Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Ever since the end of the Cold War, NATO has been absorbing Eastern European countries with the ultimate aim of absorbing Ukraine, which would enable the U.S. military to place bases and missiles on Russia’s borders."

The Biggest Threat to American Liberty
by Jacob G. Hornberger

George Washington pointed out, “Overgrown military establishments, which under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.

Wise words by the father of our country, but ones, unfortunately, rejected by modern-day Americans, who love and idolize the enormously overgrown military establishment that now characterizes our federal governmental system.

Eastern Europeans are getting a gander at America’s overgrown military establishment. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that a huge contingent of U.S. military forces is winding its way through Eastern Europe as some sort of good-will tour and also to serve as a message to Russia that the United States is ready to go to war to protect Eastern Europe from Russia’s aggressive designs.

Never mind that it is America’s overgrown military establishment that gave rise to Russia’s so-called aggressive designs. Ever since the end of the Cold War, NATO has been absorbing Eastern European countries with the ultimate aim of absorbing Ukraine, which would enable the U.S. military to place bases and missiles on Russia’s borders.

There was never a possibility that Russia was going to let that happen, any more than the U.S. national-security establishment would permit North Korea to place military bases and missiles on Mexico’s side of the Rio Grande. In the eyes of those who believe that America’s overgrown military establishment can do no wrong, that makes Russia the aggressor in the crisis.

But let’s face it: These people are ingenious at producing crises and then playing the innocent. The fact is that NATO should have been dissolved at the end of the Cold War. It wasn’t dissolved for one big reason: in order to produce endless crises with Russia so that Americans would feel the need to keep their overgrown, Cold War-era, military establishment in existence.

Moreover, under what authority is America’s overgrown military establishment telling Eastern Europeans that the United States will come to their defense in a war against Russia? I thought that under the U.S. Constitution it is the responsibility of Congress to decide when America goes to war. The U.S. military march through Eastern Europe is just another sign of how the national-security branch of the federal government — the most powerful branch — calls its own shots when it comes to foreign policy.

Moreover, it’s a sign of the times when America’s overgrown military establishment is our country’s good-will ambassador. It used to be that the American private sector served that purpose. Not so anymore. Now, it’s U.S. generals and other military personnel who serve that purpose, as they parade through Eastern Europe showing off their tanks and other military equipment, just like the Soviets did in their May Day parades.

Meanwhile, America’s overgrown military establishment is also engaged in a massive military exercise called Operation Jade Helm, only this one isn’t in some foreign country but instead right here at home. With more than 1200 participants, including Army Special Forces, Navy Seals, and Marine Special Operations, this large-scale military operation is slated to launch in around 20 cities in the American Southwest.

Perhaps it would be wise to review America’s founding principles regarding overgrown military establishments and the threat they pose to the liberty of the citizenry, in addition, that is, to the sentiments against overgrown military establishments expressed by America’s first president, George Washington:

James Madison: “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

Patrick Henry: “A standing army we shall have, also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny; and how are you to punish them? Will you order them to be punished? Who shall obey these orders? Will your mace-bearer be a match for a disciplined regiment?”

Henry St. George Tucker in Blackstone’s 1768 Commentaries on the Laws of England: “Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”

Commonwealth of Virginia in 1788: “… that standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.”

Pennsylvania Convention: “… as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil power.”

U.S. State Department website: “Wrenching memories of the Old World lingered in the 13 original English colonies along the eastern seaboard of North America, giving rise to deep opposition to the maintenance of a standing army in time of peace. All too often the standing armies of Europe were regarded as, at best, a rationale for imposing high taxes, and, at worst, a means to control the civilian population and extort its wealth.”

Finally, let’s wrap up this piece with the warning that President Eisenhower issued in his 1961 Farewell Address regarding America’s new, Cold War-era, overgrown military establishment:

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. . . .Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.


"The bottom line is this: Don't inhale, eat, or inject known toxins..."

If toxins in cigarettes are unsafe to INHALE, then why are toxins in vaccines supposed to be safe to INJECT?
by: S. D. Wells

First, doctors were telling us that cigarettes were good for us and good for digestion. But we know better. Now, they're telling us that vaccines are safe. Again, we know better. Still, vaccines are encouraged.

Like the old saying goes, "They'll get you coming or going."

When it comes to cigarettes, people are aware that they're bad for health. Smoking them is discouraged. But when it comes to vaccines, many people advocate getting them and are told by medical professionals that they're great for health. What's the difference?

Let's take a closer look at the illogical thoughts infiltrating our society.

The toxins in cigarettes are carried on the particles of tobacco into the lungs. Riding on those particles are ammonia vapors, glass fibers from the filter, cellulose acetate -- a form of plastic like in photo film -- aluminum and lead. Over years of smoking, the lead alone can lead to dementia. But the onset of dementia comes over time, with all kinds of muscle malfunctions, central nervous system failures, and eventually, complete memory loss. People forget who their family is and they can't even tell you who they are.

Doctors used to recommend their favorite brands of cigarettes, in prestigious medical journals in the United States less than a century ago. Oh, but people don't recall. They often forget the news they saw just last month or last year, so they're apt to not remember the fact that many medical professionals used to actually tout the health benefits of cigarette smoking.

Now, let's consider that yearly flu shot. Dangerous toxins exist in vaccinations -- just as they do in cigarettes -- yet people still wonder why their health is falling apart. After all, we're told that vaccines are safe, right? Just like we were told cigarettes were at one time too.

Doctors just can't seem to "put their finger on it" so they scribble out chemical prescriptions that get them paid. Then people go on to experience side effects which are significantly worse than the condition being "treated."

This is medical idiocracy and it's time everyone wakes up to this matter. After all, if toxins in cigarettes are unsafe to INHALE, then why are toxins in vaccines supposed to be safe to INJECT?

Are vaccines more dangerous than cigarettes?
Tests regarding heavy metal toxins in a variety of popular cigarette brands such as American Spirit, Marlboro, Pall Mall, Camel and Winston have been conducted by Mike Adams, science lab director of the Natural News Forensic Food Lab. No surprise here, but they all contained a significant amount of lead.

Cigarette smoke provides a direct pathway into the bloodstream for the lead to wreak havoc in our bodies; it's just one of the heavy metal toxins impeding immunity, central nervous system function and brain function. Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, tests all of this and provides the public with the heavy metal concentrations down to the parts per billion (PPB). This is invaluable information for anyone trying to quit this toxic habit.

But what about that other habit that doctors and Big Pharma suggest we abide by? Did you know getting two or more flu shots is a toxic habit? It's true. Some Big Pharma giants even outright mention that getting another flu vaccine when a person has already had "previous administration of any influenza vaccine" is not advised. So really, people shouldn't get more than one such shot in their lifetime, right?

Furthermore, the flu vaccine contains 25,000 times more mercury than is legally allowed in drinking water. Then there's aluminum and formaldehyde. Yes, formaldehyde is embalming fluid for the dead.

Still, the fear of infectious disease has been propagated all over U.S. news time and again. They take extreme cases and broadcast them with scary pictures and warnings, conveniently forgetting to tell people that no reported case of anyone dying from the measles in the U.S. has occurred since 2003, yet over 100 people have died from the measles vaccine over the past 10 years.

The bottom line is this: Don't inhale, eat, or inject known toxins. Don't put toxins on your skin either. Also, question everything. Question vaccines. Question the known carcinogens that are purposely added to them and ask yourself: how different are they, really, from the ones people are inhaling from the cigarettes they smoke?

Learn more:

" By taking money from American taxpayers to support economically weak and oftentimes corrupt governments, the IMF distorts the market, enriches corrupt governments, and harms both the American taxpayer and the residents of the counties receiving IMF “aid.” It is past time to end the IMF along with all instruments of American interventionist foreign policy."

Repeal, Don’t Reform the IMF!

By Ron Paul

A responsible financial institution would not extend a new loan of between 17 and 40 billion dollars to a borrower already struggling to pay back an existing multi-billion dollar loan. Yet that is just what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did last month when it extended a new loan to the government of Ukraine. This new loan may not make much economic sense, but propping up the existing Ukrainian government serves the foreign policy agenda of the US government.

Since the IMF receives most of its funding from the United States, it is hardly surprising that it would tailor its actions to advance the US government’s foreign policy goals. The IMF also has a history of using the funds provided to it by the American taxpayer to prop up dictatorial regimes and support unsound economic policies.

Some may claim the IMF does promote free markets by requiring that countries receiving IMF loans implement some positive economic reforms, such as reducing government spending. However, other conditions imposed by the IMF, such as that the country receiving the loan deflate its currency and implement an industrial policy promoting exports, do not seem designed to promote a true free market, much less improve the people’s living standards by giving them greater economic opportunities.

The problem with the IMF cannot be fixed by changing the conditions attached to IMF loans. The fundamental problem with the IMF is that it is funded by resources taken forcibly from the private sector. By taking resources out of private hands and giving them to IMF bureaucrats, government distorts the marketplace, harming both American taxpayers and the citizens of the countries receiving the IMF loans. The idea that the IMF is somehow better able to allocate capital than are private investors is just as flawed as every other form of central planning. The IMF must be repealed, not reformed.

The IMF is not the only US institution that manipulates the global economy. Over the past several years, a mysterious buyer, identified only as “Belgium,” so named because the buyer acts through a Belgian-domiciled account, has become the third-largest holder of Treasury securities. Belgium’s large purchases always occur at opportune times for the US government, such as when a foreign country sells a large amount of Treasuries. “Belgium” also made large purchases in the months just after the Fed launched the quantitative easing program. While there is no evidence this buyer is working directly with the US government, the timing of these purchases does raise suspicions.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Federal Reserve is involved in these purchases. The limited audit of the Federal Reserve’s actions during the financial crisis that was authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act revealed that the Fed actively intervenes in global markets.

What other deals with foreign governments is the Fed making? Is the Fed, like the IMF, working to bail out Greece and other EU countries? Is the Fed working secretly to aid US foreign policy as it did in the early 1980s, when it financed loans to then-US ally Saddam Hussein? The lack of transparency about the Fed’s dealings with overseas central banks and foreign governments is one more reason why Congress needs to pass the audit the fed bill.

By taking money from American taxpayers to support economically weak and oftentimes corrupt governments, the IMF distorts the market, enriches corrupt governments, and harms both the American taxpayer and the residents of the counties receiving IMF “aid.” It is past time to end the IMF along with all instruments of American interventionist foreign policy.


"No food left to requisition, so none left to eat. No way to flee. Nothing left to do but die…in place."

When Life Really Stinks

By Bionic Mosquito

Perhaps more than any other post, my recent post on the forced famine in Ukraine has really remained with me. When thinking about people living in impossible situations (picture Iraq or Syria), I try to put myself in the position of a father sending his children off to school, not knowing if they will return safely; of a husband seeing his wife off to market, carrying the same burden of possible finality; of the breadwinner living in a place in which the economy has been destroyed.

The following – taken from the author of the book Bloodlands – has struck me and is what has stuck with me:

First weeks of 1933: with starvation raging through Ukraine, Stalin closed the borders of the republic such that the starving couldn’t flee, and closed the cities such that the starving couldn’t beg. As of 14 January, citizens were required to carry internal passports. The sale of long distance tickets to peasants was banned.

No food left to requisition, so none left to eat. No way to flee. Nothing left to do but die…in place.

In Soviet Ukraine in early 1933, the communist party activists who collected the grain left a deathly quiet behind them…Ukraine had gone mute.

The stillness: bodies barely able and eventually unable to move…yet alive…for a while longer; the body automatically consuming first its fat, then its muscle; fathers unable to do anything to provide or protect.

The lifelessness: there are no cats or dogs – all have been eaten; the birds have been scared away because to remain meant to be eaten; the livestock and chickens gone long before.

The silence: not a creature was stirring because there were no creatures left to stir; not a human was stirring because there was no energy to move – all energy was diverted to the body automatically consuming itself.

Or consumed:

People in Ukraine never considered cannibalism to be acceptable. Even at the height of the famine, villagers were outraged to find cannibals in their midst, so much so that they were spontaneously beaten or even burned to death.

The author wrote of the cannibalization by permission – the mother telling her children to make a meal of her remains after she dies. He also wrote of the pre-meditated cannibalization – killing the infant in order to eat.

I think about people stuck in such impossible situations. I always try to put myself into the frame of mind that says I must not make ethical judgments when impossible choices are the only ones offered. This doesn’t mean condoning, it doesn’t mean to suggest what I might do in their place; it means accepting the impossibility of the situation.

But sometimes getting into this frame of mind is harder than at other times. I can mentally get there with the first type mentioned; not the second.

Enough of that.


"The two fundamental flaws of the Rubio-Lee and all other Republican tax reform plans are: (1) They all maintain that the monstrosity known as the federal government needs to be funded. (2) They all assume that this government is entitled to a portion of every American’s income."

Subsidize the Poor, Soak the Rich

By Laurence M. Vance

The Republicans are out with yet another tax reform plan. This time Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has joined with Senator Mike Lee of Utah to give us the “Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Reform Plan.” Although it is touted as a “pro-growth, pro-family tax reform plan” and contains many good features, it also subsidizes the poor and soaks the rich.

Rubio and Lee rightly say in their introduction that “our current system taxes too much, taxes unfairly, and stifles economic opportunity for American families, businesses, and individuals.” But because it is a tax reform plan rather than a tax relief plan, it is doomed from the very beginning to fall short.

The Rubio-Lee tax reform plan, as it has been called, has many commendable features. It simplifies the tax code, lowers the top tax rate, reduces the number of tax brackets from 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35, and 39.6 percent to 15 and 35 percent, eliminates the estate tax, eliminates the tax on capital gains and interest, ends double-taxation by eliminating the tax on dividends, eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax, cuts the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent, lowers the marginal tax rate for pass-through business income to 25 percent, allows businesses to immediately write-off investments instead of requiring multi-year depreciation, and makes the corporate income tax territorial by exempting the active foreign income of multinational corporations.

So, what’s not to like?

If this was all the Rubio-Lee tax reform plan did then we could say that although it is not ideal in the libertarian sense since it does not eliminate the income tax altogether, it is certainly sound tax policy that is a step in the right direction. Reducing the number of tax brackets is always good because it makes the tax code less progressive. Cutting any tax rate and eliminating any tax are always good things because they allow taxpayers to keep more of their money in their pockets and out of the hands of Uncle Sam. Lowering the tax burden on businesses is always a good thing because that is reducing expenses that have to be built into the prices of the products we buy.

But the plan doesn’t stop there. It eliminates the head of household filing status. It raises the lowest tax bracket from 10 to 15 percent. It eliminates all itemized tax deductions except those for charitable giving and mortgage interest. Additionally, the mortgage interest deduction would be limited to interest on up to $300,000 of home mortgage debt, down from the current $1 million. This is the equivalent of raising tax rates. The standard deduction and personal exemption would be replaced with a new refundable personal credit of $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for joint filers. The plan would also establish an additional child tax credit of $2,500—on top of the current $1,000 credit—that would be partly refundable and not phase out with rising income. The fully refundable Earned Income Tax Credit would be retained, but should be retooled “in coordination with means-tested welfare programs to create a welfare system that works better and removes poverty traps.” Perhaps the most troublesome provision of the Rubio-Lee plan is that the maximum tax rate of 35 percent is imposed on any taxable income over $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for joint filers. Currently, for tax year 2015, one has to earn over $411,500 to be in the 35 percent bracket.

Subsidize the poor, soak the rich.

The two fundamental flaws of the Rubio-Lee and all other Republican tax reform plans are: (1) They all maintain that the monstrosity known as the federal government needs to be funded. (2) They all assume that this government is entitled to a portion of every American’s income.

Republicans may differ among themselves and with Democrats on how many tax brackets there should be, what the tax rates should be, what activities should be taxed, what tax deductions and credits should be allowed, the amount and nature of any allowable tax deductions and credits, and to what extent businesses should be taxed, but all parties agree that the government knows best what to do with our money.

Rubio and Lee say in the introduction to their “Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Reform Plan” that they “invite constructive criticism and proposals to improve this plan.” I have offered some constructive criticism and will now offer my proposals to improve the plan: cut taxes, for everyone, and then cut them again.


Student debt...

Every Young Person should See the Fed’s Startling Numbers on Student Debt

By Simon Black

What I’m about to tell you is not my own opinion or even analysis. It’s original data that comes from the United States Federal Reserve and national credit bureaus.

40 million Americans are now in debt because of their university education, and on average borrowers have four loans with a total balance of $29,000.
According to the Fed, “Student loans have the highest delinquency rate of any form of household credit, having surpassed credit cards in 2012.”
Since 2010, student debt has been the second largest category of personal debt, just after a home mortgage.
The delinquency rate for student loans is now hovering near an all-time high since they started collecting data 12 years ago.
Only 37% of total students loan balances are currently in repayment and not delinquent.

The rest—nearly 2 out of 3—are either behind on payments, in all-out default, or have entered some sort of deferral program to delay making payments, with a small percentage still in school.

It’s pretty obvious that this is a giant, unsustainable bubble (more on this below). But even more important are the personal implications.

University graduates now matriculate with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt.

Debt is another form of servitude. Like medieval serfs, debt keeps people tied to jobs they dislike in places they don’t want to be working for bosses they hate doing things that make them feel unfulfilled.

Debt makes it very difficult to walk away and start fresh.

In fact, ‘starting fresh’ is almost legally impossible when it comes to student debt. Even in US bankruptcy court, student debt cannot be discharged in almost all cases.

It is an albatross that hangs over you for a decade or more if you do make the payments, and it follows you around for the rest of your life if you do not.

(I’m not suggesting anyone default on what they owed—simply pointing out that nearly every other form of debt can be discharged EXCEPT for student debt.)

This kind of debt has a huge impact on people’s lives.

Again, according to the Federal Reserve, “[G]rowing student debt has contributed to the recent decline in the homeownership rate and to the sharp increase in parental co-residence among millennials.”

So the Fed’s own analysis shows that student debt is a cause for people in their 20s and 30s to live at home with their parents. Amazing.

This certainly hollows out the argument that a university degree is a one-way ticket to a higher salary, brighter future, and better standard of living.

Look, I’m not going to try to tell you that a university education is worthless or a cruel joke.

There are clearly both tangible and intangible benefits to completing a four-year degree, especially for vocations in science, medicine, etc.

But let’s be honest—many kids end up at university by default. They don’t know what they want to study. They don’t know ‘what they want to do’.

They’re just sort of expected to enroll, attend, major in something, and graduate.

Much of this is done merely to please other people or satisfy a social expectation without any real sense of whether the path they’ve chosen at that time is the right one.

Modern university education, in fact, is based on the premise that an 18-year old kid can make up his/her mind about what s/he wants to do in life.

But how can they really know what they want to do in life without first having some exposure to life itself? How can anyone know?

Most students grow up living at home with their parents. They graduate from high school. And they go off to college pressed to make some grand life decision without ever having dipped a toe in the world to get a sense of the infinite options.

From this perspective, spending four to five years discussing theory at such a formative age can be terribly counterproductive.

Subsequently graduating with an enslaving level of student debt can make the experience borderline destructive.

Again, it’s not to say that university has no benefit.

The question is whether it’s worth the cost at that particular time, i.e. whether entire generations should be forced into a cookie-cutter path where everyone spends ages 18-22 in university, graduates with a boatload of debt, starts a career in whichever industry is willing to hire them, and ultimately begins paying taxes.

This route takes away all the choice… the ability to live life deliberately.

It’s how people ‘end up’ doing what they do by default, instead of finding their professional passion and life’s calling.

Most people give up the choice. And it all starts with debt.

It didn’t used to be this way.

Long ago, people actually went to university to learn. That was the goal.

Today we’re told that it’s a necessary stepping stone for social and financial success.

Curious how the data demonstrates the exact opposite.

Like many of our prevailing social constructs, this education system is on the way out.

Just like our unsustainable monetary system in which we award totalitarian control of our money supply to unelected bureaucrats who conjure trillions out of thin air in their sole discretion…

… just like our unsustainable banking system in which commercial banks hold just a tiny fraction of their customer deposits and then gamble away the rest of it…

… and just like our political system in which a government that’s $60 trillion in debt continues to waste money with wanton abandon…

… this education system is unsustainable.

It’s just as unsustainable to expect a 22-year old to enter the world with uncertain prospects and tens of thousand of dollars of debt.

And, like our monetary, banking and political systems, it’s time for a reset.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Ron Paul: Is Indiana Law a Good Answer?

Dr. Bob Bowman Summarizes the Left - Right Paradigm...

Dr. Bob Bowman Lt. Col....

Poster of the day...

"Over the twelve years of a government-approved education, state employees inculcate into the mind of every child that the role of government is to take care of people with a welfare state and to keep them safe with a warfare state."

The Power of State Indoctrination
by Jacob G. Hornberger

Conservatives just don’t get it. They complain about Common Core, saying that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in education.

Fair enough. No problem with that position.

But the problem with conservatives is that while they want to get the federal government out of education, they steadfastly want state and local governments to continue “educating” children. Conservatives fail to see that indoctrination comes not just with federal control over education but also with state and local control over education. Maybe their inability to see that is because of the public schooling they received.

Government officials have two primary aims with respect to educational indoctrination of children. They involve:
1.The role of government in a free society.
2.The nature of freedom.

Over the twelve years of a government-approved education, state employees inculcate into the mind of every child that the role of government is to take care of people with a welfare state and to keep them safe with a warfare state.

The indoctrination is subtle but effective. By the time children graduate high school, they have no doubts that as Americans they are living in a free society.

Equally important, most every public school graduate is convinced that such programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, education grants, and FDIC are part and parcel of a free society.

It makes sense, right? Americans are a free people. A free people have a welfare state. Freedom and a welfare state go together.

That mindset is carried into adulthood and oftentimes stays with a person until the day he dies.

The indoctrination goes even deeper though. Children are made to believe that the welfare state is essential to their survival and well-being. Most people honestly believe that without a welfare state, people would die in the streets from starvation or inadequate healthcare. Indeed, many Americans are absolutely convinced that without a government schooling system, most everyone in society would be illiterate or ignorant.

This type of mindset doesn’t come into existence on its own. It is the result of indoctrination.

It’s no different with the warfare state. From the first grade, children are ingrained with the idea that the world is an unsafe place and that it’s the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA that are keeping them safe. By the time the kid reaches the sixth grade, he is already inculcated with the notion that he should be thanking the troops for their service. By the time he reaches graduation day, the indoctrination is complete — he is totally convinced that a free and functioning society necessarily entails a governmental structure with a giant permanent military establishment, a CIA, and a NSA, along with the perversions, crises, chaos, and wars that come with them.

This is why welfare-warfare statists are so befuddled over libertarians. When they see libertarians fighting to dismantle, not reform, the welfare-state and warfare-state apparatuses that have been grafted onto America’s original government structure, statists just don’t get it. Since statists are convinced that such apparatuses are essential to their freedom and well-being, they can’t understand why libertarians would want to dismantle them.

The difference is that libertarians have broken free of the indoctrination they received in the government school system. That’s what makes us different from non-libertarians. We have come to understand that the mandatory charity that comes with the welfare state contradicts the principles of free will and freedom of choice. We have come to understand that the warfare state is a totalitarian apparatus that makes us unfree and less safe. We have come to understand that a genuine education is impossible when children are subjected to schooling run by government officials at any level.

The fascinating part of all this is that most believers in America’s welfare-warfare state way of life have no idea their statist mindsets are the result of state indoctrination, and they fiercely oppose any suggestion that they are the victims of state indoctrination. They just continue proudly standing at civil meeting as adults where they recite the Pledge of Allegiance (which was written by a socialist) and at sporting events where they sing “And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.”

It’s a real testament to the power of government schooling. What better success than to produce generations of people who have been indoctrinated but who don’t realize they’ve been indoctrinated? The words of the great German thinker Johann Goethe come to mind: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”


1916: all acts of war should be put to a national vote. Anyone voting yes had to register as a volunteer for service in the United States Army...

Proposed Amendments

One of the enduring features of our Constitution is its flexibility. At the time of its ratification, the population of the United States was around 4 million and today that population exceeds 309 million. Since its adoption the Constitution has only changed 27 times! Actually, since 1791 (with the inclusion of the Bill of Rights) it has only changed 16 times. That is an amazing fact considering the changes in technology, infrastructure, population, etc. in this country in more than 200 years.

The framers of the Constitution realized that no document could cover all of the changes that would take place to ensure its longevity. In order for an amendment to be passed, a number of steps must be taken as outlined in Article V. The article provides for two methods for the proposal and two methods for the ratification of an amendment. An amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of the House of Representatives and the Senate or a national convention called by Congress at the request of 2/3 of the state legislatures. The latter procedure has never been used. The amendment may then be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures (38 states) or special conventions called in 3/4 of the states. The 21st amendment was the only one to be adopted in this way. However, it is the power of Congress to decide which method of ratification will be used.

The time limit for the ratification process of seven years was first applied to the Eighteenth Amendment, and the decision concerning a “reasonable” time period for ratification is determined by Congress according to the Supreme Court case Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939). There have been close to 10,000 amendments proposed in Congress since 1789, and only a fraction of a percentage of those receive enough support to actually go through the constitutional ratification process. The success rate of an amendment to become part of the Constitution is less than 1%.

The following is a very limited list of some of those proposed amendments that never left the halls of Congress:

1876: an attempt to abolish the United States Senate

1876: the forbidding of religious leaders from occupying a governmental office or receiving federal funding

1878: an Executive Council of Three should replace the office of President

1893: renaming this nation the “United States of the Earth”

1893: abolishing the United States Army and Navy

1894: acknowledging that the Constitution recognizes God and Jesus Christ as the supreme authorities in human affairs.

1912: making marriage between races illegal

1914: finding divorce to be illegal

1916: all acts of war should be put to a national vote. Anyone voting yes had to register as a volunteer for service in the United States Army

1933: an attempt to limit the personal wealth to $1 million

1936: an attempt to allow the American people to vote on whether or not the United States should go to war

1938: the forbidding of drunkenness in the United States and all of its territories

1947: the income tax maximum for an individual should not exceed 25%

1948: the right of citizens to segregate themselves from others

1971: American citizens should have the alienable right to an environment free of pollution.


"In America today, no truthful analysis or reporting is allowed on any subject that really matters, and the primary function of the news media is to conduct elaborate theater that distracts people from the real world happening around them."

Isn't it obvious? If Operation Jade Helm were happening in any other country, it would be immediately labeled a military drill for martial law

by Mike Adams

I'm always amazed at how people can be programmed by the mainstream media to ignore the obvious reality happening right in front of their eyes. Right now, America is being lulled into a hypnotic sense of denial while military training for martial law is happening right in their own neighborhoods and city streets. Yet, strangely, no one is allowed to refer to this exercise as training for martial law... even though that's obviously what it is.

Most Americans remain totally unaware of the fact that a massive military drill spanning 10 U.S. states will soon put military troops, helicopters, armored transports and military weapons directly on the streets of communities across the nation. "Operation Jade Helm begins in July and will last for eight weeks," reports the Daily Mail. "Soldiers will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado where some of them will drop from planes while carrying weapons loaded with blanks in what military officials have dubbed Realistic Military Training."

The military drill labels Texas and Utah "hostile territory," where military special ops personnel are supposed to try to covertly move among the public, undetected. As reported in the Houston Chronicle:

"They're going to set up cells of people and test how well they're able to move around without getting too noticed in the community," said Roy Boyd, chief deputy with the Victoria County Sheriff's Office. "They're testing their abilities to basically blend in with the local environment and not stand out and blow their cover."

Operation Jade Helm is fully described in this unclassified document which was first publicized by InfoWars and All News Pipeline. Both sites were heavily criticized for suggesting this martial law drill was a martial law drill... in precisely the same way anyone who says the stock market reflects a massive bubble is also heavily criticized even though the stock market, indeed, reflects a massive bubble (it is wildly overvalued thanks to the Fed's money creation schemes).

It is notable in America that Brian Williams, the discredited NBC news anchor who lied to the world about his fictitious journalism escapades, was suspended for six months for lying. Had he been caught telling the truth about the real news, however, he would have been fired for life.

In America today, no truthful analysis or reporting is allowed on any subject that really matters, and the primary function of the news media is to conduct elaborate theater that distracts people from the real world happening around them. Part of this effort involves programming people to psychologically delete from their awareness things which are happening right in front of them. (Is this really possible? Absolutely. Read about the invisible gorilla on the basketball court experiment in which people fail to see a gorilla right in front of them...)

Mainstream media says there's nothing to worry about when the military infiltrates your local cities and towns

"Covert warfare coming to Texas sparks some fears of federal takeover," reports the Houston Chronicle. And, which has been digging into this story better than any other news outlet at the moment, has even more to report. As the Daily Mail recites:

[Alex Jones] warns that Jade Helm is simply 'an effort to test the effectiveness of infiltration techniques' on the American public.

'They're having Delta Force, Navy SEALS with the Army trained to basically take over,' Info Wars' Alex Jones said Sunday. 'Texas is listed as a hostile sector, and of course, we are...We're here defending the republic.' predictably calls any concern about the martial drills "alarmist" and insists this is all about national security. "This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for Army Special Operations Forces because they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world on a moment's notice," USASOC spokesman Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria said as reported by Stripes.

Stripes, however, does not explain the peculiar choice of training grounds for the military: the streets, parks and properties of towns and cities across America. Since when did the military declare your local community a covert ops training theater for armed soldiers and war equipment?

Martial law training already underway on the streets of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
An important video from DahBoo777 describes capturing a scene of apparent martial law training in downtown Fort Lauderdale just two nights ago.

As you can see from the still photos taken from the video...

Read the rest here:

"No nation ever engages in foreign wars without at the same time initiating subtle and silent war on its own people. The war on terror has given us trillions of dollars in debt, reduced liberty, increased government spying and created a government even more hostile to its own people."

There is nothing conservative about the Republican ‘War’ Party

by Bob Livingston

Neocons have so corrupted the Republican Party that in order to be considered a viable national presidential candidate and to be embraced by the rank and file and Tea Party right, one must openly advocate for an open-ended continuation of the war on terror and a de facto war against Iran.

Of course, the Republican Party was born of corporatism and nurtured on bloodshed, so it’s no surprise that the masses, programmed as they are and conned into an unreasoning fear of U.S.-created Islamic booger bears, are eager to embrace a candidate who pledges unwavering support to Israel and who wants to continue slaughtering Middle Easterners armed, trained, funded and inspired by America and its allies — including Israel.

As historian Bruce Catton wrote in “The Civil War,” in 1860 Abraham Lincoln wanted to be the nominee of the new Republican Party — a party that consisted of an amalgam of former members of the defunct Whig Party, Free-soilers (those who believed all new territories should be slave-free), business leaders who wanted a central government that would protect industry and ordinary folk who wanted a homestead act that would provide free farms in the West.

Catton wrote: “The Republicans nominated Lincoln partly because he was considered less of an extremist than either (Senator William H.) Seward or (Salmon P.) Chase; he was moderate on the slavery question, and agreed that the Federal government lacked power to interfere with the peculiar institution in the states. The Republican platform, however, did represent a threat to Southern interests. It embodied the political and economic program of the North — upward revision of the tariff, free farms in the West, railroad subsidies, and all the rest.”

When seven lower-South states decided that Lincoln’s election ushered in what they believed would be a reign of unacceptable Republicanesque despotism, they terminated their relationship with the federal government, a relationship into which they had voluntarily joined and which politicians of the several New England states had for years rightly believed could be voluntarily terminated (and in fact that advocated for separation often, fearing what they considered a despotism of Southern agrarianism). When Lincoln proved himself duplicitous by going back on his word and sending a fleet to resupply federal troops at Fort Sumter, prompting the firing on those fleets by batteries from South Carolina, four upper-South states quickly followed suit.

From there Lincoln embarked on series of decidedly unconstitutional and unconservative steps, including conscripting men to fight his battles, raising taxes, printing greenbacks, sending federal troops to arrest state legislators, arresting contrarian editors and shutting down newspapers, and sending his army to invade the South in order to “preserve” the union.

The party promptly consolidated its power on the ruins and destruction of the South during the Northern War of Aggression and its aftermath. And destroying the South once wasn’t enough. Republicans were quickly advocating a second full-scale attack when Southern States declined to ratify the 14th Amendment — an amendment that has acquired such magical powers since its adoption (it was never constitutionally ratified) that it has granted federal judges the power to create and change state and federal law on their whim and invent all manner of “rights” once unimaginable. It is upon this amendment that the “right” of women to murder their babies, the “right” of gay people to be married and the “right” of corporations to contribute vast sums to purchase politicians are cobbled. It is upon this amendment that federal judges strike down state-passed referenda and force people to give up their right of religious conscious in order to placate homosexuals who want to purchase wedding cakes or wedding flowers or wedding photography services.

Thanks to Lincoln’s war and his Republican coterie, federalism is dead; and the nation, once a republican union of states, is now nothing more than a corporatist- and bankster-driven nation-state controlled by the District of Criminals and a handful of oligarchs.

This is certainly not the view of Lincoln to which most Republican voters — nay, most Americans — subscribe. To them, anything and everything Lincoln did — however evil or unconstitutional it might have been — was necessary and, therefore, acceptable to “save the union.”

Robert E. Lee recognized in the early days of reconstruction the danger inherit in the destruction of federalism and the federal government’s actions toward the South. Writing to Lord Acton in 1866, Lee said, “[T]he consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”

And that’s exactly the path American government policy has followed since.

Conservative Sen. Robert A. Taft of Ohio, who fought the New Deal, labor unions and America’s entry into World War II, said: “[T]he principal purpose of the foreign policy of the United States is to maintain the liberty of our people. … Its purpose is not to reform the entire world or spread sweetness and light and economic prosperity to peoples who have lived and worked out their own salvation for centuries, according to their customs, and to the best of their abilities.”

Most Americans who consider themselves conservative have never heard of Russell Kirk. That’s a shame. He’s one of the great thinkers of the 20th century and considered the father of modern American conservativism. In his writings he created a number of principles of conservatism. One of them is: “In the affairs of nations, the American conservative feels that his country ought to set an example to the world, but ought not to try to remake the world in its image. It is a law of politics, as well as of biology, that every living thing loves above all else — even above its own life — its distinct identity, which sets it off from all other things. The conservative does not aspire to domination of the world, nor does he relish the prospect of a world reduced to a single pattern of government and civilization.”

Of course, that’s not the policy of the neocons, who see it as the duty of America to police the world and “spread democracy” even when the people it’s being spread to don’t want or need it. If the people decide they don’t want or need it, American government just deposes that regime and installs another… or not, as in the case of Libya, which has become a hellish cauldron of anarchy, bloodshed and terror for the poor inhabitants who enjoyed a prosperous and relatively free and safe existence before American drones and NATO bombs were unleashed in order to take out Moammar Gadhafi. The Republican rank and file embraces this policy of military adventurism, thanks to Bush the Second and his policy of “kill them over there so we don’t have to kill them here.”

And just who or what are necons? The original neocons were a small group of mostly Jewish liberal intellectuals who, in the 1960s and ’70s, grew disenchanted with what they saw as the American left’s social excesses and reluctance to spend adequately on defense. Many of these neocons worked in the 1970s for Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, a staunch anti-communist. By the 1980s, most neocons had become Republicans, finding in President Ronald Reagan an avenue for their aggressive approach of confronting the Soviet Union with bold rhetoric and steep hikes in military spending. After the Soviet Union’s fall, the neocons decried what they saw as American complacency. In the 1990s, they warned of the dangers of reducing both America’s defense spending and its role in the world.

They are included in the Zionists and Israel-firsters I have been writing to you about the past two weeks in “Why do Americans love war?” and “Israel, ISIS and the end of days.”

The trouble for rank and file conservatives who embrace this neocon foreign policy is one of cognitive dissonance. They are willing and eager to send their money and, worse, their sons and daughters and other people’s sons and daughters into foreign lands on behalf of Christians caught in the millennial-long civil war between Islamic thugs and being slaughtered by U.S.-backed ISIS criminals, to send their money and their sons and daughters and other people’s sons and daughters to back “rebels” seeking to overthrow regimes deemed unacceptable (Iraq, Libya, Syria and, if they get their wish, Iran) by the Council on Foreign Relations-controlled U.S. State Department and/or propaganda ministry, or to send their money and their sons and daughters and other people’s sons and daughters to back rebels (either overtly or covertly) in the U.S.-inspired Ukrainian coup, because they believe in “ freedom.” Yet they applaud Lincoln’s efforts to quash a secession (it wasn’t even a rebellion, as the Confederacy sought to live as a peaceful neighbor) that led to the death — directly and indirectly — of close to 1 million Americans because he preserved the Union.

When Bush the First launched the first grand Middle East excursion, Kirk said in a speech opposing the war:

Now indubitably Saddam Hussein is unrighteous, but so are nearly all the masters of the “emergent” African states (with the Ivory Coast as a rare exception), and so are the grim ideologues who rule China, and the hard men in the Kremlin, and a great many other public figures in various quarters of the world. Why, I fancy that there are some few unrighteous men, conceivably, in the domestic politics of the United States. Are we to saturation-bomb most of Africa and Asia into righteousness, freedom, and democracy? And, having accomplished that, however would we ensure persons yet more unrighteous might not rise up instead of the ogres we had swept away? Just that is what happened in the Congo, remember, three decades ago; and nowadays in Zaire, once called the Belgian Congo, we zealously uphold with American funds the dictator Mobutu, more blood-stained than Saddam. And have we forgotten Castro in Cuba?

And what would be the outcome of Bush’s war? Kirk predicted:

We must expect to suffer during a very long period of widespread hostility toward the United States — even, or perhaps especially, from the people of certain states that America bribed or bullied into combining against Iraq. In Egypt, in Syria, in Pakistan, in Algeria, in Morocco, in all of the world of Islam, the masses now regard the United States as their arrogant adversary; while the Soviet Union, by virtue of its endeavors to mediate the quarrel in its later stages, may pose again as the friend of Moslem lands. Nor is this all: for now, in every continent, the United States is resented increasingly as the last and most formidable of imperial systems.

Bush the Second and his regime assured us that we would be made safer by “fighting them over there.” But 14 years later, and were still being told there’s a radical Muslim somewhere nearby seeking to cause us harm. So whose prediction turned out right: Kirk’s or Bush’s?

No nation ever engages in foreign wars without at the same time initiating subtle and silent war on its own people. The war on terror has given us trillions of dollars in debt, reduced liberty, increased government spying and created a government even more hostile to its own people.

Finally, conservatives — true conservatives — are about small government. There is nothing conservative about a war party because wars are predicated on big government and fiat money, especially multiple wars on multiple continents. Yet a war party is apparently what Republicans have become because all of the presumptive candidates for the party’s next presidential election back an interventionist, wartime foreign policy… and that seems to be exactly what “conservatives” want.


It depends...

Should I Buy My Dream Home Now?

By Larry LaBorde

Dear Fred,

I am writing in response to your question, “Should I buy a bigger house now so that my adult children will have a place to stay when they come home to visit because interest rates are so attractive?”

As you well know there has always been trouble in the world. I have studied cycles in history and as they state in the book, “The Fourth Turning” history is not linear but more like a vertically extended slinky. While history advances, it does so in cycles that run approximately 80 to 100 years per cycle (4 generations). The Russian economist Kondratiev in the 1920’s came up with the K wave cycle of 50 or so years. Stalin didn’t approve of his work since it did not predict the end of capitalism and had him killed by firing squad in 1938 but that is another topic. Then there are cycles within cycles such as Martin Armstrong’s work exemplifies based on a multiple of pi. The Old Testament also talks about 7 year cycles and the 7 times 7 year cycle that results in the 50 year jubilee. The debt forgiveness during the jubilee is necessary to wash out the excess debt buildup in the system. (If you have ever played a very long game of monopoly the banker ALWAYS wins in the end—never forget this when trying to outsmart the bank.)

I feel that we are currently entering into a long term economic winter (20-25 years in duration) as a result of the build up in debt that is currently overwhelming the system. We have tried everything to put it off including changing the bankruptcy laws that make it harder to enter into bankruptcy. We have lowered interest rates in order to allow us to take on and service even more debt. The world’s central banks are entering into “negative interest rates” in order to encourage consumer spending and discourage savings. Competitive currency devaluations also tend to discourage savings and encourage spending. People tend to forget that Capitalism at its very heart is about accumulating capital through savings to purchase the economic tools (backhoes vs shovels; factories vs garage industries; trucks vs draft wagons) that allow the overall standard of living to increase for all of society. When Capital is destroyed, squandered on silly public works programs (bridges to nowhere) or misspent on consumer items then there is less to invest in the very powerful capital intensive tools that allow us all to live better through an increased standard of living for all.

Bill Bonner writes that economics has become a complex mathematical discipline in the past 75 years where people in power can just adjust the dials and pull the right levers in congress and at the Federal Reserve and the economy will respond like a machine. The truth is the economy is 7 billion people (a huge living organism) that is beyond the control of a few people. Each of these 7 billion souls is making individual decisions based on their own best interest (as well they should) and that the entire complex world does not respond to the tinkering of a few individuals. God has made us all with free will to live and prosper in an amazing complex society. It is my belief that the purpose of government is simply to provide a very loose framework so that we can all operate within this grand chaos and that it should simply act as a referee so that we do not harm the weak or each other. I believe that economics is more a philosophy and not a science. That being said, we should always watch out for “heard mentality” in society and therefore in economics. As Charles Mackay said, “Men go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.” I believe cycles will eventually trump the few men and women behind the curtain trying to operate society as a machine.

Now we come to your question of a long term low interest mortgage on a larger home in today’s current economic climate. Dad once said (he was quoting someone and the name eludes me) that there are two ways to deal with the bank. The first is to owe them nothing the second is to owe them 110% of all you own – anywhere in the middle is a dangerous place. Keep in mind that Dad was a banker in the late 1960’s. In other words if you owe them 110% of your loan they will work with you and extend you terms and do everything possible to avoid foreclosing on you because they will suffer a loss. If on the other hand you borrow 50% from the bank and put up 50% of your funds you are in a perilous condition. If your investment suffers a 40% loss and you cannot pay they will swoop down, foreclose and sell your property at a discount where they will recover all their capital and you will loose all of your capital. Just keep this in mind.

A home is a normal person’s largest investment and it is usually a poor investment when all is factored into consideration, however, you gotta live somewhere. Once you realize that a home is more of a lifestyle choice and less of an investment it is easier to move forward with your decision.

So the big question is, will the banks remain solvent and will the economy muddle along for the next 30 years so that I can pay off my low interest mortgage? Or even better; will the banks remain solvent and will the economy soar in the next 30 years so that I can pay off my fixed interest 30 year mortgage with my lunch money? Only God himself knows for certain but if cycles are correct we are entering (or have entered) into an economic winter. If you feel your jobs are secure and if the banks (nation, economy, currency) will remain solvent for the next 30 years then you will come out on top. There are a lot of unforeseen hazards or black swans that could cause problems on the horizon. In an economic winter all sorts of crazy leaders and theories arise. If you read ”The Roosevelt Myth” by Joe Flynn he has one chapter entitled “The Dance of the Crackpots” in which he details all the crazy economic suggestions that were put forth (some were even tried and failed miserably) during the beginning of the great depression during the “first” new deal. The last economic winter brought forth the fall of Russia and the rise of communism, WW I, the great depression, the collapse of world trade and several other major financial upheavals. It is NOT the end of the world, it is just a little economic madness for a while. Eventually people come to their senses (reread the quote above from Mackay), the debt is forgiven and economic spring begins again.

There will always be cycles and we simply have to live in the economic cycle in which we are born. I suggest that you prayerfully consider wise council from multiple sources (certainly do not take what I am saying as the unvarnished truth) and do what you feel is right and gives you peace in your decision. Perhaps look for a great bargain, maybe a smaller fixed rate 10 year mortgage, maybe a place you can buy now and easily add onto later, maybe a larger piece of land with a nice house that will allow room for one or two small guest cottage(s) a little later as finances permit. My only recommendation is to avoid a large long term debt that does not give you any flexibility in the future in case things get difficult.

As Mark Twain once wrote, “I apologize for this long letter but I didn’t have time to write a short one.”


"The free market is the expression of economic law. Keynesianism consciously violates it. Governments the world over have bet the farm on Keynesianism. They’re about to lose the farm."

The Fall of Tyranny, The Rise of Liberty

By George F. Smith

Summary: Massive debt is sealing the fate of governments and central banks. As the cards collapse, radical developments in diverse areas of technology, combined with free market entrepreneurship, will destroy and rebuild the existing social order.

Trouble begins when bureaucracies replace free markets. In the U.S., we find money, the lifeblood of the economy, resting in the hands of a board of bureaucrats whose statements the financial punditry spends their waking hours trying to decipher. What does this portend for the foreseeable future? Ben Wright, Group Business Editor at The Telegraph, takes us through one possible scenario.

The total value of all global equities was around $70 trillion in June last year, according to the World Federation of Exchanges; meanwhile, the notional value of all outstanding derivatives contracts was more than $690  trillion. It is worth noting that the vast majority (around four-fifths) of all existing derivatives contracts are based on interest rates.

Derivatives are “essentially insurance policies – they are designed to protect the holder from adverse price movements,” such as a change in interest rates.

Let’s say that US interest rates do rise sooner and faster than the market expects. That means bond prices, which always move in the opposite direction to yields, will plummet. US Treasury bonds are like a mountain guide to which most other global securities are roped – if they fall, they take everything else with them.

Who will get hurt? Everyone. But it’ll likely be the world’s banks, where even little mistakes can create big problems, that suffer the most pain.

Banks are well-aware of this threat and have negotiated interest rate derivatives to hedge their risk. They bought these derivatives from other banks.

This creates what is known as counterparty risk. Bank A sells insurance to Bank B. But then Bank A gets into financial difficulties (a significant deterioration in their creditworthiness would be enough) and suddenly Bank B isn’t as well protected as it thought it was. . . .

Clearing houses are designed to deal with one or two counterparties going down. But what happens if more go kaput? The clearing house itself would face collapse, be judged too big to fail and, well, you already know how this story ends.

We do, but where does it begin?

Governments’ silent partner: Central banking

It originates in the wish of big bankers to create a government scheme to protect and amplify their wealth, while promoting it as a necessary corrective to what they say is an inherently flawed free market that suffers from periodic crises. This is often cited as the rationale for central banking. The central bank is supposed to eliminate crises by coordinating and restricting the credit expansion (monetary inflation) of its fractional-reserve member banks. In the event this doesn’t work, the central bank bails out the biggest banks under the flag of “lender of last resort.”

Most economists consider fractional-reserve banking a sound and ethical business practice. It consists of giving two people — depositor and borrower — a claim of ownership to the same thing. The free market penalizes fractional-reserve banking with bank runs and currency drains from less-inflationary competitor banks. Historically, bankers resented this. Governments, always looking for revenue, sided with the bankers and established central banking cartels. Governments changed money itself from a commodity to something the banks could inflate at will (paper and digits), with another government agency acting as an “insurer” of digital deposits to calm the natives. (See Rothbard, pp. 134-137)

The counterfeiting cartel called the federal reserve system has survived for over a century. What would its economic report card look like? It penalizes savers through deliberate monetary debasement. It makes honest price discovery impossible. It has created numerous financial crises, including two devastating ones. After the crisis hits it finds fault everywhere except home in its Keynesian hunt for causes. The bought economics profession becomes the barking dogs on the hunt. Those closely connected to the Fed, such as the government, benefit from the Cantillon Effect.

The claim that the economy needs a meddler to execute “monetary policy” is never seriously questioned. See, for example, FRBNY president William Dudley’s “Lessons Learned” speech given in 2009 at the BIS conference in Basel, Switzerland:

Dudley: If one means by monetary policy the instrument of short-term interest rates, then I agree that monetary policy is not well-suited to deal with asset bubbles. But this suggests that it might be better for central bankers to examine the efficacy of other instruments in their toolbox, rather than simply ignoring the development of asset bubbles.

If existing tools are judged inadequate, then central banks should work on developing additional policy instruments.

Got that?

Compare his comments to those of Milton Friedman, who Helicopter Ben once lauded for his view that the Fed failed to print enough money to offset price deflation following the Crash.:

If a domestic money consists of a commodity, a pure gold standard or cowrie bead standard, the principles of monetary policy are very simple. There aren’t any. The commodity money takes care of itself. Salerno, p. 356

Friedman expanded on this thought elsewhere:

If money consisted wholly of a physical commodity … in principle there would be no need for control by the government at all. . . .

If an automatic commodity standard were feasible, it would provide an excellent solution to the liberal dilemma of how to get a stable monetary framework without the danger of irresponsible exercise of monetary powers. Salerno, pp. 334-335

Of course, this is not the Friedman Bernanke-the-Keynesian extolled.

All folly must be funded, and the Fed is front and center with its “accommodating” printing press. But the Fed is not just an economic calamity for most of us — it has blood on its hands. Mostly, it’s the blood of everyday people, the ones who ultimately bail out the big boys involuntarily, with their money and their lives. Central banking is the pillar of the welfare – warfare state.

Without the Fed and its cohorts elsewhere, we likely would have had a relatively peaceful twentieth century instead of the record-setting slaughter we experienced. See David Stockman’s “The Epochal Consequences Of Woodrow Wilson’s War” for details. See also Wikipedia’s page on the Nye Committee findings or read highly-decorated Marine Major General Smedley Butler’s War is a Racket.

Senator Gerald Nye of North Dakota, Chairman of the Senate Munitions Committee, concluded that “We didn’t win a thing we set out for in [World War I]. We merely succeeded, with tremendous loss of life, to make secure the loans of private bankers to the Allies.”

Thanks to Thomas Woodrow Wilson and his warmongering handlers, and the Federal Reserve Act Wilson signed into law, perpetual war has become the norm in foreign policy, as long as the wars are conducted in sufficiently obscure and distant locations so as not to rattle the folks back home.

Keep the names, change the meaning

The Fed has funded a fascist state almost from its inception. With fascism we get good-old-boy economics in the name of free markets and the erosion of liberty in the name of liberty.

Keynes became an international hero among interventionists when he published an opaque treatise justifying government control of markets. In the preface to the German edition of The General Theory (1936), he wrote:

Nevertheless the theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of the production and distribution of a given output produced under conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire.

I agree that his “theory of output” is appealing to totalitarians. It’s also appealing to totalitarian-lite politicians and economists such as exist the world over. Little totalitarians’ fingerprints are everywhere we look.

As we’ve witnessed with Assange, Snowden, Manning, and others, those with the courage to expose government wrongdoing are immediately in its crosshairs as traitors.

Crises become an excuse to create more bureaucracies such as the DHS and its subordinate, the TSA. An airplane ticket serves as a waiver of Fourth Amendment rights.

Surplus war weapons trickle down to domestic enforcement agencies. The police are becoming indistinguishable from an occupying army, one that’s hostile to locals.

The “national security” mantra means we live by permissions and restrictions. Kids are prohibited from selling lemonade or shoveling snow without a permit. If they so much as point a finger at someone in the shape of a gun they can be suspended from school.

Many of these same kids will later be drawn into the military to kill on command for the state, while the alarming suicide rate of young veterans is brushed aside with “concerned” rhetoric. According to one site, 49,000 veterans killed themselves between 2005 and 2011, more than twice the number of civilian suicides.

The helping hand of big government always carries a penalty. Government loans are turning college students into debt slaves — in many cases, unemployed or underemployed debt slaves.

Where there’s perpetual war there’s perpetual spying. The NSA spies on everyone in virtually everything they do. As Snowden remarked in a recent radio speech, referring to the Sydney siege and Charlie Hedbo attacks, “[mass surveillance] is not going to stop the next attacks either. Because they’re not public safety programs. They’re spying programs.”

The government invokes Orwell with the Patriot Act, the Affordable Care Act, and now Net Neutrality, and most people, intellectually stunted from their government school experience, applaud or don’t care.

We can expect more of the same and worse when the next AIPAC- and CFR-approved candidate becomes president.

The trends favor liberty

The above scarcely begins to touch on the disaster the American state and its central bank have created. For libertarians, matters grow worse with each passing day. Fortunately, there are two unmistakable trends working in liberty’s favor: Massive debt and advancing technology.

Technology is ripping a hole in centralized social control and its Keynesian underpinnings, bringing power and freedom to individuals the world over.

Both Keynesianism and technology are on a cusp. One is on a road to collapse, while the other is about to kick into high gear.

On February 25, Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff told members of the Senate Budget Committee, “Our nation’s broke, and it’s not broke in 75 years or 50 years or 25 years or 10 years. It’s broke today. Indeed, it may well be in worse fiscal shape than any developed country, including Greece.”

Why? Because the U.S. has a $210 trillion fiscal gap. How can the government close this gap? Right now, it would “require an immediate 58.5 percent increase in all federal taxes or a 37.7 percent permanent, across-the-board decrease in federal spending.”

It’s not going to happen. Congress will kick the can. Creditors will get stiffed. Government promises will be broken. The bill for the Keynesian free lunch will come due, and the government check will bounce.

Where will that leave us? With a weakened and discredited government, and the bogus Keynesian ideas that supported it, we will have to become more self-reliant. The cry for the government to “Do something!” will be answered with an echo. Free markets will emerge where they’ve been suppressed because much of government will be ineffective or no longer exist. A free market in combination with a revolution in technology will remake our world.

The technology revolution: Subversive and seductive

Unlike other revolutions, the revolution in technology will not end. It started when someone first used a stick to extend his reach. It is ongoing, ever accelerating, and reaching into virtually every area of life. Nor does it centralize power. As we’ve witnessed with computers, it is radically decentralizing and price deflationary.

Information technology has been growing exponentially since the 1890 US census. More technologies have become information technologies, putting them on an exponential growth curve.

The exponential is not easy to grasp. Futurist and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil explains why:
1.Linear growth is steady, while exponential growth becomes explosive.
2.Exponential growth will always seem linear when viewed over a short-enough time span.
3.Exponential growth is seductive. In its early stages it acts like linear growth. It becomes explosive after it reaches the knee of the curve. Most of us still view the distant future from a linear perspective.
4.The rate of change is itself accelerating. We won’t experience one hundred years of technological advance in the twenty-first century; we will witness on the order of twenty thousand years of progress (at the rate in the year 2000).
5.Many scientists are skeptical of the exponential. They are trained to be skeptical. When progress moved along the linear portion of the exponential this was understandable. We’re at the knee of the curve today in many areas of technology (see chart).
6.Awareness of exponential phenomena sometimes produces overly-optimistic expectations. Exponential growth picks up speed over time but it is not instantaneous.

(From The Singularity is Near, Ray Kurzweil, p. 10)

Kurzweil refers to exponentially-growing technology in various disciplines as the law of accelerating returns. As he explains:

It’s the economic imperative of a competitive marketplace that is the primary force driving technology forward and fueling the law of accelerating returns. In turn, the law of accelerating returns is transforming economic relationships. Economic imperative is the equivalent of survival in biological evolution. We are moving toward more intelligent and smaller machines as the result of myriad small advances, each with its own particular economic justification. Machines that can more precisely carry out their missions have increased value, which explains why they are being built. There are tens of thousands of projects that are advancing the various aspects of the law of accelerating returns in diverse incremental ways. The Singularity is Near (2005)

The price-competitiveness of entrepreneurship will spread technology in various forms around the globe. Recent headlines reveal major technology companies working to bring internet service to regions that have been without it, using airborne devices such as drones, satellites, or balloons. With internet service and affordable devices will come educational opportunities for millions of people who have never had any.

The massive impact of 3D Printing

Two years ago Allister Heath of The Telegraph wrote about 3D printing and what it will do to our world.

Remarkably, 3D printing allows actual objects to be designed and created (or “printed”) surprisingly quickly with a computer connected to a printer-like device, using special material (often plastic, but increasingly almost anything) as “ink” and “paper”. With the costs of the machinery nearing mass-market levels, 3D printing is poised to take off, blurring the distinction between digital and physical realms, democratising manufacturing and turning large chunks of the global economy upside-down. . . .

Making things using one’s own equipment may even become almost as common as cooking one’s own food or uploading one’s own pictures to a social network. . . .

Given that economies of scale will no longer be so essential, 3D printing will drastically reduce the barriers to entry to start-ups. Anti-trust policy will become obsolete. The influx of new competitors will shake up many industries, just as old oligopolies built around intellectual property have already been smashed.

Choice will have no bounds. Already, 3D printers can manufacture things like furniture, cutlery, and machine tools, but this is only the beginning.

Far more complex items will become printable, a development which would truly change the world. Anthony Atala, of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina, recently harnessed a 3D printer with living cells as the “ink” to create a transplantable kidney. Even restaurants could be partly automated. Jeff Lipton, of Seraph Robotics, argues that food will be 3D printing’s killer app, and has demonstrated how scientifically precise cakes can be produced, feeding all the usual ingredients into the machine.

This is Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” in action. But it applies to more than markets.

Eventually, even governments will be threatened by the 3D printing revolution. In a world of endless choice, who will put up with one size fits all public services and flawed, bureaucratic decision making?

Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM)

Eric Drexler, the father of modern nanotechnology, sees 3D printing as a precursor to a more exacting manufacturing method he calls Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM). Because APM will use common feedstocks instead of scarce materials, its full development will result in radical abundance.

According to Drexler the science of APM is settled. We are not waiting for some “Eureka!” moment.

We’ve come a long way, and there’s a long way to go, but the road has no gaps, no chasms to cross. . . . The fruits of [APM] research appear in scientific journals, with more papers published daily than anyone could read.

Zyvex was founded in 1997 with the goal of developing atomically precise manufacturing. Several of its products had been commercialized by 2007. Its website describes nanotech in everyday terms.

Todays manufacturing methods are very crude at the molecular level. Casting, grinding, milling and even lithography move atoms in great thundering statistical herds.

It’s like trying to make things out of LEGO blocks with boxing gloves on your hands. Yes, you can push the LEGO blocks into great heaps and pile them up, but you can’t really snap them together the way you’d like.

In the future, nanotechnology (more specifically, molecular nanotechnology or MNT) will let us take off the boxing gloves. We’ll be able to snap together the fundamental building blocks of nature easily, inexpensively and in most of the ways permitted by the laws of nature. This will let us continue the revolution in computer hardware to its ultimate limits: molecular computers made from molecular logic gates connected by molecular wires. This new pollution free manufacturing technology will also let us inexpensively fabricate a cornucopia of new products that are remarkably light, strong, smart, and durable.

Eliminating disease and rejuvenating our bodies

“[Biologically,] we are fundamentally information,” Ray Kurzweil tells us in his movie, Transcendent Man. “At the core of our ten trillion cells are genes, and genes are sequences of data. And they evolved thousands of years ago. Many of them go back millions of years.”

The software in our bodies is ancient but we’re learning how to change it. Changing it will revolutionize medicine.

A hybrid scenario involving both bio- and nanotechnology contemplates turning biological cells into computers. These “enhanced intelligence” cells can then detect and destroy cancer cells and pathogens or even regrow human body parts.

Biotech programmers will treat aging as they treat diseases.

Biotechnology will provide the means to actually change your genes: not just designer babies will be feasible but designer baby boomers. We’ll also be able to rejuvenate all of your body’s tissues and organs by transforming your skin cells into youthful versions of every other cell type. . . .

Already, new drug development is precisely targeting key steps in the process of atherosclerosis (the cause of heart disease ), cancerous tumor formation, and the metabolic processes underlying each major disease and aging process.

Technology and medicine

Advances occur almost daily in a wide range of technologies. What follows is a random sampling of medical research and applications.

Three years ago researchers at the University of Michigan 3D printed a windpipethat held an infant’s airway open. It likely saved its life. Glenn Green, an ear nose and throat specialist, helped develop the device.

The use of 3-D printed devices and body parts is still in its infancy. Cartilage and bone will be the first solutions to reach wide use, Green says, adding there is a “gigantic potential,” for the future.

While nanotechnology still has years of research ahead of it, there are some promising developments for the near future. Dr Thomas Webster, the chair of chemical engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, is conducting research that attaches drugs and possibly metals and minerals to nanoparticles that then bind themselves to cancer cells and viruses, leaving healthy cells unharmed. They’re not at the level of the nanobots in Michael Crichton’s novelPrey that “roamed through patients autonomously hunting down medical problems,” but they’re getting close.

Meanwhile, researchers the University of Manchester have used graphene oxide, a non-toxic material, “to target and neutralize cancer stem cells (CSCs) while not harming other cells.” CSCs spread cancer within the body and are responsible for 90% of cancer deaths.

Another study using gold nanotubes integrates “diagnosis and therapy in one single system.”

The researchers injected the gold nanotubes intravenously. They controlled the length of the nanotubes for the right dimensions to absorb near-infrared light (which penetrates tissue well) from a pulsed infrared laser beam.

By adjusting the brightness of the laser pulse, the researchers were able to control whether the gold nanotubes were in imaging mode or cancer-destruction mode.

Lung cancer is the number one cancer-killer in the U.S. Detection of lung cancer is usually done with an invasive biopsy when the tumor has reached a diameter of 3 centimeters and is often metastatic. Yong Zeng and his fellow researchers at the University of Kansas have developed a lab-on-a-chip that could detect lung cancer much earlier using a small drop of the patient’s blood. “In theory,” Zeng says, “it should be applicable to other types of cancer.” They are continuing research with this goal in view.


Things can always go wrong. Nuclear war could erupt and wipe out humanity. Smart robots could take over the world and wipe out humanity. Terrorists could invent a killer virus that wipes out humanity. The possible downsides to sophisticated technology are seemingly endless.

But as noted earlier, there are two trends today that are real and visible: Massive debt and advancing technology. Follow the implications. There will be pain, but then recovery and real growth.

There are other facts working in favor of positive outcomes. People generally want to live long, healthy, enjoyable lives. Technology is working to make that a reality. People generally don’t like dealing with bureaucracies, paying taxes, or making war on their neighbors. Collapsing governments will make this a reality.

And there are other thoughts to consider.

The free market is the expression of economic law. Keynesianism consciously violates it. Governments the world over have bet the farm on Keynesianism. They’re about to lose the farm.

Technology, meanwhile, will continue its accelerating advances, benefiting most people in the process. The benefits will become increasingly radical, remaking our world.

It will be a world where killer diseases can be detected and treated quickly at low cost.

It will be a world where aging is more of a choice rather than an imposition of nature.

It will be a world where people can afford to own machines that can make just about anything they want or need from ordinary materials. Abundance will replace scarcity. Poverty will cease to exist.

It will be a world in which energy is plentiful and cheap. War for oil or other scarce resources will be relegated to history.

It will be a world where people are easily connected through technology, wherereal-time translation software destroys the language barriers that exist today.

It will be a world in which people will be able to get the education they want through digital technologies.

I, for one, look forward to it.


Martial Law drills in USA...

Military Drill Identifying “Hostile” U.S. States Sparks Alarm
By Alex Newman

A massive U.S. military drill dubbed “Jade Helm 15” lists Texas, Utah, and part of California as “hostile” or “insurgent pocket” territory. The unclassified information about this drill is causing widespread alarm nationwide, with more than a few analysts suggesting it may be some sort of exercise practicing to impose martial law on Americans fed up with an out-of-control federal government. During the exercises, which will take place over the summer, Special Forces from various branches of the military will work with local law-enforcement in scenarios that, to critics at least, sound suspiciously like they are aimed at subduing rebellious American civilians and states amid a civil war or large-scale unrest. The federal government issued a response dismissing the concerns and saying that the training is to help U.S. forces prepare for overseas missions, but not everyone is convinced.

The most alarming components of the drills highlighted by concerned citizens and media commentators surround an unclassified presentation about Jade Helm 15’s “realistic military training” that was apparently leaked. In a graphic showing the territory across which the training will take place — essentially the American Southwest — different states are colored based on the fictional status of their loyalty to Washington. Colorado, Nevada, and most of California, for example, are dark blue, indicating that they are “permissive.” Utah and Texas are both shaded red, indicating that they are “hostile.” Southern California is also red, with a note reading “insurgent pocket.” Arizona is light blue, which in the legend is listed as “uncertain (leaning friendly),” while New Mexico is brown, or “uncertain (leaning hostile).” Two more states, Florida and Louisiana, have reportedly been added to the exercise.

According to the presentation, the eight-week training program involves Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces Command (Green Berets), Air Force Special Operations Command, Marine Special Operations Command, Marine Expeditionary Units, the 82nd Airborne Division, and unspecified “interagency partners.” Underneath the logo for the Jade Helm drills, a sword with two arrows crossing it, it reads: “Master the Human Domain.” What exactly that means was not clear, but at least some critics of the exercise have suggested it may be a euphemism for subjugating the population of the United States. Indeed, as other analysts have noted, citing available information, the drill almost certainly has nothing to do with defending the Southern border from invasion. The few details that have been provided, though, are causing concern among analysts.

On a slide explaining “what to expect” during the two-month training program for “unconventional warfare,” the document warns of “increased aircraft in the area at night,” possible noise complaints, personnel carrying weapons with blank ammo, and more. Especially alarming to critics of the program is that “some individuals may conduct suspicious activities designed to prepare them for complex environments overseas,” and that “some participants will be wearing civilian attire and driving civilian vehicles.” Separately, a slide describing what “realistic military training” means has also raised alarm. The document mentions that it will be conducted “outside of federally owned property” and that it is designed to “ensure proper coordination between DOD representatives and local and regional authorities.” News reports citing military officials said the DEA, FBI, and the “Joint Personnel Recovery Agency” (JPRA) would also be participating.

Citing other recently leaked U.S. military documents such as “FM 3-39.40 Internment and Resettlement Operations” about interning American civilians in camps, using “psyops” (psychological operations) on those detainees to affect their views, and more, David Hodges with the Common Sense Show said the drill is “undoubtedly the most frightening thing to occur on American soil since the Civil War.” In a widely re-published article about the training program, he said it could be “conclusively stated” that the drill was really about “preparing for a Red, White and Blue invasion.” “This is a massive rehearsal for martial law implementation as well as implementing the proverbial and much rumored Red and Blue List and the ‘snatch and grab’ extractions of key resistance figures from the Independent Media as well as uncooperative political figures,” Hodges added. “The various provisions of Jade Helm make it clear just how dangerous this drill truly is.”

Read the rest here:

"By 1938, Stalin killed about one thousand times more people on ethnic grounds than did Hitler – including more Jews..."


By Bionic Mosquito

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder

Take your choice:

Many Europeans, distressed by the nazification of Germany, looked hopefully to Moscow for an ally.


For some of the Germans and other Europeans who favored Hitler and his enterprise, the cruelty of Soviet policy seemed to be an argument for National Socialism.

This was the world facing those in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1930s. What a choice…as if anyone living there had much of a choice.

Hitler significantly consolidated power in 1933. The Reichstag fire, election victories (thanks to the support of the German communists, on orders from Stalin), the first concentration camps, an enabling act allowing Hitler to rule by decree. All big news throughout the western world, compared to the minor news item of the millions killed by the intentional famines and deportations occurring in the Soviet Union at the same time.

Internationally, Stalin was given a pass: “…with the help of many sympathizers abroad….” Hitler was confronted with “voices of criticism and outrage.” This at a time when the deaths attributable to Stalin’s policies were infinitely greater than those attributable to Hitler’s.

Hitler’s terror, at this time, was one of intimidation – he locked up subversive (in his view) elements; he did not eliminate these, at least not in meaningful numbers. In the meantime, Germany signed a non-aggression declaration with Poland – at the same time that Stalin was killing and otherwise purging Poles within the Soviet Union by the thousands.

Stalin took further advantage of the rise of Nazi Germany; he shifted the focus of the communist struggle from one of class vs. class to one of all of the left against the fascists. This could explain Roosevelt’s attraction. Stalin helped birth National Socialism in Germany, and then attempted to consolidate the left (via The Popular Front) to fight it; Stalin saw war as the best means to advance the revolution.

Despite the overwhelming excesses of Stalin’s regime, propaganda and formed public opinion made Hitler out as the tyrant. Who didn’t want to be against Nazi’s, after all? Statements that in any way suggested that Stalin was a far worse criminal than Hitler were met with charges of Nazi sympathizer. Nothing much has changed in this regard.

While the international chess pieces were coming in place, Stalin could not afford to ignore the internal situation. Having few if any political enemies remaining within the Soviet Union only seemed to convince him that the opposition was only becoming skillful at political invisibility. On 7 November 1937, Stalin raised a toast (emphasis added):

“We will mercilessly destroy anyone who, by his deeds or his thoughts – yes, his thoughts! – threatens the unity of the socialist state. To the complete destruction of all enemies, themselves and their kin.”

Stalin knew what today’s advocates of the war on terror know but will not state openly: when you want to destroy thoughts (ideological enemies), every family member and acquaintance of those you kill are newly created potential enemies. They must also be destroyed…mercilessly. Perhaps bombing wedding parties is, therefore, intentional?

Stalin had the state police – the NKVD – to affect such a policy, his terror. Using the political assassination of his close comrade, Sergei Kirov, to his advantage, Stalin blamed terrorists for the murder – not satisfied merely with the arrest and conviction of the assassin.

He forced through a special law allowing for the swift execution of “terrorists.” Emphasizing the threat of terrorism, he declared that his former politburo opponents on the left plotted the murder of the Soviet leadership and overthrow of Soviet power.

The “threat of terrorism.” I guess Stalin had his own war on terror.

Beginning in August 1936, show trials began; more than a dozen former political opponents (and Trotsky allies) were tried, sentenced to death, and executed. A narrative of a grand conspiracy, a “Center of Centers,” was developed by Stalin’s henchman Nikolai Yezhov – for whom opposition equaled terrorism.

Guantanamo, secret tribunals, kill lists, national security letters, a nebulous enemy allowing for complete leeway regarding who is targeted, a grand conspiracy of “they hate us for our freedom” – all modeled after a previously successful program.

Purges within the party and the NKVD followed. High commanders of the armed forces were tried; about half of the generals of the Red Army would be executed in the months to come. Of 139 members of the central committee who took part in the party congress of 1934, 98 were shot.

Altogether, the purification of the armed forces, party leadership and various state institutions resulted in about fifty thousand executions.

While Stalin was purging in the tens-of-thousands, Hitler was purging in the dozens. Hitler used Heinrich Himmler’s SS to murder Ernst Röhm, leader of the SA brownshirts and several dozen of his cohorts – greatly increasing his standing with the military. The charge was that Röhm was planning a coup. In addition, several political and other leaders were similarly dispatched, in what became known as the “Night of the Long Knives.” Somewhere between 85 and a few hundred were murdered in this purge.

Stalin, meanwhile, was just getting started:

The Soviet purges within the army, party, and NKVD were the prelude to Stalin’s Great Terror, which in 1937 and 1938 would take the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for reasons of class and nation.

Again it was the kulaks that were targeted – at least initially. Millions of kulaks had survived the earlier deportations; now they were rejoining collective farms and returning to the Orthodox Church. Many remained in the eastern part of Russia – might they support a Japanese invasion? Might their experience lead them to rebellion? To ask such questions in Stalin’s regime was to answer these.

In July 1937, Stalin issued general instructions for mass repressions in every region. The NKVD was to register all kulaks residing in their regions and to recommend quotas for execution and deportation. Suspected or even possible counter-revolutionaries were to suffer “direct physical liquidation.” By the end of 1938, the NKVD executed almost 400,000 Soviet citizens in fulfillment of these orders.

The process was similar to that used during the time of the famine: troikas, quotas by region, rubber-stamped verdicts, ignoring legal procedures, no possibility of appeal.

The fulfillment of Order 00447 began with the emptying of the file cabinets.

By definition every kulak had a file, as kulak was a term created and defined by the state for the purpose of creating a file. Criminals – meaning anyone that had any type of encounter with the police – also had files. “Anti-Soviet elements” was a catch all – anyone else on whom the NKVD had a file.

Those targeted were arrested, forced to confess, and encouraged to implicate others. Confessions were elicited by torture.

The sentence was death or the Gulag (and the Gulag had its own death quotas to meet). Recommendations for sentencing were almost always accepted, with hundreds of cases processed at a time.

Hitler couldn’t keep up. Homosexuals, vagrants, alcoholics, those unwilling to work, Jehovah’s Witnesses – all confined, rarely executed. These went to the concentration camps – a total of about 20,000 compared to a million in Stalin’s purge. Per capita, Stalin confined 25 times the numbers as did Hitler, with an execution rate almost 700 times higher.

So much for terror based on class…more or less; next came terror based on nationality…more or less.

People belonging to national minorities “should be forced to their knees and shot like mad dogs.” It was not an SS officer speaking but a communist party leader… In 1937 and 1938, a quarter of a million Soviet citizens were shot on essentially ethnic grounds.

The most persecuted European national minority in the second half of the 1930s was not the four hundred thousand or so German Jews (the number declining because of emigration) but the six hundred thousand or so Soviet Poles (the number declining because of executions).

The justification for this murder of Soviet Poles was a fabrication:

The “Polish Military Organization,” conjured up during the famine in 1933, was sustained as pure bureaucratic fantasy in Soviet Ukraine, then adapted to justify a national terror of Poles throughout the Soviet Union.

In January 1937, Nikolai Yezhov presented to Stalin a plan – a theory of a Polish grand conspiracy. In March, Yezhov purged the NKVD of Polish officers. When a Pole offered another as a possible conspirator, both were condemned – one for being implicated and the other for not doing the implicating sooner.

In August 1937, Yezhov issued an order mandating that the NKVD totally liquidate the network of Polish spies from the no-longer existent Polish Military Organization. The meaning of the order was understood: “destroy the Poles entirely.”

Whereas the extermination of the kulaks could be explained in class / Marxist terms, this national terror offered no such pretense. There was no longer the idea of a basic socialist fraternity of working people across nationalities, a multi-nationalism.

This multi-nationalism was not hypocrisy:

When the show trials began in 1936, the heights of the NKVD were dominated by men whose own origins were within the Soviet national minorities, Jews above all. About forty percent of high-ranking NKVD officers had Jewish nationality recorded in their identity documents.

By the time the Great Terror was finished, only about four percent of the NKVD officers would be so identified. The rest were initially perpetrator and then victim.

Polish communists – members of the central committee of the Polish party – were not spared execution. As there was, in reality, no Polish plot, all leading Polish figures were subject to execution. Once again, hundreds and thousands were sentenced per day – death or the Gulag (which was little more than a delayed death for many).

In Leningrad in 1937 and 1938, “Poles were thirty-four times more likely to be arrested than their fellow Soviet citizens.” The terror was not limited to Russian land – most Soviet Poles lived in Belarus and Ukraine, lands that Poles had occupied for hundreds of years. Hundreds of leading writers and other community leaders were arrested and killed in Belarus; eventually the Polish population in Belarus fell by more than 60,000 during the time of the Great Terror.

Yet seventy percent of the Soviet Union’s six hundred thousand Poles lived in Ukraine, where Poles were twelve times more likely than the local population to be arrested. Numerous mass graves, executions by the thousands, quotas eagerly exceeded to demonstrate loyalty, little to no oversight.

Husbands executed; after relocation, also the wives. Thereafter, children could be placed in orphanages to ensure they would not be raised as Poles. Eventually over one hundred thousand were executed or transferred to the Gulag.

Further operations were conducted in Latvia, Finland, and Estonia – with more than 30,000 shot. Altogether, a member of a targeted minority was twenty times more likely to be killed in the Great Terror than was the average Soviet Citizen.

For fear of Japan, about 170,000 Soviet Koreans were transferred west to Kazakhstan; Mongolian authorities (Mongolia being a Soviet satellite) killed over 20,000. All killed and relocated for an attack from Japan that was not coming.

Altogether, something over six hundred thousand executions were carried out during the kulak and national terrors, along with another 50,000 political executions.

Yezhov was replaced by Lavrenty Beria, as Stalin was not pleased with the former’s supposed excesses. For this reason, he – along with many of the top officers of the NKVD – was subsequently executed. The Soviet Union, far from the people’s paradise, was little more than a demonstration of a tyrant’s mastery over his political court.

It was noted earlier the significant reduction of Jews in the NKVD ranks during the Great Terror, yet Jews were blamed for the action:

The Great Terror could be, and by many would be, blamed on the Jews. To reason this way was to fall into a Stalinist trap: Stalin certainly understood that Jewish NKVD officers would be a convenient scapegoat for national killing actions, especially after both the Jewish secret policemen and the national elites were dead. In any event, the institutional beneficiaries of the Terror were not Jews or members of other national minorities but Russians who moved up the ranks.

Hitler also focused on Jews during this time; however, while his efforts were more public than were Stalin’s to the outside world, the scale was much smaller. After Germany entered Austria, ten thousand Austrian Jews were relocated to Vienna and from there they left the country. The death toll from Kristallnacht was measured in the few hundreds.

It was only after Kristallnacht that Jews entered the concentration camp system in Germany in large numbers; even here, the purpose was to get them to leave Germany – not extermination. More than 100,000 Jews left Germany in 1938 / 1939.

By 1938, Stalin killed about one thousand times more people on ethnic grounds than did Hitler – including more Jews, although in Stalin’s case the Jews were caught up in the general terror, not specifically for nationality.

Despite this track record, it was Stalin who was viewed as the protector of Europe from Hitler’s barbarism.

In these years, Hitler was considering relocation as the solution to the Jewish question. However, after January 1939 Hitler’s rhetoric against Jews increased dramatically: “…international finance Jewry…” “…plunging the peoples of the world into a world war…” “…the result will be…the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”

Next came the rapprochement between Hitler and Stalin and the division of Poland. On September 1, Hitler invaded; two weeks later, Stalin joined him. This set the stage for the terror to come to Poland. No longer merely trapped between two madmen, they were now buried by the weight.

Thus far, virtually all of the evil unleashed in these bloodlands was due to Stalin, almost none of it to Hitler. This would change with the division and occupation of Poland: Stalin would continue his practices; Hitler would begin to greatly advance his.