Tag Archives: corruption

Google steals; distorts search results to hide it

Reason 10,328,467 to stop using Google: Google routinely steals the intellectual property of others for its own benefit, and then distorts all search results to hide any news stories that report on this theft.

The author at the article documents in great detail Google’s history of theft. He then compares search results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo to show how Google then manipulates search results to hide any stories that report these thefts.

The bottom line: Stop using Google! There are plenty of other search engines, some of which, like DuckDuckGo, that protect the privacy of your searches. Google is a corrupt, unethical company that needs to lose business, fast.

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Virginia now double-counting Wuhan flu cases

Sure, let’s believe those stats! The Virginia state government this week announced that will count as a new case of the Wuhan flu for every positive test done on a patient, even if that patient had been counted previously from an earlier test.

They claim the goal is merely to get a better count of the number of tests they’ve done, but what this new policy will do is significantly increase, falsely, the total number of coronavirus cases in Virginia, which in turn will serve the corrupt and fascist goals of the governor.

That policy may serve to sharply drive up case numbers, which may in turn significantly delay the re-opening of the state. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has stated that the state will begin its first phase of re-opening only when state officials have logged 14 straight days of declining case numbers and hospitalizations.

The governor last week did allow elective surgeries in the state to resume, though the state’s stay-at-home order, which is set to last until June 10, is still in place.

Virginia has been hit relatively lightly by the coronavirus pandemic compared to many other states. According to Worldometers, it ranks 21st in the country for deaths per one million residents, and 20th for cases. [emphasis mine]

Northam needs some justification for extending his power-grab for as long as possible. Fudging the numbers is certainly one way to get him that justification, even if there really is no justification for the power-grab, under almost any circumstances.

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New documents prove FBI targeted Flynn and framed him

Newly released documents now prove that FBI management targeted and framed the Trump administration’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as part of their effort to overthrow Trump and the 2016 election.

The documents show two things. First, after doing its initial investigation and finding no evidence of wrong-doing at all, the FBI closed the case against Flynn. Fired FBI agent Peter Strzok then insisted on reopening it. Second, other newly released documents show that the goal of this reopened investigation was “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

They then set up interviews with Flynn, and when they didn’t quite get what they wanted, Strzok rewrote the interview reports to his own personal satisfaction.

I expect Flynn’s case to be thrown out this week, exonerating him completely. This also lends weight to the other rumors last week that the investigations of this FBI and Justice misconduct against Trump will result in actual indictments in the coming days.

If so, I sing “Hallelujah!” At last some of these corrupt individuals will face the consequences of their abuse of power. It can’t happen too soon.

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ICE & FBI agents took bribes

Agents of both ICE and the FBI took bribes to provide protection as well as cook the records for an indicted Los Angeles lawyer.

We only know this because conviction of the lawyer says so. The FBI agent is named and has been charged. The ICE agent however remains a mystery, for unknown reasons.

But don’t worry. The government is wise and all-knowing. The best thing we can do during this Wuhan panic is give them a lot of power!

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New York falsely inflates COVID-19 death toll with no evidence

U.S. Wuhan virus deaths, as of April 14, 2020

Yesterday the nationwide death toll from the Wuhan virus suddenly jumped after several days of decline. The graph on the right, created using the numbers at this link, illustrates this. Until yesterday it clearly looked as if the epidemic was finally subsiding, and that the peak had occurred as expected several days ago.

Why the jump? Well it turns out the reason is because government officials in New York decided to add thousands of recent deaths to their total, based on no evidence of coronavirus, at all.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The Times stated: “A limited number of tests have been available, and until now, only deaths where a person had tested positive were counted among those killed by the virus in New York.”

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

In other words, de Blasio is falsely inflating the numbers. And I can guess why. The drop during the past few days indicated that this manufactured crisis was beginning to end. That cannot be tolerated, as these government officials are still in the process of cementing their totalitarian control over their citizens. More time is needed! Let’s balloon the totals to magnify the crisis beyond reality!

The symptoms described could easily apply just as much to the flu. Moreover, just because someone has a cough or fever does not mean this is what killed them. They don’t say, but I bet some of those individuals clearly died from other causes.

This is fraud and corruption at its worst.

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The moral and intellectual decline of American academic research

Link here. This well documented essay outlines how federal government funding has poisoned American academic research, and if we do nothing to fix it, will only be another precursor of a coming dark age.

My experiences at four research universities and as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research fellow taught me that the relentless pursuit of taxpayer funding has eliminated curiosity, basic competence, and scientific integrity in many fields.

Yet, more importantly, training in “science” is now tantamount to grant-writing and learning how to obtain funding. Organized skepticism, critical thinking, and methodological rigor, if present at all, are afterthoughts. Thus, our nation’s institutions no longer perform their role as Eisenhower’s fountainhead of free ideas and discovery. Instead, American universities often produce corrupt, incompetent, or scientifically meaningless research that endangers the public, confounds public policy, and diminishes our nation’s preparedness to meet future challenges.

The essay focuses on how the lure of tax dollars has warped and corrupted medical research, but anyone with any knowledge of almost all other fields of science that now depend on federal funding will recognize the same problems.

Many of the stories the author documents include major universities (Duke, Cornell, Harvard) that not only have been producing lots of studies have required retraction or included documented fraud, but have also not done anything to punish those involved.

Overall, this study, along with the many examples of totalitarian attempts to silence dissent on American campuses, proves that these institutions no longer any public funding. At a minimum, high school students should consider other colleges. At best, they should be shut down.

Hat tip reader John Jossy.

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Investigation forces retraction of 800+ Russian science papers

An investigation by Russia’s Academy of Sciences has forced the retraction of more than 800 Russian science papers, many for plagiarism.

The RAS commission’s preliminary report documenting the problems and journals’ responses to them is “a bombshell,” says Gerson Sher, a former staffer at the U.S. National Science Foundation and the author of a recent book on U.S.-Russia science cooperation. The report, released yesterday, “will reinforce the suspicions and fears of many—that their country is not going down the right path in science and that it’s damaging its own reputation,” says Sher, who applauds RAS for commissioning the investigation.

Russia’s roughly 6000 academic journals, the vast majority published in Russian, are popular among the country’s academics. A 2019 study found that Russian authors publish far more in domestic journals than, for instance, their counterparts in Poland, Germany, or Indonesia. But standards are often low. In March 2018, for instance, Dissernet, a network aimed at cleaning up the Russian literature, identified more than 4000 cases of plagiarism and questionable authorship among 150,000 papers in about 1500 journals.

And Russian authors frequently republish their own work, says Yury Chekhovich, CEO of Antiplagiat, a plagiarism detection company. In September 2019, after sifting through 4.3 million Russian-language studies, Antiplagiat found that more than 70,000 were published at least twice; a few were published as many as 17 times. Chekhovich believes most instances are due to self-plagiarism. Meanwhile, the website 123mi.u claims to have brokered authorships for more than 10,000 researchers by selling slots on manuscripts written by others that were already accepted by journals.

In many ways this report reflects the overall corruption that appears to permeate the upper echelons of Russian culture. Rather than do real science and report it to the world, Russian scientists publish in Russian in ways that get them in-house promotions but do little to advance science.

That this investigation was conducted by the Russian Academy of Sciences however is a positive sign. It indicates a desire to clean things up.

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Ukraine: The Democratic Party’s effort to overthrow the elected government

In the past two weeks the mainstream media, working for the Democratic Party, has blasted us with a new anti-Trump scandal, accusing the president of using his influence during a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to pressure the Ukraine to instigate an investigation of Joe Biden.

As I usually do with big political stories such as this, I let them play out a bit before drawing some conclusions. I will admit that I immediately thought this was all balderdash, comparable to the same fake accusations against Trump in connection with Russian collusion. Those were never creditable, and after almost two years even Robert Mueller, the FBI hack chosen by DC insiders to frame Trump, found he had no evidence and came up empty.

The Trump-Ukraine accusations seemed at first glance to be the same garbage, but I decided to watch and wait, to see if they had substance.

Not surprisingly, they don’t.

First we have the accusation itself, coming from an anonymous whisteblower. Not only is the accuser anonymous, so are all his or her sources. All.

Even more significant, the accusation is not based on first hand knowledge. The accuser was not witness to Trump’s phone call. His claim is based entirely on hearsay and rumor, which would be laughed out of any court in the land. That anyone in the press is taking these accusations seriously based on this evidence proves they are, as Glenn Reynolds often says, merely Democratic operatives with bylines.

Second, soon after the press and the Democrats (I repeat myself) began to make a big deal about this feeble accusation, Trump went ahead and released the transcript of his conversation.

The transcript shows absolutely nothing scandalous. » Read more

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Mueller probe of Manafort initiated based on fake information

The probe by Robert Mueller that put former Trump campaign aide Paul Manafort in prison was initiated using evidence, called “the ledger,” that Mueller knew was unreliable and likely fake.

In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.

There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.

To get around this fact, which was made very clear to Mueller and his investigators, they leaked the fake data to the press, and then used the press stories to justify the investigation.

Submitting knowingly false or suspect evidence — whether historical or to support probable cause — in a federal court proceeding violates FBI rules and can be a crime under certain circumstances. “To establish probable cause, the affiant must demonstrate a basis for knowledge and belief that the facts are true,” the FBI operating manual states.

But with Manafort, the FBI and Mueller’s office did not cite the actual ledger — which would require agents to discuss their assessment of the evidence — and instead cited media reports about it. The feds assisted on one of those stories as sources.

For example, agents mentioned the ledger in an affidavit supporting a July 2017 search warrant for Manafort’s house, citing it as one of the reasons the FBI resurrected the criminal case against Manafort.

This is beyond corrupt. I would say that it should be grounds for dismissal for the charges against Manafort, even if he admitted to guilt. At a minimum, Mueller and his cohorts should be facing jail time.

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Illegal acts in Justice Dept routinely given wrist-slap

The law is for the little people: A new inspector general report has found that Justice Department employees who are caught committing crimes are routinely allowed to get off without any punishment at all.

In cases closed in the past month, more than a half-dozen FBI, DEA, U.S. attorney and U.S. marshal officials were allowed to retire, do volunteer work, or keep their jobs as they escaped criminal charges that everyday Americans probably would not.

In most instances, the decisions were made by federal prosecutors who work with the very figures impacted by or committing the bad conduct. In local law enforcement, that go-easy phenomenon is known as the “thin blue line.”

Spokespersons for the Justice Department and FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

I remain very pessimistic we shall see anyone prosecuted in Washington for the clear attempt in the past two years to overthrow a legally elected president. I also expect this behavior to worsen in the coming years. The law no longer means anything to most of the people in power in Washington, and they are increasingly teaming up to use their power to defy the law for their own personal gain.

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Justice charges man with falsifying inspection reports for rocket parts

The Justice Department has charged an employee of a company now out of business for falsifying inspection reports of rocket parts intended for use on both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rocket.

The complaint states that in January 2018, an internal audit by SQA Services, Inc. (SQA), at the direction of SpaceX, revealed multiple falsified source inspection reports and non-destructive testing (NDT) certifications from PMI Industries, LLC, for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy flight critical parts. SpaceX notified PMI of the anomalies. Source inspections and NDT are key tools used in the aerospace industry to ensure manufactured parts comply with quality and safety standards. Specifically, the signed source inspection report had a forged signature of the SQA inspector. SpaceX and SQA officials believed the signature of the inspector was photocopied and cut and pasted onto the source inspection report with a computer.

On February 16, 2018, the NASA Launch Services Program alerted the NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG), and Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Resident Agency, regarding the falsified source inspection reports and false NDT certifications created by PMI. Some of the false source inspection reports and false NDT certifications were related to space launch vehicle components that, at the time of discovery, were to be used for the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, which launched from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on April 18, 2018.

Based on this report, it appears that SpaceX identified the problem before launch and that none of the questionable parts ever flew.

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The absolute uncertainty of climate science

Even as the United States is being plunged right now into an epic cold spell (something that has been happening repeatedly for almost all the winters of the past decade), and politicians continue to rant about the coming doom due to global warming, none of the data allows anyone the right to make any claims about the future global climate, in any direction.

Why do I feel so certain I can make this claim of uncertainty? Because the data simply isn’t there. And where we do have it, it has been tampered with so badly it is no longer very trustworthy. This very well documented post by Tony Heller proves this reality, quite thoroughly.

First, until the late 20th century, we simply do not have good reliable climate data for the southern hemisphere. Any statement by anyone claiming to know with certainty what the global temperature was prior to 1978 (when the first Nimbus climate satellite was launched) should be treated with some skepticism. Take a look at all the graphs Heller posts, all from reputable science sources, all confirming my own essay on this subject from 2015. The only regions where temperatures were thoroughly measured prior to satellite data was in the United States, Europe, and Japan. There are scattered data points elsewhere, but not many, with none in the southern oceans. And while we do have a great deal of proxy data that provides some guidance as to the global temperature prior to the space age, strongly suggesting there was a global warm period around the year 1000 AD, and a global cold period around 1600 AD, this data also has a lot of uncertainty, so it is entirely reasonable to express some skepticism about it.

Second, the data in those well-covered regions have been tampered with extensively, and always in a manner that reinforces the theory of global warming. Actual temperature readings have been adjusted everywhere, always to cool the past and warm the present. As Heller notes,
» Read more

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Contract cancelled for Vostochny launchpad for Angara

The coming dark age: The Russian government has cancelled its construction contract for the much delayed Vostochny launchpad for their new much delayed Angara rocket.

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, who curates the space and defense industry for the Russian government, announced the news on January 23 after the latest meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev dedicated to financial problems at Roskosmos. Medvedev singled out Vostochny as a symptomatic example of poor management at the State Corporation. Only five out of 19 facilities were officially completed in Vostochny in the first phase of construction by the deadline last year, Medvedev said, according to the public recap of the meeting released by the Russian government.

After the closed-door event, Borisov told journalists that the aborted contract on the Angara pad cost the project at least six months in delays, but, he essentially admitted that the actual completion of the critically needed facility would be pushed back by around two years. “Let’s not have any illusions, nobody will be able to build (Angara pad) by 2021,” Borisov told reporters about the recent official deadline for the project, “Today, due to the juggling of prime contractors, the deadline is beyond 2021, but it (has to be) no later than 2023, because otherwise, it would be desynchronized with the development of the rocket, which would be ready but no place to launch from.”

These problems suggest that the corruption in Russia’s aerospace industry must be incredibly embedded. They, like our own incompetent federal government, can’t seem to get anything accomplished.

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CNN’s “Journalist of the Year” fired for fabricating stories

Modern journalism: CNN’s “Journalist of the year” for 2014 has been fired for fabricating stories by the German magazine Der Spiegel.

Claas Relotius, a reporter and editor, admitted to fabricating parts of at least 14 stories following the magazine’s internal investigation. The publication said the issue “marks a low point in the 70-year history of Der Spiegel.”

…The reporter contributed around 60 articles to Der Spiegel, one of the leading German magazines for investigative reporting. He previously worked for other publications in Europe and won awards such as CNN Journalist of the Year in 2014.

The fabricated articles include a phone interview with the parents of free agent NFL player Colin Kaepernick and a story about an American woman who claims to have volunteered to witness the executions of death row inmates.

Relotius also drew the fury of locals in Fergus Falls, Minn., after spending three weeks in town and fabricating facts, characters and quotes from people in an effort to portray the town in a negative light. “What happened is beyond what I could have ever imagined: An article titled ‘Where they pray for Trump on Sundays,’ and endless pages of an insulting, if not hilarious, excuse for journalism,” wrote Michele Anderson and Jake Krohn who investigated Relotius’ Der Spiegel article about the town.

Both Anderson and Krohn went on to reveal that the article doesn’t contain any truth except for the town’s population, the average temperature, and names of the businesses or public figures. Nearly everything else, including a coal plant employee named Neil Becker, who doesn’t actually exist, or quotes from a restaurant employee, who was falsely called the owner of a restaurant and whose son was given a fictional illness, was made up.

It is clear from the above that this reporter’s fakery was designed to confirm the false narrative of our elitist intellectual society that believes that everyone in mid-America who might have voted for Trump is an idiot and a fool with the education of a turnip. No wonder CNN considered him a top journalist, since this is the same fakery I see repeatedly on that network.

The article notes other similar cases of journalist corruption from the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the New Republic. The important historical context of these stories — besides that they all occurred at liberal outlets — is that they were once rare. When Janet Cooke was caught fabricating facts in 1981, she was almost a first. Such a thing had been unheard of in the top journalist world for literally decades. Previously, if you got a job at a place like the Washington Post it was because you knew how to do the job. Cooke indicated that this standard had failed, and it is clearly failing more and more routinely, at numerous so-called top liberal news outlets, in the subsequent years.

Worse, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Trump’s accusations of fakery in the liberal press resonates with people because it contains a substantial element of truth. It also resonates because these liberal outlets have very obviously done nothing to correct their errors and false reporting. Bad reporters continue to work for them, even after they have been found to make egregious errors, including plagiarism.

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Launchpad contractor at Vostochny in legal and financial trouble

The launchpad contractor hired to build the Angara launchpad at Russia’s new spaceport in Vostochny has serious legal and financial troubles, including lawsuits for nonpayment and non-completion of work.

I have nothing to say, other than this seems entirely par for the course.

Posted in warm, sunny, and dry Tucson, having finally returned from two weeks of travel to New York and Israel.

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The corruption centered on Mueller and Comey

President Trump might have his ethical issues, but at this point the questions surrounding him don’t hold a candle to the corruption revealed in two stories in the past two days about former FBI director James Comey and Special Council Robert Mueller.

The first story describes in enormous detail the flat-out whitewash that Comey and the FBI did in its investigation of the classified Clinton emails that had been found on an unclassified laptop owned by former Democratic congressman and convicted child molester Anthony Weiner. That whitewash included outright lies by Comey before Comgress.
» Read more

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The failed Arctic Ocean predictions of global warming scientists

Link here. The post at the link carefully documents the endless numbers of failed doomsday predictions foisted upon us for the past decade, claiming that due to global warming the Arctic Ocean icecap would be gone by 2018.

Instead, in the past three years there is evidence that the icecap has begun to thicken and expand, recovering from a two decade decline. Though this is not a certain conclusion, what is certain is that there is no sign of the icecap vanishing, in any sense. Every prediction documented at the link, by so-called experts, is completely bogus.

There is a reason the public does not take global warming very seriously. Its advocates have cried wolf too many times. Their predictions of doom have consistently failed. Every. Single. Time.

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Japanese officials arrested, JAXA raided, in bribery scandal

Japanese officials have been arrested and offices at the space agency JAXA raided in a bribery scandal that also involves Japan’s education ministry.

It appears an official in the education ministry was bribing people, including one individual at JAXA, with meals and liquor in order to gain an advantage in contract bidding.

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Questions raised about NEOWISE asteroid data analysis

A computer entrepreneur has raised questions about the data analysis used by the scientists in charge of NASA’s NEOWISE space telescope (formerly called the Wide-field Infrared Space Telescope, or WISE).

Myhrvold, a former chief technologist for Microsoft, founded the patent-buying firm Intellectual Ventures in Bellevue, Washington, in 2000; on the side, he pursues interests ranging from modernist cuisine to palaeontology. A few years ago, he began exploring ways to detect dangerous space rocks. He soon argued3 that the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a ground-based telescope being built in Chile, would have the capacity to find nearly all the same asteroids as NASA’s proposed successor to NEOWISE, called NEOCam.

That turned his attention to how asteroids could be studied in space, and to the NEOWISE data. “I thought, this will be great, maybe we’ll be able to find some new and interesting things in here,” he says. But Myhrvold soon became frustrated with the quality and analysis of the data. He posted a critical preprint on arXiv in May 2016, and the peer-review game was on.

His first peer-reviewed critique was published in Icarus in March4. In it, he explored the mathematics of how asteroids radiate heat, and said that the NEOWISE team should have accounted for such effects more thoroughly in its work.

The latest paper1 holds the bulk of the NEOWISE critique. Among other things, Myhrvold argues that the NEOWISE team applied many different modelling techniques to many different combinations of data to achieve its final results. He also criticizes the choice to include previously published data on the diameter of certain asteroids in the data set, rather than using NEOWISE measurements — which, though less precise, are at least consistent with the rest of the database. Such choices undermine the statistical rigour of the database, he says.

Alan Harris, a planetary scientist with the consulting firm MoreData! in La Cañada Flintridge, California, was one of the paper’s reviewers. “In my opinion, it has important things to say,” he says. “It is my hope that the scientific community will read the paper and pay attention to the analysis Myhrvold has presented, as he has raised a number of significant issues.”

The disagreement involves the NEOWISE team’s estimate of asteroid sizes, based on the infrared data. Myhrvoid questions their estimates.

More details about the clashes between Myhrvoid and the NEOWISE science team over the past two years can be found here. The NASA scientists do not come off well. They appear to be very defensive, acting to stonewall any review of their work. Repeatedly they attempted to defy Myhrvoid’s FOIA requests (only made when they refused to release their raw data), including redacting significant information for no justifiable reason.

I have really only one question: Does the behavior of these NASA planetary scientists sound familiar? To me it does, and what it reminds me of speaks very badly for the science being done in the NEOWISE mission at NASA.

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Russian government audit finds $20 billion in “spending violations”

An audit by the Russian equivalent of the GAO has found more than $20 billion in “spending violations” within the government, most of which occurred in the defense and space sectors.

Other words for describing these “spending violations” might be “theft,” “embezzlement,” “misuse of funds,” or any number of more honest direct terms. The Russian government is simply very corrupt, and its culture includes the assumption by administrators and everyone else that it is their right to skim off as much as they can, for themselves.

Sadly, I do not see any reform occurring in the near future. This corruption is deeply ingrained, and the Putin government, also deeply entrenched, apparently likes it, as long as the thefts don’t become so obvious that nothing gets done, as happened at the new Vostochny spaceport during its construction.

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The massive data Facebook and Google collect on their users

Link here. The article is frightening, and illustrates once again why I have nothing to do with Facebook, and as little to do with Google as I can. (I wish someone would come up with a competitor to youtube. There’s money to be made there!)

What was especially disturbing was this tidbit about Google that the author discovered:

This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my résumé, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites I’ve ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails. [emphasis in original]

In other words, if you use Google to store any documents, no matter how private, they keep those documents even if you decide to delete them. Or to put it another way, Google steals them. Worse, the author also found that Google was keeping every email he’d ever sent or been sent to him, “including the ones [he] deleted or were categorised as spam.” [emphasis mine]

These corporations have compiled databases that can be misused very easily, and I expect someone in their company to do so, repeatedly. Worse, their users seem oblivious to the personal vulnerability that these databases create, and continue to nonchalantly use both Google and Facebook without thought.

I recognize that both companies provide services and need to make money by doing so. I just think they have overstepped the bounds of morality in how they compile and use the information they obtain.

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Sessions names US attorney to investigate FISA abuses

Attorney General Jeff Sessions today informed Congress that he has tasked United States Attorney John W. Huber, based in Utah, to investigate the possible misuse of the FISA court by the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the FBI during and after the presidential campaign.

From Sessions’ letter to Congress:

Mr. Huber is conducting his work from outside the Washington, DC. area and in cooperation with the Inspector General. …I am confident that Mr. Huber’s review will include a full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and the facts.

I receive regular updates from Mr. Huber and upon the conclusion of his review, will receive his recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.

Huber is an Obama appointee, but appears to have avoided participating in partisan games. This will make it harder for Democrats to blast him should he recommend a special prosecutor is necessary. Meanwhile, some Republicans are complaining about Sessions’ decision to hold off appointing a special prosecutor, but I think this decision is smart. Huber will be under Sessions’ supervision and command. A special counsel would be uncontrollable (witness Mueller and every past special prosecutor). Considering the corrupt culture that now permeates Washington, keeping some control over this investigation to me seems wise.

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The FISA law itself is corrupt

While this story is mostly focused on the obvious fact that the Democrats were outright lying when they claimed, before the FISA memo was released, that its release would reveal information that would place the country’s security at risk, it is this tidbit that I want to focus on:

But speaking of stupid, something else occurred that few are mentioning, but may be of more significance than anything. What were these FISA judges thinking who allowed for the surveillance? They actually read the Steele dossier, one would assume. Were they imbeciles or as biased as McCabe, Strzok and the rest of that seedy FBI cabal? Whether they were told that document came from the Clinton campaign or not, it read like an outtake from the back pages of the National Enquirer — and not one of the good issues (John Edwards, etc.). The dossier was ludicrous on its face, yet the supposedly great legal minds of the FISA court accepted it as what appears to be the most important evidence for the case.

Think about that.

What we need, obviously, is the old word transparency. The public needs to see the full details of what went into the FISA decisions — and we don’t need to hear any of that fake palaver about national security. Everybody’s security depends on the FISA court working in a one-hundred percent unbiased manner. Otherwise we’re living a nightmare.

That court, and its workings, and its personnel should be a key part of any investigation going forward. New rules and regulations have to be put in place.

The author is thinking “reform.” We must dig into the workings of the FISA court and fix it so this kind of corruption never happens again.

Bah. What this scandal reveals is that the FISA law, created in 1978 during the Carter administration by a Congress strongly controlled by leftwing Democrats (following heavy election loses to the Republicans after Watergate) is itself a problem, and should be gotten rid of. The idea that a warrant against an American can be issued using secret information that no one is allowed to look at reeks with the possibility of abuse and corruption, which is exactly what we see here.

For example, the eleven judges presently on the FISA court were all appointed during the Obama administration. Though the law says the Chief Justice of the U.S. designates them, the law tilts the scale by requiring that “the judges must be drawn from at least seven of the United States judicial circuits, and three of the judges must reside within 20 miles of the District of Columbia.” Considering the political leanings of the DC area, it seems to me that this is going to make it very easy for the court to lean left politically.

No amount of dressing is going to fix this. The FISA court is essentially a Star Chamber where government operatives can use secret information to manipulate the court to allow them to go after their enemies. It is by definition hostile to every aspect of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and should be dumped.

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How the Purge in Saudi Arabia might link to the Democratic computers in Congress

This essay is going to outline some interesting associations that appear to exist between a number of very unconnected news stories in the past few months, links that might help explain how recent events in Saudi Arabia might have something to do with the U.S. Congress and car dealerships in the U.S. and Africa.

First of all I want to emphasize that I really have no idea if the associations I am going to note even exist. I am no expert on foreign policy, other than being a very well-read follower of the news. However, my skills as a historian have often allowed me to spot connections between disparate events that further research very frequently confirms as true. In this regard I think it very worthwhile to reveal what I have noticed, and let the chips fall where they may.

This trail must first begin with President Trump’s first foreign policy trip in May as President, going first to Saudi Arabia followed by visits to Israel and Europe.
» Read more

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Review of all Soyuz upper stages ordered by Russian manufacturer

According to anonymous sources, the Russian manufacturer of the Freget upper stage that failed yesterday during a Soyuz commercial launch has ordered a review of all Fregets.

The Lavochkin research and production association will check all manufactured Fregat boosters, a source in the space industry told TASS on Wednesday after a recent failed launch. “The Lavochkin Research and Production Association will check all Fregat boosters produced earlier. If defects are found, they [the boosters] will be sent for further development,” the source said.

The Lavochkin Research and Production Association did not comment on this information for TASS.

The problem is that Russia already spent almost a full year beginning in early 2016 checking all its rocket engines for substandard construction done by a corrupt manufacturer. Even though the Fregat is built by another manufacturer, did they not check the Fregat upper stages then also?

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Another Vostochny manager on trial for embezzlement

The Russians are prosecuting another manager at Vostochny for stealing more than $10 million.

[O]ut of 765 million rubles ($13 million) allocated under the contract with Federal State Unitary Enterprise Spetsstroytekhnologii, Tolstikov had only 100 million rubles ($1.7 million) left. The rest, according to him, he spent for construction trailers for workers.

It is amazing anything has been built at Vostochny. This case is in addition to the more than half dozen other embezzlement cases totaling almost $200 million, a very significant amount of money in Russia as well as a significant portion of the spaceport’s entire construction budget.

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FBI informant cleared to testify on Clinton Uranium Russian deal

The Trump Justice Department has cleared the FBI informant with direct knowledge of the Clinton-Russian uranium bribery scandal.

The informant worked undercover to investigate bribery and intrigue in the Russian nuclear industry during the Obama administration and was, until Wednesday, bound by a gag order from speaking about what he knew. According to sources at the Department of Justice, the informant is now cleared to testify about a wide range of issues including, specifically, the Clinton Foundation. The informant worked undercover to investigate bribery and intrigue in the Russian nuclear industry during the Obama administration and was, until Wednesday, bound by a gag order from speaking about what he knew.

According to sources at the Department of Justice, the informant is now cleared to testify about a wide range of issues including, specifically, the Clinton Foundation. In a statement, DOJ spokesman Ian Prior told media outlets: “As of tonight, the Department of Justice has authorized the informant to disclose to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as one member of each of their staffs, any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market, including but not limited to anything related to Vadim Mikerin, Rosatom, Tenex, Uranium One, or the Clinton Foundation.”

The article says the informant will testify Wednesday night before Congress, but also notes that it is unclear as yet how or where that testimony will be given. More details about the scandal here.

If this person reveals as much as the news stories have suggested, it could very well finally shatter the protection the press and the left have given the Clinton since Bill Clinton’s problems as president in the 1990s. What I am sensing is that the Democratic Party might possibly be considering throwing the Clintons to the wolves in an effort to keep the wolves off of it.

Then again, I tend to be a wide-eyed optimist.

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Timeline of Russian uranium deal and Clinton donations

Link here. The timeline not only puts the quid pro quo nature of the Russian uranium deal in context, it helps clarify the players and the different parts they played. It appears this deal not only involved giving Russia control of 20 percent of American uranium, that control included the corrupt Kazakhstan government.

All told, the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation appears to have received in the range of $55 million for their help in making the deal happen, all from players who benefited financially from the deal.

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Obama administration blocked FBI informant from testifying to Congress about uranium deal and Russian bribes

The Clinton uranium scandal: The lawyer for an FBI informant has revealed that the Obama administration blocked, and even threatened his client, in order to prevent him from testifying to Congress about Russian bribes to Clinton and others in connection with the transfer of 20% of the U.S. uranium resources to Russian control.

The undercover client witnessed “a lot of bribery going on around the U.S.” but was asked by the FBI to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) that prevents him from revealing what he knows to Congress, [Attorney Victoria] Toensing explained. When he tried to bring some of the allegations to light in the lawsuit last year, “the Obama Justice Department threatened him with loss of freedom. They said they would bring a criminal case against him for violating an NDA,” she added.

Emails obtained by The Hill show that a civil attorney working with the former undercover witness described the pressure the Justice Department exerted to keep the client from disclosing to a federal court what he knew last summer. “The government was taking a very harsh position that threatened both your reputation and liberty,” the civil lawyer wrote in one email. In another, she added, “As you will recall the gov’t made serious threats sufficient to cause you to withdraw your civil complaint.”

Justice Department and FBI officials did not return calls seeking comment.

It is important to emphasize that it is an undisputed fact that Bill Clinton received $500,000 in speaking fees from the Russians just before Hillary Clinton decided to approve the Russian deal. The Russians also gave the Clinton Foundation millions at the same time.

It also must be emphasized that Robert Mueller, now running an open-ended Democratic investigation of Trump, was head of the FBI during this time period.

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