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Friday, April 18, 2014

Whistleblower Nomi Prinz Exposes The Global Banking Elite

Why The West's Financial Warfare Against Russia May Lead To The Real Thing

Authored by Harold James, originally posted at European Voice,
The revolution in Ukraine and Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea have generated a serious security crisis in Europe. But, with Western leaders testing a new kind of financial warfare, the situation could become even more dangerous.
A democratic, stable, and prosperous Ukraine would be a constant irritant – and rebuke – to President Vladimir Putin's autocratic and economically sclerotic Russian Federation. In order to prevent such an outcome, Putin is trying to destabilise Ukraine, by seizing Crimea and fomenting ethnic conflict in the eastern part of the country.
At the same time, Putin is attempting to boost Russia's appeal by doubling Crimeans' pensions, boosting the salaries of the region's 200,000 civil servants, and constructing large, Sochi-style infrastructure, including a $3 billion (€2.2bn) bridge across the Kerch Strait. This strategy's long-term sustainability is dubious, owing to the strain that it will put on Russia's public finances. But it will nonetheless serve Putin's goal of projecting Russia's influence.
For their part, the European Union and the United States have no desire for military intervention to defend Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. But verbal protests alone would make the West look ridiculous and ineffective to the rest of the international community, ultimately giving rise to further – and increasingly far-ranging – security challenges.This leaves Western powers with one option: to launch a financial war against Russia.
As the former US Treasury official Juan Zarate revealed in his recent memoir “Treasury's war”, the US spent the decade after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks developing a new set of financial weapons to use against the United States' enemies – first Al Qaeda, then North Korea and Iran, and now Russia. These weapons included asset freezes and blocking rogue banks' access to international finance.
When the Ukrainian revolution began, the Russian banking system was already over-extended and vulnerable. But the situation became much worse with the toppling of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the annexation of Crimea, which triggered a stock-market panic that weakened the Russian economy considerably and depleted the assets of Russia's powerful oligarchs.
In a crony capitalist system, threatening the governing elite's wealth rapidly erodes loyalty to the regime. For the corrupt elite, there is a tipping point beyond which the opposition provides better protection for their wealth and power – a point that was reached in Ukraine as the Maidan protests gathered momentum.
Putin's public speeches reveal his conviction that the EU and the US cannot possibly be serious about their financial war, which, in his view, would ultimately hurt their highly complex and interconnected financial markets more than Russia's relatively isolated financial system. After all, the link between financial integration and vulnerability was the main lesson of the crisis that followed the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008.
In fact, Lehman was a small institution compared to the Austrian, French, and German banks that have become highly exposed to Russia's financial system through the practice of using deposits from Russian companies and individuals to lend to Russian borrowers. Given this, a Russian asset freeze could be catastrophic for European – indeed, global – financial markets.
Putin's plan for destabilising Ukraine is thus two-pronged: capitalise on linguistic or national animosities in Ukraine to foster social fragmentation, while taking advantage of Western – especially European – financial vulnerabilities. Indeed, Putin sometimes likes to frame it as a contest pitting him against the power of financial markets.
The arms race that preceded the First World War was accompanied by exactly the same mixture of military reluctance and eagerness to experiment with the power of markets. In 1911, the leading textbook on the German financial system, by the veteran banker Jacob Riesser, warned: “The enemy, however, may endeavour to aggravate a panic...by the sudden collection of outstanding claims, by an unlimited sale of our home securities, and by other attempts to deprive Germany of gold. Attempts may also be made to dislocate our capital, bill, and securities markets, and to menace the basis of our system of credit and payments”.
Politicians began to grasp the potential consequences of financial vulnerability only in 1907, when they faced a financial panic that originated in the US but that had serious consequences for continental Europe (and, in some ways, prefigured the Great Depression). That experience taught every country to make its own financial system more resilient to ward off potential attacks, and that attacks could be a devastating response to diplomatic pressure.
That is exactly what happened in 1911, when a dispute over control of Morocco spurred France to organise the withdrawal of 200 million Deutsche Marks invested in Germany. But Germany was prepared and managed to ward off the attack. Indeed, German bankers proudly noted that the crisis of confidence hit the Paris market much harder than markets in Berlin or Hamburg.
Countries' efforts to protect their financial systems often centred on increased banking supervision and, in many cases, enlarging the central bank's authority to include the provision of emergency liquidity to domestic institutions. Subsequent debates about financial reform in the US reflected this imperative, with some of the US Federal Reserve's founders pointing out the military and financial applications of the term “reserve”.
At that time, financial-reform efforts were driven by the notion that building up financial buffers would make the world safe. But this belief fuelled excessive confidence among those responsible for the reforms, preventing them from anticipating that military measures would soon be needed to protect the economy. Instead of being an alternative to war, the financial arms race made war more likely – as it may well be doing with Russia today.
Credit to Zero Hedge

Ukraine enacts travel ban for Russian men

Ukraine Tensions Ease for Now, BRICS Start Bank, Harry Reid Protesters are Domestic Terrorists

Liberty Movement Rising

Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com,
"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."  - Thomas Paine
The label of “fringe” is a common one used by statists, bureaucrats and paid shills in order to marginalize those who would stand against government corruption. The primary assertion being sold is that the “majority” joyously supports the establishment; and the majority, of course, is always right.
The liberty movement, which is a collection of numerous freedom organizations and political activists brought together by a shared philosophical bond, has been accused of “fringe” status for quite some time. With corporatist dominance over the mainstream media for decades backing an elitist machine in Washington and a global banking cartel footing the bill with money created from thin air, any such accusation can be made to seem “real” to those who are unaware.
The problem has always been a matter of physical action giving rise to an acknowledgment of numbers.
We have all heard the old story of the debate within the ancient Roman government over the idea of forcing the slave population to wear distinct armbands so that they could be more easily identified among the regular population. The concept was rejected on the realization that if the slaves were given a visual confirmation of their considerable numbers and strength, they would be encouraged to revolt against the Roman tyrants. That is to say, as long as the slaves felt isolated, they would remain apathetic and powerless. Of course, that was not always the case. Sometimes, a small group would stand up despite their supposed isolation, and the rest of the world, wide-eyed and astonished, would take notice.
The liberty movement has just experienced one of its first great moments of realization and empowerment in Clark County, Nev., and millions of past naysayers have been shell-shocked.
I covered my views in detail on the Bundy Ranch saga in Nevada in my article “Real Americans Are Ready To Snap,” amid the usual choir of disinformation agents and nihilists desperate to convince Web audiences that the liberty movement would do nothing to stop the Bureau of Land Management’s militant assault on Cliven Bundy’s cattle farm. This assault included hundreds of Federal agents, helicopters, contractors hired essentially as cattle rustlers and even teams of snipers.
The statists and socialists were certainly out in force to misrepresent the Bundy issue and frighten anyone who might consider taking a stand for the family. The Southern Poverty Law Center, not surprisingly, was hard at work spreading lies and disinformation about the confrontation in Nevada, painting a picture of fractured patriot groups and militiamen with “little training” going to face unstoppable Federal BLM agents and likely “ending up dead.” The SPLC insinuated that the movement was ineffective and in over its head.
The reality was much the opposite. Liberty groups arrived in droves and were staunchly unified — not by a centralized leadership, but in defense of the basic moral principles outlined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Sources on the ground at the Bundy ranching operation relayed to me that at least 1,000 activists and militia members arrived over the weekend, with many more on the way. This one event proved certain points:
  1. The liberty movement is not afraid to put itself in harm’s way for the right cause — even if this means facing off against highly armed government thugs.
  2. The liberty movement has the ability to field a response team or even an army anywhere in the country at any time within a couple of days.
  3. The liberty movement has the ability to change the course of events, even to the point of removing Federal agents from a region who are acting in an unConstitutional manner.
  4. The Federal government is not invincible, nor is it unfazed by liberty movement opposition. They worry about our strength and ability.
Over the past weekend, we witnessed the true influence of the liberty movement. As thousands of activists and militia arrived in the area, the BLM finally began to understand what it was facing. The government agency that has been terrorized farming communities throughout the West for years, the agency armed with military-grade weaponry and hundreds of agents, ran away, as freedom fighters descended on the region.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, two politicians who were deathly silent during the beginning of the Federal incursion on the Bundy ranch, have now suddenly become vocal in defense of Nevada ranchers against the BLM. It’s amazing how “inspired” politicians can become to do the right thing when they see an army of liberty activists marching against tyranny in their own backyard.
Not only was the BLM forced to remove itself from the area, but it was also forced to relinquish all the cattle it had stolen from Bundy over the course of the past week. Here, liberty groups close in on the cattle holding pens of the BLM and take back Bundy’s property.
Statists are indignant and furious over the surrender of the BLM. The same people who boasted that liberty activists would be slaughtered by Fed agents are now frothing at the mouth because they did not get their massacre. Not only that, but the bureaucracy they worship has shown itself to be impotent in the face of Constitutional champions. All I can say is nothing puts a bigger grin on my face than to see statists cry like babies when their delusions of grandeur are trampled on.
This was a major victory for the liberty movement. But let’s be clear; the fight is just beginning.
I suspect that the Bundy event will be spun by news agencies and the government until it is unrecognizable. They will claim that the BLM left not because they were wrong, but because they were trying to keep people safe. They will claim that liberty movement protesters were the aggressors and the poor BLM agents were just trying to do their jobs. They will play the race card as they always do, much like this pathetically lazy and unprofessional article from Slate, which asserts that if the Bundy's had been black, the Liberty Movement would have never supported them. They will argue the so-called Federal legality of the raid itself, and paint Bundy as a “freeloader” who refuses to pay taxes and who is living off the American people. They will do everything in their power to destroy the image of the victory and soil the name of the Bundy family.
What they don’t seem to understand, though, is that the liberty movement does not care what the Federal government deems “legal” or “illegal.” Our only interest is what is Constitutional and what is moral. The dispute was never about the “legality” of Bundy’s use of the land, which his family used for grazing without interference for generations — until 1993, when the BLM used the absurd endangered species protection racket to put all of his neighbors out of business and threaten his ranch with invasion.  Add to this the recently discovered fact that Senator Harry Reid's former assistant and friend Neil Kornze is now head of the BLM due to Reid's influence, and the fact that Harry Reid and his family are reaping financial rewards by driving farmers from all over the region where Cliven Bundy's ranch sits while arranging land deals with Chinese solar companies, and one has to ask, why should Bundy pay any of his hard earned money to the federal government when they are just going to use it to bulldoze his cattle and make Harry Reid more rich?
Disinformation websites like Snopes contend that Reid's "projects" are not being established anywhere near the Bundy Ranch, yet, one such project has already been launched only 35 miles south of Bundy, and, the BLM has erased a page from its website specifically mentioning the Bundy Ranch and it's "interference" with Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone Projects, the same projects Harry Reid and his son are heavily involved in.
What is amazing to me is that in light of this information hardcore socialists are still willing to defend Reid and the BLM.  My question is, if the BLM is so innocent, then why are they erasing such data from their website at all?  What were they trying to hide?
Harry Reid has not responded to the facts behind his financial involvement in the BLM's attacks on Nevada farmers, except to say that they are "conspiracy theories".  He added when asked about the status of the confrontation:
“Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over...”
Yes, Harry, it won't be over until men like you are thrown behind bars.
Note that he says "an American people"; as if he is separate, as if he is referring to all of us as a subservient organism, or servant class.  What Reid is saying is, the elites can't have "an American people" openly exposing their criminality and defying their tyranny, and then just walking away.  I'm sorry to break it to Reid, but that is exactly how all of this is going to end.
Statists and bureaucrats like Reid continually attempt to argue this issue from the standpoint of Federal legality, obviously because the Federal government has the legislative and bureaucratic power to make any despicable action legal (at least on paper) if it wishes. However, the liberty movement has no interest whatsoever in Federal interpretations of legal precedence. We are only concerned with what is right. As the old saying goes, when injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.
The liberty movement also fully understands that the Bundy victory was only one battle at the beginning of a long war.
The BLM may very well be waiting for activists to leave the area before attacking again. And even if that is not the case, tyrannical systems have a way of attempting to make up for signs of weakness by escalating violence during the next siege. That is to say, we should expect the next event involving the BLM or other government agencies to be even more vicious than the Bundy incident. It is simply the natural inclination of totalitarian systems to exaggerate their power when their failings have been exposed.
That said, it should be noted that corrupt leadership often crumbles in the face of steadfast resolve and courage. We have a long way to go before this Nation is once again truly free, but the liberty movement has proven its invaluable worth over the course of the past several days. We arrived at a crossroads, and we are now moving forward in the right direction — without fear and without regret. It is in these moments when history is made — when common men and women thwart the odds, defy the darkness and make good on their beliefs by risking everything in the name of freedom.

Credi to Zero Hedge

A powerfulmagnitude 7.5 earthquake shook Mexico City

A powerful, magnitude-7.5 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was centered northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.

The quake was felt strongly in the resort city, as well as in Mexico's capital, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

"There is a crisis of panic," said Alicia Dominguez, who answered the phone at the civil protection office. "It's mainly the tourists who are shaken." Civil protection officials were patrolling the city to check for damage and casualties.

The quake struck 164 miles (265 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City, which shook for at least 30 seconds. Buildings swayed as people fled high rises and took to the streets. Because of the Easter holiday, that city was less crowded than usual.

"This is really strong," said Gabriel Alejandro Hernandez Chavez, 45, an apartment building guard in central Mexico City. "And I'm accustomed to earthquakes."

According the USGS, the quake's center was 30 miles (49 kilometers) deep.

Mexico City is vulnerable even to distant earthquakes because much of it sits atop the muddy sediments of drained lake beds that quiver as quake waves hit.

The magnitude-8.1 quake in 1985 that killed at least 6,000 people and destroyed many buildings in Mexico City was centered 250 miles (400 kilometers) away on the Pacific Coast.

Credit to Yahoo News

Farage: The whole European project is based on a dangerous falsehood

Two More Victims Of The Retail Apocalypse: Family Dollar And Coldwater Creek

Did you know that Family Dollar is closing 370 stores? When I learned of this, I was quite stunned. I knew that retailers that serve the middle class were really struggling right now, but I had no idea that things had gotten so bad for low end stores like Family Dollar. In the post-2008 era, dollar stores had generally been one of the few bright spots in the retail industry. As millions of Americans fell out of the middle class, they were looking to stretch their family budgets as far as possible, and dollar stores helped them do that. It would be great if we could say that the reason why Family Dollar is doing so poorly is because average Americans have more money now and have resumed shopping at retailers that target the middle class, but that is not happening. Rather, as you will see later in this article, things just continue to get even worse for Americans at the low end of the income scale.
I was also surprised to learn that Coldwater Creek is closing all of their stores...
Women's clothing retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to find a buyer said it plans to close its stores by early summer.
Coldwater Creek joins other retailers to seek protection from creditors in recent months as consumers keep a lid on spending.
The company said it plans to wind down its operations over the coming months and begin going-out-of-business sales in early May, before the traditionally busy Mother's Day weekend.
Coldwater Creek, which has 365 stores and employs about 6,000 people, has five stores in Maryland.
I remember browsing through a Coldwater Creek with my wife and mother-in-law just last year. At the time, my mother-in-law was excited about getting one of their catalogs. But now Coldwater Creek is going out of business, and all that will be left of that store is a big, ugly, empty space.
Of course the fact that a couple of major retailers are closing stores is nothing new. This kind of thing happens year after year.
But what we are witnessing right now is really quite startling. So many retailers are closing so many stores that it is being called a "retail apocalypse". In a previous article entitled "This Is What Employment In America Really Looks Like…", I detailed how major U.S. retailers have already announced the closing of thousands of stores so far this year.  If the economy really was "getting better", this should not be happening.
So why are so many stores closing?
Well, the truth is that it is because the middle class is dying. With each passing day, more Americans lose their place in the middle class and fall into poverty. The following is an excerpt from the story of one man that this has happened to. His recent piece in the Huffington Post was entitled "Next Friday, I'll Be Living In My Car"...
For the past 13 years, I've mostly been doing facility management in several locations across the state. After the position turned into more of a sales role, they laid me off. Since then, I've been looking to find any type of work. I've applied for food stamps, and I'm waiting for that. I'm mostly eating soup from a food pantry.
I've been on several interviews -- second, third, fourth interviews -- and just haven't been able to land a job for whatever reason. I definitely have the qualifications and the experience. Last week, I had a job offer that I thought was secure, and we were talking my work schedule. They decided to call me back and go with an assistant rather than a manager.
For a number of applications, I've dumbed down my resume. I don't even go with a resume sometimes, just because I don't want them to know that I'm educated and have a master's degree. It shoots me in the foot. They don't want me because they don't think I'm going to stay. I don't blame them.I was making six figures at $60-70 an hour. Now, I'm looking for a $10 an hour job.
There are millions upon millions of Americans that can identify with what that man is going through.
Once upon a time, they were living comfortable middle class lifestyles, but now they will take any jobs that they can get.
Just today I came across a statistic that shows the massive shift that is happening in this country. A decade ago, the number of women working outnumbered the number of women on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of women on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.
How could things have changed so rapidly over the course of just one decade?
And sadly, things continue to go downhill. Every day in America, more good jobs are being sent out of the country or are being replaced by technology. I really like how James Altucher described this trend the other day...
Technology, outsourcing, a growing temp staffing industry, productivity efficiencies, have all replaced the middle class.
The working class. Most jobs that existed 20 years ago aren’t needed now. Maybe they never were needed. The entire first decade of this century was spent with CEOs in their Park Avenue clubs crying through their cigars, “how are we going to fire all this dead weight?”. 2008 finally gave them the chance. “It was the economy!” they said. The country has been out of a recession since 2009. Four years now. But the jobs have not come back. I asked many of these CEOs: did you just use that as an excuse to fire people, and they would wink and say, “let’s just leave it at that.”
I’m on the board of directors of a temp staffing company with one billion dollars in revenues. I can see it happening across every sector of the economy. Everyone is getting fired. Everyone is toilet paper now.
There is so little loyalty in corporate America these days. If you work for a major corporation, you could literally lose your job at any moment. And you can be sure that there is someone above you that is trying to figure out a way to accomplish the tasks that you currently perform much more cheaply and much more efficiently.
Most big corporations don't care if you are personally successful or if you are able to take care of your family. What they want is to get as much out of you as possible for as little money as possible.
This is a big reason why 62 percent of all Americans make $20 or less an hour at this point.
The quality of our jobs is going down, but the cost of living just keeps going up. Just look at what is happening to food prices. For a detailed examination of this, please see my previous article entitled "Why Meat Prices Are Going To Continue Soaring For The Foreseeable Future".
As the middle class slowly dies, less people are able to afford to buy homes. Mortgage originations at major U.S. banks have fallen to a record low, and the percentage of Americans that live in "high-poverty neighborhoods" is rising rapidly...
An estimated 12.4 million Americans live in economically devastated neighborhoods, according to American Community Survey data collected from 2008 to 2012. That's an 11 percent jump from the previous survey, conducted from 2007 to 2011. Even more startling, it's a 72 percent increase in the population of high-poverty neighborhoods since the 2000 Census.
If nothing is done about the long-term trends that are slowly strangling the middle class to death, all of this will just be the beginning.
We will see millions more Americans lose their jobs, millions more Americans lose their homes and millions more Americans living in poverty.
The United States is being fundamentally transformed, and very few people are doing much of anything to stand in the way of this transformation. Decades of incredibly foolish decisions are starting to catch up with us, and unless something dramatic is done right away, all of these problems will soon get much, much worse.
Credit to Economic Collapse

75-year-old human cloned for the production of stem cells

Several years ago, as the therapeutic potential of stem cells was first being recognized, the only way to create them was to harvest cells from an early embryo. That embryo could come from the large collection of those that weren't used during in vitro fertilization work. But to get one that was genetically matched to the person who needed the therapy, researchers had to create an embryo that's a genetic duplicate of that individual—meaning they had to clone them.

With the development of induced stem cells, work on this approach largely fell by the wayside—induced cells were easier to create and came without the ethical baggage. But there are some lingering doubts that the induced cells are truly as flexible as the ones derived from an embryo, leading a number of labs to continue exploring cloning for therapeutic purposes. Now, a collaboration of US and Korean researchers have succeeded in creating early embryos from two adult humans and converted the embryos to embryonic stem cells.

The method used is called somatic cell nuclear transplant. It involves taking an unfertilized egg and removing its nucleus, thereby deleting the DNA of the egg donor. At the same time, a nucleus from the cell of a donor is carefully removed and injected into the egg. After some time, during which the environment of the egg resets the developmental status of the donor's DNA, cell division is activated. If the process is successful, the end result is a small cluster of cells that starts along the path of forming an embryo.

This technique was recently used to create embryonic stem cells from an infant donor. But the new team managed to perform the technique successfully with two male donors, one 35 years old and the second 75. The primary change needed was simply to extend the period in which the donor DNA is reset by the proteins present in the egg.

After the resulting cells divided long enough to form a blastocyst (an early stage of embryonic development), they were harvested and converted to embryonic stem cells. The researchers showed that the resulting stem cells could form all of the major tissues of a mature embryo, as close as you can come to demonstrated stem-cellness with human samples.

In mice and many other animals, however, it's possible to simply allow the cells to keep growing and implant them into a female at the appropriate stage. And that's what's striking about this research: there doesn't appear to be anything keeping it from being done in humans. The efficiency in many other mammals is low and sometimes results in aberrant growth. But, given enough attempts, there are no obvious barriers between this work and a cloned human.

The authors avoid discussing this implication completely, focusing instead on its therapeutic potential.
Credit to Ars Technica

What Will You Do When You Can No Longer Buy Or Sell Without Submitting To Biometric Identification?

Michael Snyder
Activist Post

In some areas of the world, payment systems that require palm scanning or face scanning are already being tested. We have entered an era where biometric security is being hailed as the “solution” to the antiquated security methods of the past. We are being promised that the constant problems that hackers are causing with our credit cards, bank accounts, ATM machines and Internet passwords will all go away once we switch over to biometric identification.

And without a doubt, we have some massive security problems that need to be addressed. But do you really want a machine to read your face or your hand before you are able to buy anything, sell anything or log on to the Internet? Do you really want “the system” to be able to know where you are, what you are buying and what you are doing at virtually all times?

Biometric security systems are being promoted as “cool” and “cutting edge”, but there is also potentially a very dark side to them that should not be ignored.

In this day and age, identity theft has become a giant problem. Being able to confirm that you are who you say that you are is a very big deal. To many, biometric security presents a very attractive solution to this problem. For example, the following is a brief excerpt from a recent Fox News article entitled "Biometric security can’t come soon enough for some people"…

In a world where nearly every ATM now uses an operating system without any technical support, where a bug can force every user of the Internet to change the password to every account they’ve ever owned overnight, where cyber-attacks and identity theft grow more menacing every day, the ability to use your voice, your finger, your face or some combination of the three to log into your e-mail, your social media feed or your checking account allows you to ensure it’s very difficult for someone else to pretend they’re you.

Almost everyone would like to make their identities more secure. Nobody actually wants their bank accounts compromised or their Internet passwords stolen. But there is a price to be paid for adopting biometric identification. Your face or your hand will be used to continually monitor and track everything that you do and everywhere that you go. Here is some more from that Fox News article…

Friday, we made Ryan King the most verified man in Brooklyn.
“Verified,” a fingerprint-recognition device chirped back at Ryan after he placed his finger on the reader.
“Verified,” a facial-recognition device said to Ryan after scanning his face.
Ryan works at the American headquarters for FingerTec, a Malaysian company replacing PINs, usernames, and typed passwords with fingers and faces we don’t need to memorize.
“You can’t copy someone’s fingerprint unless you chop it off,” Ryan said, “which wouldn’t work because it has to be attached to a hand.”For now, biometric security is not being forced on people. If you want to avoid it, you can.

But eventually, once it has been adopted on a widespread basis, banks and government agencies will start requiring it.

And it is easy to imagine a day when none of us will any longer be able to buy or sell anything without submitting to biometric identification. In fact, an “alternative payment method” involving hand scanning is already being tested in southern Sweden

Hand scanning has become an alternative payment method for people in a city in southern Sweden, researchers at Lund University said Monday.
Vein scanning terminals have been installed in 15 shops and restaurants in Lund thanks to an engineering student who came up with the idea two years ago while waiting in line to pay.
Some 1,600 people have signed up already for the system, which its creator says is not only faster but also safer than traditional payment methods.
“Every individual’s vein pattern is completely unique, so there really is no way of committing fraud with this system,” researcher Fredrik Leifland said in a statement.
“You always need your hand scanned for a payment to go through.”But before biometric identification is widely used for payment systems, we will probably see it implemented in a whole bunch of other ways first. For instance, biometric scanners are already being used in dining halls on college campuses all across America

Hand geometry readers have been fairly common on campus for years but more recent deployments are leveraging fingerprint and even iris biometrics to link students with transactions. Physical access is the hallmark biometric application but the technology has been gaining popularity in food service and other sectors to expedite transactions.
The social stigma attached to biometrics is also being lifted, as students are becoming more comfortable with the technology, says Brian Adoff, executive vice president at NuVision. The inclusion of a fingerprint scanner on the latest iPhone is just one indication that the younger generation is comfortable with biometrics. 

“Administrators have a greater fear of the technology than students,” says Bob Lemley, director of software development at the CBORD Group. “Students are growing up with the technology so they don’t think about it as much as the older generations.”
Georgia Southern University can attest to that fact. The school deployed iris biometrics at its dining hall and only two students out of 5,400 refused to enroll, says Richard Wynn, director of the university’s Eagle Card Program.Young people tend to be less alarmed by this technology, and so that is where it is being pushed. If you can believe it, biometric scanners are even going to be used at Six Flags amusement park this summer…

A new scanning system at Six Flags sounds like it’s from the future, but the biometric scanner aims to make faster entrances for season pass holders.
When guests arrive at the front gate for the first time of the season, they will present their voucher and a scanner processes an image of their fingerprint, assigning a unique set of numbers that are used to validate the pass holder’s card each visit.
The first visit should take only about 20 seconds to set up the card, as opposed to the additional time of taking a photo and getting it printed on the card, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Gotway.

This kind of reminds me of the new “MagicBands” at Disney parks that I have written about previously. You have probably seen the television commercials featuring them by now. Disney seems to think that parents and kids will have no problems wearing RFID tracking devices that allow them to buy stuff and monitor wherever they go. If you want to see what Disney has to say about these “MagicBands”, you can do so right here.

Our world is becoming stranger with each passing day.

Incredibly, biometric identification is even being used in Africa to keep track of who is being vaccinated…

In fact, some biometric solutions are helping solve vaccine delivery issues in Africa which has been hampered by ineffective tracking and reporting. Today, a biometric vaccination registry helps to ensure that millions of young children receive the vaccine that is needed to save their lives. And by knowing “who” has been vaccinated, these precious life-saving drugs are not wasted by over-vaccinating some and missing others entirely.This technology is going to keep spreading, and it is going to become harder and harder to avoid it.

And it is easy to imagine what a tyrannical government could do with this kind of technology. If it wanted to, it could use it to literally track the movements and behavior of everyone.

We are already starting to see the establishment of massive biometric databases. One of these is the FBI’s facial recognition database that is a part of their “Next Generation Identification” program. It is being projected that the FBI will have compiled 52 million of our “face images” by the year 2015.
Given enough time, eventually I am sure that they would have all of our faces in their computers.

And one day, this kind of technology will likely be so pervasive that you won’t be able to open a bank account, get a credit card or even buy anything without having either your hand or your face scanned first.

When that day arrives, what will you do?

That is something to think about.
Credit to Activist Post