online Jan. 5 to 9, 2021.

Researchers showed detectors can be defeated by inserting inputs called adversarial examples into every video frame. The adversarial examples are slightly manipulated inputs which cause artificial intelligence systems such as machine learning models to make a mistake. In addition, the team showed that the attack still works after videos are compressed.

The extensive spread of fake videos through social media platforms has raised significant concerns worldwide, particularly hampering the credibility of digital media, the researchers point out. “”If the attackers have some knowledge of the detection system, they can design inputs to target the blind spots of the detector and bypass it,” ” said Paarth Neekhara, the paper’s other first coauthor and a UC San Diego computer science student. More…

The Journalistic Tattletale and Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows

[Media]
The Journalistic Tattletale and Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows
by Glenn Greenwald
Posted April 3, 2021

self appointed surveillance state watchdogsA new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

Just as the NSA is obsessed with ensuring there be no place on earth where humans can communicate free of their spying eyes and ears, these journalistic hall monitors cannot abide the idea that there can be any place on the internet where people are free to speak in ways they do not approve. Like some creepy informant for a state security apparatus, they spend their days trolling the depths of chat rooms and 4Chan bulletin boards and sub-Reddit threads and private communications apps to find anyone — influential or obscure — who is saying something they believe should be forbidden, and then use the corporate megaphones they did not build and could not have built but have been handed in order to silence and destroy anyone who dissents from the orthodoxies of their corporate managers or challenges their information hegemony. More…

IMF Wants To Use “Digital Footprint Of Customers’ Online Activities” To Assess Creditworthiness

[Economic] [Social]
IMF Wants To Use “Digital Footprint Of Customers’ Online Activities” To Assess Creditworthiness
by Robert Wheeler
Posted April 2, 2021

IMF wants access to your online activityFor years, researchers have warned of a system in which the government controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives. Every citizen would have to rely entirely on the government to survive in this system. This system has been openly discussed for many years by the “ruling class.” Aka: those who have been allotted social credit (or not) and power based upon their views and opinions.

And you thought it was challenging to gain approval before…

The pairing of online history with credit scores is bad enough. Doing so has prevented many otherwise creditworthy citizens from accessing what they need to start businesses, buy homes, rent apartments, or buy cars. Some states have suggested laws that use your search history and social media when being assessed for your worthiness to purchase a firearm, and the Bank of America has made it incredibly clear just this past week that your purchases and financial records are by no means private.

However, pairing both of those with the Universal Basic Income is even worse. We are fast approaching a time where even the slightest difference of opinion from the norm (i.e., the ruling class) can result in a complete freeze out of the “offender” from the entire society. More…

A DNA Database Containing Data From 23andMe and Ancestry Is Vulnerable to Attacks

[Social]
A DNA Database Containing Data From 23andMe and Ancestry Is Vulnerable to Attacks
by Emily Mullin
Posted April 1, 2021

DNA information at riskBy one estimate, more than 26 million people have mailed their saliva in a plastic tube to get their DNA analyzed by genetic testing companies like 23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and Family Tree DNA. And more than a million of them have also uploaded their genetic information to a popular third-party website called GEDmatch to see what DNA they have in common with others in the database.

Though the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act protects individuals in the United States from genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment, it doesn’t apply to life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, or businesses that have fewer than 15 employees. In the hands of a bad actor, genetic data could be used to extort or blackmail individuals. And there are national security concerns if another nation-state gained access to a whole database containing the genetic information of hundreds of thousands of people.

Though genetic genealogy has been a breakthrough tool for law enforcement, GEDmatch has been criticized for allowing police to use its database without the express consent of its users. More…

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Quotable Sayings

nothing can stop a determined soulThere is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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billionaires don't EARN money, they MAKE money

You do not become a billionaire through labor. You become a billionaire through inheritance, corruption or economic rents – or, in most cases, some mixture of all three.

Grace Blakeley

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same puppet master pulling strings on both sides

Mainstream American liberals think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by Fox and Donald Trump, and mainstream American conservatives think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by MSNBC and the Democrats, but the propaganda strings on both trace back to the same puppet master. And seeing that is just the beginning.

Caitlin Johnstone

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discover your infinite worth

You alone are the judge of your worth and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Deepak Chopra

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main stream media propaganda

It is obvious that the US government is destroying Assange to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information. It is therefore also obvious that any journalist who fails to use whatever platform they have to speak out against Assange’s persecution has no intention of ever publishing anything that the US government doesn’t want published. Their silence on or support for what is being done to this man can and should be taken as an admission that they are nothing other than state propagandists.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Britian's Orwellian tactics against Julian Assange

It’s quite fitting that the – imperially pre-determined – judicial fate of Julian Assange is being played out in Britain, the home of George Orwell.

Pepe Escobar

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More Quotable Sayings

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How is it that we were taught to fear witches, rather than those burning them?

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The Shocking Truth about Our Money System and How We Can Break Free!

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