A civilization is the product of a definite worldview, and its philosophy manifests itself in each of its accomplishments. The artifacts produced by men may be called material. But the methods resorted to in the arrangement of production activities are mental, the outcome of ideas that determine what should be done and how. All the branches of a civilization are animated by the spirit that permeates its ideology.
The philosophy that is the characteristic mark of the West and whose consistent elaboration has in the last centuries transformed all social institutions has been called individualism. It maintains that ideas, the good ones as well as the bad, originate in the mind of an individual man. Only a few men are endowed with the capacity to conceive new ideas.
But as political ideas can work only if they are accepted by society, it rests with the crowd of those who themselves are unable to develop new ways of thinking to approve or disapprove the innovations of the pioneers. There is no guarantee that these masses of followers and routinists will make wise use of the power vested in them. They may reject the good ideas, those whose adoption would benefit them, and espouse bad ideas that will seriously hurt them.
But if they choose what is worse, the fault is not theirs alone. It is no less the fault of the pioneers of the good causes in not having succeeded in bringing forward their thoughts in a more convincing form. The favorable evolution of human affairs depends ultimately on the ability of the human race to beget not only authors but also heralds and disseminators of beneficial ideas.
One may lament the fact that the fate of mankind is determined by the — certainly not infallible — minds of men. But such regret cannot change reality. In fact, the eminence of man is to be seen in his power to choose between good and evil. It is precisely this that the theologians had in view when they praised God for having bestowed upon man the discretion to make his choice between virtue and vice.
The dangers inherent in the masses' incompetence are not eliminated by transferring the authority to make ultimate decisions to the dictatorship of one or a few men, however excellent. It is an illusion to expect that despotism will always side with the good causes. It is characteristic of despotism that it tries to curb the endeavors of pioneers to improve the lot of their fellow men.
Mainstream opinion writers have opined that Bitcoin mining is too energy intensive. They say it contributes to climate change, or that it simply takes more energy than a monetary system is justified in taking, and is a "potentially catastrophic energy guzzler." Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are often admittedly energy-intensive in the computing involved. After all, cryptocurrencies, in part, have value to owners because they are scarce, and there is a cost involved in producing them. This cost, however, has been pointed out by critics of cryptos as evidence of a lack of true value for the currencies.
Similar arguments by critics of gold were made decades ago. They claimed a fiat/paper money standard was more economical than gold, which needed to be physically mined and stored. These changes, however, were confronted by Roger Garrison in The “Costs” of a Gold Standard. Garrison writes, “Comparing the resource costs of gold to the resource costs of paper does not settle the issue.” Garrison notes additional costs society incurs under a paper standard: (1) the costs imposed on society by different political factions attempting to gain control of the printing press, (2) costs imposed by special interest groups who persuade controllers of the printing press to misuse their authority (print more money) for the benefit of special interests, (3) inflation-induced misallocations of resources as a result of misused monetary authority, and (4) costs incurred by businessmen in their attempts to predict what the monetary authority will do in future.
Why is it necessary for Bitcoin to use such energy-intensive computing? Nick Szabo answers this question in Money, Blockchains, and Social Scalability, by pointing out that Bitcoin’s high resource consumption buys something even more valuable: social scalability. Bitcoin’s computationally costly design gives stronger resistance to forgery, inflation, and theft. This is due to the difficulty of production, and also to easy-to-verify dynamic of Proof of Work schemes.
Additional costs borne by society under government fiat money and the resulting inflation arguably must be taken into account when comparing monetary standards. For example, consider the dramatically cheaper debt market financing available to governments in a fiat monetary order. This debt financing in turn enables many extremely costly and destructive programs, such as the warfare & welfare state. These government programs would otherwise require increased explicit taxation of taxpayers, which is much more difficult for a politician to campaign for, relative to the hidden costs of inflation.
Could a similar argument be applied to gold, or to cryptocurrencies? Perhaps, but then society would have to contend with the risks of gold centralization, confiscation and/or co-opting by the government, which has historically been a bad bet. In terms of other cryptocurrencies, it should be recognized that (thanks to Carl Menger’s " On the Origins of Money") there is a tendency towards one highly liquid and saleable money. Thus a person wishing to speculate on gold or a cryptocurrency would have to believe that it could come to "win" in the marketplace for money.
The future is uncertain and we do not know if Bitcoin or other cryptos "win" in the global market for money. However, if a hypothetical Bitcoin (for example) standard should come to pass, a more holistic consideration of Bitcoin Mining’s costs and unseen benefits would include: dramatic restriction in the size of government, the end of the fractional reserve banking induced boom-and-bust cycle and consequent loss in economic output, and reduction in the welfare and warfare state. As Garrison writes, “Ultimately, the cost of any action, commodity, or institution is the alternative action, commodity, or institution forgone. The opportunity cost is the only cost that counts.”Stephan Livera (@stephanlivera) is an Austro-libertarian writer and podcast host. Professionally, he is an Australian Chartered Accountant and works as a technology auditor in financial services. Subscribe to the bitcoin and Austrian-economics focused Stephan Livera Podcast.
Glenn Beck has recently raved about a book on the faith of George Washington, helping to propel the book to #1 on Amazon for six days in a row. MediaMatters, which is funded by George Soros, accuses this book of being “revisionist history.” But just who is rewriting history?
The book in question is near and dear to my heart, because I co-wrote it. The chief author of George Washington’s Sacred Fire is Dr. Peter Lillback, president of Westminster Theological Seminary, who researched the subject for some 20 years before we met. We began to collaborate in late 2004, and finished the book in the early summer of 2006. The late Dr. James Kennedy launched the book through his television and radio outreach, Coral Ridge Ministries, where I have worked for 25 years now.
George Washington’s Sacred Fire is not revisionist history. It’s a rebuttal to revisionist history—all 1200 pages of it (700 pages of text with 500 pages of appendices and endnotes).
The goal of the book is to set the record straight about George Washington’s faith. Since the early 1960s, many scholars have essentially called our first president a deist—someone who believed that there was a God, but that He was far removed from the daily affairs of men and was not a prayer-answering God.Dr. Jerry Newcombe serves as the co-host, a columnist, and a spokesperson for D. James Kennedy Ministries, founded by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy. Jerry has produced or co-produced more than 60 one hour television specials that have aired nationwide. Jerry is the author or co-author of twenty-five books, at least two of which have been bestsellers, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (with Dr. Peter Lillback), What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with Dr. Kennedy) and Doubting Thomas? The Life and Legacy of Thomas Jefferson (with Mark Beliles).
Fake recounts in Florida, fires leaving many homeless or dead in California, the House of Representatives invaded by entitled whelps born after 1980 — it's too much when considered with all the corruption and greed in government.
Depressing sewage at every level of government.
Along comes futurist George Gilder to show us that change is coming. Not the filth that Obama bequeathed us, but real, positive technological change. Ripe for change is the old Internet. Within the next ten years we can throw away the old message-based I'net for a new one based on the security and privacy of block-chain architecture. The 'net is the fountain of many of our woes. The spread of misinformation, fake news and hypnosis by smartphone are a few of the abuses of the I'net. Good news, everyone: Google, Facebook and Twitter will shrink in a more secure environment.
So what's going to happen to Google?  Google became the 800-pound gorilla (of your dreams) by giving everything away. Free searching of a massive global database, free email, free text, pictures, Artificial Intelligence — all free. So how do they make their profits?  You. They know YOU — your interests, your friends, what you eat and when you eat. Google knows these things because they gave you some of their stuff. They sell YOU (your searches, etc.) to anyone willing to pay them. Think of it: billions upon billions of bytes of goop on any of the billions of Internet users. Google doesn't need to hack your laptop or your CitiBank account. You've given them enough personal goop already. It's all in a huge hopper (database) with other tidbits and goop from other Google users across the planet. Your passwords on various web sites don't really protect you forever from hackers bent on stealing whatever they can from you: bank deposits, credit card numbers, birth dates, mother's maiden name, etc. Maybe you'll find out that Experian or Facebook or Wendy's has been hacked. Maybe you won't find out for another 6 months. Passwords, knowledge of family names, and so on, are needed for authentication of who you are on the mail-address-driven Internet of today. For a computer network to “know” that it's really YOU punching that keyboard somewhere in the cloud, you must “prove” it. Gilder quotes the work of one man. Made public in 1931, Kurt Gödel showed proof that testing the truth of any mathematical system required a view from oustide that system. Noting that even the much-vaunted Artificial Intelligence processes cannot reach beyond what the human mind programs into them — no matter how ingenious the programmer nor how great the computer's power, Gilder realized that only the human mind can create what he called a “surprise.” With Gilders' help (and 87 years down the road) we begin to see the implications of Gödel's insight: fear of AI is like fear of 'climate change'; the Internet is a souped-up messaging tool whose days are numbered — by weak security. Spam-ridden and leaky, it's dominated by a few giants like Google. Now we come to the uplifting part: When we (like George Gilder) apply Gödel's proof to known economies, we find that only Capitalism offers a path outside its box. That path is called “invention,” “innovation,” “creativity,” or “free enterprise.”
Along comes futurist George Gilder to show us that change is coming. Not the filth that Obama bequeathed us, but real, positive technological change. Ripe for change is the old Internet. Within the next ten years we can throw away the old message-based I'net for a new one based on the security and privacy of block-chain architecture.
The 'net is the fountain of many of our woes. The spread of misinformation, fake news and hypnosis by smartphone are a few of the abuses of the I'net. Good news, everyone: Google, Facebook and Twitter will shrink in a more secure environment.
So what's going to happen to Google?  Google became the 800-pound gorilla (of your dreams) by giving everything away. Free searching of a massive global database, free email, free text, pictures, Artificial Intelligence — all free. So how do they make their profits?  You. They know YOU — your interests, your friends, what you eat and when you eat. Google knows these things because they gave you some of their stuff. They sell YOU (your searches, etc.) to anyone willing to pay them. Think of it: billions upon billions of bytes of goop on any of the billions of Internet users.
Google doesn't need to hack your laptop or your CitiBank account. You've given them enough personal goop already. It's all in a huge hopper (database) with other tidbits and goop from other Google users across the planet.
Your passwords on various web sites don't really protect you forever from hackers bent on stealing whatever they can from you: bank deposits, credit card numbers, birth dates, mother's maiden name, etc. Maybe you'll find out that Experian or Facebook or Wendy's has been hacked. Maybe you won't find out for another 6 months.
Passwords, knowledge of family names, and so on, are needed for authentication of who you are on the mail-address-driven Internet of today. For a computer network to “know” that it's really YOU punching that keyboard somewhere in the cloud, you must “prove” it.
Gilder quotes the work of one man. Made public in 1931, Kurt Gödel showed proof that testing the truth of any mathematical system required a view from oustide that system.
Noting that even the much-vaunted Artificial Intelligence processes cannot reach beyond what the human mind programs into them — no matter how ingenious the programmer nor how great the computer's power, Gilder realized that only the human mind can create what he called a “surprise.” With Gilders' help (and 87 years down the road) we begin to see the implications of Gödel's insight: fear of AI is like fear of 'climate change'; the Internet is a souped-up messaging tool whose days are numbered — by weak security. Spam-ridden and leaky, it's dominated by a few giants like Google.
Now we come to the uplifting part: When we (like George Gilder) apply Gödel's proof to known economies, we find that only Capitalism offers a path outside its box. That path is called “invention,” “innovation,” “creativity,” or “free enterprise.”
On November 6, it seemed the Republicans might hold their majority in the Senate and in the House. Sadly, they lost their majority in the House. The mystery is why so many Democrat candidates who are so obviously ethically challenged won in races that should not have even been close.
How and why do Democrats continue to vote for unqualified, dishonest candidates? Elizabeth Warren is a proven liar, a cheat who claimed Native American heritage in order to get a job at Harvard. Her baby, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was her plan to wield control over all bank and non-bank institutions without Congressional interference. In short, she is a hard-left socialist who means to control how Americans earn, spend and borrow money, how they use their savings. Warren is a blight on the Constitution and the guaranteed freedoms of US citizens. She is an advance operative for the socialist America the left envisions.
Andrew Gillum, the left's choice to be Governor of Florida, is the failed mayor of Tallahassee. He remains under FBI investigation for corruption. Given the information about that investigation that has been released, he appears yet another greedy and corrupt Democrat pol in the Hillary Clinton mold. The stability of Tallahassee declined catastrophically under his leadership; crime and murder rose drastically.
Gillum sold out his city for money, and cries racism when confronted with his crimes. He should never have been the candidate for the Governor of Florida but the left cares only about race and power, not ethics or honor. For progressives, race trumps everything else, even character. If Gillum wins after the cheating Broward County is infamous for, Florida will suffer the slings and arrows that are inevitable under politicians like Gillum. Why was this race even close? Have half the nation's voters scuttled any semblance of traditional values in order to win? Yes.
Then there is Robert Menendez, the credibly accused pedophile senator of New Jersey. He should be in prison but was saved by one juror in his corruption trial with whom he partied after his win on November 6. Who votes for a man like this? There is plenty of proof that he took bribes from a wealthy client for numerous favors, trips to the Dominican Republic for sex with underage girls being one of them. But New Jersey just re-elected this man. They too have lost all sense of right vs. wrong.
Stacey Abrams, the still grasping gubernatorial contender in Georgia, is a hard-left, anti-capitalist, anti-Second Amendment candidate. She owes about $200K in credit card debt and wants to run Georgia? She too is corrupt and incompetent. She is also willing to cheat to win. Are Georgians ignorant of her many, many negatives?  If they are, they voted for her anyway. Again, skin color trumps everything.
This past week Americans were shocked to hear CNN's Don Lemon refer to all white males as the nations biggest terror threat. This was in the same sentence, mind you, in which he first declared that we must stop demonizing groups of people because they are different.
Recently, there has been a lot of attempts to portray those of a right-leaning ideology as potential extremists. The fake pipe bomber and the synagogue shooter were both portrayed as white nationalists. The FBI has even gone on record and stated that White Nationalism poses as much of a threat to the nation as ISIS or other Islamic terror groups back in 2017.
The definition of nationalism is simply a person devoted to a political ideology fighting for national independence. Are we to assume now that any white male who advocates for limited, constitutional government, and individual liberty are domestic terrorists?  According to the (2009) Homeland Security Report (pdf) entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment"; the answer to that question is YES. This (July 29, 2015) report identifies people that are concerned about illegal immigrants and restrictions on gun rights as potential extremists while at the same time admitting that there is no indication that such groups are in any planning phases to commit an act of terror. Conspiracy theorists who believed that there is an attempt to create a “New World Order” are also identified. What's more disturbing is that the report specifically targeted our nation's veterans as being especially susceptible to recruitment efforts by radical right-wing groups. This was due to the economic downturn and lack of jobs for returning war veterans.David R is a freelance writer and researcher. David served in the United States Marine Corps from 1995-1999 and the US Army from 2001-2006. In addition to contributing to FreedomOutpost.com, he writes at Radical Conservative.
I have black and white Christian relatives who are extremely involved in their churches, faithfully attending every Sunday. They sit in their favorite pew, singing, “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.” Why do most of these Christian relatives choose to ignore Democrats', fake news media's, public education's, and Hollywood's war on marriage, God's sex distinctions, innocent life, and Jesus?
These regular churchgoers distance themselves from me whenever I post my articles on Facebook about Planned Parenthood's obsession with killing babies even after they are born – infanticide. Christian relatives were offended when my wife posted undercover videos that exposed that PP illegally sells dead baby body parts for profit. A video revealed that PP is excited when its abortionists successfully kill babies without destroying the head because intact heads sell for premium prices. My Christian relatives still passionately defend Planned Parenthood. My wife Mary and I are their politically fanatical relatives.
Sadly, some Christian relatives seem to allow their public school-indoctrinated kids to tell them what to think. These Christian parents support Planned Parenthood killing babies because their Millennial kids support Planned Parenthood killing babies. Will God judge such parents for allowing their kids to seduce them into bending a knee in worship to the false god of political correctness?
Animal-lovers are prominent throughout my family. Relatives who defend Planned Parenthood slaughtering innocent human babies would angrily call for the execution of anyone who harms a puppy.
I find it amazing that my Christian relatives (black and white) cannot see or refuse to see Democrats' and leftists' and fake news media's hatred for Jesus. News reports, TV sitcoms, public schools and movies always portray followers of Jesus as wacko intolerant haters. Meanwhile, media portray homosexuals as sophisticated, funny, compassionate, and wonderful superior human beings.
I have never heard my Christian relatives even acknowledge that Democrats and leftists seek to ban Nativity scenes, in essence removing Christ from Christmas. Bibles and Christianity are banned from public schools while Muslims are invited to share the beauty of Islam. My relatives are mute about LGBTQ lessons becoming mandatory across America in public schools, beginning in pre-K?
Four-year-olds are being asked to choose the sex they want to be before starting school. Lord help us. Teachers are forbidden to address students as boys and girls because it is deemed gender-bigotry." And yet, professed Christian relatives want me to keep my racist, hateful, conservative, and Republican rhetoric to myself.The UK Guardian declared prolific writer, singer and songwriter Lloyd Marcus the Tea Party Movement's most prominent African American, seen on Fox News, CNN and more. Rejecting hyphenating, Marcus is renowned for proclaiming, "I am NOT an African-American! I am Lloyd Marcus AMERICAN!" Marcus is Chairman of Conservative Campaign Committee PAC. Its mission is to elect conservative candidates across America.
The Trump administration’s plan to freeze corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) standards for five years and to revoke California’s power to set its own gas-mileage rules will bring much-needed reform to the antiquated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards.
The NHTSA/EPA proposal allows the model year standards that must be achieved by each automaker for its car and light-duty truck fleet to rise to 37 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2020. That standard would stay in place for the model years 2021-2026. Under the Obama-era rule, the standard was set to rise to 54 mpg by 2025.
By making these revisions, the proposed rule elevates and ensures the primacy of consumer choice over bureaucratic mandates. Automakers now design vehicles to meet the preferences of bureaucrats rather than the needs of consumers.
In recent years, as gas prices have remained low, Americans have shown a preference for larger vehicles Data cited by the Washington Post (Aug. 3) show that Ford’s F-Series trucks are the best-selling vehicles in the United States, followed by Chevrolet and Ram pickups and a variety of SUVs. Further down are smaller sedans such as the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. And further down still are electric vehicles.
In making these selections, American consumers are showing a clear preference for safety. Larger vehicles provide better visibility and greater protection in the event of a collision. A 2018 NHTSA study found that new model year vehicles are safer, resulting in fewer deaths and injuries when they are involved in accidents. By calling its proposed rulemaking SAFE, the administration acknowledges the importance of protecting the traveling public, which includes small children, the most vulnerable passengers in a vehicle.
EPA and NHTSA correctly argue that the current, Obama-era CAFÉ standards have contributed to the rising cost of new automobiles to an average of $35,000 or more. Compared with the alternative put forth in the Trump proposal, keeping in place the standards finalized in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car. Even in our flourishing economy, this would price many buyers out of the market, or force them to purchase smaller, less-safe vehicles.
The California Waiver
Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the proposal would “create a 50-state solution,” a reference to one of the plan’s most far-reaching provisions. In 2009, the Obama administration, citing authority under the Clean Air Act, issued a waiver to California, allowing it to set its own fuel-economy standards and to establish a statewide mandate for electric vehicles. No fewer than 12 states, mostly in the Northeast and the Northwest, have adopted California’s tailpipe emission standards. Together, they account for about half of the U.S. automobile market.
The proposed rule establishes and confirms true federalism by removing California’s ability to dictate to consumers in other states what kinds of cars they should buy. No state should have this kind of power, either over the automobile industry or the driving public nationwide.
Reflecting a Radically Changing Energy Environment
Finally, the proposed rule is a welcome acknowledgement that the world has changed since 1975, the year that CAFÉ standards were enacted. We now live in an era of energy abundance, made possible by America’s growing extraction of oil and natural gas. OPEC’s stranglehold on global oil production and prices has been broken.
Furthermore, today’s internal combustion engines bear little resemblance to those in service when CAFÉ’s standards were imposed 43 years ago. The demands of competition will force automakers to continue upgrading their vehicles’ engines with respect to both emissions and fuel efficiency. Instead of relying on ever-tightening bureaucratic mandates, which can be cynically used by regulators, politicians, and pressure groups to favor one technology or product over another, government should step away and allow innovation to determine our automotive future.
The original CAFÉ mandate and the 2012 Obama rule are both relics of a distance past, one in which energy was thought to be scarce and only government mandates limiting consumer choices could remedy the situation. That era is thankfully gone, and the proposed rule reflects that reality.
Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, seeking to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District, has called for the abolition of the Electoral College. Her argument came on the heels of the Senate’s confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. She was lamenting the fact that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, nominated by George W. Bush, and Justices Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, nominated by Donald Trump, were court appointments made by presidents who lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College vote.
Hillary Clinton has long been a critic of the Electoral College. Just recently, she wrote in The Atlantic, “You won’t be surprised to hear that I passionately believe it’s time to abolish the Electoral College.”
Subjecting presidential elections to the popular vote sounds eminently fair to Americans who have been miseducated by public schools and universities. Worse yet, the call to eliminate the Electoral College reflects an underlying contempt for our Constitution and its protections for personal liberty. Regarding miseducation, the founder of the Russian Communist Party, Vladimir Lenin, said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” His immediate successor, Josef Stalin, added, “Education is a weapon whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
A large part of Americans’ miseducation is the often heard claim that we are a democracy. The word “democracy” appears nowhere in the two most fundamental documents of our nation — the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. In fact, our Constitution — in Article 4, Section 4 — guarantees “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”
The Founding Fathers had utter contempt for democracy. James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, said that in a pure democracy, “there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.”
At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Virginia Gov. Edmund Randolph said that “in tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.” John Adams wrote: “Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide.”
At the Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton said: “We are now forming a republican government. Real liberty” is found not in “the extremes of democracy but in moderate governments. … If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy.”
For those too dense to understand these arguments, ask yourselves: Does the Pledge of Allegiance say “to the democracy for which it stands” or “to the republic for which it stands”? Did Julia Ward Howe make a mistake in titling her Civil War song “Battle Hymn of the Republic”?  Should she have titled it “Battle Hymn of the Democracy”?
The Founders saw our nation as being composed of sovereign states that voluntarily sought to join a union under the condition that each state admitted would be coequal with every other state. The Electoral College method of choosing the president and vice president guarantees that each state, whether large or small in area or population, has some voice in selecting the nation’s leaders.Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Yesterday, the alternative media purge was boldly advanced in a coordinated effort to silence people who dissent from establishment views. It’s just one more step toward a monopoly on information by those who hate freedom. At this rate, they’ll soon have unquestioned access to the minds of more than 2 billion people. And this should terrify everyone who wants to be free to question the status quo and to seek a wide range of information.
Hundreds of alternative media site administrators logged onto Facebook to discover that their accounts had been removed. Soon after, many of these sites and their writers found that their Twitter accounts had also been suspended.
Popular pages like The AntiMedia (2.1 million fans), The Free Thought Project (3.1 million fans), Press for Truth (350K fans), Police the Police (1.9 million fans), Cop Block (1.7 million fans), and Punk Rock Libertarians (125K fans) are just a few of the ones which were unpublished.
The reason given doesn’t really add up.
Facebook told the LA Times that these pages had violated the company’s spam policies.
“Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior,” the company said in a blog post. “People will only share on Facebook if they feel safe and trust the connections they make here.” (source)But this isn’t actually what their spam policy says. Here’s the policy.
We work hard to limit the spread of commercial spam to prevent false advertising, fraud, and security breaches, all of which detract from people’s ability to share and connect. We do not allow people to use misleading or inaccurate information to collect likes, followers, or shares.
- Artificially increase distribution for financial gain
- Create or use fake accounts or compromise other people’s accounts to
- Impersonate or pretend to be a business, organization, public figure, or private individual
- Attempt to create connections, create content, or message people
- Restrict access to content by requiring people to like, share, or recommend before viewing
- Encourage likes, shares, or clicks under false pretenses
- Maliciously use login credentials or personally identifiable information by:
- Attempting to gather or share login credentials or personally identifiable information
- Using another person’s login credentials or personally identifiable information
- Promise non-existent Facebook features
The Washington Post originally said that these pages were purged for “pushing political messages for profit” as you can see by their URL:
But of course, since they too push political messages for profit (waaah, Trump!) as do all the other corporate media outlets out there, they changed their headline to “Facebook purged over 800 U.S. accounts and pages for pushing political spam.”
The fact that many of these accounts were also suspended by Twitter shortly thereafter should tell you that this is a coordinated effort to silence large swaths of the population.
Of course, the best coverage of this is from … Russia.Sputnik News contacted many of the alternative journalists who were purged to get their take on what happened. You may recall that basically every blogger outside the establishment media was accused of being secretly Russian during the 2016 election by the Washington Post, so perhaps actual Russians have a vested interest in the truth coming out on this topic. Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at email@example.com
Is chaos an impeachable offense?
Trump is destabilizing the status quo, as he promised to do. The keepers of the status quo cry foul.
Until 2017, there were certain political assumptions that most people no longer really believed but also preferred not to question — given the likely animus from the so-called bipartisan establishment, a naked entity which, by convention, we all agreed was splendidly clothed.
China could freely cheat on trade, and the U.S. could take the commercial hit, because one day its misbegotten riches would force liberalization and thereby make China a member in good standing of the family of democratic nations. After 40 years, we are still waiting on the promised democratic transformation — at great cost to the industrial and manufacturing heartland of the United States.
NATO member nations always would promise, indeed swear, that they would meet their military spending commitments, even as they had no intention at all of doing so. Fine, we shrugged, since World War II it has been the duty of the United States to lead and protect the West. What other nation had America’s inexhaustible wealth and power to subsidize rich socialist democracies, and commensurate unconcern with its own insidiously hollowed-out industrial interior?  Accordingly, American presidents would lecture NATO nations about their promised obligations and meanwhile expect public nods and private snickers. In the New York and Washington corridor, the gospel was never to question the changing role or funding of NATO but always to utter “NATO is the linchpin of the West.” End of discussion.
The Palestinians will always remain “refugees” in a way that similar contemporaneously displaced people who were also forced out of their homeland — Prussians, Jews of the Middle East, or Volga Germans — no longer have refugee status, after more than 70 years. A chaotic Trump recently accepted reality and quit funding the United Nations relief organization that supposedly attends to “refugees” who in reality are a political construct deemed useful for demonizing Israel around the world.
Jerusalem has long been privately accepted as both the historic and natural capital of Israel, and it’s now far more open and freer than it was prior to 1967. But we were not supposed to say that given fears of Palestinian pique, or terrorist attacks, or inflaming the Middle East. Trump in his supposedly reckless fashion simply moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and other nations strangely are beginning to follow.
No one really believed that the Iran deal would stop Iranian nuclear proliferation, or even prune back Iran-backed terrorism. The deal’s asymmetrical nocturnal ransom-for-hostages payments, its myriad exceptions to spot inspections, and its inability to check ballistic-missile construction were all ignored. The fallback excuse for the deal was that it would take a little longer for Iran to gain nuclear weapons, and would make Iran a little nicer to the United States. Yet few even believed those yarns. And no one had been willing to invoke a crisis with Iran by saying so. So we shrugged that the Iran deal was bad, but it was at least our bad deal — and then Trump dashed our illusions.
Serious people assumed that the Paris climate accord was even more ridiculous than the Kyoto protocol — grandstanding without any real collective enforcement effort to address “climate change.” All agreed that the vast production and utilization of natural gas de facto made America the most effective major nation in reducing carbon emissions, far more effective than supposedly greener Europe. The elite assumed as well that the Paris deal was a blueprint for expropriating Western wealth and redistributing it to the non-West. All publicly praised it; none privately liked it. And now it’s gone with a whimper, not a bang.
Blocking the construction of the Keystone pipeline and the opening of the ANWAR oil fields to energy development had become iconic #Resistance causes. We knew the pipeline would streamline energy transference and likely take the burden off more dangerous rail and truck transportation, and that ANWAR would help to achieve U.S. energy independence or at least increase national wealth. So now both are under construction and development. The nation yawns its assent.
Even the proponents of open borders — Democratic strategists, Latino activists, corporate employers, the Mexican government — privately concede that without a border there is no nation, that walls work (as fences and walls do around their own yards), and that they would not wish to conduct their own lives on the principles of picking and choosing which laws to follow.
Spurred by the digital revolution and pressured by Western moral standards about protecting innocent life, advances in battlefield technology have fundamentally changed the way we fight wars. Armies can now use pinpointed weapons to minimize civilian casualties. They can fire missiles at a single apartment in a crowded building, can identify the car of a terror cell leader and monitor it until it passes into an isolated area and be destroyed with a drone, and can use cyber tools to remotely disable weapons systems without ever dropping a bomb.
In short, precision weapons offer a more moral way to target enemies and their military assets, especially when non-state fighters use urban settings and civilians to shield themselves. These weapons, and their wise employment on the battlefield, are developments we should largely praise and sustain, even as important questions remain about how to employ them lawfully and about the true extent of their reduction of civilian casualties.
Many of the weapons that make precise combat possible have their origins in Israel. The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower, penned by Israeli journalists Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot, recounts how and why the small state has developed such advanced weaponry. The book largely takes the form of narrative nonfiction rather than an essay or a policy report, telling a series of stories about how “Israeli chutzpah” grew the country into a military technology hub.
The story starts with Israel’s humble munitions beginnings in the waning years of the British Mandate, when a pre-state militia illegally produced its own bullets in a factory hidden underground, beneath a laundry business and a bakery. Katz and Bohbot proceed to the present day, with Israel standing armed with a cache of some of the world’s most advanced missiles, drones, satellites, and cyber weapons.
Many Western militaries depend on Israel for their advanced weaponry supplies. The authors highlight Israel’s overwhelming share of the global military-drone manufacturing market — 60 percent, trailed distantly by the United States, at 24 percent — as an illustration of just how essential Israeli military development has become to modern warfare.
In Katz and Bohbot’s telling, Israelis developed these weapons largely alone, as a necessary result of the country’s vulnerability and diplomatic isolation. Israel’s geography has certainly contributed to the nation’s urgent need for such high-tech tools. The state has yet to go a single decade without a major confrontation with its Arab neighbors. Without population size or financial resources in its favor, Israel has always exploited whatever assets are available to it.
From its inception in 1948, for example, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has conscripted women to maximize its fighting force. “We are few — and our enemies are many,” explained Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, in a 1952 letter recently made public. “If, heaven forbid, a war falls upon us, the men will go to fight the enemy, and if, heaven forbid, the women who are protecting their children at home do not know how to use a weapon — what will be their end if the enemy falls upon them?”Merav Ceren is a Middle East Fellow at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she focuses on Israel, Iran, and counterterrorism policies. Previously, she worked at Israel’s Ministry of Defense, where she participated in negotiations in the West Bank between Israel’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories and Palestinian Authority officials.