When it comes to the government, in general, the notion of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ rings true through every level, from the parking transit officer to the president.
Hypocrisy is a function of the state.
The citizens of the US are often reminded of this hypocrisy when members of the government commit such heinously criminal and hypocritical acts that they are cast out from their curtain of government protection.
The most recent case of government hypocrisy comes from a Utah lawmaker, who has been devoting much of his career to making sure sex workers suffer if they are caught by police. The staunch advocate of tougher penalties for prostitution, however, was just busted using taxpayer money to pay for hotel rooms to have sex with prostitutes.
The DailyMail.com quoted call girl Brie Taylor saying former GOP Rep. Jon Stanard paid her $250 for sex at least twice at the Fairfield Inn in Salt Lake City.
In one particular exchange, Taylor asks Stanard if she should bring any ‘accessories’ or ‘toys’, perhaps a ‘corset’, reported the news site.
As the Mail notes:
The conservative politician was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 2012 and has three children with his wife LeeAnne. Last year, 43-year-old Stanard, of St. George, Utah, voted in favor of stricter laws on prostitution, including increasing the penalty for soliciting sex to $2,500.
In spite of claiming on his website that he is a “strong advocate for conservative family values. I am pro life, as well as for traditional marriage,” it appears that like many politicians, Stanard says one thing and does another.
As the text messages show—which was confirmed to by the actual phone number listed on his public profile on the Utah House of Representatives website—this hypocrite met with Taylor twice while pushing for laws that would’ve punished his companion even harder if they would’ve been caught in the act.
House chief of staff Greg Hartley told the Associated Press that the married Stanard — who resigned Tuesday night — was reimbursed for two hotel stays while he was attending legislative meetings at the state capital.
“It looks like they were legislative days,” GOP House Speaker Greg Hughes said.
In typical government fashion, Hughes said that he is not sure if they will require Stanard to pay back the money he spent getting a prostitute.
“If there has been an abuse of public funds or if public funds were used in a way that’s inappropriate, we would,” he said. “I don’t have solid answers for those things. I would need to have a way that I would know conclusively that that is the case.”
Stanard’s attorney Walter Bugden told the DailyMail.com: “Given the current climate in this country with misconduct allegations and the way things are happening in the media right now, there isn’t any explanation that my client could give that would overcome the shadow of these allegations.
“He has resigned his office.”
Naturally, Stanard is claiming he stepped down for family reasons and not because he was busted hypocritically hiring a prostitute while simultaneously trying to bury them in debt and prison.
As TFTP has previously reported, in the Land of the Free, it is against the law to get paid to have sex, unless that sex is filmed, distributed on DVD, and taxed. One of the least talked about systems of oppression in the US is that of persecuting prostitutes.
When referencing prostitution, we are talking about the mutually beneficial exchange of sexual favors for money by two or more consenting partners; not forced human trafficking.
Just like the war on drugs creates crime by pushing the unending demand for illicit substances into the black market, the war on the sex trade creates crime in the same manner.
Because the demand for sex is pushed into dark alleys and late night street corners, a woman working in the sex trade becomes far more vulnerable than if they were legally allowed to operate out of brick and mortar setups. This danger of working on the street drives the need for protection from pimps who are often more abusive than any customer would be.
Despite the tens of thousands of arrests each year, the market has found a way to provide the service of sex using safer solutions. In spite of the laws, sellers of sex have found ways to safely conduct business by setting up “massage” parlors, using phone books, and, of course, the internet.
Besides being an immoral gang of thieves, the state is also relentless. They have deep pockets of extorted tax dollars of which to dig in to enforce their distorted will on the people.
Despite prostitution arrests dropping from 2001 to 2010, the cost of arresting people for sex remains staggeringly high. Individual cities continue to spend up to $23 million a year stopping people from having voluntary sex.
Meanwhile, involuntary sex goes uninvestigated at an alarming rate. Hundreds of thousands of rape kits are sitting in police departments across the country — collecting dust, as cops petition the government to allow them to have sex with prostitutes so they can then bust them.
As a primary candidate, Donald Trump championed a quasi-isolationist foreign policy. At one Republican primary debate, Trump argued that America had “done a tremendous disservice to humanity” in the Middle East.
“The people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away – and for what?” the mogul asked. “The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess. I wish we had the 4 trillion dollars or 5 trillion dollars. I wish it were spent right here in the United States on schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart!”
Trump still insisted that America must defend itself against attack (or, potentially, disrespect) with overwhelming force, up to and including deliberate war crimes. But his overriding foreign policy message was, nevertheless, that America should trim its imperial sails, and reallocate resources to the home front.
President Trump’s foreign policy has been decidedly different. Since taking office he has escalated American involvement in virtually every foreign conflict while calling for cuts to domestic spending and massive increases in the Pentagon’s budget. He regularly touts the necessity of a global military presence and preemptive wars with bromides like, “Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.” If the budget currently before Congress is passed, we will spend $716 billion on our military next year.
And yet, when it comes to non-military overseas spending, Trump has retained the isolationist outlook of his early campaign – calling for sweeping cuts to both the State Department and foreign aid. Which is to say: He has embraced a foreign policy that increases America’s involvement in policing the planet – while reducing the diplomatic and “soft power” tools it has for doing so. The result is a geopolitical strategy that is no more nationalist or isolationist than the one Trump inherited, but simply more violent and stupid.
Observe how the Trump doctrine is playing out in post-ISIS Iraq:
The United States does not plan to contribute any money at a conference in Kuwait next week to fund Iraq’s reconstruction drive after the war against Islamic State forces, U.S. and Western officials said, a move critics say could deal a new blow to American standing internationally…Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said his country needs up to $100 billion to fix crumbling infrastructure and cities devastated by the conflict against Islamic State.
A shortage of reconstruction funds could increase the danger of reinvigorating grievances among the minority Iraqi Sunnis against Iraq’s Shi’te-led government.
… In response to a query to the State Department about the lack of a U.S. contribution, a U.S. official pointed to the billions of dollars the U.S. has committed to financing loans and restoring basic services to Iraqi towns and cities in the immediate aftermath of fighting.
“The immediate stabilization needs remain vast, and limited U.S. government resources alone cannot meet these current and pressing needs, let alone consider supporting long-term reconstruction,” the U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The administration argues that private-sector investment, combined with aid from Saudi Arabia, should be able to meet Iraq’s long-term reconstruction needs. But Jeremy Konyndyk, former head of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, told Reuters that private capital would want “to see the risks of their investments in Iraq mitigated by U.S. government contributions.”
If Trump’s position were that America simply has no interest in expending resources on the internal affairs of Iraq, then this policy might be strategically coherent (if perhaps, morally objectionable). But that isn’t his position. This White House believes that countering both ISIS and Iranian influence are both vital national security interests for the United States. Thus, the administration had no problem spending billions upon billions of dollars fighting ISIS in Iraq – and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again, were the militant group to regain territory.
In short, President Trump is happy to spend billions on a pound of cure, but not millions on an ounce of prevention. If killing bad guys is the objective, then money is no object; if stabilizing wartorn regions through humanitarian aid is the proposition, then “limited U.S. government resources alone cannot meet these current and pressing needs.”
Shenzhen saw off competition from Manchester, UK, for the right to stage the season-ending tournament, which sees the world’s top eight players face off against each other. The city will double the prize money of the event, which has been held in Singapore since 2014.
Prague, St. Petersburg and Singapore were the other cities that bid to host the event, in which players compete for the Billie Jean King trophy.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that the dynamic city of Shenzhen has been chosen to host the WTA Finals, the WTA’s crown jewel season finale, for the next decade,” said WTA chief Steve Simon, AFP reported.
“This will easily be the largest and most significant WTA Finals deal in the 45 years since the WTA was founded and promises to take the event to a spectacular new level,” he added.
The Shenzhen bid was made by major property developer Gemdale Corporation, which ensured the Finals will be held in a new state-of-the-art 12,000 capacity stadium in the city, which is around 2,000km south of capital, Beijing, across the border from Hong Kong.
WTA founder Billie Jean King, after which the tournament’s trophy is named, said it was “absolutely incredible” to witness the growth of the finals.
“Shenzhen will be a fantastic home for the WTA Finals. The record-setting $14 million purse set for Shenzhen reflects the global strength of our sport and how Shenzhen and China have embraced women’s tennis,” she said.
Russian five-time grand slam-winner Maria Sharapova, currently competing in the Australian Open in Melbourne, welcomed the move, which comes as part of a 2008 agreement from the WTA to expand the sport in China and the wider Asia-Pacific
“If you look at the numbers … you want to go to a place that’s willing to invest in women’s tennis. That’s where we’re headed to,” she said in Melbourne, Yahoo Sports reported.
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In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of my client, Alabama engineer Shaun McCutcheon, in his challenge to the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) outdated “aggregate limits,” which effectively limited how many candidates any one donor could support.
Anti-speech liberals railed against McCutcheon’s win, arguing it would create supersized “Joint Fundraising Committees” (JFCs). In court, they claimed these JFCs would allow a single donor to cut a multimillion-dollar check, and the JFC would then route funds through dozens of participating state parties, who would then funnel it back to the final recipient.
Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer claimed the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. FEC ruling would lead to “the system of legalized bribery recreated that existed prior to Watergate.” The Supreme Court, in ruling for us, flatly stated such a scheme would still be illegal.
The Democrats’ response? Hold my beer.
The Committee to Defend the President has filed an FEC complaint against Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic state parties and Democratic mega-donors.
As Fox News reported, we documented the Democratic establishment “us[ing] state chapters as straw men to circumvent campaign donation limits and launder(ing) the money back to her campaign.” The 101-page complaint focused on the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF) — the $500 million joint fundraising committee between the Clinton campaign, DNC, and dozens of state parties — which did exactly that the Supreme Court declared would still be illegal.
HVF solicited six-figure donations from major donors, including Calvin Klein and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, and routed them through state parties en route to the Clinton campaign. Roughly $84 million may have been laundered in what might be the single largest campaign finance scandal in U.S. history.
Here’s what we know. Campaign finance law is incredibly complex and infamous for its lack of clarity. As I’ve explained before, its complexity is a feature, not a bug. Major political players with the resources to hire the very few attorneys who practice campaign finance law benefit from the complexity that keeps others out. Perhaps HVF’s architects thought so too, and assumed that if no one understands what’s happening, no one would complain.
Here’s what you can do, legally. Per election, an individual donor can contribute $2,700 to any candidate, $10,000 to any state party committee, and (during the 2016 cycle) $33,400 to a national party’s main account. These groups can all get together and take a single check from a donor for the sum of those contribution limits — it’s legal because the donor cannot exceed the base limit for any one recipient. And state parties can make unlimited transfers to their national party.
Here’s what you can’t do, which the Clinton machine appeared to do anyway. As the Supreme Court made clear in McCutcheon v. FEC, the JFC may not solicit or accept contributions to circumvent base limits, through “earmarks” and “straw men” that are ultimately excessive — there are five separate prohibitions here.
On top of that, six-figure donations either never actually passed through state party accounts or were never actually under state party control, which adds false FEC reporting by HVF, state parties, and the DNC to the laundry list.
Finally, as Donna Brazile and others admitted, the DNC placed the funds under the Clinton campaign’s direct control, a massive breach of campaign finance law that ties the conspiracy together.
Democratic donors, knowing the funds would end up with Clinton’s campaign, wrote six-figure checks to influence the election — 100 times larger than allowed.
HVF bundled these megagifts and, on a single day, reported transferring money to all participating state parties, some of which would then show up on FEC reports filed by the DNC as transferring the exact same dollar amount on the exact same day to the DNC. Yet not all the state parties reported either receiving or transferring those sums.
Did any of these transfers actually happen? Or were they just paper entries to mask direct transfers to the DNC?
For perspective, conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was prosecuted and convicted in 2012 for giving a handful of associates money they then contributed to a candidate of his preference — in other words, straw man contributions. He was sentenced to eight months in a community confinement center and five years of probation. How much money was involved? Only $20,000. HVF weighs in at $84 million — more than 4,000 times larger!
So who should be worried? Everyone involved — from the donors themselves to Democratic fundraisers to party officials who filed false reports and, ultimately, to Clinton campaign and HVF officials looking at significant legal jeopardy.
Don’t take my word for it. Our complaint is built entirely on the FEC reports filed by Democrats, memos authored by Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook, and public statements from Donna Brazile and others.
The only question that matters: Was the law broken? If the answer is yes, then the corrupt Clinton machine should be held accountable.
We all make New Year’s resolutions, but very few of us actually stick to them. Our goals and resolutions lack power if we never master discipline. Discipline unlocks change. Discipline breaks habits. Discipline ensures that what begins in January can carry into a lifetime of progress. When many people hear the word discipline, it conjures up negative feelings. Feelings of being controlled, being told what to do, which makes us feel restricted and trapped. Since you’re disciplining yourself, it is a choice that you are making and so the definition changes. You are forgoing instant gratification, not to please others, but to be a better version of yourself. Developing self-discipline is like building a muscle. The more you do it, the stronger it will get. Anyone who has achieved anything has done so because they’ve been able to control and direct their own inner lives and actions. This in turn has enabled them to become super-able at what they do. In essence, self-discipline is the fuel that gets you places.
If you want to avoid your worst money impulses you are going to have to work hard to challenge your desires and push back against consumer systems that take advantage of your weaknesses. According to Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist at Duke University, it takes a lot of self-initiated action on our part to spend and save better. “We can wait for someone to solve it for us, or you can try to do your own financial hacking yourself.” Ariely highlights three money challenges facing us right now and provides solutions to help you avoid your worst money impulses.
Problem: Invisible Savings
People rarely talk about how much money they make, let alone how much money they are saving. The fact that we often keep schtum about our finances means that there is no risk of public shaming for not having anything stashed away. On the other hand, our spending habits are highly visible. For example, what we wear, buy, drive and display on social media all indicate our “worth” and our ability to afford certain products.
Behaviour Hack: Talk About Your Savings
Ariely suggests that we should talk about what you we are saving as often as we can. The more vocal we are about our savings, the better we can understand it and compare it to our peers.
Problem: Contactless Payments
It is important to note that of all forms of payment, cash is the most transparent – the one that connects us most directly to the fact that we are parting with our money. Thus, we spend more sensibly when using physical notes and coins. Ariely points out that when you make more automatic payments, you don’t experience the necessary pain of paying. “Automation in payment is the second biggest risk right now. Especially for young people who are taking advantage of all of this.”
Behaviour Hack: Intentional Spending
According to Ariely a smart way to control your spending is to put your discretionary money on a prepaid debit card. By ‘paying yourself’ you will be better equipped to manage your finances and stick to a budget.
Problem 3: Instant Gratification
“There is spending, which is happiness now, and saving, happiness later,” says Ariely. “If we’re not making the trade offs the right way, we may get a bit more happiness now, but at the cost of our happiness later.” He notes that the reason why we don’t have much self-control regarding saving is because we are emotionally disconnected from our future selves.
Behaviour Hack: Weekly Budgets
Ariely stresses the importance of weekly budgets. “This is based on the finding that even people who are paid bi-weekly end up spending too much on the first week and not having enough on the second week.”
The other day I was in a shopping mall looking for an ATM to get some cash. There was no ATM. A week ago, there was still a branch office of a local bank – no more, gone. A Starbucks will replace the space left empty by the bank. I asked around – there will be no more cash automats in this mall – and this pattern is repeated over and over throughout Switzerland and throughout western Europe. Cash machines gradually but ever so faster disappear, not only from shopping malls, also from street corners. Will Switzerland become the first country fully running on digital money?
This new cashless money model is progressively but brutally introduced to the Swiss and Europeans at large – as they are not told what’s really happening behind the scene. If anything, the populace is being told that paying will become much easier. You just swipe your card – and bingo. No more signatures, no more looking for cash machines – your bank account is directly charged for whatever small or large amount you are spending. And naturally and gradually a ‘small fee’ will be introduced by the banks. And you are powerless, as a cash alternative will have been wiped out.
The upwards limit of how much you may charge onto your bank account is mainly set by yourself, as long as it doesn’t exceed the banks tolerance. But the banks’ tolerance is generous. If you exceed your credit, the balance on your account quietly slides into the red and at the end of the month you pay a hefty interest; or interest on unpaid interest – and so on. And that even though interbank interest rates are at a historic low. The Swiss Central Bank’s interest to banks, for example, is even negative; one of the few central banks in the world with negative interest, others include Japan and Denmark.
When I talked recently to the manager of a Geneva bank, he said, it’s getting much worse. ‘We are already closing all bank tellers, and so are most of the other banks’. Which means staff layoffs – which of course makes it only selectively to the news. Bank employees and managers must pass an exam with the Swiss banking commission, for which they have study hundreds of extra hours within a few months to pass a test – usually planned for weekends, so as not to infringe on the banks’ business hours. You got two chances to pass. If you fail you are out, joining the ranks of the unemployed. The trend is similar throughout Europe. The manager didn’t reveal the topic and reason behind the ‘retraining’ – but it became obvious from the ensuing conversation that it had to do with the ‘cashless overtake’ of people by the banks. These are my words, but he, an insider, was as concerned as I, if not more.
Surveillance is everywhere. Now, not only our phone calls and e-mails are spied on, but our bank accounts are too. And what’s worse, with a cashless economy, our accounts are vulnerable to be invaded by the state, by thieves, by the police, by the tax authority, by any kind of authority – and, of course, by the very banks that have had your trust for all your life. Remember the ‘bail-ins’ first tested in early 2013 in Cyprus? – Bail-ins will become common practice for any bank that has abused its greed for profit and would go belly-up, if there wouldn’t be all those deposits from customers. Even shareholders are not safe. This has been quietly decided on some two years ago, both in the US and also by the non-elected white-collar mafia, the European Commission – EC.
The point is, ‘banks über alles’. And which country would be better suited to introduce ‘cashless living’ than Switzerland, the epicenter – along with Wall Street – of international banking. Bank’s will call the shots in the future, on your personal economy and that of the state. They are globalized, following the same principles of deregulation worldwide. They are in collusion with globalized corporations. They will decide whether you eat or become enslaved. They are one of the three major weapons of the 0.1 % to beat the 99.9% into submission. The other two at the service of the master hegemon’s Full Spectrum Dominance drive, are the war- and security industry and the ever more brazen propaganda lie-machine. Banking deregulation has become another little-propagated rule of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Countries who want to join WTO, must deregulate their banking sector, prying it open for the globalized money-sharks, the Zion-controlled banking conglomerates.
Retrenchment of personnel in the banking employment market is increasing. The news only selectively reports on it, when there are large amounts of jobs being eliminated. Statistics lie everywhere, in the EU as well as in Washington. – Why scare people? They will be scared enough, when they are offered jobs at salaries on which they can barely survive. That’s happening already. It used to be a tactic applied for developing countries: Keep them enslaved by debt and low pay, so they don’t have time and energy to take to the streets to protest – they have to look for food and work, whatever menial jobs they can get, to feed their families. It’s now hitting Europe, the West in general. Some countries way more than Switzerland.
Cashless trials are going on elsewhere, especially in Nordic countries, where selected department stores and supermarkets do no longer take cash. Another monstrous trial has been carried out in India a year ago, in the last quarter of 2016, where from one day to another 80% of the most popular money notes were eliminated, and could only be exchanged for new notes by banks and through bank accounts. And this in an almost pure cash country, where half the population has no bank account, and where remote rural areas have no banks. People were lied to so that the sudden introduction had maximum effect.
It caused massive famine and thousands of people died, as they had suddenly no acceptable cash to buy food – all instigated by the USAID Project ‘Catalyst’, in connivance with the Indian rulers and central bank. It was a trial. It was a disaster. If it works in India with 1.3 billion people, two thirds of whom live in rural areas and most of them have no bank account, the scam could be applied in any developing country – see also India – Crime of the Century – Financial Genocide.
What is going on in Switzerland is a trial with the high end of populations. How is the upper crust taking to such radical changes in our daily monetary routine? – So far not many protests have been noticed. There is a weak referendum being launched by a group of people who want the Swiss Central Bank be the only institution that can make money, like in the ‘olden days’. Though a very respectable idea, the referendum has no chance in today’s banking and debt-finance environment, where youth is being indoctrinated with the idea that swiping your card in front of an electronic eye is cool. Today, most money is made by private banks, like elsewhere in Europe and the US. Worldwide banking deregulation, initiated by the Clinton Administration in the 1990s – today a rule for any member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) – has made this all possible.
Digitalization and robotization is just beginning. Staffed check-out counters in supermarkets are dwindling; most of them are automatic – and that happened within the last year. – Where are the employees gone? – I asked an attendant who helped the customers through the self-checkout. ‘They joined the ranks of unemployed’, she said with a sad face, having lost several of her colleagues. ‘It will hit me too, as soon as they don’t need me anymore to show the customers on how to auto-pay.’
Digitalization also includes the cryptocurrencies, the blockchain moneys floating around – of which the most famous one is Bitcoin. It brings digitalization of money to an apex. The system is complex and seems to lend itself only to ‘experts’. Cryptocurrencies are fiat money, based on nothing, not even on gold. Cryptos are electronic, invisible and highly, but highly speculative, an invitation for gangsters and fraudsters. With extreme speculative values, it looks as if cryptocurrencies were designed for crooks and speculators.
Comment: Cryptocurrency explained: Everything you wanted to know about BitCoin but were afraid to ask
Bitcoin was allegedly invented by Satoshi Nakamoto which could be a pseudonym of a man or a group of people, suspected to live in the US. “Nakamoto’s” identity is believed to be commonwealth origin, due to the vocabulary used in his writings. One of his close associates is purportedly a Swiss coder, who is also an active member of the cryptocurrency community. He is said to have graphed the time stamp of each of Nakamoto’s more than 500 bitcoin forum posts. Such ‘forum posts’ exist in the thousands, worldwide. They form an elaborate network based on algorithms.
Bitcoin was formally created in January 2009 with a fix amount of 21 million ‘coins’, of which more than half are already in circulation, and 1 million, or about 4.75% (of the total) can be traced to Nakamoto – which according to the current market value corresponds to close to US$15 billion. Today’s overall Bitcoin market cap is more than US$ 315 billion. The market is highly volatile. Drastic daily fluctuations are common, especially within the last 12 months. If one of the major Bitcoin holders, like Nakamoto, would capitalize his profit by selling a big portion of his holdings, the Bitcoin price would be in free fall, functioning pretty similar to the regular stock exchange.
On 24 August 2010, when Bitcoin was first traded, its value was US$ 0.06. On 24 December 2017, the coin was worth US$ 13,800, an increase of 230,000%. In the last twelve months, its value increased from about US$ 800 in December 2016 to a peak of close to US$ 20,000 in December 2017, an increase of nearly 2,500 %. However, in the last 7 days, the price has dropped by US$ 5,160, i.e. by more than 27%, and the trend seems to be downward; perhaps a sign of quick profit-taking? However, this shows how instable this cryptocurrency is, apparently much more so than trading corporate shares on the stock market.
The number of cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of 27 November 2017 is above 1300 and growing. A new cryptocurrency can be created at any time and by anyone. By market capitalization, Bitcoin is presently the largest blockchain network (database network, storing data in different publicly verifiable places), followed by Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin.
Bitcoin may be the next bubble, bringing down a parallel economy which has already its fingers clawing into our regular western economy. Cryptocurrencies are officially forbidden in Russia and China, though stopping cryptocurrency dealings by individuals is hardly possible. They do not touch the traditional banking system. That’s why major banks hate them. They circumvent the banking suckers, prevent them from making ever higher profits from horrendous commissions, against which the people at large are powerless.
Here is Bitcoin’s positive value. It escapes bank and state controls. If countries’ economies were run on Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency, they would escape US sanctions which function only because western currencies are foster-children of the US-dollar, hence, subject to the dollar hegemony; meaning all international transactions have to pass through a US bank. A typical case is ‘banking blockades’, when Washington decides to stop all international transactions of a country until it submits to the wishes of the empire. It is blackmail; totally illegal, but unless there is a monetary alternative, the (western) world is subject to this system.
A typical case was Argentina, when she was forced by a New York judge in June 2014 to pay a New York based Vulture Fund US$1.6 billion, an illegal ruling according to a UN resolution. Argentina refuse to pay, so the judge, interfering in a sovereign nation, blocked more than US$ 500 million in Argentina’s debt payment to creditors, bringing Argentina to the brink of a second bankruptcy in 13 years. Eventually, neoliberal Macri negotiated a deal with the Vultures of a payment in excess of US$ 400 million.
This US blackmail would not have been possible had Argentina been able to make its foreign transactions in Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency. Venezuela is currently using a national cryptocurrency for some of its foreign transactions, thereby escaping the sanctions stranglehold of Washington. Had Greek and Cyprus citizens had a cryptocurrency alternative to the euro, they would not have been subject to the cash control imposed by the European Central Bank.
On the other hand, funding of terror organizations, like ISIS, cannot be disrupted, if the terror group deals in cryptocurrencies. – This shows, for good or for bad, Bitcoins, or cryptocurrencies are for now unique in resisiting censure and blackmail, or any kind of authoritarian outside interference in electronic money transactions.
If Switzerland accepts the change to digital money, a country where until relatively recently most people went to pay their monthly bills in cash to the nearest post office – then we, in the western world, are on a fast track to total enslavement by the financial institutions. It goes, of course, hand-in-hand with the rest of systematic and ever faster advancing oppression and robotization of the 99.9% by the 0.1%.
We are currently at cross-roads, where we still can either decide to follow the discourse of a new electronic monetary era, with ever less to say about the product of our work, our money; or whether, We the People, will resist a banking / finance system that has full control over our financial resources, and which can literally starve us into submission or death, if we don’t behave. In order to resist we need an alternative monetary system or monetary network, away from the dollar-euro hegemony.
All the more important is the ascent of another economy, another payment and transfer scheme which already exists in the East, the Chinese International Paymen, totally System (CIPS), effectively a replacement of SWIFT, totally privately run and linked to the US-dollar and US banks. The world needs a multipolar economy, based on the real output of a country or society, as is the case in China and Russia, not one based on fiat money as is the current western economy.
Will Switzerland, the stronghold of world finance, along with New York, London and Hongkong, resist the temptation of increased profit, power and control, offered by digital money? – We, the People, have still the chance to decide either for continuing rotting in a fraud economy, based on wars and greed – for which digital money, exacerbated by cryptocurrencies, is a new tool for a new maximizing profit bonanza on the back of the common people; or do we opt for an honest future and for a life that leaves us free to take sovereign political and monetary decisions in a full cash society. For the latter we must wake up to see the propaganda fraud going on before our eyes, and to resist the robot and electronic money onslaught being unleashed on us.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America.