Ron Paul Was Right

I ran across the video while I was trolling through Twitter.  It’s a Ron Paul speech from 2002, the year I graduated high school.  I had no idea who he was back then, but his words sort of hit me like a knuckle sandwich to the nose.  It’s not that I don’t already know about these things, but hearing it condensed into a five-minute speech that was made ten years ago really puts the hook in you, to use a phrase from a favorite film of mine.    Ron Paul may not be the only person in Washington who understands what has been going on, but he’s the only person brave enough to stand up and repeatedly tell us the truth.  Unfortunately, all of his predictions made in this video have come true.  All the more reason we need him to be the last man standing.

C.I.A. Intelligence Claims Iranian Nuke Probably Doesn’t Exist

I feel like it’s the W. era all over again.  Where are those weapons of mass destruction?  Has anyone seen them?  Are they under the coffee table?  Are they buried in the sand?  Oh, right.  They don’t exist.  Now I remember how this story goes!

The New York Times ran an article on February 24th stating that the C.I.A. has so far failed to confirm the existence of a nuclear weapon in Iran.  Well, actually, that isn’t just the opinion of the C.I.A., but rather it is an opinion shared by all 16 of the United States’ intelligence agencies.   Let me repeat that.  Sixteen intelligence agencies have failed to confirm the existence of a nuclear weapon in Iran.  In fact, an intelligence assessment dating back to 2007 stated that Iran had abandoned its nuclear aspirations some time ago.  That view was re-confirmed in 2010, and it is the opinion of the intelligence agencies that it is still held today.  So why in the world are we talking about going tear-assing into Iran because they have nuclear weapons?

This whole business smells like another Iraq.  Can you smell it, too?  It’s a cross between a burning oil field, napalm, and the Fed overheating the computers that “print” the funny money.  And believe me, folks, this gasoline smell doesn’t smell like victory.  It smells like death, destruction, and further loss of freedom for American and Iranian citizens.

Iran has not yet enriched uranium, which is absolutely necessary to make a warhead.  Although it is not outside the realm of possibility for them to accomplish this, and they could be making moves in that direction, in all probability, it has not yet been accomplished.  And that brings me around to another point in the debate about Iran’s nuclear capability: Why shouldn’t they have a nuclear weapon?

Approaching this from a purely unbiased standpoint, if other countries such as the US, China, Russia, and others are allowed to arm themselves for “defensive purposes,” why isn’t Iran allowed to do it?  Who gets to decide this?  Why do they get to make that decision?  Does the United States get to make that decision, and if so, what is the logic behind it?  Is it a case of whomever has the biggest guns gets to determine the destinies of everyone else?  Because if that is indeed the case, one might be able to understand why Iran would want to have a nuclear weapon: self-determination.

Frankly, I am rather surprised that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapon.  One would think it might be one of the few ways to keep the American military from invading, quite truthfully.  At least the US government would be far less willing to go to war if Iran had such a weapon.  Certainly we never made so bold a move as to attempt to send an invasion in the USSR at the height of the Cold War.  To have done so would have been risking nothing less than total annihilation.

Let’s assume that the C.I.A., the Mossad, and others are completely correct in their analysis that Iran has not yet produced a nuke, as of today.  Are we going to head into Iran on the off chance that they will have a nuclear weapon?  It seems to me that their only motivation for producing one is the threat of invasion.  And if we are so concerned about this situation, why have we not stopped other countries, such as North Korea, from producing nukes?  What stopped us then?  Was Kim Jong-Il deemed more reliable somehow?  Or could it possibly be that Iran has run afoul of the US government in a way that the North Koreans could never dream?

I have discussed petrodollars and the role that I firmly believe they play in US foreign policy.  The world market is saturated with US dollars, courtesy of our numerous and hefty bailouts.  Iran still refuses to trade in US dollars.  All of its transactions, particularly those big, juicy oil transactions, are settled in currencies other than the US dollar (and, to the best of my knowledge, the euro and pound).  Call me crazy, but I’d be willing to be that if Iran suddenly caved and started settling its international transactions in petrodollars, the US government would suddenly be far less interested in putting boots on the ground.

The article has an interesting moment when it interviews David A. Kay, who was the head of the C.I.A. team that searched for Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction after the invasion.  He says that, “They don’t have evidence that Iran has made a decision to build a bomb, and that reflects a real gap in intelligence.  It’s true, the evidence hasn’t changed very much [since 2007], but that reflects a lack of access and a lack of intelligence as much as anything.”

Maybe I’m being a bit dense – feel free to tell me if I am –  but that almost sounds like Mr. Kay is hesitant to believe that any reports claiming that Iran doesn’t have nuclear capabilities are somehow false.  If the evidence hasn’t changed much, does it necessarily reflect a lack of intelligence?  What if it reflects a simple truth, that Iran is not nuclear capable and has not concluded that it wants to become so.  Granted, there could be a lack of intelligence, and I’m certainly not an intelligence expert nor would I claim to be such, but the fact that 16 US intelligence agencies agree with this assessment makes me think that perhaps we are trying to see something where there is nothing in order to justify an attack to the American public.  Even the former head of the Mossad has said that Iran isn’t nuclear armed.  Is the US government trying to scare us into war by making us believe that Iran is a Muslim boogeyman that wants to blow us off the map?

I acknowledge that there are extremists in the Muslim world.  However, I don’t think for a second that the Iranian government has a death wish.  I don’t think that they would reach the conclusion that they were going to bomb us simply as a result of them having a nuke.  I do think, however, that their unwillingness to work with the US government probably has something to do with the decades-long sanctions against them imposed by said government.  Sanctions are, after all, the precursor to war.

The economy is the real safety concern in America, not Iran.  Iran is not nuclear capable and even if they were, they would still have to have a way to deliver that payload to US soil.  What is a serious problem, however, is the massive amount of US money floating around in the world economy that could potentially lead to hyperinflation.  A hyperinflation of the US dollar would have disastrous consequences at home and abroad, and the US government cannot be so stupid as to not recognize this simple fact.  Anyone who thinks that inflation is not a serious problem doesn’t know the definition of the word inflation.  As my devoted readers know, inflation is simply the increase in the money supply – nothing more and nothing less.  Therefore, it is silly to argue that inflation does not exist in the current climate.  If trillions of dollars have been pumped into the economy, inflation is real, regardless of whether or not it is yet reflected in prices.

We are embarking down an increasingly dangerous path.  By threatening Iran, we may end up arming a country that was not previously nuclear.  We will be risking the lives of our own young soldiers, and we will be risking the lives of the Iranian people.  And they are people.  I think sometimes that, because the US is somewhat isolated from the rest of the world geographically, we forget that these are real people.  They have homes and families, hopes and ideals.  They may be different from us and we may consider them strange, but they have just as much right to be here as we do.

When it is all said and done, there is only one candidate who is truly a candidate for peace, and that is Ron Paul.  Dr. Paul is the only candidate who is speaking truth to power, in terms of our foreign policy.  He is the only person who is talking about changing our insane monetary policies for the better.  The bottom line, whether or not Republicans, Democrats, or others want to admit it, is this: If you believe in fiat money, bailouts, and redistribution of wealth both at home and abroad (especially abroad), you are in support of war.  That is not a statement I make lightly, but it is the truth.  Without war, our current system will eventually lead to economic failure.  From the looks of it right now, war may not even be enough to feed the widening black hole of debt.

I strongly encourage those of you who haven’t already to consider Ron Paul.  He is the only person on the stage, including Obama, who is talking about real change.  We cannot re-elect Obama just because he says that he is for change; he isn’t.  We cannot elect goons like Mitt or Newt who say they they will work for change; they won’t.  Their records are proof enough that the status quo is all a vote for them will garner us.  It is now or never, folks.  Now is the time to change America for the better.  Vote Ron Paul – he is the best hope for a peaceful and prosperous future!

Check out the Times article here!

28 Weeks Later: Free Libya?

When President Obama declared an unconstitutional military action in Libya, the ostensible reason for attacking was to prevent a civilian massacre. Now, nearly one year later (yes, my title was misleading, but I couldn’t think of anything catchier), has the US military action accomplished what it supposedly set out to accomplish?  In a word: NO.

The first thing that everyone in the world, not just Americans, must understand is that we rarely, if ever, go to war for the reasons stated on the six o’clock news.  The news media lies.  Frequently.  We have been lied to about Libya, and as a result of our increasingly invasive military policy, more people are dying.  In the words of Lew Rockwell, “These people are not pro-peace; they are pro-war.”  I take “these people” to mean pretty much everyone who supported military action in Libya.

However, I have covered the likely reasons why the US/NATO troops attacked Libya.  It has nothing to do with peace and everything to do with petrodollars and any outside threats to the longevity of our shaky financial system.  The fact of the matter, as I have mentioned and will continue to mention, is that the US monetary system survives through the settlement of international transactions in dollars.  The trend of dollar usage is changing, and our government, foolish though they may appear, is not blind to this fact.  They are doing everything in their power to forestall the inevitable.

But let’s lay the monetary issues aside for now.  I’ll have time to rail about those again, I’m certain.  Instead, let’s examine the action in Libya from the viewpoint that we actually went in there as peacekeepers.  Was the mission accomplished?  Is Libya a country at peace?  Hardly.

Recently, Amnesty International reported that armed militias and violent gangs are threatening the stability of Libya.  Thousands are living in refugee camps.  RT has reported that armed fighters have opened fire on those refugee camps, leaving people dead and wounded.  Sirte, once the stronghold of Colonel Qaddafi, is literally in ruins.  The city is mostly without power or water, and there are unexploded munitions in the rubble.  Hardly a place that most folks who have fled will be happy to call home again.

What is the most probable cause of all this in-fighting?  Easy.  There are a lot of different religious and ethnic groups present in Libya.  For all of the things he did wrong, and he did many things wrong, Colonel Qaddafi was not a religious extremist.  In fact, he feared religious extremism.  His government was a secular one – one of the few in the Middle East, aside from Syria, which is the last remaining secular government.  I think we all know how Syria is likely going to turn out, so I won’t belabor the point.

The new Libyan government has moved away from a secular system and is implementing Sharia law.  What is Sharia law, Lady?  Glad you asked.  Sharia law is based on the Q’ran and Sunnah, the major literary texts of Islam.  In a nutshell, it is the law according to the Muslim interpretation of God/Allah.  Many countries, such as Pakistan and Egypt, have legal systems with heavy Sharia influences but which could be considered blended.  Others, such as Saudi Arabia, have a classical Sharia system.  Iran is also Sharia, although it does have a parliament that legislates according to sharia, which makes it somewhat different from Saudi. Sharia is a tricky subject about which I am not well-versed by any stretch, and there are probably as many different forms of Sharia law as there are sects of Islamic or Christian belief.  And that brings me to the main thrust of the problem.

The majority of Muslims in Libya are Sunni.  However, there is a minority known as the Sufis, and they are being persecuted for the differences in their beliefs.  Apparently, another Islamic group known as the Salafis don’t care for the Sufis.  Salafi extremists have dug up Sufi saints and scholars, desecrated cemeteries, and plundered and wrecked schools, among other things.

Sufism dates back to the beginning of the Muslim faith and appears to be a bit “earthier” than stricter versions of Islam.  Sufis will sing hymns, dance, and recognize saints, none of which conform with the strictest versions of Islam.  Recognizing saints is considered tantamount to idolatry, which is a big no-no in the Muslim faith.  Sufis are generally considered to be peaceful and accepting, and they have long played a role in traditional Libyan Islamic beliefs.  However, many government officials now are leaning towards Salafism, which may be bad news indeed for the Sufi minority.

Aside from the religious differences, the black African guest workers have reportedly been rounded up by marauding gangs, tortured, raped and murdered.  These stories have come forth since the early days of the Libyan revolts.  Racism because of skin color was hardly a new feature in Libya, but latent tensions have now bubbled to the surface as deadly violence.

So this is what the money that we don’t have has bought and paid for in Libya.  We have not made Libya freer, and we have not made a better life for the people of that country.  Parts of Libya are in tatters.  The social fabric is unraveling, and authorities are unable to stop the waves of violence boiling up throughout the country.  If we ignore the constitutional and monetary issues at stake and work on the assumption that Libya was a peace mission, we must still conclude that our efforts have failed miserably.

Freedom does not come by force.  Force is, in fact, the antithesis of freedom.  We will never be able to force any country, no matter how much we may wish it or how much blood is spilled, to bring government by the people, for the people, to a country that is not ready for the message.  We might better focus our efforts on our own government and decide how truly free we are, as Americans.  Of course, if the only thing on offer is the brand of so-called aid and comfort that we have provided to Libya, I think I’ll take my chances in the desert wilderness.

The Reading

“Libya clashes kill scores in Al-Kufra” via the BBC
“Post-revolution Sirte a breeding ground for unrest” via the BBC
“Racist Refugee Camp Massacre in Libya: Thank You, Obama, for ‘Liberating’ the Libyans from the Evil Ghaddafi” by Nicholas Stix
“Freed from Gaddafi, Libyan Sufis face violent Islamists” via Reuters
“Out of Control Violence in Libya” via Steve Lendman Blog

Freedom Watch Booted from Fox Business

I am so disappointed to be writing this to you, readers.  Freedom Watch on Fox Business has been cancelled.  For those of you who don’t know about it, Freedom Watch was a show hosted by Judge Andrew Napolitano.  Judge, as he is commonly known, showcased Austrian economics, libertarian philosophy, and real news issues.  Judge was probably the only libertarian on the news, and now he’s been cancelled.  If you’ll allow me a moment of perfect candor, the first thought that I had when I was saw this headline was, This is bull$h1t!  I’m angry.

Judge was shining a bright light on the Fed, the NDAA, and the tomfoolery that goes on daily on the Hill.  Judge was the only host bringing us real straight talk about the economy and the state of the world today.  I watched his show often in clip version, as we don’t get it in Korea, and found every segment to be enjoyable and informative.  I will admit, of course, that he was preaching to the choir.

Why can’t libertarians have a newsman of their own?  I don’t believe that there weren’t enough viewers, because there are plenty of libertarians, and more are coming to the fold every day.  Judge was a great voice for liberty, and that voice has been silenced.

I, for one, don’t intend to take this lying down.  I love Judge’s show, and he is probably the only person on Fox – or TV, generally – for whom I have any respect.  If you are libertarian but you haven’t watched his show before, I suggest you head to Fox and watch some clips before they get removed.  I’m sure there will be plenty of devotees who have him on YouTube, as well.  I will continue to reuse and distribute his clips, as I think they are interesting and informative.  I’m also going to send an angry letter to Fox and tell them exactly what I think about this.  If you love Judge and refuse to let him go quietly into the night, I suggest you do the same!

Freedom Watch: Ron Paul Will Be On GOP Ticket

Continue reading on Examiner.com FreedomWatch with Judge Andrew Napolitano has been cancelled – Wilmington Civil Rights | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-wilmington/freedomwatch-with-judge-andrew-napolitano-has-been-cancelled#ixzz1m4uTqKet

**Addendum: Fox has apparently been inundated with emails about Freedom Watch.  Judge has posted on his Facebook page that, while he appreciates the show of support, the people at Fox are getting pretty irked about the constant emails, and he is requesting that people stop immediately.  We must respect Judge’s wishes on this matter.  Please DO NOT email Fox News about Freedom Watch.  I have taken down the links to the Fox exec’s emails.  

Judge has also stated that the decision was based purely on business and not on the content of the show.  He says that he accepted the decision cheerfully and feels that there will be another opportunity or project for him some time in the near future.  I can only hope this is true.  In any case, please don’t email Fox anymore, guys!

The Big Shut-Down

Chances are, if you were born before 1988 or so, you probably remember the prime time TV drama “Dallas.”  I remember my mom watching “Dallas.”  We watched it together, and she always made me be quiet so that she could hear what was happening.  I still love that show, even today.  Who doesn’t love watching the diabolical J.R. Ewing try to scheme his way out of a sticky situation, usually of his own creation?  There was an episode in, I believe it was season three or four, called “The Big Shut-Down.”  J.R. tries to put Clayton Farlow, an oil refiner, out of business for harboring his ex-wife Sue Ellen and their son, John Ross.  J.R. ends up garnering huge losses for Ewing Oil, and Miss Ellie has to step in and negotiate with Clayton to buy up their oil.  In the end, in spite of his scheming to be top dog, J.R. ends up getting himself removed as president of the company.  More and more, the U.S. is starting to remind me of J.R.

The U.N. just had a vote about whether or not to intervene in Syria.  China and Russia, as was predicted, vetoed any action in Syria.  China suggested the U.N. turn its relief efforts towards Somalia, which has been going through on of the worst famines in recent memory.  This is hardly surprising, given the fact that there is a strong bond between China and Russia, and Russia has long had ties to Syria and other countries in the Middle East.  Russia is Syria’s main arms supplier.  Russia forgave most of Syria’s Soviet-era debt.  Syria allows Russia use of its port of Tartus, where Russia maintains a Mediterranean fleet.  Russia also has at least one major natural gas project going in Syria that is reportedly worth into the billions.  It is not surprising, therefore, that Russia isn’t keen to oust President Bashar Assad.  Things have gone fairly well for Russia in Syria.

If the U.N. (i.e. mostly the U.S. with Europe in the backseat) goes into Syria on one of its “peacekeeping” missions, it seems inevitable that Russia will lose out, probably in a big way.  Its natural gas project could be nationalized.  It could lose the right to keep its navy in Tartus.  Hardly a satisfactory situation.  No country would be happy about another country or group of counties messing with its cash flow.  One might also assume that, given Russia’s veto of the U.N. intervention, if the U.N. decides to go into Syria anyway, Russia will see little benefit from it, in oil or gas trade or otherwise.

The Sino-Russian link is becoming stronger and stronger.  They have been showing solidarity against the West as of late.  China has been working hard to broker the influence of the yuan in the Middle East.  China and the UAE just reached a deal worth about $5.5 billion dollars.  The UAE has agreed to hold renminbi (yuan) in its vault, which will give increasing prestige to the Chinese currency.  Make no mistake about it: Russia and China generally, and China most particularly, are looking to strengthen their ties with the Middle East, and one of the ways that they want to do that is by pushing the renminbi as a viable trading currency.

Something to keep in mind is that China strictly controls its currency flow, as of right this minute.  That is, it only allows for a certain amount of transactions to be done in its currency.  That said, the writing is on the wall, in terms of how China is looking to the future.  There will come a day when China will loosen its currency policy, and it is making inroads to ensure that the renminbi emerges as a currency of favor.  It is estimated that by 2025, China will import three times as much oil from the GCC as the U.S. would need.  Let’s face it: money talks – and walks.

Unfortunately, we are pursuing an increasingly dangerous path in the Middle East.  We are continually intervening for the sake of maintaining the dominance of the petrodollar, which is vital to the continuation of the loose money policy of the Fed.  I could hazard to guess that were it not for the petrodollar and the use of the U.S. dollar as the main reserve currency, the dollar would already be belly up like a goldfish in a dirty bowl.

Frankly, I’m beginning to get extremely worried about the situation that is unfolding in the Middle East.  The U.S government is making it fairly clear at this point that “nothing is off the table,” and if you believe what the news media is saying, war with Iran is practically a foregone conclusion.  I’ve talked at length about why this is probably true.  Follow the money, find the incentive, and you will understand what is happening today.  The same is true about Syria.

The root of this evil lies with the Federal Reserve.  The Federal Reserve has inflated our currency, and now, in order to maintain reasonable purchasing power at home, we are going into foreign countries in an attempt to maintain our ill-gotten standard of living.  It is completely and utterly unsustainable, and people are dying along the way.  It is still incredible to me that the peaceniks I heard who were calling out for Bush’s impeachment are strangely silent now, in spite of the fact that the “war for oil” is nowhere near at its conclusion.

I am afraid of where this constant foreign intervention is leading us.  We are making more and more enemies abroad while further destabilizing an already perilous situation at home.  It is high time that we heed the words of the Founding Fathers and cease our foreign entanglements.  It is time to audit and finally abolish the Fed.  We must return to sound money, for if we don’t, we will only continue down a violent path that will lead to our own inevitable destruction.

While I know that the “gloom and doom” scenario gets tiresome and depressing, there are things that we can do about it.  The first thing that we can do is educate ourselves.  Start reading Mises, Hoppe, Rand, Rothbard, and other Austrian/libertarian philosophers.  Get acquainted with liberty.  It is, for lack of a better word, liberating.  Also, get out there and vote for Ron Paul.  I know that some states have already held their votes, but if you’re on the fence, get off it and go vote for Paul.  Read some of his speeches and articles.  They can be found for free.  Go to the Mises Institute.  There is so much free information available to us, if only we will take the time to go out, find it, and read it.  There is still time to turn this situation around.

Bailout Blowback: We Aren’t Picking a Fight with Iran Over Nukes

My husband was doing his evening check of the BBC World News yesterday evening, and he stumbled across an article from a week or two ago about how London is setting itself up to be the new global leader in Chinese yuan (remnibi) trading.  London has long been the world leader in currency trading, and the fact that several key news outlets are reporting the desire of the city’s financial institutions to wade into the pool of serious yuan trading sends a clear signal about a change in the world money markets.

China and other nations have made it known over the past several years that they would like to begin moving away from the US dollar as the major reserve currency.  This is not a big secret nor is it breaking news.  China is quite keen to throw its hat into the arena, and there are a variety of reasons for that, but the big one is that every time the Fed turns on the printing presses, China, as a large holder of US debt, loses wealth.  Let’s face it: no country or business in their right mind wants to run the risk of continually flushing their own wealth down the toilet.  It doesn’t make sense.

Instead, over the last year or so, China and Russia have been leaning towards using the yuan as a settlement currency.  A settlement currency is exactly what it sounds like: currency that is used to settle financial agreements.  For example, many oil exporting nations trade in US dollars, euros, etc.  These would be settlement currencies for those nations.  Notable, at this point, is that Iran doesn’t accept the US dollar as a settlement currency.  Hold that thought, and we’ll come back to it.  (You may also refer back to my earlier article, “The Usual Suspects,” where I briefly discussed Iran’s oil bourse.)

Back before the Iraqi invasion, Saddam Hussein made the decision to sell Iraqi oil in exchange for “petroeuros,” which would have put the dollar out of business in Iraq by making the euro the settlement currency for its oil trade.  Shortly thereafter, President Bush declared war on Iraq.  We all know how that event went for Saddam, and we all know what Iraq looks like today.  It is fair to say that the US government doesn’t take well to other leaders messing with their cash flow.  We have a strikingly similar situation going on in Iran today.

Why are petrodollars so important?  Well, it essentially allows the Fed to continue printing money (monetizing the debt) without that money creation having a drastic effect on prices at home.  Why is that?  Because foreign countries will buy up that money and use it to trade for oil and gold.  China has long been the biggest financier of the US trade deficit by keeping the price of the yuan artificially low, which directly harms Chinese consumers and businesses by subsidizing the US markets.

However, China is now making its move to push the yuan to international stardom.  For those paying attention, the signs are there.  China is attempting to push the yuan to the forefront as a potential replacement for the US dollar.  France and other countries have participated in talks with China concerning a move away from the US dollar.  That said, a changing of the guard for reserve currencies is not something that will happen overnight.  According to an article by Ron Hera entitled “China’s Dragons: Oil, Gold, and the US Dollar,” the removal of the US petrodollar as the settlement currency of choice will big a large nail in the coffin of the US dollar’s dominance in the world markets.

Why is that true?  Hera uses Paul van Eeden’s Actual Money Supply (AMS) model to show how large the US monetary base (M3 line) has grown since 1971.  Assuming a rate of approximately 8% monetary inflation per year with interest compounding yearly, the monetary base has grown by about 1,863% since 1971.  However, Hera goes on to point out that the prices of US consumer goods has only risen 533%, which leaves 1,330% hanging out there in the wind.  How has this been possible?  Petrodollars.  Most of those dollars that have been printed by the Fed have been used on the global markets for dollar-based transactions (oil, gold, currency reserves, etc.), rather than kept at home and allowed to inflate the price of goods in the home market.

At this point, the picture is becoming clearer and clearer.  Let’s go back to the subject of Iran.  Iran is accepting most anything for its oil except US dollars, and China recently signed a deal with Iran that promised expansion of trade, with the provision that those deals not be settled in dollars or euros.  In fact, Iran stopped trading its oil for dollars in 2007.  China gets about 11% of its oil from Iran, according to CIA data from June 2011.  Interestingly, this 11% of China’s oil amounts to 22% of Iran’s oil exports.

So why is the US getting belligerent about Iran?  Is it because Iran is a threat to US national security with its supposed nuclear weapons?  While the government and its media drones would like for the masses to believe that is the case, the reality of the situation leads us down an entirely different avenue.  It seems more likely that the US is trying to protect its economic interests, rather than merely maintain a stranglehold on the world’s oil supply.  I have long heard so-called intellectuals beating the drum of “no war for oil,” but the reality of the situation is hardly so simple.  The US is not going to war for oil: it’s going to war to prevent economic shutdown.  The petrodollar is arguably one of the major assets keeping the dollar – and the US economy – above the water.

But we must also look at this as an act of aggression against China, in some respects.  China is a direct competitor for oil, for China is a mass consumer  of oil, second only to the US, and it will need more as production and economy expand.  The US is standing directly in China’s way, and although many are neglecting to look at this important perspective, it should not simply be ignored.  The battle of currencies and oil is pertinent and of the utmost importance to the national and world economies.  While we are fighting a secret cold war with China right now, most hot wars are fought for economic reasons, and I do not believe that it would be out of the question for this to turn warmer as time wears on.

The bottom line for the US is this: we must begin to live within our means immediately, and we must work to shrink the money supply.  To fail to curtail spending and monetization of debt will be our (silent) undoing.  The majority of Americans do not understand this, not because they are stupid, but because they are grossly misinformed by the government and media.  We are being made to believe in a terrorist threat that may or may not exist so that the people will approve of these endless wars in the oil-producing nations.  If the worst comes to pass, and the public ever discovers the truth, I believe that there will be hell to pay.

Please pass along this information.  Educate yourself, your family, and your friends about these issues.  If we ignore the reality of this situation, we will surely reap exactly that which we have sown.  God help us.

Please read the article by Ron Hera.  I found it compelling and interesting.

China’s Dragons: Oil, Gold, and the US Dollar

A New Reserve Currency to Challenge the Dollar: What’s Really Going on in the Straits of Hormuz” by Golem XIV

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Haven’t we all been waiting for the day that a TSA agent tried to stick his/her hand down Rand or Ron Paul’s pants?  I mean, honestly.  Based on personal experience, I’m aware of the fact that the government doesn’t always employ the most intelligent people to do their dirty work, but how stupid can you be?  Of all the people they could have chosen to give some government-approved guff to, they had to give it to Rand Paul, a libertarian senator whose father is running for president.  Did they really think that this man wouldn’t run to the media and raise hell?  This is like goosing a rattlesnake from behind and expecting him not to turn around and bite you.

Of course, I think Senator Paul is well within his rights to be annoyed as heck.  Does anyone just love being groped by strangers at the airport?  Isn’t it bad enough to we have to sit next to them on airplanes and endure their various sounds and odors?  I don’t know of anyone who likes or approves of the TSA, and I’m here tonight to make a strident case for getting them out of our airports and out of our unmentionables.  There are few, if any, strong arguments in favor of the TSA, but there are quite a few reasons why they shouldn’t be involved in our lives.

In the first place, total security, which is what the government seems to want to provide us in this day and age, is an illusion.  We can never be totally secure, and the only way that we could be totally secure would be to involve the government in even the most minuscule details of our day-to-day lives.  I hardly think that the invasion of privacy would be worth the feeling of being completely insulated from terrorism.

As Robert P. Murphy writes in his article “The TSA’s False Tradeoff,” this can be explained by an economic comparison.  Using the old communist planned economies as an example and and then applying that to the TSA, we can see how flawed the current thinking about security really is.  Ludwig von Mises critiqued socialist planned economies by saying that it is impossible for government to decide the most efficient use of resources in the market.  For one thing, assuming that the government can do it better assumes that those in government are always going to do the right thing, which is clearly not the case.  It also assumes that it is possible to calculate the best places to allocate scarce resources, and it isn’t.   This is known as a calculation problem.  Murphy provides a car factory as an example.  This car factory is operating efficiently, and it uses steel, rubber, and other things to produce cars that the citizens enjoy.  However, who is to say that those resources couldn’t be diverted elsewhere to create products that the citizens would enjoy even more?  This is the point where one should have an “a-ha” moment, as many of you will recall tales of goods shortages back in the USSR.  Ultimately, the market is a better planner than the government could ever be.

Let’s take this knowledge and apply it to our situation with the TSA.  Murphy points out to us that even if there is never another terrorist incident involving airplanes, it doesn’t necessarily prove the effectiveness of the TSA.  To start with, it is possible that there are other methods – less invasive methods – of providing security that don’t harass and cause discomfort to travelers.

Murphy goes on to note, however, that it is possible that “the ‘efficient’ number of terrorists – for the rest of US history – is not zero.”  In other words, no matter what we do, it is always possible that terrorists will find ways to evade the system and cause harm.  Murphy asserts that we are asking the wrong question when we ask exactly how much security we need to be safe.  The answer is that there is no answer, because nobody – not even a bloated, self-important government who will promise the moon – can ensure safety.

What might happen if security was taken over by private companies and left out of the hands of the government?  For example, what if some Americans would be willing to fly on a cheaper airline that provided minimal or no security, in exchange for the low cost?  One would be completely responsible for the fact that one chose that airline, and in buying one’s ticket and taking the ride, one would agree to the terms of flying with a minimum-security airline?  Conversely, if a flyer felt that he/she wanted the extra security, that individual could pay extra and fly on the airline that gives you a pat-down and body scan as part of its boarding procedure.

Murphy points out that some may ask the question: What happens if one of these low-security planes is boarded by a terrorist, which ends up causing massive damage to people and/or property?  Wouldn’t the airlines insurers potentially face bankruptcy?  Murphy replies with this question: What happens to the TSA if a terrorist boards a plane and causes damages to people and/or property?  Will the TSA be gotten rid of?  Have their budget cut?  Will John Pistole be fired?  Will the government be forced to pay damages?  Of course, in the case that it will pay damages, one must also take into account the fact that it is essentially the tax payers being forced to pay for compensation.

Another issue to look at that Murphy doesn’t go into is the effect it has on the population as a whole.  Although you may not view it in this light, by allowing yourself to be patted down or scanned, you are allowing yourself to be viewed as guilty until proven innocent, which is not a principle upon which our system was founded.  If everyone is guilty until they prove themselves innocent, then we are all potential terrorists in the eyes of the government.  We are all criminals.  Does this sound like the United States to you?  Frankly, it reminds me a lot more of Cold War Russia.  Is this what our government is trying to do – to force us, especially our young people, into believing that we are all criminals and deserve to be treated as such?  That is not the country in which I was raised, and that is not how I want my children to be raised.

On top of all of this, we have no idea what sorts of long-term effects those high-level radiation scanners may have on the passengers or the TSA operators.  What we do know is that repeated exposure to high doses of radiation is extremely detrimental to a person’s health, and may cause cancer, among other things.

Not exactly a pretty picture, is it?  We are giving up our privacy and freedom in the hopes that we can be protected from an enemy we can’t see or can even be sure exists.  However, there is one force against which we must always be vigilant, and that is the force of government, which by its very nature seeks to usurp and control.  It is time that the American people ask themselves if this is really what they want for themselves and their country.  Will we retake our freedom and accept the risks that are inherent to human life, or will we shrink from confrontation and content ourselves to be “safe” at the price of our freedom?  I don’t know about you, dear readers, but for me, it’s no question at all.

If you would like to read the source article, click the link below:

Robert P. Murphy: “The TSA’s False Tradeoff”

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