After the U.S. government shutdown you’d expect Republicans and Democrats to remain at each others’ throats, so different was their vision for the country, or so it appeared.
In reality, however, only a bit of the political theater was reserved for “Tea Party” Republicans to invest in their political future by denouncing Obamacare, which they know will enrage millions of people forced to buy shoddy corporate health care; many of these future victims of Obamacare will become diehard Teapartiers.
But the real intent behind the government shutdown was lost on the mute American media. The Republicans were once again allowed to use the threat of government default to steer the Obama administration to the right — the right-leaning tail wagging the dog of government in the direction of a “Grand Bargain” to cut “entitlement” programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and other public services.
But like real dogs, government body and tail cannot be separated: the Democrats are allowing themselves to be “wagged” because they fully agree with the Republican’s neoliberal agenda.
The essence of neoliberalism can be reduced to the following: government should be used exclusively to help big business and the wealthy with tax cuts, subsidies, privatizations, anti-labor laws, etc., while all government programs that help working and poor people should be eliminated. It’s really that simple.
In practice, Obama’s neoliberalism is blatant: after bailing out the banks he continues to approve of the printing of thousands of billions of Federal Reserve dollars to give to the wealthy and big banks who are racking in record profits, while the jobs crisis is ignored and public services slashed on a state by state level without hope of a government bailout.
Since Obama has been in office, a shocking 95 percent of income gains went to the richest 1%. This is not the blind hand of the free market, but government policy, which can be adjusted to reflect the priorities of working people.
Obama dodges responsibility for his neoliberal policies by giving empty speeches about “hope” and whining about the very wealth inequality that he creates via policy. He gives speeches to labor unions about how it’s “unfair” that the rich just happen to be getting richer, while working people continue to suffer. Working people learned long ago to ignore Obama’s “progressive” blather, while the leaders of national unions drink in his words as if gulping from the Holy Grail.
The first steps of the coming Grand Bargain have already been taken: the “sequester” — massive cuts to national social programs including Medicare — have been extended as a result of government shutdown “negotiations.” And now the media is casually reporting that a Grand Bargain that further “reduces entitlements” is inevitable, but it will be only a “small” bargain, so no need to worry.
The New York Times reports:
“Republicans on Capitol Hill are determined to mitigate those [military sequester] cuts by spreading them among various social programs, like education and Social Security…”
Obama has said several times that he’s more than prepared to use Social Security as a bargaining chip in his Grand Bargain.
At a time when more services are needed, they will be cut instead. Aside from the suffering it will cause millions of people, a “small” Grand Bargain will also create a precedent for even more “bargains” in the future, since the first step in creating negative social change is often the hardest, but once the foot is in the door the process accelerates.
Neoliberalism has already advanced on a state-by-state basis in the U.S., with Democrat and Republican governors in bi-partisan agreement that has drastically cut education and other social services, attacked the wages and benefits of state workers, while lowering the state taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
Large scale neoliberalism on a national level — like the coming Grand Bargain — is sometimes referred to as a “structural reform,” meaning that a major component of a nation’s economic policy is shifted, or eliminated.
For example, Social Security and Medicare are two bedrock social programs that constitute a major piece of U.S. budget spending, affecting hundreds of millions of people.
The attacks on Social Security, Medicare, and public education are neoliberal-style ”structural reforms,” essentially a corporate attempt to change the underlying social compact of U.S. society that was created under Franklin D. Roosevelt and expanded under Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs.
How was the U.S. social compact formed? Like all social policy, it was a reflection of power, specifically the balance of forces between the corporate and working classes in the U.S. In the 1930s and 1940s, massive strike waves led to an ever-larger unionized workforce that repeatedly flexed its muscles by demanding living wages, health care, and other social programs.
These demands were backed up by waging mass demonstrations and industry-wide actions along with sympathy strikes. After WWII a third of the U.S. workforce was organized in labor unions, which shifted the entire labor market in favor of all working people, while also shifting the ground on which national social policy was created. A semblance of democracy was not possible without recognizing the demands of the powerfully organized working class.
When arch-conservative Richard Nixon famously declared “we’re all Keynesians now,” he was merely recognizing the balance of power that existed in the U.S. political system, and the unwillingness of the elites to challenge this social pact for fear of the destabilizing effects that would result.
This Keynesian consensus was essentially a truce declared in the U.S. class war, where the power of both sides — capital and labor — were balanced, both independently strong enough to repel attacks from the other. In response, Nixon’s economic policies make Obama seem like a right-wing neoliberal fanatic.
But while Nixon agreed to the Keynesian consensus at home, he gave his blessing to the radical right-wing economist Milton Freidman to “reform” the economy of Chile under the bloody dictator, Pinochet, whom the U.S. brought to power over the corpse of the democratically elected President Salvador Allende, as well as the thousands of his supporters who were butchered. Chile was essentially a neoliberal experiment that, if successful, would be transferred to the United States.
Due to the Keynesian consensus, Milton Freidman’s radical pro-corporate doctrine was at the time viewed as right-wing fanaticism, which it is. Now, however, with labor’s faltering power, the corporations feel confident enough to flex their muscles unhindered. To enhance their new power they needed an accompanying ideology — Friedman’s neoliberalism, free market capitalism unleashed.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan’s “revolution” ushered in the neoliberal transformation of the U.S. after seeing the “success” of the Chilean economy. Chile successfully increased corporate profit rates by removing “barriers” to profits, such as trade unions, socialists, and any democratic voice that opposed the “restructuring” of the Chilean economy to reflect the interests of the rich, finally unshackled from the “constraints” of wealth accumulation. Reagan and Thatcher followed in lock-step, targeting unions for destruction, lowering tax rates for the rich, and preaching the virtue of neoliberal “trickle down” economics.
Implementing the neoliberal shock doctrine breaks the social contract and thus ends the truce of the class war. The first shots were fired by Reagan and the onslaught has continued under the two Bush’s as well as under Bill Clinton. The 2008 recession has pushed both parties to double down on neoliberalism as their solution to the ongoing economic crisis.
Naomi Klein’s book, “The Shock Doctrine,” tells in gruesome detail the brutality that has accompanied the “implementation” of neoliberal reforms across the globe over the last 30 years. And while the U.S. has slow played this process since 2008, U.S. politicians are slated to follow the example of the European Union elites by accelerating the cuts on a national level.
The labor and community groups that have tried to deal with the corporate attack by hiding from it still have time to unite their forces to fight for full funding for a national jobs program, expanded Social Security, Medicare for all, accessible, quality public education, and other public services, all to be paid for by taxing the rich and corporations.
When is a debt ceiling not a ceiling? When it has been removed. That is the solution that was enacted on Wednesday night to fund the government for the next 90 days. This will last from Oct. 17, 2013 until Feb. 7, 2014. This has some very dangerous implications for Americans. It means as of right now there is no debt ceiling and the federals can spend as much as they like. With all of the previous spending by DHS, and the impending economic crash that we face in the near future, it is terrifying to think what the federals might buy in the next 90 days that they can use against American citizens.
With this scenario in place the writing is on the wall and foreigners can read it well even if Americans cannot. The dumping of treasuries will likely increase substantially over the next few months as the collapse becomes evident to everyone but Americans. This is the end game and most people don’t even know they are in it.
With the debt ceiling removed even temporarily, the government has the ability to overspend and when the ceiling is reinstated in 90 days any new debt over the current limit will not be debatable. The limit will automatically have to be raised to that amount. That is why President Obama answered “no” when asked if there would be a renewed debt debate next year. He knows he can bypass it. When the time comes for the House to raise the debt limit they will either have to raise it to encompass the additional spending or not raise it and possibly trigger a default. Either way the Democrats can blame the Republicans for the additional debt increase or a default.
It could go something like this. The government decides how much extra money they will need until after the elections next year and borrow it now. The money is dispersed into the usual slush funds until needed to avoid any new debt debates before the election. The Republicans will lose the ability to stop uncontrolled government growth next year and the Democrats will deprive them of any debt debates before Nov. This will give the Democrats a big edge in the elections and could allow them to take some seats in the house. Not that changing from one party to the other will change anything, it will just determine how fast we collapse.
By this time next year I suspect the Petrodollar will be on life support if not completely dead and high inflation will be rearing its’ ugly head. The governments answer to this will be price controls which will lead to shortages. Then things go downhill fast from there. That’s if we actually make it to next fall without a serious incident in the U.S. before then.
These are truly perilous times for the U.S. and everyone should prepare as they deem appropriate. The west line has shifted and we are now on the trailing edge of history. If we are to survive as a nation and prosper again we must learn to operate with a smaller more efficient economy as others before us have done. This will entail a smaller more localized economy with more small producers and a stable medium of exchange. The only alternative is to become a failed third world nation with no future.
When you ask someone why they climbed the mountain some will say, because it’s there. I wanted to know if I could do it. It is the same drive that makes people want to win at sports.
Why do preppers prep? What is the point? If something so catastrophic happens that the world is drastically changed or destroyed, why would we want to survive to live anymore?
Dieing is easy. All you have to do is give up and quit. It’s living that is so hard. One of the hardest things a person can do is to wake up in the morning and get out of bed when they know the world is stacked against them. So why do it?
There are three types of people in the world. Those that can do, those that are afraid to do, and those that don’t know what they should do.
I’m the kind of person that will take the time to hammer out a bent piece of metal even if I don’t need it and could easily go buy another one. I like a challenge and I like the feeling of accomplishment when I succeed.
Last year I was working on one of my vehicles when it bent some of the pushrods almost into an S. I could have run down to the parts store and bought new ones but being the cheapskate that I am and loving a challenge, I decided to try to straighten them out. I managed to straighten out 3 but had to buy one new one that was too far gone. They were not expensive but I saw it as a challenge.
About 20 years ago we had a bad winter storm that left several inches of ice on the road. I had to drive 15 miles on these icy roads to get home. About 2 miles from home I rounded a turn and the truck began to slide. My small Chevy 4×4 slid sideways and the front end dropped into a deep ditch until the chassis was touching the ground. I could push up the opposite side of the ditchbank a few inches but could not get enough traction to back out.
A short time later a neighbor came by and a couple of guys tried to help push it out with no success. They said I would need to call a tow truck and offered me a ride. I declined and said I would keep trying. A few minutes after they left I finally stopped and analyzed my situation a little more. I knew I needed to get the front end up and get some traction, but how. I then went into the woods and found a few small logs and threw them behind the wheels. I pushed up the opposite bank a few inches allowing the logs to roll into the bottom of the ditch. When I rolled back the truck pulled itself out of the ditch with little effort.
The point of this story is that I decided I would get it out and would not stop until I had exhausted every possible idea. You don’t know what you are capable of unless you try.
I think preppers are willing to go to extremes and prepare not because they fear death or hardship but because they are willing to explore their absolute limits. They want to know if they are capable of overcoming the obstacle just because it’s there and they have more fear of walking away not knowing than of trying and failing. Some in business might call it the drive to succeed and others might call it the drive to win.
Everyone has their limits and some will prevail when others fail but in the end, the act of trying and not giving up is what’s important. That is what prepping is about to me. If I see a potential obstacle in my future I will try to prepare to overcome it then move on but if I fail and the worst happens I will have a clear conscience. That is what prepping is. Being prepared to face a challenge and giving yourself every chance to overcome it.
When people ridicule those that see potential danger and prepare to overcome it, it is like someone looking at Mt. Everest and saying, oh it’s just a little hill no different than all the others we have crossed, and then they proceed to walk up it with no supplies or equipment. Experience is a virtue that preppers relish and others simply scoff at, at their own peril. To a prepper, the future is a Mt. Everest with no visible top that they are prepared to climb.
Why do people prep for catastrophic situations? Because it’s there.
Source: Project Chesapeake
US and world political and economic leaders are faced with what they describe as a ‘systemic catastrophe’: the inability to pay global creditors, including domestic and foreign banks, investors and governments, who hold $16.7 trillion in US Treasury notes. There is a related crisis: the government cannot secure passage of a budget to finance its military and civilian agencies and activities, including large-scale payments to military contractors, the financing of business, agriculture and banking operations and social programs.
The raising of the debt-ceiling is central to the functioning of the financial ruling class as it extracts hundreds of billions of tax dollars in interest payments from the US Treasury. Raising the debt ceiling allows the State to keep borrowing and pay its billionaire creditors. In turn, as long as the US Treasury has liquidity, it remains a ‘safe haven’ for investors thus providing guaranteed profits. In addition, as long as the dollar remains the principle currency for global transactions, it allows the US Treasury to print money at will and to borrow at a lower cost – at the expense of its competitors and adversaries.
Financing the budget deficit requires borrowing, which involves the sale hundreds of billions of dollars worth of US government bonds through Wall Street – but at a cost to the taxpayer. The common denominator is that the entire edifice of finance capital and all of its support structures depend on debt financing by the State. By borrowing and then taxing its citizens the Treasury extracts wealth from the vast majority of Americans.
To understand the fight to raise the debt ceiling and to pass a deficit budget it is necessary to analyze the long-term, large-scale sources of State debt.
Imperial Wars, the Ascendancy of Finance Capital and the Debt Crisis
The ever-increasing debt and the constant raising of the debt ceiling is a result of long-term, large-scale military spending to build the US Empire. The imperial enterprise has generated a huge deficit: the cost/benefit ratio has been overwhelmingly negative. Contrary to militarist propaganda, the empire has not been ‘self-financing’: Wars and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have cost the US taxpayers trillions of dollars, not off-set by incoming imperial plunder or domestic economic expansion.
Parallel to the cost of wars and occupations, the rise of finance capital has largely resulted from the pillage of the US Treasury. Huge bailouts, low interest loans, large-scale interest payments on bonds, subsidies and tax exemptions have created a financial ruling class based on maintaining a debt-laden, interest-paying State, which meets its obligations to the creditors while it privatizes (and eliminates) social programs. The result is a ‘poor indebted State’ and a rich and prosperous Wall Street. Wall Street stands to gain trillions with the privatization of the multi-billion dollar health (Medicare) and retirement plans (Social Security): this will form an integral component of the “Grand Bargain” to raise the debt ceiling.
Who are the Beneficiaries of Raising the Debt Ceiling?
The principle and immediate beneficiaries of increasing the debt ceiling are the wealthy, bond-holders and the medium and long-term beneficiaries are the military-intelligence-empire-builders who can continue to secure over $700 billion in annual budget allocations. The principle strategic losers from raising the debt ceiling will be the hundreds of millions of beneficiaries of social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and their family members. As part of the ‘Grand Bargain’ struck by the Democratic President and Republican Congress between $1.3 trillion and $1.4 trillion in social cuts will take effect over the next ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The cuts in Social Security will occur by raising the age of eligibility for full benefits to 70 years, resulting in a loss of $120 billion, as many older retired workers would be expected to die before drawing a single payment while millions of Americans will be forced to delay retirement and work an extra five years.
Secondly, the earliest age of eligibility for partial benefits will increase from 62 to 64 years resulting in an additional loss of $144 billion dollars from workers.
Thirdly, the cost of living index would be reduced – a ten- year loss of $112 billion dollars.
Fourthly, the calculation for initial benefits would discard the wage-based method for a so-called “price-index”, resulting in American workers losing another $137 billion dollars over 10 years. In sum, workers’ social security benefits would be reduced by more than half a trillion dollars an enormous transfer of wealth to the billionaire creditors, investors and empire builders all in the name of ‘debt reduction’.
The cuts in MEDICARE and MEDICAID would result in an even more retrograde class polarization. The ‘Grand Bargain’ could lead to additional losses of over $419 billion dollars.
The biggest cost to the workers will come in the form of an increase in their monthly premium for physician services (MEDICARE Part B) from the current 25% to 35%, resulting in a loss of $241 billion dollars. The second biggest loss to workers will result from raising the age of eligibility for MEDICARE from 65 to 67 years costing workers an additional S125 billion dollars. The third loss for workers will be a $53 billion hit from restricting the use of MEDIGAP insurance – supplementary policies that cover MEDICARE cost sharing requirements.
Further cuts of $187 billion in MEDICAID– the medical plan for the poor and disabled– would result when the federal government shifts its direct funding to block grants to the states that would severely cut services for the poor – a plan first proposed during the Clinton Administration with regard to welfare funding.
Once these reactionary cuts in basic social programs are in place, the beneficiaries, who are able, will be forced to buy alternative supplementary private medical insurance and private retirement plans, while the poor will go without. The running down of public social services by Wall Street has been a deliberate, cynical strategy to cause popular discontent paving the way for the gradual privatization of services: adding costs, eliminating options and limiting medical treatment, surgery and procedures, especially for the elderly. The privatization of Social Security, MEDICARE and MEDICAID, will maximize insecurity while minimizing services and lead to untreated and under-treated illness, greater suffering and economic distress. Bi-partisan Congressional White House agreements via the “Great Bargain” to raise the debt ceiling will widen and deepen inequalities in the United States.
In sum, “the Grand Bargain” will cause American workers to lose over $1.119 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, leading to a sharp decline in life expectancy, access to health care, living standards and quality of life.
The Samson Solution
Given the harsh terms, which accompany the “Grand Bargain” to raise the debt ceiling, it would be better if no agreement were reached. The financial elite is counting on the ‘Grand Bargain’ to leverage their debt collection over the lives and welfare of hundreds of millions of Americans. It would be better to shake the pillars and pull down this Temple of Mammon (the ‘Samson Solution’) making them pay a price!
The ‘shock and awe’ induced by default would shake the very foundations of the financial pillage of the US Treasury and the taxpayers; default would seriously undermine the financial basis for imperial wars, spying, torture and death squads. The entire empire building project would crumble.
True, in the short-run, the workers and middle class would also suffer from a default. But the discredit of the ruling political parties, the political elite and Wall Street, could lead to a new political alignment, which would fund social programs by, in David Stockman’s phrase, “soaking the rich” raising corporate taxes by 50%, imposing a financial transaction tax of 5%, uncapping the social security tax and collecting taxes on overseas US multi-nationals’ profits. Additional billions would be saved by ending imperial wars, closing bases and canceling military contracts. Tax reform, imperial dismantlement and increased domestic investment in productive activity would generate domestic growth leading to a budget surplus, extending MEDICARE to all Americans, reducing the age of retirement to 62 and providing a living wage for all workers!
Source: James Petras
These are two questions to ponder when considering the strange happenings in the armed forces since Barack Obama took office.
Let’s start with a hypothetical. Let’s say you were a hard-left-wing commander in chief who wanted the military firmly in your corner. You’d certainly note that our armed forces have been a bastion of conservatism and Christian faith, and you’d know that its members generally weren’t very fond of you. So how would you go about changing this?
Some years ago I met a very young, all-American looking white fellow who had just exited the military. His reason was that he hadn’t been advanced the way he believed he should have been, and he wasn’t going to remain in the armed forces if it provided no future. Now, one interpretation here is that he was a millennial with an inflated opinion of himself (he didn’t strike me that way, though). Yet there is another interpretation.
The Obama administration has given affirmative action in the military a dose of steroids, promoting minorities and women — and, I believe, homosexuals and lesbians — at the expense of white men. By the way, is this yet another reason why Obama wanted homosexuals to be able to serve openly? After all, you can’t target them for special treatment if you don’t know who they are.
But the point is this: if I were that hypothetical hard-left-wing leader, I’d know that one way to change the military’s political climate is the same way you do it in the nation at large.
White men generally vote Republican, white military men even more so, and white military men who are practicing Christians, well, that’s a recipe for a left-behind left. Minorities, women, atheists and the LGBT* crowd, however, are reliable liberal constituencies. So what would I do if I were that hard leftist?
I’d create a military climate friendly toward groups that are my constituencies and hostile toward those that aren’t.
And I’d do more than subordinate white men to other groups in the promotion process. I’d clamp down on Christian expression — which had often been robust in the military — and punish servicemen who transgressed against my separation-of-church-and-everything policy. I’d let the world know that as far as homosexuality goes, the armed services are open for monkey business. I’d also force military personnel to be politically correct not just about sexuality, but also Islam, so that they were confronted with the choice of saying things they don’t believe or career damage. After all, good people might rather leave the service than live a lie. And I’d issue instructional materials characterizing traditionalists as a threat, so that the low-information servicemen may believe it and the more savvy would feel further alienated.
The goal here is to create a situation in which traditionalists will be encouraged to leave the military or not enlist in the first place. Of course, this method can’t bleed out all the red-blooded, but it can shift the balance. It can ensure a few things:
- The number of leftist fellow travelers in the armed forces will be as great as possible.
- As many of the rest as possible will be apolitical, mind-numbed types who wouldn’t question unconstitutional orders.
- The remaining traditionalists would be outnumbered by the first two groups and in a don’t ask-don’t tell predicament. And having been denied promotions, they’d have little institutional power.
At the same time that I was transforming the body, I’d also have to gain control of the head. To this end I would look to replace as many generals as possible with those I believed would do my bidding. For once I owned the military head, body and soul, I could really dream that impossible dream.
Anyway, that’s what I would do were I that hypothetical hard-left-wing leader.
Incidentally, they’re all things Barack Obama has already done.
As for the generals, note that the two-star general who oversaw our arsenal of intercontinental missiles, Major General Michael Carey, was just fired, becoming “the latest in a string of recent high-profile firings of top U.S. generals,” as Reuters puts it. Talk-show-host Michael Savage discussed this on his Friday program and was very suspicious about the Air Force’s reluctance to provide a reason for canning the man who oversaw our nuclear weapons — the service only said that the general was terminated for undisclosed “personal misbehavior.” As for me, I’ll just repeat my opening questions:
What kind of leader wants a military more loyal to himself than to the rule of law?
Whatever your conclusions, there is of course a mundane explanation for all of this. Leftists truly believe in their insane diversity dogma and quite reflexively try to socially re-engineer whatever they can sink their claws into, be they universities, neighborhoods, businesses or even the entities charged with protecting their compassionate selves. And in this age of increasing corruption and decadence, it wouldn’t be surprising to find generals transgressing against military code. Yet given that Barack Obama is a shadowy figure with a penchant for hiding his past (college records, etc.); that he has had avowed communists in his administration (Van Jones, Anita Dunn); that he seemed to belong to Chicago’s socialist New Party in the 1990s; and that, according to former Occidental College acquaintance and ex-Marxist John Drew, Obama was a flat-out “Marxist Leninist” who believed in old-style communist revolution, well, one’s imagination can conjure up some interesting scenarios.
The only question is, is it at all possible that Obama’s imagination conjures up the same ones?
In 1899 the great libertarian scholar William Graham Scholar of Yale University delivered a speech in which he warned that the Spanish-American War was a crossing-the-Rubicon event in the nation’s history that had finally transformed the nation from a constitutional republic to an empire. Empire was what the Pilgrims escaped from, and the American Revolution was fought against, for in an empire the average citizen is viewed by his rulers as nothing more than a tax slave and cannon fodder. Americans would soon become, he warned, exactly what their country was founded to oppose.
The speech was entitled “The Conquest of the United States by Spain” to denote the fact that the Spanish-American war, an imperialistic war of conquest, was no different from the types of aggressive wars that the old empires of Europe had been waging for centuries. Having devoted his adult life to scholarly pursuits in the field of political economy (among others), William Graham Sumner was prescient in his predictions about what America would become once it embarked on the road to empire. Among his observations were the following:
The Spanish-American War, like future American wars of imperialism, was “justified” by a string of “sensational assertions” that are easily proven to be untrue. Spain never threatened any American “interests,” and would have been the last to have an incentive to sabotage the Battleship Maine, the calamity that stoked war fever and got the masses (“Boobus Americanus” in H.L. Mencken’s words) behind the short “war.” Scholars like Sumner may have easily seen through the government’s lies, but not the rationally-ignorant masses.
“Where is the statesmanship” in lying and manipulating the public into an aggressive war, Sumner asked rhetorically. This of course had become the new definition of “statesmanship” ever since Lincoln manipulated the Northern-state-public into acquiescing in his waging of total war on their fellow American citizens in the Southern states so that the “duties and imposts” could be collected there, as he promised in his first inaugural address. To this day, Republican Party propaganda mills like the Claremont Institute and Hillsdale College pretend to offer courses of study in “statesmanship” of the sort that was mocked and ridiculed by Sumner.
If “self-government” for people of the Spanish empire was the ostensible purpose of the war, why was the American public not involved in any way in instigating the war?, asked Sumner. There was not even an opinion poll taken, he pointed out. This point echoes the words of Randolph Bourne in his famous essay, “War is the Health of the State,” in which he pointed out that the public never has anything to do with the preparations for war. It is always a dozen or so connivers and schemers in the executive branch of government, hidden even from elected members of congresses and parliaments, who plot and plan forwars.
Was the war merely a public school civics class writ large? Sumner also mocked the idea promoted by the war party that Americans are merely interested in teaching Filipinos about democracy and self-government, and then we will leave. Sumner did not believe that “we” would ever leave the Philippines. We are still there today.
The struggle for world domination (imperialism) is destructive of democracy. Although American military interventionism was being sold to Boobus Americanus as a means of spreading democracy, Sumner pointed out that such tactics had led Spain into monarchy and bankruptcy, but such facts were simply ignored by the American war party.
Why do Americans believe they have a “civilizing mission,” Sumner asked. The answer to this rhetorical question lies in the deification of Abe Lincoln by the Republican Party, which in effect was the entire federal government, in the previous thirty-five years. Lincoln’s deification led to the deification of the presidency in general, and to the federal government as well. As Robert Penn Warren wrote in his outstanding book, The Legacy of the Civil War, the Republican Party in the post-war years claimed to possess a “treasury of virtue” that supposedly justified anything and everything the government did anywhere on earth by virtue of the fact that it was the American government that was doing it. This is what “justified” American entry into World War I, for instance, wrote Robert Penn Warren. It was given the obnoxious name “American exceptionalism.” Sumner noted the absurdity of employing Lincoln’s “all men are created equal” rhetoric from the Gettysburg Address to argue that it is somehow “liberating” for people of other countries to be governed by us.
William Graham Sumner warned that “a matter of mind” that views other peoples as “less human” than you would lead to “cruelty and tyranny” by the American government, as was the case with all other governments in history that ruled over empires. This of course was always the way of empires. Southerners were demonized to “justify” the mass murder of tens of thousands of civilian women, children, and old men, and the bombing and burning of entire cities like Atlanta and Richmond during the “Civil War.” The Plains Indians were dehumanized as “savages” while the brave men of the U.S. Army murdered tens of thousands of Indian women and children from 1865 to 1890. Now it was the Filipinos’ turn. At least 200,000 Filipinos were eventually murdered by the U.S. government for resisting becoming a part of the American empire. According to historian Joseph Stromberg, only about 15,000 of them were actual combatants.
“We must devise a government” for other peoples is another piece of war propaganda that Sumner found to be intolerably arrogant and hypocritical. This argument has been used over and over again by generations of American warmongering and imperialistic politicians. A recent example would be Obama’s September 25, 2012 speech before the United Nations in which he praised the dead CIA operative Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack on the American “embassy” in Benghazi, Libya, after being sent there as Obama’s “representative.” He was sent there, said Obama, to “craft a vision for a future” for Libya and Libyans.
The next time you witness a large American flag covering the entire football field before an NFL game; or the flyover of fighter jets before a sporting event; or people wearing American flag shirts and pants while watching the “President’s Cup” golf tournament (which this year featured a naked female streaker carrying a large American flag); or listen to drunks at a bar cheering and shouting “USA! USA!” while watching American bombs dropped on someone in a foreign country on the bar’s boob tube; or attend a church service decorated with flags and listen to a sermon that thanks “our heroes” for murdering people in foreign countries, think of this comment by William Graham Sumner: “The thirst for glory is an epidemic which robs people of their judgment, seduces their vanity, cheats them of their interests, and corrupts their consciences.”
The “essence of militarism,” Sumner observed, is to despise constitutions, to sneer at parliaments, and to look with contempt at civilians. All the neocon talking heads, from Limbaugh to Hannity and Levin and others, adopted the slogan, “9/11 changed everything” every time someone like Judge Andrew Napolitano would argue that the government was acting in contempt of the Constitution with its warrantless wiretaps, internet and cellphone spying, the PATRIOT Act, etc. All American presidents have simply ignored Congress, for the most part, in instigating wars; and of course all politicians at all times (with one or two exceptions) look with absolute contempt at the average citizen.
Sumner wrote of how the war party of his day was making the “the times have changed” argument for war. This was reminiscent of Lincoln’s similar argument that “we must think anew and act anew,” by which he also meant “to hell with the Constitution.”
Militarism destroys capitalist prosperity, Sumner also warned. He observed that all during the late nineteenth century most Europeans were busy working, investing, starting businesses, and improving their standards of living peacefully under a growing capitalist system with little attention being paid to militarism. Such behavior is absolute poison to the state, however, which considers it to be a mortal enemy. So when European war parties began to militarize, Sumner wrote of how government military spending was crowding out private sector growth so much that European capitalism was being “arrested, diverted, and crippled.” This is always the effect of the growth of militarism in particular and of government in general, and in Sumner’s time America was about to embark on the very same economically-destructive path as the Europeans had so foolishly done.
How will we know when we have become like the Old European empires?, Sumner asked. His answer was that America would become awash in “war, debt, taxation, diplomacy, a grand-government system, pomp, glory, a big army and navy, lavish expenditures, and political jobbery – in a word, imperialism.” This has been a textbook definition of American society for quite a long time now, and becoming more and more so by the day.
“The great foe of democracy is plutocracy,” Sumner declared, and militarism always fuels plutocracy. It does so trough “jobbery” (i.e., crony capitalism), diverting the public’s attention from their real economic problems, large government expenditures that benefit a few well-connected defense contracting corporations, and large government expenditures and debt that make the strong stronger and the weak weaker.” This of course is a precise definition of how the American warfare/welfare state, funded by the Fed, has so greatly enriched the “one percenters” at the expense of almost everyone else, as documented in great detail by David Stockman in his book, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, and by Hunter Lewis’s Crony Capitalism in America. This is also a major theme of my books, The Real Lincoln; Lincoln Unmasked; Hamilton’s Curse; and How Capitalism Saved America.
In light of all this, it is understandable why an acquaintance of mine who is a Yale graduate recently remarked that of all the paintings and photographs of famous Yale professors and alumni that adorn the Yale libraries and other buildings on campus, the image of William Graham Sumner cannot be found.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln, Lincoln Unmasked, How Capitalism Saved America,Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today. His latest book is Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.
Source: Thomas DiLorenzo | LewRockwell.com
Only a week ago, the consensus among most mainstream economic analysts and even some alternative analysts was that a government shutdown was not going to happen. The Republicans would fold in the shadow of President Barack Obama’s overwhelming drive for socialization, spending would continue to grow unabated, and the debt ceiling would be vaulted yet again to feed the bureaucratic machine with more fiat. Today, there is no consensus, very few people continue to be so blithely self-assured and even the mainstream is beginning to wonder if a much bigger game is afoot here.
As I discussed before the shutdown in a recent article, it is important to take all facets of this situation seriously, or risk being bitten by hidden dangers while entranced in one’s own arrogant cynicism.
One rule I try to follow whenever possible is to always be open to possibilities beyond the expected and never assume that today’s dynamic will be the same as tomorrow’s dynamic. Even the Liberty Movement can at times be susceptible to group think. In a world of staggering political and economic manipulation, one has to grasp hold of certain fundamental truths in order to survive. In my time working within the liberty movement and outside of the mainstream, these are a few of the cold, hard truths that have served me well.
It’s Always About Globalization
Every action the elites within our government take pushes the U.S. closer to globalism and away from sovereignty. We may not always see the bigger picture in the heat of the moment, but a look back tells us much. Seemingly simple changes in financial legislation render devastating fiscal shifts a decade later (as with the progressive erasure of Glass-Steagall). Shocking disaster events that appear random suddenly open doors for totalitarian legislation that had been prepared years in advance. Wars end with further calls for world “unification.” Nothing, and I mean nothing, happens within government that does not revolve around the desire of establishment oligarchy to achieve total global economic, political and social control.
The Bankers Did It
Central banks and international banks are the bedrock of globalization, and all greater political decisions eventually stand on this bedrock. One need only examine the cabinets of the past four U.S. Presidents; there you will find a regular carnival freak show of banking elites who would go on to revolve in and out of government and back into the international financial sector. Private central banks like the Federal Reserve dominate the very currency (and thus the economy) of most nations on the planet. Most wars and man-made disasters of the past several centuries have served only to further enrich and empower the merchant class, and the same holds true today. If you want to understand why a certain calamity has occurred, first look to who benefited most. Invariably, you will find the banker class smiling when all is said and done.
America’s Two-Party System Is Actually A One-Party System
If you do not yet understand that the elite of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party share the same foundational philosophy of globalism, then you will NEVER understand why our government does what it does. Public battles of words and legislation are nothing but rhetorical cinema. Ultimately, the goals of neocons and neolibs revolve around the centralization of power. All legislation is used either to further centralization or as a smokescreen to confuse the public while centralization is taking place. When has the leadership of either party, for instance, ever demanded a full audit of the Federal Reserve? When has the leadership of either party ever attempted to dismantle the Patriot Act or the despotic provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act or the President’s openly admitted assassination list? They may seem to disagree violently at times, but do not be fooled. The disagreement is likely just another means to gain more dominance.
The Goal Is To Destroy The American Economy
What you believe to be political blunders are often actually calculated and engineered events. What you believe to be chaotic disasters of coincidence are often actually deliberate acts of attrition warfare against the common people disguised as random catastrophe. Those you believe to be heroes are actually villains in friendly masks. Those you are told to be villains are actually good men and women who refused to be enslaved by the system. That which you see and hear is never exactly as it appears.
Nearly every concrete action our government and central bank have taken in the past several decades has led to the further erosion of the American economy. If this is all just the consequence of “stupidity” or “childish greed,” you would think our so-called leadership would have at least made a few good decisions by mistake; but they are incredibly adept at choosing all the wrong paths.
The reality is that collapses on the scale we are now witnessing in America rarely happen by accident.
The destruction of Glass-Steagall was a carefully crafted coup. The Federal Reserve deliberately and artificially lowered interest rates in order to allow banks to generate massive toxic debt through the derivatives markets. The Securities and Exchange Commission did little to nothing to stop the spread of cancerous mortgage instruments and ignored numerous calls for investigation. Ratings agencies like Moody’s and Fitch examined all of these toxic assets, knowing exactly what they were, and rated them AAA anyway. And banks like Goldman Sachs, knowing that the market was a sham, sold these bad assets around the world and then secretly bet AGAINST them later. Either this is economic warfare implemented with precision, or it’s all a string of coincidental blunders. I don’t believe in such coincidences.
America is being destroyed by design to make way for a new global system administered by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as a new global currency tied to the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights.
If you are able to accept this, the confusion surrounding events like the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate withers, and everything becomes clear. With that clarity in mind, we can now examine the possible outcomes of the shutdown theater.
Republicans Surrender At The Last Minute
Of course, since both parties are essentially one party, the idea of “brinksmanship” on the part of either is absurd. The GOP will surrender, or “stand fast,” because its serves the interests of the globalist establishment. There is no political battle here, only the empty chest-beating of a staged wrestling match.
Bets on a last-minute Republican reversal were in the majority for the past week of the shutdown, but that is slowly changing — and for good reason. Obama has stated that the Affordable Care Act is off the table in negotiations, while Republicans like Ted Cruz and John Boehner are now stating with surprising candor that debt default is on the table if Obama refuses to compromise.
Gee, it would seem we are at an impasse.
In the meantime, the GOP is also moving to wrap the debt ceiling debate into the shutdown fight, making a “diplomatic compromise” even less likely to make sense to the public. (Those who argued that the shutdown and the debt ceiling were two entirely separate issued should accept this reality and move on.)
If I were writing this bit of fiction, I would say I was writing myself into a corner and that a last-minute Republican white flag would be illogical to my audience. That said, not all stories are well-written stories, so a Republican rollover remains an option for the time being. The primary reason I can see for the establishment to instruct the GOP to retreat would be to set the stage for a new stimulus event, like a war, which still leaves the U.S. dollar on track to lose its world reserve status — just not as fast a track.
Default Occurs By Winter
This plot twist makes far more sense to me given the way our story has progressed so far. Why? Because it provides perfect cover for an economic collapse that was going to occur anyway, except in this version the banking elite avoid all blame.
Just look at all the angry rhetoric being thrown around in the mainstream media; red team versus blue team has returned as the pervasive American sitcom.
Conservatives blame liberals and Obama. Liberals blame conservatives and the Tea Party. We’re all too happy to blame each other. Certainly, both elements of our government share responsibility for any debt default or subsequent collapse. But who started this avalanche to begin with? What about the Federal Reserve? What about Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citigroup, etc.? What about the globalists?
Debt default is no small matter. Such a disaster would indeed fuel a flight from U.S. Treasuries by foreign investors and eventually lead to the complete abandonment of the greenback as the world reserve standard. Austerity measures would be implemented at break-neck speed. Cuts to entitlement programs, pensions, State funding, etc. will hit the American people like a freight train.
The way in which the MSM is already painting “Tea Party” conservative as saboteurs should a default occur is actually a very practical strategy. Not only do the elites get their economic collapse, but they manipulate the general public to believe that Constitutional conservatives, their mortal enemies, were the CAUSE of the pain, rather than the banks.
Order From Chaos
Should the establishment decide this is the moment to pull the plug on our financial structure, expect some rather insane-sounding solutions to be presented as rational alternatives. When Obama was asked by reporters if he considered the 14th Amendment as an option to end the debt ceiling debate, Obama did not rule out the idea.
This should raise some eyebrows. By the 14th Amendment I can only surmise that they mean Section 4, which states:
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Some people, including CNBC’s Jim Cramer, think that this gives the President the power to raise the debt ceiling regardless of what Congress decides.
And Obama doesn’t appear to be dismissing the notion either. However, Section 5 of the 14thAmendment says:
The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Nowhere in Section 5 does it say that the President has the power to enforce the provisions of the 14th Amendment, but this may not stop the White House from twisting the law to insinuate more expansive controls.
Beyond the 14th Amendment, there are numerous executive orders and continuity of government programs that the White House could cite as authority to implement national emergency standards. This would probably start as a kind of “soft” martial law, and then grow from there. Each action will be rationalized as necessary for the greater good of the country, but will serve only the interests of the establishment oligarchy.
On the Republican side, there is another disturbing development that may be presented as a solution in the face of crisis — namely, the idea of instituting a Constitutional convention.
A Constitutional convention is essentially a complete rewriting of the document (which they call “amending”) in the name of rebooting a government that has strayed too far from the wishes of the people. The concept is being promoted avidly by certain neocon talking heads and scholars, even on the FOX News circuit.
It sounds very noble on the surface, and neocons use very pretty language to candy coat the idea for legitimate Constitutionalists; but it is truly the most foolish action our country could take, opening the door to a complete erasure of Bill of Rights protections while offering no assurances that any meaningful provisions will be respected or afforded by the Federal government. The people are given the illusion of potential redress when in reality a Con-Con produces only more centralized theater for the masses. If the liberty movement is suckered into a Constitutional convention, we will have been lured into writing our own destruction.
Another scenario could involve the Federal Reserve moving to take what they often call “extraordinary measures”. The Fed, being a private bank, may use the shutdown as an opportunity to paint itself as an economic “hero” (as unbelievable as that may sound), by instituting stimulus measures to the Federal Government regardless of Congressional or presidential impasse. Given enough public desperation in the midst of default, the Fed may attempt to assert unprecedented financial authority in the name of “saving the country from it’s own government”. The bankers then establish their role as the wise saviors and high priests of the fiscal universe, and cement private dominance over American political decisions as “acceptable” in the minds of the citizenry.
The most dangerous solution that will inevitably be paraded for the public will be a petition for aid from the IMF. The IMF has a long history of loansharking to indebted nations and then subsuming them and their natural resources in the process. The ignorant illusion that the United States is the sole power behind the IMF will be exposed all too late when a defaulting American Treasury is told to collateralize infrastructure to pay off creditors, while the dollar is bled completely dry and absorbed by the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket currency.
Whether default occurs or is avoided, watch vigilantly over the next few weeks. Do not blink. Do not be conned, and do not let fear or bias blind you to the bigger picture. The shutdown could amount to nothing immediate, or it could amount to everything we have warned about for the past five years. I personally believe the month of October may be a major turning point in America’s history. Whether it be for good or ill depends on how mentally and physically prepared we are.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
They’re more powerful than standing armies. What they say goes. They decide policy. They rule the world. They do it by controlling money, credit and debt.
They manipulate markets for self-enrichment. Grand theft is official Wall Street policy. Government officials wink, nod, and permit the grandest of grand larceny to persist.
Financial giants recycle their executives in and out of Washington. They strip-mine economies for profit. They buy politicians like toothpaste. Whatever they want they get.
They do it at the expense of government of, by and for everyone equitably and just.
On October 2, 15 financial lords met with Obama. They did so at the White House. They gave him their marching orders.
They came to assert their demands. They’re uncompromising. They’re ruthless. They want business as usual continued. They want more than ever.
They want more bailouts. They want bail-ins. They want personal bank accounts, pensions and other assets looted.
They want more crushing neoliberal harshness. They want America thirdworldized. They want it looking like Greece.
Budget and debt ceiling debates conceal their ugly agenda. What’s ongoing is a longstanding orchestrated swindle. Bipartisan complicity supports it.
Social America is on the chopping block for elimination. Another grand bargain plans it. Expect it once current theatrics end.
The worst of what’s coming could begin in weeks. Harder than ever hard times will follow.
Obama expressed support for deeper Medicare and Social Security cuts. He’s on board for weakened social protections overall.
Partisan warfare is more subterfuge than real. Both parties fundamentally agree. They want New Deal/Great Society policies entirely ended.
Wall Street bosses demand it. They want to feed more aggressively at the public trough than already. They want money gotten used to make more of it.
They want it stolen from ordinary people to make doing so easier. Obama and congressional leaders are their hired hands.
They’re complicit. They’re on board to eliminate “unnecessary” social programs. He want them entirely eliminated. They’re dismantling them incrementally.
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and public pensions are prime targets. Planned death is by a thousand cuts. It’s the new normal. It’s by letting Wall Street profiteers control these programs.
So-called “creeping normalcy” is defined as a way to make major changes seem normal and ordinary.
Class war in America has been ongoing for decades. It’s worse now than ever. It benefits business and rich elites. It does so at the expense of most others.
Middle class America is targeted for elimination. Bipartisan complicity plans it. Obama capitulated to Republicans on preserving tax cuts and other benefits for rich elites.
He gave trillions of dollars to Wall Street crooks and other corporate favorites. Profiteers benefit hugely from ongoing imperial wars.
Main Street Depression conditions persist. Bipartisan complicity plans much worse ahead. Militarism, favoritism, waste, fraud and other rewards benefit Wall Street and other special interests.
They do so at the public’s expense. Let ‘em eat cakes defines official policy. Ordinary people are increasingly on their own sink or swim.
Wages no longer keep up with inflation. Benefits steadily erode. High-paying manufacturing and service jobs offshored to low wage countries. Automated production claimed more.
So-called free markets aren’t fair. They work best for those who control them. Growing numbers of others lose out entirely.
Technology driven productivity increasingly pressures workers to toil longer for less pay and fewer benefits.
Marx was right explaining capitalism’s contradictions. They reflect an anarchic, ungovernable system. Today’s monster is far worse than he imagined.
Powerful monopolies and oligopolies control production, commerce and finance. Wall Street and other corporate bosses demand increasing amounts of surplus from pressured workers.
They’re looting America. They’re wrecking it. They’re sucking it dry for profit. Predatory capitalism is too corrupted, malignant and broken to fix.
Institutionalized inequality reflects it. America is more hypocrisy than democracy. It’s a kleptocracy. Criminal gangs pose as political parties. They’re complicit with corporate crooks.
They’re war criminals. They’re serial liars. They’re scoundrels of the worst kind. America’s real crisis isn’t government shutdown, said Paul Craig Roberts.
It’s not the debt ceiling. It’s looting America. It’s wrecking the economy. It’s offshoring good paying jobs. It’s lowering the tax base in the process.
It did so by transferring America’s wealth and overall well-being to China and other low wage countries.
It did it by permanent imperial wars. They inflate annual spending. Larger deficits followed. They’re “too large to be closed,” says Roberts.
Money printing madness sustains things as long a possible. What can’t go on forever, won’t. Dollar debasing doesn’t work. Gold and silver prices reflect it.
Wall Street and Washington rig markets to keep them from going higher. Illegal naked short selling is done to do so.
It constrains prices even when physical demand is increasing. It bears repeating. What can’t go on forever, won’t.
Given irresponsible financial/economic policies, expect eventual gold and silver prices to explode.
Another crisis, says Roberts, “is the absence of intelligence among economists and policymakers.”
Don’t worry, they said. Offshoring jobs doesn’t matter, they claimed. A “New Economy” with better jobs is coming.
Monthly payroll data explain otherwise. High paying/good benefit jobs are disappearing. Low paying/poor or no benefit jobs replace them.
America is being hollowed out in the process. It’s being strip-mined of its material wealth and resources.
It’s being suffocated. It’s being thirdworldized. It’s headed toward dystopian backwater status.
Plans are to force feed greater austerity. It’s to replicate Greece harshness. It’s to make America a ruler – serf society.
It’s to crush trade unionism. It’s to crack down hard on nonbelievers. It’s to make America more than ever unfit to live in.
It’s to create more severe crisis conditions than now. It’s to do so for greater profits and control.
Ending what’s ongoing requires replacing duopoly power with responsible governance. It requires rebuilding the nation’s industrial base.
It’s ending imperial wars. It’s disbanding America’s empire of bases. It’s strengthening social protections too vital to lose.
It’s putting money power back in public hands where it belongs. It’s making the privately owned and controlled Fed really federal. It’s prohibiting banks too big to fail from existing.
It’s ending corporate personhood. It’s replacing kleptocracy with real democracy. It’s running free, fair and open elections. It’s getting money entirely out of politics.
It’s curbing corporate power once and for all. It’s empowering people over money. It’s making crime no longer pay. It’s prosecuting crooks in the suites. It’s protecting human and civil rights.
It’s mandating universal healthcare and public education. It’s reinvigorating organized labor.
It’s reinstating progressive taxes. It’s making everyone pay their fair share. It’s guaranteeing a minimum life sustaining income.
It’s abolishing poverty, unemployment, hunger, homelessness and inequality. It’s ending favoritism. It’s getting rogues, rascals and other miscreants out of government.
It’s substituting truth and full disclosure for managed news misinformation. It’s replacing media scoundrels with responsible ones to do so.
It’s consigning Wall Street and other corporate crooks to the dustbin of history.
It’s establishing government of, by and for everyone. It’s making America what it never was before.
It better happen soon or else. Roberts calls today’s situation dire and “discouraging.”
“At this time,” he says, “collapse seems the most likely forecast.”
Perhaps rebuilding from ruins will change things, he hopes. Perhaps intelligent life exists elsewhere. Perhaps it’s on other planets.
Perhaps it’ll replace what doesn’t exist on earth. Perhaps it’s the only hope for survival. There may be no other way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
All Americans share the shame of the charade that pretends to be the Federal Government. The governance class operates in a manner that thinks the voice of the people is irrelevant. The current shutdown of public services is a selected con game run by ”Federalies“ thugs. This latest extortion racket intends to break the spirit of reform and sensible opposition. The crony capitalist takeover of the health care system only benefits the corporatists. The insurance companies stand to reap tribute from the masses, while the special interest friends of the Obama syndicate get exemptions. Make no mistake, the den of thieves that defend Obamacare, as the “law of the land” is a herd of habitual liars.
The Democrats prove their symbol, the ass, is more stubborn than usual. The Senate refusal to conference with the House and observe the constitutional duties of Congress means that Senator Harry Reid and his cohorts own this shutdown. Barack Hussein Obama is busy campaigning and lecturing the recalcitrant Republican House members for not capitulating to his dictates. The hordes of zombie groups that luv Barry Soetoro still have not figured out that the promised free health care has a zinger of a cost.
The Republicans Senators, who just sit on their hands as Dingy Harry trashes and lies from the well of the chamber floor, refuses to react to Reid’s mea culpa, “saying he and his colleagues have simply gotten too personal and nasty in their floor debates.” The long silence of most GOP RINO’s is taken as implied consent, has the beleaguered public frustrated and confused.
What is at stake is the total enslavement of the populace. This confrontation is not over Obamacare alone. No, it has more to do with the very nature of the representative government. Democratic principles are not synonymous with mob rule. However, when the entrenched Senators in safe districts refuse to pass a budget and demand that continued resolutions must keep funding unnecessary programs, you get an imperial government.
Speaker John A. Boehner makes a sensible argument.
FACT: Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in nearly four years. The president’s is late again (for the fourth time). Neither have a plan to replace the Obama sequester.
Only now that their paychecks are on the line under the GOP-led No Budget, No Pay Act are Senate Democrats talking about passing a budget. The “no budget, no pay” effort is supported by 72 percent of the American people.
When the president finally submitted a budget last year, it received zero votes in the House and Democrat-controlled Senate. Zero.
House Republicans have routinely sought to address major challenges: the House passed budgets in 2011 and 2012 that protect and strengthen our entitlement programs for future generations; first voted to replace the president’s sequester in May 2012 and to address the rest of the “fiscal cliff” in August 2012; and more.
When will the Senate pass a budget?
Folks, you are on the verge of a national crisis not seen since the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Over one hundred and fifty years ago, the tyrant of union supremacy caused the destruction of the constitutional republic. Today, you have a globalist cabal in change of an empire at war with its citizens. The shutdown, seen as an opportunity to marginalize the last vestige of patriotic opposition, is a tactic of coercive compliance.
The presstitute media, owned and edited by statist enablers and apologists spins a fantasy viewpoint of responsible government. The reality is that deficit spending is so systemic that the added cost of Obamacare is ignored from the debate for a revamping of the health care establishment.
An administration, so fond of claiming to be the champion of equality, is eager to pervert the ill-conceived and destructive Affordable Care Act by executive orders. Only a demented utopia is still willing to contend that the public will experience improved health care at an affordable price.
Put aside the civic funding component in all the passed House resolutions, the true cost of this shutdown centers upon the violation of the social compact bargain with the people. A true populist advocacy is realistic of the dangers and risks from power politics. However, such a representative and self-governing moral alternative requires a serious dialogue on the limits of fiat governance. It is especially, imperative to recognize when despotism becomes the normal method of any governing body.
When Tea Party activists are called domestic terrorists, the discussion transforms into pure demagogic intimidation. The police state thrives on the capitulation of scared citizens. The Disunited States of Amerika, once known as the home of the brave, now trembles in fear. Government clones are equivalent to the blue belly troops that pillaged the sovereign southern states in their quest to impose their version and vision of an authoritarian central government.
WE CAN STOP OBAMACARE!!!
Now you may dismiss such a minor endeavor, as a small effort to change the world, but the rhetorical question is what are you doing today to confront an evil system that no longer represents the ordinary hard working family, attempting to live their lives with dignity and responsibility?
Inaction guarantees that well funded public mercenaries push through their plans for subjugation without any resistance. At bear minimum, engage and build relationships with like-minded activists willing to push back. Joining the Tea Party Community is a start. Communicate and keep informed. Sign-up for the BATR RealPolitik Newsletter and work your own mailing lists as a regular activity.The government has encircled your neighborhood with a siege of starvation, both economically and spiritually. The establishment has raped your offspring with a financial burden and tax penalties that steal their future.
Hate the NeoCons in the Republican Party, BATR certainly does; but crawl out of your easy chair and demonstrate your support for any political figure or organization that is lobbying or pressuring the Obama administration to recognize the tremendous opposition coming from grassroots America.
Network across the web, but even more significant is to organize your own neighborhoods. “All politics is local” is not just a throw away term. It is where the rubber meets the road of your daily life. Add to your area and regional agenda, the need to confront federal agencies, whenever the destructive statists seek to enforce their punitive regulations.
This federal shutdown might be the last warning that the Chicago Saul Alinsky strategies carried out by criminal operatives in the Obama presidency are the enemy. They are annihilating radicals and extremists, dedicated to the total destruction of the country.
When Boehner says: ‘This isn’t some damn game’, the public need to act upon the warning, and participate immediately is imperative.What will the nation look like if the political career class purges out of office all opposition to the collectivist society? The answer should be frightening to any person grounded in the history and traditions of this nation.
The POTUS is waging war on ordinary citizens. Recent presidents have been following the same script, just from different chapters. Looking for allies within the federal bureaucracy is difficult, when their latest paid vacation is just another reward for implicating the draconian policies of the Obama junto.
All those ”Federalies“ who walk over protestors and trash civil liberties are rapists. They betray and violate their oath of office, as protected outlaws for the system.
When the federal government shreds fundamental legal protections and perverts the law to impose government by executive orders, a federal government shutdown is not out of place. However, the Obama crew is determined on making this disruption as painful and ugly as possible. Such leadership as this deserves a toast in Hades.
The American public deserves better, but the commander of theft is hell bent on letting Senator Reid do much of the dirty work. The fearless Lou Dobbs report, Democrats’ harsh words over the government shutdown, says it all. My fellow citizens the evil anarchists are not the constitutional defenders within the Tea Party, the real nihilists and legislative arsonists are the arrogant sycophant Democrats on their Jihad campaign against Middle America.
In March of 2010, Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as “Obamacare”) into law amid a host of economic uncertainties and unwanted Federal Reserve bailouts. Two years before, Washington had confirmed the passage of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) measures that had already met with disapproval from, according to some polls, more than 80 percent of Americans. In the meantime, the Occupy Wall Street movement was gaining momentum, involving elements of both traditionally Republican and traditionally Democratic organizations. Self-proclaimed “conservatives” and “liberals” were beginning to find common ground on issues ranging from the overall fiscal system to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The consensus was clear: Government had grown corrupt, power-hungry, and ultimately destructive to every citizen regardless of his political affiliation.
However, certain hot-button issues always seem to flood government rhetoric and the mainstream media whenever the U.S. citizenry begins to unify, causing renewed rifts and luring Americans to fight among themselves while the cruise ship on which we are floating sinks into the abyss. Those on the left believe Obamacare is a genuine attempt to institute socialized medicine, and they love it. Those on the right believe Obamacare is a genuine attempt to institute socialized medicine, and they despise it. But what if Obamacare’s government-controlled healthcare plan is only a secondary pursuit, while cutting America down the middle is the first goal?
Consider this: The launch of Obamacare comes at a time when the official national debt of the United States is about $17 trillion and the national deficit is some $1 trillion per year. Keep in mind that when Obama was elected in 2008, the official national debt stood at only $10 trillion. That means the Obama Administration has added more than $7 trillion in debt in only five years, and I can barley fathom how much more damage he can do in the time he has left as president.
While mainstream talking heads with low IQs proclaim victory for the Obama camp because of a supposedly “shrinking” deficit, what they either fail to mention or are too stupid to understand is that the official reporting of the deficit DOES NOT account for real deficit expenditures each year. The official deficit does not include what government number crunchers call “unfunded liabilities,” like Social Security and Medicare, or off-book agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The average taxpayer suffers the costs of such expenditures yet they are never counted in official statistics. If one were to tally our true national debt, including “unfunded liabilities,” it would stand anywhere from $120 trillion to more than $200 trillion. The true deficit skyrockets to more than $5 trillion per year (and growing) when such programs are included.
It is hard to say whether Obamacare costs will be openly included in official debt numbers or hidden like most entitlement programs. The point is, the government has been lying for quite some time, under multiple Presidents, about the real state of the U.S. economy.
When the White House claims in its talking points that government-assisted healthcare will require a net payment of only $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years, what method of accounting is used? Is this the total cost or just the “official cost” minus off-book liabilities? Even if this ends up being the full and complete spending required, how can Washington afford to burn another $1.1 trillion on top of $5 trillion a year already in the red?
If our national debt continues to climb exponentially, as it has in the wake of the Administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, will we see another $7 trillion or more added to the “official” number in the next five years, and can our country sustain such debt levels without imploding in on itself like a fashion model?
According to The Washington Post, Obamacare is now a fact of life, even in the face of agovernment shutdown.
But is this claim really true, or is it just empty posturing? You may like Obamacare, or you may hate Obamacare; but the fact remains that we CANNOT AFFORD Obamacare at this time. So my first question to proponents of socialized medicine would be:
Where is the money going to come from?
More taxes? How can Obamacare be funded by increased taxes, when the average median household income has fallen every year for five years in a row.
How about more taxes for the super rich? Four hundred of America’s top earners brought in an average adjusted gross income of $202 million in 2009. If each of these people were taxed 100 percent of their annual taxable income in act of total criminal disregard for free markets, the resulting $80 billion in revenue would still not be enough to fund Obamacare, let alone our already existing massive debts.
If taxes won’t do the job, what about foreign treasury investment?
U.S. Treasury holdings by foreign creditors witnessed a record sell-off in June of this year, and subsequent purchases have not covered the loss in recent months.
The majority of all recent Treasury purchases by foreign investors are short-term bonds, meaning international faith in America’s ability to cover its debts has fallen considerably. Creditors now want only bonds that mature quickly, so that they can be liquidated at a moment’s notice. Foreign investment in the United States is currently either static or dropping, depending on the country, meaning no extra cash flow for Obamacare.
At bottom, Obamacare is doomed to failure. The money simply does not exist in order to cover the cost. The math does not add up. Period.
Now, I can understand hard-core socialists being too dim-witted to wrap their heads around this problem. After all, the average socialist thinks government funds will infinitely expand to meet the needs of infinite demand, as long as public wealth is “harmonized” in the process. Socialists are utterly unable to imagine that the money may run out one day, thus decimating the economy.
But what about the establishment? Are the central banking elite and their minions really unaware that Obamacare is unsustainable? I think not.
Government bureaucrats and central bankers carefully create our false economic reality on a daily basis. They receive hard financial data and then spin it to suit very particular needs. Each statistic is crafted and manipulated to elicit a specific public response. Those who dominate the establishment hierarchy are exposed regularly to our dire fiscal position, hide the information and its consequences, yet, we are supposed to believe that they are “not aware” of the eventual result? Obama and the elites who pull his strings are fully conscious that our economy is on the verge of complete collapse, and they are aware that Obamacare in its current form will never survive. So why continue with the charade if there is no mathematical possibility that the program will succeed?
Social division is the only plausible answer.
Universal healthcare has been a longtime pursuit of the left, and many Democrats are willing to forgo or completely ignore other dangerous political developments surrounding the White House as long as they finally attain socialized medicine. I have personally engaged in numerous debates with Obama supporters, pointing out his transgressions against the Constitution and the Mideast, his close relationships with the banking elite, and his willingness to throw aside his own promises. Amazingly, some of his supporters admit that Obama is monstrous in many respects, but they STILL defend him on the basis that “at least he’s going to give us free healthcare.” Kill children in foreign lands, trample the Constitution, but fill their prescription for free, and they’ll call you Papa Obama!
In this way, the establishment has retained about 30 percent of the American population as political cannon fodder to be exploited at will by the Obama Administration. And if a government shutdown takes place over Obamacare measures, that percentage may climb as citizens are duped into believing that Tea Party Republicans and their “unwillingness to compromise” are to blame for the situation. In fact, the entire thrust of the mainstream media’s approach to the government shutdown has been to point out the legitimate consequences in the wake of a default (to which there are many), then proceed to outline how all of these horrors will be the result of conservative “brinksmanship”.
If you understand that both major parties are nothing but two sides to the same globalist coin, then the idea of “brinksmanship” one way or the other becomes ridiculous. The Republican leadership plays the role of the staunch limited spending watchdog, but usually rolls over because secretly they are just as fond of centralization and debt creation as the Democrats. But what if this time, the script says they aren’t supposed to roll over? What if this time, traditional conservatives are meant to take the blame for throwing the American economy into disrepute, all over Obamacare?
What the Liberty Movement needs to keep in mind during the chaos of the debt debate is that it may not ultimately be about Obamacare at all. Instead, the debt debate may be about drawing artificial lines between the American people and letting us tear each others’ throats out. In the meantime, fingers may point to OUR defining principles as the trigger to the madness. Only time will tell, and the consensus holds that there is “no way” the Republicans will stand fast or that the debt ceiling will remain stationary. But, questions need to be asked here. Does the shutdown and the illusion of Obamacare serve a greater purpose?
The establishment knows that a financial crisis is upon us. The establishment essentially engineered this crisis through artificially low interest rates and the deliberate spread of toxic derivatives. But, it wants YOU to believe that the inevitable collapse was caused by something or someone else. By “political gridlock,” foreign fiscal schemes or “conservative hubris.” It does not want members of the public to draw any connections between their suffering and the international banking elite behind the greater catastrophe. Obamacare is a red herring. It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s a distraction. And, while we battle over a program that will never find adequate funding anyway, the rest of the economic system crumbles.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
The real crisis is not the “debt ceiling crisis.” The government shutdown is merely a result of the Republicans using the debt limit ceiling to attempt to block the implementation of Obamacare. If the shutdown persists and becomes a problem, Obama has enough power under the various “war on terror” rulings to declare a national emergency and raise the debt ceiling by executive order. An executive branch that has the power to inter citizens indefinitely and to murder them without due process of law, can certainly set aside a ceiling on debt that jeopardizes the government.
The real crisis is that jobs offshoring by US corporations has permanently lowered US tax revenues by shifting what would have been consumer income, US GDP, and tax base to China, India, and other countries where wages and the cost of living are relatively low. On the spending side, twelve years of wars have inflated annual expenditures. The consequence is a wide deficit gap between revenues and expenditures.
Under the present circumstances, the deficit is too large to be closed. The Federal Reserve covers the deficit by printing $1,000 billion annually with which to purchase Treasury debt and mortgage-backed financial instruments. The use of the printing press on such a large scale undermines the US dollar’s role as reserve currency, the basis for US power. Raising the debt limit simply allows the real crisis to continue. More money will be printed with which to purchase more new debt issues needed to close the gap between revenues and expenditures.
The supply of dollars or dollar denominated assets in foreign hands is vast. (The Social Security system’s large surplus accumulated over a quarter century was borrowed by the Treasury and spent. In its place are non-marketable Treasury IOUs. Consequently, Social Security is one of the largest creditors to the US government.)
If foreigners lose confidence in the dollar, the drop in the dollar’s exchange value would mean high inflation and the Federal Reserve’s loss of control over interest rates. It is possible that a drop in the dollar’s exchange value could initiate hyperinflation in the US.
The real crisis is the absence of intelligence among economists and policymakers who told us for 20 years not to worry about the offshoring of US jobs, because we were going to have a “New Economy” with better jobs.
As I report each month, not a single one of these “New Economy” jobs has appeared in the payroll jobs statistics or in the Labor Department’s projections of future jobs. Economists and policymakers simply gave away a good chunk of the US economy in order to enhance corporate profits. One result has been to create in the US the worst distribution of income of all developed countries and of many undeveloped ones.
In the scheme of things, the enhanced profits are a short-run thing, because by halting the growth in consumer income, jobs offshoring has destroyed the US consumer market. As I noted in a recent column, on September 19 the New York Times reported what I have reported for years: that US median family income has not increased for a quarter of a century. The lack of consumer income growth is why 5 years of massive monetary and fiscal stimulus have not brought economic recovery.
The real crisis cannot be addressed unless the jobs are brought back home and the wars are stopped. As powerful organized interests oppose any such measures, Congress will pass a new debt ceiling and the real crisis will continue.
Do you hear any mention of the real crisis in the media? Today I was on an international TV program for 25 minutes with the chief financial editor of one of England’s major newspapers. Little doubt but that he was a good-hearted and intelligent fellow, but he had no capability of thinking outside the box. He was unable to comprehend my explanations, and resorted to regurgitations of the media’s ignorance or subservience to Washington’s propaganda.
Among his regurgitations was the “solution” of cutting Social Security. The chief financial editor of a major UK newspaper did not know that for the past quarter of a century Social Security revenues exceeded Social Security payments, and that the Treasury spent the surplus to fund the annual operating expenses of the government, issuing non-marketable IOUs to the Social Security Trust Funds.
The chief financial editor also did not comprehend that cutting Social Security payments also cuts consumer spending or aggregate demand, and sends the economy down further, thus magnifying the deficit/debt problem.
Because of the serious decline in the US economy caused by jobs offshoring and financial deregulation, Social Security no longer adds to its surplus. Social Security payments need the supplement to the annual payroll revenues of repayments by the Treasury of the borrowed funds.
The only reasons that Social Security is in trouble is that jobs offshoring and wars have constrained the US Treasury’s ability to make good on its debts except by having the Federal Reserve print money. Every job that is sent abroad does not contribute payroll taxes to Social Security and Medicare.
Insouciant American economists say that manufacturing is an outmoded source of employment, but Chinese manufacturing employment is almost equal to the total US labor force in all occupations, including waitresses and bartenders and hospital orderlies. China’s economy is growing at a rate of 7.5% in real terms, while Western economies cannot move forward and some are regressing.
In order to appease Wall Street, the most corrupt institution in human history, and to prevent Wall Street-financed takeovers of their corporations, executives destroyed the American consumer market by offshoring American incomes in order to enhance profits by substituting cheap foreign labor for US labor.
In my opinion, the US economy is not salvageable in its present form. The economy is running out of water resources. The supply that remains is being decimated by fracking. The soil is depleted by glysophate, a requirement of GMO agriculture. The external costs of production are rising (the costs that the corporations impose on the environment and third parties) and possibly exceed the value of the increase in corporate output. Economists are incapable of independent thought, and elected representatives are dependent on the private interests that finance their campaigns.
It is difficult to imagine a more discouraging situation.
At this time, collapse seems the most likely forecast.
Perhaps out of the ruins, a new, intelligent beginning might occur.
If there are any leaders.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
There is a considerable amount of debate in alternative economic circles as to whether a federal government shutdown would be a “good thing” or a “bad thing”. Frankly, even I am partially conflicted. I love to read mainstream news stories about how a shutdown in the capital would be “horrible” because Barack Obama might have to reduce the White House cleaning staff and wash his own laundry:
It’s about time that sellout bastard did something to clean up his own act. I also love the idea of the federal government out of the picture and removed from the U.S. dynamic. Americans need to learn again how to live without the nanny state, even if only for a few weeks, and what better way than to go cold turkey. I can hear the tortured sobs of the socialists now, crying for their SNAP cards and low grade government healthcare. It’s like…beautiful music…
That said, as much as centralized government needs to be erased from the face of the planet, there are, indeed, consequences that must be dealt with. It is foolish to believe otherwise. No social system, and I mean NO SOCIAL SYSTEM, changes without pain to the population. I am not among those that cheer a federal shutdown, because I understand that the only people to ultimately feel suffering will be average citizens, not the establishment itself. The sheeple may be ignorant and blind, but no one deserves the kind of unmitigated hellfire that could rain down upon our country if a shutdown continues for an extended period of time. Call me a humanitarian…
As I write this, mainstream media projections estimate a 90% chance of government shutdown by midnight on September 30th. Though technically, government funds will not run out until October 17th:
We have dealt with this kind of talk before over the past few years, and it’s interesting to see the kind of cynicism that has developed over the idea of a shutdown event. After all, the last time a government shutdown occurred was at the end of 1995, lasting only a couple of weeks into 1996. The GOP has folded so many times over the U.S. budget and debt ceiling that most of the public expects they will obviously do it again. It is certainly possible that the Republicans will roll over, however, I am not so sure of that this time around. Why? Not because Obamacare is on the table. Obamacare is just a distraction. No, I’m far more interested in the circumstances surrounding the U.S. dollar.
Obamacare is designed to fail. Anyone with any financial or mathematical sense could look at the real national debt and deficit projections of the U.S. and understand that there is no money and never will be enough money to fund universal healthcare. The GOP could simply let the program take effect, sit back, and watch it crash and burn over the next three to five years. This would entail, though, watching the whole of our economy crash and burn with it.
What we have developing in front of us is the recipe for a new false paradigm. Already, the MSM is discussing the possibility of debt default and who will be responsible under such circumstances. Not surprisingly “Tea Party” conservatives have been named the primary culprits if a shutdown goes south; even former Democratic president Bill Clinton is getting in on the blame game:
All the bickering over Obamacare is fascinating, I’m sure, but lets set the Affordable Care Act aside for a moment and look at the bigger and more important picture. The private Federal Reserve Bank has just announced to much surprise a complete reversal on its suggested QE “taper” measures, resulting in a shocked and confused marketplace. If the U.S. fiscal system is stable and sound, as the Fed has been suggesting for the past year, then why continue stimulus measures at all? Could it be that most if not all positive economic numbers released by the Fed and the Labor Department are actually fake, and that investors have been duped into assuming overall growth when America is actually in an accelerated decline? Wouldn’t that be a high speed excrement storm straight out of left field!
The first day rally over the Fed announcement faded quickly, resulting in a slow bleed of the Dow ever since. The magic of Fed stimulus is wearing off, and the investment world is not happy. If I were a member of the Federal Reserve Bank, I suppose I would appreciate a large scale distraction designed to take attention away from me and my elitist club-mates as the primary culprits behind the greatest currency implosion in the history of the world.
Sadly, a government shutdown is sizable threat to the American financial system, and few people seem to get it. Perhaps because the expectation is that any shutdown would only be a short term concern. And, this assumption might be correct. But, if a shutdown takes place, and, if “gridlock” continues for an extended period of time, I have little doubt that the U.S economy will experience renewed crisis. Here’s why:
Obamacare only tops a long list of already existing “unfunded liabilities” (otherwise known as entitlement programs). These programs are not counted in the government’s official calculations of national debt or deficit spending, but they cost taxpayers money all the same. True deficit costs and national debt costs expand every year without fail. If the debt ceiling does not rise in accordance with this exponential debt, a default is inevitable. No amount of increased taxes could ever fill the black hole already created by negative government spending.
A long term government shutdown will eventually require cuts in entitlements, if not a total overhaul of certain aid programs. Imagine an end to all disability payments, including veterans disability payments. Imagine federal employee pensions put on hold for an undesignated period of time. Imagine food stamps placed on hiatus for 50 million people. Imagine how many states now rely on federal funding just to keep municipalities from bankruptcy. Get the picture now?
End Of Foreign Faith In U.S. Treasuries
In a disgusting display of propaganda, media outlet Reuters has released an article claiming that, default or not, Asian investors and central banks are “hostage” to U.S. debt:
Their argument essentially revolves around the lie that Asian investors believe an American default to be “unthinkable”. Surely, the unnamed Japanese investment source they cite as an “insider” truly represents the whole of Asia.
The reality is, the Asians (the Chinese in particular) have been preparing for a calamity in the U.S. Treasury market for years.
Most foreign investors in U.S. Treasuries have converted their long term bond holdings to short term bond holdings; meaning, they are ready to liquidate their bonds at a moment’s notice. Overall purchase levels of treasuries are either static, or falling depending on the nation involved.
China has been internationalizing its currency, the Yuan, since 2005. China has opened Yuan “clearing houses in multiple countries to allow faster convertibility of the Yuan, quietly supplanting the dollar as the world reserve currency. These clearing houses now exist in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Kenya. The Federal Reserve and international banks like JP Morgan are heavily involved in the internationalization of the Yuan.
The assertion that Asia is somehow hostage to U.S. debt is a lie beyond all proportions. In truth, the U.S. economy is actually hostage to Asian holdings of U.S. debt. A call for a dump of U.S. treasury bonds by China, for example, in the face of a U.S. default, would immediately result in a global chain reaction ending in the destruction of the dollar as the world reserve currency. This is not speculation, this is mathematical fact. China is not going to sit back and do nothing while their investment in U.S. debt quickly disintegrates. Why would they take the chance when they could could just sell, sell, sell!
The very idea that Reuters is attempting to twist the fundamentals surrounding a default event leads me to believe a default event may be preordained.
What Will Be Defunded?
Non-essential personnel (which apparently includes Obama’s maids), will be the first to receive a pink slip from the federal government. Extra Pentagon staff, EPA staff, FDA staff, IRS staff, etc will all be cut. Good riddance. But what will follow will not be so pleasant.
If a shutdown stretches for months, expect cuts in all support programs and entitlements. Veterans disability checks, social security, Medicare, employee pensions, even the Postal Service is likely to undergo defunding. National Parks, and schools that receive federal aid will discover immediate cash-loss. In fact, any state or city that relies on federal funds should plan for the possibility that those funds will disappear.
Military cuts would be at the bottom of the list, but I would not discount the chance of that either.
It cannot be denied; an enormous subsection of the American public is dependent on federal money. If that money dries up, chaos will ensue. I don’t like it, but it is a concern.
A long term shutdown will be catastrophe no matter how you slice it. Foreign creditors will react harshly. The bond market will see a haircut not unlike that given to investors in Greek treasuries. Austerity will become an American way of life. The only mitigating factor will be the Federal Reserve, which I believe may institute “extraordinary measures” without congressional consent in order to continue feeding stimulus into government regardless of whether the debt ceiling is raised or not. Given enough desperation, the American public might even applaud such an action and praise the Fed as “heroic”.
In this situation, the U.S. would be facing a Weimar-style currency collapse, rather than a debt default. But in either scenario, the dollar is the final target.
Unfortunately, too many economic analysts presume that the only threat to the dollar’s value is hyperinflation (these are the same people that quote the Fed’s crooked CPI numbers). But the dollar is just as vulnerable to a debt default and loss of reserve status. Devaluation seems to be inevitable regardless of the outcome of the funding debate.
The Republicans could still surrender, and even if they don’t, real damages will not be felt until after October 17th. This is plenty of time to manipulate the public into demanding more spending even when more spending is not in our best interests in the long term. Our greatest concern, though, should be whether or not the establishment is ready to pull the plug on the dollar altogether, using the debt ceiling crisis as cover in order to distract away from the involvement of international banks in the overall problem. There is no doubt given the facts at hand that America is on the edge of a terrible pyre. Is this the event that will finally trigger collapse? We’ll know more in a week…
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Millions around the world today are hoping the US federal government shuts down at midnight on Monday. Many have thoughts of wars and occupations ending in their regions… but, sadly, this is not part of the “services” that will be cut during a shutdown.
In fact, not only will the Department of Offense continue on as usual but so will all the tyrannical agencies such as the DEA, IRS, ATF, CIA and countless other alphabet soup agencies of oppression.
What will “shut down”? According to CNN these are the Top 10 Ways A Government Shutdown Would Affect Your Daily Life:
1. I’m Proud To Be An American. According to CNN, “the biggest hit would be to the collective psyche. America is the largest economy in the world and a beacon for how democracy ought to work”. It is sad if even one person in the US has their “psyche” hurt because of this! It is sad how many people in the US now consider their country/region and the government that rules it as being one in the same. Not to mention that the US was never designed to be a democracy… it was set-up as a Republic and all the founding fathers spoke very warily against any sort of democracy. Democracy, fundamentally, is mob rule and anti-freedom. It is the tyranny of the majority against the minority.
2. Anything Dirty or Dingy or Dusty. It is unbelievable that this #2 reason from CNN warns people of how dramatically their lives will be affected if the federal government shuts down (and this after #1 was that it might hurt their “psyche”). It goes on to say that the only region in the entire country where trash pickup may stop in the event of a shutdown is in Washington, District of Criminals. Hardly a national disaster! And, not to mention, that if that really were the case, free market private enterprise would spring up, like in Detroit, and people would actually have good options for waste disposal rather than a communist style, centrally planned garbage pickup.
3. Money. According to CNN, if you need a loan from the government, you won’t be able to get it in event of a shut down. Good! If you are such a credit risk that no one in private enterprise will lend you money then, definitely, the government shouldn’t lend you the money they stole from the innocent victims in their tax farm! They also mention that Socialist InSecurity (SS) cheques may stop coming. This is often one of the first things the government tries to scare people with, as Barack Obama did in 2011, during the last event of this type. Why? Because old people vote in much greater numbers than younger people and scaring them with threats of withheld money works. What should really scare them is that both the US government and its SS Ponzi scheme is bankrupt.
4. Ammunition. According to CNN, “A shutdown would affect the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Translation: That gun permit you wanted processed wouldn’t happen anytime soon”. The ATF shutting down would be a wonderful thing. So sad in the “land of the free” that one of the biggest threats to a government shutdown is that you may not get permission from the government to have a gun!
5. Drugs. According to CNN, “The Republicans want to defund Obamacare in exchange for funding the government. But the health care act at the center of this storm would continue its implementation process during a shutdown. That’s because its funds aren’t dependent on the congressional budget process”. CNN is really reaching to find 10 ways this shut down will affect people when they explicitly state that #5 won’t affect drugs or Obamacare!
6. The Mail. CNN is really running out of ideas now that they have to bring up the post office, that bankrupt, antiquated, 1800s style of delivering information that the internet, FedEx and UPS rendered it obsolete decades ago. Oh, but here CNN again let’s us know that even that embarrassing anachronism won’t actually shut down! “You know that whole ‘Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night’ thing? Apparently, the U.S. Postal Service works through shutdowns as well.”
7. The Roads! Muh Roads! For the third time in a row CNN says this will be unaffected (what was the point of this list again?). They pitch this one as, “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street” as though to lead you into thinking the roads will close without the federal government, but then they don’t mention roads again. Here’s what they had to say on it, “You may be thinking, ‘No functioning government, no need to pay taxes.’ Think again. The Man would continue to collect taxes. U.S. bonds would still be issued. And other essential banking functions would go on”. So, here is another one that won’t affect you, unfortunately. You still have to pay extortion to the federal government, even if they are “shut down”.
8. The Military. CNN says, “The good news (for you) is that the men and women in uniform would continue to keep you safe. “… okay, that’s four in a row that won’t affect people on a list of 10 ways the shut down will affect you! Instead it is the usual propaganda trying to make people feel like the US military “protects” Americans.
9. Celebrate! Seriously, this is #9 on the list. Here’s what they said, “Don’t come to work if you’re a federal employee. You’re on furlough. (Offer not valid for workers in ‘critical services,’ such as air traffic controllers, hazardous waste handlers and food inspectors.) Do take some time to celebrate. In previous shutdowns, everyone who stayed home was paid retroactively after peace returned to Washington”. So, the shutdown is a good thing because millions of federal government employees get a free vacation that will be paid by Americans who will be paying for them to do nothing.
10. National Parks. According to CNN, “Need to get away? Well, you can’t. At least not to national parks. Or to national zoos. Or to national museums. They’d all be closed. That’s 368 National Park Service sites closed, millions of visitors turned away. Were you thinking more along the lines of a trip to France? If you don’t already have a passport, you might have to bid that adieu — you might not get your blue book in time. The last time the government threw a hissy fit, 200,000 applications for passports went unprocessed. Tourism and airline revenues reeled”. So, some parks may be shuttered and your permission to travel may be withheld.
That’s it? That’s the best that CNN can come up with on how a potential government shutdown will affect people? Your psyche may get hurt (if you had a delusional belief in the US government being the same as yourself); there may not be garbage collection in Washington, Den of Criminals; you won’t be able to get a federal loan and you may not get permission from the government to have a gun or travel.
And this is what has the mainstream media talking about non-stop?
Of course, if the Federal Reserve did not print the money (QE2Infinity) to keep the US government going with over a $1 trillion deficit per year, 90% plus of what the government does would come to an immediate halt. Then there would be countless very serious things that would “affect your life”. Anyone depending on food stamps (which is now over 50 million people), anyone depending on SS to survive would definitely be affected as there’d be no money to pay them. And, not to mention, every bank in the US would be insolvent and all depositor’s money would be lost as the FDIC is also bankrupt.
But, we aren’t betting on that ever happening. This is democracy, after all. And that means keeping the debts and new money flowing until the economic system collapses as the printing of money causes the eventual demise of the dollar and The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI).
This system is now down to two options: massive debt default or massive inflation and neither is particularly good for anyone living in the US. Every major government or empire in history when faced with those two options chose to continue printing money until the currency collapsed.
In either case, what is happening today is nothing compared to what is going to happen. Use this time to prepare and get your assets, and if you can, even your own ass outside of what will be ground zero for this economic collapse, the US.
We talk about all the ways to do that at the TDV newsletter including things like putting your IRA into a self-directed IRA and getting the assets internationalized (into precious metals offshore – like we talk about in Getting Your Gold Out Of Dodge – and foreign real estate like Galt’s Gulch in Chile), getting offshore bank accounts and set-up with an offshore corporation for your business endeavors (TDV Offshore), getting a foreign residency or passport (TDV Passports) and, if you have assets over $1 million, using TDV Wealth Management to get the assets safely outside of the blast radius.
What is going on in Washington, DC, today could mean postponing a trip to Yellowstone national park or having delayed garbage pickup in DC itself. What is coming in the next few months and years has the potential to destroy all your assets and leave you devoid of any way of earning income as the economy is totally destroyed by a currency collapse.
The best case scenario for the populace of the US in the long run is for a complete shutdown of the US federal government… But, that collapse is going to be messy and a lot of people are going to get hurt in the short term during that collapse.
Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.
Source: Jeff Berwick | The Dollar Vigilante
Recently, Jonathan Cymberknopf wrote a very upbeat article where he makes it sound like third party presidential candidates in 2012 achieved remarkable, even historic, success. He provides considerable data on how a number of third party candidates did better in 2012 than in the previous presidential election. For many years I strongly advocated third party options and even was a state chairperson for a major third party. But over time I realized what a fool’s effort third parties are for presidential elections and also for nearly all congressional ones. Why? Because anyone who thinks clearly and understands the US electoral system should know that the system is so rigged against third parties that they are mostly a wasted effort. Worse even, and this is my major point, because third parties provide a kind of high pressure escape valve for very unhappy Americans to express their anger and frustration. In so doing, they perversely help to sustain the very corrupt, dysfunctional two-party system they reject and want to change but cannot possibly do.
Let me further explain. As someone who worked within the federal and state political system for a long time I am totally convinced that the American political system has become a farce, actually an evil system for the vast majority of Americans. Why? Because this political system has become the tool for sustaining the upper, wealthy class and is destroying the middle class and succeeding in creating a two-class society. Economic inequality is now at its highest level. This has resulted because the rich, upper class controls the political system through money that more than earns a terrific return on the funds invested, because the political system has also corrupted the economic system.
We desperately need a second American revolution. But it will not and cannot come through elections. Elections merely represent a delusional notion that American democracy still works, when in fact it is nothing more now than a delusional democracy. Beyond the top 1 percent so talked about as the very wealthy grabbing nearly all the increases in economic growth and prosperity, it is probably the top 10 percent or more that enjoys fabulous lives. There really are two economies. The one for the top on the economic ladder is working wonderfully. They are gobbling up luxury cars, jewelry and all kinds of products, eating expensive foods at home and in fancy restaurants, getting the very best medical care, and experiencing the joys of luxury travel and entertainment. The lives of some 30 million Americans are truly wonderful. But the remaining vast majority of Americans who constitute most of the voters are leading very, very different economic lives with much diminished quality of lives and considerable economic insecurity.
So, rather than celebrate that less than 2 percent of voters supported third party presidential candidates and, in so doing, legitimized the US electoral system, what the country really needs are millions of Americans more forcefully attacking the status quo that the two-party plutocracy uses to serve and protect the upper, wealthy class. Americans who happily and proudly vote and work for third party candidates are delusional if they think that their actions are helping to bring down our corrupt political system. They need to realize that in a perverse way they are protecting and sustaining the status quo political system. It would be far better if many millions of Americans who, as expressed in virtually all surveys and polls, have no trust and confidence in both major political parties and all the elected politicians chose to express their discontent by NOT voting in elections. Yes, that is what we need. We need to concretely show our rejection of the political system by not honoring it through voting.
The sad joke is that not much more than half of eligible voters actually vote, far worse than in other advanced, industrialized nations. What the goal of Americans who correctly see both major parties as rigidly corrupt and useless for most citizens should be is to attack the legitimacy of the political system by cutting voter turnout substantially.
Stop feel-good voting for third party candidates and reject the current electoral system altogether. Do that and think more about other ways to destroy this system. Think in terms of a political boycott just as you would an economic boycott against a company. Never delude yourself that by electing Republicans or Democrats you will see the many necessary, fundamental changes for restoring true democracy and honoring the values of the Constitution. The one most powerful tactic to restore democracy and economic freedom is removing all private money from the entire political system. That requires a constitutional amendment, and that can only happen through an Article V convention that recently Mark Levin so powerfully advocated in his new book, but which he, sadly, failed to present the full truth about, namely that Congress has already failed to obey the Constitution and recognize the sufficient number of state applications for a convention.
This failure of Congress, like so many other circumstances, decisions and events, only further proves just how awful American democracy has become. And it shows just how much we need millions of Americans to fight for what is necessary, rather than think that third party candidates are the answer. Interestingly, third party presidential candidates have not made the Article V convention option a major campaign issue, just as Republicans and Democrats have ignored this constitutional option.
The high priests of academic and “official” history love a good villain for two reasons: First, because good official villains make the struggles and accomplishments of good official heroes even more awe-inspiring. And, second, because nothing teaches (or propagandizes) the masses more thoroughly than the social or political lessons inherent in the documented rise and fall of the world’s most despicable inhabitants. We get shivers of fear and excitement when we discuss the evils and the follies of ancient monsters like Nero, Attila the Hun, Caligula, etc, or more modern monsters, like Mussolini, Stalin Hitler, Goebbels, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and so on. We take solace in the idea that “we are nothing like them”, and our nation has “moved beyond” such animalistic behavior.
But even more fascinating popcorn-style history is found not in the destruction of tyrants, but the destruction of empires.
When an entire culture steps off the edge of the abyss into the realm of societal psychosis, the world often changes forever and in ways that, at least on the surface, seem to bring humanity a little closer together. The fall of Rome led to the eventual rise of a dominant Catholic theocracy and the rulership of royal blood lineage that lasted for centuries in Europe. The flames of World War I and the destabilization of the Kaiser’s Germany led to the formation of the League Of Nations; a first attempt at a global governing authority designed to “maintain world peace”. World War II and the fall of the Third Reich resulted in considerable horrors, which the establishment of the United Nations was supposedly meant to prevent from ever occurring again. The decline of the British Empire saw the implosion of cultural colonialism, and the rise of corporate colonialism, which centralized immense power into the hands of the banking class as the new official oligarchs of our modern era. The collapse of the Berlin Wall and the abandonment of the Soviet Union was lauded by then U.S. President George Bush as the beginnings of a “New World Order” – an ideological concept which heralds the final deterioration of the idea of economic and political sovereignty as a mainstay of human civilization.
When examining the approved version of historical conflict, one gets the overwhelming impression that the villains of our past, through their hubris, their greed, and their insanity, seem to inspire a sudden surge of unification as their ashes are cleared from the air. One might even come to believe that the “natural progression” of conflict is leading us towards a future in which the only solution is the dissolution of all boundaries and the adoption of a one world narrative. Wouldn’t it be glorious if the deaths of these malevolent tyrants and societies finally inspired the birth of a single human system in which no conflict is possible because we are all on the same side?
Perhaps it would be glorious, if you have adopted the childish notions of history common to the mainstream. For those who have not, the story, and the ultimate solutions to the ills of mankind, become a little more complicated…
America’s Villainous Mustache
Mainstream history tends to follow the motions of a play or film, in that archetypes and symbolic figures are consistently created in order to satisfy the natural flow of a particular fiction. The bad guy wears a mustache (not always, but it is strange and disturbing to see how often this archetype materializes in the mainstream world view. Just look at Hitler, Stalin, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, etc. We love mustached villains). His criminal successes make him imposing and frightening. He acts without conscience, or, he wrongly believes his terrible actions are justified in the name of the “greater good”. His inevitable mistakes make his final failure ironic and satisfying in the face of the iconic hero, who defeats the enemy while the citizenry stands back and watches in awe and wonder as helpless spectators.
The villain is indeed evil, and deserves to be dethroned, but the assumption many people make is that the other side is diametrically good. This is not always the case…
America is used to playing the role of the hero in the epic tale of modern Earth. Our nation began with an act of defiance and victory so unexpected and so poetic, it cemented our cultural identity as freedom fighters for centuries to come. Over time, our government, turning progressively corrupt, has exploited this cultural identity in order to lure Americans into committing atrocities in the name of our traditional sense of “heroism”. We have, in fact, become the very antagonists we thought we were fighting against (there’s the delicious irony needed to round out our fairytale).
Our government’s actions surrounding Syria, for instance, have made America appear not just bloodthirsty, but also ridiculous. The Obama Administration has taken us to the brink of World War III and left us there to stare out over the chasm. The slightest breeze could send us plummeting. All to generate military support for Al-Qaeda, the same organization designated by the establishment as our mortal enemy.
In the meantime, our economic system now survives solely on the whims of the Federal Reserve, a private central bank that answers to NO ONE, and writes fiscal policy without oversight. The government is not only seeking to trigger world war, it also wants to pay for that war with money we do not have, riding debts we cannot pay, to foreign creditors we will piss off in the process of unleashing our unfunded laser guided hell.
Never has the U.S. been slathered in so much absurdity all at once. Now, we wear the mustache…
Most of us in the Liberty Movement would agree that our country is being poisoned from within, and that our government for many decades has become an enemy of all free peoples. But there is a very important question that we seem to have overlooked:
If America has been written as the villain, then who is meant to be the hero?
Putin Is Not Your Buddy
Lets step back from the global stage for a moment and examine the situation from a different perspective. What if the U.S. is not just a product of corruption for corruption’s sake? What if our new identity as the next historical evil-doer is part of a greater script, and America’s fall from grace is meant to be used to foment the success of fantastic (but fake) protagonists in an engineered fight for a “better and more centralized world”?
How many of us in the Liberty Movement cheered the diplomatic and strategic prowess of Vladimir Putin, for example, in the days leading to Obama’s “red line” attack on Syria? We cheered because his position was correct, and his demeanor made our government look homicidal by comparison. We cheered his letter to TIME Magazine because we are tired of being the only people pointing out the vicious parasite our political body has become, and it was exciting to be vindicated by an outside source. We cheered his protection of Edward Snowden, a truly courageous whistle blower that exposed the terrifying Orwellian nature of the NSA. We watch video reports from Russia Today (RT) because they give a far more accurate accounting of the facts in the U.S. than all American media entities combined. It is easy for us to get caught up in the idea that since the West has become the bad guy, the East must now be the good guy.
The problem is, we are being played yet again.
Putin has long called for the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the creation of a new “global structure” and a “global currency” revolving around the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights:
Is it just coincidence that Putin wants the same centralized global economy and global governance that the IMF and multiple banking elites have been calling for for years? The same elites who created the debt crisis and currency crisis we now face in America? Is it just coincidence that Eastern economic and political dominance over issues like Syria perfectly benefits the IMF plan for an financial shift to the BRICS nations and away from the U.S. greenback? The same plan promoted by many American financial moguls?
Russia is a model for despotic socialized society posing as “civilized society”, and yet, our government has made America so ugly that Russia looks noble by comparison. Putin is placed on the cover of TIME magazine everywhere in the world except the U.S., and the Washington Times responds by stating that such behavior is a sign of “America’s downward spiral in the global community”, as if we are about to be shunned from the world at large:
While RT produces fantastic journalistic pieces that are critical of American government, rarely if ever do they turn a discerning eye to Russia, and this is not just oversight.
Look carefully at the narrative that is being constructed here. Putin is NOT our buddy. He represents exactly what our own government now represents; globalism and naked centralized government aggression against the individual. However, as mainstream history is being written, the story will be told that it was nations like Russia and China, and organizations like the IMF, that tried to hold back the tide of catastrophe while America, the last empire, steamrolled into thick-skulled oblivion surfing on a shockwave of fiat money and brute military vanity.
The Washington Aristocracy Is Scum, But Don’t Let That Fool You…
Most people with an extensive Liberty Movement education are well aware that false paradigms are used in politics by establishment elites in order to control social discussion and to divide the population against each other. The Left/Right debate has been and always will be a farce, being that the leadership on both sides of the aisle have identical goals when it comes to the most important aspects of the American structure. The elites of the Democratic and Republican parties, regardless of rhetoric, will BOTH strive for greater government power, less individual liberty, the erasure of economic sovereignty and free markets, and a dependent and enslaved public. On these pursuits, they completely agree.
In one week, our faux leadership is to decide once AGAIN on the possibility of a debt ceiling increase that will bring us ever closer to a debt and currency avalanche event. During past debates, much fanfare is given to the supposed conflict between the interests of the Democrats and the GOP, up until the last moment when the GOP caves in completely and allows the debt ceiling to be vaulted. Will the same happen again in this case? It depends on how quickly the establishment wants to bring entire roof down on our heads.
A freeze of the debt ceiling would eventually mean default on our Treasury Bonds, since our government must take on exponential debt in order to receive the benefits of the Federal Reserve’s printing press, as well as pay off our foreign creditors.
A government shutdown could slow the growth of some liabilities, but it does not account for the liabilities already in circulation, thus, we can still default. Not to mention, our debt and currency standing could easily come into question, resulting in a bond dump or loss of reserve status.
The only option that does not result in a fast moving firestorm through our financial system is a debt ceiling increase, and how much longer can we get away with kicking the can down the road? In any case, America is about to change for the worse, and the decision on when this is to happen was made a long time ago. The Washington aristocracy is blatantly guilty in the instigation of our current dilemma, and my theory is, they want you to know they are the culprit, as long as you continue believing they are the ONLY culprit. They want you to forget all about the IMF, the corporate elites, and Vladimir Putin’s involvement in the larger plan. They want you to cheer when international banks and what’s left of the G20 rescue us after years of fiscal disaster and institute centralized global economic governance. They want to be the only authors of this story, and what author doesn’t want to see himself placed in the role of the champion?
Just as there are false political paradigms, there are also false international paradigms. The Liberty Movement is the wild card; an unknown quantity. We aren’t fighting for one side or the other – we are fighting for particular principles and beliefs. The establishment’s best strategy is to co-opt our momentum by convincing us to focus on alternative opposition, or place our trust in fabricated advocates. No matter how epically monstrous our government becomes, and no matter how satisfying their ultimate demise will be, our battle does not end with them. It only begins with them.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Every so often the wonks of wishful thinking give us an article about how blacks are becoming Republicans, how Hispanics are supposedly a natural GOP constituency, or, as is the subject here today, how the millennial generation is turning “conservative.” Perhaps pundits asserting the last thing recall Winston Churchill’s observation, “If you’re not a liberal at 20, you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative at 40, you have no brain.” And perhaps they overlook that it’s possible to raise a brainless generation.
Don’t think, as one might, that this will be a typical analysis sneering at the proverbial “next generation” using the perceived gold standard of one’s own. After all, I realize that my generation is the tree the millennial nut fell from. Placing matters in further perspective, it’s true that older and younger generations ever slam each other; it’s also true that they both are always partially right. Lastly, I’ll say that I don’t at all consider the WWII FDR voters the “greatest generation,” though it makes for a nice narrative. The greatest generation was the one that founded our nation and wondered if we could “keep” its republic, and there has been a consistent, but accelerating, degeneration ever since.
In discussing our latest movement toward idiocracy, my starting point will be a Sept. 4 American Thinker article written by one Chriss Street. In making his case for millennial hope, Mr. Street points out that while 61 percent of millennials voted for Barack Obama in 2012, his approval among them has now sunk to 46 percent. But this is a deceptive statistic. For an approval rating amounts to the judging of a candidate relative to people’s ideal personal standard for the presidency, whereas in an election he is judged relative to another specific candidate for the presidency. And if Obama were again running against Mitt Romney — with all the usual media propaganda — does anyone really think he’d lose millennials to the governor? No doubt more would stay home, but I suspect the president would enjoy something close to his 2012 support among those who casted votes.
Moreover, millennials may have soured on Obama somewhat, but this reflects cynicism more than conservatism. Of course, that they’d be cynical is no surprise; they’ve been raised in an unraveling West in which feckless, morally confused adults in their homes, schools, government, houses of worship and elsewhere have let them down. Nonetheless, cynicism is not traditionalism; in fact, it is a form of naiveté. Believing all people act out of selfish motives, the cynic instinctively paints everyone with the same brush. And such a person can hardly distinguish well among candidates.
Mr. Street also tells us that, “in 2008, 37.4% of incoming freshman women and 30.5% men identified themselves as liberals or leftists, the most in 35 years.” The reality, though, is even worse than this indicates. First consider that self-reporting is more about perception than reality. For starters, it always underestimates leftist numbers, as likely a majority of “moderates” are liberals who — usually because of self-delusion (a leftist bailiwick) and a desire to sound “reasonable” — don’t brand themselves what they really are; bear in mind when pondering this that liberals are generally solipsistic and fancy that they define the center, and also realize that the label “liberal” has been discredited enough so that many won’t don it. Yet even more significant here is that it isn’t just people’s perceptions that shift — the definitions of “liberal” and “conservative” do, too.
Consider that while a conservative in 1952 America was staunchly anti-communist, a conservative in the Soviet Union at the time was a communist. And “conservatives” in Western Europe are often our liberals’ ideological soul mates. This isn’t for lack of truth in political advertising. Rather, it’s because the only consistent definition of “conservative” is “a desire to maintain the status quo” while “liberal’s” only consistent definition involves a desire to change it. This means “conservatism” is always changing: tomorrow’s version will reflect today’s liberalism’s success in altering the status quo. Conservatism is the caboose to liberalism’s locomotive (I treat this in-depth here).
This explains a few things. First, it’s often pointed out that a healthy plurality in America describes itself as conservative. Is this surprising? All it really means is that many, many people align themselves with the status quo — and if this weren’t the case, the status quo wouldn’t be the status quo. Second, some insist that millennials will move toward conservatism, and this is true in that most people become somewhat more traditional with age. Yet it’s also true that conservatism will move toward them.
That is to say, as “conservatism” drifts “left,” it follows that millennials will “become more conservative” even if they stay in the same place, in that they will be situated more on the post-shift political spectrum’s right side; this is just as how a person can become poorer in a definitional sense if the poverty line standard is altered.
That so few recognize this reflects the relativism of our time, where we label ourselves with provisional terms and measure ourselves against other people (it’s people who define the political spectrum). If we want to see matters clearly, however, we must define them differently: in absolute terms.
In other words, what do millennials actually believe? Well, never before has an American generation been so tolerant of intolerable sexual practices, so supportive of faux marriage and skeptical of actual marriage, so relativistic and disconnected from Christianity (church attendance is one of the best predictors of voting habits). Never before has an American generation been to their degree socially “liberal.”
This brings us to the claim that millennials are, at least, fiscally conservative. Now, not only is convincing evidence of this elusive, but considering it a saving grace is essentially saying that it profits a man to gain the world but lose his soul. Regardless, however, while the social liberalism/fiscal conservatism marriage may exist in particular cases, I suspect that in principle it is an impossibility.
For instance, speaking of principle versus particular, if you ask people, “Do you believe government should balance its budget and be frugal,” of course they’ll say yes. But if you ask them if they’re willing to relinquish their particular piece of the pie (government college aid?), their tune changes. Espousing fiscal responsibility requires only a voice; achieving it requires virtue.
Second, consider the side-effects of social liberalism in modern times. And this should be prefaced by saying that since this explanation warrants a book, my treatment here will necessarily be lacking. But just as an example, social liberalism means loose sexual mores. Loose sexual mores mean a high rate of single motherhood (today it’s 42 percent…and rising). And what does this mean? Since the modern West won’t let these women twist in the wind, the government will step into the breach and play daddy with handouts and/or mommy with tax-funded daycare. It is unavoidable.
And in point of fact, this cultural decay brings us to the real reason for political drift. It was something about which the Founding Fathers — as well as great thinkers throughout Christendom’s history — spoke much. Ben Franklin warned, “As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” British philosopher Edmund Burke observed, “It is written in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.” And John Adams wrote in 1798, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Question: does “moral and religious” describe us today?
Of course, some will now say, “But why do you think millennials supported Ron Paul? They want liberty!” Sure they do.
So does a tiger in a zoo.
So does a toddler.
Neither, however, can be allowed to roam free in civilization without hurting himself or others. And the less people are civilized growing up, the closer they will be to that infantile or animalistic state — and the more they have need of cages and masters.
The truth? Government can be no better than the public’s virtue, though it can be worse. And this morality-government relationship is evident in voting patterns. Is it a coincidence that every group orthodox Christians label immoral — those involved in “alternative” sexual deathstyles, criminally inclined inner-city dwellers, effete college professors, grunge-type youths scarred with multiple tattoos and body piercings — vote left? “What fellowship hath light with darkness?” The darkness hates the light. When people have sins they yearn to rationalize away, the last thing they’ll do is support leaders who would uphold, even just through word, a moral standard condemning their passions.
Providing specificity as to how this affects government is another book-worthy topic, so I’ll offer just two examples. We’ve heard about those ruggedly individualistic Americans who’d rather live in poverty in Appalachia than accept government handouts and those spirit-of-entitlement types who protest violently when they don’t receive them. And society will always contain both kinds, but the ratio can vary greatly. In a nation characterized by self-sufficiency, honor and virtue, a redistributionist will find barren ground. But if a spirit of greed, covetousness and thievery prevails, people will be susceptible to the demagogic appeal, “You’ve been cheated, but give me power and I’ll get you your piece of the pie, comrade!” Or consider lust. If people resolved to be chaste outside of marriage, do you think the abortion movement or taxpayer funded contraception appeal could gain traction?
So how do you make a civilization susceptible to dark demagogues?
Make it love the darkness.
I wouldn’t first and foremost spend time on intellectual appeals. As the Soviets once did (as explained by ex-KJB defector Yuri Bezmenov) I’d seek to undermine the morality of the target nation. I’d spread the idea that morality is really “values” and values are relative — all just a matter of perspective, you see. Once this was accepted and people no longer believed in the rules of morality, it would be as if they ceased believing in the rules of human nutrition: not thinking any food could actually be “bad,” they’d be governed only by taste and would try, and could develop an affinity for, anything — even perhaps poison. Vice corresponds to this on the moral menu.
I’d then get them hooked on their bad moral diet through inundation. Stoke their lust’s fires via highly sexualized entertainment, and portray violence as just as casual and cool, so lashing out at others seems the norm. I’d engorge their egos with media messages about how they could determine their own morality so that, as the serpent said, “you will be like God.” I’d provide co-ed dorms and a general party atmosphere at universities, creating “occasions of sin” that will ensure the kids have as much as possible they need to justify. And after robbing them of moral judgment and creating a visceral craving for vice, I’d fill their heads full of anti-Western, anti-Christian — in fact, anti-goodness — ideas in college classrooms. When I was done with them, they’d not only possess the discernment of a man in the midst of a drug-fueled orgy, their egos would be so bloated they’d consider their ignorance wisdom.
Speaking of wisdom, when conservatives indulge wishful thinking and suppose that millennials will “wake up,” they ignore that we actually need a shake up, something that changes the cultural trajectory on which we’ve long been (so if an asteroid strikes the Earth, millennials may turn into conservatives — of course, they instead may turn into cavemen, too). Until then, whatever the keepers of the flame plan had better require the participation of only a zealous minority. For the masses will not wake up when beset by a cultural narcolepsy in which nightmares are fancied nice dreams.
“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”–Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The definition of what makes an “enemy” may vary from person to person. But I would say that, generally, an enemy is one who has an active ability to do irreparable harm to you or your essential values. He is motivated by destruction, the destruction of all that you hold dear. He is capable and unrelenting. He is a legitimate threat. He will not compromise. He will not waver. He will do anything to wound you. He will not stop. He is possessed.
Americans have spent the better part of a century being told who their enemies are with very little explanation or substantiation. We have blindly rallied around our patriotic prerogative without knowing the root cause of the conflict or the nature of the target we are told to annihilate. We have been suckered into war after war, conjured by international interests in order to lure us into accepting greater centralization and concentrated globalism. As a culture, I’m sorry to say, we have been used. We are a tool of unmitigated doom. We are the loaded gun in the hand of the devil.
This paradigm has done irreparable harm to our standing in the eyes of the peoples of the world. But until recently, it has done very little harm to us as a society. We have allowed ourselves to be used like a bloody club, but we have not yet felt the true pain or the true cost. We have been insulated from consequence. However, this comfortable situation is quickly coming to an end.
When one applies the above definition of “the enemy” to Syria, one comes away with very little satisfaction. The Syrian government poses absolutely no immediate threat to the United States. In fact, the civil war that now rages within its borders has been completely fabricated by our own government. The insurgency has been funded, armed, trained and ultimately directed by the U.S. intelligence community. Without U.S. subversion, the civil war in Syria would not exist.
So, the question arises: If Syria is not the real enemy, who is?
I point back to the core issue. That is to say, I would examine who pose a legitimate threat to our country and our principles. The Syrian government under Bashar Assad clearly has no capability to threaten our freedom, our economic stability, our social stability, or our defensive capabilities. There is, though, a group of people out there who do, in fact, pose a significant threat to the American way of life on every conceivable level. These people do not live on the other side of the world. They do not wear foreign garb or speak another language. Most of them do not have pigmented skin or Asian features. They look just like you and I, and they live in Washington D.C.
If the so-called “debate” over a possible military strike in Syria has done anything, it has certainly brought the American public’s true enemies frothing to the surface like so much sewage. Men who posed as liberal proponents of peace not long ago now salivate over the prospect of bloodshed. Men who once posed as fiscal conservatives now clamor for more Federal funding to drive the U.S. war machine. Men who claimed to represent the citizenry now ignore all calls for reason by the public in the pursuit of global dominance.
I have warned of the considerable dangers of a war in Syria for years — long before most people knew or cared about the Assad regime. Being in this position has allowed me to view the escalating crisis with a considerable amount of objectivity. In the midst of so much chaos and confusion, if you know who stands to gain and who stands to lose, the progression of events becomes transparent, and the strategy of the actual enemy emerges.
So what have I observed so far?
If you want to know who has malicious intent toward our Constitutional values, simply move your eyes away from the Mideast and focus on our own capital. The ill will toward liberty held by the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties is obvious in the Congressional support of the banker bailouts, the Patriot Acts, the National Defense Authorization Act, the President’s domestic assassination directives, the hands-off approach to National Security Agency mass surveillance, etc. But even beyond these litmus tests, the Syrian debate has unveiled numerous enemies of the American people within our own government.
The catastrophe inherent in a Syrian strike is at least partially known to most of the public. We are fully aware that there will be blowback from any new strike in the Mideast (limited or unlimited), economically as well as internationally. So if the average American with little political experience understands the consequences of such an action, the average politician should be more than educated on the dangers. Any representative who blatantly ignores the calamity ahead is either very stupid or has an agenda.
I find it fascinating that politicians and bureaucrats from both sides of the aisle are now coming out of the woodwork to cheerlead alongside each other for war and the state.
For those who are predominantly preoccupied with Barack Obama as the source of all our ills, I would gladly point out that Republican leader and House Speaker John Boehner has also thrown his support behind a Syrian strike, even before the U.N. investigative report on Syrian chemical weapons use has been released.
In the meantime, self-proclaimed Republican stalwarts like John McCain (R-Ariz.) have argued that Obama’s “limited strike” response is “not enough.” This is the same man, by the way, who has been instrumental in the monetary and military support of Al Qaeda in Syria. McCain has recently called for avid pursuit of the new Russian proposal for chemical disarmament in Syria, not because he wants to find a peaceful solution to the situation, but because he believes the deal can be used as a bargaining chip to convince Congress to VOTE FOR military force, in order to “keep pressure on Assad”.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who not long ago ran for President on the platform of being an anti-war Democrat, now regularly begs the American people to back further war based on the same dubious evidence for which he once criticized the George W. Bush Administration. In fact, Kerry has made it clear that even if Congress votes “no” against a strike, he believes Obama has the right to set one in motion anyway.
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), the man who openly admits in mainstream interviews that he believes the President has the right to indefinitely detain or assassinate American citizens without trial or oversight, has loudly indicated his support for a war on Syria. His criticisms parallel McCain’s in that he believes the Obama Administration should have attacked without Congressional approval or should commit to an all-out military shift into the region. That is to say, he believes the goal of the White House should be invasion and regime change, not just disarmament. Graham consistently fear mongers in the mainstream media, often warning that without a hard, immediate strike against Syria, catastrophe will befall Israel, and chemical andnuclear weapons will rain on America.
All I have to say to Graham is, if chemical or nuclear weapons are used against the American people, it will be because the establishment ALLOWED it to happen — just as it has allowed numerous attacks in the past to occur in order to facilitate pretext for a larger war. (The Gulf of Tonkin is a fitting example considering the many similarities between the Syrian debacle and Vietnam, the only difference being that this time the establishment is throwing its support on the side of the insurgency, rather than the prevailing government).
For those out there in the movement who are hoping for reason and logic to prevail during a Congressional debate on the Syrian issue, I would suggest that they do not hold their breath. This vote was decided before Obama ever allowed it to go to the Hill. The vote has been cast. The debate is a sideshow designed to make the American people feel as if their system of government still functions as it should. Remember, no Congress in the history of the United States has ever refused the request of a President to make war.
The more than 150 Congressmen who demanded a vote on the Syrian crisis did so because they wanted to be included in the process, not because they necessarily opposed a war. That leaves nearly 300 representatives who had NO PROBLEM whatsoever with Obama attacking Syria unilaterally without any checks or balances. The Senate panel that initiated the voting process on the strike plan passed the initiative 10-7. I have no doubt that Obama has the votes to confirm the use of force, even with all the talk of uncertainty in evidence or planning.
The Russian offer of organizing chemical disarmament has barely made a dent in the White House’s war rhetoric, as was evident in Barack Obama’s address to the nation yesterday. When asked in an interview with NBC if he has made up his mind whether or not he will forge ahead with military action if Congress votes his proposal down, Obama stated:
“It’s fair to say that I haven’t decided…”
Putting on the airs of a Roman Emperor, Obama’s thumb remains in the neutral position over the gladiator pit of Syria, but as he clearly points out, he can give the thumbs down anytime he chooses. If anything, the White House and the elitist machine are simply using the next few weeks (the approximate time being discussed for chemical disarmament) to establish further precedent, or conjure new atrocities, in order to garner a minimal public backing for violent action in the region.
And, let’s not forget our friendly enemies in the mainstream media. The MSM is in rare form the past week, fabricating numerous arguments as to why the average American “just doesn’t get the Syrian situation”. The latest disinformation campaigns seem to be revolving around generating alternative motivations for a strike -
Obama’s “red line” was crossed and we must strike in order to save face amongst our allies.
A refusal to strike Syria will “embolden Iran” and lead them to use their own WMD’s in terrorist acts (WMD’s which are still not proven to exist).
And my favorite argument: That refusing to strike would mean “abandoning” the Syrian rebelsin their war on Assad. You know, the same rebels permeated with psychopathic Al Qaeda operatives that our government trained and funded.
The mainstream media steamroller is barreling forward, searching for ANY talking point that will hook the American populace into rationalizing an attack. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pencil-necked weaklings call for so much blood. The strategy seems to be an attempt to shift America’s attention away from the alleged chemical attack alone, and discombobulate us with multiple sales pitches of death in case Congressional support turns sour (which I doubt).
But let’s say Obama does not get his Congressional approval; as stated earlier his office has asserted on numerous occasions that he has the authority to trigger war regardless. A “no” vote in Washington means nothing today due to war powers granted after 9/11. The probable scenario, though, is the most common scenario. Congress will likely authorize the “use of limited military force” without directly declaring war on the Assad regime. This is exactly what Congress did in the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There was no evidence of an Al Qaeda support structure and no evidence of weapons of mass destruction, but war exploded nonetheless. Congress gave Bush a blank check to do whatever he saw fit, and I believe Congress will do the same for Obama.
America is being set up to look like the bad guy or the fool, but why?
Our political leadership is devoted to the ideology of globalization, not sovereignty or U.S prosperity. A Syrian strike places the United States in tremendous peril, the likes of which have not been seen since the Cuban missile crisis. Syria itself is a vacuum of suffocating calamity; a black hole swirling in a void of economic and sociological interdependency. Where the United States enters, so follows Iran, so follows Israel, so follows Saudi Arabia, so follows Lebanon, so follows Jordan, so follows Egypt, so follows Russia, so follows China and on and on.
In my analysis of Syria over the years, I have exposed this domino effect of war as well as the possible calamities of an economic chain reaction. Escalating conflict in Syria will eventually lead to the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the collapse of the U.S. financial system. Knowing that this is the ultimate result of a strike in the region, many people would ask WHYthe White House and so many prominent figures in Congress would be so hell-bent on setting such wheels in motion. I would stand back from the chaos and ask what I always ask: Who gains the most from the disaster?
The demise of American currency dominance and the degradation of the American spirit do indeed benefit a select few. For the most part, central banks and globalists have taken a hands-off approach to the Syrian debacle. Perhaps that’s because doing so makes it easier for them to survey the inevitable collapse from a distance and swoop in later as our “saviors,” ready to rebuild the world according to their own ideals. Having a debased and desperate U.S. populace certainly makes the transition to total globalization and centralization much easier.
My original query was: Who is the real enemy? No matter what happens in the coming months and years, never forget that question. Who poses the greatest threat to our freedom: Syria or the political ghouls trying to convince us to decimate Syria?
Who claims the power to take everything we have? Who claims the power to take our liberty and our lives at a whim? Who claims the power to kill innocents in our name? Who disregards the checks and balances of Constitutionalism at every turn? Who truly threatens our future and the future of our children?
Do not be distracted by stories of foreign monsters far away when the real monsters lurk so quietly under your bed. Even if we can find a successful strategy to pressure Congress into avoiding a Syrian conflict, I say remain vigilant. America is one global hiccup away from oblivion. And if this is what the establishment wants, they will find a way to make it happen. The threat of continuous U.S. catastrophe will only end when the poison is removed from our very veins, and that process of purification begins with the removal of the criminal political structures and banking structures in Washington.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market