• Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 12:58 AM
    Based south of the San Francisco airport and backed by nearly $200 million in venture capital—from the likes of T. Rowe Price, Temasek, Kleiner Perkins and GV (Google’s VC arm), among others—FBN is trying to do nothing less than save America’s family farms while also building what its brash CEO, Amol Deshpande, hopes will become “the biggest agricultural business in the world.” The startup’s founders, Deshpande, 40, and Charles Baron, 34, want to shift leverage from giant manufacturers like DowDuPont and Monsanto. Collectively, farmers produce nearly $200 billion worth of crops a year, but individually they have little bargaining power. By bringing them together, FBN’s sprawling operation helps farmers get better prices on both the goods they buy and the crops they sell. As it spends heavily to sign up farmers and build its online store, the startup has yet to turn a profit. But it expects revenue of $200 million this year, up from $72 million in 2017, and Deshpande and Baron are already talking about an IPO. “What they are doing is amazing in terms of its business potential and its social impact,” says Nancy Pfund, founder of DBL Partners, an investor in FBN and a descendant of farmers. “Certainly big data is in vogue, but information is not enough. You’ve got to bring farmers together so they can level the playing field.” Back in 2006, Baron, a California native, spent the harvest working on his brother-in-law’s farm in Arapahoe, Nebraska. After joining Google as a program manager and then getting an M.B.A. from Harvard, he kept visiting the farm and was dumbfounded by how much information remained inaccessible. For example, a farmer couldn’t even compare his yields with those of previous years or neighboring farms. Then, in 2011, Baron met Deshpande, a Kleiner Perkins partner focusing on agriculture. After getting a degree in chemical engineering, Deshpande, who’s the son of Indian immigrants and has an M.B.A. from Cornell, worked at agricultural giant Cargill. But he hated the bureaucracy and moved to Silicon Valley. Two years later, Baron and Deshpande started talking and decided to travel across the farm belt to ask farmers what was causing them pain. Their epiphany was that while farmers needed data—the choice of what seed to plant, in what density, using which fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, can be exceedingly complex—the data wouldn’t be enough. Farmers, Baron and Deshpande concluded, needed to combine it with collective bargaining power. FBN launched in 2014. Farmers who joined the network—the cost is now $600 a year—and shared their data could use analytics to help them figure out what combination of seeds, chemicals and fertilizers were likely to offer the best yields. By June 2015, 620 farms had signed up. Today FBN serves more than 6,500 farms in the U.S. and Canada, representing more than 24 million acres. That’s a small dent; in the U.S. alone, 2.1 million farms cover 915 million acres. In late 2015, FBN launched FBN Direct, a bare-bones store that is now fully online. Buying seeds, herbicides, pesticides and other inputs isn’t like shopping in other retail businesses. The retail co-ops that dot rural America typically bundle seeds and chemicals and vary prices depending on the farmer’s acreage, credit rating and location. At FBN’s online store, by contrast, farmers can see the actual price for whatever they need. FBN Direct launched with 170 products and now offers around 1,000, many of them generics. The sale of seeds is similarly dominated by three large players—DowDuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta. But in December, Baron returned from FBN’s annual Farmer2Farmer event in Omaha ecstatic about an agreement FBN had made with the industry’s largest independent seed company, Stine Seed, which agreed to test selling seeds, primarily corn, through FBN’s online store. Harry Stine, the company’s billionaire founder, says he heard...
    0 replies | 46 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 12:32 AM
    The Israel Defense Force said 30 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza overnight on Tuesday. Seven of the missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, while three missed their mark and landed on the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF. There were no reports of injuries or damages. The IDF struck 25 targets in Gaza in three seperate operations, including three that occurred before the rocket fire. Israeli military said the strikes were in response to launching of incendiary kites and balloons into Israeli territory. More at: https://www.upi.com/https:/www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/06/19/Gaza-fires-30-rockets-into-Israeli-territory/3701529462603/
    3 replies | 88 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 12:16 AM
    A House Republican Tuesday unmasked two of the five FBI investigators cited in the recently released inspector general’s report for expressing anti-Trump and pro-Clinton sentiment in work-related instant messages. The previously unnamed FBI officials — “FBI Attorney 2” and “Agent 5” — are Kevin Clinesmith and Sally Moyer, respectively, according to House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who revealed their identities over the objection of the FBI during a hearing on the IG’s findings. The two were assigned to the bureau’s Hillary Clinton email investigation, according to the IG’s report, while Clinesmith also later worked as a top lawyer on the Trump-Russia investigation and the special-counsel probe. Clinesmith sent a number of pro-Clinton, anti-Trump political messages over the FBI’s computer system, which the report said “raised concerns about potential bias” that may have impacted the investigation. Likewise, the report cited Moyer rooting for Clinton and bashing Trump during the 2016 campaign. Meadows said the pair was among five FBI officials Justice Department IG Michael Horowitz referred for investigation after additional anti-Trump messages surfaced. Horowitz testified that the FBI was withholding the names of the other rogue agents from Congress and the public because “they work on counterintelligence” and can’t be exposed. But Meadows argued that both Clinesmith and Moyer work for the FBI’s office of legal counsel, and are no longer in “counterintelligence,” as the FBI claimed. “They don’t work in counterintelligence,” Meadows said in an exchange with Horowitz. “If that’s the reason the FBI is giving, they’re giving you false information, because they work for the general counsel.”
    327 replies | 12848 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 12:09 AM
    Why would you say that?
    3 replies | 91 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:24 PM
    No it isn't.
    32 replies | 440 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:13 PM
    China has underestimated U.S. President Donald Trump’s resolve to impose more tariffs unless it changes its “predatory” trade practices, a White House trade adviser said on Tuesday, as Trump greatly expanded the amount of Chinese imports possibly facing new duties. Trump threatened on Monday to hit $200 billion (£151.8 billion) of Chinese imports with 10 percent tariffs if Beijing retaliated against his previous targeting of $50 billion in imports, aimed at pressuring China to stop stealing U.S. intellectual property. He also threatened tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese products should Beijing hit back again, bringing to $450 billion the potential amount of Chinese exports that could be targeted. That sum approaches the roughly $500 billion in total annual Chinese exports to the United States. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who views China as a hostile economic and military power, said Beijing had more to lose from a trade war. China imported $129.89 billion of U.S. goods last year, while the United States purchased $505.47 billion of Chinese products, according to U.S. data. More at: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trade-china-trump/white-house-piles-pressure-on-china-after-trump-tariff-threat-idUKKBN1JE2ZR
    2 replies | 113 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:07 PM
    The Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen said it launched a missile targeting a facility of oil firm Aramco in Asir in southwestern Saudi Arabia, Houthi-run media al-Masirah TV and SABA reported on Tuesday. Following the report, an Aramco official told Reuters that the company’s facilities were “safe and are operating normally.” SABA quoted a Houthi military source as saying the group had fired a Badr-1 missile “at Aramco” in Asir’s capital Abha. There was no immediate comment from the Saudi government. Saudi state TV had earlier said that Saudi air defences had intercepted a Houthi missile launched on the city of Khamis Mushait, which is also in Asir. More at: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-usa-china-report/north-korea-china-discuss-true-peace-denuclearisation-kcna-idUKKBN1JF37Y?il=0
    295 replies | 16823 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:05 PM
    More expensive than firing squads.
    5 replies | 90 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:50 PM
    The White House aide who led the planning for President Donald Trump's meeting last week with North Korea's Kim Jong Un has decided to leave the Trump administration to return to the private sector.Joe Hagin, the White House deputy chief of staff for operations, has served in every Republican White House since the Reagan administration. He held the same title in George W. Bush's White House. Hagin was recruited to the Trump White House by former chief of staff Reince Priebus to bring a seasoned hand to a West Wing that had few experienced veterans. He had planned on staying only six months to a year, and considered leaving in the spring, but delayed due to planning for the Singapore summit. Trump, in a statement, said Hagin has been a "huge asset to my administration," and credited him with planning his Asia trip last year — the longest foreign trip by a U.S. president in a half-century. Chief of Staff John Kelly praised Hagin's work, saying his "selfless devotion to this nation and the institution of the Presidency is unsurpassed." Hagin was considered for the No. 2 posts at the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Security, but he decided to leave government service. Hagin's portfolio includes oversight of the scheduling and advance staffs, as well as the military office — including the replacement projects for Air Force One and Marine One. His last day will be July 6.
    3 replies | 91 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:00 PM
    President Donald Trump questioned Tuesday whether he would back two House Republican immigration bills, casting new doubts about whether the chamber can pass them in an expected vote this week. The president heads to Capitol Hill on Tuesday night to discuss the legislation with GOP lawmakers. Trump, who has set out specific and sometimes shifting goals for immigration legislation, said he plans to review the measures and then "make changes." "We have a House that's getting ready to finalize an immigration package that they're going to brief me on later and that I'm going to make changes to," the president said at an event for small business association the National Federation of Independent Business. "We have one chance to get it right. We might as well get it right or let's just keep it going." More at: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/19/trump-wants-to-change-house-republican-immigration-bills.html
    31 replies | 475 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:52 PM
    North Korea reportedly offered to abandon a key weapon — and it has nothing to do with nukes
    6 replies | 101 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:42 PM
    Maybe Trump doesn't need their help with the stick now that he has sold Kim on the carrot.
    6 replies | 101 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:40 PM
    Any rock will do to crush a slug, if it takes Israel to get us out of the UN then at least they will have been good for something.
    315 replies | 9170 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:34 PM
    Please stop reading this kind of nonsense, it isn't good for your brain. The new tariffs show that Trump doesn't need China to help with N Korea anymore.
    6 replies | 101 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:07 PM
    Soon there will start to be collisions at those intersections.
    5 replies | 90 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:06 PM
    Laser attacks against U.S. forces have spread out of Africa into the Pacific. U.S. personnel operating in the East China Sea area have been the victim of blinding laser attacks similar to those that took place earlier this year in Djibouti. The attacks, conducted with nonlethal lasers were reportedly carried out by Chinese nationals. Earlier this year the Pentagon issued a NOTAM, or “Notice to Airmen” warning U.S. pilots of “unauthorized laser activity” resulting in injury to an unspecified number of U.S. personnel in the skies over Djibouti. The lasers originated on or very near China’s first overseas military base, just 8.3 miles from the American base, and according to U.S. officials, Chinese nationals were involved. The U.S. issued a formal complaint to China, which denied the accusations. Now the U.S. is reporting similar attacks in the East China Sea, where more than 20 incidents have reportedly taken place. According to Aviation Week & Space Technology, as the attacks are increasing they are also involving more laser frequency bands. China has been accused of developing and marketing anti-eye lasers, weapons whose use in wartime would constitute a violation of international law. These weapons include the BBQ-905 Laser Dazzler Weapon, the WJG-2002 Laser Gun, the PY132A Blinding Laser Weapon, and the PY131A Blinding Laser Weapon. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command confirmed to AvWeek that the laser strikes are taking place both from shore and fishing vessels. It’s not clear where the shore attacks are taking place, but China trains and offers subsidies to fishing boat crews to act as what observers call China’s “maritime militia." Fleets of fishing boats often sail into territory claimed by China as a precursor to China’s claiming the region for itself, to hassle other fishermen and local coast guards, and to act as the eyes and ears of the Chinese military. Pointing lasers at low-flying American planes would fall in line with the maritime militia’s duties, allowing the Chinese government to demonstrate that U.S. forces aren't welcome in an area without using official Chinese military or coast guard forces. The increasing sophistication of these lasers implies Chinese state support for the laser attacks. There’s also the question as to how simple fishing boat crews can tell U.S. military planes from civilian planes without direction from someone with access to radar.
    31 replies | 987 view(s)
  • lilymc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:55 PM
    Another cultural Marxist catchphrase that promotes an "us against them" mindset (between all the left-wing "oppressed" groups versus anyone who doesn't agree with them.)
    5 replies | 90 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:19 PM
    It is what the OP is proposing and therefore it is what is being discussed in this thread.
    19 replies | 296 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:17 PM
    Iran has long employed internet filtering to weed out content deemed ideologically inappropriate, to block foreign apps and information, and to stifle opposition movements at home. At the same time, however, its technologically proficient population demands connectivity. The messaging app Telegram, in particular, has become a critical line of communication in business and political life. The trouble is, Telegram's encryption keeps user messages away from the prying eyes of intelligence services — a big liability for the government. For that reason, Tehran banned the app in April and has been promoting a domestic alternative, Soroush, in its place. Underpinning this strategy is the National Information Network (NIN), whose final phase entered service last summer. The network functions as a domestic intranet that hosts Iranian websites and services — all under Tehran's watchful gaze. To access it, users and website owners must sign up with the government, an arrangement that empowers Iranian officials to coerce internet service providers to comply with their demands. And because the NIN is linked to the global internet only at certain access points, Iranian authorities can sever the connection as they see fit without disturbing the domestic network. That means Iran's government can cut access to the global internet for prolonged periods, as it did during the Green Movement protests, without taking the entire country offline. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/bending-internet-iran-brings-national-information-network-online
    0 replies | 45 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:11 PM
    Marking yet another upsetting turn of events at the hands of the Trump administration, it was announced yesterday that the United States government canceled the proposed limits on the number of endangered whales, dolphins and sea turtles that can be injured or killed by gillnets on the West Coast. The now defunct rule, which would have applied to less than 20 fishing vessels that use the monstrous fishing nets to catch swordfish in California and Oregon, would have halted gillnet fishing for up to two seasons if excess numbers of the nine groups of whales, sea turtles and or dolphins were trapped by the inconspicuous but dangerous net. The measure which was originally introduced by the Pacific Fishery Management Council in 2015 would have applied to the endangered fin, humpback, and sperm whales, short-in pilot whales, and common bottlenose dolphins, as well as endangered leatherback turtles, loggerhead turtles, olive-ridley sea turtles and endangered green sea turtles. Yet now, per Michael Milstein, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the division has determined that the economic ramifications would have “a much more substantial impact on the fleet” than they had originally realized. Further, he claimed, safety measures already enacted by the fishing industry, such as using pinging warning devices on the nets, have worked to “drastically” reduce the numbers of entangled whales and sea turtles. More at: https://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-administration-cancels-new-protection-for-endangered-whales-marine-mammals-sea-turtles/5644671
    1 replies | 77 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:54 PM
    While Monday's testimony by Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray was certainly eye-opening - Congressional Investigators uncovered several game-changing bombshells on Tuesday that will re-frame the entire discussion. Hat-tip to Paul Sperry for reporting these stunning developments in real time. There were no actual subjects of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, meaning that neither Hillary nor any of her top aides - including Huma Abedin and the IT guys who set up her illegal server and then used "bleachbit" to destroy evidence (for which they received immunity) - were ever under any direct FBI scrutiny. Horowitz found this "surprising." IG HOROWITZ DROPS BOMBSHELL DURING SENATE TESTIMONY: "Nobody was listed as a subject of this investigation at any point in time," adding this was "surprising" So neither Hillary nor her top aides were formally under investigation by FBI at any time in 2015-2016!
    11 replies | 286 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:47 PM
    It isn't law enforcement to turn invaders back at the border.
    19 replies | 296 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:46 PM
    If we can get the Navy and Marine Air wings in on it we might have some real fun.
    93 replies | 979 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:45 PM
    I already explained that, dollars are easier to spend in America. They would do so in order to obtain dollars that are the easiest thing to spend in America. You are playing dumb on purpose and I won't respond any further on this topic.
    32 replies | 440 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    19 replies | 296 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:56 PM
    Another major scandal is brewing at the disgraced UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. With former UNESCO boss and longtime Communist Party bigwig Irina Bokova and her communist husband both accused of widespread corruption, the controversial new head of the UN “education” agency — herself a Socialist Party member — gave them both diplomatic immunity. The scheme, which appears designed to protect the communist duo from corruption allegations across multiple jurisdictions, includes a bizarre contract paying Bokova $1 that has drawn intense criticism and caused even more suspicion. But for now, archaic UN “diplomatic immunity” protections are likely to hamper any law-enforcement investigations or potential prosecutions. More at: https://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/29309-facing-corruption-scandals-communist-ex-un-boss-gets-immunity
    1 replies | 50 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:52 PM
    The U.S. far-left “anti-hate” Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has agreed to pay anti-extremist British Muslim Maajid Nawaz a 3.3m dollar settlement after the group included him in a list of anti-Muslim extremists. The settlement amount was announced by Mr Nawaz on Twitter Monday following a lawsuit brought against the group last year for including him on their “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.” Nawaz included a press release from the anti-extremist Quilliam group which he co-founded that said not only was the SPLC paying Nawaz and Quilliam $3.375 million U.S. dollars but also formally apologized to Nawaz for including him on their “hate list.” The statement adds that SPLC president Richard Cohen said, ” Mr Nawaz and Quilliam have made valuable and important contributions to public discourse, including by promoting pluralism and condemning both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamic extremism.” More at: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/06/18/u-s-far-left-anti-hate-group-to-pay-maajid-nawaz-3-3-million-dollar-settlement-for-including-him-on-hate-list/
    0 replies | 35 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:49 PM
    Bernd Lücke, German MEP and member of the European conservatives and reformists group, claimed Italy has seen no growth since joining the euro 20 years ago. He said: “There are two causes that encouraged the Italian voters to elect this government. “One if dissatisfaction with the handling of the migration crisis in the European Union. “The other cause is the economic misery which we have witnessed now in Italy for the last 20 years. “Basically since Italy has acceded to the euro Italy has not seen any sort of growth. “This hits Italy very severely because other countries are growing and sometimes growing strongly and voters are asking whose responsibility is this and then they become disenchanted with the former governments and they vote for some type of protest parties.” More at: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/975971/Italy-news-Italy-economy-EU-Matteo-Salvini-Lega-Conte-migration-crisis-latest
    0 replies | 31 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:47 PM
    Students in Spain have been forced to leave their homes despite having paid their accommodation fees to make way for migrants who just arrived on the Aquarius rescue ship in Valencia. The ship docked in Valencia on Sunday, carrying 630 migrants who were promised free healthcare and possible asylum by Spain’s socialist government. The boat was previously turned away by Italy after the country’s new anti-mass migration interior minister Matteo Salvini denied it access. Online daily Actualidad Valdepeñas reports that shortly after some of the migrants arrived in Alicante, numerous students living in a local student residence were told to pack their bags and leave within 24 hours, despite having agreed contracts on and paid for their accommodation. A German language student named Rubén was told to leave despite having paid €750 a month for his room. The young man’s mother told the news outlet that the students were told to leave “because (the migrants) come with many illnesses” and it wasn’t safe for them to remain there. “It’s like we are solving one problem by causing others, and this is a big problem because right now there is nowhere in Alicante for my son to live and continue with his studies. We are going to go there to see if we can find something, but it will be very difficult since everything is already booked for the summer months,” she said. The mother added that the “illness” explanation was likely a just an excuse because authorities wouldn’t house hundreds of sick migrants in the middle of a bustling tourist city. The vast majority of the migrants are from African countries like Sudan and Nigeria, with others coming from Eritrea, South Sudan and Algeria. This is by no means the first time citizens in Europe have been turfed out of their homes to be replaced by migrants. Back in 2016, a hospital on the Italian island of Sardinia was ordered to kick out local patients in order to make way for migrants.
    9 replies | 159 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:43 PM
    In 2015, Internet pioneer Matt Drudge warned that the establishment would try to ban links to news stories without paid permission from the site – and now the EU’s proposed Article 11 could do just that. During an interview on the Alex Jones Show, Drudge revealed that copyright laws which prevent websites from even linking to news stories were being drafted. “I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me,” he said. “They’ve got the votes now to enforce copyright law, you’re out of there. They’re going to make it so you can’t even use headlines.” “To have a Supreme Court Justice say to me it’s over, they’ve got the votes, which means time is limited.” On June 20, the EU will vote on its proposed Copyright Reform, which includes Article 11, aka the link tax, that would “force anyone using snippets of journalistic online content to get a license for the publisher first — essentially outlawing current business models of most aggregators and news apps,” according to an article from TheNextWeb.com. In other words, Article 11 outlaws fair use reporting of news articles – such as this article – and critics even warn that the vagueness of Article 11 could ban websites like the Drudge Report from even linking to news articles, just as Matt Drudge warned nearly three years ago.
    1 replies | 79 view(s)
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Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Robert Heinlein

Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

Groucho Marx

I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

Linus, from the Peanuts comic

You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

Alexis de Torqueville

Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

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