As Joe Hoft reminds us, Yoel Roth was the the one to block the Hunter Biden Laptop story before the 2020 election and called Trump officials “actual Nazis.” He is a bad actor and appears to have participated in illegal acts.
Circle Squared Alternative Investments founder Jeff Sica discusses Big Tech earnings and why Musk’s potential Twitter deal is a bad idea on ‘Varney & Co.’
Elon Musk accused Twitter’s former board of directors and their lawyers of “deliberately” hiding evidence from court proceedings, days after the entrepreneur’s $44 billion deal was finalized.
“Wachtell & Twitter board deliberately hid this evidence from the court,” Musk tweeted Sunday night. He included a screenshot of internal messages from a Twitter executive referencing “fraudulent metrics.”
“Stay tuned, more to come…,” the billionaire added. Twitter was represented by Wachtell, Rosen, Lipton and Katz lawyers in their legal proceedings with the entrepreneur.
Proof of “fraudulent metrics” at Twitter may serve as a basis for arguments that Musk significantly overpaid in the $44 billion deal. Musk said earlier this month that he “obviously” paid more than the company was currently worth.
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks in Los Angeles June 13, 2019. (Reuters Photos)
In July, Musk told Twitter that he planned to terminate the deal he announced in April over speculations about the amount of spam accounts on the website, prompting Twitter to file a lawsuit.
After Twitter accused Musk of not following his obligations under their agreement, Musk filed a countersuit. The entrepreneur changed course by announcing that he would proceed with his original $54.20 per share offer to buy the platform in October.
In the screenshot, Twitter’s Global Head of Safety & Integrity Yoel Roth suggested that he would imply a Twitter personnel named Amir used “fraudulent metrics” to report objectives and key results (OKRs).
“But also lol if Amir continues to BS me my escalation route is ‘Amir’s OKRs are entirely based on fraudulent metrics and he doesn’t care and may actively be trying to hide the ball,’” the Twitter executive wrote.
“Literally doing what Elon is accusing us of doing,” Roth added. In a follow-up tweet on Sunday night, Musk said that he supported Roth after other Twitter users dug up old, apparently anti-Trump tweets from Roth.
“We’ve all made some questionable tweets, me more than most, but I want to be clear that I support Yoel,” the Telsa founder wrote. “My sense is that he has high integrity, and we are all entitled to our political beliefs.”
Roth’s comments about “fraudulent metrics” were made in a May 17 message – roughly the same time Musk accused Twitter of being “very suspicious” about its reporting of spam bots.
The Department of Homeland Security has left open a special feature that allows government officials to flag Facebook posts for misinformation after scrapping a controversial advisory board tasked with developing guidelines for social media censorship, the Intercept reported Monday.
DHS announced plans for a Disinformation Governance Board to “develop guidelines, standards, guardrails to ensure that the work that has been ongoing for nearly 10 years does not infringe on people’s free speech rights, rights of privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in May, according to The Hill. While DHS shuttered the initiative after an onslaught of bipartisan opposition decrying the potential censorship, the Intercept found through an analysis of public and leaked documents that government efforts to police tech companies goes on.
Those activities include a Facebook portal only accessible by government and law enforcement representatives to formally request the platform kill or label alleged misinformation, according to the Intercept. A leaked set of slides contains instructions on how to operate the system, and the URL to access the site — facebook.com/xtakedowns/login — was still active at the time of publication.
“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” a DHS official told a Microsoft representative in February, according to the Intercept.
The U.S. government has for years discussed the scope and scale of online content moderation the government should engage in, as well as how to compel social media platforms to flag or remove “misinformation,” “disinformation” and “malinformation,” the Intercept reported, citing meeting minutes and records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
The department now considers rooting out misinformation online as a critical element of its overall mission, according to a draft of the 2022 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review reviewed by the Intercept.
While the document highlights counter-terrorism as DHS’s primary objective, it acknowledges that “misinformation and disinformation spread online” can exacerbate terrorist threats from “domestic violent extremists,” according to the Intercept. It calls for DHS to use advanced computer analytical software and hire experts “to better understand how threat actors use online platforms to introduce and spread toxic narratives intended to inspire or incite violence.”
However, DHS has defined the “critical infrastructure” threatened by domestic terrorists to encompass trust in government, public health and election security, according to the Intercept.
“No matter your political allegiances, all of us have good reason to be concerned about government efforts to pressure private social media platforms into reaching the government’s preferred decisions about what content we can see online,” Adam Goldstein, the vice president of research at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, told the Intercept.
Agencies under DHS — Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Science and Technology Directorate and the Secret Service — all have directives to combat misinformation online, the Intercept reported, citing a DHS Inspector General report from August.
Meta and DHS did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Daily Callerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Caller2022-10-31 15:41:092022-10-31 15:42:58Government Officials Have A Special Portal To Flag Facebook Posts For Censorship
Facebook is now in the business of protecting Antifa, a group that has caused riots across America using the false narrative that American patriots are Fascists. As we pointed out in our article Joseph Goebbels said, “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.”
Facebook is now censoring those who dare to expose those who accuse the other side of that of which they, themselves, are guilty.
Therefore, Facebook by censoring us is in essence “promoting violence” against Americans and their community standards censors prove it.
We have noticed that since Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn into office on January 20th, 2021 our Facebook account has been charged with multiple, continuing restrictions for violating “community standards.”
Our account was first shut down for 24-hours (e.g. no posting, sharing, commenting, liking) on March 13th, 2021 for violating Facebook’s “community standards.”
The most recent violation of “community standards” restriction was place on our account on August 21st, 2022 for a period of thirty-nine days for posting about Covid, vaccines, MAGA and other related links.
Here is a screen shot of Facebook Restrictions placed on our account beginning on August 21st, 2022.
Is it just a coincidence that Biden entered the White House on January 20th, 2021 and less than two months later our restrictions began?
In June of 2021 Facebook issued it’s mission statement which is to,
“Bring the world closer together…give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
When one reads this mission statement one thinks of Facebook giving power to the people. Right? It doesn’t say give power to an employee of Facebook or say give power to any government entity. Right?
QUESTION: How does restricting any individual’s power to build a community bring the world closer together?
ANSWER: It doesn’t!
QUESTION: What is standing in the way of the power of each individual to build his/her community?
ANSWER: Facebook’s Community Standards!
Facebook’s Semi-Fascist Community Standards
We analyzed this sudden change in Facebook’s “community standards” policy that began, for us, in March of 2021.
On August 26th, 2022 in a BBC News‘ titled Zuckerberg tells Rogan FBI warning prompted Biden laptop story censorship David Molloy reported,
Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook restricting a story about Joe Biden’s son during the 2020 election was based on FBI misinformation warnings.
The New York Post alleged leaked emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop showed the then vice-president was helping his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.
Facebook and Twitter restricted sharing of the article, before reversing course amid allegations of censorship.
Zuckerberg said that getting the decision wrong “sucks”.
“When we take down something that we’re not supposed to, that’s the worst,” Zuckerberg said in a rare extended media interview on the Joe Rogan podcast.
The New York Post story was released just weeks before the presidential election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, which Mr Biden won.
It claimed that a laptop, abandoned in a repair shop by Hunter Biden, contained emails which included details of Hunter introducing a Ukrainian energy tycoon to his father and arranging a meeting. There is no record on Mr Biden’s schedule that such a meeting ever took place.
Critically, it fed into long-running unproven allegations about corruption on Joe Biden’s part to ensure his son’s business success in Ukraine.
In that context, the New York Post story, based on exclusive data no other news agency had access to, was met with scepticism[sic] – and censored by social media outlets.
Zuckerberg told Rogan: “The background here is that the FBI came to us – some folks on our team – and was like ‘hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert. We thought there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election, we have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump that’s similar to that’.”
He said the FBI did not warn Facebook about the Biden story in particular – only that Facebook thought it “fit that pattern”. [Emphasis added]
Our federal government paid for Russian disinformation to frame the president of the United States for colluding with Russia.
The FBI put a contributor to the Hillary Clinton campaign’s Donald Trump smear dossier on FBI payroll as a confidential human source after investigating Igor Danchenko for allegedly spying for the Russian government, revealed Special Counsel John Durham in a court filing unsealed by a Virginia federal court yesterday. The filing contains this bombshell and seven other significant details about the Democrat-led plot to use U.S. intelligence agencies to deny Americans the results of their choice for president in 2016.
The FBI made Danchenko a confidential human source, providing him and the FBI’s use of him “national security” cover, in March 2017 and terminated that designation in October 2020, according to the court filing unsealed on Sept. 13. Danchenko is the originator of the false claim trumpeted all over global media that Donald Trump told prostitutes to pee on beds the Obamas had slept in in a Russian hotel.
The FBI had previously targeted Danchenko, Christopher Steele’s primary source, as a possible Russian agent. But after discovering Danchenko’s identity as Steele’s Sub-Source No. 1, rather than investigate whether Danchenko had been feeding Steele Russian disinformation, the FBI paid Danchenko as a CHS.
Trial for Lying to the FBI to Take Down a President
Danchenko faces trial next month on five counts of lying to the FBI related to his role as Steele’s primary sub-source. One count of the indictment concerned Danchenko’s denial during an FBI interview on June 15, 2017, of having spoken with “PR Executive-1” about any material contained in the Steele dossier. “PR Executive-1” has since been identified as the Clinton and Democratic National Committee-connected Charles Dolan, Jr. Also according to the special counsel’s office, Danchenko fed Steele at least two false claims about Trump that originated in part from Dolan.
The FBI before the 2020 presidential election tells Facebook that Hunter Biden’s laptop is misinformation. Facebook then de-platforms those, like us who said the laptop was real, because we violated FB’s community standards.
Then the FBI creates a dossier that is leaked and sent to various agencies and Congress to do a witch hunt against a sitting president of the United States.
Then Facebook goes along with this hoax and even de-platforms people like us who point out it is a hoax. Those who point out that this is a hoax are then de-platformed for violating FB’s community standards.
Then the Biden administration, Dr. Fauci, the CDC and U.S. Department of Health begin a massive shut down of the American economy using Covid as the reason. Then Facebook begins to flag any posts on its platform that questions this national shutdown.
Then the Biden administration mandates government workers, our military and every American citizen get jabbed or lose their job. Facebook goes along with this program and flags any comments that question this policy.
The more and more cases of the mild to serious short and long term effects and even deaths of those taking the Covid vaccines are reported by people like us on their platform. Then FB’s community standards kick in again and people like us are de-platformed.
Then the January 6th Democrat hearings begin and not surprisingly those who call this demonstration mostly peaceful are blocked for violating FB’s community standards.
Then Biden begins implementing his stop climate change at all costs, to the American taxpayer, agenda and FB’s community standards kick in to shut down those who do not believe that government or spending more of their tax dollars has any influence on the weather, let alone the global climate.
We could go on but we think you get the point. Facebook’s community standards are semi-fascist in that they protect this Democrat controlled White House and U.S. Congress at all costs.
Why? Because Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg helped steal the 2020 election by illegally funding ballot drop boxes in key states as dis covered by True the Vote and made public in their file 2000 mules.
This isn’t a conspiracy theory, this is in fact a conspiracy to keep conservatives taking back the reigns of power in 2022 and 2024.
Facebook is part of this conspiracy and we’re calling them out.
When our time in Facebook jail ends for violating their community standards ends we will post this article on their platform. Then FB’s semi-fascist community stands will discover us and we will be back the the Facebook gulag.
Spying on Your Thoughts, Arrested for ‘Wrong Think’?
A little over a year ago President Biden proposed the establishment of a new biomedical research agency modeled after the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to propel cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases
That agency — the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) — is now well on its way to being and up and running, with a $1 billion budget from Congress
ARPA-H appears to merge national security with health “security” in a way that could lead to the criminalization of illness and general “wrong-think”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is now recommending that all U.S. adults aged 65 and younger should be screened for mental health issues
The screening recommendation falls right in line with the original intent behind ARPA-H, which was to monitor Americans for neuropsychiatric warning signs by harvesting private data from consumer electronic devices and health care providers. AI would then be used to predict whether an individual might commit a crime, so that it could be stopped before it happens
A little over a year ago President Biden proposed a plan to set in place a new health agency to drive the U.S. down a futuristic road that would lead to cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases.
At the time, investigative journalist Whitney Webb, author of “One Nation Under Blackmail,” warned that the new biomedical research agency — modeled after the nation’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — actually is a plan to merge national security with health “security” in a way that would “use both physical and mental health ‘warning signs’ to prevent outbreaks of disease or violence before they occur.”1
According to Webb, “Such a system is a recipe for a technocratic ‘pre-crime’ organization with the potential to criminalize both mental and physical illness as well as ‘wrongthink.’”
ARPA-H — A ‘High-Risk’ Research Agency
That agency — formally named the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health2 (ARPA-H) — is now well on its way to being and up and running, with a $1 billion budget from Congress to start. Public law 117-103 was enacted March 15, 2022, which authorized its establishment within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), under the National Institutes of Health (NIH).3
Government officials only need to iron out details such as what programs and activities it will engage in, and (of course) what “appropriate” current and future funding will be needed to run it.
ARPA-H seems to fit hand in glove with Biden’s September 12, 2022, “Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe and Secure American Bioeconomy,”4 which essentially establishes a fast-tracked pipeline for transhumanist dream projects.
Specified in that order is the development of genetic engineering technologies and techniques “to be able to write circuitry for cells and predictably program biology in the same way in which we write software and program computers,” as well as genetic technologies to “unlock the power of biological data” using “computing tools and artificial intelligence.”
Additionally, “obstacles for commercialization” will be reduced “so that innovative technologies and products can reach markets faster.” ARPA-H is a tailor-made vehicle for fast-tracked (read poorly tested and incredibly dangerous) biomedical research. Like DARPA, ARPA-H will focus on “high-risk, high-reward research.”
Task Force Calls for Psych Screening All Adults
In related news, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — an independent panel of experts appointed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services — is recommending that all U.S. adults aged 65 and younger should be screened for mental health issues.5
Is this a forerunner for Webb’s prediction of how the government will detect mental health “pre-crimes”? The task force is accepting public comments on the proposal until October 17, 2022.6
Health and Biowarfare Have Become Increasingly Entwined
While we often think of military defense and public health as two very different areas of concern, the two have over the years merged to a significant extent, which in some ways helps explain why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now acting in ways that can best be described as a covert war against the health of the American public.
In June 2002, President Bush signed the “Biodefense for the 21st Century”7 directive, the aim of which was to advance a “comprehensive framework” for U.S. biodefense, based on the assumption that America could be devastated by a bioweapons attack.
The directive outlined “essential pillars” of the U.S. biodefense program, including threat awareness and vulnerability assessment, prevention and protection, surveillance and detection, response and recovery.
In 2002, the Bush administration quintupled biodefense spending to $317 million, and the following year, that budget ballooned to $2 billion.8 Bush also earmarked another $6 billion for the development and stockpiling of vaccines over the next decade.
The man selected by Vice President Dick Cheney to oversee the spending of much of these vast amounts of cash was Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984.
In 2003, Fauci’s professional responsibilities were expanded to include all civilian biodefense research, both classified and unclassified, and the development of medical countermeasures against terrorist threats from infectious diseases9 — and all without oversight. For all these years, he’s had carte blanche to approve and run whatever biodefense research he wanted, without anyone telling him otherwise.
We now know Fauci has funded a wide array of risky gain-of-function research, including research that may have been instrumental in the creation of SARS-CoV-2. And while all of that is being justified in the name of biodefense, in reality, all biodefense research is biowarfare research. Everything has dual use.
Allegiance to the Highest Bidder
At the same time that he’s involved in the creation of lethal pathogens capable of devastating the global population, Fauci is also supposed to protect the American public against infectious diseases. In the case of COVID-19, he clearly failed, even though he confidently predicted10 that President Trump would have to face an infectious outbreak.
As it stands, ARPA-H is also housed under the umbrella of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), just like the NIAID. So, we basically have two biowarfare/defense agencies smack-dab in the middle of a public health agency.
Add to that the fact that “biodefense” has for the last nearly three years been used to strip Americans of their Constitutional rights and freedoms, and it’s starting to look as though our public health agencies have been turned into Department of Defense proxies.
The designated enemy is the American people, and the weapons of war are a combination of souped-up pathogens and gene-based technologies cooked up in Fauci-funded labs, and DOD-directed surveillance and social engineering technologies.
It makes sense to ask why the American defense department would turn its military might against its own people, the very ones it’s supposed to protect. The answer is that most nations have been infiltrated and basically taken over by globalist interests that want to erase national borders in favor of a centralized global governance board.
The United States is, unfortunately, no exception. So, the short answer is, the American government is not attacking Americans on their own accord. They’re merely doing the bidding of globalist interests.
Why? That’s a tougher question to answer. Some probably decided to sell out to the highest bidder. Others truly believe in the ideologies of technocracy and transhumanism that The Great Reset authors espouse.
Some might not realize why they’re doing what they’re doing. They’re just following orders and haven’t thought it through. Others may be psychopaths and just don’t care what happens, as long as they get theirs. Some are bonafide eugenicists and want to thin the herd, and all the more so if they can make a buck in the process.
ARPA-H’s Original Intention: Neuropsychiatric Monitoring
Focusing for a moment on the psychiatric monitoring issue mentioned earlier, Webb, in her article, explained how ARPA-H proponents, in 2019, wanted Trump to implement it for the prevention of mass shootings — not cancer. As explained by Webb:11
“ARPA-H is not a new and exclusive Biden administration idea; there was a previous attempt to create a ‘health DARPA’ during the Trump administration in late 2019 …
In 2019, the same foundation and individuals currently backing Biden’s ARPA-H had urged then president Trump to create ‘HARPA,’ not for the main purpose of researching treatments for cancer and Alzheimer’s, but to stop mass shootings before they happen through the monitoring of Americans for ‘neuropsychiatric’ warning signs.
For the last few years, one man has been the driving force behind HARPA — former vice chair of General Electric and former president of NBC Universal, Robert Wright.
Through the Suzanne Wright Foundation (named for his late wife), Wright has spent years lobbying for an agency that ‘would develop biomedical capabilities — detection tools, treatments, medical devices, cures, etc.— for the millions of Americans who are not benefitting from the current system.’
While he, like Biden, has cloaked the agency’s actual purpose by claiming it will be mainly focused on treating cancer, Wright’s 2019 proposal to his personal friend Donald Trump revealed its underlying ambitions.
As first proposed by Wright in 2019, the flagship program of HARPA would be SAFE HOME, short for Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes.12
SAFE HOME would suck up masses of private data from ‘Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo, and Google Home’ and other consumer electronic devices, as well as information from health-care providers to determine if an individual might be likely to commit a crime. The data would be analyzed by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms ‘for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence.’
The Department of Justice’s pre-crime approach known as DEEP13 was activated just months before Trump left office; it was also justified as a way to ‘stop mass shootings before they happen.’ Soon after Biden’s inauguration, the new administration began using information from social media to make pre-crime arrests14 as part of its approach toward combatting ‘domestic terror.’
Given the history of Silicon Valley companies collaborating with the government on matters of warrantless surveillance,15 it appears that aspects of SAFE HOME may already be covertly active under Biden, only waiting for the formalization of ARPA-H/HARPA to be legitimized as public policy.”
Total Information Awareness
According to Webb, ARPA-H’s connections to DARPA suggests the new agency is a new version of DARPA’s failed Total Information Awareness (TIA) program, a biosurveillance project launched in the aftermath of 9/11.
The goal was to develop information technologies capable of automatically detecting the release of a pathogen by “monitoring nontraditional data sources,” including “prediagnostic medical data” and “behavioral indicators.”
Put plainly, they were trying to identify bioterrorist threats by spying on the public. “Now, under the guise of the proposed ARPA-H, DARPA’s original TIA would essentially be making a comeback for all intents and purposes as its own spin-off,” Webb writes.
Into this mix we also have to add Big Tech. The list of tech companies with DOD contracts is a long one, so many technologies have dual purposes. Facebook is but one example of that. This dual purpose also goes the other way. For example, the U.S. military is developing biometric wearables to detect COVID-19, ostensibly to allow Americans to “return to work safely.” As noted by Webb:16
“While of interest to the military, these wearables are primarily intended for mass use — a big step toward the infrastructure needed for the resurrection of a bio-surveillance program to be run by the national-security state.”
We also now know the U.S. government illegally instructs tech platforms to censor information and people on its behalf. So, Big Tech is also best viewed as a weapon, wielded by the U.S. government for the benefit of the technocratic cabal that wants to do away with nations and run the whole world.
The Era of Digital Dictatorship Is Upon Us
There can be little doubt today that “biosecurity” is the favored justification for the need of a digital dictatorship. Stripping you of your freedom is “for your own safety,” and you’re supposed to be thankful. If you’re not, the biosecurity state labels you a homicidal bioterrorist.
It’s easy to see, actually, why biosecurity is such an alluring ploy. It’s easy to make people afraid of something they can’t see. It’s easy to fake an outbreak. It’s easy to get rid of anyone you want simply by labeling them a biothreat and tossing them into a quarantine camp, never to be heard of again. It’s easy to get people to comply with surveillance, as most are scared of getting sick.
It’s easy to get people to turn on each other, again because they’re afraid of getting sick. All you have to do is declare people who don’t mask up or won’t get the latest gene therapy a threat to public health, and people around them do the harassing. We’ve even discovered it’s easy to get people to commit voluntary suicide by taking a poisonous, experimental injection they know nothing about — again because they’re afraid of getting sick.
It’s a good plan. Just look at how easily these maniacs eliminated more than 5.9 million people worldwide with SARS-CoV-2 (many of which were killed by intentionally improper treatment protocols), and how easily they’re eliminating millions more in excess deaths from the COVID jab. All without firing a single bullet or lighting up a single gas chamber. It’s amazing, really. As noted by Webb:17
“In the merging of ‘national security’ and ‘health security,’ any decision or mandate promulgated as a public health measure could be justified as necessary for ‘national security,’ much in the same way that the mass abuses and war crimes that occurred during the post-9/11 ‘war on terror’ were similarly justified by ‘national security’ with little to no oversight.
Yet, in this case, instead of only losing our civil liberties and control over our external lives, we stand to lose sovereignty over our individual bodies … The … NIH’s BRAIN initiative … was launched, among other things, to ‘develop tools to record, mark, and manipulate precisely defined neurons in the living brain’ that are determined to be linked to an ‘abnormal’ function or a neurological disease …
Biden’s newly announced agency … would integrate those past Obama-era initiatives with Orwellian applications under one roof, but with even less oversight than before. It would also seek to expand and mainstream the uses of these technologies and potentially move toward developing policies that would mandate their use …
ARPA-H … will be used to resurrect dangerous and long-standing agendas of the national-security state and its Silicon Valley contractors, creating a ‘digital dictatorship’ that threatens human freedom, human society, and potentially the very definition of what it means to be human.”
US Military Spends Millions Spying on Americans
In related news, Vice recently reported the U.S. military has purchased a mass monitoring tool called “Augury,” which is said to capture everything “except the smell of electricity”:18
“Multiple branches of the U.S. military have bought access to a powerful internet monitoring tool that claims to cover over 90 percent of the world’s internet traffic, and which in some cases provides access to people’s email data, browsing history, and other information such as their sensitive internet cookies, according to contracting data and other documents …
Additionally, Sen. Ron Wyden says that a whistleblower has contacted his office concerning the alleged warrantless use19 and purchase of this data by NCIS, a civilian law enforcement agency that’s part of the Navy …
The tool, called Augury … bundles a massive amount of data together and makes it available to government and corporate customers as a paid service … agencies that deal with criminal investigations have also purchased the capability. The military agencies did not describe their use cases for the tool.”
According to Vice, the U.S. Navy, Army, Cyber Command and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency have spent at least $3.5 million to access this tool. The question is why. As noted by Vice, rather than getting a proper warrant, U.S. agencies frequently simply purchase the desired data, be it cell phone data or internet use data, from private companies.
In the case of Augury, it harvests an estimated 93% of all internet traffic, including browser history, URLs visited, cookie usage, email data, and most importantly, packet capture data (PCAP) related to email, remote desktop and file sharing protocols.
In all, it’s an insane amount of data being captured without our knowledge, which is then sold for a hefty profit by a private company (and this is just one of many) to government agencies that use our tax dollars to spy on us.
Google — The Biggest Spy Machine of All
A key player in this digital prison being built around us, on the taxpayers’ dime, is Google. Not only is it a massive spy machine, capturing “every word of every email sent through Gmail and every click made on a Chrome browser,”20 it’s also a key censoring tool. Sure, it’s private and “can do what it wants,” but it’s actually doing the government’s bidding, so it’s not independent in any serious definition of the word.
Google is also a frontrunner and expert in artificial intelligence, required for effective social engineering, and both are crucial components of The Great Reset’s social credit system.
Google’s interference in your life is only going to increase, and if you’re still using Gmail, understand that they are censoring your inbox. While about 50% of our subscribers are using Gmail accounts, the delivery rate for Gmail accounts is HALF of all the email providers like ProtonMail.
So, if you are using Gmail to receive our newsletter please change immediately. ProtonMail is an excellent alternative. It provides end-to-end encryption to protect your content and other user data. Proton also provides an encrypted calendar, encrypted cloud storage and free VPN.
Stop Feeding the Beast
Next, start weeding out any and all other Google products. All Google products are interconnected, and the data from all their different products and services are collected to build your personality profile.
That profile is then sold to third parties. It’s also used by Google to influence your thoughts, beliefs and behaviors using AI analytics. AI analytics also bring us back to where we started, with Biden’s new “pre-crime,” predictive policing agency, ARPA-H — or what could become such an agency.
While predictive policing may still sound like pure sci-fi, a January 2020 Intercept article21 cited a 2018 document22 by the data storage firm Western Digital and the consulting company Accenture, which predicted smart surveillance networks will eventually be used for that very purpose.
At present, law enforcement uses CCTV networks to investigate crimes after they’ve occurred. Western Digital and Accenture predict that by 2025, municipalities will be transformed into fully connected smart cities where the cameras of businesses and public institutions are all plugged into a government-run AI-enabled analytics system, and by 2035, that system will have predictive capabilities. As reported by The Intercept:23
“A ‘public safety ecosystem’ will centralize data ‘pulled from disparate databases such as social media, driver’s licenses, police databases, and dark data.’ An AI-enabled analytics unit will let police assess ‘anomalies in real time and interrupt a crime before it is committed.’ That is to say, to catch pre-crime.”
Looking at ARPA-H with a jaundiced eye, it does seem tailor-made for what Webb calls “a technocratic ‘pre-crime’ organization with the potential to criminalize both mental and physical illness as well as ‘wrongthink.’”
Privacy Is Freedom, Freedom Is Privacy
It’s time to realize that you cannot have freedom without privacy — especially data privacy. We simply must have data privacy because our data is being used to manipulate, control, deceive and hurt us. It’s being used as a weapon against us.
Considering how massive the monitoring, surveillance and data harvesting is already, it’s going to take a while to extricate ourselves. Ultimately, we’ll need stringent laws and enforcement agencies that penalize companies that harvest and sell user data.
In the meantime, we need to educate each other about the control grid being set up, and on an individual level begin to “starve the beast.” Stop giving away your data. Every single data point you give them is another data point that will be used to educate AI on how to better control people.
Ditching Google products — all of them — will take a big chunk out of the data harvesting effort. So, don’t delay. Start today. Several of the most commonly-used Google traps are listed in the list and graphic below.
If you’re a high school student, do not convert the Google accounts you created as a student into personal accounts.
Switch to a secure document sharing service — Ditch Google Docs and use another alternative such as Zoho Office, Etherpad, CryptPad, OnlyOffice or Nuclino, all of which are recommended by NordVPN.24 Digital Trends has also published a number of alternatives.25
Delete all Google apps from your phone and purge Google hardware.
Don’t use Google Home devices in your house or apartment — These devices record everything that occurs in your home, both speech and sounds such as brushing your teeth and boiling water, even when they appear to be inactive, and send that information back to Google. The same goes for Google’s home thermostat Nest and Amazon’s Alexa.
Don’t use an Android cellphone, as it’s owned by Google.
Ditch Siri, which draws all its answers from Google.
Don’t use Fitbit, as it was recently purchased by Google and will provide them with all your physiological information and activity levels, in addition to everything else that Google already has on you.
Stop using Gmail — Use a privacy based encryption service like ProtonMail.
Stop using Chrome browser and Google Search — Brave is the browser of choice and while you are there, you can use the new Brave search engine.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00MERCOLA Take Control of Your Healthhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngMERCOLA Take Control of Your Health2022-10-19 05:00:352022-10-19 05:02:15Mass Monitoring: A Digital Dictatorship on the Horizon?
China’s links to TikTok may be a cause for concern, but the United States is too fractured to do anything about it.
One of the newest stars in the social-media constellations is TikTok, a free video-sharing app that is very popular among young users. Ostensibly, you have to be at least 13 to join TikTok, but such age limits are notoriously easy to evade.
Like other social-media apps, the TikTok app has various ways of making money, including advertising, contests, and in-app purchases. It was the first non-Meta app (i.e. not Facebook or its ilk) to reach the threshold of three billion downloads worldwide, even with the handicap of being banned in India.
The reason India banned TikTok in 2019, only two years after it went global, was that an Indian court viewed it as a source of pornographic content and a medium likely to be used by sexual predators.
In 2020, the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a permanent ban, citing national security concerns. Although there have been efforts to ban TikTok in the US, they have been unsuccessful so far.
TikTok is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ByteDance, a company based in China. The US division of TikTok recently made the news when five executives resigned after facing interference by ByteDance into the US organisation’s internal workings. According to an article originally published in National Review, one executive complained:
“A lot of our guidance came from HQ, and we weren’t necessarily part of strategy building. … I don’t want to be told what to do.”
Coming after earlier reports of a leaked strategy document from ByteDance that ordered subsidiaries to “play down the China connection,” one wonders just how tight a rein ByteDance holds on its foreign TikTok operations.
Nothing major goes on in China without at least the passive acquiescence of the government. So we can be sure that Chinese government leaders are aware of what ByteDance is doing. This is one reason that the TikTok app itself is not available in China.
Instead, a modified version called Douyin is available there. But the leaked document urges PR people to respond to questions about Chinese control of TikTok by saying that “TikTok is not available in China.” It’s the truth, it’s nothing but the truth, but it’s not the whole truth.
The question of how much control a central ownership hub should exert over foreign subsidiaries is nothing new. Dodgy things were done during World War II with regard to American-owned properties in Nazi Germany, at least up to the point when Germany blocked American assets there once the US declared war on Germany.
The US isn’t at war with China. But one could be pardoned for wondering why China is exporting tons of fentanyl for illegal consumption in the US. Perhaps it’s in revenge for the Opium Wars, a sordid episode in the relationship between China and the West that forced China to open its doors to opium imported from British-colonised India in the 1800s. Whatever the reason, some people doubt that China has the best interests of the US at heart, and look with suspicion on the way ByteDance is consolidating control of TikTok in China.
Starting in the 1990s, globalising free trade became a worldwide goal and, just as Adam Smith would have predicted, raised the living standards of billions of people around the globe. Most of these were in the developing world, but Walmart wouldn’t be able to sell most of its stuff as cheaply as it does if it weren’t for China, so to that extent the US benefitted as well.
But lately, we are seeing a variety of ways in which the pernicious effects of social media are becoming increasingly obvious — in the toxicity of political discourse, in the soaring rates of depression and suicide among young people, and in the general distractedness of the US population.
A purely US version of TikTok might not be much better than the one we have, but the fact that its strings are being pulled by Chinese masters adds a sinister look to an already fraught situation.
If sovereignty means anything, it means that a sovereign government can control the kind of activities and commerce that foreign-owned and foreign-operated enterprises conduct. So as a theoretical matter, the US would be entirely in its rights to ban TikTok outright, as India in fact has. Yes, there would be a howl, but people would get over it. And probably something similar to TikTok would spring up overnight and try to evade the ban.
But that presumes a unity and coherence of action on the part of government which is notably absent today. As with everything else, a serious movement to ban TikTok would become politicised, with Republicans (probably) favouring it and Democrats (probably) opposing the ban on account of free speech, or possibly even just because the Republicans favor it and we’re opposed to whatever Republicans are in favour of. And then the outcome would depend on which party controls the levers of power, unless there is a stalemate.
That is the good old small-d democratic way, but social media itself has thrown numerous monkey wrenches in the formerly smooth operations of democratic governance. I have never viewed TikTok, but by its reputation it doesn’t seem that political. (I wouldn’t put it past the Beto for Texas Governor campaign to put an ad on it, though — he reportedly joined TikTok in March of 2020, just in time for COVID-19.)
I begin to wonder whether we are ever going to get back to the former compromising and horse-trading that went on when US politicians knew both how to condemn the other side in fiery speeches, and then join their opposite-aisle colleagues at the bar after work for a friendly chat about how to wrangle out legislation that would leave most parties at least partly satisfied. The current style of take-no-prisoners scorched-earth politics may make for entertaining sound bites, but it doesn’t get much done. Including banning TikTok, if in fact that is what we ought to do.
Karl D. Stephan received the B. S. in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1976. Following a year of graduate study at Cornell, he received the Master of Engineering degree in 1977… More by Karl D. Stephan
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00MercatorNet - Navigating Modern Complexitieshttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngMercatorNet - Navigating Modern Complexities2022-10-12 04:43:522022-10-12 04:44:15TikTok And The Chinese Connection
Eugene Yu, the CEO of the software firm Konnech, has been arrested in connection to the storage of data on servers in China.
“Yu, 51, was arrested early Tuesday just outside of Lansing, Mich., after prosecutors alleged he improperly stored the information on servers in China, according to Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón. Yu, who is the chief executive officer of a company named Konnech, is expected to be extradited to Los Angeles in the coming days, Gascón said,” according to the LA Times.
“Konnech allegedly violated its contract by storing critical information that the workers provided on servers in China. We intend to hold all those responsible for this breach accountable,” Gascón said.
“Prosecutors learned of the data breach this year through a ‘separate investigation’ undertaken by the district attorney’s office, according to Gascón. He would not say what the other investigation was or exactly when his office became aware of the breach,” the LA Times reported.
Konnech issued a statement that read, in part: “We are continuing to ascertain the details of what we believe to be Mr. Yu’s wrongful detention by LA County authorities. Any LA County poll worker data that Konnech may have possessed was provided to it by LA County, and therefore could not have been ‘stolen’ as suggested.”
It was on Monday that The New York Times ran an article claiming that “election deniers” had made Konnech the center of a “conspiracy theory.” The article claimed that these “election deniers” had used “threadbare evidence” to suggest that Konnech “had secret ties to the Chinese Communist Party and had given the Chinese government back door access to personal data about two million poll workers in the United States.”
The Times claimed that these allegations against Konnech “demonstrate how far-right election deniers are also giving more attention to new and more secondary companies and groups.”
Konnech, based in Michigan, had been contracted by Los Angeles County, and Allen County, Indiana, to work on “election logistics, such as scheduling poll workers.”
“Konnech,” the Times stated, “said none of the accusations were true. It said that all the data for its American customers were stored on services in the United States and that it had no ties to the Chinese government.”
The Times lameneted the damage done to Konnech’s reputation by these “election deniers” who claimed that the company had ties to the CCP.
On Tuesday, the Times had to write that Yu had been arrested, and that data collected by Konnech had indeed been stored on servers in China. True the Vote, an election integrity not-for-profit, stated that they were able to download the personal information of some 1.8 million poll workers from Konnech servers in China. True the Vote passed this information on to the FBI.
“Holding the data there would violate Konnech’s contract with the county,” the Times wrote.
The company itself appears to be standing by Yu, and continues to blame election deniers for harming the company’s reputation. A spokesman for Konnech told the Times that Konnech had handed over all poll worker data to the county, and that it “therefore could not have been ‘stolen’ as suggested.”
However, the Times reports that “The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said in an emailed statement that it had cause to believe that personal information on election workers was ‘criminally mishandled.’”
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Geller Reporthttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Geller Report2022-10-06 06:52:572022-10-08 11:16:42CEO of U.S. Election Software Firm Konnech Arrested for Storing Data on Servers in China
Marc Morano comment: “As I wrote in my book, The Great Reset, the public health bureaucracy and the ‘climate community’ have become political lobbying organizations, and they are using ‘The Science’ to support their preferred policies—policies that dovetail with the Great Reset and advance the power of the administrative state.” The UN now joins Anthony ‘I am The Science’ Fauci in claiming ownership of science. Experts need to “own the science” because they want to own us.” – The Great Reset: Global Elites and the Permanent Lockdown – By Marc Morano
The United Nations revealed that they “own the science” of climate change and they have manipulated Google search results to suppress any climate view that deviates from UN claims. Melissa Fleming, the Under-Secretary for Global Communications at the United Nations made the remarks at a World Economic Forum ‘Tackling Disinformation’ event on September 29, 2022 titled “Sustainable Development Impact Meetings 2022.”
Melissa Fleming: (Full Video) “We partnered with Google. For example, if you Google ‘climate change,’ you will, at the top of your search, you will get all kinds of UN resources. We started this partnership when we were shocked to see that when we Googled ‘climate change,’ we were getting incredibly distorted information right at the top. So we’re becoming much more proactive. We own the science, and we think that the world should know it, and the platforms themselves also do. But again, it’s a huge, huge challenge that I think all sectors of society need to be very active in.” (Full transcript here)
As I wrote in my book, The Great Reset, “the public health bureaucracy and the ‘climate community’ have become political lobbying organizations, and they are using ‘The Science’ to support their preferred policies—policies that dovetail with the Great Reset and advance the power of the administrative state.”
During the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Sustainable Development Impact Meetings last week, the unelected globalists held a panel on “Tackling Disinformation” where participants from the UN, CNN, and Brown University discussed how to best control narratives
Fleming also highlighted that the UN worked with TikTok on a project called “Team Halo” to boost COVID messaging coming from medical and scientific communities on the Chinese-owned video sharing platform. “We had another trusted messenger project, which was called ‘Team Halo’ where we trained scientists around the world and some doctors on TikTok, and we had TikTok working with us,” she said. (Source)
The UN, Anthony Fauci, and the WHO both claim to own “the science” of COVID and authoritarian mitigation measures like lockdowns.
California passed a similar bill: Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya April 12, 2022 excerpts: “A proposed California law threatens to make such dissent career-ending by handing the state the power to strip medical licenses from doctors who disagree with government positions on Covid.”
The World Health Organization’s second-largest donor, behind the United States government, is (drumroll, please) . . . the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the 2018 WHO financial report, while the U.S. government’s contribution was in the amount of more than $281 million, the Gates Foundation came in at over $228 million—out of the total $2.2 billion that made up the WHO annual budget. (Gates gave over $324 million to WHO in 2017.) The Gates Foundation contributed more to the WHO than many developed nations.
Chapter 6 (page 133) How “The Science” Was Manipulated to Support Long-Desired Policies
Excerpt: At this point, no researcher looking for government research money would put his name on a study that was against the politically accepted views on COVID lockdowns or mask mandates or climate-crisis claims. During the COVID-19 panic, public health bureaucrats, politicians, and media figures constantly invoked “The Science” when determining how hard and long to hammer the public with lockdowns and mandates. In reality the Great Reset was underway in 2020, with the promotion of authoritarian COVID-19 “mitigation” measures utilizing decades of corrupted “science.”
French President Emmanuel Macron warned that, because of COVID-19, “We must all limit the number of people with whom we’re in contact with every single day. Scientists say so.”
“Scientists say so.” But which scientists “say so”? And on what evidence do those scientists base what they say?
In the age of COVID lockdowns and mandates, a pending Green New Deal, and a Great Reset, an insight of renowned economist Thomas Sowell is more valuable than ever: “Experts are often called in, not to provide factual information or dispassionate analysis for the purpose of decision-making by responsible officials, but to give political cover for decisions already made and based on other considerations entirely.”
Another name for it—Science to support the policy.
As C. S. Lewis warned, “I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good for man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man’s opinion no added value.” Lewis was sounding the alarm against the kind of technocracy that we live under thanks to COVID—the control of society by an elite unelected cadre of experts.
“There was a clash between two schools of thought, authoritarian public health versus science—and science lost.”
—renowned Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis, expressing his opposition to COVID lockdowns
Whenever they invoke “The Science,” you know something other than science is at play.
“A theory becomes The Science when a mitigation or solution to the theory becomes more important than the theory itself,” explained Dr. William M. Briggs, coauthor of The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe. “This is, as mentioned, the Cult of Science. Members are easy to spot. Not only do they use phrases like ‘We believe in The Science’ and ‘Denier!’—has there ever been a clearer indication of religious intent than this one word?—but they all evince scientism, the false belief that knowing a (‘scientific’) fact implies morally what should be done about that fact,” Briggs pointed out.
“In plain science theory is made to fit Reality. In The Science this is flipped,” he added. “The Science has nothing to do with science and everything to do with solutions and mitigations.” Briggs detailed how “how the theory-Reality relationship is reversed” because the “elites benefit from mitigations.”
He demonstrated by a thought experiment how “The Science” is not real science. “Say you disbelieve the theory but support the mitigation, and you will be praised. But say you believe all the models of exponential ‘cases’ and deaths, but you don’t think lockdowns and mask mandates should be implemented, and you will be loathed,” Briggs wrote.
“Try it with any science that has become The Science. Accept the theory but reject its mitigation. You will very quickly learn The Science has nothing to do with science and everything to do with solutions and mitigations,” he added.
Eisenhower Warned Us
We were alerted about being ruled over by scientists and experts. In his 1961 Farewell Address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower bluntly warned of this danger.
Eisenhower explained that “a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity” and “the prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.”
According to Eisenhower, “We must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
“Communists saw their political beliefs as so all-encompassing that even science was political: if science contradicted the goals of communism, it wasn’t science. In today’s United States the slow death of liberalism has resulted in the blatant politicisation of science, to the extent that as in Russia, scientists teach things which are obviously untrue because it supports the prevailing ideology. Then there is the media, much of which parrots the party line with almost embarrassing, ‘Comrade Stalin has driven pig iron to record production’ levels of conformity.” —Ed West, deputy editor, UnHerd
Before the CDC’s Dr. Anthony Fauci supported “The Science” in favor of lockdowns, he supported “The Science” against them. In 2014, Fauci opposed quarantines of health care workers in response to Ebola as “draconian” and warned of “unintended consequences.”
Fauci complained about the “unscientific” policies of a number of U.S. governors who had imposed a targeted quarantine on health care workers arriving from Ebola-infected regions. “We have to be careful that there are [not] unintended consequences,” Fauci said.
“We need to treat them, returning people with respect,” Fauci explained during the outbreak of Ebola in Africa.
“You can monitor them in multiple different ways. You don’t have to put them in a confined place,” Fauci added.
“Go with the science,” he said.
But then the coronavirus came along, and suddenly “The Science” said exactly the opposite.
Journalist Jordan summed up Fauci’s duplicity on quarantines: “As we’ve discovered, the 50-year tenured government health bureaucrat wasn’t always a fan of quarantines. As recently as 2014, he was emphatically against them. Has ‘the science’ changed that much in the last 6 years, or is something else afoot?”
Fauci: I am The Science
In 2021, Fauci declared that attacks on him are “attacks on science.” He claimed, “A lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science. If you are trying to get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you’re really attacking, not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science.”
[ … ]
Maybe “Science” Is a Liberal Conspiracy
A bumper sticker promoted by progressives reads: “Science is not a liberal conspiracy.”
“Oh yes it is. Or, yes, it can be, and much of it is. And here is where that bumper sticker is wrong. When the regulatory state—i.e., the Environ- mental Protection Agency, the United Nations, the U.S. federal govern- ment—when they want to regulate, they look for justifications and causes, and that’s the natural state of any government. . . . So essentially the regulatory state is using the climate scare now to achieve its ends. . . . The science must support the government policy, and the network of government and academic funding peer-pressure is designed to ensure ‘The Science’ ends up supporting the politicians’ favored policy. Any dissenters have to face intimidation and censorship.” —Marc Morano in a 2019 interview
When you believe you are saving the world, the only science that matters is “The Science” that supports your preconceived political views.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Marc Moranohttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngMarc Morano2022-10-03 15:25:002022-10-03 15:31:03UN Declares: ‘We own the science’ & ‘the world should know it’
Speckin Forensics Laboratories based out of Lansing, Michigan, was retained to acquire forensic images of six hard drives in Fulton County, Pennsylvania on July 13-14, 2022.
The private forensics firm, whose “examiners have presented testimony in over 30 states”, produced a county commissioned a report on September 15, 2022, which revealed “several deficiencies” that directly contradict the “contractual terms and conditions” provided to Fulton County by Dominion Voting Systems.
The report alleges that Fulton County’s log files show “an external IP address” located in Quebec, Canada, and that an unauthorized “python script” had been installed after the certification date.
Moreover, the system’s security patch had not been updated since April 10, 2019, and default usernames and passwords had not been changed since the time of installation.
The report says, “This python script can exploit and create any number of vulnerabilities including, external access to the system, data export of the tabulations, or introduction of other metrics not part of or allowed by the certification process.”
What’s more, an “external IP address that is associated with Canada” was found on the very same adjudication workstation that contained the “post certification python script”.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Geller Reporthttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Geller Report2022-09-24 16:20:582022-09-24 16:20:58Pennsylvania County Sues Dominion Voting Systems for ‘Unauthorized Python Script’ & ‘Foreign IP Address’
Why a letter like this and why now? Who instigated the effort to make this pronouncement? Are we supposed to believe the letter was just “spontaneous?” Was the Open Letter coordinated with the General Mark Milley at the Pentagon or maybe the Biden White House? Cui bono?
The letter comes five days on the heels of President Biden declaring, “MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law,” and condemning half the American electorate as “represent[ing] an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
Does anyone believe this is a coincidence? Just happenstance?
Such an “Open Letter” is typically used by the elites in the national policy arena as a public signal for something to come. Something bigger. Perhaps even something a lot weirder than normal. “Thought leaders” are framing the public debate. The authors are trying to make a point, and their effort is so extraordinary and unprovoked that it arouses suspicion.
It is a reasonable suspicion. Do you remember how the National School Board Association “actively engaged”with the White House before asking the feds to investigate outspoken parents as domestic terrorists? Yes, that is exactly the sort of coordination we should consider. Journalists should pursue that line of questioning, but they will not.
Remember another instance when a group of former U.S. government “experts” got together for an Open Letter. That was when 51 former intelligence officials lied to the entire country about the validity of all the lurid, corrupt details on Hunter Biden’s laptop saying it was all Russian disinformation. All 51 were wrong. The contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop were even worse than originally described, but the “experts” had already unlawfully influenced the outcome of an election.
The September 2022 Open Letter reads largely like a West Point or ROTC lesson plan for first-year cadets. It is essentially a civics lesson with an introduction and 16 enumerated points. Strong emphasis is placed on the legality of orders. There are a few interesting observations by the experts that require our attention to fully understand the subtext.
“… the U.S. military must simultaneously come to terms with wars that ended without all the goals satisfactorily accomplished…”
Analysis: The U.S. has not achieved a clear, decisive war victory in 77 years. The military leaders authoring this letter are largely responsible for that record and would like you to come to terms with their failures.
“Politically, military professionals confront an extremely adverse environment characterized by the divisiveness of affective polarization that culminated in the first election in over a century when the peaceful transfer of political power was disrupted and in doubt.”
Analysis: The peaceful transfer of power was never legitimately in doubt. That claim is an overwrought, hyperbolic canard advanced for political purposes. The authors’ message is that Trump supporters are the problem. Remember: No Trump supporters, no problem. Understand?
“Looking ahead, all of these factors could well get worse before they get better.”
Analysis: The groundwork is being laid for the public acceptance that there are a number of other disruptive factors caused by the Biden administration’s failing policies that could get worse: inflation, energy costs, the border crisis, record murder and crime rates, etc.
“Mutual trust … that civilian leaders will rigorously explore alternatives … regardless of the implications for partisan politics … that the military will faithfully implement directives that run counter to their professional military preference — helps overcome the friction built into this process …”
“There are significant limits on the public role of military personnel in partisan politics … Members of the military accept limits on the public expression of their private views … Military and civilian leaders must be diligent about keeping the military separate from partisan political activity.”
Analysis: Ironically, these two paragraphs should serve as an indictment of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, whose egregious subversion is the most treasonous conduct since Benedict Arnold. Unfortunately they will be twisted to justify and bolster his unlawful conduct.
What is the real message conveyed by this Open Letter from former senior military leaders?
What is their warning and what do they want? Write and speak plainly. Have the guts to “just say it out loud.” Are they worried Trump will be reelected in 2024? Are they as worried about the sustained, extreme, militant, violence and destruction of Antifa and BLM as they are the January 6th protests? What about Milley’s phone calls to his Communist Chinese counterpart? Does that meet their civics lesson test? The “Open Letter” is anything but “open.”
Technology leaders from Bill Gates to Elon Musk and others have warned us in recent years that one of the biggest threats to humanity is uncontrolled domination by artificial intelligence (AI). In 2017, Musk said at a conference, “I have exposure to the most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it.”
And in 2019, Bill Gates stated that while we will see mainly advantages from AI initially, “. . . a few decades after that, though, the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern.” And the transhumanist camp, led by such zealots as Ray Kurzweil, seems to think that the future takeover of the universe by AI is not only inevitable, but a good thing, because it will leave our old-fashioned mortal meat computers (otherwise known as brains) in the junkpile where they belong.
Marks is a practicing electrical engineer who has made fundamental contributions in the areas of signal processing and computational intelligence. After spending most of his career at the University of Washington, he moved to Baylor University in 2003, where he now directs the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence. His book was published by the Discovery Institute, which is an organization that has historically promoted the concept of intelligent design.
That is neither here nor there, at least to judge by the book’s contents. Those looking for a philosophically nuanced and extended argument in favor of the uniqueness of the human mind as compared to present or future computational realizations of what might be called intelligence, had best look elsewhere. In Marks’s view, the question of whether AI will ever match or supersede the general-intelligence abilities of the human mind has a simple answer: it won’t.
He bases his claim on the fact that all computers do nothing more than execute algorithms. Simply put, algorithms are step-by-step instructions that tell a machine what to do. Any activity that can be expressed as an algorithm can in principle be performed by a computer. Just as important, any activity or function that cannot be put into the form of an algorithm cannot be done by a computer, whether it’s a pile of vacuum tubes, a bunch of transistors on chips, quantum “qubits,” or any conceivable future form of computing machine.
Some examples Marks gives of things that can’t be done algorithmically are feeling pain, writing a poem that you and other people truly understand, and inventing a new technology. These are things that human beings do, but according to Marks, AI will never do.
What about the software we have right now behind conveniences such as Alexa, which gives the fairly strong impression of being intelligent? Alexa certainly seems to “know” a lot more facts than any particular human being does.
Marks dismisses this claim to intelligence by saying that extensive memory and recall doesn’t make something intelligent any more than a well-organized library is intelligent. Sure, there are lots of facts that Alexa has access to. But it’s what you do with the facts that counts, and AI doesn’t understand anything. It just imitates what it’s been told to imitate without knowing what it’s doing.
The heart of Marks’s book is really the first chapter entitled “The Non-Computable Human.” Once he gets clear the difference between algorithmic tasks and non-algorithmic tasks, it’s just a matter of sorting. Yes, computers can do this better than humans, but computers will never do that.
There are lots of other interesting things in the book: a short history of AI, an extensive critique of the different kinds of AI hype and how not to be fooled by them, and numerous war stories from Marks’s work in fields as different as medical care and the stabilization of power grids. But these other matters are mostly a lot of icing on a rather small cake, because Marks is not inclined to delve into the deeper philosophical waters of what intelligence is and whether we understand it quite as well as Marks thinks we do.
As a Christian, Marks is well aware of the dangers posed to both Christians and non-Christians by a thing called idolatry. Worshipping idols—things made by one’s own hands and substituted for the true God—was what got the Hebrews into trouble time and again in the Old Testament, and it continues to be a problem today. The problem with an idol is not so much what the idol itself can do—carved wooden images tend not to do much of anything on their own—but what it does to the idol-worshipper. And here is where Marks could have done more of a service in showing how human beings can turn AI into an idol, and effectively worship it.
While an idol-worshipping pagan might burn incense to a wooden image and figure he’d done everything needed to ensure a good crop, a bureaucracy of the future might take a task formerly done at considerable trouble and expense by humans—deciding on how long a prison sentence should be, for example—and turn it over to an AI program. Actually, that example is not futuristic at all. Numerous court systems have resorted to AI algorithms (there’s that word again) to predict the risk of recidivism for different individuals, and basing the length of their sentences and parole status on the result.
Needless to say, this particular application has come in for criticism, and not only by the defendants and their lawyers. Many AI systems are famously opaque, meaning even their designers can’t give a good reason for why the results are the way they are. So I’d say in at least that regard, we have already gone pretty far down the road toward turning AI into an idol.
No, Marks is right in the sense that machines are, after all, only machines. But if we make any machine our god, we are simply asking for trouble. And that’s the real risk we face in the future from AI: making it our god, putting it in charge, and abandoning our regard for the real God.
Karl D. Stephan received the B. S. in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1976. Following a year of graduate study at Cornell, he received the Master of Engineering degree in 1977… More by Karl D. Stephan
EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00MercatorNet - Navigating Modern Complexitieshttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngMercatorNet - Navigating Modern Complexities2022-09-19 13:04:402022-09-19 13:14:21Will Artificial Intelligence Make Humanity Irrelevant?
After high school (2013), I set to the internet because I thought that the mainstream press, schools, and colleges would never let me get my ideas out. I started a WordPress blog. I would share my content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Experience Project. I thought I would bypass the gatekeepers of information and have the last laugh. In 2014, I joined Brian Johnson’s Entheos. Experience Project and Entheos shut down down the line. In 2016, I started posting on Instagram. In 2017, I joined LinkedIn. In 2019, I joined Medium. In 2020, I started this blog. And nothing came out of any of it. No one even knows I did all this. I got little to no views across all the platforms. I was literally talking to an empty room. Now, I have finally understood why.
The Internet is not free of gatekeepers. The gatekeepers are people who write the algorithms.
The algorithms do not look for quality but for engagement. You see a post not because it is good but because it has already been liked by others. This system soon turns into a popularity contest. Since average minds like average ideas, most of what you see trending on social media has to be average. This is why Marianne Williamson has 554K followers on Instagram while Taylor Swift has 210M. In comparison to M. Williamson, T. Swift posts nothing valuable. If you are above average, social media is bound to make you sick. Since quality content is liked by quality people only, who are less in number, you are unlikely to see posts from top scientists, poets, authors, and philosophers. Their content would never rise to the top. This system is very similar to democracy. The popular choice is seldom the wisest one.
Today, I have already deleted most of my social media accounts. I still have Instagram and LinkedIn but no longer post anything. I have accepted the reality that social media will never work for me. I am not what social media algorithms are looking for. I can’t post vain comments on other people’s stupid posts. I can’t like my own posts, nor can I aggressively like other people’s comments on my posts. I can’t make small talks in dm. I don’t care to search for hastags. I am not autistic. It is very similar to accepting that I would not succeed in college as a non-liberal.
Every system is designed to produce what it does, via the means of its algorithm. The algorithm at Harvard selects and promotes talent. TED’s algorithm promotes people who have great ideas. Social media algorithms promote vain, empty, and stupid people, which is why Kim Kardashian is more famous on social media than Jordan Peterson. Social media is not designed to promote thinkers and philosophers.
In other words, if your content is getting a lot of organic exposure on social media, it might just be mediocre. On LinkedIn, I almost never see good content, because good content does not get enough engagement from average minds. Being on LinkedIn is a very draining and exhausting experience because 9/10 posts are mediocre or stupid. I feel as if the number of followers a person has on LinkedIn is inversely proportional to his intelligence. I would personally never hire a writer/proofreader/editor from LinkedIn if his/her content is getting a lot of engagement. It might be a testament to his/her mediocrity.
Where will I be heading? I am looking for gatekeepers that look for quality, not clickability or popularity.
Internet does not and can not give everyone a voice. It can definitely give everyone the illusion that they have a voice. They have only as much voice as they have in an empty room — complete freedom to say whatever they want. No one’s listening though. Now, get off the internet.
The Real Gatekeepers Of The Internet II
The gatekeeping is not done at the production stage. It is done at the exposure stage. You are free to create whatever you want to. It is just that no one will ever get to see it unless you are already famous.
On LinkedIn, my last post had 408 views, 3 likes, 1 comment, and a share. LinkedIn already deplatformed the person who had commented. 5 people engaged out of 408 (1.2% engagement).
Another post had 322 views, 5 likes, 2 shares, and 4 comments. 11 people engaged out of 322 (3.4% engagement).
My view count has been in the same range since I got on Linkedin five years ago. On one of my posts, a commenter asked why I wasn’t getting more likes.
Exposure primarily depends on how many people you have in your network. It increases with engagement. Engagement depends on the product-market mix. Critical thinkers and intelligent people are more likely to engage with me than are average minds. But LinkedIn keeps removing intelligent people, so we are left with average minds and average content. At the same time, many refrain from interacting with me because their insecure bosses may be looking.
To increase initial exposure, most people add more users. Most LinkedIn users are so socially inept that they don’t even attach a personalized note with connection requests. New connections like to be added too so they can have exposure for their content. This is why most people are likely to accept your connection requests, including famous professors and business leaders, but they will likely never respond to your messages or anything you ever post. I have previously disconnected with some users because they did not reply to my messages.
I was and still am totally incapable of doing this. It is completely autistic to gather someone’s attention only to direct it to my posts. It is like feeding on his/her time and energy. I wonder how many feel as if influencers, brands, and famous people are using them as energy sources. No wonder people feel drained on social media. I never added strangers on social media until 2019. Most people in my online circles were folks I met in real life. In 2019, I started interacting more on LinkedIn, which led me to meet new people in the comment area. I started adding more people but still was not able to add the way others do. After 5 years on LinkedIn, I still have only 800 connections. Most LinkedIn experts advise having at least 1000 or 5000 connections. Imagine having vain relationships with 5000 people. You are bound to be depressed. There is no way you can keep up with 5000 people. I can’t keep up with 800. This is why I am leaving social media.
In a nutshell, I never got started on social media, because I was unable to add strangers and use their attention as energy for my machine. I can’t take advantage of people like that. I don’t even think that people should waste time on social media. None of my profiles ever took off. I never got the initial exposure, which is needed to get initial engagement. To this day, my Instagram posts and stories get very few views.
Growing on social media without meaninglessly adding people and posting vain comments on their posts is pretty much impossible. I would rather leave social media than do things that are vain and superficial. And no, you cannot have deep meaningful connections and conversations on social media. The internet is a virtual world. Virtual means not real. Nothing on the internet is real.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Anand Ujjwalhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngAnand Ujjwal2022-09-10 11:39:592022-09-10 11:45:08The Real Gatekeepers Of The Internet
Klaus Schwab’s globalist organization insists that the idea of implanting a “tracking chip in your child” isn’t “scary.” The WEF suggests implanting tracking chips in the human body will help society usher in a “brave new world.”
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has called on governments, health officials, and “humans” around the globe to consider their “rational” arguments for implanting chips in children’s brains.
Klaus Schwab’s globalist organization insists that the idea of implanting a “tracking chip in your child” isn’t “scary,” arguing that “they form part of a natural evolution that wearables once underwent.”
The group claims that children will even grow to see implanted chips as “accessories” that will eventually be “considered a fashion item.”
Parents should also learn to embrace such technology, according to the WEF, because “many children expect to develop superpowers” after watching “superheroes” in movies.
The WEF makes its case for implants in a new blog post where it suggests implanting tracking chips in the human body will help society usher in a “brave new world.”
Implanting chips into children should be viewed by parents as a “solid, rational” move into the future of augmented reality (AR), the WEF claims.
This shift toward AR puts humanity on the path toward “an augmented society,” according to the organization.
The WEF promotes the allegedly broad usefulness of chip implants in fields such as healthcare, education, and professional settings.
While praising how such technology could transform society, the WEF underpins the notion of providing guidelines on how to “ethically” regulate this vast potential power and, therefore, inevitably control it.
The WEF describes the tech as transformative but warns that it needs “the right support, vision, and audacity,” which is presumably provided by global governments are corporate power elites.
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However, it isn’t at all clear why “audacity” is called for by the WEF.
Yet, some of the “visions” for humans to be “seamlessly integrated” with technology that the WEF is suggesting seem pretty audacious.
The idea of replacing drugs with brain implants that will manipulate the body with electrical pulses has been around for some time.
Although, it’s not something that the public is all too keen on.
Nevertheless, the WEF has prepared for pushback from the proletariat by working in a sales pitch for the people who view the idea as “scary.”
Once the human body and AR technology have been “seamlessly integrated,” quality of life shoots up across the board, the Davos-based group promises……
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Geller Reporthttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Geller Report2022-08-27 07:35:332022-08-27 09:18:21World Economic Forum Promotes ‘Brain Implants’ for Children
Until election corruption is remedied, the fix is in and the destruction of our great nation will continue unimpeded. We must go to all paper ballots throughout the land. They’ve done it elsewhere, whole countries like France but places like New York and California will always be last. If, ever.
Konnech Inc., a U.S. software company based out of East Lansing, Michigan, helps manage the poll workers, poll locations, campaigns, assets, mail-in ballots, and supplies necessary to run elections in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Although, the American technology company, which was founded in 2002, is used by the U.S. Department of Defense and ‘thousands of election offices across North America’, Konnech Inc., previously built a ‘communication platform’ called ChineseBrief.com for the Confucius Institute.
Furthermore, many of the company’s software engineers and employees graduated from Chinese universities such as Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, University of Science and Technology of China, Beijing Language and Culture University, China Agricultural University, and HuaZhong University of Science and Technology.
For instance, Eugene Yu, the CEO of Konnech Inc., graduated from Zhejiang University in Zhejiang, China, with a bachelors degree in 1982 before receiving his MBA from Wake Forest University in 1988.
Moreover, in Queensland, Australia’s 2020 elections, “count reporting problems on election night” were partly the result of “a new computer system not being tested as planned because ‘coding resources’ were locked down in Wuhan”, according to the digital news company InQueensland.
In fact, these Wuhan coding resources led to four members of the Queensland Parliament — MP Crandon, MP Lister, MP Simpson, and MP Robinson — asking the Queensland Premier on July 15, 2020, why Konnech was given the contract to produce the software administering Queensland’s elections using “China based coders”?
MP Robinson asked, “Can the Premier guarantee that Konnech, Inc. does not have a connection to the Chinese Communist Party through its China based subsidiary Jinhua Konnech Inc.?”
And that is where today’s story begins.
Jinhua Konnech Inc.
Consider that a patent application was filed in China for a system of “network voting of absent electorates” by Jinhua Konnech Inc. on February 4, 2015, for an inventor named Shao Guojun (邵国君).
The rights of that patent were then transferred on October 7, 2015, from Jinhua Konnech Inc. to Jinhua Hongzheng Technology Co., Ltd. (金华鸿正科技有限公司), a Chinese election technology company, which was also founded in 2015.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Geller Reporthttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Geller Report2022-08-27 07:22:592022-08-27 08:35:20Investigation of U.S. Election Software Company Uncovers Chinese Coders
BOT: A computer program that operates as an agent for a user or other program in order to simulate or influence human activity.
Internet Research Agency, Агентство интернет-исследований: A Russian company engaged in online influence operations on behalf of Russian business and political interests. It is linked to Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin and based in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The Internet Research Agency (IRA) is the real Russian collusion story beginning in 2016 until today.
After years of Russiagate conspiracy theories about how the Russians had somehow rigged the 2016 presidential election using Facebook ads, the Senate Intelligence report awkwardly revealed that the Russian operation had focused most of its attention on black nationalists.
The Senate report revealed that “most of the videos” put out by the Russian IRA troll factory on YouTube “pertained to police brutality and the activist efforts of the Black Lives Matter organization” and found that “no single group of Americans was targeted… more than African-Americans” around “race and related issues”.
But that was an understatement.
The Russians had created their own Black Lives Matter groups, activists and protests. It is still not fully clear where the dividing lines between black nationalists and Russian agents lie. And the media has consistently buried these revelations about the real Russian role in our politics to focus on the discredited smears targeting President Trump and his political allies.
And yet the true Russian agents were the black nationalists championed by the Left.
This is volume 2 of the Senate Intel report on Russia’s propaganda activities targeting Americans, on the left and the right, with fake Facebook groups and social media accounts. Despite the media’s false claims, Vol. 2 makes it clear this was not about the election.
Analysis of the behavior of the IRA-associated social media accounts makes dear that while the Russian information warfare campaign exploited the context of the election and election-related issues in 2016, the preponderance of the operational focus, as reflected repeatedly in content, account names, and audiences targeted, was on sociapy divisive issues-such as race, immigration, and Second Amendment rights-in an attempt to pit Americans against one another and against their government. The Committee found that IRA influence operatives consistently used hot-button, societal divisions in the United States as fodder for the content they published through social media in order to stoke anger, provoke outrage and protest, push Americans further away from one another, and foment distrust in government institutions. The divisive 2016 U.S. presidential election was just an additional feature of a much more expansive,, target-rich landscape of potential ideological and societal sensitivities.
The IRA was Russia’s troll org.
Again, we already knew this. A previous report and this report already showed that most of the activities were targeted at black people. Facebook itself revealed that most of the ad buys were post-election. (And the media responded with furious threats and attacks on Facebook.)
The Committee found that no single group of Americans was targeted by IRA information operatives more than African-Americans. By far, race and related issues were the preferred target of the information warfare campaign designed to divide the country in 2016. Evidence of the IRA’s overwhelming operational emphasis on race is’ evident in the IRA’s Facebook advertisement content (over 66 percent contained a term related to race) and targeting (locational targeting was principally aimed at African Americans in key metropolitan areas with), its Face book pages (one of the IRA’s topperforming pages, “Blacktivist,” generated 11.2 million engagements with Facebook ‘ users), its Instagram content (five of the top 10 Instagram accounts were focused on African-American issues and audiences), its Twitter content (heavily focused on hotbutton issues with racial undertones, such as the NFL kneeling protests),
In other words, the Russkies were doing the same stuff they were doing during the Cold War.
According to the U.S. Senate intelligence report,
For decades, Soviet active measures pushed conspiratorial and disinformation narratives about the United States around the world. The KGB authored and published false stories and forged letters concerning the Kennedy assassination, including accounts suggesting CIA involvement in the killing. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the target of manufactured KGB narratives, as was Ronald Reagan. Russian intelligence officers planted anti-Reagan articles in Denmark, France, and India during his unsuccessful 1976 bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
A declassified U.S. State. Department document from 1981 outlines a series of realized Russian active measures operations, including the spread of falsehoods concerning U.S. complicity in the 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque of Mecca and responsibility for the 1981 death of Panamanian General Omar Torrijos, as well as an elaborate deception involving multiple forgeries and false stories designed to undermine the Camp David peace process and to exacerbate tensions between the United States and Egypt. Among the most widely known and successful active measures operations conducted during the Cold War centered on a conspiracy that the AIDS virus was manufactured by the United States at a military facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland. This fictional account of the virus’ origin received considerable news coverage, both in the United States and in over forty non-Cold War aligned countries around the world. 49 (U) I
In a 1998 CNN interview, retired KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin described active measures as “the heart and soul of Soviet intelligence”: Not intelligence collection, but subversion; active measures to weaken the West, to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO; to sow discord among allies, to weaken the. United States in the eyes of the people of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and thus to prepare ground in case the war really occurs.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2022-08-07 12:17:582022-08-07 13:08:08Russians Behind Social Media ‘Influence Operations’ Supporting Black Lives Matter and the Black Hammer Party
The Chips Act is a classic case of the government helping special interest groups at the expense of taxpayers.
Of all the problems in the world right now, the chip shortage probably isn’t the chief concern for most people, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a serious issue. The auto and tech sectors have faced unprecedented delays and rising prices in recent months. Some used cars are even selling for more than their new counterparts because of the delays, a sure sign that production has slowed dramatically.
To address this, Congress is contemplating bipartisan legislation known as the Chips Act, which would provide $52 billion in grants and $24 billion in tax credits to the US semiconductor industry. Thanks to a last-minute bipartisan amendment, the bill will also put tens of billions of dollars toward various federal agencies, bringing the total price tag to $250 billion.
Because why not…
The Senate voted to advance the bill on Tuesday, which means it will likely hold a vote on final passage in the coming days. If passed, the bill will then go to the House for passage, and assuming that is successful it would then go to President Biden for signature into law.
The main arguments for the bill were summarized earlier this week in a Wall Street JournalOp-Ed penned by Jim Farley and Pat Gelsinger, the CEOs of Ford and Intel, respectively.
“The pandemic supply-chain shock exposed a problem that had been mounting for years,” they write. “The U.S. share of global chip manufacturing has declined to 12% from 37% in 1990. South Korea and Taiwan, notably, have spent years actively investing in [read: subsidizing] their own chip manufacturing, creating an uneven playing field for U.S. chip makers that harms our economy and global competitiveness.”
They go on to list the disruptions that have occurred in the auto, consumer-electronics, and healthcare industries because of the shortage, and they warn that national defense is also at stake.
“Fortunately, a solution is within reach,” they continue, referring to the Chips Act. “In addition to boosting production of leading-edge and legacy chips, the act would help level the playing field with global competitors…This legislation is vital to many American industries, including ours, that have dealt with significant disruptions.”
“By funding the Chips Act,” they conclude, “Congress will help consumers, protect patients and strengthen the American economy and national security.”
The Problem with Corporate Subsidies
At first glance, that Op-Ed might seem innocuous, even well-intentioned. But it doesn’t take much to realize what’s really going on here. The companies run by these CEOs stand to gain billions of taxpayer dollars—not just tax credits, but government grants—if this legislation passes. Do you really think they wrote that because they care about the American economy and national defense? Give me a break. They wrote it because they want the money, and they will make whatever arguments they think people will buy in order to get it.
So, what’s wrong with their arguments?
For starters, there’s the classic problem of opportunity cost. Fifty-two billion taxpayer dollars being poured into these industries is 52 billion taxpayers dollars that can’t be poured into other industries. The government is not creating resources, it is simply reallocating them, and it’s by no means obvious that this is the best use of these funds. Notably, the free market tends to allocate resources much better than the government because, unlike Congress, it is guided by actual consumer demand.
Additionally, the CEOs conflate strengthening their businesses with strengthening the American economy. In reality, these are two very different things. If it’s cheaper to buy semiconductors from companies in foriegn countries, it would be economically inefficient to produce these products in America. It would be better to let the domestic producers take losses and ultimately fail so their capital could be reallocated to better uses.
Here, of course, the lobbyists have a rejoinder. “The only reason it’s cheaper to buy semiconductors from foreign countries,” they say, “is because foreign governments subsidize their semiconductor producers. We need a level playing field.”
People who are otherwise proponents of free markets are often sympathetic to this line of reasoning. After all, it’s not really the case that American producers are inefficient, right? If only there was a level playing field, they could compete just fine.
After addressing some other arguments, Rothbard turns to the issue of foreign government subsidies that allow foreign companies to engage in “dumping,” that is, selling products to American consumers “below cost.”
“Another charge claims that Japanese or other foreign firms can afford to engage in dumping because their governments are willing to subsidize their losses,” he writes. “But again, we should still welcome such an absurd policy. If the Japanese government is really willing to waste scarce resources subsidizing American purchases of Sony’s, so much the better! Their policy would be just as self-defeating as if the losses were private.”
Swap out Japanese Sony’s for Taiwanese semiconductors and Rothbard might as well be writing in 2022. The point is, economic well-being is ultimately about consumers, not producers. If foreign governments are willing to subsidize semiconductors, making them cheaper for Americans, then we might as well take the gift. True, it’s not a free market, but it doesn’t help to adopt bad public policy simply because other nations are also doing it.
What Politics Is Actually About
What’s curious about corporate subsidies like this is that large swaths of both the left and the right are opposed to them. Right-wingers oppose corporate subsidies because they are funded with taxpayer dollars and have the government picking winners and losers in the market. Left-wingers oppose corporate subsidies because they help big corporations at the expense of the little guy.
So if both sides of the political spectrum have good reasons for opposing this measure, it’s worth asking ourselves, who exactly is promoting this?
The answer is: the establishment.
It’s important to understand that the real world of politics is somewhat different from the ideological debates we see online and in the news. Sure, politicians know how to say the right things, but when it comes down to it, most of their job is about appeasing special-interest groups, from semiconductor companies to the military industrial complex to farmers to unions…the list is long.
Ambrose Bierce has a great quote that really captures this idea. Giving a satirical definition of politics in The Devil’s Dictionary, he writes, “POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.”
We’re told that politics is about competing philosophies of government. In theory, each party has its own vision of what good government looks like, and they are trying to live out those principles as best they can.
But most of the time, that’s not what happens. In practice, it is a strife of special interests. For most politicians, the principles they espouse are merely a pretense, a facade. The real work of politics is about placating donors and lobbyists and voting blocs. This is why we see things like corporate subsidies. They aren’t part of some grand governing philosophy. They are simply the inevitable result of a system that is run by the special interests and for the special interests.
Is that cynical? Sure. But it’s a very justified cynicism, and it gets reinforced every time a story like this comes out.
The good news is that we can do something about it. Once we see the corrupting incentives inherent in politics, we can begin to work towards change. But the key is to not be wooed by the politicians, pundits, and executives when they tell us their schemes are designed for our benefit.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2022-07-22 13:57:372022-07-22 13:57:37The Semiconductor Industry Is Coming for Your Wallet. As Usual, Congress Is Complicit