Mastercard, Jihad, and Fentanyl

Corrected on 2018-08-26: 70,000 is the number of total deaths from drug overdose. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids account for 40% of them.

There were more than 70,000 deaths from drug overdose in the U.S. in 2017. About 30,000 of them involved fentanyl or similar synthetic opioids many times stronger than heroin. Most illegally purchased synthetic opiods are manufactured in China. Online shops in China used to receive payments from Americans through Mastercard and Visa to ship these deadly drugs by mail. The number of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids skyrocketed 10x since 2013: 

2013:  3,000 deaths (baseline)
2014:  5,000 deaths
2015: 10,000 deaths
2016: 20,000 deaths
2017: 30,000 deaths

The numbers are rounded. This epidemic started soon after the re-election of Obama. The spike in synthetic opioids deaths might have been missed initially but was obvious in late 2015. Why has it received so little attention from late 2015 until now? The following context might be relevant or not. In early 2015, the FCC enacted the Obamanet neutrality. which greatly empowered huge Democrat-supporting Silicon Valley corporations. In May 2016, the freshly minted Masters of the Universe (Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft, in this case) entered into the agreement with the European Commission to bring Americans into compliance with the EU “code of conduct,” where the conduct means speech. In July 2016, the DOJ shifted resources from law enforcement to aiding the re-election of Democrats and resisting president Trump after the election. But this is off-topic.

About ten days ago,  Mastercard ordered well-known funding platform Patreon to immediately boot scholar and Islam critic Robert Spencer and his site JihadWatch. Patreon complied and terminated the JihadWatch account. More details are available in Breitbart. The explanations by Patreon and Mastercard contradict each other, and Mastercard’s explanation is also implausible. Both lies. Nevertheless, Mastercard did not deny that it had initiated the actions.

This is a major escalation in the assault of the Obama-empowered plutocratic sector (it’s not a business sector anymore) wages on the Constitution and our rights. “Social media” led the charge, but many libertarians were misled to consider those actions to be within its rights. Unlike “social media,” banks and major credit card processors are obviously state actors that must observe all Constitutional limits on government power. For example, banks and credit card processors receive special protection from the FBI, have unique access to security services, and much more. They operate under a totally different set of laws than other economic sectors and are not allowed to mix with them in combined ownership. All large banks and credit cards also operate internationally and must NOT aid foreign persons in interfering in US elections.

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Congress passed laws that gave the government effective control of the banking industry, but preserved private ownership and profiting. The Obama administration used these broad powers to reward friends and punish enemies. So, there is no surprise that the financial industry is now controlled by Obama legacies and holdovers, and acts accordingly.

Mastercard’s misconduct against Robert Spencer is special.  Mastercard has not just illegally banned Robert Spencer from its services, it has coerced Patreon, a third party, to stop doing business with Robert Spencer under the threat it would deny it service. It is called a secondary boycott.  Even unions are forbidden to engage in secondary boycotts. I will be very surprised if Mastercard’s action breaks less than a dozen laws.

Almost every retail business must accept Mastercard or die. If Mastercard gets a pass on this one it will feel encouraged to coerce any business to refuse services to any of us. Supermarkets and pharmacies depend on Mastercard as much as other businesses. There is no Communazi ideology preventing its adherents from declaring, for example, that opposition to a single payer health care is hate speech that might cause the loss of lives. In a suitable atmosphere, Mastercard might demand Walgreens to stop selling medicines to an anti single payer activist, even if he uses another type of payment. Sounds implausible? Just ten years ago it was implausible to think that a credit card company could decide if scholarly studying and criticizing religion is illegal. The idea that a credit card company could enforce secondary boycotts sounded laughable. And nobody could think that the mainstream media would encourage such behavior. Nevertheless, this happens now.

How has Mastercard arrived to the decision to expel Robert Spencer from Patreon? SPLC might have played some role, but likely a minor one. Mastercard is a huge company, and, being a payment processor, has enormous experience in recognizing and defeating fraud. It has dealt with frauds thousands of times more sophisticated than SPLC.

Mastercard operates “in 210 countries and territories” and calls itself a global technology company.  Apparently, it also considers itself to be one of the Masters of the Universe — being above U.S. laws.  Much of its revenue comes from countries that outlaw the criticism of Islam. So it decided to apply the laws of those countries in the U.S. In its reply to Breitbart, Mastercard openly acknowledged this by saying: “As part of our normal process, we share information about websites that may have illegal content …” It didn’t even allege “hate” or any other thought crime.

Mastercard processes payments to itsgoingdown.com (pdf) and other supporters of Antifa and domestic terrorist groups. Patreon hosts Red Guards Austin, an armed violent revolutionary group dedicated to overthrow of the government. In addition, this group focuses on recruiting mentally disturbed individuals and drug addicts. Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal do process donations to Red Guards Austin. I was able to make a monthly “pledge” of $6.66 to it on Patreon (see Annex B).

Mastercard has been processing payments for fentanyl and other synthetic opioids from American customers to illegal pharmacies in China. It didn’t reply to my email asking whether it had stopped that and other questions. A Senate subcommittee staff report suggests that credit cards are preferred by drug dealers in China:

“Website D offered the Subcommittee numerous payment options including credit card, Visa/MasterCard gift card, bank transfer, and bitcoin. The website’s shipping time even varied depending on the payment method: ‘Discreet shipping within 30 minutes are [sic] only available for VISA/MASTERCARD Gift Cards payments…'”

This type of selective blindness to illegal activities and attempts to enforce foreign laws in the U.S. demands a prosecution of Mastercard for illegal drug trafficking and related crimes.

Mastercard looks somewhat like Enron in its peak – a combination of inflated stock price, financial leverage, and environmentalist activism. Its market valuation is $217B at the time of writing, 47 times its annual earnings. Even more damning is the fact that it processes $5.2 trillion annually while holding only $6B in assets. That means it will be wiped out even if it has to reimburse counter-parties for only 0.04% of the transactions it handled in the last three years. I might guess why SEC and financial authorities did not look at this house of cards for the last eight years. Mastercard is a big supporter of climate alarmism. Its recent press release is one example:

Mastercard is First Payments Player to Receive Approval for Science-Based Emissions Target. Commits to 20 Percent Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2025. 

Purchase, N.Y. – July 19, 2018 – Mastercard announced today that its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), making it the first payments industry company to achieve this recognition.

The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to help companies determine a path to reduce their emissions in line with Paris Climate Agreement goals. To date only around 110 companies worldwide have had science-based targets approved by the initiative.

This is an additional fraud on shareholders and consumers.

Disclosure: I hold short positions in (bet against) Mastercard stock.

Appendix A. Quotes from the Red Guards Austin website (emphasis is in the original):

“Instead of disorganized unarmed “affinity groups” which rely on nothing but a vague cultural identity for their points of unity, we encourage the formation of paramilitary organizations on two levels. The first being those who are mainly unarmed but are prepared and trained to carry out fist fighting or using blunt weapons like axe handles or flagpoles as well as shields and basic armoring. The second level is the more advanced embryo of a Red Army, which is trained militarily and operates as soldiers all the time, engaging in production and mass work among the proletariat and the oppressed nation’s people. We support the formation of street committees and rapid response networks of masses who have secure means of communication and clear leadership.”

“On the basis of our principled united front work, fascists and their collaborators can be drowned out, run out, routed, beaten bloody, and even annihilated. These are our principles and we aim to hold them to the very finish.”

Appendix B. A copy of the receipt from Patreon.

Patreon bingo@patreon.com

2:23 PM (2 hours ago)

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