Liberty Links 9/22/18 – Former Raytheon Lobbyist Pushed Mike Pompeo to Support Yemen War for Arms Sales

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State Department Team Led by Former Raytheon Lobbyist Pushed Mike Pompeo to Support Yemen War Because of Arms Sales (Despicable doesn’t even begin to describe this, The Intercept)

Pompeo Threatens Iran: ‘They’re Going to Be Held Accountable’ (Pompeo seems to get turned on by needless death and war, CNN)

They Got ‘Everything’: Inside a Demo of NSO Group’s Powerful iPhone Malware (This is terrifying, MotherBoard)

Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans to Closely Track Search Users in China (More creepy shadiness from Google, The Intercept)

Google China Prototype Links Searches to Phone Numbers (The Intercept)

PayPal Bans Alex Jones, Saying He “Promoted Hate” (Extremely bullish for Bitcoin, ArsTechnica)

Amazon Dominates as a Merchant and Platform. Europe Sees Reason to Worry. (Problems are starting for Amazon, The New York Times

With Amazon Probe, EU Takes Cue From ‘Hipster’ Antitrust (Terrible title but good article, Bloomberg)

Big Brother: China’s Chilling Dictatorship Moves to Introduce Scorecards to Control Everyone (China is becoming an episode of Black Mirror, News.com.au)

Michael Hudson: The Lehman 10th Anniversary Spin as a Teachable Moment (Excellent article, Naked Capitalism)

Danske Bank CEO Quits over $234 Billion Money Laundering Scandal (Reuters)

U.S. News/Politics

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Thoughts on the Leaked Google Video and Why Populism Is Just Getting Started

The deal those bankers cooked up was to save the banks from capitalism.

– From Matt Taibbi’s recent piece: Ten Years After the Crash, We’ve Learned Nothing

While Google executives still attempt to portray themselves as scrappy, enlightened, countercultural tech luminaries, their reaction to Donald Trump’s victory in a recently leaked internal video leaves you wondering whether they understand anything at all about what’s happening around them.

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Liberty Links 9/16/18 – Ten Years After the Crash, We’ve Learned Nothing

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Ten Years After the Crash, We’ve Learned Nothing (RollingStone)

Leaked Video: Google Leadership’s Dismayed Reaction to Trump Election (Worth watching, Breitbart)

Syrian Rebels in Idlib Target Those Who Might Surrender as Government Assault Looms (Even mainstream media has to admit Idlib is swarming with al-Qaeda terrorists, The Washington Post)

Not in Our Name: Why European Creators Must Oppose the EU’s Proposal to Limit Linking and Censor the Internet (Of course they ended up voting in favor, BoingBoing)

EU Parliament Approves New Copyright Rules That Could Be ‘Catastrophic’ for the Internet (The Independent)

UIDAI’s Aadhaar Software Hacked, ID Database Compromised, Experts Confirm (Huffington Post)

Decentralized Microgridding Can Provide 90% of a Neighborhood’s Energy Needs, Study Finds (Interesting concept, MotherBoard)

U.S. News/Politics

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Americans Need Social Media Guided by the Rights Enshrined in the U.S. Constitution

Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.

– Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

This past Friday, Alex Jones was de-platformed from the last couple of third party tools he had been using to publicly communicate his message after Twitter and Apple permanently banned him and his website Infowars. This means an American citizen with a very large audience who played a meaningful role in the 2016 election, has been banned from all of the most widely used products of communication of our age: Twitter, Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Apple’s iTunes.

You can point out he still has his radio show and website, and this is unquestionably true, but when it comes to the everyday tools most people interact with to receive information and communicate in 2018, Alex Jones has been thrown down the memory hole. Not because he was convicted of a crime or broke any laws, but because corporate executives decided he crossed an arbitrary line of their own creation.

To prove the point that tech oligarchs are acting in a completely arbitrary and subjective manner, let me highlight the following tweet.

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Liberty Links 9/8/18 – Trump Agrees to an Indefinite Military Effort and New Diplomatic Push in Syria

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Trump Agrees to an Indefinite Military Effort and New Diplomatic Push in Syria, U.S. Officials Say (This would be very bad, The Washington Post)

‘Five Eyes’ Governments Call on Tech Giants to Build Encryption Backdoors — or Else (Ominous, TechCrunch)

Honest Government Ad | Anti Encryption Law (Related to article above, YouTube)

Twitter Permanently Bans Alex Jones, Infowars (Zerohedge)

JP Morgan’s Top Quant Warns Next Crisis to Have Flash Crashes and Social Unrest Not Seen in 50 Years (CNBC)

September 5, 2018: Sen. Cotton Q&A During Intelligence Committee Hearing (Must Watch, this is beyond creepy, YouTube)

I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration (This is such nonsense, for a unique analysis see link below, The New York Times

We Are Being Played (Caitlin Johnstone, Medium)

Saudi Arabia Threatens Prison Time for Satire ‘Disturbing Public Order’ (What an ally, Bloomberg)

Philadelphia-Bound American Airlines Passengers Quarantined After Showing Flu-Like Symptoms, Customs Officials Say (NBC Philadelphia)

The Rise of Post-Truth Liberalism (UnHerd)

U.S. Politics/News

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Amazon is Far More Dangerous and Powerful Than You Want to Admit

The sneaky thing about Amazon’s increased dominance in so many key aspects of our lives is that much of the perniciousness is hidden. No one’s going to tell you about all the retailers who have gotten pressured or destroyed via its tactics while you’re happily clicking “add to cart” and smiling about 2-day free shipping. In this sense, it can be best compared to the evils of factory farming. Most people just simply have no idea about the immense damage going on behind the scenes as they indulge in incredible convenience and what looks like a good deal.

– From my November 15, 2017 post: Amazon Poses a Serious Threat to Freedom and Free Markets

Today’s post should be seen as an update to last year’s article referenced above. In the months that have followed, I’ve been consistently frustrated by the lack of interest when it comes to the dangers presented by Amazon and its richest man in the world ($165 billion as of last count) CEO Jeff Bezos. The following Twitter exchange is a good example of what I mean:

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Liberty Links 9/1/18 – Google and Mastercard Cut a Secret Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales

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Google and Mastercard Cut a Secret Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales (Bloomberg)

CIA and Saudi Arabia Conspired to Keep 9/11 Details Secret, New Book Says (Newsweek)

Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption (This is a big deal, Australian Government Department of Home Affairs)

CNN, Credibly Accused of Lying to Its Audience About a Key Claim in Its Blockbuster Cohen Story, Refuses to Comment (The Intercept)

CNN Analyst: Criticism of Antifa Is ‘Donald Trump’s Appeal to Racism’ (Unimaginable levels of stupidity, YouTube)

The Other Side of John McCain (Consortium News)

Researchers Find Way to Spy on Remote Screens—Through the Webcam Mic (This is nuts, ArsTechnica)

What Is Freedom? | J. Krishnamurti (Excellent, YouTube)

U.S. News/Politics

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The Tectonic Plates of Geopolitics Are Starting to Shift

The United States is currently waging economic warfare against one tenth of the world’s countries with cumulative population of nearly 2 billion people and combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $15 trillion.

These include Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea and others on which Washington has imposed sanctions over the years, but also countries like China, Pakistan and Turkey which are not under full sanctions but rather targets of other punitive economic measures.

In addition, thousands of individuals from scores of countries are included in the Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals who are effectively blocked from the U.S.-dominated global financial system. Many of those designated are either part of or closely linked to their countries’ leadership…

But in recent months it seems that America’s unwavering commitment to fight all of the world’s scourges has brought all those governments and the wealthy individuals who support them to a critical mass, joining forces to create a parallel financial system which would be out of reach of America’s long arm. Should they succeed, the impact on America’s global posture would be transformational.

– From the recent article: The Anti-Dollar Awakening Could Be Ruder and Sooner Than Most Economists Predict

The peak of American empire has already come and gone, but this reality is not yet widely understood due to the continued dominance of the global financial system by the U.S. dollar, still the world’s preeminent reserve currency. U.S. leaders have always used the USD as a weapon, but it’s only in recent years that geopolitical rivals and long-standing allies alike have started to come to an increasingly vocal understanding that the unipolar role played by the U.S. in the world’s centralized financial system is well past its expiration date.

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Liberty Links 8/25/18 – More in U.S. Favor Diplomacy Over Sanctions for Russia

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More in U.S. Favor Diplomacy Over Sanctions for Russia (Gallup)

Democratic Party Says It Thwarted Attempted Hack of Voter Database (Hysterical article which ended up being fake news, The New York Times)

Democrats Now Say Hacking Attempt Was Test From Within (The true story behind the fake news story above, Voice of America)

Meet the Most Insidious #Resistance Grifters (The Outline)

Facebook Is Rating the Trustworthiness of Its Users on a Scale from Zero to 1 (Please stop using this garbage platform, The Washington Post)

Facebook Removes ‘Multiple Pages’ Linked to ‘Inauthentic Behavior’ in Russia, Iran (ABC News)

Jeremy Hunt Silent as Saudi Arabia Plans Its First Execution of a Female Human Rights Activist (There’s nothing the Saudis can do that’ll get corrupt Western governments to care, The Canary)

China’s Xi Says Propaganda Work ‘Absolutely Correct’ Amid Trade Row Criticism (China continues to get increasingly aggressive with its clampdown, Reuters)

Google, Apple and 13 Other Companies That No Longer Require Employees to Have a College Degree (Wave of the future, CNBC)

Yemen School Bus Bombing ‘One of 50 Strikes on Civilian Vehicles This Year’ (Oh well, nobody cares since the Saudis buy lots and lots of bombs, The Guardian)

Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix. (Caitlin Johnstone, Medium)

Looking Beyond the Millennials: A Brief Discussion with My Son Zev Weinstein at 13 (YouTube)

Shark Attack on Spear Fisherman for Yellowfin Tuna at Ascension Island (Amazing footage, YouTube)

U.S. News/Politics

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It’s Time to Focus on Localism, Decentralization and Community

Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity” to serve. You don’t have to know the Second Theory of Thermal Dynamics in Physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.

– From “The Drum Major Instinct”, a sermon by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968.

The following piece is based on a vision for the U.S., but I suspect the concepts apply equally to most nation-states encompassing large land masses and populations over a few million. Most of us have been conditioned to believe human life is best organized at scale. In other words, we’ve been convinced it’s best to have as many people as possible operating under a single overarching centralized government structure in charge of micromanaging society from the top down. I consider this paradigm outdated, unnatural and increasingly dangerous.

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