Privacy campaigners have warned of an “epidemic of facial recognition” use around the UK. This, of course, followed the epidemic of CCTV that led to it in the first place. An investigation by Big Brother Watch, the civil…
62 individuals – 388 in 2010 – now own more wealth than 50% of the world’s population. More shockingly, this share of wealth by half of the world’s people has collapsed by over 40% in the last five years.
China’s hidden capital flight surged to a record high in the first half of this year, suggesting that residents wanting to move money abroad are using unrecorded transactions to evade tight capital controls.
Three U.S. financial regulators on Friday issued a warning to firms with registered digital assets that they have an obligation to follow securities laws prohibiting money laundering and requiring disclosure of suspicious activity.
More war in wretched Syria. Half the population are now refugees; entire cities lie shattered by bombing; bands of crazed gunmen run rampant; US, French, Israeli and Russian warplanes bomb widely.
Now, adding to the chaos, President Donald Trump has finally given Turkey, NATO’s second military power, the green light to invade parts of northeastern Syria after he apparently ordered a token force of US troops there to withdraw.
This, of course, puts the Turks in a growing confrontation with the region’s Kurds,who have occupied large swaths of the area during Syria’s civil war. The Kurdish militia, known as YPG (confusingly part of the so-called Free Syrian Army), is armed, lavishly financed and directed by the CIA and Pentagon.
Most Kurdish forces are deployed along the line of the former Berlin-Baghdad railway, a major source of warlike tensions before World War I. Interestingly, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was making a state visit to blood enemy Serbia when the Turkish offensive kicked off.
Turkey calls the Kurdish militias ‘terrorists’ and links them to the original Kurdish resistance movement PKK which is on the US and Turkish black list. I covered the brutal conflict in eastern Anatolia (southern Turkey) between the Turkish Army and Kurdish militias known as ‘peshmerga.’ If the US can brand Syrian and Iraqi groups ‘terrorists,’ why can’t the Turks do their own terrorist branding? After all, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq are in their backyard.
The US media is fiercely anti-Turkish because Ankara is seen as somewhat pro-Palestinian. Israel is a bitter foe of Turkey’s Erdogan. One rarely reads anything positive about Turkey or its leader. Not very many western readers even know that since the early 1500’s, Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of modern Turkey. So were Iraq, Palestine, today’s Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
Most important, Iraq’s vast oil fields used to belong to the Ottoman Empire until the British Empire grabbed them at the end of World War I. France seized Syria and Lebanon. Both former imperial powers are still mucking around today in the region and have the gall to criticize Turkey’s involvement in neighboring Syria.
The United States has zero historic interest in the region. US troops in Syria appear to have come from the US garrison in Iraq, which, as VP Dick Cheney hoped, would become a central US military base for the entire Mideast. The Washington war party is moaning that Trump has ‘betrayed’ the Kurds. Their unofficial head, Sen. Lindsey Graham, is demanding more war in Syria – the same warrior senator who dodged the Vietnam War by joining the National Guard as a lawyer.
The Kurds have been used and betrayed since 1918. They always seem to get the short end of the stick. The old Kurdish saying, ‘no friends but the mountains,’ is painfully true. Washington does not want to get involved in a new Kurdish state carved out of Syria or Iraq even though Israel is pushing it hard to further splinter the Mideast. Iraq’s and Syria’s oil deposits are still a powerful lure for imperial-minded powers.
Trump rightly calls the fracas in Syria ‘a stupid war.’ But many pro-war forces play on this tired, confused president who has gotten himself deep into the Syrian morass, a problem of largely American but also Turkish making. Ironically, former president Barack Obama foolishly authorized America’s effort to overthrow Syria’s Assad government under the guise of a phony civil war. This was one of the few Obama policies that Trump chose to follow. The neophyte president was unwilling or unable to prevent the deep state in Washington from encouraging the war.
The region in question is hardly the beating heart of Syria. It looks large on the map but is mostly desert and scrub, dotted by miserable little villages with Arab or Kurdish populations. Turkey, which has over 2 million Syrian refugees, is eager to begin repatriation of this massive burden created by its policy errors and the western powers.
In the middle is the scattered debris of the short-lived ISIS caliphate. Russia, which is selling Turkey its very capable S-400 anti-aircraft system, is watching with delight as old allies Turkey and the US split.
Even Trump knows how important Turkey is to the NATO alliance. A rupture between Washington and Ankara could see the vital US bases at Incirlik and Adana thrown out of Turkey. That’s why Trump needs to tread carefully.
California’s New ‘Red Flag’ Gun Law So Extreme ACLU Deems “Significant Threat To Civil Liberties“
California adopted 15 firearms-related bills last Friday, including a controversial ‘red flag’ gun confiscation law which adds co-workers, employers and educators to the list of who can file a gun violence restraining order on those they say are a danger to themselves and others. Currently, only law enforcement and immediate family members can apply to temporarily confiscate peoples’ firearms. Most of the new laws take effect January 1, according to the LA Times.
Signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) after being vetoed twice by his Democratic predecessor Jerry Brown (who said that educators can work through family members or law enforcement if a restraining order is required), the gun confiscation bill is so broad that the ACLU said it “poses a significant threat to civil liberties” since guns can be seized from owners before they have an opportunity to contest the requests, and those making the requests may “lack the relationship or skills required to make an appropriate assessment,” NBC San Diegoreports.
All that’s needed for a co-worker or educator to file a complaint is to have had “substantial and regular interactions” with gun owners, along with permission from their employers or school administrators. Those seeking the orders will be required to file a sworn statement outlining their concerns.
The author of the bill, Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco, said that “With school and workplace shootings on the rise, it’s common sense to give the people we see every day the power to intervene and prevent tragedies,” citing a recent study which found that 21 mass shootings may have been prevented by a gun restraining order.
Meanwhile, a companion bill signed by Newsom and written by Democratic Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks allows gun violence restraining orders to last one and five years, though gun owners would be allowed to petition the state to get their guns back earlier. In another Ting-authored companion bill, gun owners who agree to voluntarily surrender their firearms can notify the court via a form, vs. a hearing which Ting says wastes time and resources.
The National Rifle Association (NRA)‘s Amy Hunter, meanwhile, said of another bill signed on Friday (SB61) which prohibits Californians from buying more than one semiautomatic rifle per month, and bans the sale of such rifles to those younger than 21: “This bill places burdens on law-abiding residents,” adding “It will not make anyone safer.”
Republican state legislators criticized the one-gun-a-month bill, as well as the state’s failure to remove guns from the thousands of felons and the severely mentally ill as they are already empowered to do so.
“Instead we continue to do more and more legislation that interferes with the law-abiding citizen’s right to own and possess firearms, which is their constitutional right to do,” said Yuba City Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher (LA Times).
According to the Times, other bills signed Friday by Newsom will:
Allow those subject to a gun-violence restraining order to submit a form to the court voluntarily relinquishing their firearm rights
Require firearm packaging to contain a warning statement on suicide prevention
Mandate that county sheriffs who issue licenses for concealed weapons charge a fee covering the cost of vetting the applicant, thus eliminating the current $100 cap on fees
Prohibit gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County
Require, starting in 2024, that the sale of components used to build a firearm — often used to build untraceable “ghost guns” — be carried out through a licensed vendor.
For those too ignorant or too full of cognitive dissonance here is a short understanding for ya…
It is Saturday morning and I like to wake up early so I had set my iPhone alarm to wake me at 5am. (Apple now knows what time i woke). I grab my iPhone and head to the kitchen and turn the coffee maker on (it wirelessly informs several other kitchen appliances, Alexa and my iPhone denotes this too). I open the fridge (it sends a signal to other kitchen appliances and my iPhone) and to grab a few items. Yogurt, orange juice, some blueberries. When I shut the fridge door the RFID signal on the packages I took out were read by the fridge so it knows what was removed and at what time. Now apple and others know, with near certainty who was up, rummaging in the fridge and what they took out.(Ok I think you get the point of “breakfast in the new age” so let’s move on. )
I go to my closet and grab blue jeans a button down shoes belt. Each has an RFID from the retail location I purchased as does my cleaners who placed a very small RFID barcode on each garment for tracking purposes. Both these signals are tracked by my iPhone, wifi signals, kitchen appliances etc. The kitchen appliances are still snooping on me so they can sell my activity tracking information to other retailers. Seems if you purchased a microwave for hundreds of dollars you should get a huge discount if they informed you they were going to spy on you and sell your activity or at least offer a choice of no spying. Seems every single thing I buy, with MY hard earned money, is now making money OFFME. But I digress.
Anyway, I head out to the basement and every door has a sensor from my home security. It can track every door that opens and infrared movement. It tracks me via door openings going to the basement and the motion sensor follows my every move. I open my safe grab my gun and head to my vehicle. With the fridge, microwave, coffee maker, doors and motion sensors, iPhone, Alexa and numerous other things now tracking me, my car now gets involved. The hands free portion of my entertainment system recognizes me and my voice. The car starts and the little black box, gps, phone system are all on me like a bloodhound. I am tracked to every location I go, every traffic signal camera, and every light I stop at. Every song I listen too whether sad or upbeat is denoted, filed, logged. I pass near businesses and all my data is shared with them and to their own security cameras. Yet, here I am thinking nobody knows where I am, where I am going, what I am listening to, what I am thinking, or what I am about to do.
I was truly enjoying my weekend and looking forward to spending quality time with my wife and kids.
Over the past week, a stressful week at that, I needed some quite relaxing woods time. I had decided to go for a short hike. I had brought my gun because it was coyote-mating season and they can get aggressive. As I was driving down the nearly abandoned country road I see blue lights in my rear view mirror. I pull over. A loud speaker comes on and demands I throw the gun out of the car and step out slowly. I have done nothing wrong and do not understand and certainly do not want to scratch up my $7,500 .22 nearly rusted revolver. I have a permit and am not a threat.
So I decided to open the door and the last thing I remember before being shot to death was loud banging.
* * *
The ensuing investigation and media narrative was they “knew” I had a stressful week and was planning on hurting, someone, or myself. That I had chosen to “die by cop” instead. Even though the sweet note I had left my wife and kids stating I was going hiking and will bring my revolver just in case because coyotes were in abundance since hunting was outlawed and how much I loved them and looked forward to picking them up in a few hours to go to the local town fair. Well, that was all but ignored and explained away. It did not fit the narrative that guns are evil and people that own them have them or even like them are borderline unstable at a minimum.
What nobody was asking is how did the officer “know” I had a gun? “Why” did the officer feel I was a threat at that time due to a stressful week? Amongst any other questions at all.
It did not matter, I was dead, my family lost, kids life changed forever and my reputation as a gun wielding mad man will forever follow my family and negatively affect them until they die. When others see this example, they will all, like rank and file, stiffen up and toe the line of compliance for surely they do not want a similar situational issue or outcome because they all deep down realize they are being tracked but they ignore it because Clash of Clans is just so addictive and gives you something to do for the 38 seconds you must be alone in public while waiting on friends to park their car.
Welcome to your new life and country controlled by algorithms vs the Constitution.Hope you really get a full mouthful of it, so much in fact it makes you sick. You deserve it all.