AP Called Out For Claim That Target Staff Were Subject To “Violent Confrontations” Over Trans/Pride Products

The Associated Press has been forced into quietly editing an article that repeated a statement from Target claiming that the company’s staff have been threatened, with the newswire adding a baseless claim that there have been “violent confrontations” over huge collections of ‘Pride’ and transgender themed apparel in stores, including some with Satanist imagery.

It’s been the story of the week. Here’s the backdrop…

Target Becomes The Latest Target Of Anti-Woke Boycott As It Sells ‘Satanist Pride’ LGBTQ+ Products For Kids

Cotton Blasts “Target’s Partnership With Satanist To Push Trans Agenda On Children”

Target To Remove Satan ‘Pride’ Products; Democrat Accuses CEO Of “Selling Out LGBTQ+ Community”

As we highlighted yesterday, Target was clear in pointing out that it isn’t removing the stuff because it’s Satanist and pushing sexualisation and gender ideology on kids, but rather because they have “experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being.”

The AP took it further, however, claiming that Target has seen “intense backlash from some customers including violent confrontations with its workers.”

The report was altered without notification after it was challenged by Katrina Trinko, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Signal. While the confrontations claim remains, the word “violent” has been removed.

It now reads “Target said that customers knocked down Pride displays at some stores, angrily approached workers and posted threatening videos on social media from inside the stores.”

Pointing out the deception, Trinko writes “Again, what are the specifics? What is a threatening video?” further demanding to know “What constitutes angrily approaching a worker? How many customers at how many stores knocked down Pride displays?”

It appears that one video surfaced of one person taking a part of a pride display and throwing it on the ground, which prompted gay Democratic California State Senator Scott Wiener to label it “terrorism”.

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What are open-source seeds? Why are open-source seeds important?

Perhaps you have heard the term open-source. Maybe you heard about it within the context of software and technology as the open-source movement originated within the software development community as a means to encourage innovation and knowledge sharing. As such, the open-source concept is best-known within the technological paradigm. However, the essence of open-source can be applicable across practically all fields and sectors. 

At the most basic level, open-source means that a technology or process is made freely available for modification and redistribution. It is common practice for one or more individuals or groups to work together to develop and refine the technology. Such distribution and organizational structures are in contrast to presently common economic models where a single entity works to create a product or process and retains exclusive ownership of the output (although the right to use the product or process can be sold). 

The characteristic of allowing participants to edit and change open-source products is also contrary to conventional production practices. In a sense, this suggests that open-source products belong not to one single entity or person but to the wider community that has contributed to the realization of that product. This organizational structure contrasts common economic standards where property rights are clearly defined (which helps to clarify the principal-agent dilemma). 

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Mystery buyer snaps up dusty California ghost town for $22.5million complete with abandoned bowling alley and café which housed prisoners until a deadly riot broke out during the 2003 World Series

A ghost town in California‘s desert has been purchased by a mysterious buyer for a cool $22.5million.

Eagle Mountain, a once-thriving community that sits on the border of California’s Joshua Tree National Park, was recently purchased by a company named Ecology Mountain Holdings.

Not much public information is out there about the company, aside from its Cerritos, California, business address.

According to SFGATE, the company is associated with Ecology Transportation Services, a company known for its red big rigs – the front part of a tractor-trailer.

The town was purchased from a company in Ontario, California, called Eagle Mountain Acquisition LLC, which was apparently the last of various Kaiser subsidiaries to own the town in the last 40 years.

Eagle Mountain was last a thriving company town in 1983, when the bulk of the area’s population worked for the Kaiser Steel mine.

The once-prosperous town was a bustling community with homes, businesses and a high school.

The decline of Eagle Mountain began in the 1970s with staffing cuts at Kaiser that eventually led to its closure four-decades ago.

Following the mine’s decline, Eagle Mountain became home to a doomed low-security prison called the Eagle Mountain Community Correctional Facility, which opened in 1988.

The town’s former bowling alley, café and other buildings housed 438 inmates who were serving time for parole violations and other nonviolent offenses.

The private prison promoted career development for inmates and reducing recidivism rates. In 1992, the Press-Enterprise wrote of the prison that it brought ‘a ghost town back to life.’

In October 2003, a riot occurred while inmates watched the World Series in the prison’s recreation room. Two inmates died and eight were later charged with murder.

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Spy Games: Why Private Companies Now Dominate Domestic Espionage

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” That rhetorical gem, credited to various scientists and political leaders, shows up on mouse pads and posters and wherever else suitable inspiration is found wanting. It is also a remarkably accurate mission statement for two professions: financial investors and spies. In both occupations, a person is rewarded for either (1) collecting and processing enough available information to predict future events or (2) creating a set of preconditions that will make future events all but certain.

Any financial analyst who foresaw the likelihood of a global pandemic before the outbreak of COVID-19 could have made a fortune investing in the right pharmaceutical companies. Likewise, regardless of Pfizer’s motivations for doing so, its funding of numerous nonprofit organizations that actively pushed for COVID-19 vaccine mandates also benefited its bottom line. You could say that both market mavens and intelligence operatives invest heavily in creating a desired reality that will yield dividends. By successfully creating the future, prophets can turn profits.

It should be no surprise, then, that intelligence gathering and information warfare are just as prevalent in the corporate sphere as in the covert one. Nothing benefits investors more lucratively than the acquisition and use of market knowledge before anyone else, as can reportedly be seen from the investments of the family of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul, as well as others in government (herehere and here).

In the worlds of financing and espionage, the game is the same: stay ahead of competitors. What this means in practice is netting as much information about adversaries and allies as possible. In order to decide whether to double-down on an investment or run for cover, an analyst is interested in the likelihood of a company’s technological success, the risk of other investors swooping in and staking a claim, the potential for competing companies to introduce similar products, and the probability that regulatory authorities might act in ways that affect the company’s future profitability. You have to keep an eye on your company, its competitors, your rivals, and any number of government agencies. The complexity of such an arrangement is why private intelligence services are regularly used to monitor all these variables, collect information, analyze risks, and propose solutions.

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Big Banks, Corporations Getting 90 Percent Of Biden’s Green Energy Credits: Congressional Study

Most of the green energy tax benefits provided by President Joe Biden’s $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 are going into the coffers of big banks and billion-dollar corporations, according to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.).

“While President Biden’s supercharged IRS is warming up to target working Americans, his administration is getting ready to spend those tax dollars to subsidize special interest green energy projects of billion-dollar companies,” Smith said in a statement based on a new congressional analysis issued by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).

Smith was referring to the Biden administration’s controversial plan to double the size of the IRS workforce by adding 87,000 new tax investigators and auditors. House Republicans want to defund the IRS expansion plan.

Many of the same companies getting a green corporate welfare check have shed their American identity to do business with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and, as a result, our tax dollars are being funneled to Chinese entities that manipulate our key supply chains,” Smith continued.

“While House Republicans are fighting for working families struggling to pay their gasoline and utility bills, House Democrats are prioritizing foreign nations and sending as many taxpayer-funded handouts to corporations as possible. With big banks pocketing three times more of these special interest tax breaks than any other industry, it’s clear Democrats are rewarding their friends on Wall Street that push their partisan ESG agenda,” the Missouri Republican said.

The JCT includes members from both the Senate and House of Representatives, and the chairmanship and vice chairmanship positions are rotated between the two chambers from one Congress to the next. Smith is the chairman this year, while Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the most senior senator on the panel, is the vice chairman.

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Tony Taylor was not anticipating becoming the center of a class action lawsuit when he attempted to rent an apartment through Airbnb in 2020. But when a standard background check by a third-party provider turned up a violent felony on Taylor’s record, the short-term rental company informed him that it had permanently banned him from using their services.

Taylor was perplexed. He’d been through countless background and credit checks before. And he thought the crime in question was well behind him: In 2014, Taylor—who spent years working in the security and personal protection field—carried his Glock handgun into Minneapolis City Hall. Unbeknownst to Taylor, he was bringing a firearm into a building with a courthouse in it. And, as such, he was accidentally committing a felony under Minnesota law, even though he says he never removed his licensed weapon from its locked holster.

Minneapolis police arrested Taylor and charged him with “dangerous weapon possession in a courthouse.” His wife, Sarah, was also arrested during the incident.

Rather than take on the costs associated with a criminal trial, Taylor decided to plead guilty. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail. As part of the plea, his crime would be reduced to a misdemeanor if he completed three years of probation.

Six years later, Taylor assumed the consequences of his run-in with the criminal legal system had been laid to rest. He had completed his probation and maintained good legal standing since the arrest.

However, Inflection Risk Solutions, a private company that provides background checks for employers and services like Airbnb, had erroneously reported that Taylor was a violent criminal. After seeing errors on his background check, Taylor requested a report for his wife, who was convicted of the same charge, to ensure any mistakes could be corrected. Her records contained the same error, and Inflection Risk had even duplicated her charges, listing her as having two violent felonies.

“At this point, I’m pissed,” Taylor said in an interview with The Appeal. “How dare you call me a violent felon. The reason why I was in security was to keep people safe, not to hurt people.”

Neither Inflection Risk nor Airbnb responded to a request for comment.

As the Taylors fought to correct the record, they would soon discover that they were far from the only ones whom private background check companies like Inflection Risk had harmed.

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Clearview Facial Recognition: A Perpetual Police Lineup

Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That admitted that the company scraped 30 billion photos from Facebook and other social media platforms and used them in its massive facial recognition database accessible by law enforcement agencies across the U.S. Critics call the company’s database a “perpetual police lineup.” 

This is an example of the growing cooperation between private companies and government agencies in the ever-growing U.S. surveillance state.

The photos were collected from social media platforms without users’ permission or knowledge.

Clearview AI markets its facial recognition database as a tool allowing law enforcement to rapidly generate leads “to help identify suspects, witnesses and victims to close cases faster and keep communities safe.” According to Ton-That, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. have accessed the company’s database over 1 million times since 2017.

According to a CNN report last year, more than 3,100 U.S. agencies use Clearview AI, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

In a statement, Ton-That said, “Clearview AI’s database of publicly available images is lawfully collected, just like any other search engine like Google.”

While photo scraping might be legal, Facebook sent Clearview AI a cease and desist order in 2020 for violation of the platform’s terms of service. In an email to Insider, a Meta spokesperson said, “Clearview AI’s actions invade people’s privacy, which is why we banned their founder from our services and sent them a legal demand to stop accessing any data, photos, or videos from our services.”

Fight for the Future director of campaigns Caitlin Seeley George called Clearview “a total affront to peoples’ rights, full stop,” and said, “Police should not be able to use this tool.”

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Annals of the Covert World: the Secret Life of Shampoo

Veterans of the CIA’s Phoenix Program always seem to make soft landings with a golden parachute: a lifetime guarantee of gainful employment. CounterPunch reported on the ascent into the Congress of Robert Simmons, a Phoenix veteran and adept at torture. Then there’s the case of former senator Bob Kerrey, who commanded a Phoenix operation in the Mekong delta that featured throat-slitting and the assassination of elderly men and women and children. Now comes word that Phoenix veterans are also highly sought after by the upper echelons of the corporate world.

In early September, Procter and Gamble, the Cincinnati-based conglomerate, fessed up to hiring Phoenix operatives to infiltrate its chief rival Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch cosmetics giants. It was all about the secrets of shampoo, specifically the top-selling Salon Selectives and Finesse. It seems both of those Unilever brands had taken a big bite out of the market share once dominated by a shelf of P&G products, including Wash & Go, Head & Shoulders, Pantene and Vidal Sassoon. Also at stake was the planned sale of Clairol, which was on the auction block with both companies in an intense bidding struggle. One former P&G executive said that the companies were engaged in a decades-long dirty war, which had become “a death struggle to incrementally gain share”.

The operation was launched in June of 2000, when P&G contracted with the Phoenix Consulting Group of Huntsville, Alabama, a corporate espionage firm set up by Phoenix veteran John Nolan and fellow CIA officers. P&G also set up a secret wing inside its own security department. The operations were run out of a secret office known as The Ranch, and featured safe houses, off-shore bank accounts, dumpster diving and informants.

Nolan and his operatives were apparently able to secure more than 80 internal Unilever documents that detailed the company’s shampoo marketing strategy for the next two years. The documents were returned to the company after word of the operation leaked out to a reporter at Fortune magazine. P&G apologized for the operation, saying it had “violated our strict business guidelines regarding our business policies.” The company also fired two executives in the firm’s security sector.

But few take these actions as anything more than the defensive maneuvers of a company caught doing something shady and in full damage control mode. Indeed, P&G is well-known for its paranoia and obsessive concerns about corporate secrecy. Its security officers are known inside the company as “Proctoids”. In the past, P&G has shadowed employees on their business trips to see if they chatted to fellow travelers (and Unilever agents?) about company business, snooped in on company phone lines and tracked computer traffic. A few years ago P&G executives became enraged by a series of critical articles about the company by Wall Street Journal reporter Alecia Swasy and retaliated by hitting her with grand jury subpoenas and putting her under 24-hour surveillance.

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