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It Only Costs Google $20 Million A Year To Control The U.S. Government

(Zero Hedge) Google has fired six of its largest lobbying firms in an attempt to overhaul its global government affairs and policy operations amid greater government scrutiny of its business, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Over the last few months, the company has changed its roster of lobbying firms, as well as its Washington policy team, and lost two senior officials who helped build its “influence operation” into one of the largest in the nation’s capital. The company had been paying about $20 million annually for lobbying, and the firms that Google has now let go made up about half of that cost.

The shake up is part of a “continuing modernization” of Google’s influence operation and it comes at a time when government scrutiny has never been more of a factor. The Justice Department is reportedly getting ready to conduct an antitrust investigation into the company and Congress and state attorneys general are also reviewing its practices. Some politicians are even calling for the company to be broken up.

And so Google is taking the paltry $20 million per year that it has been using to control the government and trying to reallocate it. Among those who are no longer working for the company are “Charlie Black, a longtime Republican strategist, and firms that have relationships with senior Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, including Off Hill Strategies LLC, which has ties to fiscally conservative Republicans.”

People familiar with the restructuring say that it helps reflect the company’s global reach and will help it deal with regulators and lawmakers across regions and markets. The moves are also seen as a shake up by Google’s new head of policy and government relations, Karan Bhatia.

Bhatia was brought in last summer to serve as Google’s VP of Policy and Government Relations and, since then, he’s been reassessing the company’s lobbying needs. Susan Molinari, a former Republican congresswoman, stepped down as Google’s head of Washington operations last year and the company has yet to name a successor.

Another executive leaving Google during the shake up is Adam Kovacevich, who ran the firm’s public-policy division. He led the company’s campaign to head off a 2012 FTC investigation into anti-competitive tactics and also helped launch several advocacy groups to help promote public policy matters that benefited the company.

In 2006, Google was spending about $800,000 on lobbying and had four firms on retainer. By 2018, the company had 100 lobbyists across 30 firms and spent $21.7 million to lobby Washington. This sum made it the largest spender on lobbying among US corporations, despite the relatively small dollar amount for the massive tech giant.

The company also spends millions on donations to think tanks, political entities, universities and other third-party groups that generate data and host conferences that help Google shape the debate into its business practices.

Meanwhile, Google employees helped the company become one of the largest sources of donations to the Democratic Party and candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In the 2018 elections, Google’s employee funded PAC donated $1.9 million to political candidates in both parties. Employees of the company donated a total of $1.6 million to Clinton’s 2016 campaign and after Obama took office in 2012, Google and its lobbying team “scored a string of victories” in Washington, like fending off the FTC from an anti-trust case.

Google also won favorable net neutrality rulings from the FCC and secured favorable legislation on self driving vehicles.

But over the last few years the company has continued to hit headwinds from both sides of the aisle while its public image has taken a beating over privacy concerns and critics claiming that it fails to police content.

The new lobbying structure has regional leaders in the US, Canada, Asia, the Pacific, Europe and countries that the company views as emerging markets. It also includes teams that will continue to lobby governments in areas like privacy and handling controversial content.

The preceding information is a news update. In general, staying informed as to events taking place is essential as an individual because it helps you navigate the world, and socially because you can gain and maintain rapport with your fellows. This rapport can be used to share information that can help others and improve the conditions of humanity in general. However, one must learn how to exercise discernment and proper critical thinking so they can make effective use of information gained.

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Underworld

Are We Seeing The Power Elite Finally Come Down?

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”–19th century clergyman Theodore Parker

Martin Luther King popularized the quotation above as it was emblematic of his fervent belief that in due time–and he recognized this time could be after he had passed away–true justice would prevail in the world. This notion also resonates with the world’s popular spiritual traditions, where many prophesy that a ‘day of judgment’ would eventually be upon us, a day that would signal the end of one human era and the beginning of another.

Within alternative media, much of this sentiment is currently focused on the high crimes and misdemeanors on the part of rich, powerful, highly-placed people that brave investigators and whistleblowers have revealed, sometimes at the expense of their lives. A growing number of awakening people in this space have suffered great frustration and sorrow from the ongoing immunity to prosecution that the perpetrators of some of the greatest criminal conspiracies in our history have enjoyed under the cover of deception, misinformation, threats,  bribery, and the very effective ridicule of the ‘conspiracy theory’.

When it is all said and done, we may come to realize that our whole lives have been lived amidst an institutionalized ‘Perversion of Justice,’ to quote the excellent Miami Herald investigative exposé on the crimes of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who is actually the focal point of this article. A newly unsealed indictment against Epstein may signal a ray of hope that the dawn of the fabled ‘day of judgment’ may have just arisen on our planet.

Epstein Arrested July 6th

If you haven’t heard about Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest, here is the information coming from a Miami Herald article entitled ‘Epstein’s Arrest Could Bring Down Many Other Powerful Individuals‘: 

Jeffrey Epstein, 66, was arrested at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday, July 6th as he arrived on his private jet from Paris.

About an hour after they picked him up, federal agents arrived at his imposing Manhattan townhouse, breaking down the door to execute search warrants.

The fact that search warrants were issued shows that federal investigators have new evidence against Epstein beyond the sex cases he was given federal immunity for in Florida in 2008, legal experts told the Miami Herald.

The reason they know there is new evidence is because they couldn’t use evidence from a Florida court case to get a search warrant in the state of New York. So the warrant, at least, was based on sufficient evidence of criminality in New York. It also should be noted that the Department of Justice has said that it is not rescinding the plea deal Jeffrey Epstein got in his previous conviction even though it has been determined to have been illegal.

Although details of the case remain undisclosedthere are indications that others involved in his crimes could be charged or named as cooperating witnesses.

The fact that others involved in his crimes could be charged is quite significant, since it indicates that law enforcement and the judiciary are not shying away from proving a CONSPIRACY in this case. This is quite different from his earlier conviction in Florida in 2008, which was ‘soliciting an underage girl for prostitution.’

In a larger sense, it seems as though the days of our law enforcement and judiciary avoiding the conspiracies perpetrated by the rich and famous are ending. The NXIVM Sex Cult convictions was a recent indication. We are now getting a clearer picture that much of the ills in our known history are the result of the criminal conspiracy of powerful people, and no longer are we buying the ‘conspiracy theory’ slander.

Epstein Indictment Unsealed July 8th

Upon reading the indictment in full, the two counts being brought against Epstein are: Sex Trafficking Conspiracy (Count 1) and  Sex Trafficking (Count 2). These are taken directly from the indictment:

(Count 1, Sex Trafficking Conspiracy) From at least in or about 2002, up to and including in or about 2005, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, JEFFREY EPSTEIN, the defendant, and others known and unknown, willfully and knowingly did combine, conspire, confederate, and agree together and with each other to commit an offence against the United States, to wit, sex trafficking of minors, in violation of title 18, United States Code, section 1591(a) and (b).

(Count 2, Sex Trafficking): From at least in or about 2002, up to and including in or about 2005, in the Southern District of New York, JEFFREY EPSTEIN, the defendant, willfully and knowingly, in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce, did recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, and obtain by any means a person, knowing that the person had not attained the age of 18 years and would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act, and did aid and abet the same, to wit, EPSTEIN recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, and obtained numerous individuals who were less than 18 years old, including but not limited to Minor Victim-1, as described above, and who were then caused to engage in at least one commercial sex act in Manhattan, New York. (Title 18, United States Code, section 1591(a), (b)(2) and 2.).

In other words, he is not being charged with having sex with underage girls as such, although the fact that he did will be demonstrated in the trial in order to prove that he engaged in sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy.

We will note here that there is no mention in the indictment about Epstein’s role in providing underage girls to other famous people, such as Bill Clinton, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew of England, among others, who allegedly were ‘clients’ of Epstein’s sex trafficking operation and were named in the flight logs to his private island of Little St. James, dubbed ‘Pedo Island.’

However, this indictment has been enough to motivate Bill Clinton to have a spokesperson put out a public denial of his involvement in any of Epstein’s crimes:

“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York. In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation.” (source)

“Staff, supporters of the foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip. He had one meeting with Epstein in his Harlem office in 2002, and around the same time made one brief visit to Epstein’s New York apartment with a staff member and his security detail. He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and he has never been to Little St. James IslandEpstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.” (source)

This despite a 2016 Fox report citing court documents that Clinton flew on Epstein’s “Lolita Express” to Little St. James island 26 times.

This is just one sign that it is not business as usual for the rich and powerful people for whom there are rampant allegations of criminal behavior but who have not been indicted for them. Again, while the criminal charges against Jeffrey Epstein do not directly involve any of his rich and powerful friends, there is always the possibility that testimony implicating such people could be made public during this trial, and perhaps that is what people like Bill Clinton are now afraid of.

Prosecutor’s News Conference July 8th

The news conference that announced the unsealing of Epstein’s indictment was very clear and forthright about the crimes Epstein committed and the repugnant nature of these crimes. Rather than operating in a veil of secrecy, like we are so used to in the past, there was an openness and explicitness about these crimes, something that I feel has been happening regarding sex trafficking crimes since early in the Trump presidency, with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others. If you watch the video of the news conference below, you might agree that U. S. Attorney Geoff Berman seems to be sincere in offering victims the support of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and asking victims to come forward to have their day in court and help bring perpetrators to justice:

While the charged conduct is from a number of years ago, it is still profoundly important to the many alleged victims, now young women. They deserve their day in court, and we are proud to be standing up for them by bringing this indictment. Combating sex trafficking and exploitation of children is a priority for this office, and for the Department of Justice, as the sexual abuse of a minor can have devastating effects on victims, often lasting for years. That is why my office will not rest, until perpetrators of these types of crimes are brought to justice. Victims’ voices, including the many voices of Epstein’s alleged victims, must be heard. To that end, I want to say to anyone who is watching this, or hearing about our prosecution, if you believe you are a victim of this man, Jeffrey Epstein (pointing at Epstein’s picture), or you have evidence or information relating to the conduct alleged in the indictment unsealed today, we want to hear from you. Please call 1-800-CALL-FBI. That’s 1-800-CALL-FBI.

If there are victims out there who have heard this message and are afraid to speak up, it is quite understandable. The entire culture we have been living in has up to now consistently failed victims again and again, not just for not having been protected in the first place, but then for having their testimony ignored and not acted upon when they go to law enforcement, and again to be unprotected from threats and otherwise improperly treated during the judicial process.

Having said that, victims who have not spoken in the past still may consider this as an opportunity to have their day in court. Although I can’t be certain, I am seeing many indications that things are different right now, and that there is an earnest desire not only to prosecute these crimes to the full extent of the law, but to protect and honor the victims.

If we go back to his Epstein’s earlier conviction, it seems as though such an earnest desire was not there. Epstein was shown to have attempted to intimidate many of the would-be accusers, or pay them off in exchange for non-disclosure. From the government side, then-prosecutor and current Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta let Epstein walk away with a sentence that some have called ‘the most lenient plea deal in history.’ However, according to Vicki Ward, who has written extensively on Epstein, when Acosta interviewed for the Secretary of Labor position, he told the Trump transition that

‘He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.” ‘

Like Clinton, who has been out trying to deny allegations connecting him with the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein, Acosta is out there defending his plea deal as justified and even noble, and certainly is giving no indication that he had been bullied by intelligence agencies. (Update July 12th: Alex Acosta has just resigned from his position as Secretary of Labor)

This is another little clue that adds to the notion that the rich and powerful are starting to get concerned, and are trying to get out in front of the story they see unfolding in the public arena. It seems less likely that U. S. Attorney Geoff Berman will cave in to threats from ‘above’, and as mentioned before, may be inviting witness to come forward in order to implicate more high-profile people in these activities.

Epstein Detention Hearing July 15th

I believe what happens at Epstein’s detention hearing on July 15th will reveal a lot. This is when it will be determined if Epstein will have to remain in detention prior to the trial. Prosecutors have argued strenuously that Epstein should be detained without bail pending trial.

Defense lawyers have proposed a bail package on Thursday that would allow Epstein to remain out of jail pending trial and live instead in ‘home detention’ at his Upper East Side mansion, one of the largest residences in Manhattan and valued at $77 million, according to court documents. The arrangement also would put Epstein under electronic monitoring by GPS, require him to post a “substantial” personal recognizance bond secured by his Manhattan home, and deregister and ground his private jet.

These are greater lengths than rich and powerful people are used to having to offer in order to be free pending trial. Indeed, the defense appears to be on the defensive more than in the past when representing someone as high-profile as Epstein. If the court decides to keep Epstein in detention pending trial, this will be another clue that the power has shifted significantly. If Epstein is let out on bail, then we may still have reason for concern.

The Takeaway

I have noted here that there is some indication, based on the recent arrest and indictment of Jeffrey Epstein, that the rich and powerful elite who have perpetrated horrendous crimes against humanity are no longer immune to being brought to justice.

Now, if we can piece together Jeffrey Epstein’s past activities and connections with other high-profile people in a way that starts to give us the big picture, we may have even more compelling reasons to believe that a cavalcade of justice is going to be served on a global elite that has ruled the planet since time immemorial. For this reason, I will soon be working on a companion article to this one, exploring information about how Epstein actually became a billionaire, his connection to the ruling class, and speculations about the real activities that have gone on at Little St. James island.

As always, awareness is the key. Know the truth, and it shall set you free. For the sake of the victims, for the sake of humanity, I invite you to continue exploring with me the difficult and painful revelations about the past treatment of human beings by the global elite. That will help us come to understand the patterns of deceit and control that have been used against us, in order to empower ourselves to walk away from this entire system and free humanity in the process.

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The 5G Dragnet

James Corbett, Corbett Report
Waking Times

Telecom companies are currently scrambling to implement fifth-generation cellular network technology. But the world of 5G is a world where all objects are wired and constantly communicating data to one another. The dark truth is that the development of 5G networks and the various networked products that they will give rise to in the global smart city infrastructure, represent the greatest threat to freedom in the history of humanity.

For those with limited bandwidth, CLICK HERE to download a smaller, lower file size version of this episode.

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Elon Musk warns A.I. could create an ‘immortal dictator from which we can never escape’

  • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that artificial intelligence “doesn’t have to be evil to destroy humanity.”
  • In a new documentary, “Do You Trust This Computer?”, Musk warned the creation of superintelligence could lead to an “immortal dictator.”
  • Musk believes that humans should merge with AI to avoid the risk of becoming irrelevant.

Superintelligence — a form of artificial intelligence (AI) smarter than humans — could create an “immortal dictator,” billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk warned.

In a documentary by American filmmaker Chris Paine, Musk said that the development of superintelligence by a company or other organization of people could result in a form of AI that governs the world.

“The least scary future I can think of is one where we have at least democratized AI because if one company or small group of people manages to develop godlike digital superintelligence, they could take over the world,” Musk said.

“At least when there’s an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI, there would be no death. It would live forever. And then you’d have an immortal dictator from which we can never escape.”

The documentary by Paine examines a number of examples of AI, including autonomous weapons, Wall Street technology and algorithms driving fake news. It also draws from cultural examples of AI, such as the 1999 film “The Matrix” and 2016 film “Ex Machina.”

Musk cited Google’s DeepMind as an example of a company looking to develop superintelligence. In 2016, AlphaGo, a program developed by the company, beat champion Lee Se-dol at the board game Go. It was seen a major achievement in the development of AI, after IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997.

Musk said: “The DeepMind system can win at any game. It can already beat all the original Atari games. It is super human; it plays all the games at super speed in less than a minute.”

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said that artificial intelligence “doesn’t have to be evil to destroy humanity.”

“If AI has a goal and humanity just happens to be in the way, it will destroy humanity as a matter of course without even thinking about it. No hard feelings,” Musk said.

“It’s just like, if we’re building a road and an anthill just happens to be in the way, we don’t hate ants, we’re just building a road, and so, goodbye anthill.”

Last year, Musk warned that the global race toward AI could result in a third world war. The entrepreneur has also suggested that the emerging technology could pose a greater risk to the world than a nuclear conflict with North Korea.

Musk believes that humans should merge with AI to avoid the risk of becoming irrelevant. He is the co-founder of Neuralink, a start-up that reportedly wants to link the human brain with a computer interface.

He quit the board of OpenAI, a non-profit organization aimed at promoting and developing AI safely, in February.

Source www.cnbc.com

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