AuthorTopic: The Surlynewz Channel  (Read 568884 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3840 on: June 29, 2019, 03:47:52 AM »
In the same time period the same source reports 12 for the US killed during Putin's Rule.

From the same graph.

I get 11.
https://cpj.org/data/killed/usa?status=Killed&motiveConfirmed%5B%5D=Confirmed&type%5B%5D=Journalist&cc_fips%5B%5D=US&start_year=1992&end_year=2019&group_by=location

Interestingly, Michael Hastings' name is not on the list.

What's that smell?

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Everyone’s Got a “Surveillance Score” and It Can Cost You BIG Money
« Reply #3841 on: June 29, 2019, 06:49:44 PM »
On our way down the drain, at least we'll know our scores. Well, maybe some of them.

Everyone’s Got a “Surveillance Score” and It Can Cost You BIG Money



275 SHARES

By Dagny Taggart

In these Orwellian times, when it is revealed that yet another government agency is spying on us in yet another way, most of us aren’t one bit surprised. Being surveilled nearly everywhere we go (and even in our own homes) has become the norm, unfortunately.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the NSA improperly collected Americans’ call and text logs in November 2017 and in February and October 2018 – just months after the agency claimed it was going to delete the 620 million-plus call detail records it already had stockpiled.

But this article isn’t about that.

It is about something far more insidious.

When it comes to spying on people, the government has competition.

The Chinese government is currently implementing a social credit system to monitor its 1.3 billion citizens (China already has 200 million public surveillance cameras). Facial recognition technology and personal data from cell phones and digital transactions are being used to collect intimate details about people’s lives, including their purchasing habits and whom they socialize with.

The gathered data is used to create mandatory social credit ratings for every citizen. These ratings will score citizens’ “general worthiness” and provide those with higher scores opportunities like access to jobs, loans, and travel. Those with lower scores will not have access to those opportunities.

While the United States government has yet to implement such a system, companies in the country are, reports The Hill:

Consumer advocates are pushing regulators to investigate what they paint as a shadowy online practice where retailers use consumer information collected by data brokers to decide how much to charge individual customers or the quality of service they’ll offer.

#REPRESENT, a public interest group run by the Consumer Education Foundation in California, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday asking the agency to investigate what the group is calling “surveillance scoring” of customers’ financial status or creditworthiness. (source)

Companies are using Secret Surveillance Scores to evaluate you.

The opening paragraphs of the 38-page complaint are chilling:

Major American corporations, including online and retail businesses, employers and landlords are using Secret Surveillance Scores to charge some people higher prices for the same product than others, to provide some people with better customer services than others, to deny some consumers the right to purchase services or buy or return products while allowing others to do so and even to deny people housing and jobs.

The Secret Surveillance Scores are generated by a shadowy group of privacy-busting firms that operate in dark recesses of the American marketplace. They collect thousands or even tens of thousands of intimate details of each person’s life – enough information, it is thought, to literally predetermine a person’s behavior – either directly or through data brokers. Then, in what is euphemistically referred to as “data analytics,” the firms’ engineers write software algorithms that instruct computers to parse a person’s data trail and develop a digital “mug shot.” Eventually, that individual profile is reduced to a number – the score – and transmitted to corporate clients looking for ways to take advantage of, or even avoid, the consumer. The scoring system is automatic and instantaneous. None of this is disclosed to the consumer: the existence of the algorithm, the application of the Surveillance Score or even that they have become the victim of a technological scheme that just a few years ago would appear only in a dystopian science fiction novel. (source)

These scores are used to discriminate based on income.

Written by lawyers Laura Antonini, the policy director of the Consumer Education Foundation, and Harvey Rosenfield, who leads the foundation, the complaint highlights four areas in which companies are using surveillance scoring: pricing, customer service, fraud prevention, and housing and employment.

“This is a way for companies to discriminate against users based on income and wealth,” Antonini told The Hill. “It can range from monetary harm or basic necessities of life that you’re not getting.”

Antonini and Rosenfield argue that the practices outlined in the complaint are illegal – and that consumers are largely unaware that they’re being secretly evaluated in ways that can influence how much they pay online.

“The ability of corporations to target, manipulate and discriminate against Americans is unprecedented and inconsistent with the principles of competition and free markets,” the complaint reads. “Surveillance scoring promotes inequality by empowering companies to decide which consumers they want to do business with and on what terms, weeding out the people who they deem less valuable. Such discrimination is as much a threat to democracy as it is to a free market.”

Stores are using this scoring system to charge you higher prices.

Here’s more detail, from The Hill:

The filing points to a 2014 Northeastern University study exploring the ways that companies like Home Depot and Walmart use consumer data to customize prices for different customers. Rosenfield and Antonini replicated the study using an online tool that compares prices that they’re charged on their own computers with their own data profiles versus the prices charged to a user browsing sites through an anonymized computer server with no data history.

What they found was that Walmart and Home Depot were offering lower prices on a number of products to the anonymous computer. In the search results for “white paint” on Home Depot’s website, Rosenfield and Antonini were seeing higher prices for six of the first 24 items that popped up.

In one example, a five-gallon tub of Glidden premium exterior paint would have cost them $119 compared with $101 for the anonymous computer.

A similar pattern emerged on Walmart’s website. The two lawyers found the site was charging them more on a variety of items compared with the anonymous web tool, including paper towels, highlighters, pens and paint.

One paper towel holder cost $10 less for the blank web user. (source)

To see screenshots of different “personalized” prices shown for items from Home Depot and Walmart, please see pages 12-16 of the complaint. The examples presented demonstrate just how much these inflated prices for common household goods can really add up.

The travel industry is particularly sneaky.

A few days ago, we reported on hidden fees that could be costing you big bucks. The travel industry is a particularly large offender when it comes to sneaky fees, and they are also implicated in this scheme:

Travelocity. Software developer Christian Bennefeld, founder of etracker.com and eBlocker.com, did a sample search for hotel rooms in Paris on Travelocity in 2017 using his eBlocker device, which “allows him to act as if he were searching from two different” computers. Bennefeld found that when he performed the two searches at the same time, there was a $23 difference in Travelocity’s prices for the Hotel Le Six in Paris.

CheapTickets. The Northeastern Price Discrimination Study found that the online bargain travel site CheapTickets offers reduced prices on hotels to consumers who are logged into an account with CheapTickets, compared to those who proceed as “guests.” We performed our own search of airfares on CheapTickets without being logged in. We searched for flights from LAX to Las Vegas for April 5 through April 8, 2019. Our searches produced identical flight results in the same order, but Mr. Rosenfield’s prices were all quoted at three dollars higher than Ms. Antonini’s.

Other travel websites. The Northeastern Price Discrimination Study found that Orbitz also offers reduced prices on hotels to consumers who were logged into an account (Orbitz has been accused of quoting higher prices to Mac users versus PC users because Mac users have a higher household income); Expedia and Hotels.com steer a subset of users toward more expensive hotels; and Priceline acknowledges it “personalizes search results based on a user’s history of clicks and purchases. (source)

There is an industry that exists to evaluate you and sell your data to companies.

The complaint also describes an industry that offers retailers evaluations of their customers’ “trustworthiness” to determine whether they are a potential risk for fraudulent returns. One such firm – called Sift – offers these evaluations to major companies like Starbucks and Airbnb. Sift boasts on its website that it can tailor “user experiences based on 16,000+ real-time signals – putting good customers in the express lane and stopping bad customers from reaching the checkout.”

The Hill contacted Sift for comment, and the company was not able to respond. But, back in April, a Sift spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that it rates customers on a scale of 0 to 100, likening it to a credit score for trustworthiness.

While credit scores can wreak havoc on a person’s ability to make big purchases (and sometimes, gain employment), they at least are transparent. Surveillance scoring is not. There is NO transparency for consumers, and Rosenfield and Antonini argue that companies are using them to engage in illegal discrimination while users have little recourse to correct false information about them or challenge their ratings.

We are being spied on and scored on a wide variety of factors.

“In the World Privacy Forum’s landmark study “The Scoring of America: How Secret Consumer Scores Threaten Your Privacy and Future,” authors Pam Dixon and Bob Gellman identified approximately 44 scores currently used to predict the actions of consumers,” the complaint explains:

These include:

The Medication Adherence Score, which predicts whether a consumer is likely to follow a medication regimen;

The Health Risk Score, which predicts how much a specific patient will cost an insurance company;

The Consumer Profitability Score, which predicts which households may be profitable for a company and hence desirable customers;

The Job Security score, which predicts a person’s future income and ability to pay for things;

The Churn Score, which predicts whether a consumer is likely to move her business to another company;

The Discretionary Spending Index, which scores how much extra cash a particular consumer might be able to spend on non-necessities;

The Invitation to Apply Score, which predicts how likely a consumer is to respond to a sales offer;

The Charitable Donor Score, which predicts how likely a household is to make significant charitable donations;

The Pregnancy Predictor Score, which predicts the likelihood of someone getting pregnant. (source)

The government isn’t doing anything to stop these practices.

Back in 2014, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop on a practice they call “predictive scoring” but the agency has done little since to reign in the practice. Antonini said that their complaint is pushing the agency to reexamine the industry and investigate whether it violates laws against unfair and deceptive business practices, according to The Hill:

“It’s far, far worse than when they looked at it in 2014,” she said. “There’s an exponentially larger amount of data that’s being collected about the American public that’s in the hands of data brokers and companies. Their ability to process that data and write algorithms have also improved exponentially.” (source)

We seem to be past the point of expecting our data to remain private, The Introduction to the complaint begins with a passage that sums up reality for us now:

This Petition does not ask the Commission to investigate the collection of Americans’ personal information. The battle over whether Americans’ personal data can be collected is over, and, as of this moment at least, consumers have lost. Consumers are now victims of an unavoidable corporate surveillance capitalism.

Rather, this Petition highlights a disturbing evolution in how consumers’ data is deployed against them. (source)

We can’t go anywhere without being surveilled now.

It is now impossible to shop in any large chain stores without being spied on. Stores are starting to use “smart coolers”, which are refrigerators equipped with cameras that scan shoppers’ faces and make inferences on their age and gender. And, a recent article from Futurism describes how security cameras are no longer being used solely to reduce theft:

“Instead of just keeping track of who’s in a store, surveillance systems could use facial recognition to determine peoples’ identities and gathering even more information about them. That data would then be out there, with no opportunity to opt out. (source)

A new ACLU report titled “The Dawn of Robot Surveillance” describes how emerging AI technology enables security companies to constantly monitor and collect data about people.

“Growth in the use and effectiveness of artificial intelligence techniques has been so rapid that people haven’t had time to assimilate a new understanding of what is being done, and what the consequences of data collection and privacy invasions can be,” the report concludes.

What do you think?

Do you think it is too late to stop all of this surveillance? Does it concern you?  Have you noticed surveillance cameras in your community and in stores? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

About the Author

Dagny Taggart is the pseudonym of an experienced journalist who needs to maintain anonymity to keep her job in the public eye. Dagny is non-partisan and aims to expose the half-truths, misrepresentations, and blatant lies of the MSM.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline azozeo

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3842 on: June 30, 2019, 09:36:49 AM »
Fuq' 'em.......  :icon_mrgreen:
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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On our way down the drain, at least we'll know our scores. Well, maybe some of them.

Everyone’s Got a “Surveillance Score” and It Can Cost You BIG Money



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<h3>By Dagny Taggart</h3>
<p>In these <a href="https://www.theorganicprepper.com/surveillance-tech-orwellian/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Orwellian times[/url], when it is revealed that yet another government agency is spying on us in yet another way, most of us aren’t one bit surprised. Being surveilled nearly everywhere we go (and even in our own homes) has become the norm, unfortunately.</p>
<p>Yesterday, <a href="https://www.technewsworld.com/story/86101.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">it was revealed[/url] that the NSA improperly collected Americans’ call and text logs in November 2017 and in February and October 2018 – just months after the agency claimed it was going to delete the 620 million-plus call detail records it already had stockpiled.</p>
<p>But this article isn’t about that.</p>
<p>It is about something far more insidious.</p>
<h2>When it comes to spying on people, the government has competition.</h2>
<p>The Chinese government is currently implementing a <a href="https://www.theorganicprepper.com/social-credit-system-coming-to-america/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">social credit system[/url] to monitor its 1.3 billion citizens (China already has 200 million public surveillance cameras). Facial recognition technology and personal data from cell phones and digital transactions are being used to collect intimate details about people’s lives, including their purchasing habits and whom they socialize with.</p>
<p>The gathered data is used to create mandatory social credit ratings for every citizen. These ratings will score citizens’ “general worthiness” and provide those with higher scores opportunities like access to jobs, loans, and travel. Those with lower scores will not have access to those opportunities.</p>
<p>While the United States government has yet to implement such a system, companies in the country are, <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/technology/450084-advocates-push-ftc-crackdown-on-secret-consumer-scores" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reports The Hill[/url]:</p>

<p>Consumer advocates are pushing regulators to investigate what they paint as a shadowy online practice where retailers use consumer information collected by data brokers to decide how much to charge individual customers or the quality of service they’ll offer.</p>
<p>#REPRESENT, a public interest group run by the Consumer Education Foundation in California, <a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">filed a complaint[/url] with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday asking the agency to investigate what the group is calling “surveillance scoring” of customers’ financial status or creditworthiness. (<a href="https://thehill.com/policy/technology/450084-advocates-push-ftc-crackdown-on-secret-consumer-scores" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">source[/url])</p>

<h2>Companies are using Secret Surveillance Scores to evaluate you.</h2>
<p>The opening paragraphs of the <a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">38-page complaint[/url] are chilling:</p>

<p>Major American corporations, including online and retail businesses, employers and landlords are using Secret Surveillance Scores to charge some people higher prices for the same product than others, to provide some people with better customer services than others, to deny some consumers the right to purchase services or buy or return products while allowing others to do so and even to deny people housing and jobs.</p>
<p>The Secret Surveillance Scores are generated by a shadowy group of privacy-busting firms that operate in dark recesses of the American marketplace. They collect thousands or even tens of thousands of intimate details of each person’s life – enough information, it is thought, to literally predetermine a person’s behavior – either directly or through data brokers. Then, in what is euphemistically referred to as “data analytics,” the firms’ engineers write software algorithms that instruct computers to parse a person’s data trail and develop a digital “mug shot.” Eventually, that individual profile is reduced to a number – the score – and transmitted to corporate clients looking for ways to take advantage of, or even avoid, the consumer. The scoring system is automatic and instantaneous. None of this is disclosed to the consumer: the existence of the algorithm, the application of the Surveillance Score or even that they have become the victim of a technological scheme that just a few years ago would appear only in a dystopian science fiction novel. (<a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">source[/url])</p>

<h2>These scores are used to discriminate based on income.</h2>
<p>Written by lawyers Laura Antonini, the policy director of the Consumer Education Foundation, and Harvey Rosenfield, who leads the foundation, the complaint highlights four areas in which companies are using surveillance scoring: pricing, customer service, fraud prevention, and housing and employment.</p>
<p>“This is a way for companies to discriminate against users based on income and wealth,” Antonini <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/technology/450084-advocates-push-ftc-crackdown-on-secret-consumer-scores" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">told The Hill[/url]. “It can range from monetary harm or basic necessities of life that you’re not getting.”</p>
<p>Antonini and Rosenfield argue that the practices outlined in the complaint are illegal – and that consumers are largely unaware that they’re being secretly evaluated in ways that can influence how much they pay online.</p>
<p>“The ability of corporations to target, manipulate and discriminate against Americans is unprecedented and inconsistent with the principles of competition and free markets,” <a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the complaint reads[/url]. “Surveillance scoring promotes inequality by empowering companies to decide which consumers they want to do business with and on what terms, weeding out the people who they deem less valuable. Such discrimination is as much a threat to democracy as it is to a free market.”</p>
<h2>Stores are using this scoring system to charge you higher prices.</h2>
<p>Here’s more detail, <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/technology/450084-advocates-push-ftc-crackdown-on-secret-consumer-scores" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">from The Hill[/url]:</p>

<p>The filing points to a <a href="http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/cbw/static/pdf/imc151-hannak.pdf#_ga=2.168469798.626541938.1547520668-169367495.1547520668" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2014 Northeastern University study[/url] exploring the ways that companies like Home Depot and Walmart use consumer data to customize prices for different customers. Rosenfield and Antonini replicated the study using an online tool that compares prices that they’re charged on their own computers with their own data profiles versus the prices charged to a user browsing sites through an anonymized computer server with no data history.</p>
<p>What they found was that Walmart and Home Depot were offering lower prices on a number of products to the anonymous computer. In the search results for “white paint” on Home Depot’s website, Rosenfield and Antonini were seeing higher prices for six of the first 24 items that popped up.</p>
<p>In one example, a five-gallon tub of Glidden premium exterior paint would have cost them $119 compared with $101 for the anonymous computer.</p>
<p>A similar pattern emerged on Walmart’s website. The two lawyers found the site was charging them more on a variety of items compared with the anonymous web tool, including paper towels, highlighters, pens and paint.</p>
<p>One paper towel holder cost $10 less for the blank web user. (<a href="https://thehill.com/policy/technology/450084-advocates-push-ftc-crackdown-on-secret-consumer-scores" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">source[/url])</p>

<p>To see screenshots of different “personalized” prices shown for items from Home Depot and Walmart, please see <a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pages 12-16[/url] of the complaint. The examples presented demonstrate just how much these inflated prices for common household goods can really add up.</p>
<h2>The travel industry is particularly sneaky.</h2>
<p>A few days ago, we reported on <a href="https://www.theorganicprepper.com/hidden-fees-could-be-costing-you-thousands-of-dollars-heres-how-to-protect-yourself/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">hidden fees that could be costing you big bucks[/url]. The travel industry is a particularly large offender when it comes to sneaky fees, and they are also implicated in this scheme:</p>

<p><strong>Travelocity.</strong> Software developer Christian Bennefeld, founder of etracker.com and eBlocker.com, did a sample search for hotel rooms in Paris on Travelocity in 2017 using his eBlocker device, which “allows him to act as if he were searching from two different” computers. Bennefeld found that when he performed the two searches at the same time, there was a $23 difference in Travelocity’s prices for the Hotel Le Six in Paris.</p>
<p><strong>CheapTickets.</strong> The Northeastern Price Discrimination Study found that the online bargain travel site CheapTickets offers reduced prices on hotels to consumers who are logged into an account with CheapTickets, compared to those who proceed as “guests.” We performed our own search of airfares on CheapTickets without being logged in. We searched for flights from LAX to Las Vegas for April 5 through April 8, 2019. Our searches produced identical flight results in the same order, but Mr. Rosenfield’s prices were all quoted at three dollars higher than Ms. Antonini’s.</p>
<p><strong>Other travel websites.</strong> The Northeastern Price Discrimination Study found that Orbitz also offers reduced prices on hotels to consumers who were logged into an account (Orbitz has been accused of quoting higher prices to Mac users versus PC users because Mac users have a higher household income); Expedia and Hotels.com steer a subset of users toward more expensive hotels; and Priceline acknowledges it “personalizes search results based on a user’s history of clicks and purchases. (<a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">source[/url])</p>

<h2>There is an industry that exists to evaluate you and sell your data to companies.</h2>
<p>The complaint also describes an industry that offers retailers evaluations of their customers’ “trustworthiness” to determine whether they are a potential risk for fraudulent returns. One such firm – called Sift – offers these evaluations to major companies like Starbucks and Airbnb. <a href="https://sift.com/archive/spring-2019-release" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sift boasts on its website[/url] that it can tailor “user experiences based on 16,000+ real-time signals – putting good customers in the express lane and stopping bad customers from reaching the checkout.”</p>
<p>The Hill contacted Sift for comment, and the company was not able to respond. But, back in April, a Sift spokesperson told <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-secret-trust-scores-companies-use-to-judge-us-all-11554523206" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Wall Street Journal[/url] that it rates customers on a scale of 0 to 100, likening it to a credit score for trustworthiness.</p>
<p>While credit scores can wreak havoc on a person’s ability to make big purchases (and sometimes, gain employment), they at least are transparent. Surveillance scoring is not. There is NO transparency for consumers, and Rosenfield and Antonini argue that companies are using them to engage in illegal discrimination while users have little recourse to correct false information about them or challenge their ratings.</p>
<h2>We are being spied on and scored on a wide variety of factors.</h2>
<p>“In the World Privacy Forum’s landmark study “The Scoring of America: How Secret Consumer Scores Threaten Your Privacy and Future,” authors Pam Dixon and Bob Gellman identified approximately 44 scores currently used to predict the actions of consumers,” the <a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">complaint[/url] explains:</p>

<p>These include:</p>
<p>The Medication Adherence Score, which predicts whether a consumer is likely to follow a medication regimen;</p>
<p>The Health Risk Score, which predicts how much a specific patient will cost an insurance company;</p>
<p>The Consumer Profitability Score, which predicts which households may be profitable for a company and hence desirable customers;</p>
<p>The Job Security score, which predicts a person’s future income and ability to pay for things;</p>
<p>The Churn Score, which predicts whether a consumer is likely to move her business to another company;</p>
<p>The Discretionary Spending Index, which scores how much extra cash a particular consumer might be able to spend on non-necessities;</p>
<p>The Invitation to Apply Score, which predicts how likely a consumer is to respond to a sales offer;</p>
<p>The Charitable Donor Score, which predicts how likely a household is to make significant charitable donations;</p>
<p>The Pregnancy Predictor Score, which predicts the likelihood of someone getting pregnant. (<a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">source[/url])</p>

<h2>The government isn’t doing anything to stop these practices.</h2>
<p>Back in 2014, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop on a practice they call “predictive scoring” but the agency has done little since to reign in the practice. Antonini said that their complaint is pushing the agency to reexamine the industry and investigate whether it violates laws against unfair and deceptive business practices, <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/technology/450084-advocates-push-ftc-crackdown-on-secret-consumer-scores" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">according to The Hill[/url]:</p>

<p>“It’s far, far worse than when they looked at it in 2014,” she said. “There’s an exponentially larger amount of data that’s being collected about the American public that’s in the hands of data brokers and companies. Their ability to process that data and write algorithms have also improved exponentially.” (<a href="https://thehill.com/policy/technology/450084-advocates-push-ftc-crackdown-on-secret-consumer-scores" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">source[/url])</p>

<p>We seem to be past the point of expecting our data to remain private, The <a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Introduction[/url] to the complaint begins with a passage that sums up reality for us now:</p>

<p>This Petition does not ask the Commission to investigate the collection of Americans’ personal information. The battle over whether Americans’ personal data can be collected is over, and, as of this moment at least, consumers have lost. Consumers are now victims of an unavoidable corporate surveillance capitalism.</p>
<p>Rather, this Petition highlights a disturbing evolution in how consumers’ data is deployed against them. (<a href="https://www.representconsumers.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019.06.24-FTC-Letter-Surveillance-Scores.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">source[/url])</p>

<h2>We can’t go anywhere without being surveilled now.</h2>
<p>It is now impossible to shop in any large chain stores without being spied on. Stores are starting to use “smart coolers”, which are refrigerators equipped with cameras that scan shoppers’ faces and <a href="https://www.coolerscreens.com/product/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-omni-click="r'article',r'',d,r'intext',r'0',r'None'">make inferences [/url]on their age and gender. And, a recent article from <a href="https://futurism.com/the-byte/ai-video-surveillance-watch" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Futurism[/url] describes how security cameras are no longer being used solely to reduce theft:</p>

<p>“Instead of just keeping track of who’s in a store, surveillance systems could use facial recognition to determine peoples’ identities and gathering even more information about them. That data would then be out there, with no opportunity to opt out. (<a href="https://futurism.com/the-byte/ai-video-surveillance-watch" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">source[/url])</p>

<p>A new <a href="https://www.aclu.org/report/dawn-robot-surveillance" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ACLU report[/url] titled “The Dawn of Robot Surveillance” describes how emerging AI technology enables security companies to constantly monitor and collect data about people.</p>
<p>“Growth in the use and effectiveness of artificial intelligence techniques has been so rapid that people haven’t had time to assimilate a new understanding of what is being done, and what the consequences of data collection and privacy invasions can be,” <a href="https://www.aclu.org/report/dawn-robot-surveillance" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the report[/url] concludes.</p>
<h2>What do you think?</h2>
<p>Do you think it is too late to stop all of this surveillance? Does it concern you?  Have you noticed surveillance cameras in your community and in stores? Please share your thoughts in the comments.</p>
<h3>About the Author</h3>
<p>Dagny Taggart is the pseudonym of an experienced journalist who needs to maintain anonymity to keep her job in the public eye. Dagny is non-partisan and aims to expose the half-truths, misrepresentations, and blatant lies of the MSM.</p>
<p></p>



Homey don't play that......


https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/06/second-in-the-nation-somerville-city-council-passes-facial-recognition-ban/
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline Surly1

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Little Rocket Man
« Reply #3844 on: July 04, 2019, 10:37:51 AM »
Little Rocket Man
Donald Trump is trying to conflate a patriotic celebration with his reëlection campaign.



Trump, who talks about “my generals” and “my military,” has decided to turn the normally pacific Independence Day ceremonies in the capital into a martially tinged self-branding exercise.

By David Remnick  July 3, 2019

The national emergency represented by the Trump Presidency began on its first day, January 20, 2017. The new President’s inaugural address, written largely by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, sounded all the themes of right-wing nationalism, populism, xenophobia, phony alarm, and blatant deception that we now take as the daily lexicon of the Trump White House. And the inaugural organizers took the opportunity, as so much subsequent reporting has made plain, to turn the various events into gold-plated opportunities for profiteering and influence-peddling.

Had Trump had his way, he would not have stopped there. Indeed, he wanted very much to add a dash of tin-pot militarism to the inaugural mix. In much of the coverage of this year’s Independence Day ceremonies in Washington, we’ve been reminded of how Trump has expressed jealous admiration for the military pomp that he has witnessed abroad, particularly at a Bastille Day celebration, in Paris, in 2017, and his hopes to bring that home. In fact, it is worth remembering that Trump had this idea from day one.

Just before his inauguration, Trump said in an interview that the “military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.” As the Huffington Post reported at the time, Trump and the transition team discussed the possibility of including missile launchers and tanks in the inaugural parade. “They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea–style parade,” one transition source told the site.

Military officials, however, objected for reasons practical and ideological. They worried that tanks were so heavy that they would likely tear up the city streets; more important, they insisted that the sort of militaristic display that Trump was imagining was beyond the bounds of American tradition. Undeterred, Trump tried to pull off something of the kind last Veterans Day, but later conceded that the costs, as much as ninety million dollars, would be too much.

Finally, Trump has his way. Remember all the talk of making sure that the worst of the Trump Presidency not be “normalized”? Too late. Normalized it has become.

“The cost of our great Salute to America,” he tweeted, “will be very little compared to what it is worth. We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrew), all we need is the fuel. We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats. Nice!” He is calling it the “show of a lifetime!”

Trump, who talks about “my generals” and “my military,” has decided to turn the normally pacific Independence Day ceremonies in the capital into a martially tinged self-branding exercise. We are watching him blow hard into the balloon of his own ego. Trump is also trying to conflate a patriotic celebration with his reëlection campaign. The White House is doling out passes to Republican donors, members of the Republican National Committee, and other supporters.

According to the Washington Post, the Pentagon leadership has reacted to the increased militarization of the Fourth by “hiding out and hoping it all blows over.” Trump, of course, has spoken for “his” generals, saying that they are, in fact, “thrilled.” He is not likely to hear any high-level public objections from the Pentagon. He has not had a Senate-confirmed Defense Secretary since James Mattis resigned, in December, when he could no longer influence or countenance Trump’s chaotic decision-making process. There are some signs of public unhappiness, however. One liberal-leaning veterans group, VoteVets, plans to give out thousands of U.S.S. John S. McCain T-shirts on the mall, the better to remind people of Trump’s vicious insults directed against the late Arizona senator, an American prisoner of war in Hanoi, and of the way White House aides tried pathetically to hide the destroyer from the President’s view during a state visit to Japan.

The increased military display on Independence Day is hardly the most significant piece in the miserable jigsaw that is the Trump Administration. In recent weeks, we have seen so many pieces: A credible charge of rape. The imminent collapse of Iran’s nuclear restraint, thanks to the President’s foolish abrogation of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump’s airy dismissal of the climate emergency at the recent G-20 meetings in Osaka. (“We have the cleanest water we’ve ever had. . . .”)

Perhaps the most significant event at the G-20 session came when Vladimir Putin used the occasion to declare, in a run-up interview with the Financial Times, that “the liberal idea has become obsolete.” Sounding much like Trump at his fearmongering worst, Putin said, “The liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. The migrants can kill, plunder, and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected.” Leaders including Emmanuel Macron of France and Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, stood up to Putin and the idea that Russian-style authoritarianism was the wave of the future. By contrast, Trump voiced not a word of objection. Why would he? He is in total agreement with Putin. And, in Osaka, he stood with the Russian President and mocked both the idea of a free press and the notion that Russia had ever interfered in the 2016 elections on his behalf.

And so, on the Fourth, we will watch Trump, who evaded military service by pleading phantom bone spurs, spend millions of dollars of public funds in order to enact a fantasy of martial leadership. He is doing it to flatter his base. He is doing it to solicit the criticism of his enemies (the better to turn that criticism on its head). And he is doing it because he can.

“I do not despair of this country.” That is what Frederick Douglass came around to near the end of his famous 1852 Independence Day jeremiad—“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?” He was speaking that day to the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society, more than a decade before the Emancipation Proclamation. It is undoubtedly depressing to witness a would-be American authoritarian eroding yet another norm, pushing us one more step backward, on a day that should be one of celebrating the best of us and our history and, as Douglass did, imagining what we could become when liberty is expanded to embrace everyone. There is solace in knowing that the President, for all his bravado and cynicism, is acting largely out of a sense of what looms before him—a reckoning.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Little Rocket Man
« Reply #3845 on: July 04, 2019, 11:14:27 AM »
Little Rocket Man
Donald Trump is trying to conflate a patriotic celebration with his reëlection campaign.


This is the Trumpicine now and I want a good show.

Trump Has Killed More Civilians with Illegal Drone Strikes in 9 Months Than Obama Did in 8 Years.



https://thefreethoughtproject.com/trump-killed-more-civilians-obama/

A tent on the white house lawn with a goat tied to a stake in front.  Trump am M. are on the balcony.  From the tent wedding music plays. 

Then it is gone in a smoking hole.



Night falls and fireworks.  Smell of goat.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 11:26:51 AM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3846 on: July 04, 2019, 01:58:39 PM »
Just bizarro.......

What ! No lil' green men  :icon_scratch:
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

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Strongest earthquake in years rattles Southern California; damage reported
« Reply #3847 on: July 04, 2019, 02:20:19 PM »
Strongest earthquake in years rattles Southern California; damage reported

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California on Thursday, the largest temblor to hit the region in years.

The 10:33 a.m. quake was centered in the Searles Valley, a remote area of Kern County about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, and was felt as far away as Long Beach and Las Vegas.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities, though authorities in the city of Ridgecrest were responding to dozens of emergency calls.

The Kern County Fire Department was responding to “nearly 2 dozen incidents ranging from medical assistance to structure fires in and around the city of Ridgecrest,” according to the department’s Twitter account.

There were scattered reports of problems at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. Reached by phone, Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden said authorities were in the process of assessing the hospital.

"It's a little crazy here right now,” she said before quickly ending the call.

The quake was the largest in Southern California since the 7.1 Hector Mine quake struck the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base in 1999.

Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones, California’s foremost earthquake expert, told a midday news conference in Pasadena to anticipate more shaking on the Fourth of July.

“We should be expecting lots of aftershocks,” Jones said. She estimated that there was a “greater than 50-50” chance of an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 or more Thursday afternoon.

By 12:30 p.m. more than 65 aftershocks had been recorded, including three that registered above magnitude 4.5.

Mark Leach, an engineer who lives in Ridgecrest, was in his garage about to drive to a Fourth of July barbecue in Los Angeles when the shaking started. It felt like it went on for 30 seconds, he said.

“About halfway through it I dashed out into the road completely freaking out,” he said. “You can see some cracking in the seams of the drywall and stuff was knocked off the shelves — books and CDs and stuff.”

Southern California 6.4 earthquake

A firefighter works to extinguish a house fire following an earthquake in Ridgecrest, Calif. (Ben Hood / Assocaited Press)

1 / 6

As the aftershocks started, Leach said he could actually hear them before he felt the shaking.

The quake was relatively deep, occurring more than five miles underground.

"I was in my kitchen trying to get some coffee and all the windows started rattling," said Emma Gallegos, a 34-year-old journalist in southwest Bakersfield. "It was just a little bit at first — I thought something was going by, and then I realized all the windows were rattling. It was kind of a long gentle roll and I felt two distinct waves."

Gallegos said that the dried chiles hanging from a hook on her kitchen wall were all shaking. "It was surreal."

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California.
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California. (Jon Schleuss / Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. Geological Survey is dispatching geologists to Kern County look for a surface rupture and gather other data.

Sizable earthquakes began shaking Searles Valley around 10:02 a.m., when a 4.0 quake struck. Seven minutes later, a 2.5 temblor struck. Both were likely foreshocks of the 6.4 earthquake at 10:33 a.m. Jones said it’s possible that the 6.4 event could turn out to be a foreshock of an even larger quake yet to come.

“There is about a 1 in 20 chance that this location will be having an even bigger earthquake in the next few days, and that we have not yet seen the biggest earthquake of the sequence,” she said. “Some aftershocks will probably exceed magnitude 5, which means they’ll probably be damaging.”

California has been in an earthquake drought, Jones said, but Thursday’s quake does not make the “big one” any less likely.

She added, “We should always be preparing for the big one.”

The earthquake was centered roughly 80 miles northeast of a stretch of the 106-year-old Los Angeles Aqueduct spanning the San Andreas fault.

“Aqueduct personnel have been deployed as part of our standard earthquake response protocols to inspect the aqueduct and reservoirs,” said Joe Ramallo, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “In the city, critical facilities are also being checked.”

“There is no information nor reports of damage at this time,” he said.

Other people nearer to the epicenter were shocked by the shaking.

“I was laying down in my bed and I had my feet on the wall and I felt like both of the sides of the house were moving and shaking so I ran, and grabbed my brother and kid and came outside,” said Edith Mata, 22, a student at Bakersfield College. Her son is 3 years old and her brother is 17.

“The neighbors across the street were also outside with their whole family of five people. My kid had no idea what was going on.” Mata said that it felt very “creepy” and that she had never experienced anything like it before.

It was unclear whether the temblor caused damage or injuries. Los Angeles officials said they have gotten no reports of major damage.

In the Los Angeles area, the quake was slow and steady, lasting about 30 seconds.

The earthquake was centered 10 miles northeast of Ridgecrest, a city of about 29,000 known as a small town for skiers and snowboarders headed from Los Angeles to Mammoth.

The earthquake was felt widely throughout the Los Angeles area, said Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson.

It’s unlikely there was significant damage in a major urban area given that the earthquake was centered in such a remotely populated area.The area that ruptured occurred in an area of faults slightly east of the Sierra Nevada. The Little Lake fault is one of them, and last went through a magnitude 6 earthquake in 1984, Hauksson said.

Thursday’s quake was slightly weaker than the 1994 6.6 Northridge quake, which killed dozens and caused billions of dollars in damage. But that Los Angeles quake hit in the center of a populated area, while Thursday’s quake was located in a far less developed area.

“There is about a 1 in 20 chance that this location will be having an even bigger earthquake in the next few days, and that we have not yet seen the biggest earthquake of the sequence,” she said.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Judges Go Drinking, Head To Strip Club, Get Involved In A Shooting
« Reply #3848 on: July 04, 2019, 02:35:26 PM »

Judges Go Drinking, Head To Strip Club, Get Involved In A Shooting In White Castle Parking Lot

One of the shot judges was charged, but the details of his involvement are sketchy.

A night on the town for a few judges turned sloppy and then violent and now one of the judges who was shot in the altercation is facing charges.

Unraveling this story is a little difficult but from what is known is that Judge Andrew Adams and Judge Brad Jacobs, both of Southern Indiana’s Clark County, were in Indianapolis for a judicial conference and decided to take in the big city. From the IndyStar:

After hopping around several Downtown restaurants and bars late April 30 and into the morning hours of May 1, the judges tried to enter the Red Garter Gentleman’s Club, police said, but it was closed. They went to the nearby White Castle instead.

I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were playing some “color-themed establishment bingo” and not anything untoward. At some point, it’s not entirely clear when, Judge Sabrina Bell joined the group and all three were chilling in the White Castle parking lot when everything got ugly. Two guys in an SUV pulled up and got into a fight with Judges Adams and Jacobs:

During the struggle, one man raised to his knees, pulled a gun from his waistband and shot Adams in the stomach. Nearby, Jacobs and another man were wrestling. The other man held onto Jacobs, police said, when the shooter walked up to Jacobs and shot him in the chest. After Jacobs fell to the ground, one man held him down while the shooter held the gun against Jacobs’ chest and shot again.

Then the two men drove away, leaving the judges behind.

The police and prosecutors are keeping details frustratingly tight around this case so there’s no disclosed motive for the fight, but what we do know is that the shooter and his accomplice have been charged… but so has Judge Adams. The judge is facing “seven counts of low-level felony and misdemeanor charges, including two counts of Level 6 felony battery.” Judge Jacobs faces no charges.

The whole thing is an even bigger mess because prosecutors empaneled two grand juries and put up firewalls between individual prosecutors so everyone was able to be offered immunity in inquiries where they were victims without impacting the grand jury considering charges against each as perpetrators. All three charged men are free right now — for some f**king reason — and are expected to turn themselves in this week.

Conferences, man. I’m starting to get nervous about my next big legal tech show. I hear the EPCOT Center can get really rough.

Indiana judge is indicted for his alleged role in his own shooting at White Castle[IndyStar]


HeadshotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Strongest earthquake in years rattles Southern California; damage reported

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California on Thursday, the largest temblor to hit the region in years.

The 10:33 a.m. quake was centered in the Searles Valley, a remote area of Kern County about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, and was felt as far away as Long Beach and Las Vegas.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities, though authorities in the city of Ridgecrest were responding to dozens of emergency calls.

The Kern County Fire Department was responding to “nearly 2 dozen incidents ranging from medical assistance to structure fires in and around the city of Ridgecrest,” according to the department’s Twitter account.

There were scattered reports of problems at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. Reached by phone, Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden said authorities were in the process of assessing the hospital.

"It's a little crazy here right now,” she said before quickly ending the call.

The quake was the largest in Southern California since the 7.1 Hector Mine quake struck the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base in 1999.

Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones, California’s foremost earthquake expert, told a midday news conference in Pasadena to anticipate more shaking on the Fourth of July.

“We should be expecting lots of aftershocks,” Jones said. She estimated that there was a “greater than 50-50” chance of an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 or more Thursday afternoon.

By 12:30 p.m. more than 65 aftershocks had been recorded, including three that registered above magnitude 4.5.

Mark Leach, an engineer who lives in Ridgecrest, was in his garage about to drive to a Fourth of July barbecue in Los Angeles when the shaking started. It felt like it went on for 30 seconds, he said.

“About halfway through it I dashed out into the road completely freaking out,” he said. “You can see some cracking in the seams of the drywall and stuff was knocked off the shelves — books and CDs and stuff.”

Southern California 6.4 earthquake

A firefighter works to extinguish a house fire following an earthquake in Ridgecrest, Calif. (Ben Hood / Assocaited Press)

1 / 6

As the aftershocks started, Leach said he could actually hear them before he felt the shaking.

The quake was relatively deep, occurring more than five miles underground.

"I was in my kitchen trying to get some coffee and all the windows started rattling," said Emma Gallegos, a 34-year-old journalist in southwest Bakersfield. "It was just a little bit at first — I thought something was going by, and then I realized all the windows were rattling. It was kind of a long gentle roll and I felt two distinct waves."

Gallegos said that the dried chiles hanging from a hook on her kitchen wall were all shaking. "It was surreal."

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California.
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California. (Jon Schleuss / Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. Geological Survey is dispatching geologists to Kern County look for a surface rupture and gather other data.

Sizable earthquakes began shaking Searles Valley around 10:02 a.m., when a 4.0 quake struck. Seven minutes later, a 2.5 temblor struck. Both were likely foreshocks of the 6.4 earthquake at 10:33 a.m. Jones said it’s possible that the 6.4 event could turn out to be a foreshock of an even larger quake yet to come.

“There is about a 1 in 20 chance that this location will be having an even bigger earthquake in the next few days, and that we have not yet seen the biggest earthquake of the sequence,” she said. “Some aftershocks will probably exceed magnitude 5, which means they’ll probably be damaging.”

California has been in an earthquake drought, Jones said, but Thursday’s quake does not make the “big one” any less likely.

She added, “We should always be preparing for the big one.”

The earthquake was centered roughly 80 miles northeast of a stretch of the 106-year-old Los Angeles Aqueduct spanning the San Andreas fault.

“Aqueduct personnel have been deployed as part of our standard earthquake response protocols to inspect the aqueduct and reservoirs,” said Joe Ramallo, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “In the city, critical facilities are also being checked.”

“There is no information nor reports of damage at this time,” he said.

Other people nearer to the epicenter were shocked by the shaking.

“I was laying down in my bed and I had my feet on the wall and I felt like both of the sides of the house were moving and shaking so I ran, and grabbed my brother and kid and came outside,” said Edith Mata, 22, a student at Bakersfield College. Her son is 3 years old and her brother is 17.

“The neighbors across the street were also outside with their whole family of five people. My kid had no idea what was going on.” Mata said that it felt very “creepy” and that she had never experienced anything like it before.

It was unclear whether the temblor caused damage or injuries. Los Angeles officials said they have gotten no reports of major damage.

In the Los Angeles area, the quake was slow and steady, lasting about 30 seconds.

The earthquake was centered 10 miles northeast of Ridgecrest, a city of about 29,000 known as a small town for skiers and snowboarders headed from Los Angeles to Mammoth.

The earthquake was felt widely throughout the Los Angeles area, said Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson.

It’s unlikely there was significant damage in a major urban area given that the earthquake was centered in such a remotely populated area.The area that ruptured occurred in an area of faults slightly east of the Sierra Nevada. The Little Lake fault is one of them, and last went through a magnitude 6 earthquake in 1984, Hauksson said.

Thursday’s quake was slightly weaker than the 1994 6.6 Northridge quake, which killed dozens and caused billions of dollars in damage. But that Los Angeles quake hit in the center of a populated area, while Thursday’s quake was located in a far less developed area.

“There is about a 1 in 20 chance that this location will be having an even bigger earthquake in the next few days, and that we have not yet seen the biggest earthquake of the sequence,” she said.




Funny you should post this. My son just emailed me from Kuwait asking if I'm OK ?

We didn't feel a thing over in this side of the Mohave. I'm roughly 100 miles east of Death Valley where the shakin' was felt.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 03:42:53 PM by Surly1 »
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

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Strongest earthquake in years rattles Southern California; damage reported

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California on Thursday, the largest temblor to hit the region in years.

The 10:33 a.m. quake was centered in the Searles Valley, a remote area of Kern County about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, and was felt as far away as Long Beach and Las Vegas.




Funny you should post this. My son just emailed me from Kuwait asking if I'm OK ?

We didn't feel a thing over in this side of the Mohave. I'm roughly 100 miles east of Death Valley where the shakin' was felt.

Glad to kn ow that there were no ill effects and that you are OK.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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How Can We Celebrate “Freedom” While Kids Are in Concentration Camps?
« Reply #3851 on: July 04, 2019, 04:32:24 PM »
How Can We Celebrate “Freedom” While Kids Are in Concentration Camps?


Pro tip, flag-waver: Your July Fourth “freedom” narrative is a bald-faced lie.
LAUREN WALKER / TRUTHOUT


BY
PUBLISHED

I really don’t know what the hell we think we’re celebrating today. With children locked up in cages and concentration camps for the crime of being born on the wrong side of the legal fiction commonly known as a border, I don’t know who or what we think we are. But whatever it is, it has no business enjoying a holiday for “freedom.”

Pro tip, flag-waver: Your Fourth of July “freedom” narrative is a bald-faced lie. “All men are created equal” was written to represent white men, especially rich white men who owned slaves to work their land. Thomas Jefferson was one, James Madison and James Monroe were two more, as was George Washington. They wrote that line for themselves alone.

If you are a white, wealthy man bent on rolling around in the flowerbed of your born-on-third-base freedom today, remember that “All men are created equal” was not meant for your mother, your sister, your wife or your daughter. It was not meant for your Black friends, co-workers or neighbors. It wasn’t meant for the poor people you sidestep on the sidewalk. It wasn’t meant for the children kettled in hideous conditions on the border by dint of deliberate Trump administration policy.

Yet those words do stand at the core of our national creation, and generations of activists have worked and even died to ensure we as a people live up to that elemental moral code. If you want to celebrate something, how about celebrating the long fight to establish equal rights for everyone, including those kids currently caged within the “freedom” of our borders. What you take for granted came at a blood cost, and not just on battlefields in Pennsylvania and Europe.

Stonewall was a battlefield. The Edmund Pettus Bridge was a battlefield. The Triangle Shirtwaist factory was a battlefield. The Ludlow coal mine was a battlefield. Ferguson was a battlefield. These places and the events which seared them into our common history were and remain screams for freedom — a freedom that was hard won and must be fiercely defended.

The southern border of the United States of America is a battlefield, and children are being used as cannon fodder. By definition, a concentration camp is a facility where people deemed undesirable or suspicious by the government are forced to live in brutal conditions and denied their freedom. The criminalization of migration provides the legal fig leaf required to strip these people of their standing as fellow human beings — but human rights are for everyone, not just those Stephen Miller deems racially acceptable.

As with all the others, this battle has a body count. Also like the others, it is a battle that must be won, because it will define us as a nation if we don’t.

“Owning the libs” is more important to some than providing water to children who may never see their parents again. Prominent national politicians will spend the next 17 months running on their record of doing exactly that, and a bunch of them will almost certainly win. Tell me again what it is we’re celebrating today?

On this day 243 years ago, a decision was made on paper to remove the United States as a nation from the rule of kings. This was done for greedy reasons, as the purpose of the colonies was to peel stolen land for profit, and the Founders wanted that profit for themselves. Yet this decision, made so long ago and at the lethal expense of so many, has slowly blossomed into the potential for genuine freedom to be had by all, if we can simply live up to the hype behind what essentially began as a continental smash-and-grab robbery.

Placing children in concentration camps and prisons both at the border and throughout the country, tolerating this even for a moment, spits in the face of everything we as a country allegedly hold dear. Yet this country has been tolerating the captivity of children, in one form or another, since its founding. From slavery to prisons, from juvenile detention to boarding schools for Native children, from Japanese concentration camps to migrant concentration camps, caging children is part of the history of the United States.

Celebrating “freedom” on this Fourth of July within the overarching context of these children’s deliberately inflicted suffering is rank hypocrisy. We are not great, we may not even be good, but we must strive to be better than this.

READING LIST
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Let America Be America Again
« Reply #3852 on: July 04, 2019, 06:28:04 PM »
Let America Be America Again
Langston Hughes - 1902-1967

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."
The free?
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine—the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!
O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Southern California reels from magnitude 7.1 quake
« Reply #3853 on: July 06, 2019, 02:05:00 AM »
Southern California reels from magnitude 7.1 quake
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 has jolted Southern California, but there are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/california-towns-survey-quake-damage-amid-more-aftershocks/2019/07/05/4d269062-9f82-11e9-83e3-45fded8e8d2e_story.html

Another big quake last night that interrupted several sporting events in Las Vegas and SoCal. Wonder if AZ felt that one?
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Trump swamp creature Acosta resigns in disgrace
« Reply #3854 on: July 12, 2019, 09:29:25 AM »
As inevitable as sunrise:
Trump swamp creature Acosta resigns in utter disgrace. Certainly a new "action secretary" warming up in the bullpen, sure to be even worse.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1029226
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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