Saturday, October 19, 2019

Creeping Fascism, Part 5: “the world’s most sophisticated, high-tech systems to keep watch over citizens”

by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:

Maybe this series should be renamed “Galloping Fascism”:

China’s Tech Giants Have a Second Job: Helping Beijing Spy on Its People

(Wall Street Journal) – HANGZHOU, China—Alibaba Group’s sprawling campus has collegial workspaces, laid-back coffee bars and, on the landscaped grounds, a police outpost.

Employees use the office to report suspected crimes to the police, according to people familiar with the operation. Police also use it to request data from Alibaba for their own investigations, these people said, tapping into the trove of information the tech giant collects through its e-commerce and financial-payment networks.

In one case, the police wanted to find out who had posted content related to terrorism, said a former Alibaba employee. “They came to me and asked me for the user ID and information,” he recalled. He turned it over.

The Chinese government is building one of the world’s most sophisticated, high-tech systems to keep watch over its citizens, including surveillance cameras, facial-recognition technology and vast computers systems that comb through terabytes of data. Central to its efforts are the country’s biggest technology companies, which are openly acting as the government’s eyes and ears in cyberspace.

Companies including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , Tencent HoldingsLtd. and Baidu Inc., are required to help China’s government hunt down criminal suspects and silence political dissent. Their technology is also being used to create cities wired for surveillance.

This assistance is far more extensive than the help Western companies extend to their governments, and the requests are almost impossible to challenge, a Wall Street Journal examination of Chinese practices shows.

Going Mobile
Unlike American companies, which often resist U.S. government requests for information, Chinese ones talk openly about working with authorities. Tencent Chief Executive Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma both have voiced support for private companies working with the government on law enforcement and security issues.

“The political and legal system of the future is inseparable from the internet, inseparable from big data,” Alibaba’s Mr. Ma told a Communist Party commission overseeing law enforcement last year. He said technology will soon make it possible to predict security threats. “Bad guys won’t even be able to walk into the square,” he said.

In practice, China’s internet giants, which have benefited from trade policies shielding them from foreign competition, have little choice but to cooperate in a country where the Communist Party controls both the legal system and the right to function as a business.

Tencent, the world’s largest online videogame company, dominates Chinese cyberspace with news, video-streaming operations and its WeChat app, used by nearly one billion people to communicate and for mobile payments.

Beijing activist Hu Jia said he bought a slingshot online after a friend recommended it for relieving stress. He paid with WeChat’s mobile-payment feature. Mr. Hu said he was later interrogated by a state security agent, who asked if he was planning to shoot out surveillance cameras near his apartment.

A few years earlier, Mr. Hu said, he had messaged a friend headed to Taiwan with the names of activists he might want to see while traveling there. Later, he said, state security agents showed up at the friend’s house and warned him against meeting Mr. Hu’s acquaintances.

“Experience has proven that WeChat is completely compromised,” especially for people on the government’s watch list, Mr. Hu said. “Everyone has a spy watching them. That spy is their smartphone.”

This article goes on for another 1500 terrifying words. Read the rest here.

What’s happening in China is a merger of Big Tech and an already-existing police state, to produce a Big Brother right out of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The result is obviously chilling for anyone trying to change the status quo, along with anyone who has anything the government might want. Access to one’s online “secrets” gives the authorities leverage that not many can resist.

Read More @ DollarCollapse.com

There Is An Increasing Amount Of Buzz That China Could Invoke The Rare Earth “Nuclear Option” In The Trade War

by Michael Snyder, End Of The American Dream:

If China wants to cause a massive amount of pain for the U.S. economy in this trade war, they certainly have the firepower to do so. Today, China accounts for more than 80 percent of the world’s rare earth element production, and approximately 80 percent of the rare earth elements that are used by U.S. companies are imported from China. The U.S. does have one facility that mines rare earth elements in California, but everything that is mined there has to be shipped to China for processing. So at this point we do not have the ability to supply our own rare earth element needs, and that gives the Chinese a tremendous amount of leverage.

2020 candidate suggests taxing steaks and burgers to address climate change

by Andrew West, Freedom OutPost:

The big, bad boogeyman of “global warming” has evolved several times over the course of the last few years, lending an air of doubt to the entire proceeding at times.

For instance, it’s no longer “global warming”, it’s “climate change”.  And we don’t blame “greenhouse gasses” anymore, but “carbon emissions”.  Heck, we don’t even seem to blame aerosol cans and gasoline-fueled commerce anymore, opting instead to focus on the meat industry and the methane produced by cows.

Pessimism Is the British Empire’s Most Deadly Weapon of Mass Destruction

by Harley Schlanger, LaRouche PAC:

Over the weekend, the British Empire’s classical “strategy of tension” and irregular warfare escalated in Hong Kong, in Moscow, and in the United States with two new mass shootings—one on Saturday in an El Paso shopping center (20 killed and 26 wounded), and another early Sunday morning outside a bar in Dayton (9 killed and dozens wounded). In the Dayton case, the suspect, who was wearing body armor, was shot dead by police; in the El Paso incident, the perpetrator was arrested and, according to media accounts, is a white nationalist who said he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible.

With the US-Iran War Ball Now Rolling, Could an “Accident” or “False Flag” Serve as Pretext?

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by Whitney Webb, MintPress News:

Certain forces in the U.S. and Israel have been actively pushing for war with Iran for years and have a track record that demonstrates little inhibition about using an “accident” to start it.

As tensions between the U.S. and Iran threaten to boil over, the probability of a provocation or “accident” that would provoke hostilities between the two countries is higher than ever. U.K. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, openly stated as much on Monday, telling reporters in Brussels that the U.K. was worried of a conflict breaking out between the U.S. and Iran by “accident with an escalation that is unintended really on either side but ends with some kind of conflict.”

‘F**K Your Breath!’: Video Shows Cops Shoot, Kill Subdued Man, Mock Him as He Died

by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

The Tulsa taxpayers will be shelling out $6 million after their officers held down an unarmed man, shot him, and then mocked him as he died—all on video.

Tulsa, OK — The final tragic moments of Eric Harris’s life were caught on video, as well as the sociopathic nature of law enforcement. On April 2, 2015, Harris was shot by a reserve deputy, apparently meaning to taser him, while on the ground being subdued by other officers. On Friday, the taxpayers were told they will pay $6 million to the estate of Harris.

The civil rights suit alleged that ex-Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Bates was neither properly trained nor supervised and accused former Sheriff Stanley Glanz of turning a “a blind eye to these dangers … to allow his friend and financial benefactor to ‘play cop’ in the streets of Tulsa County,” as Tulsa World reported.

The settlement dismisses each defendant, including Glanz and Bates, and prevents the claims from ever being refiled against them, according to federal court documents. Bates’ attorneys earlier this week filed a state-level petition hoping to revive his failed appeal to overturn his second-degree manslaughter conviction for Harris’ death.

As TFTP reported at the time, Harris can be seen on the video running from police as the officer with the body cam gives chase, catching and taking Harris to the ground. Once on the ground, the officer can be heard telling Harris, “Roll on your stomach now.”

Reserve officer Robert Bates, now 76, can then be heard yelling “Tazer! Tazer!” as if to inform the other officer that he was about to use his stun gun on Harris, when suddenly a gunshot rings out.

“I shot him!” the stunned reserve officer says, as he drops his gun to the ground. “I’m sorry.”

Tragically the next moments reveal the callous nature of law enforcement as Harris is manhandled on the ground by the cops, after being shot, with an officer pressing his face into the ground with his knee.

An irate officer can then be seen screaming in the face of the bleeding gunshot victim yelling, “You ran! You f—kin ran! Shut the f— up!” as if running was some type of rational explanation for shooting him.

Subsequently, Harris can be heard screaming,

“He shot me! He shot me, man. Oh, my god. I’m losing my breath.”

To which an officer gives a response that can only be described as sociopathic, telling the dying Harris,

“F–k your breath! Shut the f–k up!”

Harris had been attempting to evade officers that were attempting to arrest him for allegedly selling a 9mm and ammunition to undercover cops.

Showing law enforcement’s clear disconnect with reality, Tulsa Police Sgt. Jim Clark told reporters at a news conference at the time that Harris, “absolutely was a threat when going down,” which the video clearly shows wasn’t the case.

Harris’ brother Andre Harris, told Tulsa World on Friday that he remembers how Bates labeled his brother a dangerous criminal. Bates’ attorney during the criminal trial also told jurors that Bates is “somebody we should be proud of” because he exited his SUV to “man up” and help capture a fleeing felon.

“I don’t have to call (Bates) a superhero; he’s a convicted felon,” Andre Harris said of Bates’ subsequent conviction foir his brother’s death.

During the time after the shooting, countless testimonies and documents surfaced showing the great lengths police went to not only cover up the fact that Bates was not qualified to be a cop but transcripts also described how Undersheriff Tim Albin and Maj. Tom Huckeby attempted to pressure Sheriff’s Office investigators to deem Bates’ shooting of Harris as a justifiable homicide despite resistance from prosecutors.

In spite of all the cover-ups and corruption, somehow this family was able to seek justice for their beloved son and brother.

While this shooting may have been an accident, the standard police response of fabricating a story about the individual being shot due to posing a threat to officers is not.

The standard way in which police do this is on clear display in the case of Walter Scott, as officers, prior to video evidence surfacing, had painted him as a threat to officer safety that needed to be shot to protect the officer’s life. Sound familiar??

Harris was unarmed and died on that day, about an hour after being shot.

As if the ineptitude of the officers in the case wasn’t enough, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Capt. Billy McKelvey at the time claimed the arresting officers were not aware Harris had been shot, despite the gunshot noise and Bates’ admission as seen in the video.

Attorney Dan Smolen, who represents the Harris family said that this shooting was a defining moment between police and the citizens.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

IT BEGINS: ANTIFA PROMISES VIOLENT RALLIES IN 20 AMERICAN CITIES ON NOVEMBER 4TH TO ‘REMOVE TRUMP & PENCE’

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by Geoffrey Grider, Now The End Begins:

“Nov. 4 It Begins,” the ad continues. “Join with the thousands who will gather in cities and towns across the country. A movement of protests that continue every day and night, growing until we become millions… determined now to stop until this regime is driven from power.” 

“THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!” SO DECLARE THE OPENING LINES OF A FULL-PAGE ADVERTISEMENT IN THE NEW YORK TIMES PROMOTING MAYHEM AND INSURRECTION FOR THIS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The most violent hate group in America at the moment, ANTIFA, has placed ads in the New York Times and other papers across the country directing readers to a website advocating violent rebellion in the streets to overthrow a legally-elected sitting president. Riots are planned in 20 major US cities for this Saturday, November 4. Just how big the protests will be is yet to be seen, but this is real and actually happening. Regular readers of NTEB know that all these riots are funded by George Soros and his many minions. 

“Nov. 4 It Begins,” the ad continues. “Join with the thousands who will gather in cities and towns across the country. A movement of protests that continue every day and night, growing until we become millions… determined now to stop until this regime is driven from power.”

The advertisement directs readers to go to RefuseFascism.org, “To Find a Protest Near You.” At the website, information on planned Nov. 4 “protests” can be found for Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Austin, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, New York City, Omaha, and other cities.

The New York Times, of course, knows — even if many of its readers do not — that Refuse Fascism is a front group founded and run by the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), a violent Marxist-Leninist group that idolizes China’s Communist mass-murderer Mao Zedong. Which makes the Refuse Fascism appeal to “humanity” doubly ludicrous and doubly offensive. “NO! IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT A FASCIST AMERICA!”, the ad declares.

“In the name of humanity”? The Revolutionary Communist Party/Refuse Fascism fanatics still believe that Mao was fully justified in murdering tens of millions of Chinese and torturing, imprisoning, and enslaving hundreds of millions more. The RCP/Refuse Fascism cadres form a major component of the masked, black-clad Antifa thugs who have been rioting and causing mayhem throughout America for the past year.

The New American’s Mitchell Shaw reported on September 30 about the upcoming November 4 “protests” planned by the Antifa/RCP communists. We have already seen these “protests” and the death, destruction, and turmoil they have left in their wakes. Why is the New York Times helping a known communist group — one with both a long history of violence as well as recent involvement in riots, sedition, and other criminal acts — promote havoc and the overthrow of a validly elected president of the United States?

Read More @ NowTheEndBegins.com

Bibi’s out? Gantz refuses to meet with Netanyahu, says he will form unity govt without embattled PM

from RT:

Benny Gantz, whose centrist bloc narrowly defeated Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in a snap election, says he is forming a government that will exclude the current prime minister – signaling the end of Bibi’s era may be near.

The ex-IDF chief said on Thursday that he would not accept Netanyahu’s offer to discuss a unity government, keeping good on his campaign pledge to create a ruling coalition that does not include Bibi.

“I am interested and intend to form a broad and liberal unity government led by me,” he wrote in a tweet.

California Restaurant Bans ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats – Compares to White Hoods, Swastikas

by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:

A San Francisco area restaurant owner proudly stated on his Twitter account that he will refuse service to anyone wearing a MAGA hat.

What a loving, tolerant liberal.

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, the owner of Wursthall, the San Mateo, CA restaurant, describes himself as a ‘Chef, feminist and atheist’ in his Twitter bio.

Why Is Saudi Arabia Giving Up A Tract Of Land The Size Of Massachusetts For “The World’s First Independent International Zone”?

by Michael Snyder, End Of The American Dream:

Under the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a $500 billion “mega-city” is being constructed in the northwestern corner of Saudi Arabia.  This city has been named “Neom”, and when it is fully completed it will be approximately “the size of Massachusetts”.  The Wall Street Journal was able to recently examine 2,300 pages of classified documents related to this project, and what they discovered is absolutely stunning.  This “city of the future” will feature an artificial moon, flying taxis and robot maids, but there will also be gene-editing in order to make humans stronger and smarter, and everyone living there will be subjected to 24 hour surveillance.  In addition, we are being told that this will be “the world’s first independent international zone”, and many are concerned about what exactly that is going to mean.

Mainstream Media Admits FBI Groomed Terrorist for 4th of July Attack, Gave Him Supplies

by Rachel Blevins, The Free Thought Project:

Cleveland, Ohio – An innocent man is now facing terrorism charges after he was caught plotting a bombing at a Fourth of July celebration and then arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The only problem is that the plot was created by undercover FBI agents, who convinced the man to agree to a role in the plan, and then provided him with supplies.

Demetrius Pitts, 48, is now facing criminal charges after conversations with undercover agents led to his arrest. According to the criminal complaint against Pitts, the FBI claimed that its agents reached out to him because he made comments on Facebook that indicated he may be interested in joining al-Qaeda, traveling overseas for training, and then returning to the U.S. to carry out an attack.

Why are smartphone chips suddenly including an AI processor?

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by Robert Triggs, Android Authority:

If virtual assistants have been the breakthrough technology in this year’s smartphone software, then the AI processor is surely the equivalent on the hardware side.

Apple has taken to calling its latest SoC the A11 Bionic on account of its new AI “Neural Engine”. Huawei’s latest Kirin 970 boasts a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) and is billing its upcoming Mate 10 as a “real AI phone“. Samsung’s next Exynos SoC is rumored to feature a dedicated AI chip too.

Qualcomm has actually been ahead of the curve since opening up the Hexagon DSP (digital signal processor) inside its Snapdragon flagships to heterogeneous compute and neural networking SDKs a couple of generations ago. Intel, Nvidia, and others are all working on their own artificial intelligence processing products too. The race is well and truly on.

There are some good reasons for including these additional processors inside today’s smartphone SoCs. Demand for real-time voice processing and image recognition is growing fast. However, as usual, there’s a lot of marketing nonsense being thrown around, which we’ll have to decipher.

AI brain chips, really?

Companies would love us to believe that they’ve developed a chip smart enough to think on its own or one that can imitate the human brain, but even today’s cutting edge lab projects aren’t that close. In a commercial smartphone, the idea is simply fanciful. The reality is a little more boring. These new processor designs are simply making software tasks such as machine learning more efficient.

These new processor designs are simply making software tasks such as machine learning more efficient.

There’s an important difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning that’s worth distinguishing. AI is a very broad concept used to describe machines that can “think like humans” or that have some form of artificial brain with capabilities that closely resemble our own.

Machine learning is not unrelated, but only encapsulates computer programs that are designed to process data and make decisions based on the results, and even learn from results to inform future decisions.

Neural networks are computer systems designed to help machine learning applications sort through data, enabling computers to classify data in ways similar to humans. This includes processes like picking out landmarks in a picture or identifying the make and color of a car. Neural networks and machine learning are smart, but they’re definitely not sentient intelligence.

When it comes to talk of AI, marketing departments are attaching a more common parlance to a new area of technology that makes it harder to explain. It’s equally as much an effort to differentiate themselves from their competitors too. Either way, what all of these companies have in common is that they’re simply implementing a new component into their SoCs that improves the performance and efficiency of tasks that we now associate with smart or AI assistants. These improvements mainly concern voice and image recognition, but there are other use cases, too.

Read More @ AndroidAuthority.com

More Than Half Of Homes Listed In NYC Last Year Never Sold

from ZeroHedge:

A torrid post-crisis recovery in the NYC housing market came to a screeching halt last year as a chasm opened up between what sellers were asking and what buyers were willing to pay.

But in the clearest post-mortem showing just how bad last year was for one of the world’s most unaffordable real estate markets, Property Shark  found in a recent analysis that less than half of the housing inventory available sold last year. According to PS, 48% of the homes listed between March through May of last year had been sold as of Feb. 1.