LMAO – Funny Friday Rollup!

The federal government sold your Social Security Number for FIVE dollars

Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most absurd and concerning stories we are following this week.

Equifax fined $700 million… for 147 million person data breach

Do you remember back in 2017 when Equifax (the giant consumer credit agency) admitted that it had been breached?

Hackers broke into Equifax’s databases and stole personal and financial records of 147 million people.

And we’re talking EVERYTHING– names, addresses, Social Security Numbers… all the ingredients that an identity thief needs to destroy your life.

Equifax was totally at fault; the company had sloppy, irresponsible controls in place to safeguard this critical personal data.

So sloppy, in fact, that the hackers had been inside their system pillaging data for 10 weeks before the company realized anything was wrong.

Perhaps that’s not such a surprise given that the company’s Chief Security Officer had zero credentials related to either IT or security.

Last week Equifax was fined $700 million by the US Federal Trade Commission.

I found this interesting, given that it took TWO YEARS for this fine to be issued… even though Equifax already admitted to wrongdoing.

(I wonder how much money the FTC wasted investigating this data breach…)

The other thing that sticks out, though, is that the $700 million fine is roughly the amount of money that Equifax used to make each year.

In 2016, for example, the last full year prior to the breach, Equifax’s operating cash flow was $796 million. And in 2015 it was $742 million.

So Equifax was fined less than a year’s profit… And by the way, that $700 million fine constitutes less than $5 for each of the 147 million people who had their data stolen.

On the black market (and in the Internet’s infamous ‘dark web’), that sort of personal data can easily fetch more than ten times that amount.

Less than half of the money will be earmarked for victims; the rest will end up in the government’s pocket.

Click here for the full story.

Obesity is a “disability,” so you can’t discriminate

Some jobs are dangerous. And sometimes, they are even more dangerous when you are unhealthy, or obese.

A company in Washington required health screening before hiring a railroad technician. They had preset health standards for the job, for the safety of employees.

One man was given preliminary approval for the job, but his health screening revealed that he was considered obese by medical standards.

Instead of downright rejecting the man for the job, the company explained that it would still hire him if he lost 10% of his body weight.

Naturally, the man sued, claiming discrimination.

And now the Washington Supreme Court agreed that obesity is a covered disability, protected under the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

“It is illegal for employers in Washington to refuse to hire qualified potential employees because the employer perceives them to be obese. . .” even when being physically fit is a necessary job requirement.

Click here for the full story.

FaceApp was fun… now they own your face

The mobile phone app “FaceApp” has been hugely popular as of late; it allows users to upload images of their own faces, and, through digital editing, show you what your face would look like decades into the future.

It turns out that everyone who downloaded and used FaceApp gave the company a never-ending, irrevocable, royalty-free license to do whatever it wants with your name and pictures.

FaceApp could, for instance, use your picture on a billboard. Or they could edit the photo, and use it in a commercial for acne medicine. They could even put your real name next to the photo. Users gave them permission to do all of this.

But more likely, the company will sell the 150 million faces and names to whoever they want… probably a company training facial recognition programs.

Click here for the full story.

The City of Berkeley, California goes gender neutral

In the City of Berkeley, California, manholes are now maintenance holes. Craftsmen are artisans. And pregnant women have become pregnant employees.

According to a new ordinance, all words and phrases written in the official city legal code must be changed to become gender neutral.

“Language has power. And the words we use are important,” the local politician who introduced the provision said.

That’s true. Which is why we have specific words that clearly refer to particular objects and ideas.

For instance, fraternities and sororities are supposed to refer to different things. But they are now known in Berkeley as “collegiate Greek system residencies.”

Click here for the full story.

Tulsi Gabbard Sues Google for Censorship of Ads

Tulsi Gabbard

Presidential candidate and military veteran Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is suing Google after the tech giant blocked her ads account shortly after the first Democrat presidential debate, when Gabbard became the most-searched-for candidate in the Democrat field.

Gabbard’s complaint accuses Google of censoring the candidate at the very moment when millions of Americans wanted to learn more about her. It also accuses Google of sending Gabbard’s campaign emails to people’s Gmail spam folders at a “disproportionately high rate.”

The campaign seeks a legal injunction against Google to prevent further election meddling, as well as $50 million in damages.

Via Gabbard’s legal complaint against Google:

At the height of Gabbard’s popularity among Internet searchers in the immediate hours after the debate ended, and in the thick of the critical post-debate period (when television viewers, radio listeners, newspaper read-ers, and millions of other Americans are discussing and searching for presidential candidates), Google suspended Tulsi’s Google Ads account without warning.

For hours, as millions of Americans searched Google for information about Tulsi, and as Tulsi was trying, through Google, to speak to them, her Google Ads account was arbitrarily and forcibly taken offline. Throughout this period, the Campaign worked frantically to gather more information about the suspension; to get through to someone at Google who could get the Account back online; and to understand and remedy the restraint that had been placed on Tulsi’s speech—at precisely the moment when everyone wanted to hear from her.

The Gabbard campaign’s legal complaint cites Breitbart News reporting to highlight Google’s interference in the democratic process. The complaint cites the Google Tape, an hour-long recording of Google executives’ reactions to the 2016 general election obtained by this reporter and published by Breitbart News last September, and Google employees’ campaign to ban Breitbart from Google Ads, an effort that was revealed by Breitbart News last year.

The legal complaint argues that Google could have a nefarious impact on American democracy if its behavior is allowed to continue unchecked. This is the viewpoint of Dr. Robert Epstein, who says the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe will “go all out” to influence the 2020 election.

In a series of Tweets, the Hawaii Democrat said Google’s actions “reveals the danger of their dominance & how the dominance of big tech over public discourse threatens core American values.”

Tulsi Gabbard

@TulsiGabbard

TULSI2020: In the hours following the 1st debate, while millions of Americans searched for info about Tulsi, Google suspended her search ad account w/o explanation. It is vital to our democracy that big tech companies can’t affect the outcome of elections http://tulsi.to/tulsi-vs-google 

6,778 people are talking about this

Tulsi Gabbard

@TulsiGabbard

2/3 – controls 88% of internet search in the US — giving it control over our access to information. Google’s arbitrary suspension of the account of a presidential candidate should be of concern to all Americans. http://tulsi.to/tulsi-vs-google 

Tulsi Gabbard

@TulsiGabbard

3/3 – Google’s discrimination against our campaign reveals the danger of their dominance & how the dominance of big tech over public discourse threatens core American values. They threaten our democracy & will fight back on behalf of all Americans. http://tulsi.to/tulsi-vs-google 

1,256 people are talking about this

According to the complaint, “Google could unilaterally and decisively end a presidential candidate’s bid for office if it chose to, for example by tweaking its search algorithm to disfavor the candidate; or blocking the candidate from its ad platforms; or keeping the candidate’s communications from getting to interested voters who use Gmail for email communications.”

Are you a source at Amazon, Facebook, Google, or any other corporation who wants to confidentially share information about wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Breitbart Senior Technology correspondent Allum Bokhari at allumbokhari@protonmail.com. Use a free Protonmail to ensure your message is encrypted. 

These Questions for Mueller Show Why Russiagate Was Never the Answer

By Aaron Maté

July 24, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  ”For two years, Democrats have waited on Robert Mueller to deliver a death blow to the Trump presidency,” The New York Times observed on July 20. “On Wednesday, in back-to-back hearings with the former special counsel, that wish could face its final make-or-break moment.” The very fact that Democrats had to subpoena Mueller in order to create this final moment should in fact be the final reminder of what a mistake it was for Democrats to have waited on him. If Mueller had incriminating information yet to share, or had been stymied from doing his work, or if Attorney General William Barr had somehow misrepresented his findings, then it stands to reason that Mueller would be welcoming the opportunity to appear before Congress, not resisting it. The reality is that Mueller’s investigation did not indict anyone on the Trump campaign for collusion with Russia, or even for anything related to the 2016 election. Mueller’s report found no evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy, and even undermined the case for it.

That said, there are unresolved matters that Mueller’s testimony could help clarify. Mueller claimed to have established that the Russian government conducted “a sweeping and systematic” interference campaign in order to elect Trump, yet the contents of his report don’t support that allegation. The Mueller report repeatedly excludes countervailing information in order to suggest, misleadingly, that the Trump campaign had suspect “links” and “ties” to people connected with Russia. And Mueller and other intelligence officials involved in the Russia probe made questionable investigative decisions that are worthy of scrutiny. To address these issues, here are some questions that Mueller could be asked.

I should note that missing from my list is anything related to obstruction. This topic will surely dominate Democrats’ line of questioning, but I view it as secondary and more appropriate for a law school seminar. The core issue of the Mueller investigation is alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s potential coordination with it. The obstruction issue only began to dominate after it was clear that Mueller had found no such conspiracy. Although the report does show examples of Trump’s stated intent to impede the Mueller investigation, the probe itself was unhindered.

There is also the fact that Mueller himself declined to make a call on obstruction, and even presented arguments that could be used to refute it. The obstruction section of the report notes that Trump was not “involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” Although not dispositive, Mueller says that “the absence of that evidence affects the analysis of the President’s intent and requires consideration of other possible motives for his conduct.” In a joint statement with Barr, Mueller also made clear that “he was not saying that, but for the [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice.” Accordingly, I see no reason why congressional Democrats are so confident that Mueller found otherwise.

  1. Why did you suggest that juvenile clickbait from a Russian troll farm was part of a “sweeping and systematic” Russian government interference effort?
  2. The Mueller report begins by declaring that “[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” A few paragraphs later, Mueller tells us that Russian interference occurred “principally through two operations.” The first of these operations was “a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton,” carried out by a Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

    The inference here is that the IRA was a part of the Russian government’s “sweeping and systematic” interference campaign. Yet Mueller’s team has been forced to admit in court that this was a false insinuation. Earlier this month, a federal judge rebuked Mueller and the Justice Department for having “improperly suggested a link” between IRA and the Kremlin. US District Judge Dabney Friedrich noted that Mueller’s February 2018 indictment of the IRA “does not link the [IRA] to the Russian government” and alleges “only private conduct by private actors.” Jonathan Kravis, a senior prosecutor on the Mueller team, acknowledged that this is the case. “[T]he report itself does not state anywhere that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency activity,” Kravis told the court.

    Kravis is correct. The Mueller report did not state that the Kremlin was behind the social media campaign; it only disingenuously suggested it. Mueller also goes to great lengths to paint it as a sophisticated operation that “had the ability to reach millions of U.S. persons.” Yet, as we already know, most of the Russian social media content was juvenile clickbait that had nothing to do with the election (only 7 percent of IRA’s Facebook posts mentioned either Trump or Clinton). There is also no evidence that the political content reached a mass audience, and to the extent it reached anyone, most of it occurred after the election.

    2. Are you still convinced that the GRU stole Democratic Party e-mails and transferred them to Wikileaks?

    Between the initial July 2018 indictment of 12 GRU officers for the DNC e-mail theft and Mueller’s March 2019 report, some wiggle room appears. As I wrote this month for RealClearInvestigations, Mueller’s report uses qualified, vague language to describe the alleged GRU theft of Democratic Party e-mails, offers an implausible timeline for when Wikileaks may havereceived the e-mails from the GRU, and acknowledges that Mueller has not actually established how WikiLeaks acquired the stolen information.

    3. Why didn’t you interview Julian Assange?

    The uncertainty in Mueller’s account of how WikiLeaks received the stolen e-mails could possibly have been cleared up had Mueller attempted to interview Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder insists that the Russian government was not his source, and has repeatedly offered to speak to US investigators. Given that Assange received and published the stolen emails at the heart of Mueller’s investigation, his absence from Mueller’s voluminous witness sheet is a glaring omission.

    4. Why did you imply that key figures were Russian agents, and leave out countervailing information, including their (more) extensive Western ties?

    In the report, Mueller goes to great lengths to insinuate—without directly asserting—that two key figures in the Trump-Russia affair, Konstanin Kilimnik and Joseph Mifsud, acted as Kremlin agents or intermediaries. In the process, he omits or minimizes extensive evidence that casts doubt on their supposed Russia connections or makes clear their far more extensive Western ties. Mueller ignores the fact that the State Department described Kilimnik as a “sensitive source” who was regularly supplying inside information on Ukrainian politics. And Mueller emphasizes that Mifsud “had connections to Russia” and “maintained various Russian contacts,” but doesn’t ever mention that he has deep connections in Western intelligence and diplomatic circles.

    Stephan Roh, a Swiss lawyer who has previously represented Mifsud, has maintained that Mifsud “is not a Russian spy but a Western intelligence co-operator.” Whatever the case, it is puzzling that Mueller emphasized Mifsud’s “connections to Russia” but ignored his connections to governments in the West. It’s also baffling that none of this was clarified when the FBI interviewed Mifsud in February 2017—which raises a whole new question for Mueller.

    5. Why did you indict several Trump officials for perjury, but not Joseph Mifsud?

    Adding to the puzzle surrounding Mifsud is Mueller’s revelation that Mifsud made false statements to FBI investigators when they interviewed him in February 2017. (Mifsud was in Washington, DC, for a conference sponsored by the State Department, yet one more Western “connection” that has gone overlooked). If Mifsud really was a Russian agent, then it was always a mystery why he was not arrested then, nor indicted since. And given that Mueller indicted others for lying to the FBI—foremost George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn—it is unclear why Mifsud was not.

    6. Why did you omit the fact that Rob Goldstone’s offer to Donald Jr.—”official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia” as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”—was “publicist puff” (in other words, a lie)?

    Mueller devotes a 13-page section to the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, where Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with Russian nationals after Trump Jr. was promised “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.” Mueller says that “the meeting showed that the Campaign anticipated receiving information from Russia that could assist candidate Trump’s electoral prospects,” but acknowledges that the Russians present “did not provide such information.”

    What Mueller conspicuously does not acknowledge is that the information “that the Campaign anticipated receiving from Russia” was in fact fictional, and not from Russia. The offer came from British music publicist Rob Goldstone, who was tasked with securing the meeting at the request of his Russian pop star client, Emin Agalarov. In an act of what he called “publicist puff,” Goldstone said he about “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” that would later be widely described as “the smoking gun” for collusion.

    Goldstone told me this week that he was disappointed that Mueller chose to omit that critical part of his testimony. “I told them that I had used my PR, puffed-up flourish in order to get Don Jr.’s attention,” Goldstone said. Mueller’s decision to exclude that, Goldstone added, is a “shame.… It would have been opportunity to have closure on that.”

    7. Did the Trump campaign receive any Russian government offers of assistance from anyone actually acting on behalf of the Russian government?

    The Mueller report obscures the absence of contacts between Trump and Russian government intermediaries with ambiguous, suggestive assertions that the investigation “identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign,” or “identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign.”

    But the cases of Konstantin Kilimnik, Joseph Mifsud, and Rob Goldstone underscore a rather inconvenient fact for proponents of the theory that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government: There are zero documented cases of Trump officials interacting with actual Kremlin intermediaries making actual offers of assistance. The only Kremlin officials or representatives shown to interact with the Trump camp in any significant way before the election are the Russian ambassador who had routine encounters and a Kremlin assistant who declined Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s request for assistance on the failed Trump Tower Moscow project.

    8. Were US intelligence officials compromised by Russophobia?

    Key US officials behind the Russia investigation have made no secret of their animus towards Russia. “I do always hate the Russians,” Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer on the Russia probe, testified to Congress in July 2018. “It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life.” As he opened the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russians in July 2016, FBI agent Peter Strzok texted Page: “fuck the cheating motherfucking Russians… Bastards. I hate them… I think they’re probably the worst. Fucking conniving cheating savages.” Speaking to NBC News in May 2017, former director of national intelligence James Clapper explained why US officials saw interactions between the Trump camp and Russian nationals as a cause for alarm: “The Russians,” Clapper said, “almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned.” In a May interview with Lawfare, former FBI general counsel Jim Baker, who helped oversee the Russia probe, explained the origins of the investigation as follows: “It was about Russia, period, full stop.… When the [George] Papadopoulos information comes across our radar screen, it’s coming across in the sense that we were always looking at Russia.… we’ve been thinking about Russia as a threat actor for decades and decades.”

    The fixation with Russia was so great that, as The New York Times revealed in January, on top of the FBI’s initial probe in the summer of 2016, the bureau opened a second probe in May of 2017 over whether or not Trump himself was “working on behalf of Russia against American interests.” The Times story makes no allusion to any evidence underlying the FBI’s concern. Instead, we learn that FBI was “disquieted” by a “constellation of events,” all public:

    Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

    This account is remarkable not just because it shows that the FBI opened up an extraordinary investigation of the president of the United States as agent of Russia based on its interpretation of public events. It also shows that their interpretation of those public events involved several errors—Trump’s July 2016 comment was a joke, and the story about the GOP platform change wasoverblown (and later undermined in practice when Trump sold the weapons to Ukraine, a move President Obama had opposed).

    The fact that so many key officials carry such xenophobic animus toward Russia—to the point where they felt compelled to act on erroneous interpretations of public events—raised legitimate questions about whether their personal biases influenced their professional decisions.

    The same could be asked about the influential media and political voices who, despite the absent evidence and sheer absurdity of their conspiracy theory, elevated Russiagate as the dominant political issue of the Trump presidency. Whatever questions they may have left for Mueller, the now former special counsel and savior figure has made clear that he is not the answer.

    Portions of this column are adapted from an article that originally appeared in Le Monde Diplomatique.

    This article was originally published by “The Nation” –

 

==See Also==

Aaron Maté’s Questions for Mueller

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Robert Mueller: Democrats’ Collusion with Russia ‘Outside My Purview’

Interesting turn of events…..

Robert Mueller 2 (Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty)

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller told the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly on Wednesday morning that the potential collusion between Democrats and Russians in the 2016 presidential election was “outside my purview.”

Though his mandate required him to investigate Russian interference in the election without specific reference to a particular candidate or party, Mueller made it clear he had only investigated President Donald Trump’s campaign.

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Under questioning by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Mueller seemed confused, at times, about the very question:

Chabot: When you talk about the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?

Mueller: I’m not familiar with that.

Chabot: It’s not a trick question. It was Fusion GPS. It produced the opposition research document widely known as the Steele dossier and the owner of Fusion GPS was someone named Glen Simpson. Are you familiar with — ?

Mueller: That’s outside of my purview.

Chabot: Glen Simpson was never mentioned in the 448-page Mueller report, was he?

Mueller: Well, aI said, it’s out outside my purview and it’s being handled in the department by others.

Chabot: He was not. 448 pages, the owner of Fusion GPS that did the Steele dossier that started all this, he’s not mentioned in there. Let me move on. At the same time, Fusion GPS was working to collect opposition research on Donald Trump from foreign sources on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It also was representing a Russian-based company, Prevezon, which had been sanctioned by the U.S. government. Are you aware of that?

Mueller: It’s outside my purview.

Chabot: Thank you. One of the key players — I’ll go to something different — one of the key players in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was Natalia Veselnitskaya, who you described in your report as a Russian attorney who advocated for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act. Veselnitskaya had been working with none other than Glen Simpson and Fusion GPS since at least early 2014. Are you aware of that?

Mueller: That’s outside my purview.

Chabot: Thank you. You didn’t mention that or her connections to Glen Simpson at Fusion GPS in your report at all. Let me move on. Now, NBC News has reported the following: quote, “Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya says she first received the supposedly incriminating information she brought to Trump Tower describing alleged tax evasion and donation to Democrats from none other than Glen Simpson, the Fusion GPS owner. You didn’t include that in the report and I assume —

Mueller: This is a matter being handled by others in the Department of Justice.

Chabot: Thank you, Now, your report spends 14 pages discussing the June 9th, 2016, Trump Tower meeting. It would be fair to say, would it not, that you spent significant resources investigating that meeting?

Mueller: I refer you to the report.

Chabot: OK. And President Trump wasn’t at the meeting.

Mueller: No. He was not.

Chabot: Thank you. In stark contrast to the actions of the Trump campaign, we know that the Clinton campaign did pay Fusion GPS to gatther dirt on the Trump campaign from persons associated with foreign governments. But your report doesn’t mention a thing about Fusion GPS in it. And you didn’t investigate Fusion GPS’s connections to Russia. So let me ask you this: can you see that from neglecting to mention Glen Simpson and Fusion GPS’s involvement with the Clinton campaign to focusing on a brief meeting at the Trump Tower that produced nothing to ignoring the Clinton campaign’s own ties to Fusion GPS why some view your report as a pretty one-sided attack on the president?

Chabot: Well, I tell you — It’s still outside my purview.

Mueller: I would just note finally that I guess it is by chance, by coincidence, the things left out of the report tended to be favorable to the president.

The hearing continued.

Quote of the day

Buddha does not die, he disappears into our concept of God. Jesus melts into the ocean of our God. And the people who are not yet awakened, they also don’t die. They have to come back again and again into some form, because the only possibility of being awakened is through forms.

The world is a context for becoming awakened, an opportunity.

Remember Atisha. He says, “Don’t wait for the opportunity” — because the world is the opportunity; we are already in it. The world is an opportunity to learn. It looks paradoxical; time is the opportunity to learn the eternal, the body is the opportunity to learn the bodiless, matter is the opportunity to learn consciousness, sex is the opportunity to learn samadhi. The whole existence is an opportunity.

Rajneesh

Oh Bernie, say it ain’t so!

by Frank Holmes, reporter

What would Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-V.T., say if a millionaire who owns three houses campaigned for public office on a promise he’d give workers a huge wage hike — but then paid his own staff “poverty wages”?

If he was honest, Bernie would look in the mirror and say, “That’s me!”

And now he’s facing down a lawsuit that could end his political career for good.

Sanders has backed the $15 an hour minimum wage in Washington, San Francisco Portland, Chicago — everywhere except in his own campaign.

It turns out the Vermont socialist paid his own workers less than what he demands of everybody else. He was recently shamed into paying up, even though his campaign claims they can’t afford it.

Sanders staffers publicly complaining about how stingy he is with his own money humiliated Sanders and left him steaming. He got revenge by cutting their pay!

Sanders’ campaign workers formed a union and have been protesting since at least May about their pay.

It turns out Bernie only pays his own people about $13 an hour. They’re expected to work 60 hours a week for it.

They tried to work things out, but they say Bernie Sanders sandbagged them.

So they released a letter the union rep wrote to Sanders campaign manager, Faiz Shakir.

It said that Bernie “expected to build the largest grassroots organizing program in American history while making poverty wages.”

“Given our campaign’s commitment to fighting for a living wage of at least $15.00 an hour, we believe it is only fair that the campaign would carry through this commitment to its own field team,” he wrote.

That made Bernie look like a major league hypocrite, since he’d demanded every small business and mom-and-pop corner store pay its workers $15 an hour, no matter how much they’re struggling to get by.

Bernie—who made more than $1 million in 2016 and 2017—campaigned to force employers to give people more than he’s giving his own people.

Just last month, he busted into a Walmart shareholders meeting and accused them of paying “starvation wages”—but it turns out he was paying his own workers “poverty wages.”

Sanders stood with fast-food workers to say that “McDonald’s, a company that took in $1.4bn in profit and paid its CEO $22m” can “pay its workers a living wage” of $15 an hour.

Now, Bernie Sanders has Egg McMuffin on his face.

The labor dispute also gave Bernie’s political enemies high-caliber ammunition to use against him.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Tex., couldn’t tell if Bernie was guilt of “hypocrisy, irony, or poetic justice.”

Bernie knew he had to do something—fast. So he screwed his staffers over for embarrassing him.

He worked out a deal that actually cut their paychecks!

The Des Moines Register reported that, after their benefits were figured in, the average Sanders campaign worker made “about $17 an hour.”

But “Sanders said the campaign will limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 each week to ensure they’re making the equivalent of $15 an hour.”

Got that? Bernie Sanders cut their hours — and thus their pay — for bad-mouthing him in the media.

Bernie told the paper he’s mad as hell at his workers.

“It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media—that is really not acceptable,” Sanders told the paper.

Sanders said going to the media during “labor negotiations” is “improper.”

Somebody should have told Sanders that when he joined striking McDonald’s and Verizon workers during the 2016 campaign, and again this campaign when he’s gone to the media about McDonald’s and Amazon Prime.

More hypocrisy, Bernie?

Critics say that all Americans would feel the same pain that Bernie Sanders inflicted on his workers when he took revenge if a $15 minimum wage becomes law.

This month a Congressional Budget Office report noted, a $15 minimum wage would destroy up to 3.7 million jobs and reduce real “family income in 2025 by $9 billion.”

Bernie will probably blame the businesses who fire their workers for doing the same thing he’s doing right now.

But if Crazy Bernie wants to get mad at somebody for stiffing workers, he can look in a mirror.

Frank Holmes is a reporter for The Horn News.

Quote of the day

The child is innocent, that is his core. The youth is overflowing with energy, that is his core. And the old man has seen all, lived all, known all; wisdom has arisen, that is his core. But his wisdom contains something of his youth; it is also overflowing, it is radiant, it is vibrant, it is pulsating, it is alive. And it also has something of the child; it is innocence.

If the old man is not young also, then he has only aged. He has grown in time, in age, but he has not attained. He has missed. If the old man is not innocent like the child, if his eyes don’t show that crystal clarity of innocence, then he has not yet lived. That’s what Jesus meant when he said “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

If you live totally, cunningness and cleverness disappear, and trust arises. These are the criteria to know whether one has lived or not. The child never dies but only is metamorphosed. The youth never dies, there is only a new mutation again. And do you think the old man dies? Yes, the body disappears because it has served its purpose, but the consciousness continues the journey.

Rajneesh

Living like a Hollywood king in Bangkok, Thailand

 

The first time I met Steven Seagal, it was in the lobby of a posh hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

He came downstairs sharply dressed, complete with his yellow-tinged ‘Tony Stark’ sunglasses, ready to hit the nightclubs for the evening.

My friend Adam introduced us. Steven bowed to me, and, slightly puzzled, I bowed back, unsure if we were saying hello or preparing to engage in ritualistic combat.

Fortunately it was the former, and Steven left shortly after for one night in Bangkok.

He was in town shooting a movie my friend Adam was producing. Adam has a really wonderful business, as a matter of fact.

His production company is based in Thailand where EVERYTHING is cheaper. So they’re able to produce films for a fraction of the cost of a western production budget.

But at the same time, his Thai crews are highly talented– sound engineers, camera operators, makeup artists… they’re excellent. So Adam’s company is able to achieve excellent production quality but pay almost nothing for it.

I went to their set last week when I was in Thailand; they had taken over one of Bangkok’s most prominent train stations to shoot a few scenes with a well-known Western actor, and I found the professionalism of the crew to be extremely impressive.

It’s not difficult for Adam to enlist Hollywood stars to come to Thailand for a few weeks of shooting. People generally adore Thailand and relish any opportunity to spend time in the country.

But perhaps best of all, he’s one of just a handful of companies doing this.

If he were in Hollywood, he’d be competing against countless other production companies, paying exorbitant prices for everything, and constantly battling with unions.

But in Thailand he’s an industry leader with a great business model; as an example, Adam explained to me on the set last week that the movie had been pre-sold to a major international distributor.

In other words, there was already a built-in profit before they had even started production.

This is a pretty big departure from most films, which dump enormous amounts of money into production with no guarantee of commercial success at the box office.

So my friend has carved out a pretty great niche for himself.

And to me, his story is a great example of some of the many benefits of going abroad.

Being overseas often unlocks some very rich, wonderful experiences you’d never enjoy otherwise– different cultures, language proficiency, lower cost of living, etc.

But from a business perspective, being abroad can often lead to much greater commercial success, much faster, and with less risk.

I would include myself in that category; the agriculture business I founded here in Chile a few years ago has already grown to become one of the top producers in the world in its industry.

And there’s just no way I would have been able to achieve the same thing had I started the company in North America or Europe.

My colleagues in the United States who are in the same industry pay 10x to 50x more for an acre of land in California or Washington State than what we paid down here in Chile.

Their labor costs are easily 10x higher. Their regulatory burden is insane.

And yet, because we sell a product with a global market, we generate the same amount of revenue in Chile as they do in the United States.

This means that our start-up costs are lower, our risk is lower, and our long-term profitability is much higher.

The same lesson applies to investing– which is something you can take advantage of without ever leaving your living room.

While most western markets are teetering on all-time highs with investors paying near-record multiples for every dollar of a company’s average long-term earnings, there are overlooked pockets of value all over the world where patient investors can buy shares of high quality companies at major discounts.

Even something as mundane as banking can often be better, safer, and more profitable overseas.

Depositors in Europe and the United States, for example, suffer from pitifully low interest rates in their bank accounts (which in some cases are even NEGATIVE).

Yet there are some banking systems overseas that are extremely well capitalized, liquid, guaranteed by a solvent, cash-rich government or insurance fund… and pay interest rates in the mid to high single digits.

However few people ever consider the prospect of doing business, banking, or investing abroad.

That’s because– especially in North America and Europe– people often grow up with a certain sense of exceptionalism.

It’s almost a prized cultural value in the West for people to believe that their country is the best at everything… so they deliberately close themselves off to any opportunity beyond their own borders.

This might be a nice idea when it comes to sports. Everyone wants to cheer for their home country’s national team.

But this type of thinking has no place in business or finance.

The world is a big place, and there are a LOT of options out there.

Think about where you live right now– most likely you didn’t end up there by accident.

You probably carefully considered a number of different housing options, even different cities, balancing job prospects, the local school system, proximity to other family members, etc. before finally deciding on where you would settle and raise your family.

You can go through the same analysis when it comes to your business, your savings, and your investments: when you weigh all the different factors, where is the BEST place for them to call home?

If you open your mind to the entire world, the answer just might surprise you.

Quote of the day

In light of Trump’s recent comments regarding Squad of 4 Democrat congresswomen, perhaps he can take Osho’s words to heart.

“Life should be lived without views, life should be lived in immediate contact with reality. But if it is not possible, then at least don’t have wrong views. What are wrong views? Views which are rooted in prejudice, hate, anger, greed, ambition, violence.

The first thing is, don’t have any kind of views. Live life without a philosophy to live by.

No philosophy is needed to live life; in fact the best and most glorious life is the life which is lived without any philosophy — simple, innocent, spontaneous.

But if it is not possible right now, then start by at least dropping wrong views. Don’t live through prejudice, don’t live through anger, don’t live through hatred, don’t live through greed and ambition, don’t live through dreams. Be more real, more realistic. Be a little more alert and watchful, watching each act cautiously, because each act creates a chain of actions. Whatsoever you do will remain in the world even when you are gone, because the chain will continue. If you cannot do something beautiful in the world, at least don’t do something ugly.

-Rajneesh