These poems depict a journey through a dark landscape, where the political and personal are fused into a geography of disinformation, sex, betrayal and deadly technology. Phelan has produced verbal "snapshots" of a subterranean war-- with fronts in Los Angeles as well as Fallujah-- where the only defense is one's integrity and the stakes may be life itself.
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Janet Phelan - Reporter at Large
An Important Opportunity to Expose Guardianhip Abuse
Social Media Giants Adopt "Mob Rule" Tactics
The recent decisions by social media giants Facebook and LinkedIn to adopt user crowd-censoring strategies may be less than benevolent.
According to its recent announcement, Facebook will employ an algorithm, based ostensibly on the numbers of user-generated flags, to reduce or mitigate the distribution of stories flagged as “false.” In addition, Facebook has announced that stories flagged in this manner will contain notice that the story has been determined to contain false information.
As stated in Facebook’s announcement this past week, “Today’s update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook. We are not removing stories people report as false and we are not reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy.”
According to Tweaktown, “This change will see posts that include links, photos, videos and general status updates affected – seeing it not limited to company news articles only.”
Fox News reports another angle on what constitutes “fake news.” According to Fox, “conspiracy theories” are also included. Reports Fox, “It’s launching a new feature that will let anyone report a post as being false. Those stories can include reports like celebrity deaths, conspiracy theories and promises of “free” products…”
Conspiracy theories? Like who killed JFK and who was behind the attacks of September 11? Suddenly, Facebook’s interest in controlling spam seems less altruistic.
Drone Detection Systems Provide Peace of Mind
The scenario is in a dystopian future, where small, nearly undetectable unmanned flying machines are spying on the citizenry. These flying surveillance units hover overhead, peek into windows and have been known to carry a chemical weapons payload and can attack and kill.
According to some pundits, that future has arrived. While drone attacks rage in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere, domestic use of drones in the United States and elsewhere is on the rise—sharply. The names of authorized drone users released by the Federal Aviation Administration reveals not only federal agencies such as Customs and Border Patrol and the FBI, but also features numerous local police agencies and colleges gracing the authorization list. At least one tribal entity is also included.
Apparently, no one is immune from drone surveillance. None other than the chairman of the intelligence oversight committee in the US Senate, Dianne Feinstein, recently reported seeing a little drone peering through her window.
In response to a spike in generalized and regrettably realistic paranoia, some US manufacturers are now offering personal drone protection systems. Gone are the days when hiring a bruiser with a bulge in his holster would be satisfactory insurance against unwanted intrusions. As electronic surveillance techniques continue to become more sophisticated—with drones now high on the list of potential threats—the spectre of drone surveillance has resulted in new technology to shield from these.
MIT States That Half of Children May Be Autistic by 2025
MIT States That Half of All Children May be Autistic by 2025 due to Monsanto
Dr. Stephanie Seneff, who made these remarks during a panel presentation in Groton, MA last week, specifically cites the Monsanto herbicide, Roundup, as the culprit for the escalating incidence of autism and other neurological disorders. Roundup, which was introduced in the 1970’s, contains the chemical glyphosate, which is the focal point for Seneff’s concerns. Roundup was originally restricted to use on weeds, as glyphosate kills plants. However, Roundup is now in regular use with crops. With the coming of GMO’s, plants such as soy and corn were bioengineered to tolerate glyphosate, and its use dramatically increased. From 2001 to 2007, glyphosate use doubled, reaching 180 to 185 million pounds in the U.S. alone in 2007.
If you don’t consume corn- on- the -cob or toasted soybeans, however, you are hardly exempt from the potential affects of consuming glyphosate. Wheat is now sprayed with Roundup right before it is harvested, making any consumption of non- organic wheat bread a sure source for the chemical. In addition, any products containing corn syrup, such as soft drinks, are also carrying a payload of glyphosate.
Got Free Speech? Not If You Are an Attorney...
The Illinois Registration and Disciplinary Commission has just issued a recommendation for a three year suspension of the license to practice law of yet another activist attorney.
The prosecution of attorney JoAnne Denison by the IARDC goes to the heart of the amalgamation of the legal system in the US into one streamlined cruise missile. The weaponization of the legal system has been part and parcel of the general attack on the Bill of Rights and Constitutional protections which have resulted in such actions as President Obama placing kill orders on American citizens and the removal ofcitizenship from independent journalists.
Joanne Denison’s case is one which deserves enormous media attention (which it has not yet received) as well as howls of indignation (a bit muted, those). For the recommendation to suspend Denison’s license did not occur due to any act she committed as an attorney. She was not tried for misrepresenting a client, misappropriating funds or even courtroom misbehavior.
Rather, Denison was on trial for running a blog about corruption in probate court. The blog, marygsykes.com, focuses on a particular adult guardianship case in Cook County Court in Illinois and is critical of a number of highly placed individuals in the Cook County legal system. According to the opening statements by IARDC attorney Melissa Smart, attorneys don’t have the same First Amendment rights that the rest of us do. Stated attorney Smart:
“This case is not about the Constitution or the First Amendment. You will see, precedent is abundantly clear, as an officer of the court, Ms. Denison cannot just say whatever she wants about judges and judicial officers because attorneys are held to a higher standard. We are held to a different standard.”