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2018-02-02 12:31 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 1282 references
[Comments enabled]  

Let's boil the Nunes memo down for all of you who are screaming for heads -- but newly, just today.

First, there's the fact that the "Steele Dossier" was critical to the granting of a FISA court warrant.  The memo makes clear that absent the Dossier there would have been no warrant as the court would have refused to grant it for lack of evidence, no spying on the Trump campaign and no grounds for the current Mueller investigation.

Now that wouldn't by itself be enough to toss every single individual involved in the clink except for the following, which turns the above into a serious criminal felony that reaches everyone involved including quite-probably then-President Obama himself:

You see, the memo also documents that the FBI intentionally concealed the source and nature of the "Steele Dossier", including who paid for it, from the FISA Court Judges.  The DOJ officials knew the Steele Dossier was paid for by Democrats and intentionally failed to include that in both the original warrant and three renewals aimed at Carter Page.  Worse, the FBI had terminated Steele as an FBI source for unauthorized disclosures to the media months prior -- and didn't disclose that to the court either!  In short despite the DOJ and FBI knowing that Steele had a personal animus against Donald Trump's campaign, was financially motivated by the Democrats who were paying him, and in addition had been disqualified as an FBI source due to prior personal misconduct they intentionally concealed all three facts from the FISA court not just once -- but four times in total.

This standing alone is a crime; it constitutes not only obstruction of justice but also perjury, and is further fraud upon the court.

Attorneys and others presenting documentary evidence to a court have a duty before their client under the law.  Their first duty is to the integrity of the process itself.  It is a specific offense to fail to uphold that responsibility.

That, we now know, appears to have happened in this case.

But this case is not the first time.  In fact it has been the very process and procedure of not only the FBI and NSA in multiple cases, thousands of them yearly, but it is also the case that this is extraordinarily common in state and local investigations.

In 2013 I wrote on a case in a nearby county to where I live, in which the Sheriff's Office intentionally concealed how they obtained the information necessary to get a warrant, which led to an arrest for someone who had (and presumably was or was intending to sell) a large amount of marijuana.  The reason they concealed how they came by the information is that they knew they had broken the law and had they disclosed this fact their case would have instantly collapsed.  It was only through diligent work by the defense that the ruse was uncovered.  The accused walked as we have at least one honest Judge in the local area who refused to give aid and comfort to criminal violations of the Constitution by the cops.

This is not a singular case.  In fact it's utterly common for law enforcement at all levels to do exactly this sort of thing -- use an unlawful means to develop a case and then lie, generating a "parallel excuse" that leads them to the arrest.  This is not just an offense against the Constitution it is felony perjury as well when they lie in their pleadings and presentations to the courts of this nation.  While this act is most-common in drug cases it's hardly confined there.  All of this is illegal and yet not one cop has gone to prison -- although a few defendants that uncovered it before sentencing or appeal have had their convictions tossed.

The root problem is that you, America, will not get off your ass.  Where was the demand for everyone involved in that crap in 2013 to be fired and prosecuted?  It's not like I didn't report on that case or try to bury it, you know.  Nor was I the only one -- a local paper ran the story as well and thousands of subscribers read the article.

Suddenly you're outraged that this very same thing was done to a Presidential candidate.

These events happened because you failed to get out your pitchforks, torches and a demand for criminal prosecution and disbandment of all agencies involved in the thousands upon thousands of similar cases aimed at other people over the previous few decades.

It's certainly true that you don't want 100 kilos of heroin flooding your town.  But when you get down to it the process exists to conduct surveillance and obtain warrants legally for a reason -- it prevents perversions of justice and rank abuse exactly as appears happened in this case.  The law forbids intentional concealment as occurred here for that exact reason and it is the American public's refusal to call for prison terms and instant disbandment of all state, local and federal law enforcement agencies that have intentionally, wantonly and with complete disregard for the law engaged in such practices that led to this abuse.

If you are only upset about this because you like Trump then you're no better than they are, in that you're perfectly ok with so-called "law enforcement" committing felonies so long as "the right people" are arrested, charged and prosecuted.

Then there's Ari Fleischer, who says "that's not the FBI I know":

Based on my one and only experience with McCabe, it proved to me that he has a “circle the wagons and protect James Comey at all costs” approach that is inconsistent with the type of behavior our nation should expect from a man who, at the time, was leading the FBI.

....

The FBI I know is better than this.

No it's not.  In fact Ari Fleischer, who was the Press Secretary for George W. Bush, did this exact sort of corrupt thing dozens of times both during his tenure and both before and after.  Ari knows this -- factually.

The events that led to the Nunes memo would have never occurred had the public risen up a decade or more ago and demanded that this crap not only stop but also that the people doing it go to prison on pain of all of them, and their families, being unable to buy a gallon of gasoline, a single banana to eat or even manage to walk down the street without having the public at-large spit on their shoes and fly the bird in their faces.

Let me know when your attitude changes and you're willing to make that demand and back it up until every single one of these people are sitting in prison and their salaries, pensions and benefits are forfeit with said agencies shut down.

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2018-02-01 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 134 references
[Comments enabled]  

Sigh.....

But technology is also enabling a new type of terrible work, in which Americans complete mind-numbing tasks for hours on end, sometimes earning just pennies per job. And for many workers living in parts of the country where other jobs have disappeared—obviated by technology or outsourcing—this work is all that’s available for people with their qualifications.

This low-paid work arrives via sites like CrowdFlower, Clickworker, Toluna, and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, to name a few. Largely unregulated, these sites allow businesses and individuals to post short tasks and pay workers—in cash or, sometimes, gift cards—to complete them. A recent Mechanical Turk listing, for example, offered workers 80 cents to read a restaurant review and then answer a survey about their impressions of it; the time limit was 45 minutes. Another, which asked workers to fill out a 15-minute psychological questionnaire about what motivates people to do certain tasks, offered $1, but allowed that the job could take three hours.

Folks, this is a raw and obvious wage-and-hour abuse.

Yes, you can be an independent contractor.  But doing so does not generally exempt one from wage-and-hour constraints, including minimum wage, standing alone.  Whether you are legitimately able to be classified as "exempt" from wage and hour constraints (or a contractor at all) depends on a multi-pronged test; menial work cannot be exempted from wage-and-hour requirements by attempting to "demote it" to the so-called "gig economy" when there is no risk of capital loss or failure for the person who is doing the job.

In other words you can't take a job that requires little or no skill, along with zero investment or risk of loss for the worker, reclassify it as a "contract job" to prevent having to pay someone minimum wage for it and then offer what amounts to 20 cents/hour in pay.  That's illegal.

Further, the sites that are promoting, listing and taking a commission from this activity are arguably facilitating this activity with actual knowledge of the intent to break wage and hour laws and directly profiting from doing soespecially huge firms like Spamazon that have enormous numbers of employees and legitimate contractors.

In other words these firms are profiting from a form of human trafficking.

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2018-01-31 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 214 references
[Comments enabled]  

I admit to being a bit unhappy about the collapse that is about to take place.  See, there have been a lot of ads for cryptothings on my site, and they certainly appear to pay well.

Of course the way online ad networks work I can't see the exact ads that run and the bids people place to put them on my site.  But I can see the numbers they generate.

Anyway, Facebook slammed the door on crypto-related ads yesterday, and Google will probably follow.  That's the lion's share of the ad network space.

All ponzi schemes require ever-more suckers to come into the so-called "market" or they collapse.

When advertising is blocked and the fever cools the dive in alleged "value" is terminal for the "new sucker" fails to appear.  Whether that's today or next week is unknown, but this is an ominous sign for those who are buying things that have no value whatsoever unless someone will pay more for them tomorrow.

BTC = $0.00

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2018-01-30 09:45 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 191 references
[Comments enabled]  

This account of one man's experience (who I've gone back and forth with a bunch of times since the mid 2000s) just drips scam.

Suddenly, without so much as an on-screen disclaimer or warning of the risk you are about to undertake, you are empowered to push a few buttons on-screen to make thousand-dollar bets on one of the most wildly volatile “assets” of our time.

Even if you never have bought or sold a single share of stock in your life, even if you aren’t a “qualified investor” with a net worth of $1 million, and even without the advice of any broker and utterly naked of any supposed “protection” from the SEC or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Imagine that. Horrors.

It is intoxicating, a little heady, almost giddy, eventually crushing.

and then....

Even if I had wanted to retreat and sell out as prices fell, I couldn’t have done so—my purchases of the first three currencies didn’t go through for eight days! And eleven days after I bought BCH, that purchase finally became official last night.

So let's see if I get this right.

You can put money in any time you want, and transact. Except you can't leave because what you did allegedly "doesn't confirm" for eight to eleven days, so you're trapped.

And they have your money, on which they earn interest.

Was this "lockup" disclosed clearly before you start?  Doesn't look like it, from that account.

So basically you have a roach motel that encourages you to do addictive things -- like add more money when things go bad.  And this, I remind you, is a US company which (allegedly anyway) is subject to all the usual disclosure and fair dealing laws that firms like Wells Fargo have violated with impunity for the last decade without a single person ever going to prison.

Yeah.

If you buy a stock and decide it was a bad idea 5 minutes later you can close the position and stop whatever is going on.  Same with a futures account.  Here?  Doesn't look like it.

How is a firm like this still in business?  Where are the ****ing cops and why isn't everyone involved in this crap in prison?

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2018-01-29 13:05 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 309 references
[Comments enabled]  

You're not going to like this.

I've spent some time recently on a "new" bit of "fun" that a few of my various scanning tools have flagged as potentially nasty coming from various sites around the Internet, including some very well known sites.

There is an ugly little bit of game-playing going on and it doesn't appear to be one site or two either; it's spreading, and it's neither an accident nor is there any evidence that the sites in question have been hacked -- that is, this looks intentional on the part of the site owners.

What are they doing?  Hijacking your CPU during the time you're on their site to run hash calculations.

Guess what that's for?  Cryptocurrency mining -- and the site is keeping the results.

I assume that someone has come up with a "package" that these sites can put in their HTML that then grabs the appropriate resources and runs them, assuming it's not blocked.  All you see is a slowdown and more CPU consumption on your computer, but the mere act of visiting and viewing their content results in your computer being used to make them money.  While the actual amount of hashing one person with one computer visiting the site could do is extremely small for a site that generates a lot of views the potential financial reward to said site owner (which I assume they are splitting with the code developer in some fashion) could be quite material.

Isn't that special folks?  This almost wins over the scam I found on some fairly major sites last year that were attempting to load things on mobiles, targeting Android specifically, but only on if you visited from an Android handset.  I reported on that one at the time.

This sort of hijacking of resources should be treated as a felony violation of the law and it's very traceable since it's coming from "ad code" that a site owner has to insert intentionally into their site's HTML generation code, but you know damn well it won't be.

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