How the “free market” in toilet tissue tricked you

Sometimes you have to cringe when a Capitalism fan praises the wonder of the “free market.”

For example, “free market competition lowers prices…”

Sounds great, but visit a store and compare the price of batteries from various companies – each one is within a penny of the other.

Listen to the CEO of a major airline who explains: “we no longer compete on price because that’s bad for profits for the entire industry.”

Or, be amazed when the generic drug you are prescribed is made by the same manufacturer as the brand name version and the price of both is nearly identical.

Ah…the “free” market. Some politicians salute this as the cure for rising middle class healthcare costs. Is medical services shopping fun as you put your heart attack on pause to consult with various institutions and learn they have no set price, just schedules of charges that all fall within a close range? Continue reading →

Will Facebook “change your status” to “go directly to jail” for what it identifies as suspicious posts?

“The long term promise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) is that in addition to identifying risks more quickly and accurately than would have already happened, it may also identify risks that nobody would have flagged at all including terrorists planning attacks using private channels, people bullying someone too afraid to report it themselves, and other issues both local and global,”

Those are the words of an early version of a Facebook manifesto, content later removed in the final version by Mark Zuckerberg, one of the richest men in the world – $62.4 billion. (By comparison, Zuck’s assets equal the total family wealth of 12,755,000 African-American households.)

But here’s what the published version of the document said:

“Looking ahead, one of our greatest opportunities to keep people safe is building artificial intelligence to understand more quickly and accurately what is happening across our community.”

It added: “Going forward, there are even more cases where our community should be able to identify risks related to mental health, disease or crime.”

Zuck also wants you to be fed the Facebook material that is approved by the majority of local users unless you opt out and set your own standards:

The idea is to give everyone in the community options for how they would like to set the content policy for themselves. Where is your line on nudity? On violence? On graphic content? On profanity? What you decide will be your personal settings. We will periodically ask you these questions to increase participation and so you don’t need to dig around to find them. For those who don’t make a decision, the default will be whatever the majority of people in your region selected, like a referendum. Of course you will always be free to update your personal settings anytime.

Zuckerberg’s philosophy is contained in a tome here.

Facebook also plans to censor what you see, including so-called hate speech, by using AI to examine every post:

It’s worth noting that major advances in AI are required to understand text, photos and videos to judge whether they contain hate speech, graphic violence, sexually explicit content, and more. At our current pace of research, we hope to begin handling some of these cases in 2017, but others will not be possible for many years.

Mark is a globalist, no fan of the America First slogan, professing that “progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community”

Zuck wrote: “Our job at Facebook is to help people make the greatest positive impact while mitigating areas where technology and social media can contribute to divisiveness and isolation.”

“Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community,” he added.

Kind of creepy, in my opinion. If he really wants to help society, why not donate $1,000 to the 50 million poorest Americans. He would still have $12 billion and an annual income of about $1 billion, or some $114,500 every hour of every day in the year.

Internet morons refute your comments. Surprise, they are paid to weaken your First Amendment

After hours of research you decide to post a comment on an article you read on the Internet. A few seconds after your comment appears, replies flood in refuting your position:

“All your facts are wrong. Grow up, jerk.”

“Clueless comment from dope!”

“Keep you uninformed delusions to yourself!

Sometimes, these tirades continue against comment for hours, even days. Confused, I had no idea where these tirades originated until I read this report from US Right to Know:

Biotech giant Monsanto is being accused of hiring, through third parties, an army of Internet trolls to counter negative comments, while citing positive “ghost-written” pseudo-scientific reports which downplay the potential risks of their products.

In March, a judge ruled, despite Monsanto’s objections, that the documents obtained by the plaintiffs could be released.

One document released alleged that:

Monsanto even started the aptly-named ‘Let Nothing Go’ program to leave nothing, not even Facebook comments, unanswered; through a series of third parties, it employs individuals who appear to have no connection to the industry, who in turn post positive comments on news articles and Facebook posts, defending Monsanto, its chemicals, and GMOs.

Plaintiffs alleged the company “quietly funnels money to ‘think tanks’ such as the ‘Genetic Literacy Project’ and the ‘American Council on Science and Health”– organizations intended to shame scientists and highlight information helpful to Monsanto and other chemical producers.” Continue reading →

Trilateral Commission turned China into giant technocracy to serve investors and corporations

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) and South Korean President Park Geun-hye attend the sixth China-Japan-South Korea leaders’ meeting in the South Korean capital of Seoul, Nov. 1, 2015. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, died Friday.

He was responsible for most of America’s economic woes today caused by our monstrous foreign trade deficit, fortunes and lives lost in Afghanistan, trillions wasted in the Cold War.

Brzens

Leading the Trilateral effort, Brzezinski became National Security Advisor for President James Carter, and in May 1978, against State Department wishes, began talks that led to full diplomatic relations in December that year.

Brzezinski’s “nor­mal­iza­tion” of rela­tions with Com­mu­nist China was designed to change it tech­no­log­i­cally into a super power.

The following year the Washington Post reports in a February article – China Policy: A Born-Again Brzezinski – how Zbigniew describes his meeting with Cyrus Vance and China’s leader, Deng Xiaoping (Teng): Continue reading →

China winning the real World War against America

gold car

A gold-plated Infiniti luxury sports car on a test drive in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu province

During the Vietnam War, my part-time job was correspondent for the United States Information Agency (USIA), and one assignment portended today’s global power alignment.

The assignment was to interview ten ministers from various African nations to gain their impressions of a trip they were concluding in the United States. The article would be translated for their nation’s newspapers after review by Washington officials.

My recollection was a 500-word report to be sent Western Union to USIA headquarters (@ $1 a word). I was paid $30.

The ministers had gathered at  International House, Chestnut St., Philadelphia, and some were dressed American-style and others were in native garb.

I introduced myself as a writer from USIA and then the room filled with shouts.

“You are not USIA! You are CIA…” Continue reading →

That buy your green card pitch by Kushner’s sister in China renews controversy over visas for the rich

If you had $300 during the Civil War you could avoid that first Draft by just paying the dough and walking away. No money, you could go to jail or possibly become one of the 620,000 Americans killed on the battlefields.

When it comes to citizenship, the rich don’t need to climb that wall or swim that Rio Grande, now they just put up money, $500,000 or more to be exact, to invest in some project in the U.S. and agree that somehow that will create ten new jobs.

Some 85% of all these “investment citizens” are from China. The deal is called EB-5 Visa, and not only can you become an American, but so can the wife and children – all for the same price.

By this criterion, anyone with enough money can buy citizenship. Poor folks need not apply.

The program was extended last week by President Donald Trump, even though he said he had qualms about it during the campaign last year. The day after he signed the extension, the Kushner organization was in Beijing, selling investments in the luxury apartment building, One Journal Square, that is set to be built next year in Jersey City. A brochure blasted:

“Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

Continue reading →

FBI used the very fake “Russian Dossier” – now denounced by its author – to obtain FISA warrant

CNN has revealed that the FBI used the fake “Trump dossier” in its application for a warrant from the FISA court in order to monitor former Donald Trump advisor Carter Page.

And Christopher Steele, who wrote the document, said through his lawyers in a report this week that the dossier came from “unsolicited” and “raw” intelligence that “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.”

While Steele denounces the document, CNN reports it was part of the Democrat-controlled government’s effort to subvert Trump and his associates:

“U.S. officials tell CNN that last year the FBI used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump’s campaign as part of the justification to get approval to secretly monitor Trump associate Carter Page,” Even Perez reported. “Now those sources say that FBI Director James Comey has cited the dossier in some of his briefings to Congress in recent weeks as one of the sources of information that the bureau used to bolster its investigation.”

“This includes approval from the secret court that overseas the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act known as FISA, to monitor Page’s communications,” Perez continued. “But to obtain permission to target Page, the FBI and the Justice Department would have to present probable cause that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power. Including possibly engaging in clandestine intelligence gathering for a foreign government.”

Continue reading →

WAPO article suggests Hitler wasn’t evil, just sad victim of his strict father, or an Oedipus complex?

The Washington Post’s Michael Rosenwald last week gave the antisemitic crowd something to admire, when he set the stage for yesterday’s Holocaust Remembrance Day by wondering:

The questions have been asked again and again. Was it because of his (Hitler’s) father? Was it because a Jewish doctor couldn’t save his mother? Was there a Freudian thing that set this all off?

Rosenwald giving blood

Rosenwald’s epistle relies on testimony by Paula Hitler, Adolf’s sister, and the works of historians Ian Kershaw and John Toland. The Washington Post author paints a picture of Hitler as an oppressed little boy, misunderstood by everyone but mommy:

“He was a scrubby little rogue,” Paula said of her brother, “and all attempts of his father to thrash him for his rudeness…were in vain.”

But their mother was always there after the beatings to caress him and bathe him in kindness. “My mother,” Paula said, “was a very soft and tender person, the compensatory element between the almost too harsh father.”

About 30 million humans were killed by Hitler’s WW2, including the six million Jews honored yesterday. Rosenwald doesn’t mention the Holocaust in the article.

Continue reading →

Spies, lies and your lost privacy

Sharyl Attkisson – former CBS investigative reporter, and five-time Emmy winner – has been surveilled, her computer hacked, her career threatened, all because of her exposes of government and political corruption.

Last week she reported on a meeting with “a small group of reliable, formerly high-placed intelligence officials who have dropped a few interesting tidbits on me of late.”

This was her understanding of methods used by the government, based on the discussions:

  • SharylAtkisson_Top2It’s not true that wiretaps and/or electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens can “only” be done with a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order.
  • Besides the FISA court, “wiretapping” or electronic surveillance can also be done under Title III authority. The government used this authority, for example, in the Justice Department’s secret Fast and Furious “gunwalking” case.
  • Additionally, U.S. Presidents have the power to issue secret presidential directives that can authorize otherwise illegal acts (theoretically in the country’s best interests). These directives may come with pre-planned cover stories to be used in the event the operation is exposed, and they come with indemnity for those involved, giving them permission to lie about the operation or their involvement without fear of prosecution.
  • The public will rarely know about such presidential directives since most who see them must sign agreements that promise nondisclosure and consent to polygraphs.

Attkisson said that “computer surveillance is a grey area in the intelligence community where many insiders argue the traditional privacy restrictions and surveillance rules don’t necessarily apply.” Continue reading →

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