Saturday, October 27, 2018

PayPal Bans Social Network After Synagogue Attacker Revealed As User


Hours after it was revealed that the Tree of Life Synagogue suspect was a user of social media network, PayPal severed all ties with the platform, providing no explanation. 

The shooter, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, posted anti-Semitic and anti-Trump rhetoric over Gab, which bills itself as the "home of free speech" due to the minimal censorship employed by the site. Shortly before the shooting, he posted a message to Gab which condemns the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) which he wrote "likes to bring invaders in that kill our people," before writing: "Screw your optics, I'm going in.

Following the shooting, Gab quickly removed Bowers' account and sent all information to the FBI and DOJ. Torba then issued a full statement confirming the alleged attacker's presence on the site, and noting that Gab had taken immediate action unlike other social media platforms. 

Social media often brings out the best and the worst of humanity. From live streamed murders on Facebook, to threats of violence by bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc Jr. that went unaddressed by Twitter, and more. Criminals and criminal behavior exist on every social media platform.

Shortly after the attack, Gab was alerted to a user profile of the alleged Tree of Life Synagogue shooter. The account was verified and matched the name of the alleged shooter’s name, which was mentioned on police scanners. This person also had accounts on other social networks.

That apparently wasn't enough for PayPal (which, we would note, didn't sever ties with Facebook despite Bowers' presence on the site, or Instagram after it was revealed that Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz posted pictures of weapons to the network). 

In a letter addressed to Gab CEO Andrew Torba, PayPal wrote: "We are hereby notifying you that we are terminating our relationship with your pursuant to PayPal's User Agreement. Under the PayPal User Agreement, PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to terminate your account for any reason and at any time upon notice to you." 

Torba was ordered to remove "all references to PayPal." 

BREAKING: is now banned from Paypal "just because."

—🍂 (@getongab) October 27, 2018

Perhaps Torba was banned after he spoke ill of Big Tech:  

If you are a terrorist the absolute worst place for you to be online is

We will work directly with law enforcement without hesitation, as was displayed today.

Can the same be said about Big Tech?

—🍂 (@getongab) October 27, 2018

Gab's blacklisting has not gone unnoticed:  

Update: PayPal has cancelled its relationship with social media company @getongab in wake of the Pittsburgh #SynogogueShooting .. but not Facebook, where he reportedly also had an account.

— scott budman (@scottbudman) October 27, 2018

Hey @getongab: I haven't heard anyone complaining that @facebook and @twitter allowed the Mad Pipe Bomber to have multiple accounts with them.

— Jared Beck (@JaredBeck) October 27, 2018

Gab is not a white supremacist site. It’s a free speech platform.

“If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.” — Noam Chomsky

— Cassandra 🦇 Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) October 27, 2018

I cannot believe this. CNN and @BrianStelter, who I like, are blaming GAB @GetOnGab for the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting.

— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) October 27, 2018

The Pittsburgh terrorist has a Gab and facebook account.

- Gab immedietly deleted his account and issued a statement CONDEMNING it.
- Facebook have yet to issue a statement.

Yet @paypal have BANNED Gab "just because", but haven't banned facebook.

What's up?

— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) October 27, 2018

Others were happy to see Gab get the "Alex Jones" treatment, including "The world's youngest hedge fund manager" Jacob Wohl, who called for a police state with the suggestion that "Law enforcement agencies should embed thousands of undercover accounts on the site and establish watchlists."

@getongab I'm looking forward to you receiving the Alex Jones treatment and being permanently banned from the internet, even if it does bend the law.

— Robert Caruso (@robertcaruso) October 27, 2018

The concept Gab pursued, of being a “Free Speech Platform”, is noble.

But let’s also be realistic. The site is a one giant cesspool of Jew-hating lunatics.

Law enforcement agencies should embed thousands of undercover accounts on the site and establish watchlists.

— Jacob Wohl (@JacobAWohl) October 27, 2018

Twitter is one giant cesspool of Jew-hating lunatics.

We have nearly 800,000 users and you are going to generalize them all as one thing?

Let's be realistic: you are no better than the left, which you rally against, for generalizing millions of people as "racists."

—🍂 (@getongab) October 27, 2018


US Shale Oil Industry: Catastrophic Failure Ahead


Authored by Steve St.Angelo via,

While the U.S. Shale Industry produces a record amount of oil, it continues to be plagued by massive oil decline rates and debt.  Moreover, even as the companies brag about lowering the break-even cost to produce shale oil, the industry still spends more than it makes.  When we add up all the negative factors weighing down the shale oil industry, it should be no surprise that a catastrophic failure lies dead ahead.

Of course, most Americans have no idea that the U.S. Shale Oil Industry is nothing more than a Ponzi Scheme because of the mainstream media’s inability to report FACT from FICTION.  However, they don’t deserve all of the blame as the shale energy industry has done an excellent job hiding the financial distress from the public and investors by the use of highly technical jargon and BS.

For example, Pioneer published this in the recent Q2 2018 Press Release:

Pioneer placed 38 Version 3.0 wells on production during the second quarter of 2018. The Company also placed 29 wells on production during the second quarter of 2018 that utilized higher intensity completions compared to Version 3.0 wells. These are referred to as Version 3.0+ completions. Results from the 65 Version 3.0+ wells completed in 2017 and the first half of 2018 are outperforming production from nearby offset wells with less intense completions. Based on the success of the higher intensity completions to date, the Company is adding approximately 60 Version 3.0+ completions in the second half of 2018.

Now, the information Pioneer published above wasn’t all that technical, but it was full of BS.  Anytime the industry uses terms like “Version 3.0+ completions” to describe shale wells, this normally means the use of  “more technology” equals “more money.”  As the shale industry goes from 30 to 60 to 70 stage frack wells, this takes one hell of a lot more pipe, water, sand, fracking chemicals and of course, money.

However, the majority of investors and the public are clueless in regards to the staggering costs it takes to produce shale oil because they are enamored by the “wonders of technology.”  For some odd reason, they tend to overlook the simple premise that…


Of course, the shale industry doesn’t mind using MORE MONEY, especially if some other poor slob pays the bill.

Shale Oil Industry: Deep The Denial

According to a recently released article by 40-year oil industry veteran, Mike Shellman,  “Deep The Denial,” he provided some sobering statistics on the shale industry:

I recently put somebody very smart on the necessary research (SEC K’s, press releases regarding private equity to private producers, etc.) to determine what total upstream shale oil debt actually is. We found it to be between $285-$300B (billion), both public and private. Kallanish Energy Consultants recently wrote that there is $240B of long term E&P debt in the US maturing by 2023 and I think we should assume that at least 90 plus percent of that is associated with shale oil. That is maturing debt, not total debt.

… By year end 2019 I firmly believe the US LTO industry will then be paying over $20B annually in interest on long term debt.

Using its own self-touted “breakeven” oil price, the shale oil industry must then produce over 1.5 Million BOPD just to pay interest on that debt each year. Those are barrels of oil that cannot be used to deleverage debt, grow reserves, not even replace reserves that are declining at rates of 28% to 15% per year… that is just what it will take to service debt.

Using its own “breakeven” prices the US shale oil industry will ultimately have to produce 9G BO of oil, as much as it has already produced in 10 years…just to pay its total long term debt back.

Using Mike’s figures, I made the following chart below:

For the U.S. Shale Oil Industry just to pay back its debt, it must produce 9 billion barrels of oil. That is one heck of a lot of oil as the industry has produced about 10 billion barrels to date.  Again, as Mike states, it would take 9 billion barrels of shale oil to pay back its $285-300 billion of debt (based on the shale industry’s very own breakeven prices).

Furthermore, the shale industry may have to sell a quarter of its oil production (1.5 million barrels per day) just to service its debt by the end of 2019.  According to the EIA, the U.S. Energy Information Agency, total shale oil (tight oil) production is now 6.2 million barrels per day (mbd):

The majority of shale oil production comes from three fields and regions, the Eagle Ford (Blue), the Bakken (Yellow) and the Permian (light, medium & dark brown).  These three fields and regions produce 5.2 mbd of the total 6.2 mbd of shale production.

Unfortunately, the shale industry continues to struggle with mounting debt and negative free cash flow.  The EIA recently published this chart showing the cash from operations versus capital expenditures for 48 public domestic oil producers:

You will notice that capital expenditures (brown line) are still higher than cash from operations (blue line).  So, it doesn’t seem to matter if the oil price is over $100 (2013-2014) or less than $70 (2017-2018), the shale oil industry continues to spend more money than it’s making.  The shale energy companies have resorted to selling assets, issuing stock and increasing debt to supplement their inadequate cash flow to fund operations.

A perfect example of this in practice is Pioneer Resources… the number one shale oil producer in the mighty Permian.  While most companies increased their debt to fund operations, Pioneer decided to take advantage of its high stock price by raising money via share dilution.  Pioneer’s outstanding shares ballooned from 115 million shares in 2010 to 170 million by 2017.  From 2011 to 2016, Pioneer issued a staggering $5.4 billion in new stock:

So, as Pioneer issued over $5 billion in stock to produce unprofitable shale oil and gas, Continental Resources racked up more than $5 billion in debt during the same period.  These are both examples of “Ponzi Finance.”  Thus, the shale energy industry has been quite creative in hoodwinking both the shareholder and capital investor.

Now, there is no coincidence that I have focused my research on Pioneer and Continental Resources.  While Continental is the poster child of what’s horribly wrong with the shale oil industry in the Bakken, Pioneer is a role model for the same sort of insanity and delusional thinking taking place in the Permian.

Pioneer Spends A Lot More Money With Unsatisfactory Production Results

To be able to understand what is going on in the U.S. shale industry, you have to be clever enough to ignore the “Techno-jargon” in the press releases and read between the lines.  As mentioned above, Pioneer stated that it was going to add a lot more of its “high-tech” Version 3.0+ completion wells in the second half of 2018 because they were outperforming the older versions.

Well, I hope this is true because Pioneer’s first half 2018 production results in the Permian were quite disappointing compared to the previous period.  If we compare the increase of Pioneer’s shale oil production in the Permian versus its capital expenditures, something must be seriously wrong.

First, let’s look at a breakdown of Pioneer’s Permian energy production from their September 2018 Investor Presentation:

Pioneer’s Permian oil and gas production is broken down between its horizontal shale and vertical convention production.  I will only focus on its horizontal shale production as this is where the majority of their capital expenditures are taking place.  The highlighted yellow line shows Pioneer’s horizontal shale oil production in the Permian Basin.

You will notice that Pioneer’s shale oil production increased significantly in Q3 & Q4 2017 versus Q1 & Q2 2018.  Furthermore, Pioneer’s shale gas production surged in Q2 2018 by nearly 50% (highlighted with a red box) compared to oil production only increasing 5%.  That is a serious RED FLAG for natural gas production to jump that much in one quarter.

Secondly, by comparing the increase of Pioneer’s quarterly shale oil production in the Permian with its capital expenditures, the results are less than satisfactory:

The RED LINE shows the amount of capital expenditures spent each quarter while the OLIVE colored BARS represent the increase in Permian shale oil production.  To simplify the figures in this chart, I made the following graphic below:

Pioneer spent $1.36 billion in the second half of 2017 to increase its Permian shale oil production by 30,232 barrels per day (bopd) compared to $1.7 billion in the first half of 2018 which only resulted in an additional 10,832 bopd.  Folks, it seems as if something seriously went wrong for Pioneer in the Permian as the expenditure of $340 million more CAPEX resulted in two-thirds less the production growth versus the previous period.

Third, while Pioneer  (stock ticker PXD) proudly lists that they are one of the lowest cost shale producers in the industry, they still suffer from negative free cash flow:

As we can see, Pioneer lists their breakeven oil price at approximately $22, which is downright hilarious when they spent $132 million more on capital expenditures than the made in cash from operations:

The public and investors need to understand that “oil breakeven costs” do not include capital expenditures.   And according to Pioneer’s Q2 2018 Press Release, the company plans on spending $3.4 billion on capital expenditures in 2018.  The majority of the capital expenditures are spent on drilling and completing horizontal shale wells.

For example, Pioneer brought on 130 new wells in the first half of 2018 and spent $1.7 billion on CAPEX (capital expenditures) versus 125 wells and $1.36 billion in 2H 2017.  I have seen estimates that it cost approximately $9 million for Pioneer to drill a horizontal shale well in the Permian.  Thus, the 130 wells cost nearly $1.2 billion.

However, the interesting thing to take note is that Pioneer brought on 125 wells in 2H 2017 to add 30,000+ barrels of new oil production compared to 130 wells in 1H 2018 that only added 10,000+ barrels.  So, how can Pioneer add five more wells (130 vs. 125) in 1H 2018 to see its oil production increase a third of what it was in the previous period?  

Regardless, the U.S. shale oil industry continues to spend more money than they make from operations.  While energy companies may have enjoyed lower costs when the industry was gutted by super-low oil prices in 2015 and 2016, it seems as if inflation has made its way back into the shale patch.  Rising energy prices translate to higher costs for the shale energy industry.  Rinse and repeat.

Unfortunately, when the stock markets finally crack, so will energy and commodity prices.  Falling oil prices will cause severe damage to the Shale Industry as it struggles to stay afloat by selling assets, issuing stock and increasing debt to continue producing unprofitable oil.

I believe the U.S. Shale Oil Industry will suffer catastrophic failure from the impact of deflationary oil prices along with peaking production.  While U.S. Shale Oil production has increased exponentially over the past decade, it will likely come down even faster.

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The Establishment Must Undermine Alternative Economists As Crisis Unfolds


Authored by Brandon Smith via,

There is a notion within the mainstream media that certain economic indicators are unassailable; they never stop being reliable. The way they look at and report on the system is rather outdated and extremely limited in scope; showcasing and cherry picking only net-positive statistics, even if those stats don’t represent reality. The result is a kind of holographic view of the financial structure; a mirage of a healthy and vibrant foundation that simply does not exist.

This fraudulent view appeals to the masses for a time because it provides fuel for false hopes. In economics, an analyst must always account for two major factors: the hard math and human psychology. These factors tend to conflict during times when a financial bubble is present, and they tend to converge when such bubbles implode. One must never underestimate the power of public psychology, though. Even when the math is screaming that danger is present in the system, a naive and misinformed populace (coupled with central bank manipulation) can keep a dead economy in a state of profane reanimation for much longer than seems logically possible.

This magic show only lasts for so long, however, and eventually the truth strikes those with blind faith in the machine brutally and without mercy.

On the financial side of the great farce, most of the “positive” signs we see are purely debt driven. Cheap debt and credit liquidity has kept zombie banks alive for years beyond their expiration date, but it has also trickled down into main street, where we see extensive commercial retail development and a spike in employment opportunities. Of course, the box stores and construction are being undertaken by developers deep in the red, and most of the debt will not be paid off for years, if at all.

The rise in job creation extends from the retail bubble, where low wage service jobs are available in abundance, yet higher wage jobs that support families are dwindling. This explains why companies looking to fill vacant employee positions are having such a hard time. Over 95 million working-age people are unemployed in the U.S. but are not counted as unemployed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Millions of people who find it more profitable to stay home and collect welfare benefits than slave away in a McDonald’s or a Walmart.

The stock market itself is essentially another debt bubble, driven by corporate stock buybacks that have been funded for years by overnight loans from the Federal Reserve as well as near zero interest rates. As interest rates rise even moderately, the debt becomes unserviceable, and thus, the bull market begins to fizzle and stocks begin to plunge.

As I have covered often over the years, that which we see in the mainstream version of economic events is rarely, if ever, supported by concrete evidence. The establishment media acts not as an information source, but as a tool for encouraging public ignorance which can then be exploited to feed the broken economy for just a little while longer. I suspect some of these gatekeepers even pride themselves as “liars with a noble purpose;” the purpose being to mold perception of the system and thereby extend the life of the system. They see themselves as guardians — I see them as saboteurs.

While many in the public do not make it their ambition to become experts on the mechanics of the economy, people still tend to sense instinctively when something is broken within the fiscal environment. They may not know why there is a problem, but absurd optimism can only levitate them above the muck for so long.

Recent events are beginning to reveal the extent of the fantasy. These are issues that alternative analysts have been warning about for the better part of the past decade, but only now in the past year is this information being taken seriously.

I have seen a propaganda meme flooding onto discussion boards recently in reference to alternative economists, and it goes a little something like this:

“Alternative economists are doom and gloomers that have been wrong for 10 years, but a broken clock is still right twice a day…”

I find this disinfo argument somewhat hilarious because of the extraordinary level of dishonesty inherent in it, but I also find it revealing in a way.

First, let’s be clear, if alternative economists had only been stating in some broad and unspecific way that "someday" there would be a disaster caused by an undefined "something", then there might be basis for the argument above.   This is not the case.  In fact, many of us have been very specific in our predictions, in terms of how the ongoing economic downturn would develop and what catalysts would trigger the next phase of the crash.

For my part, I outlined in 2015 that the Federal Reserve would undertake a policy of interest rates hikes and fiscal tightening, and that they would pursue this action until markets, long supported by cheap debt, finally broke under the pressure.  Months before Trump's election I stated that Donald Trump would in fact be president and that the Fed would accelerate tightening during his administration.  At the beginning of this year I predicted that Fed tightening would result in massive stock market reversal (worse than the 2008 crash) in 2018.   In September I refined the timing of this crash to begin in the final quarter of 2018.

These are not vaporous or inconclusive statements, these are very direct predictions.  And, other economists in the liberty movement have similar analysis.

The fact is, alternative economists have been RIGHT for the past 10 years and have been far ahead of the mainstream in terms of predicting fiscal trends based on real data. As I have always said, economic collapse is a process, not an event. It’s something that happens in stages or phases over time, not something that occurs overnight or in the span of a few days. People who think that a national or global disaster is a sudden and inexplicable affair watch far too much television. They also don’t understand that the historic moments of “crisis” we read about in books are the culmination of years of decline.

Most, if not all, crashes are preceded by YEARS of warning signs that should have been heeded at the time but were mostly ignored.

Throughout the 1920s, Austrian economist Ludwig Von Mises predicted the collapse of the German Mark as well as the stock market crash of 1929. In 1931, after the initial crash, he also predicted that central bank interventions through interest rate increases and other measures would prolong the disaster rather than end it. Mises saw the danger well in advance, but he was ignored until it was too late. His writings from this time period can be studied in a published collection titled ‘The Causes Of Economic Crisis‘.

Was Mises a “broken clock” that just happened to be right after years of incorrect predictions? Looking back on the complexity of the events of that era and how Mises was able to correctly outline how they would play out years ahead of time, this argument is clearly nonsense.

Before the credit crash of 2008, there were multiple alternative economists warning about the dangers of the derivatives bubble and the coinciding mortgage debt bubble. Some of them many years before the negative effects became visible in stock markets. All of them were laughed at or ignored right up until the crash, and even after it became obvious that these analysts were correct in their predictions, the mainstream still tried to snub them.

As is often the case, mainstream gatekeepers in economics promote false data as a means to “mold” public perception, thus aiding central banks and governments in inflating financial bubbles and perpetuating destructive fiscal practices. But once the fantasy comes tumbling down, they still seek to remain relevant.

They deflect blame by claiming “they had always seen the crisis coming”, or that "no one saw it coming".

They often claim they were there, “on the front lines,” fighting to educate the masses. And sometimes this is true — the mainstream does tend to shift its rhetoric mere weeks or months before the crash happens. They were never on the front lines. They didn’t see the train wreck coming. They are Johnny-come-lately coattail riding weasels that are seeking to protect their legacies rather than protect the populace from harm.

These people downplay the work of far better men and women in the alternative field as a means to elevate themselves and their fragile reputations.

I believe the “broken clock” narrative is a coordinated disinformation campaign; an attack on analysts who, like Ludwig von Mises, have been accurately predicting the process of collapse for years. It is designed to inoculate the public to the alternative media just before they are about to be proven correct beyond a doubt. In other words, someone knows that the ongoing collapse is becoming more obvious to the public and that, by extension, alternative economists are about to gain more attention.

We can’t have that, now, can we?

If alternative economist predictions receive the attention they deserve, the risk for the establishment is that some of our solutions might be taken seriously as well. Solutions like the concept of decentralization and localization of production, a gold backed currency system, the imprisonment of the banking elites that caused the crash in the first place, etc.

When all is said and done, mainstream gatekeepers hope that the alternative media and our work will be forgotten as “doomsday ramblings;” that one time we got lucky, but that we should be dismissed otherwise. The people who work diligently in the alternative field are meant to be discouraged — to give up. We are supposed to feel like modern day Cassandras, cursed prophets that offer correct predictions of the future that no one listens to. We are supposed to throw our hands up in the air and quit.

I don’t see this 4th Gen warfare tactic as being very successful though. The establishment banks and the economists that pander to them have burned up all their goodwill and social capital. They have been wrong so much and so often that the public is looking elsewhere for their information. This has led to the explosion of interest in alternative economic analysis that is occurring today.

The broken clock lie tells me two things:

One, it tells me that the system is about to fail to the point that it can no longer be covered up or denied.

Two, it tells me that the establishment is worried about the amount of influence the alternative media will have as the crisis unfolds.

For the past 10 years we have been correct in our analysis, and the danger for the elites is that the wider public might find out.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Forced Sterilizations In Peru - Paid For By US Taxpayers


Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

In countries under heavy US influence or occupation, the US government has a habit of pushing political programs that would be too unpopular to implement in the United States.

In Japan, for example, the US occupation after World War II offered an opportunity for American bureaucrats to push abortion policies they couldn't win support for in the United States.

As part of a larger agenda of pushing a Japan-style New Deal and other US-styled interventionist policies, the US occupiers were more than happy to help the new Japanese regime impose a eugenics-friendly program designed to combat alleged overpopulation. According to Holly Coutts:

The centralized government in Japan, coupled with a political culture infused with socialist ideas and traditional loyalty to a strict hierarchy, allowed policymakers to create a far-reaching program. This same type of program was impossible in the US and South Korea [another country under heavy US influence] as it would not have corresponded to their public ideas...

Japan would become the first country to legalize abortion for socioeconomic reasons.

But, at least in these cases, women, for the most part, took part in these programs voluntarily - the aborted children, of course, were not consulted.

But consent on the part of the women apparently doesn't trouble American policymakers when it comes to funding and supporting population-control policies in foreign countries.

Forced Sterilizations in Peru — Paid for by Americans

In recent months, mainstream media outlets have been highlighting the rarely-mentioned forced sterilizations that took place during the Alberto Fujimori years. Part of the renewed interest is due to the fact that Fujimori, who is 79-years-old, and back in prison after a failed attempt at a pardon, now faces charges for his part in the sterilization program. The program is said to have lead to the forced sterilization of over 200,000 women in the late 1990s.

Like many programs aimed at reducing fertility and population growth, the program was largely aimed at lower-income women and members of indigenous populations living in the Peruvian highlands.

And, as with so many government coups and policies of questionable morality found in Latin America, we find the hand of the US government. The National Catholic Registereported on Tuesday that the US Agency for International Development — the US's primary foreign "aid" agency — had essentially taken control of the Peruvian national health system during the period of the sterilizations:

An unsettling aspect of the entire Peruvian campaign is the involvement of the U.S. government. The specific agencies that were involved in Peru’s sterilization campaign were the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the NIPPON Foundation (a Japanese nonprofit). It is known that UNFPA donated $10 million for the forced-sterilization campaign.

“An important document was published by E. Liagin with the title ‘USAID and Involuntary Sterilization in Peru,’ in which she analyzes the action[s] made between 1995 and 1997,” said Polo. “According to her, ‘the internal archives of USAID show that in 1993 the United States basically took charge of the national health system of Peru. … The bilateral accord of 1993 that put the United States in such advantageous position, known as Project 2000, was signed by the Peruvian and American authorities in September 1993 and was effective for seven years, ending in 2000. An examination of this document shows that USAID-PERU, the office in Lima of USAID, was in any conceivable form in control of the Peruvian health sector, before and during the years that the abuses took part.’”

In the case of Japan, Coutts notes that "Japan's eugenic legacy caused [a focus] on abortion among the poor and inferior when dealing with their perceived population problem."

It appears that Peru in the 1990s fell victim to similar sentiments.

International planners, of course, have long been notable for a belief that much of the world is overpopulated and that this problem must be "solved" with government action. USAID workers may have sensed an opportunity to partner with the Peruvian regime — which itself viewed the impoverished Indians in the Andean highlands as "problematic" — in efforts to implement a eugenics program in Peru. It's not a coincidence that efforts at combating overpopulation usually end up targeting ethnic and socio-economic groups most lacking in both economic and legal resources.

Similar programs, of course, would face widespread opposition in the US. The brief history of eugenics here in the US is heavily tainted with a legacy of white-supremacist and anti-poor-people sentiments. Moreover, forced medical procedures are unpopular, as we can see even today in the ongoing opposition to mandatory vaccinations.

Nevertheless, forced sterilizations in the name of "improving" or shrinking the global population has long been an element of Progressive politics in the US as is well documented in Angela Franks's 2005 book Margaret Sanger's Eugenic Legacy: The Control of Female Fertility.

In the US, though, objections arising from either religious beliefs or politically laissez-faire sentiments have led to problems with implementation in the US. But poor Indians in rural Peruvian villages are much easier targets, and USAID likely knew it. The end result was American taxpayers once again found themselves paying for government policies that they would never want implemented in their own communities.

The Peruvian case is especially horrific because so many of the sterilizations were forced. But, even if only subsidized or "encouraged," programs of this sort are nothing more than government attempts at central planning of demographics.

This fact was emphasized by Ludwig von Mises who noted that population-control programs are, ultimately, attempts by government planners to determine who gets born and when. This motivation, Mises wrote, is not qualitatively different from what drove some of the world's most horrific regimes in their own attempts at eugenic planning:

It is vain for the champions of eugenics to protest that they did not mean what the Nazis executed. Eugenics aims at placing some men, backed by the police power, in complete control of human reproduction. It suggests that the methods applied to domestic animals be applied to men. This is precisely what the Nazis tried to do. The only objection which a consistent eugenist can raise is that his own plan differs from that of the Nazi scholars and that he wants to rear another type of men than the Nazis. As every supporter of economic planning aims at the execution of his own plan only, so every advocate of eugenic planning aims at the execution of his own plan and wants himself to act as the breeder of human stock.


Nation Hypnotized in Horror by Toy Bombs While Killing Civilians With Real Ones



Media headlines have been dominated for the last two days by the news that pipe bombs are being sent to Democratic Party elites and their allies, a list of whom as of this writing consists of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, George Soros, Maxine Waters, Eric Holder, Robert De Niro, and the CNN office (addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan who actually works for NBC).


Thursday, October 25, 2018

TSA Confirms Biometrics, Facial Recognition To Be Condition For All Air Travelers


Authored by Edward Hasbrouck via Papers, Please! blog,

Today the US Transportation Security Administration released a detailed TSA Biometric Roadmap for Aviation Security & the Passenger Experience, making explicit the goal of requiring mug shots (to be used for automated facial recognition and image-based surveillance and control) as a condition of all domestic or international air travel.

This makes explicit the goal that has been apparent, but only implicit, in the activities and statements of both government agencies and airline and airport trade associations.

It’s a terrifyingly totalitarian vision of pervasive surveillance of air travelers at, quite literally and deliberately, every step of their journey, enabled by automated facial recognition and by the seamless collaboration of airlines and airport operators that will help the government surveil their customers in exchange for free use of facial images for their own business purposes and profits.

The  closest contemporary counterpart to what the TSA envisions for the USA is the pervasive surveillance and control of travelers in China through automated facial recognition by the Public Security Bureau.

Automated surveillance of air travelers by the TSA will begin with people who have “voluntarily” provided photos for other purposes such as background checks:

In the near term, TSA will deploy Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) to authenticate the security features of passengers’ ID credentials and allow Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) to retrieve passenger pre-screening status in near-real time…. In the future, TSA will be able to use TSA Pre✓® enrolled facial images for matching…. Moving forward, TSA Pre✓® will increase its access to and utilization of voluntarily-provided biometric data, including facial images, to modernize the trusted traveler experience for TSA Pre✓® travelers.

In a press release announcing its roadmap, the TSA says that:

TSA has already begun testing biometrics for TSA Pre✓® travelers….  As of September 2018, passengers who enroll in TSA Pre✓® or renew their membership in person are required to provide their photograph. Using applicants’ photographs, TSA will test facial biometric technology in TSA Pre✓® lanes at select airports once enrollment numbers support this testing.

The roadmap released today is dated September 2018. We’ve already begun to receive reports suggesting that the TSA may already be using automated facial recognition — without explicit notice or any obvious way to opt out — in “TSA Pre-Check” lanes at checkpoints at some airports. If you see something, say something: Ask whether facial images are being collected, by whom, for what purposes, and subject to what if any option to opt out.

In its next stage, the TSA Biometrics Roadmap envisions expanding automated facial image surveillance to include photos from drivers licenses and state ID cards:

Additionally, TSA will work with DHS and other stakeholders to ensure mobile drivers’ licenses (mDL) are REAL ID compliant and explore their acceptance at aviation security touchpoints across the passenger experience. Several state issuance authorities have started to securely provision mDL onto driver’s mobile devices in addition to issuing a physical license. These solutions may include biometric data that TSA could leverage for identity verification…. TSA will explore opportunities to more effectively use existing information within DHS systems including DHS databases (e.g., IDENT/HART), State Department passport photos, and solutions that may broker verification touchpoints between federal and state systems.

The obvious “touchpoint” between federal and state ID databases would be DHS access to the SPEXS database of information from drivers licenses and state IDs. SPEXS is operated by a contractor of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), and already includes personal information about more than 50 millionUS residents.

Participation in SPEXS is a de facto condition of state compliance with the Federal REAL-ID Act.  SPEXS records sourced from drivers license and state ID databases don’t yet include facial images. But if AAMVA decides to add facial images to the SPEXS dataset, states won’t be able to say no without immediately becoming noncompliant with the REAL-ID Act.

AAMVA is listed among the “stakeholders” collaborating with the TSA.  But AAMVA is identified as a “government” stakeholder, even though AAMVA itself claims to be a nongovernmental organization and is not subject to any of the transparency or accountability rules that would apply to a government agency.

“Various” technology vendors were consulted by the TAA and are, presumably, building this infrastructure of enhanced surveillance and control of travel, but are unnamed.

The TSA claims that:

TSA will adopt a “privacy by design” mindset that incorporates privacy considerations into each phase of biometric solution development (design, build, implement). Privacy protections will include restrictions to prevent the use of biometrics for purposes other than transportation security unless individuals have opted into other uses.

But that claim is belied by the fact that none of the stakeholders consulted by the TSA in designing its roadmap for automated facial recognition of travelers were travelers or privacy, civil liberties, or human rights experts or advocates. Other than the conclusionary claim quoted above, there is no actual consideration in the TSA roadmap of its privacy, civil liberties, or human rights implications.

Two other issues beside privacy are are also notably absent from the TSA roadmap:

First, there is no mention of the procedural due process required by the Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act. The DHS has been sitting on a formal petition for rulemaking regarding its secret non-rules for biometric identification of travelers. But that petition is not mentioned in  the TSA Biometric Roadmap. As usual, the TSA and DHS appear to be substituting administrative fiat for public notice and comment.

Second, there is no mention of the substantive legal basis, if any, for TSA authority to conduct this surveillance or of its compatibility with the First Amendment, the Privacy Act (which prohibits the collection of information about how individuals exercise rights protected by the First Amendment, such as the right to assemble, without explicit statutory authority), or the obligations of common carriers.  What — if any — personal information an airline can demand of a passenger as a condition of travel, consistent with its obligations as a common carrier, under US law recognizing a public right of tranit by air, and under international aviation and human rights treaties, is likely to be a key issue in future litigation.

Travel is a right, not a privilege subject to arbitrarily imposed government conditions. Travelers should continue to “Just Say No” to demands for mug shots or ID papers.


What a bunch of idiots | Sovereign Man

'Bloggers' Blasted For Questioning Establishment 'White Helmets' Narrative


Authored by Rick Sterling via Oriental Review,

The October 16 issue of NY Review of Books has an article by Janine di Giovani titled “Why Assad and Russia Target the White Helmets”. The article exemplifies how western media promotes the White Helmets uncritically and attacks those who challenge the myth.

Crude & Disingenuous Attack

Giovani’s article attacks several journalists by name. She singles out Vanessa Beeley and echoes the Guardian’s characterization of Beeley as the “high priestess of Syria propaganda”. She does this without challenging a single article or claim by the journalist. She might have acknowledged that Vanessa Beeley has some familiarity with the Middle East; she is the daughter of one of the foremost British Arabists and diplomats including British Ambassador to Egypt. Giovanni might have explored Beeley’s research in Syria that revealed the White Helmets founder (British military contractor James LeMesurier) assigned the name Syria Civil Defence despite the fact there is a real Syrian organization by that name that has existed since the 1950’s. For the past several years, Beeley has done many on-the-ground reports and investigations in Syria. None of these are challenged by Giovanni. Just days ago Beeley published a report on her visit to the White Helmets headquarters in Deraa.

Giovanni similarly dismisses another alternative journalist, Eva Bartlett. Again, Giovanni ignores the fact that Bartlett has substantial Middle East experience including having lived in Gaza for years. Instead of objectively evaluating the journalistic work of these independent journalists, Giovanni smears their work as “disinformation”. Presumably that is because their work is published at alternative sites such as 21st Century Wire and Russian media such as RT and Sputnik. Beeley and Bartlett surely would have been happy to have their reports published at the New York Review of Books, Newsweek or other mainstream outlets. But it’s evident that such reporting is not welcome there. Even Seymour Hersh had to go abroad to have his investigations on Syria published.

The New McCarthyism

Max Blumenthal is another journalist singled out by Giovanni. Blumenthal is the author of three books, including a NY Times bestseller and the highly acclaimed “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”. Giovanni describes his transition from “anti-Assad” to “pro-Assad” and suggests his change of perspective was due to Russian influence. She says, “Blumenthal went to Moscow on a junket to celebrate RT’s tenth anniversary. We don’t know what happened during that visit, but afterwards, Blumenthal’s views completely flipped.” Instead of examining the facts presented by Blumenthal in articles such as “Inside the Shadowy PR Firm that’s Lobyying for Regime Change in Syria”, Giovanni engages in fact-free McCarthyism. Blumenthal explained the transition in his thinking in a public interview. He also described the threats he experienced when he started to criticize the White Helmets and their public relations firm, but this is ignored by Giovanni.

Contrary to Giovanni’s assumptions, some western journalists and activists were exposing the White Helmets long before the story was publicized on Russian media. In spring 2015 the basic facts about the White Helmets including their origins, funding and role in the information war on Syria were exposed in my article “Seven Steps of Highly Effective Manipulators”. The article showed how the White Helmets were a key component in a campaign pushing for a “No Fly Zone” in Syria. It confirmed that the White Helmets is a political lobby force.

In spring 2016, Vanessa Beeley launched a petition “Do NOT give the Nobel Peace Prize to the White Helmets”. That petition garnered more support than a contrary petition urging the Nobel Prize committee to give the award to the White Helmets. Perhaps because of that, the petition was abruptly removed without explanation from the website. It was only at this time, with publicity around the heavily promoted nomination of the White Helmets for a Nobel Peace Prize that RT and other Russian media started to publicize and expose the White Helmets. That is one and a half years after they were first exposed in western alternative media.

White Helmets and Chemical Weapons Accusations 

Giovanni ignores the investigations and conclusions of some of the most esteemed American journalists regarding the White Helmets and chemical weapons incidents in Syria.

The late Robert Parry published many articles exposing the White Helmets, for example The White Helmets Controversy and Syria War Propaganda at the Oscars. Parry wrote and published numerous investigations of the August 2013 chemical weapons attack and concluded the attacks were carried out by an opposition faction with the goal of pressuring the US to intervene militarily. Parry also challenged western conclusions regarding incidents such as April 4, 2017 at Khan Shaykhun. Giovanni breathlessly opens her article with this story while Parry revealed the impossibility of it being as described.

“Buried deep inside a new U.N. report is evidence that could exonerate the Syrian government in the April 4 sarin atrocity and make President Trump look like an Al-Qaeda dupe.”

Legendary American journalist, Seymour Hersh, researched and refuted the assumptions of Giovanni and the media establishment regarding the August 2013 chemical weapons attacks near Damascus. Hersh’s investigation, titled The Red Line and Rat Line, provided evidence the atrocity was carried out by an armed opposition group with active support from Turkey. A Turkish member of parliament provided additional evidence. The fact that Hersh had to go across the Atlantic to have his investigation published suggests American not Russian disinformation and censorship.

In addition to ignoring the findings of widely esteemed journalists with proven track records, Giovanni plays loose with the truth. In her article she implies that a UN investigation blamed the Syrian government for the August 2013 attack. On the contrary, the head of the UN investigation team, Ake Sellstrom, said they did not determine who was responsible. We do not have the evidence to say who did what ….The conflict in Syria is surrounded by a lot of rumors and a lot of propaganda, particularly when comes to the sensitive issue of chemical weapons.”

First Responders or Western Funded Propagandists?

Giovanni says, “But the White Helmets’ financial backing is not the real reason why the pro-Assad camp is so bent on defaming them. Since 2015, the year the Russians began fighting in Syria, the White Helmets have been filming attacks on opposition-held areas with GoPro cameras affixed to their helmets.”

In reality, the ‘White Helmets” have a sophisticated media production and distribution operation. They have much more than GoPro cameras. In many of their movie segments one can see numerous people with video and still cameras. Sometimes the same incident will be shown with one segment with an Al-Qaeda logo blending into the same scene with a White Helmets logo.

Giovanni claims “The Assad regime and the Russians are trying to neutralize the White Helmets because they   are potential witnesses to war crimes.” However the claims of White Helmet “witnesses” have little credibility. The White Helmet “volunteers” are paid three times as much as Syrian soldiers. They are trained, supplied and promoted by the same western states which have sought to regime change in Syria since 2011. An example of misleading and false claims by a White Helmets leader is exposed in Gareth Porter’s investigation titled “How a Syrian White Helmets Leader Played Western Media” . His conclusion could be directed to Giovanni and the NYReview of Books:

“The uncritical reliance on claims by the White Helmets without any effort to investigate their credibility is yet another telling example of journalistic malpractice by media outlets with a long record of skewing coverage of conflicts toward an interventionist narrative.”

When the militants (mostly Nusra / Al-Qaeda) were expelled from East Aleppo, civilians reported that the White Helmets were mostly concerned with saving their own and performing publicity stunts. For example the photo of the little boy in east Aleppo looking dazed and confused in the back of a brand new White Helmet ambulance was essentially a White Helmet media stunt eagerly promoted in the West. It was later revealed the boy was not injured, he was grabbed without his parent’s consent. Eva Bartlett interviewed and photographed the father and family for her story “Mintpress Meets the Father of Iconic Aleppo Boy and says Media Lied About his Son”.

A Brilliant Marketing Success

The media and political impact of the White Helmets shows what money and marketing can do. An organization that was founded by a military contractor with funding from a western governments was awarded the Rights Livelihood Award. The organization was seriously considered to received the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize just three years after its formation.

The Netflix infomercial “The White Helmets” is an example of the propaganda. The scripted propaganda piece, where the producers did not set foot in Syria, won the Oscar award for best short documentary. It’s clear that lots of money and professional marketing can fool a lot of people. At $30 million per year, the White Helmets budget for one year is more than a decade of funding for the real Syrian Civil Defence which covers all of Syria not just pockets controlled by armed insurgents.

Unsurprisingly, it has been announced that White Helmets will receive the 2019 “Elie Wiesel” award from the heavily politicized and pro-Israel Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. This, plus the recent “rescue” of White Helmets by the Israeli government, is more proof of the true colors of the White Helmets. Vanessa Beeley’s recent interview with a White Helmet leader in Deraa revealed that ISIS and Nusra terrorists were part of the group “rescued” through Israel.

The Collapsing White Helmets Fraud

Giovanni is outraged that some journalists have successfully challenged and put a big dent in the White Helmets  aura. She complains, “The damage the bloggers do is immense.”

Giovanni and western propagandists are upset because the myth is deflating. Increasing numbers of people – from a famous rock musician to a former UK Ambassador – see and acknowledge the reality.

As described in Blumenthal’s article, “How the White Helmets Tried to Recruit Roger Waters with Saudi Money”, rock legend Roger Waters says, “If we were to listen to the propaganda of the White Helmets and others, we would encourage our governments to start dropping bombs on people in Syria. This would be a mistake of monumental proportions…”

Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria, sums it up like this:

 “The White Helmets are jihadi auxiliaries… They are not, as claimed by themselves and by their supporters… simple rescuers. They are not volunteers. They are paid professionals of disinformation.”

Giovanni claims her article is a “forensic take down of the Russian disinformation campaign to distort the truth in Syria.” In reality, Giovanni’s article is an example of western disinformation using subjective attacks on critics and evidence-free assertions aligned with the regime change goals of the West.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Japan Plans To Dump A Million Tons Of Radioactive Fukushima Water Into Ocean



In a move that has sparked outrage from local residents and dire health warnings from environmentalists, the Japanese government is reportedly planning to release 1.09 million tons of water from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean despite evidence that it contains “radioactive material well above legally permitted levels.”


You are 550% more likely to get a respiratory infection if you receive the flu vaccine




Politico Report Says Russiagaters Should Prepare To Kiss My Ass

CJ Hopkins On The Assassination Of Donald Trump


Authored by 'Satirist' and playwright CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,

OK... here’s a question for you.

Let’s assume, strictly for the purposes of argument, that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, or at least a proto-Hitlerian fascist, like the neoliberal ruling classes and the corporate media have been saying he is. And let’s go ahead and also assume that he’s a treasonous Russian intelligence asset working in league with Vladimir Putin to destroy the very fabric of Western democracy, and that he isn’t even legitimately President, because he stole the election from Hillary Clinton with all those Russian bots and Facebook posts, and all that other stuff they’ve been accusing him of, which would make him the most monstrously evil villain in the history of monstrously evil villains, not to mention an existential threat to the nation, and Americans, and ... well, the rest of humanity.

And so, basically, what I want to know is, why don’t they just kill this guy?

Seriously, if Trump is really Hitler, and a traitor, working for a foreign enemy, like The New York Times and more or less every other organ of the corporate media has been telling us he is for the last two years, well, how about getting SEAL Team 6 to storm the White House in the dead of night and shoot him in the face or something? That seems to go over pretty well with people. Or what about a simple heart attack? Don’t our spooks have some kind of heart attack juice that they could slip into his Diet Coke, or smear onto the doorknob of the Oval Office?

Not that there’s really any need for subtlety. After all, if he’s actually a Russian operative, and a proto-Hitlerian genocidal dictator, there’s no reason to run a covert op or attempt to cover anything up. On the contrary, you would want do it openly, proudly, where all Americans could see it. Which is why I’d go with the DEVGRU option. They could waste him live on CNN. The bloodier the better. Just imagine the ratings! They could march into the Oval Office in that cool-looking kill squad body armor and beat him to death with a gold-plated golf club. It’s not like he’d put up much of a fight. What is he, like seventy years old or something?

All right, I know you’re probably thinking that beating a sitting president to death with a gold-plated gap wedge is nothing to joke about, and that doing so (i.e., joking about it, not actually beating the President to death) is possibly a federal crime or whatever, but we’re talking Adolf Hitler here, folks. Do I have to link to every one of the literally thousands of impassioned editorials, articles, and TV and radio segments in which respected journalists at serious news outlets have warned us, over and over, and over, that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, or virtually Hitler, and probably also a Russian agent? I don’t think so. Do you think that respectable publications like The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe GuardianThe AtlanticTime, and so on, would print such inflammatory allegations if the fate of democracy were not at stake? That would be rather reckless, wouldn’t it? I mean, how many times can you call a guy Hitler before Americans demand that somebody kill him?

This is what we do, after all.

Killing Hitler is America’s thing. America has been killing Hitler since... well, since Hitler killed himself. Saddam was Hitler. We killed him, didn’t we? Or we got some guys to kill him for us. Same goes for Gaddafi. He was Hitler. We killed the hell out of him. That was fun. We got some guys to sodomize him with a bayonet, and shoot him in the head, and then we laughed about it on national television. Oh, and Osama bin Laden. He was definitely Hitler … OK, not while he was working with the CIA, but later, after he went native on us. We shot him in the face and dumped in the ocean. And Milosevic, he was also Hitler! OK, we didn’t kill him, but we killed his whole country, then we put him on trial in the Hague for war crimes. And what about Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Khomeini, Bashar al Assad, and all the other Hitlers we wanted to kill, or tried to kill but couldn’t kill? The list goes on and on, and on.

I kid you not, if there is anything Americans love more than working a hundred hours a week and buying stuff with credit cards, it is repeatedly killing Adolf Hitler.

You just point at somebody, call him Hitler, and Americans are ready to help you kill him.

And, even if someone isn’t technically Hitler, as long as those respectable news sources tell us it’s OK to kill them... well, that’s usually good enough for us.

For example, if you’re messing around with our “interests,” like maybe interfering with our corporations’ exploitation of your Central American country, we will have no choice but to fund and train some sadistic death squads to hideously torture and murder your people until you come to your senses.

Or, if you’re even considering aligning with some annoying, fanatically religious regime that deposed the puppet we installed in their country, and that is sitting in the middle of the Middle East screwing up our restructuring plans, and which the Russians won’t let us tactically nuke, well, we’ll have to help our friends, the Saudis, bomb the living Allah out of you, starve your women and children to death, and otherwise wipe you off the face of the Earth.

So let’s not suddenly get all squeamish about killing Hitler or... you know, whoever. Killing Hitlers, and other bogeymen, and innocent men, women, and children is as American as apple pie, not to mention an extremely profitable business. So what’s the problem here, exactly? Either Trump is Hitler or he isn’t Hitler. If he’s Hitler, and a traitorous Russian agent, like all those respected media sources, and those anonymous “Intelligence Community” sources, and those people on Twitter say he is, what the hell is taking so long?

Why doesn’t somebody get in there and kill him? What good are all these black ops types if they can’t even save America from Hitler?

I don’t know, maybe the ruling classes don’t believe they have generated enough public support with all their “resistance” and “Hitler” stuff to brutally assassinate the president on television (which is hard to fathom, given the relentless propaganda campaign they’ve been concertedly waging).

Perhaps it needs to be a grassroots effort. In which case, maybe the Democratic Party, Bill Kristol, Rob Reiner, Rachel Maddow, Michael Moore, General Hayden, Hillary Clinton, Alec Baldwin, the Editorial Board of The New York Times, and other key Resistance fighters could organize a “March to Assassinate Trump.”

People could break out their pussyhats again. Everyone loves those pussyhats!

They could march on CIA headquarters in Langley. Just think of all the signs and slogans … “SCREW DEMOCRACY, JUST KILL HIM ALREADY!” “WHAT WOULD WILLIAM CASEY DO?” and the always popular call and response, “TELL ME WHAT THE DEEP STATE LOOKS LIKE … THIS IS WHAT THE DEEP STATE LOOKS LIKE!” The possibilities are almost endless!

I’m not saying it would be a cakewalk... or that there wouldn’t be any kind of blowback. The Resistance would likely catch a little flak from the millions of toothless, Oxy-addicted, white supremacist Nazis that voted for the guy.

There would probably be a bit of 'civil unrest', but then, what’s the point of militarizing virtually every major police force in the country if you’re not prepared to turn them loose on the citizenry every once and while?

And anyway, the main thing is, regardless of how messy things would probably get, it would provide the global capitalist ruling classes with an opportunity to remind these unruly “populists” what happens when you vote for Hitler!


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Survey Reveals What Really Scares Americans: #1 On The List May Surprise You


Authored by Mac Slavo via,

Every year, Chapman University conducts a Survey of American Fears. The annual survey provides an in-depth examination into the concerns of average Americans, tracking changes and trends over the years.

The survey asks participants about topics including government, health, environmental concerns, disaster preparedness, the paranormal, and personal anxieties.

What’s the number one thing Americans fear?

For the fourth year in a row, that dishonor goes to government corruption. That fear far exceeds any other that was asked about in the survey. In 2018, 73.6% said they fear corrupt government officials. In 2017, it was 74.5%, and in 2016, 60.6%.

Image credit: Chapman University

“It is worth noting that the fears regarding corruption and the environment have increased significantly following the election of President Trump in 2016 and all top 10 fears continue to reflect topics often discussed in the media,” said Christopher Bader, Ph.D., professor of sociology.

Pollution of oceans, rivers, and lakes, polluted drinking water, money worries, and loss of loved ones also are of high concern.

Here are some of the other fears Americans have:

  • Cyber-terrorism: 52.5%

  • The US being involved in another world war: 51.6%

  • Islamic extremists: 49.3%

  • White supremacists: 49.3%

  • Economic/financial collapse: 49.2%

  • Identify theft: 46.6%

  • Corporate tracking of personal data: 46.3%

  • Government tracking of personal data: 46%

  • Widespread civil unrest: 43%

  • Nuclear weapons attack: 42.9%

  • Random mass shooting: 41.5%

  • The collapse of the electrical grid: 39%

  • Pandemic or major epidemic: 38.6%

  • Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition: 37.8%

  • Nuclear accident/meltdown: 36%

For the full list, click here.

The survey also explored the reasons people do not evacuate when a disaster is heading their way. The most commonly cited reason by 43% of Americans is that they want to protect their homes from looting. “Tragic overconfidence” and “Pets” followed with 34% each. You can read the full report here: Fleeing Death: Disaster Evacuations in America.

As for political division, the survey revealed something that concerns the researchers: “What frightens Republicans the most doesn’t even register for Democrats, and vice versa. We see that bifurcation increasing, and that frightens me,” Bader said.


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



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.


Paid Protest Firm "Crowds On Demand" Sued In $23 Million Extortion Plot


"Paid protesters are real," writes the Los Angeles Times, after a lawsuit filed by a Czech investor against a business rival spotlighted the seedy, and very real business of people hired to express fake outrage, support, and everything in between. 

According to a lawsuit filed by investor Zdenek Bakala, Prague-based investment manager Pavol Krupa hired Beverly hills company Crowds on Demand (COD) to stage a protest near Bakala's home in Hilton Head, SC.

In the Bakala case, Crowds on Demand is accused of spreading misinformation through a website, putting on protests and organizing a phone and email campaign targeting several U.S. institutions with ties to Bakala, who got an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and had an estimated net worth topping $1 billion earlier this decade, according to Forbes. -LA Times

Crowds on Demand provides pop-up "protests, rallies, flash mobs, paparazzi events and other inventive PR stunts," according to its website. 

The dispute between Bakala and Krupa goes back for several years, and has been the subject of inquiries by the European Commission and the Czech government, involving a formerly state-owned coal mining business, OKD, which Bakala assumed control of in 2004. Bakala has been accused of bribing officials to buy the government's equity in the mining company at a below-market price, which broke a promise to sell company-owned apartments to employees before the company ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2016. 

According to Bakala, the COD smear campaign didn't stop there, claiming that the company also called and sent emails to the Aspen Institute and Dartmouth College, where Bakala sits on advisory boards, urging them to cut ties with him. Bakala claims that Krupa threatened to ramp up the COD campaign unless the Czech investor coughs up $23 million.

Bakala, who holds U.S. and Czech citizenship, says in his lawsuit that all of those allegations are false and are part of Krupa’s extortion campaign. He alleges that Krupa offered to cease his campaign if Bakala paid $23 million for OKD shares owned by Krupa’s investment fund.


Crowds on Demand founder Adam Swart and Krupa neither confirmed nor denied that they are working together. They declined to answer specific questions about Bakala’s allegations, though Swart, in an emailed statement, called the claims meritless.

Not only will I vigorously defend myself against the allegations in the complaint but I am also evaluating whether to bring my own claims against Mr. Bakala,” Swart said. -LA Times

"Defendants are pursuing a campaign of harassment, defamation, and interference in the business affairs of Zdenek Bakala, which they have expressly vowed to expand unless he pays them millions of dollars," reads Bakala's lawsuit (see below). 

That said, it's not clear that Krupa's alleged campaign had the desired effect. 

Elliot Gerson, an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute, said in an emailed statement that the institute has received calls and emails from “individuals associated with Crowds on Demand” and that the nonprofit’s general counsel has spoken with Swart “about this campaign of harassment.”

From the beginning, we assumed that these manufactured communications were linked to political issues in the Czech Republic and Mr. Bakala’s high profile in that country,” Gerson said. “Nothing we received has altered our views about Mr. Bakala.” -LA Times

So paid protesters are a thing...

Bakala's lawsuit brings to light an ongoing debate in the national dialogue over paid protesters. President Trump, for example, has repeatedly claimed that protesters have been paid by left-wing billionaire activist George Soros and others in order to disrupt and undermine conservative events. 

"There are hundreds of lobbying firms and public affairs firms that do this work, though not all in the same way," said USLA sociology professor Edward Walker - who wrote a book on the business of paid protesting, also known as Astroturfing. "Some only do a little bit of this grass-roots-for-hire, but things adjacent to this are not uncommon today."

In 2014, ABC's "Nightline" reported that a group backed by the beverage industry was hiring people to protest a soda tax measure - posting ads on Craigslist for paid protesters at $13 an hour. 

During the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, many noted what appeared to be a man, Vinay Krishnan - who works for progressive activist organization Center for Popular Democracy, paying a woman named Vickie Lampron who was later seen in the Kavanaugh hearing. 

Proof the protestors were paid off in line. #Kavanaugh #ConfirmKavanaugh #ActivismInAction

— Adam W. Schindler (@AdamSchindler) September 4, 2018

Krishnan said that the money was given to people to pay fines in case they were arrested. 

As the Times notes, paid protesters aren't a recent phenomenon. 

Longtime California political consultant Garry South, who was a campaign strategist for California Gov. Gray Davis, said it’s long been common for campaigns and political parties to pay people a few bucks or perhaps provide a meal in exchange for attending a rally. He recalled a 2002 rally in San Francisco where he said that tactic was used.

It turns out, the San Francisco Democratic Party, to bolster the crowd, had basically gone down to skid row and paid people $5 or something to tromp up to Union Square,” South said.

But he sees a big difference between that kind of activity and the paid protests allegedly organized by Crowds on Demand.

“What’s different is the commercialization of the process,” he said. “It just contributes to the air of unreality that exists in this day and age with essentially not being able to believe your own eyes or ears. I don’t think it’s particularly healthy. But it probably inevitably was going to come to this.” -LA Times

Crowds on Demand, meanwhile, shamelessly boasts on their website that they were hired by a business rival to "cripple the operations" of a manufacturing business owned by a convicted child molester, which resulted in the hiring company buying the molester-owned business for "5 percent of its previous value." 

In another "case study," COD brags about staging a rally to support an unidentified foreign leader who was visiting the United Nations. 

"The concern was ensuring that the leader was well received by a U.S. audience and confident for his work at the U.N. We created demonstrations of support with diverse crowds.," says COD. 

"A lot of times, companies don’t want to be known for using this kind of strategy,” Walker said. “Crowds on Demand, they’re more out about it. ... It is strikingly brazen."