RRND Email Full Text (Scheduled)

  • “US Marshals” gang hires new fence for stolen cryptocurrency

    Source: Bitcoin.com

    “The United States Marshals Service (USMS) has selected Anchorage Digital to provide custody for cryptocurrencies [stolen] in criminal cases, the crypto custody firm announced Wednesday. … The services include ‘custody, liquidation, and such activities as accounting, customer management, audit compliance, managing blockchain forks, wallet creation, transformation of token assets into coin assets, etc., as well as future actions associated with the virtual currency [theft] process,’ the company detailed. Prior to hiring Anchorage, the USMS awarded the crypto custody contract to Bitgo in April, after spending more than a year seeking a custodian and financial services provider for its stockpile of [stolen] crypto assets. … According to CNBC, the Marshals Service has [stolen] and sold more than 185,000 bitcoins worth more than $7.2 billion since about 2014. Venture capitalist Tim Draper won the USMS auction of 30,000 [stolen] bitcoins from the now-defunct Silk Road in 2014.” (07/29/21)


  • Cyber Ninjas says it has received $5.7 million in private donations to fund Arizona “audit” stunt

    Source: Business Insider

    “The company contracted to audit the 2020 presidential election result in Arizona’s Maricopa County has said that it had received $5.7 million from pro-Trump groups toward the effort, according to multiple reports. Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan announced the figures on Wednesday following an extensive request for documentation from Congress'[s] Oversight and Reform Committee. The ballot audit has run since April 22 after Arizona’s GOP-led Senate contracted the cybersecurity company for a nominal taxpayer-paid fee of $150,000. However, the company — which had no prior experience in election audits — was also allowed to collect donations toward the effort.” (07/29/21)


  • Palestine: Israeli occupation troops murder man during attack on funeral for previous murder victim

    Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

    “Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man in clashes that erupted on Thursday during the funeral of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy shot dead by soldiers a day earlier, the Palestinian health ministry said. ‘Shawkat Khalid Awad, 20, died of gunshot wounds to the head and stomach in Beit Ummar,’ the Palestinian health ministry said. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades at Palestinians attending the funeral of Mohammed al-Alami, 12, a Palestinian boy killed the day before in the occupied West Bank. Alami died on Wednesday after being shot by Israeli soldiers while travelling in a car with his father in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar northwest of Hebron, Palestinian authorities said.” (07/29/21)


  • Pakistan: Regime to ban public sector, education, malls, air travel for unvaccinated

    Source: Reuters

    “Pakistan will ban air travel for anyone without a COVID-19 vaccine certificate from Aug.1 and will require all public sector workers to get vaccinated by Aug. 31, the government announced on Thursday along with a host of other restrictions. From Aug. 1, unvaccinated people will no longer be allowed to enter government offices, schools, restaurants and shopping malls, said Asad Umar, who heads National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), a military-run body that oversees the pandemic response, at a joint news conference with the health minister in Islamabad. Teachers and students above 18, public transport and retail staff will also be required to get vaccinated by the end of August, they said.” (07/29/21)


  • NM: Longtime legislator is focus of criminal investigation

    Source: Durango Herald & Journal

    “Authorities are investigating longtime New Mexico legislator Sheryl Williams Stapleton’s possibly illegal connections to a company that received more than $5 million in contracts to do business with the school district where she works and whether she got financial kickbacks. Authorities executed search warrants at the Albuquerque Public Schools offices and Stapleton’s home this week as part of a criminal investigation into alleged racketeering, money laundering, illegal kickbacks and possible violations of a law governing the conduct of state lawmakers. No charges have been filed against Stapleton, the No. 2 Democrat in the state House and a member of the chamber’s education committees. Stapleton, a former teacher, began serving in the Legislature in 1995.” (07/29/21)


  • Commerce Department: US GDP increased at 6.5% pace in the second quarter, well below expectations

    Source: CNBC

    “The U.S. economy rose at a disappointing rate in the second quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday in a sign that the U.S. has escaped the shackles of the Covid-19 pandemic but still has more work to do. Gross domestic product, a measure of all goods and services produced during the April-to-June period, accelerated 6.5% on an annualized basis. That was slightly better than the 6.3% gain in the first quarter, which was revised down narrowly.” (07/29/21)


  • Brazil: Regime begins mass vaccine study in poor Rio neighborhood

    Source: San Francisco Chronicle

    “Brazilian health authorities on Thursday began the mass immunization of Rio de Janeiro’s Mare neighborhood in a novel bid to control COVID-19 in a poor community while studying vaccine effectiveness and the prevalence of worrisome variants. The bayside Mare complex is comprised of more than a dozen so-called favelas and home to some 130,000 people, and the study is Brazil’s first to target a low-income area. The Brazilian researchers leading the effort aren’t aware of another elsewhere in the world that has specifically focused on slums. Rio is currently providing first vaccine doses to 34-year-olds. As such, the Brazilian government’s Fiocruz Institute aims to inoculate more than 30,000 Mare residents aged 18 to 33, and bring vaccine coverage of the adult population to near 100%, according to Dr. Fernando Bozza, the study’s coordinator.” (07/29/21)


  • Spain: Judge recommends Shakira face trial for allegedly avoiding extortion scheme

    Source: WGNO News

    “A Spanish judge investigating alleged tax fraud by Colombian musician Shakira recommended on Thursday that the case go to trial after concluding there is evidence that the pop star could have avoided her fiscal obligations [sic] to the state. … Prosecutors charged the singer in December 2019 with not paying 14.5 million euros ($16.4 million) in taxes in Spain between 2012 and 2014, when she lived mostly in the country despite having an official residence in Panama. Shakira, 44, denied any wrongdoing when she testified in June 2019. Her public relations firm said that she had immediately paid what she owed [sic] once she was informed of the debt by [sic] the Tax Office.” (07/29/21)


  • Tunisia: Saied wants corrupt tycoons to fund poor regions

    Source: US News & World Report

    “Tunisia’s president is proposing that hundreds of tycoons suspected of embezzlement reach a deal with the state to finance public hospitals, schools and development projects in poor regions to avoid convictions. President Kais Saied seized new political powers this week and is trying to tackle the corruption and tax evasion that have long plagued the economy, notably in the lucrative phosphate sector and food trading. Saied is also seeking to counter accusations that his surprise decision to fire the prime minister and suspend parliament amounts to a coup. He insisted Wednesday on the ‘provisional’ nature of the move and on his attachment to the freedoms and rights guaranteed in the Tunisian Constitution, created after protesters overthrew a dictator in 2011. The country is considered the only democratic success story resulting from the Arab Spring uprisings that year.” (07/29/21)


  • AK: Quake produces prolonged shaking, small tsunami

    Source: WFMJ 21 News

    “A powerful earthquake which struck just off Alaska’s southern coast caused prolonged shaking and prompted tsunami warnings that sent people scrambling for shelters. Residents reported only minor damage, but officials said that could change after sunrise and people get a better look. The National Tsunami Warning Center canceled the warnings early Thursday when the biggest wave, of just over a half foot, was recorded in Old Harbor. A tsunami warning that had also been issued for Hawaii was also canceled, and officials said there was no threat to Guam, American Samoa or the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. … The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was magnitude 8.2 and hit 56 miles (91 kilometers) east southeast of Perryville, Alaska at about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. The quake was about 29 miles (46 kilometers) below the surface of the ocean, according to USGS.” (07/29/21)


  • MA: McCarrick criminally charged for alleged sex abuse of a minor nearly 50 years ago

    Source: CNN

    “Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked by The Vatican in 2019 over sex abuse allegations, is now facing criminal charges in Massachusetts for alleged sex abuse of a minor nearly 50 years ago, according to a court filing. According to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday, McCarrick is charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14. The complaint was filed by Wellesley Police in Dedham District Court. … The complaint states that the victim told investigators that McCarrick repeatedly sexually abused him over the years, including when he was an adult, with abuse that took place in nearby Newton, Massachusetts, when he was older. The criminal charges make McCarrick the highest-ranking Catholic official in the US to face criminal charges for sex abuse of a minor, according to the unnamed victim’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.” (07/29/21)


  • North Korea: Senior military official reappears after absence, rebuke

    Source: United Press International

    “A North Korean official who may have been upbraided by Kim Jong Un in June for poor COVID-19 planning was shown at the North Korean leader’s side during Kim’s visit to the Sino-Korean Friendship Tower in Pyongyang. Ri Pyong Chol, identified as vice chairman of the Central Military Commission last year, was mentioned in a report of Kim’s visit in Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Thursday. Pak Jong Chon, chief of the North Korean military’s general staff and a member of the Politburo, also accompanied the North Korean leader, according to the Rodong. Ri and Pak were seen in June not voting at a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party last month, prompting speculation in the South about their possible demotion.” (07/29/21)


  • Groups Urge US Ban on Corporate Facial Surveillance

    Source: Common Dreams

    “Citing Amazon’s practices as an alarming example, dozens of advocacy groups on Thursday urged U.S. regulators to outlaw corporate use of facial surveillance technology, ‘ban continuous surveillance in places of public accommodation, and stop industry-wide data abuse.’ ‘Rule-making is needed to stop widespread systematic surveillance, discrimination, lax security, tracking of individuals, and the sharing of data,’ nearly 50 civil rights, racial justice, and anti-surveillance organizations argue in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, warning that ‘until the FTC acts, no one is safe.’ ‘While Amazon’s smart home ecosystem, facial surveillance technology, and e-learning devices provide a good case study,’ they write, ‘these rules must extend beyond this one technology corporation to include any entity collecting, using, selling, and/or sharing personal data.'” (07/29/21)


  • Let’s Reinvent the US Military for Real National Defense

    Source: Common Dreams
    by William Astore

    “As a ROTC cadet and an Air Force officer, I was a tiny part of America’s vast Department of Defense (DoD) for 24 years until I retired and returned to civilian life as a history professor. My time in the military ran from the election of Ronald Reagan to the reign of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It was defined by the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, America’s brief unipolar moment of dominance and the beginning of its end, as Washington embroiled itself in needless, disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. Throughout those years of service, I rarely thought about a question that seems ever more critical to me today: What would a real system of American national defense look like?” (07/29/21)


  • I applaud Simone Biles’s courage; I was shamed for putting my mental health first, too

    Source: Fox News Forum
    by Sheila Walsh

    “I’d been the co-host of a Christian talk show for five years, discussing the news and interviewing guests with a smile on my face — but inside I’d been falling apart a little more every day. … I was sinking deeper and deeper into the pit of severe clinical depression. I knew that I needed to get help and I needed to get it now. As I left the studio that day, one of our senior staff asked me to take a walk with him. His words weighed like lead on my soul: ‘Sheila, if you do this, you’ll never be special again. You’re the weak link in the chain. If people find out that you’ve been in a psychiatric hospital, your career is over.’ With tears pouring down my face, I told him … ‘I’m not trying to save my career. I’m trying to save my life.'” (07/29/21)


  • Make No Mistake. You Are Living Under the Perfect Censorship.

    Source: Human Events
    by Armando Simon

    “In 1991, Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel laureate from Peru, caused a firestorm on Mexican television by calling Mexico the ‘perfect dictatorship,’ a phrase that has since become iconic. He pointed out that the one-party rule in Mexico had become entrenched: the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional in Spanish, or PRI) held uninterrupted power in the country for 71 years …. Criticism — up to a point — was permitted, even encouraged, to maintain the illusion of Mexico being democratic. … many western (ironically, democratic) countries now face a similar condition — not necessarily in terms of their elections, but in terms of other freedoms that democratic electorates have grown accustomed to. Western democracies are now under perfect censorship. This process has been going on for many years, and is on the verge of being perfected in the United States.” (07/29/21)


  • Even a Short War Over Taiwan or the Baltics Would Be Devastating

    Source: Foreign Policy
    by Daniel R Mahanty

    “False promises are at the heart of making war. In August 1914, German and British soldiers were sent to the front on the false promise they would be home by Christmas, as were American soldiers shipped to Korea 36 years later. The Vietnam War and Iraq War were both started and sustained by false promises of purpose and outcome. … As the United States emerges from the shadow of the forever wars into a new era of superpower competition where war between the great powers is thinkable again, it seems to be preparing for the next war on the basis of a particularly dangerous false promise: that large numbers of civilians, including in major population centers in Asia and Europe, won’t be affected by it.” (07/29/21)


  • How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Sacklers?

    Source: The American Prospect
    by Maureen Tkacik

    “Since he began overseeing the resolution of family drug company Purdue Pharma in 2019, Bob Drain has become the most famous bankruptcy judge in America, and not in a good way. Purdue unleashed the opioid crisis from its purple-carpeted Connecticut headquarters with the 1996 introduction of its blockbuster drug OxyContin, and its billionaire owners, the Sackler family, have spent the past quarter-century enjoying a truly insane degree of impunity. In the bold tradition of elite accountability in America, Judge Drain has proposed to extend to the entire Sackler family (along with a thousand of their closest friends, lobbyists, trust funds, and limited liability corporations) blanket immunity from civil liability for the misery and death they caused, in exchange for agreeing to return about $4 billion of the $10.7 billion they have cashed out of the company since 2008.” (07/29/21)


  • Is Inflation Really a Problem?

    Source: American Institute for Economic Research
    by Alexander William Salter

    “Inflation is the current hot topic in macroeconomics, to the extent anything in macroeconomics can be “hot.” Financial, economic, and political commentators are in a tizzy over price increases. Even Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is starting to sound concerned, if his recent testimony before the Senate Banking Committee is any indication. We take it for granted that inflation is a problem. But is it? The short answer is: yes, sometimes. But these cases differ greatly from the pop macroeconomics of the man in the street. Let’s go over some common objections about inflation and discuss why economists don’t find these particularly concerning.” (07/29/21)


  • CIA Drove Spike in Media Leak Investigation Requests Under Trump

    Source: The Intercept
    by Jason Paladino

    “New data obtained by The Intercept adds considerable detail to what we already know about former President Donald Trump’s relentless campaign against whistleblowers and leakers in the intelligence community. The Trump administration referred far more media leaks for criminal investigation each year than any of the previous 15 years, with the CIA accounting for the vast majority of such leaks …. Amid recent revelations of the Trump administration’s efforts to obtain the communications records of reporters from CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, the new DOJ documents reveal the most complete picture yet assembled of a leak-hunting effort that dwarfs those of previous administrations.” (07/29/21)


  • Private Investment Is the Answer to Declining Postindustrial Towns

    Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
    by Daniella Bassi

    “My town, Tallassee, Alabama, is an old mill town. … Today, the town is somewhat stagnant: some of the mills, which were burned in a massive fire in 2016, are in shambles; the bridge connecting the two sides of the town is rusty and the paint flakes off in the wind; and there are many empty storefronts and houses. Many people think that the way to restore the town is for the government to take an aggressive role, and one of the mayor’s main strategies has been to apply for grants to undertake the projects that he thinks would benefit the town most. In light of this approach, it is important to take a look at how Tallassee developed into the bustling little city it once was. Private industry had a strong hand in the town’s development.” (07/29/21)


  • Libertarian Reform Measures Do Not Advance Liberty

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “Ever since I discovered libertarianism, there has been a faction within the libertarian movement that has favored and promoted reform of the welfare-warfare state way of life under which we live. Over the decades, those who advocate reform have come to dominate the libertarian movement. Unfortunately, however, libertarian reform measures do not advance liberty. Instead, they advance reform, which necessarily entails the continued existence of the welfare-warfare state way of life, albeit in some reformed fashion.” (07/29/21)


  • Should Taxpayers Be on the Hook for All Rental Debt Accrued During the Pandemic?

    Source: Reason
    by Christian Britschgi

    “On Tuesday, a group of large rental housing owners and the National Apartment Association (NAA), a trade association, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims demanding compensation for the rental income they’ve lost during the pandemic. Their lawsuit says that the eviction moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — which bars the removal of nonpaying tenants who sign declarations of financial hardship — forced them to house delinquent renters in lieu of tenants who could pay their bills. That, they say, represents a seizure of their property under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, and that they are therefore entitled to just compensation.” (07/29/21)


  • Fauci Is Finished

    Source: American Consequences
    by Trish Regan

    After misleading the public for 17 months, Dr. Anthony Fauci may finally have to face the music; This week, Senator Rand Paul criminally referred Fauci to the Department of Justice. At issue is whether ‘America’s doctor’ lied under oath to Congress. Over the last year, Fauci repeatedly told Congress that the National Institutes of Health (‘NIH’) did not fund gain-of-function research into bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Yet, as recently as last weekend, Fauci was on CNN saying that it would have been negligent not to fund this research. This leaves us asking, ‘Which was it, Fauci?’ Did we fund the Wuhan lab as records suggest or did we not?” (07/29/21)


  • Revenge of the Masks

    Source: Libertarian Institute
    by Brian McGlinchey

    “Just when the forces of rationality had seemingly established a beachhead in the public health domain, they’re back on defense again, as the CDC declares vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas of the country experiencing high transmission, and every schoolchild should be condemned to wear a mask all day long. The moves, which come in response to surging case counts, seem to demonstrate an impulse that animates many questionable government policies: ‘We have to do something,’ regardless of whether that something can be reasonably expected to have a material impact on the problem at hand. Most public and media discussion of mask policy reflects a foundational assumption that may well be false — namely, that widespread, all-purpose mask-wearing has had any meaningful impact on slowing the spread.” (07/29/21)


  • The flawed case against noncompetes

    Source: The Hill
    by Jonathan M Barnett & Ted Sichelman

    “Recently, President Biden signed an executive order that, among other things, directs the Federal Trade Commission to ban or limit noncompete agreements. Noncompetes preclude departing employees from working for a competitor, typically in the same industry for a period of one to two years and sometimes within a limited geographic region. … Motivating the president’s executive order are the many policymakers, economists, and legal scholars who have recently argued that noncompetes depress wages, stymie innovation, and slow economic growth. Following this school of thought, there is virtually nothing good about noncompetes. … Unfortunately, these arguments and studies are seriously flawed.” (07/29/21)


  • The True Meaning of “Misinformation”

    Source: National Review
    by Mario Loyola

    “Last week Senators Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) and Ben Ray Lujan (D., N.M.) introduced a bill designed to suppress dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. Like similar proposals on the right, the bill would limit the liability shield of Section 230 for social-media platforms. Unlike proposals on the right, however, the Democratic senators have a correct understanding of what limiting the liability shield would accomplish — namely to further incentivize Big Tech to suppress conservative [sic] speech. … Klobuchar’s proposal for a Ministry of Public-Health Truth is especially chilling when you consider the broader trend of which it is merely the latest example. Misinformation is certainly bad for democracy. But, like the accusations of racism that abound today, the ‘misinformation’ label is rarely an apt description of its subject. It is, rather, a rhetorical trick, employed for its value as a political weapon rather than as a signifier.” (07/29/21)


  • No, the Second Amendment is not racist

    Source: spiked
    by Kevin Yuill

    “The ACLU forgets that it is gun controls, not gun rights, that discriminate against African Americans.” (07/29/21)


  • Falling (poem)

    Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
    by Caitlin Johnstone

    “Crowdfund Israeli spyware surveillance on your own government to keep them from selling the nation to BlackRock while the world burns and billionaires masturbate in low earth orbit / Organize a grassroots whatever campaign so plastic politicians can feed you word salad with an ivory spork until armageddon / Vote vote vote vote for Murder Stealing Slavery because if you don’t then Stealing Slavery Murder might win / Get the Monsanto vaccine in one arm and the Google vaccine in the other while the TV man on every channel says everything’s normal and the Pentagon needs your insulin money / ‘Ask your doctor about Sedentrol’ to mute the gnawing sensation that you should release the parrots in your chest and fly with them to freedom instead of cranking a gear in a cubicle which turns billionaires into trillionaires / INVEST INVEST INVEST in crypto it’s computer money for libertarians …” (07/29/21)


  • Papers Instead of Human Lives: The Sentencing of Daniel Hale

    Source: CounterPunch
    by Binoy Kampmark

    “In May 2019, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, that famous bastion of anti-whistleblowing fervour, unsealed an indictment charging former intelligence analyst Daniel Everett Hale with five counts of providing classified information to a reporter. … The contribution made by Hale in revealing the costs occasioned by drone deployment is impossible to diminish. The documents, numbering some 150, showed how the policy of selecting targets was presumptuous rather than thorough. The targeting was also far from precise. … The conviction and sentencing of Hale continues a tendency of successive administrations to target whistleblowers using a statute that negates the public interest defence.” (07/29/21)


  • Anti-gun bigots are just bigots

    Source: Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
    by Kent McManigal

    “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that anti-gun bigots are also bigoted in other ways. But sometimes the depth of their bigotry surprises me anyway.” (07/29/21)


  • The Bad News And The Good News

    Source: The American Conservative
    by Andrew J Bacevich

    “By and large, ordinary Americans like their history much as they like their milk: homogenized and pasteurized, with all impurities removed. Our preferred narrative of the past is the Ken Burns PBS version: plenty of drama and lots of human interest, but ultimately uplifting rather than subversive or discomfiting. Oh, yes, and packaged with an old-timey soundtrack. Whatever the particulars of their background or upbringing, ordinary Americans know that ours is the greatest nation ever. Greatness in this context does not imply grace or refinement or superior cuisine. It refers to opportunities seized, wealth accrued, power wielded, and privileges enjoyed, with more of the same still to come, as the Almighty Himself surely intends.” (07/29/21)


  • Lawmakers cave to “wish lists” and give the Pentagon money it doesn’t need

    Source: Responsible Statecraft
    by Andrew Lautz

    “In May, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin released a Department of Defense budget request for the new fiscal year (FY 2022) totaling $715 billion, $11.3 billion above the current fiscal year’s total. The Pentagon — and the Biden administration broadly — proposed increasing defense spending even as the nation winds down its military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq …. In late July the Senate Armed Services Committee decided to add a whopping $25 billion to the Pentagon budget at a hearing that was closed to the public. The vote was not particularly close either, with Republicans and Democrats on the committee joining together to pass the 3.5 percent increase by a landslide 25 to 1 vote. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was the lone senator to oppose the big budget increase.” (07/29/21)