There’s a phenomenon I call “digital complacency” that has turned otherwise conscientious, privacy-loving Americans into ostriches with their heads stuck in the technological sand. I’ll assume it’s just out of convenience and ignorance because if people were aware of where their personal data was going, what that data included, and how it was being used, I’m certain a much higher percentage of Americans would be taking much stronger precautions than they are today.
A recent article on Fast Company highlighted the 121 data brokers who are currently collecting and selling your personal information to the highest bidders.
Thanks to a new Vermont law requiring companies that buy and sell third-party personal data to register with the Secretary of State, we’ve been able to assemble a list of 121 data brokers operating in the U.S. It’s a rare, rough glimpse into a bustling economy that operates largely in the shadows, and often with few rules.
Even Vermont’s first-of-its-kind law, which went into effect last month, doesn’t require data brokers to disclose who’s in their databases, what data they collect, or who buys it. Nor does it require brokers to give consumers access to their own data or opt out of data collection. Brokers are, however required to provide some information about their opt-out systems under the law–assuming they provide one.
Before we go any further in this article, there’s something that must be said. It’s better to get it out now before anyone falls off. Surfing with a VPN, as recommended in the Fast Company article, is the easiest way to prevent ISPs and other 1st-party data collectors from building your hidden digital profile. The less information they have on you, the less valuable your data. The less valuable your data, the less likely it is that any of the multitudes of data farms, hackers, and spam companies will find reason to target you. It’s that simple. Our editors use ExpressVPN and highly recommend it.
With that understood, let’s discuss your data. It’s out there. If you’re got to this article through Google, Facebook, Twitter, email, or just about any other source, chances are very strong that multiple companies are aware of it. Don’t worry. It’s not NOQ Report itself that’s giving them this data. Your internet service provider, cellular provider, and most of the services you use to surf the net are collecting your data for the brokers. We do not use any ad services that “target” our visitors. Unfortunately, our stance is a rare one indeed.
Why do we protect our visitors’ data? Because we’re like you. We don’t want companies, hackers, or even governments keeping tabs on where we go and what we do online. But we’re also likely more aware of the gravity of the situation than the vast majority of Americans because we realize as bad as it sounds that you’re being “targeted,” it’s actually worse than you probably imagine.
Data is the currency of the age. Those who have the most data are the ones who call the shots. Think about the “big 5” technology companies. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple are as powerful as they are based on their control and herding of your data and profiles. When most Americans hear the word “profile,” they normally assume that’s their Facebook or other social media profile. Sadly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The level of information you give to these companies through your social media interactions is a drop in the bucket compared to the data they collect through your surfing, emailing, searching, and other online habits. They can use machine learning to classify you in different categories that you had no idea they could do. For example, they can extrapolate based on the sites you visit, the searches you do, and the physical places your phone (and therefore you) go to tell if you’re a good candidate to die from heart disease.
Of course, they don’t say, “Hey, you’re going to die.” They sell the data to pharmaceutical companies who then target you with ads about heart disease, preparing you for the inevitable revelation you’ll have when your doctor tells you it’s so.
Some might think, “Hey, that doesn’t seem so bad. Who wants to die from heart disease?” To those people, I’d first say they need to wake up to the intrusion this represents, but the second thing I’d tell them is even more important. Let’s say the same activities that made you a candidate for pharmaceutical targeting also makes you a likely lover of BBQ ribs. After all, they know you searched for Stan’s Rib Palace twice last week and your phone says you went to a different rob joint last month. Your credit card says you bought rings at Whole Foods on Tuesday and you searched Youtube for smoker tips yesterday. Suddenly, every website you visit (other than NOQ Report) has scrumptious ribs plastered all over them.
They don’t care what you do. They just want to match you with the lifestyle choices they believe will interest you.
You are for sale online. Period.
Unfortunately, that’s just the marketing component. Once we start discussing hackers, the government, and other nefarious actors who are part of the equation, the picture gets much darker.
Now is the time to wake up to the realities of the digital landscape upon which most of us operate daily. At the very least, get a VPN. If possible, take further steps to protect yourself. The more “they” know, the harder it will be to go along unscathed.
Is the nation ready to revive the American Conservative Movement?
Roswell, NM: Home of alien conspiracy theories, protector of preborn babies
When many Americans think of Roswell, New Mexico, the first thing that comes to mind is their history as a hub for extraterrestrial conspiracy theories. That’s where the infamous Roswell spaceship crash occurred, which the government unrelentingly denies.
But the city has a new claim to fame. It’s unofficially a “fetal life sanctuary city” after the city council passed a resolution claiming “fetal life” should be protected. This news is fresh, so the city has not had to face questions about what that means or lawsuits form the ACLU at this time, but both will happen soon enough.
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) March 18, 2019
This is the type of limited-government federalism that should be happening all across the country. Most federalism-minded folks like to talk about states’ rights, but counties, cities, communities, and individuals have their own place in government, and this seems like a perfect example of federalism in action.
Kudos to Roswell. We are a crowdfunded pro-life site, so it’s wonderful to see a victory with so many defeats in recent years. New Mexico is notorious for being very loose with their abortion laws, so having a city fight back against the overreach of state and national laws is wonderful.
The fight to promote a pro-life society often gives too much emphasis to DC. States and even cities have battles we can win if we’re willing to fight with everything we have for preborn babies.
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Is AOC a puppet prototype to drive hyper-leftism in DC for the Justice Democrats?
A new report gives extremely compelling evidence that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is at the very least a figurehead of a hyper-leftist organization and at worst a pawn of the rising forces of radical progressivism attempting to make the fundamental changes Democrats made in the past look like moderate’s making incremental adjustments to the status quo.
I’ll admit, I sat on this story for a week. The allegations are so outrageous, I needed to do my own investigating to make sure it wasn’t a wacky conspiracy theory. After looking deeper into the belly of the beast, I can confirm that the beast is real and at play in the Democratic Party today. By my reckoning, AOC is one of the prototypes of the pieces used in an admittedly brilliant plan to subvert not only conservative and moderate principles in American politics, but the very fabric of what allows America to operate as a free nation.
Near the center of the beast are the Justice Democrats, their current leaders Alexandra Rojas and Nasim Thompson, and their behind-the-scenes ringleaders Saikat Chakrabarti and Cenk Uygur. At the center is a greater force that I’ll discuss later. For now, let’s look at the scenario surrounding this true conspiracy (as opposed to being a conspiracy theory; this is acknowledged by the players involved), the people we know are involved, the people behind the scenes, and what this all means for America.
Justice Democrats sought out superstars
The core of this conspiracy began with a simple idea. Uygur, Chakrabarti, and others were unhappy with the moderate direction the Democratic Party had seemed to settle into following the 2016 presidential election. They knew a third party such as the Green Party simply wasn’t able to gain enough steam to break through the two-party system, so they decided to infiltrate and take over the Democratic Party instead.
Their tactics were uncanny. They saw with Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) failed run that pulling from even the far left of the established Democratic Party wasn’t going to work, so they chose to start fresh. They needed to field candidates they could control. This likely came from watching the Tea Party work so hard to elect “conservatives” like Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) only to watch them abandon their conservatism quickly once in office. The Justice Democrats didn’t just want to get people they liked into office in Washington DC. They wanted to get people they could completely control.
This required doing what was essentially a casting call. They received 10,000 nominations, from which they found a bartender from the Bronx who was smart enough to handle their talking points, naive enough to buy into their radical progressive mentality, and ambitious enough to let them completely control her actions and words. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was their perfect candidate.
The public puppeteers
Let’s look at the four people currently and previously in charge of the Justice Democrats. You can do your own Wikipedia biographical searches. I’m going to focus on what impressions I get from these people.
- Alexandra Rojas – Executive Director of Justice Democrats. Rojas seems to be a true believer in the socialist movement, one who thinks the environment is going to kill all life on earth in the near future unless we ride bicycles and stop eating beef immediately. She may be more dangerous than I’m seeing, but my initial feeling is she’s the charismatic placeholder for smarter people to call the shots later.
- Nasim Thompson – Congress Repealer at Justice Democrats. Thompson is another true believer. If Rojas is tasked with finding and driving candidates, Thompson is the one who takes down the Democratic targets in primaries.
- Cenk Uygur – Young Turks Host. This whole thing was partially his creation. Unfortunately for Uygur, he just wasn’t woke enough to stay on publicly. Of course, he may still be involved behind the scenes.
- Saikat Chakrabarti – Chief of Staff for AOC. Chakrabarti was there from the beginning. He’s a true hyper-leftist and not a very good guy. Now, he’s the one directly pulling AOC’s strings. It’s his and his staff who actually control the seat, feed her talking points, and put forth the questions and answers we see from her.
Notably, none of these people seem capable of mounting a serious threat to the Democratic Establishment. All of them have skills that are useful for the cause, but even in a larger group they seem to be smart and motivated yet not the real power driving this. Do these puppetmasters have a puppetmaster?
Pulling the real strings
This is where we insert the latest accusations about George Soros or any of the other hyper-leftist boogeymen. That may be the case, but as a student of the Bible I can say this all seems conspicuously controlled from outside our realm of understanding. Is this an example of the powers detailed in Ephesians 6:12 flexing their muscles?
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
I find it very hard to believe the merry band of Justice Democrats are so successful, having won seven congressional seats a year after their formation, unless there’s something stronger driving them that we’re not seeing.
What this all means for America
If you thought Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi were dangerous, you’ve never met the Justice Democrats. These folks make the Green Party seem mainstream. The difference is they’re clearly much more effective than any radical progressive movement we’ve seen in most of our lifetimes.
What this means for America is very simple. They must be stopped. They must be countered. Now more than ever, I understand why we need the American Conservative Movement to step forth.
The saddest part about AOC is that she’s such a distraction, her real power isn’t in what she does on Capitol Hill. By taking attention away from the Justice Democrats, she’s pulling double duty for the most dangerous organization in America.
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No, Symeon Star-Eyes is not the Night King
A week ago, HBO dropped the long awaited and highly anticipated Game of Thrones final season trailer. This take may be late take, but oft times, I believe in letting the hot takes simmer down so the voices who aren’t seeking quick views for their lackluster analysis stand out. Now a lot of fan accounts on Youtube have boasted finding all these “easter eggs” in the trailer that just are not there. Particularly a lot of people are being misled by the theory that the legendary Symeon Star-Eyed is the Night King. The theory has the vote of confidence from Cosmo and its readers.
This theory existed on Reddit long before the trailer dropped. It goes so far to suggest that Symeon Star-Eyes was perhaps a Stark, but definitely from the North because the “North would want their own hero amongst the greatest heroes in Westeros history.” There is no evidence to suggest why Brandon the Builder, Breaker, Shipwright, and Burner aren’t sufficient legends. Knighthood is tied to the Seven, so it is unlikely he was from the North… But I need to slow myself down. The Game of Thrones trailer featured a star-eyed Night King reigniting this theory.
The seven pointed star is symbolic of the Faith of the Seven, the religion of the Andals, which would make, according to this theory, the Night King an Andal in origin. The belief that the Night King is the Andal Symeon Star-Eyes, a fabled knight from the Age of Heroes, is self defeating. Let’s first address the proposed evidence.
“There was a knight once who couldn’t see,” Bran said stubbornly, as Ser Rodrik went on below. “Old Nan told me about him. He had a long staff with blades at both ends and he could spin it in his hands and chop two men at once.”
“Symeon Star-Eyes,” Luwin said as he marked numbers in a book. “When he lost his eyes, he put star sapphires in the empty sockets, or so the singers claim. Bran, that is only a story, like the tales of Florian the Fool. A fable from the Age of Heroes.”
Now, it’s important to note that White Walkers, which are referred to as Others, have not directly appeared in the books. In the lore, the Others are always depicted as having blue eyes, like when the when the 13th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch (allegedly) had sex with one.
“A woman was his downfall; a woman glimpsed from atop the Wall, with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars. Fearing nothing, he chased her and caught her and loved her, though her skin was cold as ice, and when he gave his seed to her he gave his soul as well. He brought her back to the Nightfort and proclaimed her a queen and himself her king, and with strange sorceries he bound his Sworn Brothers to his will.”
That man was known as the Night’s King, which is a far more plausible than Symeon Star-Eyes for being the Night King. This of course would only be true if the Night King was not an original amongst the Others. For this is generations after the Others were defeated, hence why there is a Night’s Watch. The idea that the Others have changed leadership is a major supposition not supported by either canon material or even the show who depict neither a queen nor power struggle which would likely still remain if an Other form of Symeon Star-Eyes usurped power to declare himself Night King.
And that is the less obvious reason why this fan theory is the Fake News of Game of Thrones theories. The most pressingly clear reason is that there were no Andals during the Long Night. The Andal Invasion did not occur until well into the Age of Heroes. The argument I’ve seen in response to this pressingly obvious fact is that history in Game of Thrones is unreliable. George RR Martin is intentional about using non-reliable narrators as well as writing a history of Westeros that is entirely contingent upon the interpretation of its multiple writers. Therefore the exact timing of the arrival of the Andals is subject to debate. This is all true. However, there is nothing to suggest that the Andals invaded during the Dawn Age. The Age of Heroes began after peace was made with the Children of the Forrest, as explained in the show in season one.
The First Men, who are the other predominant race in Westeros have the Others embedded in their culture, while the Andals generally believe the Others to be no more real than grumpkins and snarks. By the time the Andals arrived in Westeros, we are well into the Age of Heroes. Let’s go into more detail. When the Andals arrived they carved runes of seven pointed stars and brought their faith with them. Their invasion was repelled by the Stark Kings of Winter. Thus, the North remained primarily First Men and worshiped the old gods. House Stark remembers the Others, hence Winter is Coming. The Arryns of the Vale were established towards the very beginning of this time, for the Vale is the nearest landing spot. House Arryn is one of the oldest and purest of the Andal houses, until the current storyline. The Long Night is not in their culture. Lann the Clever had already taken Casterly Rock and established House Lannister. House Lannister bares a maternal lineage to Lann the Clever, a First Man, and has taken on an Andal line. There are FOUR Lannister POV characters. None of them reference their ancestors fighting Others. As you can see, the Andal houses did not experience the Long Night, meaning they Others invaded long before they arrived. So once again, how can Symeon Star-Eyes be the Night King.
There are two reasons why the Night King’s, and by extension all Others’ eyes would be shaped as a seven-pointed star. The first is that a dragon must have three heads and a star must have seven points. This is to say that HBO is blowing smoke up people’s asses. The second is that the Children of the Forrest created an abomination to the old gods, whom they worship along with the First Men. This abomination bore resemblance to the faith of the seven, much like how the god Baal resembles numerous other false gods. As for me, I believe the former because the show-runners are not that intricate.
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