Article 43

 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Dictatorship of the Billionaires

image: multinational pledge

The rich will receive $4.95 trillion from the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill.

The $2.2 trillion includes more than $450 billion for large corporations, allegedly in loans. The bill includes a provision that the Federal Reserve can print up to ten times that amount and lend that $4.5 trillion with a nod and a wink to large corporations.

The combined profits of all US corporations in 2018 and 2019 were slightly over $4 trillion before taxes. The rich and their corporations, in other words, are getting more than two years worth of profits from the stimulus bill. This money will mainly go to the largest corporations, which means the money will go to a small number of corporations, pretty much the 100 to 150 largest. This means a massive stock market bubble is on the horizon fueled by the Fed, lies, political corruption, smoke and mirrors.
- The CoronaVirus Stimulus Bill: The Rich Get 5 Trillion, We Get Crumbs, John Hively’s Blog, March 28, 2020

The United States is a Dictatorship of the Billionaires

John Hiveley’s Blog
June 13, 2020

DIVIDE AND CONQUER; nobody has done it better than THE BILLIONAIRES WHO HAVE CONTROLLED the United States via their two major political parties and their Supreme Court for the last forty years. But first a few comments.

I wonder if the downturn of the stock market on June 9-11, 2020 was just a correction, although I am suspicious it marks an increase in market volatility on its way toward the intersection where the real downtrodden economy meets the robust Wall Street market. In which case, we could be looking at a rapid or slow and long-term decline in share prices.

I do not think a lot of people understand that we are at the beginning of a recession and not at the end. I suspect that many people were buying the stocks of corporations for the last two weeks that are going bankrupt (think Hertz) because of desperation of their financial situations since 40 percent of US adults do not have $400 to cover an emergency, not in savings, not in credit cards or other assets, if I remember correctly.

I have read and listened to many experts on the rise of the stock market since March while the economy has tanked, but I have not heard how income and wealth inequality has driven the stock markets to record highs by redistributing trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent over the last forty years, nor do I hear how financially desperate many people are; not even those who are buying bankrupt Hertz and J.C. Penny shares. Those subjects are not allowed by the billionaires who own all the major news sources.

I have a good neighbor and he just got laid off from his job and fears losing his house. I see desperation written all over his face and in the tone of his voice when I speak with him. I see the middle class families in nice cars and wearing nice clothes rummaging through the recycle bins the night before the trucks pick that stuff up. Most, but not all of these folks, did not begin their rummaging pilgrimages until March. I watched videos a few days ago of the first food lines for the middle class since the Great Depression of 1929-40, a line of 600+ cars deep, people in their new Toyota Lexuss, and other high end newer cars, who needed to gather free food in order to feed themselves. 20 to 40 million people are unemployed and all the congress would do was save the billionaires. See THE CARES ACT. THE RICH GET $4.75 TRILLION AND WE GET THE CRUMBS.

We are at the beginning of a recession that will be severe because 40 years of the greed of sociopathic rich folks who control both major political parties and the Supreme Court, and who can never get enough money, and far more than they could ever spend, and who derive almost, and in many cases, all, of their income and wealth from the ownership of corporate shares, either through capital gains, dividends or corporate bonds.

Then you have the gullible grassroots on the political right who have been led to think the communists are controlling things; and then you have the gullible on the left who think the Democratic Party leaders actually give a rat’s ass about them; for the grassroots of both the left and right, the reality is unhidden and staring straight into their eyes.

All you need to do is look at Nancy Pelosis Heroes Act, the fifth stimulus since coronavirus shut down the U.S.; this legislation extends the government’s extra $600 unemployment insurance per week through the end of the year, and provides other income to the 99 percent too, although much of the money in the proposed legislation will still go to the rich. Pelosi waited to push the Heroes Act through the Democratic controlled House after both Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump said they were not interested in a fifth stimulus. Pelosi knew the Heroes Act was grand theatre for the blind faithful even though she could have easily negotiated more money for the 99 percent with McConnell and Trump during the first, second, and third bailouts, when McConnell and Trump were desperate to save the billionaires who pull their strings, which happen to be the same strings they use to pull Nancy Pelosi with. She did not negotiate for us little folks. Did she?

The billionaires pulled the strings of Pelosi, McConnell and Trump to come up with the notorious CARES ACT [local .pdf], which bailed out the rich and their corporations to the tune of $4.75 trillion while throwing crumbs at the masses, which made for good theatrical effect. The billionaires corporate news media did their duty and only reported on the crumbs and how great they were.

As for the grassroots on the right, the CARES ACT alone should tell them how insanely wrong they are to assume Democratic Party politicians are controlled by communists, and the CARES Act should tell them that Republican politicians would not give a snailҒs fart to help them out during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And you would think the blind followers of the Democrats could figure out that the Democratic Party politicians have not cared about them since Jimmy Carter was president.

The voters of both sides, you would think, would by now figure out that both Democratic and Republican Party politicians threw them overboard forty years ago. It only takes one thing: using your brains to put two and two together.

Billionaires own this nation, both political parties, they have at least five United States Supreme Court judges in their back pockets, along with a lot of other judges; they own the media and only tell you what they want you to believe, and most of you believe the propaganda and the lies used to turn the grassroots of the right and the left against each other.

No, this economic crisis will not be over soon. This is going to be a long economic nightmare. The rich have gotten richer while the rest of us have been drained financially dryer during the last few months alone.

We have to figure out how, as a people and as a nation, we want to come out of this crisis. Lurching forward into another economic wasteland like Argentina is for the vast majority of its people; or with a strong political change that reins in the obvious corruption at all levels of the U.S. government, and ensuring a government of, by and for the people, rather than just continuing to impoverish ourselves under the dictatorship of the billionaires.

We have a collective choice to make and the time has come to cast aside our petty differences and organize. The 1 percent were taking at least 37 percent of the income produced in this nation in 2019, up from 8 percent in 1980. They are probably raking in over 40 percent so far this year. Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates owned more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of Americans, and that was before the crisis began. They are richer now.

If our situation continues on this path, the rich will steal even more income and wealth than is currently the case. Then we will be a nation like Argentina, once boasting a prosperous middle class on a level with the best European nations, and now with a population of mostly desperate people.

In the USA, the dictatorship of the billionaires will continue and become stronger unless the grassroots of both sides come together and realize they have economic issues that bind them. Until that day, the dictatorship of the billionaires will continue to impoverish us all even more so than today.

The billionaires will continue to use their corporate media to divide us and make permanent their conquest and subversion of our democracy, our Constitution, and our governments at all levels, local, state and federal.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 10/12/20 •
Section Dying America
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Fake Videos

Do you think you’re good at spotting fake videos, where famous people say things they’ve never said in real life? See how they’re made in this astonishing talk and tech demo.

Computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn shows how, as a grad student, he used AI and 3D modeling to create photorealistic fake videos of people synced to audio. Learn more about both the ethical implications and the creative possibilities of this tech—and the steps being taken to fight against its misuse.

Watch the TED TALK below:

fake-video.jpg image: fake video ted talk border=0

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Fake And Manipulated Videos Find Fertile Ground As Elections Approach

By Wayne Rash
Forbes
July 14, 2020

By now you’ve seen them on Facebook being shared by your friends. They’re videos of one politician or another saying something you never believed they’d say. Perhaps it’s a video of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ENDORSING HIS OPPONENT. Or perhaps its Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitting openly that HE WANTS TO OWN YOU.

But as the 2020 elections draw near in the U.S. you’re seeing more and more unlikely videos involving candidates for President or other high office being shared on social media.

As the technology for creating fake videos becomes more sophisticated, and the videos themselves get better and harder to detect, they’re showing up in all sorts of places, ranging from revenge porn to clickbait. Videos ostensibly of famous people are showing up all over, sometimes to cash in on their wealth, or simply to collect clicks for advertising revenue.

When it comes to elections, however, the threat is more serious. During the 2016 Presidential election, Russian intelligence agencies produced a series of fake videos that purported to show then-candidate Hillary Clinton saying things she never said. At the time, this formed part of the FBI’s investigation into election meddling.

The Russians are Coming

Now the Russians are coming back. They’re joined by intelligence agencies in Iran, China and North Korea in their production of high-quality fake videos attempting to make the rounds on social media. The resulting videos are good enough that gullible people post them and then share them, and of course, people with an agenda that agrees with the video will share them even more. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security expressed its concern about these fakes IN A REPORT to the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

“Information warfare techniques are being used by all sides of the political spectrum, and being used by all governments around the world, now more than ever,” said Alex Heid, chief research officer at SECURITY SCORECARD. “Like any war that is waged between established powers, the casualties are oftentimes civilian and considered collateral damage.”

Finding the Fakes

There are really two types of videos that are considered fakes. One is manipulated video, in which a real video is simply changed. A recent one, revealed by The Washington Post, showed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivering a speech, but the TIMING WAS CHANGED so that it appeared that she was slurring her words. The narrative that accompanied the video suggested that she was drunk. The real video of the event revealed what had been done.

A deep fake video uses a combination of still images and videos to manufacture a video of something that never existed.

College Admissions-Bribery-USC

“We’ve created two generations of deep fake detectors,” said Wael Abd-Almageed, research associate professor at the University of Southern California. We didn’t release them publicly.” The USC DEEP FAKE DETECTOR is said to be 99 percent effective, which is far better than the open-source products that are available for spotting deep fakes. The reason the products aren’t released is that they could be used by purveyors of deep fakes to improve their software.

Deep fakes are becoming extremely sophisticated. It’s hard to find out if a given video is fake or not, Abd-Almageed explained. He said that his group at USC has interests in the entertainment industry where deep fakes are also a problem, and he expects other industries will also want to work with USC. He said that he can work at scale with social media companies, as well as with other organizations.

“Other users could be media outlets,” he said.

So how do you work with USC? “We can give you access to our system where you upload the video,” Abd-Almageed said. “You will get notified when the system gets finished analyzing the video. It’s free for media outlets and other interested parties.”

He said that those interested parties should reach out to him by email at wamageed at isi.edu.

“I think it’s a big problem, part of a bigger problem which is disinformation, he said. “Don’t share something on social networks without thinking. This whole notion that seeing is believing is gone forever.”

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 10/12/20 •
Section Revelations
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