A New Baby

Last week, our family experienced the joy of welcoming a new baby girl into our home. Everyone’s doing great and her older brother and sister are already thrilled to have another little one join the team. The feeling of wonderment and overwhelming love that accompanies a new birth never ceases to amaze me, and I was once again awestruck by the strength and courage displayed by my wife throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery. Now the really hard work begins.

Three years ago we had zero kids, now we have three. All of them stay at home with us, so life feels like a little person amusement park 24/7. Our son became obsessed with dinosaurs a few months ago, so he’s constantly pretending to be different extinct prehistoric beasts, each with its own distinct roar and disposition. His younger sister is absolutely fearless, a trait that was readily apparent since her first crawls. Divert your attention for a moment and she’s climbed atop the highest possible thing within arms reach. A couple of days ago a storm rolled through town. Myself and the kids had a blast flopping around in the snow while my wife nursed the littlest one inside.

I’ve barely read any news since the birth. While it’s been nice to take a break from tweeting and writing, watching two toddlers is no vacation. Sitting at a desk all day is easy work compared to what my wife does. I probably won’t be publishing anything substantial until after Thanksgiving, as my current priority is to help out as much as possible until we figure out how to handle two toddlers and a newborn.

With love from the Krieger family.

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Liberty Links 11/3/18 – Taleb Says World Is More Fragile Today Than in 2007

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Taleb Says World Is More Fragile Today Than in 2007 (Must watch, YouTube)

Pentagon Wants to Predict Anti-Trump Protests Using Social Media Surveillance (Motherboard)

The Yemen War Death Toll Is Five Times Higher Than We Think (The Independent)

Hillary Is Back: ‘I’d Like To Be President’ (The horror, YouTube)

Jair Bolsonaro Is Elected President of Brazil. Read His Extremist, Far-Right Positions in His Own Words. (Deeply disturbing, The Intercept)

Energy Giants Choose Nuclear Option in Election’s Biggest Fight Over Fossil Fuel (Every American should read this, but especially if you live in an oil and gas state, Capital & Main)

Google’s Saudi Ties (Google’s hypocrisy knows no bounds, Google Transparency Project)

Trump Is America’s National Piñata (Good read on the disgracefulness of U.S. mass media, The Automatic Earth)

Father of Web Says Tech Giants May Have to Be Split up (Reuters)

Social Democracy: Radicalize or Its over… (Paul Mason, Medium)

Jamaica Resorts Facing a ‘Historic’ Sexual Assault Problem (Very disturbing article, USA Today)

The ‘Unschooling’ Movement: Letting Children Lead Their Learning (A great listen, WBUR)

U.S. News/Politics

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The Consequences of System Failure

In short, every major political institution has been increasingly discredited as Brazil has spiraled deeper and deeper into a dark void. And from the abyss emerged a former army captain and six-term congressman from Rio de Janeiro, Jair Bolsonaro, with the slogan “Brazil above everything, God above everyone,” and promises to fix everything with hardline tactics.

– From today’s Intercept article: Jair Bolsonaro Is Elected President of Brazil. Read His Extremist, Far-Right Positions in His Own Words.

It’s been only a little over two years since the people of Great Britain surprised the world by voting to leave the European Union. Just a few months later, this nascent trend of political shock continued with the election of Donald Trump.

This tectonic shift toward political upheaval has continued to spread throughout much of the world, with Italy and Brazil being two more recent examples. That something very major and very global is happening is undeniable at this point, yet everyone seems to have their own pet reasons for why it’s occurring. I continue to stick to the same thesis I’ve had for nearly a decade, which is that the dominant global economic/financial paradigm led and managed by the U.S. has failed and is now experiencing a slow, painful and dangerous death.

This reality was temporarily papered over by the shady and extremely corrupt financial bailouts of a decade ago. An event that focused all government  resources on rescuing the already rich and powerful, while keeping bank executives out of prison.

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Liberty Links 10/27/18 – The Tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s Yemen War

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The Tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s Yemen War (Gut wrenching article on Yemen’s starving children, The New York Times)

Saudis’ Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider (Very good article. Saudi government trolls are rampant on Twitter, The New York Times)

Some Researchers Think Putting Lithium in Our Water Could Save Lives (Doesn’t get much creepier than this, Vox, of course)

How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’ (The New York Times)

Tech Talent Balks at Government Work (The Hill)

European Court Upholds Prosecution Of Woman For Comparing Muhammad’s Marriage To A Six-Year-Old Girl To Pedophilia (Total insanity, Jonathan Turley)

CIA Director Briefs President on Audio Purportedly Capturing the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi (The Washington Post)

Britain Has Sold Its Soul to the House of Saud. Shame on Us (Good links and stats in here, The Guardian)

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War? (Must read piece from 2015, The Atlantic)

U.S. News/Politics

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U.S. Media Refuses to Inform the Public When Its Commentators and Pundits are Paid Foreign Agents

Unbelievably – Rothkopf has the audacity to criticize Trump for having “repeatedly shown great fondness for foreign leaders—even despots and known murderers, human rights abusers and criminals”, while Rothkopf himself is literally a paid agent working to disseminating propaganda for one of the most repressive regimes on the planet, one that does much of the Saudis’ dirty work for it in Washington. And the fact that the Daily Beast makes no disclosure of any of this is what makes this practice – having paid lobbyists and consultants for foreign regimes and corporations masquerade as objective and neutral analysts of the news – such a massive journalistic scandal and fraud.

– From today’s Intercept article: MSNBC and Daily Beast Feature UAE Lobbyist David Rothkopf With No Disclosure: a Scandalous Media-Wide Practice

Much of the American public despises mainstream corporate media, but rather than engage in some self-reflection and admit failure they just complain about Trump. It’s critical we recognize that mass media in the U.S. is very much part of the very same discredited establishment it’s supposed to report on, thus its response to justified criticism is likewise establishment-esque. Blame the readers, blame Trump, blame anyone but themselves.

This is why mass media’s gotten even worse since Trump was elected — not an easy feat. It’s been obsessed with a Russia-Trump collusion tale that appears to be going nowhere, while simultaneously cheering on Trump’s worst instincts such as when he bombs Syria. Moreover, one thing the U.S. media definitely seems to have no interest in doing is disclosing when its commentators and pundits are paid shills for foreign governments, defense contractors and other unmentionable interests.

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Liberty Links 10/20/18 – Saudi Account of Khashoggi Killing Is Widely Denounced

As always, if you appreciate my work and want to contribute to independent media, consider becoming a monthly Patron, or visit the Support Page.

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Saudi Account of Khashoggi Killing Is Widely Denounced (Three weeks and this is the best lie they could come up with? NBC)

Mueller Report PSA: Prepare for Disappointment (Shocked, shocked I tell you, Politico)

After UAE ‘Murder Squad’ Revelations, How Many More Private U.S. Hit Teams Are Under Gulf Regimes? (Truly despicable, Zerohedge)

Saudis Stonewall on Khashoggi but Pressure Will Increase (One of the best takes I’ve read, Moon of Alabama)

The Arabian Game of Thrones Heats Up (Strategic Culture Foundation)

Intel: Can the Khashoggi Case Really Spell the End of MBS? (Al-Monitor)

State Department Provided ‘Clearly False’ Statements to Derail Requests for Clinton Docs, ‘Shocked’ Federal Judge Says (Fox News)

Top Afghan Police Chief Killed in Shooting, U.S. General Unhurt (No end in sight for America’s longest war, Reuters)

The Evolution of Digital Cash (Fidelity taking a big step into Bitcoin and crypto assets, Medium)

Owen Jones Leaves a Telegraph Editor with so Little Credibility, the Guy Deletes His Twitter Account (Amazing, The Canary)

Enough with the ICO-Me-So-Horny-Get-Rich-Quick-Lambo Crypto (Cypherpunk legend Tim May on the state of crypto currency, Coindesk)

What Is the ‘NPC’ Meme? Liberals Rage at Cartoons Mocking Their Scripted Thoughts (The meme wars continue, Breitbart)

Antiwar Movement Spreads among Tech Workers (Need more of this, Scientific American)

U.S. News/Politics

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Saudi Arabia Considers Itself Untouchable Due to Oil and Money

The roots of that lobby’s rise to prominence in Washington lie in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As you may remember, with 15 of those 19 suicidal hijackers being citizens of Saudi Arabia, it was hardly surprising that American public opinion had soured on the Kingdom. In response, the worried Saudi royals spent around $100 million over the next decade to improve such public perceptions and retain their influence in the U.S. capital. That lobbying facelift proved a success until, in 2015, relations soured with the Obama administration over the Iran nuclear deal. Once Donald Trump won the presidency, however, the Saudis saw an unparalleled opportunity and launched the equivalent of a full-court press, an aggressive campaign to woo the newly elected president and the Republican-led Congress, which, of course, cost real money.

As a result, the growth of Saudi lobbying operations would prove extraordinary. In 2016, according to FARA records, they reported spending just under $10 million on lobbying firms; in 2017, that number had nearly tripled to $27.3 million. And that’s just a baseline figure for a far larger operation to buy influence in Washington, since it doesn’t include considerable sums given to elite universities or think tanks like the Arab Gulf States Institute, the Middle East Institute, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (to mention just a few of them).

– From the must read piece: The Saudi Lobby Juggernaut

It appears Saudi Arabia’s preparing to spin a tale about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi for the purpose of providing Donald Trump with cover to pretend nothing happened and get back to business as usual. Apparently, the Saudis plan to claim he was killed by rogue agents in a botched interrogation. No word about why it took them two weeks to admit this, why they blatantly lied about him leaving consulate and whether or not the body was hacked into pieces with a bone saw.

It’s been clear from the beginning that Trump would like this to go away as quickly as possible in order to keep the money flowing to defense contractors, as you can see from the clip below.

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Liberty Links 10/14/18 – Turks Tell U.S. Officials They Have Audio and Video Recordings That Support Conclusion Khashoggi Was Killed

As always, if you appreciate my work and want to contribute to independent media, consider becoming a monthly Patron, or visit the Support Page.

Top Links

Turks Tell U.S. Officials They Have Audio and Video Recordings That Support Conclusion Khashoggi Was Killed (The Washington Post)

The Saudi Lobby Juggernaut (Must read article on Saudi bribery in the U.S., TomDispatch)

Jamie Dimon, Steve Mnuchin And Wall Street CEOs Set To Attend Saudi Conference Despite Journalist’s Disappearance (HuffPost)

Saudi Dissident’s Disappearance Casts Shadow on Riyadh Conference (Variety)

Mainstream Journos Pissed As Saudi Clown Prince Nabs One Of Their Own (Moon of Alabama)

Saudi Arabia Says Will Retaliate Against Any Sanctions over Khashoggi Case (Shameless, Reuters)

Facebook, Twitter Purge More Dissident Media Pages In Latest Escalation (Caitlin Johnstone, Medium)

The Dollar and its Discontents (Project-Syndicate)

Why Charter Cities Won’t Lead To Decentralized Government (Lots to think about, Palladium)

U.S. News/Politics

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Americans are Stuck in Abusive Relationships with Power

And we recently discovered, if it was not known before, that no amount of power can withstand the hatred of the many.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Americans are brought up to believe all sorts of myths about the country we call home. We’re told our economy is a free market meritocracy governed by the rule of law. We’re told our civil liberties, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, are inviolable and protected by the most powerful military in the world. A fighting force entrusted with the admirable and monumental task of defending freedoms at home, and democracy and human rights abroad. We’re told we exist in a system of self-government, in which our votes matter and our voices heard. In practice, none of this is true.

The fact of the matter is American citizens in 2018 are just a nuisance for the real power players. Useful as consumers, but increasingly problematic as larger numbers start to ask questions about how things really work. For far too long, we’ve been ignorant and willing accomplices in our own bondage. This allowed the concentrated and unaccountable power that really calls the shots to go for broke in recent decades, with unsurprisingly tragic results.

Only recently have things started to shift. Increased levels of barbarism abroad and corruption at home during the 21st century — under both Republican and Democratic administrations — have shaken many Americans from a long stupor. Irrespective of where you sit on the political spectrum, most people know something’s not right. People don’t agree on the details of what’s wrong, and there’s certainly no consensus on solutions, but increasing numbers of us know something’s very broken.

I try to look at things from a big picture perspective, and from that angle I see too many people focused on the symptoms of cultural decay versus root causes. Not enough people seem to be taking a step back to see that at the core of today’s broken socioeconomic and political paradigm is an American citizenry fundamentally entangled in various abusive relationships with power. This post will highlight three of these relationships. The first with government itself, the second with central banking, and the third with the dominant political parties.

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Liberty Links 10/6/18 – The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

As always, if you appreciate my work and want to contribute to independent media, consider becoming a monthly Patron, or visit the Support Page.

Top Links

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies (I have so many questions when it comes to the huge claims made in this article, Bloomberg)

What Businessweek Got Wrong About Apple (Apple’s denial of Bloomberg story, Apple)

Setting the Record Straight on Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Erroneous Article (Amazon’s denial of Bloomberg story, AWS)

Supply Chain Security Speculation (The Grugq, Medium)

Collusion Bombshell: DNC Lawyers Met with FBI on Russia Allegations Before Surveillance Warrant (The Hill)

Google Admits It Lets Hundreds of Other Companies Access Your Gmail Inbox (Very disturbing, The Telegraph)

“I Was Devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, the Man Who Created the World Wide Web, Has Some Regrets (Must read, Vanity Fair)

Exclusive: Tim Berners-Lee Tells Us His Radical New Plan to Upend the World Wide Web (Also good, Fast Company)

The Tyranny of the U.S. Dollar (Bloomberg)

What Can Be Done To Stop Amazon From Devouring Everything? (Really good read, The Gothamist)

Amazon Warehouse Workers Lose Bonuses, Stock Awards for Raises (Told ya it was a stunt, Bloomberg)

Bolton 2.0: Trump’s Tough Guy on Iran Picks His Battles (This guy is completely obsessed with Iran, The Hill)

The Myth of The Infrastructure Phase (Excellent read, Union Square Ventures)

U.S. News/Politics

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