by Tess Pennington
For years there has been a lot of financial noise. While many of us are novices at understanding stocks and economics, one thing is for certain, things are not right. In fact, our economy has not been right since the government’s rescue attempts on the “too big to fail” corporations and the housing bubble that peaked in 2006.
But how much longer can they prop up our financial system? Economic advisors such as Mark Armstrong, developer of the Economic Confidence Model theorizes that boom-bust cycles occur once every 3,141 days, or 8.6 years (the number pi multiplied by 1000).
His charts warn of a global economic shift occurring where many trends will have reached their life cycle in 2017. If you have been following the stock market, you are well aware of the incredibly inflated stock market prices and over priced real estate markets.
There are strong parallels to this current market and that of the stock market crash of 1929. Stocks are overvalued and have shattered record highs in recent years and only seem to continue climbing. But, as history dictates, what goes up will come crashing down.
Market expert, Lynette Zang, Chief Market Strategist at ITM Trading.com recently gave grim predictions of what all of this means and warned that she has never seen a market as rigid as this market is. She’s been studying the market for so long she feels that the overly inflated market we are seeing is intentional and will pop.
So when will we see this financial crash? Zang states that in the next five years, the central bankers will put mechanisms in place to pull the plug and issue a massive reset. Anyone with a brokerage account, 401K, pension, IRA, or any wealth held inside of the system will be wiped out. The system will be reset. This sounds eerily similar to the Greek crisis, doesn’t it?
In an interview with Greg Hunter from USA Watchdog, Zang goes into detail of what to expect when this current financial cycle resets and explains what the warning signs she saw that triggered these startling predictions. Folks, it’s not pretty.
If You’ve Yet to Prepare, the Time is Now
Unlike the recession of 2008, this economic beast will not be held off. There will be extensive amounts of wealth lost leading to drastic cutbacks by consumers. As well, you can anticipate food prices to increase even more than they have over the last few years. In fact, the price for food has drastically risen since the last recession; and according to this chart, prices are set to steadily increase with this next crisis.
How to Limit Your Exposure to the Next Financial Crisis
Get prepared. At the very least, buy food, products, and supplies in bulk to help you prepare for price inflation. If you have the means to do so, invest in 30-60 days worth of supplies so that you have everything you need. Having these on hand will help you if times become more difficult. This best-selling book, The Prepper’s Blueprint is a step-by-step reference manual to help insulate you from these types of emergencies. As well, if you can manage, get out of debt, organize your finances and find ways to free up some of your income for an emergency fund to help you create a personal safety net – but keep it out of the banks and out of the market.
Look for secondary events. When the system itself is no longer able to support the tens of millions of Americans secondary events will only increase. Events such as travel restrictions, wealth confiscation, food shortages, squatters rebellions, riots, and martial law.
Preserve wealth. Choose hard assets (dry goods, precious metals, land, livestock, skills, etc.) for long-term investments so they will hold their intrinsic value over time. Holding these types of investments will insulate you from inflation and other economic losses. Further, tying your money up in assets will help you avoid the inflating prices of food sources in the future, thus furthering your cause of self-reliant living.
Invest in food. One thing analysts and financial pundits agree on is that, in general, commodities will continue to rise. Using a combination of shelf stable foods, you can create a well-rounded food supply to depend on when an emergency arises. Further, these foods last a lifetime and would make sound investments for future planning. Ideally, you want to store shelf-stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. Dry goods like rice, wheat, beans, salt, honey, and dry milk will provide you with an investment that will grow in value as prices rise, and also offer you peace of mind in case the economy further degrades.
Learn how to grow your own food. In a homestead environment, a person wants the land to work for them as much as possible. Invest in fruit trees, seeds, and garden supplies. If you really want these peak foods, find a way to grow them yourself. Further, if you live in a rural area, consider investing in trees and bushes that will lure wild game. The trees and bushes can provide you with added sustenance and help you stock meat in your freezer. Here is a how-to guide for creating a garden quickly.
Raise your own food. Rather than paying hard-earned money at the store for eggs, poultry and dairy—raise them yourself. Chickens are very easy to care for and can provide you with meat and eggs throughout the year. Additionally, you can find substitutions for these peak foods with a little research and ingenuity. For example, rabbits would be a suitable protein replacement and can even be raised in more urban areas. Similar to chickens, they don’t require much care and with some effort can be fed from the homestead’s garden or you can grow fodder. They are also great breeders and will provide you with ample amounts of meat. These are the 10 best meat rabbit breeds. As well, for the modest price of purchasing a fishing license, you can stock your freezer with fresh-caught fish.
It all adds up. Again, do what you can to pay off debts ahead of time and work to restructure your outgoing funds to lower your expenses as much as possible. Debt only enslaves you further, and finding ways to detach from the system will break those shackles. As well, look into finding additional income streams. The more income you can set aside, the better off you will be. That way, if your main income dries up, you have a fall back income and won’t have to go into default.
We Have a Choice
This economic crisis is projected to hit much harder than the 2008 recession and will last longer. The truth of the matter is that we stand at the brink of a precipice and the choice is yours to make: you can ignore the telltale signs or get ready and brace yourselves for it. It’s time to get ready because it’s about to get real.
By Brett LoGiurato, Apr. 14, 2014
For the second time in a little more than a month, the U.S. Department of State brashly accused Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, of lies on the situation in Ukraine. The State Department on Sunday released a list of Russia’s “Top 10 false claims” — and titled it, “Russian Fiction: The Sequel.”
“Russia continues to spin a false and dangerous narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine,” the State Department said in a statement.
“The Russian propaganda machine continues to promote hate speech and incite violence by creating a false threat in Ukraine that does not exist. We would not be seeing the violence and sad events that we’ve witnessed this weekend without this relentless stream of disinformation and Russian provocateurs fostering unrest in eastern Ukraine.”
In the listicle-esque fact sheet, the State Department went after 10 more of Russia’s “false claims,” this time coming amid Russian advances into eastern Ukraine. Among other points, this fact sheet pushes back against Russian claims that it has nothing to do with the unrest, that the Ukrainian government is responsible for targeting otherwise “peaceful” protesters, and that it has ordered a “partial drawdown” of the massive troop buildup at the Ukrainian border.
It serves as another sign the Obama administration is ratcheting up its rhetoric in an attempt to put pressure on Russia and, ultimately, avoid a repeat of last month’s scenario in Crimea. On Saturday, the White House accused Russia of supporting efforts by separatists who are “inciting violence and sabotage.”
Here is the full fact sheet from the State Department:
1. Russia Claims: Russian agents are not active in Ukraine.
Fact: The Ukrainian Government has arrested more than a dozen suspected Russian intelligence agents in recent weeks, many of whom were armed at the time of arrest. In the first week of April 2014, the Government of Ukraine had information that Russian GRU officers were providing individuals in Kharkiv and Donetsk with advice and instructions on conducting protests, capturing and holding government buildings, seizing weapons from the government buildings’ armories, and redeploying for other violent actions. On April 12, armed pro-Russian militants seized government buildings in a coordinated and professional operation conducted in six cities in eastern Ukraine. Many were outfitted in bullet-proof vests, camouflage uniforms with insignia removed, and carrying Russian-designed weapons like AK-74s and Dragunovs. These armed units, some wearing black and orange St. George’s ribbons associated with Russian Victory Day celebrations, raised Russian and separatist flags over seized buildings and have called for referendums on secession and union with Russia. These operations are strikingly similar to those used against Ukrainian facilities during Russia’s illegal military intervention in Crimea in late February and its subsequent occupation.
2. Russia Claims: Pro-Russia demonstrations are comprised exclusively of Ukrainian citizens acting of their own volition, like the Maidan movement in Kyiv.
Fact: This is not the grassroots Ukrainian civic activism of the EuroMaidan movement, which grew from a handful of student protestors to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians from all parts of the country and all walks of life. Russian internet sites openly are recruiting volunteers to travel from Russia to Ukraine and incite violence. There is evidence that many of these so-called “protesters” are paid for their participation in the violence and unrest. It is clear that these incidents are not spontaneous events, but rather part of a well-orchestrated Russian campaign of incitement, separatism, and sabotage of the Ukrainian state. Ukrainian authorities continue to arrest highly trained and well-equipped Russian provocateurs operating across the region.
3. Russia Claims: Separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine enjoy broad popular support.
Fact: The recent demonstrations in eastern Ukraine are not organic and lack wide support in the region. A large majority of Donetsk residents (65.7 percent) want to live in a united Ukraine and reject unification with Russia, according to public opinion polls conducted at the end of March by the Donetsk-based Institute of Social Research and Policy Analysis. Pro-Russian demonstrations in eastern Ukraine have been modest in size, especially compared with Maidan protests in these same cities in December, and they have gotten smaller as time has progressed.
4. Russia Claims: The situation in eastern Ukraine risks spiraling into civil war.
Fact: What is going on in eastern Ukraine would not be happening without Russian disinformation and provocateurs fostering unrest. It would not be happening if a large Russian military force were not massed on the border, destabilizing the situation through their overtly threatening presence. There simply have not been large-scale protests in the region. A small number of separatists have seized several government buildings in eastern cities like Donetsk, Luhansk, and Slovyansk, but they have failed to attract any significant popular support. Ukrainian authorities have shown remarkable restraint in their efforts to resolve the situation and only acted when provoked by armed militants and public safety was put at risk. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers have reported that these incidents are very localized.
5. Russia Claims: Ukrainians in Donetsk rejected the illegitimate authorities in Kyiv and established the independent “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”
Fact: A broad and representative collection of civil society and non-governmental organizations in Donetsk categorically rejected the declaration of a “People’s Republic of Donetsk” by the small number of separatists occupying the regional administration building. These same organizations confirmed their support for the interim government and for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
6. Russia Claims: Russia ordered a “partial drawdown” of troops from the Ukrainian border.
Fact: No evidence shows significant movement of Russian forces away from the Ukrainian border. One battalion is not enough. An estimated 35,000-40,000 Russian troops remain massed along the border, in addition to approximately 25,000 troops currently in Crimea.
7. Russia Claims: Ethnic Russians in Ukraine are under threat.
Fact: There are no credible reports of ethnic Russians facing threats in Ukraine. An International Republic Institute poll released April 5 found that 74 percent of the Russian-speaking population in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine said they “were not under pressure or threat because of their language.” Meanwhile, in Crimea, the OSCE has raised urgent concerns for the safety of minority populations, especially ethnic Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, and others. Sadly, the ethnic Russians most at risk are those who live in Russia and who oppose the authoritarian Putin regime. These Russians are harassed constantly and face years of imprisonment for speaking out against Putin’s regular abuses of power.
8. Russia Claims: Ukraine’s new government is led by r adical nationalists and fascists.
Fact: The Ukrainian parliament (Rada) did not change in February. It is the same Rada that was elected by all Ukrainians, comprising all of the parties that existed prior to February’s events, including former president Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. The new government, approved by an overwhelming majority in the parliament — including many members of Yanukovych’s former party — is committed to protecting the rights of all Ukrainians, including those in Crimea.
9. Russia Claims: Ethnic minorities face persecution in Ukraine from the “fascist” government in Kyiv.
Fact: Leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish as well as German, Czech, and Hungarian communities have all publicly expressed their sense of safety under the new authorities in Kyiv. Moreover, many minority groups expressed fear of persecution in Russian-occupied Crimea, a concern OSCE observers in Ukraine have substantiated.
10. Russia Claims: Russia is not using energy and trade as weapons against Ukraine.
Fact: Following Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea, Russia raised the price Ukraine pays for natural gas by 80 percent in the past two weeks. In addition, it is seeking more than $11 billion in back payments following its abrogation of the 2010 Kharkiv accords. Russia’s moves threaten to increase severely the economic pain faced by Ukrainian citizens and businesses. Additionally, Russia continues to restrict Ukrainian exports to Russia, which constitute a significant portion of Ukraine’s export economy.
Photo: Bhekisisa, Nine factors that make a man more likely to beat or rape a woman.
Men who abuse women have often been victims of maltreatment themselves resulting to the intergenerational cycling of abuse.
Why do men abuse women? There’s no one answer, but research around the world have repeatedly shown that boys who were abused as children are significantly more likely to be violent adults.
One such study, conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand’s public health department and the social justice organisation Sonke Gender Justice, found that male study participants, who had been abused or neglected as children, were five times more likely to commit gender-based violence than those who have not endured such abuse. The study was conducted among 2600 men in Diepsloot north of Johannesburg.
In the Sonke study, of which the results were released in 2016, 56% of men reported that they had either raped or beaten a woman. Eighty five percent of study participants said they had also been neglected as children or had experienced physical or sexual abuse.
Sixty percent of the men had also experienced adult trauma, such as witnessing a rape or being held at gunpoint. This made them two and a half times more likely to physically or sexually abuse a woman.
A possible explanation for the relationship between psychological distress and gender-based violence may be that “mental health problems cause difficulties with emotion regulation and some men may use gender-based violence perpetration as a way to cope with their painful emotions”, a 2012 study in the Journal of Family Violence suggests.
Exposing boys to trauma also affects brain development, “enhancing anti-social and psychopathic behaviour and reducing the ability to empathise”, the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) explains in a 2009 policy brief.
Several studies have revealed traumatised children or adults are also more vulnerable to depression. The Diepsloot study confirmed this: a quarter of the participants suffered from “probable” depression, which the researchers measured by asking the men to respond to standard mental health screening tests.
This, too, influenced men’s use of violence: those who showed signs of depression were three times more likely to beat or rape a woman than those who weren’t depressed.
Want to know more? Read our recent long-form feature on this issue here.
By Julia Davis, (no date)
The tragic downing of a Malaysian passenger plane MH17 sent Putin’s elaborate propaganda machine into overdrive, ultimately causing it to unravel. The evidence points overwhelmingly at the terrorists, whose leaders are Russian citizens, current and former members of the Russian armed forces and FSB.
In the past, their presence on the frontlines alongside the terrorists in Ukraine provided valuable advantage to the Russian media outlets. They were typically the first on the scene, filming the footage that would be shown on Russian television in short order. This powerful sword of immediate access to live events finally cut the other way on July 17, 2014. Russian media and the terrorists themselves were caught red-handed in making numerous misrepresentations and outright fabrications, intended to override their own previous admissions.
Here is a collection of the most outrageous lies with respect to the shooting down of the Malaysia airliner.
The Malaysian airliner was shot down at approximately 17:30 (Moscow time). The wave of coverage commenced with the posting on the social media page of a Russian terrorist Girkin (also known under his pseudonym “Strelkov”) at 17:50. Russia’s mainstream media routinely uses postings on this page as the primary source for their news stories. In his commentary, Girkin boasted that the terrorists managed to shoot down another Ukrainian plane, specifically mentioning what he believed at the time to be a Ukrainian AN-26 airplane, shot down in the area of Torez.
Girkin postured, writing: “We warned you – don’t fly in our skies”and followed up his comment with two videos, depicting the aftermath of the crash. A similar message was posted by one of Girkin’s cohorts, Pavel Gubarev (also known as the Neo-Nazi Santa Claus). After their closer inspection revealed that the terrorists had, in fact, shot down a civilian airliner, Girkin attempted to debunk his own earlier assertion with a bogus message allegedly broadcast by Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko. In a garbled pidgin-Ukrainian (obviously written by someone who doesn’t speak the language), with numerous misspellings, President Poroshenko allegedly admitted that Ukrainian military shot down “the terrorist plane.” This desperate attempt at subterfuge would fail to impress even the most gullible readers.
In another failed attempt to hide his culpability, on July 17, 2014, Girkin claimed that the terrorists did not have any equipment capable of shooting down the aircraft traveling at the altitude of more than 4,000 meters. Only one day earlier, on July 16, 2014, Girkin boasted of the terrorists shooting down a plane that was traveling at an altitude of 6,000 meters. These obvious contradictions are self-explanatory. Tragic events of July 17, 2014, demonstrated that a group of drunken rag-tag bandits, headed by Russian intelligence officers and members of the military, should not be entrusted with weapons of any caliber, much less anti-aircraft missile systems.
One of the most bizarre exertions, blaming the Ukrainian military for allegedly shooting down the Malaysian airliner, was based on a claim that this was an attempt to murder Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Networks reported that on July 17, 2014, the presidential plane took quite a bizarre round-about route across Ukraine, on its way from Warsaw, Poland to Moscow, Russia. It was reported by Russia Today (more than once), Komsomolskaya Pravda and a number of other Russian mainstream media outlets. Russian aviation sources assert that Putin’s airplane never flies through Ukrainian airspace (particularly since the time Russia started fomenting unrest in the East of Ukraine this year).
Russian media networks proudly reported that so-called “rebels” again succeeded in shooting down a Ukrainian airplane. This act corresponded with the pattern of terrorist attacks on Ukrainian aircraft. On June 13th, terrorists shot down a Ukrainian transport plane, killing 40 paratroopers and 9 crew members. On June 24th, they downed a Ukrainian helicopter, killing all 9 on board. On July 14th, terrorists shot down a Ukrainian military cargo plane. On July 16th, terrorists downed a Ukrainian fighter jet. These attacks were praised and touted in the Russian mainstream media, as the victories of the imaginary “Novorussia” over the government of Ukraine.
LifeNews outlet, whose reporters proudly serve on the frontlines alongside terrorists, rushed to the scene. In the meantime, their network announced on Russian television that another Ukrainian plane was shot down by the “rebels.” They also published a corresponding article on their website. Once the network’s reporters discovered that the plane shut down by the terrorists was in fact a civil airliner, the article and the video were promptly removed (although still available here, side by side with the conflicting coverage that followed).
In the first clip, LifeNews proudly announced that “the rebels” successfully downed another Ukrainian plane, AN-26. In the subsequent coverage (on the same day, with the same host, wearing the same clothes), LifeNews claimed that civilian Malaysian airliner was shot down by the Ukrainian military.
It should be noted that since the beginning of this crisis, Ukrainian Air Force has not fired a single missile, despite several alleged violations of their airspace by Russian aircraft. Since Russian terrorists in Eastern Ukraine do not operate any type of aircraft in the area, there is no plausible explanation for the outrageous speculation that Ukrainian military would suddenly attack an airplane. Furthermore, a professional radar operator would have been able to distinguish between a civilian airliner and military aircraft.
Russian mainstream media proudly boasted that the terrorists had in their possession SA-11 missile systems, also known as the Buk-M1 surface-to-air missile system. For example, on June 29, 2014,ITAR-TASS news agency reported that “rebels” gained control of a Buk missile installation. After the system was apparently used to shoot down the Malaysian airliner on July 17, 2014, ITAR-TASS reported that none of the “rebels” in any of the self-proclaimed “republics” in Eastern Ukraine ever had the lethal and sophisticated Buk. Recent intelligence reports reveal that neither one of these stories were correct, since the weaponry used for the attack, along with the crew of operators, was imported from Russia and later returned.
“Russia One” television channel and other mainstream media in Russia would have you believe that OSCE has full trust in the “rebels” and has been granted full access to conduct a thorough investigation. In reality, OSCE report complains of “visibly intoxicated and aggressive” terrorists, who have given the investigators very limited access. Journalists on the scene report that victims wallets have been completely emptied, their belongings were looted and corpses ignored, while the terrorists took shameless selfies on-site.
The same terrorists who first proudly boasted they had the Buk system, then categorically denied it after shooting down MH17, now say they do have Buk, but it is “broken.” It should be noted that the terrorists previously claimed that should Buk malfunction, they could easily fix it up and use it to shoot down planes “like taking candy from a baby.” Russian news media gushed about the so-called “rebels” who will “guard the skies” with their new Buk system. Russian Twitter trolls, working in tandem with propagandists and the media, spread “happy news” about repaired Buk being ready for use as of July 14, 2014.
Russian mainstream media often relies on unnamed social media users and self-proclaimed experts, without fact-checking any of their claims. Russia Today found someone claiming to be “Carlos,” an alleged Spaniard, working as an air traffic controller in Kyiv’s international airport, Borispol. Without ever fully identifying himself, “Carlos” Tweeted in Spanish that Ukrainian jets were following the passenger plane and shot it down. Numerous prominent news outlets picked up this ridiculous story, including television channel Russia 24, the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda channel, Rossiiskaya Gazeta and Komsomolskaya Pravda.
No one found it suspicious that a foreigner would be working in a Ukrainian airport and live-Tweeting ridiculous claims, while not speaking either Russian, Ukrainian or English languages (Russia Today had to interview him in Spanish). Minimal fact-checking would have revealed that Ukrainian authorities do not hire non-citizens of Ukraine as airport dispatchers, or even accept them for training as such. As usual, Russia Today was unperturbed by these minor details. On July 17, 2014 Russia Today acknowledged that the unidentified “Carlos” ran a fake Twitter account, which had been deleted. Two days later, on July 19, 2014, Russia Today again cited “Carlos” as their primary source in another article.
Notorious Girkin birthed one of the most outlandish allegations, claiming that all of the passengers on the Malaysia flight were already dead, prior to the plane being shot down. To buttress this allegation, Russian media raised the question of why the passports of the victims appeared to be so clean, as though they were brand new. This red herring may indeed impress some people in Russia, where the passport has to be shown even when you’re simply taking out the trash. This approach is drastically different from the West, where the passport is used mainly for international travel. Girkin likely borrowed this twisted tail of “corpses on a plane” from a British TV Series, “Sherlock.” Girkin’s lame attempt of convincing the world that his group of merry terrorists didn’t murder hundreds of innocents, “because they were already dead,” only magnifies their obvious culpability.
While Russia’s anti-Ukrainian propaganda already reached unprecedented lows, its media fiasco with respect to the downing of a Malaysian airliner crossed over any remaining boundaries. Suspension of disbelief simply cannot stretch that far. From now on, any reporting by Russian mainstream media or statements by its public officials about Ukraine can be safely filed in the category of “’Hello,’ he lied.”
Russia’s other theories about the downing of MH17
Russia’s mainstream media disseminated an outrageous tale, claiming that the downing of Malaysia’s Boeing (flight MH17) over Eastern Ukraine was “a special operation of the CIA.” This ridiculous claim was brought forth by Sergei Sokolov – the former bodyguard of Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who was found dead at his palatial Berkshire home in 2013. According to Sokolov, the CIA plan was to blow up the airliner from within, while simultaneously striking it with a missile from a Ukrainian “Buk”.
In an attempt to corroborate his outlandish claims, Sokolov produced audio recordings, purporting to contain the conversation between David Hamilton, an American consultant who worked in Ukraine last year for the National Democratic Institute, and David Loyd Stern, a broadcast journalist from Kansas who lives in Ukraine and has reported for the BBC from Kyiv. Sokolov baselessly accused both men of being “CIA spies.”
The man identified as Mr. Stern speaks with British accent, while the real Mr. Stern speaks American-accented English. Both men in the recordings don’t talk like native English speakers and use awkward dialogue and uncommon expressions. Bellingcat, the New York Times and Foreign Policy have reached the only plausible conclusion, declaring that the recordings were obviously fake.
In the days following the downing of MH17, the Russian media went into overdrive, manufacturing numerous outlandish theories. One of such tales involved an unnamed character, who gave an interview to notorious Russian propaganda outlet, Komsomolskaya Pravda, claiming that MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian pilot, 30-year old “Captain Voloshin.” His story is not even remotely believable, since this alleged “witness” falsely claimed that Ukrainian planes, SU-25, were continually bombing Lugansk and Donetsk “on a regular basis.” In fact, the Ukrainian military never used their aircraft to bomb any of the terrorist-controlled territories. Ukrainian planes and helicopters were used only for transporting cargo and personnel. For added benefit, this “witness” alleged that the Ukrainian military regularly uses thermobaric weapons and cluster bombs. The fake “whistleblower” alleged that two Ukrainian planes were shot down by Russian fighter jets and Captain Voloshin fired back, accidentally hitting the Malaysian Boeing instead.
Vladislav Voloshin and his commanders vigorously denied every aspect of this crudely manufactured stunt of Russian propaganda. The Ukrainian military did not engage in any aerial combat throughout this conflict, quite simply because Russian terrorists in Ukraine have no airforce of any kind. This makes any allegations of the Ukrainian military targeting nonexistent planes of enemy combatants especially absurd. Russian warplanes are not known to ever engage in aerial combat with the Ukrainian airforce. Multiple Ukrainian airliners were shot down by terrorists from land, utilizing surface-to-air missile systems.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that the international MH17 investigative team ignored the Buk manufacturers, Russian company Almaz-Antey, not taking their information into account. In an interview, Lavrov said: “Why do you think they never, ever approached the company, the Russian company which produces those systems? [Almaz-Antey] The company itself conducted its own study and they presented the results in June this year, but the fact that the investigators didn’t ever approach the company which produced the system from which the investigators say the plane was hit is causing a lot of questions.”
This claim is completely false. The final report of MH17 investigationis replete with references to Almaz-Antey and the information they’ve provided, thoroughly analyzing and considering manufacturers’ data. Contrary to claims in the Russian media, the information offered by Almaz-Antey was neither “ignored” nor disregarded.
Remember the photos in It is Russia Day, so TWP gives the Floor to a Nationalist to give an Opinion on Putin and Russia
Even though this may not come as a surprise to most of you, it is still something that is happening all around us, all the time, and right under our noses: Google is quietly recording everything we do, from conversations we have over the phone and texts to videos we send and create over webcams and camera phones. As if that weren’t enough, they are even tracking our movements and logging every place we visit.
The question then becomes, is this something innocent civilians need to be concerned about? Many people argue that since they have nothing to hide, being surveilled in this way doesn’t bother them. But regardless of whether we ‘deserve’ to be watched or not, isn’t this also a HUGE invasion of privacy?
Or is this simply part of the bargain when we willingly put our personal information, photos, and conversations online via social media?
The fact of the matter is that Google has a record of all of this, so you could theoretically listen to conversations you had years ago. Weird. If you knew that this had been happening while it was happening, would you still have been fine with it? If you had been given a choice to have these things recorded or not, what would you have chosen?
This raises obvious and disturbing parallels to the thought police in George Orwell’s classic 1989. At what point do we decide that enough is enough and demand our privacy? To do so, would it mean giving up our precious smartphones, which have become completely engrained into who we are and how we experience each other and the world around us? How much do we value privacy? Or is it a value?
As Snowden has said, “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
It’s a valid point. He is responsible for exposing a lot of digital privacy information to U.S. citizens, and if it weren’t for him, many of us wouldn’t even know that the NSA was literally recording our every move, including things we were led to believe were private. Intimate conversations with loved ones, personal discussions with family members, silly jokes that could potentially be taken out of context — anything you say that is technically against the U.S. government could see you labelled as a terrorist, according to the Patriot Act.
Keep in mind that Google specifically claims this information is never used against you, but merely recorded for your best interest and to enhance your online experience. This begs the question, why not give us the option? If this is solely for our benefit, why not promote this feature and have users sign up for the specific functions they want and leave those they don’t? Yes this is public information, but how many people really know about it and how to access it? Having this information technically available to the public but not realistically accessible or publicized is much like hiding in plain sight.
Google now processes, on average, over 40,000 search inquiries every second, which translates to 0ver 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year, worldwide. The data collected from these searches is stored for each individual who conducted them. You can find out a lot about a person from their search history. Through analyzing this data, companies can then steer the results in a particular direction and the entity that is the internet could effectively influence the world. More specifically, Google could predict the future based on trends.
This information is often tied directly to location data retrieved from the device being used. This means that not only does the search engine know what your interests are, but also how they manifest and relate to where you are at any given moment. To some, perhaps many, this could be a good thing. Having your phone pop up and tell you about all the cool things that are in close proximity to where you are based on your accumulated interests at any given moment could be useful.
Let’s not forget Google’s motto: “Don’t Be Evil.” Of course, this could be a great way of simply being ‘not evil.’ But as to whether or not they are using this accumulated information for their best interest at the cost of your privacy is up to you, and luckily, you do have the option to turn all of this tracking and recording off.
If you would like to turn off this tracking, please check out the following steps:
You can start this eye-opening journey by heading to Google’s history page and looking at the long list of recordings. The company has a specific audio page as well as their record of where you’ve been on the internet.
If you’ve never disabled the feature, you will see a list of audio recordings, even some done outside of the Google app, as well as a transcript of the audio Google has converted to text.
What we recommend is after scrolling through Google’s recordings of your search history, delete them all and disable the functions.
To delete particular files, you can click the check box on the left and then move back to the top of the page and select “delete”. To get rid of everything, you can press the “More” button, select “Delete options” and then “Advanced” and click through.
The easiest way to stop Google recording everything is to turn off the virtual assistant and never to use voice search. But that solution also gets at the central problem of much privacy and data use today – doing so cuts off one of the most useful things about having an Android phone or using Google search.
*Please note, just because you turn off this tracking and recording feature on Google does not mean that you won’t continue to be tracked, recorded, and followed.The safest way to avoid this is to leave your smartphone at home from time to time, and cover your camera and mic on your webcam, computer, and smartphone. It is important to note that many Smart TVs also have these recording functions for audio and video, so if you are concerned about your privacy, be sure to unplug them when not in use.