Facebook insists it does not perform creditworthiness evaluations, though the company notably refused to deny it supplied data to others who performed the checks, a distinction that may not exempt it from relevant laws.
Facebook has supplied phone companies with customers’ private data without their knowledge or consent, and even helped those companies use Facebook behavior to evaluate users’ creditworthiness, documents reportedly show.
The social network supplied data on location, interests, and friend groupings to phone carriers and manufacturers without users’ permission – data that went far beyond mere technical specs.
Users’ activity on Facebook, Instagram and even Messenger was fair game for data-mining, and the platform encouraged and even assisted over 100 global telecoms to use customers’ data for purposes including evaluating their creditworthiness, according to documents seen by the Intercept, which suggest the program is still going on.
If the U.S. economy is “booming” and very bright days are ahead, then why are many large U.S. corporations laying off thousands of workers? Layoffs are starting to come fast and furious now, and this is happening even though the coming recession has not even officially started yet. Of course many are convinced that we are actually in a recession at this moment. In fact, according to John Williams of shadowstats.com if the government was actually using honest numbers they would show that we have been in a recession for quite some time. But the narrative that the mainstream media keeps feeding us is that the U.S. economy is “doing well” and that the outlook for the future is positive. Well, if that is true then why are big companies laying off so many workers right now?
Ford Motor said Monday that it is laying off about 7,000 managers and other salaried employees, about 10% of its white-collar workforce across the globe, as part of a restructuring plan designed to save the No. 2 automaker $600 million annually.
The cuts, some of which were previously announced by the company, will be completed by August, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in an email to employees Monday.
If the U.S. economy was about to take off like a rocket, this move doesn’t make any sense at all.
But if we are headed into a recession, this move makes perfect sense.
Another large firm that is laying off thousands of workers is Nestle…
Nestle SA’s U.S. unit will dismiss about 4,000 workers as it stops delivering frozen pizza and ice cream directly to stores and transitions to a warehouse model that’s becoming an industry standard for Big Food companies looking to trim costs.
3M plans to cut 2,000 globally as part of a restructuring due to a slower-than-expected 2019.
The maker of Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics said Thursday that the move is expected to save about $225 million to $250 million a year. The St. Paul Minnesota-based company anticipates a pretax charge of about $150 million, or 20 cents per share, this year.
Did you catch that part about these layoffs being due to “a slower-than-expected 2019”?
Unfortunately, things are slow for a lot of companies out there these days.
Another company that is dumping a large number of workers is MGM Resorts…
MGM Resorts International MGM, -2.09% plans to cut about 1,000 positions by the end of the current quarter amid a cost-cutting and operational overhaul that calls for fewer managers across its properties.
That figure includes some 254 positions that the company moved to eliminate last week.
The women’s retailer announced Monday “plans to commence a wind-down of its retail operations, including the eventual closure of its approximately 650 stores.”
I am not sure how many employees they have per store, but even if it is just a handful we are talking about the loss of thousands of jobs.
The U.S. economy has been slowing down for months, and now the complete breakdown of trade talks with China threatens to plunge us into a prolonged trade war. As I noted in another article, a couple of different studies have concluded that an extended trade war could literally cost our economy millions of lost jobs.
And once the job losses start rolling, they can really get out of hand very quickly. We saw this in 2008, and it is just a matter of time until we see it happen again.
On Sunday, a reader sent me an article about a factory closing that was happening in her neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. One worker that was laid off said that the closure of the facility “was the final kick in the gut”…
Robert and Brooks Gronlund, owners of Wood-Mode Inc., wrote a text to workers Friday, saying they “are extremely appreciative” of the employees’ contributions and commitments. The company owners then confirmed all of them were terminated, as were their benefits.
“It was the final kick in the gut,” Michele Sanders, a 22-year employee of the company, said Saturday.
The privately-owned company in Kreamer, which produced custom wood cabinets, shut its doors Monday, leaving nearly 1,000 people without jobs. The abrupt closure of the plant stunned workers and community leaders […]
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty
In the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, a newly formed group called the Black Psychiatrists of America began to challenge their white colleagues to think about racism in a new way. Its members had been discussing for some time the possibility of creating an organization that would address their lack of representation within the key bodies of American psychiatry. But now, as one of these men, Dr. Chester Pierce, later put it ”we anguished in our grief for a great moderate leader,” and it seemed that the time for moderation on their side was also over. In Pierce’s words: “As we listened to radio reports and called to various sections of the country for the on-the spot reports in inner cities, our moderation weakened and our alarm hardened.”
Racism had led directly to King’s assassination, and not only had white psychiatry consistently failed to take racism seriously; it had, in ways both subtle and overt, enabled it.
The decision was thus made to organize black psychiatrists into an independent body that would use tactics of the civil rights movement to force American psychiatry to acknowledge both its own racism and its professional responsibility to address the scourge of racism in the country.
On May 8, 1969, representatives from the Black Psychiatrists of America interrupted the trustees of the American Psychiatric Association while they were eating breakfast, and presented them with a list of demands. These included a significant increase in African-American representation on APA committees, task forces, and other positions of leadership; a call for the APA to commit itself to desegregating mental health facilities; and a demand that any individual member of the society who was found to be guilty of racial discrimination be barred from practicing psychiatry.
The most fundamental demand made that morning, however, was that the profession begin to think about racism differently than it had in the past. Racism did not just happen because some bad people had hateful beliefs. Unlike many of their liberal white colleagues, who were fascinated by the potential mental pathologies of individual racists, the Black Psychiatrists of America (drawing on new sociological work) insisted that racism was built into the systems and structures of American life, including psychiatry itself. For this reason, as some of them put it in 1973, “institutional change (as opposed to personality change) are needed to root out and eliminate racism.”
Chester Pierce—the founding president of the Black Psychiatrists of America—was most concerned about the pernicious influence of one institution in particular: television. By 1969, virtually every American family home had at least one set. As one commentator at the time observed: “American homes have more television sets than bathtubs, refrigerators or telephones; 95 percent of American homes have television sets.”
Small children of all ethnicities were growing up glued to TV screens. This worried Pierce, because he was not just a psychiatrist but also a professor of early childhood education. And from a public health standpoint, he believed, television was a prime “carrier” of demeaning messages that undermined the mental health of vulnerable young black children in particular. In fact, it was Pierce who first coined the now widely used term microaggression, in the course of a study in the 1970s that exposed the persistent presence of stigmatizing representations of black people in television commercials […]
In most of the liberal discussions of the recent police killings of unarmed black men, there is an underlying assumption that the police are supposed to protect and serve the population. That is, after all, what they were created to do.
If only the normal, decent relations between the police and the community could be re-established, this problem could be resolved. Poor people in general are more likely to be the victims of crime than anyone else, this reasoning goes, and in that way, they are in more need than anyone else of police protection. Maybe there are a few bad apples, but if only the police weren’t so racist, or didn’t carry out policies like stop-and-frisk, or weren’t so afraid of black people, or shot fewer unarmed men, they could function as a useful service that we all need.
This liberal way of viewing the problem rests on a misunderstanding of the origins of the police and what they were created to do.
The police were not created to protect and serve the population. They were not created to stop crime, at least not as most people understand it. And they were certainly not created to promote justice. They were created to protect the new form of wage-labor capitalism that emerged in the mid- to late-19th century from the threat posed by that system’s offspring, the working class.
This is a blunt way of stating a nuanced truth, but sometimes nuance just serves to obfuscate.
Before the 19th century, there were no police forces that we would recognize as such anywhere in the world. In the Northern United States, there was a system of elected constables and sheriffs, much more responsible to the population in a very direct way than the police are today. In the South, the closest thing to a police force was the slave patrols.
Then, as Northern cities grew and filled with mostly immigrant wage workers who were physically and socially separated from the ruling class, the wealthy elite who ran the various municipal governments hired hundreds and then thousands of armed men to impose order on the new working class neighborhoods.
Class conflict roiled late-19th century American cities like Chicago, which experienced major strikes and riots in 1867, 1877, 1886, and 1894. In each of these upheavals, the police attacked strikers with extreme violence, even if in 1877 and 1894 the U.S. Army played a bigger role in ultimately repressing the working class. In the aftermath of these movements, the police increasingly presented themselves as a thin blue line protecting civilization (by which they meant bourgeois civilization) from the disorder of the working class. This ideology of order that developed in the late 19th century echoes down to today—except that today, poor black and Latino people are the main threat, rather than immigrant workers.
Of course, the ruling class did not get everything it wanted, and had to yield on many points to the immigrant workers it sought to control. This is why, for instance, municipal governments backed away from trying to stop Sunday drinking, and why they hired so many immigrant police officers, especially the Irish. But despite these concessions, businessmen organized themselves to make sure the police were increasingly isolated from democratic control, and established their own hierarchies, systems of governance, and rules of behavior.
The police increasingly set themselves off from the population by donning uniforms; establishing their own rules for hiring, promotion and firing; working to build a unique esprit des corps and identifying themselves with order. And despite complaints about corruption and inefficiency, they gained more and more support from the ruling class, to the extent that in Chicago, for instance, businessmen donated money to buy the police rifles, artillery, Gatling guns, buildings, and money to establish a police pension out of their own pockets.
There was a never a time when the big city police neutrally enforced “the law,” or came anywhere close to that ideal. (For that matter, the law itself has never been neutral.) In the North, they mostly arrested people for the vaguely defined “crimes” of disorderly conduct and vagrancy throughout the nineteenth century. This meant that the police could arrest anyone they saw as a threat to “order.” In the post-bellum South, they enforced white supremacy and largely arrested black people on trumped-up charges in order to feed them into convict labor systems.
The violence the police carried out and their moral separation from those they patrolled were not the consequences of the brutality of individual officers, but were the consequences of careful policies designed to mold the police into a force that could use violence to deal with the social problems that accompanied the development of a wage-labor economy.
For instance, in the short, sharp depression of the mid-1880s, Chicago was filled with prostitutes who worked the streets. Many policemen recognized that these prostitutes were generally impoverished women seeking a way to survive, and initially tolerated their behavior. But the police hierarchy insisted that the patrolmen do their duty whatever their feelings, and arrest these women, impose fines, and drive them off the streets and into brothels, where they could be ignored by some members of the elite and controlled by others.
Similarly, in 1885, when Chicago began to experience a wave of strikes, some policemen sympathized with strikers. But once the police hierarchy and the mayor decided to break the strikes, policemen who refused to comply were fired. In these and a thousand similar ways, the police were molded into a force that would impose order on working class and poor people, whatever the individual feelings of the officers involved.
Though some patrolmen tried to be kind and others were openly brutal, police violence in the 1880s was not a case of a few bad apples—and neither is it today.
Much has changed since the creation of the police—most importantly the influx of black people into the Northern cities, the mid-twentieth century black movement, and the creation of the current system of mass incarceration in part as a response to that movement. But these changes did not lead to a fundamental shift in policing. They led to new policies designed to preserve fundamental continuities. The police were created to use violence to reconcile electoral democracy with industrial capitalism. Today, they are just one part of the “criminal justice” system which continues to play the same role. Their basic job is to enforce order among those with the most reason to resent the system—who in our society today are disproportionately poor black people[…]
This remarkable documentary tells hidden history of a secret British round table started in 1891 by diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes that instigated both the 1898-1902 Boer War (instigated to safeguard the Rhodes-Rothschild conglomerates monopoly over South African gold and diamonds) and World War I. The Society of the Elect, as it was called, had the stated goals of imposing the Anglo-Saxon agenda on the entire world and restoring the US colonies to British control.
The main focus of this three-part documentary is an exploration of how this secret society deliberately instigated war with Germany in 1914, with the specific goal of crushing the Germans politically, militarily and economically.
Part 1 explores Germany’s rapid economic and military expansion rise after the 1871 unification of its member under Kaiser Wilhelm I. Fearful that this expansion would threaten Britain’s colonial ambitions (and their personal fortunes), the Society of the Elect quietly plotted a war against Germany from the time of Rhodes’s death in 1902.
Lord Alfred Milner, who replaced Rhodes as leader of the secret group, established control of the British press, military, foreign office and diplomatic corps by placing cronies in key positions of power.
Whereas Germany was a long time ally of the British Crown (Kaiser Wilhelm II and King George V were first cousins), Milner and his cronies maneuvered his cronies in the Foreign Office into a secret alliance with France and Russia – without knowledge of either Parliament or Cabinet.
Part 2 concerns the secret plot to embroil the US in World War I (in 1917) by engineering a German submarine attack (in 1915) on an auxiliary warship disguised as an ocean liner known as the Lusitania; * by engaging in a conspiracy with US banker JP Morgan to deny anti-war President William Howard Taft a second term in 1912; ** and by instigating a massive propaganda campaign in the US press portraying the Kaiser and the German army as inhuman monsters.
Part 3 discusses the fabulous wealth JP Morgan, the Society of the Elect and their cronies acquired as a direct result of World War I. Between them, the US and Britain created 21,000 millionaires and billionaires out of war profitsI. Retired general Smedley Butler was the first to expose the unprecedented war profiteering that occurred between 1914-1918 in in famous pamphlet War is a Racket.
*The Lusitania, officially classified as an auxiliary warship, had twelve 6-inch guns and was heavily loaded with ammunition and gunpowder (information that only became available when the records were unsealed in 2014). In view of the aggressive German U-boat campaign, Britain clearly had no business using a British warship to transport 1,128 passengers. The German submarine campaign was largely directed against the illegal British naval blockade blocking all food shipments to Germany – a violation of the 1909 Declaration of London and a crime against humanity. As a result of the blockade, which continued into 1919, German civilians were restricted to 1,000 calories a day and more than 753,000 died of starvation.The death of 128 US passengers on the Lusitania was ultimately used to justify the US entry into the war in 2017.
**Taft was far more popular (and politically savvy) than Woodrow Wilson, an obscure professor with limited political experience. JP Morgan and his fellow bankers propelled Wilson (a Democrat) into the presidency by backing third party candidate (and former president) Teddy Roosevelt and splitting the Republican vote. Owing, in large part to Wilson’s political inexperience, he was under the direct control of Texas politician Colonel Edward M House, who was conspiring with Milner and his colleagues in the British foreign office.
The world’s tallest animal is on a “silent slide toward extinction,” Giraffe Conservation Foundation says The International Union for Conservation of Nature has added 7 out of 9 giraffe species to its Red List of Threatened Species. In an announcement completely ignored by the media (except India Today), the organization categorized two species of giraffe as “critically endangered” and one as “endangered.”
The conservation status of the rest range from “vulnerable” to “near threatened.”
“Many people, including conservationists, remain unaware that the world’s tallest animal is experiencing a silent slide towards extinction,” said Julian Fennessy, director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, in a press release.
The global giraffe population has plummeted 40 percent in just 30 years, from 157,000 to 97,500, according to The Guardian.
“Human population growth poses the largest threat to giraffes,” says the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
“Habitat loss and changes through expanding agriculture and mining, illegal hunting, increasing human-wildlife conflict, and civil unrest are all factors” […]
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan on Saturday became the first Republican lawmaker to say President Trump had “engaged in impeachable conduct.” In a series of tweets, Amash wrote he had read the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller and had concluded there is a “threshold for impeachment.”
“Under our Constitution, the president ‘shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’” Amash wrote Saturday. “While ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.”
Amash also wrote that impeachment does not require “probable cause” has been committed, but rather “simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt or otherwise dishonorable conduct.”
After Mueller concluded his report in mid-March, Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary, which Amash said “deliberately misrepresented” the full 448-page report. “Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice,” he wrote.
Amash wrote that, contrary to Barr’s initial assessment of Mueller’s report, Mr. Trump had “engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.
Congress, too, was not spared from criticism by Amash. He called out the partisanship of many lawmakers, saying they shift their perceptions “180 degrees” when discussing former President Bill Clinton and Mr. Trump.
“Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation — and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release,” Amash wrote.
Amash, who has been described as the “new Ron Paul” due to his Libertarian beliefs, has broken ranks with the Republican party before — and especially against Mr. Trump, whom he did not endorse in 2016. Earlier this year, he was one of 14 Republican representatives who tried to override Mr. Trump’s veto over an emergency declaration for the border wall. In March, Amash did not rule out running for president as a Libertarian in 2020 […]