IT40 News for 01/31/2019

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#1 Polar Blast Envelops Midwest, Strains Aging Infrastructure

CHICAGO (AP) — The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze was expected to ease Thursday, though temperatures could still tumble to record lows in some places before the region begins to thaw out.

Disruptions caused by the cold will persist, too, including power outages and canceled flights and trains. Crews in Detroit will need days to repair water mains that burst Wednesday, and other pipes can still burst in persistent subzero temperatures.

Before the worst of the cold begins to lift, the National Weather Service said Chicago could hit lows early Thursday that break the city’s record of minus 27 (minus 32 Celsius) set on Jan. 20, 1985. Some nearby isolated areas could see temperatures as low as minus 40 (minus 40 Celsius). That would break the Illinois record of minus 36 (minus 38 Celsius), set in Congerville on Jan. 5, 1999.

As temperatures bounce back into the single digits Thursday and into the comparative balmy 20s by Friday, more people were expected to return to work in the nation’s third-largest city, which resembled a ghost town after most offices told employees to stay home.

The blast of polar air that enveloped much of the Midwest on Wednesday closed schools and businesses and strained infrastructure with some of the lowest temperatures in a generation. The deep freeze snapped rail lines, canceled hundreds of flights and strained utilities.

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#2 WorldVenezuela crisis: Maduro accuses Trump of hiring Colombian mafia to assassinate him

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused President Donald Trump of hiring the local mafia to assassinate him in an interview with a Russia state-run news agency.

“Donald Trump has without doubt given an order to kill me and has told the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me,” Mr Maduro told RIA news agency on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Critics argue that the 56-year-old’s claim is a red-herring tactic to rally up support in Venezuela amid mass protests against his socialist government, and the debilitating inflation and food and medicine shortages in the Latin American country.

Mr Maduro’s comments in the interview were reportedly said on the same day a mysterious Russian jet plane was discovered on the tarmac of an airport in Caracas.

The aircraft, belonging to Nordwind Airlines, arrived at Maiquetia Airport in Caracas after direct flight from Moscow. Normally, the plane flies between Russia and Southeast Asia, a long way away from the South American country. Furthermore, there are no commercial airlines offering direct flights from Moscow to Caracas.

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#3 WorldBritish Jews apply for German nationality as Brexit loomsEU parliament recognises Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president after formal voteVenezuela Bars Opposition Leader Juan Guaido From Leaving the Country

BERLIN (AP) — Simon Wallfisch grew up in London as the grandson of an Auschwitz survivor who had sworn to never return to the country that murdered her parents and 6 million other Jews.

But more than 70 years after the Holocaust, Brexit has prompted Wallfisch and thousands of other Jews in Britain to apply for German citizenship, which was stripped from their ancestors by the Nazis during the Third Reich.

"This disaster that we call Brexit has led to me just finding a way to secure my future and my children's future," said Wallfisch, 36, a well-known classical singer and cellist who received his German passport in October. "In order to remain European I've taken the European citizenship."

Britons holding dual citizenship from an EU country like Germany will retain the privilege of free movement and work across the soon-to-be 27-nation bloc.

Many Britons whose ancestors came from other parts of Europe have been claiming citizenship in other EU member states so they can keep ties to the continent. But for Jews whose families fled Germany to escape the Nazis, the decision has meant re-examining long-held beliefs about the country.

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#4 Rep. Ilhan Omar slammed for saying she ‘chuckles’ when Israel is called a democracy, compares it to Iran

Embattled congressional freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is facing backlash after comparing Israel to Iran and said she “almost chuckle[s]” when the Jewish state is described as a democracy.

The Democrat, who’s already been criticized both for her loose language and support of American adversaries such as Venezuela, made her controversial remarks during a Yahoo! News interview published on Tuesday.


When asked about how the U.S. can facilitate peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Omar went to criticize the U.S. for not having “an equal approach” in dealing with both sides.

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#6 Supreme Court’s conservatives appear poised to expand Second Amendment gun rights

WASHINGTON – The late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia was asked in 2013 whether the Second Amendment's right to bear arms stood on equal ground with other constitutional protections, such as freedom of speech.

"We're going to find out, aren't we?" he quipped.

That Scalia — who wrote the high court's landmark 2008 decision upholding gun rights — could not define the reach of that right was telling. Now, three years after his death, the court appears ready to put some teeth into an amendment that some justices say gets no respect.

The case, on tap to be heard this fall, challenges obscure New York City rules that prevent gun owners from transporting their weapons outside the city, whether to second homes or shooting ranges. There's nothing else like it among state and local gun restrictions.

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#7 ‘Frost quakes’ may be hitting Chicago as temperature drops to record-breaking lows

Gallery by Reuters

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The winter weather isn't done with Chicago; now there is talk of frost quakes.

CNN affiliate WGN reported Wednesday that viewers in the Chicago area were awakened by a series of booms.

"I thought I was crazy! I was up all night because I kept hearing it," viewer Chastity Clark Baker said on Facebook, the news station reported. "I was scared and thought it was the furnace. I kept walking through the house. I had everyone's jackets on the table in case we had to run out of here."

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#8 Italy slides into recession, darkening outlook for Europe

MILAN — Italy has fallen back into recession, intensifying concerns about the 19-country eurozone economy and a possible flare-up in the debt market jitters that have haunted the bloc in the past.

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The Italian economy, the third-largest in the eurozone, contracted by a quarterly rate of 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, the national statistics agency said.

Following a 0.1 percent drop in the previous three-month period that means Italy is in a technical recession, defined as two straight quarters of economic contraction — just four years after its last one.

Italy's recession is one reason why the wider eurozone slowed in 2018, along with uncertainties related to Brexit, the China-U.S. trade spat and new vehicle emissions standards.

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#9 Heart-shaped meteorite goes on auction for Valentine’s Day

You might want to reconsider your Valentine's Day plans this year: A superior gift is about to go on sale, and it came all the way from space.

British auction house Christie's is soon to open online bidding on a heart-shaped meteorite, one that plummeted to Earth over Siberia in 1947.

According to Christie's, the meteorite once belonged to a colossal mass of iron that split from the asteroid belt 320 million years ago. It penetrated the Earth's atmosphere on Feb. 12, 1947, shattering into smaller meteorites and blazing over Siberia's Sikhote-Alin Mountains in a fireball "brighter than the sun."

Windows shattered, chimneys disintegrated and trees were ripped from the ground by the shock waves resulting from the explosion of the iron mass, while sonic booms reverberated nearly 200 miles away. A 20-mile smoke trail hung in the sky, while the meteorites that split apart from the main body produced almost 200 craters, some up to 85 feet wide, the auction house said on its website.

Not all of the Sikhote-Alin meteorites are as desirable as the heart-shaped artifact up for auction, Christie's says. Those that broke away from the main mass when it exploded close to the ground are "jagged and twisted," more like shrapnel than a romantically shaped paperweight. But the "Heart of Space," as Christie's terms it, probably split apart at a far higher altitude. As a result, it's somewhat more aerodynamic, and puckered with indentations known as regmaglypts.

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#10 Trump blames former Speaker Paul Ryan for not getting border wall funding

President Donald Trump blamed former House Speaker Paul Ryan for not getting funding for the wall, saying in an interview with The Daily Caller that Ryan assured him congressional Republicans would get the money when the President agreed not to veto the omnibus spending bill last year.

"Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, 'Please don't do that, we'll get you the wall.' And I said, 'I hope you mean that, because I don't like this bill,' " Trump told The Daily Caller in an interview Wednesday.

"Paul told me in the strongest of terms that, 'Please sign this and if you sign this we will get you that wall.' Which is desperately needed by our country. Humanitarian crisis, trafficking, drugs, you know, everything -- people, criminals, gangs, so, you know, we need the wall."

But Trump said, "And then he went lame duck," referring to Ryan's decision to retire instead of running for re-election in 2018.

"And once he went lame duck, it was just really an exercise in waving to people, and the power was gone so I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I'll get the wall," he added.

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#11 Trump administration faces an increasingly adversarial Congress — in both parties

© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
President Trump is facing an increasingly adversarial Congress eager to assert itself on matters of foreign policy and congressional oversight.

Senior Republicans are warning him away from a national emergency declaration to build a border wall. The top Senate leader is directly rebuking his national ­security policy in Syria and Afghanistan. And Democratic committee chairs are threatening subpoenas for his top officials.

For an administration that had largely been accommodated by Republican lawmakers during its first two years, President Trump is facing an increasingly adversarial Congress eager to assert itself on matters of foreign policy and oversight.

Senate Republicans — fresh off a bruising fight over the longest government shutdown in history — are sending fresh signals of discontent, challenging the administration on foreign policy and imploring it to stay out, for now, of talks to avert another shutdown next month.

And in the House, where Democrats came into power largely on a promise to serve as a check on the president, several Cabinet secretaries have already declined to testify before committees on contentious topics such as the impact of the shutdown and the administration’s abandoned policy of separating migrant families.

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#13 What a peace deal with the Taliban could mean for women in Afghanistan

On Saturday, after six days of negotiations in Qatar, U.S. and Taliban officials announced they were one step closer to an agreement that might finally end the American war in Afghanistan.

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The two sides agreed only to the broad outlines of a peace deal, and it remains unclear whether the Taliban will agree to negotiate directly with the Afghan government. Still, the announcement was hailed as a rare sign of diplomatic progress after more than 17 years of fighting.

But some Afghan women fear an American withdrawal will mean a reversion to an Afghanistan in which they had virtually no rights.

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#14 President Trump says he must meet with China’s Xi Jinping before any trade deal is done

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that trade talks with China are going well, but no agreement will be nailed down until he and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping meet in the coming weeks.

"No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points," Trump tweeted.

No formal meeting between the two leaders has been announced.

Trump aides met Wednesday with a China delegation to discuss a new trade agreement, and will talk again Thursday. Trump himself is scheduled to meet in the afternoon with the head of the delegation, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

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#15 Maduro Sounds Conciliatory but Warns: U.S. Intervention Would Be Worse Than Vietnam

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela warned Americans in a video posted on Wednesday that intervening in his country “would lead to a Vietnam worse than they can imagine.”

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The video, posted on his social media accounts, came out on the same day Mr. Maduro gave an interview to Russia’s RIA news agency in which he seemed more conciliatory, saying he was open to talks with the country’s opposition but rejecting calls for a new election.

“I am ready to sit down at the negotiating table with the opposition,” Mr. Maduro said, naming Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and Russia among possible mediators, but giving no indication of having made progress in arranging the talks.

The United States last week recognized Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as the country’s acting president, as have 26 other countries.

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#16 EU parliament recognizes Guaido as Venezuelan interim president

Slideshow by photo services

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Parliament recognized Venezuela's self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as the de-facto head of state on Thursday, a symbolic step that lawmakers said was designed to keep pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.

EU lawmakers voted in a non-binding resolution to recognize Guaido as interim leader and called on all EU governments to follow suit.

"From Europe, we can help change the Venezuelan regime and make it known that tyrants will never enlighten any democratic possibility," Spanish center-right EU lawmaker Esteban Gonzalez Pons said in a statement.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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#17 Scenes from a protest: Venezuelans fill streets of capital

Venezuela's political turmoil has further deepened amid growing tension over President Nicolas Maduro's future as the country's leader. Maduro started a second term on January 10 following a widely boycotted election last year that many foreign governments refused to recognize.

On January 23, Juan Guaido, the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself the interim president.

on Jan. 29 in Washington.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido accompanied by his wife Fabiana Rosales, speaks to the media after a holy mass in Caracas on Jan. 27.

A supporter of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido holds a document, regarding a proposed amnesty law for members of the military, police and civilians, as she explains it to the soldiers at the gate of Naval Command building in Caracas on Jan. 27.

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#18 U.S. likely to announce suspension of INF treaty obligations – U.S. official

BEIJING, Jan 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. government will likely announce the suspension of its obligations under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia in coming days, after bilateral talks failed to make headway, a senior U.S. official told Reuters.

"The Russians still aren't in acknowledgment that they are in violation of the treaty," U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Andrea Thompson told Reuters in an interview.

Thompson added, however, that "diplomacy is never done" and she anticipated more discussions.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; writing by Beijing Monitoring Desk Editing by Robert Birsel)

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#19 Mexico confirms ending fast-track visa program for Central American caravan

Mexico’s Institute of National Migration confirmed with Fox News that the temporary asylum visa fast-track program is suspended, and no more visas will be given for now.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Tuesday that some 12,600 migrants, mostly from Honduras, applied for humanitarian visas since Jan. 16, and 4,000 have received them.


Fox News confirmed Wednesday Mexico is now studying ways for new migrants coming to apply in the Mexican Embassy in their native countries.

It is unclear if, when more waves of migrants show up on the border into Mexico — especially in the border town of Ciudad Hidalgo — officials will now enforce Mexico's southern border more aggressively.

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#20 China’s military-run space station in Argentina is a ‘black box’

LAS LAJAS, Argentina - When China built a military-run space station in Argentina's Patagonian region it promised to include a visitors' center to explain the purpose of its powerful 16-story antenna.

The center is now built - behind the 8-foot barbed wire fence that surrounds the entire space station compound. Visits are by appointment only.

Shrouded in secrecy, the compound has stirred unease among local residents, fueled conspiracy theories and sparked concerns in the Trump administration about its true purpose, according to interviews with dozens of residents, current and former Argentine government officials, U.S. officials, satellite and astronomy specialists and legal experts.

The station's stated aim is peaceful space observation and exploration and, according to Chinese media, it played a key role in China’s landing of a spacecraft on the dark side of the moon in January.

But the remote 200-hectare compound operates with little oversight by the Argentine authorities, according to hundreds of pages of Argentine government documents obtained by Reuters and reviewed by international law experts. (For an interactive version of this story:

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#21 He dressed up as Santa Claus. A horrible secret was buried in his backyard.

The neighborhood kids noticed Mary Crocker’s hands.

The rail-thin 14-year-old looked younger than she was, and reportedly always dressed in worn-out clothes. But it was her hands that drew attention. They were perpetually red and worked-over, the result of endless hours the young girl spent raking leaves and doing other lawn chores in the yard stretching out from her family’s double-wide trailer in Guyton, Ga., a small rural town about 30 miles from Savannah.

“That was from being out in the yard out there most of the time working, doing stuff from the time she got off that bus until they would go in at night,” the Crockers’ neighbor, Gary Bennett, recently told WTOC. “Then she would go to school and kids would see her and ask what was wrong and she wouldn’t ever say anything. She wouldn’t open up to anybody.”

But Mary’s hours in the yard apparently ended last October — no one saw her again. Neighbors did, however, spot her father, then 49-year-old Elwyn Crocker Sr., outside in the closing weeks of 2018. They would later tell WSAV he had a shovel near the tree line, not far from the chain-link cage where the Crockers kept the pit bulls that caused problems with the neighbors.

The ugly reality about what was allegedly happening inside the trailer became clear this week.

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#22 U.S. secretly ships Cold War-era plutonium to Nevada

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government secretly shipped a large amount of deadly plutonium from a South Carolina site that produced the radioactive metal for nuclear bombs during the Cold War to Nevada, the Trump administration revealed on Wednesday.

The Justice Department, on behalf of the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, said in a notice filed with a U.S. court in Nevada that it could reveal the shipment of half a metric ton (1,100 pounds) because sufficient time had elapsed after the transfer to protect national security. The shipment occurred before November 2018.

The U.S. court in Nevada has been considering an effort by the state of Nevada to stop planned shipments of a metric ton of plutonium from South Carolina, that the Energy Department announced last August.

The plutonium was shipped from the K-Reactor at the Savannah River Site, the oldest reactor at the facility, to the Device Assembly Facility at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site, about 70 miles (112.65 km) north of Las Vegas.

The revelation angered politicians from Nevada, a sparsely populated state where the federal government has long wanted to store nuclear waste.

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Written by top40

Hello Again and Thanks for reading it is I David "IT40" Ellenberger with an update on the status of my lawsuit against Alphabet inc case # 4:20-CV-04877-SBA  and the website and life in general. By now if you regularly visit you may have read this section "author info" or Bio. So I am adding to it with more bio and more info. I originally liked the idea of voting on the internet 20-25 years ago when I first got online with WebTV (does anyone remember that?).

The technology at that time was not advanced enough to easily be able to vote online or watch videos or much else for that matter but I was hooked and look at what we can do now with videos, IOT, and everything else, but I digress. I started about 5 years ago and the user base has been going up steadily ever since. I wanted to be another Facebook, with music and voting and that is all coming together slowly but surely. BTW if you want to help or have any interest please feel free to email me anytime.

Now in my previous Author Info or bio page I made it clear or at least I thought I made it clear, I am personally suing Alphabet inc. in Federal Court for Fraud. I have evidence to prove they are not counting all the pageviews, among other things and defrauding myself and probably millions of other website owners and content creators out of Billions of dollars. So if I wasn't clear or you didn't know it's true I am suing Alphabet inc. in Federal Court for Fraud the case was recently moved from my state of Kentucky to N. California to make it easier for Alphabet inc. to steam roll me or so they think. Needless to say if you are interested and I hope you are you can look the case up online under my name "David Russell Ellenberger" or the case # which is 4:20-CV-04877-SBA.

Now, I want to make it clear to you and everyone that I am not suing Alphabet inc. aka Google for fraud just because I want a million dollars for nothing. I am suing Google for fraud because I think they are committing  a serious crime with worldwide and societal ramifications, it is a  very serious problem.  I am suing Google for fraud because to put it simply the analytics numbers don't add up at least not in my favor or yours, there is something very fishy going on with the Google analytics numbers. Of course Google has an excuse for every one of them but I have reasons and the actual numbers and they don't add up, more about the numbers later.

Companies like Google are making Billions of dollars a year in profits telling us data is the most valuable thing and misleading us and misdirecting the media and the world every chance they can.  Now data is valuable and they are making billions in profits seemingly like magic but there is no magic to it just corruption and lies. One thing Alphabet inc. aka Google is really making their money from and that is advertising dollars and they are putting all of this advertising on the websites other people have created.

Websites that I have created and  websites you have created and websites millions of others around the world have created websites or content. For example Just writing a text is creating content and that's where Google puts the billions in advertising they receive and keeping most of it for themselves. Yes content others have created and yet somehow they are keeping almost all of these billions for themselves and not distributing it equitably to the real workers the true content creators who actually deserve the advertising monies. Google has made it's billions on the backs of you and me. Think about that for a minute, how can they continue to justify this? They Can't, it has to change.

For example if I were to prevail in the current lawsuit just half of the monies or $20 billion put into a basic account and compounded at 5% annually we could realistically employ over 80,000 people at $24,000 a year, indefinitely.  Sounds unbelievable but its true and if we only employed 40,000 people we could pay them approx. $48,000 a year indefinitely. Its all true. Its simply a matter of having the money and the will to do it. Now is 40,000 people a lot well yes it would be a lot of employees but with more money simply put into a trust account we could employ more people

I David Russell Ellenberger through my website am suing Google to try to help right a wrong. A wrong committed by Google that has simply gotten out of hand. Most people may think they can't do anything about it. Nothing can stop Google, the politicians don't care they use all of Googles data to further their own campaigns and line their own pockets while the rest of us keep on creating the content for Google, nothing can be done, this however is not the case, we can do something.

The politicians and Alphabet inc. aka Google have done nothing to help society at large other than organize it so they can keep more money in secret and pay off all their buddies with their fraudulently obtained money. It's gotten so bad that the politicians and others in control won't even talk about it, they ignore it and hope it goes away, they won't even try to stop google because it is helping them too much and maybe they are scared of Google or who knows what they may be thinking. But it looks like fraud and it's coming to an end.

I'm telling you we can do something and I David Russell Ellenberger an average citizen Content Creator am saying to you, I'm not scared of Google because I have nothing left to loose.  I David Russell Ellenberger am telling you there is something you too can do, if nothing else, tell all your friends to come to aka IT40, believe these words and Create your Content.

Further I promise to you and all who read this if we do prevail in the lawsuit against Alphabet Inc. We will use half of any monies we may receive to pay "content creators" a living wage. I pledge to anyone who is reading this, we will use half of any monies we may receive to help those who really do want to work on the internet and create content and tell us what they think. We will use half of any money so you can Get Paid, we want you to get paid for the content you create and get paid everyday and Get Paid to Vote create data and to be able to do this work online and from your home or anywhere in the world you care to be. Because in the words of an ancient scholar Y-O-U are the business Y-O-U are creating all the data, Y-O-U are the content creators and Y-O-U are all that matters.

Now the main thing I want you to take away form this and to know, Alphabet inc. is and has been committing fraud against you, me and everyone who uses the internet. I don't think Google started out to defraud the world it has just degenerated into this endless morass of corruption and fraud and no one seems to care, Well I care and I know you care too.  Sadly Google has been doing this with impunity for years and it is only getting worse. Please don't let them fool you with their lies and obfuscation. Do some research create some content build a website and research the analytics numbers you will find I am right. Google owes you, me and everyone online thousands if not 10's of thousands of dollars for all the data and advertising dollars they have co-opted from you and the rest of the world. So join with me don't use any Google products or file your own lawsuit in federal court against Alphabet inc. I will be glad to help you any way I can and show you how to do it if need be. It will take a sincere effort on your part but it will definitely help your self esteem, society and the world.

Now that's about all I have to say on this subject for now.  I will tell you this if you want more information or you have questions or comments for me, my email is [email protected] Thank you for reading looking and listening and believing in Please tell all your friends about us and don't forget to vote Thumbs up or down and refresh your page when your done. One last Thing, I need all the help I can get I am only 1 person but together and with todays technology we can move mountains and reframe society and our world the way we want it to be. One final note let me tell you about a new website coming to the world called Thank you ttyl



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