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U.S. Economy DESTROYED as 93 MILLION No Longer Working! Depression Levels!

  • Posted Today

The US was able to manufacture excellent quality products, ship them all over the world, and reap the rewards of such practice. Today we have a different picture. One of a forgotten manufacturing base, a low-paid, temporary working hoard of debt-ridden citizens. With no growth in sight, no prospects, no ambition from the people, there will be no salvation.

The Financial Armageddon Economic Collapse Blog tracks trends and forecasts , futurists , visionaries , free investigative journalists , researchers , Whistelblowers , truthers and many more

Warren Buffett: Artificial Intelligence Will Decide Whether Humans Live or Die

  • Posted 04/02/2015 by health, science, Tech

“It will be the computer that makes the decision in a nanosecond”

 Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says that the decision on whether humans live or die will be left to artificial intelligence when self-driving cars become a reality.

Speaking at a forum hosted by the National Automobile Dealers Association, Buffett said that he thought self-driving cars wouldn’t be widely adopted for a long time but that when they were, moral considerations in traffic accidents could be taken out of human hands.

 “There’s some interesting questions. I mean, let’s just say you have got a self-driving car and you are going down the street and a 3-year-old kid runs out in front of the car and there’s another car coming the other direction with four people in it and the computer is going to make the decision as to whether to hit the kid or hit the other car,” said Buffett.

“And I am not sure who gets sued under those circumstances, you’re going to kill somebody, and it will be the computer that makes the decision in a nanosecond and it will be interesting to know who programs that computer and what their thoughts are about the values of human lives and things,” he concluded.

During the forum, Buffett also noted how safer driving would be bad for his insurance business and that he “would not be holding a party” if that came to fruition.

The ethical conundrum of how a computer driven car would react in a situation where a traffic accident is unavoidable has been the subject of intense debate for years.

The arrival of self-driving cars, which some predict could be on the roads within 10 years, has also prompted questions as to the fate of conventional vehicles.

Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted that in the future human-driven cars will be banned by authorities because they are “too dangerous”.

“You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine,” said Musk, before later clarifying that he wasn’t advocating the banning of human-driven cars, but that it could eventually happen.

Food Stamps ? soon You Gotta work for that

Posted Today

WASHINGTON -- In new legislation to be unveiled soon, Republicans will seek twice the savings from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as they did in a previous measure, but in one small way the new bill will be kinder and gentler than the old one.

The legislation that failed in the House last June would have allowed states to require food stamp recipients younger than 60 to either work at least 20 hours a week or spend that amount of time engaged in state-approved "work activities." States would get to keep half the savings from reduced SNAP enrollment, which Democrats said meant the proposal paid states for kicking people off food stamps.

The measure included a few exceptions, including for parents of children younger than 12 months, parents receiving federal disability benefits, and others such as victims of domestic violence. But the bill did not explicitly exempt a childless person receiving federal disability benefits.

Under the new legislation, which Republicans will bring to the House floor sometime after their August recess, people who qualify for federal disability benefits will be explicitly exempted whether or not they have children, according to a GOP leadership aide.

Robert Greenstein, founder of the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, called the previous proposal one of the harshest in the history of the program. "Even veterans receiving disability compensation because of a severe combat injury could lose their exemption and be terminated from SNAP if they couldn’t find a job," Greenstein wrote in a June blog post.

But the new bill will also come with deeper cuts that Greenstein has called "stunningly harsh." Republicans have said it will probably reduce food stamp spending by $40 billion, or roughly 5 percent, over the next 10 years. The measure will include reforms that the House voted on in June, such as requiring more SNAP recipients to meet income and asset tests to qualify for benefits.

Republican aides have also touted a new measure that would forbid states from waiving existing work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents, something more than 45 states currently do. Nearly 4 million able-bodied adults would have to find jobs or participate in work activities such as training, public service or volunteering, according to a report published Wednesday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Republicans have pointed out that the percentage of able-bodied SNAP recipients without jobs has increased to 9.7 percent in 2010 from 6.6 percent in 2007. However, the overall percentage of SNAP households with earned income has risen to 30 percent in 2010 from 20 percent in 1991, according to a January report from the think tank.

In 2011, 19 percent of SNAP recipients lived in households with a disabled person. Barbara Augsbury of Alcoa, Tenn., is one. She lives by herself with three cats and said it's no fun being unable to work and having to rely on the government to buy food.

"They do everything they can to make you feel like you're the world's worst human being because you're not out there working," Augsbury said. "I would like to work if I was able. I don't like living on $730 a month in Social Security benefits and $150 in food stamps. I don't like not having a car any more."

Among other conditions, Augsbury, 54, said she suffers from iron-deficiency anemia that causes fatigue and fainting spells. She said her benefits afford a no-frills lifestyle.

"I don't have a car," she said. "I don't have cable. I don't go to movies."

Even if Congress takes no action on food stamps this year, recipients will see their monthly benefits drop slightly in November as the result of the expiration of a benefit increase from economic stimulus legislation passed in 2009.

Obamas Militarization of CIA

April 4, 2015 · by RC Porter

However, it’s easy to overstate all this. CIA has kept on doing all its traditional missions since 9/11. Spies and analysts have been rolling along, doing what they’ve done since the Agency was established in 1947. Outside critics often miss the big picture, as I’ve noted before, and few journalists and academics have much “feel” for how CIA and the whole IC actually operate. It all looks rather different when you’re inside the bubble.

It’s disappointing that hardly any commentators have noted that CIA is currently being taken down a path of real militarization. The major reformsrecently proposed by Director John Brennan are causing serious bureaucratic churn out at Langley. Brennan, using the highly successful Counterterrorism Center (CTC) as a model of how to fully integrate case officers and desk-bound analysts, wants to fundamentally transform CIA by creating a series of mission centers that will bring the spooks and geeks together in one big happy intelligence family.


Conclusion:

It doesn’t help that the media is silent about the implications of all this. Like so many things, the voices that waxed hysterically when Bush was said to be militarizing CIA are quieter when Obama does that, and more. This follows the usual pattern in Washington, DC. CIA involvement in extraordinary renditions – the bureaucratic term for kidnapping terrorists abroad – generated massive media attention during Bush’s second term, yet not much since, while hardly anybody cares to note that the policy actually commenced in 1995, under President Clinton, with the abducted terrorist being executed. Like so many things, it seems to be different when Democrats do it.

Based on the IC’s history, it feels safe to predict that Brennan’s far-reaching reorganization will cause years of churn out at Langley, and eventually there will be a re-reorg to undo these deep organizational changes when they turn out to have created more problems than they solved. That do-over will be the task of the next director, and will be handled tactfully, once Brennan has gotten his Medal of Freedom and his book deal. In the meantime, CIA personnel will do their best to complete their mission, as they have done every day for nearly seven decades.

Obama’s Militarization of CIA
April 3, 2015
http://20committee.com/2015/ 04/03/obamas-militarization- of-cia/

One of the standard tropes about the Central Intelligence Agency, and the whole Intelligence Community, in recent years is that CIA has become excessively militarized since 9/11. To meet the needs of the War on Terror, the story goes, Langley ditched conventional espionage and analysis in favor of drones and paramilitary operations that pleased the White House – especially when George W. Bush lived there – at the expense of traditional CIA missions.

Like all enduring myths, there’s more than a little truth to all this. There’s no doubt that, in response to 9/11, CIA’s counterterrorism mission, which was awfully important before the Twin Towers fell (few remember that then-Director George Tenet told the Agency it was “at war” with Bin Laden after Al-Qaida’s 1998 East African embassy bombings), became even more so mid-morning on September 11, 2001. CIA got into the killing business in a serious way, in many places, developing a close-to-seamless relationship between itself, NSA, and the military’s spooky Joint Special Operations Command to hunt down terrorists worldwide.

This represents the most impressive secret killing machine in military history, with lethal snake-eaters guided by real-time, precise intelligence, and one which President Obama especially has not been squeamish about using. This militarization of CIA has led to criticism of the Agency from outsiders, many of whom didn’t like CIA anyway and really don’t like it when it has its own drones and special operators. They have some valid points to make, not least that years of prioritizing the counterterrorism mission has cost the Agency some capabilities in more traditional espionage and analysis, particularly because Langley’s best and brightest, as always, wanted to be where the action is – that’s the path to promotion and secret fame – and eschewed “legacy” missions in favor of killing bad guys in tandem with JSOC. Rising stars have flocked to the Agency’s Counterterrorism Center – led since 2006 by “Roger,” a convert to Islam (he has a prayer rug in his office), who looks like an undertaker but whose dedication to the mission is legendary – since that’s CIA’s pointy spear. Needless missteps that have gotten CIA officers killed thanks to sloppy tradecraft are grist to the mill of “too-much-CT” criticism.

However, it’s easy to overstate all this. CIA has kept on doing all its traditional missions since 9/11. Spies and analysts have been rolling along, doing what they’ve done since the Agency was established in 1947. Outside critics often miss the big picture, as I’ve noted before, and few journalists and academics have much “feel” for how CIA and the whole IC actually operate. It all looks rather different when you’re inside the bubble.

It’s disappointing that hardly any commentators have noted that CIA is currently being taken down a path of real militarization. The major reformsrecently proposed by Director John Brennan are causing serious bureaucratic churn out at Langley. Brennan, using the highly successful Counterterrorism Center (CTC) as a model of how to fully integrate case officers and desk-bound analysts, wants to fundamentally transform CIA by creating a series of mission centers that will bring the spooks and geeks together in one big happy intelligence family.

There are many reasons to be skeptical. First, Brennan, a skilled politician who has Obama’s ear, adheres to the view that what ails CIA are “stovepipes” – what cynics term “cylinders of excellence” – that separate the spooks (the Directorate of Operations or DO) and the geeks (the Directorate of Intelligence or DI). Breaking the 1947-era china, then, will fix all this, or so the theory goes. This seems unlikely, given the IC’s spotty history of reorganizations. Moreover, the differences between the DO and the DI, which can create friction, are mainly due to the very different personality types that occupy them. Besides, few care to note that the CTC, Brennan’s model for CIA integration, actually belongs to the DO.

Brennan’s reorganization plan recasts the Agency along the lines of the U.S. military, where the armed services are the force providers but operations are placed in the hands of the joint Combatant Commands. In this concept, for instance, the DO will train up case officers, then send them to mission centers to do their job. This model, which copies how the Pentagon does business, represents a far greater militarization of CIA than anything else since 9/11, or in the Agency’s entire history. Yet hardly any outsiders have noticed this, much less commented on it.

Many spooks are none too happy about Brennan’s reorganization since they believe it will reduce the DO’s ability to control espionage operations, which seems to be a safe assumption, and what the director actually intends. As a sop, the DO got its old name back – it was rebranded as the National Clandestine Service in the post-9/11 reforms, for no particular reason – while the DI will berenamed the Directorate of Analysis. However, the discomfort in spook circles was serious enough that the Deputy Director for Operations, the mighty DDO,announced his retirement rather than preside over changes that many think equal disbanding the DO, de facto.

The outgoing DDO, Frank Archibald – Langley never admitted his true name but it was outed in the media years ago – was a career case officer and a former Marine with extensive experience in covert action and tours with the Special Activities Division, the CIA’s in-house snake-eaters. The paramilitary SAD, which has expanded enormously since 9/11, has been a focus of criticism by outsiders as its relationship with JSOC has grown exceptionally close.

It’s perhaps surprising, then, that Archibald’s replacement as DDO is “Mike” – another former Marine and veteran paramilitary operator whose last job was the chief of SAD. Brennan leapfrogged over several more senior DO officers to elevate “Mike” to the top spy job, so the intent is clear, as the new DDO is known to be a “team player” regarding the nascent reorganization of the Agency.

Recasting CIA along Pentagon lines and putting a hardcore snake-eater in charge of remaking the DO sends a strong message that Brennan, and therefore Obama, think a more military-like Agency is what the country needs. This, to be charitable, is a debatable point, not to mention something that Congress should be discussing.

It doesn’t help that the media is silent about the implications of all this. Like so many things, the voices that waxed hysterically when Bush was said to be militarizing CIA are quieter when Obama does that, and more. This follows the usual pattern in Washington, DC. CIA involvement in extraordinary renditions – the bureaucratic term for kidnapping terrorists abroad – generated massive media attention during Bush’s second term, yet not much since, while hardly anybody cares to note that the policy actually commenced in 1995, under President Clinton, with the abducted terrorist being executed. Like so many things, it seems to be different when Democrats do it.

Based on the IC’s history, it feels safe to predict that Brennan’s far-reaching reorganization will cause years of churn out at Langley, and eventually there will be a re-reorg to undo these deep organizational changes when they turn out to have created more problems than they solved. That do-over will be the task of the next director, and will be handled tactfully, once Brennan has gotten his Medal of Freedom and his book deal. In the meantime, CIA personnel will do their best to complete their mission, as they have done every day for nearly seven decades.