Wake Up Wyoming: 10.24.17

Forget ISIS, “Government Corruption” Tops Americans’ Biggest Fears. Thanks to all viewers for their patience and feedback as we experiment with new formats and I learn how to interview people properly. Recapping last night’s interview with StormCloudsGathering. Looking forward to tomorrow’s interview with Richard Gage of AE911Truth. Dominica and Puerto Rico devestation. California wildfire fallout. Global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens ‘survival of human societies’. Scientists reveal e-cigarettes may trigger unique immune responses. Gallup: Rate of American adults without health insurance rises. American kids’ daily mobile screen time is almost 10 times higher than it was in 2011. Censorship in the Digital Age. Crisis is just around the corner: Trichet. U.S. Posts Its Largest Budget Deficit Since 2013. Is the Fed Getting Cold Feet about the QE Unwind? Bitcoin smashes through $6,100 to hit a new record high. Will cryptocurrencies trash cash? ‘Fedcoin’ could do it. And… TO GET HURRICANE REBUILDING MONEY IN TEXAS, CONTRACTORS MUST PROMISE THEY WON’T BOYCOTT ISRAEL… plus HOROSCOPES: Wake Up Wyoming: 10.24.2017

 

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8.24.17: Wake Up Wyoming

Science Magazine: Arsenic in drinking water threatens up to 60 million in Pakistan

It has been called the largest mass poisoning in history. After wells were drilled in Bangladesh and the rest of the Indian subcontinent in the 1970s, millions of people have been exposed to arsenic in drinking water. When leached into water from surrounding rocks and soil, the metal can—at high concentrations—cause skin lesions, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodevelopmental delays. Now, a study suggests Pakistan might be grappling with its own arsenic emergency, with up to 60 million people exposed to contaminated water.

The study team created the region’s first risk map for arsenic, which shows the probability of dangerous concentrations in every part of the country. By estimating the number of people relying on groundwater for drinking, the team reports today in Science Advances that 50 million to 60 million people might use water that contains more than 50 micrograms per liter of arsenic, five times the WHO guideline.

arsenite_updated

TRUMP: ‘If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall’

Business Insider: US Navy 7th Fleet commander dismissed after a series of ship collisions

The news follows the collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters early Monday. The collision tore a hole into the destroyer’s left rear hull. Ten sailors disappeared. Though exact numbers remain unclear, search-and-rescue divers found the remains of some sailors in sealed compartments on the vessel, according to the Associated Press.

The McCain collision followed another fatal collision in June involving the USS Fitzgerald and a commercial container ship, killing seven sailors. Both the Fitzgerald’s executive officer and senior enlisted sailor were dismissed following the incident.

Following the McCain collision, the Navy said that it would put an “operational pause” on all Navy vessels and ordered a broad investigation. Four accidents involving ships have occurred in the western Pacific since February, according to The New York Times.
Zerohedge: Pentagon Denounces American Nazis While Arming Ukrainian Nazis

In the wake of violent protests involving white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in the US, the Pentagon’s top military brass issued unprecedented condemnations of «racists and extremists». One veterans spokesman said: «Anyone waving a Nazi flag must be rooted out of our society».

What makes the Pentagon’s response to Swastika-flag-waving American Nazis rather bizarre is that this week the US Defense Secretary, General James Mattis, is reportedly traveling to Ukraine where he is to sign over shipments of lethal weapons to the armed forces of the Kiev regime. That regime openly glorifies Ukrainian regiments that collaborated with the Nazi Third Reich during the World War Two.

Mattis, the top Pentagon official, is due to authorize the transfer of $50 million-worth of military gear to the Kiev regime. This will mark the first official delivery of lethal equipment from the US. Previous military aid to Ukraine was reportedly «non-lethal». Among the inventory Mattis is signing over are Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Zerohedge: Will Estonia Be The First Country To Issue Its Own Digital Currency?

Nearly three years after Estonia introduced its “e-residency” program, becoming the first country on Earth to allow foreigners to become “digital citizens,” the tiny Baltic republic is considering another proposal that would further cement its reputation as a digital pioneer: Becoming the first country to launch its own Initial Coin Offering.In a Medium post published Tuesday, Kaspar Korjus, managing director of Estonia’s e-residency program, explained how such a virtual token – which he has tentatively named Estcoin – would function as a new type of investment allowing investors a “pure play” investment in its development. In this case, the money raised from the IPO would be administered by a public-private trust, and used to improve the country’s already formidable digital infrastructure.

The Nation: A Mark Zuckerberg Presidency Isn’t Ridiculous—It’s Terrifying

But there are deeper problems with Zuckerberg than his status as a corporate shill. His potential presidential candidacy should make us uneasy not because he’s a CEO, but because he’s the CEO of Facebook, the company responsible for the largest and most brazen data-collection project in human history.  As its user base has grown to encompass more than a quarter of the world’s population, Facebook has built an unparalleled system for tracking, analyzing, and exploiting our behavior. The company owns (and sells) a totally unregulated storehouse of data about our most minute habits and inclinations: what we bought and when and where, whose pictures we looked at and for how long, where our cursor moved, what we sent, what we typed but didn’t send, and what we deleted—not to mention patterns in our browsing history, our e-mail activity, and our facial structures. This fearsome data apparatus has been pitched as part of Facebook’s “journey to connect the world.” Losse’s memoir about the company’s early years, The Boy Kings, recounts how Zuckerberg instructed her to generate rhetoric that would justify Facebook’s burgeoning data-collection practices to the public…

…Trump’s hate-mongering and vulgarity are likely to make whoever occupies the White House after him seem innocuous by comparison, but a Zuckerberg presidency would be dangerous in far more subtle ways. The benign public face of the Obama administration masked an unprecedented program of privacy invasion and surveillance, all carried out in the alleged interests of “national security.” Who’s to say whether “innovation” and “fresh thinking” under a Zuckerberg administration wouldn’t serve as euphemisms for an even broader campaign of observation and analysis, implemented not just to protect us from enemies abroad, but to surreptitiously shape and manage our society at home? If we do find Zuckerberg tossing his hat in the ring come 2020, we should take care to remember what he built at Facebook—and, more importantly, how—and ask ourselves whether elevating a quasi-progressive boy genius is worth the significant costs to our privacy and our freedom.

NY Post: US companies spent $4T buying back their own stock

It’s the “shock” market rally —  cash-rich US companies have plunged nearly $4 trillion of their cash into buying back their stock since 2008, which is why all the stock indexes are hovering near record territory.

“It has massively manipulated the market,” said Richard Bowen, the former Citi executive who blew the whistle on the bank during the subprime mortgage crisis, and noted how these share buybacks in the open market were once deemed illegal. The Securities and Exchange Commission eased the rules in the early ’80s.

“This market scares the crap out of me,” Bowen, sensing a potential financial disaster, told The Post…

…Critics wonder if this is the best use of cash for a company. But the effect on stock price and CEO bonuses make this a win-win for management.

The bonuses are tied to better earnings when a company buys its shares back, because it retires the shares. So the next quarter’s earnings will improve, because the formula for earnings-per-share basis, has a smaller denominator.

In this low-interest environment, many companies, including Apple, are borrowing money to buy back shares, not even dipping into their own coffers.

“We’ve been in a market bubble for a long time, and share buybacks are a big part of the bubble made possible by artificially low interest rates that still exist today,” said financial commentator Peter Schiff.

These repurchase programs are responsible for most of the net inflows into US equities in the latest bull market, one study shows, and it has only grown since the Great Recession.

In the three-year period ending in 2012, 449 companies in the S&P 500 index deployed 54 percent of their earnings, or $2.4 trillion, buying back their own stock, according to another study.

Last year, a whopping 66 percent of corporate earnings went to buybacks.

Bowen says he’s worried, because for most Americans, the stock market is a display of public confidence. But it may all be a huge fantasy, Bowen added, a Ponzi scheme that will end in tears.

Schiff says that could occur if interest rates keep rising, ensnaring corporations that financed stock repurchases with debt. “They are going to have to sell their stock to repay the debt they can’t afford,” he said. “That’s going to end up destroying a lot of shareholder value if corporations have to sell equity into a bear market.”

Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices, is not as fearful, saying much corporate long-term debt has been refinanced, and carries low interest rates.

8.23.17: Wake Up Wyoming

World Bank, IMF, BIS, NBER, McKinsey Now Admit that Globalization Increases Inequality

We’ve all heard that globalization lifts all boats and increases our prosperity …

But mainstream economists and organizations are now starting to say that globalization increases inequality.

Wolf Street: US Gross National Debt to Spike by $800 Billion in October?

us-gross-national-debt-2011_2017-08

UPI: Elon Musk, world tech leaders, call for ban on killer robots

Aug. 21 (UPI) — Several global robotics technology leaders, including Tesla founder Elon Musk, submitted an open letter to the United Nations, imploring governments to issue ban on “lethal autonomous weapons,” also known as killer robots.

“Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend,” the letter said. “These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.”

The letter was signed by 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries. They added: “We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close. We therefore implore the High Contracting Parties to find a way to protect us all from these dangers.”

See also…

IB Times: Killer Robots Could Change Warfare More Than Gunpowder, Nuclear Arms, Experts Warn

Natural Society: Opioid Use Now Tops Tobacco Use in the U.S.

A survey released by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that more people in the U.S. use opioid painkillers than tobacco, highlighting the tragic opioid crisis gripping the country. [1]

A federal review published in the spring showed that opioid prescriptions in the U.S. decreased for the 1st time in 2 decades, which suggests that doctors are finally starting to heed warnings about the drugs’ addictive properties. However, that decrease has not translated into fewer deaths. The SAMHSA report illustrates just how widespread the problem remains.

The problem is especially severe in Tennessee, where there are more opioid prescriptions written than people actually living in the state. There are 1.18 opioid prescriptions per every resident of Tennessee. More people died from overdoses in the state in 2014 than from car crashes or shootings. [2]

Nationally, 37.8% of American adults are using some type of opioid painkiller, while 31.1% of U.S. adults use tobacco problems.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), more than 91.8 million Americans 18 and older used prescription painkillers last year. By comparison, 75.4 million U.S. adults used tobacco products. [1]

Those numbers creep even higher when children 12 and older are included; to 97.5 million and 78.3 million, respectively. And more than 12.5% of those users admitted to misusing the painkillers.

Last night’s announcement of a recommitment to the Afghanistan war is the earliest evidence that Trump has been completely castrated and will now play by status quo rules with little to no friction. This Presidency will very quickly begin to look like the fifth George W. Bush term (Obama was three and four), on every single issue of genuine importance to oligarchs.

A Key advisor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Bouthaina Shaaban today declared that the Syrian War is effectively over, saying that the Damascus International Fair marks the end of the war and the beginning of reconstruction.

The Damascus International Fair had been on hold for five years during the war, but kicked off earlier this week, with companies from around the world participating in the trade fair. The largest participants are expected to be from Russia and China.

While claiming this to mark the end of the war nationwide is obviously premature, it does mark a turning point in the situation around the capital city, as it’s unthinkable such an event could’ve been held in recent years, and this underscores increased security in that area.

Still, large chunks of the country remain outside of the Assad government’s control, and Shaaban vowed to see Syria’s Army confront illegitimate foreign forces present in the country, singling out US and Turkish forces in particular as objectionable presences.

Of Two Minds: Are Profit and Healthcare Incompatible?

The only way to systemically lower costs is to make prevention and transparency the top priorities.

As I have been noting for a decade, the broken U.S. healthcare system will bankrupt the nation all by itself. We all know the basic facts: the system delivers uneven results in terms of improving health and life expectancy while costing two or three times more per person compared to our advanced-economy global competitors.

This chart says it all: the global outlier in low life expectancy and exorbitant cost is the U.S.
us-healthcare-system8-17
Fentanyl, which is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, was recently tied to the deaths of 60 people in the UK – and a growing number of deaths in Australia

Cointelegraph: US Lawmakers Draft Bill Protecting Cryptocurrencies from Gov Interference

Several members of the US Congress are drafting legislation that is intended to recognize certain digital currencies and protect them against interference from the federal government.

The bill, which will provide protection to cryptocurrencies that comply with certain minimum requirements to prevent them from being used by those engaged in illegal business practices like drug traffickers and terrorists, is expected to be filed in September 2017, according to DailyCaller.

Based on a reliable source, at least one Republican senator and two Republican congressmen are working on the draft legislation.

The legislators, however, have requested that should not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue and the complexity of the proposed solution.

University at Buffalo: Scientists use magnetic fields to remotely stimulate brain — and control body movements

Scientists have used magnetic nanoparticles to stimulate neurons deep in the brain to evoke body movements of mice.

Independent: Crackdown on ‘corrosive’ online hate crimes launched by Crown Prosecution Service

Hate crimes committed on social media will be treated as seriously as similar street-based offences, according to new guidelines issued by the Crown Prosecution Service as they launch a crackdown on hate speech online.

Recognising the “corrosive effect” of hate crime on British society, Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, announced the CPS will now revise prosecutions of such crimes “with the same robust and proactive approach used with offline offending”.

The changes could lead to a dramatic increase in those being prosecuted for posting prejudice attacks on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Investor’s Business Daily: U.S. Has 3.5 Million More Registered Voters Than Live Adults — A Red Flag For Electoral Fraud

American democracy has a problem — a voting problem. According to a new study of U.S. Census data, America has more registered voters than actual live voters. It’s a troubling fact that puts our nation’s future in peril.

The data come from Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project. The group looked at data from 2011 to 2015 produced by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, along with data from the federal Election Assistance Commission.

As reported by the National Review’s Deroy Murdock, who did some numbers-crunching of his own, “some 3.5 million more people are registered to vote in the U.S. than are alive among America’s adult citizens. Such staggering inaccuracy is an engraved invitation to voter fraud.”

Murdock counted Judicial Watch’s state-by-state tally and found that 462 U.S. counties had a registration rate exceeding 100% of all eligible voters. That’s 3.552 million people, who Murdock calls “ghost voters.” And how many people is that? There are 21 states that don’t have that many people.

Nor are these tiny, rural counties or places that don’t have the wherewithal to police their voter rolls.

California, for instance, has 11 counties with more registered voters than actual voters. Perhaps not surprisingly — it is deep-Blue State California, after all — 10 of those counties voted heavily for Hillary Clinton.

Los Angeles County, whose more than 10 million people make it the nation’s most populous county, had 12% more registered voters than live ones, some 707,475 votes. That’s a huge number of possible votes in an election.

But, Murdock notes, “California’s San Diego County earns the enchilada grande. Its 138% registration translates into 810,966 ghost voters.”

G Edward Griffin: 250,000 Have Signed Petition to Designate Antifa as Domestic Terror Group

A petition urging the Trump administration to officially label Antifa a “terror group” has more than double the 100,000 signatures needed to merit a formal response from the White House.

The left-wing “anti-fascist” group has come under fire in the wake of the violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virgnia. Many have claimed that Antifa demonstrators played a significant role in the violent clashes in Charlottesville and at other events across the country.

As of Tuesday evening, more than 250,000 people had signed the petition, which states:

Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims”. This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations. AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States. It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.

8.20.17: Wake Up Wyoming

BBC: NASA’s Ambitious Plan to Save Earth from the Yellowstone Supervolcano

Lying beneath the tranquil settings of Yellowstone National Park in the US lies an enormous magma chamber. It’s responsible for the geysers and hot springs that define the area, but for scientists at Nasa, it’s also one of the greatest natural threats to human civilisation as we know it: a potential supervolcano.

“I was a member of the Nasa Advisory Council on Planetary Defense which studied ways for Nasa to defend the planet from asteroids and comets,” explains Brian Wilcox of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology. “I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat.”

When Nasa scientists came to consider the problem, they found that the most logical solution could simply be to cool a supervolcano down. A volcano the size of Yellowstone is essentially a gigantic heat generator, equivalent to six industrial power plants. Yellowstone currently leaks about 60-70% of the heat coming up from below into the atmosphere, via water which seeps into the magma chamber through cracks. The remainder builds up inside the magma, enabling it to dissolve more and more volatile gases and surrounding rocks. Once this heat reaches a certain threshold, then an explosive eruption is inevitable…

…[Nasa scientists] believe the most viable solution could be to drill up to 10km down into the supervolcano, and pump down water at high pressure. The circulating water would return at a temperature of around 350C (662F), thus slowly day by day extracting heat from the volcano. And while such a project would come at an estimated cost of around $3.46bn (£2.69bn), it comes with an enticing catch which could convince politicians to make the investment.

“Yellowstone currently leaks around 6GW in heat,” Wilcox says. “Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power at extremely competitive prices of around $0.10/kWh. You would have to give the geothermal companies incentives to drill somewhat deeper and use hotter water than they usually would, but you would pay back your initial investment, and get electricity which can power the surrounding area for a period of potentially tens of thousands of years. And the long-term benefit is that you prevent a future supervolcano eruption which would devastate humanity.”

But drilling into a supervolcano does not come without certain risks. Namely triggering the eruption you’re intending to prevent.

“The most important thing with this is to do no harm,” Wilcox says. “If you drill into the top of the magma chamber and try and cool it from there, this would be very risky. This could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. And you might trigger the release of harmful volatile gases in the magma at the top of the chamber which would otherwise not be released.”

However those who instigate such a project will never see it to completion, or even have an idea whether it might be successful within their lifetime. Cooling Yellowstone in this manner would happen at a rate of one metre a year, taking of the order of tens of thousands of years until just cold rock was left. Although Yellowstone’s magma chamber would not need to be frozen solid to reach the point where it no longer posed a threat, there would be no guarantee that the endeavour would ultimately be successful for at least hundreds and possibly thousands of years.

But to prevent a catastrophe, such long-term thinking and planning may be the only choice. “With a project like this, you’d start the process and the main ongoing benefit you’d see in everyday terms is this new supply of electrical power,” Wilcox says.

Such a plan could be potentially applied to every active supervolcano on the planet, and Nasa’s scientists are hoping that their blueprints will encourage more practical scientific discussion and debate for tackling the threat.

“When people first considered the idea of defending the Earth from an asteroid impact, they reacted in a similar way to the supervolcano threat,” Wilcox says. “People thought, ‘As puny as we are, how can humans possibly prevent an asteroid from hitting the Earth.’ Well, it turns out if you engineer something which pushes very slightly for a very long time, you can make the asteroid miss the Earth. So the problem turns out to be easier than people think. In both cases it requires the scientific community to invest brain power and you have to start early. But Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded, which should cause us to sit up and take notice.”

Instead, the idea is to drill in from the supervolcano from the lower sides, starting outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, and extracting the heat from the underside of the magma chamber. “This way you’re preventing the heat coming up from below from ever reaching the top of the chamber which is where the real threat arises,” Wilcox says.

Business Insider: People are asking why North Carolina police watched protesters vandalize a statue, then arrested them for it

By Milicent Cranor at WhoWhatWhy

On August 14, in Durham NC, something strange happened that does not make sense to me.

A demonstrator protester climbed up on the statue of a Confederate soldier, tied a rope around his neck, gave a signal, and her fellow protesters pulled until the statue came crashing down. Then several other protesters converged on the statue, viciously, exuberantly, kicking it again and again.

This was done under the watchful eyes of law enforcement — who were filming every moment of the incident.As Fox News reported, “At no time did officers with the Durham Police Department or deputies with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office intervene… according to multiple media reports.”

At first I thought, how nice. The police are allowing the crowd to let off steam. After what happened in Charlottesville, the participants needed a catharsis, and this one seemed harmless enough, especially since such statues will probably be brought down anyway. So the police seemed to be indulging them.

And yesterday morning, Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews seemed to confirm this impression. He said “Collectively, we decided that restraint and public safety would be our priority.”

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

Paul Craig Roberts

The liberal/progressive/left are enjoying their drunkfest of denunciation. I can’t say I have ever witnessed anything like it. These are the people who sat on their hands for 16 years while Washington destroyed in whole or part seven countries. Not being satisfied with this level of warmongering and crimes against humanity, Washington orchestrated a conflict situation with Russia. Americans elected a president who said he would defuse this dangerous conflict, and the liberal/progressive/left turned on him. In contrast, one person is killed after the hated Charlottesville protest event was over, and there is endless absurd outrage against the president of the US.

Three New York Times presstitutes yesterday blamed the crisis on Trump, declaring him “increasingly isolated in a racial crisis of his own making.” Apparently, Trump is responsible for the crisis because he blamed both protest groups for the violence.

But isn’t that what happened? Wasn’t there violence on both sides? That was the impression I got from the news reporting. I’m not surprised that Trump got the same impression. Indeed, many readers have sent emails that they received the same impression of mutual violence.

So Trump is being damned for stating the truth.

Let’s assume that the impression Trump and many others got from the news is wrong. That would make Trump guilty of arriving at a mistaken conclusion. Yet, he is accused of instigating and supporting Nazi violence. How is it possible to transform a mistake into evil intent? A mistaken impression gained from news reporting does not constitute a “defense of white nationalist protesters.” An assertion by the New York Times cannot turn the absence of intent into intent. What the Establishment is trying to do is to push Trump into the arms of white supremacists, which is where they want him.

Clearly, there is no basis for this charge. It is a lie, an orchestration that is being used to delegitimize President Trump and those who elected him.

The question is: who is behind this orchestration?

The orchestration is causing people to run away from Trump or is being used as an excuse by them to further the plot to remove him from office.

Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum headed by Stephen A. Schwarzman ran away, just as members of the Carter Center’s board deserted President Jimmy Carter when he criticized Israel for its apartheid policy toward the Palestinians. The New York Times says that the armed services chiefs are running away. And the entire Republican Party.

The hypocrisy is stunning. For 16 years the armed services chiefs, the New York Times and the rest of the presstitute media, both political parties and the liberal/progressive/left have participated actively or passively in massive crimes against humanity. There are millions of dead, maimed, and displaced people. Yet one death in Charlottesville has produced a greater outpouring of protest.

I don’t believe it is sincere. I don’t believe that people who are insensitive to the deaths of millions at the hands of their government can be so upset over the death of one person. Assume that Trump is responsible for the death of the woman. How much blood is it compared to the blood on the hands of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama? It seems clear enough that the outpouring of grief is an orchestration designed to deligitimize the president and the people who elected him…

… Members of the liberal/progressive/left are proclaiming that despicable people such as white nationalists should not be allowed to protest and should not be given a permit to protest. They forget that protest is a right.

The US Supreme Court settled the issue 40 years ago in 1977 by overturning an Illinois court order that blocked an extremist protest in Skokie, a Jewish suburb of Chicago. The Supreme Court ruled that protest is not limited by the fact that some people will be offended or by the chance that there will be violent reactions. Otherwise, whatever faction happens to be in charge can suppress dissent by everyone else.

For decades the liberal/progressive/left has invested heavily in driving people apart. Black studies, women’s studies, and Native American studies can easily cross into propaganda that generates hatred. As a man of peace said, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Charlottesville has given us a debauchery of denunciation that proves that we are a divided nation. Does a nation so divided really want to be in conflict with Russia and China and Iran? If the US is the institutionalization of White Supremacy as the liberal/progressive/left says, how can it be that Americans are simultaneously the “exceptional, indispensable people” with the right to bomb other peoples into the stone age?

Obviously, there is a lot in this scenario that does not make sense.

Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression

August 17, 2017

In the wake of Charlottesville, both GoDaddy and Google have refused to manage the domain registration for the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that, in the words of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is “dedicated to spreading anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism.” Subsequently Cloudflare, whose service was used to protect the site from denial-of-service attacks, has also dropped them as a customer, with a telling quote from Cloudflare’s CEO: “Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. No one should have that power.”

We agree. Even for free speech advocates, this situation is deeply fraught with emotional, logistical, and legal twists and turns. All fair-minded people must stand against the hateful violence and aggression that seems to be growing across our country. But we must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with. Those on the left face calls to characterize the Black Lives Matter movement as a hate group. In the Civil Rights Era cases that formed the basis of today’s protections of freedom of speech, the NAACP’s voice was the one attacked.

Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one—not the government and not private commercial enterprises—should decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t.

WSJ: ACLU Will No Longer Defend Hate Groups Protesting With Firearms

The American Civil Liberties Union took a new stance on firearms Thursday, announcing a change in policy that it would not represent hate groups who demonstrate with firearms.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero told The Wall Street Journal that the group would have stricter screenings and take legal requests from white supremacist groups on a case-by-case basis.

“The events of Charlottesville require any judge, any police chief and any legal group to look at the facts of any white-supremacy protests with a much finer comb,” Romero told the Journal. “If a protest group insists, ‘No, we want to be able to carry loaded firearms,’ well, we don’t have to represent them. They can find someone else.”

The ACLU has come under fire after it filed a lawsuit in defense of the organizers who planned the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., after city officials denied them a permit to hold the rally around a statue of Robert E. Lee, which is set to be removed.

The group was ultimately granted the permit for the Saturday rally, which later turned violent and resulted in one death and more than a dozen injured.

“But let’s be clear: our lawsuit challenging the city to act constitutionally did not cause violence nor did it in any way address the question whether demonstrators could carry sticks or other weapons at the events,” Virginia ACLU executive director Claire Gastanaga said in a statement earlier this week.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 people were injured when a car, allegedly driven by a man with connections to white supremacists, was driven into a crowd of counterprotesters on Saturday, according to police.

The violence shook the nation and has left many debating how to address speech by white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.

ZEROHEDGE: “Let’s Blow Up Mount Rushmore” Says Vice

We may have hit peak media crazy here. A prominent online news publication says, “Let’s blow up Mt. Rushmore.” No, this is not al-Qaeda’s “Inspire” magazine or the Islamic State’s “Dabiq” propaganda publication – it’s Brooklyn based Vice News.

On the same day a barbaric terror attack takes place in Barcelona, resulting in 13 deaths and 100 people injured, the popular liberal news org known for its edgy investigative approach and stylistic “cooler than thou” appeal to millennials tweeted out an article which advocates for blowing up Mount Rushmore.

Vice initially titled the article, authored by Vice Senior Editor Wilbert L. Cooper, “Let’s Blow Up Mt Rushmore”.

After fierce online push back on a day there was a literal terror attack unfolding across the Atlantic, Vice hastily deleted the tweet and changed the article title to the toned down, Let’s Get Rid of Mt. Rushmore – this time with an editor’s note at the bottom of the page attempting to explain the change:

Editor’s note: The headline and URL of this story have been updated. We do not condone violence in any shape or form, and the use of “blow up” in the original headline as a rhetorical device was misguided and insensitive. We apologize for the error.

Rhetorical device? The content of the article still supports destroying America’s most celebrated and iconic historic monument dedicated to American presidents. The author literally states he is “onboard” should there ever be “a serious push to blow up Rushmore”:

With the president of the United States basically justifying neo-Nazism, it seems unthinkable that we will ever see a day when there is a serious push to blow up Rushmore and other monuments like it. But if that moment ever arrives, I suspect I’d be onboard.

Cooper further (not so) eloquently calls for leveling the whole place, and presumably all monuments devoted to past US “cults of personality” (as he calls them):

Demystifying the historical figures of the past, pulling them off the great mountain top back down to Earth where they shat, farted, spit, pissed, fucked, raped, murdered, died, and rotted seems like important business for this country. As long as we allow those men to be cults of personality who exist beyond reproach, we’re never going to be able to see them for all of their good and all of their evil.

Disturbingly, the call for leveling such monuments is contained in the conclusion of an article with repeat references equating President Trump with neo-Nazis:

Trump and his white supremacist cohorts believe the reverence some Americans have for these statues is simply respect for history, and that tearing them down is tantamount to ripping pages out of a textbook.

Ironically, the article does acknowledge the truthfulness of Trump’s recent words that we are headed towards a dangerously iconoclastic slippery slope set to end in the demolishing of American history. But the Vice article at the outset essentially says… yes! Let’s do just that:

Donald Trump says removing confederate statues is a slippery slope that could get out of control. Maybe he’s right—would that be such a bad thing?

And if a private citizen said “let’s blow up Mount Rushmore” and published an article which seriously explored destroying the site – an article which was clearly “pro” dynamiting the monument? It doesn’t take much imagination to know who would come knocking if this were anything but a $5.7 billion news organization.

 

INDEPENDENT: Art of the Deal co-author predicts Donald Trump is about to resign

NEWSWEEK: Trump Is Just Six Senate Votes Away From Impeachment

 

8.18.17: Wake Up Wyoming

Cryptocurrencies and the War on Cash

Coingecko: Bitcoin Cash Price Updates

Currently up 80% over the last 24 hours.  Hovering at $547 up from a low of $205 on August 6th, 2017.  Volatility!

Daily Reckoning: Why Elites Are Winning the War on Cash

by James Richards

Visa recently unveiled its own offensive in the war on cash. Visa is offering certain merchants a $10,000 reward if they refuse to accept cash in the future.

Not surprisingly, Visa’s competitor is also part of the war on cash. Mastercard is increasing its efforts to encourage merchants to refuse cash. Here’s Bloomberg, quoting the CEO of Mastercard:

“Mastercard Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga has been one of the most ardent supporters of ditching paper currency in the U.S. The 57-year-old first declared his war on cash in 2010.”

These private efforts by Visa and MasterCard exist side by side with official efforts to eliminate or discourage the use of cash coming from governments in India, Australia, Sweden as well as the United States.

These efforts are always portrayed in the most favorable light. Private parties talk about convenience and lower costs. Governments talk about putting pressure on tax cheats, terrorists and criminals.

Governments always use money laundering, drug dealing and terrorism as an excuse to keep tabs on honest citizens and deprive them of the ability to use money alternatives such as physical cash and gold.

But the so-called “cashless society” is just a Trojan horse for a system in which all financial wealth is electronic and represented digitally in the records of a small number of megabanks and asset managers.

Once that is achieved, it will be easy for state power to seize and freeze the wealth, or subject it to constant surveillance, taxation and other forms of digital confiscation.

The war on cash has two main thrusts. The first is to make it difficult to obtain cash in the first place. U.S. banks will report anyone taking more than $3,000 in cash as engaging in a “suspicious activity” using Treasury Form SAR (Suspicious Activity Report).

The second thrust is to eliminate large-denomination banknotes. The U.S. got rid of its $500 note in 1969, and the $100 note has lost 85% of its purchasing power since then. With a little more inflation, the $100 bill will be reduced to chump change.

See also…

Daily Reckoning: War on Cash: A “Wider Cultural Change Agenda”

Dollar Collapse: High-Profile Sectors Start To Roll Over

Charles Hugh Smith: Why We’re Doomed: Our Economy’s Toxic Inequality

CNBC: Extreme right groups turn to ‘shadow economy’

Extreme right groups, shunned by payment processors and traditional companies, are turning to novel methods to solicit donations.  One rightist said he is planning a website where supporters can make monthly donations anonymously to their cause.  The site would avoid mainstream processors like PayPal and will accept bitcoin donations, he said.

Charlottesville Insanity

ZERO HEDGE: Why Was This ‘Crowd Hire’ Company Recruiting $25 An Hour ‘Political Activists’ In Charlotte Last Week?

by Tyler Durden

Trump ignited a political firestorm yesterday during an impromptu press conference in which he said there was “blame on both sides” for the tragic events that occurred in Charlottesville over the weekend.

Now, the discovery of a craigslist ad posted last Monday, almost a full week before the Charlottesville protests, is raising new questions over whether paid protesters were sourced by a Los Angeles based “public relations firm specializing in innovative events” to serve as agitators in counterprotests.

The ad was posted by a company called “Crowds on Demand” and offered $25 per hour to “actors and photographers” to participate in events in the “Charlotte, NC area.”  While the ad didn’t explicitly define a role to be filled by its crowd of “actors and photographers” it did ask applicants to comment on whether they were “ok with participating in peaceful protests.”

CNET: Apple Pay, PayPal cut off sites linked to white supremacists

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USA TODAY: White nationalists reportedly planning a rally in Lexington to oppose removal of statues

In the wake of this weekend’s rally in Charlottesville, Va., white nationalists reportedly plan to gather in Lexington to oppose the planned removal of Confederate statues.

Matthew Heimbach, chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, who is no stranger to Kentucky, told the Lexington Herald-Leader people in the area asked his group to get involved. He said the goal is to have the rally “sooner rather than later.”

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced after Saturday’s rally that he intends to take action to relocate the city’s Confederate statues. The white supremacist groups that gathered Saturday were drawn at least in part to the city by a vote to sell a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Lexington’s City Council went on to vote unanimously Tuesday in favor of removing the Confederate statues from the lawn of the former county courthouse, according to media reports — a move Heimbach and other white nationalists oppose.

MISES INSTITUTE: Before “Fake News,” America Invented “Pseudo Events”

by Ryan McMaken

In the wake of the Chalottesville riot, it’s been interesting how quickly the focus has shifted away from the actual events in Charlottesville and toward the public pundits and intellectuals are expressing opinions about the events.

Already, the media has lost interest in analyzing the details of the event itself, and are instead primarily reporting on what Donald Trump, his allies, and his enemies have to say about it.

This is an important distinction in coverage. Rather than attempt to supply a detailed look at who was at the event, what was done, and what the participants — from both sides — have to say about it, we are instead exposed primarily to what people in Washington, DC, and the political class in general, think about the events in which they were not directly involved.

This focus illustrates what has long been a bias among the reporters and pundits in the national media: a bias toward focus on the national intellectual class rather than on events that take place outside the halls of official power.

Note, however, that those quoted rarely have any special knowledge about the events themselves. Their opinions are covered not because they are knowledgeable, but because their quotations fit easily into a narrative that the media wishes to perpetuate.

by 2016 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate Ajamu Baraka

“While I recognize the danger of the violent right-wing movement, I am more concerned with the right-wing policies that are being enacted into law and policy by both Democrats and Republicans.”

What is the character of racist right-wing politics today? Is it the crazed white supremacist who plows into an anti-fascist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, or can it also be the assurance by Lindsay Graham that an attack against North Korea would result in thousands of lives lost…. but those lives will be “over there”? What about the recent unanimous resolution by both Houses of Congress in support of Israel and criticism of the United Nations for its alleged anti-Israeli bias? Would that qualify as racist and right-wing, since it appears that the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians is of no concern? And what about the vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to go even beyond the obscene proposal of the Trump administration to increase the military budget by $54 billion dollars and instead add a whopping $74 billion to the Pentagon budget?

What I find interesting about the current discussion around what many are referring to as the emboldening of the radical white supremacist right is how easy it is to mobilize opposition against the crude and overt white supremacists we saw in Charlottesville. So easy, in fact, that it’s really a distraction from the more difficult and dangerous work that needs to be done to confront the real right-wing power brokers.

The white supremacy that some of us see as more insidious is not reflected in the simple, stereotypical images of the angry, Nazi-saluting alt-righter or even Donald Trump. Instead, it is the normalized and thus invisible white supremacist ideology inculcated into cultural and educational institutions and the policies that stem from those ideas. That process doesn’t just produce the storm troopers of the armed and crazed radical right but also such covert true believers as Robert Ruben from Goldman Sachs, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Tony Blair and Nancy Pelosi — “decent” individuals who have never questioned for a moment the superiority of Western civilization, who believe completely in the White West’s right and responsibility to determine which nations should have sovereignty and who should be the leaders of “lesser” nations. And who believe that there is no alternative to the wonders of global capitalism even if it means that billions of human beings are consigned permanently to what Fanon called the “zone of non-being.”

“The political impact of the right gaining power in Ukraine could not be isolated from the growing power of the right elsewhere.”

This is the white supremacy that I am concerned with. And while I recognize the danger of the violent right-wing movement, I am more concerned with the right-wing policies that are being enacted into law and policy by both Democrats and Republicans at every level of government.

More than two years ago I wrote that:

“The brutal repression and dehumanization witnessed across Europe in the 1930s has not found generalized expression in the U.S. and Europe, at least not yet. Nevertheless, large sectors of the U.S. and European left appear to be unable to recognize that the U.S./NATO/EU axis that is committed to maintaining the hegemony of Western capital is resulting in dangerous collaborations with rightist forces both inside and outside of governments.”

The impetus of that article was to critique the inherent danger of the Obama Administration’s cynical manipulation of right-wing elements in Ukraine to overthrow the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych. Not only was it dangerous and predictably disastrous for the Ukrainian people, but because U.S. support for a neo-fascist movement in Ukraine took place within a context in which the political right was gaining legitimacy and strength across Europe. The political impact of the right gaining power in Ukraine could not be isolated from the growing power of the right elsewhere. Which meant that the Obama Admiration’s selfish, short-term objective to undermine Russia in Ukraine had the effect of empowering the right and shifting the balance of forces toward the right throughout Europe.

But because Obama was incorrectly seen as a liberal, he was able to avoid most criticism of his policies in Ukraine, in Europe and domestically. In fact, liberals and the left both in the U.S. and in Europe generally supported his Ukraine policies.

“The U.S. has become a dangerous right-wing society as a result of a steady shift to the right over the past four decades.”

However, playing footsie with right-wing elements in the Ukraine and underestimating the growing power of the right has resulted in powerful and dangerous right-wing movements on both sides of the Atlantic who have effectively exploited endemic white racism and the contradictions of neoliberal capitalist globalization. The ascendancy of Donald Trump cannot be decontextualized from the racial, class and gender politics of this moment here and abroad.

The alt-right that showed up in Charlottesville this past weekend was mimicking the tactics of the frontline neo-fascist soldiers who orchestrated the coup in the Ukraine, yet everyone is saying this is a result of Trump. The objective fact is that the U.S. has become a dangerous right-wing society as a result of a steady shift to the right over the past four decades. The idea that Trump’s election somehow “created” the right cannot be taken seriously and cannot be reduced to the crude expressions of the alt-right.

See also…

Consortium News: A Ukraine Link to North Korea’s Missiles?

By orchestrating the 2014 “regime change” in Ukraine, U.S. neocons may have indirectly contributed to a desperate Ukrainian factory selling advanced rocket engines to North Korea and endangering America.

Cybersecurity

UPI: University of Washington students can hack smart devices, track body movement

Computer science students at the University of Washington have found a way to remotely hack into people’s personal devices, such as cell phones and smart TV’s, to track individual movement, raising serious security questions, the university announced Wednesday.

UPI: Report: Modern cars’ components can be hacked

Modern cars’ electronic components, including safety features, are susceptible to hacks from individuals with physical access, according to researchers.

Reuters: Scottish parliament says ‘brute-force’ cyber-attack ongoing, has not breached defences

EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Scotland’s devolved parliament is suffering an ongoing brute-force cyber attack but the attack has not breached the assembly’s IT defences, it said on Wednesday.

“At this point there is no evidence to suggest that the attack has breached our defences and our IT systems continue to be fully operational,” the Scottish parliament said in a statement.

“Users should be aware, however, that this attack remains ongoing. It is not uncommon for brute force attacks to be sustained over a period of days so it is essential that IT account users are vigilant and report any suspicious issues,” it added.

Hackers using a “brute-force” attack repeatedly try to gain access to systems by trying different passwords.

Hackers are becoming more and more adept at developing or finding malware to wipe data on computers, making them inoperable and causing data breaches. Britain’s last major cyber attack was the “WannaCry” ransomware attack, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers in May and caused disruptions in more than 150 countries.

ANTIWAR.COM: Assange Meets With US Lawmaker, Vows to Prove DNC Leaks Didn’t Come From Russia

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange met with a member of the US Congress for the first time Wednesday, as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA) met him during a three-hour gathering at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

During the meeting, Assange assured Rohrabacher that Russia was not the source of DNC leaks which WikiLeaks published during the 2016 campaign related to the Democratic Party, and he promised specific information would be provided to prove that.

International Warmongering

ANTIWAR.COM Report: Saudis Increasing Yemen Airstrikes, Killing More Civilians

by Jason Ditz August 16th 2017

Throughout 2016, the UN High Commission for Refugees counted 3,936 airstrikes in Yemen. The newly released figures for the first half of 2017 show that previous figure, which covered an entire year, is already far surpassed, with 5,676 airstrikes launched by the end of June.

This has turned an already catastrophic humanitarian situation, with thousands killed in airstrikes, into an ever-mounting disaster, with the new strikes killing yet more civilians, and strikes so intense in some areas as to displace much of the civilian population elsewhere in the country.

Being an internally displaced person isn’t great wherever you are, but in Yemen it’s all but a death sentence, as a Saudi naval blockade is keeping food and medicine shipments in the country to a bare minimum, worsening a cholera epidemic and leaving much of the population on the brink of starvation.

Aid group Oxfam estimated that over 500,000 children in Yemen are already suffering from “severe malnutrition” because of the blockade, and there are no signs of that situation improving any time soon. Indeed, Hodeidah, the last port that has access to the country’s north, is nearly constantly under siege, with the Saudis seeking to transfer it to the control of the country’s southern government.

South China Morning Post: Sharp rise in Chinese food exports to North Korea as starving nation leans heavily on its only ally

Chinese food exports to North Korea – both staples and snacks – have increased massively over the past year, hinting at the isolated regime’s growing reliance on its only ally.

Chinese customs data showed a surge in exports of nearly 30 items, with corn increasing 32-fold from 400 tonnes to nearly 12,724 tonnes, bananas from just over 63.4 tonnes to 1,156 tonnes and wheat powder from less than 0.6 tonnes to 7.6 tonnes.

Spirit exports also more than quadrupled, rising from 2.1 million litres to 9.5 million in the second quarter compared with the previous year.

“The Maduro Diet” – Venezuelans Suffer Drastic Weight Loss As Hunger Crisis Strikes

Shortages are becoming ever more severe in Venezuela. As Deutsche Welle reports, according to the World Health Organization, hospitals lack 95% of necessary medicines. Many people are undernourished and they receive no help from the government.

“An estimated 75% of Venezuelans lost at least 10 kilos last year because there is not enough food to go around… people here call it ‘The Maduro Diet’

“When we say people are eating from the garbage, we are not joking, it’s our reality… people don’t have enough to eat.”

Furthermore, a lack of food and basic services is also creating an education crisis with more than 1 million children no longer attending school due to a lack of food, running water and/or electricity.

BUT IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE…

ZERO HEDGE: 1 In 7 New York City Public-School Students Is Homeless

Despite promising to do everything in his power to improve the quality of life for New York City’s most economically vulnerable residents, Mayor Bill De Blasio has instead presided over one of the largest expansions in homelessness in New York City history.

Over the past two years, the population of homeless students in NYC’s public schools has exploded, increasing by 20% between the 2015-2016 school year and the 2016-2017 school year, which concluded in June. There are now more than 140,000 homeless public-school students, according to the Atlas of Student Homelessness, an annual study conducted by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness. At any given time, roughly 9% of NYC public-school students are homeless. Another four percent were currently housed, but had experienced homelessness at some point since 2010-2011 school year. Furthermore, one in seven NYC students will have been homeless at least temporarily during their tenure.

Silver Linings

UPI: LA to begin paying homeowners to build second dwellings for homeless

Aug. 16 (UPI) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to give homeowners between $50,000 and $75,000 to build second dwellings on their property in an effort to house more homeless people.

The pilot program passed by a vote of 4-0 and will begin with an allocated amount of $550,000, reported the Los Angeles Daily News.

Officials said the program will roll out slowly as a way to test its feasibility.

In a letter recommending the program’s approval, Richard Bruckner, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, said the initiative will begin to review and approve designs for the additional units, provide incentives for their construction and promote the program.

The county program comes after the state passed a law easing restrictions on building second units, informally referred to as “backhouses” or “granny flats,” in order to combat the rising homelessness rate in California.

According to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, California typically has approximately 118,000 people experiencing homelessness on an average night — the highest rate in the country and 30,000 more than in New York, in second place. In Los Angeles, the number of homeless on an average night is about 47,000.