Category: NEWS

Task and Purpose: Irresponsible Journalism 101

Task and Purpose

Here’s a great example of irresponsible journalism. Back in 2107, the website Task and Purpose ran a hit piece titled “6 Types Of Dudes Being Mad In Their Cars On Video“. The writer Francis Horten, mistakenly reported that I (Thomas Dishaw) was the man in this video “US Army Veteran Gives Dire Warning, Its Time To Prepare”. The writer thought that since I uploaded the video to my YouTube account, I must be the person in the video, they were WRONG. I have since deleted this video so I cant be confused with the guy in the video, unfortunately, the writer managed to bunch me together with the likes of Alex Jones and a few other losers.

Here’s a clip from the Task and Purpose article.

Continue reading “Task and Purpose: Irresponsible Journalism 101”

R.A. The Rugged Man: The U.S. Government is trash

R.A. The Rugged Man

Unlike most artists R.A. The Rugged Man isn’t a slave, he’s willing to speak his mind no matter how controversial the issue. Imagine a mainstream douchebag (insert any name) having the balls to call out the U.S war machine and its fake two-party system, I can’t think of any.

There aren’t many artists left like R.A. The Rugged Man, society has been watered down with politically correct yesmen who are not willing to take a stand on any controversial issues. With a new album on the way R.A. The Rugged Man is still willing to put his career and endorsements on the line with an Instagram post that calls out the United States Government for what it is, TRASH!

I commend you.

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Alert: #Iran’s largest mobile network operators including MCI, Rightel and IranCell have fallen offline as of 6:00 pm (14:30 UTC) amid worsening internet shutdowns as protests intensify #IranProtests

Microsoft hires Eric Holder to audit AnyVision over use of facial recognition on Palestinians

Microsoft has hired former United States Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct an audit of facial recognition company AnyVision to determine whether it complies with Microsoft’s ethical principles on how the biometric surveillance technology should be used.

Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, invested in AnyVision as part of a $74 million Series A funding round in June. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft stipulated that AnyVision should comply with its six ethical principles to guide its facial recognition work: fairness, transparency, accountability, nondiscrimination, notice and consent, and lawful surveillance.

The last principle states, “We will advocate for safeguards for people’s democratic freedoms in law enforcement surveillance scenarios and will not deploy facial recognition technology in scenarios that we believe will put these freedoms at risk.”

AnyVision, headquartered in Israel, sells an “advanced tactical surveillance” software system, Better Tomorrow. It lets customers identify individuals and objects in any live camera feed, such as a security camera or smartphone, and then track targets as they move between different feeds.

NBC News reported in October that according to five sources familiar with the matter, AnyVision’s technology has powered a secret military surveillance project that has monitored Palestinians in the West Bank. The project was so successful that AnyVision won Israel’s top defense price in 2018 for preventing “hundreds of terror attacks” using “large amounts of data.”

Human rights activist argued that AnyVision’s work monitoring Palestinians in the West Bank was incompatible with its public statements about ethical standards for facial recognition technology.

“AnyVision’s facial recognition technology is not being used for surveillance in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, and AnyVision would not allow its technology to be used for that purpose,” said AnyVision in a statement issued to NBC News last month.

CONTINUE @ CNBC

Trump asked Tokyo for $8 billion to keep U.S. troops in Japan

U.S. President Donald Trump has asked Japan to quadruple annual payments for U.S. forces stationed there to around $8 billion, Foreign Policy reported, part of Washington’s efforts to press its allies to increase their defense spending.

The current agreement that covers the 54,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan expires in March 2021.

The demand was made to Japanese officials during a trip to the region in July by John Bolton, at that time Trump’s national security adviser, and Matt Pottinger, who was then the Asia director for the National Security Council, the U.S. global affairs magazine said, citing unidentified former U.S. officials.

A Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said the report was incorrect and no U.S.-Japan negotiations on a new agreement have taken place.

CONTINUE @ REUTERS

Doomed: Millennial Suing His Pension Fund For Not Being “Green” Enough

Bored with just plain old protests and interrupting political events to force their climate change virtue signaling onto the world, environmentalists are now using the legal system to harass those who don’t agree with their world view or aren’t “green” enough for their liking.

That’s what Mark McVeigh, a 24 year old environmental scientist from Australia has done: he is suing the $57 pension fund he is invested in with his retirement savings for “not adequately disclosing or assessing the impact of climate change on its investments,” according to Bloomberg.

The case will determine whether or not funds are in breach of fiduciary duties by failing to make investments that mitigate climate change.

Prior to filing the suit, McVeigh had asked Retail Employees Superannuation Trust, his pension fund, how it was “ensuring his savings were future proofed against rising world temperatures”. He didn’t like the answer he was given, so now he is suing.

McVeigh said:

 “I see climate change as a huge risk that dwarfs a lot of other things — it’s such a big physical impact on the planet, and the economy.”

The fund says that climate change is one of the variety of factors it has to consider when investing on behalf of its 2 million members. Australia’s pension pool, which stands at about $2.9 trillion, is watching the case closely to see if the outcome will make it more difficult for funds to meet their already legislated minimum return targets.

Ian Patrick, chief investment officer at Sunsuper Pty, which manages A$70 billion, said: “Looking after the best financial interests of our members requires us to be conscious of the risks, but not exclude a whole segment of the economy that’s going to be very meaningful for a period of time. Right now, the interests of our members — the sole purpose of super — is what wins out.”

Other firms are also starting to act accordingly. One study by State Street Global Advisors showed that “fiduciary duty is one of the main ‘push factors’ for financial institutions to adopt environmental, social and governance principles.”

Other funds in Australia have employed “responsible investment teams” to try and mix environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors into their portfolios. They have joined global investor initiatives like United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and have used their stakes in large companies to advocate for change.

Remember the days when you used to just choose your own investments, before the government told you what you had to invest in?

Mary Delahunty, head of impact at HESTA, said: “As soon as you remove capital, they don’t have to have a conversation with you anymore.”

Pension funds are also trying to mitigate climate risk using debt. Some funds have written loans to gas companies in the Permian Basin instead of taking equity stakes and bearing the risk of being junior on the capital structure.

Patrick continued: “Those loans deliver double-digit returns over periods of up to 10 years while the world shifts to a cleaner energy mix. It’s why we prefer debt and why we think about the tenor of that debt quite deeply. Relative to holding long-term equity in an energy asset, that addresses the risk quite substantially.”

Activism is still on the rise and banks are still shying away from investing in environmentally damaging projects, but the Australian government has moved in the other direction. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is instead “considering new laws to prevent activists like environmental lobby group Market Forces from stymieing commercial decisions and threatening economic growth.”

REST recently appointed a responsible investment manager and in June and took control of a wind farm in Western Australia.

“Specific climate-related issues which we engage with our investment managers on include carbon foot printing, stranded assets, climate-related scenario analysis and exposure to lower carbon assets,” a REST spokesperson said.

Michael Gerrard, a professor of environmental, climate change and energy law at Colombia University, said: “Success in litigation breeds imitation, so if McVeigh wins, people will take a close look. People are so desperate at the failure of governments to act adequately on climate change that they’re looking for litigation targets.”

The McVeigh case makes its way to court on November 22 for a preliminary hearing.

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE

‘I live on the street now’: how Americans fall into medical bankruptcy

It’s been over a dozen years since Susanne LeClair of West Palm Beach, Florida was first diagnosed with cancer and she’s been fighting ever since. Now she, like many other Americans facing life-threatening illness, is bankrupt despite having health insurance.

Before her first cancer-related surgery, LeClair was told by the hospital they accepted her employer-based health insurance.

“I paid my $300 copay. After the surgery, I started receiving all these invoices and came to find out the only thing covered was my bed because the hospital was out of network,” said LeClair. “My bills were hundreds of thousands of dollars, so I had no choice but to file bankruptcy.”

LeClair is on the verge of having to file for bankruptcy a second time due to the mounting medical debt she has accrued for additional cancer-related surgeries, regular appointments, medications and supplies related to her recovery, despite having health insurance and paying as much as she can out of pocket for copays, deductibles and premiums to maintain insurance.

“My medical bills are at $52,000. I’ve done everything from credit cards to consolidation loans, I just keep simply paying one credit card with another interest-free one until I can pay the next one,” LeClair added. “It’s the side of cancer most people don’t understand or know about and it’s never-ending. It just keeps adding up and adding up and before you know it you’re back in debt that you can’t believe again.”

Bankruptcy can also make it difficult to find employment given that many employers will disqualify a candidate with a bankruptcy filing found from a background check.

According to a study published in February 2019, about 530,000 bankruptcies filed annually are because of debt accrued due to a medical illness. The study found that even the Obama administration’s landmark Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) has failed to change the proportion of bankruptcies caused by medical debts, with poor health insurance cited as one of the main culprits.

Republicans and Democrats are currently at loggerheads over Trump administration plans to further weaken Obamacare by making it easier for states to opt out of certain requirements and offer cheaper plans that could further exacerbate the situation. And health insurance has emerged as one of the signature issues of the 2020 election, and the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination with senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren promising a total overhaul and Joe Biden and others pledging milder reforms. What all sides admit is that the current system is broken.

CONTINUE @ THE GUARDIAN