Saturday, October 31, 2015

Reality Check: CDC Scientist Admits Data of Vaccines and Autism Was Trashed..

"President Obama has today embarked on another hot war in the Middle East with no Congressional declaration, no Congressional authorization, and not even a proper notification. Congress lays down and rolls over, the Constitution in flames."

Breaking: Obama Puts US Boots in Syria – Where is Congress?
Daniel McAdams

“I will not put US boots on the ground in Syria.” That was President Obama’s unequivocal statement to the American people just two years ago when he first planned to bomb Syria. He has repeated the statement several times, as he has also repeated his promise that he “will not pursue a long air campaign” in Syria and Iraq.

Obama lied. And he lied again. And he lied again today, when it was announced that he was putting US boots on the ground in Syria.

This move encapsulates neocon-occupied Washington’s response to foreign policy failure: if an intervention is failing, escalate.

The year-long US bombing campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS” has produced little result; the “train and equip” program produced a handful of fighters who immediately were captured by or defected to al-Qaeda and/or ISIS; US airdrops of weapons ended up in the hands of ISIS eight times out of ten, according to University of Oklahoma Syria expert Joshua Landis.

The solution to this failed policy is not to abandon the US regime change plans for Syria and let the Russians take care of the ISIS and al-Qaeda problem for us. No! For this administration the answer is US boots on the ground!

President Obama, according to senior administration officials, will start by infiltrating some 50 special forces troops into parts of Syria controlled by the Kurds and the “Syrian Democratic Forces.” These “Syrian Democratic Forces” are a mysterious new group created and marketed by the US administration. They seem as dubious as the similarly US-touted “Khorasan Group” a made-up organization that provided the pretext for the expansion of US bombing to Syria just over a year ago.

According to Obama’s new strategy, the US military will be on the ground in Syria fighting alongside Kurdish fighters who are being bombed by America’s NATO ally, Turkey. What are these US forces to do when they look overhead and see Turkish fighter jets about to bomb them? Will they shoot down American-made F-16s flown by NATO ally Turkey into Syria? How will the Turks take to the US shooting down its fighters in that case?

And what about Russian bombs falling on Syria? As the US refuses to give the Russian government coordinates for the rebels it considers “moderate,” there is little way for the Russians to know which fighting group will contain embedded US special forces. Is this not starting to look really foolish and dangerous?

Last March, Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the Russian military presence in Crimea after a coup overthrew the Ukrainian government with memorable words: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text.”

Yet sending the US military into Syria against the wishes of the sovereign and legal Syrian government is orders of magnitude more illegal than even the Russian presence in Crimea, which was after all the result of a long-standing treaty between Russia and Ukraine.

Just last month at the United Nations, President Obama condemned those “major powers [who] assert themselves in ways that contravene international law.” But there is no UN Security Council resolution permitting the United States to conduct military operations in Syria, which means the whole operation is in gross violation of international law.

More importantly, President Obama has today embarked on another hot war in the Middle East with no Congressional declaration, no Congressional authorization, and not even a proper notification. Congress lays down and rolls over, the Constitution in flames.


Histoty stuff...

Everything You Know Is Wrong: The Boston Tea Party

By Max McNabb

What people call history is really myth. History is a tale told by bloody conquerors, failed novelists, and small town football coaches earning their keep in public schools. It’s a system of power. He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past. Court historians regard the myth as sacrosanct. They never question its veracity and are quick to deride anyone who voices doubt.

Americans spend their school years struggling to memorize names and dates. In the decades afterward, they take pride in the scattering of facts they manage to retain. So, of course, they get pretty upset when you show them most of those precious facts were lies.

But for those with an open mind, those last few willing to question anything and anyone, discovering the truth is exhilarating. Truth is what we’re after. We’ll chase it down whether it sets us free as Jesus said it would, or destroys us like Oedipus. In each installment of Everything You Know Is Wrong, I examine unquestioned facts—historic, scientific, social, and religious—to reveal the truth beneath the myth.

Postage stamps celebrate the Boston Tea Party as a popular uprising against oppression. Most Americans were taught it was a glorious protest against Britain’s high taxes on tea. The truth is a shocker, guaran-TEA-ed to prove that everything you think you know is wrong.

British tea originated in India. The tea trade was an enormous part of the East India company’s business. The British Crown granted the company a monopoly over trade with China and India. It was mercantilism, the use of the state to fulfill private objectives. This government interference soon resulted in artificially high tea prices.

Britain’s crony capitalism fueled a black market. John Hancock began smuggling Dutch tea into the colonies, a very profitable criminal enterprise for the Founding Father. Hancock became the wealthiest smuggler in America. Dutch tea was of an inferior quality to the British product, but it was much cheaper. Americans chose to buy cheap Dutch tea rather than the expensive, though superior, East Indies tea. Merchants in the colonies boycotted British tea.

In response to the five year boycott, Parliament cut the tax on East Indies tea in 1773. Duties were removed from tea arriving in Britain, so it could be sold in America at lower prices than smuggled Dutch tea. A monopoly on this cheap British tea was granted to certain merchants in the colonies.

Smugglers were losing serious money. As the great economic historian Gary North writes, “That the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence was signed by the richest smuggler in North America was no coincidence. He was hopping mad.”

Parliament had been cutting taxes in the colonies for the last nine years, partly due to pressure brought on by a secret society. Organized in 1765, the Sons of Liberty fought the stamp tax. They tarred and feathered tax collectors until the British ended the tax. Samuel Adams, a ringleader of the Sons, had also been a failed tax collector.

Gary North informs us that British imperial taxation in 1775 was around one percent of national income. Switzerland boasted the greatest freedom of any nation in the world. Britain, however, wasn’t far behind. And American colonists, with the exception of slaves, enjoyed more freedom than any of the empire’s other subjects.

When tea taxes were cut, Samuel Adams brought the Sons together. In December, 1773, Paul Revere and other Sons disguised themselves as Indians. They boarded ships in Boston harbor. They dumped British tea into the water, protesting a low tea tax and cheap prices.

Let that sink in.

Yeah, you read it right the first time. The Boston Tea Party was a protest against lower taxes. The ships weren’t even owned by the Crown. Like the tea they carried, the vessels were private property.

Don’t get me wrong, the East India company was evil to the core. The company caused the Bengal famine of 1770, which starved ten million people to death. There was a shortage of grain because the company was forcing farmers to grow opium. They ravaged Bengal with land taxes up to 50% of the value of crops.

It all comes back to tea. The company needed the opium for export because the Crown had a Chinese problem. For the majority of history, China was the wealthiest, most sophisticated nation in the world. Britain began trading with China for tea. The Chinese didn’t want British manufactured goods. Instead, they demanded silver as payment for their tea. Gold and silver was pouring out of the empire, threatening future solvency. Britain come up with a solution: get them addicted to opium.

The opium cultivated in Bengal was mixed with tobacco and shipped to China. In its natural state, opium is a non-addictive medicine, a pain reliever and antidepressant. The Brits refined their opium, concentrated it. Enhanced opium got the Chinese hooked. Addictions in China only began in the 18th century. By the end of the 1800s, an estimated 25% of the male population in China had a monkey on their back.

The Chinese lost more silver in three opium-crazed decades than Britain paid for tea in the previous 125 years. China’s economy was destroyed. The Son of Heaven, China’s emperor, finally made opium illegal. So the Brits went to war, twice. The company kept pushing their drugs.

Crony capitalism and state-protected monopolies are vile. The East India company was the biggest drug cartel in the world. They deserved to have their tea dumped in the harbor. King George deserved to be kicked off his throne. Unfortunately, though, the revolution that pushed the British out of America wasn’t free of unintended consequences.

In the aftermath of the Tea Party, the British government closed the port of Boston. Fleets of warships carrying redcoats invaded the colonies. Martial law in Beantown. Meanwhile Samuel Adams got the Committees of Correspondence to work drumming up support for revolution.

Poor farmers had no more love for the wealthy East Coast elite than for King George. To quote The Patriot, the poor were asked to choose between one tyrant three thousand miles away, or three thousand tyrants one mile away.

Patrick Henry’s rhetorical talents helped sway the public. Much has been made of Henry’s famous “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech. One more example of everything you know is wrong. No notes of the speech exist. William Wirt “reconstructed” it in 1817, almost forty-five years later. Whatever Pat actually said, it probably wasn’t “Give me high taxes on imported goods so my smuggler buddies can get filthy rich, or give me death.”

Wars cost money. Lots. To pay for the Revolution, the tax burden tripled. Debt skyrocketed. The Continental Congress printed a flood of Continental notes. The fiat currency, paper money, caused hyperinflation, commodity prices rising over 480% by November, 1777. The new government instituted price controls. Starvation at Valley Forge resulted. Life got very hard for average Americans.

Congress borrowed funds, but after the war they couldn’t repay the loans. The soldiers of America’s battered army came home to bankrupt states—those lucky enough to return home at all.

Taxes would never again be so low as they’d been in 1775. New taxes were established. The Whiskey Tax burdened small farmers who raised grain. In 1794, farmers in western Pennsylvania armed themselves. They fought against the tax in what became known as the Whisky Rebellion. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton powdered up their wigs and led an army of 15,000 conscripts against the farmers. The rebellion came to an abrupt end.

The Sedition Act of 1798 was passed under the administration of John Adams, brother of the Sons of Liberty leader. The Act killed freedom of speech. It became a crime to say or write anything considered “false, scandalous, or malicious” against the government, Congress, or the President. Every member of the Supreme Court held the Act constitutional, even as Americans were imprisoned for free expression. So much for liberty, Pat.

Alexander Hamilton was the Founding Father of the American central bank. Hamilton was an agent of British banking interests. When Washington appointed him Treasury Secretary, Hamilton set about breathing life into his pet monster, the Bank of the United States. Monopolies, whether the tea or banking variety, depend on government for their existence. Biographer William Graham Sumner wrote that the purpose of Hamilton’s bank was “the interweaving of the interests of wealthy men with those of their government.” The bank caused 72% inflation in its first five years. It resulted in the curse of all central banks: cycles of boom and bust.

Moral of the story: be careful who you kill for. Violent revolutions have a tendency never to work out the way people want. You may overthrow the king, but don’t be surprised if the new boss isn’t the same as the old boss.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Messing with our monetary system...

A Short History of U.S. Monetary Policy
by Jacob G. Hornberger

The monetary system that the Framers established with the Constitution was the most unusual and the most radical in history. That unique monetary system, along with such things as the absence of an income tax, a welfare state, and a warfare state, along with open immigration, contributed to the tremendous economic prosperity that pulled countless people out of poverty in the 19th century here in the United States.

From the inception of the United States until the Franklin Roosevelt administration in the 1930s, the official money of the American people consisted of gold coins and silver coins. Contrary to popular opinion, the “gold standard” did not consist of a system of paper money that was “backed by gold.” There was no paper money because the Constitution did not authorize the federal government to issue paper money. The Constitution gave the federal government the power to “coin” money,” not print it. Coinage involved coins, specifically coins made of the precious metals, as well as copper coins for small transactions.

Everyone understood that federal bills and notes were promises to pay money, not money itself. The money the bills and notes were promising to pay was the gold and silver coins.

Moreover, under the Constitution the states were expressly restricted from making anything but gold and silver coins “legal tender.” They were also expressly prohibited from printing paper money (i.e., “emitting bills of credit).

Examine a one-dollar bill. Notice that at the top, it says, “Federal Reserve Note.” But a note is ordinarily a debt instrument — it promises to pay something. What is a Federal Reserve “Note” promising to pay? Actually, it promises to pay nothing. The Federal Reserve Note is a throwback to America’s founding monetary system, one where everyone understood that the money was gold and silver coins and that federal bills and notes were promising to pay the creditor gold and silver coins.

Historically, Governments had debased their nation’s money by simply printing more of it. This process was especially useful for governments who had incurred mountains of debt. To pay off the debt, they simply would crank up the printing presses and use the newly printed money to pay off creditors.

The payment of debts in this fashion brought big benefits to government officials. For one, it relieved them from raising taxes to pay off the debt, something that isn’t always very popular. Second, when prices for everything would start to rise, in response to the inflated supply of paper money, most people had no idea that the government was behind it. They blamed business establishments for the rising prices. Of course, the government would reinforce the deception by condemning business for being greedy and by imposing price controls on them.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t legalized plunder through inflation before the invention of the printing press. There was. For example, in the olden days when gold coins would come into the realm for payment of taxes, the king would have his people shave off the edges and melt them down into new coins. The old coins would now contain, say, a bit less than an ounce of gold.

Under America’s founding monetary system, the federal government was responsible for minting the gold and silver coins. One of the fascinating aspects to this was that for more than 125 years, there was no intentional debasement of the money. That is, there were no edges shaved off and melted down into new coins for the government to use to pay off its debts or fund its operations. U.S. coins were honest and were what they were represented to be. The only disparity that would periodically take place was when the government’s exchange rate between gold and silver coins would be adjusted in accordance with market conditions.

Thus, sound money was a core feature of America’s economic system throughout the 19th century. Corporations would even issue 100-year bonds, which people would purchase without fear that they would lose their value to government debasement.

That all came to an end in 1934, when the federal government, under President Franklin Roosevelt, made it illegal for Americans to own gold coins. Imagine that: What had been the official money of the American people for more than 125 years was suddenly made illegal to own. U.S. officials mandated the American people, on pain of a felony conviction, to turn in their gold coins to the federal government. Federal bills and notes were made the new official money of the United States, even though they were now irredeemable in gold and silver coins. Ironically, people in other countries were still free to own gold coins without being turned into felons for doing so.

When gold and silver coins were the official money, U.S. officials were effectively precluded from printing an over-supply of bills and notes and using them to fund their activities. If they printed too many, they ran the risk that everyone would demand to be paid their gold and silver coins. That’s why we often hear about how the “gold standard” kept federal spending and borrowing in check.

Once Americans were converted into felons for owning gold coins, however, everything changed for federal officials. Now they could spend and borrow to their heart’s content because they could now print money to their heart’s content. That was what the Federal Reserve, which had been established in 1913, was all about — to expand the money supply to accommodate the ever-increasing expenditures and debts of the welfare state, which Roosevelt brought into existence in the 1930s, and the warfare state, which he brought into existence in the 1940s.

Adding insult to injury was that it was the Federal Reserve, through monetary mismanagement, that had brought on the stock market crash of 1929, which led to the Great Depression, which Roosevelt then used as his excuse for nationalizing gold and go to a fiat money system. Of course, U.S. officials didn’t tell people that. They said that the stock market crash and the Great Depression constituted the failure of America’s “free enterprise system” and that welfare, regulation, and fiat money were necessary to save free enterprise.

Another of the fascinating parts about all this was that it was done without even the semblance of a constitutional amendment. Keep in mind that that’s the process that the Framers established with the Constitution. If anyone wanted to change the U.S. government in a fundamental way, he would have to go the very difficult route of amending the Constitution. It would be difficult to find a better example of a fundamental change in our governmental system than an abandonment of what had been the monetary system under the Constitution for more than 125 years in favor of a totally different monetary system.

In any event, that’s how we ended up with decade after decade of inflationary debasement of the currency, to the point where silver coins were driven out of circulation by cheap, alloyed coins. It’s also how we got out-of-control federal spending and borrowing to fund the ever-increasing expenditures of the welfare-warfare state. It’s how we ended up with a federal government whose profligate ways are threatening to send our nation into bankruptcy.


Be careful what you wish for...

Seattle’s Coming $15 Minimum Wage
Written by Clinton Alexander

In the city of Seattle, Washington, Joe Salvatore runs The Recycling Depot, a recycling business employing about 20 people. Not far away, Bobby Denovski is eking out a living at Padrino’s Pizza and Pasta with a handful of employees, and Remo Borracchini is busy running an Italian Bakery. The story is the same across Washington State and across the nation: Businesses are fighting every day to service customers, treat employees well, and simply stay open.

Unfortunately in the city of Seattle, it is about to get much more difficult for business owners to continue the fight. Pushed forward primarily by socialist city councilwoman Kshama Sawant, the first phase of a new minimum wage law went into effect on April 1, 2015, and the law will eventually bring all businesses to a $15 minimum wage, more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

The law is a graduated system with different pay scales and timelines for businesses above and below 500 employees. For businesses with 501 employees or more, the April 1, 2015 minimum wage was set at $11 an hour. For the next two years, on January 1 of each year, the wage increases, rising from the current $11 per hour to $13, reaching $15 an hour on January 1, 2018. For companies paying at least $1.50 per hour toward a silver level medical benefits plan, the minimum wage goes to $12.50 on January 1 of 2016, then $13.50 in 2017, and finally $15 an hour in January of 2018. As stated on Seattle’s website, “Once Seattle’s minimum wage reaches $15.00/hour, payments toward medical benefits no longer impact employees’ minimum wage.”

On April 1, 2015, small-business wages were set at $11 an hour as well. For companies at or below the 500-employee mark, the $15 minimum wage is set to be phased in over the course of the next decade. Again, counting medical benefits and other factors such as tips, the total compensation varies. By the year 2021, the minimum wage will be $15 with tips and health insurance factored in, and in 2025, small businesses must meet the $15 minimum wage without credit for tips or insurance.

President Obama has repeatedly urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. For this reason it would behoove those across the nation to pay special attention to the city of Seattle. Seattle is tucked away in the northwestern corner of the nation; however, as the city squeezes its businesses for more and more money, it may become ground zero for the minimum wage fight.

Reasons for the Law

Since being first enacted in 1928, the idea of a “minimum wage” has been sold as a law that will benefit the poorest sectors of our society. According to Cornell Law School, “The minimum wage was designed to create a minimum standard of living to protect the health and well-being of employees.” Likewise, from the city of Seattle’s own website we find, “Citywide minimum wage laws offer local governments a powerful tool for helping low-income workers and families in their communities. Such measures also have significant impact on businesses and how they operate.” Minimum wage advocates have held that it is possible to set a minimum pay scale and have no ill effect on jobs.

Operating under the assumption that simply raising the minimum wage will guarantee said wage, the people pushing for the $15 minimum wage claim that it has the power to lift the poor to that “new standard of living.” Is this true? Will it indeed lift the needy in our communities to another level, or is it a false assumption, one that will cause irreparable damage to business and industry?

Asking the Businesses

Several business owners in Seattle were kind enough to give their own opinions of Seattle’s minimum wage law and explain how it will have a negative impact not only on their businesses, but on those people it was designed to help.

Walter McLaughlin has been in Small Business Administration (SBA) lending for 27 years. He won the Washington State Financial Services Champion award in 2005. Concerning the minimum wage law in Seattle, McLaughlin said in an e-mail statement:

In economics, there is a principal called “zero sum gain” in which an increase is offset by a loss of equal amount. When a small business (and per the SBA’s size standards, over 99% of U.S. companies qualify as small) sees its operating costs increase, it has three options: 1) absorb the cost, 2) raise prices or 3) lower expenses. Since businesses don’t operate with the intention of losing money, the irony of a drastic increase in the minimum wage is that in order for employers to adjust, the net effect may be higher inflation and unemployment, disproportionately hurting the very same group the $15 minimum wage was intended to help.

McLaughlin lays out three ways in which the new Seattle minimum wage law will play out as it’s implemented: a loss to the business owner (absorb the cost), a cost to the general public (raise prices), or a reduction in expenses (possible job loss).

A Loss to the Business Owner

For those people who have never run a business, the absorption of the additional cost may seem to be the easiest and most straightforward solution to the requirement to pay employees more. But contrary to what those who have never had the experience of sitting down with a company’s balance sheets might think, all business owners are not jet-setting CEOs with profits just flowing in.

At The Recycling Depot, general manager Joe Salvatore stated, “What these people don’t take into consideration is that when you raise the wage, you’re raising the Labor and Industries Insurance cost because that amount is affected by the wages. I have already talked to several small businesses in the area and there’s not a single one who is making tons and tons of money where they’re just going to be able to absorb these costs.”

In other words, while the absorption of minor costs may be a normal and constant part of running a business, the bottom line is a major factor. At Padrino’s Pizza and Pasta, Bobby Denovski echoed Salvatore’s sentiment: “We aren’t a large company with huge profits. As a small business the cost of labor is one of the main factors. Fifteen dollars an hour, that’s a lot of money to ask from a small business.” When asked what effect he could foresee the escalating minimum wage law having on his business, Denovski commented, “It could put us all out looking for jobs. We have a couple more years paying on the loan for our restaurant. If we end up paying this $15 an hour, we are honestly in danger of losing it.”

Likewise, The Recycling Depot, as a metals recycling business, is subject to sometimes-dramatic market fluctuations. Metal values can skyrocket, allowing ample room to treat employees well, and values can plummet, leaving the business struggling to survive. Said Salvatore of the times when the market is up, “We do take care of our employees during those times. We give bonuses and things like that. However what about the lean times? This is going to have a dramatic effect on us during the lean times. You can’t just start taking the pay away.”

A Cost to the General Public

If costs cannot be simply absorbed by the company, another option is to raise the price of the product. Bobby Denovski stated, “The only thing I can do is to raise the prices. I worry that the demand for pizza in the community will not support the prices we will have to go to when the wages go up.” How much is a pizza worth to those in his community? How about a gallon of milk? Those claiming the minimum wage will have no ill effect on the community should be asking themselves these questions, because at some point most small business owners such as Denovski must find a way to recoup these costs.

Referring again to fluctuating values in the metals market, Salvatore stated, “We’re very dependent on the global prices of metals. When the metal values drop, we’re making less money and our margins shrink. During times like this there are a lot of businesses just trying to stay afloat.” And so he is forced to try to pass on the costs in another manner.

As a metals recycling business, The Recycling Depot purchases metals from other businesses and from the general public, then sells those metals based on current market prices. Because Salvatore has no control over the sale price (dictated by global supply and demand), the only thing he can do is to drop the prices he is paying the public for those metals, illustrating the second point (a cost to the public) in another light.

Lower Expenses

Absent the ability to absorb the higher wages or pass on the costs to someone else, a third way to compensate is to lower expenses. On the surface this sounds harmless enough. However, it often means the disappearance of jobs.

At Borracchini’s Bakery in Seattle, a business that has been open for 94 years, Remo Borracchini has a long history of hiring youth. “I myself have probably hired 1,500 young people over the years. I have had people come here as teenagers and stay here as much as 25 years, so they came and learned a trade,” said Borracchini.

He has brought in high-school students who have never worked a job and started them washing pots and pans, stocking shelves, and mopping floors. While the wages many of these new hires make is not a large sum, Borracchini sees a bigger picture:

It’s not that we’re just looking for cheap labor. It’s the understanding that you’re doing something for these young people other than sending them out to wander aimlessly through the neighborhoods. You see, I do believe we have a responsibility to our young people. There used to be internships throughout industry. Now that has changed. They used to go into places like print shops, or bakeries and come to begin learning a trade; that was their reimbursement, they were learning something that would benefit them throughout their life. Now they’ve passed a law saying they have to be paid a wage. So what happens? If you’re going to have to pay someone who doesn’t know anything, you might as well pay someone who already knows something.

Continued Borracchini,

Businesses like McDonald’s, they built their empire not on a philosophy of it being a high paying job, but to take kids who have never worked before, teach them a little bit about work ethic and how to perform, and they move on to better opportunities when they have shown they have a bit of ability. You’ll begin to see the order screens in every type of McDonald’s scenario. Look at the jobs they’re eliminating right there. Kids who would be learning to show up for work on time, learning how to interact with the public, how to have a bit of work ethic.

Salvatore echoed Borracchini, stating that in order to recoup labor costs, jobs would almost certainly be cut, “at least cutting hours back if not completely doing away with jobs. The well is not bottomless.”

At Padrino’s, a clearly concerned Denovski stated, “Right now it’s [the minimum wage] at $11 an hour and it is already difficult for me and my partner to keep the bills paid and the employees paid. They’re going to be raising that expense up to $15, but none of our other costs will be going down. I honestly don’t know what we’re going to do.”

Salvatore then commented on a worst-case scenario, “Eventually we have to tighten the ropes, and then what happens when there’s nothing left in the reserve?” Indeed, what does happen? What happens to the low-skill workers looking for a job? Where will the teenager or young adult go for training when McDonald’s has automated order screens? As Borracchini said, “It is the internship and low-skill jobs which will be cut. We will have sent them back out onto the street.”

Help or Harm?

Seattle businesses obviously view the new minimum wage law with quite a bit of trepidation. It is easy to see why. These companies will have to find a way to recuperate the costs one way or another. No matter how it ends up happening, it will be a detriment to the community and the city.

In “The Tax & Budget Bulletin” by The Cato Institute dated March 2014, Joseph J. Sabia, associate professor of economics at San Diego State University, explains how a minimum wage affects the poor’s standard of living and employment opportunities:

The bulletin concludes that minimum wage increases almost always fail to meet proponents’ policy objectives and often hurt precisely the vulnerable populations that advocates wish to help. The weight of the science suggests that policymakers should abandon higher minimum wages as an antiquated anti-poverty tool. Minimum wages deter employment and are poorly targeted to those in need.

His words echo the business owners quoted here. Says Borracchini, “I can sympathize with someone who is trying to raise a family. Fifteen dollars is not a lot of money. It’s very difficult. However, there is an element of society who through laws like this are being denied a great privilege. The opportunity to learn how to work.”

The bottom line is that the minimum wage law was supposedly created to help the poor and needy in our society. However, it is the low-skill and poor who will feel the effect first and foremost, and who will find it much more difficult to acquire the job skills needed to raise the value of their labor to or above the minimum wage.

As voices cry ever louder for an increased federal minimum wage, the stories of small businesses across the nation need to be brought into the spotlight — businesses reaching out to unskilled youth willing to put in time training. Companies managing a tight bottom line can’t handle the extra expense of yet another increase in wages.

The heart of our nation does not lie within the halls of Congress but rather in the bakeries, pizza shops, recycling centers, and myriad other small businesses. It is not in the backroom deals between politicians where the effects of these laws will be felt, but rather in the checking accounts of struggling businesses.



Mathematicians, Legendary Physicist, IPCC Expert Throw Wrenches Into UN Climate Summit
Written by William F. Jasper

As UN’s Paris summit approaches, one of France’s top mathematics consultancies, a legendary physicist, and a former IPCC author have joined France’s best-known TV weatherman, Philippe Verdier, in delivering black eyes and severe body blows to the increasingly discredited global-warming alarm lobby. As host of the United Nations climate summit this December, the French government is pulling out all stops to make it a “success,” striving mightily to create the impression of unquestionable “consensus” on global warming — even if it means resorting to suppression of scientific dissent and freedom of expression."

“We must have a consensus,” French President Francois Hollande declared this past May at the Business & Climate Preparatory Summit in Paris. “If within our own country, that’s difficult, imagine what it’s like with 196 countries. A miracle!” Nevertheless, he told the corporate executives, he was confident it would be achieved. For any UN agreement to work, Hollande said, the role of businesses would be “key.” Invoking the French Revolution, he declared: “We need a revolution in business.”

President Hollande, however, is not waiting for the miraculous to happen; he prefers the iron fist and the guillotine of the Revolution. That is apparent in the case of meteorologist Philippe Verdier, to whom millions of French viewers have turned to for years for their daily weather news. Verdier was sacked from his celebrity weatherman position on France Television (the government-owned station) earlier this month for the heresy of publishing a book challenging the apocalyptic “consensus” that claims that anthropogenic (manmade) global warming, or AGW, is a “crisis” demanding global draconian action.

Will the same iron fist be applied to the prestigious Société de Calcul Mathématique (Society for Mathematical Calculation), which recently issued a detailed 195-page White Paper that presents a blistering point-by-point critique of the key dogmas of the global warming? The Société de Calcul Mathématique (SCM) study, entitled, “The battle against global warming: an absurd, costly and pointless crusade,” relentlessly exposes the flaws in the so-called science of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other institutional members of the AGW alarmist choir. The SCM, founded by renowned mathematician and professor Bernard Beauzamy, does mathematical modeling for companies and governments (including the French government), as well as providing “mathematical tools for fraud detection.” The SCM white paper also exposes the devastating economic, social, and environmental costs of continued implementation of the alarmist agenda, referring to it as a “mad obsession.”

In addition to these blows, the alleged science behind the proposed UN accord received another devastating setback recently from a study by one of the IPCC’s founders, Dr. Indur M. Goklany. Entitled, CARBON DIOXIDE — The good news, the report is all the more hard-hitting for boasting a foreword by world-renowned theoretical physicist, professor, and author (and longtime liberal Democrat) Freeman Dyson.

“Indur Goklany has done a careful job, collecting and documenting the evidence that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does far more good than harm,” Dyson wrote in the forward. “To any unprejudiced person reading this account, the facts should be obvious: that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide as a sustainer of wildlife and crop plants are enormously beneficial, that the possibly harmful climatic effects of carbon dioxide have been greatly exaggerated, and that the benefits clearly outweigh the possible damage.”

“I'm 100 per cent Democrat myself, and I like Obama,” Professor Dyson said in a recent interview. “But he took the wrong side on this issue, and the Republicans took the right side.”

Retribution for Climate Heresy
On October 14, Britain’s Telegraph reported on Philippe Verdier’s abrupt dismissal from France Television:

Every night, France’s chief weatherman has told the nation how much wind, sun or rain they can expect the following day.

Now Philippe Verdier, a household name for his nightly forecasts on France 2, has been taken off air after a more controversial announcement — criticising the world’s top climate change experts.

Mr Verdier claims in the book Climat Investigation (Climate Investigation) that leading climatologists and political leaders have “taken the world hostage” with misleading data.

In a guest essay on the popular climate blog site WattsUpWithThat, climate researcher Eric Worall commented:

Frankly I’m shocked. Just a few months ago, January this year, in the wake of a horrifying terrorist attack on their offices, France rallied to support Charlie Hebdo’s freedom of expression, their freedom to satirise and speak out on sensitive issues such as religion. France prides herself that no subject is taboo. But apparently offending the Climate Taliban is a step too far – that gets you suspended from your government job.

France’s motto, Liberté, égalité, fraternité — except when you want to talk about climate change.

The Climate Taliban have indeed declared jihad on all infidels who refuse to adopt the UN’s green gospel, and they appear to be desperately ratcheting up the terror tactics. As The New American has reported, the global-warming jihadists in the major media, universities, and government agencies are not only censoring and intimidating climate realists, but actually proposing to prosecute these “deniers” for dissenting from the sacred AGW “consensus.” (See here, here, and here.)

AGW Pseudo-science: “Absurd,” “Stupid,” “Pernicious,” “Mad Obsession”

“All public policies, in France, Europe and throughout the world, find their origin and inspiration in the battle against global warming,” declares the aforementioned SCM White Paper. (An English version of the French report can be found here.) It continues: “The initial credo is simple: temperatures at the surface of the planet have been rising constantly for the past thirty years, and human beings are to blame. This is leading to all sorts of discussions, conferences and regulations, which are having an enormous impact on our economy. Every area of activity is affected: transport, housing, energy — to name just a few…. The impact on the entire field of scientific research is particularly clear and especially pernicious. No project can be launched, on any subject whatsoever, unless it makes direct reference to global warming…. Your research will be funded, approved and published only if it mentions the potential for geological storage of CO2. It is appalling.”

The “mad obsession” of the UN, governments, media organizations with global warming has become “an absurd, costly and pointless crusade,” notes the SCM study. “The crusade,” it says, “has invaded every area of activity and everyone‘s thinking: the battle against CO2 has become a national priority. How have we reached this point, in a country that claims to be rational?” The answer to that question is plain, says the paper: “At the root lie the declarations made by the IPPC, which have been repeated over the years and taken up by the European Commission and the Member States.”

Here are extracts from the opening statements of the first three chapters of the SCM White Paper:

Chapter 1: The crusade is absurd
There is not a single fact, figure or observation that leads us to conclude that the world‘s climate is in any way ‘disturbed.' It is variable, as it has always been, but rather less so now than during certain periods or geological eras. Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet‘s global temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable. Concentrations of CO2 vary, as they always have done; the figures that are being released are biased and dishonest. Rising sea levels are a normal phenomenon linked to upthrust buoyancy; they are nothing to do with so-called global warming. As for extreme weather events — they are no more frequent now than they have been in the past. We ourselves have processed the raw data on hurricanes….

Chapter 2: The crusade is costly
Direct aid for industries that are completely unviable (such as photovoltaics and wind turbines) but presented as ‘virtuous' runs into billions of euros, according to recent reports published by the Cour des Comptes (French Audit Office) in 2013. But the highest cost lies in the principle of ‘energy saving,' which is presented as especially virtuous. Since no civilization can develop when it is saving energy, ours has stopped developing: France now has more than three million people unemployed — it is the price we have to pay for our virtue….

Chapter 3: The crusade is pointless
Human beings cannot, in any event, change the climate. If we in France were to stop all industrial activity (let's not talk about our intellectual activity, which ceased long ago), if we were to eradicate all trace of animal life, the composition of the atmosphere would not alter in any measurable, perceptible way. To explain this, let us make a comparison with the rotation of the planet: it is slowing down. To address that, we might be tempted to ask the entire population of China to run in an easterly direction. But, no matter how big China and its population are, this would have no measurable impact on the Earth‘s rotation.

The IPCC’s “research” methods are so contrary to genuine science and have been so thoroughly discredited, says the SCM study, that “no sensible, high-quality journal would publish the IPPC's work.” It charges: “The IPPC‘s conclusions go against observed facts; the figures used are deliberately chosen to support its conclusions (with no regard for the most basic scientific honesty), and the natural variability of phenomena is passed over without comment. The IPPC's report fails to respect the fundamental rules of scientific research and could not be published in any review with a reading panel.”

IPCC Expert Goklany: CO2 Is Beneficial, Not Bad

Dr. Indur Goklany’s new study, CARBON DIOXIDE — The good news, points out: “Empirical data confirms that the biosphere’s productivity has increased by about 14% since 1982, in large part as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels.” Moreover, he notes, “Thousands of scientific experiments indicate that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the air have contributed to increases in crop yields,” and these increases in yield “are very likely to have reduced the appropriation of land for farming by 11–17% compared with what it would otherwise be, resulting in more land being left wild.”

Dr. Goklany was a member of the U.S. delegation that established the IPCC and helped develop its First Assessment Report. He subsequently served as a U.S. delegate to the IPCC, and an IPCC reviewer. He is also a member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Academic Advisory Council. “Compared with the benefits from carbon dioxide on crop and biosphere productivity,” writes Goklany, “the adverse impacts of carbon dioxide — on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, on sea level, vector-borne disease prevalence and human health — have been too small to measure or have been swamped by other factors.”

As we have reported previously, Dr. Goklany’s earlier studies have shown that policies resulting from the AGW hysteria are having a horrendously destructive impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, who desperately need access to the vast energy provided by fossil fuels, not the piddling amounts available from wind and solar, the favorite hobby horses of enviro-activists in the rich countries.

Dr. Goklany’s new study also takes aim at the climate computer models that have proven themselves to be fatally flawed and always wrong. “Models used to influence policy on climate change,” he says in summary, “ have overestimated the rate of warming, underestimated direct benefits of carbon dioxide, overestimated the harms from climate change and underestimated human capacity to adapt so as to capture the benefits while reducing the harms.” “It is very likely that the impact of rising carbon dioxide concentrations is currently net beneficial for both humanity and the biosphere generally. These benefits are real, whereas the costs of warming are uncertain. Halting the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations abruptly would deprive people and the planet of the benefits of carbon dioxide much sooner than they would reduce any costs of warming.”

President Obama, President Hollande, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Al Gore, and other apostles of the AGW apocalypse lobby will not be dissuaded from their destructive course by Philippe Verdier, the French SCM study, Indur Goklany, Freeman Dyson, or the rational arguments, and overwhelming evidence presented by the thousands of notable scientists who stand in the climate realist (versus the climate alarmist) camp. However, millions of American voters and activist patriots can force Congress to stop the massive taxpayer-provided funding stream to the global-warming bandwagon and stop the U.S. government from approving the UN climate treaty that will be unleashed at the upcoming United Nations confab in Paris.


The Modern-Day Implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine - UKIP Leader Nigel Farage...

Get your money out now!!!

WAR ON CASH: Banks to start charging for cash deposits

by: J. D. Heyes

Few could have envisioned it even just a few years ago, but it's happening now, and on an ever-widening scale. More big U.S. banks are shunning cash, because the banking system has become so dependent on other "assets" that large cash deposits actually pose a threat to their financial health, according to The Wall Street Journal.

State Street Corporation, a Boston-based institution that manages assets for institutional investors, has, for the first time, begun charging some customers for making large cash deposits, according to people familiar with the development.

And the largest U.S. bank in terms of assets — JP Morgan Chase & Co. — has dramatically cut "unwanted" deposits to the tune of $150 billion this year alone, in part by charging customers fees.

What gives? What kind of world do we live in when banks no longer want cash?

As the WSJ reported:

"The developments underscore a deepening conflict over cash. Many businesses have large sums on hand and opportunities to profitably invest it appear scarce. But banks don't want certain kinds of cash either, judging it costly to keep, and some are imposing fees after jawboning customers to move it."

As usual, the problem originated largely in Washington, D.C.

Criminalizing cash?

The paper said the banks' actions are being driven by low interest rates (set by the Fed) that eat into profits, as well as "regulations adopted since the financial crisis to gird banks against funding disruptions," adding in a separate report that a number of large financial institutions have become more dependent on buying and selling stocks, bonds and commodities like oil.

The latest round of fees for large deposits stems from regulators' deeming them risky. They are sometimes dubbed hot-money deposits that analysts believe is likely to flee quickly in a crisis (think runs on Greek banks recently, which the government eventually curbed).

Agreed upon a year ago in September and managed by the Federal Reserve and other regulators, the rule covering liquidity coverage ratios forces banks and financial institutions to retain high-quality liquid assets — like central bank reserves and government debt — to cover anticipated deposit losses over a 30-day period (creative way for the federal government to continue financing its overspending — by forcing private banks now to hold government debt). Under the rules, banks are required to retain up to 40 percent against certain corporate deposits and as high as 100 percent against some hedge fund deposits, WSJ reported.

"At some point you wonder whether there will be a shortage of financial institutions willing to take on these balances," Kelli Moll, head of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's hedge-fund practice in New York, told the paper.

Moll added that the subject of where to actually put cash has become something of an interesting conversation as hedge funds are turned away by the traditional banking sector.

Dodd-Frank is to the financial industry what Obamacare is to health care

WSJ further explained the phenomenon and fallout:

"Jerome Schneider, head of Pacific Investment Management Co.'s short-term and funding desk, which advises corporate and institutional clients, said that as a result of the bank actions, he and his customers have discussed as cash alternatives boosting investments in U.S. Treasury bonds, ultrashort-duration bond funds and money-market funds."

"Clients have been put on warning," Schneider said, when it comes to cash.

The rules essentially criminalizing large depositors of cash stem from the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial "reform" law — a "reform" that did to the banking industry what Obamacare has done to the health care industry.

The law's two primary authors — Democrats Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, both of whom are now out of Congress — were also backers of Clinton-era housing rules said by experts to have caused the 2008 financial crisis. So, in essence, Dodd-Frank is punishing banks for rules that the two of them (along with most other Democrats and too many Republicans — and Bill Clinton's signature on the legislation) actually caused.

In the meantime, there appears to be no end to the federal government's meddling in both the financial industry and just about every other facet of American life.

Causing more problems than it solves — that's a classic congressional move.

Learn more:

Poster of the day...

No wonder they support Bernie Sanders...

It’s a fact: Today’s college students are warming to totalitarianism

by Ben Bullard

A remarkable number of college students in the U.S. don’t know what the 1st Amendment is. They see no problem with campus speech codes, enforced political correctness and punishment for those who speak words that offend.

Those findings, including the discovery that 76 percent of students want their professors to use trigger warnings, come out of a newly released national survey sponsored by Yale University’s William F. Buckley Jr. program.

The 2015 Buckley Free Speech Survey found a striking contrast between the proportion of students who said freedom of speech is vital and the proportion who nevertheless had no problem with restricting it.

“At first glance,” notes the Freedom for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), “some of the findings seem to bode well for campus free speech.” That includes the 95 percent of students who agreed that free speech “is important to them,” and the 87 percent who believe it’s important to be exposed to views they disagree with.

But it starts to go downhill from there. From FIRE’s summary:

•Nearly one-third (32 percent) of students could not identify the First Amendment as the constitutional amendment that deals with free speech. 33 percent of those who correctly identified the First Amendment said that the First Amendment does not protect hate speech.
•More than half (51 percent) of students are in favor of their college or university having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty.
•72 percent of students said they support disciplinary action against “any student or faculty member on campus who uses language that is considered racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive.”
•49 percent of students said they have often felt intimidated to share beliefs that differ from their professors, and exactly half (50 percent) said they have often felt intimidated to share beliefs that differ from their classmates.
•55 percent of students said they are aware of “trigger warnings,” and 76 percent of these students favor their professors using them.
•By a 52 to 42 percent margin, students believe that their institution should forbid people from speaking on campus who have a history of engaging in hate speech.

At least the Yalies involved in collecting the data are among the academics who are still worried by findings like these.

“The survey results confirmed some of what we expected, but they also revealed troubling surprises,” said Buckley program director Lauren Noble. “It is the opinion of the Buckley Program that university campuses are best served by free and open speech, but, lamentably, that opinion is anything but unanimous, the survey shows.”


More of JFK...

The Assassination of JFK: Johnson vs. Dulles

By Phillip F. Nelson

In her review of David Talbot’s new book, The Devil’s Chessboard (“Checkmate on The Devils Chessboard”, Consortium News October 27, 2015), Lisa Pease provides a succinct summary of Talbot’s impressive work. With one notable exception, she has nothing but praise for his seminal research. That exception relates to his reference to E. Howard Hunt’s “final confession” identifying LBJ as the top of the chain of command that brought about the death of JFK, which is not congruent with the conventional wisdom she and her fellow “researchers” have been so anxious to avoid.

Her review isolates that premise as follows:

While Talbot has the facts right in the broad strokes, if not all the small details, his focus was, in my opinion, a tad misplaced in spots. For example, he appears to believe E. Howard Hunt’s deathbed “confession,” which many in the research community do not.

Hunt, a career intelligence officer who became infamous as a leader of Nixon’s Watergate burglary team, implicated President Lyndon B. Johnson in the plot to kill Kennedy, which has never made sense to me. If LBJ was so ruthless that he killed his way to the presidency, why did he decide not to run again in 1968? Historically, when people have killed their way to the throne, they do not voluntarily abdicate it.

But E. Howard Hunt was far from alone in fingering LBJ as “the pivotal player” or, as I prefer to cite him, “the mastermind”. Madeleine Duncan Brown, Billy Sol Estes, Barr McClellan, and no less than Jack Ruby were strongly of that opinion, where Ruby told reporters dogging him during his appearance before Earl Warren that the motives of the principals were very tangible and that they should be looking at “the man at the top”.

Indeed, as other scholars have discovered, Lyndon not only forced himself onto the ticket in Los Angeles in 1960 by threatening to destroy JFK using information provided to him by J. Edgar Hoover but he even sent his Chief Administrative Assistant, Cliff Carter, down to Dallas to make sure all the arrangements were in place for the assassination. And after the event, he took an active role in managing the cover up, insuring that DA Henry Wade speak no more about “a possible conspiracy” and even calling Charles Crenshaw, M.D., who was responsible for the treatment of the alleged assassin at Parkland Hospital, to ask for “a deathbed confession”. Lyndon Johnson was a “hands on” guy who left nothing to chance.

Ignoring this damning evidence, we have a concise statement from her about why the “research community” is resistant to the premise of LBJ’s direct involvement in the planning and execution of the death of John F. Kennedy: “Such a concept is simply impossible because five years later, when he had a chance to run for re-election, he chose not to — Case Closed.” But that claim begs for much closer scrutiny.

That she and others have grounded their refusal to explore LBJ’s numerous ties to the “crime of the century” to such a tenuous point is clearly and demonstrably “absurd.” His criminal record — attested to by the impeccable credentials of Texas Ranger (later U.S. Marshal) Clint Peoples — began decades before the assassination and continued, on increasingly higher levels throughout his administration. Peoples, for example, would convince a Texas grand jury in 1984 that one of the deaths Johnson had commissioned (through his aides, Cliff Carter and Malcolm “Mac” Wallace) of Henry Marshall, an inspector for the Department of Agriculture, was a “homicide” rather than a “suicide”. That a man who had been shot five times with a single-shot rifle, had carbon monoxide in his lungs and had been rendered unconscious by a blow to the head could have committed suicide was a complete absurdity from the beginning but was typical of justice in Texas at the time. People’s success, however, came only after LBJ and his aides, were deceased and could no longer be indicted. Unsurprisingly, this development was promptly extinguished by the mainstream media as soon as it was announced and has thereafter remained “untouchable” by the Fourth Estate.

In a four-year-old Salon article (“The Other Kennedy Conspiracy”, November 21, 2011), Ms. Pease declares that she “is an expert on the assassinations of the ’60s in general and the Robert Kennedy assassination in particular.” The following excerpt from that article summarizes the status of her research into RFK’s murder:

Fact: The CIA was so concerned about Robert Kennedy in the last year of his life that it put spying on him on a par with spying on the Soviet Union, according to a report in the Washington Post after it obtained this data.

Perhaps the CIA was also anxious about RFK because, as David Talbot (the founder and current CEO of Salon) recounted in his 2007 book, “Brothers,” Robert Kennedy harbored suspicions about the CIA’s possible complicity in his brother’s death. One of Robert’s first calls after JFK’s assassination was to the CIA to ask if the agency had killed his brother. If members of the CIA were involved in the death of JFK, could they afford to let Robert ascend to an office where he’d have the power but to do something about that?

I’m well aware that extraordinary claims deserve extraordinary evidence. I have much more to support what I’ve said here, which I am laying out in book form. I hope only to have cracked your mind open, because Occam’s Razor fails us when the simplest explanation is the carefully planned cover story.

Occam’s Razor, moreover, only applies to alternative theories that explain the available evidence equally well. The book that she stated she was “laying out” has evidently not made much progress since, so until it is published we can only speculate about what she considers so “extraordinary.” But, had she not been so zealous about protecting LBJ’s tainted legacy for at least a quarter-century, she might have connected a few more of his presidential treacheries into patterns that could possibly explain why Johnson decided to give up on being re-elected. It had much to do with the precarious position that he had placed himself in — after having won the landslide victory in ’64, how he had been swallowed by his own hubris in creating the Viet Nam quagmire — with his record fall in the polls. By early 1968, the Tet Offensive shattered the public’s confidence in his handling of the war, Eugene McCarthy had nearly trounced him in the New Hampshire primary, and then Robert Kennedy entered the race, which caused his chances of being reelected to be very much in jeopardy.

Johnson knew his ego could never deal with defeat, even in the early primaries, and decided that he ought to quit the race while he still could. But an even greater reason may have existed that should not be summarily discarded. If the provenance of the order to “take out” RFK came not just from the highest echelons of the FBI or CIA but to the person who had control over those agencies, it is conceivable that by March 31, 1968, he had already given Helms and Hoover (et. al.) the order to eliminate any possibility that Bobby Kennedy might one day become president.

It is clear that Sirhan Sirhan did not shoot the fatal shot (one of four fired from behind); and there is mounting evidence of a high-level conspiracy involving the CIA, the FBI and the LAPD. It follows that clear lines might be traced back to LBJ’s possible instigation of RFK’s assassination. If that could be proven, another possible explanation for Johnson’s decision to quit the race — merely two weeks after Bobby’s entry — would become that “Occam’s Razor” that she cites: by taking himself out of the race he could ensure that almost no one would seriously regard him as the culprit.

There have been many other researchers who have also probably been disappointed that Mr. Talbot even mentioned E. Howard Hunt’s “confessions” — which left open the question of LBJ’s involvement in JFK’s assassination — instead of making a stronger case of Allen Dulles’ key role in the 1963 coup de etat. Perhaps his work will help to put the onus where it should more properly be placed — at LBJ’s door. My book, LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus explains in greater depth the reasons the “driving force” behind the assassination could not have been Allen Dulles, where that role could only have been fulfilled by Lyndon Johnson.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Is Liberty Rising?

"It is only us libertarians who are committed to saving our nation by dismantling, not reforming, Social Security, Medicare, and the rest of the welfare-warfare state and restoring a genuinely free and prosperous society to our land."

Last Night’s GOP Presidential Debate Cracked Me Up
by Jacob G. Hornberger

I didn’t watch the entire GOP presidential debate last night but the part I did watch really cracked me up. The candidates were criticizing the Democratic Party presidential candidates, especially Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for being socialists. One Republican candidate even compared their Democratic Party counterparts to the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, referring to the two factions in the Russia Socialist party in the early part of the 20th century.

Why was that cracking me up?

Because immediately after that, the GOP presidential candidates were tripping over themselves in an attempt to show the American people how committed they are to preserving Social Security and Medicare.

Is that funny or what?

Just like a Republican. Just like a conservative. Criticizing socialism out of one side of his mouth and defending socialism out of the other side of his mouth.

I wonder if these guys even realize that Social Security and Medicare are socialist programs. I’ll bet that many of them, especially if they are products of America’s public schools and state universities, are honestly convinced that these two welfare-state programs are “free enterprise” and “capitalist.” After all, if they’re part of America’s economic system, they have to be “free enterprise” and “capitalist,” right? Well, except that those two government programs are also core programs in Cuba, North Korea, and China, all of which are socialist countries.

The idea of Social Security originated among 19th-century German socialists. Realizing the increasing popularity of socialists and socialism in Germany, Otto von Bismarck, the so-called Iron Chancellor of Germany, coopted the socialists by adopting Social Security in Germany in 1889.

In fact, check this out. It is a bust of Bismarck on the website of the U.S. Social Security Administration. Bismarck is their hero!

That socialist idea was imported into the United States in the late 1800s and became a central element in the Progressive movement. As most everyone knows, Social Security ultimately became a core feature of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program during the 1930s. Americans were told that it was one of the ways that FDR was saving America’s free enterprise system.

It was as big a lie as a politician could ever tell. In fact, Social Security was the crown jewel of what would become known as America’s welfare state, a political-economic system by which the federal government assumes a paternalistic role in taking care of people, in this case by taking money from one group of people, through taxation, and give it to another group of people—seniors.

Keep in mind that the American people had lived without socialism for more than a century. No income taxation or IRS. No Social Security or Medicare. No mandatory “charity” for seniors or anyone else. No welfare state. Americans were free to keep everything they earned and decide for themselves what to do with their own money — invest, save, donate, spend, or whatever.

That unusual way of life produced the most prosperous — and the most generous — society in history and it was supported by both Democrats and Republicans. That, along with no drug laws, immigration controls, big standing armies, CIA, NSA, public schools, and other aspects of the modern-day welfare-warfare state are what made America an “exceptional” nation.

All that changed in the 1930s, but conservatives have continued to live the life of the lie ever since. They condemn socialism and preach the virtues of America’s “free enterprise system.” They falsely teach their children that America has always had a “free enterprise system” and still does. And then they ardently supporting and defending the Social Security and Medicare, as they did in last night’s debate, as well as farm subsidies, education grants, corporate bailouts, foreign aid, and the rest of the welfare (and warfare) state.

FDR’s protégé, Democrat Lyndon Johnson, carried the New Deal philosophy to a higher level with his embrace of Medicare, another governmental program by which the federal government is charged with the paternalistic task of taking care of seniors. With Medicare, the federal government taxes the young and productive in order to provide subsidized healthcare to the seniors. It’s another socialist program, one that incorporates the Marxian principle, “From each according to ability, to each according to need.”

But don’t tell Republicans that. It will burst their balloon of deception and denial of reality. During last night’s debate, the GOP candidates were, again, tripping over themselves to show Americans how committed they are to preserving Medicare even while condemning the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in the Democrat Party.

Never mind, of course, that Medicare (and Medicaid, regulation, and occupational licensure laws) have succeeded in destroying what once was the greatest and least expensive healthcare system in the world. All that matters to Republicans is that they continue reinforcing the lie that Medicare and other socialist programs are really part and parcel of a “free enterprise system.”

Enter us libertarians. Progressives dislike libertarians because we want to dismantle their socialist programs. Conservatives dislike us for the same reason but also because they know that we tell people the truth — that these are nothing more than socialist programs, which are taking our country down.

There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. As we see in both the Democratic and Republic debates, they’re all committed to preserving the socialist programs that have become part and parcel of America’s welfare state, along with the out-of-control spending, borrowing, taxing, and inflating that have come with it (and with the warfare state).

It is only us libertarians who are committed to saving our nation by dismantling, not reforming, Social Security, Medicare, and the rest of the welfare-warfare state and restoring a genuinely free and prosperous society to our land.


Cartoon of the day...

"Keep in mind, also, that is wasn’t the Mafia, the Soviets, the Cubans, Oswald, or anyone else who people have accused of assassinating Kennedy who controlled the autopsy on the night of November 22, 1963. It is undisputed that the U.S. national-security establishment was the sole entity controlling the autopsy."

Will America’s New President Continue the JFK Assassination Cover-Up?
by Jacob G. Hornberger

One of the issues the newly elected president of the United States is likely to face is whether to continue the decades-long secrecy and concealment of records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. That’s because the new president will have the legal authority to order the continued concealment of thousands of pages of CIA records relating to the assassination that are scheduled to be released in October 2017.

Under the law, the CIA has the legal authority to ask the president to continue the concealment of the records on grounds of “national security.” While we don’t yet whether the CIA intends to pursue that route, in my opinion it’s a virtual certainty that it will.

In the aftermath of the assassination, the national-security branch of the federal government — i.e., the CIA and the Pentagon — went to tremendous efforts to suppress and conceal matters relating to the assassination, much of which did not come out until decades later.

Consider, for example, the autopsy that the U.S. military conducted on President Kennedy’s body. The military required participants in the autopsy to sign oaths of secrecy and made them promise to take what they had witnessed to the grave. Participants were told that if they ever violated their written oaths, they would be severely punished through court martial or criminal prosecution.

When evidence regarding the autopsy later began surfacing, the popular position was that the military physicians who performed the autopsy were simply incompetent.

But then came the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, which was enacted in 1992 — 29 years after the assassination. It mandated an end to the long-time secrecy that federal agencies, especially the military and the CIA, had maintained with respect to the Kennedy assassination. The enforcement agency for the act was called the Assassination Records Review Board.

Why was that law enacted? It was because of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK. At the end of that movie, which posited that the U.S. national-security establishment had assassinated Kennedy as part of its Cold War regime-change operations, there was a small blurb informing people about the continued concealment of JFK-assassination-related records.

That blurb generated such an enormous outburst of public outrage that Congress was forced to pass a mandatory disclosure law and President George H.W. Bush was forced to sign the act into law.

The ARRB forced the military and the CIA to release a torrent of records relating to the assassination that they had kept secret for decades and that they thought were going to be kept secret for a lot longer.

The records that were disclosed included revelations regarding the Kennedy autopsy. One thing became crystal clear from those disclosed records: the shenanigans involved in the Kennedy autopsy had nothing to do with incompetence and everything to do with intent. Many of those shenanigans are set forth in my ebook The Kennedy Autopsy, which has now been on Amazon’s list of best-selling books on 20th-century American history for 10 months. My ebook was based on the 5-volume book Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK by Douglas P. Horne, who served on the ARRB.

For example, it turns out that there were two separate brain examinations as part of the autopsy—on two separate brains, one that was President Kennedy’s brain and one that wasn’t. Why would they do that? Why would they want to keep that secret? Why not explain it or justify it?

There can be only one reason: cover-up. There is no other logical explanation.

Keep in mind, also, that is wasn’t the Mafia, the Soviets, the Cubans, Oswald, or anyone else who people have accused of assassinating Kennedy who controlled the autopsy on the night of November 22, 1963. It is undisputed that the U.S. national-security establishment was the sole entity controlling the autopsy.

So, the question arises: What would the U.S. military be covering up on the very night of the assassination and why would it be covering it up?

We were all brought up thinking that President Kennedy, Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, the Pentagon, and the CIA were all on the same page — that is, that it was necessary to oppose the Soviet Union and communism as part of the Cold War.

What we have learned since then is the truth — that in fact, Kennedy was at war with his national-security establishment ever since the disaster at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba and continuously after that. We also have learned that after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy took a dramatic turn in a different direction, one in which he secretly reached out to the Soviets and the Cubans in an attempt to negotiate an end to the Cold War.

That political/bureaucratic war is set out in detail in FFF’s ebook JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated, which Douglas Horne wrote for FFF. That book has also been on Amazon’s list of best-selling books on 20th-century Americana history through most of 2015.

Horne also did a five-part, 6 1/2 hour video for FFF entitled “Altered History: Exposing Deceit and Deception in the JFK Assassination Medical Evidence,” which has garnered more than 140,000 views on YouTube.

While most Americans have never bought into the lone-nut explanation for the assassination, many Americans don’t realize the tremendous amount of circumstantial evidence that has surfaced over the years, especially after the ARRB’s actions in the 1990s, that points in the direction of the national-security establishment in the assassination of President Kennedy.

That circumstantial evidence is marshalled and synthesized in my other ebook on the assassination, Regime Change: The JFK Assassination, which is also now on Amazon’s list of top 100 best-sellers on 20th-century American history.

At this point, let me recommend a brand new book entitled The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government by David Talbot, which is one of the finest books I have ever read on the national security state and the JFK assassination. The book revolves around Allen Dulles, the CIA director who was much revered within the CIA and who Kennedy fired after the Bay of Pigs disaster – who President Johnson appointed to the Warren Commission, which was charged with investigating who had assassinated President Kennedy. The book traces a direct line from the CIA’s nefarious activities in the 1940s and 1950s, including regime changes, coups, assassinations, medical experiments on unsuspecting people, and alliances with Nazis, directly through the JFK assassination, and through the national-security state’s activities today, with its official program of assassinations, regime change operations, massive secret surveillance, invasions, occupations, and the like. I cannot recommend this book too highly.

For some reason, the 1992 law enabled federal agencies to keep some JFK-assassination records secret for another 25 years, until October 2017. The CIA took advantage of that provision and no doubt was thinking back in 1992 that 25 years was a long ways away.

But here we are, on the eve of that disclosure deadline. Will the CIA request the new president (or even President Obama) to order continued concealment of those records? Will they tell the president that “national security” will be threatened if the records are released?

In my opinion, there is no doubt that the CIA is going to seek to continue the cover-up. After all, given that an overwhelming weight of circumstantial evidence, as revealed in the records that they had been keeping secret that were ultimately released, point in the direction of the national-security state in the assassination of President Kennedy, doesn’t it stand to reason that they would keep the most incriminating circumstantial evidence secret for as long as possible?

To get a sense of what some of the still-secret records might show, read this article that recently appeared in Politico: “Why the Last of the JFK Files Could Embarrass the CIA” by Bryan Bender.

Take a look at this page, which features a short video presentation by Martha Murphy, an official in the National Archives, in which she states that the Archives is now preparing the long-secret records for release in October 2017.

After Murphy’s announcement, the CIA could have said, “We have nothing to hide. Go ahead and release the records now.” They didn’t do that, which indicates to me that they are waiting to see who is elected president and then submit their request for continued concealment on grounds of “national security.”

So, that obviously raises a question relating to the presidential candidates: Which candidates would be likely to defer to the wishes of the CIA and which ones would have the courage and fortitude to say, “Enough is enough. Your claim of national security is ridiculous. Your request is denied. Release the documents. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.”

Take a look at this letter by Jim Lesar, an attorney in Washington, D.C. It is addressed to the various presidential candidates and seeks to apprise them of this issue now.

To keep up with this particular issue, I recommend visiting the website, which is headed by former Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley, who has been leading the fight for disclosure of the long-secret records.

What will bring about an end to the national-security state’s secrecy and concealment in the JFK assassination? There is only one thing — the same thing that brought much of the secrecy and concealment to an end in the 1990s — outrage among the American people and a demand for full disclosure.


Fight forced vaccinations...

VACCINE WAR IN AMERICA: Attempts to legislate mandatory vaccines all across the U.S

by: Natural News Editors

There is a raging civil war in America here at the beginning of 2015. It is a war against medical tyranny and the desire of government to take away individual liberties, rights to privacy, and the ability to choose to refuse medical treatments.

The irrational fear gripping this country over a mere 100 cases of measles, a disease in which no one has died and would not even make the top 100 diseases currently affecting Americans, is being used as a justification to expand government intrusion into our private lives and grant broad new police powers.

The National Vaccine Information Center brings us the latest legislative updates across the U.S. Please register at their Advocacy Portal to stay abreast of legislative battles in your own state, and follow their advice below on how you can take action to protect your Constitutional rights. If Americans do not resist and act now, the battle will be quickly lost.

ACT NOW – Vaccine Exemptions and Mandates Threatened in Even More States

by National Vaccine Information Center

Unless someone has been hiding under a rock, it is almost impossible to not notice the war taking place in America in state legislatures against the families who are making selective and informed vaccination choices. From taking away the ability to get an education to legally forcing more vaccines under new schemes of computerized vaccine tracking and expanded police and emergency powers, this is just the beginning. Most states still have time in their legislative schedules to file more bills.

The irrational fear based frenzy has spun out of control. Your right to control what is injected into your child’s body or your own may be hanging in the balance.


Hearings to remove philosophical/conscientious exemptions to vaccine mandates have already taken place in Washington and Oregon. California, Maine, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont all have bills already filed or press announcements of bills about to be filed to remove philosophical/conscientious exemptions. Maine, Minnesota and Texas have bills to substantially restrict philosophical/conscientious exemptions.

Religious exemptions are also under attack. Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Vermont have bills filed or announced to eliminate religious exemptions, and Illinois, New Mexico and Texas have bills filed or announced to unconstitutionally restrict religious exemptions.


Fifteen states have bills filed to expand vaccine mandates. These include Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

What is so disturbing about the Vermont bill is the vaccine mandates are for school employees, and there are no philosophical or religious exemptions allowed. This is the first state to go after teachers, school administrators and school staff.

It is very concerning that New York and Texas have bills filed to allow some minor children to consent to their own vaccines behind their parents’ backs without their parents’ knowledge or consent. California already has this language in statute. This is in violation with federal law that requires parents to get Vaccine Information Statements so they can make an informed decision.


Two states, Arizona and Texas, have bills that affect police and emergency powers. The Texas bill gives the police the power to forcibly detain people only suspected of having been exposed to an infectious disease and eliminates the protective requirement for a warrant. A law enforcement officer would only have to express a belief of an exposure or infection to forcibly detain someone.


Seven states, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, and Vermont all have bills filed to require or expand vaccine status tracking in most cases without knowledge or consent to be used as mandatory vaccine enforcement systems.


Four states, Arizona, Maryland, Missouri, and Texas have bills filed to publically release vaccination and exemption rates by areas as small as individual schools to create an even more divisive, discriminatory and prejudicial environment towards children with vaccine exemptions.


Assess what you are up against in your state. Log into the NVIC Advocacy Portal at and look below to see a snapshot of what bills are currently filed in your state.

People are very frustrated with the misinformation and irrational fear that have been producing these proposed legislative changes, and they have been expressing feeling overwhelmed and uncertain what to do to help.

First, contact your legislators and their staff, and then ask your friends and family to do the same.

Immediately contact your state legislators and connect to them from your heart about why these bills can hurt your family. Do not wimp out and just send an email if there is any way possible you can meet with them in person or talk on the phone to them. Make them look into your eyes or hear your voice when you sincerely tell them about vaccine reactions and health concerns for your family, how you and your children have been treated by doctors and your school over this issue, why you delay or decline vaccines, and why they may want to preserve this right for themselves and their own family in the future.

If you follow a non-pharmaceutically based model of health care, tell them why. Educate them. You have to connect to them on a personal level so they can get this. Find out what other bills they have sponsored so you can find common ground about things you both care and agree about to break the ice. We are fighting a very powerful pharma/medical forced vaccination lobby, but they don’t have these personal connections that constituents have.

Please register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal if you haven’t already and make it a habit to log in frequently to stay updated and learn what you can do to help with each bill in your state. Registration is required so we can help connect you with your legislators.

Do not let these decisions be made for you by those whose power, positions or profit are dependent on forced vaccination.


1) Register/Login to the NVIC Advocacy Portal at

2) Lookup your state legislators and their contact information. Click on “Check What is Happening in Your State” on the home page or “My State” on the STATE TEAMS Tab. Your personal state legislators (House, Senate, Governor and Lieutenant Governor) are listed on the right side of the page. Click on them one at a time to display their contact information.

3) Choose how you would like to deliver your message. The suggested modes of communication below are listed in the order of being more likely to be more impactful on educating your legislator.

a) Make an appointment for a direct personal visit;
b) Make an appointment to talk directly in a personal phone call;
c) Make an appointment to talk in person to a legislative aide;
d) Call and talk to a legislative aide to relay a message; or
e) Send an email through web contact forms or legislative email address.

4) Suggested talking points for state legislators:

Introduce yourself and identify yourself as a constituent. (If this is a meeting or a phone call, ask them if they agree with the statement that nobody should be forced to submit to any medical procedure, including vaccination, which carries the risk of injury or death.)

Share that you are very concerned about some of the divisive one-sided conversations and bills being filed right now regarding vaccination exemption rights (or bills filed in your state).

Explain why it is important to your family to be able to delay or decline vaccination. This is where you could share your vaccine reaction, harassment, or vaccine failure story to personalize your communication.

Explain that there are some very important reasons why legally protecting the right to informed consent to vaccination without penalty by the state should be a priority and these crucial points have been left out of the conversation by forced vaccination proponents.

· Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that cause injury and death for some. The United States Government has paid out more than $3 billion dollars to vaccine victims. Many more people have adverse reactions. Nobody can predict who will be harmed from vaccines.

· Vaccines manufacturers and the doctors who administer vaccines are completely shielded from liability for vaccine injuries and deaths.

· Vaccines fail sometimes where even fully vaccinated people become infected. Nobody can predict who will or will not respond to vaccines.

· Children today receive 69 doses of vaccines for 16 different viral and bacterial illnesses which more than doubles the government childhood schedule of 34 doses of 11 different vaccines in the year 2000. A vaccine exemption is filed regardless of whether the exemption is filed for one dose or all doses. 35 doses and 5 more unique vaccines have been added to the schedule in the last 15 years. Those supporting forced vaccination are being dishonest by not acknowledging the exploding vaccine schedule while sounding alarms over small increases in overall non-medical exemptions.

· There are hundreds of new vaccines in development including some of the following in clinical trials: HIV, herpes, E. coli, dengue fever, avian influenza, smallpox, tuberculosis, typhoid, norovirus, cholera, smoking cessation, syphilis, and gonorrhea. If vaccine manufactures and others who profit from forced vaccination convince legislators take away our right to delay or decline a vaccine now, what will our future look like?

· In the past 5 years, drug makers have paid the U.S. Government $19.2 billion in criminal and civil FRAUD penalties. Skepticism of the pharmaceutical industry is well deserved, and it doesn’t imply a skepticism of science.

· Physicians, in the American Medical Association Code of Ethics, affirm philosophical and religious exemptions for themselves. See Opinion 9.133 Routine Universal Immunization of Physicians. Parents should have that same right.

5) Refer to NVIC’s “Reforming Vaccine Policy and Law” guide for answers to questions your legislators may have. The fully referenced version can be found on our site posted at:—Law-Guide.aspx. You can include this link in your letters as well.

6) Refer to “Measles in Disneyland: Third MMR Shot and Vaccine Exemption Ban?” by NVIC’s President Barbara Loe Fisher for some illuminating insight into facts that need to be exposed about the California measles outbreak and other vaccine failures.

7) Please forward this email to family and friends and ask them to share their concerns with their legislators as well. You can post the link to this alert on social media:

See more at:

"Stay informed and remember: force is not freedom..."

Find out now if your preferred presidential candidate supports forcibly injecting your children with heavy metals

by: Jennifer Lea Reynolds

In an effort to reinforce the importance of an individual's right to refuse a vaccine, especially ones that are forced or mandatory, Natural Solutions Foundation (NSF) is providing the public with important information. It is especially timely as 2016 elections are top-of-mind for the country right now; in fact, the organization is asking two things of presidential hopefuls:

•Confirm their commitment to our right to refuse any or all vaccines based on Informed Consent
•Endorse Advance Vaccine Directive strategy

When it comes to Informed Consent, the NSF points out that such rights have been in place for several decades, such as that of the Nuremberg Code. That code, which states that "the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential" and that "the degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment" speaks volumes when it comes to vaccinations.

Laws that outline personal freedoms from force and fraud shouldn't be ignored

The Nuremberg Code also addresses the hot topic of being coerced into getting vaccines against one's will; it states that voluntary consent is "absolutely essential" and that "...the person involved...should be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion...."

When it comes to the Advance Vaccine Directive (AVD) strategy, the NSF draws on U.S. and international treaty laws, which are succinctly outlined on a wallet-sized card. The card contains details of a person's legal rights that protect them from unwanted vaccinations. The AVD states that NSF "Affirmatively asserts Informed Consent" and also warns that anyone trying to administer a vaccination against another's will is grounds for malpractice.

The bottom line for NSF is to ensure that a person's right to refuse a vaccine stays intact. Determining where presidential hopefuls stand on Informed Consent and the AVD is a surefire way for those concerned about this issue to narrow down their choice when it's time to vote.

How social media and various websites can keep you informed about vaccination issue

Using social media to propel such efforts and further educate the public about the candidate of their choice, NSF, which is a non-governmental organization, has invited all presidential hopefuls to make their position on informed consent clear. They encourage voters to tweet candidates and ask them about their stance when it comes to mandatory vaccinations. The responses will be published, unedited, by The Natural Solutions Foundation (, where Dr. Rima Laibow serves as director.

You can learn more about Dr. Laibow at, including her involvement as an activist, thoughts about alien abductions and her professional background.

Be sure to also peruse social media to see what's being said about mandatory vaccinations. Consider hashtags such as #vaccines" or #InformedConsent." Of course, you can follow @DrRimaLaibow to stay on top of this issue.

Get real, pro-vaxxers: vaccinations destroy health

It's no secret that while Big Pharma and their pro-vaxxer groupies advocate the benefits of big bank accounts, er, vaccines, that numerous people have experienced serious health problems linked to the injections.

For example, NaturalNews recently reported on the fact that after experiencing various health issues related to a swine flu vaccine, the British government is compensating about 60 families in a multi-million-pound settlement. If there isn't any problem linked to vaccines, then why are they providing financial compensation?

In another instance, a young girl living in Florida named Marysue Grivna came down with a horrific brain disease just four days after receiving a flu vaccine. She went from being a healthy, active girl to one who is unable to speak and must eat from tubes. If there isn't any problem linked to vaccines, then why did Grivna experience such a drastic change in health?

While some people chalk up a child's health changes to shaken baby syndrome and hint at abusive relatives or caregivers or say it's just a coincidence, most of us know better, especially when we read stories of medical records that mysteriously go missing or when reports of vaccine reactions never make it into patient charts.

Stay informed and remember: force is not freedom

Contrary to what Big Pharma and pro-vaxxers espouse, the reality is that far too many people have had their lives completely destroyed by the vaccine industry. NSF is doing their part to see that mandatory vaccines come to a halt. Urging presidential candidates to do the same will provide the public with an eye-opening view about where each candidate stands and allow appropriate presidential decisions to be made.

As always, it is essential to remain informed on this very important topic. Force is not freedom.

Learn more: