The Power That Cannot Be Spoken Of

April 19th, 2014 No comments

I’m acutely aware that to criticise Israel, the Zionist project, in any way is to risk being called an anti-semite. In fact, this well-worn smear is used to silence open discussion of the nature of Jewish power and how it operates in this world.

We see this in the way the USA sides with Israel at every turn, no matter how clearly that state may have crossed the line into immoral behaviour. We see it in the way AIPAC (The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) is able to literally “buy” support in the US Congress, and therefore bend US foreign policy towards its own ends – as in trying force the US into a military conflict with Iran.

I know, from personal experience, how I feel a sort of self-censoring imperative when talking of this subject – a sense that I have to be “careful” of what I say. And why? Because clearly I don’t want to bring waves of hostility my way.

This is one reason I greatly admire Jews who speak their minds and stand up against such power.

Being a Jew, in such a case, is a form of protection against the usual charge of anti-semitism, although it does attract a different type of smear, that of being labelled a “self-hating” Jew.

One such person is UK based (but Israel born) jazz musician Gilad Atzmon who, while blowing a mean saxophone by night, “moonlights” as a prolific writer and speaker on what he terms “Jewish Identity Politics”.

To get a good understanding as to what he’s talking about – the nature of Jewish power and its ability to ensure it’s not talked about – I recommend reading the transcript of a short speech he gave at a debate in the UK on April 15.

The Kosher Trinity And Jewish Quantum Mechanics

 

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Propaganda And Hypocrisy on a Massive Scale

April 16th, 2014 3 comments

I’ve been an observer of geopolitical events and trends for years now, but I don’t think I’ve witnessed such a propaganda and hypocrisy assault on such a scale as what’s happening now in Ukraine.

Any attempt to get unbiased news or reporting is destined to failure. Blatant lies are the order of the day. And worst of all, our “dear leaders” are spouting hypocritical nonsense like there’s no tomorrow.

I’m starting to prefer reading the comments section of the UK Guardian, rather than that newspaper’s own reporting. And while such comments are riddled with the ramblings of apparent idiots, they also include a lot more sense and sanity than is often contained in the main newspaper itself.

More importantly, many of the sentiments expressed in such comments show that ordinary people  are not completely fooled by the utterances of their respective governments.

The following article provides a good, thought-provoking antidote to all this…

I’m Confused, Can Anyone Help Me?

 

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Offshore Banking is Dead: Long Live Bitcoin

April 16th, 2014 3 comments

I set up my first personal offshore bank account back in 1998, with a UK-based bank in the Isle of Man.

A couple of years later, I set up an offshore corporation and related account with an Australian bank operating out of Vanuatu, through which I ran my online business.

Soon after 9/11, the USA went on a “rampage” against offshore banks, ostensibly because of money laundering and terrorist financing fears – and I was advised by my Vanuatu bank that they could no longer offer me their services – due to pressure from the US administration.

It’s all been downhill since then.

Over the past several years the US has placed onerous reporting requirements on foreign banks to disclose the existence of bank accounts held by US citizens/residents. And as a result of such, most offshore banks have simply refused to open accounts for Americans.

But it’s not only Americans who are now affected. With the global economic downturn and the fact that Western governments are massively indebted and strapped for cash, most of them are looking for ways to shore up their tax revenues and stop capital flight. As a result, offshore bank accounts continue to be targeted.

Back in the “good old days”, prior to 9/11, there were considerable advantages to be had by using an offshore bank account. But these days the only real advantage is as a place outside your home country to keep your savings – as protection against possible confiscation in the future. Mind you, that is still a worthwhile objective.

Offshore banking is still legal, but it has lost a lot of its shine and appeal to ordinary folks looking for a way to protect themselves against predatory governments.

However, it appears the super-wealthy aren’t affected much by all this, as it was reported (a year ago) that up to $32 trillion dollars was stashed away by the world’s super-rich.

Of course, such people – which often includes leading political figures – can always find ways to hide their money. But for your average person it’s a much harder proposition.

Enter Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is many things, depending on who you talk to, but in the light of the above it is also a very effective alternative to offshore banking for the non-wealthy – an easy way to protect (and even grow) one’s savings in a way that completely sidesteps most offshore banking controls.

You can download a Bitcoin wallet and fund it without anyone’s permission and without the necessity of providing any form of ID – if you do it person-to-person. And even if you use an exchange service to acquire your Bitcoins (which do require ID and proof of address) once such coins are in your own wallet they are completely within your control and cannot be seized.

Banks, as intermediaries, can be bullied and controlled by governments and represent a significant risk to your cash. But with Bitcoin you sidestep banks entirely and retain full control of your money. And not only in one country, but the entire world.

With Bitcoin you can decide to leave the country and take all your money with you, regardless of capital controls. And that’s a massive incentive to make use of this nascent technology – an advantage even the wealthy will start to take notice of.

If you’re unfamiliar with Bitcoin and would like to get to grips with the basics, then I have written a 10 page primer which will get you up to speed. You can download it for free from the link below:

Bitcoin: The Money Revolution

Addendum: It’s a fascinating subject for speculation, but if even only a tiny fraction of the funds currently held in offshore bank accounts were “relocated” into Bitcoin, then it would have a massive effect on Bitcoin’s price – upwards. 

 

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The Orwellian State

April 15th, 2014 3 comments

I have read George Orwell’s novel, 1984, three times. It’s a good read. But more than that, it is amazingly prescient – foretelling a world which we now find ourselves in.

Many of the words and concepts in 1984 have moved into common parlance – phrases like “newspeak” and “war is peace”.

One of the fundamental essences of Orwell’s totalitarian future was the government’s ability to not only distort present reality, but to rewrite history. Fear was used to maintain subservience. Words were used to hide the truth.

Today we are witnessing such a world.

Just take what’s happening in Ukraine as a current example, where a propaganda war is being waged – aided and abetted by a state-compliant media.

We no longer have any meaningful freedom. We certainly don’t have freedom of speech. And we long ago lost all pretence that democracy was real.

The truth is, we are beholden to the interests of those we cannot see. The governments we elect work for people “behind the curtain”, and as events unfold – especially since 9/11 and the bogus “war on terror” – the loss of our freedoms becomes more and more apparent.

Finding sane, articulate voices to report on all this is like searching for a needle in a haystack. But one commentator I have a lot of respect for, because of his courage in saying it like it is, is Paul Craig Roberts.

Whenever I see a new essay published by him, I read it. I don’t always agree with every point he makes, but I do agree with the general thrust of his arguments, and in particular that the USA has become a danger to itself and to the world.

For me to admit this is to have made a 180 degree turn from my thinking in the mid-90s, when I was an ardent fan of the USA and regularly argued its moral superiority. But no more. Since 9/11 the USA’s crimes have become too obvious to ignore.

But what is worse is that the USA is not content to simply rule over its own people, but appears determined to rule the world.

I’m convinced this effort will fail. In fact I’m even more convinced that such overreach (and as many say, hubris) will end up in tears and the gradual (or perhaps rapid) downfall of the “Empire”.

Empire of The Elites: Washington is Humanity’s Worst Enemy

 

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The Fake Peace Process

April 12th, 2014 1 comment

I’m getting sick and tired of the ridiculous “Peace Process” that is supposed to be in play between the Israelis and Palestinians.

It’s a ruse of course, a way of buying time while Israel does what it intends – to occupy so much of the West Bank as to make a two nation solution impossible.

So why play this stupid “peace” game?

What’s needed a lot more urgently than any false peace is justice, and clearly justice cannot be done when you have almighty Israel negotiating with the oppressed and imprisoned Palestinians – mediated by a excessively pro-Israel USA.

Veteran Jewish peace activist, Uri Avnery, knows exactly what’s going on, and his sane and balanced viewpoint deserves wide readership:

Peace Talks in The Land of Make-Believe

 

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The Emerging Petro Yuan Standard

April 9th, 2014 No comments

It’s becoming clear that the USA, far from being the standard bearer for freedom and democracy, is using its immense financial and military power to literally control most nations on earth – either by carrot or stick. But one non-military tool stands out – the USD as the global reserve currency.

It is this power that enables the US administration to place financial sanctions on other countries – such as denying Visa and MasterCard functionality to certain banks in Russia recently.

The US domination of the world’s financial system is complete… for now, but not much longer perhaps.

One commentator, Jim Willie of the Hat Trick Letter, sees clear signs of a major “mutiny” underway – a plan to dethrone the USD as the world’s petrodollar – the currency that must be used to buy oil – with the petro yuan.

If you’d like to stimulate your mind with alternative views as to what could be on the near horizon, then give this thought-provoking essay a read.

Emerging Dynamics of Petro-Yuan Standard

 

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A New Card Option For Bitcoin

April 8th, 2014 No comments

During the past year there has been a rapid development in the area of spending bitcoins – including an ever-increasing number of retailers who accept them, the deployment of Bitcoin ATMs, gift cards to major retailers purchasable with bitcoins etc.

One everyday financial tool that we are all used to is the trusty card – your Visa/Mastercard or bank ATM card. And now it would appear that a Hong Kong company is about to launch a card specifically for use with Bitcoin.

The new Cryptex debit card will work on the Discover Network.

https://www.cryptexcard.com

 

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Chamath Palihapitiya on Bitcoin and The Future

March 28th, 2014 3 comments

This informal video interview with venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya is well worth a watch, as he shares his vision for Bitcoin, as well as touching on specifics like the latest US IRS ruling that Bitcoin is to be considered and taxed as property.

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Paul Craig Roberts Talks to Stefan Molyneux

March 25th, 2014 No comments

The following video interview of Paul Craig Roberts by Stefan Molyneux was recorded on February 22, while the Ukrainian pot was still simmering and before Crimea declared its independence. The conversation looks at the larger picture behind events there, but also extends into a larger discussion about Neocon ideology and US global hegemony. Well worth a watch.

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Unravelling The Crimean Conundrum

March 22nd, 2014 1 comment

Watching the “shadow play” between the US and its allies (read “international community”) and Russia right now, it to witness something similar to a brave upstart of a lad confronting the seasoned schoolyard bully. Clearly the bully must not let his reputation be tarnished by appearing to be bested by such a person.

And so it is with the USA.

As the global hegemon, the US cannot countenance any country that stands up to it directly. Many countries may like to, but are cowed into obedience well before such sentiments rise to the surface.

This is the potential danger with what’s happening as a result of Russia “taking in” Crimea right now. The US will want to be seen as being tough. But when Putin’s Russia refuses to lie down, the US will feel compelled to raise the stakes. This is where the danger lies.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are treated to a barrage of propaganda as to what all this means.

To gain some rational understanding of the likely outcome of this all, I recommend reading the following thoughtful analysis by Pepe Escobar:

How Crimea Plays in Beijing

 

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