Category: News Items

The FBI Unveils its Controversial Facial Recognition Database with 52 Million Photos to be Stored

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 12.25.38 PMIn April of this year, I highlighted the FBI’s disturbing and Orwellian plan to launch a massive biometric database known as the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System in the post, FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in Facial Recognition Database by 2015. In that piece I noted that:

The latest article from the EFF that caught my attention was published a couple of days ago, and shines light on the disturbing push by the FBI to create an extensive facial recognition database, which will include criminal and non-criminal photos alike. The information received by the EFF via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, demonstrates that the feds may have a mugshot database with up to 52 million photos by 2015.

The program is called Next Generation Identification (NGI), and the aspect of it that bothers the EFF most is the fact that non-criminal and criminal photos will be combined in the same database. So someone who has no criminal record can suddenly be flagged as a suspect just because an algorithm says so. What’s worst, research shows that the potential for false positive identification increases as the dataset increases.


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Why You Should Think Twice Before Using Facebook’s Messenger App

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“Messenger appears to have more spyware type code in it than I’ve seen in products intended specifically for enterprise surveillance.”

- Jonathan Zdziarski, expert in iOS related digital forensics and security

Anyone who reads Liberty Blitzkrieg consistently will be aware of my disdain for the company Facebook. There are many reasons for my negative sentiments, but at its core is the company’s complete disrespect toward its own users.

Facebook made major headlines earlier this summer when it was caught in a massive controversy over its decision to intentionally manipulate its users’ feeds in order to affect their emotional state, something I covered in the article: Was the Department of Defense Behind Facebook’s Controversial Manipulation Study? 


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Record Beheadings and the Mass Arrest of Christians – Is it ISIS? No it’s Saudi Arabia

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 10.36.07 AMIn the past month, a group of radical Islamic extremists based in the Middle East beheaded at least 23 people and enforced a ban on Christianity by arresting a group of people for practicing the faith in a private home.

No, I’m not talking about ISIS. The real culprit is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one of the America’s closest global allies.

I have highlighted the inhumanity of the Saudi regime frequently recently in order to demonstrate the incredible hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. While America’s phony politicians and useless mainstream media will often hype anti-Chrtistian bigotry and humanitarian issues when it suits the status quo message, the true driver of U.S. foreign policy can be summarized with two words: CORPORATE PROFITS.


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Obama’s ISIS War is Not Only Illegal, it Makes George W. Bush Look Like a Constitutional Scholar

Rudderless and without a compass, the American ship of state continues to drift, guns blazing.

- Andrew J. Bacevich, the Boston University political science professor and former Army colonel who lost his son in the Iraq war in 2007, in a recent Reuters article.

I have spent the past several days outlining my deep concerns about the “ISIS crisis” and Obama’s willingness to employ extreme propaganda in order to once again embark on another poorly thought out military campaign here and here. What I have also come to realize is that his latest war plan is brazenly illegal and unconstitutional.

While critics have been questioning the legality of U.S. military campaigns consistently since the end of World War II, one trend has become increasingly clear. With each new President and each new war, we have witnessed those who hold the office act more and more like dictators, and less and less like constitutional executives.


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Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: “I’m Glad People Have This 9/11 Mentality Again”

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 11.37.09 AMIn the wake of non-stop propaganda from politicians of both parties, as well as a mainstream media desperate for ratings, the American public is finally terrified enough to support another war in the Middle East. This is an unfortunate development I lamented in yesterday’s post: The American Public: A Tough Soldier or a Chicken Hawk Cowering in a Cubicle? Some Thoughts on ISIS Intervention.

With just 6% of likely U.S. voters thinking Congress is doing a good or excellent job according to a recent Rasmussen poll, it’s no surprise to see so many of these corrupt clowns falling over one another to appear tough on ISIS, using myriad hyperbolic and Orwellian statements.


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How I Remember September 11, 2001

I wrote the following a year ago today. I’m reposting because it is more important now than ever in light of the most recent war propaganda:

How I Remember September 11, 2001

I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I was one year into my Wall Street career. I got up that morning just like every other morning and headed toward Union Square station to get on the subway down to 3 World Financial Center, the headquarters of Lehman Brothers. I had just purchased breakfast in the cafeteria when I saw one of the human resources folks from my floor yelling to evacuate. I was confused but I got my ass downstairs fast. When I got down there I joined the hundreds of others staring in awe skyward at the gaping hole in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. People speculated that a helicopter had hit the building, but I said no way. It looked like a bomb went off to me.

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“Million-Dollar Parking Spots” – Peak Stupidity has Arrived in Manhattan

Hundreds of men in starched robes descend on an opulent hotel here to vie for the most distinguished digits. Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi businessman Saeed Khouri made headlines and the Guinness Book of World Records when he paid $14 million for the tag simply sporting a “1.” His cousin, stockbroker Talal Khouri, paid $9 million for “5″ — the second-largest sum ever paid for a license plate.

- From the July 1, 2008 Wall Street Journal titled: Read My License Plate: It Cost Me a Fortune

I vividly remember reading the above article in the Wall Street Journal over six years ago and shaking my head in disbelief. Although the U.S. equity market had already peaked in October of 2007, in early July 2008 the oil market was hitting new record highs almost every single day. I remember going on an endless stream of client visits with my former employer, partly due to the novelty of me being one of the few sell-side guys out there yelling that we were in the midst of a massive commodity bubble. Within days of that WSJ Journal article, the oil bubble popped and the price crashed from a high of $147 per barrel to $32 by December, or a nearly 80% plunge in five months.


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The American Public: A Tough Soldier or a Chicken Hawk Cowering in a Cubicle? Some Thoughts on ISIS Intervention

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 11.49.21 AMYou gotta love the American public sometimes. For a mass of people so easily terrified by guys in caves funded and armed by our intelligence services and “allies” in the Persian Gulf, the same public talks with such armchair bravado when it comes to launching bombs from drones and sending other people’s children to die.

Makes you wonder though, which one is it? Is the American public actually the tough guy soldier it pretends to be when cheering overseas military interventions, or is it really a scared, propagandized, coward hiding in one of our nation’s endless cubicle rows? Unfortunately, based on recent opinion polls demonstrating approval for military action against ISIS, it appears to be the latter. The former is merely a front put on by that terrified, economically insecure, silently suffering automaton. I really wish this weren’t the case.


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New Jersey’s Debt is Downgraded by Fitch as Chris Christie Funnels Pension Money to Private Equity and Hedge Funds

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 2.25.48 PMDavid Sirota must be commended for his incredible work this year exposing the insidious relationship between public pension funds and “alternative asset managers,” namely private equity firms and hedge funds. It is the private equity component that has captured my attention the most due to the industry’s notoriously opaque and seemingly illegal fees.

One example I highlighted earlier this year was: Leaked Documents Show How Blackstone Fleeces Taxpayers via Public Pension Funds. The reason this relationship between public pension money and private equity is so incredibly important is because so many in the private equity world are so incredibly shady. Let’s not forget what SEC official Drew Bowden said back in May:


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