Justice Scalia, Meet Spirituality

Amen! Thanks for sharing your spirit Melanie! ♥

Writing with Spirit

Everybody’s all atwitter, alarmed or amused by Justice Antonin Scalia’s silly suggestion to “ask the nearest hippie” about freedom and intimacy. But I’m more dismayed by his admission that he doesn’t have a clue what spirituality means. Really?

That a Supreme Court justice hasn’t paid any attention to society in the past, oh, four decades, is troublesome — he’s apparently still stewing about “free sex” and “women’s lib.” But that a man who prides himself on his “traditional Christian values” has never in his life bothered to ponder spirituality is horrifying.

Let me back up for those of you who may have been stoned and having illicit sex under a peace-sign-covered VW van instead of following the latest news.

In his dissent last week from the historic 5-4 Supreme Court decision to allow marriage equality for gay people, Scalia took issue with the gay-hippie-liberal-flag-burning lawyers on the equality side who…

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Greeks are standing in line with garbage bags at ATMs!

Greece-garbage-bags

June 29, 2015
Singapore

It is somewhat amusing that the word ‘crisis’ originates from Ancient Greece.

It’s actually a medical term; Hippocrates wrote extensively about ‘crisis’ being the key turning point in disease progression– the time at which it either overcomes the patient, or it subsides.

And though the word ‘crisis’ is thrown about routinely these days, it’s safe to say that Greece is now truly in crisis in the purest sense of the definition.

Same with the euro, for that matter.

A century from now when future historians write about our time, it’s highly likely they’ll conclude that the euro was the dumbest invention of this age.

And that will really be saying something because the competition is fierce: pet rocks. Acid-washed jeans. FATCA. Google Glass. Fox Business News. Obamacare.

But the euro deserves first prize in the ugly contest.

The idea was to take completely incompatible economies, pretend that they were all Germany, and put them under one monetary roof simply because they were on the same continent.

This is ridiculous, especially today. It’s 2015. Geography is an irrelevant anachronism.

Imagine jamming Argentina, Australia, Angola, and Azerbaijan into a currency union simply because they all start with the letter “A”. It’s just as pointless and arbitrary as geography.

And when one of them starts to collapse (probably Argentina), rather than admit their mistake and dissolve the whole stupid idea, the bureaucrats spend massive amounts of other people’s money fruitlessly trying to hold the project together.

This is what’s happened in Europe.

Every time they wrote a bailout check or extended another loan package to Greece, all the bureaucrats did was INCREASE their risk exposure.

It’s like running back into a burning building– literally the *exact opposite* of what any sensible person would do.

Eurocrats have spent untold billions of other people’s money to save face, just so they wouldn’t have to admit that Project “Make Everyone Germany” has failed.

But what they never acknowledged was that no matter how much they extend and pretend, the disease will always reach its crisis.

And this financial disease is going to slay the patient. History is very clear on this point: debt kills.

Greece long ago reached the point of no return where they were borrowing money just to pay interest. Now it’s time for brutal honesty: game over.

The best example of brutal honesty is across the pond in Puerto Rico– America’s Greece. The governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, did not mince words when he described the island’s prodigious debt:

“The debt is not payable. There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is math.”

The lesson is pretty clear: a bad system will fail. Especially when that system is built on a mountain of debt and deceit.

It might take years, but it happens. Just look at Greece; it’s taken nearly six years from when it was first identified to reach today’s crisis.

The time in between can either be an opportunity or a curse.

For some, time is an opportunity to take action– to quietly take defensive steps like moving money abroad.

Greeks had the opportunity to do that long ago when the euro was strong and the capital controls didn’t exist.

But for most people, time is a reason to procrastinate. They think that because it didn’t collapse today, tomorrow will be just fine. So they stick their heads in the sand. Or somewhere else.

And now those people are standing in line at ATM machines across Greece with empty garbage bags trying to figure out how to survive against strict capital controls.

Don’t wait.

Capital Controls and a Bank Holiday in Greece… Here’s How You Can Profit

Capital Controls and a Bank Holiday in Greece… Here’s How You Can Profit

For the unprepared, it happens like a mugging…

When you hear a central banker or politician deny that something is going to happen to bank depositors, you can almost be certain that it will happen. And probably soon.

Coming from a government official, the real meaning of “No, of course not” is “Could be tomorrow.”

There’s a reason for the dishonesty. The government needs to take the public by surprise. Otherwise they won’t get the results they want from capital controls or a bank holiday.

The term bank holiday is a politician’s euphemism. When one happens, you won’t be celebrating. You won’t be able to access your bank account, and you’ll be worried.

How will you get by, and how long will the lockout last? And when it ends, will all your money still be there? Will any of it remain?

Calling the experience a bank holiday is like calling a street mugging a surprise party.

Once the banks are closed – or on “holiday,” as the government puts it – the politicians are free to help themselves to as much of the customer deposits (including yours) as they want. It’s like an all-you-can-steal buffet.

A bank holiday usually dovetails with capital controls, which are restrictions on the free flow of money out of the country. Capital controls make it hard for the country’s remaining wealth to dodge a future mugging.

Bank holidays and capital controls are all about the government maximizing the amount of money available for them to confiscate during a crisis. Pen up the sheep, and they’re easier to shear.

It’s a common pattern… 1) country in financial trouble, 2) government denials, 3) surprise bank holiday, 4) wealth confiscation, and 5) capital controls.

It’s a pattern we’ve seen repeated in many countries in economic crisis.

We saw it in Cyprus during their banking crisis of 2013. The trap slammed shut without warning on an otherwise ordinary Saturday morning. The government declared a surprise bank holiday. Capital controls and a bank deposit confiscation followed. It occurred despite repeated promises from the highest Cypriot politicians that bank deposits would be safe.

And now we are seeing the same pattern in Greece.

For the past month, Greece’s government has been denying that it intends to impose capital controls. Yesterday, Sunday morning, the Greek Finance Ministry repeated the denial yet again. Then on the same day – a few hours later – the Greek government declared a weeklong bank holiday. And they would impose capital controls after all.

But don’t worry. The Greek Prime Minister promised that bank deposits would be “completely safe.”

Rather than being “completely safe,” they are far more likely to be harvested by the Greek government, which is free to do as so many troubled governments have done… take the money and run.

Given Greece’s years of chronic financial weakness, none of this should come as a surprise.

There was ample time for any Greek citizen to protect himself from what the government is now doing. But now, with the bank holiday in place, it’s too late.

Moving money into something that Greek politicians can’t steal with a couple taps on a keyboard – like a Greek bank account – would have bought a large measure of protection.

A bank account in another EU country like Austria, a piece of real estate in South America, some physical gold in Singapore or a brokerage account in Hong Kong would have been just what the doctor ordered.

Most people understand that it’s foolish to keep all their eggs in one basket. Yet they fail to go far enough in applying the principle. Diversification isn’t just about investing in multiple stocks or in multiple asset classes. Real diversification – the kind that keeps you safe – means holding assets in multiple countries, so that you’re not overexposed to the economic and political risks that are present in every country.

The problem is, despite having options available to them, many Greeks had a “this can’t happen here” mentality. So they did nothing to prepare. The reality is, what happened in Greece can happen in any country, as it has happened throughout history.

But could it really happen in the US? According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, the troubling answer is YES. The judge is a legal expert. He knows all about bank holidays, capital controls, and other shenanigans politicians pull. The judge has said, “People who have more than $100,000 in the bank are targets for anygovernment that’s looking for money to shore up its own inability to manage its finances.”

The whole ordeal in Greece is yet another example of why international diversification is so important. It’s a prudent strategy because it frees you from absolute dependence on any one country. Achieve that independence, and events or policies where you live can never dominate your life.

Wealthy families have been doing it for centuries. Today, with modern communications, international diversification is within everyone’s reach.

International Man’s mission is to help you protect your personal freedom and make the most of financial opportunity around the world. Global diversification is at the heart of it. Discovering the best investment opportunities around the world is another. And, ironically, the best opportunities often show up after a government has done its worst to a country. For example, in places like… Greece.

Investor sentiment in Greece is nearing the point of maximum pessimism… the point at which almost nobody wants to buy. Prices of Greek stocks have already crashed headfirst into the pavement, so we may be getting close to the best time to buy. As Baron Rothschild advised: Buy when the blood is in the streets.

That’s what crisis investing is all about, and it’s enormously profitable.

Seeking out home runs in crisis markets is exactly what Doug Casey and I do in each monthly issue of Crisis Speculator.

Back in 2013 there was another crisis in a Mediterranean country… Cyprus.

Doug and I put our boots to the ground in Cyprus to search the rubble for investment bargains that would be too good to resist. And we found them.

Despite all the ugly headlines, sound, productive, and well-run Cypriot businesses continued to produce earnings and pay dividends. Anyone with a little money and a cool head could have bought their stocks on the ultra-cheap.

One of the Cyprus companies we recommended has more than tripled as of this writing. Another has more than doubled. Two others have come close to a double. Our readers have loved the experience.

We expect that even bigger bargains are emerging nearby, in Greece.

The financial crisis in Greece is not going to destroy the solid companies operating there. But it is going to make their stocks extremely cheap. And that could mean huge profits for you.

For full coverage of this rich profit opportunity, be sure to check out Crisis Speculator by clicking here.

Until next time,

Nick Giambruno
Senior Editor
International Man

DEA Agents Who Stole Money and Extorted Silk Road Founder Plead Guilty

Disavowed and prosecuted! Usually these “agents” work under the direct order of their respective alphabet agencies. They are professional spooks trained to avoid detection while laundering dirty money to the agencies’ coffers. These two got a bit too entrepreneurial and started collecting on the sly. Now no mafia organization worth their salt will allow such behavior! So they exposed these 2 rats to make examples of them. Gotta keep their caporegimes in check!

Carl Force, one of the two Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents accused of extorting and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Silk Road during the time the online drug bazaar was being taken offline and investigated, has pleaded guilty to charges according to new court documents filed Monday.

Force is one of the two agents accused of extorting the black market founder and both were arrested under such charges back in March. The other accused agent, Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges also agreed to plead guilty last week.

Accused agents sentencing will occur at a later date in the year, but Force has agreed to initiate his guilty plea to take effect July 1.

Agents were caught red handed with evidence and were taken to federal court where it was reveled that Force used multiple online aliases to communicate with Ross William Ulbricht, the alleged founder and operator behind the wildly successfully black market for drugs and illicit services, the Silk Road. Force allegedly used an account labeled “Nob” to bust online drug dealers, where he was then able to convince Ulbricht to setup a fake hit, or assassination, against another drug website administrator.

Force also created another online alias under “French Maid” which his staffers or employees were not aware of at the time.

According to agent reports, Force offered Ulbricht inside information on the government’s investigation into the Silk Road under both online aliases. Ulbricht paid both of Force’s faulty accounts for alleged counter-intelligence. What information Force gave Ulbricht was not made clear in the case.

Force took two payments from Ulbricht, worth a accumulated total of $90,000 in bitcoin under his work account, Nob. On Force’s personal account, he accepted a single payment of $100,000 in bitcoin, unknown to his staffers.

Coming in under a third personality, Force created “Death from Above” in hopes of extorting Ulbricht for $250,000, with blackmail that he was aware of Ulbricht’s identity during the time he was anonymous. At the time Force was unaware or Ulbricht’s real identity and his extortion plan backfired and failed entirely.

During Force’s investigation, accusers found large amounts of wrongdoing on Force’s part, including working for a “digital currency exchange company” called CointMKT. Force was caught abusing his position as a DEA agents to help the company perform criminal background checks. The documents cite one case where Force froze $297,000 worth of bitcoin from a CoinMKT customer, and transferred the total to his personal account.

Both agents accused, Force and Bridges, worked for a Baltimore-based task force where they knew each other, but were allegedly running separate long term schemes. Bridges abused his position to steal admin credentials from the Silk Road to lock dealers from their accounts and drain their bitcoins into his personal account. Bridges operation gained him a some $820,000 in bitcoin.

Agents corrupt investigation was still ongoing through Ulbricht’s trial, who went up in January this year. Due to this, Ulbricht’s lawyer is arguing that since Ulbricht was prevented from speaking with the corrupt agents, he was unable to receive a fair trial after he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors argued that the investigation must be kept secret during the time of operation, and convinced U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest that the corrupt agents investigation was kept separate in Baltimore, away from federal officials investigation that they claim took place in New York.

List of Secure Email Providers that take Privacy Serious

List of Secure Email Providers that take Privacy Serious, Freedom Hacker

Here is a list of secure email providers that take your privacy serious and do not track you (details on providers below):

The list of secure email providers above is a comprehensive list of privacy focused providers that has been vetted by our team of security experts. These are not big name providers or privacy-violators that can be found scattered across the front page of search engines and ads. If you don’t wish to switch email providers, we recommend you begin implementing some form of encryption, such as PGP.

Top 5 Secure Email Providers

Hushmail Secure Email1) HushMail – A Canadian based privacy-conscious company that has provided secure email since early 1999 and has easily been one of the longest lasting privacy-focused email providers to date. Even though the company has had past run-ins with law enforcement, through their last 16 years of email services Hushmail has only been forced to turn over three user accounts on one occasion. However, Hushmail is packed with loads of great features including automatic encryption, temporary email addresses, strict HTTPS and two-step verification. Despite their rocky past, Hushmail has kept a strong hand on security and is our #1 favorite secure email provider.

ShazzleMail2) ShazzleMail – Another privacy-based email solution that takes a different stance on email. Instead of relying on ShazzleMail servers, the company makes you the email provider. Typically when you receive an email, it will be sent through the Gmail or Yahoo servers and be stored on their webservers in your inbox. With ShazzleMail, all emails are sent directly to you and pass through no third-party server. The app works through a smartphone, where the device will act as the main server and allow you to locally host your own email. Some drawbacks include, if your phone dies so will your email for the duration it’s turned off and it’s not accessible 24/7 everywhere.

startmail3) StartMail – Coming from the company behind the privacy-oriented search engines StartPage and IXQuick, a secure email solution was born. StartMail is a newer email solution born in 2015 after Snowden revelations uncovered that big name companies and governments were spying on everyone’s email. StartMail offers an abundance of features including disposable email addresses, one-click email encryption (PGP), alongside Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) and SSL encryption.

Riseup Email4) Riseup – A Seattle-based digital collective that offers free security and anonymity tools. Born out of the need for email privacy, Riseup provides a secure email solution with absolutely no censorship. Unlike many other email providers, Riseup is owned and operated by a small collective of pro-privacy activists who have kept the service government free since 1999. Even after previous tie-ups with law enforcement, no data was ever captured, seized or read by any third-party or government entity.

5) TorGuard – A leading provider in anonymous services is TorGuard’s latest edition, Anonymous Email. Torguard’s anonymous email service is their latest edition to their privacy product arsenal, offering up a truly private inbox. The service allows for you to manage OpenPGP on the fly with their default encryption implementation. The anonymous email gives you a truly private inbox that no third-parties can scan and read.

Optional) Blur/MaskMe – Abine’s MaskMe is a one of a kind service, providing anonymity and total privacy when it comes to email. MaskMe allows you to create disposable email addresses that will forward to your real email address. This means you can signup for websites with a masked email such as privacy123@example.com that will forward to your real email at you@example.com. Disposable emails are great for stopping spam as you can disable the email address at anytime. That website you signed up for months ago just started spamming you? Simply delete the email address and all emails sent to that disposable address will no longer be forwarded to you. We recommended you use the service atop a secure email such as Hushmail.

Conclusion

After revelations uncovered that third-parties and governments have been spying on our email communications for years, the need for a secure email solution was made immediate. Privacy-conscious email provider has never been in higher demand. When you use a mainstream email provider that spies on its users, it doesn’t only hurt you, it affects everyone’s privacy. Your email address stores your interests, personal hobbies, daily activities, friends, family and thousands of other personal details, why let these big name providers take your privacy away?

Google Chrome Secretly Listens in and Snoops on your Private Conversations!

Google Chrome Installs Audio Listener

Google has been under fire after it was revealed the company was secretly downloading an auto listener onto every computer that had Google Chrome installed. The software Chrome downloaded would capture and send back audio data to Google, meaning that when you are running Chrome, Google has the ability to potentially eavesdrop on your conversations or pick up on nearby sound.

The issue came to light through Rich Falkvinge, the founder of the original pirate party, who said Google is installing this software onto everyone’s computer without permission. According to Falkvinge, evidence suggesting Google may have downloaded an audio software capture tool had arisen when a bug report came out with users getting error notifications that the microphone and audio capture settings were being activated by default.

Falkvinge stresses how he believes Google intentionally installed the software on computers running Chrome, which automatically switches the microphone setting “On” by default, enabling Google to listen in on conversations. He believes that Google has silently installed black box code into the open-source Chromium browser which the closed-source Google Chrome is built off, meaning the browser comes with pre-compiled code were unable of verifying.

Chrome’s extension in question is “Chrome Hotword,” an extension responsible for activated Google’s signature “OK Google” functionality.

‘Ok Google’ is a feature that has enabled millions to search throughout Google via their voice, but the feature can also allow Google to eavesdrop on conversations made by end users.

Falkvinge says the black box code enables a feature that can activate search functions through the browser when you speak “OK Google,” however the listener is always active.

“Your computer has been stealth configured to send what was being said in your room to somebody else, to a private company in another country, without your consent or knowledge,” Falkvinge said.

Falkvinge said Google’s voice command feature could capture audio which is then examined by Google’s servers, not your computer. This means Google Chrome would have the ability to consistently stream live audio feeds from wherever the computer is located. All of the data transactions would occur without the end users knowledge.

Following recent accusations, Google stood up trying to defend themselves saying the “OK Google” feature is an extension you choose to opt-in.

“First and foremost, while we do download the hotword module on startup, we do not activate it unless you opt into hotwording,” a Google team member said in their development forums. “If you go into ‘chrome://settings,’ you will see a checkbox ‘Enable ‘Ok Google’ to start a voice search. This should be unchecked by default, and if you do not check it, the hotword module will not be started.”

Google further argued how Chrome is not open source and if any open source distributors, such as Debian, have issues with it, they must disable the modules themselves.

However, after the amass of complaints how Google Chrome automatically installed Chrome Hotword without an opt-out feature, Debian mitigated the issue by disabling the extension by default in their latest distribution of Chrome.

Google has allegedly offered up a way to solve the problem and opt-out of their program, but given the fact that the program was secretly installed without users’ knowledge, most affected may never know their computers are wire-tapped grounds.

Falkvinge made a fair counterargument during his findings, stating it’s possible that data recorded is not sent to Google til the voice command was enabled. A reader told Falkvinge that while monitoring outgoing traffic, they ware able to identify the audio listener is not sending everything you say to Google Chrome from your computer.

It was made clear that Falkvinge laid immense stress on the fact that Google downloaded black box code to your computer without consent or knowledge, enabling your microphone, allowing them to listen in on any conversation.

Sources:
http://www.inquisitr.com/2189902/google-chrome-may-have-stealthily-downloaded-an-audio-listener-to-your-computer-that-listens-to-your-room-report/
[Photo via Stephen Shankland/Flickr [CC BY 2.0]]

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