Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Who needs the Fed???

New Book Asks the Question: "Who Needs the Fed?"
Written by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.

A new book asks the provocative question: What would happen to the economy of the United States if the Federal Reserve were abolished?

Written by John Tammy, the book Who Needs the Fed? lays out the plan for restoring and preserving a potent economy, one without the constant fiddling carried on by the country’s unconstitutional central bank cartel.

Tammy proposes that the nation’s financial wellbeing would begin improving immediately, no longer suffering from the “quantitative easing,” the volatile interest rates, the always looming specter of inflation, etc.

Perhaps one of Tammy’s most interesting speculations is what would happen should the federal government get out of the business of printing money. “Money is merely an accepted measure of value, and absent a central bank, it would still come into existence because it’s so useful,” he writes.

In other words, if the United States didn’t print up the Federal Reserve notes and force individuals and businesses to accept them as payment for legal tender, goods would still be exchanged, debts would still be paid, and the economy would grow stronger, sturdier, more responsive to genuine free market fluctuations, as well as more capable of absorbing the blow of naturally occurring market booms and busts.

Admittedly, this idea has never been supported by Congress. Despite several attempts from various federal lawmakers over the years, not a single one of those bills has ever been passed by both chambers of the legislative branch.

The latest legislative effort to shine the light of oversight into the shrouded policies and procedures of the Federal Reserve is in its early stages.

Representative Thomas Massie’s Federal Reserve Transparency Act was recently passed by a House committee. Despite that promising event, history is not on the side of the Fed’s congressional opponents.

As this reporter wrote recently:

Previous “Audit the Fed” bills sponsored by Ron Paul, Paul Broun, Senator Rand Paul, and others have never been approved by Congress.

Despite the fact that hundreds of federal lawmakers have co-sponsored one or another of these attempts to audit the central bank, the lid on that likely Pandora’s Box remains firmly fixed.

Perhaps this time enough of our elected representatives and senators will familiarize themselves with the damage the Federal Reserve and the shadowy coterie of global bankers who own it have done to the economic wellbeing of the United States.

First, the unelected governors of the unconstitutional central bank have an absolute stranglehold and monopoly over the flow of our nation’s money and credit. Not once since its inception in 1913 has there ever been a thorough audit or an accounting to Congress about its activities.

During its century-long reign over the financial wellbeing of our country, the Federal Reserve has manipulated our currency until it is nearly worthless. Meanwhile, Congress turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to the crisis and the calls to control it.

The fact is that since that day in 1913, the dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power. Most, if not all, of this precipitous decline was caused by the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve.

Adding insult to injury, during testimony to Congress in 2009, Ben Bernanke refused to reveal to committee members the names of the institutions that received trillions of dollars in bailout money from the Fed. Later, he told our elected representatives that he would not disclose the identity of the foreign banks that were parties to sweetheart deals with the Federal Reserve.

When it comes to the central bank and its machinations, the fix is in. The Fed — ostensibly a non-profit organization — owns the mint, the money, and sets the terms of the loans it makes to the federal treasury. What’s more, there is no product; there is nothing being loaned other than worthless paper that can never be traded in for anything of value because all that is used to secure the worth of the currency is now owned by the very bankers who control the Federal Reserve.

And the Fed will continue to accumulate power. There is no limit to the lengths global bankers will go to in order to enslave the population of the world. There is no hope of regulating restraint. Power of this magnitude operates beyond the reach of regulations; in fact, that was the goal in its creation.

The “creature” given life on Jekyll Island over a century ago was specifically designed to destroy competition, give a private banking cartel power over the income of Americans, and force Americans to use the Fed’s own notes as legal tender, despite the obvious constitutional and legal problems with that plan.

Tammy’s treatments of the country’s fiscal illnesses as put forth in his new book are unlikely to convince any congressmen to vote in favor of auditing, much less abolishing, the Federal Reserve.

Regardless, his reasoning is sound and his explanations are remarkably well written and accessible to readers who don’t have a Ph.D. in economics.

And whereas politicians might not be persuaded to bite the hand that feeds them, maybe Tammy’s take on the Fed will compel readers to pressure their elected representatives to adhere to the Constitution, repeal the Fed’s charter, and return this Republic to a free market system with a currency based on precious metal, not purposeful manipulations.

Who Needs the Fed? is available now from Encounter Books.


"There is one and only one solution to the warfare-state’s destruction of our economy, our monetary system, and our freedom — to end all the foreign interventionism, bring all the troops home, and dismantle the Cold War era national-security establishment. That’s the key to restoring a peaceful, harmonious, prosperous, secure, and free society to our land."

Thank the Troops for Destroying Our Country
by Jacob G. Hornberger

While Americans are expected to thank the troops for their service all year long, today — Memorial Day — we are called upon to thank them even more profusely. The idea is that since the troops are defending our country and protecting our rights and freedoms, we should express our gratitude to them.

But there is just one big problem with that picture: In actuality, the troops are destroying our country and our fundamental rights and freedoms. That’s not something any American should be grateful for.

Consider the out-of-control spending and borrowing that are sure to bring on an economic and monetary crisis that could make the Great Depression look like child’s play. A big part of all that federal spending and borrowing is for the warfare state, where the troops play a major role.

Of course, the warfare-state people exclaim, “We’re not at fault. We’re protecting national security. The fault lies with the welfare state side of the federal government. Cut their dole instead of ours.”

But the welfare-state recipients say the same thing — that we can’t touch their Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education grants, and subsidies because they’ve become dependent on the dole and cannot live without it. “Cut the military budget, not our dole,” they cry.

So, are we supposed to thank the troops for the economic and monetary damage they are doing to the country? “Thank you, troops, for contributing to the giant economic and financial crisis that looms on the horizon, which is sure to bring untold misery and suffering to the American people, especially the middle class and the poor.”

Consider all the death and destruction that the troops have been performing in the Middle East for the last 25 years as part of U.S. regime-change operations. The overall death and injury toll is undoubtedly well over a million people. Think of all the homes and business that the troops have destroyed.

What does all that death, destruction, and mayhem have to do with defending our country? Answer: Nothing. That’s because none of the people they killed and maimed were invading the United States or even attempting to invade the United States.

Keep in mind that the troops are over there, not here at home. If they were here at home and some foreign regime invaded the United States, the troops would be defending our country. Over there in the Middle East, the people living there are defending their countries from U.S. troops, who are the invaders.

All that foreign interventionism comes with costs — not just the economic and financial costs of running massive regime-change operations but also in terms of sacrificing our security and our freedom.

Yes, you read that right — the troops are costing us our safety and our freedom. Are we supposed to thank them for that?

Ever since the Persian Gulf War in 1991 against their former partner and ally, Saddam Hussein, the troops have been killing people in Iraq and elsewhere. All those dead people have had friends, family, countrymen, and people who shared their religious convictions. Every time the troops have killed a “terrorist” who has been trying to rid the Middle East of a foreign interloper, ten more terrorists join up to fight the United States.

The American people now live in constant state of fear that the terrorists (or the Muslims) are going to come and get them, take them from their homes, behead them or force them to study the Koran.

What am we supposed to say? “Thank you, troops, for bringing making us a country whose citizens are scared to death that a terrorist (or a Muslim) is hiding under their beds and who are willing to surrender any and all aspects of their liberty for the pretense of security.”

The so-called terrorist threat has been used to take away our freedoms here at home, in the name of keeping us safe from the terrorist threat that U.S. troops have engendered with their ongoing 25-year death machine in the Middle East. The president and his military establishment now wield the power to assassinate any American anywhere in the world, simply by labeling him a terrorist. It’s a power that is non-reviewable by any federal court. It’s also a power that is not enumerated in the Constitution.

The same holds true with indefinite detention, torture, and secret surveillance of American citizens. The military, CIA, and NSA — three major components of the national-security state — can do all of it and the federal courts will not interfere.

What are we supposed to say? “Thank you, troops, for costing the American people their freedom. We are so grateful for your service.”

There are two major steps that Americans need to do to end the destruction of our freedom and economic well-being:

Step One: End all the U.S. interventionism, not only in the Middle East but also all over the world. Stop the killing in Iraq and Afghanistan immediately, bring all the troops home (including those involved in the drug war), and discharge them. This would put an end to anti-American terrorism.

Step Two: Dismantle the entire Cold War era national-security establishment, which primarily consists of the Pentagon, the vast military-industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA. After all, the Cold War has been over for more than 25 years. Yet, the national-security state, a type of governmental structure that is inherent to totalitarian regimes, is still grafted onto our federal governmental structure. To achieve a free society and to restore a constitutional republic to our land, it needs to go.

Is it possible to bring an end to foreign interventionism and still retain the national-security establishment? Theoretically, yes. But the problem is that as a practical matter, it is the national-security establishment that is the driving force behind the interventionism. It knows that in order to justify its existence, it has to produce crises, which then make people afraid and willing to accept anything to be kept safe, including out of control federal spending and debt and emergency totalitarian powers that destroy freedom here at home.

Unfortunately, the Middle East isn’t the only place where the troops are provoking crises. The national-security establishment is doing the same to Russia in Ukraine and to China in the South China Sea. Provoking crises with nation-states that have the potential of waging nuclear wars against the United States inevitably keeps people on edge and afraid and causes them to defer to whatever the national-security establishment wants.

There is one and only one solution to the warfare-state’s destruction of our economy, our monetary system, and our freedom — to end all the foreign interventionism, bring all the troops home, and dismantle the Cold War era national-security establishment. That’s the key to restoring a peaceful, harmonious, prosperous, secure, and free society to our land.

When that day comes, the troops should thank us for limiting their responsibility to defending our country rather than killing and dying overseas for nothing.


Both are clueless...

Trump and Hillary Are Both Terrible When It Comes to Economic Policy
By Justin Murray

Recently, Hillary Clinton was taped ridiculing Donald Trump for lacking a detailed plan for the American economy. The message, so it goes, is that Trump is not suited for the presidency because he doesn’t have a plan on how to turn the American economy around.
But is it really more dangerous to elect a president who makes up economic policy on the fly than one who proclaims to have a detailed plan for us?

The answer to this is no, it is not more dangerous to elect someone who makes up economic policy by the seat of his pants — as Donald Trump is prone to do — than it is to elect someone who thinks she can have the future of the economy neatly mapped out. However, this does not imply that seat-of-the-pants method is less dangerous either. The underlying problem is we have two competing people who think they can manage the American economy.

The core of why both philosophies are equally dangerous is best summarized by F.A. Hayek and the pretense of knowledge. Hayek notes in his speech in 1974:

Unlike the position that exists in the physical sciences, in economics and other disciplines that deal with essentially complex phenomena, the aspects of the events to be accounted for about which we can get quantitative data are necessarily limited and may not include the important ones … in the study of such complex phenomena as the market, which depend on the actions of many individuals, all the circumstances which will determine the outcome of a process … will hardly ever be fully known or measurable.

We are incapable of knowing what the future will bring. No president can come up with a detailed or air tight plan or can accumulate a sufficient stable of experts to be able to guide the behavior, wants, and needs of 320 million people.

For example, if we were to have asked George Bush and his economic experts in 2002 to develop a five year plan for cell phones, we would have built up a massive production capacity and R&D structure around miniaturizing phones as that was all the rage. If someone said in 2002 that people in the future would give up physical buttons and want larger screens, they would have been looked upon as mad. People are buying smaller and smaller phones, there’s no way they could touch the screen and get anything done! But come 2007, Apple introduces the iPhone and the older-style button phone has nearly vanished from the marketplace. Had the government decided it needed to plan the economy around smaller phones, we wouldn’t be enjoying a mobility revolution.

This extends well beyond cellular phones and into all walks of our lives. We don’t need central planning on how we consume our energy, what cars we can buy, what we charge people for borrowing money, and so forth.

All behavior is risky. Even if central planners could somehow canvass all of our wants and needs, figured outwhen exactly we want to satisfy those needs, and determined who gets what in a world of scarcity, the planners would still fail. This is because even we have no idea what we’ll want in the future. If we were to ask someone to write down exactly what they would buy on August 14, 2017 and put it in an envelope then open it up and compare it to what was bought on that day, there is little doubt the results would be wildly different.

The planner is going to do no better. Instead of a single individual failing to predict his own habits in a fun exercise, we’ll be malinvesting untold amounts of money into unwanted industries and imposing counterproductive and dangerous rules on businesses — the effects of which are impossible to predict. Furthermore, central planning shuts down innovation and the entrepreneurial process because it assumes to know today what is wanted tomorrow. Most innovation arises when someone produces a product we had no idea we wanted and couldn’t fathom existing.

Does Hillary Clinton’s plan for the economy make her a more qualified president than Donald Trump, who will likely create plans spontaneously? No, it makes them equally dangerous as both assume they have the ability to do what countless officials over the centuries have never managed to do — predict the future.


Sheeple silent...

Silencing America as it Prepares For War

By John Pilger

Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party’s rigged convention. The great counter-revolution had begun.

The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, she spoke perhaps unconsciously for millions of America’s victims in faraway places.

“We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom. Now don’t you forget it.” So said a National Parks Service guide as I filmed last week at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. He was addressing a school party of young teenagers in bright orange T-shirts. As if by rote, he inverted the truth about Vietnam into an unchallenged lie.

The millions of Vietnamese who died and were maimed and poisoned and dispossessed by the American invasion have no historical place in young minds, not to mention the estimated 60,000 veterans who took their own lives. A friend of mine, a marine who became a paraplegic in Vietnam, was often asked, “Which side did you fight on?”

A few years ago, I attended a popular exhibition called “The Price of Freedom” at the venerable Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The lines of ordinary people, mostly children shuffling through a Santa’s grotto of revisionism, were dispensed a variety of lies: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved “a million lives”; Iraq was “liberated [by] air strikes of unprecedented precision”. The theme was unerringly heroic: only Americans pay the price of freedom.

The 2016 election campaign is remarkable not only for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but also for the resilience of an enduring silence about a murderous self-bestowed divinity. A third of the members of the United Nations have felt Washington’s boot, overturning governments, subverting democracy, imposing blockades and boycotts. Most of the presidents responsible have been liberal – Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

The breathtaking record of perfidy is so mutated in the public mind, wrote the late Harold Pinter, that it “never happened …Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. It didn’t matter… “. Pinter expressed a mock admiration for what he called “a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

Take Obama. As he prepares to leave office, the fawning has begun all over again. He is “cool”. One of the more violent presidents, Obama gave full reign to the Pentagon war-making apparatus of his discredited predecessor. He prosecuted more whistleblowers – truth-tellers – than any president. He pronounced Chelsea Manning guilty before she was tried. Today, Obama runs an unprecedented worldwide campaign of terrorism and murder by drone.

In 2009, Obama promised to help “rid the world of nuclear weapons” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama. He is “modernising” America’s doomsday arsenal, including a new “mini” nuclear weapon, whose size and “smart” technology, says a leading general, ensure its use is “no longer unthinkable”.

James Bradley, the best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers and son of one of the US marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, said, “[One] great myth we’re seeing play out is that of Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who’s trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He’s the biggest nuclear warrior there is. He’s committed us to a ruinous course of spending a trillion dollars on more nuclear weapons. Somehow, people live in this fantasy that because he gives vague news conferences and speeches and feel-good photo-ops that somehow that’s attached to the actual policy. It isn’t.”

On Obama’s watch, a second cold war is under way. The Russian president is a pantomime villain; the Chinese are not yet back to their sinister pig-tailed caricature – when all Chinese were banned from the United States – but the media warriors are working on it.

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders has mentioned any of this. There is no risk and no danger to the United States and all of us; for them, the greatest military build-up on the borders of Russia since World War Two has not happened. On May 11, Romania went “live” with a Nato “missile defence” base that aims its first-strike American missiles at the heart of Russia, the world’s second nuclear power.

In Asia, the Pentagon is sending ships, planes and special forces to the Philippines to threaten China. The US already encircles China with hundreds of military bases that curve in an arc up from Australia to Asia and across to Afghanistan. Obama calls this a “pivot”.

As a direct consequence, China reportedly has changed its nuclear weapons policy from no-first-use to high alert and put to sea submarines with nuclear weapons. The escalator is quickening.

It was Hillary Clinton who, as Secretary of State in 2010, elevated the competing territorial claims for rocks and reef in the South China Sea to an international issue; CNN and BBC hysteria followed; China was building airstrips on the disputed islands. In a mammoth war game in 2015, Operation Talisman Sabre, the US, and Australia practiced “choking” the Straits of Malacca through which pass most of China’s oil and trade. This was not news.

Clinton declared that America had a “national interest” in these Asian waters. The Philippines and Vietnam were encouraged and bribed to pursue their claims and old enmities against China. In America, people are being primed to see any Chinese defensive position as offensive, and so the ground is laid for rapid escalation. A similar strategy of provocation and propaganda is applied to Russia.

Clinton, the “women’s candidate”, leaves a trail of bloody coups: in Honduras, in Libya (plus the murder of the Libyan president) and Ukraine. The latter is now a CIA theme park swarming with Nazis and the frontline of a beckoning war with Russia. It was through Ukraine – literally, borderland – that Hitler’s Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, which lost 27 million people. This epic catastrophe remains a presence in Russia. Clinton’s presidential campaign has received money from all but one of the world’s ten biggest arms companies. No other candidate comes close.

Sanders, the hope of many young Americans, is not very different from Clinton in his proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He backed Bill Clinton’s illegal bombing of Serbia. He supports Obama’s terrorism by drone, the provocation of Russia and the return of special forces (death squads) to Iraq. He has nothing to say on the drumbeat of threats to China and the accelerating risk of nuclear war. He agrees that Edward Snowden should stand trial and he calls Hugo Chavez – like him, a social democrat – “a dead communist dictator”. He promises to support Clinton if she is nominated.

The election of Trump or Clinton is the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin. In scapegoating minorities and promising to “make America great again”, Trump is a far right-wing domestic populist; yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal for the world.

“Only Donald Trump has said anything meaningful and critical of US foreign policy,” wrote Stephen Cohen, emeritus professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, one of the few Russia experts in the United States to speak out about the risk of war.

In a radio broadcast, Cohen referred to critical questions Trump alone had raised. Among them: why is the United States “everywhere on the globe”? What is NATO’s true mission? Why does the US always pursue regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine? Why does Washington treat Russia and Vladimir Putin as an enemy?

The hysteria in the liberal media over Trump serves an illusion of “free and open debate” and “democracy at work”. His views on immigrants and Muslims are grotesque, yet the deporter-in-chief of vulnerable people from America is not Trump but Obama, whose betrayal of people of colour is his legacy: such as the warehousing of a mostly black prison population, now more numerous than Stalin’s gulag.

This presidential campaign may not be about populism but American liberalism, an ideology that sees itself as modern and therefore superior and the one true way. Those on its right wing bear a likeness to 19th-century Christian imperialists, with a God-given duty to convert or co-opt or conquer.

In Britain, this is Blairism. The Christian war criminal Tony Blair got away with his secret preparation for the invasion of Iraq largely because the liberal political class and media fell for his “cool Britannia”. In the Guardian, the applause was deafening; he was called “mystical”. A distraction known as identity politics, imported from the United States, rested easily in his care.

History was declared over, the class was abolished and gender promoted as feminism; lots of women became New Labour MPs. They voted on the first day of Parliament to cut the benefits of single parents, mostly women, as instructed. A majority voted for an invasion that produced 700,000 Iraqi widows.

The equivalent in the US are the politically correct warmongers on the New York Times, the Washington Post and network TV who dominate political debate. I watched a furious debate on CNN about Trump’s infidelities. It was clear, they said, a man like that could not be trusted in the White House. No issues were raised. Nothing on the 80 percent of Americans whose income has collapsed to 1970s levels. Nothing on the drift to war. The received wisdom seems to be “hold your nose” and vote for Clinton: anyone but Trump. That way, you stop the monster and preserve a system gagging for another war.


"An insouciant American population preoccupied with selfies and delusions of military prowess, while its crazed government picks a fight with Russia and China, has no future."

As Our Past Wars Are Glorified This Memorial Day Weekend, Give Some Thought To Our Prospects Against The Russians And Chinese In World War III

By Paul Craig Roberts

The Saker reports that Russia is preparing for World War III, not because Russia intends to initiate aggression but because Russia is alarmed by the hubris and arrogance of the West, by the demonization of Russia, by provocative military actions by the West, by American interference in the Russian province of Chechnya and in former Russian provinces of Ukraine and Georgia, and by the absence of any restraint from Western Europe on Washington’s ability to foment war.

Like Steven Starr, Stephen Cohen, myself, and a small number of others, the Saker understands the reckless irresponsibility of convincing Russia that the United States intends to attack her.

It is extraordinary to see the confidence that many Americans place in their military’s ability. After 15 years the US has been unable to defeat a few lightly armed Taliban, and after 13 years the situation in Iraq remains out of control. This is not very reassuring for the prospect of taking on Russia, much less the strategic alliance between Russia and China. The US could not even defeat China, a Third World country at the time, in Korea 60 years ago.

Americans need to pay attention to the fact that “their” government is a collection of crazed stupid fools likely to bring vaporization to the United States and all of the Europe.

Russian weapons systems are far superior to American ones. American weapons are produced by private companies for the purpose of making vast profits. The capability of the weapons is not the main concern. There are endless cost overruns that raise the price of US weapons into outer space. The F-35 fighter, which is less capable than the F-15 it is supposed to replace, costs between $148 million and $337 million per fighter, depending on whether it is an Air Force, Marine Corps, or Navy model.

A helmet for a F-35 pilot costs $400,000, more than a high-end Ferrari.

(Washington forces or bribes hapless Denmark into purchasing useless and costly F-35)

It is entirely possible that the world is being led to destruction by nothing more than the greed of the US military-security complex. Delighted that the reckless and stupid Obama regime has resurrected the Cold War, thus providing a more convincing “enemy” than the hoax terrorist one, the “Russian threat” has been restored to its 20th century role of providing a justification for bleeding the American taxpayer, social services, and the US economy dry in behalf of profits for armament manufacturers.

However, this time, Washington’s rhetoric accompanying the revived Cold War is far more reckless and dangerous, as are Washington’s actions, than during the real Cold War. Previous US presidents worked to defuse tensions. The Obama regime has inflated tensions with lies and reckless provocations, which makes it far more likely that the new Cold War will turn hot. If Killary gains the White House, the world is unlikely to survive her first term.

All of America’s wars except the first—the war for independence—were wars for Empire. Keep that fact in mind as you hear the Memorial Day bloviations about the brave men and women who served our country in its times of peril. The United States has never been in peril, but Washington has delivered peril to numerous other countries in its pursuit of hegemony over others.

Today for the first time in its history the US faces peril as a result of Washington’s attempts to assert hegemony over Russia and China.

Russia and China are not impressed by Washington’s arrogance, hubris, and stupidity. Moreover, these two countries are not the native American Plains Indians, who were starved into submission by the Union Army’s slaughter of the buffalo.

They are not the tired Spain of 1898 from whom Washington stole Cuba and the Philippines and called the theft a “liberation.”

They are not small Japan whose limited resources were spread over the vastness of the Pacific and Asia.

They are not Germany already defeated by the Red Army before Washington came to the war.

They are not Granada, Panama, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, or the various Latin American countries that General Smedley Butler said the US Marines made safe for “the United Fruit Company” and “some lousy bank investment.”

An insouciant American population preoccupied with selfies and delusions of military prowess, while its crazed government picks a fight with Russia and China, has no future.


Peace On Earth (1939)...

Good Will to Men (1955)...


CIA: Requests For Documents on Ted Cruz’s Father Require His Permission

Cruz's father previously linked to Lee Harvey Oswald

By Wayne Madsen

The Obama administration cat-and-mouse game, also known as filing freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, has hit a brick wall with the Central Intelligence Agency with WMR’s request for “copies of all records generated between January 1, 1947 and May 5, 2016, concerning the Central Intelligence Agency’s employment of or contacts with Rafael Bienvenidos Cruz, Sr., the Cuban-born grandfather of Texas Senator Ted Cruz.”

We also requested all similar records generated between January 1, 1956, and May 5, 2016, concerning the CIA’s relationships with Rafael Bienvenidos Cruz y Diaz, Jr., the Cuban-born father of Ted Cruz.

The agency has not only rejected WMR’s request for expedited processing of the request for not demonstrating “a compelling need” but has used Privacy Act requirements to stymie our FOIA request on Ted Cruz’s father’s past association with the CIA.

The CIA has responded that requests on living [emphasis in original] third parties to provide a signed affidavit or declaration from the third parties waiving all or some of their privacy rights.

In the case of Ted Cruz’s father, who is still alive, it is highly doubtful that he will waive any of his privacy rights in order that any CIA records of his association with the agency in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Cuba, or Canada be released to the public...

Read the rest here:


Chief of The CIA’s ‘Bin-Laden’ Unit Tells The World That Al-Qaeda Never Existed

By Arjun Walia

The number of ‘whistleblowers’ that have emerged over the years regarding the ongoing ‘war against terror’ is truly eye-opening. Unfortunately, many remain innocently ignorant given the fact that mainstream corporate media will not touch this stuff. They are, however, very quick to jump on the ‘terrorist’ bandwagon when an alleged attack is carried out, supposedly by ‘The Islamic State.’

As prominent author and Canadian economist Dr. Michel Chossudovsky said, a statement that’s been used in several articles here at Collective Evolution:

We are dealing with a criminal undertaking at a global level…The global war on terrorism…is fake, it’s based on fake premises. It tells us that somehow America and the Western world are going after a fictitious enemy, the Islamic state, when in fact the Islamic state is fully supported and financed by the Western military alliance and America’s allies in the Persian Gulf. They say Muslims are terrorists…they’re not the product of Muslim society, and that should be abundantly clear…The global war on terrorism is a fabrication, a big lie and a crime against humanity.

The statement above was spoken at the International Conference on the New World Order, which was organized and sponsored by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation. The idea is called ‘false flag terrorism,’—the idea that powerful people are involved in supporting, perpetuating, and fabricating terrorist attacks, like 9/11 and what recently happened in Brussels, in order to create a heightened national global security state to justify the infiltration of other countries for ulterior motives. This motive, many believe, is for the creation of a New World Order. Don’t get me wrong, these attacks do happen, and people do die, but the story behind them is, I believe, as do many others, a lie.

Again, this idea has been expressed numerous times. Another great example comes from former British foreign secretary, Robin Cook ,who told us that:

The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al-Qaeda, and any informed intelligence officer knows this. But, there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an intensified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive TV watchers to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism.

The list is long one. Below is a video of Michael Scheuer being interviewed by RT news. Scheuer is a former CIA intelligence officer of 20 years. He is also an author, foreign policy critic, and a political analyst. Currently, he works as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. One of his assignments during his long career was serving as the CIA’s Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station.

Washington’s enemy is an enemy that doesn’t exist. It didn’t exist when Bin Laden was alive, it doesn’t exist now.

Another alternative viewpoint you don’t hear from mainstream media. Someone with a background like this is worth listening to...

Read the rest here:

Friday, May 27, 2016

John McAfee - Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate on The Robert Wenzel Show...

Flu vaccines given to children found to contain over 50,000 ppb mercury...

CDC forced to reveal documents proving Thimerosal vaccine preservative causes autism

by Mike Adams

Factually speaking, the CDC is a malicious, criminally-run anti-science quackery front group for the vaccine industry. As part of its criminal activity, it has long insisted that the vaccine preservative thimerosal is not tied to autism. But once-secret documents, now forced to be revealed by the CDC, prove the agency knew that thimerosal causes autism but deliberately hid that evidence from the public in exactly the same way the EPA hid the truth about lead poisoning of the public water supply in Flint, Michigan.

"A vaccine industry watchdog has now obtained CDC documents that show statistically significant risks of autism associated with the vaccine preservative," reports Health Advice, which also reports:

Dr. Hooker, a PhD scientist, worked with two members of Congress to craft the letter to the CDC that recently resulted in his obtaining long-awaited data from the CDC, the significance of which is historic. According to Hooker, the data on over 400,000 infants born between 1991 and 1997, which was analyzed by CDC epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten, MD, "proves unequivocally that in 2000, CDC officials were informed internally of the very high risk of autism, non-organic sleep disorder and speech disorder associated with Thimerosal exposure."

While the mainstream media -- largely funded by pharmaceutical corporations -- ridiculously continues to claim any link between autism and vaccines is a "conspiracy theory," the link actually turns out to be evidence-based FACT.

From the Health Advice story linked above:

When the results of the Verstraeten study were first reported outside the CDC in 2005, there was no evidence that anyone but Dr. Verstraeten within the CDC had known of the very high 7.6-fold elevated relative risk of autism from exposure to Thimerosal during infancy. But now, clear evidence exists. A newly-acquired abstract from 1999 titled, "Increased risk of developmental neurologic impairment after high exposure to Thimerosal containing vaccine in first month of life" required the approval of top CDC officials prior to its presentation at the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) conference.

Thimerosal, which is 50% mercury by weight, was used in most childhood vaccines and in the RhoGAM shot for pregnant women prior to the early 2000s.The CDC maintains there is "no relationship between Thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism rates in children," even though the data from the CDC's own Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) database shows a very high risk. There are a number of public records to back this up, including this Congressional Record from May 1, 2003. The CDC's refusal to acknowledge thimerosal's risks is exemplified by a leaked statement from Dr. Marie McCormick, chair of the CDC/NIH-sponsored Immunization Safety Review at IOM. Regarding vaccination, she said in 2001, "…we are not ever going to come down that it [autism] is a true side effect…" Also of note, the former director of the CDC, which purchases $4 billion worth of vaccines annually, is now president of Merck's vaccine division.

Flu vaccines given to children found to contain over 50,000 ppb mercury

As you read all this, remember that I personally acquired and tested flu shots for mercury in my laboratory -- now called CWC Labs -- via ICP-MS instrumentation.

Those tests revealed that flu shots contain over 50,000 ppb mercury -- more than 25,000 times the EPA's mercury limit in drinking water.

Any person believing that injecting children with mercury has no biological consequences is either delusional or scientifically illiterate. Mercury is one of the most toxic elements known to modern science, and it causes neurological damage in all its forms (ethyl, methyl, organic, inorganic and elemental).

As explained in Health Advice:

Thimerosal-Derived Ethylmercury in vaccines is now well established as a mitochondrial toxin in human brain cells.

There are dozens of scientific inquiries and studies on the adverse effects of thimerosal, including gastrointestinal abnormalities and immune system irregularities.

Thimerosal, is metabolized (converted) into the toxic and "harmful" methylmercury. And then in turn, the harmful methylmercury is metabolized (converted) into the most harmful, long-term-toxic, "inorganic" mercury that is retained in bodily tissue.

"Inorganic" mercury is the end product of mercury metabolism. Methylmercury subject groups confirm that the metabolic pathway for mercury in the human and animal body consists in the reduction/conversion of the harmful methylmercury into a more harmful "inorganic" mercury which is tissue-bound, and long-term-toxic. Hence, both the originating substance (methylmercury) and its conversion/reduction, inorganic mercury are found.

Based on published findings by Dr. Paul King, the metabolic pathway for organic mercury involves the conversion of Ethylmercury (Thimerosal) into "methylmercury" and then the further reduction of "methylmercury" into inorganic mercury.

Watch my interview with mercury expert Chris Shade to learn even more about mercury toxicity.

The CDC knew all along that mercury-laced vaccines have been destroying the lives of children... and it did NOTHING to stop it!
The upshot of all this is that the CDC knowingly allowed the lives of countless children to be destroyed by deliberately covering up the links between mercury in vaccines and autism.

This is why I correctly describe the CDC as a "criminal organization." It is an active, modern-day medical mafia engaged in criminal-scale medical negligence and the mass maiming of innocent children. The CDC, in effect, is run by mass murderers pretending to be scientists.

It's part of a pattern of medical murder by government agencies, including the EPA (which covered up the horrific lead poisoning of black children in Flint), the FDA (which refuses to remove deadly prescription drugs from the market until huge numbers of people are already dead), the USDA (which openly conspires with Monsanto to poison our food with unsafe GMOs) and the CDC.

It also makes you wonder... what else is the federal government covering up that's killing, injuring or maiming children today?

Learn more:

"Tyranny of the minority..."

Pissing in the wind: Here’s what happens when tyranny of the minority overtakes common sense

by Sam Rolley

The President of the United States weighed in on who uses the bathroom where, he said his priority was equality for the segment of society bearing a different mindset than their biologically assigned junk. But it’s really looking more and more like he just enjoys chaos.

It’s not politically correct to say that a transgender person is confused about where his/her/nirs/vis/eirs/hirs/zirs/xyrs physical form intersects his/her/nirs/vis/eirs/hirs/zirs/xyrs mental perception.

But what we can say without fear of upsetting the PC police is that top-level policy directives which only benefit a miniscule portion of the nation’s population sure are confusing a lot of folks whose understanding of the genitalia they’ve always carried is a bit more… traditional.

Here are a couple of interesting statistics the Daily Caller pointed out this week:

Exactly 0.3 percent of Americans are transgender, according to a 2011 report from the Williams Institute.

That study pegged the number of transgenders in America at around 700,000 people. Or, to put it differently: 99.7 percent of Americans aren’t transgender.

And 0.3 percent might actually be too high of a number. The Williams Institute’s researchers arrived at the commonly-cited 0.3 percent figure by averaging the results of two studies — one in Massachusetts and one in California.

For comparison, 56.7 million Americans report having some form of disability— nearly 20 percent of the nation’s population. That’s why there are laws mandating that public facilities ensure accessibility.

Now think about this, there are somewhere around 49 million children between the ages of 0 and 11 in the U.S.

If you’ve ever been a parent, you know the public bathroom struggle is real. You’ve looked for those scarce family restrooms where you can happily herd couple of toddlers into a relatively confined private space and comfortably keep an eye on them without having to worry about the sickening potential for urinal cake exploration. When you can’t find one, children at the lower end of the age spectrum usually just head into whichever public restroom their parents are supposed (chose?) to use. As they age, depending on the child’s sex and which parent they’re with, things become trickier. The end result is usually nervous parents shuffling around the outside of the opposite sex bathroom, listening for anything that could mean trouble.

The odds of something unthinkable happening in a public restroom in such a short time with a parent so nearby are pretty low. But it isn’t unheard of— and worrying about this kind of stuff comes with the territory.

If that weren’t enough to make a trip to the local superstore sound harrowing for folks with youngsters in tow, now there’s another problem. And it has nothing to do with transsexuals who have yet to master the use of a urinal.

Because policymakers have decided to make such a big deal about the right to choose where to pee, some Americans are a little on edge about what has been a pretty routine… eh routine… for most of their lives.

Right or wrong, thanks to the Obama administration’s efforts to raise awareness about the plight of people who don’t feel right about dresses and stick men on bathroom signs, folks are becoming hyperaware of what’s happening as they relieve themselves. And it’s making some of them do ridiculous stuff.

There was that Target bathroom guy who wanted to make a point about the ease of using the ladies’ room as an obvious man.

And now, we have this story about this poor guy whose 5-year-old daughter needed to use the bathroom in a Utah Wal-Mart.


Christopher Adams said his 7-year-old son, Kyler, and 5-year-old daughter, Emery, both had to go when the family visited the store Sunday to buy blinds and storage bins, so he took them both inside the men’s restroom in the back of the store.

“This guy walks in and goes to the bathroom, the urinal,” Adams recalled Tuesday. “Then he just, like, turns to me and starts freaking out, dropping the ‘F-bomb,’ and what he was freaking out about was that my daughter was in the men’s bathroom.”

Adams said the man told him it was “inappropriate,” and soon began to push him after Adams gave him a terse response.

The father said he tried to usher his kids away from the man.

“When I turned back around, I got sucker-punched right here,” Adams said, pointing to his left eye, which still was bruised.

From there, Adams said he was punched in the face and kicked in the knee multiple times during the struggle in which the dad ultimately defended himself, forcing the man out of the restroom.

“I just slammed him on the ground and just held him until associates from Walmart could get there,” Adams said.

When the government asks people to abandon common sense, they listen.


"ANY opponent needs to do is simply let Hillary be Hillary. She’ll do the rest..."

Letting Hillary be Hillary

by Ben Crystal

It wasn’t that long ago that conservatives hoped Senator Bernie Sanders (D-ish — Vt.) would somehow pull off a miracle and beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. After all, they reasoned fairly, all it would take to beat Sanders in the general election would be to “let Bernie be Bernie.” Sure, he’d nab the angsty young millennial vote, but the Presidency — thank the Lord — doesn’t balance on the political whims of shrieking hipsters. Even counting the “gender studies” professors at Ivy League schools into Bernie’s likely tally, any Republican competition would beat the hoary old communist by the curvature of the Earth. Bernie is Ralph Nader on a bad hair day, Pat Buchanan after he skipped a few meals and Ross Perot without the booster seat.

And now, “Bread Line” Bernie is as vestigial as boobs on a bull moose. The Republicans can let Hillary be Hillary, and pretty much moonwalk into November. Already bloodied by Bernie’s relentless attacks, and burdened by her and her husband’s baggage, Hillary blundered into revelations that she’s a serial liar with an almost deliberate disregard for National security. And, Hillary being Hillary, she managed to turn an already nasty wreck into a 40 car pileup with fatalities.

It’s fairly obvious that Hillary’s electronic misadventures stem from either stupendous incompetence, pathological mendacity or both. And this week, the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General released a report which fingered the former Madame Secretary for the kind of crimes against the State which normally involves someone doing real prison time.

According to the OIG, not only did Hillary maintain the illegal server in the can, she did so despite a recommendation of compliance by her own top stooge, Huma Abedin. Abedin literally told Clinton to secure her email comms:

“we should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam,”

and Clinton literally refused,

“Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”

I have no idea what “personal” matters Hillary wanted Huma to hide, possibly her well-padded bank account, but she gave up the right to play fast and loose when she signed on for Secretary’s gig.

Not only did Clinton actively refuse to abide by the laws regarding her communications, she or her top aides bullied into silence any staffers who raised objections.

“(O)ne staff member raised concerns that information sent and received on Secretary Clinton’s account could contain Federal records that needed to be preserved in order to satisfy Federal recordkeeping requirements.”

The response came down heavily from on high,

“(T)he matter was not to be discussed any further.”

Moreover, she, Abedin and Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, all engaged in a pattern of obfuscation to hamper the OIG’s investigation, refusing repeated interview requests by investigators.

Since the release of the OIG’s report, Hillary’s defense has suggested the old girl is either suffering from one of her “spells” or just plain doesn’t give a damn. Clinton spokeshole Brian Fallon tweeted “IG report makes clear her personal email use was not unique at State Dept;” as if “all the cool kids were doing it!” is a serviceable excuse.

Representative Elijah Cummings, who publicly turned his back on the families of Hillary’s Benghazi victims, misplayed the partisan card, “Republicans need to stop wasting taxpayer dollars singling out Secretary Clinton just because she is running for President.” The OIG — much like the FBI, which is also closing in on Clinton in a separate criminal probe — works for the President of the United States. I know Cummings isn’t the brightest bulb in the Congressional chandelier, but last time I checked, President Obama is no Republican. And that Clinton is running for President is incredibly relevant. If the aspiring Commander-in-Chief considers National security less important than keeping her yoga playlists private, she ought to consider another line of work.

You’ll recall that Hillary began asserting her innocence as far back as March of 2015, when she claimed “(T)he laws and regulations in effect when I was secretary of state allowed me to use my email for work. That is undisputed… I fully complied with every rule I was governed by.” We now know beyond a reasonable doubt that she was lying then, and each successive time she denied wrongdoing or involvement. Add this new catastrophe to the scandals which already plague her wheezing jalopy of a “campaign.” Her husband’s predatory behavior, fun new revelations of war profiteering in war-torn Africa and weapons deals with Islamofascist dictatorships, her horrifyingly cruel treatment of the Benghazi victims and their families and all ANY opponent needs to do is simply let Hillary be Hillary. She’ll do the rest.


"Rather than worrying about Washington’s sanctions, the Russian government should put sanctions on Russian companies for doing business with the US. In their activities abroad, American corporations are agents for the CIA, and they are agents in behalf of Washington’s policy of destabilizing Russia and China."

Will Russia Succumb To Washington’s Economic Attack?

By Paul Craig Roberts

Yesterday State Department deputy propaganda spokesperson Mark Toner reminded US companies that there are economic and reputational risks associated with doing business with Russia until Russia gives Crimea back to Washington’s puppet government in Kiev.

I see the matter differently from the US State Department.

The only risk American corporations face from doing business in Russia is from the US government. Washington will punish the US companies unless, of course, the companies are part of the corporate oligarchy which has been granted immunity to the sanctions.

The risk involved is to Russia. Here are some of the risks:

When a Russian company does business with an American one, the American firm obtains economic information about Russia which is given to the CIA.

When the Russian Central Bank sells Russian bonds, Wall Street, acting for the CIA, can purchase the bonds and then dump them at inopportune times to embarrass Russia by driving down their price. The price decline will then become propaganda that Russia is failing and its bonds are worthless.

When the Russian government allows the ruble to be traded in currency markets, the Russian government enables Washington to speculate against Russia’s currency and to drive down its value. The decline in the ruble is then reinforced by propaganda that the ruble is worthless.

When the Russian government permits foreign investment, Washington can have the money pulled out of Russia at inopportune times and, thereby, destabilize the Russian economy.

The Russian government should forget all about Washington’s sanctions. In fact, the sanctions have helped Russia tremendously. Prior to the sanctions, Washington had Russia set up in the global economy as a Third World supplier of raw materials and dependent on foreign imports. This was Washington’s way of controlling Russia. As a result of sanctions, Russia has become more self-sufficient and focused on producing for its own needs instead of for the needs of the West.

Rather than worrying about Washington’s sanctions, the Russian government should put sanctions on Russian companies for doing business with the US. In their activities abroad, American corporations are agents for the CIA, and they are agents in behalf of Washington’s policy of destabilizing Russia and China.

To see the truth of this, look at the history of Latin America. Every reformist government in every Latin American country in which the US has a business presence has been destabilized and overthrown.

Russia’s goal should be to insulate itself from the West, not integrate itself into the West. To be integrated into the West means to be a vassal state. Together Russia, China, and India comprise by far the largest potential market in the world and also the largest geographical area.These three countries should focus on integrating their economies and insulate themselves against the West.

Modern Monetary Theory, which is associated with outstanding economists such as Michael Hudson, makes it clear that countries should finance their infrastructure and any productive investment by creating money, not debt. The use of government debt simply allows private banks to create the money, and the debt has to be serviced with interest paid to the banks, which drains the economy of spending power. Moreover, the debt can end up in hostile hands and be used to destabilize the economy.

If Russia is going to allow the West to control its economy, it may as well allow Washington to control its armed forces.

Unfortunately for the Russian government and the Russian people, Russia’s Central Bank and neoliberal economists are too naive and gullible to be able to protect Russia from destabilization. Until Russia finds much better economic advice, the country’s future remains uncertain.

Note: In the above URL to the Sputnik article, Sputnik reports: “Toner added that Washington has sent a ‘clear signal’ to Moscow through ‘combined sanctions, restrictive measures, and reduced diplomatic engagement’ that it should fulfill its commitments under the Minsk ceasefire deal and end its ‘occupation of Crimea.’”

Is this sloppy editing by Sputnik or has Sputnik succumbed to Washington’s propaganda? Russia is not required under the Minsk accord to deliver Crimea to Washington. Moreover, Russia is not “occupying” Crimea. Crimea, a province of Russia for centuries, has a Russian population. The population in a massive voter turnout voted almost 100% return to Russia from which the province was wrenched by Khrushchev when Russia and Ukraine were part of the same country.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Trump Blasts Neocon Bill Kristol...

Jim Rogers Issues a DIRE WARNING - Trillions...


Climate Alarmist Admits The REAL Motive Behind Global Warming Scare Tactics

Fraud: While the global warming alarmists have done a good job of spreading fright, they haven’t been so good at hiding their real motivation. Yet another one has slipped up and revealed the catalyst driving the climate scare.

Listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn’t really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said that “the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.” Last year, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, made a similar statement...

Read more:

"...if your goal is maximum health and knocking inches off your waistline, all the exercise in the world will be for naught if you continue downing acidic, sugary beverages."

How the soft drink cartel shapes the message

by Bob Livingston

The soft drink cartel spends millions of dollars a year paying athletes to promote their sugar and sugar substitute-laced sports beverages and vitamin waters. This creates the impression that good health, active lifestyles and consumption of those beverages go hand-in-hand.

A study published in the November 2013 journal Pediatrics found that parents perceived athlete-endorsed products as healthier than non-endorsed products. But the cartel isn’t just buying athletes. It’s also buying medical organizations, dietitians, university academics, medical professionals, fitness experts, authors and chefs.

An initiative by Coca-Cola called the Global Energy Balance Network spent $120 million on grants to medical, health and community organizations in the U.S. over the last five years. Much of it went to pay for “research” and to support health and well-being partnerships. The message that came from the bought research and from the lips and pens of unhealthful “health professionals” was that soft drinks are synonymous with active lifestyles and that lack of exercise — not empty calories and sugars — is a main contributor to obesity.

Exercise is important, and especially so for seniors. But if your goal is maximum health and knocking inches off your waistline, all the exercise in the world will be for naught if you continue downing acidic, sugary beverages.


"One thing Pat Buchanan is right about is that “economic nationalism” has always been the defining characteristic of the Republican Party. That is why the party has been such an economic curse on America, having transformed the nation into a corporate welfare/warfare state during the Lincoln regime."

Pat Buchanan’s Post Hoc Ergo Propterhoconomics

By Thomas DiLorenzo

I’m a fan of much of Pat Buchanan’s “America First” foreign policy writings in which he expresses the supposedly outrageous idea that the purpose of the national defense establishment should be to defend against foreign aggressors, and not be the aggressor. Defense, not offense. But his “America First” economic writings in defense of protectionism are completely wrongheaded, and often historically inaccurate.

The main reason for the wrongheadedness is Buchanan’s pervasive error of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy (“after this, therefore because of this”). An example of this fallacy would be: 1) A rooster crows in the morning; 2) The sun rises shortly after the rooster crows; 3) Therefore, the rooster crowing must cause the sun to rise.

In Buchanan’s case, his entire argument for protectionism rests on a slightly different version of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Buchanan’s fallacy is: 1) The Republican Party ushered in forty years of protectionist tariffs, beginning in 1862; 2) There was a lot of good economic news for Americans during that period; 3) Therefore, the Republican Party’s protectionist trade policies caused the economic good news.

In a recent column entitled “Who’s the Conservative Heretic” Buchanan repeats this mantra, which he has written over and over for the past several decades, by citing the high tariff policy of the post-Civil War era, along with declining prices, higher real wages, 4% per year increases in GDP, increased industrial production, etc. and claims that ALL of it is the result of high tariffs.

But during that time period international trade accounted for less than 10 percent of the entire economy, so that high tariffs could not possibly have had such huge impacts. Moreover, the economic impacts of the GOP’s protectionist tariffs were uniformly bad. The main beneficiaries of the Party of Lincoln’s protectionism were the politically-connected corporate one-percenters of the day, whose corporate profits were “protected” from competition. As John C. Calhoun once accurately stated, what average Americans are “protected” from with protectionist tariffs is lower prices. Buchanan’s beloved high, post-war tariff rates allowed protected industries to rip off their American customers while all other industries were expanding, innovating, and dropping their prices. This is always and everywhere the fundamental effect of “economic nationalism”: the politically connected benefit at the expense of their fellow citizens.

Many of the post-Civil War tariffs were imposed on capital goods that were used by American manufacturers to produce other products, thereby making those American manufacturers less competitive on international markets.

Farmers were plundered mercilessly by the high tariffs championed by the Party of Lincoln. American farmers sold much of their product in Europe. Three-fourths of Southern agriculture was sold in Europe shortly after the war, for example. But when high protectionist tariffs deprived our European trading partners of revenue by prohibiting them from selling in America, they had fewer (or no) dollars with which to buy American agricultural products. Thus, farmers were plundered twice: Once by having to pay more for a lot of “protected” products shielded from competition and therefore higher priced; and then a second time from lost sales abroad. This is why American farmers became a powerful political force in favor of a federal income tax: They were promised lower tariffs in return for their political support.

Farmers did help get the income tax adopted, and the average tariff rate was lowered in 1913 when the income tax was adopted. But then they were once again abused by the Party of Lincoln which, in 1922, just nine years later, passed a huge tariff increase known as the Fordney-McCumber tariff, which Buchanan praises to the treetops with another silly post hoc fallacy: “For the next five years, the economy grew 7 percent a year,” he writes. Farmers ended up with high tariffs and an income tax.

Protecting politically-connected corporations from international competition is the surest way to make them fat and lazy, as the steel and automobile industries demonstrated in the post-World War II era. It was only after Japanese, German, and other manufacturers cleaned their clocks, so to speak, that they were finally motivated to shape up. On this point Buchanan cites the old blowhard and mentally unstable Teddy Roosevelt, calling him “the Rough Rider,” as saying that it is competition, not protectionism, that produces “fatty degeneration of the moral fiber.” What an economically clueless gasbag was Teddy Roosevelt.

Another of Buchanan’s protectionist heroes is Congressman Justin Morrill, who sponsored the Morrill Tariff of 1859, which finally passed both the House and Senate by early 1861. Morrill was a steel manufacturer and got into politics solely for the purpose of using state power to rip off his American customers and line his pockets. The same is true of another of Buchanan’s protectionist heroes, Henry Clay, who was known as “The Prince of Hemp” for operating a large slave plantation in Kentucky that grew hemp. Clay proclaimed that he got into politics, like Morrill, to impose high tariffs on foreign hemp so that he could (legally) plunder his customers. At least Clay’s hemp tariff did not ignite a Civil War, as did Morrill’s tariff, which caused the hyper-protectionist Abe Lincoln, another of Buchanan’s protectionist heroes, to declare in his first inaugural address that it was his “duty to collect the duties and imposts” but “beyond that, there will not be an invasion of any state.” The Morrill Tariff had just more than doubled the average tariff rate two days earlier, which Southerners had been protesting and threatening secession over for the previous thirty years. Lincoln literally threatened “invasion” of his own country over tariff collection, leading to a war that, according to the latest research, may have cost as many as 850,000 American lives. Going to war to fatten the wallets of plutocrats is what Buchanan’s hero Justin Morrill should be known for.

Buchanan seems absolutely giddy when he quotes an 1895 “History of the Republican Party” that declared, “The Republican Party . . . is the party of protection . . . that carries the banner of protection proudly.” The party of corporate one-percenters, in other words. Some things never change.

Buchaan is dead wrong when he makes the red herring argument that “free traders” claim that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, signed into law by Herbert Hoover in 1930, caused the Great Depression. No one I know of has ever made that argument, and I’ve been studying economics for 44 years now, as a student, professor, researcher, and author. The Smoot-Hawley tariff increased the average tariff rate to almost 60 percent and ignited an international trade war that shrunk the volume of world trade by two-thirds in three years, but it was not the sole cause of the Great Depression, which was another bust cause by the Fed’s boom-and-bust monetary policy.

Buchanan is also dead wrong when he tries to argue that NAFTA was an example of “free trade” when exactly the opposite is true. NAFTA was several thousand pages of fine-print legalese, written by corporate and labor union lobbyists and sympathetic congressional staffers, that centrally plans international trade in a thousand different ways. It was all written up under the supervision of Clinton administration lawyer/lobbyist Mickey Kantor who had quite the reputation as a lobbyist for corporate fat cats, but no reputation at all as a free trader or as someone who knew much of anything about economics. On this point, Buchanan throws in yet another post hoc fallacy: After NAFTA, “Communist China” became “the world’s No. 1 manufacturing power.”

Hillary Clinton would be totally, one-hundred-percent supportive of Pat Buchanan’s Quixotic protectionist crusade. It would benefit the corporate one percenters who she and her husband have expertly shaken down for years, and who would jump at the chance of benefiting from another round of “pay to play.” This is the political game in which corporations funnel many millions to the Clintons and their cronies personally, and to their party, in return for onerous protectionist tariffs on their competition that would spike their profits by allowing them to, once again, rip off their American customers. And of course, there is the old Democratic Party labor union machine that has always been in favor of protectionism for obvious selfish and greedy reasons. Pat Buchanan just might be Hillary Clinton’s ideal running mate.

One thing Pat Buchanan is right about is that “economic nationalism” has always been the defining characteristic of the Republican Party. That is why the party has been such an economic curse on America, having transformed the nation into a corporate welfare/warfare state during the Lincoln regime.


"I have often asked rhetorically whether the government works for us or we work for the government. The answer to this inquiry is obvious. It is only a fiction that the government works for us."

The Contagion of Government Lying

By Andrew P. Napolitano

“Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” – Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)

Last week, this column chronicled the startling admissions of lying by White House senior adviser Ben Rhodes. Rhodes readily acknowledged to The New York Times that he lied to the public and to members of Congress during the negotiations that produced the recent Iranian nuclear deal so as to temper the “irrational” fear that some senators and representatives had of the mullahs who run the government in Iran.

He was asked — not subpoenaed — to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about his lying, and he refused to show up, claiming his lies were protected by executive privilege. Because he spoke publicly about this, he has no privilege, yet nothing further happened. The committee gave up the ghost.

Also last week, in a federal court in Brownsville, Texas, the government was caught lying again — this time by a federal judge. Here is the back story.

In 2012, President Barack Obama issued numerous executive orders directing the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to enforce a version of immigration law that the president himself had scripted after Congress declined to pass it.

The president crafted a path to permanent residence in the United States for undocumented immigrants who are the parents of children who were born here or are otherwise residents lawfully.

The president’s plan would add between 4 million and 5 million people as lawful residents. That would add to the financial burdens of the states where these folks reside because they are required by federal law to provide a social safety net — health care, education, safety, welfare — to all legal residents.

Hence, 26 states sued the federal government, arguing in effect that the president exceeded his constitutional powers when he issued his executive orders and that the immediate effect of their enforcement would be massive, unplanned, unfunded financial burdens on the states.

A federal judge agreed with the states and enjoined the president from enforcing his orders. During the course of the oral arguments in the case, the judge asked the lawyers from the Department of Justice who were representing the president whether the programs his executive orders established had yet begun. The lawyers replied that they had not.

On three more occasions, one orally in the same public courtroom and twice in written submissions to the court, the DOJ lawyers insisted that the president’s programs had not yet begun. In reliance upon those assertions, the states asked only for an injunction going forward, not for an injunction on any applications being processed by the feds, because they were told that none existed.

The government lawyers lied.

Last week, we learned that the Department of Homeland Security has surreptitiously accepted applications from more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants for permanent residence under the terms of President Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders.

The orders may be characterized as unconstitutional because the same federal judge to whom the DOJ lawyers lied, as well as a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to which the DOJ appealed the injunction against the president, found them so. Those findings await a determination by the Supreme Court, which is expected by the end of next month.

The problem of lawyers lying to judges is extremely serious. Our system of litigation — lawyers present facts and argue about laws, and judges rely on the truthfulness of what the lawyers have told them — is built on trust. Because lawyers know the facts in their cases more intimately than judges do, judges rely on lawyers to tell them the truth.

At first, these DOJ lawyers lied. Then they lied about their lying. Then they reluctantly acknowledged that they had momentary lapses in understanding, an argument that the court rejected because of the repeated nature of their lying. The lawyers said the programs had not begun, when in fact they had — to a large degree.

The judge’s response in the case was curious. He ordered the DOJ lawyers to take ethics classes. I would have done differently. Lying to the court is so severe a violation of the ethical rules, so disruptive of the moral order, that its significance is diminished by the so-called cure of ethics classes.

I would have barred all lawyers who lied to me from ever appearing in my courtroom, and I would have removed them from the case. I would also have referred what I knew about them to ethics prosecutors in the states and federal districts where they are admitted.

Lawyers have an obligation of candor to the judges before whom they appear. That duty is no less serious when the lawyers work for the government than when they work for private clients.

Because the government prosecutes people who lie to it and its liars almost never can be prosecuted, government lying is grave. It is equivalent to government lawbreaking because when people to whom the government lies — judges or litigants or members of Congress or the public — rely on those lies, they often do so to their detriment. They lose a right or an opportunity that often cannot be recaptured.

I have often asked rhetorically whether the government works for us or we work for the government. The answer to this inquiry is obvious. It is only a fiction that the government works for us.

Yet fear of the consequences of government lying should terrify anyone who believes in the rule of law and fair play. Those consequences can be as contagious as government lawbreaking.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"...the average American commits three felonies a day, whether they know it or not."

They’ve Spit on the Bill of Rights Yet Again

By Mark Nestmann

Your friendly Uncle Sam has done a great job of ending the civil liberties protections enshrined in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Think of the PATRIOT Act, FATCA, and Obamacare, just to name a few examples.

But individual states are running roughshod over the Constitution as well, especially in the context of the “War on (Some) Drugs.” One example is the notorious practice of civil forfeiture, where police can seize your property without accusing you, much less convicting you, of a crime.

But there are many others. A case in point is Wisconsin. That state’s Supreme Court recently ruled that police do not need a search warrant to forcibly open locked doors in a private home.

In 2012, paramedics arrived at a residence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after an emergency call. The patient, Antony Matalonis, appeared badly battered, with one side of his body covered in blood. City police accompanying the paramedics learned that Matalonis lived with his brother in a nearby residence.

Once the ambulance left, the officers then went to the home of Charles Matalonis, to investigate the circumstances surrounding Antony’s injuries. Charles allowed them to enter the home without a warrant. That turned out to be a big mistake.

Once inside the home, police conducted a “protective sweep” for more injured people, and for their own protection. During the sweep, they discovered marijuana paraphernalia and noticed the smell of “pot” originating behind a locked door. They asked Charles for permission to enter that room. When Charles refused, they threatened to enter forcibly. Charles then gave them a key. Inside the room, they discovered a single marijuana plant. Charles was arrested for manufacturing a controlled substance, a felony punishable by a 3½-year prison term and a $10,000 fine.

The Kenosha County Court found Charles guilty, but the verdict was reversed on appeal. Prosecutors then asked the state Supreme Court to reinstate the conviction. And in a 4–3 decision, they did so.

It’s bad enough that a citizen can be fined and imprisoned for possession of a plant with medicinal properties. But with this decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has declared that so long as police have permission to enter a home with or without a warrant, once they’re inside, they can conduct a protective sweep. Police then have the right to rifle through your belongings, break down locked doors, and seize evidence that can later be used against you.

Critics of the decision call it appalling, and I agree. But it should come as no surprise. The Wisconsin decision is only the logical outgrowth of the continuing erosion of civil liberties endorsed by Congress and the US Supreme Court.

Our founding fathers tried to ensure civil liberties would be protected by attaching a “Bill of Rights” to the Constitution – 10 amendments in all. The Fourth Amendment states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons and things to be seized.

Your home has a uniquely protected status. Unless police have probable cause – something more than a hunch – they can’t enter your home without a warrant, or unless you give them permission to do so.

However, the PATRIOT Act gives the FBI the authority to break into your home without informing you a search took place. Agents may gather evidence related to any federal crime to be used against you.

Your right to avoid a warrantless search ends completely in any “emergency” type situation. The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 demonstrated this new reality. Residents of Boston and surrounding towns were forced to submit to warrantless searches of their homes by heavily armed police.

Warrants are also incredibly easy for police to obtain. They have been issued to search homes based on window coverings that hinder police from peeking inside, having a “heat source” in the home, or even possessing a security system.

Incredibly, even if Charles had refused permission for police to enter his home, they could have used his refusal as evidence to obtain a warrant. That’s a consequence of a 1996 federal circuit court decision. In that case, a homeowner declined to allow police to search his home. Police presented this refusal as “evidence” to a magistrate and obtained a search warrant. Based on the results of the search, the homeowner was convicted on criminal charges. A federal appeals court ruled that while the magistrate improperly issued the warrant, evidence police seized during the search could be used against the homeowner.

The War on (Some) Drugs, the War on Terror, the War on Money Laundering, the War on Tax Evasion, and other militaristic campaigns to fight crime, terrorism and social ills aren’t going away. They’re intensifying, and the Fourth Amendment is just one casualty. Indeed, research by lawyer Harvey Silverglate concluded the average American commits three felonies a day, whether they know it or not.

If you live in the US, you’re part of these wars, whether you like it or not. Maybe it’s time to think about a “Plan B.”


Americans are a conquered people...

Americans: A Conquered People: The New Serfs

By Paul Craig Roberts

As readers know, I have seen some optimism in voters support for Trump and Sanders as neither are members of the corrupt Republican and Democratic political establishments. Members of both political establishments enrich themselves by betraying the American people and serving only the interest of the One Percent. The American people are being driven into the ground purely for the sake of more mega-billions for a handful of super-rich people.

Neither political party is capable of doing anything whatsoever about it, and neither will.

The optimism that I see is that the public’s support of outsiders is an indication that the insouciant public is waking up. But Americans will have to do more than wake up, as they cannot rescue themselves via the voting booth. In my opinion, the American people will remain, serfs, until they wake up to Revolution.

Today Americans exist as a conquered people. They have lost the Bill of Rights, the amendments to the Constitution that protect their liberty. Anyone, other than the One Percent and their political and legal servants, can be picked up without charges and detained indefinitely as during the Dark Ages when the government was unaccountable and no one had any rights. Only those with power were safe. In America, today anyone not politically protected can be declared “associated with terrorism” and taken out by a Hellfire missile from a drone on the basis of a list of human targets drawn up by the president’s advisers. Due process, guaranteed by the US Constitution, no longer exists in the United States of America. Neither does the constitutional prohibition against the government spying on citizens without just cause and a court warrant. The First Amendment itself, whose importance was emphasized by our Founding Fathers by making it the First Amendment, is no longer protected by the corrupt Supreme Court. The Nine who comprise the Supreme Court, like the rest of the bought-and-paid-for-government, serves only the One Percent. Truth-tellers have become “an enemy of the state.” Whistleblowers are imprisoned despite their legal protection in US law.

The United States government has unaccountable power. Its power is not accountable to US statutory law, to international law, to the Congress, to the judiciary, to the American people, or to moral conscience. In the 21st century, the war criminal US government has murdered, maimed, and dislocated millions of people based on lies and propaganda. Washington has destroyed seven countries in whole or part in order to enrich the American elite and comply with the neoconservative drive for US world hegemony.

Americans live in a propaganda-fabricated world in which a brutal police state is cloaked in nice words like “freedom and democracy.” “Freedom and democracy” is what Washington’s war machine brings with sanctions, bombs, no-fly zones, troops, and drones to countries that dare to cling to their independence from Washington’s hegemony.

Only two countries armed with the strong military capability and nuclear weapons—Russia and China—stand between Washington and Washington’s goal of hegemony over the entire world.

If Russia or China falter, the evil ensconced in Washington will rule the world. America will be the Anti-Christ. The predictions of the Christian Evangelicals preaching “end times” will take on new meaning.

Russia is vulnerable to becoming a vassal state of Washington. Despite a legion of betrayals by Washington, the Russian government has just proposed a joint US/Russia cooperation against terrorists.

One wonders if the Russian government will ever learn from experience. Has Washington cooperated with the agreement concerning Ukraine? Of course not. Has Washington cooperated in the investigation of MH-17? Of course not. Has Washington ceased its propaganda about a Russian invasion of Crimea and Ukraine? Of course not. Has Washington kept any agreement previous US governments made with Russia? Of course not.

So why does the Russian government think Washington would keep any agreement about a joint effort against terrorism?

The Russian government and the Russian people are so unaware of the danger that they face from Washington that they let foreigners control 20 percent of their media! Is Russia unaware that Washington has Russia slated for vassalage or destruction?

China is even more absurd. According to the Chinese government itself, China has 7,000foreign-financed NGOs operating in China! Foreign-financed NGOs are what Washington used to destabilize Ukraine and overthrow the elected government.

What does the Chinese government think these NGOs are doing other than destabilizing China?

Both Russia and China are infected with Western worship that creates a vulnerability that Washington can exploit. Delusions can result in inadequate response to the threat.

All of the Europe, both western, eastern and southern, the British Pacific such as Australia and New Zealand, Japan and other parts of Asia are vassal states of Washington’s Empire. None of these allegedly “sovereign” countries have an independent voice or an independent foreign or economic policy. All of Latin America is subject to Washington’s control. No reformist government in Latin America has ever survived Washington’s disapproval of putting the interests of the domestic populations ahead of American corporate and financial profits. Already this yearWashington has overthrown the female presidents of Argentina and Brazil. Washington is currently in the process of overthrowing the government in Venezuela, with Ecuador and Bolivia waiting in the wings. In 2009 Killary Clinton and Obama overthrew the government of Honduras, an old Washington habit.

As Washington pays the UN’s bills, the UN is compliant. No hand is ever raised against Washington. So why does anyone on the face of the earth think that an American election can change anything or mean anything?

We know that Killary is a liar, a crook, an agent for the One Percent, and a warmonger. Let’s now look at Trump.

Are there grounds for optimism about Trump? In the West “news reporting” is propaganda, so it is difficult to know. Moreover, we do know that, at least initially, the response of the Republican Establishment to Trump is to demonize him, so we do not know the veracity of the news reports about Trump.

Without belaboring the issue, two news reports struck me. One is the Washington Post report that the Zionist multi-billionaire US casino owner Sheldon Adelson has endorsed Donald Trump for President.

Other reports say that Adelson has mentioned as much as $100 million as his political campaign contribution to Trump.

Anyone who gives a political campaign $100 million dollars expects something in exchange, and the recipient is obligated to provide whatever is desired. So are we witnessing the purchase of Donald Trump? The initial Republican response to Trump, encouraged by the crazed neoconservatives, was to abandon the Republican candidate and to vote for Killary.

Is Adelson’s endorsement a signal that Trump can be bought and brought into the establishment?

Additional evidence that Trump has sold out his naive supporters is his latest statement that Wall Street should be deregulated.

It is extraordinary that Trump’s advisers have not told him that Wall Street was deregulated back in the 20th century during the Clinton regime. The repeal of Glass-Steagall deregulated Wall Street. One source of the 2008 financial crisis is the deregulated derivative market. When Brooksly Born attempted to fulfill the responsibility of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and regulate over-the-counter derivatives, she was blocked by the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, the SEC, and the US Congress.

Nothing has been done to correct the massive mistake of financial deregulation. The Dodd-Frank legislation did not correct the massive financial concentration that produced banks too big to fail, and the legislation did not stop Wall Street’s reckless casino gambling with the US economy. Yet Trump says he will dismantle even the weak Dodd-Frank restrictions.

The American print and TV media are so corrupt that these reports could be false stories, the purpose of which is to demoralize Trump’s supporters. On the other hand, should we be surprised if a billionaire aligns with the One Percent?

Elections are an unlikely means of restoring a government that is accountable to the people rather than to the One Percent. Even if Trump is legitimate, he does not have the experience in foreign and economic affairs to know who to appoint to his government in order to implement change. Moreover, even if he knew, unless Trump candidates also replace the Senate, Trump could not get his choices confirmed by a Senate accountable only to the One Percent.

Americans are a conquered people. We see this in the appeal from RootsAction to the rest of the world to come to the aid of the American people. Unable to stop the lawlessness of their own “democratic” government, Americans plea for help from abroad.

The plea from RootsAction indicates that committed activists now acknowledge that change in America cannot be produced by elections or be achieved internally through peaceful means.


Racial fakery...

You Are What You Say You Are

By Walter E. Williams

Last year, I declared myself a springbok trapped in a human body. A springbok is a highly agile individual who is among the “least concern” species and resides in the southeastern part of the African continent. With such a declaration, some people will suggest that I am suffering from a condition known as species dysphoria, in which one thinks he is a wild animal trapped in a human body. Species dysphoria is similar to gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person believes he is a woman trapped in a male body or a man trapped in a female body.

Many people will argue that I am in need of psychological counseling. I’d dismiss such a suggestion as animal phobia. You might ask, “Williams, why in the world would you want to call yourself a springbok?” The reason is simple. There is nothing in the Internal Revenue Code that says springboks have a federal tax obligation. If government officials were to demand taxes, I would ask the U.S. Department of Justice to intercede, plus they would be reported to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

In these modern times, reality is coming to be seen as optional. Say you are a man and want to be able to check out the ladies’ bathroom. You simply say you have transgendered yourself and are a lady. At schools, you could visit the ladies’ locker room and maybe even shower with the ladies. In the interest of equality, these options would also be open to those who think they are men trapped in women’s bodies and have transgendered themselves into men.

Just as people are not bound by sex, they are not bound by race. Last year, Rachel Dolezal made national headlines. Both of her parents are white, but for eight years, Dolezal claimed that she was black. As a result of her deception, she became president of the Spokane, Washington, the office of the NAACP and an instructor of Africana studies at Eastern Washington University. In Dolezal’s eyes, just as in the eyes of transgender people, the reality of DNA is not only irrelevant but also oppressive. Those who believe otherwise are seen as racist, homophobic or both.

Dolezal is not the only white woman who has benefited from racial fakery. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sometimes called “Pocahontas,” claimed that she was of Cherokee Indian ancestry. That helped her land a job at diversity-hungry Harvard University as a professor of law. She described herself as a minority in the Harvard Law School directory. Not only was her great-grandfather, not a Cherokee as she claimed but he was a white man who boasted of shooting a Cherokee Indian.

Personally, I don’t hold either Dolezal or Warren at fault for racial fakery. It was 1960, during my troubled time in the U.S. Army, when I faked my race. It was in Incheon, South Korea, where arriving soldiers were required to fill out a vital information form. Where it asked for race, I checked off “Caucasian.” The chief warrant officer, in charge of inspecting the forms, queried me about my designation. I told him that if I put down “Negro” — as we called ourselves at that time — I’d get the worst job. The officer probably changed the designation; I didn’t.

The irrelevancy of DNA and being able to say what you are can lead to income-earning opportunities heretofore nonexistent. For example, the men’s fastest 100-meter speed is 9.58 seconds. The women’s record is 10.49. What about weaker male runners claiming womanhood and running in the women’s event and winning the gold? Greater opportunities for fame and fortune exist in women’s basketball. It would only take a few tall men who claim they are women to dominate the game.

Some of the readers of my column are truly concerned and kind. One reader, upon reading last year’s column in which I claimed to be a springbok, warned, “Watch out for lions!”