Archive for the ‘money’ Category

Social Engineering 2013: Learning ‘Careerism’ As A Moral Reward System

January 11, 2013

Aaron Jackson
Waking Times
Jan 13, 2013

The concepts of consumerism and careerism are predominant in first world countries, and are increasing in countries with less “advanced” economies too, but why?

The definition of careerism or a careerist is “the characteristics associated with one who advances his career even at the expense of his pride and dignity.” Simply looking at this definition, many of us instantly assume ‘it has nothing to do with my career’.

As children we are brought up by our parents or carers, usually with a mixture of two learning methodologies, the first of which is a reward based learning system, where a child is rewarded for doing good and, importantly, doing as they are told. The second is the opposite side of the same coin, a punishment based systempunished for disobeying and for doing bad. In general, parents try to give children the best morals and ethics that they are able to comprehend for themselves.

Watch…

However, that same parent then tells the child to do as they are told at school. The child goes to school and learns a very systematic, rigid and standardised education without much flexibility, creativity,play, freedom, and importantly, without parental guidance.  Parents tend to assume that the government’s education programmes have our children’s futures and interests at heart. Usually the teachers also believe this.

When we reach age 11/12 in the USA people are moved from Elementary school to Middle School, until 14/15 when people are moved to High School. Typically in the UK children go to Secondary School from 10/11/12 until 15/16. Why change schools, and why between 10 and 12?

Some school uniforms also represent “smart” worker clothing.

Puberty, during this time of questioning, rebelling against our parents as authority figures to find our own path, we are given alternative answers by our new schools. A lot of these school changes are careerist ideologies, once we reach these ages we are taught that we need to get the grades to get a job because having a job is successful; the better the grades, the better the career and pay, right?

In the USA this is pushed even farther as children must pass tests to even get to the next grade/school year, a very early way of learning a careerist promotion based system and also something that appears to be non-optional. Those who do not follow these rules are ridiculed as they are held back, just as people in society are ridiculed for having a low-paying job or no job at all.

The poor or jobless are considered by many of the rich, the media and the government to be worthless people of society who do not deserve, because they haven’t worked enough.. Even when these people volunteer to do charitable work, they are perceived as some kind of hippie scum.

It’s important to note that government taxes and bank’s debt interest are two other ways of getting something without working for it.

All along our parents tried to teach us good morals and ethics; what is good and what is bad. Schooling takes over and teaches us that more obeying and work is good, and anything else is bad. By the time we leave school, we have learned that working is good, and money is a replacement of our parents’ reward based system.

There’s no longer a reward based system for doing good, now there is only a reward based system of working for currency by obeying. Numbers printed on paper or a computer screen. This is now where our morals are firmly based in society.

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Saving Private Face: Manning ‘awarded’ 112 days off potential life sentence

January 9, 2013

Private Bradley Manning, accused of sharing classified US army files with the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, will get a 112 days cut from his eventual sentence. The victory for his defense team comes after a judge ruled that Manning’s 9 months in prison amounted to pre-trial punishment and was excessively harsh. Retired colonel Morris Davis told us the military is just trying to spare its blushes.

Is Al – Jazeera Fair And Balanced ?

January 6, 2013

Washington Post
Micheal Peel

ABU DHABI — Qatar’s al-Jazeera television station provided a great ringside seat for the “day of rage” in Cairo almost two years ago that offered the first clear sign of the threat to the rule of then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

While many western media organizations were scrambling to ramp up coverage of Egypt’s nascent revolution, al-Jazeera had gripping reports of an extraordinary protest that ended with the ruling party headquarters ablaze and the army on the streets.

Yet, mirroring the progress of the Arab uprising itself, the 16-year-old Doha-based broadcaster’s Cairo triumph has since given way to a more complicated life, as it seeks to extend its international influence by buying into the U.S. television market.

Long recognized in the Middle East for its daring and sometimes groundbreaking reporting in a politically repressive region, al-Jazeera described its purchase this week of former vice president Al Gore’s Current TV network as a “historic development” in a market where it has long coveted expansion. The station, which has a respected English language arm and is already seen in more than 260 million homes in 130 countries, plans to start a U.S.-based news channel available to 40 million American households.

While al-Jazeera is celebrating its U.S. plans, it faces tough questions about its coverage and whether it is as independent of Qatar’s autocratic ruling monarchy as it claims to be. The broadcaster is partly funded by the government of Qatar, and the country’s increasingly prominent political role in the region’s turmoils has intensified scrutiny of al-Jazeera’s coverage.

“With the Arab Spring, al-Jazeera’s reach and credibility have grown in the West,” said Jane Kinninmont, a senior research fellow in the Middle East division of Chatham House, the London-based think tank. “But certainly, it has become more criticized in the Arab world – or, at least, become seen as more politicized.”

Although the popular revolts that swept the Arab world and brought down regimes from Tunisia to Yemen have presented al-Jazeera with an extraordinary opportunity to expand its audience, they have thrown up growing problems of perception.

And while the English channel is seen as enjoying a high degree of leeway, some analysts say Doha’s foreign policy positions — including support for armed rebels in Libya and Syria — are reflected in the tone of coverage, particularly on the flagship Arabic channel. Critics say Islamist movements with which Qatar has tried to achieve good relations have received over-sympathetic attention, with airtime given to wild allegations that opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, are agents of foreign powers.

Some observers say al-Jazeera is cautious about reporting sensitive stories in Qatar, such as the fire at a Doha nursery last year that killed 13 children and six adults, although the channel denies it was slow to cover the tragedy.

“Al-Jazeera is generally a free network, but it works within the political constraints as understood in Qatar,” said Michael Stephens, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute Qatar think tank.

Al-Jazeera dismisses suggestions its coverage shows any bias, including toward fellow Persian Gulf states allied to Qatar. The broadcaster says that, far from following official agendas, it often sets them. “We were covering Syria, for example, long before outside governments took great interest,” it said.

It says that — while it takes a “good portion” of its funding from the Qatari state — it is a private not-for-profit company with other sources of income, such as advertising. And though Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al Thani, al-Jazeera’s director-general, is a member of Qatar’s ruling clan, the broadcaster says he has “no definable relationship” to the country’s ruler and is part of a “professional management who have steered Al Jazeera to success regardless of their nationalities or surnames”.

Perhaps the most unpredictable tension now facing al-Jazeera springs from Qatar’s political scene, which appears increasingly at odds with the broadcaster’s preferred image as a fearless network “dedicated to telling the real stories from the Arab street.” The Qatari authorities sentenced a poet to life imprisonment in November for insulting the emir in a widely-circulated work about the Arab Spring that criticized the “repressive elite”.

But al-Jazeera gives short shrift to the notion that its reputation might be threatened by the Qatar government’s intolerance of opposition at home. “Our journalists have never been told to cover or not cover a story due to pressure from outside this organization,” the broadcaster said.

Abeer Allam of the Financial Times in Cairo contributed to this story.

Robbing Recessioners ?

January 6, 2013

As standards of living across the eurozone continue to fall, a number of age-old problems are on the rise. In France, the faltering economy has led to a startling surge in armed robbery – with gold and high-value jewellery the main target.

2045: ‘Man Becomes Machine’ – The Transhumanist Agenda

December 31, 2012

Over the decades, technology has progressed faster than any other time in human history. Electronic machines are being used to improve our everyday lives and it is believed that by 2045 humans will become one with machines. RT’s Liz Wahl has more on the future of the human race…

Like the Taliban, BBC Erase Banksy Artwork Which Exposed Their Internal Savile Cover-up

December 2, 2012

What Do The Taliban And The BBC Have In Common?

The Needle

Taliban

Before……. and After the Taliban

BBC

Before and……and After the BBC

Yes, that’s right, they both destroy great works of art in pursuit of their closed minded ideology.

Banksy, to my mind the UK’s greatest living artist (and actually, yes, I could justify that statement) created a piece of meaningful art outside of BBC Television Centre in central London which summed up just how disillusioned the British public, especially of my generation, feel right now. It was the poignant image of a young boy dropping his ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ medal into a drain. The BBC sent the workmen in to scrub it away.

Why ? Because it implied criticism of the corporation. All great art speaks, all great art stimulates thought, all great art, from Giotto via Manet’s ‘Olympia’ and beyond Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ to the present day, has been provocative.

The cultural philistines at the BBC can have as many Yentob inspired documentaries as they like but until they put artistic creation above managerial expediency they can never be a Corporation that Broadcasts for the British license fee paying public.

And do they own that hoarding ?

Does the BBC actually own that piece of hardboard that Banksy chose to place this artwork ?

And if the BBC are sued because a precious work of art has been destroyed and they didn’t own the hardboard hoarding opposite BBC Telivision Centre, who pays ?

Not the BBC management on their ludicrously high salaries, but all of us who pay the BBC license fee.

Just like McAlpine’s £185,000.

RELATED: THE BBC: IT’S THE VATICAN AND THE MAFIA ALL ROLLED INTO ONE

Washington State to Legalize Marijuana Without Dept of Justice ‘Guidance’

December 2, 2012

By Sari Horwitz

Adults in Washington state will be able to smoke marijuana legally when it is officially decriminalized Thursday, even though the Justice Department has offered no guidance on the conflict with federal drug laws.

https://i2.wp.com/www.chicagomag.com/whet/medical-marijuana.jpgProsecutors throughout the state have begun dismissing hundreds of misdemeanor marijuana cases, according to authorities there, and state and local police are being retrained to arrest drivers who are high and allow adults to light up in their homes.

Marijuana, however, is still illegal under federal law. State officials say the Justice Department is creating confusion by remaining silent about what steps it may take in Washington and Colorado, which passed initiatives in November legalizing the manufacturing, distribution and possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) met with Deputy Attorney General James Cole at the Justice Department, but came away with no answers.

“They said they were reviewing it,” Gregoire’s spokesman, Cory Curtis, said Friday. “They didn’t give us a timeline when they would provide clarity.”

https://i0.wp.com/2.bp.blogspot.com/-71vpzUxhZYI/Trwm6yfk6-I/AAAAAAAAAjw/HXe43kYvmjc/s1600/Eric_Holder.jpg

AG Eric Holder: Constantly fighting against state’s rights

After his state approved the initiative, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) called Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and wrote him a letter asking for guidance about how the federal government will react to the state’s new law.

“We need to know whether the federal government will take legal action to block the implementation of Amendment 64, or whether it will seek to prosecute grow and retail operations,” Hickenlooper wrote.

He also asked Holder if Justice will prosecute Colorado state employees who regulate and oversee the growing and distribution of marijuana.

“We find no clear guidance on these issues in memoranda or statements previously issued by the DOJ,” Hickenlooper wrote.

Like their counterparts in Washington, Colorado prosecutors have begun throwing out hundreds of misdemeanor marijuana cases.

Holder has not responded to Hickenlooper’s Nov. 13 letter. Justice spokeswoman Nanda Chitre said the letter is “still under review.”…

Read more at Washington Post

The Cashless Society is Almost Here – And With Some Very Sinister Implications

November 29, 2012

Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire

Among the long list of items bundled by consensus reality merchants under the banner of ‘conspiracy theory’, is a world without cash – where technocrats rule over the populace, and everything and anything is exchanged via plastic and RFID chips.

In this sterile and controlled Orwellian hi-tech society, the idea of cash being passed from hand to hand would be as archaic as the thought of carrying around a rucksack of tally sticks today.

Still, despite the incredible penetration of credit and debit card transactions into economic aggregate, and the boom in internet shopping, few will comfortably admit that a cashless society is nearly upon us. In part, it’s a natural denial by many fueled by the idea of our society is indeed on a collision course with the sort of dystopic impersonal future like that depicted in the 1970’s sci-fi film classic, Logan’s Run’.

Cashless money is here, and growing rapidly.

Over the years, futurists and commentators alike seemed to agree that a cashless society would be a slow creep, and cash would automatically phase itself in simply by virtue of the sheer volume of electronic transactions that would gradually make paper less available and more costly to redeem and exchange. This is still true for the most part. What few counted on, however, was how the final push would take place, and why. Some will be surprised by these new emerging mechanisms, and the political and sinister implications they will ultimately lead to.

What’s the time frame on all this? Difficult to say, but what is certain is that the initial phases are already in motion…

Introduction of Parallel Currencies 

There has been a lot made about the ‘cashless society’ in media, but this cannot fully happen until there is a cashless currency.

Every revolution needs a good crisis in order to germinate its seed. The cashless revolution is no different. It should be abundantly clear by now that the global financial meltdown has been engineered at every juncture of its unfolding by the very private central banks who expand and contract the money supply. A dollar or euro collapse will trigger a global economic crisis, which is a prime opportunity to introduce the next phase.

In the summer of 2012, at the height of the European Central Bank (ECB) ritualistic raping of the Greek economy, financial expert Max Keiser, alongside Mexican billionaire Hugo Salinas Price, traveled to Athens to promote the idea of a silver Drachma as a parallel currency to the ever-failing euro. In theory and in practice, this parallel currency was ‘sound money’ for individual Greeks and would allow them to retain some say in their financial destiny, and also allow them to accumulate real wealth. It should have caught on.  But this great idea did not go down well with media moguls and technocratic elites loyal to their overlords in the ECB, Wall Street and the City of London. Still, too many people remain unaware of how money is created, entered into circulation and how their private central banks control inflation, and Greece is no different.

Watch this clip from Greek television:

The US dollar is pure fiat, but it does have a theoretical backer. It is an oil-backed currency – and for better of for worse, it’s on its way to losing its long-lived status as the world’s reserve currency. There are signals that China is moving towards a gold-backed currency and has already agreed to buy the majority of its oil supply from Russia off of the US dollar peg. This could mean two things: the US could be forced to fight a war to maintain dollar supremacy, or the dollar will begin to drop as the top dog. This shift will open up a window of opportunity for money masters to insert not only a brand new global currency, but also its universal cashless attributes as well.

Common sense and free market wisdom would expect to see a sound money option replace the current fiat disaster, but as we saw in Greece, a great solution was not taken up and straddled with the dysfunctional euro, that society will continue to pay the cost of that reality.

The euro crisis was a great opportunity to throw out the euro in favour of something that could create wealth, rather than debt. As the fiat currencies continue to slide downhill, globalist are preparing their solution behind closed doors.

Enter the Cashless Currency…

It’s arguable that we approaching the cusp of that US Dollar collapse, and perhaps a Euro implosion on the back end of it. Risks of hyper inflation are very real here, but if you control the money supply might already have a ready-made solution waiting in the wings, you will not be worrying about the rift, only waiting for the chaos to ensue so as to maximise your own booty from the crisis.

Many believed that the global currency would be the SDR unit, aka Special Drawing Rights, implemented in 2001 as a supplementary foreign exchange reserve asset maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). SDRs were not considered a full-fledged currency, but rather a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged for dollars, euros, yen or other central bankers’ fiat notes.

With the SDR confined to the upper tier of the international money launderette, a new product is still needed to dovetail with designs of a  global cashless society.

Two new parallel currencies are currently being used exclusively within the electronic, or cashless  domain – Bitcoin and Ven

Among the many worries Ben Bernanke listed in his speech at the New York Economic Club last week  was the emergence of Bitcoin. But don’t believe for a second that these digital parallel currencies are not being watched over and even steered by the money masters. Couple this latest trend with done deals by most of the world’s largest mobile networks this month to allow people to pay via a mobile ‘wallet’, and you now have the initial enabler for a new global electronic currency.

These new parallel cashless currencies could very quickly end up in pole position for supremacy when the old fiat notes fade away as a result of the next planned economic dollar and euro crisis.

Both Bitcoin and Ven appear on their surface to be independent parallel digital money systems, but the reality is much different. In April 2011, Ven announced the first commodity trade priced in Ven for gold production between Europe and South America. Both of these so-called ‘digital alternatives’ are being backed and promoted through some of the world’s biggest and most long-standing corporate dynasties, including Rothschild owned Reuters as an example, which should be of interest to any activist who believes that a digitally controlled global currency is a dangerous path to tread down.

The Electronic Deutsche Mark

Much is made of Germany’s prominent financial position within the EU, with a popular talking point being that, “Germany is carrying the majority of the load in ‘bailing out’ countries such as Greece in the south”. If the Euro is ‘heading south’ as many a financial commentator are claiming, then how would a country like Germany – or even the US Federal Reserve for that matter, hedge their bets with an impending currency collapse looming just over the horizon?

Economics professor Miles Kimball from the University of Michigan thinks he knows the answer:

“In short, for a smooth transition, a reintroduced mark needs to be an electronic mark. I recently made the case for the electronic dollar in a previous Quartz column, “E-Money: How paper currency is holding the US recovery back.” The trouble with paper money is that the rate of interest people earn on holding paper money puts a floor on the interest rate they are willing to accept in doing any other lending. For the US, I proposed making the electronic dollar the “unit of account” or economic yardstick for prices and other economic values, and having the Federal Reserve control the exchange rate between electronic dollars and paper dollars to make paper dollars gradually fall in value relative to electronic dollars during periods of time when the Fed wants room to make the interest rate negative.

In the case of Germany, there would be no need to reintroduce a paper mark along with the electronic mark, since the euro itself could continue in its current role as a “medium of exchange” for making purchases in Germany, alongside the electronic mark. A “crawling peg” exchange rate could be used to let the electronic mark gradually go up in value relative to the euro, without causing a huge rush into the mark, since with no paper mark other than the euro itself, interest rates in Germany could be close to zero when measured in euros, which would make them strongly negative in terms of marks.”

A dollar or euro crash could be the perfect storm for the introduction of a major global digital currencies, and this will do nothing but fast-track our entry into the new cashless society.

Contactless Payments

This past year’s Summer Olympic was a beta testing exercise for a number of new programs. We witnessed troops deployed en mass for the first time to marshal the international sporting event and new facial recognition technology tested to monitor its attendees. One of the chief sponsors of London 2012 Olympic was VISA, used the event as a springboard to launch its new ‘contactless payment’ technology, acclimatising the international public to making routine payments via smartphones. VISA now predicts that this new method will carry 50 per cent of its transaction volume by the year 2020.

Mastercard has also rolled out its own version called Paypass, and Barclaycard has already implemented its own mobile phone payment chip in 2011. It conceivable here, that a bank like Barclays could one day takeover a major mobile service provider in order to streamline the endless profits it could accrue from monopolising cashless payment facilities for its customers. A recent edition of Marketing Week further explains how this is program is being rolled out:

“Barclays launched Pingit this year, a mobile payment service that allows customers to send and receive money with a mobile phone number, which has sparked The Payments Council to work on a similar project. And the three leading mobile operators in the UK – EE, Vodafone and O2 – are working on a joint project under the name Weve, one of the aims of which is to develop standardised technology for ‘digital wallets’ on mobile.

These industry innovations reflect the changing attitude and behaviour by consumers to cashless payments. Barry Clark, account director at Future Foundation, which identified the trend towards a cashless society in its recent report into the changing face of payments, explains that this move towards digital is a “banking nirvana” for brands, since replacing cash with electronic payments takes high costs out of the system.”

These mobile enablers will effectively cover the small services and contractor’s market for the cashless society. In addition, digital payment terminals like iZettle and Square (created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey), have brought in most small traders, including taxi drivers, plumbers etc, and street side retailers – meaning that the barrier for entry into the new cashless society has been effectively dissolved.

The Socialist ‘Oyster’

The darker aspect of a cashless society, is one which few are debating or discussing, but is actually the most pivotal in terms of scial engineering and transforming communities and societies. In London, the electronic touch payment Oyster Card was introduced in 2003, initially for public transport, and since that time the card has been co-opted to be used for other functions, as the UK beta tests the idea of an all-in-one cashless lifestyle solution.

Ironically, and alongside biometric chipping now in India, it’s the United States, supposedly the birthplace of modern capitalism, who is beta testing its own socialist technocracy.  As the ranks of the poor and unemployed grow and dollar inflation rises in America, more and more people are dependent on traditional ‘Food Stamp’ entitlements in order to feed their families. The US has now introduced its own socialist ‘Oyster’ to replace the old Food Stamp program. It’s called the ‘EBT’, which stands for “Electronic Benefit Transfer“, as a means of transferring money from the central government to people living below the poverty line. Advocate Mike Adams for Natural News describes it another way:

“EBT benefits have more than doubled during the Obama administration’s last four years, creating tens of millions of new dependents who now vote based almost entirely on who gives them the most handouts.

The purchase of vitamins is specifically prohibited by the EBT program. This is done as a way to keep EBT recipients sick and diseased while suffering from nutritional deficiencies, which is precisely what the federal government wants.

EBT cards create high-profit handouts to corporations, too: Pharmaceutical companies and the sick-care industry; Big Government which gets re-elected based on entitlement handouts; global banks which earn a percentage off every swipe; and even the processed junk food industry which preys upon nutritional ignorance of the poor.

In fact, for every dollar’s worth of food handed out to EBT recipients under the program, at least 50 cents is driven right into the profit coffers of wealthy corporations.”

Adams has pointed out the endgame here. Where collectivist technocrats are concerned, a global digital currency is not only a means for a centrally controlled economy, but also a centrally controlled society. And as Adams also pointed out, they can even control what you eat.

There’s also the small matter of  the Verichip, or ‘class 2’ implantable medical devise, an RFID chip already set to be implemented through Obamacare. It will transmit medical records, bank accounts, keyless entry and much more. The technology could be a $100 Trillion industry over the coming decade.

Bottom line: We’ve got a big problem when the state can – and will cut-off your electronic financial lifeline should you fall foul of the system. No negotiations, no gray areas – and definitely no place for a free individual in this type of globalist system.

Social Networks Gradually Supplanting Real Communities

In 2011 Facebook launched its own virtual currency, which was taken up immediately by the games developer industry. Facebook created it’s own internal digital market overnight. If customers didn’t like it, they had two choices – jump ship, or stay in the biggest market place. That’s a lot of power to wield, and you can wield it if you have the big numbers.

A severe lack of choice in the world of online communities has unwittingly(or not) positioned Facebook to play the roles of not only data collector, but also as banker, retailer, archivist and governor.

As 2012 comes to a close, many people have certainly become, in one way or another, sans border citizens of the Facebook Nation. In the future, one corporation or cartel’s success in capturing a near global monopoly of membership to a particular online platform might give it the ability to dictate a digital  economic mandate to both producers and consumer.

The digital data industry now claims in a recent study by fast.MAP, that consumer confidence in sharing personal information has risen. But the reality is that most people do not know which data is being used and to who it is being shared or sold to. Most users are unknowingly trading “access” to networks, as well convenient speed of registration – for data privacy. We do this on a daily basis now.

It’s a question of speculation at this point how deeply the new digital currencies will be integrated into social networking giants like Facebook, or Second Life – where users are already buying virtual property with virtual currency, but few can deny that the potential for consolidation in the early 21st century is already there.

History Will Repeat Itself

Whenever the status quo is seen as a failure, the architects of society will rarely allow the whole show to come to a grinding halt, for fear that new and non-centrally controlled organic systems of organisation will emerge. The ruling establishment will spare no opportunity to tell society this, over and over, making people truly believe that it is in their best interest to adopt whatever alternative is handed down to them. This is why, when faced with a crisis, society will almost always seek to implement a parallel alternatives, rather than rethink the whole system.

In 2008, the public had an opportunity to collapse the predatory banking system that has been trading insolvent and gambling on thin air. But the very same ruling establishment who engineered the crisis to  begin with, masterfully presented their own solution as the remedy by establishing the precedent of the state bailing out any gambling losses incurred by the banking community.

In the end society relented, and with help of pro-banking political leadership on both sides of the Atlantic, they adopted the pre-packaged belief that a cluster of bloated and corrupt financial institutions were simply too big to fail. Aside from being a massive redistribution of wealth upwards into the hands of the speculative elite classes, this was merely a test by the establishment to see how far they could go in robbing the public, pushing up inflation, hoovering up real assets, robbing pension funds and enslaving taxpayers to generations of debt the bankers created – all in one swoop.

It has long been the dream of collectivists and technocratic elites to eliminate the semi-unregulated cash economy and black markets in order to maximise taxation and to fully control markets. If the cashless society is ushered in, they will have near complete control over the lives of individual people.

The financial collapse which began in 2007-2008 was merely the opening gambit of the elite criminal class, a mere warm-up for things to come. With the next collapse we may see a centrally controlled global digital currency gaining its final foothold.

The cashless society is already here. The question now is – how far will society allow it to penetrate and completely control each and every aspect of their day to day lives?

….

RELATED: Both Italy and Sweden Aiming to Be Cashless Societies

RELATED: CASHLESS SOCIETY: ‘Facebook Nation’ unveils its new currency

RELATED: The 21st Century Matrix: Technocracy and the Rise of the Machines

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Arafat Body Exhumed, Qatar Obsessed With Israel Trace

November 27, 2012

The remains of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have been reburied – after being exhumed earlier on Tuesday. An international team of forensic experts have taken tissue samples from the remains – hoping to clear doubts over the cause of his death in 2004.

BIG ENERGY: WHY THE IEA SHILLS FOR HIGH PRICED OIL

November 27, 2012

Andrew McKillop
21st Century Wire
Guest Columnist

As the global energy game moves into the 21st century, the curtain is beginning with move back, unveiling the true nature of certain international organisations. The implications of this apocalypse should change to way we look at these institutions.

This year’s World Energy Outlook from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEA), released in November, went further with the two policy obsessions of the IEA, described as “not very fashionable” by the IEA’s Turkish-born chief economist Fatih Birol in a November 15 interview with European Energy Review.

These “new and unfashionable” policy quests are: energy for all at an affordable price; and the struggle to prevent CO2 levels in the atmosphere exceeding 450 ppm (parts per million) by the 2035-2045 period.

The IEA quickly redefines the keyword terms: energy for all means, in particular, oil supplies for the 28 exclusively OECD member countries in the IEA: the IEA’s foundation in November 1974, after the first Oil Shock, by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, laid down the IEA’s mandate of acting to ensure oil supply security for the OECD, and “affordable priced” oil.

For Nixon and Kissinger, the IEA was a second-best. Their original goal was to invade and occupy Saudi Arabia and ensure the free flow of cheap oil, Iraq-style. Their IEA was therefore set as an organization able to confront the Arab oil exporters using guile rather than force, by playing one exporter off against another with a range of different contract types, building up stocks of oil in the OECD countries, and forcing down oil prices.

This has nothing to do with the IEA’s new struggle against global warming – assuming, for starters, that global warming really exists, and is due to human emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels – especially coal, not oil. This new obsession of the IEA has however grown to become its single most important policy theme for advising energy ministries and government deciders in the OECD. And “fighting climate change”, according to the IEA is vital and obligatory.

The struggle needs higher energy prices, carbon taxes, emissions trading, carbon offsets and everything we now associate with “carbon finance”. The IEA’s goal for a “sustainable energy future”, and its related goal of “an efficient energy world” by about 2035 are costed by observers (and by the IEA itself) as anywhere up to $45 – $50 trillion in dollars of 2012 value.

Paying for that needs high-priced energy. The IEA is therefore a “price hawk” for oil. This year’s WEO repeats the IEA’s scenario forecast that by 2017 year average oil prices could attain $175 per barrel. We can change the “could” to “should” after reading this year’s WEO.

BACK TO GLOBAL WARMING

Incredible as it can seem to many, freshly re-elected Barack Obama is giving serious thought and attention to banning, or limiting – or taxing – oil and gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing. One part of Obama’s rationale for this is the “possible GHG (green house gas) release from fracking”. Another is a lot more down to earth. Passing a new energy tax, called a carbon tax, in the USA could garner $100 billion in tax revenues for the Federal government in its first year of operation. Cross party support to a carbon tax is growing rapidly in Congress. The extreme low price of gas in the US, due to fracking, provides an easy tax base for adding a new Federal tax and new State taxes.

In the US and soon worldwide, “fracking” has had and will have revolutionary effects on gas supply and gas prices. The drilling process has brought U.S. energy independence within reach – with the important rider that for now rapidly growing shale oil production, this needs $100 a barrel prices.

Some US oil and gas industry leaders remain enthusiastic but cautious that fracking will be fully endorsed by newly re-elected President Obama and by the majority of US state leaders, but this apparent full or majority industry support is belied by the damage to US energy corporation fortunes already produced by “overcheap” natural gas. There is almost no prospect of natural gas prices, in the US, even attaining one-half of gas prices in Europe and Asia. Gas industry hopes, at present, are that the US will have a cold winter, following a hot summer, and this may boost gas prices to around $5 per million BTU, about one-third of European and Asian prices, which prices gas energy in the US at $29 per barrel of oil equivalent. Oil prices still hover around $110 per barrel for Brent.

Open endorsement of fracking from Mr. Obama and state leaders would make fracking the cornerstone of US energy policy for decades to come. Conversely, if for any reason Obama distances himself from fracking, takes a more cautious and pro-environmental line, argues that fracking has a high climate change impact, and is a “disruptive technology” we may expect major changes – in particular a rise of gas prices in the US. The energy price factor is critical, and for Obama the subject of US natural gas has two tax-grubbing opportunity windows: either tax fracking, that is gas production; or tax gas with a carbon tax “to save the climate”, that is gas consumption. The huge difference between oil prices, on one hand, and gas prices on the other show the size of the tax-raising opportunity in the US.

The economic case for fracking is massive. This year’s WEO report however takes a studiedly neutral line on fracking, which reflects the huge range of opinions, in energy ministries of the OECD countries on this subject. US energy sector leaders, and their political friends in both main parties, have now eased off on the “energy independence” claim for fracking. They are now, more than ever, portraying domestic oil and gas production as a key way of generating tax revenues, spurring job creation in “repatriated industries”, cutting the trade deficit and saving the nation from going off the “fiscal cliff.”

The IEA faithfully reflects this emerging realworld consensus of the political elites. World energy prices should be moved up, not down, “to save the planet”, or at least increase state tax revenues and fight the burden of sovereign debt. Keeping oil prices high, worldwide, and keeping gas prices high, outside the US, are easily made conclusions on the IEA’s main policy advise, from this year’s WEO.

WHY HIGH PRICES: THE INDUSTRY ANGLE

The extreme difference between the case for US shale oil production, by fracking, and natural gas production, by fracking, is very simple to explain. US shale oil producers need high oil prices to “keep on frackin”, and claim to believe that oil prices “will not significantly decline” from curent levels around $100 a barrel. Conversely, US gas prices are the lowest since 1992 and set to stay that way. Gas fracking, in the US, has been too successful. Whatever US gas producers, like Chesapeake Corp or Exxon’s gas subsidiary XTO Energy want, it is not cheap gas.

Fiscal cliff reasoning is that tax reform, to be sure, is vital but the US cannot tax its way out of the crisis. Also, there is no way that savings can rise, the US cannot save its way off the cliff. Chasing growth is fine, but the US cannot rapidly grow its way out of the crisis. The alternate and providential way to make recovery feasible, is domestic energy. As the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, Karen A. Harbert, has said: “Every dollar that we generate from energy is a dollar that we don’t have to take out of the Defense Department, the entitlement area, or increase taxes, or send overseas.”

Official optimism that Obama and the White House will recognize that remains high.  While many Republicans and some energy industry leaders have doubted his sincerity, Mr. Obama’s campaign voiced strong support for expanded oil and gas drilling throughout his race against Mitt Romney.

The US will overtake Saudia Arabia as the world’s top oil producing country.

The IEA has played its own role by recently predicting that the US will become the world’s largest oil producer by about 2020, overtaking Saudi Arabia and putting the nation on course to be energy self-sufficient by 2030. Due to fracking, US natural gas output has risen by about 25% since 2007, removing any possible outlook of scarcity. Shale oil could or might do the same thing – but only if oil prices stay high.

This new energy reality puts pressure on the Obama administration to fully embrace fracking and avoid taking steps that could hamper it, many analysts conclude. Maintaining high and rising gas output, and bargain basement US gas prices, creates a huge tax window of opportunity. For oil, the situation is a lot more complex, but the goal of increasing US shale oil output sorely needs high-priced oil. Despite some major States – specially New York and California – remaining equivocal on allowing fracking, state level support to fracking has certainly continued to grow.

SQUARING THE CIRCLE

The probable or possible solution, for Obama and for other OECD country leaderships facing the same dilemma, is already on offer from the IEA, in this year’s WEO.

The IEA’s prediction the US can overtake Saudi Arabia by its oil production, due to shale oil, makes little reference to the oil price background for this forecast. The IEA’s commitment to a high-priced oil future is however clear – very few IEA scenarios give an outlook of oil prices declining below about $75 a barrel. Many IEA forecasts paint a picture of year average oil prices hitting as much as $175 a barrel by 2017. This uear’s WEO repeats the IEA forecast of a year average $215 per barrel by 2030. The IEA may be studiedly neutral on fracking, but its oil price outlook is high, very high.

Almost never given coverage in IEA reports and studies, high oil prices are now treated by the IEA as a major long-term – in fact permanent – part of the global energy scene. For national administrations like Obama’s, high oil prices and high turnover and profits for oil producing companies and corporations also have a simple bottom line: high taxation revenue potentials. The European example – several times cited by Steven Chu early on in his job as US Energy secretary – is that car drivers can be forced to pay $8.50 – $9 per US gallon for their fuel (around $378 per barrel), of which as much as 65% goes to the State as oil taxes. The high profits garnered by European oil companies on their home turfs, also generate large State tax revenues, despite the corporate tax hedging and evasion.

To be sure, “high gas(oline) prices” in the US are a politically sensitive subject, as Chu quickly realised, but little by little, US motorists are learning to think in small litres, not big gallons, and pay more for their fuel. Obama’s renewed “personal conviction” that the world faces a crisis of anthropogenic global warming, the recent hot summer, and hurricane Sandy, both in the US, all play strong supporting roles in the elite quest to raise energy prices – and taxes.

The bad example of fracking – slaying US natural gas prices and making major gas companies unable to pay taxes, or even stay in business – can be prevented from “migrating” to oil and killing the Golden Goose of high oil prices. For this to happen, Obama has to act to prevent oil prices eroding too far. Taxing shale oil fracking “to save the planet” is a certainly possible candidate, for his administration’s fiscal cliff-oriented endorsement of fracking and higher gas prices in the US would make the stark, even ridiculous difference between oil prices, and gas prices, less massive.

The IEA certainly hopes so and stolidly continues to forecast high oil prices.

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