Does that prove it, green eyes?
Does that prove it, green eyes?
And that’s not the worst of it: A quarter of respondents are already unable to cover their bills and almost a third said an interest rate hike could throw them into bankruptcy
The Canadian Press | February 16, 2016
CALGARY — A new poll suggests nearly half of Canadians surveyed last month are within $200 per month of being unable to pay for their bills and make their debt payments.
Isn’t it funny and interesting that there never is any money to combat poverty and homelessness, but there is plenty of money to rescue fat and bloated banks, have wars that nobody wants or needs, and keep American CEOs making absolutely obscene amounts of money?
What’s happening to us is a microcosm of what’s going to happen to the rest of the pensions in the United States
February 19th, 2016
In 2014 a new Federal law made it possible for pension funds to cut benefits for their recipients. Much to the protest of pensioners, the government and numerous unions supporting the change cited pension plans that were in imminent danger of collapse, saying that the only way to save the funds was to cut benefits to potentially millions of recipients. Six months later, the U.S. Supreme Court took things a step further when they opined that the government has the right to fully seize 401(k) and pension funds that were being poorly managed.
Of course, most Americans were either not paying attention or completely ignored the ramifications of the new rules set forth by their government because, well, anyone who talks about the potential for a collapse of pension funds or the economy is, as President Barack Obama so eloquently noted in his recent State of the Union Speech, “peddling fiction.”
Except in October of last year the canary in the coal mine fell over and died when Illinois announced that the State was posting pension payments because it ran out of money.
Fast forward a few more months and things have been taken to the next level. The Central State pension fund in Kansas became the first such fund to take advantage of the 2014 law as 400,000 Americans who depend on their monthly pension income to pay for such things as their mortgage, groceries and medical expenses saw an average of $1,400 per month sliced of their monthly benefits.
Dale Dorsey isn’t happy.
After working 33 years, he’s facing a 55% cut to his pension benefits, a blow which he says will “cripple” his family and imperil the livelihood of his two children, one of whom is in the fourth grade and one of whom is just entering high school.
Dorsey attended a town hall meeting in Kansas City on Tuesday where retirees turned out for a discussion on “massive” pension cuts proposed by the Central States Pension Fund, which covers 400,000 participants, and which will almost certainly go broke within the next decade.
“A controversial 2014 law allowed the pension to propose [deep] cuts, many of them by half or more, as a way to perhaps save the fund,” The Kansas City Star wrote earlier this week adding that “two much smaller pensions also have sought similar relief under the law, and still more pensions are significantly underfunded.”
And if you think this is the end of it, consider the words of long time teamster member Jay Perry who says the writing is on the wal:
“What’s happening to us is a microcosm of what’s going to happen to the rest of the pensions in the United States”
It was all fun and games during the boom times when governments and companies promised pensioners exorbitant retirements based on an unlimited growth rate model. Now reality is setting in.
And keep in mind that this is just the first part of the coming retirement fund destruction. As we noted above, the Supreme Court ruling gives the government the “right” to step in and seize these underperforming funds.
So, the first step is to give pension funds the ability to cut benefits, which we are seeing now and will continue to see going forward as funds all over the country struggle to keep the benefits flowing. Next, the government will identify these funds as under-performing and mismanaged, at which point they will outright seize the entire industry just as they did with health care.
The pain is coming, America. You’d better be prepared to deal with the fallout.
Feb 20, 2016
is the basis of the current Apple vs FBI legal and technological battle. The United States FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has sent Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone (and the iOS software that goes with it), an order to help them access the data on it. The FBI seized the iPhone of a suspect in the San Bernardino mass shooting (another false flag event), but they claim they are unable to access the encrypted content on it. They further state that Apple, and Apple alone, has the exclusive technical means to unlock the encrypted iPhone data in this situation, and so now, they are ordering Apple to do so. Edward Snowden has called this “the most important tech case in a decade.” However, something smells fishy about this story …
First of all, here is some of the text from the legal order:
“Despite both a warrant authorizing the search and the phone owner’s consent, the government has been unable to complete the search because it cannot access the iPhone’s encrypted content. Apple has the exclusive technical means which would assist the government in completing its search, but it has declined to provide that assistance voluntarily. Accordingly, the government respectfully requests that this Court issue an order compelling Apple to assist in enabling the search commanded by the warrant.”
Whenever you read a story on the Mainstream Media, you have to run it through your own truth filters to see if it adds up. In this case, here are a number of questions about the case:
1. Why would we assume that Apple is doing this for principled reasons? At the every least, they would be doing it as a business move to become a “key market differentiator” by trying to set themselves apart from other tech companies as a company that really cares about consumer privacy. However, did you know that Apple has unlocked encrypted iPhone data for the Feds 70 times in the past?
2. How do we know for sure that the FBI can’t already hack into encrypted iPhone data? We are told that end-to-end encryption is currently unbreakable by intelligence agencies like the FBI, CIA and NSA. But who’s to say they haven’t already worked out how to do it, and are keeping it secret?
3. Could this be a big public relations charade on both sides – Apple to pretend it really cares about consumer privacy, and the FBI to put on a show that it can’t hack end-to-end encryption and encrypted iPhone data, when it really can?
4. If the NSA can’t already hack encrypted iPhone data (even with the new iOS 9 which was released on September 16, 2015), then why did Michael Hayden, former director of both the NSA (1999-2005) and CIA (2006-2009), state in this interview that the intelligence agencies essentially figured out a way?
“(In the mid-1990s) we then began the greatest 15 years in the history of electronic surveillance. It didn’t matter – we figured out ways to get around the ‘unbreakable encryption’ … number one, no encryption is unbreakable, it just takes more computing power, and number two … we developed … bulk collection and metadata.”
5. Highly respected researcher and patriot Bill Cooper (who was murdered in November 2001, after predicting 9/11 before it happened on radio) stated emphatically on several occasions that the NSA was completely above the law, and exempt from ANY law unless that law specifically stated in its wording that it applied to the NSA. If this is true, how credible are any claims made by any NSA figures, past or present?
6. Is the FBI only doing this to try to make something legal that they can already do, so there will be legal precedent in future and less roadblocks to their ubiquitous surveillance?
7. Finally, let us remember that San Bernardino was a blatant false flag event, another in a long string of false flag shootings and bombings that have taken place in the US. We already know the Government was behind this, not some Muslim patsies. Is the FBI using this case to gain more sympathy for its cause, playing on Islamophobia and the American public’s gullibility, hoping people will cry out for the FBI to “make it safe” and give up their rights, liberties and privacy in the process?
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative news / independent media site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.
The answer lies in the history we share with our canine companions.
February 18, 2016
For most of us, commuting is a task to be endured. Busy, noisy and often cramped, the world’s underground transport systems are places that we humans tolerate as a matter of necessity. But not so for Moscow’s “metro dogs”. A number of strays have taken to riding the city’s underground railway – and remarkably, they seem to know where they’re going.
Of Moscow’s 35,000 odd stray dogs, about 20 are thought to travel regularly on the city’s underground rail system. These dogs seem to be able to identify which trains to board, and where to alight. It appears that they can recognise humans who will give them a treat or a pat – and avoid those who won’t. They also show an impressive ability to deal with the noise and activity of the busy metro system, which many pet dogs would find distracting and stressful – indeed, they can often be found relaxing and sleeping in the crowded carriages.
So how did Moscow’s stray dogs learn this behaviour? Well, dogs have co-evolved alongside humans for several thousand years. During that time, they have developed the capability to recognise and respond to our physical and emotional signals. While most animals have trouble interpreting the social cues of other species, dogs are unusually adept at responding to human behaviour. This evidence goes some way to explaining how Moscow’s metro dogs know who to approach and who to steer clear of.
These social skills strongly suggest a degree of convergent evolution between dogs and humans. This occurs when different species evolve similar traits while adapting to a shared environment. So, the abilities of the metro dogs might even suggest that they have developed coping mechanisms similar to those of their fellow human commuters.
But Moscow’s stray dogs have an even stronger motivation to venture into the metro system. Dogs learn through positive associations – this forms the basis for the modern reward-based methods we use to train both working and pet dogs. For example, we can teach a dog to “sit” on command by rewarding that behaviour with treats. These positive reinforcement strategies generate reliable and consistent responses from our canine companions, as well as safeguarding their welfare.
It seems likely that the metro dogs have learned to associate the subways with warmth and food. So the strays return, time and time again, much like the pet dog that repeatedly “acquires” dinner from the kitchen counter. For the metro dogs, the rewards of food and shelter are probably worth the risk of negative experiences, such as being shooed away, hurt or worse: one poor pooch, called Malchik, was stabbed to death in the subway, to the dismay of many Muscovites.
In this way, the metro mutts might serve as an interesting model for training pet dogs, since they show us that particularly powerful rewards will overcome incidental negative experiences.
Explaining how the metro dogs navigate the underground transport system is a bit more complicated. Given that the canine nose is substantially more sensitive than our own, it’s distinctly possible that they choose which stations to disembark at, based on scent. But studies suggest that dogs often use many sensory cues to find their way, and do not rely on smell alone.
So, the metro dogs probably use many indications including smell, lighting, passenger movement and perhaps even specific people to get their bearings in the subway. It has even been suggested that the dogs come to know the stations by name, by listening to the announcements over the tannoy. We know that dogs can learn words, so this is a possibility. But in this case, we can’t be sure whether the dogs genuinely know the names of specific stations, or simply associate some of them with food.
The final puzzle is how the dogs are able to time their journeys. This is a tough one, because it’s difficult to prove that dogs can even grasp the concept of time: many pet owners will receive identical welcome responses from their dogs, whether they have been absent for one minute or one hour. These observations suggest that dogs may perceive the passage of time very differently to humans.
Even so, many animals thrive on routine, and dogs are no exception. The regular goings on in Moscow’s metro – the opening and closing of stores, the peak hour rush and the system’s nightly shutdown – could be encouraging the dogs in their travels. The dogs are likely to associate these routine happenings with positive experiences, much like the excitement of a pet dog on hearing their owner’s car pull into the driveway after a day at work.
Moscow’s metro dogs represent an extremely interesting example of the domestic dog’s ability to adapt to a world built for humans, by humans. They show us that dogs have developed the capability to read human behaviours and respond accordingly, and to integrate themselves into our daily customs and practices. Understanding how dogs respond to the changing human world can help us understand both them, and ourselves, much better.