Monday, June 25, 2018

"How It Really Is, And Will Be"

Give them a little time... lol
Hey! Maybe that's where the $21 trillion missing from DOD went!

"Conflict Escalation"

"Conflict Escalation"
by James Howard Kunstler

"My website was down early this morning, and I’m just a little suspicious that it had something to do with me expressing an opinion outside the “Overton Window” of what is considered acceptable discourse on illegal immigration. Namely, that it’s illegal, with all that implies. At least I wasn’t thrown out of a restaurant over the weekend, though the fact is I didn’t even try to eat out.

Now my particular problem may turn out to be no more than a cockroach chewing through some wires in the Jersey server farm where this blog dwells - we’ll find out soon enough - but there are obviously other signs that “the Resistance” is tuning up the antagonism against its perceived enemies.

I’m in the peculiar position of not being a partisan of President Trump, and yet being a publicly avowed enemy - if there’s any doubt - of the Resistance, especially these days its institutional branch known as the Democratic Party. What a ragtag and bobtail of mendacious cowards it has become.

The truth, I believe, is that the party wants to bring as many Mexicans and Central Americans as possible across the border, by any means necessary, to fortify its future voter base. And so they are acting to insure that it happens. Of course, this might also be viewed as a suicidal course of action for the party, since it puts them in opposition to the rule-of-law as a general principle, which is a pretty sketchy basis for any claim to govern. That being the case, the outcome for the Democratic Party may be its own demise as a legitimate political bloc. It’s one thing to ignore the economically foundering, traditional working-class constituency of actual US citizens who are having a tougher time every year making a living; it’s another thing to bring in a several-millionfold population of non-citizens to replace them.

Anyway, it’s a pretty poor strategy for success in the coming mid-term election. The effort got a boost over the weekend from Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Cal) who called for Trump administration employees to be thrown out of department stores and other retail establishments as well as restaurants. Why stop there? Why not enslave Trump employees and supporters? Force them to work without pay in the Chick-Fil-A regional distribution warehouses? One wonders what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi thinks of Ms. Waters’ proposal. Other Democratic party leaders zipped their pie-holes about it.

It may also be the case that the majority Republicans in congress are cowed and anxious about doing anything legislatively to clarify the disheveled US immigration laws. If that’s true, they might pause to consider that their own party is not so far from whirling around the drain, too, from a consistent demonstrated lack of principle - as well as its uncomfortable association with the maverick president who only nominally leads the party.

The trouble is that the entities waiting to replace both the useless, careless, feckless Democrats and Republicans are chaos and violence, not reconstituted parties with coherent political programs. The US, and really all the so-called advanced nations on earth, are heading into an era of scarcity and austerity that is likely to present as mortal conflict.

Bill Maher could easily get his wish of an economic crisis before many more months go by. The financial markets have never been under so much lethal stress. Everybody and every institution is drowning in debt that can’t possibly be repaid. The supposed remedies for that - like, inflating the debt away with official monetary policy - would be ruinous for the 99 percenters already struggling to lead normal lives. And the looming novelty of a cashless society would be even worse in terms of personal liberty.

Ah! We somehow miraculously got the website back up-and-running to post at the usual time today. Last week, I was awash in censure and obloquy for dissing the Resistance stand on illegal immigration, the alleged “torture” of children separated from their parents (or plain parentless) at the US / Mexican border. Much of the published opprobrium against Trump and the federal authorities under him proved to be quite false - such as the weeping child on the cover of Time Magazine, who was, in fact, not separated from her mother (a previous deportee who abandoned her husband and several other children in Honduras). As far as I know, Time Magazine has not offered an explanation or an apology for this attempt to misrepresent reality to an already confused American public."

"Get Your Stuff Together..."

"We all got problems. But there's a great book out called "Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart." Did you see that? That book says the statute of limitations has expired on all childhood traumas. Get your stuff together and get on with your life, man. Stop whinin' about what's wrong, because everybody's had a rough time, in one way or another."
- Quincy Jones

"General Sherman's Final Solution"

"General Sherman's Final Solution"
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

"In an issue of "The American Enterprise" magazine devoted to the War between the States, Victor Hanson, a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, defends and makes excuses for Lincoln’s intentional waging of war on Southern civilians. This included the bombing, pillaging and plundering of their cities and towns, the burning of their homes, total destruction of farms and livestock, gang rape, and the killing of thousands, including women and children of all races. (See "Merchant of Terror: General Sherman and Total War" by John Bennett Walters, or "The Hard Hand of War" by Mark Grimsley).

It was all justified, says Hanson, because General Sherman and his men were supposedly motivated by the belief that it was necessary "to guarantee the American proposition that each man is as good as another." Sherman’s "bummers," as they were called, were "political avenging angels" who were offended by racial inequalities in the South. They were driven by "an ideological furor, to destroy the nature of Southern aristocracy." The "tyrannical Southern ruling class" needed to be taught a lesson. (Besides, he writes, "rapes during [Sherman’s] march were almost unknown)."

In reality, neither Sherman nor his soldiers believed any of these things. (And rapes were not as "unknown" to the Southern people as they are to Hanson). In the Northern states at the time, myriad Black Codes existed that prohibited blacks from migrating into most Northern states and kept them from entering into contracts, voting, marrying whites, testifying in court against whites (which invited criminal abuse), or sending their children to public schools. They were excluded altogether from all forms of transportation or required to sit in special "Jim Crow sections." They were prohibited from entering hotels, restaurants or resorts except as servants, and were segregated in churches, prisons, and even cemeteries. Free blacks in the North in the 1860s were cruelly discriminated against in every aspect of their existence, and were denied the most fundamental of citizenship rights

Sherman himself certainly did not believe that "each man is as good as another." For example, in 1862 Sherman was bothered that "the country" was "swarming with dishonest Jews" (see Michael Fellman, "Citizen Sherman," p. 153). He got his close friend, General Grant, to expel all Jews from his army. As Fellman writes, "On December 17, 1862, Grant, like a medieval monarch, expelled ‘The Jews, as a class,’ from his department." Sherman biographer Fellman further writes that to Sherman, the Jews were "like n*gg*rs" and "like greasers (Mexicans) or Indians" in that they were "classes or races permanently inferior to his own."

The notion that Sherman’s army was motivated by a belief that all men are created equal is belied by the further fact that just three months after General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox the very same army commenced a campaign of ethnic genocide against the Plains Indians. In July of 1865 Sherman was put in charge of the Military District of the Missouri (all land west of the Mississippi) and given the assignment to eradicate the Plains Indians in order to make way for the federally subsidized transcontinental railroad. Like Lincoln, Sherman was a friend of Grenville Dodge, the chief engineer of the project. He was also a railroad investor and he lobbied his brother, Senator John Sherman, to allocate federal funds for the transcontinental railroad. "We are not going to let a few thieving, ragged Indians stop and check the progress of the railroad," he wrote to General Grant in 1867 (Fellman, p. 264). As Fellman writes: "The great triumvirate of the Union Civil War effort [Grant, Sherman and Sheridan] formulated and enacted military Indian policy until reaching, by the 1880s, what Sherman sometimes referred to as "the final solution of the Indian problem," which he defined as killing hostile Indians and segregating their pauperized survivors in remote places. These men applied their shared ruthlessness, born of their Civil War experiences, against a people all three despised, in the name of 'Civilization and Progress.'

Another Sherman biographer, John F. Marszalek, points out in "Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order," that "Sherman viewed Indians as he viewed recalcitrant Southerners during the war and newly freed people after the war: resisters to the legitimate forces of an orderly society," by which he meant the central government. Moreover, writes Marszalek, Sherman’s philosophy was that "since the inferior Indians refused to step aside so superior American culture could create success and progress, they had to be driven out of the way as the Confederates had been driven back into the Union."

"Most of the other generals who took a direct role in the Indian wars, writes Marszalek, "were, like Sherman, [Union] Civil War luminaries." This included "John Pope, O.O. Howard, Nelson A. Miles, Alfred H. Terry, E.O.C. Ord, C.C. Augeur, and R.S. Canby. General Winfield Scott Hancock should be added to this list of "luminaries." Among the colonels, "George Armstrong Custer and Benjamin Grierson were the most famous."

Sherman and General Phillip Sheridan were associated with the statement that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian." The problem with the Indians, Sherman said, was that "they did not make allowance for the rapid growth of the white race" (Marszalek, p. 390). And, "both races cannot use this country in common" (Fellman, p. 263). Sherman’s theory of white racial superiority is what led him to the policy of waging war against the Indians "till the Indians are all killed or taken to a country where they can be watched."

As Fellman (p. 264) writes: "Sherman planted a racist tautology: Some Indians are thieving, killing rascals fit for death; all Indians look alike; therefore, to get some we must eliminate all." Deduced from this racist tautology, the less destructive policy would be racial cleansing of the land. "Accordingly," Sherman wrote to Grant: "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children." Writing two days later to his brother John, General Sherman said: "I suppose the Sioux must be exterminated..." (Fellman, p. 264).

This was Sherman’s attitude toward Southerners during the War for Southern Independence as well. In a July 31, 1862 letter to his wife (from his "Collected Works") he wrote that his purpose in the war was: "Extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least part of the trouble, but the [Southern] people." His charming and nurturing wife Ellen wrote back that her fondest wish was for a war "of extermination and that all [Southerners] would be driven like the Swine into the sea." With this attitude, Sherman issued the following order to his troops at the beginning of the Indian Wars: "During an assault, the soldiers cannot pause to distinguish between male and female, or even discriminate as to age. As long as resistance is made, death must be meted out..." (Marszalek, p. 379).

Most of the raids on Indian camps were conducted in the winter, when families would be together and could therefore all be killed at once. Sherman gave Sheridan "authorization to slaughter as many women and children as well as men Sheridan or his subordinates felt was necessary when they attacked Indian villages" (Fellman, p. 271). All livestock was also killed so that any survivors would be more likely to starve to death.

Sherman was once brought before a congressional committee after federal Indian agents, who were supposed to be supervising the Indians who were on reservations, witnessed "the horror of women and children under military attack." Nothing came of the hearings, however. Sherman ordered his subordinates to kill the Indians without restraint to achieve what he called "the final solution of the Indian problem," and promised that if the newspapers found out about it he would "run interference against any complaints about atrocities back East" (Fellman, p. 271). Eight years into his war of "extermination" Sherman was bursting with pride over his accomplishments. "I am charmed at the handsome conduct of our troops in the field," he wrote Sheridan in 1874. "They go in with the relish that used to make our hearts glad in 1864-5" (Fellman, p. 272).

Another part of Sherman’s "final solution" strategy against this "inferior race" was the massive slaughter of buffalo, a primary source of food for the Indians. If there were no longer any buffalo near where the railroad traveled, he reasoned, then the Indians would not go there either. By 1882 the American buffalo was essentially extinct. Ironically, some ex-slaves took part in the Indian wars. Known as the "Buffalo Soldiers," they assisted in the federal army’s campaign of extermination against another colored race.

By 1890 Sherman’s "final solution" had been achieved: The Plains Indians were all either killed or placed on reservations "where they can be watched." In a December 18, 1890 letter to the New York Times Sherman expressed his deep disappointment over the fact that, were it not for "civilian interference," his army would have "gotten rid of them all" and killed every last Indian in the U.S. (Marszalek, p. 400). To Victor Hanson and the American Enterprise Institute this is the kind of man who "deserves a place on the roll call of great liberators in human history." Native Americans would undoubtedly disagree."

“This Day In History: Battle of Little Bighorn,1876”

Above, the mythical, heroic fable...
“This Day In History: Battle of Little Bighorn,1876”
by History.com

"On this day in 1876, Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana’s Little Bighorn River.

Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, leaders of the Sioux tribe on the Great Plains, strongly resisted the mid-19th-century efforts of the U.S. government to confine their people to reservations. In 1875, after gold was discovered in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the U.S. Army ignored previous treaty agreements and invaded the region. This betrayal led many Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen to leave their reservations and join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in Montana. By the late spring of 1876, more than 10,000 Native Americans had gathered in a camp along the Little Bighorn River–which they called the Greasy Grass–in defiance of a U.S. War Department order to return to their reservations or risk being attacked.

In mid-June, three columns of U.S. soldiers lined up against the camp and prepared to march. A force of 1,200 Native Americans turned back the first column on June 17. Five days later, General Alfred Terry ordered Custer’s 7th Cavalry to scout ahead for enemy troops. On the morning of June 25, Custer drew near the camp and decided to press on ahead rather than wait for reinforcements.

At mid-day, Custer’s 600 men entered the Little Bighorn Valley. Among the Native Americans, word quickly spread of the impending attack. The older Sitting Bull rallied the warriors and saw to the safety of the women and children, while Crazy Horse set off with a large force to meet the attackers head on. Despite Custer’s desperate attempts to regroup his men, they were quickly overwhelmed. Custer and some 200 men in his battalion were attacked by as many as 3,000 Native Americans; within an hour, Custer and every last one of his soldier were dead.

The Battle of Little Bighorn–also called Custer’s Last Stand–marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The gruesome fate of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.”
An alternative point of view...
"A Holiday to Celebrate the Victory at the Little Bighorn"
by Tim Giago

"June 25 is a special holiday to most of the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation. It is the anniversary of the day that Lt. Colonel George A. Custer took himself and his troops into the valley of death. To ask a Lakota, Cheyenne or Arapaho, the three tribes that fought side-by-side at the Battle of the Greasy Grass or Little Bighorn, why they celebrate June 25, is like asking an American military veteran why he celebrates Memorial Day or Veteran's Day.

Custer arrived in the Northern Plains in 1873, and in 1874 he led an expedition of 1,200 soldiers and miners into the Sacred Black Hills (He' Sapa) of the Sioux Nation. Six years earlier the government of the United States and the leaders of all of the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation, with the exception of the band led by Crazy Horse, signed the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 that guaranteed them the possession and security of the Black Hills, and millions of acres of adjoining lands. When Custer's team discovered gold and violated the Treaty of 1868 with the ink barely dry on it, the Treaty was tossed into the trash can of history. General George Crook, another general appropriately named, was supposed to use his army to keep the miners out of the Black Hills, but still smarting from his thumping by Crazy Horse and his warriors at Rosebud Creek, a defeat that is seldom covered in American history books, he never put his heart into defending the Black Hills from the gold-hungry miners. In fact, Crook was leading a cavalry unit to assist Custer in the event he ran into any large war parties when he ran into Crazy Horse and was forced to withdraw. Some historians say that if he had not been defeated at Rosebud Creek, he would have been in a position to support Custer at the Little Bighorn.

Crow scouts guiding Custer toward the Little Bighorn were apprehensive. They knew there was a large encampment ahead, and they feared for their lives as well as that of Lt. Colonel Custer and his troops. Many history books and movies would have you believe that Custer and his men were surrounded by thousands of Indian warriors, made it to a high ridge, and made a gallant "Last Stand." The truth is that Custer made a cavalry charge into the huge camp and the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors had to defend themselves against this unprovoked attack. They easily overpowered Custer and his Seventh Cavalry and took the lives of more than 200 soldiers, including that of Custer, before the day was over.

Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company mass-distributed a poster of Custer standing with his troops, pistols blazing, with hundreds of "blood thirsty" Indians converging on him. His defeat and death were probably a lot more ignoble than that. Movies like "They Died with their Boots On" became very popular in the 1940s, and George Armstrong Custer, a man who was totally undeserving of such acclaim, became a hero in the eyes of most Americans. A community situated in the heart of the Sacred Black Hills of the Sioux Nation is named Custer. Many Lakota find this the equivalent of naming a town in Israel after Hitler. Most Americans will never understand the fear and hatred that many Lakota had for Custer. By his actions he caused the deaths of many innocent Indian men, women and children, and his actions on the Washita made him an enemy of the Cheyenne and Arapaho people for life.

As the irony of history is wont to do, it was a unit of the infamous Seventh Cavalry that slaughtered as many as 300 Lakota men, women and children in the Massacre at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890. It is this horror that should have been featured in the PBS series "We Shall Remain," instead of the farcical and dishonest version of Wounded Knee 1973. Wounded Knee 1890 was the culmination of the nearly 400 years of war between the European invaders and the Indian nations. That so many unarmed, innocent Lakota men, women and children died so violently seemed to be a summation of all that preceded it. But the cruelty of what happened at Wounded Knee in 1890 is much too horrific for the stomachs of most Americans, and even in the HBO version of "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," the violent deaths of the innocent men, women and children was hidden from the public once again.

George Armstrong Custer lived by the sword and perished by the sword and became a national hero because of American ignorance, and because of the shameless promoting of his career by his wife, Elizabeth Bacon Custer. She wrote accounts that praised him as a military genius, a patron of arts, and a refined and cultivated man. And so the descendants of the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors, who handed a humiliating defeat to the United States Army in 1876, will celebrate June 25 as a great victory that they still speak of with pride."

Tim Giago is the editor and publisher of the weekly Native Sun News.
 He can be reached at: editor@nsweekly.com

For a complete archaeological and pictorial analysis of the battle, please see:

"The Green Frog Skin"

"The Green Frog Skin"
by John (Fire) Lame Deer

"The Green Frog Skin – that’s what I call the dollar bill. In our attitude towards it lies the biggest difference between the Indians and the whites. My grandparents grew up in an Indian world without money. Just before the Custer battle the white soldiers had received their pay. Their pockets were full of green paper and they had no place to spend it. What were their last thoughts as an Indian bullet or arrow hit them? I guess they were thinking of all that money going to waste, of not having had a chance to enjoy it, of a bunch of dumb savages getting their paws on that hard-earned pay. That must have hurt them more than the arrow between their ribs.

The close hand-to-hand fighting, with a thousand horses gally-hooting all over the place, had covered the battlefield with an enormous cloud of dust, and in it the green frog skins of the soldiers were whirling around like snowflakes in a blizzard. Now, what did the Indians do with all that money? They gave it to their children to play with, to fold those strange bits of colored paper into all kinds of shapes, making into toy buffalo and horses. Somebody was enjoying that money after all.

The books tell of one soldier who survived. He got away, but he went crazy and some women watched him from a distance as he killed himself. The writers always say that he must have been afraid of being captured and tortured, but that’s all wrong. Can’t you see it? There he is, bellied down in a gully, watching what is going on. He sees the kids playing with the money, tearing it up, the women using it to fire up some dried buffalo chips to cook on, the men lighting their pipes with green frog skins, but mostly all those beautiful dollar bills floating away with the dust and the wind. It’s this sight that drove the poor soldier crazy. He’s clutching his head, hollering, ‘Goddam, Jesus Christ Almighty, look at them dumb, stupid, red sons of bitches wasting all that dough!’ He watches till he can’t stand it any longer, and then he blows his brains out with a six-shooter. It would make a great scene in a movie, but it would take an Indian mind to get the point."
- John (Fire) Lame Deer, "Seeker of Visions"

"In All Seriousness..."

"Thomas Edison said in all seriousness: "There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the labor of thinking"- if we bother with facts at all, we hunt like bird dogs after the facts that bolster up what we already think- and ignore all the others! We want only the facts that justify our acts- the facts that fit in conveniently with our wishful thinking and justify our preconceived prejudices. As Andre Maurois put it: "Everything that is in agreement with our personal desires seems true. Everything that is not puts us into a rage." Is it any wonder, then, that we find it so hard to get at the answers to our problems? Wouldn't we have the same trouble trying to solve a second-grade arithmetic problem, if we went ahead on the assumption that two plus two equals five? Yet there are a lot of people in this world who make life a hell for themselves and others by insisting that two plus two equals five- or maybe five hundred!"
- Dale Carnegie

“Countdown to Global Financial Collapse?”

“Countdown to Global Financial Collapse?”
by Raymond Matison

“It is a well established practice of market and economic observers to either predict the direction of a company, financial market or the economy, or the expected timing of an event- but not both. The reason for this is that past experience has made such prognosticators humble in attempting to predict both. However, since many experienced observers have already predicted a continued decline in our economy, the likely collapse of our currency and banking system, and a consequent global depression, what remains is only to answer the question of timing. No longer are we required to forecast both events; we can now concentrate on predicting just the timing of this event. Famous economists and market commentators have valuable reputations to shield, and so they are not likely to forecast the window in time when the likely rapid collapse is to begin. This can only be risked by others.

In their book “This Time Is Different” authors Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff note that “In effect, for the advanced economies during 1800-2008, the picture that emerges is one of serial banking crisis”. They also note that the “problems of external default, domestic default, and inflation are all integrally related”. Such crisis devolved into “250 sovereign external default episodes during 1880-2009 and at least 68 cases of default on domestic public debt”, suggesting that such episodes occur on a regular basis, but just infrequently enough to be forgotten or ignored by the next generation.   

It would be foolhardy to just pick a global reset date for these events, but a window in time for their occurrence can be reasonably estimated. This reset itself will take place over a period of years, and observers may argue as to which event and what date, month or year started the entire avalanche of events. In addition, it will likely take several decades for the economy and markets to recover to current levels. However, that does not mean that it is impossible to narrow substantially the window of time in which these events start to occur. 

Corporations are recognized to have a lifecycle starting with a slow growing beginning period, followed by a rapid growth period of many years, followed by a long period of slow growth during its corporate maturity. Similarly, governments, monetary systems and economies have life cycles which grow, evolve, mature and decline or die in fairly predictable patterns. Historically, such patterns have shown themselves to be repeated across differing political systems of government, basis for its economy, system of banking and currency creation, time in history, and geographic location of the country. By gauging current events in the life cycle of such a system we can predict where we are within it, and what events likely remain yet to occur before the final collapse, and therefore, roughly to gauge how much time it may take before the onset of this end period will occur.

Intricacy of our global economic interconnectedness makes it also imperative that we include and gauge some events of major foreign economic powers as their actions also impinge on our own system.  With military conflicts in several key areas of the world, sanctions, currency wars, geopolitical maneuvering for energy supplies, emerging new political powers created by elections which are challenging existing power structures in Europe and elsewhere, the effects of a Greek bond default on the banking system of Europe and the European Union as a whole, emergence of a China/Russia relationship there is a plethora of predictable foreign events capable of triggering the big global reset.

In providing a general framework for the events that occur in this systemic GEB (government, economy, banking system) lifecycle, it is noteworthy that different circumstances in time, location, nature of government, immediate nature of the crisis, individuality of responses and their intensity all have an effect on a specific historic event. While a government may implement policies which are counter business growth for many years, it could take decades before cumulatively it reaches levels of a crisis. Poor economic performance may persist for many years reflecting abusive tax policies of politicians and bureaucrats for wealth redistribution – but not precipitate a collapse. The currently expected currency crash which will precipitate a banking and economic crisis, requires a fairly short period of just a couple of years, during which the faith and acceptance of a currency becomes increasingly rejected, and ultimately its value collapses. A broad representative outline of possible steps of this complex cycle, which could easily be varied somewhat in its order, or with the addition of other historically observed events in prior crisis, is presented below. 

The main mileposts for the lifecycle in a GEB system are:

• A new government assumes or comes to power.
• It may form a new system of money and its creation.
• It issues a new currency.
• A central bank eventually comes to control the issuance of debt based money.
• Its economy grows from a population increase, and technologic advancement.
• The central bank starts stimulating the growth of its money supply to increase and manage economic growth.
• The government becomes involved in a war whose cost exceeds that which is collected from its citizens in taxes.
• The government borrows expenditure of war by issuing sovereign bonds.
• Politicians desiring to increase reelection prospects promise social security, medical care, and numerous welfare benefits over time to a growing segment of the population.
• Sovereign debt is increased to pay for some of these growing benefits.
• The portion of the budget attributable to interest on debt becomes large enough to become a concern to politicians and citizens alike.
• The central bank accommodates government borrowing depressing the level of interest rates to facilitate the servicing of growing debt.
• Advances in technology reduce the required number of employees in the production of food and manufactured products, shifting such workers either to become unproductive government employees, or become unemployed.
• Unproductive government employment grows and becomes a larger part of total employment, as overall government expenditures increase dramatically.
• Generally increasing unemployment reduces citizen income, increases personal borrowing, and tends to decrease government tax revenues.
• Lower income of citizens translates into less consumption, and a cycle of decreasing economic growth.
• Our debt based money creation mandates a requirement of economic growth. When such growth is in danger of stalling, the central bank increases the currency or credit in circulation in order to stimulate growth and inflation.
• The banking system and its loan portfolio experience a level of default which with realistic accounting bankrupts most banks.
• The central bank creates more money, and uses the funds to purchase at full value the defaulted loan securities saving the banks. The banks are saved, but this does nothing to help citizens, as banks fear to lend out their newly received funds.
• Citizens try to deleverage, and do not seek additional credit.
• Banks speculate with FED provided funds increasing the bubble in bonds and stocks benefiting exclusively the wealthiest 1%, thereby increasing income inequality.
• The increasingly indebted and unemployed middle class becomes slowly impoverished adding to economic contraction and a deflationary bias.
• The central bank prints more money (as in its “Quantitative Easing” series) as a hope to offset deflationary pressure.
• Financial repression is practiced whereby interest on savings is less that inflation, benefiting government and the banks further impoverishing citizens.
• The central bank changes its policy from maintaining stable prices to generating a given level of inflation as its means to stimulate economic growth and reduce the real value of national debt. 
• Inflation ultimately accelerates wiping out the value of incomes, and financial assets.
• The illiquid bond and stock markets crash despite central bank support.
• Destruction of currency value grinds trade to a near halt increasing cost of all products, raising concern about an adequate and affordable food supply.
• Citizen strife reduces trust in government and promotes increasing civilian unrest.
• Confrontation between citizens and government agencies, including municipal police, escalates.
• Retribution to perceived guilty politicians and bankers for the malaise is initiated.
• People increasingly avoid paying taxes, decreasing government revenue and accelerating its need for more money and borrowing.
• The downward spiral continues until a new currency replaces the old, and there is a large restructuring and some forgiveness of debt.
• There is a massive transfer of wealth as former owners of monetary assets are financially destroyed.
• Stability of the nation may need to be restored by military dictatorship destroying what was left of a constitutional republic.
• The GEB cycle is reset and a new cycle is initiated.  

We start with a country government which has a banking system and a currency. Its natural and human resources and geography determine many of its economic decisions. Governments have been proven to be incapable of operating on a balanced budget over time, and this is the principal reason for such lifecycles. To cover its initial budget deficits government goes first through an attempt to increase taxes, including the less visible tax by inflation, on the populace. As politicians learn reelection advantages of promising free benefits without increased taxes, governments will borrow money by issuing bonds. The existing system of central banks facilitates this borrowing falsely making the public believe that they are getting a free benefit. Credit and borrowing will grow over decades as the cost of this debt increases. At one point the cost of debt becomes noticeable even to an uninformed public, and it becomes necessary for the central bank to reduce interest rates such that the interest on debt seems contained. This process of financial repression affects the public’s savings and investment as it reduces the income that the public has available for spending, and creates a negative effect on economic growth. To avoid the economy’s slide into deflation, the government with the full support of its central bank and banking system will increase government spending expanding budget deficits, in turn increasing the need for more government borrowing, for whose repayment the taxpaying public remains responsible."  

Chet Raymo, "Silk Dawn"

"Silk Dawn"
by Chet Raymo

"A magical morning. Warm and still. The hillside is cloaked in a fine, soft mist that will burn away by ten. I walk down the drive to open the gate. The field is carpeted with silk. Silk made visible by dew. (Click to enlarge.)
The spiders were there all along, of course. Their webs too. Everyday as I walked through the grass, they were there, unseen. Unknowingly, I crushed them with my footfalls. A field full of snares, each silken net flung across the grass, each net with its tunnel lair where the predator waits, patiently, for dinner. And now they are made visible in all their arachnoid glory, each grass tuft slung with Chinese silk, each furze bush as finely draped in silk as a pasha's palace."

The Poet: T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”

 
“The Hollow Men”

“We are the hollow men.
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together,
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass,
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar.

Shape without form, shade without color,
Paralyzed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men,
The stuffed men.

II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom...
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column.
There, is a tree swinging,
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom.
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises,
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field,
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer -
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom.

III

This is the dead land.
This is cactus land.
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom,
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness,
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV

The eyes are not here.
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars,
In this hollow valley,
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms.
In this last of meeting places
We grope together,
And avoid speech,
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star,
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom,
The hope only
Of empty men.

V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality,
Between the motion
And the act,
Falls the Shadow.

                                                                For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation,
Between the emotion
And the response,
Falls the Shadow.

                                                    Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm,
Between the potency
And the existence,
Between the essence
And the descent,
Falls the Shadow.

                                                              For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is...
Life is...
For Thine is the...

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
   Not with a bang but a whimper.”

by T.S. Eliot

“Capitalism..."

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men
will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”
 - John Maynard Keynes

Sunday, June 24, 2018

“Here's 21 Trillion Reasons To Question The Role Of Government In America”

“Here's 21 Trillion Reasons To Question The Role Of Government In America”
by Ron Paul

"The U.S. military budget dwarfs every other country on the planet combined. Do you know how much the Pentagon spent between 1998 and 2015 that is "unaccounted for"?

TWENTY-ONE TRILLION DOLLARS

$21,000,000,000,000

Where did it go?

No one knows...it's "unaccounted for".

The role of government must SERIOUSLY be reconsidered in America. Without being technically at war with anyone in particular, the U.S. is dropping a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes, around the clock. The U.S. has 1,000 military bases scattered across the planet. Congress, not only doesn't declare war, as they're required to by the U.S. Constitution, but they're surprised to find out that American troops are peppered throughout Africa too.

The role of government must SERIOUSLY be reconsidered in America. Peace ... Non-intervention in the affairs of foreign nations ... Free Trade ... Travel. These principles have long been gone. It's time to revive them.
Just in case you were unclear on the details of the missing $21 trillion... here is Lee Camp, via TruthDig.com.
"$21 Trillion Missing From The Pentagon - 
Remember 911 And The Missing $2.3 Trillion?"
by Lee Camp

"The day before 911 Donald Rumsfeld announced that the Pentagon could not account for $2.3 Trillion! The very next day the General Accounting Office at the Pentagon was hit by a "plane” and everyone therein was killed! These sums of money are beyond imagination. What is the Pentagon doing with amounts like this? How can these monies be unaccounted for?

Twenty-one trillion dollars.

The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything. But I’ll get back to that in a moment.

There are certain things the human mind is not meant to do. Our complex brains cannot view the world in infrared, cannot spell words backward during orgasm and cannot really grasp numbers over a few thousand. A few thousand, we can feel and conceptualize. We’ve all been in stadiums with several thousand people. We have an idea of what that looks like (and how sticky the floor gets).

But when we get into the millions, we lose it. It becomes a fog of nonsense. Visualizing it feels like trying to hug a memory. We may know what $1 million can buy (and we may want that thing), but you probably don’t know how tall a stack of a million $1 bills is. You probably don’t know how long it takes a minimum-wage employee to make $1 million.

That’s why trying to understand - truly understand - that the Pentagon spent 21 trillion unaccounted-for dollars between 1998 and 2015 washes over us like your mother telling you that your third cousin you met twice is getting divorced. It seems vaguely upsetting, but you forget about it 15 seconds later because… what else is there to do?

Twenty-one trillion.

But let’s get back to the beginning. A couple of years ago, Mark Skidmore, an economics professor, heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, say that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General had found $6.5 trillion worth of unaccounted-for spending in 2015. Skidmore, being an economics professor, thought something like, “She means $6.5 billion. Not trillion. Because trillion would mean the Pentagon couldn’t account for more money than the gross domestic product of the whole United Kingdom. But still, $6.5 billion of unaccounted-for money is a crazy amount.”

So he went and looked at the inspector general’s report, and he found something interesting: It was trillion! It was f *****g $6.5 trillion in 2015 of unaccounted-for spending! And I’m sorry for the cursing, but the word “trillion” is legally obligated to be prefaced with “f*****g.” It is indeed way more than the U.K.’s GDP.

Skidmore did a little more digging. As Forbes reported in December 2017, “He and Catherine Austin Fitts conducted a search of government websites and found similar reports dating back to 1998. While the documents are incomplete, original government sources indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.”

Let’s stop and take a second to conceive how much $21 trillion is (which you can’t because our brains short-circuit, but we’ll try anyway).

1. The amount of money supposedly in the stock market is $30 trillion.

2. The GDP of the United States is $18.6 trillion.

3. Picture a stack of money. Now imagine that that stack of dollars is all $1,000 bills. Each bill says “$1,000” on it. How high do you imagine that stack of dollars would be if it were $1 trillion. It would be 63 miles high.

4. Imagine you make $40,000 a year. How long would it take you to make $1 trillion? Well, don’t sign up for this task, because it would take you 25 million years (which sounds like a long time, but I hear that the last 10 million really fly by because you already know your way around the office, where the coffee machine is, etc.).

The human brain is not meant to think about a trillion dollars. And it’s definitely not meant to think about the $21 trillion our Department of Defense can’t account for. These numbers sound bananas. They sound like something Alex Jones found tattooed on his backside by extraterrestrials.

But the 21 trillion number comes from the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General - the OIG. Although, as Forbes pointed out, “after Mark Skidmore began inquiring about OIG-reported unsubstantiated adjustments, the OIG’s webpage, which documented, albeit in a highly incomplete manner, these unsupported “accounting adjustments,” was mysteriously taken down.”

Luckily, people had already grabbed copies of the report, which - for now - you can view here.

Here’s something else important from that Forbes article - which is one of the only mainstream media articles you can find on the largest theft in American history: “Given that the entire Army budget in fiscal year 2015 was $120 billion, unsupported adjustments were 54 times the level of spending authorized by Congress.”

That’s right. The expenses with no explanation were 54 times the actual budget allotted by Congress. Well, it’s good to see Congress is doing 1/54th of its job of overseeing military spending (that’s actually more than I thought Congress was doing). This would seem to mean that 98 percent of every dollar spent by the Army in 2015 was unconstitutional.

So, pray tell, what did the OIG say caused all this unaccounted-for spending that makes Jeff Bezos’ net worth look like that of a guy jingling a tin can on the street corner? “The July 2016 inspector general report indicates that unsupported adjustments are the result of the Defense Department’s ‘failure to correct system deficiencies." They blame trillions of dollars of mysterious spending on a “failure to correct system deficiencies”? That’s like me saying I had sex with 100,000 wild hairless aardvarks because I wasn’t looking where I was walking.

Twenty-one trillion.

Say it slowly to yourself.

At the end of the day, there are no justifiable explanations for this amount of unaccounted-for, unconstitutional spending. Right now, the Pentagon is being audited for the first time ever, and it’s taking 2,400 auditors to do it. I’m not holding my breath that they’ll actually be allowed to get to the bottom of this.

But if the American people truly understood this number, it would change both the country and the world. It means that the dollar is sprinting down a path toward worthless. If the Pentagon is hiding spending that dwarfs the amount of tax dollars coming in to the federal government, then it’s clear the government is printing however much it wants and thinking there are no consequences. Once these trillions are considered, our fiat currency has even less meaning than it already does, and it’s only a matter of time before inflation runs wild.

It also means that any time our government says it “doesn’t have money” for a project, it’s laughable. It can clearly “create” as much as it wants for bombing and death. This would explain how Donald Trump’s military can drop well over 100 bombs a day that cost well north of $1 million each.

So why can’t our government also “create” endless money for health care, education, the homeless, veterans benefits and the elderly, to make all parking free and to pay the Rolling Stones to play stoop-front shows in my neighborhood? (I’m sure the Rolling Stones are expensive, but surely a trillion dollars could cover a couple of songs.)

Obviously, our government could do those things, but it chooses not to. Earlier this month, Louisiana sent eviction notices to 30,000 elderly people on Medicaid to kick them out of their nursing homes. Yes, a country that can vomit trillions of dollars down a black hole marked “Military” can’t find the money to take care of our poor elderly. It’s a repulsive joke.

Twenty-one trillion.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke about how no one knows where the money is flying in the Pentagon. In a barely reported speech in 2011, he said, “My staff and I learned that it was nearly impossible to get accurate information and answers to questions such as, ‘How much money did you spend?’ and ‘How many people do you have?’” They can’t even find out how many people work for a specific department? Note for anyone looking for a job: Just show up at the Pentagon and tell them you work there. It doesn’t seem like they’d have much luck proving you don’t.

For more on this story, check out David DeGraw’s excellent reporting at ChangeMaker.media, because the mainstream corporate media are mouthpieces for the weapons industry. They are friends with benefits of the military-industrial complex. I have seen basically nothing from the mainstream corporate media concerning this mysterious $21 trillion. I missed the time when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said that the money we dump into war and death - either the accounted-for money or the secretive trillions - could end world hunger and poverty many times over. There’s no reason anybody needs to be starving or hungry or unsheltered on this planet, but our government seems hellbent on proving that it stands for nothing but profiting off death and misery. And our media desperately want to show they stand for nothing but propping up our morally bankrupt empire.

When the media aren’t actively promoting war, they’re filling the airwaves with shit, so the entire country can’t even hear itself think. Our whole mindscape is filled to the brim with nonsense and vacant celebrity idiocy. Then, while no one is looking, the largest theft humankind has ever seen is going on behind our backs - covered up under the guise of “national security.”

Twenty-one trillion. Don’t forget."
"US Debt of $20 Trillion Visualized in Stacks of Physical Cash"
And roughly the same amount "missing" from the Pentagon...

"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world..."