Thursday, September 11, 2014

Operation Blowback

Barack, We Hardly Knew Ye

With your drums and guns and guns and drums, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and guns and drums, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and guns and drums
The enemy nearly slew ye
Oh my darling dear, Ye look so queer
Johnny I hardly knew ye…..
This memorable stanza from the classic anti-war song could not be more apt with respect to Barack Obama. He became President because he campaigned across the land draped in the garlands of peace. Yet he has now promised to spend his final three years in the White House smearing his face with war paint and strutting around the imperial city marshalling his “drums and guns and guns and drums”.
And let’s be clear. The President’s so-called “counter-terrorism” campaign—-that special kind of violent eruption which isn’t a “war”—-is not really about punishing some barbarians who have beheaded two innocent Americans and who have also recruited perhaps a dozen not so innocent Americans to join their blood-thirsty ranks. Civilized adults just do not start a war on the other side of the world on account of such thin gruel, as horrific as the actions involved might be.
Indeed, based on his stated reasons for war—beheadings and venomous rhetoric—Obama is on the same slippery slope that Woodrow Wilson stood on when he sent two million American GIs into the senseless slaughterhouse of northern France. It was to vindicate the freedom of Americans to sail into war zones, even on armed belligerent ships, he said.
In the cold light of history, Wilson’s misbegotten crusade in behalf of an utterly untenable principle accomplished nothing more than to prolong a war which was already over in the spring of 1917 due to the mutual exhaustion and bankruptcy of both sides; and in so doing, he spawned the Bolshevik tyranny in Russia,  the punitive peace treaty of Versailles, the revanchist evil of Nazi Germany and the world wars and cold wars which followed.
That was “blowback” writ large—a chain of repercussions that shaped the very warp and woof of the entire next century. Yet in 1917, the safety and security of citizens in Lincoln NE or Spokane WA could not have been enhanced in the slightest by plunging into a pointless war in Europe to secure “freedom of the seas” during its final hours of carnage. Likewise, in 2014 the case for a war on the ancient battlegrounds of the Shiite/Sunni divide and numerous related tribal and ethnic enmities to avenge the murder of journalists who knowingly ventured into a zone of vicious civil war, anarchy and barbarism is no more compelling or rational.
No, what Obama’s war is really about is the capacity of the American Warfare State to co-opt any and all dissenting views and to transform cruel doings from virtually anywhere on the planet into a casus belli.
Accordingly, last night’s patter from the oval office about a plan to “degrade” and “ultimately destroy” ISIS is just so much beltway pettifoggery; its the kind of verbal smokescreen that the chattering politicians temporarily bivouacked along Pennsylvania Avenue are pleased to deploy as they go about implementing—unwittingly or otherwise— the agenda of Washington’s permanent imperial machinery.
Here’s the thing. Washington either means to eradicate the Islamic State root and branch in a Normandy style invasion and occupation of the Sunni-Euphrates valley or its just inviting vengeance and blowback that will pale into insignificance that which has occurred to date. Dropping bombs from high altitude aircraft, or launching Tomahawk missiles from distant ships or dispatching drone payloads via video counsels in Nevada may kill a few ISIS warriors and leaders along with thousands of innocent Sunni civilians in the territories they now occupy. But in the end it will amount to jabbing a hornets nest with a short stick.
Does ISIS’ menacing oratory and graphic videos really constitute a clear and present danger to the American homeland that can’t be handled with increased domestic vigilance and police protections? Does what little we actually know about a regime that has materialized almost overnight provide sufficient cause for launching hell-fire from the skies on a territory bigger than the state of New Jersey and occupied by roughly 8 million Sunni Arabs who in the main are not at all fond of the “indispensable nation” that has appointed itself to rescue them from their new rulers?
After all, just hours before the President delivered up his 13 minutes of vaporous rhetoric, double-talk and self-contradiction, the Homeland Security Department had testified on capitol hill that it had no evidence that ISIS was planning an attack on US territory or had the capacity to accomplish one. The closest it could come to identifying a tangible ISIS threat was chatter on Twitter.
Likewise, isn’t it breathtaking that in the blood-soaked wreckage of the non-nation of Syria, which was scribbled on a map by dandies in the British and French foreign offices in 1916, we are now attempting to eliminate two regimes at the same time? Never mind that the Assad-Alawites in the southwest and the ISIS-Sunni in the north and east between them control 90 percent of Syrian territory.
So instead of boots on the ground to secure the dusty villages, bleak desert expanses and other pointless redoubts which will be bombed back into the stone age by Obama’s aerial campaign, we will arm and train the Free Syrian Army to do the job of killing off the stragglers. That is, mop-up the fanatical ISIS fighters before they can regroup and launch furious campaigns of revenge throughout the region or even at the American homeland.
That’s right. The silly, na├»ve man in the oval office has signed up to a bombing campaign which will enrage the hordes of medieval butchers encamped in the Islamic State, hoping that a rag-tag bunch of buccaneers that mostly issue press releases from Turkey, and which recently sold one of the beheaded Americans to ISIS for $50,000 according to the public testimony of his best friend and confidant, will keep them contained and finish off the job.
In a sane world, this would be considered an impeachable madness. In today’s Washington, however, Obama’s ludicrous “no boots, all air” strategy amounts to a three week placeholder. It will be soon engulfed in escalation as Admiral McCain and the rest of the war party demands stepped-up retribution for the next string of beheadings and grizzly media stunts by ISIS in response to the bombings.
Indeed, just consider the stunning emptiness of Obama’s four-point strategy. Most grating was his claim that he could now act more aggressively because Iraq has formed a new government. Now that’s a whopper if there every was one. Their new leader is a life-long Shiite militant who spent his adult life in London passing out anti-Sunni pamphlets, and who has not yet assembled a cabinet or demonstrated that his government will last until even year-end.
The reason that their will be no Iraqi government and war-capable Iraqi Army is that there is no Iraqi nation—–just the Sykes-Picot borders. Yet the latter were long ago irreparably shattered by the Bush war of shock and awe against the last dictator who corralled the Sunni, Shiite and Kurds into a temporary polity at the end of a sword.
The truth is, the brief and vanished nation of Iraq is already partitioned. The Kurds have already created a de facto Kurdistan in the northeast and will play governance games in Baghdad only to buy time to consolidate their regime and make the political and economic deals with Turkey and others needed to insure viability of their new state.
Likewise, the Shiite south is already a de facto province of Iran. So be it. The greater Shiite polity on the north and east of the Persian Gulf is a more certain barrier to ISIS expansion than any imaginary coalition of the unwilling that Washington might concoct.
But here’s the giant flaw in Obama’s incendiary strategy. The Peshmerga can be counted upon to ferociously defend Kurdistan against ISIS encroachment, and the Shiite militias will doubtless accomplish the same in their own territories. But no one with a modicum of historical knowledge would think it sane to send them up into the Sunni lands of the Euphrates valley to mop-up after the American bombs, missiles and drones.
In short, once Washington is in full bombs away mode there will be no Free Syrian Army or reconstituted Iraqi army to finish the job. And the idea of meaningful boots on the ground from a regional coalition amongst the enmity ridden nation’s of Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE is too preposterous to even merit discussion.
So what Obama actually launched last evening was Operation Blowback—Washington's stupidest military campaign yet from among a long list that stretches back through two previous wars in Iraq, countless cold-war coups and interventions and grand disasters like Vietnam.
Needless to say, there is a better way. The best safeguard and only real protection against the theoretical threat of the Islamic State is vigilance and enhanced public security at home. And coupled with it, an end to pointless bombing campaigns in Muslim lands that mainly succeeds in destroying American tanks, artillery pieces and other equipment left behind in earlier delusional campaigns.
And, yes, let ISIS try to govern 8 million people in the dusty villages and impoverished desert expanse of the Euphrates Valley by means of the sword and medieval precepts of Sharia law. The resulting “blowback” from the bestirred people of the ISIS occupied lands will do more for the safety and security of the American people than all the drones and bombers that Washington could send to forge puppet nations within the Syrian and Iraqi “borders” that have already been deposited in the dustbin of history.
The peace candidate of 2008 might have seen the sensibility of that course of action. But after six years at the throne of power in the imperial capital, Barack, as we listened last night, we hardly knew ye.

True Capitalism requires Price Discovery

Why Has Classical Capitalism Devolved To Crony-Capitalism?

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,
The money-shot: "People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage."
Here is the quote that perfectly captures our era: "People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage." (John Kenneth Galbraith) The trick, of course, is to mask the unspoken second half of of that statement: everybody else gets destroyed along with the Elites when the system implodes.
Union pension funds: toast. Government employees' pension funds: toast. 401Ks: toast. IRAs: toast. The echo-bubble in housing: toast. The Fed's favorite PR cover to cloak the enrichment of their financier cronies, the wealth effect:toast.
The primary tool the Elites use to mask the risk of complete destruction is magical thinking--specifically, that "given enough time, the system will heal itself."
That's rich, considering that the Elites' primary tool of avoiding destruction is crippling the market's self-healing immune system: price discovery. Thanks to ceaseless interventions by central banks, the price discovery mechanism has been shattered: want to know the price of risk? It's near-zero. Yield on sovereign bonds? Near-zero. And so on.
Prices have been so distorted (the ultimate goal of Central Planning everywhere, from China to the EU to Japan to the U.S.) that the illusion of stability is impossible without more intervention.
This leads to two self-liquidating dynamics: diminishing returns (every intervention yields less of the desired result) and the Darwinian selection of only those money managers who believe risk has been vanquished.
Everyone who pursues prudent risk management has either been fired or saw the writing on the wall and exited stage right. So the only people left at the gaming tables of the big institutional players are those individuals who are genetically incapable of responding appropriately to rising risk. Those who did have long been fired for "underperformance."
So how did classical free-market capitalism become state-cartel crony-capitalism, a Ponzi scheme of epic proportions that is entirely dependent on ceaseless central bank perception management and interventions on a scale never before seen?
We can start with these six factors:
1. Those who control most of the wealth are willing to risk systemic collapse to retain their privileges and wealth. Due to humanity’s virtuosity with rationalization, those at the top always find ways to justify policies that maintain their dominance and downplay the distortions the policies generate. This as true in China as it is in the U.S.
2. Short-term thinking: if we fudge the numbers, lower interest rates, etc. today, we (politicians, policy-makers, money managers, etc.) will avoid being sacked tomorrow. The longer term consequences of these politically expedient policies are ignored.
3. Legitimate capital accumulation has become more difficult and risky than buying political favors. Global competition and the exhaustion of developed-world consumers has made it difficult to reap outsized profits from legitimate enterprise. In terms of return-on-investment (ROI), buying political favors is far lower risk and generates much higher returns than expanding production or risking investment in R&D.
4. The centralization of state/central bank power has increased the leverage of political contributions/lobbying. The greater the concentration of power, the more attractive it is to sociopaths and those seeking to buy state subsidies, sweetheart contracts, protection from competition, etc.
5. Any legitimate reform will require dismantling crony-capitalist/state-cartel arrangements. Since that would hurt those at the top of the wealth/power pyramid, reform is politically impossible.
6. Understood in this light, it’s clear that central bank monetary policy—zero-interest rates, asset purchases, cheap credit to banks and financiers, QE, etc.—is designed to paper over the structural problems that require real reform.
Japan is a case in point: the Powers That Be in Japan have put off real reforms of the Japanese economy and political system for 25 years, and they’ve enabled this avoidance by pursuing extremes of fiscal and monetary policy that have eroded the real economy and created long-term structural imbalances.
In this 24 minute video Gordon T. Long and Charles Hugh Smith discuss through the aid of 17 slides the rapid advancement of Crony Capitalism in America. The facts are undeniable, but why is it becoming so obvious and undeniable? Why is it accelerating without any apparent 'checks and balances'? Where have the safeguards against this happening gone?

Only 28% of American's even know about building 7, are you one of them?

9/11 After 13 years

Paul Craig Roberts
(Editor's Note: I realize that this is a "touchy" subject. I expect to receive many emails from readers whose "comfort zones" have, once again, been violated. But now, after thirteen years, 36% of Americans believe 9/11 was an inside job. In the same poll, only 28% of the people even knew that a third building (building seven) fell. Building seven is the "canary in the coal mine". One cannot watch the collapse of building seven without realizing, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that its collapse was a result of "controlled demolition". The fact that the planning and preparation required to "pull" a skyscraper (or three) takes several months (more if its occupied) and the odds of building seven being brought down on 9/11 without prior knowledge of the planned destruction of the twin towers is preposterous, and it's a fact that has been conveniently overlooked by the bulk of the sheeple. It's one thing to be born stupid. It's an unfortunate result of being genetically challenged. It's another thing, entirely, to be "conveniently stupid" or stupid on purpose (SOP). Being stupid on purpose is a devolutionary act. It is the antithesis of "survival of the fittest". It is an act that merits a Darwin Award and it is the result of being effectively "dumbed down" for generations. It's an affliction that, as a result of the dumbing down, is running rampant in our country today. Until the sheeple wake up, and the perps of the 9/11 attack on America are routed out, and exposed to the light of day, the future of America will remain on extremely shaky ground. Neither you nor your kids will have a happy, secure future so long as you allow madmen to continue to run the world. - JSB)
The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust. For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state.
The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11.
A generation of Americans has been born into distain and distrust of Muslims.
A generation of Americans has been born into a police state in which privacy and constitutional protections no longer exist.
A generation of Americans has been born into continuous warfare while needs of citizens go unmet.
A generation of Americans has been born into a society in which truth is replaced with the endless repetition of falsehoods.
According to the official story, on September 11, 2001, the vaunted National Security State of the World's Only Superpower was defeated by a few young Saudi Arabians armed only with box cutters. The American National Security State proved to be totally helpless and was dealt the greatest humiliation ever inflicted on any country claiming to be a power.
That day no aspect of the National Security State worked. Everything failed.
The US Air Force for the first time in its history could not get intercepter jet fighters into the air.
The National Security Council failed.
All sixteen US intelligence agencies failed as did those of America's NATO and Israeli allies.
Air Traffic Control failed.
Airport Security failed four times at the same moment on the same day. The probability of such a failure is zero.
If such a thing had actually happened, there would have been demands from the White House, from Congress, and from the media for an investigation. Officials would have been held accountable for their failures. Heads would have rolled.
Instead, the White House resisted for one year the 9/11 families' demands for an investigation. Finally, a collection of politicians was assembled to listen to the government's account and to write it down. The chairman, vice chairman, and legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission have said that information was withheld from the commission, lies were told to the commission, and that the commission "was set up to fail." The worst security failure in history resulted in not a single firing. No one was held responsible.
Washington concluded that 9/11 was possible because America lacked a police state.
The PATRIOT Act, which was awaiting the event was quickly passed by the congressional idiots. The Act established executive branch independence of law and the Constitution. The Act and follow-up measures have institutionalized a police state in "the land of the free."
Osama bin Laden, a CIA asset dying of renal failure, was blamed despite his explicit denial. For the next ten years Osama bin Laden was the bogyman that provided the excuse for Washington to kill countless numbers of Muslims. Then suddenly on May 2, 2011, Obama claimed that US Navy SEALs had killed bin Laden in Pakistan. Eyewitnesses on the scene contradicted the White House's story. Osama bin Laden became the only human in history to survive renal failure for ten years. There was no dialysis machine in what was said to be bin Laden's hideaway. The numerous obituaries of bin Laden's death in December 2001 went down the memory hole. And the SEAL team died a few weeks later in a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The thousands of sailors on the aircraft carrier from which bin Laden was said to have been dumped into the Indian Ocean wrote home that no such burial took place.
The fairy tale story of bin Laden's murder by Seal Team Six served to end the challenge by disappointed Democrats to Obama's nomination for a second term. It also freed the "war on terror" from the bin Laden constraint. Washington wanted to attack Libya, Syria, and Iran, countries in which bin Laden was known not to have organizations, and the succession of faked bin Laden videos, in which bin Laden grew progressively younger as the fake bin Laden claimed credit for each successive attack, had lost credibility among experts.
Watching the twin towers and WTC 7 come down, it was obvious to me that the buildings were not falling down as a result of structural damage. When it became clear that the White House had blocked an independent investigation of the only three steel skyscrapers in world history to collapse as a result of low temperature office fires, it was apparent that there was a coverup.
After 13 years people at home and abroad find the government's story less believable.
The case made by independent experts is now so compelling that mainstream media has opened to it. Here is Richard Gage of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth on C-SPAN:
After years of persistence a group in New York has secured the necessary number of valid signatures to put on the ballot a vote to investigate the cause of the collapse of the three WTC buildings. The official account, if correct, means that existing fire and building codes are insufficient to protect the public and that all other steel high rise structures are subject to the same failure. The group has been clever to frame the issue in terms of public safety and not in terms of 9/11 truth.
New York authorities, of course, continue to oppose the initiative. The question now rests on a judge's ruling. It is difficult to imagine a judge going against the government in such a major way, but the group will have made the point that the government has no confidence in the truth of its own story.
Over these 13 years, physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, and first responders have provided massive evidence that completely disproves the official account of the failure of the three skyscrapers. The response to experts has been for non-experts to call experts "conspiracy theorists." In other words, the defenders of the government's story have no scientific or factual basis on which to stand. So they substitute name-calling.
9/11 was used to fundamentally alter the nature of the US government and its relationship to the American people. Unaccountable executive power has replaced due process and the checks and balances established by the US Constitution. In the name of National Security, executive power knows no restraints. Essentially, Americans today have no rights if the government targets them.
Those Americans born after 9/11 were born into a different country from the rest of us. Having never experienced constitutional government, they will not know what they have lost.
The anthrax attacks of October 2001 have been forgotten, but Professor Graeme MacQueen in The 2001 Anthrax Deception (Clarity Press, 2014) shows that the anthrax attacks played an essential role in setting the stage for the government's acquisition of unaccountable police state power. Two Democratic Senate committee chairmen, Thomas Daschle and Patrick Leahy, were disturbed by the Bush regime's overreach for carte blanche power, and were in a position to block the coming police state legislation and the ability of the executive branch alone to take America to war.
Both senators received anthrax letters, as did major news organizations. The TV network news anchors, such as Dan Rather, who compared the collapse of WTC skyscrapers to buildings brought down by controlled demolition, had not yet been fired by Republicans on framed-up charges.
Initially, the anthrax letters, which caused the deaths of some USPS employees, were seen as the second stage of the 9/11 attack. Fear multiplied. The senators and media shut up. Then it was discovered that the anthrax was a unique kind produced only by a US government military facility.
The response to this monkey wrench thrown into the government's propaganda, was the FBI's frame-up of a dead man, Bruce Edwards Ivins, who had been employed in the military lab that produced the anthrax and was driven to suicide by the false charges. The dead man's colleagues did not believe one word of the government's false story, and nothing in the dead man's past indicated any motive or instability that would have led him to such a deed.
Initially, the US government tried to frame up Steven Jay Hatfill, but despite the best efforts of the New York Times and Nicholas Kristof the attempt to frame Hatfill failed. Hatfill received $5 million from the US government for the false accusation that ruined his life. So the corrupt US government moved on to Ivins.
Ivins was dead and couldn't defend himself, but his colleagues did.
The entire episode stinks to high heaven. Justice is something that exists outside the borders of the United States. Never expect to find justice within the United States.
Most Americans are unaware of the extent to which the federal government owns the experts who can contradict its fairy tales. For example, no competent physicist can possibly believe the official story of the destruction of the three WTC buildings. But physics departments in US universities are heavily dependent on federal money. Any physicist who speaks his mind jeopardizes not only his own career but also the career of all of his colleagues. Physicist Steven Jones, who first pointed to the use of thermite in the destruction of the two towers had to agree to having his university buy out his tenure or his university was faced with losing all federal financing.
The same constraints operate in the private sector. High rise architects and structural engineers who express doubts about the official explanation of the collapse of three skyscrapers are viewed by potential clients as Muslim apologists and conspiracy kooks. The clients, of course, have no expert knowledge with which to assess the issue, but they are indoctrinated with ceaseless, endless, repetition that 9/11 was Osama bin Laden's attack on America. Their indoctrination makes them immune to facts.
The 9/11 lie has persisted for 13 years. Millions of Muslims have paid for this lie with their lives, the destruction of their families, and with their dislocation. Most Americans remain comfortable with the fact that their government has destroyed in whole or part seven countries based on a lie Washington told to cover up an inside job that launched the crazed neoconservatives' drive for Washington's World Empire.

Paul Craig Roberts has had careers in scholarship and academia, journalism, public service, and business. He is chairman of The Institute for Political Economy.
Scholarship & Academia
Dr. Roberts has held academic appointments at Virginia Tech, Tulane University, University of New Mexico, Stanford University where he was Senior Research Fellow in the Hoover Institution, George Mason University where he had a joint appointment as professor of economics and professor of business administration, and Georgetown University where he held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy in the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
He has contributed chapters to numerous books and has published many articles in journals of scholarship, including the Journal of Political Economy, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Law and Economics, Studies in Banking and Finance, Journal of Monetary Economics, Public Choice, Classica et Mediaevalia, Ethics, Slavic Review, Soviet Studies, Cardoza Law Review, Rivista de Political Economica, and Zeitschrift fur Wirtschafspolitik. He has entries in the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Economics and the New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance.
He has contributed to Commentary, The Public Interest, The National Interest, Policy Review, National Review, The Independent Review, Harper's, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, London Times, The Financial Times, TLS, The Spectator, The International Economy, Il Sole 24 Ore, Le Figaro, Liberation, and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions.
Dr. Roberts was associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He was a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.
Public Service
President Reagan appointed Dr. Roberts Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and he was confirmed in office by the U.S. Senate. From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy. After leaving the Treasury, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Dr. Roberts was president of the Inlet Beach Water Company, president of Economic & Communication Services, advisor to J.P. Morgan asset management, advisor to Tiedemann-Goodnow, advisor to Lazard Freres Asset Management, and a member of corporate and financial boards.
Dr. Roberts' latest book is How the Economy Was Lost: The War of the Worlds, published in January, 2010 by CounterPunch/AK Press. The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with IPE Fellow Lawrence Stratton, was published by Prima Publishing in May 2000. A new edition, now in a second printing, was published by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Randon House, in 2008. Chile: Two Visions—The Allende-Pinochet Era, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen Araujo, was published in Spanish by Universidad Nacional Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile, in November 2000. The Capitalist Revolution in Latin America, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen LaFollette Araujo, was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. A Spanish language edition was published by Oxford in 1999. The New Color Line: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy, co-authored with IPE Fellow Lawrence Stratton, was published by Regnery in 1995. A paperback edition was published in 1997. Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen LaFollette, was published by the Cato Institute in 1990. Harvard University Press published Roberts' book, The Supply-Side Revolution, in 1984. Widely reviewed and favorably received, the book was praised by Forbes as "a timely masterpiece that will have real impact on economic thinking in the years ahead." Dr. Roberts is the author of Alienation and the Soviet Economy, published in 1971 and republished in 1990. He is coauthor with Matthew Stephenson of Marx's Theory of Exchange, Alienation and Crisis, published in 1973 by the Hoover Institution Press and republished in 1983 by Praeger Publishing. A Spanish language edition was published in 1974 in Madrid by Union Editorial..

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Return of the Mercanary Armies

Putin – War – & Return of Mercenaries – the Masquerade

Many people have written asking about Putin. The pundits are claiming the Russian Army is weak and could not wage war. Russia is actually looking at expanding its military policy re-targeting Europe and the USA as enemies, and rewriting protocols for justification of a defensive first strike with nuclear weapons. The greatest mistake that the West has made so far is to judge Russia through their own eyes based upon themselves with extreme arrogance and prejudice. Just because you would not want war does not mean your opponent has the same view. Additionally, the arrogance of the politicians can force war by their unyielding posture and inability to realize that they have left their opponent with no other option.
The arrogance that Russia is weak and could not afford war is a huge mistake because it is the West who cannot afford war in the middle of an economic implosion where we have a Sovereign Debt Crisis brewing on an unprecedented scale. War also gas been an escape valve for fiscal mismanagement and in this respect, war become desirable as a decoy to hide the inability of politicians to cope with managing the state.
The Russian military forces are composed of 150,000 officers and 766,000 soldiers on active duty. There are about 2,485,000 reservists. The Russian Ground Forces have 15,500 tanks, 27,607 armored fighting vehicles (AFV), 5,990 self-propelled guns (SPG), 4,625 towed artillery guns and 3,781 multiple rocket launcher artillery systems (MLRS), according to reports of the Military portal Global Fire Power. For the Air Force, Russia has about 3,082 airplanes, jets and helicopters. Russia has only about 114 combat helicopters compared to the USA’s 914 attack helicopters – not counting those bought by local civil police as in Florida.
The Russian Navy has 352 ships and boats. However, Russia has only one aircraft carrier – the Admiral Kuznetsov class. This was in the service in 1991. Moscow would like to supplement his holding by two helicopter carrier Mistral class from France.
Moreover, Russia has over 4,600 nuclear warheads ready for use in their collections. Additionally, Russia has 7,300 nuclear warheads in reserve. Furthermore, Russia has about 330 intercontinental ballistic missiles that could be targeted against the USA domestically. In addition, ten nuclear submarines are equipped with 160 missiles and there are another 576 nuclear warheads.
In the next few years, the rocket classes Bulava (SS-N-30) RS-24 Jars (NATO code SS-24) and Iskander-M (SS-26 Stone) are to be built. Russian technology in rocket manufacture is not to be under-estimated. Just in the past decades since the Cold War began, Russia has 117 different missile technologies that have been used. These systems are partly to extensions of older technologies. The missile defense system A-135 (NATO code ABM-3) is in Moscow and is ready for use. It protects the capital and the surrounding area from possible attacks. Unlike Iraq or Syria, the USA cannot simply invade with impunity. This is not a war that could be won in such a manner and the capability of nuclear attacks/defense warn that those levels of warfare are off the table.
Uncle_Sam-DraftIn Russia there is conscription or the draft. Military service extends over twelve months. Like the 1960s in the USA, young Russians are trying to escape military service. In 2012, about 245,000 young Russians had evaded military service. Often doctors are bribed paying thousands of dollars to seek confirmation of some health unsuitability. Others have simply just not appeared at the recruiting office. General Nikolai Makarov complained that only 11.7% of Russians are suitable for military service between the ages of 18-27 years. An amazing 60% of the male population was unfit for military service according to the statistics. Either Russia enforces its conscription and uses only military doctors to provide rejection notices, or it moves to a private army.
Part of the problem is known as the “dedovshchina”, which is a rather brutal initiation ritual. The dedovshchina consists of humiliation, rape and torture of conscripts by older servicemen. The rumor that many have even died during such rituals has ironically been a deterrent to increasing the military. In 2010, there were more than 1,700 Russian military dedovshchina victims, reported Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies.
Add to this nightmare, far too many military barracks did not even have showers until the end of 2013. Then there is the notorious problem of Alcoholism, which is a widespread phenomenon throughout Russia. Approximately 40% of all working age Russian men die from the effects of alcoholism, reported the Guardian. There are countless Russian women almost everywhere these days from Tokyo and New York to the cities in Europe. Many are looking for husbands and do not want to have anything to do with Russian men for this very reason. It has been this macho attitude in Russia that creates the problem. The excessive consumption of vodka in Russia is seen as proof of masculinity.
To cope with these problems, Putin is actually looking to alter the entire system by adopting the privatization of the military sector. Yes – you read correctly! During the next few years, we will see the rise of private armies taking over tasks of the defense. This will break-the-back of the problems with the Russian military and propel it into a new era.
The largest private army in Russia’s Federal State is the Unitary Enterprise Okhrana. This was launched in 2005 by the Home Office and has proven to be a tremendous success. It now has more powers as regular security forces. Competitors in the market complain about the state privileges enjoyed by Okhrana, for it is becoming far more responsive than standard military units and has set the tone for a crack military force. Russia will cut its government military forces in half by as early as 2020 (war aside) and it will replace this with private armies consisting mostly of Russian ex-soldiers. This is the new Russian formulated Military Strategy. Most in the West do not even comprehend that this is a major trend.
Russian troopsThis trend of altering the structure of the Russian military forces must be understood within its proper context. This has added to the Strange War that the West cannot quite grasp which has been going on in Ukraine. We have referred to these Russian soldiers without insignia as “Russian Tourists” with weapons. Our sources in the East even posed with one to provide direct evidence that they were in fact there (pictured to the right with our source cropped out).

This idea is not unique for Russia. The critics call Putin a liar and he has troops there in Ukraine. He has troops in Crimea yet can deny that they were there. Is Putin a liar, or just copying the USA in its use of private military units in Iraq? Nobody paid much attention to the privatization of the military even in the USA. However, if a head of state is then asked, are your troops there in someplace, they can SAFELY and HONESTLY deny that “their” troops are even there. Is Putin merely copying the USA, yet the Western press fail to make the connection to the fact that during the Iraq War, there were times when private armies for the USA had in fact outnumbered “official” troops on the ground. OOPS! It seems nobody wants to make that connection or comparison.

Nevertheless, let us look at this issue with unbiased eyes. The Iraq war just might best be remembered as America’s most privatized military engagement to date, with contractors hired by the Pentagon actually outnumbering troops on the ground at various points. That is CORRECT!!!!
HessianThis might come as a total shock, but mercenary armies are not new. The Hessians were 18th-century German auxiliaries contracted for military service by the British government. Britain found it much easier to borrow money to pay for their private armies than to recruit its own soldiers. The Hessians took their name from the German region of Hesse. The British used the Hessians in several conflicts, including in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, but they are most widely associated with combat operations in the American Revolutionary War.
The US moved to private contractors for the same reason. It was far easier to pay for private armies than to re-institute the draft for a war that was unpopular and undefined to begin with. The sheer number of private contractors used during the Iraq War was often overshadowed by events and the press did not comprehend this important trend shift. By 2008, the US Department of Defense employed 155,826 private contractors in Iraq – and 152,275 troops. This degree of privatization is unprecedented in modern warfare. It has been overlooked by just about everyone while Putin is being called a liar for troops without insignia that are in military uniform and are highly trained. Are they “official” Russian military or private contractors/combatants?
When the real history books are written, the most important lesson of the Iraq War will be the realization that this was the test case for a military privatization on an unprecedented scale. Large-scale use of private military contractors may relieve the government of pensions while it also entails risks for responsibility of private troops and raises the question are they even subject to the same standards of war crimes that would be committed by a government soldier?
Recent US experience with private security contractors, in particular, holds several critical lessons for the future.Private contractors have long been used in war in modern times, but they provided logistical support in Vietnam, the Balkans, and Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. However, the expansion into actually mercenary forces has reemerged on a wide-scale level. The US Army spent approximately $815 million ($163 million per year, or about $200 million per year in 2012 dollars) to employ contractors under its Logistics Civil Augmentation Program between 1992 and 1997. But between 2001 and 2010, that expenditure grew to nearly $5 billion per year. Of course, this latter cost coincides with US involvement in Afghanistan as well as Iraq. What sets the Iraq war apart in this evolutionary process of the military has been the growing role of these private civilian contractors in providing troops.
Throughout the Iraq War, the majority of contracted jobs of 61% continued to be base-support functions. The next-largest group of Department of Defense contractors (18%) were security contractors. They provided security services, such as guarding installations, protecting convoys, or acting as bodyguards. This outsourcing trend continued in Afghanistan, where there were 94,413 private contractors in 2010, compared with 91,600 US troops. This is a trend that seems to be overlooked. The British are also moving to privatization of military operations.
Pulitzer JosephPulitzer-HerschThe lobbying of private military contractors is a completely new segment that NEEDS war to make money. Any assumption that this was some trend that was used only for the Iraq War is totally unrealistic if not naive. The private military and security industry is now incredibly large, powerful, and is entirely adaptable going with the flow of events. During the late 19th century, war was needed by the media to sell newspapers. It was Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) who was the father of Yellow Journalism making up stories that the Spanish Attacked the USA to create the Spanish-American War that was totally untrue. We are entering into a new era that nobody is paying much attention to these days and it is the private contractors who need war to exist.
There will be no scaling back of this industry. It is now broadening its territory, expanding into maritime security, providing security to business and governments in Africa, and exploring other new markets. We have returned to the age of roaming mercenary armies.
Merely disparaging Putin as a liar and using troops without insignia to pretend they are not Russian soldiers is missing the entire point. Putin was so successful in the Crimea and can also post the ceasefires in the Eastern Ukraine as a success of his policies, yet nobody seems to grasp the underlying trend that is NOT UNIQUE to Russia..
We must understand that this is a conflict between Russia and the United States. The German states are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, since the German constitution states that matters of defense fall into the sole responsibility of the federal government. At the federal level, Germany’s military expenditures have amounted to only 1.35% of the GDP (2012) making it among the lowest budgeted military forces in the entire world in terms of share of GDP. As of June 2014, the Germany military (Bundeswehr) has a strength of roughly 183,000 active troops giving it a rank of only 30th in the world and the fourth largest in the European Union. France, Italy and the United Kingdom all have larger forces because of WWI and WWII. In addition the Bundeswehr has approximately 144,000 reserve personnel (2010).
The real trend of military forces in the future is moving toward privatization to eliminate pensions. The greatest danger lies in the weakness of the political leaders in East and West to even negotiate no less communicate. There is no moral responsibility left within society any longer. So this is not a valid tool to say someone would not invade only because you would not. We cannot judge others by ourselves, nor can we ignore the trend to privatization.
The sanctions against Russia embolden Putin – they do not weaken him. They allow Putin to shift the blame to the USA and that fuels the seed for war. The only resolution is to provide economic opportunity for the average Russia and encourage Putin to move his nation away from Oligarchy and into a real economic trend of expansion. Oligarchy is merely the privatization of government industry – it was not a move toward economic freedom for the Russian people. Unless this trend can be set in motion, then we are headed into a very dark period with rising privatized armies that NEED war to survive. This is the very precise way Roman fell – its military needed civil war to gain economically.
masqueradeHistory is composed of only patterns of human behavior. Like an onion, history is constructed from patterns laid upon patterns that then affect yet other patterns cascading through politics, economics, and society. Patterns can be in plain view, yet hidden by still other patterns within patterns. This is the structure that results in history doing nothing but repeating itself like a Shakespeare’s play where the story-line and plot are always the same, only the actors come and go with the march of time.
This inability to see the dynamic structure of the world leads the linear thinker to simply call it all just chaos for they remain blind to complex analysis of how interconnectivity creates patterns that simply mask the layers hidden beneath. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher and then what we can’t understand we call nonsense and a foreign language sounds like just gibberish. We cannot comprehend the present no less the future until we pierce the layers of patterns that mask everything. Life is one giant masquerade and if you turn around, there is simply another with a mask behind you.

Paul Krugman: You're so vain you probably think this piece is about you

Paul Krugman: "We’ll Only Feel Prosperous During Bubble Periods"

While hardly able to match the wit, sophistry or, allegedly, satire of yesterday's MarketWatch grandslam in market insight "Why This Stock Market Will Never Go Down", we are confident readers will enjoy the following interview from none other than the Nobel prize winner in Keynesianomics, Paul Krugman, who in this interview with Princeton Magazine, had some comments on bubbles, inflation,  student loans, minimum wages, artificially low rates, the Fed's dual mandate, and, of all things, Bitcoin.

From Princeton Magazine:
Are bubbles good or bad and do we need them to create strong economic growth and reach higher levels of employment?
Bubbles are bad if you have an economy near full employment, where they divert resources from their proper use and set the stage for financial instability. In a depressed economy, even ill-conceived spending can help create jobs, so bubbles aren’t necessarily bad. There are reasons to believe that we’re facing an era of persistent economic weakness, which means that we’ll only feel prosperous during bubble periods.

First, there is no attempt to define what a "bubble" is or what creates it.  It is pretty obvious to any trained Austrain Economist that a bubble is created when a central bank prints money and then gives it to the big banks for practically nothing (zero interest) which is the official monetary policy in the US currently.  The creation of money "out of thin air" increases the money supply and eventually leads to an increase in prices across the board.  In the US we are able to "export" our inflation to other countries that are forced to use the dollar as the dollar is the "reserve currency" of the world.  This allows us to print a lot more money than say Argentina or Venezuala, two countries which have reached the end of their money printing schemes resulting in depression and eventually revolution.  This is also why the US must start wars around the world in order to defend our "reserve currency" status. 

If you don't believe me ask yourself what Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya have in common besides being attacked by the US?  They all tried to create "work arounds" to the dollar which the US cannot have.  Why can't we have it?  Well if the dollar were no longer the reserve currency of the world, all of the inflation that we have exported over the years would quickly come back into the US and hyperinflation would occur.  Why would this happen?  Other countries hold on to the dollar as they are forced to pay for oil with dollars, due to a deal that Henry Kissinger made with Saudi Arabia in the 1970's.  Ok, so what, you ask?  Well if they are no longer forced to buy their oil with dollars, then they will no longer have to keep excess reserves of dollars and will sell them, which will result in a flood of dollars returning into the US all at once.  Ok again so what you ask?  Well for one it could cause the price of gas to rise closer to $8 a gallon.  Could you afford that?  The increase in the costs of gas and oil would quickly ripple throughout our economy because the costs of shipping products around the country would increase and those costs would be passed on to you the consumer. 

So Krugman is partially correct with the first sentence and this is the point that Austrian Economics makes.  When the costs of money, otherwise known as interest rates becomes too low, companies will borrow money and then invest it in a fashion that they would not normally invest.  If I asked you to play fantasy football with me and said the costs to enter my league was $500 most people would say no, that is too rich for my blood.  If however, you asked your grandmother if she would give you $500 so you could play and she said sure sweetie, here you go, well then that's a different story altogether now isn't it?  That's called malinvestment.  Sure there's a chance that you could win a lot of money if you won the fantasy football championship but there's also a chance you could lose $500.  Is investing $500 in the chance that you might win a good investment or a risky investment?

This is the choice that many businesses are facing.  They have access to all this easy money that costs practically nothing so why not invest in the stock market or start that new line of dog clothes or soap on a rope, or perhaps try to recreate the beanie baby craze from the 1980's?  Do you see how having easy access to low costs (by costs I mean interest rates, which are defined as the "cost of money") could lead to poor investment decisions?

Sure the stock market may go up and your dog clothes line may become the next big trend but just like soap on a rope eventually everyone who wants to buy the product has bought it and sales begin to decline and eventually your soap on a rope line goes out of business.  Why?  Mostly because it's a bad idea and you produced a product that no one really wanted.  If your access to free money was more limited perhaps you might have thought more about your ill fated move to create a product that no one wanted.   

So then Krugman goes on to defend bubbles and say that during a depression it's ok to blow a bubble to get the economy back on track.  If that seems like exactly what happened during the housing bubble that's because it is.  The Federal Reserve created lots of money, handed it out to the banks and the banks lent it out to us, the general public, at much higher rates than they got it for.  So what happened?  Well people began to buy houses because "housing prices never go down" is what people like Krugman said.  When you create artificial demand by giving the banks "free money" it creates artificial price increases.  So the price of housing became overinflated and as they say, what goes up must come down.  And it did in a big way in 2008.

So that was an example of doing precisely what Krugman says to do, create a bubble during a depression.  It worked great for several years but then almost led to an economic implosion of the US economy(technically it did implode it was just papered over with more debt).  What people like Krugman never seem to realize is that there are always unforeseen or unintended consequences to human action.  No matter how many times they get burned they just can't look into the future and think, hmmm, maybe giving out home loans to people who can't afford it will have adverse consequences one day.  Nope, just do what Krugman says, things go great for a while and by the time the "chickens come home to roost" so to speak, everyone will have forgotten how Krugman advocated for blowing a bubble several years prior.

* * *
New York’s minimum wage is currently $8 per hour.  Germany is introducing a national minimum wage next year of 8.50 euros, equivalent to $15 an hour. Swiss voters recently rejected increasing their minimum wage to 22 Swiss francs or nearly $25 per hour. What would you like to see the minimum wage be in the US?
I’m for raising the minimum to something over $10 nationally, which would bring it back in real terms and as a share of average non-managerial wages to its level in the 1960s. High-productivity centers, like New York, could justify going higher.

Krugman is correct inflation has increased which has made everything more expensive, which makes it harder for those who earn $7.25 an hour to make ends meet.  However, there is no discussion of how raising the minimum wage will result in a decrease of jobs for those without employable skills.  If the McDonalds employees are successful in raising the minimum wage they will quickly be replaced by robots and there will be no minimum wage jobs left.  There is also no mention of why there is inflation, it is just assumed that inflation is necessary.  It's not.

Did you know that from the period of approximately 1850-1910 the US had no central bank (thanks Andrew Jackson!!!) and therefore there was no inflationary monetary policy in the US?  Guess what happened during that period?  The US expanded exponentially, we invented cars and railroads and airplanes and all other kind of products that made everyone's life easier.  The producers tried very hard to continue to bring the costs of their goods down so that people could afFORD them.  Like Henry Ford that is.  We were a very prosperous nation and growing more prosperous each year.

It is the purposefully inflationary policies that the Federal Reserve follows that have made it so that it is impossible to make ends meet for $7.25 an hour.  Go back and ask someone from 1965 if they would take a job making $7.25 an hour, what do you think that they would say?

But why would our own money making entity, the Federal Reserve want inflation you ask?  Wouldn't that be bad for them as well?  Actually no, it's great for them because every thing that they do is financed by debt so they want inflation, the more the better.  Let's say in 1965 I loaned you $1000 and said pay me back in 2014.  $1000 was a lot of money in 1965, you could have used that money to invent the pet rock and made millions with it right?  Or maybe you invested $1000 to buy an original piece of art from Andy Warhol.  Or maybe you bought a car that allowed you to get a job that paid more than the job you were currently working at.  My point is, when you paid me back the $1000 in 2014 it wouldn't really be all that painful now would it?

How has studying economics at a Ph.D. level changed since you were a student?
I’m actually struck by how little it has changed. The basic structure of course-work that lays a foundation, followed by dissertation, is the same; the math and statistical level has risen, but it was already pretty high in 1975! The content of some fields has changed, of course, mostly though not everywhere for the better. On the whole, though, the structure both of education and of the career track for young economists has been remarkably stable. I think that’s starting to change now, as the web and the proliferation of think tanks shake up the sources of career success. But that’s just happening, after decades of stability.

This comment by Krugman really makes me laugh.  He is struck by how little it has changed.  Except for the whole explosion of Austrian Economic thinking across the entire world.  With the invention of the internet, the gatekeepers of information have been eliminated and now people can learn about alternate forms of economic theory.  Krugman is an advocate for an economic theory called Keynesian economics, which essentially says if you have too much debt, just go more into debt to take care of the initial debt.  Well what about the new debt you ask?  See step one, use more debt to pay that off and so on and so forth. 

If that leaves you asking the question don't you have to pay it off eventually don't worry because according to eggheads like Krugman in the long run we will all be dead anyways so what does it matter?  If that doesn't sound like a good answer to you, that's because it's not.  Eventually the Piper has to be paid.  Remeber when Tony Soprano lent that guy money so he could continue playing poker to win his money back.  Guess what? He didn't win his money back and Tony and the boys took over his store, took what they wanted and ruined his credit.  Tony's daughter even got the guy's car out of the deal.

So how did the whole borrowing more money to get himself out of debt work out for him?  The Federal Reserve really isn't that much different than Soprano's gang.  Throughout history, central banks have blown bubbles and inflated prices, sold at the top, which is a lot easier to do if you are told when the top is by the people who are "in the know", waited for the crash and then buy back everything at pennies on the dollar.  This is the essense of what economic cycles are.  They are economic scams run by the flim flam men who own the Federal Reserve to con us the gullible public into investing in the stock market when it is red hot and then bilking us for all our money only to buy it all back later when the assets are dirt cheap.

Advocates for Austrian Economics have exposed this fraud and the internet has allowed people to understand these concepts.  The gig is up, it's only a matter of time before we reach a tipping point where enough people understand the scam and demand recompensation.  Throughout history this has been achieved through the use of rope and something called a guillotine.

Do you have any concern that mounting student loan debt will eventually impact the economy and housing market?
It’s already happening. Household formation is very low, and debt has to be part of the explanation.

Again no mention of the structural problems caused by the government.  Without the Federal Reserve giving away free money to the banks there is not as much of an incentive to give out so much in student loans.  Without the government's policy to not allow students to discharge student loans in bankruptcy and forced payroll deductions for unpaid student loans then the banks would not be so eager to hand out money to students who enroll in college to study subjects that will not enhance their ability to get ahead economically.  Without such easy access to student loans to pay for college, colleges would not be able to pay their professors who teach irrelevant subjects, like Chicano studies way more money than supply and demand dictates. 

And the cycles continues, free money for the banks, student loans for any student who asks for it regardless of whether what they are studying makes economic sense and increased salaries for teachers who are overpaid, which in turn leads to increases in tuition.  On and on it goes...  until one day it just doesn't anymore.  Just like the housing bubble, eventually people will just stop paying their student loans regardless of the consequences and BAM another crash similar to the crash in the housing market except this time it will be a crash in student loans.  And once again, NOBODY WILL HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE SEEN IT COMING!!!  Except anyone who understands Austrian Economics.  Read Von Mises, Read Lew Rockwell, Read Murray Rothbard, Listen to Tom Woods, they all know what is coming and can explain it very clearly.

How much inflation is appropriate and why has the inflation rate remained low despite the expansion in the money supply?
Inflation is a tradeoff—higher inflation raises some costs of doing business, but low inflation or deflation have the effect of prolonging slumps. In the ’90s there was a sort of consensus that 2 percent made the most of that tradeoff, but subsequent experience shows that the costs of low inflation are much bigger than we thought. So I’d advocate something like 4. As for why inflation hasn’t picked up—both theory and historical experience told us that in a depressed economy with near-zero interest rates increases in the quantity of money would just sit there. Some of us were saying that over and over back in 2009 and 2010; what will it take for people to admit that we were right?

There are way too many variables for ANYONE no matter how smart or how educated to be able to determine what the perfect inflation rate is to create "full employment" or whatever it is that these con men bankers are trying to achieve these days.  All of their theories and equations cannot determine this as their is one factor that throws off any equation and that is called HUMAN ACTION.  People act in their own interests and it cannot be quantified with economic calculations.  Maybe Harry Seldon could do it, but Paul Krugman is no Harry Seldon.

This is the whole premise behind a little known movie called the Wizard of Oz.  If you have never seen it or heard of it try to rent it some time.  The yellow brick road is made of what?  Gold perhaps?  Does the City of Oz represent DC?  Is the man behind the curtain representative of the Federal Reserve Chairman?  Do a google search on this correlation you might be surprised what ol' Frank L. Baum was really trying to say.

So what's the perfect rate of inflation?  It is whatever the market says it is at that given point in time.  That's it, no more no less.  The Central banks of the world try to control factors that cannot be controlled, and when it doesn't work then they just change the equation to make it fit their theory.  Pretty good work if you can get it.

And don't you just love how at the end he just whines, oh and when are people going to give me credit for being right?  Please I can't live without your love and adoration.  This guy is mentally unstable, I would not want to sit down and have a beer with him, I do not think he is a good guy trying to do the best he can with information that by nature is limited.  He is a self serving pric, plain and simple.  He is a narcissist who probably spends an hour a day grooming his beard to look just right.  No Krugman YOU ARE NOT RIGHT, the reason that inflation did not increase is because we exported our inflation to other countries around the world who are forced to use the dollar to buy oil.  Oh and there were some consequences to this as well, see the ARAB SPRING and the collapse of the Argentina Bond market for two examples you whiny little bitch.

Please comment on how artificially low interest rates have impacted the current value of baby boomers’ retirement portfolios and should this be a consideration of the Federal Reserve?
Oh, boy. What do you mean “artificially low”? Compared to what? The appropriate level of the interest rate, most economists would say, is the rate that gives us full employment without inflation; since we don’t have full employment, that says that rates are too high.
And no, the Fed’s job is to stabilize the economy, not to protect incomes of some groups at the expense of that mandate.

So the Fed's job is to "stabilize the economy" Krugman says.  Wait I thought their job was to create full employment?  Even better, I thought that the Fed was created to save banks who were on the verge of failure.  I thought it was created to ensure that we no longer had bank runs and to serve as a bank for the banks.  Man this gets confusing after a while trying to determine what the real reason for the Federal Reserve is.

There is only one reason for the Federal Reserve.  That is to make sure that the really rich and powerful families who came up with the idea to create a central bank (again... in the dead of night, in a secret location) stayed really rich.  Ever notice when they come up with the richest men in the world list you never see the Rockefeller name on that list or the Rothchild's or maybe the Queen of England or the JP Morgan family?  Let me tell you something, these families were rich in 1913, do you really think that they are no longer the richest families in the world?  They are and they are by a long shot, but they don't want you to know it.  So they create these lists and they put Bill Gates, and Carlos Slim and Richard Branson on these lists but these families who created the Federal Reserve are rich enough to buy and sell 100 Carlos Slim if they wanted to.

Actually there is another reason for the Fed.  That is to allow countries to spend beyond their means and to finance wars without having to impose a direct tax burden upon the American people.  We have paid for every war since WWII with a credit card and eventually the bill will come due.  People like Krugman will tell you debt doesn't matter.  And he's right it doesn't matter, until one day it does.

Do you think Bitcoin will gain momentum and become a viable currency?
No. I could be wrong, but Bitcoin is harder to use than other forms of electronic payment, and lacks any fundamental source of value (unlike dollars, which can be used to pay taxes). It’s possible that Bitcoin will somehow become self-supporting, but for now my guess is that it’s largely a fad that will collapse one of these days.

He is wrong on bitcoin as well, but I don't have much to say on this subject.  Time will prove him wrong again just like it did with this gem of a quote from Krugman below.

* * *
As a quick reminder here is what Krugman said about the internet and technology in 1998.
The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in 'Metcalfe's law'–which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants–becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's.... As the rate of technological change in computing slows, the number of jobs for IT specialists will decelerate, then actually turn down; ten years from now, the phrase information economy will sound silly.

So in conclusion, F*&% Paul Krugman!!! Him and his ilk(other Keynesian economists) justify our rogue government's ability to wage wars across the globe in the name of democracy.  There is blood on his hands, just as their is blood on Obama's hands.  Him and people like him who offer excuses for why it's ok for the Fed Gov to borrow as much money as they want to finance any war that they war to start for any reason always justified by American Exceptionalism are enablers.  The Fed Gov is addicted to debt and the Krugman's of the world make excuses for them and enable them to continue their destructive ways by convinving others that it is ok.  IT'S NOT OK!!! There is no need for a Central Bank, that pit of vipers needs to be removed from our country as soon as possible.

You may say, wow overreact much?  In time we will see who is right, and unfortunately I'm afraid it will be me.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Our governments no longer represent the will of the people

Dutch Intellectuals Apologize to Putin for Lies on MH17, Syria, Ukraine...
Wednesday, 27 August 2014


A letter sent by a prominent Dutch Professor to Russian president Vladimir Putin has attracted much media attention in Europe.  The letter was written by Professor Cees Hamelink and signed by dozens of Dutch intellectuals and professors. Below is the letter in its entirety.

Dear Mr. President Putin,

Please accept our apologies on behalf of a great many people here in the Netherlands for our Government and our Media. The facts concerning MH17 are twisted to defame you and your country.

We are powerless onlookers, as we witness how the Western Nations, led by the United States, accuse Russia of crimes they commit themselves more than anybody else. We reject the double standards that are used for Russia and the West. In our societies, sufficient evidence is required for a conviction. The way you and your Nation are convicted for 'crimes' without evidence, is ruthless and despicable.

You have saved us from a conflict in Syria that could have escalated into a World War. The mass killing of innocent Syrian civilians through gassing by ‘Al-­‐Qaeda’ terrorists, trained and armed by the US and paid for by Saudi Arabia, was blamed on Assad. In doing so, the West hoped public opinion would turn against Assad, paving the way for an attack on Syria.

Not long after this, Western forces have built up, trained and armed an ‘opposition’ in the Ukraine, to prepare a coup against the legitimate Government in Kiev. The putschists taking over were quickly recognized by Western Governments. They were provided with loans from our tax money to prop their new Government up.

The people of the Crimea did not agree with this and showed this with peaceful demonstrations. Anonymous snipers and violence by Ukrainian troops turned these demonstrations into demands for independence from Kiev. Whether you support these separatist movements is immaterial, considering the blatant Imperialism of the West.

Russia is wrongly accused, without evidence or investigation, of delivering the weapons systems that allegedly brought down MH17. For this reason Western Governments claim they have a right to economically pressure Russia.

We, awake citizens of the West, who see the lies and machinations of our Governments, wish to offer you our apologies for what is done in our name.
It’s unfortunately true, that our media have lost all independence and are just mouthpieces for the Powers that Be. Because of this, Western people tend to have a warped view of reality and are unable to hold their politicians to account.

Our hopes are focused on your wisdom. We want Peace. We see that Western Governments do not serve the people but are working towards a New World Order. The destruction of sovereign nations and the killing of millions of innocent people is, seemingly, a price worth paying for them, to achieve this goal.

We, the people of the Netherlands, want Peace and Justice, also for and with Russia.
We hope to make clear that the Dutch Government speaks for itself only. We pray our efforts will help to diffuse the rising tensions between our Nations.


Professor Cees Hamelink