Category Archives: Amerca

Rare Video Footage from 1906 Shows Amazing Bustle of San Francisco’s Market Street

A Trip Down Market Street‘ was shot on April 14, 1906, just four days before the San Francisco earthquake and fire, to which the negative was nearly lost. It was produced by moving picture photographers the Miles brothers (Harry, Herbert, Earle and Joe). Harry J. Miles hand-cranked the Bell & Howell camera which was placed on the front of a streetcar during filming on Market Street from 8th, in front of the Miles Studios, to the Ferry building.

A few days later the Miles brothers were en route to New York when they heard news of the earthquake. They sent the negative to NY, and returned to San Francisco to discover that their studios were destroyed.

Filmed during the era of silent film, Sound Designer and Engineer Mike Upchurch added sound to enhance the incredible video and immerse viewers into the hustle and bustle of San Francisco’s Market Street at the turn of the 20th century. Upchurch adds:

Automobile sounds are all either Ford Model T, or Model A, which came out later, but which have similarly designed engines, and sound quite close to the various cars shown in the film. The horns are slightly inaccurate as mostly bulb horns were used at the time, but were substituted by the far more recognizable electric “oogaa” horns, which came out a couple years later. The streetcar sounds are actual San Francisco streetcars. Doppler effect was used to align the sounds.

Market Street – San Francisco 1906 – After the Earthquake – DashCam View – Silent

Source: Twisted Sifter

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NFL Seriously Concerned With Empty Stadiums

League’s attendance, viewership dropping while SJW’s ruin pro football.

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Second half kick off.

Week 1 of the NFL season had plenty of important stories worth following, but maybe the most entertaining was the mostly empty stadiums in Los Angeles and Santa Clara.

Both the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers had sparse crowds for their home openers, and that has not gone unnoticed by the NFL.

Ian Rapoport’s reports on twitter that the league is clearly worried about the optics of half-filled stadiums. And they should be. It’s embarrassing for the league. Read more here.

Latest discussion on how the SJW’s are destroying pro football below …

Source: Infowars

Equifax Hackers Demand $2.6 Million Ransom In Bitcoin

“We’re Just Trying To Feed Our Families”

Two days after credit-monitoring company Equifax revealed that, because of its staggering negligence, hackers had managed to penetrate the company’s meager cyber security defenses and abscond with up to 143 million social security numbers and a trove of other personal data – including names, addresses, driver’s license data, birth dates and credit-card numbers – the cyberthieves responsible are threatening to sell the data to the highest bidders unless they receive a ransom payment of 600 bitcoin – worth about $2.6 million, according to CoinTelegraph.

In the ransom note, which was published on the dark web, the hackers said they were just two regular people trying to get by – and that, while they don’t want to hurt anybody, they need to monetize the information as soon as possible. They promised to delete the data as soon as the ransom was received.

“We are two people trying to solve our lives and those of our families.

We did not expect to get as much information as we did, nor do we want to affect any citizen.

But we need to monetize the information as soon as possible.”

The hackers have now made a ransom demand, stating on a Darkweb site that they will delete the data for a ransom payment of 600 BTC, worth approximately $2.6 million.

The demand said that if they do not receive the funds from Equifax by September 15th, they will publicize the data.

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Meanwhile, as we reported last night, two plaintiffs have filed a $70 billion class-action lawsuit against Equifax in a Portland, Ore. federal court – a case that has the potential the crush the company with a massive payout.

In the lawsuit, lawyers from Olsen Daines PC, who filed it on behalf of plaintiffs Mary McHill and Brook Reinhard, alleged that Equifax was negligent in failing to protect consumer data, and that the company chose to save money instead of spending on technical safeguards that could have stopped the attack.

Imagine how much angrier they would be if they found that instead of “saving” the money, the company used it instead to buy back its own stock (in this case from selling executives)?
the two plaintiffs in the case filed in Portland, Ore., federal court has every single merit to ultimately crush Equifax for what is nothing less than unprecedented carelessness in handling precious information.

Of course, in what will likely be remembered as a massively stupid public relations blunder, Equifax “neglected” to specify that an arbitration waiver included in an online portal allowing customers to check on the status of their information “does not apply to this cybersecurity incident.”

…We wonder, which incident does it apply to then?

Here’s the company’s full statement from the company, courtesy of the Washington Post:

Equifax issued a statement Friday evening. “In response to consumer inquiries, we have made it clear that the arbitration clause and class action waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID Premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident,” the company said.

Meanwhile, one reporter who was examining the company’s web portal pointed out what is either a hilarious glitch, or an ominous indication that the most troubling reveal is yet to come

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Source: ZeroHedge

The Real Reason Our Wages Have Stagnated

Our Economy Is Optimized For Financialization

Labor’s share of the national income is in free fall as a direct result of the optimization of financialization.

The Achilles Heel of our socio-economic system is the secular stagnation of earned income, i.e. wages and salaries.
 Stagnating wages undermine every aspect of our economy: consumption, credit, taxation and perhaps most importantly, the unspoken social contract that the benefits of productivity and increasing wealth will be distributed widely, if not fairly.
This chart shows that labor’s declining share of the national income is not a recent problem, but a 45-year trend: despite occasional counter-trend blips, labor (that is, earnings from labor/ employment) has seen its share of the economy plummet regardless of the political or economic environment.
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Given the gravity of the consequences of this trend, mainstream economists have been struggling to explain it, as a means of eventually reversing it. The explanations include automation, globalization/ offshoring, the high cost of housing, a decline of corporate competition (i.e. the dominance of cartels and quasi-monopolies), a failure of our educational complex to keep pace, stagnating gains in productivity, and so on. Each of these dynamics may well exacerbate the trend, but they all dodge the dominant driver of wage stagnation and rise income-wealth inequality: our economy is optimized for financialization, not labor/earned income.
What does our economy, is optimized for financialization mean? It means that capital and profits flow to the scarcities created by asymmetric access to information, leverage and cheap credit–the engines of financialization.

Optimization is a complex overlay of dynamically linked systems:
 the central bank optimizes the flow of cheap credit to the banking/financial sector, the central state tacitly approves the consolidation of cartels and quasi-monopolies, and gives monstrous tax breaks to corporations even as it jacks up taxes and fees on wage earners and small business.
Financialization funnels the economy’s rewards to those with access to opaque financial processes and information flows, cheap central bank credit and private banking leverage. Together, these enable financiers and corporations to get the borrowed capital needed to acquire and consolidate the productive assets of the economy, and commoditize those productive assets, i.e. turn them into financial instruments that can be bought and sold on the global marketplace.

These commoditized assets include home mortgages, student loans, and specialized labor forces
 which are “sold” with their employers or arbitraged globally. Once an asset is commoditized, the profits flow to those who process the transactions of packaging and marketing these assets globally.

Take auto loans as an example:
 the big money isn’t made from collecting the interest on the auto loans; the big money is made by processing and assembling the loans into tranches that can be sold to investors globally.

One way of understanding financialization is to ask: what’s the quickest, easiest way to make $10 million in our economy?
 Is it building a business based on the labor of employees over a decade or two?

You’re joking, right?
 The easiest way to make $10 million is to be part of the investment banking team overseeing a $10 billion corporate buyout or merger deal, or investing seed money in a tech company that subsequently goes public.
How about the easiest and quickest way to make $100 million? The answer is the same: working a vein of financial wealth based on commoditized instruments, leverage and credit.

Labor’s share of the national income is in freefall as a direct result of the optimization of financialization.
 The money flows to those with the capital, credit and expertise to optimize financialized skims. As for selling one’s labor in an economy optimized for capital and the asymmetries of finance–there’s no premium for labor in such an economy, other than

technical/managerial skills required by finance to exploit markets.

This is the driver of the rising income-wealth inequality this chart reveals:
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Massive Data Breach At Credit Reporting Firm Equifax – 143 Million Consumers Impacted…

Equifax said exposed data includes: names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers.

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(Via CNBC) Equifax, which supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a data breach could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the United States.

The population of the U.S. was about 324 million as of Jan. 1, 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which means the Equifax incident affects a huge portion of the United States.  Equifax said it discovered the breach on July 29. “Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files,” the company said.

Shares of Equifax fell more than 5 percent during after-hours trading.

Equifax said exposed data includes names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and some driver’s license numbers, all of which the company aims to protect for its customers.

The company added that 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers were obtained, in addition to “certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.”

Equifax CEO and Chairman Richard Smith apologized to consumers, customers and noted that he’s aware the breach affects what Equifax is supposed to protect.

Equifax said it is now alerting customers whose information was included in the breach via mail, and is working with state and federal authorities. Its private investigation into the breach is complete. (LINK)

Source: The Conservative Tree House

Professional Woman Quits Expensive Rents To Live In A Van

A 31-year-old professional woman has turned her back on expensive rents and property prices – by living full time in a van. With an interior measuring just 13ft 2in long, 5ft 8in wide and 6ft 2in high, Eileah Ohning’s home is her Freightliner Sprinter High Top van. The photographic producer from Columbus, Ohio, has lived in her compact four-wheel home since May 2017. Complete with a memory foam mattress, storage compartments, a desk and a camping stove, she even has plans to add in a shower, toilet and fridge. Eileah parks her van close enough to her workplace that she never needs to worry about the morning commute and showers at her local gym.

A Half-Million Flooded Cars and Trucks Could Be Scrapped After Harvey

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  • Auto dealers are expecting a surge in business once Houston gets back on its feet.
  • Used-car values are already close to a record high, and Mannheim Auto Auctions says prices could climb even higher over the next couple of weeks due to the tighter supply.

They seem to be in almost every picture or video of flooded neighborhoods in and around Houston.

There are scores of cars and trucks with water up to their windows and in some cases over the hood and roof.

In fact, the flooding is so extensive, Cox Automotive estimates a half-million vehicles may wind up in the scrap yard.

“This is worse than Hurricane Sandy,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive. “Sandy was bad, but the flooding with Hurricane Harvey could impact far more vehicles.”

After Hurricane Sandy battered New York and New Jersey in October 2012, an estimated 250,000 vehicles were scrapped.

While the New York metropolitan area has more residents than Houston, the number of vehicles per household is much higher in Houston.

That means more cars, trucks and SUVs were parked on the street and in garages when Harvey swamped the city and surrounding areas.

With so many vehicles in the flood zone, auto insurers will be busy handling claims and cutting checks so flood victims can buy another car or truck.

Auto dealers are expecting a surge in business once Houston gets back on its feet.

Those shopping for a used car may be surprised at the prices they see. Used-car values are already close to a record high, and Mannheim Auto Auctions says prices could climb even higher over the next couple of weeks due to the tighter supply.

Meanwhile, not all of the flooded vehicles will wind up in the salvage yard. Many will be cleaned up and resold, often without the new buyer realizing they are buying a salvaged car or truck.

“It’s going to happen, that’s inevitable,” said Frank Scafidi with the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “Look at all those vehicles floating around. There are people who will try to take advantage of the situation.”

The resale of repaired flooded cars is not illegal, as long as the flood damage is disclosed on the title to buyers. After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of rebuilt flood vehicles were sold to unsuspecting buyers with titles that had been washed or reissued in a different state.

“We didn’t see this on a huge scale until Hurricane Katrina,” said Scafidi. “Since then the public awareness of the problem is greater, but with thousands of flooded vehicles it’s hard to prevent this from happening.”

By Phil LeBeau | CNBC