Monday, October 5, 2015

"Children learn what they live. You raise children in a nation of constant warfare, those children will bring that violence home to your community one day. You want peace? Then you have to TEACH that. You have to LIVE that..."

Children Learn What They Live

By Jack Perry

You’d almost think mass murder is a new reality show on TV. Here we go again, another one in Oregon. And, of course, the usual calls for gun control. Excuse me, but we’re asking the wrong questions and having the wrong conversations. The REAL one we need to have, we never will.

Has anyone at all noticed that a couple days after this shooting, it was announced the U.S. military had “accidently” bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan? And killed double the number of people murdered in Oregon? Where will the candlelight vigils be for these poor people? We have politicians foaming at the mouth with the desire to bomb innocent people in Iran and Americans cheer that on, chanting, “USA! USA! USA!” in an obscene paean to bloodthirstiness and state-sponsored mass murder. America, you cannot teach things such as this to your children and expect these chickens not to come home to roost one day in your communities!

We have a generation, an entire generation, born after 2001, who has not taken a single breath when the United States was not at war. They have not seen a day of peace. Other generations, born since 1990, have not seen a time when there wasn’t a war the U.S. was involved in every few years. They grow up, seeing the death and destruction our government doles out to people “over there” and then we act shocked when they bring that death and destruction they saw as the “solution” right back into our communities. Have you noticed yet, America, that most of these murderers are young men? Children learn what they live.

Yes, so you have your candlelight vigils, prayers for peace that God doesn’t hear coming from you unless it’s “our own” that got killed, and the demands for answers. Answers?! The answer is right there in front of us! We are teaching our children that violence is a solution! We are teaching our children that killing people is the way to solve a problem! We didn’t like Bashar al-Assad, for example. Suppose we just learn to get along with him and keep the peace he was willing to keep with us? No. We decided killing him was the answer. We said hiring murderers was the answer. America, how say you unto yourselves that you don’t know why these mass murders happen? This is what we teach our children.

Each one of them studies the last episode of mass murder and sees it will get him on TV in the ultimate reality show. And don’t you, America, have a rather dark obsession with ultra-violent television shows? Violence is endlessly glorified in American society. Even the news will broadcast endless stories about these mass murders, 24/7, and thus inspire the next one who sees all the press the last guy got. Because everyone wants to see, they want to see the cop SWAT team pouring in, hopefully hear the rattle of automatic weapons fire. Just like the live-feeds from U.S. warplanes dropping bombs on other human beings as we cheered and chanted, “USA! USA! USA!” And yet you are shocked when your children grow up and demonstrate to you just what you have taught them?

Yes, you have your candlelight vigils and, in the end, it just keeps the candlemakers in business. Because no one wants to hear that it is US. No, it’s not the guns. Sorry, but that’s another excuse to avoid looking at the real problem. That’s like saying booze causes alcoholism all by itself and don’t address the actual problem of addiction. And let’s talk about addiction, shall we? We have an addiction to violence and it plays itself out in our foreign policy in war after war after war, each one killing people for nothing, and they, too, died in vain just like all the victims in these mass murders. You think the “motives” of these murderers” is somehow more insane than these foreign policy objectives we have? Like who runs Syria, for example?

When will you look into the mirror, America? When will you see that our very government teaches this violence to our children? Children learn what they live. You raise children in a nation of constant warfare, those children will bring that violence home to your community one day. You want peace? Then you have to TEACH that. You have to LIVE that, you have to make that your walk. But you glorify violence and then you expect something otherwise to manifest?! How say you unto yourselves that you don’t know why this keeps happening?!


Environmental BS...

John Tierney in NY Times: Recycling was ‘garbage’ in 1996, it’s still that way today, and the future looks even worse

Carpe Diem

In 1996, New York Times science columnist John Tierney wrote an article that appeared in the New York Times Magazine about compulsory recycling titled “Recycling is Garbage.” Tierney’s controversial argument in that article can be summarized as follows: Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America. Tierney wrote, “Rinsing out tuna cans and tying up newspapers may make you feel virtuous, but it’s a waste of time and money, a waste of human and natural resources. Americans have embraced recycling as a transcendental experience, an act of moral redemption. We’re not just reusing our garbage; we’re performing a rite of atonement for the sin of excess.” Now you can understand why Tierney’s recycling article set the all-time record for the greatest volume of hate mail ever recorded in the history of the New York Times Magazine.

Because it was one of the first and most effective challenges to the naive, pro-recycling propaganda that has been used to successfully brainwash millions of American school children for the last quarter century, I’ve featured John Tierney’s classic recycling article on CD many times over the years (especially around the “green holy days” known as “Earth Day” and “America Recycles Day”), including here, here, here, and here.

It’s been almost 20 years since John Tierney taught us that “recycling is garbage.” Fortunately, he has just provided a recycling update in today’s New York Times with a new article titled “The Reign of Recycling.” So, what has happened over the last two decades? According to Tierney, “While it’s true that the recycling message religion has reached more people converts than ever, when it comes to the bottom line, both economically and environmentally, not much has changed at all.” And what about recycling’s future? It “looks even worse,” says Tierney.

Here’s a condensed version of Tierney’s new article on recycling, with my section titles and emphasis:

1. Background. In 1996, I wrote a long article for The New York Times Magazine (“Recycling is Garbage”) arguing that the recycling process as we carried it out was wasteful. I presented plenty of evidence that recycling was costly and ineffectual, but its defenders said that it was unfair to rush to judgment. Noting that the modern recycling movement had really just begun just a few years earlier, they predicted it would flourish as the industry matured and the public learned how to recycle properly. So, what’s happened since then? While it’s true that the recycling message has reached more people than ever, when it comes to the bottom line, both economically and environmentally, not much has changed at all.

Despite decades of exhortations and mandates, it’s still typically more expensive for municipalities to recycle household waste than to send it to a landfill. Prices for recyclable materials have plummeted because of lower oil prices and reduced demand for them overseas. The slump has forced some recycling companies to shut plants and cancel plans for new technologies. The future for recycling looks even worse. As cities move beyond recycling paper and metals, and into glass, food scraps and assorted plastics, the costs rise sharply while the environmental benefits decline and sometimes vanish.

2. Costs vs. Benefits of Recycling. Recycling has been relentlessly promoted as a goal in and of itself: an unalloyed public good and private virtue that is indoctrinated in students from kindergarten through college. As a result, otherwise well-informed and educated people have no idea of the relative costs and benefits.

They probably don’t know, for instance, that to reduce carbon emissions, you’ll accomplish a lot more by sorting paper and aluminum cans than by worrying about yogurt containers and half-eaten slices of pizza. Most people also assume that recycling plastic bottles must be doing lots for the planet. They’ve been encouraged by the EPA, which assures the public that recycling plastic results in less carbon being released into the atmosphere.

But how much difference does it make? Here’s some perspective: To offset the greenhouse impact of one passenger’s round-trip flight between New York and London, you’d have to recycle roughly 40,000 plastic bottles, assuming you fly coach. If you sit in business- or first-class, where each passenger takes up more space, it could be more like 100,000.

Even those statistics might be misleading. New York and other cities instruct people to rinse the bottles before putting them in the recycling bin, but the EPA’s life-cycle calculation doesn’t take that water into account. That single omission can make a big difference. If you wash plastic in water that was heated by coal-derived electricity, then the net effect of your recycling could be more carbon in the atmosphere.

3. Recycling and Landfills. One of the original goals of the recycling movement was to avert a supposed crisis because there was no room left in the nation’s landfills. But that media-inspired fear was never realistic in a country with so much open space. In reporting the 1996 article I found that all the trash generated by Americans for the next 1,000 years would fit on one-tenth of 1 percent of the land available for grazing. And that tiny amount of land wouldn’t be lost forever, because landfills are typically covered with grass and converted to parkland, like the Freshkills Park being created on Staten Island. The United States Open tennis tournament is played on the site of an old landfill — and one that never had the linings and other environmental safeguards required today.

Though most cities shun landfills, they have been welcomed in rural communities that reap large economic benefits (and have plenty of greenery to buffer residents from the sights and smells). Consequently, the great landfill shortage has not arrived, and neither have the shortages of raw materials that were supposed to make recycling profitable.

4. Recycling Economics. As a business, recycling is on the wrong side of two long-term global economic trends. For centuries, the real cost of labor has been increasing while the real cost of raw materials has been declining. That’s why we can afford to buy so much more stuff than our ancestors could. As a labor-intensive activity, recycling is an increasingly expensive way to produce materials that are less and less valuable. Recyclers have tried to improve the economics by automating the sorting process, but they’ve been frustrated by politicians eager to increase recycling rates by adding new materials of little value. The more types of trash that are recycled, the more difficult it becomes to sort the valuable from the worthless.

In New York City, the net cost of recycling a ton of trash is now $300 more than it would cost to bury the trash instead. That adds up to millions of extra dollars per year — about half the budget of the parks department — that New Yorkers are spending for the privilege of recycling. That money could buy far more valuable benefits, including more significant reductions in greenhouse emissions.

5. Recycling as a Religion. Religious rituals don’t need any practical justification for the believers who perform them voluntarily. But many recyclers want more than just the freedom to practice their religion. They want to make these rituals mandatory for everyone else, too, with stiff fines for sinners who don’t sort properly. Seattle has become so aggressive that the city is being sued by residents who maintain that the inspectors rooting through their trash are violating their constitutional right to privacy.

It would take legions of garbage police to enforce a zero-waste society, but true believers insist that’s the future. When Mayor de Blasio promised to eliminate garbage in New York, he said it was “ludicrous” and “outdated” to keep sending garbage to landfills. Recycling, he declared, was the only way for New York to become “a truly sustainable city.”

But cities have been burying garbage for thousands of years, and it’s still the easiest and cheapest solution for trash. The recycling movement is floundering, and its survival depends on continual subsidies, sermons and policing. How can you build a sustainable city with a strategy that can’t even sustain itself?

Bottom Line: Economist Steven Landsburg wrote that “Naive environmentalism is a force-fed potpourri of myth, superstition, and ritual that has much in common with the least reputable varieties of religious Fundamentalism. The antidote to bad religion is good science. The antidote to astrology is the scientific method, the antidote to naive creationism is evolutionary biology, and the antidote to naive environmentalism is economics.” Kudos to John Tierney for his new article that provides another effective economic antidote to the naive environmentalist practice known as recycling.

Bonus Video. In the Penn and Teller video below on recycling, they refer to John Tierney’s 1996 NYT article, and further explain why recycling is an activity that involves “feeling good for no reason.”


‘Some things in presidential race are orchestrated by mainstream media’ – Ron Paul

Calling the US bluff...

Putin Moves His Rook Into Syria

By Eric Margolis

Could anyone in the Obama administration have been so slow-witted to imagine that Russia wouldn’t move hard to counter US efforts to overthrow Moscow’s ally, Syria?

The Syrian war began almost five years ago by the US, France, Britain and Saudi Arabia to overthrow Syria’s Iranian and Russian-backed government. The result so far: 250,000 dead, 9.5 million refugees flooding Europe and Syria shattered.

This is nothing new: the first CIA coup attempt to overthrow a Syrian ruler Gen. Husni Zaim was in 1949.

A combination of imperial hubris and ignorance has led Washington to believe it could overthrow any government that was disobedient or uncooperative. Syria was chosen as the latest target of regime change because the Assad regime – a recognized, legitimate government and UN member –was a close ally of America’s Great Satan, Iran. Formerly it had been cooperating with Washington.

After watching Syria be slowly destroyed, Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, moved his rook onto the Syrian chessboard. For the first time since 1991, Moscow sent a small expeditionary unit of 50 warplanes to Syria both to shore up the Assad regime and to reaffirm that Russia has long-standing strategic interests in Syria.

Few of the administration’s bumbling amateur strategists likely knew that Russia claimed during the 19th century to be the rightful protector of Mideast Christians. Russia watched in dismay the destruction of Iraq’s ancient Christian communities caused by the overthrow of their protector, President Saddam Hussein. Moscow has vowed not to let a similar crime happen again to Syria’s Christians.

Russia is also clearly reasserting a degree of her former Mideast influence. In 1970, Russian pilots tangled with Israeli warplanes over the Suez Canal during the “War of Attrition.” The flying time from Moscow to Damascus is about the same as New York City to Miami. Syria is in Russia’s backyard, not America’s.

A highly effective propaganda war waged against Syria and Russia by the US, French and British media has so demonized Syria’s President Assad that Washington will find it very difficult to negotiate or include him in a peace deal. The US made the same stupid mistake with Afghanistan’s Taliban and now is paying the price.

President Bashar Assad is no Great Satan. He was a British-trained eye specialist forced into the dynastic leadership of Syria by the car crash that killed his elder brother. The Assad regime has plenty of nasty officials but in my long regional experience Syria is no worse than such brutal US allies as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco or Uzbekistan.

President Putin has long been calling for a negotiated settlement to end this destructive conflict that is quickly resembling Lebanon’s ghastly civil war from 1975-1990 whose horrors I saw firsthand.

Who rules Syria is not worth one more death or refugee. Sadly, Syria may be beyond repair. The crazies we created are now running large parts of Iraq and Syria. Russia mutters about going into Iraq.

Vlad Putin keeps his game tightly under control. I’m not so sure about the Obama White House and its confused advisors. Better make a deal with Assad, a natural US ally, and end this crazy war before Sen. John McCain and his Republican crusader pals really do start World War III.

Washington refuses Russia any legitimate sphere of influence in Syria, though Moscow has had a small base in Tartus on the coast for over 40 years. This Russian logistics base is now being expanded and guarded by a ground force estimated at a reinforced company.

This week came reports that modest numbers of Iranian infantry have entered war-torn Syria. Lebanon’s tough Hezbollah fighters are also in action in Syria.

Opposing them are a mixed bag of irregular forces and heavily armed religious fanatics trained and armed by US, French and British intelligence and financed by Washington and the Saudis. This writer believes small numbers of US and French Special Forces and British SAS are also aiding anti-Assad forces.

Israel and Turkey, hoping to profit from a possible break-up of Syria, are also discreetly aiding the anti-Assad forces that include al-Qaida and everyone’s favorite bogeyman, Islamic State.

Howls of protest are coming from Washington and its allies over Russia’s military intervention. Don’t we hate it when others do exactly what we do. The US has over 800 bases around the globe. French troops operate in parts of Africa. Both nations stage military interventions when they see fit.

Washington accuses Moscow of imperialism as 10,000 US troops, fleets of warplanes and 35,000 US mercenaries fight nationalist forces in Afghanistan. Iraq remains a semi-US colony. Russia withdrew all of its 350,000 troops stationed in Germany in 1991; US bases still cover Germany and, most lately, Romania.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Peter Schiff: We're In Deep Economic Shit!

"According to a careful analysis of data on mass shootings (using the widely accepted definition of at least four killed), the Congressional Research Service found that there are, on average, just over 20 incidents annually. More important, the increase in cases, if there was one at all, is negligible. Indeed, the only genuine increase is in hype and hysteria."

James Alan Fox: Umpqua shooting - a tragedy, not a trend

James Alan Fox

Another mass shooting sears deep into our collective consciousness, but it is hype and hysteria on the rise, not violence.

Another mass shooting sears deep into the collective consciousness of the American people. Another school — this time a community college in an otherwise peaceful town in rural Oregon — is devastated by a young man taking aim at students trapped in classrooms. Nine are murdered, and many others wounded, before the gunman is killed in a shootout with the police.

Within a few hours, President Obama appeared before the camera, reinforcing the notion that America is under siege. “Somehow this has become routine,” noted Obama with obvious emotion. “The reporting is routine.”

Although the sense of urgency may be overstated, Obama is certainly correct about the almost formulaic media response. The Oregon shooting had countless news outlets flooding the airwaves and the Internet with questionable statistics on the incidence of mass shootings along with sidebar listings of the deadliest shooting sprees in U.S. history. In the usual rush to offer up some breaking information, news reports were embellished with unconfirmed details about the massacre and the assailant that did little but fuel a contagion of fear.

For context, media folks reminded us of the unforgettable, high profile shootings that have taken place over the past few months, hinting of a problem that has grown out of control. They lumped together rather different types of incidents (the hate-inspired church killing in Charleston, the random shooting at a Louisiana movie theater in which two victims were slain, and the targeted killing of two employees of a Virginia television station by a disgruntled former co-worker seeking payback for perceived mistreatment) as if there is a pattern emerging.

Further adding to the state of alarm and confusion, headlines featured scary yet conflicting statistics from various sources. By reducing the standard threshold in defining a mass shooting (four or more killed by gunfire, not including the perpetrator), the incidence can reach incredible proportions. For example, the “Mass Shooting Tracker” website redefines a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people (including the assailant) are shot, but not necessarily killed. By this criterion, there have been nearly 300 thus far this year.

Notwithstanding the sadness caused by each of these tragedies, nothing has really changed in term of risk. One can take virtually any period of months or years during the past few decades and find a series of shootings that seemed at the time to signal a new epidemic. The ‘80s were marked by a flurry of deadly postal shootings, which gave rise to the term “going postal.” The ‘90s witnessed a string of mass shootings in middle and high schools carried out by alienated adolescents with access to borrowed guns, prompting the venerable Dan Rather to declare an epidemic of school violence.

More recently, the “active shooter” has become the new boogeyman armed with a gun. Of course, there were shootings in public places long before this frightening catchphrase was created. Nowadays, any time someone shows up with a gun in a school, a church, a movie theater, a shopping mall or a restaurant, twitter becomes alive with messages of alarm.

I certainly don't mean to minimize the suffering of the Oregon victims and their families, but the shooting spree is not a reflection of more deadly times. Consider the facts.

According to a careful analysis of data on mass shootings (using the widely accepted definition of at least four killed), the Congressional Research Service found that there are, on average, just over 20 incidents annually. More important, the increase in cases, if there was one at all, is negligible. Indeed, the only genuine increase is in hype and hysteria.


"What’s happening in Syria is just one more manifestation of what the national-security state and the philosophy of foreign empire and interventionism are doing to our country (and to the world). Not only are they leading our nation to bankruptcy, owing to the out-of-control federal spending and borrowing to fund all this destructive nonsense, they are also making the world ever more unsafe for the American people."

The Chaos of the “War on Terrorism” Spreads to Syria
by Jacob G. Hornberger

It had to happen. It was always inevitable that the U.S. government’s much-vaunted “war on terrorism” would devolve into absolute chaos, especially by attracting authoritarian and totalitarian regimes into the “war on terrorism” maelstrom.

Ever since President George W. Bush declared his much-ballyhooed “war on terrorism,” we have seen authoritarian and totalitarian regimes infringe on or destroy the civil liberties of their citizenry, citing the “war on terrorism” as their justification. Bashing down people’s doors in warrantless searches, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention, torture, assassination. The war on terrorism has become a dictator’s best friend. Hey, if the U.S. government is doing it, why not every other regime in the world, including the dictatorial ones?

And now we have the grand spectacle of Russia intervening in the Syria civil war, one of the deadly civil wars that the U.S. national-security state has incited as part of its many regime-change operations ever since its inception in the 1940s.

What is Russia’s justification for establishing a military base and initiating bombing campaigns within Syria? You guessed it! The “war on terrorism”!

Is it any wonder that President Obama and his cohorts are stymied and dumbfounded by Russia’s maneuver? What are they supposed to say — that Russia doesn’t have the authority to fight terrorism? That the U.S. government is the world’s sole international policeman that wields the power to ferret out and kill “terrorists”?

Obama and his interventionist acolytes within the mainstream press are complaining that Russia isn’t bombing ISIS and other targets within Syria that the Pentagon is bombing. Instead, they lament, Russia is bombing targets that are seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — targets that consist of rebels who the CIA has trained and supported, with the aim of ousting Assad from power.

But wait a minute! Who says that the U.S. national-security establishment has a monopoly on determining who exactly a “terrorist” is or a monopoly on determining the best way to fight “terrorism”?

In Syria, Russia maintains that people who are trying to violently oust the government from power are the terrorists while Obama, the Pentagon, and the CIA say that those people are “freedom fighters” (except for ISIS, who, they maintain, are actually terrorists even though they too are trying to oust Assad from power.)

Yet, if we shift our attention over to, say, Egypt, which is governed by one of the most brutal and vicious military dictatorships in history, we see U.S. officials taking a different perspective. In Egypt, U.S. officials take the side of the military dictators by saying that the Egyptian citizens who are trying to oust the dictatorship from power are the “terrorists.”

That’s, in fact, why U.S. officials continue to flood the Egyptian dictatorship with weaponry and armaments, to help it maintain its dictatorial hold on power, just as Russia is doing in Syria to help maintain the Syrian dictatorship’s hold on power.

The fact is that President Obama and the U.S. national-security establishment lack any moral standing whatsoever to complain about Russia’s intervention into Syria.

Obviously, Russia’s intervention into Syria magnifies the potential for conflict between Russia and the United States, a conflict that could easily spiral out of control. Is that a good thing for the American people? Clearly not! Getting into a war with a nuclear power is never a good idea. But that’s the direction in which the U.S. national-security establishment is heading our nation.

Obviously, the sanctions that Obama imposed on Russia, with the aim of having Russian officials kowtow to the U.S. national-security state, have not succeeded in achieving their end. Indeed, arguably the sanctions incited Russia to intervene in Syria as a way to spite Obama and his sanctions system.

What’s happening in Syria is just one more manifestation of what the national-security state and the philosophy of foreign empire and interventionism are doing to our country (and to the world). Not only are they leading our nation to bankruptcy, owing to the out-of-control federal spending and borrowing to fund all this destructive nonsense, they are also making the world ever more unsafe for the American people.

Look at Iraq. Look at Afghanistan. Look at Yemen, where Saudi Arabian forces just bombed a wedding party, just as U.S. officials did repeatedly in Afghanistan. Look at Ukraine, where the U.S.-supported coup and NATO’s movement toward Russia’s borders incited the predictable Russian response in Crimea and Ukraine.

Look at the massive refugee crisis in Europe. It is a direct consequence of the U.S. military death machine’s interventionist antics in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan.

Where are the Middle East paradises they promised with their interventions? Where are the free societies they promised would accompany their invasions and occupations? Where is the order and stability they assured us would result from the massive death and destruction they have wreaked in the Middle East and Afghanistan?

Everywhere you look, the old Cold War era national-security state leaves nothing but death, destruction, suffering, impoverishment, enslavement, tyranny, and bankruptcy.

How long are the American people going to permit this to go on? How bad do things have to get before Americans say: Enough is enough — it’s time to dismantle the old Cold War era Pentagon, CIA, NSA, military-industrial complex, and America’s foreign empire of military bases and restore the limited-government, constitutional republic that our American ancestors intended for our nation, which would finally bring us the freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony for which we all yearn?


As if voting really matters...

Past the tipping point: Americans are too dumbed down to vote intelligently

by: J. D. Heyes

A lack of high school civics instruction, a 24-hour news cycle and politicized propaganda in place of reasoned discussion are all to blame for an American electorate that is very likely the least informed in the history of the country.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought," President John F. Kennedy once said, as posted by talk radio host Dave Hodges on his web site. That truth seems self evident in today's America.

Hodges, in his blog post, went on to note that a lawyer often writes to him stressing that the trick to turning the country around is to teach our youth the Constitution (civics). As Hodges typically responds, our youth first have to be able to read and understand our founding document.

That's a great point. According to this report from Campus Reform, today's average college student only reads at a 7th-grade level.

"We are spending billions of dollars trying to send students to college and maintain them there when, on average, they read at about the grade 6 or 7 level, according to Renaissance Learning's latest report on what American students in grades 9-12 read, whether assigned or chosen," education expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky told Breitbart Texas.

Just how stupid are we?

A professor emerita at the University of Arkansas, Stotsky served on the Common Core Validation Committee in 2009 and 2010, at which time she described the standards as "inferior." Furthermore, she claimed that the Common Core standards omitted the very elements necessary to prepare students for higher learning in the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

"The average reading level for five of the top seven books assigned as summer reading by 341 colleges using Renaissance Learning's readability formula was rated 7.56 [meaning halfway through seventh grade]," Stotsky said.

Moreover, texts and reading assignments lack "difficulty and complexity" in high school settings, and that can be indicative of what students are expected to read once they enter institutions of (supposedly) higher learning; the studies show that professors are not pushing their students to read at higher, college levels.

"Nor are [colleges] sending a signal to the nation's high schools that high school level reading is needed for college readiness," said Stotsky. "Indeed, they seem to be suggesting that a middle school level of reading is satisfactory, even though most college textbooks and adult literary works written before 1970 require mature reading skills."

Hodges says parents also need to be very discriminatory when it comes to where they send their children to school. If possible, parents who don't opt to homeschool their kids because they cannot financially do so might want to consider a private or charter school instead, taking care to choose one that uses more challenging curriculum.

"Yes, there are good teachers and great schools still left. However, there are not enough of them. We need to rescue our children from the propaganda of the state, before they are totally taught to love their servitude and educate them in an environment which will honor true knowledge, not blind obedience," Hodges wrote.

Rising level of stupidity has led to poor political choices

Hodges points out that Rick Shenkman, the author of the book Just How Stupid Are We?, found that:

•Just one in five American students know there are 100 U.S. senators.
•Only two out of five citizens can name the three branches of the federal government.
•Only 20 percent of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 read a newspaper daily, while an astonishingly low 11 percent report surfing internet news sites.
•Among 18- to 24-year-old Americans given maps:
◦ 83 percent cannot find Afghanistan on a map
◦ 76 percent cannot find Saudi Arabia
◦ 70 percent cannot find New Jersey
◦ 11 percent cannot find the United States

In addition, just 17 percent of college grads can explain the difference between a free-market economy (which is what the U.S. started out being) and a centrally planned economy (such as China, the former Soviet Union, Cuba and Venezuela).

With such dismal statistics, it's no wonder the country winds up with some of the political "leaders" we have.

Learn more:

"In all, some $22 trillion has been spent on the war on poverty."

Big Government FAIL: Percentage of children in poverty has tripled since the "War on Poverty" was launched

by: J. D. Heyes

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union Address, declared a "war on poverty" that he said would eliminate endless cycles of limited opportunity and economic despair for all Americans.

He said on January 8 of that year:

Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope - some because of their poverty, and some because of their color, and all too many because of both. Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity. This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America ... Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.

As such Johnson and a heavily Democratic Congress passed legislation that created Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, Head Start, Job Corps, VISTA and Title I - all programs that are so interwoven into American social fabric today that it is difficult to imagine they could ever go away.

But, as some economists and reform-minded lawmakers have said, maybe it's time that they did, given that trillions have been spent on a myriad of social safety net programs since the mid-1960s, and to little net effect, given their original stated goals.

In a January 2014 column, the Washington Post noted, without context, that prior to Johnson's war, the poverty rate in the U.S. was at 25 percent, "with over 40 million people living on less than $3,000 a year."

However, according to an analysis of the current state of welfare in the U.S. over at The Burning Platform, the poverty rate in 1950 - when the post-World War II industrial boom really began to take off - was 34 percent and, by the time LBJ took office, had actually fallen to somewhere between 20-25 percent. When the programs began to be implemented, the national poverty rate only slipped to about 15 percent - where it remains today.

As reported by The Burning Platform, today:

The Federal government runs over 80 means-tested welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans. Over 100 million Americans received benefits from at least one of these programs. Federal and state governments spent $943 billion in 2013 on these programs at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient (not including Social Security & Medicare). That is 27% of the total Federal budget. Welfare spending as a percentage of the Federal budget was less than 2% prior to the launch of the War on Poverty.

Public policy experts: It's still not enough

In four charts, MarketWatch lays out what it says are the reasons why "the American dream is unraveling." The site interviews Robert Putnam, author of Our Kids, who suggests that one reason why there is such an "opportunity gap" between kids of wealthier Americans and those belonging to poorer families is that the wealthy aren't contributing enough to society.

While MarketWatch reported that Putnam is not demonizing "the rich:"

[H]e makes the case that it's not only in the moral interest of wealthier families to help improve the prospects of poorer children but also in their own economic interest. The U.S. economy would get a major boost if the opportunity gap were closed, he says. We cannot continue to live in our own bubbles, or compartments on a plate, without consequences, he suggests.

"What I hope people take away is that helping poor kids, giving them more skills and more support would economically benefit their kids," Putnam said.

As noted by The Economic Collapse Blog, another bothersome statistic is this: Prior to the War on Poverty, just 10 percent of American kids grew up in single-parent households; today that figure is north of 33 percent (and about double that figure for African American children).

In all, some $22 trillion has been spent on the war on poverty.

What is it about Washington, D.C., that prevents legislators, bureaucrats and presidents from learning? Why must they double down on failure?

Learn more:

579K Leave Work Force But Unemployment Rate At 5.1%? What??

The War on Cash...

Are You Prepared for “Financial Prohibition”?

By Bill Bonner

What are we doing in Rome?

We’ll tell you Monday. That will give us time to figure it out…

In the meantime, remember: Cash is king. It’s one of the best-performing major asset classes this year. (More on that below in today’s Market Insight…)

It’s also – by far – the safest.

Even billionaire investor Carl Icahn is now urging investors to get into cash. Cash will someday disappoint us. But probably not today… or tomorrow.

The War on Cash

But the authorities don’t like cash…

As we’ve been warning Bill Bonner Letter readers, the feds have a bitter animosity toward cash. It has almost become a religious creed. Like the Temperance League’s attitude toward alcohol, the feds are afraid that cash is a pernicious temptation, leading to sin and suffering.

People have a “propensity to save,” they say. This, they believe, causes all sorts of social ills – from poverty to unemployment.

Fortunately, the feds are there to protect us. They fight this weakness in the human character with a variety of measures.

Zero-interest-rate policy (ZIRP), for example.

“You can save your money,” say the feds “But you won’t earn anything on it. And after inflation, you’ll have less than you started out with.”

It’s like alcohol-free beer: You can drink all you want without ever getting a buzz on.

There’s quantitative easing, too. It offers wavering dipsomaniacs the opportunity for a more intense high.

Prohibition drove drinkers out of honest bars and away from safe libations. You had to go get your liquor at an illicit speakeasy. Mobsters often ran these. And much of the alcohol consumed was dangerous bathtub hooch.

Now, the feds drive investors into speculative stocks – often run by nefarious cronies – and dangerous “high-yield” (aka junk) debt. Investors will end up with an awful hangover, but at least they won’t go blind.

When those schemes fail to quench the thirst for cash, as they inevitably do, the feds will turn to more drastic measures. After all, if you can make alcohol illegal, surely the sky’s the limit on social and financial engineering.

Rewriting the Script

When beads of sweat begin to form on regulators’ brows during the next 2008-style crisis, one of their first calls will be to Harvard economics professor Ken Rogoff.

“So, Ken, how does that ban on cash work again?” they will ask.

Rogoff did some good work, along with Harvard colleague Carmen Reinhart, in their book This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly. They showed that, throughout history, high levels of debt have gone hand in hand with low economic growth.

We’d add that debt as a percentage of GDP has a habit of growing faster and faster – until the whole thing blows up.

But like almost all modern economists, Mr. Rogoff has little amor fati. That is Nietzsche’s phrase for letting nature take her course. Rather than relax and enjoy the show, Rogoff proposes to rewrite the script.

He has a solution! But not the obvious one – letting Mr. Market sort it out. Instead, he wants to make cash illegal.

It’s true that Mr. Market is likely to handle investors roughly. He practices a version of “tough love.” He corrects mistakes by teaching investors a lesson. Still, he gets the job done – quickly and as painlessly as possible.

The goal of practically every regulator, politician, crony, and economist is to stop him.

Mr. Rogoff, for example, wants to ban cash in order to impose “negative interest rates” on bank account holders.

Negative interest rates are a tax on savings. With no recourse to cash, your money would be trapped in bank accounts, where governments can easily levy negative interest rates.

No vote in Congress is necessary… no lobbying… no horse-trading… no smoke-filled rooms – none of the messiness of modern pseudo-democracy.

Instead, the bald-headed, gray-bearded PhDs will simply make it part of banking regulation. Like a drone attack on a suspected terrorist, no questions will be asked!

Buy a Home for $1,500

Meanwhile, we continue wondering what it takes to live on $500 a month.

Remember, our goal is to live better. We’re not sure if a used motor home in a Walmart lot will take us where we want to go.

So, let’s look at some alternatives:

Our son Will has been looking at shipping containers. You can buy them for as little as $1,500. They are spacious. They are strong. They can be outfitted in almost any way you like. And they can be set up easily, almost anywhere you like.

From container living website comes this information:

There are an estimated 17 million of these throughout the world at the moment, with around 6 million currently in use; this means there are literally millions of these containers that aren’t in use that could be recycled and put toward a better use.Recycling shipping containers into homes is one of the more eco-friendly approaches as it avoids the energy-intensive process of melting the steel back down while it’s being recycled.

First, they aren’t susceptible to dry rot and other fungus infections. Second, wood is predisposed to mold, which steel isn’t.

Finally, water leakage is much more common in log cabins when compared to the steel roofs on container homes.

Container houses are cheap, flexible, and fast, say proponents. Those who’ve tried them report making complete houses out of them for as little as $20,000.

If – if – you were able to finance that… at 5%… you’d pay about $100 a month.

But wait. You have to put them somewhere.

Hmm… how about this?

Maybe you could build a house out of containers on someone else’s land. You live there but when you die or leave, the container house reverts to the landowner.

Are container houses BETTER than regular houses?

Remember, that is our goal: to live better on less. For that, we may need to think out-of-the-container-box.


"The breakup of the Empire is on the horizon."

Putin Calls Out Washington

By Paul Craig Roberts

“We can no longer tolerate the state of affairs in the world.” President Vladimir Putin

Last Wednesday (28 Sept 2015) the world saw the difference between Russia and Washington. Putin’s approach is truth-based; Obama’s is vain boasts and lies, and Obama is running out of lies.

By telling the truth at a time of universal deceit, Putin committed a revolutionary act. Referring to the slaughter, destruction, and chaos that Washington has brought to the Middle East, North Africa, and Ukraine, and the extreme jihadist forces that have been unleashed, Putin asked Washington: “Do you realize what you have done?”

Putin’s question reminds me of the question Joseph Welch asked witch-hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency?” Welch’s question is attributed with initiating the decline of McCarthy’s career.

Perhaps Putin’s question will have the same impact and bring the reign of “American Exceptionalism” to an end.

If so, Putin has launched a revolution that will overthrow the world’s subservience to Washington.

Putin stresses the legality of Russia’s intervention in Syria, which is at the request of the Syrian government. He contrasts Russia’s respect for international law with the intervention in Syria of Washington and France, governments that are violating Syria’s sovereignty with unrequested and illegal military action.

The world sees that it is Washington and its vassals who “violate international norms” and not Russia.

The sanctimonious self-righteousness, behind which hides Washington’s self-serving unilateral actions, is revealed for all to see.

Washington relies on its arsenal of lies. Washington’s media-based disinformation apparatus was too hot to trot. Just as the BBC’s TV reporter announced the premature destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 with the building clearly still standing in the background, Washington’s lie service announced the first civilian casualties of Russian air strikes “even before our planes got in the air,” noted President Putin in his comments on Washington’s disinformation warfare.

As a consequence of their subservience to Washington, the puppet states of Europe are being overrun by refugees from Washington’s wars that Europe so mindlessly enabled. As the cost of being Washington’s vassals comes home to Europeans, the standings of European political parties will be affected. New parties and ruling coalitions are likely to follow more independent paths in order to protect themselves from the costs of the enormous mistakes that flow from Washington’s arrogance and hubris.

The breakup of the Empire is on the horizon.


Friday, October 2, 2015

American Exceptionalism???

The Curse of American Exceptionalism

By Thomas DiLorenzo

Nothing seems to cause one of the neocon talking heads to fall into a rage more than discussing a politician or political candidate who “doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism!!” Sean Hannity seems especially unhinged under such circumstances. This is because “American exceptionalism” has long been the ideological underpinning of – and justification for –the American empire and all of its military adventures. As shills for the American military/industrial complex and the empire that it is forever expanding, Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, and all the rest are required by their masters to express outrage – outrage! – whenever anyone questions the propriety of American imperialism and empire building.

All empires claim to be “exceptional” in some ways, and that such exceptionalism gives them license to invade, conquer, and plunder other lands, usually hidden behind the false propaganda of benevolence (i.e., “peacekeeping,” “making the world safe for democracy,” rooting out the next Hitler, etc.). The American version of “exceptionalism” has a long history. Abe Lincoln arrogantly claimed that his government was “the last best hope of Earth.” Ronald Reagan said America was the result of “a divine plan’ to create “a shining city on a hill.” “Into the hand of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind,” said Reagan.

This is a major theme of American exceptionalism – the notion that politicians like Reagan or George W. Bush (who claimed God spoke to him and told him to run for president) know what is in the mind of God. “We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom,” said Bush (or at least his speech writer). The United States is “indispensable to the forging of stable political relations” in the world, declared Bill Clinton. These “stable political relations” are on display today in the Middle East and in Europe where American military intervention in Syria, Libya, Iraq, and elsewhere, has caused a historic refugee crisis.

Dick Cheney’s new book in which he makes a case for a massive increase in American military interventionism and war-making all around the world is entitled, naturally, Exceptionalism. His concluding chapter is entitled “The Last Best Hope of the Earth.” When neocons start quoting Lincoln, you know that some country somewhere is about to be bombed.

The Origins of American Exceptionalism

This arrogant, elitist, imperialistic impulse of the American foreign policy establishment has a long history. The writings of several scholars – Clyde Wilson, Forrest McDonald, Thomas Fleming, Robert Penn Warren, and Murray Rothbard – are especially insightful in explaining the origins of this idea.

In an essay entitled “The Yankee Problem in America” Clyde Wilson wrote of “that peculiar ethnic group descended from New Englanders, who can easily be recognized by their arrogance, hypocrisy, greed, lack of congeniality, and penchant for ordering other people around . . . . they are the chosen saints whose mission is to make America and the world, into the perfection of their own image. . . . Hillary Rodham Clinton, raised a Northern Methodist in Chicago, is a museum-quality specimen of the Yankee – self righteous, ruthless, and self-aggradizing.” The “Yankee temperament, it should be noted, makes a neat fit with the Stalinism that was brought into the Deep North by later immigrants,” wrote Wilson. By this he meant the communist ideologues who were centered in New York City in the mid twentieth century and whose children, many of whom became the pro-communist “campus radicals” of the ‘60s, were known as “red diaper babies.” David Horowitz was one, and writes about this phenomenon in several of his books.

To such people, “anything that stood in the way of American perfection must be eradicated . . . liquor, tobacco, the Catholic Church, the Masonic Order, meat-eating, marriage,” wrote Wilson, referring to various crusades of the “Yankees” (by whom he does not mean all Northerners, only this special breed).

The renowned historian Forrest McDonald made similar observations in a 1985 essay entitled “Why Yankees Won’t (And Can’t) Leave the South Alone.” “The first thing to understand about the Yankee,” wrote McDonald, is that “He is a doctrinal puritan, characterized by . . . pietistic perfectionism. Unlike the Southerner, he is constitutionally incapable of letting things be, of adopting a live-and-let-live attitude. No departure from his version of Truth is tolerable. . .” The Yankees “embraced totalitarian republicanism and thought thereby to establish God’s kingdom on earth” by using governmental force to eradicate “sin.” They “formed the backbone of the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln.”

Thomas Fleming is the author of more than 50 books, including The New Dealers’ War and most recently, A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War. In this latter book Fleming writes of how wealthy and influential New Englanders in the 1850s abandoned Christianity ad embraced the mentally-deranged mass murderer and self-described communist John Brown as their new “savior.” Brown preached that blood must be shed – and lots of it – in order to eradicate all sin in the world. He was “descended from Puritans, and was the personification of a Puritan,” says Fleming. The “prevailing attitude” of such people, said Fleming, was “that they were inclined to believe in the moral depravity of anyone who disagreed with them.” For decades they denounced the South and Southerners for their alleged “violence, drunkenness, laziness, and sexual depravity . . . strikingly similar to the public frenzy that gripped Massachusetts during the witch trials.”

In his essay, “Just War,” Murray Rothbard also wrote of the “Yankees” as “the North’s driving force” who were “driven by a fervent postmillennialism which held that as a precondition for the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, man must set up a thousand-year Kingdom of God on Earth.” This “kingdom” must be free of sin, and “government is God’s major instrument of salvation,” or so they believed. These “Yankee fanatics” during the “Civil War,” wrote Rothbard, “were veritable Patersonian humanitarians with the guillotine: the Anabaptists, the Jacobins, the Bolsheviks of their era.”

The famous novelist Robert Penn Warren, author of All the King’s Men and nineteen other novels, wrote in his 1961 book, The Legacy of the Civil War, that history must be “forgotten” in order to believe in the myth of “American exceptionalism.” The “Civil War,” he said, left the North (which is to say, the U.S. government) with a “treasury of virtue.” But this “virtue”depends on ignoring the facts that Lincoln and both houses of Congress repeatedly declared that the war had nothing to do with slavery; that Lincoln pledged to enshrine slavery explicitly in the U.S. Constitution; that his political speeches were filled with white supremacist language that would make any Ku Klux Klansman blush; and many other falsehoods. Nevertheless, this “moral narcissism,” this “plenary indulgence for all sins, past, present and future” was “justification for our crusades of 1917-1918 and 1941-1945,” wrote Warren. And it was all done with “our diplomacy of righteousness, with the slogan of unconditional surrender and universal spiritual rehabilitation for others.”

This “treasury of virtue” was also the fundamental “justification” for all other wars and military interventions since then, up to the present day.

This “treasury of virtue,” another way of saying “American exceptionalism” provides the “moral” cover for the unmitigated greed for war profiteering by the American military/industrial complex and is therefore a perfect example of the “bootleggers and Baptists”convention that economists talk about. The originator of this convention is economist Bruce Yandle, who explained that alcohol prohibition was supported by bootleggers who profited from selling illegal alcohol and by religious people (“Baptists”) who opposed drinking on moral grounds. Pure greed won’t garner much public support; it has to be hidden behind a veil of pseudo-morality such as the phony “American exceptionalism” canard.


Enabling Acts Path To Dictatorship...

Crazy Johnny, he's insane...

Insane McCain wants a war with Russia
by Bob Livingston

The reckless lunacy coming from America’s Zionist warmongers reached epic proportions yesterday with leading war hawk Insane John McCain calling for arming so-called “moderate rebels” with the means to shoot down Russian war planes bombing ISIS and anti-Assad forces in Syria.

Insane McCain and the Ziocon war hawks have been working for years to take out Bashar Assad as a precursor to a move on Iran. Those two countries are all that stand between the neocons and the fulfillment of their blueprint plan to destroy the Middle East, plunder its resources and destroy its borders, set up puppet governments throughout, and make Saudi Arabia and Israel the only regional power brokers as they usher in the New World Order. Their blueprint plan for this was published in 2000 by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

As an aside, those of you trapped in the false left-right paradigm who think President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is not controlled by the neocon cabal at the Council on Foreign Relations are completely ignorant. One of the authors of the blueprint plan is Donald Kagan. Kagan is a former member of the CFR. His son Robert founded PNAC. Robert Kagan’s wife is Victoria Nuland, the current assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland was caught on tape in February of last year selecting the puppet Ukrainian opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk. According to Nuland, the U.S. has reportedly sunk $5 billion in the opposition in order to agitate for admittance to the EU. She was in the middle of the U.S.-sponsored coup that threw out the elected leader of Ukraine. In 2005, Robert Kagan wrote that Russia and China were or would become greater threats to U.S. efforts to spread “liberalism” (i.e., impose democracy) than al-Qaida. Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at Brookings Institute, a tool of the CFR. He’s also Skull and Bones, as are John Kerry, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, among a host of many controlling American foreign policy.

Back to Insane McCain. Stop and think for a moment what he is advocating. Assad has been fighting for his life for several years as a result of U.S. efforts to boot him out of power for the globalists and banksters. The U.S. and its allies in the region created ISIS for that purpose. Insane McCain has long been pushing for increased arming of so-called moderate rebels who were once fighting U.S. troops on the battlefield — fighters who were part of the terrorist organizations including al-Qaida and al-Nusra — to fight ISIS. These so-called moderate rebels have received from the U.S. training and arms costing millions of dollars. Then, as soon as they hit the battlefield, these U.S.-trained fighters join the ISIS cause and turn over the U.S.-provided weapons to ISIS.

Insane McCain now wants to give them anti-aircraft weapons to shoot down Russian planes bombing ISIS. And he wants them to have them while U.S. and NATO planes are flying sorties against ISIS over Syria and Iraq, knowing that billions of dollars in U.S. weapons have already been either captured by ISIS as it ran roughshod over the Middle East, or even handed over to ISIS by the so-called moderate rebels we’ve been training and equipping. If the so-called moderates turn those weapons over to ISIS — whether willingly or if they are lost in battle — ISIS fighters will use them to down U.S. aircraft.

At Assad’s request, Russia stepped in to help an ally. Vladimir Putin says he’s there to take out ISIS, but he makes no bones about the fact that he’s also there to prop up Assad. But Insane McCain wants so-called moderate rebels to shoot down Russian planes bombing ISIS, which Insane McCain, his lapdog Lindsey Graham and the Fox (False) News talking heads say is our mortal enemy looking to send terrorists to the U.S.

If the so-called moderates shoot down a Russian plane using a U.S. weapon that before now was not seen in the war, Russia is going to rightly blame the U.S., increasing the likelihood of World War III. As it is, U.S. and Russian planes are occupying the same airspace and allegedly bombing some of the same targets while also some opposing targets.

The testosterone was flowing during the Wednesday news conference with the Secretary of State (and French Ambassador) John Kerry and the Russian foreign affairs minister both saying their planes will continue flying and the others should stand down. Dear readers, we are one mistake, one slip, from World War III. And by the way, China will side with Russia when push comes to shove.

We are now in a full-on sprint toward WWIII with Insane McCain leading the charge.


Medicated to Death: SSRIs and Mass Killings...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Your bank is spying on you for the government...

Spy on Your Customers… or Else

By Mark Nestmann

Do you distrust the banking system? Prefer to do business in cash? Complain about the encroachment of Big Brother into every facet of your life?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’d better watch out. You’re a “person of interest” – and a growing number of businesses must report your “suspicious activities” to the feds. If they don’t, they can be fined and the responsible parties even imprisoned.

These requirements originated in a law called the “Bank Secrecy Act” (BSA). Of course, this Orwellian law has nothing at all to do with protecting bank secrecy. Indeed, the BSA has all but eliminated confidentiality.

Regulations issued under the BSA require financial institutions to notify the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a Treasury Department bureau, of any unusual transactions in which their customers engage. Reporting is mandatory for transactions that exceed $10,000 and are not the sort in which the particular customer would normally be expected to engage. For money transmitter businesses, a $2,000 threshold applies.

The businesses covered by these requirements must file “suspicious activities reports” (SARs) secretly, without your knowledge or consent. FinCEN makes the reports available electronically to every US Attorney’s office and to dozens of law enforcement agencies. No court order, warrant, subpoena, or even written request is needed to access a report.

What exactly is suspicious? According to official Treasury guidance, suspicious behavior includes:

Paying off a loan;
Objecting to completing Currency Transaction Reports (required for transactions over $10,000);
Changing currency from small to large denominations;
Buying cashier’s checks, money orders, or travelers’ checks for less than the reporting limit $10,000 for a cash transaction);
Making deposits in cash, then having the money wired somewhere else; and
Withdrawing cash without counting the cash first.

Now, FinCEN has issued preliminary regulations that could extend these rules to investment managers. All SEC-registered investment advisers would be required to design and implement an anti-money-laundering program. They would also need to file SARs with FinCEN.

Once these rules come into effect, investment advisors would no longer be accountable to you, their client. Their highest duty, reinforced by civil and criminal sanctions, would be to act as unpaid undercover agents for the US Treasury.

But FinCEN’s suspicious transaction reporting rules are just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, official guidance from the FBI and other government agencies indicate that all of the following actions make you a terror suspect:

Making an inter-library loan request for “The Little Red Book” by former Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-Tung;
Owning a suspicious cat;
Wearing a politically provocative shirt;
Searching online for a pressure cooker and backpack;
Putting a “Do not disturb” sign on the door to your hotel room;
Making politically inflammatory remarks when getting atattoo;
Attempting to shield your computer screen from the viewing of others;
Expressing frustration with “mainstream ideologies”; and
Storing more than seven days of food in your home.

Then there’s the “drug courier profile” developed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The following profiles are all court-approved reasons to search you and your property:

Having a pale or dark complexion;
Having a Hispanic appearance;
Being between the ages of 25 and 35;
Acting too nervous or too calm;
Carrying $100, $50, $20, $10, or $5 bills;
Wearing casual clothing;
Wearing perfume;
Having window coverings on your personal residence;
Buying a one-way or round-trip airline ticket; and
Being among the first, last, or middle group of passengers off of an airplane.

As Richard Miller expressed in his landmark book, Drug Warriors and Their Prey,

Being a citizen is sufficient cause to suspect a person of criminal conduct, thereby constricting civil liberties protections for that person. That situation is hard to distinguish from the legal status of citizens of Nazi Germany.

In a world that views virtually everything you do as suspicious, there aren’t a lot of options to protect yourself. Indeed, simply by expressing your interest in privacy, asset protection, precious metals, or any of the other topics I cover routinely, you’re likely on one government watch list or another already.

However, you can take steps to avoid having a bank or other financial institution – including an investment manager – file an SAR on you. If you’re considering doing anything out of the ordinary in your account, talk to an officer at the bank, brokerage, or other financial institution first. For instance, you might want to let someone know before you pay off a loan or make or receive a large transfer.

If you have a reasonable explanation for the transaction, it’s much less likely to set off an alarm. And in a country in which all citizens are considered criminal suspects, that’s definitely something you want to avoid.


World War III - Who Will Be Blamed?

SSRIs and violence...

Could antidepressants make you violent? Young people who take drugs including Prozac are '50% more likely to be convicted of assault and murder'

Those in late teens and early 20s 50% more likely to commit violent crime
SSRI drugs include Prozac, Seroxat, Lustral, Cipralex and Cipramil
Experts believe adolescent brains are more sensitive to drug interference
And less likely to take their pills allowing symptoms to boil over to violence

By Fiona Macrae Science Editor For The Daily Mail

Popular antidepressant pills make young people violent, it is feared.

An Oxford University study found that men – and women – in their late teens and early 20s – were almost 50 per cent more likely to be convicted of offences from assault to murder when taking SSRI drugs.

This family of anti-depressants includes Prozac, as well as Seroxat, Lustral, Cipralex and Cipramil, the most commonly prescribed of the pills.

One in eight Britons takes SSRIs each year – and the number of prescription has doubled in the last decade.

Meanwhile in the US around 11 per cent of people aged 12 and over take antidepressants, including SSRIs, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention...

Read more:

Planned Parenthood and black genocide...

Who's really killing blacks in America? Planned Parenthood kills 90,000 blacks in one year; Confederate flag kills no one
by: J. D. Heyes

A recent race-related mass shooting in Charleston, S.C., by a deranged, drug-addled young white man who was subsequently discovered on a racist website posing alternately with a Confederate army battle flag and a U.S. flag led to the popular denunciation of just one of those symbols, the former.

Compelled in large part by race-baiters who convinced African Americans to feel offended by Confederate symbolism because of historic ties to slavery, businesses stopped selling the battle flag, state governments removed it from public spaces, and a movement began across much of the South to replace Confederate monuments and de-emphasize Confederate history.

And yet, one of the biggest threats to the lives of blacks in America is not only a lawful entity but remains free to continue decimating the African American population – Planned Parenthood, an organization that is favored by the political Left and, ironically, the same Democrat Party that most blacks affiliate with.

Also, ironically, one of the most polarizing figures for Democrats, former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential contender Sarah Palin, seemed acutely aware of this hypocrisy in a recent Facebook status update of an image featuring the Confederate battle flag image and Planned Parenthood's corporate logo.

The image asks which symbol "killed 90,000 black babies last year?"

Today, the Confederate battle flag is not black America's biggest threat

The answer is, of course, Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider currently under fire after some of its officials were caught on video haggling to get the highest profit possible for aborted baby body parts.

Democrats, including 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, have defended Planned Parenthood, describing the organization as a responsible provider of "women's health services" and pushing back against any notion that it sells baby parts for profit, a violation of federal law.

Nevertheless, as reported by Politico, the video revelations have renewed calls from Planned Parenthood critics and pro-life advocates to take away nearly $500 million in taxpayer funding annually – though by law, that funding cannot officially be used directly for abortions (but that doesn't mean that the money doesn't still support abortion services). is a website dedicated to exposing the deadly impact that abortion – and, in particular, abortions performed by Planned Parenthood – is having on America's African American community.

"The purpose of this web site is to expose the disproportionate amount of Black babies destroyed by the abortion industry. For every two African American women that get pregnant one will choose to abort," the site says on a transition page that auto loads to the home page after a few seconds. In quoting statistics from the Alan Guttmaucher Institute, it states, "A Black baby is 5 times more likely to be killed in the womb than a White Baby."

Supportive of Democrats who support killing them off

The site also contains a quote from liberal left-wing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, from 2009: "Frankly I had thought that at that time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." "Roe" in this quote is a reference to the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 legalizing abortion in all 50 states.

And this quote from Rev. Clenard H. Childress, Jr.: "The most dangerous place for an African American to be is in the womb of their African American mother."

According to the website:

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America. Are we being targeted? Isn't that genocide? We are the only minority in America that is on the decline in population. If the current trend continues, by 2038 the black vote will be insignificant.

The site also notes that PP was founded by Margaret Sanger, a "devout racist" who created the "Negro Project," whose aim was to sterilize unknowing young black women and others she deemed undesirable (Sanger was a eugenicist as well). She once said, "Colored people [the euphemism for African Americans in the early part of the 20th century, when Sanger was forming her groups] are like human weeds and are to be exterminated."

And yet, blacks vote overwhelmingly for the same Democrats who use them as political cover by whipping up opposition to a now-harmless Confederate symbol, all the while supporting an organization that is committed in part to exterminating as many African Americans as possible.

To most Americans, this makes no sense whatsoever.

Learn more:

You know these neocon nuts are up to no good...

Homeland Security Chief Warns of 'New Phase' of Terrorist Threats in the United States

Robert Wenzel

Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, was in San Francisco on Tuesday and, during a question and answer period at the Commonwealth Club, warned of a "new phase" of terrorist threats in the United States.

He said that the new terrorist threats will be home grown and inspired by news on the internet.

I am not making this up:

This "new threat" will certainly come to careful followers of the news as a surprise, and of even greater surprise to those involved in protecting against terrorist attacks. Nearly a decade ago, a top Las Vegas hotel security chief said almost word for word what Johnson just classified as a "new threat."

Here's a little history on Johnson.When he was general counsel of the Defense Department, Johnson co-chaired the working group that studied the potential impact of a repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and reported that the risk to overall military effectiveness of a repeal would be low.

He was also a partner at the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP,to which he returned after his four years at the Defense Department

Johnson was nominated by President Obama to be the fourth U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security in October 2013, and was subsequently confirmed on December 16, 2013.

While at the Commonwealth Club, Johnson also mentioned that the Homeland Security budget is $60 billion and that the department has 240,000 employees.

He said that the TSA, under the DHS umbrella. screens 1.8 million people each day and he said the recently created faster clearance that was designed to include a shorter line is "rapidly becoming the longer line."

He said that if the new cyber-security legislation passes Congress, it will "greatly enhance my authority."

He also said that the DHS is now "working closer with local police authorities," in an attempt to identify terrorists.

He said that half of the 11 million undocumented in the country have been here more than 10 years and that from a law enforcement point of view he wants "to see them come out of the shadows."

He also noted that the DHS opened a recruitment office in April in Silicon Valley to recruit cyber security employees. He said it would be a great experience for cyber expertss to work for the government to see how it works "and then go work for Citibank."


Blunder or pre-planned?

Dubya’s Biggest, Stupidist, Most Emotional, Irrational Blunder
Michael S. Rozeff

George W. Bush’s press secretary, Ari Fleischer, was by Bush’s side on 9/11. His tweets tell us Bush’s emotional reactions or “thinking”, if you will. They amount to making WAR. But against whom? Not Saudi Arabia, the source of most of those who flew the airplanes into the Trade Towers that day. Not a state that was and is a close ally of the U.S. because of oil. No, Bush chose Saddam Hussein of Iraq and the Taliban of Afghanistan. Later on, Obama (and H. Clinton), perpetuating Bush’s idiocy, took on both Libya and Syria, the latter in a further misguided effort to deny Russia its warm water ally in the Middle East.

The blunder was to turn 9/11 into a war on terror.

America’s corresponding biggest, stupidest, most emotional and irrational blunder has been to erect a state and a presidency that have the enormous powers to act on the emotional whims of its presidents (and Congresses) and to accord them both respect and support. The war on terror was and is such an emotional whim. So is the neocon notion of U.S. superpower dominance. Only with such a political apparatus in place such as America now has and has had for a long time could Bush 2 have brought about the last 15 years of ongoing disasters.


Public School State Prison...

Public School Students Are the New Inmates in the American Police State

By John W. Whitehead

“Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that have increasingly come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning. From metal detectors to drug tests, from increased policing to all-seeing electronic surveillance, the public schools of the twenty-first century reflect a society that has become fixated on crime, security and violence.”—Investigative journalist Annette Fuentes

In the American police state, you’re either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, monitored, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, your life not your own) or a prison bureaucrat (police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.).

Indeed, at a time when we are all viewed as suspects, there are so many ways in which a person can be branded a criminal for violating any number of laws, regulations or policies. Even if you haven’t knowingly violated any laws, there is still a myriad of ways in which you can run afoul of the police state and end up on the wrong side of a jail cell.

Unfortunately, when you’re a child in the American police state, life is that much worse.

Microcosms of the police state, America’s public schools contain almost every aspect of the militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues those of us on the “outside.”

From the moment a child enters one of the nation’s 98,000 public schools to the moment she graduates, she will be exposed to a steady diet of draconian zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior, overreaching anti-bullying statutes that criminalize speech, school resource officers (police) tasked with disciplining and/or arresting so-called “disorderly” students, standardized testing that emphasizes rote answers over critical thinking, politically correct mindsets that teach young people to censor themselves and those around them, and extensive biometric and surveillance systems that, coupled with the rest, acclimate young people to a world in which they have no freedom of thought, speech or movement.

If your child is fortunate enough to survive his encounter with the public schools, you should count yourself fortunate.

Most students are not so lucky.

By the time the average young person in America finishes their public school education, nearly one out of every three of them will have been arrested.

More than 3 million students are suspended or expelled from schools every year, often for minor misbehavior, such as “disruptive behavior” or “insubordination.” Black students are three times more likely than white students to face suspension and expulsion.

For instance, a Virginia sixth grader, the son of two school teachers and a member of the school’s gifted program, was suspended for a year after school officials found a leaf (likely a maple leaf) in his backpack that they suspected was marijuana. Despite the fact that the leaf in question was not marijuana (a fact that officials knew almost immediately), the 11-year-old was still kicked out of school, charged with marijuana possession in juvenile court, enrolled in an alternative school away from his friends, subjected to twice-daily searches for drugs, and forced to be evaluated for substance abuse problems.

As the Washington Post warns: “It doesn’t matter if your son or daughter brings a real pot leaf to school, or if he brings something that looks like a pot leaf—okra, tomato, maple, buckeye, etc. If your kid calls it marijuana as a joke, or if another kid thinks it might be marijuana, that’s grounds for expulsion.”

Many state laws require that schools notify law enforcement whenever a student is found with an “imitation controlled substance,” basically anything that look likes a drug but isn’t actually illegal. As a result, students have been suspended for bringing to school household spices such as oregano, breath mints, birth control pills and powdered sugar.

It’s not just look-alike drugs that can get a student in trouble under school zero tolerance policies. Look-alike weapons (toy guns—even Lego-sized ones, hand-drawn pictures of guns, pencils twirled in a “threatening” manner, imaginary bows and arrows, even fingers positioned like guns) can also land a student in detention.

Acts of kindness, concern or basic manners can also result in suspensions. One 13-year-old was given detention for exposing the school to “liability” by sharing his lunch with a hungry friend. A third grader was suspended for shaving her head in sympathy for a friend who had lost her hair to chemotherapy. And then there was the high school senior who was suspended for saying “bless you” after a fellow classmate sneezed.

Unfortunately, while these may appear to be isolated incidents, they are indicative of a nationwide phenomenon in which children are treated like suspects and criminals, especially within the public schools.

The schools have become a microcosm of the American police state, right down to the host of surveillance technologies, including video cameras, finger and palm scanners, iris scanners, as well as RFID and GPS tracking devices, employed to keep constant watch over their student bodies.

Making matters worse are the police.

Students accused of being disorderly or noncompliant have a difficult enough time navigating the bureaucracy of school boards, but when you bring the police into the picture, after-school detention and visits to the principal’s office are transformed into punishments such as misdemeanor tickets, juvenile court, handcuffs, tasers and even prison terms.

In the absence of school-appropriate guidelines, police are more and more “stepping in to deal with minor rulebreaking—sagging pants, disrespectful comments, brief physical skirmishes. What previously might have resulted in a detention or a visit to the principal’s office was replaced with excruciating pain and temporary blindness, often followed by a trip to the courthouse.”

Thanks to a combination of media hype, political pandering and financial incentives, the use of armed police officers to patrol school hallways has risen dramatically in the years since the Columbine school shooting (nearly 20,000 by 2003). Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, these school resource officers (SROs) have become de facto wardens in the elementary, middle and high schools, doling out their own brand of justice to the so-called “criminals” in their midst with the help of tasers, pepperspray, batons and brute force.

The horror stories are legion.

One SRO is accused of punching a 13-year-old student in the face for cutting the cafeteria line. That same cop put another student in a chokehold a week later, allegedly knocking the student unconscious and causing a brain injury. In Pennsylvania, a student was tased after ignoring an order to put his cell phone away.

Defending the use of handcuffs and pepper spray to subdue students, one Alabama police department reasoned that if they can employ such tactics on young people away from school, they should also be permitted to do so on campus.

Now advocates for such harsh police tactics and weaponry will tell you that school safety should be our first priority lest we find ourselves with another Sandy Hook. What they will not tell you is that such shootings are rare. As one congressional report found, the schools are, generally speaking, safe places for children.

In their zeal to crack down on guns and lock down the schools, these cheerleaders for police state tactics in the schools might also fail to mention the lucrative, multi-million dollar deals being cut with military contractors such as Taser International to equip these school cops with tasers, tanks, rifles and $100,000 shooting detection systems.

Indeed, the transformation of hometown police departments into extensions of the military has been mirrored in the public schools, where school police have been gifted with high-powered M16 rifles, MRAP armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and other military gear. One Texas school district even boasts its own 12-member SWAT team.

According to one law review article on the school-to-prison pipeline, “Many school districts have formed their own police departments, some so large they rival the forces of major United States cities in size. For example, the safety division in New York City’s public schools is so large that if it were a local police department, it would be the fifth-largest police force in the country.”

The ramifications are far-reaching.

The term “school-to-prison pipeline” refers to a phenomenon in which children who are suspended or expelled from school have a greater likelihood of ending up in jail. One study found that “being suspended or expelled made a student nearlythree times more likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system within the next year.”

Not content to add police to their employee rosters, the schools have also come to resemble prisons, complete with surveillance cameras, metal detectors, drug-sniffing dogs, random locker searches and active shooter drills. The Detroit public schools boast a “‘$5.6 million 23,000-sq ft. state of the art Command Center’ and ‘$41.7 million district-wide security initiative’ including metal detectors and ID system where visitors’ names are checked against the sex offender registry.”

As if it weren’t bad enough that the nation’s schools have come to resemble prisons, the government is also contracting with private prisons to lock up our young people for behavior that once would have merited a stern lecture. Nearly 40 percent of those young people who are arrested will serve time in a private prison, where the emphasis is on making profits for large megacorporations above all else.

Private prisons, the largest among them being GEO and the Corrections Corporation of America, profit by taking over a state’s prison population for a fee. Many states, under contract with these private prisons, agree to keep the prisons full, which in turn results in more Americans being arrested, found guilty and jailed for nonviolent “crimes” such as holding Bible studies in their back yard. As the Washington Post points out, “With the growing influence of the prison lobby, the nation is, in effect, commoditizing human bodies for an industry in militant pursuit of profit… The influence of private prisons creates a system that trades money for human freedom, often at the expense of the nation’s most vulnerable populations: children, immigrants and the poor.”

This profit-driven system of incarceration has also given rise to a growth in juvenile prisons and financial incentives for jailing young people. Indeed, young people have become easy targets for the private prison industry, which profits from criminalizing childish behavior and jailing young people. For instance, two Pennsylvania judges made headlines when it was revealed that they had been conspiring with two businessmen in a $2.6 million “kids for cash” scandal that resulted in more than 2500 children being found guilty and jailed in for-profit private prisons.

It has been said that America’s schools are the training ground for future generations. Instead of raising up a generation of freedom fighters, however, we seem to be busy churning out newly minted citizens of the American police state who are being taught the hard way what it means to comply, fear and march in lockstep with the government’s dictates.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, with every school police raid and overzealous punishment that is carried out in the name of school safety, the lesson being imparted is that Americans—especially young people—have no rights at all against the state or the police.

I’ll conclude with one hopeful anecdote about a Philadelphia school dubbed the “Jones Jail” because of its bad reputation for violence among the student body. Situated in a desperately poor and dangerous part of the city, the John Paul Jones Middle School’s student body had grown up among drug users, drug peddlers, prostitutes and gun violence. “By middle school,” reports The Atlantic, most of these students “have witnessed more violence than most Americans who didn’t serve in a war ever will.”

According to investigative reporters Jeff Deeney, “School police officers patrolled the building at John Paul Jones, and children were routinely submitted to scans with metal detecting wands. All the windows were covered in metal grating and one room that held computers even had thick iron prison bars on its exterior… Every day… [police] would set up a perimeter of police officers on the blocks around the school, and those police were there to protect neighbors from the children, not to protect the children from the neighborhood.”

In other words, John Paul Jones, one of the city’s most dangerous schools, was a perfect example of the school-to-prison, police state apparatus at work among the nation’s youngest and most impressionable citizens.

When management of John Paul Jones was taken over by a charter school that opted to de-escalate the police state presence, stripping away the metal detectors and barred windows, local police protested. In fact, they showed up wearing Kevlar vests. Nevertheless, school officials remained determined to do away with institutional control and surveillance, as well as aggressive security guards, and focus on noncoercive, nonviolent conflict resolution with an emphasis on student empowerment, relationship building and anger management.

The result: a 90% drop in serious incidents—drug sales, weapons, assaults, rapes—in one year alone. As one fifth-grader remarked on the changes, “There are no more fights. There are no more police. That’s better for the community.”

The lesson for the rest of us is this: you not only get what you pay for, but you reap what you sow.

If you want a nation of criminals, treat the citizenry like criminals.

If you want young people who grow up seeing themselves as prisoners, run the schools like prisons.

But if you want to raise up a generation of freedom fighters, who will actually operate with justice, fairness, accountability and equality towards each other and their government, then run the schools like freedom forums. Remove the metal detectors and surveillance cameras, re-assign the cops elsewhere, and start treating our nation’s young people like citizens of a republic and not inmates in a police state.


Monday, September 14, 2015

"What are we waiting for? Let's march for a $1 million minimum wage right now!"

Beyond Bernie Sanders: Why we should raise the minimum wage to $1 million an hour for everyone in America: A lesson in progressive economics

by Mike Adams

To the delight of low-wage workers, Bernie Sanders has come out in favor of a mandatory $15 minimum wage. He's surging in the polls against Hillary Clinton, so he must be doing something right... right?

But I think he's under-cutting America with a paltry $15 an hour minimum wage. If America is supposed to truly accomplish "equality," then why shouldn't burrito rollers at Taco Bell earn as much as, say, a hedge fund manager on Wall Street? Now that's true equality! It's almost downright democracy!

That's why I'm recommending we unilaterally raise the minimum wage to $1 million an hour. There's no reason why the fast food workers who earn the money in this country shouldn't take home more than the hedge fund managers who steal it from them, right? So by invoking the rock-solid principles of liberal economics as taught in the pages of the New York Times, I'm going to explain exactly why $1 million an hour will make America so great again that we don't even need Donald Trump.

See if you can follow my logic... or not.

Why a $1 million minimum wage will solve all our problems and make everybody wealthy almost overnight
Explained in the language of "progressive" economics.

Reason #1) A $1 million minimum wage would eliminate all unemployment overnight.

Obviously, many people decide not to work today because they don't think it's worth the pay. With all the unemployment benefits and food stamps and government subsidies, going to work for a low-paying job just doesn't make financial sense, and that's why 94 million Americans are out of work today.

I don't know why fiscal conservatives can't understand this, but it's obvious that paying everyone $1 million per hour would eliminate unemployment and result in an explosion of economic abundance. You can't argue with that. It works because more money = more abundance!

Reason #2) A $1 million minimum wage would eliminate the national debt in less than five years.

In addition to a $1 million minimum wage enriching all workers across America, it would also eliminate the national debt because of the very high federal tax rates on people who earn over $100,000 per year. If everybody is earning $1 million an hour, then everybody is rich, and since we tax the rich at very high rates, then we can tax everybody into a huge surge of new revenues for the federal government that will eliminate the national debt. You can't argue with that either. It's simple math, folks.

Reason #3) Employers can easily afford the wages because they will receive government subsidies.

Now you might think that employers wouldn't be able to afford paying everyone $1 million a year as a minimum wage, especially those employers at fast food restaurants like McDonald's or Taco Bell. But you clearly don't have an accurate grasp of the amazing ability of governments to create economic abundance on demand.

All that has to happen here is for the federal government to subsidize all employers across America with the amount of money that equals the difference between $1 million per hour and the actual amount that each employee is worth in the free market (about $6 - $10, depending on the region).

And where will this government subsidy money come from? Simple! They confiscate that money by taxing the rich... especially since everybody is now rich. This is how clever government financial planning creates sustainable economic abundance. All we have to do is decide that we're all equal and then elect someone like Bernie Sanders. Through the magic of socialism and equality, we can all take home the same millions that Wall Street crooks earn.

Now, in case you're thinking that fast food restaurants having to pay their employees $1 million per hour would cause them to raise all their food prices to compensate -- $500,000 for a Big Mac, anyone? -- don't worry because I've got that covered, too. The Bernie Sanders administration can simply announce mandatory price controls on everything, including Big Macs and French Fries. Hey, it works in Venezuela, doesn't it? Why can't we enjoy the same organized, centrally-planned economy right here in America, too?

Reason #4) America can lead the world in the number of billionaires, making us No. 1 in something that counts!

With America falling behind every other nation in the world in terms of academic scores, scientific education, work ethics and even medical care, it's important for America to lead the world in something other than the percentage of the population incarcerated in federal prisons.

By paying everyone a minimum wage of $1 million per hour, America can finally lead the world in something that matters: the number of billionaires. Once my $1 million minimum wage agenda kicks into action, America will have more billionaires than any other nation in the world! Everyone who has a job would obviously be a billionaire after just one year of working. How can you argue with that?

Reason #5) A $1 million per hour minimum wage would unleash a massive stock market boom and housing boom.

Everybody knows that the most important thing in an economy of abundance is to make sure that all stock prices keep going up forever. One of the best ways to make this happen is to ensure that there's lots of spending money in the hands of people who buy things and then throw them away, creating horrible gaps in their lives that must be filled by buying yet more things.

So by paying a $1 million minimum wage to every worker across America, we would see an explosion in housing prices, consumer purchasing, stock market valuations, and even the national savings rate. These are all great for the economy! These rising numbers, combined with the zero unemployment rate, would put America on a path of endless economic abundance for decades to come. I'll buy that for a dollar!

What are we waiting for? Let's march for a $1 million minimum wage right now!

In summary, it's clear that the pathway to widespread economic abundance in America is found in socialism and "equality." Redefining the value of money creates instant wealth and abundance, even when no one else is actually working or producing anything at all.

No, wait... I'm confusing my premise with Barack Obama's economic promises. It's Obama who makes irrational and nonsensical economic promises based on wishful thinking and emotional rhetoric rather than economic reality. But if you believe the points I laid out in the story, you're probably willing to believe anything uttered by a president whose primary achievement in the realm of economics has been the destruction of America's economy.

Clearly the answer to all this is to allow unlimited illegal immigration of desperate opportunists who will take all the low-wage jobs that home-grown Americans are barely holding on to as it is. Yeah, that's gotta work out just great! Vote for Bernie Sanders!

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