It’s incredibly iconic that an employee of the Federal Reserve, of all places, was caught mining Bitcoin with their own property.
“A former Federal Reserve employee was sentenced Friday to 12 months probation and a $5,000 fine after pleading guilty in October to installing unauthorized software on a computer server at the U.S. central bank.
Nicholas Berthaume, who as a communications analyst had access to computer servers at the Fed’s Board of Governors in Washington, installed software that connected to an online bitcoin network in order to earn units of the digital currency, according to a statement Monday from the central bank’s Office of Inspector General.
Berthaume also “modified certain security safeguards so that he could remotely access the server from home,” the statement said. When confronted, he tried to cover up his actions by deleting the software; eventually he was fired and admitted guilt, the office said. His actions didn’t result in the loss of any Fed information, and the board has enhanced security since the incident, the internal watchdog said.
Rebecca LeGrand, a lawyer who represented Berthaume, did not immediately return a request for comment.
Bitcoin is a software protocol for issuing and moving money across the Internet. New bitcoins are earned, or “mined,” by people who lend computing power to the networks that tally and certify transactions made using currency.” – Bloomberg
There are countless examples that prove we cannot trust the notion of mainstream media as a non-partisan effort to objectively report the news. It is, therefore, important to question the motivations and biases of any given media institution and to never invoke a sense of incredulity. The following are just a handful of examples bolstering this truth.
In the 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency allegedly began Operation Mockingbird in an attempt to manipulate news media to seed propaganda and fund various cultural and student groups as organization fronts. Details of this operation are scarce and inconclusive. However, the operation was verified in the declassified CIA “Family Jewels” document.
In 1977, Carl Bernstein, a former journalist of the Washington Post, reported about the Central Intelligence Agency’s infiltration of the media. Bernstein revealed that more than 400 journalists had become an asset of the CIA. CIA assets were in The New York Times, CBS, ABC, NBC, Reuters, Time Inc, the Associated Press, etc.
“Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were Williarn Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Tirne Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the LouisviIle Courier‑Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune.” ( Carl Bernstein – The CIA and The Media )
In 2013, John Brennan became the director of the CIA under Barack Obama. In the same year, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, decided to buy the Washington Post. Later that year, Bezos secured a $600 million dollar contract with the CIA. This is an obvious conflict of interest and as many advocates of transparency and journalistic standards have requested, a disclaimer of this relationship should be provided.
In 2016, the Washington Post reported that a “secret CIA assessment” determined that Russia interfered with the 2016 Election in the hope of electing Donald Trump. This begged the question as to whether or not the CIA had become politicized under the leadership of John Brennan who has openly feuded with Trump on several occasions, especially considering that the narrative has dramatically shifted from the original assertion after statements from the Director of National Intelligence offered clarification. This is the perfect example of how a conflict of interest could create the potential for politicization.
In 2016, WikiLeaks revealed that numerous media outlets colluded with the Clinton campaign. Former U.S. Representative, Ron Paul, created a list that features those implicated in the media collusion.
In 2016, Gallup revealed that American trust in media had fallen to an all-time low.
While it is clear Americans’ trust in the media has been eroding over time, the election campaign may be the reason that it has fallen so sharply this year. With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more. — Gallup
Through the ever-increasing access to information, even the average individual can determine fact from fiction. Reporting inaccurately, if not now, will sooner or later be equated to shooting one’s self in the foot, which is precisely what Buzzfeed and CNN did when they reported on Trump’s Dirty Dossier, a story that was obviously untrue, according to the Director of National Intelligence and according to common sense.
The infiltration, politicization, collusion, and general recklessness of the mainstream media validates both Trump’s and Bannon’s assertions of media unfairness and bias. In fact, in regard to the infiltration of media, I found it unsurprising that Trump went straight to the CIA to put the media on blast. While to many, that made no sense, to those aware of the past relations between the media and CIA, it made perfect sense.
The media, as Steve Bannon stated, IS the opposition party. They are not accurately portraying reality and they’re doing a great injustice to the American people because perception informs reality and they are distorting that perception, thus distorting reality. This isn’t just about the leftist stranglehold over media, as Andrew Breitbart so brilliantly detailed in his 2011 book, Righteous Indignation, but about a much wider issue that transcends party affiliation.
The National Intelligence Council releases a global trends report every four years following the U.S. presidential election. This post-election report, Global Trends: Paradox of Progress, reflects a positive outlook on cryptocurrency.
Of many concerns the report discusses, ranging from terrorism to ‘gray-zone’ warfare, cryptocurrencies are not one of them. Instead, it acknowledges that “New financial technologies— including digital currencies, applications of “blockchain” technology for transactions, and AI and big data for predictive analytics—will reshape financial services“. ( Global Trends: Paradox of Progress, pg. 15 )
The geopolitical conditions implied by global trends indicate that it’s a good time to invest in cryptocurrency, gold, silver, or whatever hedge you have against inflation and economic instability.
Global trends indicate rising tensions within and between countries, weak economic growth, shrinking workforces, increased competition for good jobs globally, potential reductions of open trade, the increase of terrorism and disruptive groups, an increase of gray-zone warfare, clean drinking water shortages, etc.
Individuals will be more empowered with new technologies, the world will be even more interconnected and have greater access to information, governments will be forced to be more transparent, biological enhancements will improve and prolong human life and challenge what it means to be human, reduction of monopolized and centralized institutions will free individuals, groups and individuals will be able to bypass traditional systems to create changes faster, many governments, including the U.S., will become decentralized, and economies will become more diversified.
Guccifer 2.0 has reemerged to discredit claims of Russian ties.
“I really hope you’ve missed me a lot. Though I see they didn’t let you forget my name. The U.S. intelligence agencies have published several reports of late claiming I have ties with Russia.
I’d like to make it clear enough that these accusations are unfounded. I have totally no relation to the Russian government. I’d like to tell you once again I was acting in accordance with my personal political views and beliefs.
The technical evidence contained in the reports doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. This is a crude fake.
Any IT professional can see that a malware sample mentioned in the Joint Analysis Report was taken from the web and was commonly available. A lot of hackers use it. I think it was inserted in the report to make it look a bit more plausible.
I already explained at The Future of Cyber Security Europe conference that took place in London in last September, I had used a different way to breach into the DNC network. I found a vulnerability in the NGP VAN software installed in the DNC system.
It’s obvious that the intelligence agencies are deliberately falsifying evidence. In my opinion, they’re playing into the hands of the Democrats who are trying to blame foreign actors for their failure.
The Obama administration has a week left in office and I believe we’ll see some more fakes during this period.
I guess you have a lot of questions for me. So, feel free to send them via DM.”
In an odd event, a high-ranking Freemason, Giulio Occhionero, hacked into thousands of email accounts, including accounts of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, Italian Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Mario Monti, and several Vatican cardinals.
“There were tens of thousands of email accounts hacked, and among them were accounts belonging to bankers, businessmen and even several cardinals in the Vatican,” Roberto Di Legami, director of the specialised cyber police unit that conducted the investigation, told Reuters.
According to Bloomberg, the name of the hacking operation or customized malware was “Eye Pyramid“.
There’s a history of conflict between the Vatican and Freemasonry, which is why it’s particularly interesting that he hacked accounts of Vatican cardinals.
The projections of Bitcoin hitting 1,000 by late 2016 to early 2017 were spot on. Bitcoin hit 1,000 today, January 1st, 2017. This time, it’s different, though. The overall stability of Bitcoin has increased by a very substantial margin and will continue to increase with time.
The price of Bitcoin is still subject to volatility until it completes the S-curve of adoption but the future of Bitcoin is looking very promising. This is another great milestone for Bitcoin.
On Friday 7 October 2016, the ODNI released a Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security.
Seemingly contradictory assertions are being made in this statement. For example, it states that the U.S. Intelligence Community is “confident” that these compromises were directed by the Russian government while admitting that “we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government”. Likewise, stating that the “alleged hacked” e-mails or thefts and “ disclosures” released through DCLeaks, WikiLeaks, and the Guccifer 2.0 persona, are “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts”, undermines the narrative of Russian interference. There is simply too much indirect language and too many degrees of separation.
The language and terminology of the statement make it very difficult to understand what is and isn’t being asserted, exactly. It’s almost as if the statement is intentionally indirect and non-commital.
On Wednesday 14 December 2016, the ODNI released a Statement on Requests for Additional Information of Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.
An important part of this statement is the acknowledgment of briefings on Capitol Hill and that the USIC will make its findings available to the public “consistent with protecting intelligence sources and methods”.
The briefings are probably the source of media misinterpretation from various “officials”. In regard to the inability to produce full evidence of Russian interference, it’s both reasonable and unreasonable. For the safety of sources, potential operatives, and techniques, it makes sense not to reveal particular information and to keep it classified. However, for something of this extremity and for the sheer sake of dissolving the potentiality of any further propaganda on either side, it demands evidence. Without evidence, WikiLeaks is vindicated within the minds of Americans and belief in Russian involvement dissolves. In fact, 71% of Americans do NOT believe the Russian government was involved.
On Wednesday 16 December 2016, the ODNI released a statement in regard to their previous statements.
The strange part of this statement is that it reasserts the claims of the first statement and continues to utilize the terminology of disclosures of “alleged hacked” e-mails. However, it only refers to e-mail compromises in relation to the Guccifer 2.0 persona and claims that those disclosures were intended to interfere with the U.S. election process. This implies the “alleged hacked” emails were leaked through the directed efforts of the Russian government to interfere with the election process. What does this imply of the other leaks and their sources, though? Is the USIC only accusing the Guccifer 2.0 leaks of being a Russian-directed effort?
There’s an underlying impression that these statements and that the general narrative of Russian interference is to veil political corruption and mishap and perhaps even interagency dispute. It could also be that maintaining the narrative of Russian interference is a form of leverage against Russia.
“For me, the most desultory recent development was the Clinton Administration’s decision to Kremlin bait Trump for saying that he thought it would be a good idea to cooperate with Putin and Russia. I add to that, I am not now nor have I ever been a Trump supporter but I have always been a supporter of day taunt and what the Clinton Administration has done… ( You’re talking about the Clinton campaign, the moderator corrects ) What has come out of the Clinton campaign and it comes every day to my computer. It’s McCarthyism. It’s something I’m old enough to remember the way it affected my professors. It is going to make, no matter who is president, any rational discourse about Russia in this country so much more difficult and it aggrieves me that the publications I have relied on all my life and the columnists I relied on all my life, are on board with this. They say it’s okay. It is not okay. It is bad for all of us and it needs to stop now or we’ll never get out of this new and worse Cold War with Russia.” — Stephen Cohen, American scholar and professor of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University
In retrospect, Stephen Cohen’s concerns have become validated, especially after the election. The Clinton campaign has spiraled into an endless blame game, from blaming the FBI to the Russian government, for Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.
There was a great deal of ideological preconditioning before any official accusations of Russian interference with the 2016 election were made and today Barack Obama is set to announce retaliatory measures in response to the alleged cyber attacks.
In varied aspects of culture, there’s always the ‘alternative’ to the ‘mainstream’. The mainstream is the superficial, less intellectual and less informed side of a given aspect of culture. The alternative is the less regulated and often more intellectual and informed side. In regards to occultism, the mainstream would be individuals such as the charlatan Aleister Crowley or performance artist Marina Abramović. The alternative would be individuals like Albert Pike, Rudolf Steiner, or Manly P. Hall.
The alternative side of occultism is interested in scientific, historical and applicable forms of esotericism and philosophy, whereas the mainstream is concerned with pseudo-science and superstition. For example, Aleister Crowley claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural being Aiwass, which provided the basis for The Book of the Law. Meanwhile, Marina Abramović throws a mixture of sperm, breast milk, and blood on the wall in her “Spirit Cooking” so that ghosts can feed off of intangible things. On the other hand, real occultists like Albert Pike and Manly P. Hall concerned themselves with subjects like astrotheology which lead to fields like archaeoastronomy or the study of the death and resurrection mythology, which is significant in anthropology as discussed in The Denial of Death by famed anthropologist Ernest Becker.
It’s also quite evident that pseudo-occultism is a mere imitation of other things. Abramović’s Rhyme 0 isn’t much different from the Milgram experiment that was done nearly eleven years prior by the psychologist Stanley Milgram. In fact, a lot of her “performance art” appears to be lifted from other sources, whether it was intentional or not. Likewise, Aleister Crowley stole the vast majority of his works from other occultists and orders that he was kicked out of for his juvenility. Even Crowley’s most famous saying “Do What Thou Wilt” was a stolen line that traces back to the Hellfire Club and François Rabelais.
The worst thing about this branch of pseudo-occultism and pseudo-intellectualism is that it attracts equally stupid celebrities and politicians, which only further validates it in the minds of average people who believe in things like the modern Illuminati ruling the world and controlling the music industry. It’s so embarrassing and silly in contrast to legitimate esotericism.
The mainstream occultism of the past and present is simply juvenile and meaningless. There is no science to it nor is there any intellectualism to it. It is all based on the subjectivity of things, such as that of art, but lacks objectivity in all regards. It’s a bunch of pseudo-intellectual nonsense from people who have no clue what they’re doing or saying but want to feel as if they do. In other words, true occultists have applicable knowledge and power, whereas pseudo-occultists only maintain an illusion of knowledge and power.