Feed aggregator

The Shackles Return: Why Debtors’ Prisons Are Making An American Comeback

Activist Post -

Devon Douglas-Bowers
Activist Post

The debtors’ prison is an old, decrepit institution that many thought was abolished in the 19th century, something little more than a relic of the past. This is a problematic view for two reasons. One, debtors’ prisons are rarely explored in the classroom or the larger society. And two, these prisons are making a serious comeback in the United States, which is deeply problematic for the poor and working class.

The History of Debtors’ Prisons

The traditional view of debtors’ prisons in the U.S. is one of wretched incarceration where debtors were hung out to dry. While this is true, there is also more to the story.

In early colonial America, English law had an influence on colonial law – and laws regarding debt. In 16th century England, creditors had the legal power via the Law of Merchant to regain their money from insolvent debtors. They had this same power in Pennsylvania where, in 1682, the law stated that anyone who was in debt and had been arrested would be kept in prison, or “the debtor [could] satisfy the debt by servitude as the county court shall order, if the creditor desires." While debt servitude was problematic, it provided a way for a debtor to obtain eventual release.

The situation was worse in Massachusetts, which ruled in 1638 that “delinquent taxpayers be jailed, but provided that the Council or any court within Massachusetts could free the prisoner if it found him incapable of paying his taxes.” However, as early as the next year, private debtors were being imprisoned as well, and in 1641 the courts ruled that “anyone who failed to pay a private debt could be kept in jail at his own expense until the debt was paid.” Laws like these resulted in people dying in prisons when they were unable to pay off their debts.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Debtors were forced to suffer this kind of fate until the end of the 17th century when there was some slight reform. On Valentine’s Day, 1729, Pennsylvania officially created debt servitude where debtors had to serve their creditors and, even after being released from prison, “the debt still remained and could be enforced against after-acquired property.”

In Massachusetts, much more serious reform came with the Act for the Relief and Release of Poor Prisoners for Debt, which allowed debtors after having been in prison for one month to take an oath swearing that “[they] was unable to pay [their] debts and that [they] had not hidden or transferred title to any property in order to defraud [their] creditors, could apply to be released from jail.”

Unfortunately, due to courts rarely adjourning in some counties, debtors often spent months in prison; creditors could keep a debtor in prison for another three months even after they had been ordered to be released by paying the debtors jail fees, and the creditors could also “have a new execution sworn out, under which the debtor could be returned to prison and the whole process started all over again.”

Eventually, federal debtors’ prisons were abolished in 1833, leaving the power to implement debtors’ prisons in the hands of the states, many of which followed Washington’s lead. Now, those state debtors' prisons are making a comeback and, just like in the past, are having a disproportionate impact on the poor and working-class.

The Shackles Return

 More and more people around the country are getting sent to debtors’ prisons, but exactly how does it happen? According to National Public Radio, companies that people owe money usually sell off the debt to a collection agency, which in turn “files a lawsuit against the debtor requiring a court appearance. A notice to appear in court is supposed to be given to the debtor. If they fail to show up, a warrant is issued for their arrest.”

In some cases, judges “don't even know debtors' rights, which could result in the debtor being intimidated into a pay agreement,” making an already bad situation worse. News coverage about the rise of debtors’ prisons has been picking up steam, especially in regards to judges imprisoning people for their debts.

In 2000, The New York Times reported that a small town judge in Arizona was accused in a lawsuit of having “turned the local jail into a debtors' prison, repeatedly jailing poor laborers who were unable to settle debts with local property owners.” In 2009, CBS reported that a judge in southern Indiana threatened one Herman Button, who owed $1,800 to a former landlord but had no income beyond Social Security, with contempt and imprisonment if he didn’t pay.

The decision to imprison debtors can also come from judges needing money. In this case, judges were pressured to collect on fines and fees lest they find themselves receiving fewer operating funds for their courts. And in 2010, The Times reported that an Alabama circuit judge said openly that his state legislature “was pressuring courts to produce revenue, and that some legislators even believed courts should be financially self-sufficient.“ In order to have a better chance of extracting the needed money, judges may have threatened people with imprisonment.

However, some of these fees can be problematic. The Brennan Center for Justice completed a study in 2010 which found that 13 states charged the poor "public defenders fees... a practice that encourages indigent defendants to waive their right to counsel.” Some of these fees being imposed on the poor can, in fact, force them to give up their rights in order to lessen their payment.

The reinstatement of debtors’ prisons has a serious impact on the poor and unemployed who can even be sent to prison for nonpayment of regular bills, due to the fact that “a creditor can petition a court to issue a summons for nonpayment of a bill. If you fail to appear, for one reason or another – and life gets pretty disorganized when you lose your job and possibly your home – then you're in contempt of court. Next stop, jail.”

It’s rather ridiculous that this is legal if you considers the fact that half of Americans are poor or near poor, and 48 million Americans live in poverty. More than a third of U.S. states allow debtors to be jailed.

In conjunction with debtors’ prisons, there's also been a rise in collection firms using the courts to force people to pay up on their debts. This has quickly become a problem in some cases where “the debt collection agencies have used threats and lies to get consumers to pay back their debts,” and the collectors have “allegedly pressured consumers who didn't owe anything at all.” In sum, people who are already having a difficult time paying bills are now being subject to harassment and intimidation from collectors.

And the situation gets even worse when a private probation service, or PPS, come on the scene. PPS works like this: If you get hit with a $200 ticket you can't pay, a private probation company will let you pay it off in installments, for a monthly fee. But there may be additional fees for electronic monitoring, drug testing and classes – many of which are assigned not by a judge, but by the private company itself.

Such PPS harassment can make life extremely difficult for struggling individuals, like in /court-sanctioned-extortion-private-probation-companies">this infamous case of Thomas Barrett. Unemployed and living off food stamps, Barrett was out on probation and ordered to pay a $200 fine for stealing a $2 can of beer from a convenience store. On top of that, Sentinel Offender Services, LLC, the company administering Barrett's probation, charged him $360 per month in supervision and monitoring fees despite the fact that Barrett's only source of income was money he earned selling his own blood plasma.

Barrett skipped meals to try to make payments to Sentinel. But he still fell behind and eventually owed the company over $1,000 in fees – five times more than the $200 fine imposed by the court. Seeking to get his money, Sentinel successfully petitioned a court to revoke Barrett's probation, and finally the court jailed him.

Here it must be noted that the 14th Amendment clearly provides that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” By imprisoning people like Barrett, who are unable to pay their court fees, the state is violating their constitutional right to equal protection under the law. Yet due to the fiscal constraints that many states are in, many are looking the other way while the constitutional violations continue.

And the problems don't end for people once they've paid off their debts and gotten out of prison. The Brennan study found that in all 15 states that were examined – California, Texas, Florida, New York, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Arizona, North Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, Alabama, and Missouri – “criminal justice debt and related collection practices create a significant barrier for individuals seeking to rebuild their lives after a criminal conviction.” For example, in eight of the states, missing debt payments resulted in one's driver's license being suspended – which makes it all the more difficult to get to work, earn money and pay off debts. Seven states even required people to pay off their criminal justice debts in order to regain the right to vote.

This trend should worry us all, as it is not only eroding basic individual rights as established in the U.S. Constitution – but harming the very poorest among us in the process. With the reinstatement of debtors’ prisons, we are seeing the most vulnerable people bearing the biggest burden of an unjust legal and economic system. If we knowingly allow this process to proceed, we too are guilty of harming the poor. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "We shall have to repent in this generation, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people." Let’s not remain silent on debtors' prisons any longer.

Related Activist Post Article:
The Debtors Prison System Resurrected From The Grave 

Devon Douglas-Bowers writes for Occupy.com, where this first appeared.

This Minnesota Mom Could Go To Jail For Saving Her Son With Cannabis Oil

Activist Post -

Joe Martino
Activist Post

A mother of a 15 year old could be facing jail time for using cannabis oil to help her son with the side effects of his brain injury. Her son was finally seeing relief from daily migraines, muscle spasms and uncontrollable outbursts.

“I broke the law, but I did it to save my son,” Angela Brown said. She had traveled to Colorado to obtain the cannabis oil and brought it back to Minnesota where it is illegal. She administered the Cannabis oil safely to her son and the results were amazing.

Her Son’s Accident

Angela Brown’s son Trey was a healthy kid, but a baseball accident in 2011 led to a build-up of pressure inside of his head. He was hit with a line drive to the head causing bleeding in his brain. At first, doctors were not sure if he was going to survive. They chose to induce a medical coma. When Trey finally awoke, he didn’t appear to be the same kid according to his mother.

“I cry like every day before I go to bed, like my brain is about to blow up, cause there is so much pressure.” Trey said.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); He began dealing with chronic pain, depression and difficult to control outbursts. His mother searched everywhere to try and help treat the effects of his injury. They went through 18 different medications and none of them worked. Trey’s mother felt that the effects of the medications even made her son suicidal.

Then they found cannabis oil and everything was starting to turn around.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil has been making news and headlines for a couple years in ways we may not expect. Cancer and Alzheimer treatments, helping to reduce seizures and replacing potentially harmful medications for many people. Cannabis, although holding a negative stigma, can be seen as a natural miracle substance in a way. It may hold the power to treat and potentially cure a lot of people’s serious diseases.

In the case of Trey, cannabis oil helped to treat and bring quality of life back in a situation where all else was tried and didn’t work.

“It stopped the pain and stopped the muscle spasms,” Trey said. “It was helping me go to school until it then got taken away and then school was really hard again.”

“It was a miracle in a bottle.”Angela Brown

But It’s Illegal In Many Places

The miracle in a bottle didn’t last for Angela and her son. When Trey’s teacher asked how he was doing better in school suddenly, Angela mentioned the oil.

“Well, I gave him an oil that we’d gotten from Colorado, it’s derived from a marijuana plant. And then you could feel the tension in the room.”

It only took a week for the sheriff’s department to confiscate the oil. Later, county officials charged Angela with child endangerment which required child protection to get involved. If she is convicted of her charges she could face up to two years in jail and $6000 in fines.

“It’s asinine, I didn’t hurt my son; I was trying to prevent him from being hurt.”

CBS News, who attained the interview with the family, took the time to reach out to the county prosecutor, law enforcement and Trey’s school district. All declined any form of interview about the case.

The final killer in this story is that in May, Minnesota became the 22nd state to approve specific forms of medicinal marijuana. But the law doesn’t go into effect until 2015. So, although this substance is already recognized as something that will become legal very soon, helping her son get better is still a crime.

Why Do We Deny Things That Work?

You might ask yourself why this type of thing could even happen. Are we really that disconnected as a society? Sure one could argue we don’t have the necessary data to state whether or not cannabis oil could have negative effects over time, but the crazy thing is we do have the data that states our medications we so often prescribe have nasty side effects, even after short periods of use. So why is one illegal and the other not? The easy answer is due to social conditioning and stigma.

The deeper answer could go into the realm of business, profit and control. It is often argued that many aspects of the medical system are set up to create life-long patients versus properly treating and curing patients.

Although cannabis is finally becoming legal in more places across the world, there is still resistance when it comes to the potential treatment and curing ability the natural plant can have on many serious diseases.

With clinical trials finally on the go with brain cancer patients, the next year of study for cannabis oil could be monumental to the health of our world.

Hey, name's Joe and you are currently engaged in what I'm passionate about, Collective Evolution. I am a creator of CE and have been heavily at it for 4 years. I love inspiring others to make change and am excited to play an active role in making this all happen. Hands down the only other thing I am this passionate about is baseball. Email me: joe@collective-evolution.com

TTIP: Governance by the Corporations, For the Corporations

Activist Post -

Activist Post

At present, the EU and the US are negotiating a free trade agreement referred to as Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The negotiation process is secret and the treaty could have major negative consequences for humans and the environment in Europe.

Few parties in the European election campaign clearly understand TTIP and it will be pushed through as law without any feedback from the people or their representatives.

Indeed, they will scarcely know what it contains until it is enforced. This is not how democracy is supposed to work. Watch short video below:

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Privacy Groups to Present Oral Argument in NSA Spying Case on Nov. 4

Activist Post -

Court Should Rule That Mass Telephone Records Collection Is Unconstitutional in Klayman v. Obama

Activist Post

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will appear before a federal appeals court next week to argue the National Security Agency (NSA) should be barred from its mass collection of telephone records of million of Americans. The hearing in Klayman v. Obama is set for 9:30 am on Tuesday, Nov. 4 in Washington, D.C.

Appearing as an amicus, EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn will present oral argument at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on behalf of EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which submitted a joint brief in the case.

Conservative activist and lawyer Larry Klayman filed the suit in the aftermath of the first Edward Snowden disclosure, in which The Guardian revealed how the NSA was collecting telephone records on a massive scale from the telecommunications company Verizon. In December, District Court Judge Richard Leon issued a preliminary injunction in the case, declaring that the mass surveillance program was likely unconstitutional.

EFF argues that the call-records collection, which the NSA conducts with claimed authority under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, violates the Fourth Amendment rights of millions of Americans. Separately, EFF is counsel in two other lawsuits against the program—Jewel v. NSA and First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA—and is co-counsel with the ACLU in a third, Smith v. Obama.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); What: Oral Argument in Klayman v. Obama

Who: EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn

When: 9:30 am (ET), Nov. 4, 2014

Where: E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse and William B. Bryant Annex
Courtroom 20
333 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

For background and legal documents:

The audio of the oral arguments is expected to be available on the court's website sometime after the hearing: http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/recordings/recordings.nsf/


Dave Maass
   Media Relations Coordinator
   Electronic Frontier Foundation

Related Cases
Klayman v. Obama

Blowback And The Incompetence Theory

Activist Post -

Anthony Freda ArtBrandon Turbeville
Activist Post

Amidst a rash of terror attacks in Canada, the general public is once again witnessing a discussion playing out in the mainstream media as to the solutions and appropriate responses to international Islamic terror. As usual, these solutions and responses involve the bombing, invasion, or general destruction of a country in Africa or the Middle East, always one which was conveniently placed on the hit list of the United States, NATO, or Israel.

During the course of this discussion, as with terror attacks of the past, the public is also being subjected to a discussion of the nature and causes of such terrorism in the first place. In the pro-war camp, the answer is simple – “They hate us for our freedom.” In the anti-war camp, the answer is also simple – “blowback.”

Obviously, the pro-war argument can be dismissed out of hand due to its imbecilic nature and the fact that it is nothing more than a pathetic propaganda narrative aimed at Americans with far too much bravado or fear and not nearly enough intelligence. Indeed, if terrorists hated America for its freedoms it is unfortunately the case that they could have stopped hating America a long time ago.

The anti-war camp, however, while its aims may be well-meaning (or not) will argue that such fundamentalist terrorism is the result of the United States and its allies having relentlessly bombed a number of countries in the past, engendering hatred, and thus perpetuating a cycle – simply put, more bombing begets more terror.

These are now the responses being introduced into the discussion yet again after a number of terroristic killings of Canadian military soldiers by Islamic fundamentalists.

Canada, according to the “blowback” camp, is simply reaping the seeds it has sewn for taking part in the NATO destruction of Iraq and Syria.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Predictably, the alternative media has soon followed behind the blowback proponents who are usually mainstream individuals – commentators, theorists, “journalists,” hosts, politicians, “activists,” etc. – as an attempt to use the alleged credibility of the speaker so as to bolster its own anti-war case. Unfortunately, the blowback position is not only fraught with problems and inconsistencies, it is entirely a cop out.

To argue that terrorist attacks like 9/11, the London 7/7 bombings, Boston Bombings, and now the Canadian shootings among others are the result of bad American policy is to find oneself arguing a timeline of “who started it” that does not exactly match up with the theory or a cause-and-effect scenario that does not always match up the cause with the effect or the regions in which the cause and effect have taken place.

Blowback proponents must subsequently find themselves arguing against any comprehensive response to terrorism beyond simply ending all current foreign engagements and hoping that extremist sentiment finally settles down and dissipates over time. For those who have died in terrorist attacks in the past and those set to die by them in the future, such logic is bound to ring hollow. The argument to simply pull back, hope for the best, and expect a “cooling down” period to take its course is weak indeed.

Most importantly, however, proponents of the blowback theory, regardless of their good intentions, essentially act as cover-up artists for the world oligarchy. Like 9/11, “incompetence theories,” blowbackers are forced to admit that such terrorist organizations are organically organized in response to some perceived injustice. Even blowbackers who are able to admit that groups like al-Qaeda were actually created by the United States intelligence community are subsequently forced to acquiesce to the idea that it is an organization that was abandoned by the U.S., mishandled, or otherwise no longer under the control of the West.

This argument, of course, fundamentally misses the facts surrounding situations like 9/11, 7/7, the 1993 WTC bombing, Libya, Iraq, and Syria.

Indeed, attempting to understand any of the crises mentioned above without understanding that NATO, the United States, Britain, France, Israel, GCC, and other allies not only created but funded, directed, trained, armed, and continue to control these terrorist organizations, is an exercise in futility. That is, such an approach is an exercise in futility if one’s goal is to determine the truth surrounding the situation.

For this reason, blowback theory is generally pushed by “gatekeepers” for the establishment. The purpose and method of the gatekeeper is to act as one of the last buffers against an individual’s potential to discover the true nature of the conflict. The gatekeeper must present criticism seen as hard-hitting, unpopular, and cutting edge while, at the same time, not going so far as to reveal the actual nature of the situation. The gatekeeper cannot allow the ardent follower to get too close to reality. Thus, when the ardent follower begins to introduce relevant facts into the discussion that question even the gatekeeper’s narrative, the gatekeeper typically responds with catcalls of “conspiracy theory.”

The blowback superstars include a small number of politicians but especially include individuals like Noam Chomsky and Glenn Greenwald, two individuals who have repeatedly assailed the 9/11 truth movement despite their inability to adequately address the inconsistencies in the official story or provide adequate solutions to any problem they are forced to address.

Blowback theory presents the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, 7/7, 9/11, and other terrorist attacks as a response to Western aggression and thus completely covers up the fact that these attacks were entirely orchestrated by the very governments who claimed victimhood by them after the fact. Blowback theory presents the emergence of ISIS in Iraq and Syria as an organic creation that appeared due to American interference in Iraq. Blowback theory attempts to portray al-Qaeda as a group that was created (if the theory proponent is even moderately honest) by the U.S. which has come back to bite us.

The truth is that “blowback” has very little, if any, historical precedent.

It is also the truth that “blowback” is nothing more than intellectual gatekeeping, regardless of who espouses it. If one wishes to discover the hidden hand behind international terror, he need look no further than Washington, D.C., London, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv. He may begin looking at the myriad of inconsistencies surrounding virtually every terrorist attack that has occurred in the Western world within recent memory, a search that will lead to precisely the same locations.

Recently from Brandon Turbeville:
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 300 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 

Industrial-strength scare-propaganda: mind control

Activist Post -

Dees IllustrationJon Rappoport
Activist Post

From time to time, I reprint my interview with Dr. Barbara Starfield. Each time I try to write a new introduction.

In this case, I’ll highlight the arbitrary nature of scare-propaganda. And by arbitrary, I mean “has a covert agenda.”

For instance, suppose you learned that a single source in the US, every year, like clockwork, kills 225,000 people. That would be 2.25 million killings per decade.

Wouldn’t you think we’d hear about it? Wouldn’t public health agencies make a big deal about it? Wouldn’t they call it an epidemic?

After all, we supposedly have a handful of “Ebola cases” in the US, and the media are hyping this “fact” to the skies.

Suppose they had far, far bigger numbers to work with? Suppose they had 225,000 deaths, not just once, but every year, as the raw material for their stories?

Suppose they could say, “We now have 225,000 deaths in the US as a result of Ebola, and the authorities are quite sure that next year, and the year after that, and every year we’re going to have 225,000 more.”

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Can you imagine the reaction at every level of society? The insane panic? The madness in the streets? The attacks against institutions tasked with preventing such a cataclysm? The collapse of the stock market and the healthcare system? The predictions of the end of the world? The churches on roaring business highs?

On July 26, 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association published Dr. Barbara Starfield’s review, “Is US health really the best in the world?”

The Starfield paper can be downloaded freely (as a .pdf) from here (via drug-education.info). The paper is fully cited as Starfield B. Is US health really the best in the world?. JAMA. 2000; 284(4):483-4.

In it, Starfield, who was a respected public health expert working at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, stated that:

* The US medical system kills 225,000 Americans a year.

* 106,000 deaths per year from FDA-approved medical drugs.

* 119,000 deaths per year from error-ridden treatment in hospitals.

I’m aware that independent research puts those death figures much higher, but I focus on Dr. Starfield’s work because no mainstream reporter or government official could challenge her credentials or the credentials of the journal that published her findings.

And yes, there were stories in the press at the time, in 2000. But the coverage wasn’t aggressive, and it faded out quickly.

And none of the mainstream coverage did the obvious extrapolations. For example, we are talking about 2.25 MILLION deaths per decade. And over a MILLION deaths per decade from medicines the FDA has approved as safe and effective.

The US government is aware. You can search for an FDA page titled, “Why Learn About Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs)?”
It states: “Over 2 MILLION serious ADRs yearly.” And “100,000 DEATHS yearly.” (The capital letters are the FDA’s, not mine.)

The FDA, of course, is the single federal agency responsible for certifying all medical drugs safe and effective before they are released for public use. They readily admit the human death-and- maiming devastation…but take no responsibility for it.

On December 6-7, 2009, I interviewed Dr. Starfield by email. Here are excerpts from that interview.

JR: What has been the level and tenor of the response to your findings, since 2000?

BS: The American public appears to have been hoodwinked into believing that more interventions lead to better health, and most people that I meet are completely unaware that the US does not have the ‘best health in the world’.

JR: In the medical research community, have your medically-caused mortality statistics been debated, or have these figures been accepted, albeit with some degree of shame?

BS: The findings have been accepted by those who study them. There has been only one detractor, a former medical school dean, who has received a lot of attention for claiming that the US health system is the best there is and we need more of it. He has a vested interest in medical schools and teaching hospitals (they are his constituency).

JR: Have health agencies of the federal government consulted with you on ways to mitigate the [devastating] effects of the US medical system?


JR: Since the FDA approves every medical drug given to the American people, and certifies it as safe and effective, how can that agency remain calm about the fact that these medicines are causing 106,000 deaths per year?

BS: Even though there will always be adverse events that cannot be anticipated, the fact is that more and more unsafe drugs are being approved for use. Many people attribute that to the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is (for the past ten years or so) required to pay the FDA for reviews [of its new drugs]—which puts the FDA into an untenable position of working for the industry it is regulating. There is a large literature on this.

JR: Aren’t your 2000 findings a severe indictment of the FDA and its standard practices?

BS: They are an indictment of the US health care industry: insurance companies, specialty and disease-oriented medical academia, the pharmaceutical and device manufacturing industries, all of which contribute heavily to re-election campaigns of members of Congress. The problem is that we do not have a government that is free of influence of vested interests. Alas, [it] is a general problem of our society—which clearly unbalances democracy.

JR: Can you offer an opinion about how the FDA can be so mortally wrong about so many drugs?

BS: Yes, it cannot divest itself from vested interests. (Again, [there is] a large literature about this, mostly unrecognized by the people because the industry-supported media give it no attention.)

JR: Would it be correct to say that, when your JAMA study was published in 2000, it caused a momentary stir and was thereafter ignored by the medical community and by pharmaceutical companies?

BS: Are you sure it was a momentary stir? I still get at least one email a day asking for a reprint—ten years later! The problem is that its message is obscured by those that do not want any change in the US health care system.

JR: Are you aware of any systematic efforts, since your 2000 JAMA study was published, to remedy the main categories of medically caused deaths in the US?

BS: No systematic efforts; however, there have been a lot of studies. Most of them indicate higher rates [of death] than I calculated.

JR: Did your 2000 JAMA study sail through peer review, or was there some opposition to publishing it?

BS: It was rejected by the first journal that I sent it to, on the grounds that ‘it would not be interesting to readers’!

JR: Do the 106,000 deaths from medical drugs only involve drugs prescribed to patients in hospitals, or does this statistic also cover people prescribed drugs who are not in-patients in hospitals?

BS: I tried to include everything in my estimates. Since the commentary was written, many more dangerous drugs have been added to the marketplace.

—end of interview excerpt—

Comment: Hyping death is an industry. It cuts two ways. The people who do the scare-propaganda also delete the uncomfortable truths.

As always, they are fronting for an agenda.

They are inventing reality for the public.

Reality-invention is the biggest business in the world.

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com.

Innerspace: Can We Eat to Starve Cancer's Life Force?

Activist Post -

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

The inside of a healthy body has a thriving ecology and a thriving economy in its own right. No less could be said for your blood alone.

A factory of 19 billion tiny capillaries, for instance, have the ability to repair you or break you.

The lack of these thriving blood vessels can lead to chronic disease states like lack of wound healing and strokes. But what happens when they are on overdrive and funnel into the microscopic cancers we all have? Living cancer! And more of it.

There a number of ways to look at both the causes of and prevention of cancer. One of them is through the blood via angiogenesis - the creation of new blood vessels, that branch off from existing ones.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Researcher William Li shows what angiogenesis means for cancer and the the types of foods that will starve the life force from cancer.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.

Recent posts by Heather Callaghan:

Social Media Surveillance Expands as IBM Taps Twitter

Activist Post -

Joe Wright
Activist Post

Public outrage about the global spy network continues to be ignored as corporations and governments announce open partnerships in harvesting all of our data. Social media is one particular playground for data brokers who feast upon the information we "willingly" provide.

I reported recently about Twitter's ChatterGrabber program that is "used to monitor tickborne diseases, such as Lyme disease, public sentiment involving vaccines, and gun violence and terrorism, serving as an early warning system for public health officials through suspicious tweets or conversations." That story was followed shortly after by the announcement that Twitter would open up its entire database to MIT beginning with its very first Tweet in 2006. We know that Facebook has used their algorithms to go beyond surveillance and actually manipulate the emotions of users as a type of psychology experiment. The “Truthy” study, funded by the National Science Foundation, directly targets political speech: One focus is the spread of “political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution." Even a Republican member of the FCC said that it was a program right out of a George Orwell novel.

No matter - now tech behemoth IBM has its sights set on Twitter.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Transcript: Christian Bryant

It’s no secret Twitter’s data and analytics have been highly sought after — most likely because of numbers like these: 500 million tweets sent per day between more than 280 million active monthly users.

Tech giant and consulting company IBM wants in on that information. IBM and Twitter announced a data and analytics partnership Wednesday to enhance what IBM calls “enterprise decisions.”
That sounds a little jargon-y, but the deal basically allows IBM unprecedented access to Twitter’s data, which IBM can then use to help its other clients learn more about their customers.

Twitter VP of Data Strategy Chris Moody wrote in a statement the social media network “unleashing” its value will help IBM clients to answer questions, like, “‘What do customers like best about my products?’ or ‘Why are we growing quickly in Brazil?’”

According to IBM, all that new data will be integrated within their cloud-based services and, of course, Watson — IBM’s Jeopardy-winning supercomputer.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty spoke earlier this month about reshaping the company around the cloud and analytics. (Video via CNBC)

The partnership with Twitter seems to be part of IBM’s move in that direction. According to Business Insider, Rometty said IBM also plans to develop new apps that use Twitter’s data for other companies.

So, what exactly does Twitter get out of this? The two companies revealed that this partnership has been “years” in the making, but they haven’t announced any figures associated with the deal.
Wall Street Journal writer says Twitter “has been searching for ways to boost revenue beyond advertising," hinting that the company is probably selling use of the data to IBM.

Just spitballing here, but this partnership could also allow Twitter an opportunity to earn back the $36 million it paid to IBM for 900 patents.

That deal was a part an IBM lawsuit against Twitter, which was settled around the end of last year.
But at the time, both companies added a positive spin to the deal with an IBM executive saying“We look forward to a productive relationship with Twitter in the future.”

We assume this is that productive relationship. Bloomberg reports services from the technological marriage will be available starting in the first quarter of 2015.

This video includes images from Getty Images. 


It is exactly this type of breach of trust that is leading people toward decentralized, non-corporate tech solutions. Alternative social media platforms like Ello are finally beginning to crop up - many more are needed.

Naturally, such a well-funded and well-orchestrated machine with the fascist trappings of the current surveillance matrix will be difficult to undermine, especially as Europe and the U.S. have taken direct aim at crowdfunding, which offers a true people's choice about where to put their money.

Do you have alternative solutions? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Recently by Joe Wright:

The 7 Privacy Tools Essential to Making Snowden Documentary CITIZENFOUR

Activist Post -

Parker Higgins
Electronic Frontier Foundation

What needs to be in your tool belt if you plan to report on a massively funded and ultra-secret organization like the NSA? In the credits of her newly released CITIZENFOUR, director Laura Poitras gives thanks to a list of important security resources that are all free software.

We've previously written about CITIZENFOUR and Edward Snowden's discussion of his motivation to release closely guarded information about the NSA. Here's a closer look at the seven tools she names as helping to enable her to communicate with Snowden and her collaborators in making the film.

1. Tor

Tor is a collection of privacy tools that enables users to mask information about who they are, where they are connecting to the Internet, and in some cases where the sites they are accessing are located. The Tor network relies on volunteers to run nodes that traffic can pass through, but connecting is as easy as downloading the Tor Browser Bundle and hopping online. We've helped strengthen the Tor network by running a challenge to encourage more volunteer support, and our newly updated Surveillance Self Defense guide has information for Windows users on how to use the software. The Tor Project was also a winner of EFF's 2012 Pioneer Award.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 2. Tails

One of the most robust ways of using the Tor network is through a dedicated operating system that enforces strong privacy- and security-protective defaults. That operating system is Tails—The Amnesiac Incognito Live System—and it's designed to run from a USB stick plugged into nearly any computer, without interfering with already installed software. Tails has received support from a group called the Freedom of the Press Foundation, where Poitras sits on the board alongside Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, who also features prominently in the film.

3. SecureDrop

Also from the Freedom of the Press Foundation comes SecureDrop, a whistleblower submission system designed for journalists who wish to protect the anonymity of their sources. SecureDrop was originally designed by the late activist Aaron Swartz and the journalist Kevin Poulsen, and has been actively developed by Freedom of the Press Foundation and a network of volunteers for the past year. It has been deployed a number of prominent news organizations, including the New Yorker, Forbes, ProPublica, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and Poitras and Greenwald's current publication, The Intercept.

4. GPG Encryption

 GPG encryption is the only one of the technologies Poitras mentions that actually gets significant screen time in her film. Throughout her early interactions with Snowden, the two consistently used emails encrypted end-to-end with GPG encryption, represented onscreen with the jumbled letters and numbers you see if you don't have the private key necessary to decrypt. GPG has been criticized for being unfriendly to new users, and it requires that both the sender and receiver are familiar with it. But it may be getting easier to use: we've explained how to do so on Mac, Windows, and GNU/Linux, and the Free Software Foundation has also prepared a guide.

5. OTR Instant Messaging

The Off-The-Record protocol allows for encrypted communication over existing popular instant messaging networks. It is one of the simplest ways for two users to get end-to-end encryption; that is, a communication that is encrypted with a key that only the recipient has, not a trusted third party. Our Surveillance Self-Defense guide outlines how to use OTR for Mac and Windows users. We've also awarded its co-founder Ian Goldberg with a Pioneer Award in 2011.

6. Truecrypt hard disk encryption

While CITIZENFOUR was in production, the pseudonymous team behind the popular Truecrypt software somewhat dramatically stopped supporting its further development. The future of the Truecrypt source code itself is a bit murky, then, but there are still viable alternatives for full-disk encryption. We've got a tutorial for the Windows tool DiskCryptor in our Surveillance Self-Defense guide, as well as general tips for full-disk encryption on Mac and GNU/Linux systems.

7. GNU/Linux

If you find the arguments for free software security tools compelling, you may be interested in using an operating system built on the same principles. GNU/Linux is much broader that some of the other tools mentioned here, and encompasses an enormous number of distinct collections of software, called distributions. Maybe most people won't come home from seeing CITIZENFOUR with a sudden desire to switch operating systems, but it's at least worth exploring.

Snowden's leaks—and the resulting news stories, books, and now documentaries—have profoundly affected the way people around the world think and talk about privacy and mass surveillance. It's encouraging to know that, even in the face of enormous spying programs, average computer users have access to powerful tools that can help keep their communications safe from prying eyes. Learn more about how to defend yourself from that surveillance with our Surveillance Self-Defense Guide.

Please visit EFF for the latest news in digital privacy and civil liberties.

Three Spooky Ways You're Being Spied on This Halloween

Activist Post -

Illustration: John Shakespeare/sourceNadia Kayyali
Electronic Frontier Foundation

It’s that time of year when people don sinister masks, spray themselves with fake blood, and generally go all out for a good fright. But here at EFF, we think there are plenty of real-world ghouls to last all year-round. Fortunately, we won’t let them hide under your bed.

Sometimes our work sounds like science fiction, but the surveillance techniques and technology we fight are all too real. Here are some of the beasts hiding in your backyard that we’ve been fighting to expose:

1. Automated License Plate Readers

Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) are cameras that can either be mounted on squad cars or stationary. They read license plates and record the time, date, and location a particular car was encountered. And they’re paving the way for wholesale tracking of every driver’s movements. ALPRs can scan up to 1,800 license plates per minute, and can collect data on vast numbers of vehicles. In Los Angeles, for example, the Los Angeles Police Department and Sheriff’s Department collect data on 3 million cars per week.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Much like metadata about phone calls, the information obtained from ALPRs reveals sensitive personal information. In fact, the International Association of Chiefs of Police issued a report in 2009 recognizing that “recording driving habits” could raise First Amendment concerns, because cameras could record “vehicles parked at addiction-counseling meetings, doctors' offices, health clinics, or even staging areas for political protests.”

Because of this potential for serious invasions of privacy, EFF and ACLU teamed up to ask the city and county of Los Angeles for a week’s worth of ALPR data. The lower court sided with the government after it denied our request, but we’re appealing the ruling.

2. Fusion Centers

Fusion centers  are information clearinghouses that enable unprecedented levels of bi-directional information sharing between state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies and federal agencies like the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. Bi-directional means that local law enforcement can share information with these agencies while also accessing federal information, through portals like the FBI’s eGuardian database.

Fusion centers are a serious threat to privacy. They magnify the impact of excessive spying by making sure that it gets shared through a vast network of agencies, with almost no oversight.

And oversight is clearly needed. Fusion centers coordinate the National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI), an effort to implement suspicious activity reporting (SAR) nationwide. SAR are intelligence reports that, according to the government, document “behavior reasonably indicative of pre-operational planning related to terrorism or other criminal activity.” And while they do lead to law enforcement contact with innocent people, they do not meet legally cognizable standards for search or seizure under the Fourth amendment. Instead, they lead to racial and religious profiling and political repression. Public records act requests have shown that people of color often end up being the target of SARs.

And that’s not the only way fusion centers threaten privacy and civil liberties. Public records requests have also shown that fusion centers are used to record and share information about First Amendment protected activities in a way that aids repressive police activity and chills freedom of association.

That’s why when the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) announced that it was considering looking at the standards for SAR we submitted a comment.  We urged PCLOB to review not only SAR standards, but to conduct a thorough assessment of fusion centers in general. We believe that such a review will show what every other review by the government has shown: that fusion centers produce "predominantly useless information," "a bunch of crap," while "running afoul of departmental guidelines meant to guard against civil liberties" and are "possibly in violation of the Privacy Act."

3. Stingrays

Last but not least, we’re keeping an eye on the spreading use of Stingrays.1 These are devices that are used by law enforcement to electronically search for a particular cell phone's signal by capturing the International Mobile Subscriber Identity of potentially thousands of people in a particular area. Small enough to fit in a van, they masquerade as a cell phone tower, and trick your phone into connecting with them every 7-15 seconds. As a result, the government can surreptitiously figure out who, when and to where you are calling, the precise location of every device within the range, and with some devices, even capture the content of your conversations.

Part of what’s so concerning about Stingrays is that we know very little about how they are being used. In the first case to consider the constitutional implications of stingrays, U.S. v. Rigmaiden (in which we filed an amicus brief along with the ACLU) the court denied a motion to throw out evidence obtained using a Stingray. In our brief, we pointed out that the application for a warrant neither made it clear that law enforcement would be using a Stingray nor explained how the device worked. It’s that lack of explanation that we find so concerning.

But what we do know about Stingrays is chilling. They capture data from anybody who happens to be in an area where one is being used, regardless of whether they are suspected of a crime. And some models can even capture contents of communications.

The constitutionality of Stingrays is almost certain to be challenged again, especially after the Supreme Court’s decision requiring a warrant to search arrestee’s cellphones in Riley v. California. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for any cases addressing this technology. In the meantime, we’re doing public records act requests to police departments to learn more about who is using these devices, and how.

We think this technology is scarier than any costume you’ll see on the streets this week. But don’t worry—we’re here to turn the lights on.

Please visit EFF for the latest news in digital privacy and civil liberties. 

The Ebola covert op: 30 answers to “who benefits?”

Activist Post -

image sourceJon Rappoport
Activist Post

"In any major covert op, there are always multiple objectives and levels of opportunity, and they are not wasted. The interesting thing is, 99.99% of the players who benefit don’t even realize the whole thing is a planned op." (The Magician Awakes, Jon Rappoport)

This is not a complete list of benefits from the Ebola op. However, it does cover a significant amount of territory.

In no particular order:

Distraction: the continuing US war in the Middle East moves to the back pages.

Vaccine and drug sales for pharmaceutical companies expand.

The public is further conditioned to accept all vaccines, follow all medical orders, buy phony epidemics as real, fear germs, fear “unpredictable outbreaks.”

Fear = easier to control.

The public is conditioned to living, cradle-to-grave, under the power of the medical cartel and doctors’ orders.

Mega-corporations and financiers gain more control over the rich resources of West Africa.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The US government establishes a military outpost in West Africa, the purpose of which is to enhance and expand its operations on the African continent. Its main economic competitor in Africa is China.

The CDC and the World Health Organization enhance their influence, justify their budgets, try to appear as the protectors of humanity.

Ebola researchers grab new grant monies, seek promotions, enhanced status, awards.

The diagnostic-testing industry cashes in.

The use of irrelevant, useless, and unreliable diagnostic tests for Ebola sets the stage for future situations in which thousands or even millions of false positive tests invent, out of thin air, so-called epidemics in which viruses actually play no role at all. Just like now.

Irrelevant or non-existent viruses function as cover stories to conceal actual and inconvenient causes of illness, such as industrial pollution, ag pesticides, GMO food, fracking chemicals, radiation, etc.

The medical cartel and its government allies move a step closer to being able to mandate all vaccines for the population, with no exemptions permitted.

The overall toxifying and weakening of populations, through vaccines and drugs, thus moves forward. Weakened = easier to control.

Selective quarantines further establishes unconstitutional government control over the people. A phony epidemic can trigger the wide declaration of martial law.

Under the aegis of “tracking carriers of the virus,” the Surveillance State expands.

Combining the epidemic op with open borders, the government and medical authorities can assert there are now vast numbers of unvaccinated people in the US (immigrants)—and they must be protected, through “herd immunity,” by vaccinating everyone in the US with every conceivable vaccine.

Under the cover of “a global pandemic,” toxic modern medicine can expand its reach into every corner of the globe as a “necessary platform for treating ‘infected populations’.”

The DOD and DHS expand their operations, because “every pandemic is a threat to national security.”

The Globalist view of one world under one controlling management system is enhanced — “every epidemic threatens all of us, we’re all in this together, we need, among other innovations, one coordinated medical system for the whole planet.”

Travel to and from any point in the world can be cut off arbitrarily — more top-down control.

Through declaring “infected zones,” economic attacks can be leveled by isolating and quarantining those zones. Loss of business, loss of money—the IMF and World Bank step in and make draconian deals for loans, in exchange for surrender to mega-corporate control of those territories.

In the wake of “fear of the epidemic,” all national health insurance programs on the planet, including Obamacare, can assert more power over the people—“we’re here to protect you from illness and death, so accept all diagnoses and treatments; no opting out, no resistance…”

Further attacks can be launched at traditional and natural solutions to illness—“how dare people try to treat Ebola with anything except (unproven and toxic) drugs and vaccines.”

Further propaganda covertly characterizes “deepest darkest Africa” as the place where terrible things come from.

“The killer virus” functions as a cover story, concealing the centuries-long campaign to weaken and decimate the populations of Africa through starvation, wars, contaminated water supplies, overcrowding, theft of fertile farm land and other natural resources, toxic vaccine campaigns.

Multiple government agencies (DHS, DOD, CDC, SEC, NIH, CIA, NSA, FBI, etc.) coordinate plans and exercises to “combat a pandemic situation.” These joint plans further collect overall power to control the movements and actions of the population.

Of course, at any given moment, vaccines (which are already a toxic soup of chemicals and germs) can be covertly seeded with other toxic elements, including those which cause sterility and infertility.

Up the road, we will see increased efforts to deliver vaccines and drugs embedded in food products, and sprayed from the air.

The “distraction effect” of Ebola can, of course, divert attention away from many events, stories, and other operations, including: NSA spying, Benghazi, Fast&Furious, the US government alliance with the Sinaloa drug cartel, ISIS, etc.

The “war against the epidemic” is quite similar to the “war against terrorism,” and involves the same loss of privacy and freedom.

And, naturally, the media benefit, because they have a big scary story to cover—their hits and sales improve, their advertisers are happy.

What I call the Reality Manufacturing Company is deeply satisfied; they just invented, out of whole cloth, a new front of fake reality, and untold numbers of people bought it, rather than imagining and inventing their own reality. The day when THAT most profound of all revolutions occurs is shoved further into the future.

This “who benefits” list explains, in part, why I’ve been writing extensively about the phony epidemic called Ebola.

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com.

Now We Will Watch How The Stock Market Performs Without The Fed’s Monetary Heroin

Activist Post -

Michael Snyder
Activist Post

Mark this day on your calendars.  The Dow is at 16974, the S&P 500 is at 1982 and the NASDAQ is at 4549.  From this day forward, we will be looking to see how the stock market performs without the monetary heroin that the Federal Reserve has been providing to it.

Since November 2008, the Fed has created about 3.5 trillion dollars and pumped it into the financial system.  An excellent chart illustrating this in graphic format can be found right here.  Pretty much everyone agrees that this has been a tremendous boon for the financial markets.

As you will see below, even former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan says that quantitative easing was "a terrific success" as far as boosting stock prices.  But he also says that QE has not been very helpful to the real economy at all.  In essence, the entire quantitative easing program was a massive 3.5 trillion dollar gift to Wall Street.  If that sounds unfair to you, that is because it is unfair.

So why is the Federal Reserve finally ending quantitative easing?

Well, officially the Fed says that it is because there has been so much improvement in the labor market...
The Fed's language, however, did suggest that they were getting more comfortable with the economy's improvement. It cited "solid job gains," citing a "substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market," as well as pointing out that "underutilization" of labor resources is "gradually diminishing."

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); But that is not true at all.

The percentage of Americans that are working right now is about the same as it was during the depths of the last recession.  Just check out this chart...

So there has been no "employment recovery" to speak of at all.

And as I wrote about yesterday, the percentage of Americans that are homeowners has been steadily falling throughout the quantitative easing era...

So let's put the lie that quantitative easing helped the "real economy" to rest.  It did no such thing.
Instead, what QE did do was massively inflate stock prices.

The following is an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal report about a speech that former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan made to the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday...
Mr. Greenspan’s comments to the Council on Foreign Relations came as Fed officials were meeting in Washington, D.C., and expected to announce within hours an end to the bond purchases.

He said the bond-buying program was ultimately a mixed bag. He said that the purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities did help lift asset prices and lower borrowing costs. But it didn’t do much for the real economy.

Effective demand is dead in the water” and the effort to boost it via bond buying “has not worked,” said Mr. Greenspan. Boosting asset prices, however, has been “a terrific success.”Moving forward, what did Greenspan tell the members of the Council on Foreign Relations that they should do with their money?

This might surprise you...
Mr. Greenspan said gold is a good place to put money these days given its value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments.Wow.

It almost sounds like Greenspan has been reading the Economic Collapse Blog.

Since November 2008, every time there has been an interruption in the Fed's quantitative easing program, the stock market has gone down substantially.

Will that happen again this time?

Well, the market is certainly primed for it.  We are repeating so many of the very same patterns that we saw just prior to the last two financial crashes.

For example, there have been three dramatic peaks in margin debt in the last twenty years.

One of those peaks came early in the year 2000 just before the dotcom bubble burst.

The second of those peaks came in the middle of 2007 just before the subprime mortgage meltdown happened.

And the third of those peaks happened earlier this year.

You can view  a chart that shows these peaks very clearly right here.

The Federal Reserve appears to be confident that the stock market will be okay without the monetary heroin that it has been supplying.

We shall see.

But it should be deeply troubling to all Americans that this unelected, unaccountable body of central bankers has far more power over our economy than anyone else does.  During election season, our politicians get up and give speeches about what they will "do for the economy", but the truth is that they are essentially powerless compared to the immense power that the Federal Reserve wields.  Just a few choice words from Janet Yellen can cause the financial markets to rise or fall dramatically.  The same cannot be said of any U.S. Senator.

We are told that monetary policy is "too important" to be exposed to politics.

We are told that the independence of the Federal Reserve is "sacred" and must never be interfered with.

I say that is a bunch of nonsense.

No organization should have the power to print up trillions of dollars out of thin air and give it to their friends.

The Federal Reserve is completely and totally out of control, and Congress needs to start exerting power over it.

The first step is to get in there and do a comprehensive audit of the Fed's books.  This is something that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz called for in a recent editorial for USA Today...
Americans are seeing near-zero interest rates on their savings accounts while median incomes are falling, and millions of people are facing higher gas prices, food prices, electricity prices, health insurance prices. Enough is enough, the Federal Reserve needs to open its books — Americans deserve a sound and stable dollar.Whether you agree with Ted Cruz on other issues or not, this is one issue that all Americans should be able to agree on.

If you study any of our major economic problems, usually you will find that the Federal Reserve is at the heart of that problem.

So if we ever hope to solve the issues that are plaguing our economy, the Fed is going to need to be dealt with.

Hopefully the American people will start to send more representatives to Washington D.C. that understand this.

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

194 Countries Agree to Regulate Synthetic Biology

Activist Post -

image sourceDaniel Taylor
Activist Post

The United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity recently announced a decision on the part of 194 countries to regulate synthetic biology technology.

Jim Thomas of the ETC Group stated that, “Not only do countries now have to set up the means to regulate synthetic biology, but those regulations need to be based on precaution and not harming the environment.”

As more synthetically engineered products are being developed, many see a potentially dangerous impact on the environment and human health from the expanding technology.

Synthetic biology is an advanced form of genetic engineering that, according to a 2005 European Commission paper, is “…the engineering of biology… the synthesis of complex, biologically based (or inspired) systems which display functions that do not exist in nature.”

In other words; unlike the older science of splicing genes from different species together, synthetic biology is seeking to create whole new organisms that do not exist on earth.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

FBI Agent Carmine Nigro told the an MIT conference earlier this year that “These technologies [synthetic biology] do not just pose a risk to individual buildings or cities, but if cleverly deployed, can reduce our population by significant percentages.”

Concerns about the safety of synthetic biology were heightened when a Switzerland-based company called Evolva developed a synthetic vanilla that is set to be released in 2014. The vanilla is created using synthetic biology technology.

Fidelity Investments envisions that within 50 years there will be more life forms invented in a lab than ever identified in nature.

Daniel Taylor is an independent researcher, activist, and webmaster of oldthinkernews.com. You can find out more about him and his site HERE 

Dr. Craig Spencer: Ebola? Flu? Hospital food? Nothing?

Activist Post -

image sourceJon Rappoport
Activist Post

Let’s see. Dr. Craig Spencer comes back from Guinea, where he’s been treating patients. In NYC, he takes the subway, he goes bowling, he eats at restaurants, he jogs.

He begins feeling fatigued, he takes his temp. 100.3.

He makes a call. The hazmat army arrives and rushes him to Bellevue.

The doctors announce: Ebola.

On what basis?


What specific diagnostic tests did they run?


Can we examine those tests, in great detail, and the results? Fat chance.

Was Spencer given an antibody test? It’s notorious for coming up with false-positives, because it reacts on the basis of factors that have nothing to do with the virus being tested for.

And even if that doesn’t happen, an antibody test says nothing about whether the patient is sick, has been sick, or will get sick. It merely indicates he had come in contact with the virus.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Traditionally, a positive antibody test was taken to mean the person’s immune system warded off the virus successfully. Not any longer. The science has been turned upside down, for no good reason. Now, a positive test=the patient has the disease. Absurd.

Was Spencer given a PCR test? Also notorious for errors, and coming up with irrelevant findings, the PCR, even if done perfectly, says nothing about whether the patient has enough of a given virus in his body to cause illness. The PCR works with miniscule amounts of sample-material from the patient.

Was the Ebola virus actually isolated directly from Spencer’s blood? No reason to think so. This necessary test is rarely done. And on top of that, there should also be a titer test, which indicates how much of a given virus is in the patient’s body—because there must be millions and millions of active virus present to even begin to say it can cause illness. The titer test is almost never done.

Without proper diagnostic tests, there is no reason under the sun to say Spencer “has Ebola.”

Fatigue? 100.3 temperature? There are thousands of possible reasons for those symptoms.

We do know the CDC favors the PCR test, which it ran on the Dallas “Ebola” patient. Again, it is unreliable, useless, and misleading.

On top of this, Spencer was given a blood transfusion at Bellevue Hospital. Transfusions are immunosuppressive.

Doctors made a big deal out of the fact that Spencer developed gastrointestinal symptoms after being admitted to an iso ward. They arbitrarily labeled these symptoms “the next phase of Ebola.”

That is a fatuous diagnosis. Obviously, such symptoms can spring from a number of causes, not the least of which is hospital food.

There is, however, a payoff for diagnosing Craig Spencer with Ebola. It gives credence to the cooked-up narrative about a “dangerous global epidemic” spreading from West Africa to other countries.

That is the official storyline, and it must be repeated, over and over, by governments and public health agencies, no matter what.

As for the truth—are you kidding?

The truth has nothing to do with the official storyline.

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

Did You Hear? Texas Plans to Fingerprint EVERYONE within the Next 12 Years

Activist Post -

Daisy Luther
Activist Post

The Texas Department of Public Safety might as well be called the Texas Department of Public Invasiveness.

They’ve launched a plan to fingerprint every single person of driving age in the state, after which they will add the person’s prints to the criminal database.

Is it just me or is that a rather Dystopian plan?

Jon Cassidy of Watchdog.org writes:
The credit for breaking the news on those two items goes to consumer affairs columnist Dave Lieber of the Dallas Morning News, whose long-running “Watchdog” column often shows up in my Google Alerts, for obvious reasons.

As an old-school columnist, Lieber tends to keep his opinions subdued, and he doesn’t generally call people dishonest. But I have no problem with doing that, so I’d like to point out that the DPS spokesman he quotes at length is less than straightforward about his department’s legal authority.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Last month, Lieber broke the news that DPS had started collecting full sets of fingerprints on everyone who went in to renew their license.

Friday, he followed up with a story on DPS’ dubious legal authority to do so, and then posted lengthy quotations on the issue to his blog.

Lieber quotes an entire email from DPS spokesman Tom Vinger, who quotes Transportation Code Sec. 521.059 at length, including the key phrase, “The department shall establish an image verification system based on the following identifiers collected by the department: ….an applicant’s thumbprints or fingerprints.” (source)So the gist of this is: if you don’t allow the “authorities” to take your prints and file them away in the event that you commit some heinous crime in the future, you won’t be issued a driver’s license in the state of Texas. This means you’d theoretically be unable to drive or get insurance, because you’d be unlicensed. If you can’t get insurance, it will be difficult to own a car. This, of course, could affect your livelihood, your ability to get your kids to school, and myriad other day-to-day issues. I’m a big fan of opting out, but this makes it a lot more difficult for the average Joe or Josephine to do so.

Doesn’t this sound like a pre-crime system, gathering evidence for the potential day in the future when they wish to use a person’s cataloged prints to identify them?  At the very least, it is an invasion of personal privacy that is being enforced by hindering one’s ability to travel freely.

According to the laws on the books, it’s legal to take ONE print, but not a set of ten.
To get the full context, you’d have to go back to the original bill that was signed into law, and then look up the relevant section of law, which states that an application for a drivers’ license  “must include:  1) the thumbprints of the applicant or, if thumbprints cannot be taken, the index fingerprints of the applicant.” So that’s why the law mentions fingerprints – it’s index fingerprints, not a full set of 10 fingerprints. While the law mentions that those records can be used by law enforcement agencies investigating a crime, it doesn’t say anything about making them generally available in a criminal database. According to Lieber, a political science professor at Texas Christian University named Donald W. Jackson, who has a new organization called the North Texas Civil Rights Project, is offering legal support if anybody wants to challenge this new policy in court. (source)I bet a lot of Texans will have one particular fingerprint they’ll be happy to give – the middle one.

Hat tip to Kimo

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca. This article first appeared at TruthstreamMedia.com.

More Media Foreshadowing of Massive False Flag Attack in U.S.

Activist Post -

Amanda Warren
Activist Post

To see the recent mainstream media headlines, one who ponders a little deeply, might rightly think we are on the precipice of something strange. More Ebola funny business, shootings, a rocket explosion, and the Department of Homeland Security's recent raising of security levels at all federal buildings within the United States.

Just like the months leading up to 9/11, the American public is being assaulted with an onslaught of reports suggesting the possibility of another major terror attack inside the United States. Are we being invited into a terror theater? A little predictive programming perhaps? A couple news pieces should offer some pause, if nothing else.

In this Fox News report about the DHS raising security levels, favored mouthpiece and former New York mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, speaks about expecting attacks. Certainly, his words were meant to unsettle the public, rather than reassure. According to him, we have to assume a major attack is eminent. His words really need no introduction, but deserve some analysis, which can be left up to the readers:

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

From Fox:
A former intelligence official also likened Tuesday night's press release to "terror theater," though said it is a good thing to keep the public aware of these threats.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); To actually read the report, however, the major bent of the message surrounds domestic terrorist threats. Strangely, it's the same reconciliation of foreign terrorism juxtaposed with domestic played out in the series Jericho (2006) - a show about the aftermath of nuclear attacks in the states, where factions within U.S. government set off a nuke false flag, blamed on foreign/domestic combined terrorism.

Again from Fox:
"ISIS is waging a campaign of war over the Internet to incite homegrown violent extremism in the United States," McCaul, R-Texas, said. "We must do everything we can to protect every American abroad and at home." [emphasis added]This "marriage" or mirage was also explored in Brandon Turbeville's pieces, "
FBI Visiting Gun Shops to Investigate "People talking about Big Government" and 11 Signs of a False Flag.

Additionally, one of those false flag signs is conducting terror drills before or during an actual event. So, it is all too discomforting that last month, Nebraska scheduled simulated nuclear explosion drills. As Webster Tarpley writes in his book 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made In USA, at least 46 drills were underway in the months leading up to 9/11 and on the morning of the attack.

Like Turbeville, I'm not attempting to predict anything myself or say that it's certain to occur, but simply pointing out the recent media talking points and imagery could be signaling such a catastrophe to the masses, whether it would occur or not.

In July, Turbeville wrote in Media Propaganda Foreshadows Massive False Flag Inside The United States:
The narrative being inserted into news media reports and government statements no longer revolves around terrorists hijacking planes or blowing up specific buildings. This time, the narrative is that there is the very real possibility that terrorists who have traveled to Syria and Iraq in order to overthrow the governments in those countries are now travelling back to the United States and Europe with the intention of launching terror attacks at home.

Of course, ever since 9/11, Americans have been relentlessly bombarded with the prospect of more and greater terrorist attacks taking place at home and abroad, even while the U.S. government openly funds the very terrorists it uses to keep the public frightened into submission.What was some of the predictive programming he noticed?
  • The report “Al-Qaeda Training British And European ‘Jihadists’ In Syria To Set Up Terror Cells At Home,” by Ruth Sherlock, Gaziantep, and Tom Whitehead and published by The Telegraph.
  • The article written by Andrew G. Doran for the National Review, published on June 16, 2014 entitled “ISIS In The Homeland,” where Doran argues that not only do ISIS and ISIS-style fighters have American and European passports, but that these terrorists are already back home.
  • Recent (and eerily specific) advice from former Vice President Dick Cheney: "I think there will be another attack and the next time I think it’s likely to be far deadlier than the last one...You can just imagine what would happen if somebody could smuggle a nuclear device, put it in a shipping container, and drive it down the beltway outside Washington D.C.” (again, it's hard not to think back to Jericho, especially if you view Cheney's whole conversation about reconstituting the U.S. government after hypothetical attack)
  • Another Cheney gem: “One of the things I worried about 12 years ago and that I worry about today is that there will be another 9/11 attack and that the next time, it'll be with weapons far deadlier than airline tickets and box cutters.”
  • In September, 2013, as the rush to war with Syria was ramping up, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham suggested that, if the U.S. did not use military force against Syria, the Iranians would view America as weak and, eventually, nuclear weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists resulting in the bombing of Charleston Harbor. 
  • Another Graham quote: “I believe that if we get Syria wrong, within six months, and you can quote me on this, there will be a war between Iran and Israel over their nuclear program. My fear is that it won’t come to America on top of a missile, it’ll come in the belly of a ship in the Charleston or New York harbor.” 
Not only is that as eerily specific and similar to Cheney's quotes, but Giuliani has echoed Graham's frustration that we just didn't "get things right" with the handling of propagated security threats stemming from the middle east and then he drives the idea of it being "here at home." And the news anchor chimes in, in reference to Canadian and U.S. events, that "we have no program, no plan, in place to tip off our intelligence, folks, to that kind of behavior."

To this writer, the symbolism underlying NASA's unmanned Antares rocket explosion in the same 24 hours was not lost, but you can make of that what you will.

SourceView from a plane:

I also couldn't help notice that "tares" are a type of false wheat that often show up at harvest. Harvest that could also be called "homegrown."

Regardless of actual future events, the idea of a large scale attack is certainly being pumped out in the media - subconsciously and consciously - with complete abandon and in full bloom.

Recently from Amanda Warren:

Sedona Resident Discusses Smart Meter Radiation with Acting Surgeon General

Activist Post -


Sedona resident Barbara Litrell traveled to Washington D.C to meet with the acting Surgeon General Melissa Brodowiki. Ms Litrell presented some educational materials for Ms. Brodowiki's review and assurances were given that issues surrounding the impact of microwave and radio energy on humans would be investigated.

Related Activist Post Articles: 
Major Physicians Group Implores Exemption From Smart Meters - Are You On the List?
Live Blood Analysis – Observable Effects of RF/MW Radiation from ‘Smart’ Meters
Top Biochemist Calls to Abolish Smart Meters, WiFi in Schools, Baby Monitors
Major Insurance Firm Warns of Losses Due to Health Effects of EMFs
BabySafe Project Launched to Inform Pregnant Women About Dangers of Wireless Radiation
Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields
VIDEO: Take Back Your Power
BOOK: Overpowered: The Dangers of EMF and What You Can Do About It

Civil Forfeiture Out of Control: Government Robs Restaurant Owner for $33,000

Activist Post -

Joshua Krause
Activist Post

For decades, Americans used to be able to joke about the corrupt nature of police in other countries. The law enforcement in places like Mexico became notorious for their highway extortion antics, especially towards tourists. Countries like Russia are so bad that every driver has to keep a dash cam in the car so they can challenge the police in court. It’s almost become a standard amenity in most vehicles, like having a cigarette lighter or a radio.

America, however, has nothing to laugh about anymore. We have our own form of highway extortion, known as civil forfeiture. I’d consider it even more insulting than what people face in other countries, because at least there you’re buying yourself out of a nonexistent crime. They’re very up front about it. “We want your money or we’re going to charge with something”. At least those police kiss you before they do “you know what” to you.

American police don’t even bother with the formality. If you’re stopped on one of America’s roadways, and you have a large sum of money on your person, they can just take it. Unfortunately there is nowhere to hide, because this isn’t just something you have to deal with on the highway. If someone living in your home is arrested for drug possession, they can take your house. And if you put less than $10,000 into your bank, they can confiscate your entire account. And by they, I mean the IRS.

By law, if you deposit more than $10,000 into your account, your bank has to report it to the IRS. If, however, you deposit less than $10,000 into your account on a regular basis, the IRS can flag you as a possible terrorist, drug dealer, or money launderer, and confiscate everything. The amount of money required to be flagged is never specified, and you don’t need to be charged with any crime for the government to clean you out.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Restaurant owner Carole Hinders found this out the hard way when she was told that she had $33,000 taken from her account.
And Carole Hinders, owner of an Iowa restaurant called Mrs. Lady’s Mexican Food, said she made large deposits under $10,000 because her mother told her the bank had to do “extra paperwork” if she made deposits over that amount. One day in August, two federal agents knocked on Hinders’ door and told her they’d cleared all $33,000 out of her bank account. Now, the Institute for Justice is representing Hinders in her efforts to get that money back. Here’s how the Institute for Justice summed up her defense: In her defense, she will show that she had no intent to evade the reports that banks must file with the U.S. Treasury concerning cash transactions greater than $10,000. Rather, she had legitimate business purposes for her banking practices. Because her restaurant does not accept credit cards, and because it is unsafe to accumulate substantial cash on her premises, she goes to the bank often to make smaller cash deposits. For more than 30 years, she has kept her bank deposits to less than $10,000 because she was told that larger deposits cause an inconvenience to the bank. She had never heard of the term “structuring” until federal agents knocked on her door last year to tell her they had emptied out her bank account. But it’s not illegal to run an honest cash business, and Carole Hinders is not a criminal.She had no idea about the law. All she knew was that banks had to do extra paperwork if she deposited more than 10k. She thought she was doing them a favor. Instead, she lost all of her savings, and she’s probably never going to see it again. With the cost of legal fees, she’ll be lucky to get half of it back.

In fact, most people never fight civil forfeiture cases for that very reason. Unless it’s a very large sum of money that is significantly more than the cost to fight the case (typical legal fees might run up to $20,000) you’re never going to see it again, even if you win in court. If you lose, you’ll be even deeper in the hole.

So far it looks like public backlash is forcing the IRS is to reexamine this despicable practice. Unfortunately, they appear to be completely unrepentant for the lives they’ve ruined.
On Thursday, in response to questions from The New York Times, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally or seizure is deemed justified by “exceptional circumstances.” Richard Weber, the chief of Criminal Investigation at the I.R.S., said in a written statement, “This policy update will ensure that C.I. continues to focus our limited investigative resources on identifying and investigating violations within our jurisdiction that closely align with C.I.’s mission and key priorities.” He added that making deposits under $10,000 to evade reporting requirements, called structuring, is still a crime whether the money is from legal or illegal sources. The new policy will not apply to past seizures.So they recognize that what they did was wrong. They’ve agreed to focus on cases where money was acquired illegally. They’ve essentially admitted that many of the past cases of civil forfeiture were at best, mistaken (at worst, it was no mistake. It was theft). But they’re not going to consider past cases. They’re not going return any of the money to the people, they just admitted to robbing.

And in the same statement, they’re still claiming that avoiding the $10,000 limit is illegal, even though there is probably no way to prove whether or not somebody is trying to avoid that money laundering law. The hundreds of innocent people that the IRS has burned over the years, has proven that this department is either unable or unwilling to prove that somebody is breaking that law. So what they’re really saying is, nothing is going to change.  

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.

Subscribe to post.assemblyunionpost.org aggregator