The move to a cashless society won’t happen overnight. Instead, it is being implemented very slowly and systematically in a series of incremental steps. All over the planet, governments are starting to place restrictions on the use of cash for security reasons. As citizens, we are being told that this is being done to thwart criminals, terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and tax evaders. Other forms of payment are much easier for governments to track, and so they very much prefer them. But we are rapidly getting to the point where the use of cash is considered to be a “suspicious activity” all by itself. These days, if you pay a hotel bill with cash or if you pay for several hundred dollars worth of goods at a store with cash you are probably going to get looked at funny. You see, the truth is that we have already been trained to regard the use of large amounts of cash to be unusual. The next step will be to formally ban large cash transactions like France and other countries in Europe are already doing.
Starting in September, cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros will be banned in France. The following comes from a recent Zero Hedge article which detailed what these new restrictions will do…
Prohibiting French residents from making cash payments of more than 1,000 euros, down from the current limit of 3,000 euros.
The threshold below which a French resident is free to convert euros into other currencies without having to show an identity card will be slashed from the current level of 8,000 euros to 1,000 euros.
In addition any cash deposit or withdrawal of more than 10,000 euros during a single month will be reported to the French anti-fraud and money laundering agency Tracfin.
After the 1938 Munich conference, First Lord of the Admiralty Duff Cooper resigned in protest from Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s cabinet. In his speech before the Commons, Cooper put his finger on the cause of Chamberlain’s failure: “The Prime Minister has believed in addressing Herr Hitler through the language of sweet reasonableness. I have believed that he was more open to the language of the mailed fist.” A few weeks earlier, Churchill had used a metaphor similarly apt for Obama’s approach to Iran, ISIS, Russia, and numerous other adversaries: the British and the French, Churchill said, “presented a front of two overripe melons crushed together; whereas what was needed was a gleam of steel.”
Bibi Netanyahu’s victory in last week’s election has reprised that contrast, now between the feckless Obama and his foreign policy delusions, and the Israeli leader who sees clearly the nature of an enemy that for nearly 7 decades has tried to destroy his country. And Netanyahu has made clear, most dramatically in his speech before Congress, that what is needed today to slow down the mullah’s march to a nuclear bomb is the “mailed fist” and the “gleam of steel.” But this administration is no more heeding such warnings than the British and French governments did Cooper’s and Churchill’s. A misplaced belief in “sweet reason,” and a moral fiber as stiff as “two overripe melons crushed together” today enable the same sort of delusions and wishful thinking that paved the way for Chamberlain’s appeasement.
The reality is, as Sha’i ben-Tekoa documents in his 3-volume history Phantom Nation, historically there has never been a “Palestinian nation” or a distinct Palestinian people. Such talk began after the Six Day War in 1967, and the verbal chicanery intensified after the Yom Kippur war of 1973. Both ignominious Arab defeats made it obvious that the Arabs were not going to be able to destroy Israel through military force. Thus the “stages” strategy, one tactic of which was to seduce Westerners into believing that the Palestinians’ jihad against Israel was in fact an anticolonial struggle of national liberation, a lie that continues to sucker historically challenged Western leaders today. Thus the misdirection of the “right of return,” “settlement activity,” “checkpoints,” “illegal occupation,” and all the other pretexts for violence and rejection, which are made attractive to Westerners by being wrapped in the fantasy of “national self-determination.”
And don’t forget the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, a golden opportunity for the Palestinian Arabs to show they could build a functioning government living in peace with its neighbors. Of course, instead all Israel has gotten in return is rocket fire and terrorist infiltration of their country. Remember too the PA’s incessant incitement to violence in school curricula and public propaganda, the official commemoration and celebration of terrorist murderers, and the “unity government” forged between the “moderate” PA and the genocidal Hamas. All this evidence makes it clear that the majority of Palestinian Arabs choose violence over compromise, and the dream of destroying Israel over creating the “national homeland” that Israel should make endless concessions to create.
For the “overripe melons,” listen to Obama’s latest groveling “outreach” to the Iranian mullahs: “Our negotiations have made progress, but gaps remain. And there are people, in both our countries and beyond, who oppose a diplomatic resolution. My message to you—the people of Iran—is that, together, we have to speak up for the future we seek.” Notice the despicable equation of American critics of what will be a dangerous appeasement of a deadly enemy, with religious fanatics and their long record of torture, murder, and the export of terrorism across the globe. And what common “future” can exist between a democracy that honors human rights and confessional tolerance, and an illiberal theocracy founded on violence and intolerance?
And if that isn’t sufficiently surreal, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, recently removed Iran and its murderous proxy Hezbollah from the list of terrorism threats. Yes, the same Iran that held 52 of our diplomatic personnel hostage for 444 days; that blew up 241 of our military personnel in Beirut; that helped blow up our embassies in east Africa; that according to our military killed 1,500 of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; that facilitated travel and provided weapons to al Qaeda and other terrorists bent on killing American soldiers; that funds and trains Hezbollah and other terrorist outfits like the Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine; that has sworn to “wipe Israel off the map,” and whose national anthem is “Death to America.” The country that was once the top state sponsor of terrorism with American blood up to its elbows is now not even on the list. Meanwhile, its path to a nuclear weapon is being paved by Obama’s Munich-like negotiations.
Such terminal naiveté has not been seen in the leader of a global power since Neville Chamberlain. But despite Obama’s efforts, Israel is not about to play the role of Czechoslovakia. This is a nation of people who paid a horrible price to learn that appeasement leads only to annihilation. As Bibi Netanyahu’s victory shows, like their Prime Minister Israel still has the “gleam of steel.”
As usual, the MSM journalist and the liberal Harvard academic can create charts that reveal a huge problem, but they completely misdiagnose the causes and offer the typical wrong solution of taking more money from producers and handing it to the poor, with no strings attached. This has been the standard operating procedure since LBJ began his War on Poverty 50 years ago. Do these control freaks ever step back and assess how that war is going?
The poverty rate had plunged from 34% in 1950 to below 20% before LBJ ever declared war. It continued down to 15% just as the welfare programs began to be implemented. The percentage of people living in poverty hasn’t budged from the 15% range since the war began. This war has been just as successful as the war on drugs and the war on terrorism. Any time a politician declares war on something, expect a huge price tag and more of the “problem” they are declaring war upon.
In the 50 years since this war started, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. In terms of LBJ’s main goal of reducing the “causes” rather than the mere “consequences” of poverty, the War on Poverty has utterly failed. In fact, a large proportion of the population is now completely dependent upon government handouts, incapable of self-sufficiency, and enslaved in a welfare mentality that has destroyed their communities.
The primary cause of their poverty and dependency on government are the policies implemented by liberal politicians which have destroyed the family unit, promoted deviant behavior, encouraged the production of bastard children, eliminated the need for personal responsibility, provided no consequences for bad life choices, and bankrupted the nation. The rise of the welfare state has coincided with the decline of the American state. The proliferation of welfare programs has broken down the behaviors, social norms and cultural standards that lead to self-reliance, generating a pattern of growing inter-generational reliance upon government handouts. By undermining productive social norms, welfare creates a need for even greater succor in the future.
The facts prove that people (no matter what race) who marry and stay married offer their children a tremendously better opportunity to succeed academically, thereby giving them a much higher chance of moving up the socioeconomic ladder. This doesn’t mean that children from a single parent household can’t succeed. It just means they have a better chance with two parents. It’s just simple math. Two adults working together can provide higher income, more help with school work, and offer a more stable environment for the child. The liberal media and those with a social agenda scorn the traditional family as if it precludes people from living however they choose. The results of the war on families can be seen in the chart below.
The unwed birth rate stayed below 5% from 1945 through the early 1960’s. As soon as the government began incentivizing people to not get married and to have children out of wedlock, the rates skyrocketed. Today, four out of ten children are born out of wedlock. Seven out of ten black children are born out of wedlock. Only two out of ten black children were born out of wedlock in 1964. These births out of wedlock are not the result of dumb teenagers making a mistake. Almost 80% of these births are to mothers over the age of 20, with 40% of the births to mothers over the age of 25. And these horrific results are after the 55 million abortions since 1973. This didn’t happen because of women’s rights or women feeling empowered to raise children on their own. Knowledge about and access to contraceptives is not a reason for unwed pregnancies. Poor women and the men who impregnate them receive more welfare benefits by remaining unmarried and receive additional benefits by having more children out of wedlock.
The American dream has unraveled for many reasons. Not spending enough on welfare programs is not one of the reasons. The welfare/warfare state is bankrupt. We spend $1 trillion on welfare programs, $1.4 trillion on Social Security and Medicare, and over $1 trillion on the military/surveillance apparatus. It’s a bipartisan bankruptcy, as Republicans agree to increase the welfare state as long as the Democrats agree to increase the warfare state. The only thing sustaining this debt based house of cards is a Federal Reserve which provides zero interest financing and a never ending willingness to debase our currency to keep the status quo in power. The current rate of spending on the welfare/warfare state is unsustainable. We could voluntarily reduce the spending before the financial collapse or the spending will stop abruptly when our country undergoes a catastrophic financial implosion that will make 2008 look like a walk in the park.
The nearing deadline to conclude negotiations between Iran and the US on Iran’s nuclear at the end of March this year has exposed the fact that the Middle East has come to a point beyond which the changes growing over the last ten to fifteen years will transform it beyond recognition
At the same time, all major regional players, analyzing the actions of the US to lift the sanctions against Iran on the pretext of its renunciation of nuclear weapons and guarantees of the peaceful use of nuclear energy (despite the fact that Iran appears to have no intention to develop nuclear weapons and has repeatedly stated the opposite), draw the conclusion of a likely further distancing of Washington from what is happening in the region. After all, the United States, based on its own strategies to preserve global domination, now must regroup its forces to increase pressure on China and Russia, which are challenging US hegemony and actively working to create a multi-polar system of international relations instead of the failed formula of a unipolar world. And for this reason the United States needs to dramatically reduce its involvement in the affairs of the Middle East, but not allow Russia and China to take its place, using for this purpose an alliance with Tehran.
In other words, the leading states in the Middle East are preparing for the period when they do not have to rely on Washington, first, because of its unwillingness to take up the task of maintaining regional stability, and second, because of its unreliability as a partner, as the period of the so-called Arab revolutions clearly showed.
In the final analysis, Washington, by turning Iran into a regional gendarme to replace Israel, is in danger of losing on all fronts.
The credibility of its policy in the region for all the key players – Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia – has been deeply undermined after all the somersaults of recent years, and has never been possessed by Iran. Tel Aviv and the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf have now started to use all their resources to influence Washington in order to, using the existing division of American elites, first prevent further US-Iranian rapprochement, and second impede Washington’s quick and inexpensive exit of the region. The inertia of the large-scale US military presence in the Middle East is really hard to break (as evidenced by the Pentagon’s decision to keep a thirty thousand-strong contingent in Afghanistan) – and its extension will result in the inability of the White House to focus all its resources on the fight against Moscow and Beijing. By playing against all, Washington risks being left without allies and with big problems
North Korea's ambassador to the UK has told Sky News that his country now has the capability to fire a nuclear missile "anytime".
If true, it's a big deal, a frightening prospect and a potential threat to regional, even global security.
Ambassador Hyun Hak-bong made the claim from the country's London embassy.
"We are prepared," the ambassador said. "That is why I say if a sparkle of a fire is made on the Korean peninsula, it will lead to a nuclear war.
"We don't say empty words. We mean what we mean. It is not the United States that has a monopoly on nuclear weapons strikes."
Bunkall sought clarification: "So can I just be clear: you are telling me that the North Korea has the ability now to fire a nuclear missile?
Anytime, anytime, yes." the ambassador said.
It is widely accepted that North Korea has "the Bomb". But possessing a nuclear bomb is one thing; having the ability to deploy it on a missile is quite another. That is what the ambassador seems to be claiming North Korea can now do
For years, North Korea has been trying to marry two distinct technologies: it wants to bring together its ballistic missile programme (which it often claims is part of its project to put satellites into orbit) with its nuclear weapon programme.
To deploy a nuclear weapon, North Korea needs to make its nuclear devices "small" enough to fit in the tip of its ballistic missiles - it needs to "miniaturise" them. That's the tricky bit.
The country's nuclear weapons programme itself appears to be successful. It carried out apparently successful underground nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013. Analysts believe that the country could have enough weapons-grade plutonium for at least six bombs
Shortly after the 2013 test, North Korea claimed its scientists had used a miniaturised nuclear device. No proof was provided but, nonetheless, it prompted the alarm bells in Washington DC and Seoul, South Korea.
Recently, American military sources have said North Korea has probably managed some form of miniaturisation. Sources have told Sky News that China, the country with the closest ties to North Korea, holds similar views.