Is Nikolas Cruz the Modern Day Jason Bourne?

Nikolas Cruz, the modern-day Manchurian Candidate.

Nikolas Cruz is a monster, a horrible monster who has ruined the lives of dozens of families in an event that will leave scares for countless others. However, Cruz is also a tragic figure who experienced horrific challenges in life including the loss of both parents.

Is Cruz simply the product of an angry life gone bad and this is all that led to him to carry out the most deadly mass shooting in an American school in history? On the surface, one cannot seem to discount that possibility. However, and upon closer examination, it is becoming increasingly difficult to not invoke the conspiracy card which is something in the hours and days following the event, I consciously avoided trying to do. Yet, as MSM attempts to categorize this event as a poster child incident for gun control, before burying it, which is exactly what they are trying to do, facts are emerging that speak to the fact that there is much more to this tragedy than appears in the soundbite news items of the MSM.

The evidence is piling up that the Florida school shooting was indeed a false flag event.

The number one smoking gun supporting the false flag narrative comes from the compromised FBI who has been so seriously exposed as a corrupt, elite-serving institution.

The FBI’s behavior, with regard tot his false flag, is so egregious, it is  so bad that Florida Governor, Rick Scott, has called for the resignation of FBI director, Christopher Wray. Why? Because the FBI had clear evidence, on multiple occasions that Cruz was planning to do what he did. Was the FBI complicit, or just plain incompetent. A reasonable person could argue both sides. However, the FBI is clearly serving the Deep State, which means in the present political climate, they are serving Democratic interests.

What exactly did the Democrats gain, directly, or indirectly from this Florida tragedy? The answer is simple. First, as I have covered, it was discovered in the same time frame as the school shooting that the crashed Russian airliner had onboard Uranium One witnesses which could have implicated Hillary and Bill for selling uranium to the Russians in an act of abject treason. Further, Debbie Wasserman Schults gets to take off the Awan bothers scandal from her re-election campaign. Also, the ongoing failure to find one misdeed on the part of Trump as result of the Russian Witch Hunt got buried by this event as well.

But what about the perpetrator, are their cluses of a false flag? Not really unless, you account for missing time away from school that cannot be accounted for by family an acquaintenances. There were also the reports of voices in the head. He was on psyhotropic medication consitent with MK-Ultra protocols. When and event is this obvious, it is difficult NOT to be the quinessential conspiracy theorist.

Finally, we must ask a question: Does the technology really exist that would get an individual to act like a Jason Bourne Manchurian Candidate. I am preparing a story in which I ompare the Aurora Batman movie false flag scenario, to this Florida event. The similarities are striking. But first, let’s take a look at whether the technology exists to get an indivdual to do what Cruz did.

A Very Ominous Warning From the Inventor of Electromagnetic Mind Control

Jose Delgado, the reluctant pioneer of mind control technologies.

Jose Delgado, the reluctant pioneer of mind control technologies.









In his later years. after working for the CIA for over 40 years in perfecting this technology, Dr. Delgado was very critical about the distinct lack of Bioethics and consumer protection with regard to these technologies. Until his death a few years ago, Delgado remained particularly critical of technologies which can change human nature. Delgado, stated the following:

“This technology has two sides, for good and for bad, and we should do what we can do to avoid the adverse consequences. We should try to prevent potentially destructive technologies from being abused by authoritarian governments to gain more power or by terrorists to wreak destruction. However, Delgado is a realist as he postulates “can you avoid knowledge? You cannot! Can you avoid technology? You cannot! Things are going to go ahead in spite of ethics, in spite of your personal ethics.”

The above quote from Delgado is a very ominous warning about how serious the subject of mind control is about to to become for every person. After researching Delgado’s past, it is clear that he felt the same about mind control as Einstein felt about the unveiling of nuclear weapons.

A released study showed that mind control has just crossed the threshold and the results are described below. When one extrapolates what this means to humanity, the  implications are frightening.


We also have more thatn Delgado’s work and recently released experiment into this area.

The Mind Control Delivery System: Project HAARP

Many are predicting that biometrics will be required to access the Internet. The fact is that some what your biometric information because this is the first step in gaining control over your mind. The main threat to humanity lies in the fact that the technology exists to control all of human behavior at one time. A reasonable person would certainly ask “how is that possible?”  To answer that question, I refer the readers to Nick Begich’s website in which he details how mass electrical signals can beamed up from an array of antenna and bounced off the ionosphere in either a narrow beam covering a specific and defined geographic area, or it can be reflected back to earth in a broad beam application in which millions could be impacted by one electrical signal designed to change human behavior. We know this technology as Project HAARP.

United States Patent 5,159,703, Lowery, October 27, 1992, Silent Subliminal Presentation System, Inventors: Lowery, Oliver M. Appl. No. 458339 Filed December 28, 1989, discusses the microwave technology necessary for mind control. In this patent,  we witness the move from the mind control  of certain individuals who might have been programmed, which is frightening enough, to witnessing entire populations being controlled. The patent discusses the possibility of impacting millions at a time. The net effect of the technology is enhanced when there is a transducer in the body such as an embedded microchip.



Particularly revealing in the arena of mind control, is Dr. Begich’s work on voice to skull technology. In 1997, he displayed this technology for the European Parliament who promptly issued a ban on the use of the technology. Unfortunately, the technology has moved forward in recent years despite the ban.

Before you write to me and state that this could never happen, please spend 30 minutes on the Begich website, and analyze the validity of his observations. Begich has done a detailed analysis of the patents associated with HAARP, and very clear conclusions about the intent of these technologies can easily be made after examining the facts. Most awake people are aware that HAARP is a weather modification device. However, as a result of my research, I have come to the conclusion that HAARP’s biggest danger to humanity is the mind-control potential related to this technology. Sadly, Dr. Nick Begich has been warning us about this potential for 19 years and it is only now that significant numbers of researchers are starting to pay attention.

I want to make it crystal clear, I wish this event in Florida was just as the MSM says it is. However, with 11 Congressional seats being hotly contested and gun control is a top three issue, it is hard to not be cynical. And with the new Wifi, 5G network coming in, combined with HAARP, honet investigators are going to be very busy research the various angles of this tragedy. This article simply has raised legitimate questions, there will be much more to come.  Oh, and I almost forgot, multiple students reported a second shooter. From Vegas to Florida, the story seems to remain the same.

There is a very good chance that Cruz and the voices in his head are the voice-to-skull technology that Nick Begich referenced 20 years ago. The voices inside of Cruz’s head cannot be sold as solely mental illness because we are clearly talking about schizophrenia and Cruz was not being treated for that specific mental illness.


For more stories like these, visit The Common Sense Show

Please donate to offset the costs of The Common Sense Show




 Dave Hodges is a satisfied customer.  Listeners to The Common Sense Show will receive 10% off their next order by mentioning “Hodges10” in the coupon code box.  Don’t wait until it is too late. Click Here for more information.


If the bad guy has night vision and you don't he wins. Don't be a victim, find out more by CLICKING HERE

If the bad guy has night vision and you don’t he wins. Don’t be a victim, find out more by  CLICKING HERE  


From the Hagmann blood sugar protocol to the Hodges joint protocol, Dr. Broer has helped hundreds of thousands of people. There is something for everybody at Take 5% off the cost of your order with coupon code DAVE5

From the Hagmann blood sugar protocol to the Hodges joint protocol, Dr. Broer has helped hundreds of thousands of people. There is something for everybody at 



Source Article from

A Day in the Life of the Modern Teacher: Why are so many teachers leaving the profession?

A Day in the Life of the Modern Teacher: Why are so many teachers leaving the profession?


The other day at work, a teacher made a valid comment. He said, “We are teaching them to make claims and cite evidence, but how can we do this if they do not even know how to be human?”

Right now, even money is not keeping teachers in the profession. When teachers leave, it actually does not as much to do with the money as one would think. The following article points out the numerous issues that teachers face in modern education:

Still, it goes deeper than that, and that is why I am putting this on a conspiracy forum – not necessarily a teaching one. Most teachers know that teaching sucks and most I know have a back-up plan to get out of the profession. But why?

Teaching used to be an honorable profession, but it has become de-professionalized over the years:

But again, most know that teaching is not what it used to be, so what really is the conspiracy here? I want to go deeper than “here are the issues for teachers today.” I want to go into the reasons why I think “WHY” there are issues for teachers today. I want you to walk with me through my world as a teacher, and I want you to see that, as always, I think there is something much more sinister happening. None of this is “random.” This is how and why the education system is broken, and here is what teachers really have to deal with.

Teachers are Parents Now

At Wal-Mart a few months ago, I ran into a nice lady I used to tutor. She had her son with her, who was about 16. I went up to him, and I tried to shake his hand, and he literally did not know what to do. He had never been taught how to properly shake hands with strangers. As his mom, I would have been appalled and at least have said something, but she looked at me strangely, too. I thought, “What is going on with society?”

I mentor many new teachers, and the biggest issue I see is classroom management. Now, most new teachers deal with classroom management issues, but there is something different now. The kids are coming to classrooms literally out of control. Why? The kids that do not know how to behave at home do not know how to behave in the classroom.

I have mentored many new teachers, and most leave within a few years because the kids are so disrespectful and no matter what they do, they just cannot seem to manage them (By the way, if you are a new teacher reading this, I am literally writing a book on classroom management and can help you.)

I want to explain that I am not just talking about the typical things you might have experienced as a child. There was always “the naughty kid” and there were always kids who messed around behind the teacher’s back. But this is different. One teacher I worked with (she was with Teach for America) left after her first year. She told me she still has nightmares (many years later) of the classes she taught and how they tortured her. She was a nice woman, but you really cannot be that way as a teacher anymore.

Kids do not have a lot to fear anymore. Let me explain:

Parenting is hard work, and many parents simply do not like it:

There is also this new movement where parents try to “befriend” their children:

Look, I am not saying parents need to start beating their kids, as somebody always twists my words. There are different types of parenting, and the authoritative style (too strict) forces kids to rebel eventually, and the permissive style (which many parents are choosing today), is not working for kids either as they are missing out on rules and boundaries. The authoritative style of parenting is probably best:

From the article, “Frequently hailed as the best way to raise kids, it’s an approach that emphasizes sensitivity, reasoning, setting limits, and being emotionally responsive.”

Based on what I have seen, I would say most parents today are following the more “permissive” end of parenting, where essentially, kids are allowed to do whatever the want at home, so why can’t they at school?

Teachers struggle, then, with power battles with students, and they often do not get the parent support they need. I reference this comic a lot, but it literally reflects the true nature of teaching today:

I remember a few years ago, a parent told me that her child simply did not want to read at home. I simply said, “Well, can you make him read and give him some sort of consequence if he does not – like taking away his phone?” Her eyes lit up, as if she had never thought of a scenario where she could actually make her child do something.

So, in the classroom, many teachers are operating as parents, trying to push boundaries and rules, and many students, today, simply cannot handle it.

Teachers vs. Parents

The other thing is that teachers and parents have been made to be enemies over the years. I have found, today, that most parents simply believe everything their children tell them, sometimes even over what their teachers say. This makes me laugh because I find so many parents have this idea that their children are little angels, and I want to tell you, right now, that they are not. Students simply act different at school than they do at home, and you probably would not want to know the things they really say or how they really act.

Going back to discipline, you might ask why it is so difficult for schools to handle discipline and kids today. The problem, often, is parents. Schools are afraid of getting sued at any given moment. Parents have literally sued school over the poor grades of their children:

The other issue is that there are now plans that can allow students to seriously do whatever they want in classrooms without consequences do to the nature of something in special education. These legal documents must be followed, which may mean Johnny can disrupt the class 15,000 times and there is nothing the teacher can really do.

While I am all for inclusive environments, there has been the elimination of schools and programs that deal with difficult or low-functioning students. Because of the nature of “equality” these kids who have severe issues are forced into classrooms where they simply cannot function, and this is to the detriment of everyone in the class, especially the other students.

Now, I want to be clear here. I am not saying that students with issues cannot be placed in regular education classes – there are some great scenarios of students being properly accommodated and served to meet their needs. I have seen this many times, and I am all for inclusive environments. BUT, there is a point where an inclusive environment does not work for all students, and that is where many teachers are experiencing frustration.

Going back to parents, though, is that many of these dysfunctional students come from environments where there is no functioning at home. This is an excellent article about why many teachers are leaving the classroom, and for many, it is about discipline, fear of lawsuits, and lack of support:

Some highlights:

“According to a new report by the nonpartisan, nonprofit opinion research organization Public Agenda, teachers too often must operate in a culture of challenge and second guessing that is affecting their ability to teach and maintain order.
• Nearly 8 in 10 teachers (78%) said students are quick to remind them that they have rights or that their parents can sue.
• Nearly half of teachers surveyed (49%) reported they have been accused of unfairly disciplining a student.
• More than half of teachers (55%) said that districts backing down from assertive parents causes discipline problems in the nation’s schools.”

When there is an issue with students, administration almost always sides with parents simply out of fear – not because the parents are always right.

If parents cannot even get support from parents, then why would they stay? I am lucky that over the years, I have found effective methods of creating awesome relationships with parents I teach, but it is not easy. I have had to show how parents can trust me, and really, there has been a climate created, especially in the media, where teachers are shown to be untrustworthy. Teachers are demonized, now, more than ever:

This demonization is the “divide and conquer” tactic we find so often in our society, but why? Why do ‘they’ want this divide between teachers and parents? Let’s move on to the next issue before I answer that question.

The McDonaldization of Education

Over the past few years, many schools have taken on “business models”:

The problem? Schools are not businesses. From the article, “Businesses don’t understand the culture of schools. But they need to before they start telling schools what to do.”

I am NOT against standards for teachers or high standards for our education system in general. The problem is, though, that this is not about “standards” or the well-being of our students. This is about profit.

There is a literal testing industry that runs our schools:

On top of that, though, when we truly operate schools like a business, then we lose good teachers, and then we “lose” our students. More than anything, an effective teacher can make the world of difference in a student’s life, even one in poverty or with the odds against them:

However, when teaching becomes a business, it is simply more difficult to keep good teachers, but here is the point…’They’ do not care. At McDonalds, when the lazy kid quits, nobody cares, because there will always be somebody to replace that lazy kid. It is kind of true of teaching today. There is always going to be somebody to replace that teacher (a warm body) – the difference is, they will likely not be an effective replacement. It is not hard to be effective at McDonald’s, but it is hard to be an effective teacher, and that is why this does not work. They just want a warm body in the classroom, but are students really learning?
The business models are failing schools:

As a teacher who works in a school with a lot of full-time subs, I seem this firsthand.

It goes beyond profit, though, and we are getting to the deeper ‘why’ of it all. Why are they breaking down education? Have you seen “Waiting for Superman”?

I could not bare to watch the movie, but here is the article on the faulty, simplistic view of the ‘documentary’:

From the article, “But many observers criticize the film’s focus on charter schools – public schools that are granted autonomy from many district policies.”

There we go – that is the motive, and we will talk about that in a moment. But before we do, teachers are not our saviors, and we cannot forget the huge problem of poverty in our country.

Teachers are NOT our saviors

I remember I was watching Oprah or some similar shit, and a teacher was being praised for feeding her students every morning. People loved this! The headline read something like, “Amazing teacher feeds hungry students” NOT “Teacher is forced to feed hungry students so they can learn.”

Teachers should NOT have to get to the point where they are trying to solve society’s problems in their classrooms, but that is what they are doing. We are parenting children, and we are viewed with a sort of “savior complex” and maybe even as heroes when we are not being demonized by the media.

Schools are continually defunded, and poor schools are defunded when they do not perform (and they rarely do). It is a vicious cycle of abuse:

Of course, teachers spend a huge chunk of their income on their students. You may say, “Just stop doing it,” but then I will say, “They won’t learn then.”

I would rather spend the money then sit in a classroom without tools. It really sucks, and I tell my students that – not to guilt them. I just explain the truth. The other day, a student asked, “Did you buy all these vocabulary books for us? Why?”
“Because I want you to learn.”

Hey, maybe it sounds corny, but it is true. I cannot wait around 2 years for the district to approve the vocabulary books. I just bought a class set on Amazon for $300, and it has been great. Remember, though, we cannot illegally copy any of those pages 😉

Anyway, the point is, teachers leave because they are faced with moral dilemmas. Should they spend the tiny extra income on the thing they need to do for their house or whatever, or should they spend it on their students? A lot of them (including me) choose their students.

But why do we live in a society where teachers are even facing these moral dilemmas? What type of profession is this? In an ideal world, a teacher will have the resources they need for all of their students. Instead, in our dystopic world, teachers are spending hundreds to supply their own classrooms:

From the article, “For teachers in lower-income districts, the burden can be even higher. Within the past year, Communities in Schools conducted a survey of 700 teachers and found that more than 90% have to buy school supplies to help low-income kids whose parents can’t afford even basic things like pens and notebooks.”

Which leads to my next point.


When I was 16, my dad moved our family from white suburbia to a world of extreme poverty. My life changed forever. More than anything, I am shocked by how poverty is dismissed when we reflect on society. People are quick to jump to race, to politics, to the president, to whatever, but nobody looks at poverty.

Great teachers cannot make up for deep issues in our society like poverty. Poverty has the greatest impact on our educational system, and the system itself perpetuates it:

From the article, “51 percent of our children across the country now live in poverty, and the numbers appear to be growing.”

51 percent. Half of our kids are living in poverty. With poverty comes so many more issues: neglect, abuse, lack of nutrition, etc. I want to give you some real life examples of how poverty really impacts education:

• A student casually walked up to me. She said, “Sorry I missed class last week. I was raped by my mom’s boyfriend.” Not kidding – a true story. Poverty increases chances of sexual exploitation:

• Many students both intentionally and accidentally call me ‘mom.’ I am maybe the closest some have to being a mom. Children are growing up with a lack of good role models:
I remember calling my 2nd grade teacher ‘mom’ because I never really had one.

• School lunches are disgusting – I have eaten them. Most are facing lack of adequate nutrition, even when obesity is on the rise. Hot Cheetos do not make for a fulfilling or nutritious meal. Poverty and poor nutrition are directly related:

• More students than ever are suicidal and depressed. I cannot even begin to tell you the amount of students I have dealt with these issues. Poverty is absolutely linked to depression:

Ultimately, poverty has the biggest impact on academic performance:

Yet in the media, we are not hearing about poverty. We are hearing about teachers, curriculum, and testing. We are hearing that students are not performing, but we are NEVER hearing about poverty. We are hearing about how teachers are failing our students.

In reality, a good teacher may save a student, but a good teacher cannot save every student, especially those in poverty. There is only so much we can do. Even the best teachers cannot save everyone.

Still, they are telling teachers that work in areas of severe poverty that they better raise those test scores!


So, then, why are ‘they’ doing this? Honestly, the education system could be fixed in a day – I am not kidding you. I really believe this, but the corruption is extreme. So, what could be some of the reasons behind purposely failing children?

• They want to privatize education: Why is this bad? This is a great article on this:

From my personal experience, I live in a state where private charter schools were supposed to “save” education here. It has not worked at all, and the charter schools are usually just as dysfunctional as public schools, though sometimes they rise to the occasion.

In my opinion, though, education should always be public and controlled by the people. It should never be under private influences – ever.

Why? True education is freedom.

• Dumbing people down: Anybody on a conspiracy forum will know this is not really a conspiracy. Schools keep the low students low and the high students high. This creates further class division, even in wealthier areas. Schools perpetuate poverty and this class system:

• Breakdown of family and control by an outside force – A Brave New World: If you have read Brave New World (or other similar dystopian novels), parents do not really raise the children. The system does. If the system raises the children, they have more control. From Brave New World:

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

I write a lot about how creativity is purposely targeted, and most student lose their ability to “create” by 8th grade because they have just become so mind-controlled. The assignments I assign with more creativity or always the most difficult for students. There is literally a “creativity crisis”:

(Maybe this all draws us away further away from the Creator…”)


I wrote this post with ease because it is all true to me (and I know it is super long), and I did not even get into everything I wanted to. One thing I wanted to talk about is the huge lack of empathy in children today. This is intentional.

I recently saw a comic on /r/forwardsfromgrandma:

They made it seem so ridiculous that people may point to outside forces for things like school shootings. As a teacher, these outside forces are the problem.

Education is a system, and it reflects our current society. So many point to teachers for the problems in society without taking ANY accountability for what is going on outside of school, and further, the sinister forces that are controlling schools.

I was going to say I predict a future where everybody is brainwashed and mind-controlled by a faulty and detrimental educational system, but we are already there.

Hope? Every day I teach with my heart and soul. I did not include this until now, but I have received many awards and honors as a teacher because I rise above the system. It is not easy, and I do not make many friends.

“Education is the movement from darkness to light.” – Allen Bloom

True education is anyway.

Source Article from

Clean your house naturally with ‘The Modern Organic Home’

Using just a few key ingredients, this book can teach you how to scour everything from dirty ovens to leather boots to ceiling fans.

The Internet abounds with recipes for homemade cleaning products, but sometimes it’s nice just to have everything in one place. A new book called The Modern Organic Home: Recipes and Tips for Cleaning and Detoxing Your Home is what every green housekeeper should have. Written by Natalie Wise, who must have one heck of a spotless house, the book is a treasure-trove of cleaning recipes.

Wise’s eco-friendly cleaning journey began when she had allergic reactions to many conventional cleaners. That’s when she discovered how many of them contain toxic ingredients. After switching to green cleaners, she grew frustrated with how ineffective they were, and how she often had to “clean up after the cleaning products.”

Eventually, in an effort to cut down on costs, Wise began making her own cleaning products. That’s when she discovered that thorough cleaning really only requires a few basic ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap to start. In the introduction, Wise writes:

“Making my own cleaning products invested me in the cleaning process. It invested me in the health of my own home and self. I’ll be honest my interest was also partly monetary and partly, well, vain. A bottle of the standard tub-cleaning solution is nearly $6 these days, with the commercial organic version more than that. With an initial investment, you can keep your home clean for very little. Traditional chemical cleaners come in garish containers with warning labels all over them. I prefer a small tote full of natural ingredients in glass bottles and shakers, which looks clean and calm.”

The book is divided into chapters for each room of the house. Each chapter includes recommended steps for purging, cleaning, and organizing (a lite version of the decluttering, minimalist books I’ve reviewed before), followed by room-specific recipes.

As expected, DIY recipes tend to be repetitive because they contain many of the same ingredients, just in different quantities depending on what their job is. There are all the usual all-purpose countertop cleaners, microwave and oven cleaners, glass cleaner, scummy sink and shower scrubbers, and toilet bowl cleaner.

But Wise goes above and beyond with a bunch of unexpected recipes. Have you ever wondered how to revive wooden spoons? Try her “Wonder Wax”! Or restore copper pots’ shininess with ketchup, of all things. Use aluminium foil to get rust off bathroom faucets and make a refrigerator shiny again with a dash of olive oil.

She gives detailed cleaning instructions for random household objects, such as kids’ icky lunch bags, backpacks, running shoes, and stuffed animals. Readers will learn how to clean everything from computer screens to lampshades to makeup brushes. There’s an entire section on removing stains of all kinds. In other words, when this book says it’s about the entire Modern Organic Home, it really is.

Perhaps the best thing about Wise’s book is that it’s inspiring. It has certainly infected me with the spring cleaning bug and makes me want to get to work immediately.

The Modern Organic Home: Recipes and Tips for Cleaning and Detoxing Your Home (Skyhorse, 2018) is available on Amazon, $16

Source Article from

Tech giants: The modern day robber barons

Tim Cook Mark Zuckerberg Jeff Bezos


America’s biggest tech giants are nothing if not popular. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon rank as some of the most well-liked brands in the world. Pollsters find that 86 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of Google and 80 percent share a favorable impression of Amazon. The reason is simple – these companies’ products are entertaining, accessible and seemingly cheap.

But their growing dominance is giving rise to an insidious trend that we shouldn’t so happily accept. Just last week, billionaire philanthropist George Soros gave a speech in Davos, Switzerland, in which he attacked Facebook and Google for “inducing people to give up their autonomy” and driving inequality. He’s not wrong. In fact, tech giants are just like the monopolists and robber barons that ruled the American economy a century ago. But, while Standard Oil’s monopoly was as obvious as the smoke-belching refineries it controlled, the powers of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are less transparent – if not entirely secret.

An average Facebook user has no way of knowing or appreciating the mountain of data the company has collected on them. And the average Amazon shopper is unlikely know that the site steers customers toward its preferred (and often more expensive) products. America’s biggest tech giants have at least as much power as John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan did in the early 20th century; it is just much harder to see.

Tech companies can dominate sectors without actually producing anything in those markets. Apple does not produce any music, but it nonetheless controls a huge amount of the industry. Facebook doesn’t produce any news, but news organizations are highly dependent on the social platform. And these corporations continue to expand. Amazon, for instance, has entered the grocery business – via its buyout of Whole Foods – and just last week announced a new healthcare project.

Americans have addressed this challenge before. In 1911, the US government broke Standard Oil into 34 pieces after the company monopolized 90 percent of the US oil market. Google now controls 92 percent of the global search-engine market but is still allowed to expand. The only way to tame America’s tech goliaths is to see them for what they are – monopolies – and go after them using antitrust law.

Musicians were the first to experience the newfound power of big tech. A generation ago, musicians could reach fans through all sorts of channels. Listeners could buy from small, local record stores, big national chains like Tower Records, bookstores and general retailers like Walmart; they could tune into thousands of independent AM and FM radio channels. This highly distributed system provided not just a way for a musician to be found by listeners, but a way to earn real money – from album sales and radio play, as well as live performances.

The first big change to this system came in 1999, when Napster made it much easier for almost any person to listen to music posted online by others. Although Napster was shut down in 2001, musicians soon found themselves dealing with Apple and its iTunes Store, which launched in 2003.

While Apple, unlike Napster, made people pay for music, it took the power of price-setting away from musicians. Even though Apple does not make any music, it gave itself the power to set music’s price – at 99 cents a song. There are few markets in which producers have no power over the price of their goods, but that was exactly the dynamic that Apple created. Just about every year since, musicians have found themselves facing an ever-more concentrated industry, to the point where the business is now dominated by three giant music publishers – Sony, Warner and Universal – and three great Internet bottlenecks – Apple, Spotify and YouTube (owned by Google).

Apple and Spotify control the majority of the music-streaming market, and 46 percent of all on-demand music listening goes through YouTube. As these corporations have expanded, they have steadily driven down what they pay to artists and labels for their music. In the aggregate, the effect is dramatic; global recorded music revenue fell from around $40 billion in 1999 to under $15 billion in 2014, adjusted for inflation. For many individuals and bands, the result has been an almost complete loss of income. Members of the 1970s rock group The Band, for instance, went “from a decent royalty income of around $100,000 per year to almost nothing,” as their former tour manager Jonathan Taplin has written.

For musicians, “it’s worse than it’s ever been,” says David Lowery – frontman of the band Cracker. Artists have “no bargaining power whatsoever” when it comes to the tech companies, he says.

Jay Z tried to take back some of this bargaining power in 2015 when he bought the platform Tidal, in the hopes of building an artist-friendly streaming service. But unlike Tidal, Apple and Spotify have enough money to expand via loss-leading. They price their services low to gain more users, and they can afford to continue operating even while losing money. Tidal – which has struggled to gain more than a small fraction of the market – simply can’t keep up.

Artists say YouTube is one of the worst offenders. The video site pays less than a 10th of a penny per song any time a song is played, far below what Apple and Spotify pay.

Even worse, musicians say, YouTube steers listeners away from certain musicians toward others, especially those backed by big record labels that can afford to promote them.

The story is much the same for another set of creators: authors. A few decades ago, authors could sell their books in a highly competitive market, with many publishers and retailers competing to find the next new book and sell it to readers. But today, almost all power is concentrated in the hands of a single company – Amazon. Amazon today sells 55 percent of all books in the US, 82 percent of all e-books and 99 percent of all audiobooks. Like Google and Apple in music, Amazon uses its monopoly position to drive down the price it pays for books, negotiating steep discounts from publishers and tacking on additional fees.

For authors, “It’s a very frightening time,” says T.J. Stiles, a two-time Pulitzer-prize winning biographer.

Authors have seen the effect of Amazon’s power on their incomes. Full-time authors’ incomes declined by about a third just between 2009 and 2015 – from an average of $25,000 a year to $17,000 per year – according to a survey conducted by the Authors Guild. As the president of the guild, Mary Rasenberger, recounts: “A mid-list author in the mid-to-late 20th century could make a pretty decent middle-class income.”

Today that’s “extraordinarily hard.” Both authors and publishers have tried to get around Amazon, but the company has in the past punished publishers trying to negotiate for better rates for themselves and their authors. In 2010, for instance, Amazon removed the “buy” buttons from books by the publisher MacMillan, and in 2014, Amazon delayed the shipping of books from Hachette. “Hachette was a warning,” Stiles says. “If anyone crossed Amazon, they were willing to do basically anything to force people to knuckle under.”

Amazon even managed to convince the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice to sue publishers for trying to resist the company. In 2007, with the introduction of the Kindle, Amazon decided to price all e-books – regardless of how much time or investment was put into them – at $9.99. The publishers, upset that Amazon had taken away their ability to price their authors’ books, allied with Apple to build a new e-book market. Publishers would set the price of their books, as in the previous, competitive market, and Apple would take a cut.

But, the government said this was illegal collusion, even though the publishers had established a market that closely resembled the competitive book market that predated Amazon’s monopoly.

Movies are another industry in which the tech platforms are becoming increasingly dominant. Netflix, just like Amazon in the book business, prices its streaming service below what it costs to operate. And now, Amazon and Netflix are bidding up the prices of films they buy – thereby setting the price of movies.

Movie-studio businesses cannot compete with Amazon and Netflix’s money. This was why Disney, last year, decided to pull all of its content from Netflix. Separating itself from Netflix is Disney’s only hope of staying afloat. As in other sectors, Amazon and Netflix are beginning to dominate the market, even though they only produce a small share of the movies in the business. And, as is often the case, it is the regular, non-famous creators – the scriptwriters, small actors and set workers – who are sure to be hurt most if Amazon and Netflix continue to grow their monopoly power.

It is hard to predict what the American economy will look like if the big tech platforms are permitted to continue their unchecked growth.

Although the tech giants went after the creative industries first, they won’t stop there. Amazon started selling books but has since expanded into other sectors of retail, including electronics, appliances, power tools and clothing. With its purchase of Whole Foods last year, Amazon brought its monopoly power to grocery. The stock prices of leading grocers fell dramatically after that merger, but it is the workers – the cashiers, farmers, suppliers and managers who work in the industry – who will ultimately feel the real effects of Amazon’s monopoly power.

Google’s search-engine monopoly, meanwhile, produces a huge amount of money and data for Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Alphabet has used that data advantage to turn itself into one of the most successful, powerful corporations in the race for artificial intelligence. And Alphabet has used its money and technology to build a company, Waymo, that could be one of the first to sell a real, driverless car to American car-buyers. In so doing, Alphabet is competing against the country’s auto companies as well as the millions of people who work as the drivers, mechanics and builders of those cars. And as tech experts claim, the rise of AI could eventually displace all kinds of jobs, far more than those affected by the rise of driverless cars.

It is increasingly clear that the relentless expansion of Amazon, Google and Facebook is beginning to have a much bigger effect on the American economy. This monopolization serves to drive down wages, and it may mean fewer jobs overall. It also means less opportunity for independent entrepreneurs to start up new companies – contributing to fewer small and local businesses.

Worse still, in his speech at Davos, Soros warned of the “web of totalitarian control” that would be created if the tech giants are to combine their powers with those of authoritarian states like Russia and China. “The dictatorial leaders in these countries may be only too happy to collaborate.”

The good news is that America’s antitrust enforcers can begin to fix this problem tomorrow.

For much of the 20th century, anti-monopoly law aimed to protect the producer, the creator and the worker. But a group of radical thinkers upended this tradition in the 1980s. By arguing that the law should focus exclusively on the “welfare” of the “consumer,” they opened the door to the sort of unfair pricing and business tactics that have been perfected by the tech giants.

Fortunately, although the philosophy has changed, the underlying laws remain largely the same. This means that the antitrust lawyers at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission can use their existing powers to go after the biggest tech platforms.

US antitrust enforcers have all the power they need to resume the trust-busting that freed Americans from companies like Standard Oil and plutocrats like J.P. Morgan. They just need to use that power, now.

Source Article from

The Modern parenting techniques that hinder Brain development

twins in opposite moods


Modern parenting practices and cultural beliefs are hurting children’s development, a child psychology expert argues.

Professor Darcia Narvaez of the University of Notre Dame, who studies how early life experiences affect brain development, said:

Life outcomes for American youth are worsening, especially in comparison to 50 years ago.

Ill-advised practices and beliefs have become commonplace in our culture, such as the use of infant formula, the isolation of infants in their own rooms or the belief that responding too quickly to a fussing baby will ‘spoil’ it.”

Set against these, some ancient parenting practices have been repeatedly linked to positive brain development.

Professor Narvaez explained:

“Breast-feeding infants, responsiveness to crying, almost constant touch and having multiple adult caregivers are some of the nurturing ancestral parenting practices that are shown to positively impact the developing brain, which not only shapes personality, but also helps physical health and moral development.”

For example, research has shown that:

  • Positive touch reduces stress in children.
  • Responding to babies needs is linked to the development of consciousness.
  • Free play in nature reduces aggression.
  • A set of supportive caregivers may boost IQ and empathy.

Despite this, children in the US are now less likely to be breastfed, are not held as much as they were and free play has reduced dramatically since the 1970s.

On top of this, extended families have been broken up by economic and social forces.

This means children do not see as many of their relatives as they used to.

Professor Narvaez said:

“The right brain, which governs much of our self-regulation, creativity and empathy, can grow throughout life.

The right brain grows though full-body experience like rough-and-tumble play, dancing or freelance artistic creation.

So at any point, a parent can take up a creative activity with a child and they can grow together.”

The research was presented at the University of Notre Dame in 2012 (Narvaez, 2012).

Source Article from

Jared Kushner’s Apartment Company Accused of Running Modern ‘Debtors’ Prison’

Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, hosts of Loud and Clear, spoke to Matt Hill, an attorney representing the aggrieved Westminster tenants against Kushner and his companies, asking him to elaborate on what alleged wrongdoing is the basis for the class action lawsuit.

Hill described Westminster as engaging in a “fee churning scheme,” in which tenants are slammed with additional fees and are not allowed to pay their rent until they manage to resolve those additional fees — creating scenarios in which tenants are forced to be late with their rent payments and incur yet more fees. “Then, that sometimes allows Westminster to say that the next tenant’s rent payment is late, which then incurs another five percent late fee, which then incurs another set of additional fees that we contend are illegal and sets the tenant up again to go deeper and deeper into this black hole of fees,” he explained.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump chat as White House senior advisor Jared Kushner is seen in between them, during their meeting at the King David hotel in Jerusalem May 22, 2017

“So that kind of fee churning scheme always keeps folks behind. And when you’re looking at the market in Baltimore, where housing is increasingly unaffordable, we find that these kinds of fees really keep people from being able to live in their housing.”

Hill explained the actions of Westminster as pure naked greed. “Landlords are in a business to make money, and if they can sense an opportunity to turn a profit by charging an additional fee, they certainly have every motive to try to get away with charging that fee.”

“The more fees that they can collect, the more profit they’re going to make — but the consequences for tenants is this repeated churning fees, and this snowballing effect in which you’re constantly behind and don’t know exactly how much you have to pay in order to avoid eviction.”

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens during the American Leadership in Emerging Technology event with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington

Kiriakou mentioned that the scheme involves 15 different complexes totalling nearly 9,000 apartment units. Becker added that the case had achieved a high profile because of its attachment to Kushner, a prominent White House official, but that other instances of fee churning go on elsewhere in the country and attract much less attention.

Hill agreed, although he wasn’t in a position to comment on the larger legal ramifications of the case. “Our suit is focused on what we allege are systemic illegal predatory practices across the board affecting the tenants who live in Westminster properties. Our focus is really making sure that that Westminster is no longer able to engage in what we consider a practice that is predatory and that ultimately deprives people of of scarce affordable housing.”

Furthermore, Hill claimed, Westminster was also engaging in another illegal practice known as body attachment. He explained it thusly: “It’s just what it sounds like. If you are a tenet, let’s say you left the property and the landlord alleges that you still owe them for something — whether it’s some sort of fee or they want to charge you for what we contend often are illegal cleaning fees. If you don’t pay, there is a process where a landlord can seek assistance from the police to bring you in and hold you until you answer certain questions and talk about being responsive and paying up.”

Ivanka Trump and her husband, White House advisor Jared Kushner, sit in the front row for a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S

If this practice sounds at all familiar, it is extremely similar to debtors’ prisons — institutions popular in Western European and US legal systems in the 19th century where those with unpaid debts were incarcerated until they could work off their debt. Debtors’ prisons were made illegal by federal law in 1833, but remain in use to this day on the state level — mostly for those who fail to pay child support.

“It’s definitely a practice that we think is really detrimental to hardworking folks who are just trying to make it day to day to pay off these sorts of alleged debts,” Hill said. “You think that debtors prison is gone in the United States, but apparently it’s alive and well.”

Source Article from

This Modern Prefabricated Home Took Just 5 Hours To Assemble

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

With the advent of technology, architecture is changing fast. To meet consumer demand and preserve the environment, firms are developing prefabricated abodes which can be assembled in a matter of days — if not hours. In fact, the newest prefab home constructed by studio [baragaño] is situated in Valdés, Spain, and took just 5 hours to assemble.

After four months of building the modern home, it was delivered to the small town in Asturias, northwest of Madrid. There, it was assembled in a matter of hours. As Freshome reports, the Montaña House is intended to be a stylistic mix between a traditional home and granaries found in the area.

There are two levels to the small prefab house. The social areas are downstairs and all bedrooms are on the second floor. The interior is simple yet comfortable, with wooden flooring and black and white wall finishes. Light polycarbonate panels allow natural light to penetrate the spaces and add warmth.

A centerpiece of the design is a metal staircase around which spaces are organized. There is even a fireplace suspended from the living room ceiling. Finally, the architects embellished the Montaña House with a traditional slate roof, made by a local artisan.

“The metal staircase is the central element of the dwelling, around which the program runs and which dialogues with the chimney suspended from the living room,” explained the architects. “The upper floor contains two rooms, separated by a light poly-carbonate wall that sifts the light.”

According to Inhabitat, the house was purchased by and assembled for an English landscaper and his family.

Photos by Mariela Apollonio

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

Read more: How Complaining Rewires Your Brain For Negativity (And How To Break The Habit)

Source Article from

Israeli Editorial– ‘Trump is undoubtedly the most hated U.S. president in modern history’

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,854 other followers

Source Article from

6 Things Idiocracy Predicted About The Modern World That Sadly Came True

By Fattima Mahdi Truth Theory

In September 2006, 20th Century Fox released Mike Judge’s third feature film, Idiocracy, for a limited run. Yes, even after his two international hits, Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill, Mike Judge’s hilarious yet darkly prophetic voice was hushed by the very studio profiting from his success. Cut to today and the parallels between the film and reality are so stark it’s frightening. Here are five things Idiocracy predicted that sadly came true:

  1. The President of the United States is a Man-Child

We all laughed at Terry Crews character, President Camacho; comfortable in the knowledge that we will never, ever, witness such poor behavior from a world leader behind a podium. We guffawed at the way he rallied his citizens like a rock-star while making trivial statements. We’re certainly not laughing now…

  1. Earth Is A Giant Trash Heap

In Idiocracy, Earth is a giant trash heap and there is rubbish everywhere. Sound familiar? There have been claims that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, so again, truth is approaching fiction.

  1. We’re Growing Into Our Screens

Idiocracy introduced us to a Character (Frito) who was so distracted by what was on his television screen that when protagonist Joe came crashing through his living-room wall, he didn’t move a muscle. Today, you can walk into any restaurant and observe a couple so distracted by their phones that it’s almost as if they’ve forgotten that they’re on a date. In fact we ALL walk around with portable screens, staring into them right up until we’re forced to interact with each other.

  1. Advertisements are Everywhere

Idiocracy depicts a future where advertisements are more pervasive. Though this has been widely observed by the masses, what we didn’t quite imagine a decade ago was that algorithms would be written to tailor advertisements to our preferences. If you find yourself browsing Amazon for snowboard shoes one day, within an hour you’ll see advertisements for the product on almost every site you visit. In fact, depending on the model of your mobile device, you may find that just having conversations about products via social media over a phone call would lead to those products being advertised to you throughout your day surfing the web.

  1. Celebrities are Worshipped for Little to Nothing

Danielle Bregoli A.K.A. Bhad Bhabie/“Cash Me Outside” Girl rose to fame after an appearance on the CBS aired Dr. Phil show, in which she frequently swore, spoke like a rude gangster and threatened an audience member. She has now signed a multi-million dollar deal with Atlantic records as a rapper and has become a hugely popular social media personality.

  1. Entertainment is on a Steep Decline

Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow”, a rap track about little b*tches not being able to f*ck with her (if they wanted to) was the longest running No.1 hit in the United States by a solo female artist, a record previously held by Lauryn Hill for “Doo Wop”.

Read more: 4 Chilling Black Mirror Episodes That Are Already Becoming A Reality

Source Article from