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January 1, Big Tech Building Chinese Style Social Credit System



Good morning Middle Americans. In China, the government has a social credit system that works kind like our credit score system for finance. If you do something bad, like criticize the government your score goes down.  If you score drops low enough, you can’t fly on planes or you might get a slower internet speed. Seriously. It’s very Orwellian, and scary, and there’s no presumption of innocence, no ability to appeal. It’s not American, but that’s not stopping the BIG TECH brain trust from giving a similar system a go on some of the everyday hardware and software platforms we use. Fast Company reports that “New York’s State Department of Financial that life insurance companies can base premiums on what they find in your social media posts.” Whoa. 

Today we also have a story about a teen who is using the ridiculously long lines of people waiting for those Popeye’s chicken sandwiches to register voters. A judge has issues a landmark $572 million ruling in against Johnson and Johnson for pushing opioids in Oklahoma.  Americans are seeing things and saying things to the FBI about potential mass shootings. Reports about suspicious social media posts and other activities are up 70% since the Dayton and El Paso massacres. 

Finally make sure you keep your eyes and ears open. Tropical Storm Dorian is getting stronger and could threaten Florida by the end of the Week.  We’ll have storm warnings from trusted sources, as long as Dorian threatens the U.S.

Teen Registered People to Vote as They Waited in Popeyes Line for New Chicken Sandwich

(WCNC) –  Instead of the complaining about the long lines at Popeyes as everyone waited to try their chicken sandwich, 17-year-old David Ledbetter took the opportunity to make some real change in his community.

“I decided to register people to vote after I saw there was a lack of young people politically involved,” Ledbetter said.

“I believe that it is our duty to vote as American citizens and it would be wrong not to exercise our political voice,” Ledbetter said.

See a video report about David Ledbetter from Charolotte’s NBC Station WCNC

Judge Rules Against Johnson & Johnson in Landmark Opioid Case in Oklahoma

(CNBC) – Calling the opioid crisis an “imminent danger and menace,” District Judge Thad Balkman said “the state met its burden that the defendants Janssen and Johnson & Johnson’s misleading marketing and promotion of

opioids created a nuisance as defined by the law, including a finding that those actions compromised the health and safety of thousands of Oklahomans.

The $572 million judgment against J&J covers one year of costs under the state’s plan to combat the crisis, even though the attorney general’s office presented several witnesses who said it would take at least 20 years to carry out.

Read more from CNBC here

Mass Shooting Tips to FBI Surge 70% After El Paso, Dayton Massacres

(Reuters) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation fielded more than 38,000 phone and online tips during the week after the shootings on the first weekend of August, up from the 22,000 tips it typically receives on a weekly basis.

“The general public are definitely taking these more seriously,” said John Mina, the sheriff in Orange County, Florida and on the board of directors of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Find more from Reuters here

**Tropical Storm Alert**

Tropical Storm Dorian Could Threaten US by Weekend

(Weather Underground) – The specifics of Dorian’s track later this week will be shaped in part by its strength. If Dorian remains a small, weak tropical storm, its track will lean leftward, as low-level easterly trade winds will have a bigger influence.

On such a track, Dorian could stay in the Caribbean longer and avoid or postpone any landfall on the Greater Antilles. It could also easily dissipate in such a scenario, as westerly wind shear will be ramping up ahead of an upper low. If Dorian intensifies, its track will lean more rightward, and the odds of impacts on Hispañiola and Puerto Rico will increase.

Learn more about Tropical Storm Dorian from Weather Underground here

This Day in History | 1990

Legendary Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn dies in a helicopter crash in East Troy, Wisconsin.  He was just 35 years old.

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