Free - Beyond Collapse

Monday, September 30, 2013

Government Shutdown: The Next Step In The Collapse Of The Dollar?

Guest Post By Brandon Smith

There is a considerable amount of debate in alternative economic circles as to whether a federal government shutdown would be a “good thing” or a “bad thing”.  Frankly, even I am partially conflicted.  I love to read mainstream news stories about how a shutdown in the capital would be “horrible” because Barack Obama might have to reduce the White House cleaning staff and wash his own laundry:

It's about time that sellout bastard did something to clean up his own act.  I also love the idea of the federal government out of the picture and removed from the U.S. dynamic.  Americans need to learn again how to live without the nanny state, even if only for a few weeks, and what better way than to go cold turkey.  I can hear the tortured sobs of the socialists now, crying for their SNAP cards and low grade government healthcare.  It's like...beautiful music...

That said, as much as centralized government needs to be erased from the face of the planet, there are, indeed, consequences that must be dealt with.  It is foolish to believe otherwise.  No social system, and I mean NO SOCIAL SYSTEM, changes without pain to the population.  I am not among those that cheer a federal shutdown, because I understand that the only people to ultimately feel suffering will be average citizens, not the establishment itself.  The sheeple may be ignorant and blind, but no one deserves the kind of unmitigated hellfire that could rain down upon our country if a shutdown continues for an extended period of time.  Call me a humanitarian...

As I write this, mainstream media projections estimate a 90% chance of government shutdown by midnight on September 30th.  Though technically, government funds will not run out until October 17th:

We have dealt with this kind of talk before over the past few years, and it's interesting to see the kind of cynicism that has developed over the idea of a shutdown event.  After all, the last time a government shutdown occurred was at the end of 1995, lasting only a couple of weeks into 1996.  The GOP has folded so many times over the U.S. budget and debt ceiling that most of the public expects they will obviously do it again.  It is certainly possible that the Republicans will roll over, however, I am not so sure of that this time around.  Why?  Not because Obamacare is on the table.  Obamacare is just a distraction.  No, I'm far more interested in the circumstances surrounding the U.S. dollar. 

Obamacare is designed to fail.  Anyone with any financial or mathematical sense could look at the real national debt and deficit projections of the U.S. and understand that there is no money and never will be enough money to fund universal healthcare.  The GOP could simply let the program take effect, sit back, and watch it crash and burn over the next three to five years.  This would entail, though, watching the whole of our economy crash and burn with it. 

What we have developing in front of us is the recipe for a new false paradigm.  Already, the MSM is discussing the possibility of debt default and who will be responsible under such circumstances.  Not surprisingly “Tea Party” conservatives have been named the primary culprits if a shutdown goes south; even former Democratic president Bill Clinton is getting in on the blame game:

All the bickering over Obamacare is fascinating, I'm sure, but lets set the Affordable Care Act aside for a moment and look at the bigger and more important picture.  The private Federal Reserve Bank has just announced to much surprise a complete reversal on its suggested QE “taper” measures, resulting in a shocked and confused marketplace.  If the U.S. fiscal system is stable and sound, as the Fed has been suggesting for the past year, then why continue stimulus measures at all?  Could it be that most if not all positive economic numbers released by the Fed and the Labor Department are actually fake, and that investors have been duped into assuming overall growth when America is actually in an accelerated decline?   Wouldn't that be a high speed excrement storm straight out of left field!

The first day rally over the Fed announcement faded quickly, resulting in a slow bleed of the Dow ever since.  The magic of Fed stimulus is wearing off, and the investment world is not happy.  If I were a member of the Federal Reserve Bank, I suppose I would appreciate a large scale distraction designed to take attention away from me and my elitist club-mates as the primary culprits behind the greatest currency implosion in the history of the world.

Sadly, a government shutdown is sizable threat to the American financial system, and few people seem to get it.  Perhaps because the expectation is that any shutdown would only be a short term concern.  And, this assumption might be correct.  But, if a shutdown takes place, and, if “gridlock” continues for an extended period of time, I have little doubt that the U.S economy will experience renewed crisis.  Here's why:

Exponential Debt

Obamacare only tops a long list of already existing “unfunded liabilities” (otherwise known as entitlement programs).  These programs are not counted in the government's official calculations of national debt or deficit spending, but they cost taxpayers money all the same.  True deficit costs and national debt costs expand every year without fail.  If the debt ceiling does not rise in accordance with this exponential debt, a default is inevitable.  No amount of increased taxes could ever fill the black hole already created by negative government spending. 

A long term government shutdown will eventually require cuts in entitlements, if not a total overhaul of certain aid programs.  Imagine an end to all disability payments, including veterans disability payments.  Imagine federal employee pensions put on hold for an undesignated period of time.  Imagine food stamps placed on hiatus for 50 million people.  Imagine how many states now rely on federal funding just to keep municipalities from bankruptcy.  Get the picture now? 

End Of Foreign Faith In U.S. Treasuries

In a disgusting display of propaganda, media outlet Reuters has released an article claiming that, default or not, Asian investors and central banks are “hostage” to U.S. debt:

Their argument essentially revolves around the lie that Asian investors believe an American default to be “unthinkable”.  Surely, the unnamed Japanese investment source they cite as an “insider” truly represents the whole of Asia.   

The reality is, the Asians (the Chinese in particular) have been preparing for a calamity in the U.S. Treasury market for years.

Most foreign investors in U.S. Treasuries have converted their long term bond holdings to short term bond holdings; meaning, they are ready to liquidate their bonds at a moment's notice.  Overall purchase levels of treasuries are either static, or falling depending on the nation involved.

China has been internationalizing its currency, the Yuan, since 2005.  China has opened Yuan “clearing houses in multiple countries to allow faster convertibility of the Yuan, quietly supplanting the dollar as the world reserve currency.  These clearing houses now exist in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Kenya.  The Federal Reserve and international banks like JP Morgan are heavily involved in the internationalization of the Yuan.

The assertion that Asia is somehow hostage to U.S. debt is a lie beyond all proportions.  In truth, the U.S. economy is actually hostage to Asian holdings of U.S. debt.  A call for a dump of U.S. treasury bonds by China, for example, in the face of a U.S. default, would immediately result in a global chain reaction ending in the destruction of the dollar as the world reserve currency.  This is not speculation, this is mathematical fact.  China is not going to sit back and do nothing while their investment in U.S. debt quickly disintegrates.  Why would they take the chance when they could could just sell, sell, sell!

The very idea that Reuters is attempting to twist the fundamentals surrounding a default event leads me to believe a default event may be preordained. 

What Will Be Defunded?

Non-essential personnel (which apparently includes Obama's maids), will be the first to receive a pink slip from the federal government.  Extra Pentagon staff, EPA staff, FDA staff, IRS staff, etc will all be cut.  Good riddance.  But what will follow will not be so pleasant. 

If a shutdown stretches for months, expect cuts in all support programs and entitlements.  Veterans disability checks, social security, Medicare, employee pensions, even the Postal Service is likely to undergo defunding.  National Parks, and schools that receive federal aid will discover immediate cash-loss.  In fact, any state or city that relies on federal funds should plan for the possibility that those funds will disappear. 

Military cuts would be at the bottom of the list, but I would not discount the chance of that either.

It cannot be denied; an enormous subsection of the American public is dependent on federal money.  If that money dries up, chaos will ensue.  I don't like it, but it is a concern.

Controlled Reaction

A long term shutdown will be catastrophe no matter how you slice it.  Foreign creditors will react harshly.  The bond market will see a haircut not unlike that given to investors in Greek treasuries.  Austerity will become an American way of life.  The only mitigating factor will be the Federal Reserve, which I believe may institute “extraordinary measures” without congressional consent in order to continue feeding stimulus into government regardless of whether the debt ceiling is raised or not.  Given enough desperation, the American public might even applaud such an action and praise the Fed as “heroic”.

In this situation, the U.S. would be facing a Weimar-style currency collapse, rather than a debt default.  But in either scenario, the dollar is the final target.  

Unfortunately, too many economic analysts presume that the only threat to the dollar's value is hyperinflation (these are the same people that quote the Fed's crooked CPI numbers).  But the dollar is just as vulnerable to a debt default and loss of reserve status.  Devaluation seems to be inevitable regardless of the outcome of the funding debate. 

The Republicans could still surrender, and even if they don't, real damages will not be felt until after October 17th.  This is plenty of time to manipulate the public into demanding more spending even when more spending is not in our best interests in the long term.  Our greatest concern, though, should be whether or not the establishment is ready to pull the plug on the dollar altogether, using the debt ceiling crisis as cover in order to distract away from the involvement of international banks in the overall problem.  There is no doubt given the facts at hand that America is on the edge of a terrible pyre.  Is this the event that will finally trigger collapse?  We'll know more in a week...

You can contact Brandon Smith at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Alt-Market is an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for mutual aid and defense.  Join today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better.
To contribute to the growth of the Safe Haven Project, and to help us help others in relocating, or to support the creation of barter networks across the country, visit our donate page here:
Silver and Gold are on their way back to historic highs, and now is the time to buy.  Let help you decide how to best protect your savings and insulate you from an ever destabilizing dollar.
Do you need long term food storage but want the best quality as well?  The good people at Nuvona Premium Foods are offering discounts on their Non-GMO food storage for Alt-Market readers only!  Take advantage of this incredible deal while it lasts!
Do you have enough Non-GMO seeds in case of economic collapse?  Seeds are the OTHER alternative currency, and if you aren't stocked, then you aren't prepared.  To buy top quality non-GMO seeds at a special 10% discount, visit Humble Seed, and use the code Alt10

I No Longer Recognize My Country

Guest Post By  Dave LIndorff

I no longer recognize my country.
Back in 1997, after two years living in China, and five more living in Hong Kong, during which time, as a correspondent for Business Week magazine, I slipped in and out of China regularly as a journalist to report on developments there, I got a good dose of life in a totalitarian society. When I alit from the plane in Philadelphia where my family and I were about to start a new chapter of our lives, I remember feeling like a big weight had been lifted off my chest.

The sense of freedom was palpable.
Almost immediately, though I got an inkling that something was amiss. An art teacher in Upper Dublin, the suburban town where we had bought a house, had just been arrested, charged with theft of $400 in school art supplies. Of course, my initial reaction was, “Great school district we’re in, if the teachers are stealing from the school!”

The teacher, Lou Ann Merkel, who had been arrested and briefly jailed pending arraignment, was fired and was facing trial on a felony charge of stealing public property. But in a few weeks, as I followed the story in the local weekly paper, it became clear that there had really been no theft (she was taking old supplies which were being replaced with new ones, intending to bring them to a local community center used by low-income children who went there for day care and after-school care. Moreover, when stopped by the principal and told that the old supplies had to be put in the dumpster, she grudgingly complied. She was arrested anyway later, at her home). I learned over subsequent weeks of news reports that Merkel actually was being hounded by an obsessive power-tripping school administration simply for being an “activist” and outspoken teacher. A school board hearing I attended was packed in December of that year with over a hundred angry parents and former students of Merkel’s demanding that the board drop its case against her. It did not, but a county judge had the good sense to do exactly that, ruling that “no crime occurred here.” (Merkel, who got her job back with back pay, later sued the school district and won a significant judgement against it.)

This was one small example of government tyranny run amok but since then I have seen it become the norm in a United States where people are now being arrested for almost everything -- kids jailed without trial for shoplifting, hitchhikers jailed for arguing, correctly, with cops that it is not illegal for them to thumb for a ride, non-white youths in many cities stopped and frisked for “walking while black or hispanic” and then getting busted on trumped up charges (resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, disturbing the peace, etc.) when the cops find no guns or drugs on them, protesters beaten and gassed and jailed for simply trying to exercise their First Amendment rights.

But that is just the surface.

Massive arrays of NSA computers now monitor every communication of every American. To what end? 

Massive arrays of NSA computers now monitor every communication of every American. To what end?

As a journalist working in China, I had to watch my back all the time. Spies from the Ministry of State Security (China’s KGB) or one of the local Public Security Bureaus that operate under its jurisdiction would secretly follow my movements, and would keep track of whoever I interviewed. In one case, after my departure, they badly beat a source to the point that he had to be hospitalized for reconstructive surgery to his crushed cheek bones (his entire groin region was also left black and blue after his brutal beating). The man’s offense? He had shown me around a rural region where peasants were improving their lives by sending some of their children off to the city to do construction jobs.

I thought this kind of monitoring and intimidation of sources was a nightmare back then in China.
Now it’s happening here in the US, only worse. Not only is the National Security Agency monitoring every phone call I make, every email I sent, every person I interview and every article I write--something Chinese police were not capable of at least in those days--but the agency can be watching what I write at this moment, as a type these letters on my keyboard.

How do I know they’re watching me? Well, of course I can’t know for certain, because they won’t tell me on the grounds of “national security,” which has rendered the Freedom of Information Act moribund. But courageous leakers from within the NSA, most notably Edward Snowden, have released documentary evidence proving that the super-secretive spy agency has been monitoring all communications between Americans and foreign contacts, most notably with countries like Russia or Iran or other nations which the US views as “enemies.”

In my case, as a journalist, I write often on international issues, as when I broke the story exposing an arrested killer in Lahore, Pakistan as a CIA operative [1], or wrote about how Israeli commandos executed a 19-year-old unarmed American peace activist in their raid on a Turkish-flagged peace flotilla headed for Gaza [2]. I am also an occasional guest on news programs on RT-TV [3], the Russian state television news network, and on Iran’s state-owned Press TV [4]. For one year, ending about a year ago, I was contracted to write a weekly column for PressTV’s English-language website [5], for which I was paid $200 per column. Because of US sanctions against Iran’s banking business, Press TV said they would pay me quarterly, rather than monthly, to minimize the paperwork hassles. This meant that for a year I was getting wire transfer of about $2600 every quarter from an Iranian bank. You can be sure I was on the NSA’s radar for that, if nothing else.

(Interestingly, I had more editorial freedom with that job than I’ve ever had writing for any news organization in the US. I picked my own topics for columns, Press TV agreed not to make any changes, or cuts, in my pieces, and I got paid in full whether they ran a story or not. Only once in the course of a year of columns did they not run a piece -- an article I did on the debate over the death penalty in the US. The editor claimed that it was too “US-focused” and that it would “not be of interest” to Press TV readers. Even articles I wrote that included criticisms of Iranian policy ran unaltered.)

Even if everything I say on the phone or write on my computer, every site I visit online, every place I travel, every person I interview, is not being monitored by the NSA, the fact that we know the government is doing this, and is capable of doing this thanks to billions of dollars being spent in secret on massive super-computer arrays in Maryland and Utah, the damage is done. I have to assume that it is being done, and adjust my mind and my working methods to that reality. Recent arrests, convictions and lengthy sentences handed out to journalists’ sources also mean I have to assume that my promises of anonymity to sources -- a key to any good investigative journalism -- are empty. The reality is that unless I resort to secret meetings in person with sources, or start using throw-away cell phones, the NSA can find out who I am communicating with.
A total police state may not exist (yet) in the US in the sense of the one I lived in for a while in China, where people get taken away without charge, not to be seen again for years, if ever, and where people get executed without even the semblance of a fair trial on trumped-up charges of corruption or assaulting an officer or threatening state security. But because of the extent of the spying secretly being done now in the US by the NSA, the FBI and other US “law-enforcement” and national “security” agencies, we have to live now as though it is happening.

Because it could be happening to any one of us, and because all that data they are collecting could be used later against us.

Not only that, but the data being collected can be manipulated, clipped and doctored, so as to make us look guilty of something when we are not.

Make no mistake. What happened to Lou Ann Merkel was an example of a police state at work. A courageous woman who dared to speak out against subtle and sometimes not so subtle racism in the school where she worked, and someone who dares to speak her mind on any topic, was threatened with jail by a school superintendent who felt he had absolute power and who in fact had the power to have her arrested on his say so on trumped-up charges.

Today we are all Lou Ann Merkel. Step out of line or stand on principle and we lose jobs, face arrest, and become the targets of the NSA’s spy machine.

(Incidentally, by way of full disclosure, Lou Ann is a friend and the wife of my ThisCantBeHappening! colleague John Grant. I met them both at that Upper Dublin School Board hearing mentioned above.)
There is one difference between China, the police state I lived in and reported on back in the 1990s, and the US police state of today. In China, everyone knows they are living in a totalitarian society. There is no confusion about that. Chinese people know that their news is controlled, that they are being watched and monitored on phone and online, and that if they step out of line there will be dire consequences for them and their families. Many do anyway, or resist in smaller ways.

In the US, most Americans remain blissfully unaware of how their freedoms have been stolen or surrendered. While they may say they don’t trust the government and don’t believe the news, they actually do to a remarkable extent. That’s the only explanation for society allowing -- even encouraging -- the government to continue to execute people based on a findings of a court system that is clearly corrupt to the core. It’s the only reason so many people say they support government spying to keep us “safe from terrorism.” It’s the only reason local communities, like mine here in Upper Dublin, keep voting more money for small armies of police officers equipped with M-16s and SWAT gear in places that violent crime is almost unheard of.
The United States is not China, or the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Not yet. But I’m afraid we are almost there, and in some ways we are in a worse place than the peoples of those societies, because so many of us here in the so-called “Land of the Free and the Brave” are living with eyes willfully closed to what is happening to us and to our country.

Americans can still wake up. We seem to have done that in the latest attempt by the war-mongers in Washington to launch yet another bloody war in the Middle East. But there is still far too much sleep-walking going on.

Benjamin Franklin once famously said: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

We Americans have been surrendering our liberty since the dawn of the national security state in 1947. The process accelerated with President Nixon’s “war” on crime and especially his “war” on drugs, which militarized police. Things grew worse under subsequent presidents, including President Reagan, who accelerated the “Drug War,
 and President Clinton, who gutted habeas corpus. Presidents George W. Bush and current President Obama have stolen more freedom from Americans than any leaders in the country’s history, with the acquiescence of most citizens.

Clearly we are not safer now. And as Franklin warned so presciently, when it comes to our liberties, we are now in danger of losing it all.

As it is, I no longer recognize the country I grew up in and in which I began my journalism career.

Original Article

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Road to Inequality is the Road to Revolution

Guest Post By Tyler Durden

Be very careful who's side you are found to be Senators Feinstein, McCain, Graham and the rest...

The premise in Albert Edwards' latest letter "Is the Fed blowing bubbles to cover up growing inequality... again" is simple: the unprecedented social inequality in the US (and the rest of the world - as pointed out here), and what it will ultimately lead to. Regarding what it will lead to, Edwards believes, is that "growing inequality drains the swimming pool dry. The crunch, when it comes, will be ugly." Simple enough.

Digging a little deeper.

It is ironic that nearly five years ago, we first posited that the only result QE would achieve as a result of reflating asset prices to astronomical levels, while transferring (in)finite wealth from the middle class to the 0.1%, would be an inevitable tear in the social fabric resulting, eventually, in outright conflict and/or war (and, ultimately, hyperinflation because the Fed will stop at nothing to reflate the debt, especially in a rising rate environment - even paradropping money from helicopters, something even Deutsche Bank agrees with now). Back then everyone called this (as so often happens) a naive conspiracy theory. Now, even respected strategists are starting to see things our way. From Edwards:
Some argue that central banks had no choice in the face of under-consumption, while conspiracy theorists might even conclude there has been some sort of unspoken collusion among policymakers to "rob" the middle classes of their rightful share of income growth by throwing them illusionary spending power based on asset price inflation. We will never know. But now it all makes more sense!
Naturally, economists being the last to voice concerns about the status quo (and their sanctity of their tenures of course), are even more muted. But even they are starting to admit the underlying threat.
Set aside any moral or political concerns you may have about rising income inequality - worries about poverty, justice, undue political influence or even social mobility. According to Mr. Dervis, co-author of the book, the research collected in “Inequality in America,” shows that a growing number of economists suspect that once inequality passes a certain point it may jeopardize economic stability and economic growth. As the book argues, "rebalancing of the distribution of income may play a role in unlocking the U.S. economy's growth potential in a sustainable way."

That is exactly the point Warren Buffet, Bill Gross and Stanley Druckenmiller make. You don’t have to be a communist to conclude that high levels of inequality not only adversely affects long-term growth, but also increases the economy’s vulnerability to recession.
Edwards then goes on to observe if in a world of record income inequality, all that matters is one's "starting point", i.e., being born with a silver spoon in the mouth. His conclusion: why certainly.
Joseph Stiglitz makes the most simple point in a NY Times op-ed "Our skyrocketing inequality - so contrary to our meritocratic ideal of America as a place where anyone with hard work and talent can make it - means that those who are born to parents of limited means are likely never to live up to their potential. Children in other rich countries like Canada, France, Germany and Sweden have a better chance of doing better than their parents did than American kids have." He is right. There is growing body of evidence that the largest determinant of your income is increasingly your starting point.

When I was studying economics I think this was part of the lecture on the Edgeworth box: how well you do depends on your initial endowments and how far you move along the contract curve. Or to put it another way, it is economically inefficient for Tim (nice but-dim)'s parents to buy education at his private school while the highly intelligent Tracy sinks like a stone at a local sink school (no disrespect to any Tim's or Tracy's out there). It’s not about equality of outcomes, it’s about equality of opportunity. I think all of us, especially economists, can identify with that…until it comes to our own children, that is.
Here Albert shows our annual SAT chart which shows year after year that US kids are, sadly, getting progressively dumber. Unfortunatly, more than anything, it shows that equality of opportunity is indeed a major issue for a society in which the classes have never been more apart.
Where things get entertaining is when Albert Edwards looks at the US tax system, and particularly its capital gains and dividend taxation components, and concludes "No wonder it has been so easy for the 1% to get richer and richer in the US. While some might explain higher inequality as the inevitable consequence of technological innovation and globalisation, for me distortions in the tax system are key to explaining the extreme levels of income inequality in the US." He continues: "Instead of backing off, things should have gone even further in my opinion to arrest the upward march of US inequality. In my opinion one of the greatest tax distortions and biggest incentives for tax avoidance would be eliminated by completely aligning all taxes on capital gains and dividend income with income tax."
Where it gets downright amusing is that Edwards believes that his assessment regarding the reasons for US social inequality would engender a very violent reaction from "economic libertarian bloggers." To wit:
I can hear the calls from the economic libertarian bloggers to hang, draw and quarter me (incidentally I used to drink at a pub of the same name just next to the Tower of London so I am fully acquainted with the practice). But before I am strung up as a heretic, consider the words of one of the most tax-reforming, right-wing UK Chancellors of the Exchequer of the 20th century.

Nigel Lawson said in 1988: "In principle there is little economic difference between income and capital gains, and many people effectively have the option of choosing, to a significant extent, which they receive. Insofar as there is a difference, it is by no means clear why one should be taxed more heavily than the other."

And separately "I have long felt it is highly undesirable that Capital Gains Tax should have given rise to a substantial tax avoidance industry dedicated solely to converting income into capital gain, which is taxed very much more lightly."

It was Lawson who in 1988 brought capital gains taxation into line with income taxes to stamp out any incentives for the rich to even bother trying to use this time-honoured method for to avoid income tax. And he did what no Labour government had done before him.

We are talking about Nigel Lawson, the former UK Chancellor's of the Exchequer in Margaret Thatcher's extremely "conservative" Conservative administration. Nigel Lawson was no  lilylivered leftie liberal. He was so far right he makes Ron Paul look like a pinko-socialist - ok, maybe not quite that far right. Yet despite his right wing, free market credentials Nigel Lawson should be THE pin-up poster boy for the 99% movement.
We are not sure why Edwards is so convinced about the fury this statement would generate: after all "economic libertarian bloggers" have never said that capital gains and dividend taxation is equitable (even if soaring income taxes will merely force enterprenuerial individuals - those who seek to build up capital - to more hospitable tax jurisdictions). After all, the pathetic "Patriotic Millionaires" movement made it a point to highlight that they are wiling to see their income taxes hiked to 100% or more just to prove their "patrotism." How convenient, especially considering that the bulk of their wealth is not in the form of current income (and certainly not through labor), but from returns on assets, dividends, capital gains of course, and generally mortgaging existing assets at the lowest interest rates possible.
After all, we have yet to hear just how much wealth Buffett's secretary has in the form of invested assets and how much her annual dividend payment is.
So Albert: sleep well - your observations are once again accurate.
Which brings us to Albert's conclusion: ignoring for a second where the inequality came from, it is time to focus on where it will lead us. To Edwards, the light at the end of the tunnel (with a toll keeping all but the richest out) is the Hyperloop.
Many investors I meet continue to marvel at US labour's inability to rebuild its wage share of GDP and how dominant capital and profits have become. I believe society will ultimately demand and implement a change. We have already seen a potent grass-roots backlash against cross-border tax arbitrage and tax-havens, which has forced the politicians to react here in the UK. Yet inequality in the US continues to grow.

Investors should make no mistake. The anger of the 99% will ultimately not be bought off by yet another central bank inspired housing bubble, engineered to pacify them and divert their attention as their real incomes fall and inequality continues to grow.

The current bubble will burst, despite the Fed postponing the event by climbing to ever higher diving boards. All the time rising inequality is draining the swimming pool dry and the crunch when it comes will be ugly. Then the long overdue reforms in the tax system discussed above could be forced by a raging public onto the 1% despite their brays of indignation. And when dividends and capital gains tax rates are properly aligned with income tax and inequality begins to decline, let the 99% hold former UK Chancellor Nigel Lawson aloft on their shoulders and fete him for being well ahead of his time.
We would go further: when the fury of the 99% boils over, the 1% (and their bought and paid for politicians) better hope that the army is on their side. Because the reverse wealth redistribution when (not if) it comes, will be swift, militarized, and very brutal.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Has America Been Set Up As History's Ultimate Bumbling Villain?

 Guest Post By Brandon Smith

The high priests of academic and “official” history love a good villain for two reasons:  First, because good official villains make the struggles and accomplishments of good official heroes even more awe-inspiring.  And, second, because nothing teaches (or propagandizes) the masses more thoroughly than the social or political lessons inherent in the documented rise and fall of the world's most despicable inhabitants.  We get shivers of fear and excitement when we discuss the evils and the follies of ancient monsters like Nero, Attila the Hun, Caligula, etc, or more modern monsters, like Mussolini, Stalin Hitler, Goebbels, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and so on.  We take solace in the idea that “we are nothing like them”, and our nation has “moved beyond” such animalistic behavior. 

But even more fascinating popcorn-style history is found not in the destruction of tyrants, but the destruction of empires. 

When an entire culture steps off the edge of the abyss into the realm of societal psychosis, the world often changes forever and in ways that, at least on the surface, seem to bring humanity a little closer together.  The fall of Rome led to the eventual rise of a dominant Catholic theocracy and the rulership of royal blood lineage that lasted for centuries in Europe.  The flames of World War I and the destabilization of the Kaiser's Germany led to the formation of the League Of Nations; a first attempt at a global governing authority designed to “maintain world peace”.  World War II and the fall of the Third Reich resulted in considerable horrors, which the establishment of the United Nations was supposedly meant to prevent from ever occurring again.  The decline of the British Empire saw the implosion of cultural colonialism, and the rise of corporate colonialism, which centralized immense power into the hands of the banking class as the new official oligarchs of our modern era.  The collapse of the Berlin Wall and the abandonment of the Soviet Union was lauded by then U.S. President George Bush as the beginnings of a “New World Order” - an ideological concept which heralds the final deterioration of the idea of economic and political sovereignty as a mainstay of human civilization. 

When examining the approved version of historical conflict, one gets the overwhelming impression that the villains of our past, through their hubris, their greed, and their insanity, seem to inspire a sudden surge of unification as their ashes are cleared from the air.  One might even come to believe that the “natural progression” of conflict is leading us towards a future in which the only solution is the dissolution of all boundaries and the adoption of a one world narrative.  Wouldn't it be glorious if the deaths of these malevolent tyrants and societies finally inspired the birth of a single human system in which no conflict is possible because we are all on the same side?

Perhaps it would be glorious, if you have adopted the childish notions of history common to the mainstream.  For those who have not, the story, and the ultimate solutions to the ills of mankind, become a little more complicated...

America's Villainous Mustache

Mainstream history tends to follow the motions of a play or film, in that archetypes and symbolic figures are consistently created in order to satisfy the natural flow of a particular fiction.  The bad guy wears a mustache (not always, but it is strange and disturbing to see how often this archetype materializes in the mainstream world view.  Just look at Hitler, Stalin, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, etc.  We love mustached villains).  His criminal successes make him imposing and frightening.  He acts without conscience, or, he wrongly believes his terrible actions are justified in the name of the “greater good”.  His inevitable mistakes make his final failure ironic and satisfying in the face of the iconic hero, who defeats the enemy while the citizenry stands back and watches in awe and wonder as helpless spectators. 

The villain is indeed evil, and deserves to be dethroned, but the assumption many people make is that the other side is diametrically good.  This is not always the case...

America is used to playing the role of the hero in the epic tale of modern Earth.  Our nation began with an act of defiance and victory so unexpected and so poetic, it cemented our cultural identity as freedom fighters for centuries to come.  Over time, our government, turning progressively corrupt, has exploited this cultural identity in order to lure Americans into committing atrocities in the name of our traditional sense of “heroism”.  We have, in fact, become the very antagonists we thought we were fighting against (there's the delicious irony needed to round out our fairytale).

Our government's actions surrounding Syria, for instance, have made America appear not just bloodthirsty, but also ridiculous.  The Obama Administration has taken us to the brink of World War III and left us there to stare out over the chasm.  The slightest breeze could send us plummeting.  All to generate military support for Al-Qaeda, the same organization designated by the establishment as our mortal enemy.

In the meantime, our economic system now survives solely on the whims of the Federal Reserve, a private central bank that answers to NO ONE, and writes fiscal policy without oversight.  The government is not only seeking to trigger world war, it also wants to pay for that war with money we do not have, riding debts we cannot pay, to foreign creditors we will piss off in the process of unleashing our unfunded laser guided hell.     

Never has the U.S. been slathered in so much absurdity all at once.  Now, we wear the mustache...

Most of us in the Liberty Movement would agree that our country is being poisoned from within, and that our government for many decades has become an enemy of all free peoples.  But there is a very important question that we seem to have overlooked:

If America has been written as the villain, then who is meant to be the hero?

Putin Is Not Your Buddy

Lets step back from the global stage for a moment and examine the situation from a different perspective.  What if the U.S. is not just a product of corruption for corruption's sake?  What if our new identity as the next historical evil-doer is part of a greater script, and America's fall from grace is meant to be used to foment the success of fantastic (but fake) protagonists in an engineered fight for a “better and more centralized world”? 

How many of us in the Liberty Movement cheered the diplomatic and strategic prowess of Vladimir Putin, for example, in the days leading to Obama's “red line” attack on Syria?  We cheered because his position was correct, and his demeanor made our government look homicidal by comparison.  We cheered his letter to TIME Magazine because we are tired of being the only people pointing out the vicious parasite our political body has become, and it was exciting to be vindicated by an outside source.  We cheered his protection of Edward Snowden, a truly courageous whistle blower that exposed the terrifying Orwellian nature of the NSA.  We watch video reports from Russia Today (RT) because they give a far more accurate accounting of the facts in the U.S. than all American media entities combined.  It is easy for us to get caught up in the idea that since the West has become the bad guy, the East must now be the good guy.

The problem is, we are being played yet again.

Putin has long called for the end of the dollar's world reserve status and the creation of a new “global structure” and a “global currency” revolving around the IMF's Special Drawing Rights:

Is it just coincidence that Putin wants the same centralized global economy and global governance that the IMF and multiple banking elites have been calling for for years?  The same elites who created the debt crisis and currency crisis we now face in America?  Is it just coincidence that Eastern economic and political dominance over issues like Syria perfectly benefits the IMF plan for an financial shift to the BRICS nations and away from the U.S. greenback?  The same plan promoted by many American financial moguls?   

Russia is a model for despotic socialized society posing as “civilized society”, and yet, our government has made America so ugly that Russia looks noble by comparison.  Putin is placed on the cover of TIME magazine everywhere in the world except the U.S., and the Washington Times responds by stating that such behavior is a sign of “America's downward spiral in the global community”, as if we are about to be shunned from the world at large:

While RT produces fantastic journalistic pieces that are critical of American government, rarely if ever do they turn a discerning eye to Russia, and this is not just oversight.

Look carefully at the narrative that is being constructed here.  Putin is NOT our buddy.  He represents exactly what our own government now represents; globalism and naked centralized government aggression against the individual.  However, as mainstream history is being written, the story will be told that it was nations like Russia and China, and organizations like the IMF, that tried to hold back the tide of catastrophe while America, the last empire, steamrolled into thick-skulled oblivion surfing on a shockwave of fiat money and brute military vanity. 

The Washington Aristocracy Is Scum, But Don't Let That Fool You...

Most people with an extensive Liberty Movement education are well aware that false paradigms are used in politics by establishment elites in order to control social discussion and to divide the population against each other.  The Left/Right debate has been and always will be a farce, being that the leadership on both sides of the aisle have identical goals when it comes to the most important aspects of the American structure.  The elites of the Democratic and Republican parties, regardless of rhetoric, will BOTH strive for greater government power, less individual liberty, the erasure of economic sovereignty and free markets, and a dependent and enslaved public.  On these pursuits, they completely agree.

In one week, our faux leadership is to decide once AGAIN on the possibility of a debt ceiling increase that will bring us ever closer to a debt and currency avalanche event.  During past debates, much fanfare is given to the supposed conflict between the interests of the Democrats and the GOP, up until the last moment when the GOP caves in completely and allows the debt ceiling to be vaulted.  Will the same happen again in this case?  It depends on how quickly the establishment wants to bring entire roof down on our heads.

A freeze of the debt ceiling would eventually mean default on our Treasury Bonds, since our government must take on exponential debt in order to receive the benefits of the Federal Reserve's printing press, as well as pay off our foreign creditors.

A government shutdown could slow the growth of some liabilities, but it does not account for the liabilities already in circulation, thus, we can still default.  Not to mention, our debt and currency standing could easily come into question, resulting in a bond dump or loss of reserve status.

The only option that does not result in a fast moving firestorm through our financial system is a debt ceiling increase, and how much longer can we get away with kicking the can down the road?  In any case, America is about to change for the worse, and the decision on when this is to happen was made a long time ago.  The Washington aristocracy is blatantly guilty in the instigation of our current dilemma, and my theory is, they want you to know they are the culprit, as long as you continue believing they are the ONLY culprit.  They want you to forget all about the IMF, the corporate elites, and Vladimir Putin's involvement in the larger plan.  They want you to cheer when international banks and what's left of the G20 rescue us after years of fiscal disaster and institute centralized global economic governance.  They want to be the only authors of this story, and what author doesn't want to see himself placed in the role of the champion?

Just as there are false political paradigms, there are also false international paradigms.  The Liberty Movement is the wild card; an unknown quantity.  We aren't fighting for one side or the other – we are fighting for particular principles and beliefs.  The establishment's best strategy is to co-opt our momentum by convincing us to focus on alternative opposition, or place our trust in fabricated advocates.  No matter how epically monstrous our government becomes, and no matter how satisfying their ultimate demise will be, our battle does not end with them.  It only begins with them.

You can contact Brandon Smith at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Alt-Market is an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for mutual aid and defense.  Join today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better.
To contribute to the growth of the Safe Haven Project, and to help us help others in relocating, or to support the creation of barter networks across the country, visit our donate page here:
Silver and Gold are on their way back to historic highs, and now is the time to buy.  Let help you decide how to best protect your savings and insulate you from an ever destabilizing dollar.
Do you need long term food storage but want the best quality as well?  The good people at Nuvona Premium Foods are offering discounts on their Non-GMO food storage for Alt-Market readers only!  Take advantage of this incredible deal while it lasts!
Do you have enough Non-GMO seeds in case of economic collapse?  Seeds are the OTHER alternative currency, and if you aren't stocked, then you aren't prepared.  To buy top quality non-GMO seeds at a special 10% discount, visit Humble Seed, and use the code Alt10

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Americans, Guns, Lies and Our Governmnet's Fears

Guest Post By Daniel Greenfield

We are not a violent society. We are a society sheltered from violence. No one in Rwanda spends  time wondering what kind of man would murder people. They probably live next door to him. If your neighborhood is diverse enough, you might be unfortunate enough to live next door to war criminals all the way from Eastern Europe to Africa.

Guns are how we misspell evil. Guns are how we avoid talking about the ugly realities of human nature while building sandcastles on the shores of utopia.

It's not about the fear of what one motivated maniac can do in a crowded place, but about the precariousness of liberal social control that the killing sprees imply.

The gun issue is about solving individual evil through central planning in a shelter big enough for everyone. A Gun Free Zone where everyone is a target and tries to live under the illusion that they aren't. A society where everyone is drawing peace signs on colored notepaper while waiting under their desks for the bomb to fall.

That brand of control isn't authority, it's authority in panic mode believing that if it imposes total zero tolerance control then there will be no more shootings. And every time the dumb paradigm is blown to bits with another shotgun, then the rush is on to reinforce it with more total zero control tolerance.

Zero tolerance for the Second Amendment makes sense. If you ban all guns, except for those in the hands of the 708,000 police officers, some of the 1.5 million members of the armed forces, the  security guards at armored cars and banks, the bodyguards of celebrities who call for gun control,  and any of the other people who need a gun to do their job, then you're sure to stop all shootings.

So long as none of those millions of people, or their tens of millions of kids, spouses, parents, grandchildren, girlfriends, boyfriends, roommates and anyone else who has access to them and their living spaces, carries out one of those shootings.

But this isn't really about stopping shootings; it's about the belief that the problem isn't evil, but agency, that if we make sure that everyone who has guns is following government orders, then control will be asserted and the problem will stop.

It's the central planning solution to evil.

We'll never know the full number of people who were killed by Fast and Furious. We'll never know how many were killed by Obama's regime change operation in Libya, with repercussions in Mali and Syria. But everyone involved in that was following orders.

There was no individual agency, just agencies. There were orders to run guns to Mexico and the cartel gunmen who killed people had orders to shoot. There was nothing random or unpredictable about it.

Gun control is the assertion that the problem is not the guns; it's the lack of central planning for shooting people. It's the individual.

A few million people with little sleep, taut nerves and PTSD are not a problem so long as there is someone to give them orders. A hundred million people with guns and no orders is a major problem. Historically though it's millions of people with guns who follow orders who have been more of a problem than millions of people with guns who do not.

Moral agency is individual. You can't outsource it to a government and you wouldn't want to.

The bundle of impulses, the codes of character, the concepts of right and wrong, take place at the level of the individual.

Organizations do not sanctify this process. They do not lift it above its fallacies or do a very good job of keeping sociopaths and murderers from rising high enough to give orders.

Gun control does not control guns, it gives the illusion of controlling people, and when it fails those in authority are able to say that they did everything that they could short of giving people the ability to defend themselves.

We live under the rule of organizers, community and otherwise, committed to bringing their perfect state into being through the absolute control over people, and the violent acts of lone madmen are a reminder that such control is fleeting and that attempting to control a problem often makes it worse by removing the natural human crowdsourced responses that would otherwise come into play.

People do kill people and the only way to stop that is by killing them first. To a utopian this is a moral paradox that invalidates everything that came before it, but to everyone else, it's just life in a world where evil is a reality, not just a word.

Anyone who really hankers after a world without guns would do well to try the 12th Century which was not a nicer place for lack of guns. The same firepower that makes it possible for one homicidal maniac to kill a dozen unarmed people also makes it that much harder to recreate a world where a single family can rule over millions and one man in armor can terrify hundreds of peasants.

Putting miniature cannons in the hands of every peasant made the American Revolution possible. The ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution would have meant very little without an army of ordinary men armed with weapons that made them a match for the superior organization and numbers of a world power.

Would Thomas Jefferson, the abiding figurehead of the Democratic Party, who famously wrote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants", really have shuddered at the idea of peasants with assault rifles, or would he have grinned at the playing field being leveled?

But the Democratic Party is no longer the party of Thomas Jefferson. It's the party of King George III.  And it doesn't like the idea of armed peasants, not because an occasional peasants goes on a shooting spree, but because like a certain dead mad king who liked to talk to trees, it believes that government power comes before individual liberty. Like that dead king, it believes that it means this for the benefit of the peasants who will be better off being told what to do.

The question is the old elemental one about government control and individual agency. And tragedies like the one that just happened take us back to the equally old question of whether individual liberty is a better defense against human evil than the entrenched organizations of government.

Do we want a society run by kings and princes who commit atrocities according to a plan for a better society, or by peasants with machine guns? The kings can promise us a world without evil, but the peasant with a machine gun promises us that we can protect ourselves from evil when it comes calling.

It isn't really guns that the gun controllers are afraid of; it's a country where individual agency is still superior to organized control, where the trains don't run on time and orders don't mean anything. It's afraid of individual power.

Evil finds heavy firepower appealing, but the firepower works both ways.

A world where the peasants have assault rifles is a world where peasant no longer means a man without any rights. And while it may also mean the occasional brutal shooting spree, those sprees tend to happen in the outposts of utopia, the gun-free zones with zero tolerance for firearms. An occasional peasant may go on a killing spree, but a society where the peasants are all armed is also far more able to stop such a thing without waiting for the men-at-arms to be dispatched from the castle.

An armed society spends more time stopping evil than contemplating it. It is the disarmed society that is always contemplating it as a thing beyond its control.

Helpless people must find something to think about while waiting for their kings and princes to do something about the killing. Instead of doing something about it themselves, they blame the freedom that left the killer free to kill, instead of the lack of freedom that prevented them from being able to stop him.

Original Article

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where's the Ammo?

Guest Post By John Draper

The NRA is regularly inundated with letters from members requesting an explanation of the nationwide ammo shortage. Some folks merely vent their frustration over the amount of ammo they are able to acquire for range sessions. Some complain about the jump in prices; they insist it can’t all be explained by supply and demand. Others are sure the government is buying up all the ammo so average Americans can’t get their hands on it. Everyone wants to know if we have any inside information.
Whatever you believe to be the cause for the shortage, the fact is ammo continues to be difficult to find. Store shelves are empty. If you’re lucky enough to find a few boxes, chances are either you or the person behind you in line will buy all that either of you can carry and stash it away like Private Pyle hides a jelly doughnut. So, is this the future of ammunition, or is there an end to the madness? I did my homework, and while my conclusions may not be the answers you’re looking for, they are at least based on fact.

Government Purchases

Let’s start at the rumor mill. The Internet is awash with reports of large acquisitions of ammunition by government agencies, and the pot-stirrers ran with it: They insist “the government took it all.”
But as reported on the NRA Institute for Legislative Action website (, much of the concern over these government purchases stems from a lack of understanding of federal law enforcement functions and the agencies tasked with performing them.

For instance, the Social Security Administration (SSA) employs 295 special agents tasked with combating fraud; this is a law enforcement function. These agents have the power to execute warrants and make arrests; they are required to carry firearms. The 174,000 rounds of pistol ammunition recently solicited by the SSA works out to roughly 590 rounds for each of the 295 agents for periodic training, mandatory quarterly qualifications and duty use.

At first blush, the 46,000 rounds of .40 caliber ammo requested by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seems like a waste of money for a bunch of lab coats arguing about the rain. But the reality is that ammo is going to the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, a small outfit of 63 personnel who enforce marine importation and fishing laws. They carry firearms. It works out to about 730 rounds per officer per year.

But that’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the solicitation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for 450 million rounds of .40 caliber jacketed hollow-points over the next five years. At least one politician thought such an open-ended contract stunk enough to look a bit further. After receiving numerous questions from his constituents regarding the contract, pro-Second Amendment U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) got some answers. He issued them in a press release, explaining that the DHS contract covers the DHS Police Force as well as Customs and Border Protection, Federal Emergency Management Administration, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration, Citizenship and Immigration Service and more—roughly 65,000 law enforcement personnel combined. Crunch the numbers: 1,384 rounds per officer, per year.

So, while it’s true the government has purchased a lot of ammo, is it enough to empty store shelves? That leads us to existing supply and production, data for which ammo manufacturers hold close to the vest based on concerns regarding market competition. American Rifleman Editor in Chief Mark Keefe spoke with representatives of major ammo makers during the NRA Annual Meetings in May and was able to delve a bit deeper, albeit “off the record.” What he tells me mirrors the official responses I have received: “All of them reported they have their plants working full out, and all of them are shipping more ammunition than ever.” The percentage of law enforcement and military sales is down largely across the board due to increased production of consumer ammunition. “They are not making less ammunition for the government,” explains Keefe. “They’re making more for consumers.” One manufacturer told Keefe that his company’s production is up 33 percent. And with the most sought after rounds being 9mm and .22 LR, it doesn’t make sense to dedicate machines and tooling time to produce small runs of cartridges like the 7x57 Mauser. There are more than a billion rounds of .22 LR produced in this country every year. “I’d be willing to bet that the federal government has not purchased over a billion rounds of .22 LR,” says Keefe.

Consumer Demand

So if production is up, where are our beloved plinking rounds? You might ask your neighbor.
According to Eric Wallace, owner and general manager of Georgia-based Adventure Outdoors, whose annual sales of ammunition top $2.5 million, people are buying more ammunition than ever before.
“The average customer used to buy two or three boxes,” he says. “Now they’re buying 10 to even 15.” And that’s not just hard-core shooters like you and me, he says—that’s first-timers buying cases of ammo. According to a recent study commissioned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the majority of first-time buyers (60.3 percent) use their guns once per month or even more. One in five use their guns once a week or more. In fact target shooting is the most popular activity for first-time buyers; 84.3 percent say they use their guns for this purpose. Any way you cut it that’s a lot of ammo going downrange.
Amid this, price-gouging has increased, at least among private sellers. Wallace offers a firsthand account of actions that quite possibly are being played out across the country. He overheard some guys “bragging” about riding to 10 or 12 Walmarts to buy all the .22 LR they could find then posting it for sale on social media sites and selling 50-round boxes for $10 apiece.

Entrepreneurs noticed the surge in gun and ammo sales, and so they opened many new ranges and gun shops across the country the last few years. The result: The increase in retail points of purchase has thinned out the ammo supply from distributors among a now greater number of outlets. “Hardware stores or pawn shops that maybe weren’t even in the gun and ammunition business three years ago all of the sudden want to be in the ammo business because they’re doubling their money on any bit they can get,” Wallace says.
In Manassas, Va., Bernie Conatser, owner of Virginia Arms Co., says at one point his distributors were sending him large cardboard boxes that contained only a single box of ammo. “That happened often enough to where it really stopped being funny,” he says.

The increased competition forces shops to look to smaller manufacturers and distributors for their ammo needs, albeit at a higher cost to be able to offer at least something to their customers.

The Economic Truth

Roiling commodities markets don’t help matters. Annually, every major ammunition maker forecasts demand then forecasts sales based on projected production set against projected supplies of necessary raw materials. But worldwide competition—from China mainly, where until recently new factories seemed to open every month—increases demand for materials needed by every industry.

As a hedge against future price increases for raw materials, ammo makers buy futures contracts in commodities markets. The contracts are essentially lots of raw materials purchased at fixed prices for a given period of time, which allows makers to stay within budget throughout a production year because they can count on fixed costs. But until recently prices in many commodities markets rose more than they fell.
Increased consumer demand leads to increased production, which depletes existing supplies of materials, which forces makers to return to commodities markets to buy more supplies sooner than expected. In recent years, some makers have been forced to raise prices mid-year.

The economic lesson: When demand exceeds supply, supply dwindles and prices rise. Prices won’t fall until supply exceeds demand.

An End in Sight?

None of this goes over well with American consumers used to finding and buying what they want. Still, Bernie Conatser has hope for the future.

He recalled a similar run in 2008: Then he noticed the first things to disappear from his shelves were firearms; magazines went next, and finally ammo. “They typically come back in the same order,” he says: “Guns first, then magazines, then ammo.” Conatser now has AR rifles and magazines to sell. And more ammo, he says, is starting to trickle into his shop in Manassas, Va. In the meantime, until Americans are assured the Second Amendment is safe, the “get-it-while-you-can” mentality keeps shelves bare.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New York Times Wants War on Syria

Guest Post By Stephen Lendman 

Obama's the latest in a long line of US warrior presidents. He exceeds the worst of all his predecessors. He jeopardizes world peace. They risks global war.

New York Times editors and columnists support his lawlessness. They do it shamelessly. They do it unapologetically. They betray their readers in the process.
Rule of law principles are spurned. Advancing America's imperium matters most. So does supporting racketeering war profiteers.

George Seldes called them "merchants of death. (T)he healthfulness of their business depends on slaughter," he said. "The more wars," the greater their profits. They love endless ones best of all.

Con men like Obama manipulate public sentiment for war. Media scoundrels like Times editors and columnists support what demands condemnation.

Don't expect them to explain. They support all US wars. They do so disgracefully. They ignore fundamental rule of law principles. They suppress evidence of unconscionable human slaughter.

They call crimes of war, against humanity and genocide responsibility to protect (R2P). They lie saying so. They're doing it again now.

They hyped bogus threats throughout Syria's conflict. They point fingers the wrong way consistently. They blame Assad for Western-enlisted death squad crimes.

They lie for imperial interests. They suppress vital truths. They misportray Assad. They call him a ruthless despot. He's polar opposite. He's an accidental leader. He's a trained opthalmologist.
He intended to practice medicine. He never planned for what he's now doing. It was thrust on him after his father's death.

He's intelligent, soft spoken, thoughtful, levelheaded and honest. It shows in what he says and how. He has overwhelming popular support.

It's for good reason. Syrians rely on him against foreign invaders. He's their last line of defense. At stake is saving national sovereignty.

Obama wants it ravaged and destroyed. Don't expect Times editors and columnists to explain. They're selling war. They support mass killing and destruction. They lie to readers doing so.

On September 7, The Times headlined "With the World Watching, Syria Amassed Nerve Gas," saying:
"Syria's top leaders amassed one of the world's largest stockpiles of chemical weapons with help from the Soviet Union and Iran, as well as Western European suppliers and even a handful of American companies, according to American diplomatic cables and declassified intelligence records."

Whatever Syria may or may not have, alleged US cables and intelligence fall short of reliably explaining.
Independently verifiable evidence alone is credible. The Times cited none. It accepts US sources a gospel. It does it no matter how many times prior information was fake.

Former Times columnist Judith Miller was a virtual conflict of interest. She was a weapon of mass destruction. Her daily feature columns sold war on Iraq. She did so based on lies.

She was a stenographer for power. Her writing reflected agenda politics. She sank to the level of straight Pentagon handouts. She cited a Noah's ark of scam artists doing so.

She knew what she was doing. So did Times editors. Daily propaganda supported Bush's rage for war.
Other columnists repeated lies against Gaddafi. They're featured again now. They target Assad. They do it maliciously. They do every time America plans war.

According to The Times, Assad "exploited large loopholes, lax enforcement and a far greater international emphasis on limiting the spread of nuclear weapons."

Who knows what's true or false. Where's the proof? None was cited. Former Bush administration Deputy National Security Advisor Juan Zarate was The Times corroborating expert.

Independent ones are scrupulously avoided. According to The Times, Obama officials "grew increasingly alarmed by the ease with which Mr. Assad was using a network of front companies to import the precursors needed to make VX and sarin."

US government documents allege he "built up a huge stockpile by creating companies with the appearance of legitimacy, importing chemicals that had many legitimate uses and capitalizing on the chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union."

DNI head James Clapper was cited. He's an admitted perjurer. He told Congress that Syria "remains dependent on foreign sources for key elements" of its program.

He cited Iran, Russia, and China. He claimed Beijing at times operates through North Korea. He named some Western nations. He said US companies supply restricted chemical and biological agents.

America has huge stockpiles of the most toxic chemical and biological weapons. Key is less how many and which ones than clear evidence they're used. Washington does so freely.

It's done at home and abroad. A previous article explained. CIA operatives experimented illegally with toxic substances. Human subjects were used.

US agencies conducted numerous human radiation experiments. VA hospital patients and others were unwitting guinea pigs.

Chemical and biological agents were secretly released in US cities.

Military personnel are given experimental vaccines and toxic drugs. They're administered without their knowledge.
Numerous experiments subject human subjects to toxic gases, ionizing radiation, psychochemicals, hallucinogens, and other dangerous substances.

Radiation's injected into newborns. Children are infected with hepatitis. Prisoners get horrific treatment.
Inmates are subjected to torture, illegal medical experiments, and other forms of abuse.

Agent Orange's deadly legacy remains. It's one of the most toxic known substances. It's a potent carcinogenic human immune system suppressant. Minute amounts cause serious health problems and death.

It kills. It accumulates in adipose tissue and the liver. It alters living cell genetic structures. Exposure results in congenital disorders and birth defects. It causes cancer, type two diabetes, and numerous other diseases.
It remains toxic for decades. It affected millions of Southeast Asians. Many others were disabled and/or suffer from chronic illnesses. Future generations are affected like earlier ones.

Around three million US servicemen and women were harmed. So were many American civilians. Many died. Living victims suffer from diseases, birth defects, and other ill effects.

Depleted and enriched uranium weapons are used freely. Radiation poisoning kills. It causes grievous illnesses, disfiguration, and birth defects.

Times editors and columnists don't explain. They suppress America's worst crimes. They support its war on humanity. They ignore how horrifically its waged.

On September 8, The Times headlined "On Both Sides, Syrians Make Pleas to US."
A suspect video from insurgent-held Kafranbel village shows "residents who have lost family members in (Assad's) crackdown on the Syrian uprising as they plead for American military strikes on their own country."
Odds are it made on a Hollywood sound stage replica. Videos, photos and other alleged visual evidence are easy to fake. TV viewers see examples nightly.

"(T)he publicity war among Syrians to get their message out is…reaching a crescendo. (It) focuse(s) on Capitol Hill and the American public," said The Times.

"Grass-roots activists are building on expertise developed over the past two years as they used the Internet and social media to get information out about Syria."

"Informal armies of antigovernment activists have long pumped out videos of dead children being pulled from rubble, of warplanes attacking neighborhoods, and of security forces torturing prisoners, even as government supporters have shared videos of rebels killing prisoners or desecrating shrines."

"Beyong (video) soaring music and images of children, its script aims directly at American skepticism about another war and recent protests that featured antiwar slogans."

"If you are really against the war, then you should support the US strikes that can actually end (it)," said Kenan Rahmani.

He's a Syrian-American. He spoke from Kafranbel. He's selling war. His video comments urged it. He turned logic on its head. Odds are he was enlisted to do it.

He claimed waging war's the way to end it. He said the opposite of what's true. Times editors and columnists don't explain. They're on the wrong side of history.

The Times featured political science professor Ian Hurd's op-ed. He's selling war. He headlined "Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal."

He wrongfully blamed Assad for tens of thousands of Syrian deaths. He wants him punished.
He claimed there's "widespread confusion over the legal basis for the use of force in these terrible circumstances."

"There are moral reasons for disregarding the law," he said. He "believe(s) the Obama administration should intervene in Syria."

Fact check 

Morality, ethics and/or other considerations don't justify lawlessness. International, constitutional and US statute laws are clear and unequivocal. They're inviolable.
No nation may attack another except in self-defense. It may do so until the Security Council acts. It has final say.

No exceptions exist. None for any reason. Hurd's argument rings hollow. It's worse than that. He supports war based on lies.

"There is no doubt that Mr. Assad's government has violated humanitarian principles throughout the two-year-old war, including the prohibition on the indiscriminate killing of civilians," he said.

False! Syria is Washington's war. Regime change is planned. It's longstanding US policy. Western-backed death squads are Obama's shock troops. They bear full responsibility for mass killing and destruction.

Syrian forces contest them. They do so responsibly. They do it in self-defense. They're obligated to do it. They're waging war against foreign invaders.

There's nothing civil about Syria's conflict. So-called "rebels" are imported death squad killers.

They're Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and other extremist terrorists. Routing them matters most. Assad's responsible for doing so. He's obligated to do it as Syria's leader.

Hurd didn't explain. He turned truth on its head. Times editors gave him a platform to do so. Peace activists are shunned.

Hurd said humanitarian intervention justifies war "under the concept of the 'responsibility to protect.' " He claims it's "widely accepted by the United Nations and most governments."

Fact check 

UN Charter provisions prohibit military force for humanitarian interventions. No exceptions exist. Justifying them as R2P doesn't wash. Doing so is illegal.

UN Charter Chapter VI calls for resolving conflicts peacefully. If unattainable, Chapter VII authorizes the Security Council to impose boycotts, embargoes, blockades and severing diplomatic ties.

It prohibits war and other violent means. No exceptions exist. None for moral, ethical, humanitarian or other reasons. Violence begets more of it.

War assures more war. Peace depends on working for it nonviolently. No other way works.
Hurd claims otherwise. He calls lawless intervention "legitimate." He urges what he calls "constructive noncompliance."

"Since Russia and China won't help, Mr. Obama and allied leaders should declare that international law has evolved and that they don't need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria."

"This would be popular in many quarters, and I believe it's the right thing to do," he said.

He's wrong. He's dead wrong for the wrong reasons. Violating rule of law principles can't be tolerated. Doing so supports law of the jungle ruthlessness.

Laws can't be rewritten or ignored to justify policy. Doing it to wage war on victims makes things worse. Hurd didn't explain.

Times editors never do. They're in lockstep with imperial lawlessness. They support America's worst crimes. They do so disgracefully. They do it every time.

They do it by turning truth on its head. Managed news misinformation substitutes. It's longstanding Times policy.
A Final Comment

The NYTimes eXaminer is "an antidote to the 'paper of record.' " On  August 27, it headlined "The NYT's Evolving Drive for War on Syria."

Numerous examples explain. "Kerry Cites Clear Evidence of Chemical Weapon Use" is one of many. In 24 hours prior to publishing, it underwent "22 revisions."

Some were minor. Others inconsequential. Most were "considerable." They reflected "hawkish, pro-war bias." They twisted truth to do so.

Readers are deceived. The Times "shap(ed) the article as a public relations piece on behalf of" anti-Syrian supporters. Lies substituted for truth.

Opposite views were shut out. Rule of law principles were ignored. No evidence was provided to corroborate what's claimed.

"(T)he NYT article is a morphing argument for war," said NYTimes eXaminer. It's a propaganda puff piece. Nearly two dozen revisions shaped its duplicitous narrative. Readers were systematically deceived.
Times editors spurn truth and full disclosure. They promoted war on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. They're selling it on Syria.

They blame victims for Washington's crimes. They're on the wrong side of history. It's longstanding Times policy. It makes "all the news fit to print" not fit to read.

And now a full interview you will not see on mainstream media. Please ask your self why not.


Part 2


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.