Sunday, February 17, 2019

Rental Cars To Use Facial Recognition To Spy On Your Vacation


from Activist Post:

Five days ago, IDEMIA announced their plan to install facial recognition cameras in rental vehicles.

IDEMIA and Omoove are combining forces to spy on car renters everywhere.

You will never rent a car the same way thanks to EasyOpen solution that combines IDEMIA’s expertise in secure service enablement and Omoove’s experience in Shared Mobility platforms and on-board technology. (Source)

They got one thing right, “you will never rent a car the same way.” Because now companies will use facial biometrics to spy on your family vacations, shopping, dining, etc. in real-time.

This year, both companies have just announced the introduction of a new process for the digital enrollment of the driver combined with facial recognition technology, which will be implemented into EasyOpen solution.

Last year, I warned everyone that the Lincoln company has installed ‘complimentary’ TSA PreCheck biometric scanners in their 2018 vehicles. (Click here see how Honda’s 2018 Odyssey uses CabinWatch to spy on passengers.)

Turning rental cars into facial biometric surveillance platforms is a privacy nightmare.

How will law enforcement use facial biometrics?

Police will use facial biometrics to spy on your family

Law enforcement and car rental companies will be able to use facial biometrics to spy on your vacation no matter where in the world you go or which company you choose.

Car rental companies can combine GPS and facial recognition data to create an intimate record of your family vacation.

A 2015 news article in The Street, revealed that most rental vehicles are equipped with GPS location systems and cameras.

Numerous Florida car rental companies are notorious for literally shutting off engines of cars that cross state lines.

And another article in Komando warned that Hertz had secretly installed video cameras in their vehicles.

Once a rental company has your facial biometrics and other personal information, it will be easy for law enforcement and data mining companies to access those records. (Click herehere and here to find out how car rental privacy polices share your personal information.)

Who is IDEMIA?

IDEMIA, formerly known as MorphoTrust also wants states to do away with physical drivers licenses and IDs and store everyone’s facial biometrics on a smartphone.

As of August 2017, there are eleven states using digital drivers licenses and IDs in the U.S. (Click hereto find out more about IDEMIA’s digital drivers licenses and IDs.)

Who is Omoove?

Omoove specializes in end-to-end shared mobility; in other words, they work with car rental companies to track a vehicle’s every movement in real-time.


Secret $1.8 Million Cryptocurrency Script

Omoove gives your operators the ability to track vehicles and access diagnostics in real-time through a central console, so you never have to worry about losing visibility into key user and vehicle metrics again. (Source)

Unfortunately, IDEMIA is not the only company trying to install facial biomterics in rental cars.

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Trump’s Bosses Pushing for Nuclear War with Russia

by Gordon Duff, New Eastern Outlook:

For the second time in a month, combined Syrian and Russian forces came under air attack. February 2018 is a turning point in US policy as Trump policies, “stated policies,” such as cooperation with Russia against terrorism and respect for Syria’s territorial integrity, have fallen away.

With Syria firing missiles at US planes for the first time in response to an unprovoked US attack on a Syrian Arab Army base near Deir Ezzor, we see only the beginning. Next, the New York Times has accused Syria of working with North Korea to build poison gas producing facilities, an outrageous charge.

This, of course, is timed to coincide with staged chlorine gas attacks in the Ghouta pocket outside Damascus as Russia threatens to retaliate against an artillery attack from US backed forces there. This points to the Russian Embassy in Damascus. Sighting for such a target would require access to US military satellite systems and specialized artillery shells available only through the US or NATO partners.

The question of course is why Trump is allowing the military a free hand or is he behind it. Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson are nowhere to be seen, “disappeared” as it were, no longer part of the equation. America’s congress is fully engaged in a blame game, Russia, the “liberal,” or gun manufacturers, anything but governing.

Then again, America had another mass school shooting and Americans have learned that local police sat outside a school while a demented killer, who had announced for months exactly what he planned, murdered 17 students and teachers. The police who sat on their “fat behinds” worked for a local sheriff who had a long history as a Trump “asset.” Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County, Florida was assisted in his campaign in 2014 by famed Trump “dirty trickster” Roger Stone.

Trump blamed the FBI. The “fake news” blames the US Secret Service. The real seeming culprit, the corrupt local sheriff, a regular visitor at Mara Lago and other Trump properties, co-owned with gang boss Felix Sater, is being lauded a national hero, while Americans stand by aghast.

According to reports, Sheriff Israel ignored dozens of reports warning of the school shooting and ordered his deputies to stand down, allowing the shooting to continue, then allowed the shooter to escape, passing right past his deputies, to be later arrested by the town police of sleepy Coral Gables, a nearby retirement community.

These incidents, happening at a staccato rate, have finally alerted the American public that their government might well have a hand in such things, something once easily pushed aside under the broad use of the term “conspiracy theory.” That protection for government game playing, also known as “false flag terrorism,” is no longer working in America.

The question today is this, can America continue fabricating stories of Syrian government “atrocities,” as they did with Saddam and the debunked “baby and incubator” stories from Kuwait from 1990 that led to the Desert Storm debacle and three decades of war?

The next question is simply this, who is behind Trump? Who rigged the election?

It is safe to assume, for political insiders at least, that all American elections are rigged to some extent. “Ballot box stuffing” has been a long tradition in America. Moreover, the American Constitution was written to limit democracy, not encourage it. Nobody really knows what the “electoral college” does or why states with no population can have more US Senators than residents.

Then in 2005, the US Supreme Court, in a case commonly called “Citizens United v. the United States,” legalized corporate bribery of US officials, tearing the heart out of the American political system and allowing word organized crime a free hand.

With the media and many in government focusing on Russia and election meddling, while Trump and his cohorts seem to be pushing for a war with Russia, or North Korea or China or bullying smaller nations like Cuba or Venezuela or Iraq, just part of a seemingly endless list of targets we clearly note an unseen hand at work.

Deeply involved as well is the United Nations. With its Human Rights Council, dominated by Saudi Arabia and the statements condemning real terrorism falling on deaf ears, with the US veto protecting not only Israel’s attacks on its own “citizens,” the 6 million “gulag” prisoners, the Palestinian people, with Israel’s continual attacks on its neighbors, Lebanon and Syria, that organization has proven less than useless, more complicit than helpful.

A recent statement by a military spokesman in Washington decrying the threat of Russian Aerospace forces is a telling one. According to the Pentagon, the US is entitled, if that word could ever apply, to maintain “global aerospace dominance” in order to support what is termed “US global policy.” What is that policy? With Russian air defense systems the best in the world, and Russian aircraft, including the now deployed in Syria Su 57 5th generation stealth fighters, the equal or better of their American counterparts, the history of carpet bombing the world into submission that began in Vietnam is threatened.

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by Ryan Gallagher, The Intercept:

IT IS ONE of the world’s most powerful alliances. And yet most people have probably never heard of it, because its existence is a closely guarded government secret.

The “SIGINT Seniors” is a spy agency coalition that meets annually to collaborate on global security issues. It has two divisions, each focusing on different parts of the world: SIGINT Seniors Europe and SIGINT Seniors Pacific. Both are led by the U.S. National Security Agency, and together they include representatives from at least 17 other countries. Members of the group are from spy agencies that eavesdrop on communications – a practice known as “signals intelligence,” or SIGINT.

Details about the meetings of the SIGINT Seniors are disclosed in a batch of classified documents from the NSA’s internal newsletter SIDToday, provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden and published today by The Intercept. The documents shine light on the secret history of the coalition, the issues that the participating agencies have focused on in recent years, and the systems that allow allied countries to share sensitive surveillance data with each other.

The SIGINT Seniors Europe was formed in 1982, amid the Cold War. Back then, the alliance had nine members, whose primary focus was on uncovering information about the Soviet Union’s military. Following the attacks on the U.S. in September 2001, the group grew to 14 and began focusing its efforts on counterterrorism.

The core participants of the Seniors Europe are the surveillance agencies from the so-called Five Eyes: the NSA and its counterparts from the U.K., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. As of April 2013, the other members were intelligence agencies from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden.

The alliance – which the NSA sometimes refers to as the “14 Eyes” – has collaborated to monitor communications during major European events, such as the Olympics in 2004 (hosted in Greece), the Winter Olympics in 2006 (hosted in Italy), and the soccer World Cup in summer 2006 (hosted in Germany). Between 2006 and 2007, as part of a counterterrorism operation, the agencies began working on “exploitation of the Internet,” which was described by the NSA as a “huge step forward” for the group, because some members of the alliance had previously been “reluctant to acknowledge there was such a thing as the Internet.”

 A Canadian Navy sailor on board a helicopter patrols the waters off the coast of Somalia as they escort a World Food Program ship on Sept. 17, 2008, providing an anti-pirate escort for the ship taking food aid to Somalia.
A Canadian Navy sailor on board a helicopter patrols the waters off the coast of Somalia as they escort a World Food Program ship on Sept. 17, 2008, providing an anti-pirate escort for the ship taking food aid to Somalia.

AS OF 2010, the agencies were focused on targeting suspected terrorists, sharing intelligence related to piracy in the Horn of Africa, and they were collaborating on the development of new surveillance tools and techniques. According to the documents, the Seniors Europe had its own dedicated communication network called SIGDASYS, through which each agency can share copies of intercepted communications. The group also used a system called CENTER ICE to share intelligence about the war in Afghanistan.

The documents indicate that the Seniors Europe hold an annual conference, each time in a different location. In 2013, for instance, the group gathered in Sweden; in 2011, it met in the U.K; in 2010, in Germany; and in 2009, in Canada. In 2013, the NSA expressed an interest in creating a permanent facility that would host representatives from the Seniors Europe in a joint collaborative space. The NSA discussed the idea with its U.K. counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The British were “all in” on the proposal, according to the NSA. However, from some unnamed members of the SIGINT Seniors, there was “persistent pushback” on the plan.

The NSA thought the facility would be best hosted in the U.K., as this would “be optimal in terms of having the most flexibility in tuning the operation to benefit the Five Eyes.” The agency also suggested the idea of France potentially hosting the unit, but outlined its reservations about setting up the spy hub in continental Europe. “Some European nations may be leery about hosting a facility in their nation,” the NSA noted, partly due to “associated concerns for European human rights laws.” (Both NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, declined to answer questions for this story. GCHQ issued a statement asserting that it adheres to “a strict legal and policy framework, which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate.”)

The Pacific division of the SIGINT Seniors is younger than the European branch. The NSA formed it in 2005, with the aim of “establishing a collaborative effort to fight terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region.” In March 2007, the NSA said that it was in the process of “raising ideas for expanding [SIGINT Seniors Pacific’s] intelligence focus beyond counterterrorism.”

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Rising Economic Head Winds


by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

Remember the “tea party” revolt in 2009–2010 against government bailouts and government spending?

Remember the “fiscal cliff” drama of Dec. 31, 2012, when Congress raised taxes and cut spending to avoid a debt default and government shutdown?

Remember the actual government shutdown in October 2013 as Republicans held the line against more government spending?

Well, congratulations if you do, because everyone else seems to have forgotten.

The days of caring about debt and deficits are over. In just the past two months, Republicans passed the Trump tax cuts that will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion on a conservative estimate, and probably much more.

Then Republicans and Democrats “compromised” on eliminating caps on defense spending and domestic spending by agreeing to more of both. That repeal of the so-called “sequester” will add over $300 billion to the deficit over the next two years.

Then there’s a tsunami of student loan debts in default that the Treasury has guaranteed and will have to pay off. Finally, the higher interest rates from this debt will add $210 billion to the annual deficit for every 1% increase in average federal debt funding costs.

Today we are looking at $1 trillion-plus deficits as far as the eye can see.

That’s extraordinary enough. What is more extraordinary is that no one cares! Democrats, Republicans, the White House and everyday Americans are all united in totally ignoring the fact that America is going broke.

This euphoric mood in response to more spending won’t last. The growth is not there to pay for the tax cuts, and the economy is not even growing fast enough to keep up with the growth in the debt.

Credit rating agencies are preparing reviews that will likely lead to a downgrade in the U.S. credit rating and higher interest costs for the Treasury. When the crisis of confidence in the dollar and related inflation arrive, there will be no particular party to blame.

The entire system is turning a blind eye to debt, and the entire system will have to bear some part of the blame.

Meanwhile, the Fed is on track for four rate hikes this year.

On top of this, the Fed is creating financial and economic headwinds by reducing the money supply through its new program of quantitative tightening, or QT. You shouldn’t expect any dramatic change under new Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, who indicated this week he believes the economy is strong. Many observers interpreted his comments to mean he could raise rates four times this year.

Many mainstream analysts think inflation is becoming a concern. But the Fed’s main inflation indicator, the core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) year-over-year, was 1.5% in January and 1.5% in December. Not much change.

Some analysts are looking at the quarter-over-quarter change, which is a bit hotter, but not much. None of this data is near the Fed’s goal of 2% PCE core inflation. As a reminder, core inflation excludes items subject to greater short-term swings, like food and energy.

The non-core data is at 2%, but if the Fed reacts to the non-core data, it’s like moving the goalposts.

Last month’s employment report was much touted because it showed a 2.9% year-over-year gain in average hourly earnings. That gain is a positive, but most analysts failed to note that the gain is nominal — not real. To get to real hourly earnings gains, you have to deduct 2% for non-core consumer inflation.

That reduces the real gain to 0.9%, which is far less than the 3% real gains typically associated with a strong economy.

The employment report also showed that labor force participation was unchanged at 62.7%, an historically low rate. Average weekly earnings declined slightly, another bad sign for the typical worker.

In the absence of inflation, the Fed’s planned rate hikes will raise real interest rates, slow the economy, and encourage disinflation. This is a headwind.

Analysts also point to increasing growth to justify rate hikes.

But GDP growth for all of 2017 was just 2.3%, only slightly better than the 2.13% cumulative growth since 2009. And worse than the 2.9% growth rate in 2015 and the 2.6% rate in 2014.

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Liars Gonna Lie? David Hogg Videos Reveal He Claims His Sister Had 2 Friends Killed… Then 3 Friends… Then 4 Friends


by Tim Brown, Freedom Outpost:

David Hogg is a child.  He’s acting (no pun intended) as a child.   He’s an emotional little Communist who is attacking your rights, America, while defending the cowards in Broward County who hid behind cars rather than rush in to save young people.

Investigative journalist Laura Loomer, who broke the story on Jesus Campos’ disappearance after the Las Vegas shooting last year, which led to her being banned from Sheriff Lombardo’s press conference the next day, has uncovered video of the little useful idiot David Hogg, in which he claims first that his sister had 2 friends die in the school shooting in Florida.  However, a day later, he added a friend, and just a day later, he added another friend, bringing the total to 4.

So, Loomer was kicked off of Facebook because she simply shared the video demonstrating that Hogg was upping the numbers at every opportunity.

Here’s that video.

Let’s see how quickly Twitter gets to scrubbing this one!

The video contains several clips.  The first comes from February 17, three days after the shooting.

“Sadly, my sister lost four of her friends…” Hogg is heard to say.

The next clip that appears is from February 15, one day after the shooting.

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Putin’s State of the Union


by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

Putin has given a remarkable address to the Federal Assembly, the Russian People, and the peoples of the world.

In his speech Putin revealed the existence of new Russian nuclear weapons that make it indisputably clear that Russia has vast nuclear superiority over the United States and its pathetic NATO vassal states.
In view of the Russian capabilities, it is not clear that the US any longer qualifies as a superpower.

There is little doubt in my mind that if the crazed neoconservatives and military/security complex in Washington had these weapons and Russia did not, Washington would launch an attack on Russia.

Putin, however, declared that Russia has no territorial ambitions, no hegemonic ambitions, and no intention to attack any other country. Putin described the weapons as the necessary response to the West’s firm refusal year after year to accept peace and cooperation with Russia, instead surrounding Russia with military bases and ABM systems.

Putin said: “We are interested in normal constructive interaction with the United States and the European Union and are expecting that common sense will prevail and our partners will choose fair and equal cooperation. . . . Our policy will never be based on aspirations for exceptionalism, we are defending our interests and respect the interests of other countries.”

Putin told Washington that its efforts to isolate Russia with sanctions and propaganda and to prevent Russian capability to respond to the growing military encirclement from the West has failed. Russia’s new weapons have made the entire US/NATO approach “ineffective from a military point of view.” “The sanctions to constrain Russia’s development, including in the military sphere… they did not work out.” They have not been been able to contain Russia. They need to realize this… Stop rocking the boat in which we all sit.”

So, what is to be done? Will the West come to its senses? Or will the West, drowning in debt and loaded to the gills with bloated and ineffective military industries, intensify the Cold War that Washington has resurrected?

I do not think the West has any senses to come to. Washington is totally absorbed in “American exceptionalism.” The extreme hubris of the “indispensable country” afflicts all. The Europeans are bought and paid for by Washington. I am confident that Putin was hopeful that European leaders would understand the futility of trying to intimidate Russia and cease to endorse Washington’s Russiaphobia that is leading to nuclear war. No doubt Putin was disappointed in the idiotic response of the UK defense minister Gavin Williamson who accused Russia of “choosing a path of escalation and provocation.”

My guess is that the neoconservatives will play down Russia’s capability, because the neoconservatives do not want to accept that there are any constraints on Washington’s unilateralism. On the other hand, the military/security complex will hype the Russian superiority in order to demand a larger budget to protect us from “the Russian threat.”

The Russian government concluded from years of frustrating experience with Washington’s refusal to consider Russia’s interests and to work together in a cooperative manner that the reason was Washington’s belief that American power could compel Russia to accept American leadership. To shatter this Washington illusion is the reason for Putin’s forceful announcement of the new Russian capabilities.

In his address, he says, “no one wanted to speak with us. No one wanted to listen to us. Listen to us now.” Putin stressed that Russia’s nuclear weapons are reserved for retaliation, not for offense, but that any attack on Russia or Russia’s allies will receive an immediate response “with all that it implies.”

Having made it clear that the Western policy of hegemony and intimidation is dead in the water, Putin again held out the olive branch: let us work together to solve the world’s problems.

I hope that Russian diplomacy succeeds in bringing an end to the rising tensions fomented by Washington. However, Russian diplomacy faces two perhaps insurmountable obstacles. One is the need for the bloated US military/security complex to have a major enemy as a justification for its $1,000 billion annual budget and the power that goes with it. The other obstacle is the neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony.

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ADHD is a FAKE disease invented by Big Pharma to drug children for profit

by Vicki Batts, Natural News:

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is ubiquitous in the American classroom, there’s little debate about that. According to CDC statistics from 2012, 11 percent of children between the ages of four and 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD at some point. With over six million kids diagnosed, it’s hard not to wonder: Is this condition even a real problem?

Sure, some kids struggle to pay attention during school — but does that signify an actual problem with the child? Perhaps it’s more indicative of a society that simply doesn’t allow children to be children anymore. If you’ve ever found that the notion that children who’d rather play outside than sit at a desk are “broken” and need medication was a bit hard to digest, you may be right.

Writing for The Daily BellJoe Jarvis explains that there is proof that ADHD is nothing more than a fake disease. As Jarvis notes, two states with some of the highest incidences of ADHD are Arkansas and Kentucky.

These states are also home to a lot of children who enjoy hunting and fishing. Jarvis reports that census data from Arkansas shows 89 percent of kids fish and 35 percent hunt. Similar survey data shows that in Kentucky, 86 percent fish and 31 percent hunt. “These were the closest indicators I could think of that Kentucky and Arkansas children are more interested in being outside and active than cooped up in a classroom,” he contends.

Jarvis further notes that in states with the lowest incidences of ADHD, children seem to be far less interested in the great outdoors: In New Jersey, only 45 percent of kids go fishing. While not exactly evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship, it certainly raises questions about the way we look at kids who have trouble focusing in the classroom. Jarvis posits that the data he’s collected “suggests that the states with the highest instances of ADHD diagnosis are also states where the traditional values of public education are least aligned with the population.”

The validity of the ADHD diagnosis has been questioned for years now; many people wonder if it’s more of a behavioral issue than an actual cognitive deficit. But maybe it’s neither; maybe children should just be allowed to be children — without being drugged.

As Jarvis notes, many of the stats on ADHD are laughable. For example, boys are three times more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis than girls. Children from unstable home environments are also at a higher risk of being diagnosed with this so-called illness. These are the “facts” that allow the pharmaceutical industry unbridled access to drugging up little kids?

Even if you want to go so far as to say that ADHD is a behavioral issue and not a true cognitive problem, why choose potentially dangerous drugs over a more natural approach? There are many options to help kids who struggle in classrooms that do not involve prescription medication. For example, changing your child’s diet, providing them with more opportunities to exercise and ensuring they get enough sleep are all essential ways you can help your child be their best in the classroom.

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Cancer: Busting the Myths – Part 3 (More Natural Cancer Treatments)


by Makia Freeman, The Sleuth Journal:

Natural cancer treatments abound if you care to look hard enough. It just goes to show that Nature has provided us with all the answers. We don’t need Big Pharma pushing its synthetic agenda to make us well or treat our diseases. The Western Medicine-Big Pharma conglomerate (including the AMA, FDA, CDC, etc.) would like you to believe there is no scientific evidence that natural substances are useful in treating cancer. This is in spite of the fact that Big Pharma companies routinely use natural substances to inspire the design of their synthetic “medicines”, which almost always have toxic side effects. This article is the last in the series (part 1 here) and continues the list of natural cancer treatments begun in part 2.

  Natural cancer treatments: cannabis.
Natural cancer treatments: cannabis.

Natural Cancer Cures #10: Cannabis

One of the most controversial natural cancer treatments to spring to public consciousness has been the cannabis plant. It has gone from being shunned to embraced in many US states due to its potent medical properties. Cannabis has been shown to help with a variety of ailments including cancer. There are many medical studies now proving the cancer-fighting ability of THC. For one example out of many, look at the 2010 Spanish study which found that THC reduced “tumor growth, tumor number, and the amount/severity of lung metastases” in mice. Rick Simpson (Run From the Cure) famously made cannabis oil with THC, however the non-THC varieties which are high in CBD also have anti-cancer properties.

Cannabinoids (the phytochemicals or plant chemicals found in the cannabis plant) can cross the blood-brain barrier, and therefore show great promise as a brain cancer cure. Cannabis arrests the growth of cancer in these 4 key ways (all of which directly combat the hallmarks of cancer outlined in part 1):

  • antiproliferative (prevents cancer cells from reproducing)
  • apoptotic (induces cancer cells to self-destruct)
  • antiangiogenic (prevents formation of new blood vessels needed by tumor to grow)
  • antimetastatic (prevents cancer from spreading to other organs)

Natural Cancer Cures #11: Cesium Chloride

Cesium chloride is another natural cancer treatment which is both simple and astounding. To understand how it works, you need to remember that cancer cells, as discussed in part 1, function in a very different way to healthy cells. Healthy cells use oxygen to burn glucose (oxidation), whereas cancer cells use fermentation to burn the glucose. Dr. Otto Warburg won the 1931 Nobel Prize for discovering that cancer is anaerobic, not aerobic. Oxygen (O2), and ozone for that matter (O3), are the archenemies of cancer. It can’t stand them. So, as the cancer cells ferment the glucose, they produce the byproduct lactic acid, which begins to flood the surrounding cells. This naturally lowers the pH of the cells, taking them from a healthy alkaline state (around 7.3) to an acidic state (around 5.7). The newly created acidity also destroys the ability of DNA and RNA to control cell division, so the cancerous cells begin to multiply without limit.

A vicious cycle of cachexia can begin in some cancer patients. The body sends the excess lactic acid is sent to the liver to detoxify it; the liver converts the lactic acid into glucose then sends it back into the rest of the body; and the cancerous cells are likely to pick it up again since they consume 15 more times glucose than normal cells.

Cesium chloride works by smashing this entire situation and cycle. Specifically, it works in 4 key ways:

  1. Cesium is a very alkaline substance, so it dramatically increases the alkalinity of the body, boosting the pH back above 7 into an alkaline state where cancerous are less likely to thrive;
  2. Cesium starves the cancer cells by limiting the body’s uptake of glucose. They end up starving to death;
  3. Cesium halts the process of fermentation, the means by which cancer cells metabolize glucose;
  4. Cesium neutralizes the lactic acid, thus breaking the cachexic cycle and preventing the liver form inadvertently feeding the cancer with more glucose.

Natural Cancer Cures #12: DMSO / MSM

DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane, or just “organic sulfur”) are 2 different but related natural sulfur substances. In the interests of brevity, I have grouped them together here. DMSO, a non-toxic natural byproduct of the wood industry, has an amazing affinity to target cancer cells. It has been combined successfully with MSM, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and cesium chloride. MSM is an sulfur compound which occurs naturally in food. It offers an amazing range of benefits, such relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and supporting healthy muscles, tendons, ligaments, hair, skin and nails. MSM improves your body’s ability to make its own antioxidants, especially the master antioxidant glutathione. It is impossible to overdose on either DMSO or MSM since the body automatically flushes out excess after 12 hours.

MSM tackles cancer in the following 3 ways:

  1. It transports oxygen deep into the cells (remember, oxygen is to cancer like garlic to a vampire);
  2. It kills microbes in the bloodstream;
  3. It helps get rid of lactic acid from the bloodstream to prevent cachexia (as discussed above with the natural cancer treatment cesium chloride).

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The Brick & Mortar Retail Meltdown, February Update


by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

And private equity is all over it.

The brick-and-mortar retail meltdown – despite protestations to the contrary – continues with a mechanistic air of inevitability. This started in 2015, took off in 2016, and picked up pace and magnitude in 2017, a progression I documented along the way. Now in 2018, there has been a brutal January and here’s the even more brutal February.

Bon-Ton Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 4. The filing by the regional department store chain based in Pennsylvania was the largest bankruptcy filing by a retailer in 2018. It had been discussing with its creditors a restructuring of its debts, but that had turned out to be fruitless.

This was a surprise to no one. In September, the company hired bankruptcy advisers to deal with nearly $1 billion in debt. In December, it defaulted on an interest payment. In January, after the 30-day grace period, it announced it had entered into forbearance agreements with some of its lenders. Over the make-or-break holiday selling period, sales fell 4.2%. On February 1, it announced more details on a new wave of store closings, involving 42 of its 260 stores. Liquidation sales in those stores began on February 1. Its shares are in the process of becoming worthless.

Bi-Lo is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as March and shutter nearly 200 stores, Bloomberg reported on February 16. The company, which owns the Winn Dixie, Harveys, Fresco y Mas, and Bi-Low supermarkets, is buckling under $1 billion of debt. About 50,000 jobs could be affected.

The low-margin supermarket business has entered a period of major upheaval – not from online competition which hasn’t taken off yet in the US, but from competitors with deep pockets that are barreling into the stagnating market, including the expansion plans of German deep-discounter Aldi, and the moves by the likes of Walmart and Target. Last year, Amazon vowed to churn the butter, so to speak, by acquiring Whole Foods. Even the private-equity owned combo of Albertsons, Safeway, and other chains is struggling mightily to stem declining same store sales.

For Bi-Lo it would be the second bankruptcy filing in nine years, having previously filed in 2009.

As so many times in these retailer bankruptcies, there’s a private equity angle. PE firm Lone Star had acquired Bi-Lo in a leveraged buyout, announced in late 2004, that loaded the company up with debt. As part of the agreement to get Bi-Lo to emerge from the 2009 bankruptcy, Lone Star contributed $150 million in capital; and in 2012, Lone Star provided $275 million to help fund the leverage buyout of Winn-Dixie. But since 2012, Lone Star as extracted at least $800 million from Bi-Lo via special dividends. Lone Star also extracted management fees from Bi-Lo. Bi-Lo had to borrow this money. Now it’s cratering under that debt.

Tops Markets filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 21, buckling under $715 million in debt. The company with 170 supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, employing over 14,000 people, blamed “previous private equity ownership” that had “saddled the Company with an unsustainable amount of debt on its balance sheet.”

Morgan Stanley Private Equity had acquired Tops Markets during the LBO boom in 2007 and did “saddle” it with debt. So it’s easy for the executives at Tops Markets blame them. But it’s also self-serving and hilarious: In 2013, these executives at Top Markets — the ultimate insiders — acquired the company from Morgan Stanley and have been running the show for four years, doing their own saddling with debt.

The company has arranged $265 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) loans to keep the doors open during the bankruptcy proceedings.

Toys R Us is stumbling closer to liquidation in the US. This too is a private equity story – the biggest one to fail so far in retail land. On February 21, CNBC reported that the company, which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September and then got hammered by a terrible holiday selling season, is at risk of breaching a covenant on a $3.1-billion DIP loan that a group of lenders led by J.P. Morgan Chase had extended to fund its operations during the bankruptcy proceedings.

The covenant requires that the company keep a certain amount of cash on hand, but after bleeding through the holiday period, these cash levels are now at risk. The company hasn’t breached any covenants yet, it said, but if it is found to be in breach, the lenders could force it to pay back the entire loan immediately, which could force Toys R Us into liquidation.

But how much will there be left to liquidate? After obtaining court approval earlier in February to close 182 stores in the US and shed 4,500 workers along with them, Toys R Us is now planning to close another 200 stores in the US and lay off more people, the Wall Street Journal reported on February 21, citing its sources. This will slash the retailer’s footprint in the US by about half since the bankruptcy filing.

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Iran Bans Use Of US Dollars In Trade

from ZeroHedge:

In what may be a preemptive move against further US sanctions, Tehran announced that going forward, merchant purchase orders that are denominated in US Dollars would no longer be allowed to go through import procedures.

According to the state-owned IRNA news agency, the policy is in line with an official request by the Central Bank of Iran and is meant to address fluctuations in market rates of the US dollar. Quoted by IRNA, the central bank director of Foreign Exchange Rules and Policies Affairs, Mehdi Kasraeipour, said the move had “become effective from Wednesday by virtue of a letter sent to the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade.”

The central banker further explained that the decision “wouldn’t create major trouble” for traders because the share of the greenback in Iran’s trade activities is already negligible.

“It’s been for a long time that Iran’s banking sector cannot use the dollar as a result of the sanctions,” said Kasraeipour. As part of a trade embargo, US banks are banned from dealing with Iran.

“Considering that the use of the dollar is banned for Iran and traders are literally using alternative currencies in their transactions, there is no longer any reason to proceed with invoices that use the dollar as the base rate,” Kasraeipour added.

As part of the transition, Iranian merchants will need to inform their suppliers to change the base currency from the dollar to other currencies so that the related import documents could be processed at Iran’s entry points. It was unclear if cryptocurrencies are acceptable units, and whether Iran is developing its own version of the Venezuelan Petro.

Merchants will also need to specify whether they would proceed with their payments through banks or currency exchange shops.

Ever since the crackdown on the Iranian banking sector by the US and SWIFT some 5 years ago, Tehran has sought to switch to non-dollar based trade. It has already signed agreements with several countries and is in talks with Russia on using national currencies in settlements.

Last December, Iran announced that it would eliminate the dollar from all bilateral trade with China, which has fast emerged as one of Iran’s largest crude oil clients.

Previously, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in November, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that the best way to beat US sanctions against the two countries was joint efforts to dump the American currency in bilateral trade. He told President Putin that by using methods such as eliminating the US dollar and replacing it with national currencies in transactions between two or more parties, the sides could “isolate the Americans.”

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As Federico Pieraccini previously noted, until a few decades ago, any idea of straying away from the petrodollar was seen as a direct threat to American global hegemony, requiring of a military response. However, in recent years, it has become clear to many nations opposing Washington that the only way to adequately contain the fallout from US retaliation was to progressively abandon the dollar. This serves to limit Washington’s capacity for military spending by creating the necessary alternative tools in the financial and economic realms that will eliminate Washington’s dominance. This is an essential component in the Russo-Sino-Iranian strategy to unite Eurasia and thereby render the US irrelevant.

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