Thursday, January 23, 2020

Even Orwell and Huxley Couldn’t Imagine the Threat Posed by Facebook and Google


by Jake Johnson, The Anti Media:

In addition to warning that U.S. President Donald Trump represents an immense “danger” to civilization, billionaire George Soros used the spotlight of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday to urge the international community to take seriously the threats posed by Facebook and Google, which he said could ultimately spawn “a web of totalitarian control” if they are not reined in.

Particularly alarming, Soros said, is the prospect of Facebook and Google—which he scathingly deemed a “menace” to society—teaming up with “authoritarian states” to “bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance.”

Such “unholy marriages” could result in a strain of authoritarianism “the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined,” the billionaire investor cautioned.

Soros went on to compare the tech giants’ impact on the internet—and social media in particular—to the effects of fossil fuel giants on the environment.

“Mining and oil companies exploit the physical environment; social media companies exploit the social environment,” Soros said, warning that the days of internet monopolies like Facebook and Google “are numbered.”

“They claim they are merely distributing information,” Soros added of the tech giants that are frequently denounced by critics of corporate power for abusing their market dominance. “But the fact that they are near-monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access.”

If tech companies are permitted to retain overwhelming control over information, “far-reaching adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy” could result, Soros concluded.

“The power to shape people’s attention is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few companies,” Soros said. “It takes a real effort to assert and defend what John Stuart Mill called ‘the freedom of mind.’ There is a possibility that once lost, people who grow up in the digital age will have difficulty in regaining it.”

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In the Western World Lies Have Displaced Truth


by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

Last year I was awarded Marquiss Who’s Who In America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This did not prevent a hidden organization, PropOrNot, from attempting to brand me and my website along with 200 others “Putin stooges or agents” for our refusal to lie for the corrupt, anti-American, anti-constitutional, anti-democratic, warmonger police state interests that rule the Western World.

The only honest, factual media that exists in the Western World today are the names on the PropOrNot list of “Putin agents.”

The purpose of ProOrNot is to convince Americans that freedom of speech must be halted by destroying fact-based Internet media, such as this website and 200 others that provide factual information at odds with Big Brother’s universal brainwashing as delivered by CNN, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the rest of the utterly corrupt presstitute media, a collection of scum devoid of all integrity and all respect for truth.

A conspiracy of US government agencies, tax-exempt think tanks funded by the ruling interests, and media acting in behalf of a war and police state agenda work to shape perceived reality as it is described in George Orwell’s book, 1984, and in the film, The Matrix. Controlled perception-based reality is only a Facebook “like” away from killing one person or one million or elevating a liar or the warmonger responsible for the killing to hero status or to the conrol of the CIA or FBI or the US presidency.

Here on OpEdNews is an article by George Eliason that reports on who exactly PropOrNot is and who is underwriting the disinformation that is PropOrNot.

Eliason’s article is long and documented. It demonstrates the organized conspiracy against truth that exists in the Western World. Nothing stated in the Western presstitute media and no statement by any Western government or subservient vassal state can be trusted to comply with the facts.

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Papers Please: “Daily Citizenship Checks” on Buses Across Maine Highlight Constitution-Free Zone

by Joe Wright, Activist Post:

Still unknown to much of the U.S. population is the fact that they reside within a “Constitution-Free Zone,” as it has been dubbed by the ACLU for many years. In fact, it is estimated that 200 million people (2/3 of the populace) are likely to have their 4th Amendment protections completely disregarded by border patrol, as well as to encounter other routine violations unbecoming to a land of the free.

The entire state of Maine, for example, lies within a 100-mile region that extends inward from all borders of the nation as shown in the image below.

This reality appears to be crystallizing with more of Maine’s residents, as “daily citizenship checks” have begun to spread to buses across the state, according to a report from Maine Public:

The U.S. Border Patrol is running daily citizenship checks on buses traveling from Fort Kent toward the state’s interior and making periodic checks on buses originating in Bangor.


“Our purpose for boarding any conveyances, a bus specifically in this case, would be to question anybody – anybody – about their right to be or remain in the United States, whether they are an alien or not,” says Heibert (chief patrol officer). “That’s kind of the gist of it. We would have to have a reasonable suspicion to think that somebody isn’t a citizen to continue questioning.” (emphasis added)

This type of “fishing expedition” flies directly in the face of the 4th Amendment which guarantees that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Nevertheless, the Constitution-Free Zone, while not an official designation, has been upheld in principle by federal judges who the ACLU argue are reinforcing an outdated concept that was never given a mandate by the people. The ACLU itemizes this overlooked part of history on their website:

Outdated Legal Authority and Lack of Oversight

  • The regulations establishing the 100-mile border zone were adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1953—without any public comments or debate. At the time, there were fewer than 1,100 Border Patrol agents nationwide; today, there are over 21,000.
  • The Border Patrol often ignores this regulation and rejects any geographic limitation on agents’ authority. At least two federal circuit courts condone Border Patrol operations outside the 100-mile zone, federal regulations and Supreme Court precedent notwithstanding.
  • Federal border agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing, and often in ways that our Constitution does not permit.
  • For example, Border Patrol, according to news reports, operates approximately 170 interior checkpoints throughout the country (the actual number in operation at any given time is not publicly known). The ACLU believes that these checkpoints amount to dragnet, suspicionless stops that cannot be reconciled with Fourth Amendment protections. The Supreme Court has upheld the use of immigration checkpoints, but only insofar as the stops consist only of a brief and limited inquiry into residence status. Checkpoints cannot be primarily used for drug-search or general law enforcement efforts. In practice, however, Border Patrol agents often do not limit themselves to brief immigration inquiries and regularly conduct criminal investigations and illegal searches at checkpoints. The Border Patrol also frequently pulls over motorists in “roving patrol” stops, often without any suspicion that an immigration violation has occurred.
  • The ACLU has documented numerous cases of abuse by Border Patrol and filed lawsuits to obtain more information about the agency’s practices. Given Border Patrol’s lack of transparency, and in the absence of any meaningful oversight, there is still much that we don’t know about the full extent and impact of these interior “border enforcement” operations.

As the video above introduces, the definition of “border patrol” no longer means dealing strictly with human agents. The deployment of drones, biometricsDNA collectionelectronics searches and even social media checks are spreading as well.

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Keiser Report: Wild Ride (E1180)

from RT:

Max interviews Marco Santori, a lawyer specializing in cryptocurrency, about the latest legal issues in Initial Coin Offerings and other crypto markets.



by Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars:

Single complaint about Facebook post led to immediate termination

A UK government department has fired an employee for a Facebook post in which he said there are “only two genders,” according to the man at the center of the controversy.

20-year-old Adam Crawford contacted Infowars to say he had lost his job after a single person complained about his comments.

“Lgbt? What about lgbtqqiiaapxyz?” Crawford sardonically asked in his opening post, before following it up with, “Only two genders, snowflakes.”

Another individual named Paul Livingstone took offense at Crawford’s remarks and asked, “Is that the official view of the DWP while you are sitting behind your desk?”

The DWP is the Department for Work and Pensions, the largest government department in the United Kingdom.

Crawford denied his comments represented the official view of the DWP, before Livingstone replied, “But you are on the clock right now.”

Within 24 hours, Crawford received a call from his employer informing him that he had been fired with immediate effect because of a single complaint about his Facebook posts.

It is not clear whether the complaint was made by Livingstone or someone else who saw the comments.

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Things Are Getting Worse, Not Better: Round Ups, Checkpoints and National ID Cards

by John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute:

Here in Amerika, things are getting worse—not better—as the nation inches ever closer towards totalitarianism, that goose-stepping form of tyranny in which the government has all of the power and “we the people” have none.

Take what happened recently in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

On Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, immigration agents boarded a Greyhound bus heading to downtown Miami from Orlando and demanded that all passengers provide proof of residence or citizenship. One grandmother, traveling by bus to meet her granddaughter for the first time, was arrested and taken off the bus when she couldn’t provide proof of residency.

This isn’t is a new occurrence.

A year ago, passengers arriving in New York’s JFK Airport on a domestic flight from San Francisco were ordered to show their “documents” to border patrol agents in order to get off the plane.

With the government empowered to carry out transportation checks to question people about their immigration status within a 100-mile border zone that wraps around the country, you’re going to see a rise in these “show your papers” incidents.

That’s a problem, and I’ll tell you why.

We are not supposed to be living in a “show me your papers” society.

Despite this, the U.S. government has recently introduced measures allowing police and other law enforcement officials to stop individuals (citizens and noncitizens alike), demand they identify themselves, and subject them to patdowns, warrantless searches, and interrogations.

These actions fly in the face of longstanding constitutional safeguards forbidding such police state tactics.

Set aside the debate over illegal immigration for a moment and think long and hard about what it means when government agents start demanding that people show their papers on penalty of arrest.

The problem with allowing government agents to demand identification from anyone they suspect might be an illegal immigrant—the current scheme being employed by the Trump administration to ferret out and cleanse the country of illegal immigrants—is that it lays the groundwork for a society in which you are required to identify yourself to anygovernment worker who demands it.

Such tactics quickly lead one down a slippery slope that ends with government agents empowered to subject anyone—citizen and noncitizen alike—to increasingly intrusive demands that they prove not only that they are legally in the country, but also that they are in compliance with every statute and regulation on the books.

This flies in the face of the provisions of the Fourth Amendment, which protects the American people from undue government interference with their movement and from baseless interrogation about their identities or activities. The Rutherford Institute has issued a Constitutional Q&A on “The Legality of Stop and ID Procedures” that provides some guidance on one’s rights if stopped and asked by police to show identification.

Unfortunately, even with legal protections on the books, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the average American to avoid falling in line with a national identification system.

We’re almost at that point already.

Passed by Congress in 2005 and scheduled to take effect nationwide by October 2020, the Real ID Act, which imposes federal standards on identity documents such as state drivers’ licenses, is the prelude to this national identification system.

Fast forward to the Trump administration’s war on illegal immigration, and you have the perfect storm necessary for the adoption of a national ID card, the ultimate human tracking device, which would make the police state’s task of monitoring, tracking and singling out individual suspects—citizen and noncitizen alike—far simpler.

Americans have always resisted adopting a national ID card for good reason: it gives the government and its agents the ultimate power to target, track and terrorize the populace according to the government’s own nefarious purposes.

You see, it’s a short hop, skip and a jump from allowing government agents to stop and demand identification from someone suspected of being an illegal immigrant to empowering government agents to subject anyone—citizen and noncitizen alike—to increasingly intrusive demands that they prove not only that they are legally in the country, but that they are also lawful, in compliance with every statute and regulation on the books, and not suspected of having committed some crime or other.

It’s no longer a matter of if, but when.

You may be innocent of wrongdoing now, but when the standard for innocence is set by the government, no one is safe. Everyone is a suspect. And anyone can be a criminal when it’s the government determining what is a crime.

Remember, the police state does not discriminate.

At some point, it will not matter whether your skin is black or yellow or brown or white. It will not matter whether you’re an immigrant or a citizen. It will not matter whether you’re rich or poor. It won’t even matter whether you’re driving, flying or walking.

Eventually, when the police state has turned that final screw and slammed that final door, all that will matter is whether some government agent—poorly trained, utterly ignorant of the Constitution, way too hyped up on the power of their badges, and authorized to detain, search, interrogate, threaten and generally harass anyone they see fit—chooses to single you out for special treatment.

We’ve been having this same debate about the perils of government overreach for the past 50-plus years, and still we don’t seem to learn, or if we learn, we learn too late.

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Assange Keeps Warning Of AI Censorship, And It’s Time We Started Listening


by Caitlin Johnstone, Medium:

Throughout the near entirety of human history, a population’s understanding of what’s going on in the world has been controlled by those in power. The men in charge controlled what the people were told about rival populations, the history of their tribe and its leadership, etc. When the written word was invented, men in charge dictated what books were permitted to be written and circulated, what ideas were allowed, what narratives the public would be granted access to.

This continued straight on into modern times. Where power is not overtly totalitarian, wealthy elites have bought up all media, first in print, then radio, then television, and used it to advance narratives that are favorable to their interests. Not until humanity gained widespread access to the internet has our species had the ability to freely and easily share ideas and information on a large scale without regulation by the iron-fisted grip of power. This newfound ability arguably had a direct impact on the election for the most powerful elected office in the most powerful government in the world in 2016, as a leak publishing outlet combined with alternative and social media enabled ordinary Americans to tell one another their own stories about what they thought was going on in their country.

This newly democratized narrative-generating power of the masses gave those in power an immense fright, and they’ve been working to restore the old order of power controlling information ever since. And the editor-in-chief of the aforementioned leak publishing outlet, WikiLeaks, has been repeatedly trying to warn us about this coming development.

In a statement that was recently read during the “Organising Resistance to Internet Censorship” webinar, sponsored by the World Socialist Web Site, Assange warned of how “digital super states” like Facebook and Google have been working to “re-establish discourse control”, giving authority over how ideas and information are shared back to those in power.

Assange went on to say that the manipulative attempts of world power structures to regain control of discourse in the information age has been “operating at a scale, speed, and increasingly at a subtlety, that appears likely to eclipse human counter-measures.”

What this means is that using increasingly more advanced forms of artificial intelligence, power structures are becoming more and more capable of controlling the ideas and information that people are able to access and share with one another, hide information which goes against the interests of those power structures and elevate narratives which support those interests, all of course while maintaining the illusion of freedom and lively debate.

This is not the first time that Assange has cautioned about these developments. In an appearance via video link at musician and activist M.I.A.’s Meltdown Festival last June, the WikiLeaks editor-in-chief expounded in far more detail about his thoughts on the potential for artificial intelligence to be used for controlling online information and discourse in a way human intelligence can’t hope to keep up with.

Pointing out how AI can already outmaneuver even the greatest chess players in the world, he describes how programs which can operate with exponentially more tactical intelligence than the human intellect can manipulate the field of available information so effectively and subtly that people won’t even know they are being manipulated. People will be living in a world that they think they understand and know about, but they’ll unknowingly be viewing only establishment-approved information.

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Stanford: Fascist Professor David Palumbo-Liu: Suppress Views That Dissent From Hard-Left Line


by Robert Spencer, Freedom Outpost:

In The Coming of the Third Reich, historian Richard J. Evans explains how, in the early days of National Socialist Germany, Stormtroopers (Brownshirts) “organized campaigns against unwanted professors in the local newspapers [and] staged mass disruptions of their lectures.”

To express dissent from Nazi positions became a matter of taking one’s life into one’s hands.

The idea of people of opposing viewpoints airing their disagreements in a civil and mutually respectful manner was gone.

One was a Nazi, or one was silent (and fearful).

Today’s fascists call themselves “anti-fascists.”

Just like the Nazis, they are totalitarian: they are determined not to allow their opponents to murmur the slightest whisper of dissent.

Forcibly suppressing the speech of someone with whom one disagrees is a quintessentially fascist act.

Stanford professor David Palumbo-Liu, who is so angry and hastening to claim victim status over an article about him appeared at Jihad Watch here, is a prime example of this new fascism. Much more below.

“Why we have free speech on university campuses, and why I will never take a call from the Stanford Review again,” by David Palumbo-Liu, Stanford Daily, January 18, 2018:

…As Professor Joan Scott has argued, there is a distinction to be made between free speech and academic freedom in this regard: “Free speech makes no distinction about quality; academic freedom does.” I am one of the organizers of the Campus Antifascist Network. One of our basic premises is that many, if not all, of the speakers whose ideologies are aligned with the alt-right — including the ideologies of white supremacy, hetero-normalcy, misogyny, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry — are using campus groups to invite them to speak at their universities not to debate, test, advance knowledge, which is the purpose of education, but to have the legitimacy — and in the case of institutions such as Stanford, Berkeley, Middlebury and others, the luster of these institutions — rub off on them. They want to be taken seriously, as having some knowledge that is important to know. But their fundamental desire is for attention. The debate over free speech for them is merely a pretext to gain publicity for themselves. They care little or nothing about free speech — hence their campaigns to dox, stalk, harass and silence critics, affixing misleading and mendacious labels to them. You will see some examples of that in the second half of this essay.

The bottom line is, whether they are allowed to speak or not, they make headlines and sell books. Those on the alt-right have absolutely no interest in debating the quality and substance of their ideas — they wish a showcase for their bigotry on university campuses simply to appropriate intellectual repute. They abuse free speech precisely in pretending to be entering into a contest of ideas, when their real intent is simply academic theater. Unfortunately, campus administrators fall into this trap over and over again….

Leaving aside his propagandistic use of the smear term “alt-right,” which should be unworthy of any professor who is actually interested in the free exchange of ideas, the question arises: how does David Palumbo-Liu know all this? He doesn’t, of course.

I myself would be happy to travel again to Stanford again at my own expense in order to debate him on the concept of “Islamophobia,” but he, of course, will not accept, because, he claims, I and others like me are not interested in debate.

This exposes Palumbo-Liu as a propagandist: he defames those whom he hates by claiming they’re not interested in debate, or only wanting to wrap themselves in the luster of his university (that one made me laugh), or just wanting to sell books, but here I stand ready to meet him in a fair and open discussion, and there is no doubt whatsoever about the fact that he will refuse.

What he is saying here about the alleged purveyors of “Islamophobia” is true of himself, not of them.

Note also his insidious totalitarian heart. He wants Stanford not to allow a platform to those whom he accuses of “white supremacy, hetero-normalcy, misogyny, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry.”

Who will get to decide whose ideas are acceptable to be aired at Stanford and whose aren’t?

Presumably, in David Palumbo-Liu’s little world, this supreme judge will be none other than David Palumbo-Liu, or someone who shares his narrow views.

Out the window is the very mission of a university, which is to allow for the consideration of all ideas and their acceptance or dismissal based on their merits alone.

David Palumbo-Liu would have been quite at home in the KGB or Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry, deciding which ideas could acceptably be disseminated to the masses and which could not.

But the fact that he is a professor at a major university shows what a disgrace to what its very guiding principles should be Stanford University, and American academia in general, has become.

Palumbo-Liu then goes on to complain at length about the Stanford Review piece that I excerpted at Jihad Watch here, which enraged him: “Like any good piece of right-wing propaganda, that piece is now on Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, bracketed by a few sentences by Spencer himself so he gets the byline.”

He goes on at great length to explain why he named his group the Campus Antifascist Network, despite supposedly disavowing violence, unlike the Leftist thugs of Antifa.

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YouTube removes video of woman who says she lives in fear in Germany


from Voice of Europe:

A video of a woman who says that she “cannot deal with this fear anymore” has been removed by YouTube. The woman, called “Mona Maja” recorded the video to say how migration has changed her country and how the media is pretending that everything is normal.

She says, “There are women being stabbed. Our men are beaten up, teenagers are beaten up, and everything is going down the drain”.

The video has been uploaded for a second time and is gaining a lot of attention:

Read More @ VoiceOfEurope:

Democrats and Republicans Just Teamed Up to Pass a Bill — You Know What That Means


by Jake Anderson, The Anti Media:

Both mainstream political parties introduce their fair share draconian legislation, but in the current bipartisan climate they rarely agree on large issues. Whenever there is agreement between the two parties, you can take it to the bank that it’s something particularly nefarious. Remarkably or not, the two issues Democrats and Republicans have consistently agreed on so far in the 21st century is military intervention and surveillance.

Last week, the House pushed through a six-year extension of the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; this week, the Senate followed suit. This provision ensures that under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump, federal law enforcement agencies can arguably eavesdrop on virtually any American with impunity.

While Republicans control both branches of Congress — and the White House — the extension would not have been possible without a sizeable faction of the Democratic Party, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam Schiff, voting to hand over dangerously autocratic surveillance powers to Trump. Without this group of House Democrats siding with the Bush/Cheney era law, it would not have passed by a vote of 256-164.

The vote followed the defeat of an amendment that would have introduced safeguards on the government’s ability to conduct warrantless wiretapping on foreign nationals while on foreign soil, which some have argued allows agencies like the FBI and NSA a carte blanche for collecting surveillance on domestic communications. Pelosi and Schiff, who have spent the last year insisting Trump is a dangerous tyrant whose very existence threatens the fabric of our democracy, helped defeat the amendment, which would have restricted his power and paved the way for a Section 702 extension.

Major power brokers of the so-called Resistance entrusted Trump with the legal authority to spy on women, minorities, immigrants, journalists, activists, political enemies — whoever he wants. It was a rare moment of chipper cordiality between bitter political enemies, with Majority Leader Paul Ryan even personally thanking Pelosi for her magnanimous support.

On Thursday, the Senate voted for the extension by a vote of 65-34 following a filibuster that was defeated on Tuesday. Senator Jeff Flake, who has been vocally critical of the president and even compared him to Stalin, nonetheless voted in favor of granting him near dictatorial judicial powers. Now the bill goes to Trump’s desk for final approval. Trump, who has in the past indirectly criticized FISA courts and the ability of “Deep State” operatives from the NSA and other agencies to wiretap without a warrant, predictably reversed course on the issue. Only a year removed from his own alleged wiretapping experience with being surveilled by the Obama Administration while in the Trump tower, the president had a chance to issue a resounding defeat to the entrenched swamp of intelligence agencies. Momentarily, it looked as though he might manufacture a truly insurgent political move. He tweeted:

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