So Iran and the US are calling each other terrorists, your phone is universally watching and tracking you with malware, likely for the government, and I go into some detail about the illegal arrest of Julian Assange. Plus, the media doesn’t care about innocent Muslim deaths anymore again, so I cover some of those. Life is fucking good, if by “good”, you mean, “one foot closer to the property line for literal Hades”.
This season’s featured song is Sway, by Know Your Enemy – who graciously allowed me to use the song. It’s fucking criminal how unknown this band is. Go change that by liking their vid, subbing to their YT, and getting some merch if you really like it.
“Before the ink could even dry on West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s signature on a repeal of sales taxation on gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coins, legislators in Wisconsin and Maine introduced similar measures in their own states.
All told, 39 states have now reduced or eliminated sales taxes on the monetary metals, and Wisconsin, Maine, Kansas, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Tennessee are all actively considering bills of their own this month.
West Virginia’s Senate Bill 502 enjoyed tremendous popularity, passing through the State Senate unanimously before passing out of the House 90-9. Starting July 1, investors, savers, and small businesses in the state are no longer required to pay sales and use tax on the exchange of dollars for the monetary metals.
Earlier this week, Representative Justin Fecteau (R – Augusta) of Maine introduced LD 1446, a measure to repeal sales taxes on precious metals, saying, “Seven years since his 2012 run for President, the monetary policy lessons of Congressman Ron Paul still stick out to me. This bill is an important first step to restore sound money in Maine by refusing to tax the conversion from one legal tender to another.””
“a new bill passed in mid-March that states that Floridians are now able to grow fruit and vegetables in their front yards without fear of local government fines.
The Miami Herald reports that Republican Senator Rob Bradley sponsored the bill and described it as a “vast overreach.” Given how many food deserts exist and how hard it can be for many families to access fresh and affordable food, such bans are an absurd step in the wrong direction. Bradley said,
“The world is changing when it comes to food. There’s a big interest when it comes to locally sourced food or organic products. It is our role, our duty to review decisions that are made in the courts that uphold local government actions that violate property rights in the State of Florida … When you own a piece of property, you should be able to grow food on that property for your family’s consumption. (source)”
Bargill, the lawyer who represented Ricketts and Carroll, said he is pleased with the new legislation, and added that he “looks forward to the day where no Floridian would worry about crippling fines for the offense of growing cabbage.””
But that’s all I found for good news this week. So let’s hit the bad, starting with the arrest of Julian Assange.
On April 4th, a “high level Ecuadorian government source said Julian would be expelled from the embassy, and arrested in “hours to days”. From Consortium news:
“[President Lenin] Moreno has accused WikiLeaks of leaking documents allegedly implicating him and his family in a corruption scheme with a Panamanian investment firm, INA Investments Corp. WikiLeaks has denied being behind the leaks and no documents related to the scandal appear on its website.
Moreno said the alleged leak by WikiLeaks is a breach in a “protocol” with Assange that allows him to remain in the London embassy in exchange for his public silence on all political matters. Assange has never agreed to the protocol. His social media accounts were shut down by Ecuador in March 2018.
Because of this so-called “breach,” Assange will be made to leave the embassy and would be arrested by British authorities. Assange has been a refugee inside the embassy since 2012, fearing that if he were to be arrested the UK would extradite him to the United States to stand trail for publishing classified information.”
So Julian was essentially kicked out on false pretenses, and it gets worse, because in a leaked transcript, he also recently stated “I am an assassination risk. It’s not a joke. It is a serious business,” said Assange – who noted that “There have been attempts by people to get into this embassy through the windows at night. It appears that there may have even been an attempt last night, at 4:30am.”
So he’s being expelled in retaliation for documents the Ecuadorian Embassy can’t prove he leaked – documents the President wants hidden because of a corruption scandal they unveil. And why would Assange be arrested now, after all this time? From ActivateNow…
“Allegations against Assange in Sweden have long been dropped, and he is facing only a minor infraction in the UK for failing to turn up to a court hearing, a police bail warrant. The warrant issued in question arose 12 days after Julian entered the Ecuador Embassy seeking asylum from U.S. threats against his life and liberty. So that warrant should never have been issued in the first place, as Asylum/international law overrides domestic (UK) law.
Instead, the Bail warrant should have been dropped after Sweden dropped its preliminary investigation and Julian wasn’t charged as the warrant was attached to the European Arrest Warrant on that case.
In October of last year, Wikileaks tweeted that Ecuador was being pressured to end Assange’s asylum and citizenship so he can be arrested by British police and extradited to the U.S. to presumably face charges under the Espionage Act — the federal law often used to punish whistleblowers. This is due to the fact that under the Ecuadorian constitution extradition is forbidden.”
So that brings us to the arrest. On Thursday, he was expelled from the embassy, and hauled into a police van, so he could be extradited to the United States. Trump, who says he’s “never heard of Wikileaks”, after a long history of supporting them when they seemed to help him, agrees with the US decision to extradite him under the Espionage Act. The DOJ had this to say.
“The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications. Manning, who had access to the computers in connection with her duties as an intelligence analyst, was using the computers to download classified records to transmit to WikiLeaks. Cracking the password would have allowed Manning to log on to the computers under a username that did not belong to her. Such a deceptive measure would have made it more difficult for investigators to determine the source of the illegal disclosures.
During the conspiracy, Manning and Assange engaged in real-time discussions regarding Manning’s transmission of classified records to Assange. The discussions also reflect Assange actively encouraging Manning to provide more information. During an exchange, Manning told Assange that “after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.” To which Assange replied, “curious eyes never run dry in my experience.”
Assange is charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the charges were unsealed. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kellen S. Dwyer, Thomas W. Traxler and Gordon D. Kromberg, and Trial Attorneys Matthew R. Walczewski and Nicholas O. Hunter of the Justice Department’s National Security Division are prosecuting the case.
The extradition will be handled by the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.”
So Assange will be suppressed as a spy. And there’s much more info in this ZeroHedge article…
Fantastic. What else is happening? Well, while Assange may rot in jail as a “spy” for telling the truth, Amazon has been found to listen in on your conversations through Alexa. According to a Bloomberg article, they employ “listening teams” to interpret your words, and feed them back to the software, along with metadata such as geolocation. From Bloomberg:
“The Alexa voice review process, described by seven people who have worked on the program, highlights the often-overlooked human role in training software algorithms. In marketing materials Amazon says Alexa “lives in the cloud and is always getting smarter.” But like many software tools built to learn from experience, humans are doing some of the teaching.
The team comprises a mix of contractors and full-time Amazon employees who work in outposts from Boston to Costa Rica, India and Romania, according to the people, who signed nondisclosure agreements barring them from speaking publicly about the program. They work nine hours a day, with each reviewer parsing as many as 1,000 audio clips per shift, according to two workers based at Amazon’s Bucharest office, which takes up the top three floors of the Globalworth building in the Romanian capital’s up-and-coming Pipera district. The modern facility stands out amid the crumbling infrastructure and bears no exterior sign advertising Amazon’s presence.”
And while some Amazon black box is listening in on your conversations through Alexa devices, Ars Technica reports on government malware planted in your phones to take “contacts, audio, location and more”. The list of things this malware can do includes:
Retrieve a list of installed applications
Record surroundings using the built-in microphone in 3gp format
Retrieve the browsing history and bookmarks from Chrome and SBrowser (the browser shipped with Samsung phones)
Extract events from the Calendar app
Extract the calls log
Record phone calls audio in 3gp format
Take pictures with the embedded camera
Collect information on surrounding cellular towers (BTS)
Extract the address book
Extract the contacts list from the Facebook app
Extract logs from Facebook Messenger conversations
Take a screenshot of any app in foreground
Extract information on pictures from the Gallery
Extract information from the Gmail app
Dump data from the IMO messenger app
Extract call logs, contacts and messages from the Skype app
Retrieve all SMS messages
Extract messages and the encryption key from the Telegram app
Dump data from the Viber messenger app
Extract logs from WhatsApp
Retrieve media exchanged through WhatsApp
Extract the Wi-Fi network’s password
Extract data from WeChat app
Extract current GPS coordinates of the phone
So Assange is imprisoned for spying on some feds, but feds spy on everyone and get away with it. Feel oppressed yet? Well how about us all being judged by a secret “trustworthiness score”? Called “Sift”, it decides algorithmically whether or not your online account is worthy of trust.
From the website, as posted by ZH:
“Each time we get an event — be it a page view or an API event — we extract features related to those events and compute the Sift Score. These features are then weighed based on fraud we’ve seen both on your site and within our global network, and determine a user’s Score. There are features that can negatively impact a Score as well as ones which have a positive impact.”
Also, apparently Facebook was forcing users to let them scrape contacts and other info from official email accounts associated with their profile. Find out more at this link.
And if that’s not invasive enough, a DNA ancestry website has given wholesale access to their database to the FBI. From ActivistPost:
“A FamilyTreeDNA spokesperson told BuzzFeed that FamilyTreeDNA’s agreement with the FBI gives the agency the ability to search more than a million genetic profiles — the majority of which were given by their customers without knowledge of the company’s relationship with the FBI. As part of the arrangement, FamilyTreeDNA has further agreed to test DNA evidence and identify the remains of deceased individuals in violent crimes for the FBI in its own laboratory.”
The article also covers how pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline threw 300mil at 23andme, in exchange for authorization to test drugs against DNA, how the Houston Police use DNA in investigations with rapid testers, and how the FBI maintains a huge central database of DNA.
While that happens, Michigan is opening a “hate crimes unit” in association with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to pursue “hate and bias incidents that don’t rise to the level of a crime or civil infraction.”
And while that happens, audio has surfaced of Arizona Rep. David Stringer, who was arrested in the 80s for allegedly raping kids, saying he doesn’t like to “demonize” child rapists. Wonder why.
And speaking of our “representation”, Rep. Liz Cheney put out a bill mandating a minimum troop presence in Afghanistan of at least 10000. From Antwar.com…
“18 years into the US occupation of Afghanistan, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is looking to ensure that the war can continue to be a sinkhole for US troops and money for years to come, introducing the Ensuring a Security Afghanistan Act.
The bill, which Cheney is cosponsoring with Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Mike Waltz (R-FL), would forbid the president from reducing the US troop level in Afghanistan below 10,000 unless a broad and unlikely set of military requirements are first met.
Cheney argued that an unoccupied Afghanistan would be a “safe haven for terrorism,” claiming that al-Qaeda remains close to the Taliban and that the conditions on the ground don’t support the US leaving. ”
And in other so-called-GWOT news, the US-backed Saudi coalition has bombed a Yemeni school, killing ten people, mostly children, and wounded almost 40 more. Most US outlets don’t give a shit though, so feel free to check out the CommonDreams coverage.
And now the Iranian government is calling the US military a terrorist organization. From ZeroHedge: “Just hours after President Trump formally designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization, Iran’s foreign ministry has put forward a bill placing US Central Command on a list of organizations designated as terrorists, akin to Daesh.” Remember when I said I thought Trump was about to go into Iran? Prep for that. News gets better and better.
And since Michael Snyder points out, “the number of job openings in the United States just plunged by the largest amount we have seen in nearly four years”, hey, a world war three might be what the Keynesians cloy for. Gotta pump those numbers up, kid – those are rookie numbers.
So what does it look like at home? Well New York is expanding its criminalization of the unvaccinated. That program I talked about where unvaxxed kids couldn’t leave home unless it was to get vaxxed? They’re putting it in more counties soon.
And Oregon is proposing gun control measures so restrictive they’ll make pepper spray a felony. Yeah, read the article.
And why do they want you disarmed? Let’s hit the police brutality segment. In the first point, let’s talk about kids who were ambiguously threatened by police. From TFTP:
“While waiting to walk to their after school program a Richmond City Police officer drove past my daughter and her classmates that were standing in front of Alberthill middle school, made a U turn and yelled out of his window “what did you say?”. They told the officer they didn’t say anything and he replied “ yes you did”. One of the young ladies said no we didn’t and if we did we have the right to speak. He proceeds to tell the minors that “That’s ok when you turn 18 your ass is mine”.”
In another incident, an officer plead guilty to “lewd acts with a child” – a civil way of saying he raped a fellow cop’s kid. Kenneth Collard got drunk, and stayed at their house instead of driving, and while there, got up i n the middle of the night and raped her.
Another cop repeatedly kicked a man in the back while arresting him for not appearing in court over an “unlawful syringe”. From TFTP: “Neither of the officers involved has reportedly faced any discipline and the police department is standing behind their actions.”
Another man was having a full body seizure in a convenience store, and his family is suing because a cop put a knee in his back, and had him in a chokehold, while another kneed, punched, and verbally abused him while cuffing him. No law broken – just a medical condition. Yet, these cops would have no problem breaking the law, as evidenced by their vicious assault on an ill man.
And that brings us to the final story… A Chinese immigrant with Alzheimers was killed by police for waving his hands. They were called on “domestic violence”, and found out only after breaking into the home of Wangshen Leng, throwing the 66 year old, who could not speak English to defend himself, onto the couch with enough force and accuracy to break his neck. He died in the hospital.
So when government isn’t spying on you, bombing children, or killing old men, it’s arresting journalists, abusing children, and worse. Just remember that with Tax season upon us.
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