A source close to the security operation for the 2013 Bilderberg Group conference has told Infowars that numerous members of the secretive organization are aggrieved at the way it is being operated with scant regard for transparency and are lobbying for Bilderberg steering committee members to allow them to address protesters this week.
The Bilderberg Group is an annual confab of around 140 of the world’s power brokers from the spheres of banking, business, government, and academia. This year it meets in Watford, England from June 6-9. The group notoriously loathes attention of any kind – which makes this development all the more groundbreaking.
The source made it clear to us that a number of Bilderberg members, presumably the newer and younger attendees, are unhappy at the way the group has conducted its activities with total contempt for the democratic process, which has resulted in an increasing number of protesters being drawn to the event each year.
Campaigners set to congregate within the grounds of the Grove, the 5 star luxury hotel at which Bilderberg will scheme, are preparing a speaking platform at which they will invite Bilderberg members to address demonstrators and the press.
If a member or a representative from Bilderberg does speak publicly about the organization, it would be an unprecedented move. However, anyone expecting the group to admit that it is a shadow government manipulating world affairs behind closed doors is probably going to be disappointed.
While the source did not mention the names of specific individuals who expressed this view, it’s reasonable to speculate that it is coming from the so-called ‘Libertarian camp’ within the group, headed up by Paypal founder and hedge fund manager Peter Thiel, who is again in attendance this year.
Another interesting detail to emerge from the source who spoke with Infowars is the fact that preparations for the Bilderberg conference in Watford have been ongoing for a staggering 18 months. This again underscores the reality that Bilderberg is a major hub of power and influence and not merely a casual talking shop or golfing holiday for the elite, which is how much of the mainstream media still spins it.
The 2013 Bilderberg Group meeting has already received a deluge of media coverage before it has even officially begun, a sign that public pressure is forcing the clandestine cabal to lift its veil of secrecy and become more open.
However, such a process inevitably means that Bilderberg members will merely shift into newly emerging power networks and Bilderberg’s influence will begin to wane – although this will go down as a major victory for those who have spent years attempting to deflate the group’s bubble of secrecy.
Editor’s note from Alex Jones: I can confirm the above information that we received from a high level government contact inside Bilderberg is true. In the last two months alone, I have spoken with two different contacts in the US Senate that relayed the fact that there was a huge internal debate going on within Bilderberg concerning the issue of transparency. Bottom line – the Bilderberg group knows that their cover has been completely blown and is now debating whether they should have partial disclosure of the group’s agenda to diffuse growing scrutiny. I talked to another source at the highest levels of the media-entertainment complex and was told that billionaire Bilderberg attendee Peter Thiel is pushing for Bilderberg transparency. We are seeing a seismic shift in the transatlantic western power axis and a revolution inside Bilderberg. Paul Watson’s recent exposé of the merger between Google and Bilderberg is key in understanding how important this information really is. Watch this space for another report soon on illegal lobbying and Bilderberg.
* Irish Fin Min toasts bumper year for U.S. investment
* Dublin faces growing European hostility to low tax
* Crisis brings down costs, but talent is limited
By Lorraine Turner
DUBLIN, Nov 22 (Reuters) – U.S. business chiefs gathered in the Irish capital on Thursday to give thanks for low taxes, a cool climate and the financial crisis – three factors that have helped produce a bumper year in their favourite corner of Europe.
But there was a hint of foreboding at the American Chamber of Commerce’s annual Thanksgiving lunch in Dublin that Ireland’s promise to maintain its low corporate tax rate, its crisis wage cuts and its perfect weather for high-tech data farms may not be enough to keep the relationship sweet.
A limited pool of skilled workers, the loss of lucrative pharmaceutical patents and the threat of a fresh European attack on its low company taxes mean Ireland will need to fight to keep the investment flowing.
For its part, the government is thankful that multinationals, many of them based in the United States, are still backing Ireland as it struggles to recover from economic crisis and an international bailout in 2010.
“I’d like to give thanks for the U.S. investment and the enormous job creation,” Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the executives gathered for a traditional Thanksgiving feast of turkey and pumpkin pie, saying he expected another record year for investment this year.
“It’s important that what is being offered in Ireland is as attractive as it ever was,” he said, promising to maintain a package of incentives for companies and executives to face down growing competition from Britain, Israel and Singapore.
U.S. firms invested $30 billion into Ireland last year, more than in China and the rest of emerging Asia combined, according to the American Chamber of Commerce.
Ireland has long cultivated its ties with the huge Irish-American community, and the country is sometimes tongue-in-cheek called the 51st state of the union.
But sentimentality does not attract U.S. business projects. Thanks to the 12.5 percent company tax rate and transfer pricing – in which multinationals route profits from high tax to low tax countries – foreign firms can repatriate most of the money they pour into Ireland, bolstering their profits.
Ireland, lying on the western edge of Europe and relatively isolated from many of its major markets, jealously guards the competitive advantage brought by the low tax regime.
But European hostility over this has re-emerged, with German opposition leader Peer Steinbrueck, who hopes to oust Chancellor Angela Merkel in elections next year, criticising it last month.
A storm over how multinationals cap their tax bills, brewing since a Reuters investigation into the issue, is likely to put Ireland in the spotlight, an editorial in The Irish Times noted on Thursday. “For the government, such developments are a major concern,” the newspaper said.
At Thursday’s lunch, Noonan reiterated that the corporate tax rate was “not negotiable”.
Multinationals have benefited from Ireland’s economic crash as business costs have fallen back to 2003 levels, according to the IDA, the agency tasked with attracting foreign investment.
U.S. multinationals currently employ over 100,000 of Ireland’s 1.8 million strong workforce and a host of companies, including PayPal and Apple, are expanding.
Dublin commercial property prices, once on a par with Manhattan and Moscow, have more than halved. Capitalising on this, Google spent 100 million euros last year on the tallest commercial office building in Dublin. The U.S. technology giant plans to kit it out with a swimming pool in the basement for its 2,000 plus staff.
But high-tech companies are struggling to find enough talent in Ireland, where graduates preferred to become architects or real estate agents during the property-fuelled boom years rather than software engineers or scientists.
Multinationals are fighting over recruits from overseas who have brought plethora of foreign accents to the coffee shops and sandwich bars of Dublin’s trendy south docklands area, where Google and Facebook have large offices.
In September, a senior Facebook executive said the firm would continue investing in Ireland, where it already has over 400 staff, as long as it could find the right sort of employees.
Conscious of the problem, the government has introduced tax breaks for overseas workers who move to Ireland.
Peter O’Neill, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, said Ireland can not rest on its laurels if it wants to attract the right worker and the right companies to Ireland.
“The bar is getting higher all the time,” said O’Neill, who is chief of IBM Ireland. “Investment is mobile, people are mobile, you’ve got to have the right environment at all times.”
A strategy to lure drugs companies, started in the 1960s, has made Ireland the largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals in the world, according to Dublin-based industry group PharmaChemicalIreland. Products such as Viagra and Botox are manufactured in the country.
But this reliance on the life sciences sector, which employs over 47,000 people, has become a weakness as patents lapse on a host of drugs, allowing competitors to make cheap copies elsewhere. These include Pfizer’s Lipitor and Enbrel, although Enbrel will go off patent later than originally scheduled.
Officials in Ireland say the “patent cliff” will be offset by new patented drugs and products coming into production but there will be a time lag, according to experts.
“The new products coming on-patent in the short-term will not be able to offset the fall in exports of these blockbuster drugs coming off-patent,” said Chris Van Egeraat, lecturer at Maynooth University. “We are going to talk about billions in a reduction of exports”.
The impact is already being felt; Irish exports fell sharply in September from record highs the previous month.
“You’ve two risks for Irish exports: you’ve the specific risk related to the patent cliff, and you have the risk related to the global environment,” said KBC Ireland chief economist Austin Hughes, predicting a gentle slowdown. “But luckily a lot of the companies that are in Ireland are doing well.”
Irish officials can at least be thankful that the weather at least is here to stay.
Ireland’s temperate climate, often the bane of wind-swept tourists, is an asset for data centre operators. Natural air can be used to cool the rows of giant servers that act as the world’s online library without costly heavy air-conditioning.
Google recently opened a 75 million euro data centre, housing computers that run cloud computing services, where users store data on secure external servers rather than their own network or computer. Microsoft also unveiled a $130 million expansion to its Dublin-based “mega” data centre earlier this year.
Cheaper and better options exist in Europe, but Ireland is fast becoming a cloud hub for the region because the tech giants already installed in Ireland are opting to build out in a country which they know and like.
“Ireland will become an increasingly important attraction for the cloud market,” said Rakesh Kumar, an analyst with Gartner, which advises companies such as Microsoft and Cisco.
“These companies… have got facilities, they’re happy with them, they’ve got good skills and good languages… so when they have a choice to either expand and build out new sites in different regions, it makes a lot of sense to stick to what they have,” he said.
Successful people, not just “lazy stoners”, want pot laws to change. That’s the message of new website Marijuana Majority, which displays over 600 influencers including Peter Thiel, Sean Parker, Paul Bucheit, and Dustin Moskovitz who’ve supported marijuana law reform through donations or quotes. Now it wants Twitter’ers to persuade pot-favoring politicians, celebs, and technologists to stand up.
Marijuana Majority’s goal is to debunk the myth that drug law reform is a fringe issue backed only by addicts and the counterculture. In fact, it’s a mainstream movement with advocates amongst the highest levels of government, business, and entertainment. A Gallup poll from last year said 50% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, up from 46% the year before.
That means there’s nothing stopping politicians from pivoting after the decades-long drug war has failed. The project’s founder and chairman Tom Angell tells me “anyone that understands that the laws are broken and should be fixed shouldn’t be afraid to say so.”
So Marijuana Majority’s site is designed to make it clear who supports pot law reform so others feel comfortable coming forward. Any of the influencers it lists can be clicked to reveal how they’ve supported the movement. It shows political initiatives they’ve funded, things they’ve said, and icons that denote if they advocate for legalization, decriminalization, medicinal marijuana, or ending the drug war.
When I asked why it was important to get tech leaders on board, Angell told me “They’re influential, particularly to younger, web-connected people. A lot of them aren’t shy about getting involved in policy debates and supporting organizations and initiatives that they agree with.”
Here’s a list of tech leaders on Marijuana Majority and their specific contributions to the cause:
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group – Said California could bring in over $1 billion in revenue that could aid communities by taxing and regulating marijuana.
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, creator of Founders Fund – Donated $70,000 to the Yes on Proposition 19 Campaign, the 2010 California Initiative to Legalize Marijuana.
Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and Airtime, first president of Facebook – Donated $100,000 to the Yes on Proposition 19 Campaign.
Cory Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing – Said he doesn’t take mood-altering substances, but believes “everything that we call ‘drugs’…should be legalized and brought into the light of day”.
Dustin Moskovitz – co-founder of Facebook and Asana – Said a California initiative to legalize marijuana could stabilize national security, aid the economy, and reduce prison overcrowding from jailing non-violent offenders.
Paul Bucheit – Creator of Gmail and FriendFeed – Said marijuana prohibition is an attack on our right to control our bodies and minds, as well as a multi-billion subsidy to organized crime.
Along with the faces of influencers who’ve publicly advocated for marijuana law reform publicly, the site lists figures like Mark Cuban, Bill Nye, Rainn Wilson, and Kanye West who’ve alluded to their support. Angell tells me “Rihanna often tweets about how she loves marijuana but hasn’t said anything publicly about the policy.”
So the site asks visitors to “get out the quote” by tweeting pre-written messages like “Hey @rihanna should US #LegalizeMarijuana & stop locking up so many people? http://marijuanamajority.com/?id=724 via @JoinTheMajority”. Supporters can also donate to the project or share memes seen here from The Marijuana Majority Facebook Page.
Next, the team may look to share its social tools with other movements like the push for marriage equality. That means whatever the issue, Marijuana Majority could fight the stigma attached to voicing controversial opinions. As it says at the bottom of each page, “Bad laws change when good people speak up.”