Archive | Corporate Skeptics

Leave Facebook if you don’t want to be spied on, warns EU

Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)

Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)

Samuel Gibbs Via The Guardian:

The European Commission has warned EU citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private from US security services, finding that current Safe Harbour legislation does not protect citizen’s data.

The comments were made by EC attorney Bernhard Schima in a case brought by privacy campaigner Maximilian Schrems, looking at whether the data of EU citizens should be considered safe if sent to the US in a post-Snowden revelation landscape.

“You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one,” Schima told attorney general Yves Bot in a hearing of the case at the European court of justice in Luxembourg.

When asked directly, the commission could not confirm to the court that the Safe Harbour rules provide adequate protection of EU citizens’ data as it currently stands.

The US no longer qualifies

The case, dubbed “the Facebook data privacy case”, concerns the current Safe Harbour framework, which covers the transmission of EU citizens’ data across the Atlantic to the US.

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How Cannabis is Going to Change Life as We Know It

ZapolinM1-1

A cancelled Tedx talk manuscript.

By Mike “Zappy” Zapolin via Graham Hancock’s Website:

In this article, Mike Zappy transcribes the contents of a talk on cannabis and how it’s going to change ‘life as we know it’ that he had intended to deliver at a Tedx event in Boca Raton. The text was approved by the organizers and Zappy was scheduled into the event but a few days later he received an email from the same organizers cancelling his talk. They said that ‘Boca Raton was not ready for a talk about cannabis’.

Zappy wants to take a stand against what he believes is the hypocrisy of Tedx, an event that is supposed to break barriers, and is publishing his talk in full here.

I’m here today to explain to you “How Cannabis is Going to Change Life as We Know It,” and why you don’t need to be afraid.

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‘Monsanto’s Dream': Pro-GMO DARK Act Comes to Congress

Calling the legislation "diabolical and deceptive," critics of Pompeo's bill have vowed a fight. (Photo: CT Senate Democrats/cc/flickr)

Calling the legislation “diabolical and deceptive,” critics of Pompeo’s bill have vowed a fight. (Photo: CT Senate Democrats/cc/flickr)

This was originally published on Common Dreams.

The battle over genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, reached the U.S. capital on Wednesday when news broke that Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo will reintroduce a bill that blocks states from requiring GMO labeling.

The legislation, dubbed by critics the Deny Americans the Right-to-Know or DARK Act, grants the Secretary of Health and Human Services sole authority to mandate GMO labeling and sets forth particular standards for any label that contains claims that GMOs were or were not used in the production of the food— hampering any attempts by the Food and Drug Administration to pass legislation on the federal level.

Further, the bill preempts any local or state requirement and thus would overturn existing laws in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine, which critics say is a direct attack on state sovereignty.

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Big Food ‘Expands Its Tentacles’ with Heinz-Kraft Deal

After the mega-merger of Kraft and Heinz, grocery stores shelves will be lined by products and brands all owned by the same corporation. (Photo: Mike Mozart/cc/flickr)

After the mega-merger of Kraft and Heinz, grocery stores shelves will be lined by products and brands all owned by the same corporation. (Photo: Mike Mozart/cc/flickr)

This post originally appeared on Common Dreams. Read more of Lauren’s posts here.

In a consolidation that will birth the fifth largest food company in the world, H.J. Heinz Company announced on Wednesday its plan to purchase Kraft Foods.

The mega-merger, which was engineered by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathway and the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, brings under one roof products ranging from the ubiquitous Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Mac n’ Cheese to the companies’ other brands including: Oscar Mayer lunch meats, Planters nuts, Bagel Bites, Maxwell House Coffee, Jell-O, Kraft Singles, Ore-Ida potato products, Weight Watchers brand frozen dinners, and Kool-Aid.

The expected annual revenue of Kraft Heinz Co. is expected to be about $28 billion.

The Associated Press reports that the $40 billion buyout reflects pressures facing packaged food makers as consumers are increasingly interested in purchasing less processed food.

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Journalists Who Hate Whistleblowers

Ahmad Hammoud (CC BY 2.0)

Ahmad Hammoud (CC BY 2.0)

Via John Hanrahan at Consortium News:

A disturbing trend in mainstream U.S. media is how many “star” journalists side with the government in its persecution of whistleblowers – and even disdain fellow reporters who expose secret wrongdoing, an attitude that is destroying what’s left of American democracy, as John Hanrahan explains.

By John Hanrahan

Following the late January guilty verdicts in the espionage trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, more proof emerged — if any more were needed — that many elite mainstream journalists abhor whistleblowers and think they should go to prison when they divulge classified information.

One would think that a business that has relied on confidential informants for some of the major investigative stories of this and the previous century would applaud whistleblowers who risk everything on behalf of the people’s right to know what their government is doing in the shadows.

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Blood Money: These Companies and People Make Billions of Dollars From War

screen-shot-2013-09-15-at-6-23-28-pm

Via Lily Dane at Activist Post:

War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.George Orwell

The late United States Marine Corps Major General Smedley D. Butler is perhaps most famous for his post-retirement speech titled “War is a Racket.” In the early 1930s, Butler presented the speech on a nationwide tour. It was so popular that he wrote a longer version as a small book that was published in 1935.

Butler points to a variety of examples, mostly from World War I, where industrialists whose operations were subsidized by public funding were able to generate substantial profits essentially from mass human suffering.

The work is divided into five chapters:

  1. War is a racket
  2. Who makes the profits?
  3. Who pays the bills?
  4. How to smash this racket!
  5. To hell with war!

It contains this summary:

War is a racket.

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Cruz Won’t Say How Much Wife Makes at Goldman Sachs

Zaid Jilani Via Alternet:

Why Did Ted Cruz Refuse to Disclose How Much His Wife—a VP at Goldman Sachs—Makes?

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz has announced his intention to run for the presidency. He is widely expected to tap into the Tea Party base of the Republican party and posit himself as anti-establishment – in this case, an establishment that is too weak-kneed and too willing to compromise with the Democrats.

But a curious statement on Cruz’s financial disclosure shows that he may not be so opposed to the establishment he rails against. See, Cruz’s wife is a vice president at Goldman Sachs, the megabank so close to the powers in Washington that it is often jokingly referred to as “Government Sachs.” Because spousal income is shared, it is required for Members of Congress to list their spouse’s employement if it gives them over $1,000. They are not required to list the exact income their spouse receives, but they are certainly allowed to if they are willing to be that transparent.

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Amazon cleared to put its delivery drones to the test

amazon_drone_test

The Federal Aviation Administration has given Amazon permission to begin testing its drone delivery operations.

via Nick Lavars at Gizmag:

It’s been more than a year in the making, but it seems that the regulatory wheels are beginning to turn on Amazon’s bold plan for drone deliveries. The FAA has today granted the online retailer permission to start testing its unmanned aircraft as part of its Prime Air initiative. It does come with its share of caveats, however, so don’t expect a box set to be air-delivered to your doorstep anytime soon.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first unveiled plans to use drones to deliver small packages in late 2013, saying that “we hope the FAA’s rules will be in place as early as sometime in 2015. We will be ready at that time.” But since then, Amazon has played the waiting game as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revamps its regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles.

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This Major Newspaper Just Declared War on Fossil Fuels

observista (CC BY-ND 2.0)

observista (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Via Tim McDonnell at Mother Jones:

After 20 years at the helm of one of the United Kingdom’s most influential newspapers, Alan Rusbridger is about to step down as editor of the Guardian. He’s not going quietly: In an op-ed a couple weeks ago, Rusbridger pledged to use his waning weeks to launch a full-out war on climate change:

So, in the time left to me as editor, I thought I would try to harness theGuardian’s best resources to describe what is happening…For the purposes of our coming coverage, we will assume that the scientific consensus about man-made climate change and its likely effects is overwhelming. We will leave the sceptics and deniers to waste their time challenging the science. The mainstream argument has moved on to the politics and economics…

We will look at who is getting the subsidies and who is doing the lobbying.

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Could Psilocybin Be the Next Caffeine? A Microdosing Report.

darksideofthesun3Well, this is an odd one. Typically if you were going to read an article of mine about psychedelics, it’d be about telepathic communication with higher dimensional forms of insectile intelligence or plants or some shit (which I continually pontificate about on Facebook, friend me). That’s just sort of how I roll and, as a matter of fact, I just participated in a research study for John Hopkins University in regards to that exact topic. So it’s not sounding so crazy anymore, is it? But, as with most bizzarro endeavors I find myself engaged in, I am but a talking monkey guided by means of mostly unseen synchromystic entanglement.

Last fall, I tossed up a post about the Hypnotikon psychedelic music festival in Seattle. After writing about it, I thought to myself, “hmmm, maybe I should try microdosing for this thing.” It’s something I’d read about, but hadn’t truly considered experimenting with a whole lot before then.… Read the rest

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