#Privacy, #Facebook Coin, Uber, PayPal, Visa to Back #Facebook’s GlobalCoin Cryptocurrency
Starting with Facebook can’t get into China and 2015 Facebook Announces a Payments Feature for Its Messenger App
2019 #WeChat has become the centerpiece of digital life in China
where people use it to order movie tickets, subway passes, food delivery and rides. If Facebook succeeds in turning its own messaging services into a platform for everything, it could ultimately threaten established services such as Snapchat, Yelp, Venmo, eBay and even Apple and Amazon.
IN CHINA THERE IS NO PRIVACY!
IN AMERICA THERE IS NONE! THANKS TO THE DEMOCRAT$ AND THE REPUBLICAN$
Facebook can’t get into China and wants to be WhatsApp China’s top app.
#Tencent-owned WeChat is China’s most popular messaging app and has a mobile payments feature known as #WeChat Pay. #Facebook Coin, which would be pegged to the U.S. dollar and allow users to transfer money through Facebook-owned messaging application WhatsApp, according to Bloomberg.
Facebook wants to be America’s version of China’s WeChat
and started developing its own digital currency to make it easier for users to send money to their messaging contacts. Facebook didn’t offer many details on its digital currency endeavors but said a “new small team” was looking for ways to make use of the type of technology powering bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
Tencent, is more than just a messaging app. It’s what some analysts dub a “super-app” because it offers everything from mobile payments to the ability to book flights and even play games — all without leaving the app. ‘WeChat of the West’
The reason why FB wants these partners. To turn every single account holder into a new banking account. Personal and business at the same time. Very centralized indeed. Multiple privacy concerns and contracts. Personal data is at risk.
Facts: 1. Facebook is issuing its own ‘cryptocurrency’
2. Evan Cheng is Facebooks’s Director of Blockchain engineering
Sarah Jamie Lewis @SarahJamieLewis
Can’t wait for a cryptocurrency with the ethics of Uber, the censorship resistance of Paypal, and the centralization of Visa, all tied together under the proven privacy of Facebook. I’ve always said the thing that cryptocurrency was missing was consortiums of corporations fully invested in the existing financial sector. Who, seriously, looked around the room and said, “shit, we really need to invite PayPal”
Do you trust 2/3 of paypal, visa, uber and facebook <insert other corps here> not to collude to publish contradictory checkpoints? What does byzantine consensus even mean in that scenario? “Facebook won’t control the coin” it will just develop the coin and then assemble the initial members of the consortium after which point the power will be distributed to the consortium members, that Facebook picked, and who are all large corporations.
See, decentralized. “Facebook won’t directly control the coin, nor will the individual members of the consortium — known as the Libra Association. Some of the members could serve as “nodes” along the system that verify transactions and maintain records of them, creating a brand-new payments network, according to people familiar with the setup.”
In the future, Paypal will verify your transaction behind the scenes as you pay for your Uber seamlessly using your phone, just top up your Facebook Libre account with Visa or Mastercard. So much innovation.
Roxana Nasoi @roxanasoi
Ever wondered how PayPal shares your Data? And to who?
Let’s go with the major funnels:
1. PayPal shares your data with Auditors. Internal and external, due to its nature.
2. PayPal shares your data with Customer Services. In the process of handling claims, customer services need access to your account history – so basically they need your historical data information. In case of disputes, they can access the last 30 to 90 days. Maybe even more?
3. PayPal shares your data with Fraud agencies and AML services. You will discover that after $1k to $2k, you need to KYC in order to continue using your account. If you use PayPal for business purposes, but your account is a personal one, you can end up with funds frozen.
4. Next is Financial Products. All those business and personal finance tools you see inside your PayPal dashboard can’t be used without your financial data. To add more, new products are created based on user data patterns. Unknown the extent of external financial products.
5. Don’t forget about your data being shared with Commercial Partnerships. Don’t worry, banks do the same. Apps do the same. Nothing new here.
6. PayPal uses your data for Marketing and PR. Need another example? Try Facebook, Google (Gmail) etc. Data sells, and we can’t really talk about performance and customer experience without backing claims with data reports.
7. PayPal (along with 95% of systems) shares your data with Operational Services.
8. Group Enterprises also have access to your data. Blame it on group dynamics if you want to or on contracts you’ll never have a say in.
9. Commercial Partners (to no surprise) can access your data, as well through a service called PayPal for Partners (Merchants use it).
10. Legal. From disputes to payment protection to lawsuits, to internal or partner legal firms – yes, they can access the data. Or have access to it in some form.
11. Other services and agencies. At some point they argued that government agencies cannot claim access to a user’s data. However, this is an overstatement. Under the premise of fraud, Gov agencies can and will get access. Based on historical examples, we know it’s possible.
This is probably the main reason why we do need crypto. A coded architecture that makes it incorruptible.
“Code is Law”.
Bitcoin has managed to provide a clear first example of incorruptibility, where growth and maturity of one system does not change the core.
Ever wondered how PayPal shares your Data? And to who? Let's go with the major funnels:
“60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.
STUPID AMERICANS HELD BACK BY THEIR UFO JUVENILE TABOO TALK.
SCIENCE FICTION IS NOW FACT
SO GET OVER YOUR IGNORANT SELVES
The program collected video and audio recordings of reported U.F.O. incidents, including footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. “There’s a whole fleet of them,” one exclaims. Defense officials declined to release the location and date of the incident.
Luis Elizondo, who led the Pentagon effort to investigate U.F.O.s until October. He resigned to protest what he characterized as excessive secrecy and internal opposition to the program. Mr. Bigelow, Bigelow Aerospace, Mr. Reid, Mr. John Glenn, Mr. Elizondo, Mr. Stevens and Mr. Inouye, used to work with the Navy, C.I.A. Pentagon, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Harold E. Puthoff, William Lynn III Robert Bigelow, a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid, received most of the money allocated for the Pentagon program. On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.
How to report what the military calls unexplained aerial phenomena, or unidentified flying objects.
Videos filmed by Navy pilots show two encounters with flying objects.
One was captured by a plane’s camera off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 20, 2015. That footage, published previously but with little context, shows an object tilting like a spinning top moving against the wind. A pilot refers to a fleet of objects, but no imagery of a fleet was released. The second video was taken a few weeks later.
#UFO Videos filmed by Navy pilots #UFOVideosfilmedbyNavyPilots
Resizeable pull the bottom right corner to the right
EXECUTIVE ORDER 13866
ADJUSTMENTS OF CERTAIN RATES OF PAY
SCHEDULE 5 — EXECUTIVE SCHEDULE
Bush nominated Chief Justice John Roberts observant Catholic to take Sandra Day O’Connor’s place. Roberts is now both chief justice and the court’s swing justice — which means that, increasingly, the law is likely to be what he says it is. Roberts joined Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department when it was on a campaign to drive American law to the right. It is the arm of the Rethuglican Party. Roberts and his wife hate feminists, the equal pay for equal work, a women’s right to have an abortion, and gays. He opposes the rights of blacks, gay people, the poor and other relatively powerless groups. Roberts helped take away health care from millions of the nation’s poorest people.
Roberts swept away campaign finance regulations, most notoriously in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which invalidated a well-established ban on corporations spending money to elect candidates.
The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance for its enrollees, who are Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees and annuitants, active and retired members of the uniformed services, and their qualified relatives.
HOW MUCH LONG TERM HEALTH CARE DO YOUR NEED
The three most common care options are home health care, assisted living, and nursing home care. To find the average costs in your area for each of these care options, select your state and nearest city below. Then, click the “Find the Cost of Care” button. All costs are based on the John Hancock 2016 Cost of Care Survey.
“Controlled” inflation is generally considered superior to recession (a fortiori depression) with steady growth in the GNP. But inflation, particularly in certain areas, also can inflict harm on many citizens (our focus is on the United States of America). Allocation of resources, caused by public policy (including taxes on individuals and corporations coupled markets with corporation influence (particularly pernicious with monopolies) so that the poor and working classes, are often adversely affected. Trump’s tariffs will increase inflation for many items including household essentials.
Those on fixed income, even with minor raises, suffer from inflation in general.American teachers, for example, have less real income over the last ten years when salaries are adjusted for inflation. Social Security has been diminished in many ways and does not provide a sufficient living income for its recipients. It is now taxed as income although the employee’s contribution (one-half) has already been taxed.
The age of “normal retirement” has been raised to the particular detriment of manual workers whose bodies have paid a physical toll. The payment is now delayed to the middle or the end of the month. Ronald Reagan had payments rounded down to the lower dollar. The increases do not reflect actual inflation (yet there are moves now to use lower formulas than current) and, of course, are in lower cash amounts for the recipients of lower amounts. (Since the financial crash in 2008, not-risky investments pay those dependent on savings and very low interest – CDs, money markets, saving accounts, and annuities – municipal bonds have disappeared.) Pensions promised, in effect delayed salary, in the private sector are often subject to substitution of claimed equivalent lump sum; unexpected reductions and extensive denials only possibly rectified by protracted litigation, terminations of plans (sometimes invoking the federal Pension Guarantee Fund) and assorted other difficulties.
Public sector pensions and associated fringe benefits, e.g. health insurance have often been reduced for later hires (New York has multiple tiers). Unemployment insurance has limited duration and amount. Workman’s Compensation not only often requires litigation for receipt but is limited with recipients generally unable to work in other secondary jobs as they once did (and often prevent private personal injury suits which would have resulted in substantially greater awards). “Welfare as you know it” was demolished by Clinton without reason although it was always inadequate to support women rearing children and those children. (The Supreme Court had already upheld the “Family Cap” which some States are now removing.) Food stamps have been decreased as are other benefits in what is absurdly called “the safety net.” All these exacerbate the negative effects of inflation on fixed income individuals.
The cost of necessities often rises faster than general increase in cost. In the background of housing exist the homeless. One source of this suffering group was initiated by Ronald Reagan who, not motivated by mistakes and deprivations in mental institutions, emptied mental health facilities in California to create a national trend. Some of the individuals were not able to function, particularly with no preparation, in the outside world. The needed provision for mental health community centers was not only not forthcoming but the existence of the ones available reduced and eliminated. Half way houses suffered similar treatment. Effective outreach to those in the streets (which are often preferable to them then “shelters” is minimum. In this time of mass incarceration with a Rhenquist led Supreme Court 1986 until his death in 2005 – focused on punishment rather than rehabilitation, we have not only the spectacle of prison horrors (e.g. solitary confinement, sometimes for many years “maximum security” jails, shackles, demeaning underpaid work, capital punishment etc.) specially featured by private prisons in the industrial prison complex, resulting in those released being unprepared for freedom and untrained for employment.
[The Associated Press reports that Chief Justice William Rehnquist has given the Smithsonian Institution the robe–the one with the ridiculous yellow stripes on the sleeves–that he wore while presiding over President Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate. Rehnquist valued the donation at $30,000, according to his 1999 financial disclosure form. How does he know the value? He had it appraised by Sotheby’s!
In writing his new book about O’Connor called First, which will be published in 2019, biographer Evan Thomas discovered that Rehnquist proposed to O’Connor in the early 1950s, after he graduated early from Stanford. As NPR reported, the two dated briefly, and O’Connor—at the time called Sandra Day—later referred to him as a “study buddy” (mid-20th-century vernacular for “friend zone”). That spring, Rehnquist wrote O’Connor a letter saying that he wanted to talk about “important things.” He went on: “To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?” O’Connor turned her “study buddy” down and married John O’Connor in 1952.]
The mass incarceration (considerably based on theWar on Drugs I condemned is grotesque to the extent it is now drawing some legislative and local attention. The ex-prisoners (often not able to vote, now under scrutiny and challenges) have tarnished records, along often with little training for jobs so their employment possibilities and any “benefits” are increasingly inadequate in inflationary times.
Public or “affordable” housing in often not available for the homeless but for many with low incomes (the current Trump-Carson HUD management is focused not on badly needed maintenance and (job creating) construction but rather eviction, particularly of immigrants in “mixed residences”, etc. The original provision of high rises (over five floors) and clusters have produced predictable social chaos with youth not prepared for gainful employment in a dangerous environment. The lack of maintenance has often created unlivable conditions. This country faces a great need for proper public housing properly maintained and “affordable housing”.Those in need often have to choose between payments for necessities or the equally important shelter. Building properly constructed and place public housing would also create jobs.
Of general concern is the rapidly rising rents and purchase prices in many urban centers, both residential and commercial (creating many empty stores formerly housing small businesses because of tax advantages) – and commercial rent control, which although desirable seems politically unlikely and even utopian, in spite of the obscene unjustified wealth of developers and many large Realtors and real estate owners (and resulting political power). Residential rent controls, when available, are under constant attack (only 20, 000 rent control tenants are left in New York City and only one million apartments are rent “stabilized”) with raises every year, a special inflation. Its absence has led to the gentrification of Washington, D.C. to compare with very high rents in San Francisco, New York. etc. which results also in gentrification with only some preservation of all types of diversity. Proposals for requiring some “affordable” housing in new residential buildings are resisted but enforced in some Cities but never near the real quantity needed. Rents and purchase prices for apartments, condominiums, coops and houses are accelerating upwards.
The resulting “gentrification” produces, in a partial reversal of suburban and ex-urban preference, with many rich people moving into formerly middle class, working, and poor neighborhoods in many cities. The former residents are driven out from proximity to commercial and industrial centers (to the degree they survive) thereby entailing costly (and time consuming) commutes – a hidden housing and transportation inflation along with the increases in rents and purchases.
Trump with his reflexive reactionary administration and Congressional supporters changed the tax code with an obvious retaliation against States whose citizens voted heavily against his election so that he lost by about 3 million votes (See my article on Trump and Hitler ) . The limitation of the deduction for State Real Estate taxes to $10,000 punishes the many who pay much more (often in order to provide for better schools) creating an inflation in the actual cost of house ownership. Construction and maintenance, particularly for quality, are increasingly expensive.
Encouraged by Eisenhower and his Secretary of Agriculture, agribusiness has transformed food production to become its very dominant force. (This situation has also led to the monopolistic intrusion in farming of poisonous pesticides, soil destroying fertilizers, monocropping, and even great reduction of seed variety. The movie, a few years back, Food Inc.
A great deal of food has degenerated in quality and nutritional value.Fowl, swine, and beef are raised in inhumane settings. Chickens furnish a prime example. They have been bred (while confined with no movement possible) to grow much larger, particularly in the breast but shrunken in the legs so they can not walk with drumsticks much smaller – tasteless flesh purveyed with coatings for fast food. Champion layers of eggs used to produce about 250 a year. Now flocks produce eggs every day. Triple A eggs (and pullets) once were available. Double A is now almost unknown.
For many years the “Rutgers” tomato was standard (with some combinations like the Prichard crossed with Cooper’s Special.) Now there is a new variety designed for profusion, speed, and ease in machine (and maltreated migrants) harvesting. The result is no taste and less nutrition in their often partially white interiors. Berries, imported and domestic, with limited companies distributing. have suffered the same fate, often packaged so mold and rot are hidden.
Some popular fish are now “farmed”, consider the Franken salmon developed. It is impossible to ignore the devastating damage ecologically and environmentally (including the danger of specially bred fishes mixing with the natural ones). Fresh fish have been particularly eliminated by pollution, oil spills, water diversion, and dams. Richard Nixon once mistakenly urged people to buy fish instead of meat as fish was already more expensive. Desirable as fresh fish is for health, it is now priced notably higher than other protein sources widely available.
The list goes on. What is the consequence?
If one wants food with flavor and nutrition, one has to go to special sources. (The purchaser should not be fooled by the slapping of “organic” on the labels since there is no legal standard. Extra virgin olive oil entails pressing without breaking the grapes’ skin – but similarly the label is slapped on without justification.) To buy from special sources means to pay more, often a multiple of what is available in standard stores. This requirement means a real inflation in the cost of desirable food.
According to exit polls, health was the number one concern for voters in the 2018 election. Insurance and care costs have greatly increased. Even though every income earner pays into Medicare (with a limit on increasing premiums for those receiving over $225,000), it costs close to $300 a month to use as insurance. The needed “supplemental health insurance” (without long term care usually) costs about the same.
The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) based on the right wing Heritage Foundation’s plan does nothing to control the highly profitable and powerful insurance industry. Premiums are therefore high.
Nonetheless, it managed to cover many individuals for whom insurance was not possible (e.g. the broadly defined “prior condition” exclusion which includes pregnancy). John McCain, lauded a hero, for his necessary vote to save that Act, then voted to exclude the “mandate” to enroll.
It was that linchpin, considering it as a tax, which led Chief Justice Roberts to forge a 5 vote majority to save the increased coverage. Without that provision, the Court may not uphold the law thereby casting an estimated over 20 million off any insurance to pay for health care.
As it is, many famed specialists, and others, do not take Medicare (many more Medicaid) and insurance often only covers small amount. This inflation excludes many possible patients. Medical costs now include not only many care providers (often stopped early when still needed for recovering people’s assistance and rehabilitation) but expensive machinery and tests. Rehabilitation is expensive with a 30 visit limit for Medicare. Many hospitals have closed, particularly in rural areas, limiting access and increasing transportation costs (particularly ambulances.
Nursing home costs are so high, people divorce to be eligible for Medicaid, set up (paying lawyers) Special Needs trusts, or spend all their savings to become eligible, a suffering subset.
Drug prices are a well known scandal.
George W, Bush established Part D payments for drug companies to increase their market with no funding source.
Medicare does not negotiate prices of drugs so they pay twice what the Veteran’s Health Plan negotiates.
Some drug prices have escalated thousands of percent when a company so decides, including life saving drugs.
Many will have to sacrifice on essentials to pay for expensive drugs; some, who can’t afford them, will suffer and die. Deadly separate inflation.
Many drugs are developed by government research. Drug companies (uniquely in the world able to advertise on television) spend as much on advertisement as they do on research as part of the costs to consumers.
The research developing drugs is often paid, in full or part, by the Federal Government but then sold with great profit by drug, manufacturers.
When I went to Yale to graduate in 1960, tuition, room and board were $2,000.
With scholarships and student work, work on vacations (much easier to obtain, in menial and manual) I lived comfortably with money for socialization and recreation. I left Chicago and Yale schools while enjoying a similar life style with only $5000 in loans which I was able to pay off in under two years.
The contrast with today is striking. The cost is 40 times more (with many administrators and buildings provided.) Startling increase.
Attendance at the best Public schools often require moving to special areas with higher costs including taxes. To get into specialized schools, parents pay fortunes for tutoring, etc. Private schools have costs similar to colleges. For the “best” schools donations and activities are often required (impossible for the poor.) (In New York, the welcome trend is to free State colleges, dependent on income. and NYU medical school for free.) Charter schools, a bad privatization, and “home” schooling are often inadequate, bad, and undermine the great American history of providing public education.
Computers (with all their negative effects on reading, writing, communicating, concentrating, and posture caused in part by being subject to randomness, no uniformity in systems and software as well as unnecessary changes) are required for students (note effect of class and cultural orientation.) Schools now have them with costly internet and their provision is one public project. A new cost. The necessity for education costs can create a real burden except for the “better off”..
I discussed transportation in my article on this website of the desirability of free transportation. With tolls, fuel, parking, “congestion prices” (currently debated in Washington, D.C. half implemented in New York. D.C and price of purchase, purchases owning a car has become more expensive for those dependent on them (a necessity in many rural areas.). In this connection, whereas bikes are an excellent means of transport in place like Amsterdam, in New York, the bike lanes (and parking for revenue) reduces the room for cars by a half, while bike riders, ride the wrong way, in the street, on the sidewalks, and weaving (some are people delivering goods spurred on by need for money) with no identification, warning systems and now often illegally very fast powered by electricity – all laws and safety concerns not being subject to police action while endangering money. The resulting traffic jams produce much noise and pollution while decreasing efficiency in moving around. Chicago, St. Louis and other American cities have subways and rails to the airports; New York only has a “skyline” from Brooklyn for one airport (with a local bus with limited pick up on West Side) to another, and nothing of this nature for the third, forcing flyers to use motor vehicles creating more congestion.
Of particular note for car owners, is unibody exteriors and computer controls so repairs can no longer be done by the owner but require special equipment – so that that cost has accelerated specialty. Of course, given complication and randomness (and unnecessary features now considered, in this country, requirements, such as buttons for windows, automatic shifting) and the mania for SUVs, costs for car ownership has increased considerably more than it should have. Commuter costs (invoked above and often required more for “lower classes.”) have escalated more then many other costs. Public transportation, used by workers and the non-wealthy) has often gone up considerably and declined disastrously as part of the great decay of the infra structure including roads, bridges, and tunnels now dangerous.
Entertainment and recreation are not considered necessities. Yet they are a component of a rich fulfilling life.
Once again, the escalation of prices is remarkable, particularly recently. Movies are much more expensive. The theater has gone up considerably (even discount services). Some “hits” like Hamilton sell seats at $350 (most Broadway productions have extra expensive select seats in the orchestra.) The Metropolitan Opera in New York starts the Orchestra at $350 and seats in the second balcony for $150. Museums and parks charge much more even some which used to be free. Consider also National Parks- also now being irreversibly destroyed by Trump – some for oil extraction with bad environmental consequences.
David Zinn has demonstrated the rip off of the public to build new Sports stadiums for teams with ultra-rich owners which just move the entertainment dollar around rather than create new revenue.
They now are like shopping malls (and some indoor arena like dance floors with excessive noise and flashing lights.) Cheap seat areas are now replaced by enclosed “sky boxes”, like fancy hotel suites, for multi-millionaires and billionaires. Once a simple cheap excursion for a family, not only are ticket prices way up, but children are assaulted with temptations of all sorts while food is now not just a cheap snack but expensive bites or more, some offering expensive liquor and beer at $15! For a family, even avoiding the mall, unable to bring their food and drink in as they used to be able, the experience is more akin to an amusement park than cheap family spectating. <more>
Many maintain that with television and these costs, the three most popular American sports have degenerated (as well as expanded so that teams and players are much harder to follow.
Fundamentals in baseball, such as sliding, bunting, base running have disappeared so that games feature home runs (with lower pitching mounds, juiced balls, closer fences and sometimes high altitudes) and strike outs (by those seeking home runs, particularly; basketball has three point shots and dunks (often preceded by non-called “traveling”) with a decrease in ball handling, passing, and running; football features 300 pounders (and up) straining against each other with a plethora of passing,- perhaps retired Suma wrestlers should be used for “goal line” stands. Football’s “prevent defense” predictably leads to touchdowns, extending the time of game greatly (“2 minutes” take up to an half hour allowing for many more commercials.)
Sadly American horse racing 23 DEAD HORSES Santa Anita Track had badly declined (longer seasons and gambling have contributed to this decline). The “sport of kings” attracted many far from rich, offering way better odds than lotteries, and somewhat better than casinos. Money now is made on stud fees. not racing, so stand out colts are retired sometimes after three years and certainly after four. Ironically, breeding does not work out with a few cheap horses winning and the most expensive colts and fillies failing. Bold Rules was a very good sire of sprinters. Yet his son Secretariat, maybe the greatest racer of all time, was better the longer the course, as demonstrated in the Belmont. He, in turn, was a complete failure at stud. Horses here are now bred and trained only for sprints (no more steeple chases) which becomes boring. Horses, possibly as a result, seem to be breaking down (while running with chemicals infused) considerably more often in American racetracks. Greyhound racing has been banned as inhumane…suggesting that possibility in this country.
There are now a plethora of television channels.
No one could watch them all. Most watch only a few. There are many devices on which to watch the presentations. On most, the commercials are mind numbing in quantity and quality (particularly at the end of football and basketball games). For home television, cable TV is required for many in the cities because of the big buildings and for most for the preferred channels. Originally offered for about $9 a month, basic cable costs often around $150 plus any specialized channels for entertainment or some foreign language. It often offers the main entertainment for poor and working people – and for the mobility limited.
Eating out is often almost required for entertainment.
Restaurants (in part because of rising rents) are now much more expensive than a decade ago. (The famous fancy ones range in the multiples of $100 for each person (up to $700) before costly special water, wine (way up), and/or drinks.) Pity the poor people who must drive in, park, eat, pay for a baby sitter, just to go to the theater or movie.
Special treats for home consumption are for the wealthy alone.
Real caviar (particularly if environmentally acceptable) costs more than a normal household spends on food for a week.
Jewish delicatessen (Sable once the “poor man’s sturgeon” – now costs as much as sturgeon due to Japanese demand – which is also a factor in the extraordinary cost of some fine fresh fish) there is no longer “appetizing” but “gourmet”.
Many other “luxury” items are exclusive territory for the wealthy. Wine has become notably expensive. (The Chinese are reputed to have bought up a large number of French wines). Even though many countries and American locales now produce wine, its inflationary costs rise (with extra increases in bars, restaurants, etc.) I do not invoke the fancy extravagant whiskeys, tequilas, and vodkas (most identical in flavor and just prestige priced) as they basically represent indulgence and “conspicuous consumption.” Much consumable now is the province only of the rich.
Maybe golf clubs’ costs have just matched regular inflation having traditionally been for rich white men to play, drink, and consummate business deals. Trump has said golf is for the rich to play with the rich. (His malignant megalomania reaches revelatory heights in cheating there see Reilly, The Commander in Cheat a golfer’s attack on Trump, or at least on the way Trump plays the game, a game Reilly reveres as revealing of character. Recently, however, the terrific charismatic Tiger Woods has led to greatly increased popularity for the public (with integration in clubs, possibly connected.).
Here lies a research project. Consider what is destroyed to create a golf course (years required for some tournaments’ preparation once built), what it costs for water, planting, fertilizing, pesticides – particularly how they destroy the environment (including flying creature migrations) and contribute to pollution and global warming. The result of such research for environmental harm may produce figures that are dismaying…at the least. Inflation may be an indirect result (even without costs for spectators to attend and watch on television.) Trump golf course partially destroys Site of Special Scientific Interest
Allocation of Resources
Offers the Major Key
These inequalities augmented
by selective inflation
can be remedied
The vast majorities of remedies are quite feasible politically. We have suggested, implicitly or explicitly, some obvious ones above. Some of the above accounts of inflationary problems, correlated with disparate treatment based on wealth, indicate the needed solutions while we now suggest other partial systematic solutions.
When, and if, there is a new Administration, all the regulations removed can be listed, examined, and restored. (Also too withdrawal from Treaties, foreign non-military engagement, subsidies (e.g. high speed rail – See California) and “sanctions” against selected countries which deprive the people of real needs but do not succeed in “regime change.” (Consider invasions which failed from MacArthur’s foray into North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and disastrous effects in Libya.). Privatization and contracting out can be eliminated or greatly reduced for governmental justifiable actions. Obviously adding profits to cost does not increase efficiency but only expense. (Compare The Tennessee Valley project with military subcontracts, public housing maintenance by contract and subcontract, street repairs with safety installations, etc.).
The tax code cries for revision and return to its formerly progressive nature (with simplification and elimination of loopholes for corporations and the wealthy) – same for Medicare if continued.
Putting a cap on what heirs could inherit and a low limit on taxes starting over a million or so.
Decreasing the military industrial complex (e.g. no one can calculate great cost of Destroyers – we have six, no other country more than one; the budget is great than the next four-six countries combined, not to mention the nuclear armaments, etc.) the industrial prison complex, and, I have suggested, abolishing the “War and Drugs” and changing the CIA can add to disposable funds (At some later date, scrutiny of the FBI will be desirable).
In the Meantime . . .
We have the Political Precedents
A combination of FDR’s New Deal (although lacking the rights he later proposed) in all aspects (most now eroded badly), the Great Society, supported by the accompanying Civil Rights legislation inching toward Reconstruction (with community based practical education including help with housing, nutrition, real provision of free unfettered Legal Services, Vista, Peace Corps job training, particularly for new opportunities in a changing employment world, etc.,
Bracero programs properly administered for seasonal foreign migrant workers, etc.) now mainly abolished would answer close to all the support required for the oppressed, poor, working and middle class (with the additions of adequate food stamps -SNAP, etc. if still needed)
Anti-trust law enforced with full vigor will help destroy monopolies which adversely affect costs, environment, working people, and consumers.
Restoring the bankruptcy provisions for credit cards and student loanswould help countless individuals struggling under debt…and other improvements (cancelling all student debt is another possibility for student indebtedness.)
A universal free health care system, including but not limited to drugs, equipment, and living facilities for the sufficiently disabled have been achieved in Europe and Scandinavia with varying degrees of success. Some social agencies such as Family Court, institutional care, home health assistance, community mental health, universal injections to prevent diseases such as polio, chicken pox, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus. measles etc., may still need special attention and adequate funding (particularly if “free”). Urged therefore is the justice in the universality of adequate, efficient, prompt, and advanced medical care – not dependent on expensive insurance.(life expectancy will still be greatly effected by water, air, nutrition and other necessities – some studies show the life expectancy of the “rich” is about 15 years more than the “poor.”)
Given the current context, repealing the Taft Hartley law and supporting unions would help.
Community banks (not monopolistic “too big to fail”), coops of all sorts, and even DeLeonist worker run production industries, support for family farms. may be flavored with utopianism but would augment the great improvements by achieved by restoring old politically approved programs and the proper allocation of resources. The aspirations announced in the Green New Deal include some of these proposals while emphasizing the frightening global challenge of destruction of resources, live and inanimate, extreme weather, (suggesting we consider over population.)
Maybe inflation may be expected, but specific greater inflation creates a greater distance in the deplorable, unnecessary, disgusting income and financial gap with the infamous 1% -often based on preferential treatment and financial structures (often themselves insecure.)The rapidly rising costs for necessities (and what may give some surcease in pleasure) for the poor and unprivileged produces a special, unique, and a disgrace in a world of great wealth disparity especially in our rich country).
The solutions are available.
Can they be implemented over corruption, propaganda (including mass media) and evil people in power?
AMERICA’S VOTING FRAUD
THE LONG HISTORY OF TAMPERING WITH THE VOTE
RIGGING THE ELECTION IN AMERICA
YOU ONLY NEED TO HACK ONE SWING STATE TO PULL IT OFF
Election Voter Education for Americans Election Education and Fraud
Food, shelter, and clothing are clear human necessities.
Many, notably Communists and Socialists, propose that the State should provide them in adequate measure as a crucial role.
Transportation to should be so considered as essential for the provision of goods to others, formation and cohesive flourishing of communities, global connections in the modern world, trade, and production both industrial and nutritional (fishing, hunting, raising edible animals, fishing, and, obviously the mixed blessing of agribusiness with subsidiary often dangerous chemicals.)
Walking, riding beasts of burden, and biking (recent in human history) are both healthy exercise, enjoyable, informative of the environment, and of utility. They are not enough, however, for the modern urban, food production and provision (domestically and even internality), industrial, crafts, and other possibilities (entertainment, group enjoyment, recreation, etc.) as well markets requirement and conditions.
Most cities are badly polluted with toxic air (compare London in the 1800s with smog from coal burning heaters) and toxins. Noise pollution from construction, deliveries, road repairs also damages the quality of life (with demonstrable effects on health – particularly for those living with exposure to the street.) Photographs are common of pollution produced hanging darkness over cities (e.g. Beijing, Mexico City.) Much of this pollution could be diminished if public transportation were free, extensive, and efficient (as well as accessible to as many as possible, e.g. those in wheelchairs, or using strollers). Before banning fossil fuel vehicles (or those using batteries or electricity derived from polluting sources or ecologically damaging dams or river diversions – even if quieter, with danger noted of not being able to hear electric power vehicles approach, particularly prevalent with reckless bikers) the extent of diminution of pollution might very well be effective. (In an experiment, Atlanta low bus fare reduced other vehicular traffic markedly.) In New York City, to the contrary, the creation of bike lanes (not obeyed or enforced by police in direction or confinement or speed – even illegal electric) has created great peril for pedestrians. Combined with parking in traffic lanes (for revenue purposes apparently) the restricted traffic space available had produced not less traffic but instead increased traffic jams with motors running in vehicles with frustrated drivers and passengers. Here particularly many pollutants would be reduced as a result of free available public transit. In general, there are social benefits as people from different backgrounds, races, cultures, religions, and attitudes are found in groups together. (Although there are bad verbal interchanges in buses and subways, sometimes leading to violence therefore requiring some police presence, there are many enjoyable and even enriching ones, and acts of generosity with seats offered to pregnant woman, the elderly, the handicapped, and assistance to those with infants. Some,some places, argue that mixed mass transportation harmonizes integration.)
When the Soviet Union built its system, with beautiful Stations in Moscow they were well placed so that people often define their neighborhood by the nearest stop, the charge for use was 5 kopeks, virtually nothing with no enforcement at the turnstile exits. (Cf. Philadelphia with advertisements even on the front of trains to be seen before ticket purchase). Clocks displayed the time since the last train left and passengers would often pass on the way into and from the station. Kiev and Leningrad’s (deep) featured similar systems. Rome, which also preserved a large part of its street cars, Madrid and other cities have also expanded substantially. Travel on them decreases surface traffic. Subways, in many locales, reflecting wise government allocation of resources, can be constructed quickly. Shanghai built a system with more mileage than New York in six years. Many cities, most recently in Qatar, have made their provision a growth industry.
The poor and working people (particularly low income) have to use public transportation. The rich need not. Some fly first class and use helicopters. (On the Upper East Side, highly paid workers in Wall Street area queue up to share cabs.) Others use limousines. (Query, why are these not banned?)
Charging for public transportation is therefore a regressive tax, an important cost for those who have little money, a cost not worth reckoning for those who have a lot or not even relevant. (In New York currently the subway system has badly degenerated with funds badly, perhaps corruptly, spent, with big expenditures of new fancy stations for rich developers new architectural monstrosities to be rented by the wealthy who may not live there, even using the property obtained for money laundering – while also building stations which would be better off just cleaned with employment for many possible.
Meanwhile trains come less often than previously (more crowded as a result), sometimes not at night or weekends or with great delays then. (Yet, for those who work at night or go to entertainment, New York does set an example of 24 hour service, perhaps unique in the world.) In London, Margaret Thatched wrecked a comfortable subway system, with carpets on the car floors, so that it is dirty and unattractive. How many other systems are so mismanaged with money improperly allocated or diverted?)
Brazil and China have worked on increasing bus transportation speed of loading and moving with efficiency. Even with carbon emissions, this provision still offers desirable mobility for most locales. Without fossil fuels, electric buses. moreover, will cut pollution substantially. No matter what, they also provide the best means of transportation for some rural and remote areas (including sections of some sprawling cities). These areas lack more and more essential services as well as local railroad stations (e.g. with the general closure of hospitals – increased administration and technological gadgets – absence of rural conveniently accessible adequate health facilities creates a major public health problem.)
What is the source of required payment? In the short run, it is a matter of taxation. Most of the rich are obscenely wealthy. Raising taxes considerably for the rich, their property, their companies, abolishing tax shelters and loopholes, would create a large source for public transportation and other public projects. Not only are education, health, arts, parks, preserving nature and even enhancing its beauty. worthy of sufficient government support so is free public transportation. In the long run, the savings in health from illness and accidents will more than likely make up for the cost. The United States spends $1.25 trillion a year on “national security”- a large portion “privatized” (raising costs for profits with no visibility or transparency or accountability. The Veteran’s administration spends half of what medicare does for drugs because they negotiate prices. Why drugs, often developed with public money, should be sold at such high prices sharply raises another allocation of money issue. ). Money could also be allocated from this great military expenditure (much larger than any other nation) for public transportation.
Even Eisenhower warned against the “military industrial” complex; reforms would free up money for the public good, including free public transportation.
After World War II both European Continental nations and the United States selected transportation paths. In Europe, they built trains. Eisenhower, with Engine Charlie Wilson from General Motors, selected highways and cars (in Europe they are now increasing super highways). The justification was that it would make moving military heavy equipment to the Coasts for shipping abroad in wartime. Now, that “infrastructure” with so many miles and structures has degenerated greatly. Extensive repair in not only necessary and costly but will bring jobs.
Traffic jams create nightmares for many involved or near with increase wear. (In New York City, as noted, the situation is exacerbated by removing lanes). Reagan hastened the destruction of highways, etc. by raising the limit on truck loads considerably. But, as the weight ascends arithmetically, the damage multiplies geometrically. Clinton approved the selling of SUVs without fuel restrictions of cars because of their truck chassis. (Noteworthy, these behemoth are often difficult to impossible to enter for those who are short and/or with weak legs. Some New York cabs suffer the same bad condition.) Both of these Presidential permissions should be immediately repealed. For the SUVs, there would have to be a “grandfather” clause and then a buy back for used ones to be replaced. A policy of banning those with only the driver would offer a start Again, these changes offer long term advantages which would bear fruit.
On the other hand, tolls were originally assessed on bridges, tunnels, and superhighways (query: a burden on interstate commerce raising Constitutional considerations?) were organelle justified as paying off the cost of construction (also funded by bonds). Now, with the costs usually long gone paid for, they are used as a source of revenue increasing the costs for commuters considerably (while often contributing to congestion.) It is often very hard on the budgets of commuters, and is, again, a regressive tax. They should all be free.
American particularly value the independence of automobile use. It has become part of the “American dream” of owning a house, preferably in the suburbs (“white flight” contributed.) The hope is that the highway system (roads, bridges, tunnels, surrounding area, and medians) is repaired while the cars and buses run with energy produced and used in a non polluting fashion in the future with a base in solar, wind, or tide power and materials for conversion, supply and preservation used whose activity and materials used do not cause environmental harm.
Trucks, equipped the same way, not too overloaded, could continue to serve a use (like cars in the future, they may be self driving leaving displayed drivers with a need to be helped with money and job training.) A proper rail system would divert some of that traffic.
Long distance travel by rail is now quite feasible. In China they have many high speed rails including from Beijing to Hong Kong and Tibet. Japan has had “bullet trains”. Europe used to feature beautiful overnight trips (eg. Paris-Madre; Paris-Florence or Rome). (Before World War II, there were many in the United States. The Broadway Limited, for example, even featured two cars for eating – one kitchen and grill for cooking excellent meals, the other for elegant dining and fine utensils and dishes.) In Western Europe, the high speed trains now abound (Rome-Florence in an hour and a half; a four hour trip at least by car and predecessor trains.) It is high time for the United States to follow suit.
Railroads mean not only powerful efficient engines but rails and roads. Their construction is labor intensive as is the infrastructure. Programs for building both would increase jobs with a Keynesian multiplier working to help the economy from hopefully adequate wages. The establishing a high speed rail system would greatly ease the roads and airport congestion. The US government could eliminate its current subsidies, indirect and direct, for private planes and helicopters, moving towards their elimination as an unnecessary class “privilege.” (How accurate was Thorsten Veblen in his Theory of the Leisure Class; Theory of Business Enterprise.)
This exposition leaves us with the question of long distance travel, particularly to and from the undeveloped countries. At the moment, airplanes seem the answer. But, we may gently suggest a subsidy program for poor people with distant relative. Certainly the space and amenities should be greatly improved below business and first class. Subsidies and support for competition between airplane builders deserves careful examination with real planning for the future (while high speed rail diminishes their need, reducing overcrowded expensive airports with their congestion producing cars and buses backed up in long lines). With all the lines of people waiting and the accommodations, most airplane travel is a real burden – particularly for the handicapped and those with children. (The inclusion of pets and “comfort” animals merits critical consideration.)
Free public transportation could greatly enhance civilization. The time to start implementing it is now.
Calling 20 and 30 percent credit card interest rates “extortion and loan sharking,” Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez yesterday introduced the ‘‘Loan Shark Prevention Act’’ which would set a Federal cap of 15 percent on interest rates that can be charged to consumers.
Scales of Justice The legal press has been having a field day with how the U.S. Department of Justice, funded by U.S. taxpayers to conduct its own serious and unbiased investigations, has been outsourcing its investigations to the criminal target and its outside counsel – specifically, the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
The case making the headlines involves Deutsche Bank. But another Paul Weiss internal investigation that has escaped meaningful scrutiny by mainstream media involves China Medical Technologies. The U.S. Department of Justice now describes this company as a massive securities fraud that dates back to the time that Paul Weiss conducted one of its internal investigations and came up empty-handed – or, at least, that’s what China Medical Technologies told the Securities and Exchange Commission in an official filing document.
China Medical Technologies went public in the U.S. in 2005. The sole underwriter was the large global bank, UBS. A secondary share offering was underwritten by Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley in 2008. The company was organized as a holding company under the laws of the Cayman Islands and depicted itself as “a leading China-based medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets advanced in-vitro diagnostic products.”
In what can only be described as a new low in defining deviancy down on Wall Street, Thomson Reuters’ International Financing Review (IFR) reported this past weekend that some of the biggest names on Wall Street have returned to creating and/or trading synthetic collateralized debt obligations (Synthetic CDOs).
The products were a major factor in bringing the U.S. financial system to the brink of failure in 2008. Synthetic CDOs also resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and reputational damage to these same Wall Street behemoths as investigators found that the firms were allowing hedge funds to pick “crap” subprime mortgage bonds to stuff in the CDOs in order to make windfall profits for the hedge fund, which shorted (bet against) the CDOs. The Wall Street firms had full knowledge of what the hedge funds were doing but, nonetheless, peddled the investments as sound to unsuspecting investors. In some instances, the same Wall Street firm that was selling the product as a good investment to public pension funds, school districts, churches and insurance companies, was also making short bets itself against the CDO. In at least one case involving Goldman Sachs, it placed a 10 to 1 short bet on failure of its own product.
Writing for IFR, Christopher Whittall reports that “Trading volumes in synthetic collateralised debt obligations linked to credit indexes are up 40% this year, according to JP Morgan, after topping US$200bn in 2018 on the back of three years of double-digit growth. Meanwhile, analysts predict more than US$100bn in sales of bespoke synthetic CDOs in 2019 following an estimated US$80bn of issuance last year.”
Who are the major players in this market? According to Whittall, Citigroup is a major player while Deutsche Bank has “an eye on expanding in this market.” Our own sources tell us that Morgan Stanley has also structured deals in the past two years.
The bombshell here is not about the trading of synthetic CDOs. Firms can do that all day long without exposing their balance sheets and the U.S. economy to collapse. The bombshell is that the bespoke (custom-made) synthetic CDO market has returned to Wall Street and if analysts are predicting $100 billion this year after an estimated $80 billion last year, that means the real secret number is dramatically higher. Those figures also reveal nothing about how much shorting is going on. That could be 10 to 1 or even 20 to 1.
Instead of subprime mortgages being targeted this time around, what’s being stuffed into these bespoke products is corporate debt – which has exploded over the past decade, in no small part because publicly-traded corporations and Wall Street banks are being allowed to prop up their share prices through stock buybacks financed with debt.
The second bombshell in Whittall’s article is that one of the most suspect banks on the planet, Citigroup, is re-engaging in this market. Citigroup’s off-balance sheet CDOs and the secret puts it had written on them played a major role in blowing up the global bank in 2008 after Sandy Weill had walked away as a billionaire in 2006 and Robert Rubin, the former Treasury Secretary, had raked in over $120 million in compensation.
Citigroup received the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history from 2007 to 2010 to prevent it from bringing down the rest of the street. The bank was interconnected, through derivatives and loans, to almost every major player on Wall Street as well as global foreign banks. If it went bust, it was going to take down a lot of other key players with it.
What the public was allowed to know at the time of Citigroup’s bailout was that it received $45 billion in equity infusions from TARP – the Troubled Asset Relief Program approved by Congress; a guarantee of over $300 billion from the Federal government for its dodgy assets; a guarantee of $5.75 billion on its senior unsecured debt and $26 billion on its commercial paper and interbank deposits from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. What the public was not allowed to hear about at the time was $2.5 trillion in revolving, low-interest-rate loans pumped into the insolvent behemoth by the Federal Reserve, in violation of the Fed’s mandate to only lend to solvent institutions. These details did not fully emerge until the Government Accountability Office released its audit of the Fed’s secret lending programs in July of 2011.
That Citigroup has now returned to these products is nothing short of breathtaking in its brazen contempt for the sensibilities of the American people. It is also an indictment against every Federal regulator of Wall Street. As recently as May of 2015, Citigroup became a felon by admitting to charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice over its role in rigging foreign exchange trading. Other banks were charged as well. (See A Private Citizen Would Be in Prison If He Had Citigroup’s Rap Sheet.)
To help movie audiences understand CDOs, The Big Short movie of 2015 put the blond, sexy Australian actress Margot Robbie in a bubble bath with a glass of champagne to explain the subprime “sh*t” that was stuffed into CDOs. To unravel the intentionally convoluted synthetic CDO, the movie offered up pop star Selena Gomez in a low-cut dress at a blackjack table along with the behavioral economics expert, Dr. Richard Thayer.
About 108,000 millionaires migrated across borders last year, a 14 percent increase from the prior year, and more than double the level in 2013, according to Johannesburg-based New World Wealth. Australia, U.S. and Canada are the top destinations, according to the research firm, while China and Russia are the biggest losers. The U.K. saw around 3,000 millionaires depart last year with Brexit and taxation cited as possible reasons.
How does America use its land? These maps show a whole new way to look at the U.S.
There are many statistical measures that show how productive the U.S. is. Its economy is the largest in the world and grew at a rate of 4.1 percent last quarter, its fastest pace since 2014. The unemployment rate is near the lowest mark in a half century. What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-us-land-use/
‘It’s a groundswell’: the farmers fighting to save the Earth’s soil
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/24/farmers-save-earths-soil-conservation-agriculture scientists think a new fault line might turn Nevada into a coast.
The future continental edge of North America.
Move aside, San Andreas. A new fault is shaking up the tech industry’s latest frontier in the West—and only a small group of scientists is paying attention. On a recent trip to Nevada’s Pyramid Lake, geologist James Faulds explores what he believes may become the future continental edge of North America. U.S. ROUTE 395 is a geologic master class disguised as a road. It runs north from the arid outskirts of Los Angeles, carrying travelers up to Reno along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada. https://www.wired.com/story/walker-lane-move-over-san-andreas-fault/
“I can absolutely make a big traffic problem all over the world,” the hacker said. A hacker broke into thousands of accounts belonging to users of two GPS tracker apps, giving him the ability to monitor the locations of tens of thousands of vehicles and even turn off the engines for some of them while they were in motion, Motherboard has learned.
The hacker, who goes by the name L&M, told Motherboard he hacked into more than 7,000 iTrack accounts and more than 20,000 ProTrack accounts, two apps that companies use to monitor and manage fleets of vehicles through GPS tracking devices. The hacker was able to track vehicles in a handful of countries around the world, including South Africa, Morocco, India, and the Philippines. On some cars, the software has the capability of remotely turning off the engines of vehicles that are stopped or are traveling 12 miles per hour or slower, according to the manufacturer of certain GPS tracking devices.
By reverse engineering ProTrack and iTrack’s Android apps, L&M said he realized that all customers are given a default password of 123456 when they sign up. At that point, the hacker said he brute-forced “millions of usernames” via the apps’ API. Then, he said he wrote a script to attempt to login using those usernames and the default password. </>
No one trusts evil bankers
No one trusts Wall Street
No one trusts the riches families in the world to protect the environment
No one trusts technology monopolies to protect democracy
No one trust Politicians from either side
No one trusts the supreme court
No one trusts government that leaves people on the streets with no access to shelter, food, hygiene, etc., which is clearly inhumane.
No one trusts Wealthy people doing GoFundMe’s to stop shelters from being built.
No one trusts a country where $117,400 a year is considered low-income in San Francisco, where the median sale price of a two-bedroom is $1.3 million
No one trusts governance by antitrust laws will protect democracy
Easier Than Robbing A Bank:’ City of Chicago Almost Lost More Than $1 Million In Phishing Scam
The City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation thought it was paying an approved vendor more than $1 million for services earlier this year.
But your tax dollars didn’t reach them. The money almost went to what appeared to be a phishing scam that police are now investigating as a business email compromise.
While the city recovered the money, the incident almost cost taxpayers seven figures and raises red flags about the integrity of Chicago’s cyber-security system. https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/04/18/chicago-department-of-aviation-phishing-scam/
Fort Bragg cut power for thousands to test ‘real-world reactions’ to a cyber-attack By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer
April 25, 2019
Fort Bragg in North Carolina says the Army base had a “blackout” for more than 12 hours overnight Wednesday as part of a cyber-attack military exercise that came as a complete surprise to its tens of thousands of residents.
The fort, which the Army says is the world’s largest military base, says it cut off the electricity “to identify shortcomings in our infrastructure, operations and security.”
“Fort Bragg has to train for any possible threats to the installation in order to remain mission capable,” said a post on Fort Bragg’s Facebook page just after 11 a.m.
“This exercise was not announced in order to replicate likely real-world reactions by everyone directly associated with the installation. In today’s world, cyber-attacks are very likely. This exercise is exactly what we needed to do to identify our vulnerabilities and work to improve our security and deployment posture.” https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article229662514.html
Lina Kahn, Dina Srinivasa, Shoshana Zuboff, Carole Cadwalla
THE FOUR WOMEN WHO ARE SAVING DEMOCRACY
#Antitrust #Law #Fail Kills Our Democracy
Antitrust law is failing to secure our freedom, our markets, our right to self-determination, our competition, and our fundamental rights.
Lina Kahn Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox, which showed how Ronald Reagan’s antitrust policies, inspired by ideological extremists at the University of Chicago’s economics department, had created a space for abusive monopolists who could crush innovation, workers’ rights, and competition without ever falling afoul of orthodox antitrust law.
Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism machine learning creates devastating behavior modification tools that allow tech companies to manipulate us so thoroughly that we’re in danger of losing our free will.
Srinivasan shows how Facebook came to dominate our online discourse through activities that would have been prohibited under pre-Reagan theories of antitrust, and how, prior to these monopolistic tactics, Facebook was not able to conduct surveillance on its users, having to contend with multiple, bruising PR disasters and user revolts when it tried to do so.
Moreover, Facebook’s monopoly has enabled a series of moves that worsened its impact on our democracy and our markets: once Facebook became the dominant means by which people learned about the news, media companies were forced to use Facebook to promote their work, and to put Facebook tracking beacons (AKA “Like buttons”) on every article, giving Facebook the power to build ever widening dossiers on 2.3 billion users.
And since Facebook also became the dominant means by which users discovered many kinds of products, merchants also put Like buttons and engaged in other surveillant integrations with Facebook, allowing Facebook to monopolize intelligence about ad performance — that is, when an click on a Facebook ad yielded up a sale, Facebook often knew about it — and this allowed the company to charge more for ads, and to tighten its grip over the ad marketplace.
Handmaidens to Authoritarism, #Mercer, #Zuckerberg, #Sandberg, #Page, #Brinn, #Dorsey