Did you know Islamic subversion is infiltrating the highest levels of US government?
Today, Bill Gertz of the Washington Times published the claim that Hillary Clinton might be associated with it, all revealed in a course offered by Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy and Islam-o-phobe Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney’s a birther. And a great deal of his current business is centered around the alleged security threat of shariah-law permeating the US justice system.
Islamists linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups are working to undermine the U.S. government through “civilization jihad” aimed at imposing Islamic law rule in the United States.
That is the conclusion of a new 10-part online video course produced by the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington think tank, that was made public Tuesday.
The briefing-style educational video, “The Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Enemy Within,” features lectures by CSP chief Frank Gaffney.
The video includes a detailed section on “Team Obama” that identifies six people working close to or inside the Obama administration that the course says are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or similar Islamist groups through numerous front organizations.
They include Rashad Hussein, special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton …
It’s a bit unfortunately hilarious in its psychosis because Huma Abedin — a trusted assistant of Hillary Clinton, is Anthony Weiner’s much put upon wife.
Weiner, if you’re a Euro-reader and do not recall, was the Democratic Rep. who saw his career ended for sending someone else not-his-wife a picture of his pecker.
Many years ago Bill Gertz was an investigative journalist who often pried interesting information from the warren that is the US intelligence community.
Over the years Gertz has also been responsible for vaporware/dept. of fiction journalism on electromagnetic pulse.
Today was no exception:
Military officials say the threat of electromagnetic pulse weapons in future warfare is growing …
A military source tells Inside the Ring that Russia has already developed battlefield EMP weapons and used them in combat.
During the early 2000s, Russian military forces fired an EMP mortar round that deployed a small metal-coated parachute. As it floated to earth, the EMP energy burst was reflected downward by the underside of the parachute and also spread by the cords attached to the shell. The result was a cone of anti-electronic energy that disrupted all electronics within its area.
The mortar was used by Russian forces to attack hand-held cellular telephones used by Chechen rebels …
The whole purpose of Facebook is to supersede the world of the open web and replace it with a fenced place, immune to search and value, maximized for user churn to be presented as marketing data to clients. It really doesn’t matter what the user churn is. And to that end Facebook has made algorithms that virtually guarantee the suck, or excrement, is at the top, the middle and the bottom of your feed. All the time.
It does it through a combination of things. One of these is a ranking system that hides Facebook posts in your feed.
On Facebook, users gather ‘friends’ willy-nilly. For most, it’s counter-productive, although Facebook hides it rather cleverly. As you gather ‘friends’ you’ll invariably pick up those who view the social-networking system as a way to an audience. They’re not interested in interaction. They’re interested in you sharing their stuff and that stuff is always taken from somewhere else because it’s easier to scrape content than make it.
They’re better viewed as micro-blog spam ‘bots masquerading as people.
And they have firmly grasped the idea that the way to optimize this is to post as much as possible to their wall, which Facebook also adds to the conglomerated feed you see when you log on.
Providing content takes work and time. To make the most of the opportunity to stuff the Facebook feed, users quickly adopted that process which takes the least work but which offers the most ‘stuff’ and potential return in ‘likes’ for least effort per post. And that’s the picture meme.
You have also discovered that commenting in anything longer than one or two sentences has no value. As soon as you do, Facebook hides it and shows only “read more.”
Guess what? No one “reads more.” This revises TL — DNR, the net contraction for “too long — did not read” even further downward. On Facebook, one sentence is best, or a fragment, something like “TL — DNR.”
And try to be the last person in the discussion before it peters out. Because Facebook will hide everything above it, possibly more tendentious and thought-provoking, quickly and efficiently.
So you now have discovered that your custom feed is swamped by people publishing captioned-pictures and the same web articles from whatever their favorite political sites are as fast as they can. They are accompanied by exhortations to ‘share’ and ‘like’ because Facebook’s algorithms assign value to both.
In conjunction with the hiding feature it combines to disappear what many ‘friends’ in your list are actually doing. If you actually know them in the real world because they were the first ‘friends’ you acquired on Facebook, you may wonder why you never see anything from them,
And then be surprised they actually have been posting things of interest to you on their wall when you visit them directly.
That is because the promotion of the audience hounds and picture spammers by Facebook’s ranking scheme have erased them from your world.
When you muster the effort to finally start pruning your bloated ‘friends’ list you’ll seem them reappear.
Maybe you don’t want them to.
Because, in reading this, you recognize yourself as one of the daily feed stuffers, logging on just before or after work, letting your world know that you’ve digested the best of the web’s liberal or extremist writings. Along with the 100 other people doing the same thing as fast they can peddle it in your 200-plus size ‘friends’ list.
As you divest yourself of the panderers — and the numerous postings of the alleged gnomic sayings of old famous leaders made before the poster was born, the shared purloined and allegedly pointed bromides and putdowns plastered on the pix of current politicians, the thousands of photos of cozy animals cuddling, the friend you see twice a week for drinks, who you thought had stopped having anything to do with Facebook, is revealed as having never gone away.
In other words, if you have an expanding list of ‘friends’, unless you’re a celebrity and don’t need it anyway except as a sop to your minders and people in entertainment journalism, Facebook is playing you for a chump.
Most people can’t bear to hear this. It suggests to them they’ve enlisted in a culture and social network that is optimized to reward lickspittles and then, only very cheaply. Deep down they know having a couple hundred or more ‘friends’ on Facebook is worthless and that they’re being cheated of something. But they don’t know precisely how or why.
Last week Paul Krugman published a few charts showing the fundamental and long-standing problem with the US economy — while productivity soared the benefit went to the very top, the holders of capital. Nothing was shared with the working class. Pay stagnated for almost everyone except the titans of business.
Austerity economics forced big cuts and lay-offs and at the state and local levels across the country.
The next graph shows the national increase in “income security” spending since 2007 — money for unemployment compensation and food stamps, surging for the people put out of work.
On Sunday, the New York Times ran another damning piece on Apple.
Unsurprisingly, Apple — the wealthiest company in the country — is big corporate tax evader. The company’s defense, for most of the piece, seems to be that they’re not alone in this — which is true. Everyone Apple’s size is a tax cheat.
Apple’s hub is in Cupertino, CA. It has a subsidiary in Reno, NV, for the express purpose of legally cheating the state of California out of tax on its business.
Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.
California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada’s? Zero.
Setting up an office in Reno is just one of many legal methods Apple uses to reduce its worldwide tax bill by billions of dollars each year. As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world.
Of particular interest is Apple’s use of Luxembourg, an insignificant small country in Europe in the Ardennes Forest whose primary industry is financial services enabling legalized tax cheating and money laundering.
To avoid paying tax on the sale of popular music through it’s iTunes store, Apple funnels much of the digital purchasing through Luxembourg.
For instance, one of Apple’s subsidiaries in Luxembourg, named iTunes S.à r.l., has just a few dozen employees, according to corporate documents filed in that nation and a current executive. The only indication of the subsidiary’s presence outside is a letterbox with a lopsided slip of paper reading “ITUNES SARL.”
Luxembourg has just half a million residents. But when customers across Europe, Africa or the Middle East — and potentially elsewhere — download a song, television show or app, the sale is recorded in this small country, according to current and former executives. In 2011, iTunes S.à r.l.’s revenue exceeded $1 billion, according to an Apple executive, representing roughly 20 percent of iTunes’s worldwide sales…
The country has promised to tax the payments collected by Apple and numerous other tech corporations at low rates if they route transactions through Luxembourg. Taxes that would have otherwise gone to the governments of Britain, France, the United States and dozens of other nations go to Luxembourg instead, at discounted rates.
It’s no secret I despise everything Apple. But the New York Times points out, repeatedly, how the company actively works to deprive the state, local and national governments of potential tax revenue.
California, Apple’s home state, has a severe budget crisis. It has led to firings and shortfalls across the entire state’s education system, from primary education to college.
The Times describes how tiny De Anza community college, the school which counted Apple founder Steve Wozniak as a student, is struggling:
A mile and a half from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters is De Anza College, a community college that Steve Wozniak, one of Apple’s founders, attended from 1969 to 1974. Because of California’s state budget crisis, De Anza has cut more than a thousand courses and 8 percent of its faculty since 2008.
Now, De Anza faces a budget gap so large that it is confronting a “death spiral” …
But the company’s tax policies are seen by officials like Mr. Murphy as symptomatic of why the crisis exists.
“I just don’t understand it,” he said in an interview. “I’ll bet every person at Apple has a connection to De Anza. Their kids swim in our pool. Their cousins take classes here. They drive past it every day, for Pete’s sake.
“But then they do everything they can to pay as few taxes as possible.”
The Times’ continuing series of investigative pieces on Apple have landed heavy blows. It is now fair to view Apple often as a gigantic, selfish and predatory business, doing everything it can to maximize earning and profit despite the toll it takes on everyone else.
From the exploitation of abhorrent labor practices and lack of environmental and labor law in China, to outsourcing and offshoring, to legalized tax-cheating, Apple — the company that produces the beautiful consumer electronic computing baubles everyone covets like life itself — does it all.
The primary excuse from the company, to repeat — everyone else is into gathering the most spoil immorally but legally, too.
In a response to the Times, one can read it at the newspaper’s piece, Apple points to the jobs it has created in the United States and the taxes its individual employees pay.
Part of this seems to rest on the idea that Apple’s app-based hardware has generated as many as half a million jobs in the US.
This meretricious meme, like everything from Apple, is a bit hard to take. It is akin to believing Jeff Bezos is a job creator because he came up with Mechanical Turk, the service that allows Americans, and everyone else, to bid on human intelligence jobs that pay pennies. Everyone, therefore, who uses Mechanical Turk, can be said to have some type of job, if they want it.
Or to believe that everyone with a channel on YouTube with AdWords/AdSense monetization, has a job created by Google.
In this way the information tech industry which has creatively destroyed jobs claims to be creating new opportunities, pathways to profound systemic un-success, fruitless work for the majority disenfranchised in the great contraction.
Half a million jobs created by Apps. Really? And what, pray tell, is the average salary and benefits package?
Finally, the serial aggravation of columns which interview small business owners, trying to always float the idea that American workers are truly worthless.
I present a series of them, the interviewees nasty and complaining pieces of work, for a variety of reasons shifting all blame to the downright laziness and unsuitability of average Americans.
We hosted a job fair where we hired 40 people. Twenty-five showed up for training. Only two lasted more than a couple of weeks. People work for three months and get themselves fired so they can collect unemployment for another year.
We have learned to document everything we do with an employee. We’ve become sticklers for regulation. Finally, we hired an inside recruiter and created surveys designed to discover who is truly serious about working.
We’ve raised wages from $12 per hour to between $15 and $18 per hour plus commission, meaning a salesperson starts between $24,000 and $38,000.
Again, in SoCal, the starting pay puts you right on or below the poverty line.
And the guy who’s business only exists because of the war on terror.
His firm, AEGIS Finserve Corp., provides payroll services to government agencies.
The lament? Americans fail background checks and — more importantly — they don’t have security clearances.
It’s a pain getting someone a security clearance. Aegis wants them pre-installed, at government expense so to speak, by people already vetted by employment in endless war.
Since the Patriot Act was passed, the time frame to get a clearance went from 90 days to nine months. While we conduct in-house due diligence, the 32-page trust application is forwarded to government agencies, such as the FBI, NSA, etc., and costs the firm upwards of $25,000 per candidate.
If a criminal record, psychological issue, poor credit or other problem, comes up, a candidate could be disqualified. Aegis then eats the due diligence costs …
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan conclude, we are more optimistic about getting qualified people. Former military applicants have held or can get security clearances. We find they make excellent representatives for our company.
From the Center of Economic and Policy Research on such arguments, the assertion that it has always been this way.
“[Unemployment] may run into the millions, but as the iron, steel, and metal-working industries improve, a scarcity of skilled workmen is developing, states the magazine Steel this week.”
This shows that technology might change rapidly, but economic reporting at the Washington Post doesn’t. Many of the stories it has written in the last two years about shortages of skilled workers in the midst of mass unemployment could have been plagiarized from this 1935 piece.
It is also striking that this piece, like much current economic reporting, relies exclusively on business sources. The article does not make any reference to any independent experts and of course, no one from a union or any workers’ organization.
Ryan is specific about two policies: massive cuts to income-tax rates, and very large cuts to government programs that aid the poor and medically vulnerable. You could call all this a “deficit-reduction plan,” but it would be more accurate to call it “a plan to cut tax rates and spending on the poor and sick.” Aside from a handful of exasperated commentators, like Paul Krugman, nobody does.
[Ryan’s Ayn Rand] centered libertarian philosophy around a defense of capitalism in general and, in particular, a conception of politics as a class war pitting virtuous producers against parasites who illegitimately use the power of the state to seize their wealth.
“It is not enough to say that President Obama’s taxes are too big or the health-care plan doesn’t work for this or that policy reason,” Ryan said in 2009. “It is the morality of what is occurring right now, and how it offends the morality of individuals working toward their own free will to produce, to achieve, to succeed, that is under attack, and it is that what I think Ayn Rand would be commenting on.” Ryan’s philosophical opposition to a government that forces the “makers” to subsidize the “takers”— plying the poor with such inducements as food stamps and health insurance for their children has sapped their desire to achieve, a problem Ryan proposes to solve by targeting them for the lion’s share of deficit reduction.
It features a long argument by Craig Medred stating the Nugent was either lying about what he knew of Alaskan hunting regulations — ignorance being the reason he claims to have broken the law, or is a “coward” for claiming fighting a misdemeanor case in court would have bankrupted him.
Medred goes on to reason that Nugent may have instead chosen not to fight the case because he was looking at a potential felony conviction under the Lacey Act. A felony case would have ended his career, at least in the short term.
It’s a nuanced argument, as well as one that condemns Nugent in no uncertain terms. It is also very fair.
And here is how Nugent spun [his ifnration] all that to Handguns [magazine]:
“Just like in California, to fight the corrupt system would have bankrupted me, taken me away from my life support careers for God knows how long, and I don’t trust our court system. This Alaska charge was an unintentional technical violation of an unprecedented, never-before-heard-of law, only in the southeast region of Alaska, where if your bullet or arrow shows any sign of hitting a bear, then your tag is invalidated. I still can’t find anyone who has ever heard of such a regulation, even amongst lifetime Alaska resident hunters, guides and outfitters, even the judge in Ketchikan stated on record during the court hearing that he had never heard of such a law. I was blindsided by this, and to my knowledge, the only person to ever be charged under this bizarre regulation.”
“The corrupt system?” “An unprecedented, never-before-heard of law?” “Blindsided?” “A bizarre regulation?”
Anyone who truly believes these things fights the charge in court, or he is a coward, no two ways about it. And trust me, I’m not blowing smoke. I once spent thousands of dollars fighting the Alaska Railroad in court because of a “bizarre regulation.”
So [Nugent is] either a coward who backed away from the fight or he’s a liar when he says he violated a “never-before-heard-of law, only in the southeast region of Alaska, where if your bullet or arrow shows any sign of hitting a bear, then your tag is invalidated. I still can’t find anyone who has ever heard of such a regulation …”
He hasn’t looked very hard. I found a fair number of Alaska hunters who have heard of the regulation. Some of them are suspicious Nugent himself knew of the regulation. It was, they say, big talk among bowhunters at the time of enactment.
[The wounded-bear-as-bag-filled] law is awfully hard to enforce. Either your hunting buddies have to rat you out, or you have to save some video showing exactly what you did, which was apparently the case with Nugent. He saved the evidence that he broke the law. And he broke the law. And if he broke it knowing he was breaking it and then shipped the bear hide out of state, then the Feds can potentially slap a felony Lacey Act violation.
Nugent did not get charged with a felony. He settled with the Feds for a misdemeanor Lacey Act violation. Whether he was threatened with a felony charge nobody is saying. But if I was Nugent, and I was threatened with a federal felony charge, I would be afraid — very, very afraid. Nugent has some foundation when he says “I don’t trust our court system.”
Reads like the writer has come very close to the truth of the matter. The article, again, is here.
Threatening the President is also a felony and that is why Ted Nugent received a visit from the US Secret Service the same week he pleaded in the Alaska case.
The idea was to gin up the rotten reputation and inspire tourism which has taken a hit because of the war on terror.
One of recent results has been the above video commercial bit, entitled “Anthem.” It’s explained here.
Naturally, you know I view it as crap. It’s high production value, no expense spared, simple-minded pandering using Rosanne Cash’s maudlin “Land of Dreams.” Just come to the glorious USA. Don’t think about the TSA, visas, proving you’re not a terrorist, and enduring customs for something high rent, blighted and really not quite worth the trouble.
However, last week my song, “The National Anthem” took an unexpected bump upward in views. Drilling down through the statistics I found viewers were fortuitously coming over from “Brand USA Anthem” because YouTube was displaying my tune to the side in its related videos list.
By comparison, “The National Anthem” is catchy, funny and the truth. It rocks. In stark contrast to “Brand USA” it is not marinating in deluded bathos.
Now, it still doesn’t have the view count of the latter. But I didn’t have the advertising and promotional dollars to shove it like its corporate minders.
A recent New York Times story here shows how much muscle the US government and recruited high-power ad agencies are putting into the “Brand USA” campaign. This, to spur tourism, because it’s one of the only ways they can think of to hike employment — more minimum wage jobs as waiters and hospitality industry staff.
Go out to the “Brand USA: Anthem” video at YouTube and take a look at the comments. Doesn’t look like it’s working too well, now, does it?
Such transparently dishonest things deserve all the superciliousness, and more, that comes their way. They are perfect examples of Paul Fussell’s BAD — something phony, witless or vacant passed off as uplifting, genuine or in some way, worthy of praise just because.
It is another in a huge collection of fool’s gold-painted trinkets fresh from our culture of lickspittle.
Hit “The National Anthem” up a few ticks today. Feeling inspired? Post it somewhere, just so they can’t be rid of it dangling maddeningly in the related videos column. Post it in the comments.
PAUL SOLMAN: Or maybe creating problems, says Marc Goodman, if the bio-hacker is so inclined.
MARC GOODMAN: As it becomes democratized, I can go ahead and capture your DNA and come up with a particular attack that’s targeted against you specifically.
PAUL SOLMAN: And all you have to do is shake my hand or something to get some DNA.
MARC GOODMAN: And I would have to do is shake your hand, get the coke can that you throw away, get the pen that you signed something with.
PAUL SOLMAN: And then cook up the Paul Solman virus — one and done.
The man doesn’t know anything about real world bioterrorism.
Indeed, one oddly named Genome Compiler Corp, paradoxically seems to indicate he’s never actually been in a lab that would lend practical expertise to the matter. On the other hand, it does have a nice glitzy look one associates with glib snake-oil peddling.
Anyway, with futurism, this isn’t the point. What’s important is that you sound good to laymen.
And that’s easy work in these environs. Alvin Toffler and his wife, Heidi, made a fortune on it decades ago. In fact, the bio-hacker making custom viruses for individuals was basically in one of his their books, War and Anti-War, published at least fifteen years ago (probably longer). Anyone who has read Wired, at least semi-regularly, for any length of time during its history of publication has also seen it many times.
Many can, and literally have, said viruses custom-made to kill you are
coming on the menu. And they’ll be puffing and squirting from the garage or basement because, if you read all the stuff at the PBS link, Petri dishes, DNA sequencing and making life has become so cheap. Evolution is so last decade.
It’s a story that gets repeated over and over, one that does well because it’s appealing and fun, just like tales about Bigfoot, magic, electromagnetic pulse guns and paranormal activity.
If you go out to the PBS link, you’ll see most of it is focused on the story-telling of Singularity University.
Singularity University is the work of Ray Kurzweil, a brilliant man who came up with optical character recognition and software for early synthesizers.
Kurzweil’s also about the clap-trap of the Singularity meme — that idea predicting achievement of God-like power through the the intersection of vast computing power and total control over biological systems.
For the rest of us, well let’s just say they’ll be no infinity-achieving computers, pet nanobots and popping of forever-pills. Sorry, only for the swells.
The Live Forever crew is now horribly common. With Kurzweil and others, it’s the fetish of gobbling vitamins and supplements daily, being frozen cryogenically, or becoming a cyborg. Custom viruses made from your handshake is very small beer. Indeed, how would they kill once you’ve attained computerized immortality?
If you momentarily click on the links, you’ll see custom Google lists of endlessly deadening articles about technological supremacy and the achievement of everything, all just around the corner.
However, if you read this blog regularly and actually like it, I’d imagine you’ve probably avoided it, just as one would steer clear of plates of singing maggots.
More news this week from Arizona, also known as the latest scoop from the Tea Party’s sand box.
Ted Nugent is appearing at the Pima County fair this weekend at the petting zoo. For a dollar children can feed him raw elk entrails.
The anti-abortion Arizona legislature has voted to halt all public funding of Planned Parenthood because family planning results in fewer abortions. Next they plan to reduce deaths by eliminating hospitals.
Mexicans aren’t sneaking in like they used to. Congratulations to Arizona’s politician’s and the success of their wily scheme: Make Arizona so wretched that by contrast life in Mexico is a dream.
I guess it’s predictable that Paul Ryan (for foreign readers, the fellow pictured prominently in the above video) is now trying to say he was never an Ayn Rand fan. This because religious scholars have bricked him on passing off his austerity plans to cut foodstamps to the poor as informed by his Catholic faith. Rand was notorious for reviling religion.
And Ryan has made himself an equally notorious liar.
In the Catholic faith there are two types of sin: venal and mortal. Mortal sins queer your relationship with God. You have no chance to ascend into Heaven with one on your soul. You will go to Hell. But the sacraments of Confession and Penance allow you to take care of that, making your soul, once again, white as a new sheet.
Breaking any of the ten commandments is a mortal sin. However, lying is a bit more subtle in interpretation. Lying can be venal or mortal, depending on the gravity and depth of the truth intentionally deformed or misinterpreted by the lie.
Has Paul Ryan committed a mortal sin? Yeah, probably, since it’s such a big issue reaching into every corner of American society.
However, the news archive of the Internet won’t let him get away with it — except in GOP circles. Evidence of any kind makes no difference there, ever.
At the Rand celebration he spoke at in 2005, Ryan invoked the central theme of Rand’s writings when he told his audience that, “Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict – individualism versus collectivism.”
In that struggle, Ryan argued that shifting Social Security (which he called a “collectivist system”) toward personal investment accounts was not only good policy, but would change the political landscape, according to a recording of the event made by its host, The Atlas Society.
“If we actually accomplish this goal of personalizing Social Security, think of what we will accomplish. Every worker, every laborer in America will not only be a laborer but a capitalist. They will be an owner of society. That’s that many more people in America who are not going to listen to the likes of Dick Gephardt and Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, the collectivist, class-warfare-breathing demagogues,” said Ryan.