A talk at Rhodes Forum, October 5, 2013…
First, the good news. American hegemony is over. The bully has been subdued. We cleared the Cape of Good Hope, symbolically speaking, in September 2013. With the Syrian crisis, the world has passed a key forking of modern history. It was touch and go, just as risky as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The chances for total war were high, as the steely wills of America and Eurasia had crossed in the Eastern Mediterranean. It will take some time until the realisation of what we’ve gone through seeps in: it is normal for events of such magnitude. The turmoil in the US, from the mad car chase in the DC to the shutdown of federal government and possible debt default, are the direct consequences of this event.
Remember the Berlin Wall? When it went down, I was in Moscow, writing for Haaretz. I went to a press-conference with Politburo members in the President Hotel, and asked them whether they concurred that the end of the USSR and world socialist system was nigh. I was laughed at; it was an embarrassing occasion. Oh no, they said. Socialism will blossom, as the result of the Wall’s fall. The USSR went down two years later. Now our memory has compacted those years into a brief sequence, but in reality, it took some time.
The most dramatic event of September 2013 was the high-noon stand-off near the Levantine shore, with five US destroyers pointing their Tomahawks towards Damascus and facing them – the Russian flotilla of eleven ships led by the carrier-killer Missile Cruiser Moskva and supported by Chinese warships. Apparently, two missiles were launched towards the Syrian coast, and both failed to reach their destination.
It was claimed by a Lebanese newspaper quoting diplomatic sources that the missiles were launched from a NATO air base in Spain and they were shot down by the Russian ship-based sea-to-air defence system. Another explanation proposed by the Asia Times says the Russians employed their cheap and powerful GPS jammers to render the expensive Tomahawks helpless, by disorienting them and causing them to fail. Yet another version attributed the launch to the Israelis, whether they were trying to jump-start the shoot-out or just observed the clouds, as they claim.
Whatever the reason, after this strange incident, the pending shoot-out did not commence, as President Obama stood down and holstered his guns. This was preceded by an unexpected vote in the British Parliament. This venerable body declined the honour of joining the attack proposed by the US. This was the first time in two hundred years that the British parliament voted down a sensible proposition to start a war; usually the Brits can’t resist the temptation.
After that, President Obama decided to pass the hot potato to the Congress. He was unwilling to unleash Armageddon on his own. Thus the name of action was lost. Congress did not want to go to war with unpredictable consequences. Obama tried to browbeat Putin at the 20G meeting in St Petersburg, and failed. The Russian proposal to remove Syrian chemical weaponry allowed President Obama to save face. This misadventure put paid to American hegemony , supremacy and exceptionalism. Manifest Destiny was over. We all learned that from Hollywood flics: the hero never stands down; he draws and shoots! If he holsters his guns, he is not a hero: he’s chickened out.
Afterwards, things began to unravel fast. The US President had a chat with the new president of Iran, to the chagrin of Tel Aviv. The Free Syrian Army rebels decided to talk to Assad after two years of fighting him, and their delegation arrived in Damascus, leaving the Islamic extremists high and dry. Their supporter Qatar is collapsing overextended. The shutdown of their government and possible debt default gave the Americans something real to worry about. With the end of US hegemony, the days of the dollar as the world reserve currency are numbered.
World War III almost occurred as the banksters wished it. They have too many debts, including the unsustainable foreign debt of the US. If those Tomahawks had flown, the banksters could have claimed Force Majeure and disavow the debt. Millions of people would die, but billions of dollars would be safe in the vaults of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. In September, the world crossed this bifurcation point safely, as President Obama refused to take the fall for the banksters. Perhaps he deserved his Nobel peace prize, after all.
The near future is full of troubles but none are fatal. The US will lose its emission rights as a source of income. The US dollar will cease to serve as the world reserve currency though it will remain the North American currency. Other parts of the world will resort to their euro, yuan, rouble, bolivar, or dinar. The US military expenditure will have to be slashed to normal, and this elimination of overseas bases and weaponry will allow the US population to make the transition rather painlessly. Nobody wants to go after America; the world just got tired of them riding shotgun all over the place. The US will have to find new employment for so many bankers, jailers, soldiers, even politicians.
As I stayed in Moscow during the crisis, I observed these developments as they were seen by Russians. Putin and Russia have been relentlessly hard-pressed for quite a while.
- The US supported and subsidised Russia’s liberal and nationalist opposition; the national elections in Russia were presented as one big fraud. The Russian government was delegitimised to some extent.
- The Magnitsky Act of the US Congress authorised the US authorities to arrest and seize the assets of any Russian they deem is up to no good, without a recourse to a court.
- Some Russian state assets were seized in Cyprus where the banks were in trouble.
- The US encouraged Pussy Riot, gay parades etc. in Moscow, in order to promote an image of Putin the dictator, enemy of freedom and gay-hater in the Western and Russian oligarch-owned media.
- Russian support for Syria was criticised, ridiculed and presented as a brutal act devoid of humanity. At the same time, Western media pundits expressed certainty that Russia would give up on Syria.
As I wrote previously, Russia had no intention to surrender Syria, for a number of good reasons: it was an ally; the Syrian Orthodox Christians trusted Russia; geopolitically the war was getting too close to Russian borders. But the main reason was Russia’s annoyance with American high-handedness. The Russians felt that such important decisions should be taken by the international community, meaning the UN Security Council. They did not appreciate the US assuming the role of world arbiter.
In the 1990s, Russia was very weak, and could not effectively object, but they felt bitter when Yugoslavia was bombed and NATO troops moved eastwards breaking the US promise to Gorbachev. The Libyan tragedy was another crucial point. That unhappy country was bombed by NATO, and eventually disintegrated. From the most prosperous African state it was converted into most miserable. Russian presence in Libya was rather limited, but still, Russia lost some investment there. Russia abstained in the vote on Libya as this was the position of the then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev who believed in playing ball with the West. In no way was Putin ready to abandon Syria to the same fate.
The Russian rebellion against the US hegemony began in June, when the Aeroflot flight from Beijing carrying Ed Snowden landed in Moscow. Americans pushed every button they could think of to get him back. They activated the full spectre of their agents in Russia. Only a few voices, including that of your truly, called on Russia to provide Snowden with safe refuge, but our voices prevailed. Despite the US pressure, Snowden was granted asylum.
The next step was the Syrian escalation. I do not want to go into the details of the alleged chemical attack. In the Russian view, there was not and could not be any reason for the US to act unilaterally in Syria or anywhere else. In a way, the Russians have restored the Law of Nations to its old revered place. The world has become a better and safer place.
None of this could’ve been achieved without the support of China. The Asian giant considers Russia its “elder sister” and relies upon her ability to deal with the round-eyes. The Chinese, in their quiet and unassuming way, played along with Putin. They passed Snowden to Moscow. They vetoed anti-Syrian drafts in the UNSC, and sent their warships to the Med. That is why Putin stood the ground not only for Russia, but for the whole mass of Eurasia.
There were many exciting and thrilling moments in the Syrian saga, enough to fill volumes. An early attempt to subdue Putin at G8 meeting in Ireland was one of them. Putin was about to meet with the united front of the West, but he managed to turn some of them to his side, and he sowed the seeds of doubt in others’ hearts by reminding them of the Syrian rebel manflesh-eating chieftains.
The proposal to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons was deftly introduced; the UNSC resolution blocked the possibility of attacking Syria under cover of Chapter Seven. Miraculously, the Russians won in this mighty tug-of-war. The alternative was dire: Syria would be destroyed as Libya was; a subsequent Israeli-American attack on Iran was unavoidable; Oriental Christianity would lose its cradle; Europe would be flooded by millions of refugees; Russia would be proven irrelevant, all talk and no action, as important as Bolivia, whose President’s plane can be grounded and searched at will. Unable to defend its allies, unable to stand its ground, Russia would’ve been left with a ‘moral victory’, a euphemism for defeat. Everything Putin has worked for in 13 years at the helm would’ve been lost; Russia would be back to where it was in 1999, when Belgrade was bombed by Clinton.
The acme of this confrontation was reached in the Obama-Putin exchange on exceptionalism. The two men were not buddies to start with. Putin was annoyed by what he perceived as Obama’s insincerity and hypocrisy. A man who climbed from the gutter to the very top, Putin cherishes his ability to talk frankly with people of all walks of life. His frank talk can be shockingly brutal. When he was heckled by a French journalist regarding treatment of Chechen separatists, he replied:
“the Muslim extremists (takfiris) are enemies of Christians, of atheists, and even of Muslims because they believe that traditional Islam is hostile to the goals that they set themselves. And if you want to become an Islamic radical and are ready to be circumcised, I invite you to Moscow. We are a multi-faith country and we have experts who can do it. And I would advise them to carry out that operation in such a way that nothing would grow in that place again”.
Another example of his shockingly candid talk was given at Valdai as he replied to BBC’s Bridget Kendall. She asked: did the threat of US military strikes actually play a rather useful role in Syria’s agreeing to have its weapons placed under control?
Putin replied: Syria got itself chemical weapons as an alternative to Israel’s nuclear arsenal. He called for the disarmament of Israel and invoked the name of Mordecai Vanunu as an example of an Israeli scientist who opposes nuclear weapons. (My interview with Vanunu had been recently published in the largest Russian daily paper, and it gained some notice).
Putin tried to talk frankly to Obama. We know of their exchange from a leaked record of the Putin-Netanyahu confidential conversation. Putin called the American and asked him: what’s your point in Syria? Obama replied: I am worried that Assad’s regime does not observe human rights. Putin almost puked from the sheer hypocrisy of this answer. He understood it as Obama’s refusal to talk with him “on eye level”.
In the aftermath of the Syrian stand-off, Obama appealed to the people of the world in the name of American exceptionalism. The United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional”, he said. Putin responded: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.” This was not only an ideological, but theological contradistinction.
As I expounded at length elsewhere, the US is built on the Judaic theology of exceptionalism, of being Chosen. It is the country of Old Testament. This is the deeper reason for the US and Israel’s special relationship. Europe is going through a stage of apostasy and rejection of Christ, while Russia is deeply Christian. Its churches are full, they bless one other with Christmas and Easter blessings, instead of neutral “seasons”. Russia is a New Testament country. And rejection of exceptionalism, of chosenness is the underlying tenet of Christianity.
For this reason, while organised US Jewry supported the war, condemned Assad and called for US intervention, the Jewish community of Russia, quite numerous, wealthy and influential one, did not support the Syrian rebels but rather stood by Putin’s effort to preserve peace in Syria. Ditto Iran, where the wealthy Jewish community supported the legitimate government in Syria. It appears that countries guided by a strong established church are immune from disruptive influence of lobbies; while countries without such a church the US and/or France give in to such influences and adopt illegal interventionism as a norm.
As US hegemony declines, we look to an uncertain future. The behemoth might of the US military can still wreck havoc; a wounded beast is the most dangerous one. Americans may listen to Senator Ron Paul who called to give up overseas bases and cut military expenditure. Norms of international law and sovereignty of all states should be observed. People of the world will like America again when it will cease snooping and bullying. It isn’t easy, but we’ve already negotiated the Cape and gained Good Hope.
(Language edited by Ken Freeland)
“On the August 6 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Dr. Ron Paul responded to this very straightforward statement which appeared in a recent New York Times article:
“‘Some analysts and Congressional officials suggested Friday that emphasizing a terrorist threat now was a good way to divert attention from the uproar over the N.S.A.’s data-collection programs, and that if it showed the intercepts had uncovered a possible plot, even better.’
“‘Well, it’s not amazing that this is the truth,’ Paul said in response. ‘It’s amazing, I think, that the New York Times would admit it.’
“Paul went on to say that the NSA’s claim of saving Americans from dozens of terrorist attacks is simply rhetoric to prove that the agency’s massive spying on Americans is a good thing.
“‘Their (the NSA officials) claimed successes are all built on lies,’ Paul said.
Paul referred to NSA Deputy Director John Inglis’ admission that the agency’s warrantless wiretapping only prevented maybe one terrorist plot and even that one is questionable, which contradicts the NSA’s earlier claim of 54 thwarted plots.
“‘It’s all based on lies and I think this is probably a benefit to us because most Americans now are being very, very leery of what our government tells us,’ Paul continued. ‘This is a terrible thing to have to go through… who wants to have to give up on their country?’
“‘We don’t want to give up on our country but I think it’s high time we gave up on a lot of our politicians and the way our government is being run.’”
See the report at:
What is even more amazing than the New York Times reporting such a story is the fact that some of Barack Obama’s biggest Hollywood supporters are beginning to recognize the evil machinations of Obama’s domestic spying.
Breitbart.com covered the following story:
“Actor Matt Damon told Black Entertainment Television (BET) that President Barack Obama ‘has some explaining to do:’
“‘There are a lot of things that I really question–the legality of the drone strikes, these NSA revelations. Jimmy Carter came out and said we don’t live in a democracy. That’s a little intense when an ex-president says that. So you know, he’s got some explaining to do, particularly for a constitutional law professor.’
“When asked his opinion of the President’s second term, Damon chuckled and said, ‘He broke up with me.’
See the report here:
Damon is not the only one in Hollywood angry over the NSA’s domestic spying. Included in the list are Alec Baldwin, Judd Apatow, Steve Martin, Rob Schneider, Patton Oswalt, John Cusack, Janine Turner, and even (Egad!) Michael Moore.
To read the actors comments, go here:
Here is my problem: how is it that liberal actors in Hollywood can see, and are willing to speak out against, the unconstitutional citizen spying apparatus that Barack Obama is implementing against the American people and our country’s pastors and Christian leaders neither see it nor have spoken out against it? What the heck is going on? You mean to tell me that actors in Hollywood care more about freedom than the men standing behind America’s pulpits? Creepers, Batman!
Plus, neither let us forget that it was George W. Bush who put all of the infrastructure, policies, and laws in place which created the machinery for everything that Obama’s NSA is currently using against the American citizenry. This is NOT a political issue. Both Republican and Democrat administrations and congresses have collaborated to eviscerate the Bill of Rights and turn America into a giant surveillance society.
What is it about people (including Christians and Republicans) that cause them to be infatuated with a police state? All one has to do is say that some law, no matter how egregiously oppressive it might be, is in the interest of “national security,” and, presto, everyone blindly supports it. Yes, yes, I realize that not everyone supports it. Ron Paul and a few others oppose this slippery slope; but the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats, pastors and Christians, liberals and conservatives, the media elite and journalists, do support it.
With all of this love and infatuation that so many people have with the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the NDAA, the NSA, etc., why don’t these same people love Nazi Socialism? After all, the surveillance society created by G.W. Bush and Barack Obama makes Hitler’s spy apparatus look amateurish by comparison.
Does anyone really not know that the NSA is lying to us? Does anyone really believe that the surveillance society is about protecting the American people from a few thousand Sand People?
The last report I read on the topic said that the TSA now has almost ONE MILLION people on the no-fly watch list. Almost one million! Al Qaeda has never numbered more than a few thousand people (not to mention that Al Qaeda is a contrivance of our own CIA). And at the rate we keep killing their “number two” guys, it is questionable just how many of them are truly left. Let’s put it this way: there are far more people on the TSA watch list than there are Al Qaeda members worldwide. But it really doesn’t matter how many or few of them there are; they justify America’s politicians turning the United States into a giant police state–for our own protection, or course. BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!
Researcher Joel Skousen quotes a Reuters news report saying, “Details of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program that feeds tips to federal agents and then instructs them to alter the investigation trail were published in a manual used by agents of the Internal Revenue Service for two years.
“A 350-word entry in the Internal Revenue Manuel instructed agents of the U.S. tax agency to omit any reference to tips supplied by the DEA’s Special Operations Division, especially from affidavits, court proceedings or investigative files. The entry was published and posted online in 2005 and 2006, and was removed in early 2007. The IRS is among two dozen arms of the government working with the Special Operations Division, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.”
Reuters broke another report about the way the government lies to us entitled, “U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans.” From the report: “‘I have never heard of anything like this at all,’ said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.
“‘It is one thing to create special rules for national security,’ Gertner said. ‘Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations.’”
See the report at:
Ron Paul knows the NSA is lying to us; Alex Jones knows they are lying to us; Stewart Rhodes knows they are lying to us; Joel Skousen knows they are lying to us; Matt Damon knows they are lying to us; Alec Baldwin knows they are lying to us; the New York Times knows they are lying to us; Reuters news knows they are lying to us; even Michael Moore knows they are lying to us. So, why don’t America’s pastors and Christian leaders know they are lying to us?
The US empire’s illusion of benign omnipotence has been broken by the heroic acts of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden writes Neil Harrison…
The grotesque climax to the manifest destiny dream. Invisible in the sky, malevolent and capricious, an Old Testament-style god rains arbitrary, brutal fate upon unsuspecting civilians.
On that Baghdad street, on that day, god existed. The Reuters journalist and his driver, gunned down for carrying an extended camera lens; the father killed taking his children to school; his children – injured and forced to witness their father’s abject death. For all of these people and more, god existed that day and his name was America.
Of course, this was the footage which finally convinced the troubled Private Bradley Manning to begin a campaign of, in his own words, “shattering the fantasy.” Thanks to Manning, no serious observer of this video, or of USA foreign policy in general, could now continue to indulge in the fantasy of America as the world’s friendly policeman, not without excercising some serious double-think. Especially not while listening to the Apache helicopter’s crew gloat and laugh as they kill and maim innocents (it somehow gets worse the more you see it).
Arguably, the video was the most important thing that Bradley Manning leaked before his arrest and incarceration. Footage of other Apache helicopter attacks in Iraq were already available on Youtube, transcripts from the attack had already been printed elsewhere in a book and the world already knew that the Reuters journalists had been killed by American forces, but images and sounds have a visceral impact which mere words often lack. A worldwide, large-scale audience was, for this particular video, guaranteed by the involvement of Wikileaks – Julian Assange’s flair for understated drama publicly piled up embarassment for the US military. Headline status meant that millions could now no longer continue with the ‘fantasy’ anymore than they could ‘unsee’ the footage. Therefore, by the time Manning’s subsequent leaks (including the war logs and the notorious diplomatic cables) came to light, they were being registered by a global public already primed with enlightened eyes and a deep sense of scepticism.
The convergence of a multitude of factors provided Manning with motive and opportunity to inflict one of the biggest clusterfucks in the American god-machine’s history of propaganda war- US government paranoia post 9/11 meant that, due to their insistence on inter-department ‘sharing,’ anyone with clearance could access virtually all government information. Manning’s genius with computers allowed him to trawl for his quarry with ease. Moreover, he felt desperately isolated. In the Mesopotamian desert, thousands of miles from home, among unsympathetic colleagues – it was far from the perfect situation for a very young man suffering deep personal turmoil. Most importantly of all, however, and the thing we should remember above all else, is that Private Bradley Manning cared.
He cared that he may have been complicit in a regime which employed (or contracted out) torture, “I was actively involved in something that I was completely against…” He cared that his fellow Americans were deliberately being kept ignorant of the true nature of their government’s foreign policy, “I want people to see the truth…without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” Manning cared enough to risk pissing off a god.
As this week’s verdict of guilty on twenty counts (though, symbolically, not ‘aiding the enemy,’ which begs the question – if no ‘enemy’ was ‘aided’ where the hell is the crime?) could potentially result in over 130 years jail time for him, and bearing in mind the dreadful incarceration he has already endured, this god is at pains to ensure few follow suit.
The American god-machine sent its son to the Middle-east. Once there, he made a stand for truth and human compassion. For his sacrifice he is now being symbolically martyred. Does this sound familiar? You would be forgiven for finding these comparisons somewhat contrived (put it down to artistic licence). However, before dismissing the notion entirely, consider a couple of further examples.
Firstly, thanks to the actions of another brave whistleblower, Edward Snowden, we now know something of American pretensions to omnipotence. America’s National Security Agency, it is becoming ever more apparent, are now able to read private emails and listen in on telephone conversations not only in the US. but across the globe. For reasons of security, in order to protect you, the NSA needs to be able to hear your weekly takeaway order. America-god knows your favourite pizza toppings. Feel safer?
Finally, there exists the reality of ritual appeasement. In Slavoj Zizek’s The Year of Dreaming Dangerously, he describes how the US must:
‘…suck up a daily influx of one billion dollars from other nations to pay for its consumption and is, as such, the universal Keynesian consumer that keeps the world economy running. (So much for the anti-Keynesian economic ideology that seems to predominate today!) This influx, which is effectively like the tithe paid to Rome in antiquity (or the gifts sacrificed to the Minotaur by the Ancient Greeks), relies on a complex economic mechanism: the US is “trusted” as the safe and stable center, so that all the others, from the oil-producing Arab countries to Western Europe and Japan, and now even the Chinese, invest their surplus profits in the US. Since this trust is primarily ideological and military, not economic, the problem for the US is how to justify its imperial role – it needs a permanent state of war, thus the “war on terror,” offering itself as the universal protector of all other “normal” (not “rogue”) states.’
Herein lies the truth of the matter. America is not a god, it simply wears this diguise of ‘justification,’ therefore maintaining the inflated faux-capacity, to attempt to behave like one. In truth, the US is becoming increasingly desperate to appease and control its own economic god.
But who benefits from this global arrangement? The American people? Maybe we should ask the citizens of Detroit that one?
If we in the ‘liberal’ West really are benefitting from this international tithe-paying/war-making economic regime, then at least now, thanks to Manning and Snowden, we can appreciate the true cost it incurs. Perhaps we may yet glimpse our own future therein, because the only people who have ever genuinely benefitted, who will ever benefit, from the system Zizek describes, are in a tiny and exclusive minority. In the words of Allen Ginsberg, they are:
The Dirty Rich.
Describing the way in which “emancipatory politics,” such as socialism or feminism, work “by reaching for a future,” Terry Eagleton invokes  a useful image:
“[They insert] the thin end of the wedge of the future into the heart of the present. They represent a bridge between present and future , a point where the two intersect.”
This is exactly what Manning and Snowden have achieved. They have given us a brief view of a future in which no state can be unaccountable for its actions, however clandestine, however obscure its motives – not even the most powerful on Earth.
Our immediate task for the future is to continue forcing the ‘wedge,’ to ensure that the illusion continues to be shattered. Let no motive of those who would make war go uninterogated. Let no action of those who hoard wealth at the expense of the pain, suffering and even the lives of others go unchallenged. This is how best to honour the bravery and sacrifices of Manning, Snowden and others like them. This is how we will display our solidarity with them as they face uncertain futures. This is how we will consign the gods to history.
 Slavoj Zizek, The Year of Dreaming Dangerously, p. 10
 Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right p. 69
In II Samuel 19 there is the story about an often-overlooked man by the name of Barzillai. He was a Gileadite who helped save King David’s life. The Scripture says of him: “He was a very great man.” Today, I’m going to tell you about a very great man. In fact, I’m going to talk about several great men.
I am reminded of these men, because tomorrow I have the distinct honor of speaking at a giant freedom rally on Lexington Green, Massachusetts, on the occasion of the 238th anniversary of the famous Battle of Lexington and Concord. If you live within driving distance, please come and join us. Oath Keepers founder, Stewart Rhodes, will also be speaking at this event. I believe the rally begins at 2pm local time.
In truth, April 19, 1775, should be regarded as important a date to Americans as July 4, 1776. It’s a shame that we don’t celebrate it as enthusiastically as we do Independence Day. It’s even more shameful that many Americans don’t even remember what happened on this day back in 1775. For the record, historians call this day, “Patriot’s Day.” More specifically, it was the day that the shot heard ’round the world was fired. It was the day America’s War for Independence began.
Being warned of approaching British troops by Dr. Joseph Warren and Paul Revere, Pastor Jonas Clark and his male congregants of the Church of Lexington (numbering 60-70) were the ones that stood with their muskets in front of the Crown’s troops (numbering over 800), who were on orders to seize a cache of arms which were stored at Concord and arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock (who were known to be in the area, and who had actually taken refuge in Pastor Clark’s home).
According to eyewitnesses, the king’s troops opened fire on the militiamen without warning, immediately killing eight of Pastor Clark’s parishioners. In self defense, the Minutemen returned fire. These were the first shots of the Revolutionary War. This took place on Lexington Green, which was located directly beside the church-house where those men worshipped each Sunday. Adams and Hancock were not apprehended. A few of Pastor Clark’s men led them to safety as their Christian brothers were preparing to stand in front of the British troops. Sam Adams and John Hancock owed their lives to Pastor Clark and his brave Minutemen.
According to Pastor Clark, these are the names of the eight men who died on Lexington Green as the sun rose on April 19, 1775: Robert Munroe, Jonas Parker, Samuel Hadley, Jonathan Harrington, Jr., Isaac Muzzy, Caleb Harrington, and John Brown, all of Lexington, and one Mr. Porter of Woburn.
However, by the time the British troops arrived at the Concord Bridge, hundreds of colonists had amassed a defense of the bridge. A horrific battle took place, and the British troops were routed and soon retreated back to Boston. America’s War for Independence had begun!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these two elements of American history are lost to the vast majority of historians today: 1) it was the attempted gun confiscation and seizure of two patriot leaders by British troops that ignited America’s War for Independence; and, 2) it was a local church pastor and his male congregants that mostly comprised the Minutemen who fired the shots that started our great Revolution.
With that thought in mind, I want to devote today’s column to honoring the brave preachers of Colonial America–these “children of the Pilgrims,” as one colonial pastor’s descendent put it.
It really wasn’t that long ago. However, with the way America’s clergymen act today, one would think that preachers such as James Caldwell, John Peter Muhlenberg, Joab Houghton, and Jonas Clark never existed. But they did exist; and without them, this country we call the United States of America would not exist.
Caldwell was a Presbyterian; Muhlenberg was a Lutheran; Houghton was a Baptist; and no one really seems to know what denomination (if any) Jonas Clark claimed, although one historian referred to Clark as a Trinitarian and Calvinist. But these men had one thing in common (besides their faith in Jesus Christ): they were all ardent patriots who participated in America’s War for Independence, and in the case of Jonas Clark, actually ignited it.
James Caldwell was called “The Rebel High Priest” or “The Fighting Chaplain.” Caldwell is most famous for the “Give ’em Watts!” story.
During the Springfield (New Jersey) engagement, the Colonial militia ran out of wadding for their muskets. Quickly, Caldwell mounted his horse and galloped to the Presbyterian church, and returning with an armload of hymnals, threw them to the ground, and hollered, “Now, boys, give ’em Watts!” He was referring to the famous hymn writer, Isaac Watts, of course.
The British hated Caldwell so much, they murdered his wife, Hannah, in her own home, as she sat with her children on her bed. Later, a fellow American was bribed by the British to assassinate Pastor Caldwell–which is exactly what he did. Americans loyal to the Crown burned both his house and church. No less than three cities and two public schools in the State of New Jersey bear his name.
John Peter Muhlenberg
John Peter Muhlenberg was pastor of a Lutheran church in Woodstock, Virginia, when hostilities erupted between Great Britain and the American colonies. When news of Bunker Hill reached Virginia, Muhlenberg preached a sermon from Ecclesiastes 3 to his congregation. He reminded his parishioners that there was a time to preach and a time to fight. He said that, for him, the time to preach was past and it was time to fight. He then threw off his vestments and stood before his congregants in the uniform of a Virginia colonel.
Muhlenberg was later promoted to brigadier-general in the Continental Army, and then to major general. He participated in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He went on to serve in both the US House of Representatives and US Senate.
Joab Houghton was in the Hopewell (New Jersey) Baptist Meeting House at worship when he received the first information regarding the battles at Lexington and Concord. His great-grandson gives the following eloquent description of the way he treated the tidings:
“[M]ounting the great stone block in front of the meeting-house, he beckoned the people to stop. Men and women paused to hear, curious to know what so unusual a sequel to the service of the day could mean. At the first, words a silence, stern as death, fell over all. The Sabbath quiet of the hour and of the place was deepened into a terrible solemnity. He told them all the story of the cowardly murder at Lexington by the royal troops; the heroic vengeance following hard upon it; the retreat of Percy; the gathering of the children of the Pilgrims round the beleaguered hills of Boston; then pausing, and looking over the silent throng, he said slowly, ‘Men of New Jersey, the red coats are murdering our brethren of New England! Who follows me to Boston?’ And every man in that audience stepped out of line, and answered, ‘I!’ There was not a coward or a traitor in old Hopewell Baptist Meeting-House that day.” (Cathcart, William. Baptists and the American Revolution. Philadelphia: S.A. George, 1876, rev. 1976. Print.)
As I said at the beginning of this column, Jonas Clark was pastor of the Church of Lexington, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775, the day that British troops marched on Concord with orders to arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock, and to seize a cache of firearms. It was Pastor Clark’s male congregants who were the first ones to face-off against the British troops as they marched through Lexington. When you hear the story of the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington, remember those Minutemen were mostly Pastor Jonas Clark and the men of his congregation.
On the One Year Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, Clark preached a sermon based upon his eyewitness testimony of the event. He called his sermon, “The Fate of Blood-Thirsty Oppressors and God’s Tender Care of His Distressed People.” His sermon has been republished by Nordskog Publishing under the title, “The Battle of Lexington, A Sermon and Eyewitness Narrative, Jonas Clark, Pastor, Church of Lexington.”
Order the book containing Clark’s sermon at:
Of course, these four brave preachers were not the only ones to participate in America’s fight for independence. There were Episcopalian ministers such as Dr. Samuel Provost of New York, Dr. John Croes of New Jersey, and Robert Smith of South Carolina. Presbyterian ministers such as Adam Boyd of North Carolina and James Armstrong of Maryland, along with many others, also took part.
Numerous Baptist preachers participated in America’s War for Independence, so many that at the conclusion of the war, President George Washington wrote a personal letter to the Baptist people saying, “I recollect with satisfaction that the religious societies of which you are a member have been, throughout America, uniformly and almost unanimously, the firm friends to civil liberty, and the preserving promoters of our glorious Revolution.” It also explains how Thomas Jefferson could write to a Baptist congregation and say, “We have acted together from the origin to the end of a memorable Revolution.” (McDaniel, George White. The People Called Baptists. The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1918. Print.)
And although not every pastor was able to actively participate in our fight for independence, because so many pastors throughout colonial America preached the principles of liberty and independence from their pulpits, the Crown created a moniker for them: The Black Regiment (referring to the long, black robes that so many colonial clergymen wore in the pulpit). Without question, the courageous preaching and example of colonial America’s patriot-pastors provided the colonists with the inspiration and resolve to resist the tyranny of the Crown and win America’s freedom and independence.
I invite readers to visit my Black Regiment web page to learn more about my attempt to resurrect America’s Black-Robed Regiment. Go to:
Readers should know, too, that a brand new book co-authored by me and my constitutional attorney son, Tim, entitled, “To Keep Or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns,” will be released in just a few days. This book examines the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, and proves conclusively that nowhere does God expect His people to surrender their arms in the face of any would-be tyrant. With hundreds of references, we show from both Natural and Revealed Law that the right of self-defense, the right to keep and bear arms, is a God-ordained right and responsibility. This book is sure to be a blockbuster. To order the book, go to:
This is the fighting heritage of America’s pastors and preachers. So, what has happened? What has happened to that fighting spirit that once existed, almost universally, throughout America’s Christian denominations? How have preachers become so timid, so shy, and so cowardly that they will stand apathetic and mute as America faces the destruction of its liberties? Where are the preachers to explain, expound, and extrapolate the principles of liberty from Holy Writ?
I am absolutely convinced that one of the biggest reasons America is in the sad condition that it is in today is because the sermons Americans frequently hear from modern pulpits deal mostly with prosperity theology, entertainment evangelism, feelgoodism, emotionalism, and Aren’t-I-Wonderful ear tickling! One man recently wrote and told me that his ears had been tickled so much in church that he had calluses on them.
This milquetoast preaching, along with a totally false “obey-the-government-no-
Tim and I also wrote a book entitled, “Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission.” This book examines Romans 13, and the rest of Scripture, and shows that nowhere does God demand that His people yield to wicked and unjust government. To order this book, to go:
As we celebrate Patriot’s Day tomorrow, please remember Jonas Clark (along with James Caldwell, John Peter Muhlenberg, Joab Houghton, and the other brave pastors of colonial America). “He was a very great man.”
One variant of a well-known law of bureaucracy says that the amount of time spent discussing a budgetary decision is inversely proportional to the magnitude of the budget in question. Judging by what I witnessed on March 20 at the European Parliament—at the Committee on Budgets’ hearing on the “Financing of the Eastern Partnership”—the Brussels machine functions entirely in accordance with this adage.
The money involved is substantial: 2.8 billion euros ($3.6 billion) over 5 years. The project’s stated purpose is to promote “shared values”—democracy, human rights and the rule of law—in six former Soviet states deemed to be of “strategic importance” to the European Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, andUkraine. Promoting the principles of market economy, sustainable development, civic society and “good governance” is also among the objectives.
In their opening remarks, the officials involved in running the Eastern Partnership Program were self-congratulatory about its alleged achievements. That much was to be expected: lots of sinecures, cushy jobs and expense-padded missions can be extracted from a few billion. Nevertheless, the entire construct’s numerous problems and shortcomings could not be concealed:
- Conceptually, there is no clear consensus within the EU on what exactly it is trying to promote in its eastern neighborhood under the bombastic slogans of “shared values, collective norms and joint ownership.” What does it all mean, if anything, in the real world?
- Empirically, the program has followed, and still follows, a “top-down” approach of deciding in Brussels what are the goals, then telling the eastern “partners” what they need to do, and finally rewarding them accordingly—rather than developing genuine partnerships based on those countries’ real needs and attainable objectives.
- Managerially, in order for the funds allocated to the “Partnership” to be optimally utilized, they would require elaborate apparatuses of deployment, supervision and evaluation. On the basis of the presentations last Wednesday, it is clear that the EU has neither the institutional mechanisms nor the supervisory bodies capable of insuring that this is the case.
- Substantially, the elephant in the room was the issue of EU enlargement—or, rather, the extreme unlikelihood of further enlargement after Croatia’s accession next July. Without the realistic prospect of an eventual path to full membership, the EU lacks meaningful leverage over the political elites in the six eastern countries to make them change their ways.
Far from being addressed, these problems are bypassed by the tendency of the EU bureaucracy to close its eyes to the reality on the ground in the countries concerned—or, worse, still, to misrepresent that reality for reasons of institutional self-preservations. The result, to put it succinctly, is that billions of European taxpayers’ cash are poured into a bottomless pit of post-Soviet corruption, graft, and pork-barrel politics. “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us,” went the old Soviet joke. Its modern-day “Eastern” equivalent should be “We pretend to reform, and they pretend that we are doing a good job.” Instead of being properly perceived as part of the problem, terminally corrupt political “elites” are treated as partners in finding solutions.
Moldova is the prime example. On per-capita basis, this backwater squeezed between Romania and Ukraine—the poorest country in Europe—has received far more money than the other five “partners,” and the EU pretends that its objectives are being met. While I was at the European Parliament, the European Commission presented its own regional report on the implementation of the Eastern Partnership. It asserted that “significant progress was made in the implementation of the Eastern Partnership” and singled out Moldova for “showing significant progress,” “stepping up efforts to implement judicial and law enforcement reform,” and “continuing to implement reforms in the areas of social assistance, health and education, energy, competition, state aid and regulatory approximation to the EU acquis.” Moldova’s government was asked to “continue to vigorously advance reforms in the justice and law enforcement systems” as well as intensify the fight against corruption.
This is surreal, on par with the Soviet Communist Party congresses exalting the great and glorious achievements of socialism in the years of terminal decline under Brezhnev. In reality, Moldova is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, according to independent analysts, who also claim that the majority of EU assistance is being misused by local officials. The Warsaw-based EaP Institute warns that the EU is devoting considerable sums to Moldova for very little return in terms of progress in the country’s reform process: “It begs the question: Why is the EU throwing money like this at a black hole of corruption, when there is so much to do in the EU’s own member states?”
It does, indeed. Moldova has already received some €482m from the EU Eastern Partnership, which is about 110 euros ($145) for every man, woman and child in the dirt-poor country—the equivalent of an average two-weekly wage. Nobody knows for certain where it went, but we have a fair idea. Recent opinion polls say that the majority of citizens of Moldova consider their current coalition government as “totally corrupt.” According to the Transparency International 2012 report, Moldova is among the most corrupt places in Europe, with Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia topping the list. But the EU says it is doing well, because an unhealthy symbiotic relationship has been developed between the unelected and mostly unaccountable bureaucrats managing enormous funds earmarked for nebulous purposes and their foreign “clients” who gloat at the mouth-watering prospect of placing a major portion of those funds into their own pockets.
After last Wednesday’s introductory presentations, several experts and members of European Parliament (MEPs) expressed misgivings about the Eastern Partnership policy. Olaf Osica, director of the centre for eastern studies in Warsaw, declared that “in four years the policy had failed to produce any tangible political or social results.” A prominent Polish MEP and former senior government minister, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, said the entire edifice should be “completely revised”:
There are a whole multitude of projects which, as we have heard at the hearing, no one seems able to follow or understand… What we are doing is creating the illusion that the EU is helping to transform these eastern European countries when, in fact, the naked truth is that the EU is losing its eastern neighbors. What is actually needed is for the EU—and that means both the Commission and Parliament—to totally revise and revisit its Eastern Partnership policy.
All this was in stark contrast to the earlier assurances by senior officials that the current picture was “confused,” but the EU was nevertheless “doing quite well” in addressing concerns about the transparency and accountability of its funding for the six countries (Marcus Cornaro); or that the EU was determined to push ahead with closer cooperation with those countries that have “demonstrated a commitment to the reform process” (Richard Tibbels).
The lenient attitude of EU officials regarding the patchy record of their “Eastern partners” on corruption, democratisation, and the rule of law is in stark contrast with the ever-moving goal posts for a half-dozen aspiring EU members in the Western Balkans. None of them will join the EU for a decade at least, of course, and a realistic reassessment of their political and economic policies is long overdue. The EU is in a state of chronic institutional and financial crisis, and trying to get on board at this point is equal to betting on Romney last November 5. Alternatives do exist, but they call for the cold-blooded diversification of long-term strategies. Belgrade and Kiev in particular should take note.
Where’s the Kingfish Now That We Really Need Him?
Wrong. The truth is that support for capitalism has been steadily eroding since the Great Crash of ’08 when markets tumbled and housing prices plunged wiping out $8 trillion in home equity and leaving 5 million homeowners facing foreclosure. After that dose of cold water in the face, support for the free market system dropped precipitously from 80% (in 2002) to a titch above 54% by 2010. Interestingly, in France (according to the Economist) only 6% of the people now “strongly” support the free market. Here’s more from the article in the Economist:
“Capitalism’s waning fortunes are starkly visible among Americans earning below $20,000. Their support for the free market has dropped from 76% to 44% in just one year. The research was conducted by GlobeScan, a polling firm. Its chairman Doug Miller says American business is “close to losing its social contract” with average families.” (“Market of Ideas: Capitalism’s waning popularity”, The Economist)
“Social contract”? What social contract? You mean the social contract that allows the banks to fleece your ass at every opportunity with no chance of being held accountable?
While the report is 2 years old, it indicates something that’s fairly obvious to many, that Americans are generally pragmatic people who judge a system by its results not by the public relations blabber issuing from the business channel. “Show me the beef”, that’s what the average working slob cares about, not some horseshit about “the wondrous symmetry of the self-correcting market”. What a load of malarkey. If we’d applied the theories of the market fundamentalists after Lehman Brothers collapsed, the 10 biggest banks in the country would have been euthanized (as they should have been) and we’d be well on our way to a true recovery. Instead, the economy is still hopelessly mired in a long-term slump that shows no sign of ending. The only thing that’s “corrected” is the profit margins on Wall Street which are at record highs. Get a load of this from the WSWS:
“As the US government prepares to furlough 1 million federal workers and slash hundreds of billions in social spending, corporate executives in the United States are receiving among the highest payouts in history. USA Today reported Thursday that at least ten CEOs took in $50 million apiece in 2012, largely as a result of cashing in stocks that have soared in value with the rising market. According to the newspaper, “Early 2013 proxy filings detailing 2012 compensation show a growing number of CEOs reaping $50 million or more, gains that could prove unmatched in breadth and size since the Internet IPO craze enriched tech company executives more than a decade ago…..
Among the top pay packages according to preliminary calculation is that of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, which included stock options valued at $103.3 million this year, on top of $30 million in other compensation and stock, as well as $10.2 million in vested shares, according to USA Today.” (“US corporate executives cash in”, World Socialist Web Site)
Geez, I sure hope Mr. Starbucks can make ends meet on a measly $130 mil a year. He might have to cutback on his trips to Walmart, don’t you think?
The whole thing is laughable. This is a free market? Give me a break! The Fed is pumping $85 billion per month into financial assets pushing up stock prices, while everyone else faces the grinding deprivation of austerity. Who can support a system like that? Everything about it is a lie. Now take a look at this from Trimtabs:
“…there has been a record number of buybacks announced since the start of February. There have also been a bumper crop of new cash takeovers. The number of shares grows when companies and or insiders sell new shares. …
Here’s why this is such a big deal. In essence over the last seven weeks companies have given shareholders $120 billion in cash in exchange for shares. Compare that $120 billion with just $50 billion of new money going into all equity mutual and exchange traded funds so far for all of 2013.
Remember, 80% of US stocks are held by institutions. Institutions typically have a constant rate of cash holdings, whether 1% or 5%. When the number of share held by institutions shrinks by $100 billion, or around 80% of $120 billion, that means those institutions have more money with which to buy the fewer shares available in the equity markets. Therefore, the price of the remaining shares should go up.” (“Record Buybacks Creating Massive Float Shrink”, Trimtabs)
There’s your great stock market rally in a nutshell. 100% fake. The Fed is juicing the system, so the guys with money are following Bernanke’s lead and buying back their own stinking shares, thus, pushing prices even higher. They make boatloads of cash while you and I get bupkis. That’s fair, isn’t it?
The whole thing is a joke. There’s no free market; it’s just PR-hype geared to dupe people out of their hard-earned money. Did you know that the nation’s biggest corporations are giving record amounts of cash back to investors via dividends because they don’t have anything to invest in? Here’s the story:
“The New York Times reported earlier this month that S&P 500 companies are expected to hand investors $300 billion in dividends this year, an increase over last year’s payout of $282 billion. American corporations bought back $117.8 billion in their own stock last month, the highest total on records going back to 1985.”
Of course, the reason they have nothing to invest in because everyone is broke. Unemployment is still high, wages are falling, and the average working family is up-to-their-eyeballs in debt. So, where’s the demand for more widgets? There isn’t any. The behemoth financial institutions have cannibalized the system to the point where nothing is left but a stripped carcass. There’s no sense in investing in plants and machinery when everyone is flat busted. You’re better off just giving money back to your rich friends so they can buy another bauble at Tiffany’s. And, that’s what they’re doing.
But, at least housing rebounding, right? I mean, it’s not all bad. Here’s the scoop from the country’s Number 1 housing cheerleader, Calculated Risk, from a post titled “Existing Home Sales in February: 4.98 million SAAR, 4.7 months of supply”:
“Sales in February 2013 (4.98 million SAAR) were 0.8% higher than last month, and were 10.2% above the February 2012 rate. “
Sounds pretty good, eh? Prices are up, sales are up, and all is well with the world. There’s only one little glitch; it’s all bullshit. In fact, disproving the “Housing is Back” theory is so easy, it’s ridiculous. If you can read a chart, you can grasp why housing is NOT rebounding. Look carefully at the chart above. See where we are now as far as existing housing sales. Sales are back to what they were in 2002, right? Now–ask yourself this– what happened in 2002 that might have impacted housing sales?
Does “housing bubble” ring a bell?
There was a sharp uptick in sales due to the fact that the banks started selling homes to anyone who could fog a mirror, right? Remember the subprimes, ARMs, no-down, interest only, liar’s loans, piggybacks, ALT As, and the whole panoply of freakish mortgages that boosted sales and sent housing prices into the stratosphere? That all started right around 2002. In other words, the bubble was caused by extending credit to people who were not creditworthy to begin with, people who the banks knew, would never be able to repay the loan. THEY KNEW THAT. That WAS the scam. Sure, low interest rates did play a role, but not nearly as big a role as criminally lax lending standards that put people in homes that they would eventually lose to foreclosure.
So, now sales are back to their historic trend, which is good. But it’s silly to expect prices and sales to return to bubble-era highs unless regulations are jettisoned (again) and the banks start issuing loans to anyone who stumbles into their office. That’s not to imply, that the banks and industry leaders are not working as hard as they can to weaken lending rules and to gut the new “Ability to Repay” provision of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) “Qualified Mortgage” regulation. They are! In fact, they appear to be making great strides in that regard. (See: MBA Applauds Bill to Clarify Points and Fees Calculation for Qualified Mortgage Rule, RISMedia.)
But the point is, unless the banks are able to sabotage the new guidelines for lending, (for gov-insured mortgages) there is not going to be another housing bubble. At best, prices will rise at their traditional 1 to 2% appreciation per year. And at worst, they will resume their downward slide when the speculators (who now make up roughly 25% of all sales) flee the market for greener pastures. Bottom line: There’s nothing in the recent data that suggests that housing prices will continue to rise. It’s all interest rate stimulus, inventory suppression and aggressive mortgage mods. (keeping underwater borrowers in their homes)
When the average guy reflects on the way he got raped in the housing swindle, or the twisted way the banks were bailed out, or the way the Fed forks over $85 billion per month to his crooked friends on Wall Street (while teachers, firefighters and other public workers get their pink slips month after month); he doesn’t get a real warm and fuzzy feeling about the system. He knows the system is rigged against him, that Bernanke’s thumb is planted on the scale, and that he’s getting bent-over by lowlife vipers and miscreants. He knows all that, which is why his support for free market capitalism is tenuous at best. Just take a look at this recent survey by Gallup and you’ll see that majorities on both sides of the aisle support big government programs that put people back to work.
Majority of Party Groups Favor Each Jobs Proposal
A majority of Democrats, Republicans, and independents support each of the three job creation proposals tested in a new Gallup poll. Republicans are much more supportive of business tax breaks than the new job programs, and Democrats are more likely to favor the job creation programs, while independents show roughly equal support for all three.
Implications: “Job creation proposals enjoy widespread public support, including majority backing among all party groups, even when the issue of government spending is raised in an era when deficit reduction is one of the major priorities for the federal government.” (Gallup)
Can you believe it? Even the Republicans support government jobs programs. So all that gibberish about “hating big government and loving the free market” is just a load of crap. Americans don’t hate socialism; What they hate is the word which conjures up images of the Berlin Wall, Joe Stalin and Soviet troops marching through Red Square. One of the country’s greatest political visionary’s was died-in-the-wool socialist; a man who worked his entire life to put the rich in their place and spread the wealth to ordinary working stiffs. He was America’s Hugo Chavez and his name was Huey P. Long, Governor of Louisiana, aka the “Kingfish”. Here’s a short video of Long giving speech to Congress.
“How many men ever went to a barbecue and would let one man take off the table what’s intended for 9/10th of the people to eat? The only way to be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of that grub that he ain’t got no business with!
Now we got a barbecue. We have been praying to the Almighty to send us to a feast. We have knelt on our knees morning and nighttime. The Lord has answered the prayer. He has called the barbecue. “Come to my feast,” He said to 125 million American people. But Morgan and Rockefeller and Mellon and Baruch have walked up and took 85 percent of the victuals off the table!
Now, how are you going to feed the balance of the people? What’s Morgan and Baruch and Rockefeller and Mellon going to do with all that grub? They can’t eat it, they can’t wear the clothes, they can’t live in the houses.
Giv’em a yacht! Giv’em a Palace! Send ‘em to Reno and give them a new wife when they want it, if that’s what they want. [Laughter] But when they’ve got everything on God’s loving earth that they can eat and they can wear and they can live in, and all that their children can live in and wear and eat, and all of their children’s children can use, then we’ve got to call Mr. Morgan and Mr. Mellon an Mr. Rockefeller back and say, come back here, put that stuff back on this table here that you took away from here that you don’t need. Leave something else for the American people to consume. And that’s the program.”
Where’s Kingfish now that we need him?
“Every man a king, but no one wears a crown.” – Huey P. long, Governor of Louisiana
Washington knows no heresy in the Third World but genuine independence. In the case of Salvador Allende independence came clothed in an especially provocative costume – a Marxist constitutionally elected who continued to honor the constitution. This would not do. It shook the very foundation stones upon which the anti-communist tower is built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that “communists” can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population. There could be only one thing worse than a Marxist in power – an elected Marxist in power.
There was no one in the entire universe that those who own and run “United States, Inc.” wanted to see dead more than Hugo Chávez. He was worse than Allende. Worse than Fidel Castro. Worse than any world leader not in the American camp because he spoke out in the most forceful terms about US imperialism and its cruelty. Repeatedly. Constantly. Saying things that heads of state are not supposed to say. At the United Nations, on a shockingly personal level about George W. Bush. All over Latin America, as he organized the region into anti-US-Empire blocs.
Long-term readers of this report know that I’m not much of a knee-reflex conspiracy theorist. But when someone like Chávez dies at the young age of 58 I have to wonder about the circumstances. Unremitting cancer, intractable respiratory infections, massive heart attack, one after the other … It is well known that during the Cold War, the CIA worked diligently to develop substances that could kill without leaving a trace. I would like to see the Venezuelan government pursue every avenue of investigation in having an autopsy performed.
Back in December 2011, Chávez, already under treatment for cancer, wondered out loud: “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented the technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?” The Venezuelan president was speaking one day after Argentina’s leftist president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, announced she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This was after three other prominent leftist Latin America leaders had been diagnosed with cancer: Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff; Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo; and the former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
“Evo take care of yourself. Correa, be careful. We just don’t know,” Chávez said, referring to Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, both leading leftists.
Chávez said he had received words of warning from Fidel Castro, himself the target of hundreds of failed and often bizarre CIA assassination plots. “Fidel always told me: ‘Chávez take care. These people have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat … a little needle and they inject you with I don’t know what.” 1
When Vice President Nicolas Maduro suggested possible American involvement in Chávez’s death, the US State Department called the allegation absurd. 2
Several progressive US organizations have filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CIA, asking for “any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who has just died.”
I personally believe that Hugo Chávez was murdered by the United States. If his illness and death were NOT induced, the CIA – which has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, many successfully 3 – was not doing its job.
When Fidel Castro became ill several years ago, the American mainstream media was unrelenting in its conjecture about whether the Cuban socialist system could survive his death. The same speculation exists now in regard to Venezuela. The Yankee mind can’t believe that large masses of people can turn away from capitalism when shown a good alternative. It could only be the result of a dictator manipulating the public; all resting on one man whose death would mark finis to the process.
It’s the end of the world … again
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) recent convention in Washington produced the usual Doomsday talk concerning Iran’s imminent possession of nuclear weapons and with calls to bomb that country before they nuked Israel and/or the United States. So once again I have to remind everyone that these people – Israeli and American officials – are not really worried about an Iranian attack. Here are some of their many prior statements:
In 2007, in a closed discussion, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that in her opinion “Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel.” She “also criticized the exaggerated use that [Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears.” 4
2009: “A senior Israeli official in Washington”, reported the Washington Post (March 5), asserted that “Iran would be unlikely to use its missiles in an attack [against Israel] because of the certainty of retaliation.”
In 2010 the Sunday Times of London (January 10) reported that Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam, war hero, pillar of the Israeli defense establishment, and former director-general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, “believes it will probably take Iran seven years to make nuclear weapons.”
January 2012: US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a television audience: “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.” 5
Later that month we could read in the New York Times (January 15) that “three leading Israeli security experts – the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz – all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel.”
Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (January 18), had this exchange:
Question: Is it Israel’s judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?
Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now … in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.
In an April 20, 2012 CNN interview Barak repeated this sentiment: “It’s true that probably [Iranian leader] Khamenei has not given orders to start building a [nuclear] weapon.” 6
And on several other occasions, Barak has stated: “Iran does not constitute an existential threat against Israel.” 7
Lastly, we have the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in a January 2012 report to Congress: “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.” … There are “certain things [the Iranians] have not done” that would be necessary to build a warhead.8
So why, then, do Israeli and American leaders, at most other times, maintain the Doomsday rhetoric? Partly for AIPAC to continue getting large donations. For Israel to get massive amounts of US aid. For Israeli leaders to win elections. To protect Israel’s treasured status as the Middle East’s sole nuclear power.
Listen to Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at America’s most prominent neo-con think tank, American Enterprise Institute:
The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately.” … And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem. 9
Osama bin Laden, Bradley Manning, & William Blum
Bradley Manning has the charge of “Aiding the enemy” hanging over his head. This could lead to a sentence of life in prison. As far as can be deduced, the government believes that the documents and videos that Manning gave to Wikileaks, which Wikileaks then widely distributed to international media, aided the enemy because it put US foreign policy in a very bad light.
Manning’s attorneys have asked the prosecution more than once for specific examples of how “the enemy” (whoever that may refer to in a world full of people bitterly angry at the United States because of any of many terrible acts carried out by the US government) has been “aided” by the Wikileaks disclosures. Just how has the enemy made use of the released material to harm the United States? The government has not provided any such examples, probably because what really bothers Washington officials is the embarrassment they have experienced before the world resulting from the documents and videos; which indeed are highly embarrassing even to genuine war criminals; filled with violations of international law, atrocities, multiple lies to everyone, revelations of gross hypocrisy, and much more.
So our splendid officials are considering putting Bradley Manning in prison forever simply because they’re embarrassed. Hard to find much fault with that.
But now the prosecutors have announced that a Navy Seal involved in the killing of Osama bin Laden is going to testify at the court martial that bin Laden possessed articles about the Wikileaks documents that Manning leaked. Well, there must be a hundred million other people in the world who have similar material on their computers. The question remains: What use did the enemy make of that?
The Iraqi government made use of the material, inducing them to refuse immunity to US troops for crimes committed in Iraq, such as the cold-blooded murders revealed by the Wilileaks videos; this in turn led the US to announce that it was ending its military engagement in Iraq. However, Manning was indicted in May 2010, well before the Iraqi decision to end the immunity.
In January, 2006 bin Laden, in an audio tape, declared: “If Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book ‘Rogue State’ [by William Blum], which states in its introduction … ” He then went on to quote the opening of a paragraph I wrote (which appears actually in the Foreword of the British edition only, that was later translated to Arabic), which in full reads:
“If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize – very publicly and very sincerely – to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America’s global interventions – including the awful bombings – have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but – oddly enough – a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings and invasions. There would be more than enough money. Do you know what one year of the US military budget is equal to? One year. It’s equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born.
“That’s what I’d do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I’d be assassinated.”
Thus, Osama bin Laden was clearly making use of what I wrote, and the whole world heard it. And I was thus clearly “aiding the enemy”. But I was not prosecuted.
The United States would like to prove a direct use and benefit by “the enemy” of the material released by Wikileaks; but so far it appears that only possession might be proven. In my case the use, and presumed propaganda benefit, were demonstrated. The fact that I wrote the material, as opposed to “stealing” it, is irrelevant to the issue of aiding the enemy. I knew, or should have known, that my criticisms of US foreign policy could be used by the foes of those policies. Indeed, that’s why I write what I do. To provide ammunition to anti-war and other activists.
The Department of Justice and socialism
For many years when I’ve been asked to explain just what I mean by “socialism” I’ve usually replied simply: “Putting people before profits”. There are a thousand-and-one details that would have to be considered in a transformation from a capitalist society to a socialist society, but rather than going into all that it’s much simpler to leave it with just that motto, which expresses theessence of my socialist society. In any event, in that glorious future world things will evolve in ways that could not be wholly predicted. The structure could take any one of many forms, but the essence must remain the same if it’s going to be called socialist.
Thus was I both surprised and amused in reading a news article about the current trial in New Orleans which is attempting to determine, amongst other things, the extent of blame of various companies, particularly BP, involved in the 2010 historic accident which took the lives of 11 workers and dumped an estimated 172 million gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The US Justice Department attorney declared in his opening statement: “The evidence will show that BP put profits before people, profits before safety and profits before the environment.” 10
Well, imagine that. The Justice Department certainly captured the essence of corporate behavior. The attorney chose such words because he knew that the sentiments expressed would appeal to the average American sitting on a jury. The members of the jury would understand that BP had blatantly ignored and violated certain cherished ideals like people, safety and the environment. Prosecuting the corporation would sound fair and just to them.
Yet, when someone like me expresses such sentiments – and I have used the exact same words on occasion – I run the risk of being written off as an “extremist”, a “radical”, and other bad-for-you labels; not long ago it was “commie”.
The irony runs even deeper. If a corporation flagrantly ignores putting profits before everything else, stockholders can sue the executives.
This just in! The real reason the Pope resigned!
He’s losing his mind.
In January, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with Pope Benedict XVI to receive his blessing. Afterward, Panetta said the pontiff told him, “Thank you for helping to keep the world safe.” 11
The precious art of assassinating legally
Obama hopeium addicts can soon be expected to call for support of the president’s increasing use of drones for assassination on the ground of their being good for the environment. My White House agent informs me that Obama is going to announce that all American drones will soon be composed 85% of recyclable material and will be solar-powered. And each drone missile will have the following painted on its side: “He was a bad guy. Just take our word for it!”
- The Guardian (London), December 29, 2011 ↩
- Huffington Post, March 7, 2013 ↩
- http://killinghope.org/bblum6/assass.htm ↩
- Haaretz.com (Israel), October 25, 2007; print edition October 26 ↩
- “Face the Nation”, CBS, January 8, 2012 ↩
- Washington Post, August 1, 2012 ↩
- Iran Media Fact Check, “Does Israel Consider Iran an ‘Existential Threat’?” ↩
- The Guardian (London), January 31, 2012 ↩
- Political Correction, “American Enterprise Institute Admits The Problem With Iran Is Not That It Would Use Nukes” ↩
- Associated Press, February 26, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, January 17, 2013 ↩
The Dow is at a record high and so are corporate profits – so why does it feel like most of the country is deeply suffering right now? Real household income is the lowest that it has been in a decade, poverty is absolutely soaring,47 million Americans are on food stamps and the middle class is being systematically destroyed. How can big corporations be doing so well while most American families are having such a hard time? Isn’t their wealth supposed to “trickle down” to the rest of us? Unfortunately, that is not how the real world works. Today, most big corporations are trying to minimize the number of “expensive” American workers on their payrolls as much as they can. If the big corporation that is employing you can figure out a way to replace you with a worker in China or with a robot, it will probably do it. Corporations are in existence to maximize wealth for their shareholders, and most of the time the largest corporations are dominated by the monopoly men of the global elite. Over the decades, the politicians that have their campaigns funded by these monopoly men have rigged the game so that the big corporations are able to easily dominate everything. But this was never what those that founded this country intended. America was supposed to be a place where the power of collectivist institutions would be greatly limited, and individuals and small businesses would be free to compete in a capitalist system that would reward anyone that had a good idea and that was willing to work hard. But today, our economy is completely and totally dominated by a massively bloated federal government and by absolutely gigantic predator corporations that are greatly favored by our massively bloated federal government. Our founders tried to warn us about the dangers of allowing government, banks and corporations to accumulate too much power, but we didn’t listen. Now they dominate everything, and the rest of us are fighting for table scraps.
In early America, most states had strict laws governing the size and scope of corporations. Individuals and small businesses thrived in such an environment, and the United States experienced a period of explosive economic growth. We showed the rest of the world that capitalism really works, and we eventually built the largest middle class that the world had ever seen.
But now we have replaced capitalism with something that I like to call “corporatism”. In many ways, it shares a lot of characteristics with communism, and that is why nations such as communist China have embraced it so readily. Under “corporatism”, monolithic predator corporations run around sucking up as much wealth and economic power as they possibly can. Most individuals and small businesses cannot compete and end up getting absorbed by the corporations. These mammoth collectivist institutions are in private hands rather than in government hands (as would be the case under a pure form of communism), but the results are pretty much the same either way. A tiny elite at the top gets almost all of the economic rewards.
There are some out there that would suggest that the answer to our problems is to move more in the direction of “socialism”, but to be honest that wouldn’t be the solution to anything. It would just change how the table scraps that the rest of us are getting are distributed.
If we truly wanted a return to prosperity, we need to dramatically shift the rules of the game so that they are tilted back in favor of individuals and small businesses. A much more pure form of capitalism would mean more wealth, less poverty and a more equitable distribution of the economic rewards in this country.
But it will never happen. Most of our politicians are married to the big corporations and the wealthy elitists that fund their campaigns. And most Americans are so uneducated that they believe that what we actually have today is “capitalism” and that the only alternative is to go “to the left” toward socialism.
Very few people out there are suggesting that we need to greatly reduce the power of the federal government and greatly reduce the power of the big corporations, but that is exactly what we need to do. We need to give individuals and small businesses room to breathe once again.
With each passing year, things get even worse. In fact, the founder of Subway Restaurants recently said that the environment for small businesses is so toxic in America today that he never would have been able to start Subway if he had to do it today.
For much more on how small business is being strangled to death in the United States, please see my previous article entitled “We Are Witnessing The Death Of Small Business In America“.
What I want to do now is to discuss some of the results that “corporatism” is producing in America.
First of all, we continue to see incomes go down even though we live in an inflationary economy.
As Time Magazine recently reported, personal incomes took a huge nosedive during the month of January…
Data released by the Commerce Department last week showed that personal income fell 3.6% in January, the biggest decline in 20 years. The drop was even bigger when taxes and inflation are taken into account. Real personal disposable income fell by 4%, the biggest monthly drop in half a century.
Real median US household income — that’s “real,” as in “adjusted for inflation” — was $50,054 in 2011, the most recent data available from the US Census Bureau. That’s 8% lower than the 2007 peak of $54,489.
Meanwhile, big corporations are absolutely raking in the cash. The following is from a recent New York Times article…
“So far in this recovery, corporations have captured an unusually high share of the income gains,” said Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “The U.S. corporate sector is in a lot better health than the overall economy. And until we get a full recovery in the labor market, this will persist.”
The result has been a golden age for corporate profits, especially among multinational giants that are also benefiting from faster growth in emerging economies like China and India.
Just check out the following chart. Corporate profits have absolutely exploded over the past decade…
Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of GDP continue to fall rapidly…
Most of the jobs being created in America today are “low wage” jobs. Tens of millions of Americans are working as hard as they can only to find that they can barely put food on the table and provide a roof over the heads of their children. The ranks of the “working poor” are exploding and the middle class continues to shrink.
Many of you that are reading this article are members of the working poor. You know what it is like to stare up at your ceiling at night wondering how you are going to pay the bills next month.
Today, most Americans are living very close to the edge financially. A recent article by NBC News staff writer Allison Linn shared some of their stories. The following is one example…
Crystal Dupont knows what it’s like to try to live on the federal minimum wage.
Dupont has no health insurance, so she hasn’t seen a doctor in two years. She’s behind on her car payments and has taken out pawn shop and payday loans to cover other monthly expenses. She eats beans and oatmeal when her food budget gets low.
When she got her tax refund recently, she used the money to get ahead on her light bill.
“I try to live within my means, but sometimes you just can’t,” said Dupont, 25. The Houston resident works 30 to 40 hours a week taking customer service calls, earning between $7.25 and $8 an hour. That came to about $15,000 last year.
It’s a wage she’s lived on for a while now, but just barely.
Sadly, the number of Americans that are “just barely” surviving continues to grow.
But if corporate profits are soaring to unprecedented heights, then who is getting all of those rewards?
The monopoly men of the global elite are.
Just check out the following video which does a great job of illustrating how corporatism has systematically funneled all of the economic rewards in our system to the very top…
Once again, I want to make it very clear that I am not advocating socialism as the answer in any way, shape or form. Socialism takes away the incentive to create wealth and it almost always results in almost all of the economic rewards going to a very tiny elite anyway.
As I said earlier, what we need is a return to a much more pure form of capitalism, but this is so foreign to the way that most people think that most people will not be able to grasp this.
It certainly would be possible to greatly reduce the power of the federal government and greatly reduce the power of the big corporations at the same time, but this is so “outside the box” for most people that they cannot even conceive of doing such a thing.
We need to create an environment where individuals and small businesses can thrive once again. But instead, most of us are content to continue “playing the game” and getting enslaved in even more debt.
For example, according to CNBC, auto loans just continue to get larger and continue to get stretched out for longer periods of time…
American car buyers, attracted by new models and cheap financing, are taking out bigger auto loans and stretching out the terms of those loans to a new record length.
New analysis from Experian Automotive shows the average new car loan in the fourth quarter of last year was $26,691 and stretched out over an average of 65 months. The length of the average loan is one month longer than the previous record set in the third quarter of last year.
What will they think of next?
Will we eventually have auto loans that get paid off over 10 years?
By the way, that is another way that the monopoly men of the global elite get all of our money. They enslave us to debt, and we spend year after year of our lives slaving away to make them even wealthier.
They are very smart. There is a reason why they have 32 TRILLION dollars stashed away in offshore tax havens. They know how to play the game, and they are very happy that most of the rest of us are asleep.
Fortunately, it appears that an increasing number of Americans are waking up.
For example, I wanted to share with you all an excerpt from a comment that one of my readers left on one of my recent articles…
In the past year, I’ve been slowly but surely waking up to the nonsense happening around me. There’s so many things I need to simply get off my chest, so excuse the length of this post. Recently in the past two years, I’ve gotten married and have been medically discharged from the Marines after being injured in Afghanistan. Being 23 years old and married, my goal is secure a secure a future for my family, but with the way things are going, I’m not exactly sure how much of a future we’re going to have in 50 years. I can’t explain it, but I’ve felt this need to change my attitude and motivations lately.
I started by turning off the garbage music, television and other mindless entertainment that seems to plague my generation. It was easier than it looked – I don’t miss most of it really. The next order of business was to educate myself on world news, so that’s what I did. Every day, like clockwork, I check all major mainstream news feeds (NBC, Fox, Abc, CNN, Reuters, BBC, etc.) as well as not-so-mainstream news sites – yours being one of them. It’s incredible how fast our world changes and the manner in which it changes. The local 10 o’clock doesn’t show anything but local news, sports, weather, lottery #’s and whatever else they decide to throw in. It’s a night and day difference once you start to actually research and see what’s happening all over the world. Look at the number of comments about a news story on the economy and then look at a celebrity story on the “news”….People are so blind, it truly amazes me. My friends, family and classmates at college seem to be under a spell of some sort. They’re distracted – and it’s contagious. Nobody I know gives a damn about global affairs/economics. They’re more interested in the newest iPhone, cars, shows, movies, and just about anything else you can think of. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with these things, but my friends/family/peers are CONSUMED by these distractions. When the election was taking place in 2012, every Tom, Dick and Harry on Facebook had an opinion and rant. After the circus ended however, everyone simply went back to posting about parties, kittens, Farmville etc. It’s a huge joke. For me, it’s little terrifying and exciting to see history unfolding in front of our eyes. This country of ours is going through big changes now that will most certainly affect our future, so I strive to adapt and prepare myself and my family. I’m looking at buying my first home this summer. Right now I live in an apartment right outside Philly and spend more money on rent than most pay for a mortgage. I need a house with a little land to raise chickens, grow fruits/vegetables, store canned food – and to be as independent from the system as I can. For my job, I wanted a skill/trade that people would always need, so I picked the funeral business. On the side, I work in construction and have been learning everything there is to know about building with my own two hands. I feel as though these old forgotten skills are going to be handy in a short while.
Hopefully we can get a lot more people to wake up and start breaking out of “the matrix” of control that is all around us.
Right now, the system is designed to continually funnel more money and more power to the very top of the pyramid. The global elite are becoming more dominant with each passing day. Unless something dramatic happens, at some point the American people will become so powerless that they won’t be able to do anything about it even if they wanted to.
The idea of a very tiny elite completely dominating all the rest of us goes against everything that America is supposed to stand for. In the end, it will result in absolute tyranny if it is not stopped.
Source: The Economic Collapse
In our modern world there exist certain institutions of power. Not government committees, alphabet agencies, corporate lobbies, or even standard military organizations; no, these are the mere “middle-men” of power. The errand boys. The well paid hitmen of the global mafia. They are not the strategists or the decision makers.
Instead, I speak of institutions which introduce the newest paradigms. Who write the propaganda. Who issue the orders from on high. I speak of the hubs of elitism which have initiated nearly every policy mechanism of our government for the past several decades. I am talking about the Council On Foreign Relations, the Tavistock Institute, the Heritage Foundation (a socialist organization posing as conservative), the Bilderberg Group, as well as the corporate foils that they use to enact globalization, such as Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the Carlyle Group, etc.
Many of these organizations and corporations operate a revolving door within the U.S. government. Monsanto has champions, like Donald Rumsfeld who was on the board of directors of its Searle Pharmaceuticals branch, who later went on to help the company force numerous dangerous products including Aspartame through the FDA. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have a veritable merry-go-round of corrupt banking agents which are appointed to important White House and Treasury positions on a regular basis REGARDLESS of which party happens to be in office. Most prominent politicians are all members of the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization which has openly admitted on multiple occasions that their goal is the destruction of U.S. sovereignty and the formation of a “one world government” or “supranational union” (their words, not mine).
However, one organization seems to rear its ugly head at the forefront of the most sweeping mass propaganda operations of our time, and has been linked to the creation of the most atrocious military methodologies, including the use of false flag events. I am of course referring to the Rand Corporation, a California based “think tank” whose influence reaches into nearly every sphere of our society, from politics, to war, to entertainment.
The Rand Corporation deals in what I would call “absolute gray”. The goal of the group from its very inception was to promote a social atmosphere of moral ambiguity in the name of personal and national priority. They did this first through the creation of “Rational Choice Theory”; a theory which prescribes that when making any choice, an individual (or government) must act as if balancing costs against benefits to arrive at an action that maximizes personal advantage. Basically, the ends justify the means, and moral conscience is not a factor to be taken seriously if one wishes to be successful.
Hilariously, rational choice theory has been attacked in the past by pro-socialist (collectivist) critics as “extreme individualism”; a philosophy which gives us license to be as “self serving” as possible while feeling patriotic at the same time. In reality, the socialists should have been applauding Rand Corporation all along.
What Rand had done through its propaganda war against the American people was to infuse the exact culture of selfishness needed to push the U.S. towards the socialist ideal. At the onset of any communist or national socialist society (sorry socialists, but they do indeed come from the same collectivist mindset), the masses are first convinced to hand over ultimate power to the establishment in order to safeguard THEMSELVES, not others. That is to say, the common collectivist man chooses to hand over his freedoms and participate in totalitarianism not because he wants what is best for the world, but because he wants what is best for himself, and he believes servitude to the system will get him what he wants with as little private sacrifice as possible (you know, except for his soul…).
The psychologist Carl Jung notes in his observations of collectivism in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia that most citizens of those nations did not necessarily want the formation of a tyrannical oligarchy, but, they went along with it anyway because they feared for their own comfort and livelihoods. Many a German supported the Third Reich simply because they did not want to lose a cushy job, or a steady paycheck, or they liked that the “trains ran on time”. Socialism is by far the most selfish movement in history, despite the fact that they claim to do what they do “for the greater good of the greater number”.
Rand also used Rational Choice Theory as a means to remove questions of principle from the debate over social progress. Rational Choice propaganda commonly presents the target audience with a false conundrum. A perfect example would be the hardcore propaganda based television show ‘24’ starring Kiefer Sutherland, in which a government “anti-terrorism” agent is faced with a controlled choice scenario in nearly every episode. This choice almost always ends with the agent being forced to set aside his morals and conscience to torture, kill, and destroy without mercy, or, allow millions of innocents to die if he does not.
Of course, the real world does not work this way. Life is not a chess game. Avenues to resolution of any crisis are limited only by our imagination and intelligence, not to mention the immense number of choices that could be made to defuse a crisis before it develops. Yet, Rand would like you to believe that we (and those in government) are required to become monstrous in order to survive. That we should be willing to forgo conscience and justice now for the promise of peace and tranquility later.
This is the age old strategy of Centralization; to remove all choices within a system, by force or manipulation, until the masses think they have nothing left but the choices the elites give them. It is the bread and butter of elitist institutions like Rand Corporation, and is at the core of the push for globalization.
In my studies on the developing economic disaster (or economic recovery depending on who you talk to) I have come across a particular methodology many times which set off my analyst alarm (or spidey-sense, if you will). This latest methodology, called “Linchpin Theory”, revolves around the work of John Casti, a Ph.D. from USC, “complexity scientist” and “systems theorist”, a Futurist, and most notably, a former employee of Rand Corporation:
Casti introduces his idea of “Linchpin Theory” in his book “X-Events: The Collapse Of Everything”, and what I found most immediately striking about the idea of “Linchpin Events” was how they offered perfect scapegoat scenarios for catastrophes that are engineered by the establishment.
Linchpin Theory argues that overt social, political, and technological “complexity” is to blame for the most destructive events in modern human history, and it is indeed an enticing suggestion for those who are uneducated and unaware of the behind the scenes mechanics of world events. Casti would like you to believe that political and social tides are unguided and chaotic; that all is random, and disaster is a product of “chance” trigger events that occur at the height of a malfunctioning and over-complicated system.
What he fails to mention, and what he should well know being a member of Rand, is that global events do not evolve in a vacuum. There have always been those groups who see themselves as the “select”, and who aspire to mold the future to their personal vision of Utopia. It has been openly admitted in myriad official observations on historical events that such groups have had a direct hand in the advent of particular conflicts.
For instance, Casti would call the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria an “X-event”, or linchpin, leading to the outbreak of WWI, when historical fact recalls that particular crisis was carefully constructed with the specific mind to involve the U.S.
Norman Dodd, former director of the Committee to Investigate Tax Exempt Foundations of the U.S. House of Representatives, testified that the Committee was invited to study the minutes of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as part of the Committee’s investigation. The Committee stated:
“The trustees of the Foundation brought up a single question. If it is desirable to alter the life of an entire people, is there any means more efficient than war…. They discussed this question… for a year and came up with an answer: There are no known means more efficient than war, assuming the objective is altering the life of an entire people. That leads them to a question: How do we involve the United States in a war. This was in 1909.”
So, long before the advent of Ferdinand’s assassination, plans were being set in motion by globalist interests to draw the U.S. into a large scale conflict in order to “alter the life, or thinking, of the entire culture”. When a group of people set out to direct thinking and opportunity towards a particular outcome, and the end result is a culmination of that outcome, it is obviously not coincidence, and it is definitely not providence. It can only be called subversive design.
In the economic arena, one might say that the collapse of Lehman Bros. was the “linchpin” that triggered the landslide in the derivatives market which is still going on to this day. However, the derivatives market bubble was a carefully constructed house of cards, deliberately created with the help of multiple agencies and institutions. The private Federal Reserve had to artificially lower interest rates and inject trillions upon trillions into the housing market, the international banks had to invest those trillions into mortgages that they KNEW were toxic and likely never to be repaid. The Federal Government had to allow those mortgages to then be chopped up into derivatives and resold on the open market. The ratings agencies had to examine those derivatives and obviously defunct mortgages and then stamp them AAA. The SEC had to ignore the massive fraud being done in broad daylight while sweeping thousands of formal complaints and whistle blowers under the rug.
This was not some “random” event caused by uncontrolled “complexity”. This was engineered complexity with a devious purpose. The creation of the derivatives collapse was done with foreknowledge, at least by some. Goldman Sachs was caught red handed betting against their OWN derivatives instruments! Meaning they knew exactly what was about to happen in the market they helped build! This is called Conspiracy…
One might attribute Casti’s idea to a sincere belief in chaos, and a lack of insight into the nature of globalism as a brand of religion. However, in his first and as far as I can tell only interview with Coast To Coast Radio, Casti promotes catastrophic “X-Events” as a “good thing” for humanity, right in line with the Rand Corporation ideology. Casti, being a futurist and elitist, sees the ideas of the past as obsolete when confronted with the technological advancements of the modern world, and so, describes X-event moments as a kind of evolutionary “kickstart”, knocking us out of our old and barbaric philosophies of living and forcing us, through trial by fire, to adapt to a more streamlined culture. The linchpin event is, to summarize Casti’s position, a culture’s way of “punishing itself” for settling too comfortably into its own heritage and traditions. In other words, WE will supposedly be to blame for the next great apocalypse, not the elites…
I might suggest that Casti’s attitude seems to be one of general indifference to human suffering in the wake of his “X-Events”, and that he would not necessarily be opposed to the deaths of millions if it caused the “advancement” of humanity towards a particular ideology. His concept of “advancement” and ours are likely very different, though. I suspect that he is well aware that X-Events are actually tools at the disposal of elitists to generate the “evolution” he so desires, and that evolution includes a collectivist result.
With almost every major economy on the globe on the verge of collapse and most now desperately inflating, taxing, or outright stealing in order to hide their situation, with multiple tinderbox environments being facilitated in the Pacific with China, North Korea, and Japan, and in the Middle East and Africa with Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, etc., there is no doubt that we are living in a linchpin-rich era. It is inevitable that one or more of these explosive tension points will erupt and cause a chain reaction around the planet. The linchpin and the chain reaction will become the focus of our epoch, rather than the men who made them possible in the first place.
Strangely, Casti’s theory was even recently featured in an episode of the ABC mystery/drama show “Castle”, called “Linchpin” (what else?), in which a writer turned detective uncovers a plot by a “shadow group” to use the research of the innocent Dr. Nelson Blakely (apparently based on Casti) to initiate a collapse of the U.S. economy by assassinating the ten-year-old daughter of a prominent Chinese businessman, triggering a dump of U.S. Treasuries by China and fomenting WWIII:
Now, I think anyone with any sense can see where this is going. Casti and Rand Corporation are giving us a glimpse into the future of propaganda. This is what will be written in our children’s history books if the globalists have their way. The fact that Linchpin Theory is featured in a primetime television show at all is a testament to Rand Corporation’s influence in the media. But, as for the wider picture, are the trigger points around us really just a product of complex coincidence?
Not a chance.
Each major global hot-spot today can easily be linked back to the designs of international corporate and banking interests and the puppet governments they use as messengers. Casti claims that “X-events” and “linchpins” cannot be accurately predicted, but it would seem that they can certainly be purposely instigated.
The globalists have stretched the whole of the world thin. They have removed almost every pillar of support from the edifice around us, and like a giant game of Jenga, are waiting for the final piece to be removed, causing the teetering structure to crumble. Once this calamity occurs, they will call it a random act of fate, or a mathematical inevitability of an overly complex system. They will say that they are not to blame. That we were in the midst of “recovery”. That they could not have seen it coming.
Their solution will be predictable. They will state that in order to avoid such future destruction, the global framework must be “simplified”, and what better way to simplify the world than to end national sovereignty, dissolve all borders, and centralize nation states under a single economic and political ideal?
Is it the Hegelian Dialectic all over again? Yes. Is it old hat feudalism and distraction? Yes. But, I have to hand it to Casti and Rand Corporation; they certainly have refined the argument for collectivism, centralization, technocracy, slavery, moral relativism, and false-flag dupery down to a near science.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Everyone who voted for Barack Obama voted for the man because he and his party give away free stuff. Democrats push socialism at all costs. They love to take your money and give it to everyone else. The fact that the rest of us taxpaying citizens pay for all the free stuff didn’t seem to bother the majority of voters.
The fact that our country and all its citizens suffer a $16 trillion debt and headed toward $20 trillion didn’t dissuade the majority of voters to vote for Romney who proved his ability to balance budgets and create jobs. The majority voted to add another $4 trillion in debt to the US financial nightmare.
Why? Answer: more people in this country feel entitled to a lot of free stuff. Over 47.7 million Americans love their free food via food stamps. Millions more love their government jobs where they show up to sit all day doing virtually nothing that creates anything.
This lady, with 15 kids, loves to get free stuff. You may multiply her story times 10 to 20 million single mothers sporting endless children paid for by you. She pointed to all her kids in the video by saying, “Somebody needs to pay for them.”
Several million Americans love the fact that they can continue their two years of unemployment benefits so they can take long vacations on your taxpayer dollar backs.
Freebies such as medical care for 20 million illegal aliens attracted more illegal aliens who are about to become instant citizens. They will vote for another “Obama” in the next election because they expect free stuff.
Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America.
Blog writer Pruzansky said, “The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff. Every businessman knows this; that is why the “loss leader” or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who – courtesy of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote; so too those who anticipate “free” health care, who expect the government to pay their mortgages, who look for the government to give them jobs. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.”
Most folks love to get free stuff. Free food, free gas, free housing, free rides, free living. The old America, based on European work, thrift, personal accountability, personal accountability and paying your bills—lost in the election.
As we import another 100 million third world people into this country within three decades, we will discover why they flee their own failed countries and come here to “get free stuff.”
Four hundred thousand pregnant illegal migrant women come here every year to deliver their “anchor babies” or what could be called “free stuff getters” : to get free food, housing, medical and other stuff.
Over 1.2 million legal immigrants without any skills come here annually: to get free food, housing, medical and stuff.
At some point, our financial systems collapse and no one gets free stuff. At some point, our communities suffer free fall from so many expecting free stuff. At some point, no one will get free stuff. It’s called a failed civilization.
Pity we voted for so much free stuff.
Fiscal conservatives often are blind when it comes to alternatives to the “so called” commercial banking system. Many conventional Republicans are ignorant or simply carrying the water for the crony capitalist banking establishment. The fractional reserve banking monopoly that operates under the auspices of the privately owned Federal Reserve System, despises any trace of competition. The bondage from debt created money has doomed Main Street to the fate of contrite beggars in search of securing loans. Useful purposes for business financing are not sufficient reason for the qualifying for commercial credit.
Is there an alternative to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and centralized banking dominated by Wall Street investment banksters? Can state chartered commercial banks compete separate from the favoritism shown to the “Not Too Big To Fail” money centered banks? Well, Ellen Hodjson Brown JD, has popularized the subject of the state-owned bank and believes there is a better model for community banking.
“The secret of its success seems to be the state-owned Bank of North Dakota, which was established by the state legislature in 1919 specifically to free farmers and small businessmen from the clutches of out-of-state bankers and railroad men. By law, the state must deposit all its funds in the bank, and the state guarantees its deposits. The bank’s stated mission is to deliver sound financial services that promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota. The bank operates as a bankers’ bank, partnering with private banks to loan money to farmers, real estate developers, schools and small businesses. It loans money to students (over 184,000 outstanding loans), and it purchases municipal bonds from public institutions.”
The informative video, Bank of North Dakota provides a comprehensive overview, well worth viewing.Such a departure from the normal coordinated federal regulation and Federal Reserve prescribes, gives pause to the plutocrats that despise any departure from the top down banking model that is based upon special treatment for the schemes of investment banking.
Bloomberg News points out the banking industry opposition to the state-own charter in the article, North Dakota’s State-Run Bank Adds Millions to Treasury, Spurs Imitators.
“The U.S. banking industry opposes the idea and is lobbying against it, saying a state-run bank would compete with commercial banks for business and politicize a state’s lending decisions.
“A state-owned bank? Why don’t we just re-label the state capitols the Kremlin?” Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, a Washington-based trade group that represents more than 5,000 community banks, said in a telephone interview.
“It’s a socialistic idea,” Fine said. “If you get a state-owned bank that is allocating credit, it can slide very quickly into a situation where those in favor get credit and those not in favor don’t get credit.”
How ironic the false claim that a sparsely populated state like, North Dakota could be such a citadel of collectivist enterprise when the titans of cartel-controlled crony capitalism were the financiers of the Russian communist revolution. The new generation of algorithmic traders has no more interest in writing business commercial loans then the banker funded Lenin investment of mercy shown to the Czar.
Even more sardonic is the viewpoint that the only banking monopoly acceptable is the one designated by the barons of usury. The slogan – no small business loans, is their operative policy.
Mother Jones examines what Republicans might call an idiosyncratic bastion of socialism in their interview with Bank of North Dakota’s president; Eric Hardmeyer, How the Nation’s Only State-Owned Bank Became the Envy of Wall Street. Mr. Hardmeyer explains the operation of their system thusly.
“Our funding model, our deposit model is really what is unique as the engine that drives that bank. And that is we are the depository for all state tax collections and fees. And so we have a captive deposit base, we pay a competitive rate to the state treasurer. And I would bet that that would be one of the most difficult things to wrestle away from the private sector—those opportunities to bid on public funds. But that’s only one portion of it. We take those funds and then, really what separates us is that we plow those deposits back into the state of North Dakota in the form of loans. We invest back into the state in economic development type of activities. We grow our state through that mechanism.”
The significance of the North Dakota experiment is that the dominance and control of the State/Capital cabal can be broken. Sensible banking is based upon making loans for productive enterprises, not derivative speculation. The customer of any bank is a person. Financing business growth and development is the core purpose and function of a bank.
The populist underpinnings of the independent method of funding the Bank of North Dakota provide an alternative model for depository transactions. Prosperity for local economies is an integral objective for any community interest bank. Those who profess free market enterprise principles need to adopt practical partner relationships with proponents of state charted banks.
ABC News reports the inconceivable, State-Owned Banks: The Future of Banking?
“Bank of North Dakota officials said that at least 10 states have turned to them for guidance, including some states, like Michigan, hardest hit by the financial crisis. They include California, Florida and Illinois, where a bill to create a state bank already is under consideration by the state legislature.”
Success is the best substitute to the stagnation of Wall Street greed and corporatism. Credit unions and associations provide another option for the depositor to conduct business. Loans are a way of life to most wage earners. Applying with an institution committed to their customer is rare in the era of national banking conglomerates. Trust is the basis of banking and the record of the Bank of North Dakota, compared to Bank America, demonstrates a stark difference. Register your discontent with your money stop doing business with national money-centered banks.
Hold your breath, the race to the bottom is ready to escalate. The consequence of the corporate consumerism economy has reached the tipping point. The old rules that mainstream spending will dig the way back to prosperity are permanently dead. The one sure implication that is indisputable is that taxes are set to rise at unprecedented levels. With Obamacare revenue obligations coming into effect, the latest phase of centralized medical socialism spreads like a virus. Under such circumstances, how can the patient regain their health?
The Rino Republicans have proven again their slimy deceit, as demonstrated inHighlights of Senate bill averting ‘fiscal cliff’. The bipartisan house is poised to make another deal with the devil. Such legislation that refuses to enact meaningful and significant spending cuts exemplifies the depth of the efforts to dismantle the economic wellbeing of the average taxpayer.
The only beneficiary out of the tax bill from hell will be the corporate/state axis. By setting aside the automatic sequestration program reductions for a typical irresponsible useless promise the McConnell, Biden reach tentative deal on sequester, con insults the intelligence of any rational taxpayer.
“The negotiating parties reached an agreement to delay it by two months with some spending cuts to offset the delay.”
Without a serious reduction in the rate of growth, much less a real shrinking in federal expenditures, deficit spending will shoot up higher than an addicted junkie. Examine the mess.
“According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.”
This factor alone provides ample evidence that the economy will sustain another substantial hit. Treading water is no way to save yourself when you are swimming inside a whirlpool of spiraling intensity or diving into a pool drained of water.
2013 is likely to be another generous year for the financial vultures. Mergers and acquisitions may well come back ‘with a vengeance’, as international corporatists push hard for even greater consolidation. The suspect “Free Trade” cabal has enormous support and protection from the selected public officials that administer a plutocrat economy. Even under the distractions of higher taxes on the super affluent, their wealth will grow dramatically, as public subsistence becomes more dependent on government handouts.
Business is very good for the governing bureaucrat. This New Year provides immense promises for government expansion. The crowding out of the credit markets for private business will continue as an inevitable result of public sector borrowing hitting new highs.
Private firms will struggle as disposable funds become rarer. The consumer has shown remarkable restrains since the 2008 meltdown, but the internal built up demand for lifestyle replacement standards will not generate the economic activity that so many financial experts tout.
Prospects of an intensified reoccurrence of the persistent recession are far more likely. The sustainability of Federal Reserve monetization has limits. The crucial test of this desperate repurchase of debt created obligations will play out in the bond market.
Another down grade of the U.S. credit status over the next political battle of raising the borrowing limit is a major concern. The potential free fall of the Dollar and international abandonment of the reserve currency standing is probably the greatest risk to the economy.
Any credit-based economy is at the mercy of the central banksters. Disregarding the phony political rhetoric of the governance ideologues, the basic constructs of economic facts cannot be separated from the harsh reality of a credit crunch.
Inflation is embedded in the under reported consumer pricing statistics. Grocery prices will rise, while food stamps proliferate. This SNAP economy is a telltale gauge of the wellness of the basic consumer. How can anyone believe that the prospects for a healthy economy are in the cards for 2013?
The one unassailable conclusion that is born out with every turn of the financial page is that the rich become richer, while the middle class struggles even harder to make ends meet.
Many will fall into the trap that rich people are the cause of the problem. Such social envy misses a proper perspective on wealth creation. The real reason why the economy scrambles to democratize medium affluence is that the monopolists of politically protected conglomerates suppress initiative and originative employment entrepreneurial enterprises.
The entire political and tax system operates to diminish the chances of small business to compete against the virtual unrestricted capital access of major public companies. 2013 will be a watershed year that regretfully will see the systemic demise of privately held endeavors.
The replacement of free enterprise, with state/capitalism has produced a fascist economy.
When the establishment operates under the favoritism principle, the inevitable result is that crony capitalists dig the graves of independent business operators, with publicly funded shovels. How under this formula can the ordinary citizen expect to prosper when the supplanting of individual intuitive is intentionally marginalized?
The financial markets reflect uncertainty in the face of record corporate receipts. The balance sheets of companies have been rebuilt from the depth of the housing implosion, with much assistance from public indebtedness. The globalist banks practice distress acquisitions, deliberately designed to solidify interdependency at the price of personal autonomy.
With this acceleration of financial austerity for the average citizen, the gap between the corporate economy and the main street market grows exponentially. Whatever degree of cash flow that the country enjoys in this New Year, the price that will be paid to stretch out one last celebration of former fortune, will inescapably result in national poverty.
Just blaming the one percent ignores the institutional corruption that perpetrates the war against the middle class. Hoping for a thriving 2013 dismisses the abject State of the Nation. The only relevant question unanswered is whether the beleaguered taxpayer will revolt or just swallow another dose of Obama collectivism.
Who’d have guessed it? When the Chinese aren’t busy effecting forced abortions, persecuting political dissidents, sending contaminated products to our shores, or shipping us other junk that malfunctions a month after you buy it, they concern themselves with our well-being.
In an article published by the Chinese government-front media outlet Xinhua, the Beijing regime calls on the Obama administration to use the Sandy Hook massacre as a pretext for more gun control. The outlet writes, “Every time a tragedy occurs, there are renewed appeals for gun regulation. However, the calls disappointingly always fail.” Gee, we wouldn’t want to disappoint the Chinese fascists again now, would we?
And that’s a good approximation of what they are. When you institute free-market reforms (which is smart), become the most rapacious, money-hungry, product-pirating vulture capitalists on the planet, but yet maintain an iron-fist grip on the private sector and social sphere, you don’t with credibility get to call yourselves socialists or communists. (This isn’t to imply that communism is better, just different.) Take note of this, Jeffrey Immelt and the rest of you dim bulbs who say things such as Chinese “state run communism” “works” a bit. What works for them is being the most cutthroat, playing-for-keeps economic player in the game. They’re communists like Bill Clinton is a celibate.
Back to the issue at hand, Xinhua writes that the Newtown victims’ “blood and tears demand no delay for the U.S. gun control,” that “with no re-election pressure, President Obama is currently in the best position to promote it” and concludes with, “If Obama wants to take practical measures to control guns, he has to make preparation for a protracted war and considerable political cost.” Wow, to paraphrase the Rodney Dangerfield character in Back to School, “They really care.
About what I have no idea.”
Perhaps the mercenary Chinese regime sees with every American shooting victim a diminution in their most lucrative market. Or perhaps the Beijing fascists just don’t like the idea of murdering free agents and prefer mass killing government run.
This brings us to the title of the Xinhua piece, “Innocent blood demands no delay for U.S. gun control.” Well, they say write what you know, and the Chinese regime certainly is an authority on shedding innocent blood. Back when they were still giving socialism that old college try and before they made Mao spin in his devilish grave, they murdered 40 to 70 million of their own people (it’s too bad those poor souls weren’t equipped with AR-15s, huh?). I don’t know what the body count is up to now, but I do know this: I trust the American people with arms far more than I trust the Chinese government with them.
And, obviously, Beijing doesn’t trust us with them, either. Maybe they heard about how the Japanese ruled out invading the US mainland during WWII because, we’re told, they knew that Americans were heavily armed. Hey, it would be nice if you never had to worry about such a stumbling block in the future, eh, you Chinese oligarchs?
Ironically, on the very day of the tragic Newtown massacre, a criminal in China slashed 22 schoolchildren with a knife. And I realize, Chinese-government mouthpiece Xinhua, you would no doubt say that because of your laws, his attack wasn’t nearly as deadly as Adam Lanza’s. I would say that because of our laws, our government isn’t nearly as deadly as yours.
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding teachers and teaching in America, one of them holds that in order to be a public school teacher; you are required to become a progressive dolt. This, however, is not necessarily true. While the mainstream educational system is engineered to encourage socialism and dependency in our children, it also has a tendency to condition staff and administration with a collectivist mindset as well. For those who seek out teaching positions, it may feel like joining in with the socialist / globalist ideal makes life in our federalized educational system far easier to cope with. After all, teachers who stray from the establishment curriculum and who break conventions by offering individualist and anti-state views are very often subject to in-house persecution. This peer induced conformity creates a Petri dish of inbred thinking, but ultimately, the final decision of what to believe falls to the teacher and no one else.
While some educators might feel that gun ownership is counter to the yuppie culture they have immersed themselves in, and may fear standing out as the “lone conservative nut” at their workplace, they are going to have to accept that there are far bigger concerns than being a part of the herd. As the events in Newtown, Connecticut reveal, teachers need to start considering their own survival and the survival of their students.
The shooting in Newtown by itself is not the primary issue. The event will be forgotten within a few weeks by a majority of people, just like the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and the Aurora Theater Massacre. That might sound cold, but it is reality. The tragedy itself will only stay with the victims and their families. The debate over what to do in the aftermath of the tragedy, though, will plague the rest of us for quite some time, and perhaps this is the root of the problem…
Establishment politicians (Neo-Lib and Neo-Con) and the useful idiots they employ have drawn out the debate on practical solutions beyond all reason. What they have done, time and again, is to exploit the deaths of innocents in order to push the political agenda of control, rather than looking at the hard facts and implementing a strategy that would truly work. If you want to actually fix a problem, you look at the fundamentals and apply what works, not what you WISH would work based on your biased worldview. To get to this point, we have to be willing to admit to those methods which DO NOT WORK. In the wake of the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School, what do we know about the environment on the ground and how it was exploited by the gunman?
1) Federal Laws Guaranteed A Gun Free Zone For The Attacker
Federal laws, including the Gun Free School Zones Act and the Gun-Free Schools Act, prohibit the possession of firearms within 1000 feet of school grounds (some states allow carry with the possession of a CCW, but this does not stop schools from firing teachers who do decide to carry if discovered). The Gun-Free Schools Act imposes a federal requirement on school districts to adopt a gun-free schools position that demands zero-tolerance policies and minimum one-year expulsions from school for gun possession in exchange for federal funds for district schools, meaning, the Feds are paying off school districts to entice them to go along with gun regulation:
Of course only law abiding citizens care about this regulation, and so, in the midst of an attack by a criminal element, teachers, staff and students will be the only disarmed people present. Most violent and mentally disturbed perpetrators still have a deep desire to live, which is why they rarely if ever go on a rampage at a gun range, or a federal building with armed guards, or an NRA convention. These men don’t want to die, at least not until they have finished their heinous act, and so it only makes sense that they would choose movie theaters in cities that have laws against conceal carry or elementary schools that are filled predominantly with progressives who are going to avoid gun ownership and yield to federal dictates. A school is an easy target, nothing more.
2) None Of The Teachers Were Armed
As stated above, people who lend themselves to the educational field have a tendency to gravitate towards so-called “leftist” philosophies of disarmament and dependency. The released information so far indicates that none of the staff present at Sandy Hook were armed. The gunman had free reign to do what he pleased unimpeded by anyone.
3) Quick Police Response Was Meaningless
Initial reports claim that law enforcement arrived on the scene within minutes, perhaps the fastest police response I’ve ever heard of in such incidences. And yet, the quick arrival of law enforcement served no purpose. The gunman had already accomplished a vast number of murders and had apparently committed suicide before they could put boots on the ground. This is the case in almost every mass murder this country has ever seen. When it comes to defending citizens against such mayhem, the police track record is abysmal, and these instances prove that they cannot be counted on to save lives. They appear to be more like janitors who clean up the mess afterwards rather than guardians.
4) Teachers And Staff Were Willing To Defend Themselves
Again, according to early reports, Lanza was charged by staff who attempted to disarm him before he could open fire. There is also no indication that these teachers had any formal self defense training whatsoever. And yet, they were willing to put their lives on the line for their students.
A common argument by anti-gun advocates against the idea of self defense is that most people will be “too frightened, undisciplined, or incompetent” to react anyway, and so arming them is “useless”. As Newtown shows, though, this is absolutely false. Had any of the teachers who did fight back actually been armed and equipped to fight back, the massacre may have never occurred.
These are the facts of the situation on the ground at Sandy Hook as reported. Now, the solution being offered by the establishment is, of course, to create more stringent gun laws, and perhaps even disarm everyone. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has suggested that President Barack Obama institute “executive action” to enforce his own gun prohibitions, bypassing Congress and the Constitution:
My question is, why is the solution of the elites always to remove people’s ability to defend their own lives? Why do they insist that gun control will solve the problem when it never has before? Here are several realities that derail the anti-gun position:
1) They’ll never get all the guns, let alone all other weapons. Criminals always find a way. This is made concrete by the recent attack by a knife wielding man in central China on an elementary school, resulting in injuries to 22 children and one adult:
The idea that one day the establishment will be able to ensure that no one, not even criminals, are able to obtain a means to harm others, is absurdly childish. If the state is incapable of removing all weapons from a highly controlled environment like the prison system, then what makes gun grabbers think they can sterilize all weapons from the entire country?
2) The authorities are not and never will be in a position to “make you safe”. Safety under the wing of government is an illusion. Governments enact laws and then enforce punishment, but rarely do they ever actually “protect” anyone. Law enforcement will never be able to reduce response time to the point in which they would be a superior option to you defending yourself. You will always be there when the trouble occurs; they will most likely not show up until you are dead.
3) If gun free zones are such an effective method, then why doesn’t the Obama Administration suggest a gun free zone in the White House? Surely, he can put his money where his mouth is and grab the guns away from his Secret Service protection first, right? What about Bloomberg? When is he going to fire his cadre of armed bodyguards, since he has such an aversion to guns?
Obviously, Obama and Bloomberg won’t adopt this policy because they both believe armed people on site act as a deterrent to possible attacks! So then, why wouldn’t armed people on site at an elementary school act as a deterrent to possible attacks? How can the White House and its lackeys claim that further disarmament of the law abiding public makes them safer when they don’t believe this themselves?!
It is clear to anyone with any common sense that there are massive gaping holes in the theory that gun control and disarmament helps protect the citizenry in the slightest. Even with more strict regulation, it is inevitable that another attack like the one in Connecticut will take place. That said, in the face of this information, what do we do?
My Solution – Teachers Must Break The Law And Arm Themselves
Numerous people have in the past suggested a change in federal law meant to allow teachers to conceal-carry on school property (some states and municipalities even have loopholes that make this possible), but I can say with general certainty that this is not going to happen, at least not for many years to come. When a law is unconstitutional or puts innocent people at physical risk, the only option left is nullification by the citizenry. If federal law is preventing teachers from saving their own lives and the lives of their students, then they have two choices: tempt fate, gamble on death, or break the law, defy school policy, and carry a weapon.
The establishment will claim that teachers are not capable of entering into a combat situation with an armed perpetrator because they “lack the training”. Yet, anyone in this country can take self defense or combat gun courses that surpass military and law enforcement standards if they have a little money and a little time.
The establishment will claim that teachers entering into a combat situation with an attacker would put innocent bystanders and schoolchildren at risk with stray fire. First of all, if a murderer is being shot at, wouldn’t his attention be on taking cover, rather than killing children? Does this not reduce casualties? Isn’t this what the police are supposed to do?
I would respond by asking the people in Newtown whether they would, in retrospect, go back and arm the teachers at Sandy Hook? Is there a risk of stray fire? Absolutely. But survival is often about odds and increasing the odds in your favor. By disarming teachers, the death of many children during an attack is guaranteed because there is no chance of the attack being thwarted. By arming teachers, the odds of the attack being stopped become much higher. With effective training on the part of the teachers, and with the knowledge that this training is taking place, the potential attacker may never risk violence at all.
Anti-gun quasi-hippies will claim that the very presence of firearms is “evil”, and that it “invites” catastrophe, like some kind of half-assed karmic voodoo. I’m sorry, but subscribing to this nonsense does not make you safer. Disarmed people are assaulted and killed far more frequently than armed people, by murderers, and sometimes their own governments. That is life. Debating the unseen metaphysical mechanics of the universe did not save the children of Newtown, and suggesting that a gun, an inanimate tool, attracts the dark forces, is an incredible waste of time.
Frankly, I’m tired of hearing the pundits and the politicians argue about what must be done for three weeks after every gun related calamity. It’s getting tiresome and I believe it is actually hurting this country far more than helping it. They never discuss that which is concrete. They never suggest that the right path may well be in the hands of average people, instead of government. They purposely avoid the topic of self defense, and drive the debate towards questions of regulation. This is not about regulation, folks. This is about you and the man with a weapon pointed at your face. To teachers I say:
Forget the law. If you’re not armed, you won’t get them before they get you and the children around you. That is all you need to worry about.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
When the Corporate Elite tells us we need to be afraid of something, they almost always expect to make some money off our fear.
From the same people who brought us the “Ground Zero Victory Mosque,” FEMA concentration camps, and every single George Soros conspiracy theory, comes a brand new hyper-paranoid threat-to-America’s-sovereignty that, they say, should scare the hell out of all of us.
It goes by the name of Agenda 21, which just so happens to be the title of Glenn Beck’s new dystopic novel.
Billed as, “more frightening than anything Orwell could have envisioned,” Beck’s Agenda 21 paints a disturbing picture of America following the implementation of the United Nation’s Agenda 21, which is actually a real life UN initiative, though not nearly as nefarious as Beck would have us all believe.
The book’s tagline reads: “This used to be called America. Now it is just ‘the Republic.’ There is no president. No congress. No freedom.”
Over at GlennBeck.com you can watch a movie trailer made specifically for the book featuring grizzled Americans lined up on the streets in a post-Soviet winter landscape reeking of desperation, waiting for tiny morsels of food to be parceled out by “the authorities.” Reminiscent of both Nazi concentration camps and the Book of Revelation, everyone’s foreheads are tattooed with identification numbers – and in homage to Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” one scene in the trailer depicts an emaciated, scraggly-haired old man loaded on to a conveyor belt and sent into a burning furnace.
Of course, this is all fiction. Whether you like him or not, Beck has made a fortune off sensationalism – and more recently televangelism – and this book will tap into a wellspring of paranoia on the fringe Right that will undoubtedly make a lot more money for multimillionaire Mr. Beck himself.
But whether Beck really believes in his depicted Agenda 21 future for America isn’t all that important. What’s important is that a lot of other powerful people do believe in it. To them, there’s nothing fictional at all when it comes to Agenda 21.
On October 11th this year, the Georgia state Capitol building hosted a four-hour briefing for Republican state senators on the issue of…Agenda 21. It was emceed by a man named Field Searcy who, according to MotherJones, is a local Conservative activist, whose Tea Party leadership was revoked after endorsing birther and truther conspiracy theories. But on that day, Searcy had the attention of his state’s most powerful lawmakers – including the Republican Party’s Senate Majority Leader, Chip Rogers – to warn them of President Obama’s wicked plot to use Agenda 21 to hand the United States off to the United Nations.
Searcy told the Georgia Republicans, and later spoke of it on the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, that President Obama is using a mind control procedure known as the “Delphi Technique” to slowly condition Americans to submit to the control of the United Nations’ Agenda 21, which will, according to Searcy, force mass migrations of Americans out of the countryside and into the cities, while handing over control of our rural lands to an international, one-world government.
The goal of the presentation was to influence Georgia lawmakers to follow in the footsteps of Tennessee and Kentucky Republican lawmakers who’ve already passed legislation to block Agenda 21 from being implemented in their states. In fact, earlier this year Republican Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers introduced legislation in Georgia to do just that.
Also on the “Fear Agenda 21″ bandwagon is newly-elected Tea Party Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. He devoted an entire section of his website, TedCruz.org, to Agenda 21 fearmongering. Under the title, “Stop Agenda 21: The Constitution should be our only ‘Agenda,” Cruz writes:
“The originator of this grand scheme is George Soros, who candidly supports socialism and believes that global development must progress through eliminating national sovereignty and private property… Agenda 21 attempts to abolish ‘unsustainable’ environments, including golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads. It hopes to leave mother earth’s surface unscratched by mankind. Everyone wants clean water and clean air, but Agenda 21 dehumanizes individuals by removing the very thing that has defined Americans since the beginning—our freedom.”
Oh no! Not the golf courses! Luckily for the golfing community, Ted Cruz is headed to the United States Senate to stop George Soros and the UN from confiscating Augusta National.
Though, hopefully, someone will notify Cruz, perhaps by removing his tinfoil hat, that the United Nations has no interest whatsoever in turning Augusta National into a sustainable bio-dome. Likewise, hopefully someone will tell Mr. Field Searcy that the UN has no interest in forcibly removing Americans from the country-side, either.
Concerns coming from the Right about American sovereignty in the face of the United Nations aren’t anything new.
It’s true that FDR pushed the idea after World War Two, and Democratic President Harry Truman signed us up for the UN in 1945, and it’s also true that in signing up for the United Nations, the United States surrendered a small amount of our sovereignty, inasmuch as we can no longer unilaterally declare war on another nation – unless they attack us first – without getting the approval of the UN. Of course, this is true of every other nation in the UN as well. The UN was created to promote world peace, an idea that doesn’t sit well with the neocons and chickenhawks.
But, here’s what Agenda 21 really is. Standing for “Agenda 21st Century,” it’s a completely non-binding UN agreement that aims to address climate change and inequality by calling on local and federal governments, NGOs, and businesses, to develop plans to create more sustainable environments in their respective nations. The UN believes that by working together, and giving financial assistance to developing nations to promote sustainable living, wealth disparities can be reduced, indigenous populations can be protected, and the deterioration of ecosystems around the globe can be reversed.
If you ask the environmentalists who are growing more and more concerned with a warming, crowded planet what they think of Agenda 21, they’ll say it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Especially after new reports by the UN about record levels of greenhouse gases and the atmosphere, and a report by the World Bank on the global economic impacts of a planet that’s 7-degrees warming by 2100 as a result of climate change.
But, as you’d expect from a plan to reduce poverty worldwide and use resources and land in more eco-friendly ways, wealthy oil barons and banksters are opposed to it. When people, governments, or organizations talk about things like sustainable energy, corporate responsibility, and educating the world’s children, billionaires like the Koch brothers get a little uneasy.
So, right-wingers have employed their best charlatans in America, people like Glenn Beck, to reinvent Agenda 21 as something completely different: a nefarious plot by communist globalists to force redistribution of wealth and confiscation of private property, and ultimate devour American sovereignty. Or, according to Glenn Beck, an Orwellian takeover to purge the nation of its sick and elderly.
And it just so happens that legislation passed in Tennessee and Kentucky to block Agenda 21 comes straight from model legislation produced by the notoriously loony, yet well-funded, John Birch Society. The Koch Brothers dad, Fred Koch, who had no problem with state-controlled economies when he made his fortune working with Joe Stalin in the Soviet Union, was one of the founding members of the Jon Birch Society back in 1958.
The UN has provided right-wing fear mongers a lot of grandstanding opportunities over the years, but the UN has never lived up to their warnings that it’s coming to destroy America. Most people think of it as a toothless international body that’s been hijacked by the United States to protect its own interests and the interests of its allies.
And while the Bircher billionaire class continues to fret over the UN, they stay silent over the actual threat to our nation’s sovereignty in the form of the World Trade Organization, which has enforced free trade agreements through international courts that have overturned laws passed by our elected Congress and signed by our elected President. For example, laws banning the importation into the United States of poisonous additives to gasoline, products made by child labor, and tuna caught at the expense of dolphins have all been overturned by the “one-world government” that is the WTO.
Yet, not a peep from the same wealthy elite who are warning us about Agenda 21. That’s because there’s a lot of money to be made in so-called Free Trade, and not so much to be made in promoting sustainable living.
The same is true of why Glenn Beck isn’t writing a book about the $67 trillion global shadow banking system, which is extremely dangerous to our sovereign economy – yet making billions of dollars for banksters.
The point is, this latest scheme by the Corporate Elite to scare the hell out of all of us with Agenda 21 is just like every other scare tactic by the Corporate Elite – it’s meant to distract us. It’s a sleight-of-hand technique to keep us focused on bogeymen, while their ranks of Texas oilmen, outsourcing CEOs, and Wall Street banksters carry out the true destruction of the United States of America: the pillaging of the Middle Class at home and the construction of a WTO-style one-world corporate government to promote unfettered capitalism and free trade everywhere on the planet.
And in the process, useful quacks like Glenn Beck and Field Searcy can make a lot of money feeding the paranoid, Fox News-watching masses their latest conspiracy theories.
Corporate America has the largest cash reserves in recent memory. The product of the first Obama administration, the boards and management of the biggest companies, foregone mergers and acquisitions and cleaned up their balance sheets. Fear was the operative sentiment after the 2008 financial meltdown. Business confidence was marginal at best. Lacking consumer confidence was a natural result of a high unemployment and an insecure job environment. The modest improvements in the economy were a direct outcome of increases in government spending, especially an expansion in public employee endeavors.
For the beleaguered middle class, the Bush blame of an inherited awful economy was little relief. That shabby self-justification excuse is officially over with the prospects of a second presidential term.
The Wall Street Journal predicts in What an Obama Win May Mean for Stocks that watching monetary prescriptions of the Fed is crucial.
“Anyone who has been following the markets over the last few years knows how important Fed policy has been to the direction of everything from stocks to bonds, oil, gold and other assets. From record-low interest-rate policies to multiple rounds of quantitative easing, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has been about as dovish as it comes enacting policies to jumpstart the economy.”
Equities have benefited amply over the first Barak Obama term. The WSJ continues, “No matter your beliefs, the Dow is up more than 50% since Obama took office during the depths of the financial crisis.” The zero interest rate setting and the sparingly granting of business loans caused stocks to advance from a distressed level.
Now with Obama’s re-election, his ownership of economic circumstances will be hard to escape. The slide in stocks that started as soon as the ballot counting was over, forecasts the lack of confidence that the fiscal cliff will be resolved sufficiently to foster conditions to grow the economy.
Add in the rapid breakdown in international stability and the prospects that the European Union will implode, does not bode well for the engines of wealth creation. Equities gain in value when the products or services of their underlying companies prosper. Without the reasonable expectation that actual economic prosperity is on the rise the basic conditions for an advance in stock pricing is simply wishful thinking.
Yet, under a fundamental standard, the lack of favorable circumstances does not mean that stocks will simple lose value. Volatility in pricing, often with no distinct connection to price performance, is the norm. The perfect storm for speculative betting seems the more probable course for the markets in the coming years.
The backstop of the Federal Reserve that comes to the rescue of too big to fail conglomerates, is the operative criterion used to keep the financial bubble inflating. As the currency is debased and loses purchasing value, the price of stocks must rise just to stay even.
In addition, the negative aspects of tax increases especially on capital gains and dividends are unmistakable. Investing Daily’s Roger S. Conrad recently reported inStick With Dividend Stocks.
“Since Election Day last week, the S&P 500 has lost 4.5 percent of its value. And the Dow Jones Utility Index is off more than 5 percent.
But let’s suppose there really is a fiscal cliff and that the worst case forecasts of a 4 point drop in gross domestic product (GDP) prove on target. Such a shock could also trigger a tightening of credit conditions in the US, making it more difficult to borrow.
In such an environment, two things would really count for companies. One is reliable revenue, a business that will continue to produce cash flow come what may. The other is a lack of near-term debt maturities, so management can step back from a temporarily frozen credit market and wait for bond buyers to come back.”
The point is that stocks may not go up in real value while their relative pricing may mirror the overall lack of confidence in the economy in a persistent down market. However, a company with sound financial reserves and low or no debt will have a chance to survive in a depression.
As credit becomes non-existent, cash will be king in the short term. Notwithstanding this message from previous panics, the complexity of debasing the currency adds a new dimension to familiar lessons. Hyperinflation of price stability results in a slowdown of the real economy. Adding further government spending with monetized debt from the central bank cannot infuse productive commerce into an economy where consumer cash is fickle or nonexistent.
Stocks can only be a sensible investment when domestic mercantilism is oriented towards fostering prosperity of the national economy. Foreign trade will plunge as the worldwide financial upheaval exports its turmoil around the globe.
Solid companies that actually produce necessary items or endeavors have the best chance to retain some semblance of treasure. Nevertheless, the definitive risk for owning equities lies in the danger that the federal government will recall the counterfeit Federal Reserve Dollar, in a desperate attempt to forestall debt repudiation.
Only algorithmic trading with super computers will squeeze out fractions of price movement and generate returns on capital, because the equity exchanges are now structured to penalize or purge the individual investor from having any chance of profiting.
Market risk is nothing compared to the political hazard of collectivist policies slated for imposition in a second Obama term. In order to generate tangible wealth, the private sector must navigate around all the pitfalls that excessive taxation and destructive regulations impose on voluntary commercial transactions. Equities cannot reward stockholders under a command and controlled – centralized and imposed government. The expectations of an uncurbed Obama dogmatic executive order administration guarantees that stocks will suffer under all the restrictions of any socialistic economy.
When the conditions are unknown, uncertainty runs havoc with equity markets. Conversely, when the socialism of Obamaism is widely verbalized for all to digest, the gamble of stock ownership equates to your level of confidence in the future of the country and the economy. Good luck.