14 September 2017

Rich as Croesus -- Origination of Legal Tender

Money is commonly credited to have originated in seventh century BC; however, money has been in existence long before written history, and metallurgy had long been at an advanced state by seventh century B.C., advanced enough to make rings, swords, shields, jewelry, and such. Creating small, circular disks of metal to be used as money would not have been a technological nor conceptual breakthrough. Minters stamping ingots of copper or silver to certify a coin’s weight and fineness had been practiced long before in Babylon. So what significant event happened to money in seventh century B.C. to confuse it with the origination of money itself? Answer: the origination of Legal Tender.

In sixth century BC, the first Legal Tender coinage was stamped in Lydia, a leading gold producer, a country in what is now western Turkey. King Croesus of Lydia [560-546 BC] is credited with this development of Legal Tender, often confused with the birth of money itself. In the process, Croesus became fabulously wealthy.

Croesus (Random House Dictionary)
1. died 546 B.C., king of Lydia 560-546: noted for his great wealth. 2. a very rich man.

The History of Money by Jack Weatherford, 1997
"As rich as Croesus" is a common expression in modern English, Turkish, and other languages around the world.

Martin Luther, 1517
“Why doesn’t the pope build the basilica of St. Peter out of his own money? He is richer than Croesus."

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, 1844
However, when he served the dinner given by d’Artagnan and saw him take out a handful of gold to pay for it, Planchet thought his fortune was made and thanked heaven for having placed him in the service of such a Croesus.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, 1969
Billy owned a lovely Georgian home in Ilium. He was rich as Croesus, something he had never expected to be, not in a million years.

The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa, 1981
The baron’s as rich as Croesus, isn’t that so? An antediluvian character, an archaeological curiosity, there’s no doubt about it.”

A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe, 1998
He was Old Family and Piedmont Driving Club all the way, and he was rich as Croesus.

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James, 2012
“Honestly, fancy falling for a man who’s beyond beautiful, richer than Croesus, and has the Red Room of Pain waiting for me.”

The name Croesus has passed the test of time for defining wealth. By what financial mechanism was this wealth obtained?

Financial Mechanism to Skew Wealth

Assume there are multiple minters stamping metal coins of specific weight and quality, and imprinted with the logo of the minter. Though two gold coins may be of the same weight and quality, only the gold coin stamped by the State is considered Legal Tender, and therefore a valid payment for taxes and debt. The State monopolizes the minting/stamping of Legal Tender.

Any gold coin not stamped as Legal Tender is rejected by the State or Creditor as a valid tax/debt payment, potentially throwing the Taxpayer or Debtor into default, evoking eviction, seizure, and/or slavery ownership clauses of Law. The State enforces the clauses of Law and will forcibly execute the change of ownership.

Taxpayers and Debtors are severely motivated to have Legal Tender in order to avoid the default clauses of Law. Existing circulating gold coins are taken to be converted to Legal Tender coins. When minting Legal Tender, the State takes a generous seigniorage, or fee, for the stamping, and returns an inferior coin, smaller or mixed with lesser value metals, and calls it Legal Tender. If it was a dollar before, it’s still a dollar afterwards, not really, but that’s Law.

The seigniorage, or fee, skews wealth towards the State. And from this financial mechanism of Legal tender, King Croesus, head of the State, became legendarily wealthy. It’s use spread throughout the Greek States, as did Debt, to the point of unsustainability, culminating in the infamous Pulling Down the Pillars of Burdens.

Greek architecture has overwhelmingly adorned the institutions of Law and Money. The first public building constructed by the new government of the United States, well before the Capitol or White House, was the Mint.

Legal tender is a derivative form of money, not money itself.

Legal Tender (Random House Dictionary)
Currency that may be lawfully tendered or offered in payment of money debts and that may not be refused by creditors.

Legal Tender (Dictionary of Cultural Literacy)
Any form of money that a government decrees must be accepted in payment of debts.

Croesus and the Delphi Oracle

The Delphi Oracle was renowned both for the ambiguity and the occasional plain accuracy of its answers. Croeus, king of Lydia [560-546BC], wanted to test the most highly regarded Greek oracles. He sent messengers to each one of them with instructions to ask, after exactly 100 days had passed, the following question: “What is the king of Lydia doing today?” Five of the oracles were wrong. A sixth was close. The oracle at Delphi replied as follows:

Lo, in my sense there striketh the smell of a shell-covered tortoise,
Boiling now in a fire, with the flesh of a lamb in a cauldron.
Brass is the vessel below, and brass the cover above.

As it happened, Croesus was, at that very moment, cooking a lamb-and-tortoise stew in a brass pot. Convinced of the oracle’s accuracy, he questioned it about the weightier question on his mind, namely the Persian Wars. The answer was that a great army would be defeated. Taking this for a good omen, Croesus sent his army into battle against Cyrus the Great. Again the oracle hit the mark, but it was Croesus’ army that was defeated.

The Delphic Oracle, 1899, John William Godward [1861-1922]

06 September 2017

Enemies of the State

The Lucifer Effect by Zimbardo, 2007, Excerpts

Among the operational principles we must add to our arsenal of weapons that trigger evil acts by ordinarily good men and women are those developed by nation-states to incite their own citizens. Nations prepare their young men to engage in deadly wars while also preparing citizens to endorse engaging in wars of aggression. Propaganda helps accomplish this difficult transformation. Images of the enemy are created by national media propaganda, in complicity with governments, to prepare the minds of soldiers and citizens to hate those who fit the new category “your enemy". Such mental conditioning is a soldier’s most potent weapon. Without it, he might never put another young man in the cross-hairs of his gun sight and fire to kill him.

In creating a new evil enemy in the minds of good members of righteous tribes, “the enemy” is: aggressor, faceless, rapist, godless, barbarian, greedy, criminal, torturer, murderer, an abstraction, or a dehumanized animal. Scary images reveal one’s nation being consumed by the animals that are most universally feared: snakes, rats, spiders, insects, lizards, gigantic gorillas, octopi, or even “English pigs.”

In the News:

US military apologizes to Afghans over offensive propaganda leaflet
07 Sep 2017
The US military in Afghanistan has apologized for distributing propaganda leaflets featuring a passage from the Qur’an superimposed on to the image of a dog, considered unclean in Islam, which causes offence to Muslims. The leaflets depict a lion chasing a dog bearing a Qur’anic passage that appears on banners used by Taliban militants. The recent leaflet reads: “Take back your freedom from the terrorist dogs and cooperate with coalition forces so they can identify and eliminate your enemy.” Dropping propaganda leaflets is a basic part of military psychology operations, and has been widely used by coalition forces in Afghanistan. The method has at times had detrimental outcomes. In 2009 a box of leaflets dropped from a British Royal Air Force plane landed on and killed a young Afghan girl in Helmand after it failed to open in mid-air. 

US airdrops anti-Isis propaganda cartoon over Syrian city of Raqqa
27 Mar 2015
The latest US attempt at combatting the Islamic State’s social-media-borne propaganda is decidedly low-tech: leaflet drops displaying a grisly cartoon that portrays the jihadist army as indifferent murders.

31 August 2017

Diana's Death a 'Tragic Accident': Maybe, Maybe Not

Princess Diana, 36, and Dodi Al Fayed, 42, died in a Paris car crash on 31 Aug 1997.

Gordon Thomas wrote of a scenario Diana's death in 1999 [summary below]. After the summary, there are chronicled news articles of Diana's death, which migrates through complete denial, investigation, inquest jury, and verdict. Her death remains an enigma with powerful parties involved.

It will be interesting to see if Mr. Thomas' account of her death plays out or not. Mohammed al-Fayed [Dodi's father] waged a 10-year campaign to prove that Princess Diana and his son Dodi were murdered in a conspiracy and challenged the account of their deaths in British court. Who would really expect to see a verdict against British royalty and British intelligence in a British court? Will al-Fayed seek justice outside the courts? What vengeance will the sons seek, especially with the resources at their command? It can be a deadly game when played on their level. And now it’s a movie – Unlawful Killing.

Gideon's Spies by Gordon Thomas, 1999, Death of Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed

The Ritz Hotel had become important in Mossad's overall strategy. The hotel remained a meeting place for Middle Eastern arms brokers and their European contacts. Mossad had decided to have an informer in the Ritz who would be able to report on activities. As a chauffeur to VIPs, Henri Paul would be in good position to overhear their conversations, witness their behavior, see where they went, whom they met.

A Mossad psychologist had concluded that there was an inherent vulnerability about Henri Paul. The psychologist had recommended that steadily increasing pressure, linked with the promise of substantial monetary reward to finance Paul's social life, could be the best way to recruit him.

For Henri Paul in those last days of August 1997, there seemed no way out. He continued to drink, to take pills, to sleep restlessly, to bully junior staff. He was a man teetering close to the edge. Though he managed to conceal it, Henri Paul was unraveling mentally. Compounding the pressure was the forthcoming visit of Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed. Paul had been put in charge of their security while they were in the hotel, with particular responsibility for keeping away the paparazzi.

Two weeks prior to their deaths, the service had held several meetings with Henri Paul, "who was a paid informer of MI6."  Henri Paul had installed a bugging device in the Imperial Suite at the Ritz hotel and had obtained tapes of the "last intimate moments" of Diana and Dodi. Shortly before their death, the couple had spent several hours alone in the suite.

Just past midnight on Sunday, August 31, 1997, the dead were Diana, Princess of Wales, mother of the future king of England; Dodi Al-Fayed, son of Mohammed Al-Fayed, the Egyptian-born owner of Harrods of Knightsbridge, the "Royal" store; and Henri Paul. The couple's bodyguard had been critically injured. "Paul had been blinded as he drove through the underpass by a high-powered flash, a technique which is consistent with MI6 methods in other assassinations."

Moments later, the mysterious white Fiat Uno, which had been seen zigzagging away from the scene of the crash and which traces of paint scrapes had  been found in the tunnel, had driven into a side street off the Avenue Montalgne. Waiting there was a pentachnicon, its ramp lowered. The Uno had driven up the ramp, and the pantechnicon's doors had been closed. Hours later, the Uno had been gripped in the claws of a crusher and was reduced to a block of scrap metal.

Mohammed Al-Fayed: "A decision had been made by the Establishment, and at the very top, that Diana must not be allowed to marry a Muslim. Then the future king of England, Prince William, would have an Arab as his stepfather and another as his grandfather. There was also a real fear that it would provide the money to allow Diana to become a rival to the Queen of England. The Establishment would do anything to end my son's relationship with the one woman he had ever truly loved."

Mossad's determined attempts to recruit Henri Paul could lead to accusation that this had played a part in Diana's death. To this day Mossad's involvement with Henri Paul has remained a well-kept secret - the way the service had always intended it should remain. Mossad acted at the behest of no one outside Israel.

In The News:

Public marks 20 years since Princess Diana's death
31 Aug 2017
Tributes are being paid to Princess Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death. Dubbed the "people's princess" by then prime minister Tony Blair, she died after a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997 aged 36. On Wednesday, her sons - Prince William and Prince Harry - visited the growing floral tributes being left at Kensington Palace.

UK relationship with France to continue after Brexit, says prince
17 Mar 2017
The UK's relationship with France will continue despite the vote to leave the EU, Prince William has said. Speaking at the start of a two-day official visit to Paris with the Duchess of Cambridge, the prince said friendship and co-operation "would not change". It is the duke's first official visit to the city where his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in 1997.

Princess Diana WAS pregnant on the night she died, shock new play claims
10 Jan 2015
Sensational claims about the death of Princess Diana will be aired in a controversial West End play, which opens this week: Truth, Lies, Diana. It will revive claims that Diana was pregnant with “a Muslim baby” when she died in a Paris car crash alongside lover Dodi Fayed in 1997. Writer and director Jon Conway – who also appears in the production – said: “I think it’s important the public is able to hear the whole story. I call it the D-word as nobody wants to talk about it.”

Diana death police find no SAS role
16 Dec 2013
There is "no credible evidence" the SAS was involved in the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al Fayed, the Metropolitan Police has said. "The final conclusion is that whilst there is a possibility the alleged comments in relation to the SAS's involvement in the deaths may have been made, there is no credible evidence to support a theory that such claims had any basis in fact. Former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi's father, was "disappointed but not discouraged" by the outcome, his solicitor Simon McKay said. He called the scoping exercise "the latest whitewash in a 16-year cover up".

Diana death: New information assessed by Scotland Yard
18 Aug 2013

The Metropolitan Police is assessing new information it has recently received about the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed in 1997. Scotland Yard said it was "scoping" the information and "assessing its relevance and credibility". Reports in several British Sunday newspapers suggest there are allegations the military was involved and that information had been passed to the police by an Army source. A spokesman for Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed said he would be "interested in seeing the outcome". In December 2006, the report into Operation Paget said it had found no evidence of murder and dismissed all conspiracy theories surrounding the deaths. Operation Paget concluded that driver Henri Paul had been drunk and driving at excessive speed.

Princess Diana film in Galway for first public showing
06 Jul 2011

A controversial documentary about the death of Princess Diana, Unlawful Killing, is to get its first public screening at an Irish film festival. Directed by Keith Allen and funded by the businessman Mohammed Al Fayed, its makers claim the film has evidence of a conspiracy around the Princess's death.

Unlawful Killing – the film the British won't get to see
07 May 2011
Inquest evidence showed conclusively that the crash was caused by an unidentified white Fiat Uno and several unidentified motorcycles, vehicles that were certainly not paparazzi, because uncontested police evidence confirmed that the paparazzi were nowhere near the tunnel at the time of the crash. British lawyers insisted on 87 cuts before any UK release could be contemplated. So rather than butcher the film, or risk legal action, the film is showing it in France, then the US, and everywhere except the UK.
Movie Trailer featuring Piers Morgan

Mohammed Al Fayed sells Harrods store to Qatar Holdings
08 May 2010
Mohammed Al Fayed has sold London department store Harrods to the Qatari royal family's investment company for a reported £1.5bn ($2.3bn). Qatar Holdings is the investment arm of the emirate's sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority. Recognised for its celebrity-endorsed sales, food hall and signature green bags, Harrods is one of the world's largest and most famous department stores.

Mr. Al Fayed waged a 10-year campaign in an attempt to prove that Princess Diana and his son Dodi, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997, were murdered in a conspiracy. Despite living in Britain for decades, the multi-millionaire businessman has repeatedly been refused a UK passport.

Egyptian tycoon wants to be Scottish president
25 Oct 2009
Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of plush London emporium Harrods, told The Sunday Times newspaper he was ready to become the first president of an independent Scotland. The Egyptian tycoon, 80, who owns an estate in the Scottish Highlands, said he was urging his "fellow Scots" to detach themselves from "the English and their terrible politicians". Fayed, who has been repeatedly refused a British passport, said he hoped to be offered Scottish citizenship if a planned referendum on Scottish independence leads to Scotland leaving the United Kingdom -- and then becoming a republic. "You Scots have been living in a coma for too long," he told the broadsheet. "Whatever help is needed for Scotland to regain its independence, I will provide it. When you Scots regain your freedom I'm ready to be your president."

Princess Diana unlawfully killed
07 Apr 2008
Princess Diana was unlawfully killed due to the "gross negligence" of driver Henri Paul and the paparazzi, an inquest jury has found. The jury reached the same verdict for her companion Dodi Al Fayed. In a statement read on Al Fayed's behalf [Dodi's father Mohamed Al-Fayed] he said the verdicts would come as a blow to "millions" of his supporters around the world.

Diana murdered, Al Fayed claims
18 Feb 2008
Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed were murdered, Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed has told the inquest into their deaths in a car crash in Paris in 1997. Harrods owner Mr. Al Fayed claimed former prime minister Tony Blair, MI5, MI6 and the British ambassador to France were all part of the conspiracy. And he said Princess Diana "knew Prince Philip and Prince Charles were trying to get rid of her". He also said Diana had told him she was pregnant, and the couple was engaged. And he said Prince Charles was complicit, hoping to make way so he could marry his "crocodile wife" Camilla Parker Bowles. In his evidence, Mr. Al Fayed branded Prince Philip a "Nazi" and a "racist" and said: "It's time to send him back to Germany from where he comes."

Diana had 'no signs' of pregnancy
26 Nov 2007
There was no physical evidence that Diana, Princess of Wales was pregnant, according to the British pathologist who examined her body. But he said they would not necessarily be visible very soon after conception. Dr Chapman confirmed that fluids used in embalming could lead to some changes in a body, such as causing blood clots to form, but he said the chemicals would not obscure the physical evidence of a pregnancy if one existed.

'No evidence' of Diana pregnancy
03 Oct 2007
Intimate details of Princess Diana's life will be heard at the inquest into her death, but whether she was pregnant may never be known, the coroner said. Lord Justice Scott Baker said it was likely "pregnancy is a matter that cannot be proved one way or the other in scientific terms in this case". The inquest also heard how members of MI6 were in Paris during the summer Diana and Dodi Al Fayed both died.

Diana Death Anniversary Marked
31 Aug 2007
Among the absentees at the service was Mohammed al-Fayed, the father of Diana's Egyptian boyfriend. Al-Fayed, owner of the luxury London store Harrods, accuses Britain's royal family of ordering the couple's murder to prevent them from marrying. Diana died in the early hours of August 31, 1997, alongside Dodi al-Fayed, following a crash in a tunnel. Despite comprehensive police inquiries ruling out foul play, some Britons share al-Fayed's suspicions that the deaths were not an accident. An official inquest into the deaths will begin on October 2, propelling Diana into the headlines once again.

Diana Inquest: Royals on the Stand?
04 Mar 2007
Mohamed al Fayed, whose son Dodi died alongside Diana in a Paris car crash 10 years ago, wants to call Diana's ex-husband Prince Charles and her ex-father-in-law the Duke of Edinburgh as witnesses. The multimillionaire owner of the luxury Harrods department store, who is convinced the couple was murdered, won a major legal challenge last week when London's High Court ruled that the inquest should be heard before a jury.

Diana's Death a 'Tragic Accident'
14 Dec 2006
An official UK police inquiry into the Paris car crash which killed Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed has found no evidence the couple were murdered. The evidence suggests Princess Diana was not engaged or about to get engaged and scientific tests showed she was not pregnant, he said.

Date set for princess's inquest
18 Dec 2003
The inquests into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed will be opened on 6 January 2004, it has been announced. Princess Diana, 36, and Mr Al Fayed, 42, died in a Paris car crash in 1997. There will be two separate inquests. Princess Diana's inquest will be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, while Mr Al Fayed's will open in Reigate, Surrey. Dodi's father, Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, welcomed the news, but said he would continue to call for a full public inquiry into the crash.

Earl rules out Diana conspiracies
22 Oct 2003
Earl Spencer has dismissed conspiracy theories about the death of his sister Diana, Princess of Wales, describing an apparent prediction of her own death in a letter as a "bizarre coincidence". "Diana felt quite beleaguered by what we call the establishment in Britain and looked at ways they might get at her.” He told NBC's Today show he understood from handwriting experts, that letters allegedly sent by Diana to former butler Paul Burrell saying she feared for her life, were genuine. In the alleged letter, sent about 10 months before the fatal Paris tunnel crash in August 1997, Diana writes about her fears of an accident being planned involving her car. The French inquiry in 1999 blamed chauffeur Henri Paul, who also died, concluding he had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs and had been driving too fast.

Al-Fayed challenges Duke to sue
22 Nov 1999
Mohamed al-Fayed has issued a challenge to the Duke of Edinburgh. Mr al-Fayed called on Prince Philip to sue him over his allegations that the Duke had "masterminded" a conspiracy to kill the Princess of Wales and his son Dodi.