from Dollar Vigilante:
by Pam Key, Breitbart:
Thursday House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was greeted with a standing ovation as he walked into Congress to give a speech after nearly losing his life when he was shot in June at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, VA.
Scalise said, “Mr. Speaker, you have no idea how great this feels to be great back here at work in people’s House. As you can imagine, these last 3 1/2 months have been pretty challenging times for me and my family. But, if you look at the outpouring of love — my gosh Jennifer and I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring — It’s given us the strength to get through all of this. And get to this point today; it starts with God.”
He added, “When I was laying out on that ball field, the first thing I did once I was down and couldn’t move anymore, I started to pray. And tell you, it gave me an unbelievable sense of calm knowing at that point it’s in God’s hands. I prayed for specific things, and I’ll tell you, pretty much every one of those prayers was answered. They were some pretty challenging prayers I was putting in God’s hands, but he really did deliver for me and my family. And it just gives you that renewed faith and understanding that the power of prayer is something you cannot under estimate. So I’m a living example that miracles really do happen.”
Read More @ Breitbart.com
by Micah Lee, The Intercept:
JUST A FEW years ago, sending encrypted messages was a challenge. Just to get started, you had to spend hours following along with jargon-filled tutorials, or be lucky enough to find a nerd friend to teach you. The few that survived this process quickly hit a second barrier: They could only encrypt with others who had already jumped through the same hoops. So even after someone finally set up encrypted email, they couldn’t use it with most of the people they wanted to send encrypted emails to.
The situation is much better today. A number of popular apps have come along that make encryption as easy as texting. Among the most secure is Signal, open-source software for iOS and Android that has caught on among activists, journalists, and others who do sensitive work. And probably the most popular is WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned platform with encryption setup derived from Signal. For me, the spread of encrypted chat apps means that, with very few exceptions, all of my text messages — with friends, family, or for work — are end-to-end encrypted, and no one even has to understand what a “public key” is.
But there is a major issue with both Signal and WhatsApp: Your account is tied to your phone number.
This makes these apps really easy to use, since there are no usernames or passwords to deal with. It also makes it easy to discover other app users; if someone is a contact in your phone and has the app installed, you can send them encrypted texts with no further effort.
But it also means that if you want people to be able to send you messages securely, you need to hand out your phone number. This puts people who interact with the public in an awkward bind: Is the ability for strangers to contact you securely worth publishing your private phone number?
In this article I explain how to create a second Signal number that is safe to publish on your Twitter bio and business cards, so strangers have an easy way to contact you securely, while your primary phone number remains private. I explain how to obtain a second phone number, how to register it with the Signal server, and how to configure it to use Signal Desktop — even if you’re already using Signal Desktop with your private phone number. I will focus on Signal rather than WhatsApp for reasons I’ll explain further down (basically, WhatsApp appears to block non-cellular phone numbers that make all this possible with Signal).
WHEN YOU GIVE out your phone number, you risk opening yourself up to abuse. As freedom of expression activist Jillian York wrote on her personal blog, “As a woman, handing out my phone number to a stranger creates a moderate risk: What if he calls me in the middle of the night? What if he harasses me over SMS? What if I have to change my number to get away from him?”
If you’re a public figure, and especially if you’re a women or person of color, you’re probably used to sexist or racist jerks yelling slurs and threats at you on Twitter, Facebook, and in the comments section under the articles you write. Publishing your private phone number could make this problem worse and could make these people harder to mute.
It could also open up your online accounts to attack. Last year, someone hacked racial justice activist DeRay Mckesson’s Twitter and email accounts by taking over his phone number. The hacker called Verizon and, impersonating Mckesson, asked to change the SIM card associated with his phone number to a new one that they controlled, so they could receive SMS messages sent to his phone number.
By calling @verizon and successfully changing my phone's SIM, the hacker bypassed two-factor verification which I have on all accounts.
— deray mckesson (@deray) June 10, 2016
Having a unique public number just for Signal could mitigate this sort of attack; it’s harder for a hacker to hijack the number that’s tied to your Twitter and email accounts if they don’t know it in the first place.
(If an attacker takes control of your phone number, like they did with Mckesson, they could also take over your Signal account. If someone did this to your friend, you’d see a “safety number changed” warning in Signal — the same message you see when a friend gets a new phone. If you ignore this warning and text them anyway, you’ll actually be texting the attacker. You can verify safety numbers to confirm that your Signal app is encrypting messages to your friend’s phone, and not to some attacker’s phone.)
WHEN YOU OPEN the Signal app for the first time and type in your phone number, here’s what happens:
Read More @ TheIntercept.com
by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:
I sometimes wonder if America’s greatest threat is the population’s hyper-patriotism. The bulk of the population is now at work shutting down the NFL players’ First Amendment rights, and none of the incensed censors are capable of understanding that it is they, and not the NFL players, who are attacking the U.S. Constitution. We have been through all this flag business before, and federal courts have ruled for the protesters who burnt flags, wore them on their clothes, whatever. Yet, here we go again.
Hardwick Clothes CEO pulls the company’s advertising from NFL games. Insofar as advertising helps Hardwick’s shareholders, CEO Allan Jones is hurting his own shareholders in order to protest the NFL players’ protests, a thought that probably never occurred to him. http://ijr.com/the-declaration/2017/09/984704-first-ceo-hits-nfl-right-wallet-unpatriotic-national-anthem-protests/
According to this report — http://www.dcclothesline.com/2017/09/26/americans-nationwide-burn-nfl-tickets-shirts-in-solidarity-with-trump/ — white people across the country are burning their NFL shirts and their expensive tickets for which they paid hundreds of dollars.
A Louisiana state representative has introduced legislation to ban state subsidies for the New Orleans Saints because of their “disgraceful protests.” It is OK with Rep. Kenny Havard for Louisiana taxpayers to give hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to the NFL team as long as the players stand for the anthem, but not if they don’t. It apparently never occurred to Havard to question whether relatively poor Louisiana taxpayers should be giving hundreds of millions of dollars to a billionaire team owner. There is no doubt that the average salary of the Saints exceeds the average salary of Louisiana taxpayers. http://ijr.com/the-declaration/2017/09/984526-louisiana-state-rep-pushes-make-nfl-team-pay-national-anthem-protests-literally/
Former NFL quarterback John Elway declares: “I believe that this is the greatest country in the world,” and his personal belief takes care of the numerous protesters who clearly have a different view. http://ijr.com/the-declaration/2017/09/984449-john-elway-responds-anthem-protests-nfl-players-pay-attention-words/
Bill O’Reilly makes a guest appearance on Fox News berating the NFL protesters for ignoring the effect on US soldiers in Afghanistan who “are putting their life on the line.” Apparently, after all these years it still has not occurred to O’Reilly that the soldiers’ lives — and those of Afghans — are being put on the line by the military/security complex’s drive for profits and the neoconservative drive for US and Israeli hegemony. http://ijr.com/the-declaration/2017/09/984598-oreilly-makes-return-fox-news-remind-nfl-players-soldiers-fighting-3000-miles-away/
Trump sends out emails: “Do you stand with President Trump, our flag, and this great country” against the NFL protesters?
The childishness of it all is an American embarrassment.
The patriotic response is not only an attack on the First Amendment but also plays into the hands of Identity Politics, which has its own take on the matter. Julio Rosas writes in the HuffPost that standing for the national anthem is standing for white supremacy. http://ijr.com/the-declaration/2017/09/984655-huffpost-op-ed-white-athletes-stand-national-anthem-stand-white-supremacy/
Before a few dimwits send me emails demanding explanation why I stand for anti-American minorities against “the greatest country in the world,” let us all first consider where this is going. The answer is: nowhere good. The hyper-patriotism that is being whipped up is so irrational that it is against the self-interests of the counter-protesters, who are hurting the visibility of their merchandising brand and costing the shareholders profits, burning their clothing and expensive football tickets, and denying themselves their favorite entertainment.
The military/security complex, the hegemonic neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby are sitting there, licking their chops. They know what to do with this display of ignorant patriotism. They will turn it against Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia. Their profits will flow even higher, neocon ambitions will be realized, and Israel will have the US eliminate another country — Iran — in the way of its expansion. Or so they think.
Russia cannot afford a vassal of Washington in Iran or the type of chaos in Iran that now engulfs Iraq and Libya. It is a short distance from Iran through Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan into Muslim areas of Russia and former Muslim provinces of the Soviet Union. If Iran falls, Russia is the next to be destabilized. Additionally, Iran in Washington’s hands extends to the East Washington’s surrounding of Russia. The Russian government would be confronted with US missile bases on its borders ranging from the Baltics through eastern and southern Europe, Ukraine, Georgia and Iran. Moreover, US missiles in Iran could reach China in a few minutes as can the US missile bases being constructed on China’s Pacific border under the guise of countering “the North Korean threat.”
China depends on Iran for 20 percent of its oil supply. China was forced out of its Libyan oil supply by Washington’s overthrow of Gaddafi. Losing Iran would be a blow. At some point these two powerful countries will have to realize that their national existence is at stake. China has been too busy making money to pay attention, and Russia has been in thrall to its centuries-old desire to be part of the West.
The Russian government’s policy of replying to Washington’s aggression with diplomacy has failed totally. This policy has been extremely expensive to Russia and today is a direct threat to Russia’s national survival. Whether Russia is too controlled by Washington and Israeli-installed billionaires to attend to its national interests remains to be seen.
China’s lust for riches is a non-substitute for national survival.
Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.org
by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:
Two years ago, Cleveland, Tenn., businessman Allan Jones was proudly showing off his newly acquired Hardwick Clothing-brand suits by providing the wardrobe for NBC’s on-air talent during the network’s broadcasts of NFL football games.
But after NFL players and coaches challenged President Donald Trump and many took a knee during the national anthem played before their games over the weekend, Jones said he is through sponsoring the wardrobes or advertising on stations that air the National Football League.
Jones, CEO of the payday lending chain Check Into Cash and owner of Hardwick Clothes — America’s oldest suit maker — tweeted his criticism and change of heart Tuesday.
Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com
from Sputnik News:
As the residents of Catalonia are set to vote in an independence referendum on October 1, a similar initiative has been proposed by another Spanish region, the Balearic Islands. The move, if launched, is expected to be negative for Spain and other European nations, an analyst told Sputnik.
The MÉS per Mallorca coalition in the Balearic Islands wants a referendum on the region’s independence in 2030.
The Socialist Party of the Balearic Islands (PSIB), the regional branch of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), has approved a roadmap that will be discussed at a party meeting on October 28. The document clarifies that the main goal is to establish the Republic of Majorca, with the following declaration of independence of the other islands of the archipelago.
In an interview with Sputnik Mundo, Armando Fernández Steinko, a professor of sociology at the Complutence University of Madrid (UCM), spoke against independence efforts in Spain, warning that they risk triggering a trend toward disintegration.
According to him, this trend looks like an attempt to “blow up Spanish statehood.” The professor stressed that if Catalonia becomes independent this will launch “dangerous dynamics” for several future decades and may result in a situation resembling that of the Balkans in the 1990s.
Speaking further, Fernández Steinko suggested that the push for regional independence in Spain also risks boosting similar tendencies in other European countries.
“They’re playing with fire. Opening a source of instability on the Iberian Peninsula means the same for the rest of Europe. But no one will gain from this, even eurosceptics… Such a fire is very easy to ignite, but very difficult to put out,” the professor said.
At the same time, in defense of its independence attempts, the MÉS per Mallorca coalition insists that the current constitutional system of autonomies has outlived its usefulness. Supporters of the idea say that the Balearic Islands are economically and politically infringed upon by the Spanish government, the argument exploited by Catalan independence supporters in recent years.
Coalition Lacks Public Support
Speaking with Sputnik Mundo, member of the coalition David Abril said that in particular the Spanish government ignores the specific economic situation in the Balearic Islands.
“The region is a popular tourist destination. Its population is over one million people. It has high living standards but at the same time everything is more expensive. Madrid ignores the situation and gives no special conditions to the autonomy. As a result, the regional budget has a deficit,” Abril said.
The coalition was formed three years ago primarily on the basis of leftist nationalist forces, but is now already present in the majority of regional administrative institutions.
Read More @ SputnikNews.com