AMD’s rollout of its new Ryzen family of processors continues with the release of the Ryzen 5, at an event in Beijing, China. With the Ryzen 5 launch, AMD enters a more mainstream price point for gaming PCs. Suggested prices range from $169-$249 (USD) and processors have from 4 to 6 cores.
As far as Big Brother is concerned, nothing that you do on your cell phone is ever private. And if the government really wants to see what is on your cell phone, they are going to get that information one way or another, even if that means resorting to physical violence. On Monday, NBC News provided us with yet another glaring example of how the United States is being transformed into a Big Brother police state. On January 1st, Akram Shibly and Kelly McCormick from Buffalo, New York were coming back home from a trip to Toronto, and they didn’t anticipate any unusual problems when they got to the border. Unfortunately for them, U.S. Customs & Border Protection agents decided to take their cell phones, demanded their passwords, and kept them in custody for the next two hours as they searched for anything that might be incriminating on those phones.
You might be thinking that sounds like it should be illegal, and you would be correct, but sadly federal courts have ruled that our constitutional rights do not apply to border searches. So authorities use this legal loophole to do pretty much anything they want at the border.
If that young couple from Buffalo would have had something illegal on their phones, they could have been immediately arrested and put in prison.
And we haven’t even gotten to the worst part of the story yet. Just a few days later Akram Shibly and Kelly McCormick took another trip to Canada, and this time border agents physically assaulted Akram when he did not immediately turn over his phone. The following comes from NBC News…
“One of the officers calls out to me and says, ‘Hey, give me your phone,'” recalled Shibly. “And I said, ‘No, because I already went through this.'”
The officer asked a second time.
Within seconds, he was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone. McCormick watched her boyfriend’s face turn red as the officer’s chokehold tightened.
Is this still America?
I can’t believe that this is what the United States has become. When I was young I remember reading about this sort of thing in Nazi Germany, the USSR and Communist China, but I never imagined that it would happen here. For years I have been warning about this growing “Big Brother police state control grid”, and I wish that more Americans would realize how evil all of this government surveillance truly is.
You can watch an interview where this couple from Buffalo talks to NBC News about this recent incident at the border right here.
It is so disgusting that this is how we are treating law abiding people when countless numbers of drug dealers and gang members are pouring across unprotected sections of our border every single day.
Unfortunately, cell phone searches at the border appear to be rising at an exponential rate. According to NBC News, more cell phone searches were conducted at the border during the month of February 2017 than in the entire year of 2015…
Data provided by the Department of Homeland Security shows that searches of cellphones by border agents has exploded, growing fivefold in just one year, from fewer than 5,000 in 2015 to nearly 25,000 in 2016.
According to DHS officials, 2017 will be a blockbuster year. Five-thousand devices were searched in February alone, more than in all of 2015.
And of course it isn’t just searches at the border that you need to be concerned about.
Not too long ago, it was being reported that the CIA has helped the Justice Department with technology that allows law enforcement officials to scan “data from thousands of U.S. cellphones at a time” from the safety of a plane…
The Central Intelligence Agency played a crucial role in helping the Justice Department develop technology that scans data from thousands of U.S. cellphones at a time, part of a secret high-tech alliance between the spy agency and domestic law enforcement, according to people familiar with the work.
The CIA and the U.S. Marshals Service, an agency of the Justice Department, developed technology to locate specific cellphones in the U.S. through an airborne device that mimics a cellphone tower, these people said.
So the next time a strange plane flies over your house, this may be what is happening.
Here is more on this disturbing new technology…
The program operates specially equipped planes that fly from five U.S. cities, with a flying range covering most of the U.S. population. Planes are equipped with devices—some past versions were dubbed “dirtboxes” by law-enforcement officials—that trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information.
I have a feeling that if this program was ever challenged in court that it would be ruled unconstitutional, so let’s hope that happens as soon as possible.
But then again, the NSA has been collecting and storing all forms of electronic communication for years and nothing is being done about. We have even had a 36-year veteran of the NSA named William Binney come out and publicly admit that all of our phone conversations “are being monitored and stored” and still nothing is done to stop it.
So don’t do anything on your cell phone that you wouldn’t want the government to see, because someday they could use it to nail you.
Of course we also need to use discretion regarding the things that we know the public will be able to see. When you post something to Facebook or Twitter, you may think that it is harmless, but it could end up costing you big time. In fact, I just came across an article about how a number of pastors have actually been fired because of what is on their social media accounts…
“It’s not fair I lost my job,” the pastor told me.
“My church members post a lot worse things than I do on social media. It’s a double standard.”
He’s right. It is a double standard. But it’s reality. And, with greater frequency, more pastors and church staff are losing their jobs because of what they post, particularly on Facebook and Twitter and, to some extent, their blogs.
By the way, churches will not always tell the pastor the specific reason for the firing. But, once we begin to infuriate our church members with our posts, many will find a myriad of reasons to give us the boot.
Like the title to this article says, what you do on your cell phone could come back to haunt you.
For many Americans, cell phones have become an essential part of modern life, but the truth is that those little electronic devices can also destroy our lives if we are not careful.
So if you are going to use them, use them wisely, because people are watching.
Back in early December, the Pizzagate situation took a bizarre turn for the worse when a gunman, since identified as 28-year-old North Carolina resident Edgar Welch, stormed the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant with a .38-caliber Colt revolver and an AR-15 in search of an alleged pedophilia ring thought to be tied to various members of Hillary’s inner circle. After failing to find the evidence he sought, but not before letting off a couple of rounds inside the pizza joint in the process, Welch was arrested by Washington D.C. police.
After originally pleading not guilty on December 16th to a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition and to two D.C. offenses: assault with a dangerous weapon and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, Welch has now decided to enter into a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s office. Per the Washington Post:
Terms of the plea offer to Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, N.C., were not disclosed. The U.S. attorney’s office for the District and Welch’s federal defender said they had agreed on a “plea in principle,” but declined to comment further at a previously scheduled court appearance after a deadline to accept the deal or face trial expired Monday.
U.S. District Judge Ketanji B. Jackson ordered the parties to submit final terms to her by Monday and set a March 24 plea agreement hearing.
Under a plea deal, Welch would likely plead guilty to fewer or lesser charges, in return for prosecutors agreeing to a far shorter recommended sentence subject to federal guidelines that factor in variables such as a defendant’s criminal history, cooperation and other specific facts of the case.
In charging documents police said that Welch anticipated his raid of Comet Ping Pong could result in violence and tried to recruit two co-conspirators, citing text and calling records.
“Raiding a pedo ring, possible [sic] sacrificing the lives of a few for the lives of many,” Welch texted a friend two days before he drove to Washington in a Toyota Prius, according to federal prosecutors. The text continued: “Standing up against a corrupt system that kidnaps, tortures and rapes babies and children in our own backyard.”
* * *
For those who missed it, here is our note on Welch’s arrest back in December.
Pizzagate took a turn for the even more bizarre on Sunday, as a man with an assault rifle walked into Comet Ping Pong to “self-investigate” the Baltimore, Maryland, pizza parlor that internet conspiracy theorists say is at the center of an international child sex ring run by prominent Democrats. 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch, of Salisbury, N.C., reportedly fired the rifle at least once inside the restaurant but no one was injured.
As HeatSt.com reports, Washington, D.C., police arrested the man Sunday afternoon, after restaurant employees saw a man, described as being in his early 20s and carrying an “assault rifle,” work his way through the dining room and then attempt to enter the staff work area at the back of the building.
— jeffgep (@jeffgep) December 4, 2016
Restaurant workers acted quickly, getting staff and patrons—including a number of children—to safety and dialing 911. Authorities were quick to respond. They subdued and arrested the man and secured the restaurant. No one was injured.
The Washington Post noted that the incident caused panic, with several businesses going into lockdown as police swarmed the neighborhood after receiving the call shortly before 3 p.m.
Police said 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch, of Salisbury, N.C., walked in the front door of Comet Ping Pong and pointed a firearm in the direction of a restaurant employee. The employee was able to flee and notify police. Police said Welch proceeded to discharge the rifle inside the restaurant.
The man told police he had come to the restaurant to “self-investigate” the election-related conspiracy theory.
Police said in addition to the assault rifle, they also recovered two firearms inside the restaurant; an additional weapon was recovered in Welch’s car. Bomb-sniffing dogs and at least one armored vehicle were present at the scene.
He has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.
DC Police Press Release on the arrest…
— Deputy Mayor Donahue (@SafeDC) December 5, 2016
One can’t help but wonder, as Congress considers a bill “to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence,” whether this is yet another false flag to raise awareness of what is a possible outcome of “fake news”?
Following The Fed’s 3rd rate hike in 11 years, the PBOC decided, unexpectedly, to follow in the Fed’s footsteps, and tighten conditions by raising the interest rates on its open-market operations, the 7-, 14-, and 28-day reverse-repos, by 10bps each, to 2.45%, 2.6% and 2.75% respectively.
That followed an increase of 10 basis points at the beginning of February, which in turn was the first increase in the 28-day contracts since 2015 and since 2013 for the other two tenors.
One month ago, the PBOC also – for the first time ever – increased the rate on the PBOC’s Medium-Term Lending Facility, or MLF. It did it again on Thursday, when the PBOC conducted CNY303 billion in 6-month and 1-year MLF, where the interest rose by 10bps, from 2.95% to 3.05%, and from 3.1% to 3.2%, respectively.
What to make of this tightening? According to the PBOC nothing: the Central bank said there was “no need to over-interpret monetary tools action” and added that higher open market operation interest rates don’t mean benchmark interest rates are increasing.
Except they are, of course, especially since like in western nations, increasingly it is narrowly confined liquidity conduits that matter instead of broad, shotgun market rates.
Naturally, this was not exactly great news for those hoping for a renewed credit impulse to lift the tumbling GDP expectations of the world in Q2. For now the reaction is minimal with Yuan leaking lower, erasing the gains against a weaker post-Fed dollar.
China bond futures took a hit.
As Bloomberg’s Kyoungwha Kim reports, the PBOC is swift enough to raise the repo rates but will stop short of raising the key interest rate, following the Fed. The huge wall of debt set to mature over the next two years will likely keep the PBOC from raising the key rate even as the Fed hikes away. It will probably continue to use higher money-market rates to discourage leverage. While Chinese money market rates and sovereign yields are still showing declines due to delayed prices, traders say they are seeing reaction in the interbank market already.
The FT’s new daily newsletter on the world of investment
Anyone who just happens to be in the market to for the ultimate in ocean-front luxury, the price of Palm Beach real estate can look down right affordable compared to some of largest megayachts that will be on display at the Palm Beach International Boat Show that takes place from March 23-26.
With Saint Patrick’s day almost upon us and the cities across the world being painted green and shamrock on show to celebrate, will Ireland’s foremost patron saint prove lucky for stockmarket investors? Here we gauge what’s hot and perhaps less so in terms of stocks with links to the Emerald Isle.
Exploring, discovering and rediscovering great music in new recordings and old music in great recordings.
Hans Pfitzner’s concerto sits somewhere between high romanticism and Arno Breker. Unkind critics might say: “Till Eulenspiegel goes Hitlerjugend.”
Donald Trump alleges that President Obama spied on him during the campaign. Kellyanne Conway says possibly even a microwave oven was used in this effort. Given that the president isn’t in the kitchen much, perhaps a more tailored method would have been more appropriate. Cartoon by Ted Rall.