The Gamification of Tyranny, The Surveillance State. America and China

By Kurt Nimmo

Global Research, September 22, 2018

It looks like we’re headed for a brave new world where all citizens are rated on their loyalty to the state and are punished for wandering from its narrative. 

Call it the gamification of repression.

In China, the supposedly communist state—in fact, it is an advanced form of crony capitalist authoritarianism that Marx [and Mao] would have disapproved—is busy setting up a rating system for all citizens. According to a paper written by an academic at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon, scores are based on professional conduct, corruption, type of products bought, peers’ own scores, and tax evasion.

The author left something out, however. This social credit system will also be used to marginalize and stigmatize those who criticize the state.

China’s nominally communist government says the system and its massive database will allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.

In addition to scrutinizing online activity and acting on tips by snitches, the system will tap into China’s sprawling network of surveillance cameras, said to number around 200 million across the country. Facial recognition will ID individuals and follow their every move in search of behavior worthy of a low score. Those gaining a high score will be allowed access to credit facilities, cheaper public transport, and even shorter wait times for hospital services. They will also be banned from travel and decent employment.

Although the system isn’t slated to be fully rolled out until 2020, pilot projects are already being used to ensnare enemies of the state. For instance, the journalist Liu Hu received a negative score and was blacklisted for criticizing China’s political corruption. He is under house arrest, his social media accounts were shut down, and he is unable to travel. This is reminiscent of travel restrictions placed on dissidents in the Soviet Union.

China’s Strategic Economic Planning versus America’s Failed Capitalism

If you think you’re free of this kind of tyranny because you live in America, think again.

Everybody knows the NSA and its contractors are collecting our most private and intimate information. Travel bans are enforced through no-fly lists and these are imposed on political activists as well as the innocent caught up in the surveillance system. You can lose your position at a university for thought considered unacceptable to a politically correct orthodoxy. The state intervenes when a business concern refuses to sell products to people the seller finds objectionable. In numerous ways, the state hinders, bans, and criminalizes behavior in parasitic fashion, the end result being overcrowded industrial prisons and a bounty in revenue generation through fines, assessments, penalties, and taxes.

Our social media accounts are scoured by the NSA, FBI, and the CIA for any sign of political misdeed. The state is able to monitor our behavior online in real-time. It has turned our cellphones into tracking devices. The tech giants often collaborate with the state and hand over our data without a constitutionally mandated search warrant. The data on our phones is surrendered at the border.

The latest signpost of ever encroaching corporatist-government fascism can be seen in the social media purge, which through evolution will ultimately remove all content from the internet deemed “extremist” by the state—and for the state that is everybody right or left who moves beyond permissible parameters set by the state.

Meanwhile, a huge internal security apparatus little different than what was used in the former Soviet Union is growing in size, arming itself to the teeth against the citizenry. It has deputized local law enforcement and showered it with all kinds of weapons, turning local police into armies controlled by the federal government.

Meanwhile, we are aghast at the behavior of China—or some of us are—and this is exploited to ramp up hostility toward China while buttressing Trump’s trade war. The ruling elite exploit the fear of China and Russia as part of an effort to check China’s move into a resource rich Africa and threaten Russia on its borders.

Most important is the project to derail China’s Belt and Road Initiative, aka the 21st-century Silk Road which poses a threat to neoliberal control of markets and the global economy. We are witnessing this being tested in the South China Sea and the China-Indochina Corridor as the US engages in provocative behavior against the Chinese navy.

Most believe we live in a democracy when in fact we live under a soft corporate-banker fascist police and surveillance state. I say “soft” because in the United States the government has mastered the art of control through media, not simply the corporate media, but also woven through the products of an entertainment industry that collaborates with the Pentagon and the CIA.

The state has done this for a very long time in America—from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to the FBI’s COINTELPRO and beyond. Technology has given the state the ability to covertly destroy its political enemies, whereas previously it took a lot of footwork.

Admittedly, this isn’t in-your-face like China’s social credit system, but the end result approaches what China is after—total control of the population and the removal of all serious political opponents challenging the state’s hegemonic rule. . .

Source: The Gamification of Tyranny, The Surveillance State. America and China

Renewables Help Communities Weather Hurricanes

Resiliency in the face of hurricanes will only make the case stronger for wider renewables deployment.

Climate Denial Crock of the Week

nc_solarQuartz

People of the Carolinas are picking up the pieces after Hurricane Florence, the wettest tropical cyclone on record. Among the news of dozens of deaths, overflowing pig-manure lagoons, and flooded coal-ash fields, there are some bright spots. Solar-power installations were largely able to escape without harm.

Before the storm hit, Duke Energy’s 40 solar-power sites were “de-energized” and set up horizontally to minimize wind damage. Although it’s too soon say what, if any, damage occurred, the signs are good. Soon after the storm passed, all the installations had begun producing power.

Rooftop solar installations fared well too. Only six out of 800 customers of Yes Solar Solutions reported that there was a problem with their system.

That said, modern renewables form only a fraction of the total electricity produced in the Carolinas. Duke Energy’s Brunswick nuclear plant was shut ahead of the storm and remains offline…

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Pompeo Lied to Congress About Yemen to Protect Arms Sales

Mike Pompeo’s certification earlier this month that the Saudi coalition was working to reduce harm to civilians in Yemen was an obvious sham. According to a new report in The Wall Street Journal, Pompeo made the decision to lie for the Saudis and Emiratis because he feared it would hurt arms sales:

Mr. Pompeo overruled concerns from most of the State Department specialists involved in the debate who were worried about the rising civilian death toll in Yemen. Those who objected included specialists in the region and in military affairs. He sided with his legislative affairs team after they argued that suspending support could undercut plans to sell more than 120,000 precision-guided missiles to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to a classified State Department memo and people familiar with the debate.

Cutting off refueling to the coalition likely would make it extremely difficult to sell more weapons to the Saudis and Emiratis, but that is not a good reason to ignore evidence and expert advice and then lie to Congress. Opponents of the war have been trying to block arms sales to both countries for years, and this just gives them one more reason to keep trying. The U.S. should not be in the business of arming governments that we know will use them to commit war crimes, and that certainly applies to the Saudis and the UAE as long as the war on Yemen continues. The longer that the war drags on, and the more civilians that the coalition kills using U.S.-made weapons, the more politically toxic arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will become. In the end, Pompeo’s decision to flout the law and lie to Congress will just make opposition to future arms sales that much more intense.

To their credit, most State Department officials were telling Pompeo that he shouldn’t do what he ended up doing:

The experts argued that certification would “provide no incentive for Saudi leadership to take our diplomatic messaging seriously,” and “damage the Department’s credibility with Congress,” according to portions of the memo shared with The Wall Street Journal.

The department’s experts were right on both counts, but they may have underestimated how much damage Pompeo has done with Congress by making such a transparently dishonest certification that flies in the face of all the available evidence. Unfortunately, the department experts still favored continued military assistance for the war anyway:

They urged Mr. Pompeo to instead tell Congress that he couldn’t certify that the Gulf nations were doing enough to minimize civilian casualties, but that the U.S. would continue to provide military support to the coalition because it is in America’s national security interest.

Here the experts couldn’t be more wrong. No U.S. interests are being served by enabling coalition war crimes and the mass starvation of innocent people. Our security is not threatened by the coalition’s enemies in Yemen. The only people in the country that pose any threat to the U.S. are the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members that the coalition has been buying off and recruiting. The coalition’s war is not making the U.S. any safer, and it is actively harming what few interests we do have in the area. . .

Source: Pompeo Lied to Congress About Yemen to Protect Arms Sales

Amazon Is Going to Drown Us in Alexa Crap

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The battle to listen to you all the time lol

The digital assistant wars are in full swing, and with Google just recently notching the latest victory by finishing Q2 with the top-selling smart speaker in the world, Amazon is revamping its Alexa-powered roster in a very big way.

At the start of its presentation, Amazon’s devices head David Limp set the tone by saying the company had around 70 new devices to talk about, and only an hour to do it. Limp then launched into talking about Amazon’s recent upgrades to Alexa, which in the U.S. includes making Alexa both more opinionated and more approachable for children and adults.

Now, Alexa will know when to whisper a reply back, for those situations when you’re trying not to disturb others, and starting today, Amazon is adding routines to the Echo Dot Kids Edition to help parents create custom Alexa commands for their children.

But the big reveal for Amazon are all the new Echo devices, headlined by an all-new Echo Dot. While the new Dot is retaining its affordable $50 price tag, it sports a new, rounded fabric-covered body with “louder and clearer” sound and both Bluetooth and line-out connectivity.

To help supplement the Dot, Amazon also created the even cheaper (and thinner) Echo Input, which lacks speakers and is instead meant to be plugged directly into existing home audio solutions similar to Google’s Chromecast Audio. Not coincidentally, the Echo Input costs $35, the same as a Chromecast Audio.

And for those who want to augment their speaker setups with a little more thump, Amazon also announced the $130 Echo Sub, which can be used for multi-room audio and synced with a pair of standard Echoes to create your own 2.1 system.

Of course, the audio rabbit hole goes much deeper than just speakers and subs, so Amazon went and made the $200 Echo Link and $300 Echo Link Amp. Neither of these are meant to be standalone products and they don’t include a microphone. Instead, they connect to other Echo speakers and include a dial to help control and fine tune your audio, or in the case of the Echo Link Amp, help boost your sound quality.

But we’re still not done yet, because in an apparent move to better compete against the HomePod and the Google Home Max, Amazon also announced the $150 Echo Plus, which looks vaguely like a HomePod with a blue light ring up top and a built-in smart home hub inside.

On top of featuring better compatibility for smart home gadgets, the Echo Plus has what Amazon is calling Local Voice Control, which means that commands made to devices in your house no longer need to be sent to the cloud before making something happen.

But what about all your existing “dumb” gadgets, you say? Well, Amazon thinks it has a solution for that too with the new $25 Amazon Smart Plug, which plugs into a traditional outlet and lets you turn devices on and off simply by asking Alexa. And to make sure setting all of these devices up is as hassle-free as possible, Amazon is touting a simple setup process that lets you rename a device with your voice during your initial install. . .

via Amazon Is Going to Drown Us in Alexa Crap

Trump: Iraq & Afghanistan Wars “The Worst Single Mistake Ever Made In The History Of Our Country”

“The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush.”

Nwo Report

President says middle east quagmire worse that US Civil War

Trump: Iraq & Afghanistan Wars “The Worst Single Mistake Ever Made In The History Of Our Country"

Steve Watson | Infowars.com

During an interview with The Hill Wednesday, President Trump pinpointed the US invasion of the middle east as more catastrophic even than the US Civil War, calling it “The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country.”

“The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush,” Trump said.

“Obama may have gotten them (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is to me the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country.” Trump added.

“Because we spent $7 trillion in the Middle East,” Trump continued.

The President suggested that because of the monumental quagmire of the wars, there has been a knock on effect on every policy proposal.

“Now if you wanna fix a window some place they say, ‘oh…

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Hidden History: Former IDF Member Talks Frankly About Palestinian Repression

The Hundred Million Dollar Home

Al Jazeera (2018)

Film Review

This film provides an interesting snapshot of daily in Hebron. The latter is a city in the occupied West Bank 30 km south of Jerusalem. Owing to the presence of illegal Israeli settlements in Hebron, the movements of Palestinians are severely restricted with checkpoints and curfews.

Hebron is most famous for its combination mosque/synagogue at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where the prophet Abraham (revered in both religions) is buried.

Much of the documentary focuses on the Israeli peace movement that frequently conducts tours in Hebron to give Israeli and international visitors the opportunity to meet face-to-face with real life Palestinians.

The most interesting part of the documentary features a former member of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) who helps lead these tours. He talks quite frankly about his superiors ordering him to conduct arbitrary midnight home searches, surveillance and other forms of intimidation against Hebron’s Palestinian residents.

De Facto End to Korean War – Kim and Moon Declare Peace

The September Pyongyang Declaration has outlined practical, concrete measures for peace and denuclearization.

Highly Likely News

Source: Hankyroreh

It is in the air! Great News is catching – Sense seems to be able to get aired especially when the US/UK and all their useful idiots are away from the headlines!

The September Pyongyang Declaration has outlined practical, concrete measures for peace and denuclearization.

peace declare

South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared:
“There will no longer be war on the Korean Peninsula, we are not far away from complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Inter-Korean relations will remain steady, without faltering.”
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un then spoke in a  resounding and measured tone.
“Our shared dreams, embodied in the declaration, will soon become reality. We are not afraid of any adversity.”
The two heads of state promised to swiftly implement the military agreement, which states that a joint military committee will be set up to put an end to hostile military relations, with the goal of “eliminating any…

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