As the fall semester begins, parents, students, taxpayers and donors should be made aware of official college practices that should disgust us all.
Hampshire College will offer some of its students what the school euphemistically calls “identity-based housing.” That’s segregated housing for students who — because of their race, culture, gender or sexual orientation — have “historically experienced oppression.” I’d bet the rent money that Hampshire College will not offer Jewish, Irish, Polish, Chinese or Catholic students segregated housing. Because there is no group of people who have not faced oppression, Hampshire College is guilty of religious and ethnic discrimination in its housing segregation policy.
University of Connecticut administrators thinks that more black men will graduate if they spend more time together. According to Campus Reform, they are building a new residence hall to facilitate just that. Dr. Erik Hines, the faculty director for the program, said that the learning community “is a space for African-American men to … come together and validate their experiences that they may have on department offers a course called “Kayne vs. Everybody.” At Tufts University’s Experimental College, one can take a class called “Demystifying the Hipster.” Skidmore College’s sociology department offers “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender, and Media.” Frostburg State University’s physics department offers “The Science of Harry Potter,” where it examines some of the tale’s magic. Georgetown University offers “Philosophy and Star Trek,” arguing that “Star Trek is very philosophical” and adding, “What better way, then, to learn philosophy, than to watch Star Trek, read philosophy, and hash it all out in class?”
That these and other nonsense classes exist may reflect several things. There is the notion of shared educational governance, wherein presidents, and boards of trustees have a little say-so about what passes for a college education. The faculty runs the show. Students may be academic cripples and require such nonsense. Those are the most optimistic assessments. Or such academic nonsense may indeed reflect that presidents, academic administrators, faculty members and students actually believe that such classes have academic merit.
College administrators like to keep campus barbarism under wraps. One of the best means to throttle their hideous agenda is for students to use their electronic devices to expose it to public scrutiny.
Another anniversary of the U.S. military’s atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has come and gone, and once again the same rationalizations were repeated especially on the conservative talk radio shows.
But the majority of the American population continue to repeat their defense of murdering innocent human beings, including children. The conservatives, however, suffer especially from the cognitive dissonance of their claiming the importance of “protecting innocent human life” (such as with the abortion issue), yet they support the intentional targeting and mass murders of innocents.
“Well, we had to save the lives of U.S. soldiers…” in their hypothetical future ground battles which otherwise probably would never have happened. But, as a matter of military strategy, they say it was necessary to kill innocent children and their families who were of no threat to anyone.
So the collectivist-minded reasoning is that those innocent children were on “the other side,” not our side. So it’s okay to kill them.
Such rationalization of murdering innocents is out of collectivism, in which, even though those innocents “over there” were not involved in attacking us, because they happened to be within “enemy” territory, “we” had no choice but to disintegrate them.
Many people have a faith in the State that is so strong that they dare not question their collectivist rationalizations of their government’s murders of innocents.
But those conservatives who constantly preach about moral relativism in society are themselves guilty of it with that particular issue especially. Their defense of the Bush-Obama wars of the past 15 years is also rife with moral relativism.
This year’s Presidential campaign is another reminder of the denial of a collapsing society and specifically the federal government in Washington. The election is between the two major party central planners-wannabe on steroids, with some other candidates.
On “making America great again,” I don’t know how you can make an entire country or territory great when so many of its inhabitants obediently worship the centralized apparatus that stifles greatness, that kills opportunity, that enslaves the people.
For instance, have you ever really thought about a system such as taxation in which an agency demands something from you without any voluntary agreement, and threatens to put you in a cage or kill you if you don’t comply?
Sounds kinda like a gangster, doesn’t it? Hmm.
But most people are okay with that because they’ve been indoctrinated to be okay with it since their earliest days. But giving the federal government the power to exercise such a criminal racket over the people has certainly enabled further criminality (e.g. getting into two world wars and other subsequent wars, the New Deal, the Great Society, etc).
Unlike businesses in which their consumers patronize them voluntarily and it’s actually illegal to threaten consumers with a jail cell or death if they don’t comply, in contrast, the central planners of government may issue the threats and carry them out as well and they get away with it. You like that?
Speaking of America, should there really be a single entity with a population of over 300 million over a territory of several million square miles? Was it realistic in the first place?
As Friedrich A. Hayek wrote,
Agreement about a common purpose between a group of known people is clearly an idea that cannot be applied to a large society which includes people who do not know one another. The modern society and the modern economy have grown up through the recognition that this idea — which was fundamental to life in a small group — a face-to-face society, is simply inapplicable to large groups.
And I liked Jim Cox’s recent article on 50 seceding states. Decentralization is the answer to society’s problems which are mainly caused by central planning. America is itself a collectivist concept. A large territory of centralization of power.
I know, people rationalize the centralized racket with their hypnotized mantra of “common defense.”
Yeah, that’s working out well. That national defense apparatus in Washington has been starting wars of aggression, poking hornets’ nests and provoking foreigners, and making Americans less safe and more vulnerable.
In fact, I think that people are even worse now in their subservience, denial and ignorance. After Vietnam, especially after the Pentagon Papers, you would think that in 1991 when President George H.W. Bush wanted to start his war of aggression against Iraq, that the American people would not approve of it. But no.
As for “defense” and the federal tax-thieving and spending in general, we’re now talking about money in the trillions of dollars. But there’s no such thing as a “trillion.” It just doesn’t exist. And all those special interest groups in and around Washington are getting rich on phony money handed out by the Federal Reserve and the racketeers of Congress.
Really, the military and security contractors have been getting rich off the feds’ destruction of other countries and mass murders of foreigners. That’s “defense.”
But, after all the years now — decades, in fact — of Ron Paul’s advocacy of monetary freedom, especially during his last Presidential campaign in which his bills in Congress were getting much more media attention, the sheeple still have no idea of such alternatives and they’re fine with the government’s monetary monopoly that enables and empowers the politicians and banksters to fleece and rob them, shake them down and enslave them.
So besides government’s mass murders, wars, and money, my last issue concerning moral relativism, collectivism, and central planning is the immigration issue. I just don’t understand the conservatives who think they believe in free-market capitalism and private property rights, but when it comes to free markets in labor and employment, not so much.
While the conservatives and nationalists say they hate central planning, they love central planning in “national security” as mentioned above. But they also love it in the immigration issue. The opponents of a free market in labor and employment want the central planning bureaucrats in Washington to continue with their socialist immigration controls, regardless of the chaos such controls have caused for a half-century or more. Put armed guards and snipers on the government borders and build a government wall.
I know that some people suggest that the taxpayers “own” the property that is considered “public” property such as that around the nationalized border. But do they really support the U.S. government’s control over the lives of foreigners as well as markets involving labor and employment? Should the government arrest foreigners who are in the territory without a bureaucrat’s permission, and arrest the business people who employ them?
In contrast, in a free-market capitalist world, employers are free to hire whomever they determine to be the best workers for the wages agreed upon by the worker and the employer. Third-parties who interfere with those private contracts are intruders. Again, that’s in the world of free markets, not the world of government-controlled and centrally-planned markets.
When government borders and arbitrary bureaucratic regulations restrict markets, they are no longer free markets, in my view.
Now, as Walter Block noted in his essay, A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration (.pdf), if you are concerned about foreigners getting into the territory and getting on welfare, then that’s a case against the welfare state.
Abolishing the welfare state is what libertarians and conservatives should concentrate on there.
But preventing others from making a better life for themselves, people who have not harmed anyone should be solely the work of the criminal State and its immoral apparatchiks.
And if you are concerned about would-be terrorists infiltrating the territory or being brought in by the government planners themselves, the main contributors to the radical Islamic extremism are those government bureaucrats. Getting rid of those damn bureaucrats would be very helpful in that area as well.
Which brings me back to the issue of decentralization. Secession and decentralization are the morally right and practical answers to the problems society faces right now.
The problem is central planning and socialism. And for me personally, the Left‘s solutions of central planning and collectivism will further contribute to the societal collapse. I’d rather not have to live through that when it’s otherwise quite avoidable.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines hygiene as:
“Conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness.”
During or following a disruptive event, life will be tough enough without having to worry about maintaining health and preventing disease. Why then, do I find the topic of a survival hygiene kit taking a backseat to articles about food, water, bug-out bags and life in the wilderness?
Today I plan to change that by sharing my own list of must-have items to keep me clean, healthy, and looking good. And lest you question the “looking good” part, rest assured I plan to explain why that is important when faced with a survival situation.
Here is my list, in no particular order.
Residents of Adams County, Idaho, should compel Sheriff Ryan Zollman – by nailing his feet to the floor, if necessary — to answer this question: Are you willing to tell Donna Yantis to her face that her husband Jack deserved to die?
If Zollman answers that question in the negative, he should be forced to answer this one: Are you willing to fire the deputies who perforated Jack Yantis with gunshots, even though they will be spared criminal prosecution because they killed an innocent man?
Assuming that Zollman isn’t willing to do either of the foregoing, he should candidly admit to the public supposedly served by his office that their lives are less valuable than those of his deputies; that the testimony of a local citizen is never to be credited when that citizen accuses deputies of misconduct; that the personal safety of his deputies is the only important consideration in any encounter with a member of the public; and that he is willing to protect the job security of deputies who have exhibited lethal incompetence even when this means putting the public at avoidable risk.
If he were any part of a man, Zollman would have fired Deputies Cody Roland and Brian Wood immediately after last November’s fatal shooting. Instead, he is accusing critics of his department of enlisting in the mythical “war on police.”
“It’s clear that in the nation, law enforcement, we’re under attack, and we just have a reason here in Adams County,” simpered Zollman in a television interview shortly after Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden made the entirely predictable announcement that Roland and Wood would not face criminal charges.
Zollman invites the public to pretend that the deputies, not the man they killed without cause or the prospect of facing accountability, are the victims, their egos gravely wounded by criticism from the public that has continued to pay their salaries and – for reasons that defy my understanding — retains an ingenuous belief in the legitimacy of their profession.
People who pursue a career in law enforcement rarely expose themselves to peril and are often burdened with an overdeveloped capacity for self-pity. From the moment the Adams County deputies gunned down a rancher in an act of criminally negligent homicide – after pleading with him to finish a dangerous task that exceeded their subsidized but inadequate skill-set – Zollman and his comrades made protection of the killers their highest priority.
To understand how law enforcement administrators would deal with an incident of this kind in a relatively civilized country, it’s useful to recall how Haraldur Johannessen, Reykjavik’s Chief of Police, reacted after his officers fatally shot a man who had been sniping at pedestrians from an apartment window. That December 2, 2013, the episode was the first fatal police shooting of a suspect by police in Iceland … well, in the entire history of that country since it achieved independence in 1944. “Police regret this incident and would like to extend their condolences to the family of the man,” Johannessen said during a press conference following the incident.
None of the officers involved in the raid regarded what they did as heroic. While acknowledging that deadly force had to be used to protect the public, several of the officers – soul-sick over their involvement in ending an irreplaceable human life – sought grief counseling. Their ability to see a violent criminal suspect as a fellow human being didn’t detract from their efficiency and professionalism.
I suspect that this is because police in Iceland, whatever else can be said about their training and professional conduct, have not been marinated in the same “No Hesitation” – “Officer Safety uber alles” indoctrination that is de rigueur for American law enforcement personnel, and that unlike their American counterparts Icelandic police are not protected by the pernicious legal fiction called “qualified immunity.”
The US(S)A is a country in which a police officer who risks his life by using non-lethal tactics to end a violent confrontation can be threatened with administrative punishment – or can find himself fired outright and subject to official retaliation for exposing the abusive behavior of his former comrades.
That the deputies who slaughtered Jack Yantis were never in substantial danger of prosecution was made clear by Zollman’s eagerness to reinstate them to patrol duty within days of the killing – long before the Attorney General had completed the cynical charade of an investigation. In late November, just two weeks after Yantis’s funeral, Zollman told the Idaho Statesman that the deputies would return “when they tell me they’re good to go. Some come back quicker, some come back later.”
The only practical consideration, apparently, was the emotional resilience of the killers. Zollman was prepared to put them back on patrol the moment they had overcome whatever trivial misgivings they may have had about killing the next time an opportunity presented itself.
Jack Yantis, obviously, is never coming back. His wife Donna, who was assaulted on the scene and shackled by the men who had just executed her husband, did rebound from the heart attack precipitated by the criminal actions of Zollman’s deputies, but she will never fully recover from the loss she suffered at their hands.
What happened to Yantis and his family, from Zollman’s perspective, was a shame. The real tragedy would be if the deputies who gunned him down and then left him to bleed to death were to lose their entitlements as members of the punitive caste.
While the Yantis family absorbed the horror of what Zollman’s deputies had done to them, Zollman – with the help of other local agencies – assigned tax-subsidized manpower to guard the homes of the men who killed him. This was done despite the fact that Wood was characterized by one of his colleagues as a “sociopath” capable of killing fellow officers if they were sent to arrest him.
At about that time, Wood was the subject of an “officer safety” flier, even though the public at large wasn’t warned of the danger he represented.
From this, we can learn everything necessary to know about the priorities of those who presume to rule us, but there is additional evidence to consider as well.
“Is he coming back as an Officer in Adams County and when?” asked Adams County resident Janet Fields of Tami J. Faulhaber, a Senior Investigator in the Idaho Attorney General’s office, in a May 2 email. The question referred to Deputy Roland, from whom Fields had received Facebook comments she considered threatening in nature.
“This seems to be getting worse as your Department allows the two officers that shot and killed Jack Yantis to walk around beating their chests,” Fields protested. “The people in this community, my husband and I are tired of being afraid of the very people who are supposed to be here to protect and serve us. I am tired of feeling like I have to have a tape recorder … every time I go to the grocery store in town or that our CCP [Concealed Carry Permit] may get us shot by the very people who issued them.”
Officials did take the concerns of local citizens into account – which is to say, they treated them as threats to the safety of the men who killed Jack Yantis.
“Paul – we have discussed here in the office a concern that we have for the safety of the officers when the announcement is made, regardless of what the decision is,” wrote Carl Ericson, Legal Counsel for the Idaho Risk Management Program, in a July 21 email to Paul Panther of the AG’s office. “There is a legitimate worry about possible vigilantism and it could pose a risk to the officers if charges are filed against them and they have not been taken into custody (or voluntarily surrendered) at the time the decision is announced. On the other hand, if no charges are being filed, they may want to leave town to protect themselves prior to the announcement of no charges…. It would be more difficult if they are given a heads up that no charges are being filed and they then start broadcasting it to the world before the announcement.”
Roland and Wood, who have been taking victory laps in the media, are not in danger of being lynched, and they never were. As noted previously, Roland and Wood were also never in serious danger of being charged, because of this killing – like every fatal officer-involved shooting– was investigated as an “assault on law enforcement.”
Rather than seeking to establish probable cause –as he would in any similar case not involving the State’s costumed enforcers – AG Wasden used the investigation to build a case against the dead victim.
To conclude that there was no basis for filing criminal charges against Roland and Wood is, inescapably, the same thing as concluding that Yantis deserved to die. If Roland and Wood had been acquitted following a trial, the public could reasonably conclude that the deputies were in the wrong, and that Yantis was an innocent victim, and that the evidence simply wasn’t adequate to support a conviction. Whether or not the deputies had been convicted of a crime (most likely manslaughter), there is a sense in which a trial was necessary to clear the name of their victim. By refusing to allow the prosecution to proceed, however, Wasden effectively convicted Jack Yantis of attempting, or at least threatening, to murder Deputies Roland and Wood–and in doing so he contradicts abundant evidence that should have been examined by a jury of Adams County citizens.
Jack Yantis must have been a criminal because otherwise, the deputies wouldn’t have killed him. That is Sheriff Zollman’s position on the issue. Is he willing to say this to Donna Yantis?
No one likes a nag.
Especially one that comes along for the ride.
Here are some I wish were optional.
I’m betting you do, too:
*The lawyered-up infotainment screen –
Most (and soon, all) new cars have an LCD infotainment screen, including a government-mandated backup camera. At start-up, the LCD screen will hit you with a warning screen whose cautions and advisories you usually have to “agree” to every single time before anything controlled by the screen can be accessed. It’s like being forced to read the label on a bottle of aspirins every single time you have a headache, then (somehow) acknowledging to Bayer that you know not to eat the entire contents of the bottle – and won’t sue them if you do – before the bottle allows you to have an aspirin.
You are also admonished to “check the surrounding area for safety.”
Where is he? Do you see him?
It gives me a headache.
These systems also do another annoying thing. Put the gear selector in Reverse and the volume of the stereo goes down.
Or even off.
Also for “safety,” of course.
Presumptive (and illiterate) idiot-proofing.
Conjured by the lawyers who now work side-by-side with the engineers who built your car.
The DRL-enabling/barely works parking brake –
Until about five years ago, it was possible to defeat the stupid always-on Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs) most new cars come with (it’s stupid to burn headlights when there’s no reason to, like the lack of daylight… or a funeral) by moving the parking brake handle up just one notch, which would kill the lights but not engage the brakes. Now – redesigned for “safety” – a pushy buzzer comes on if you try this, making it useless as a DRL defeat.
And the brake itself has been designed to have the feeblest of clamping power.
They build just enough tension into allow the brake to hold the car in place if the car is not moving at all. But not enough to lock up the rear wheels while the car’s moving – so no more Hollywood-style parking brake 180s.
Also for “safety.”
* The Curse of the Phantom Passenger –
New cars have “smart” air bags … with very dumb sensors.
They are built into the seat cushions and – supposedly – detect the presence of an occupant and (if he’s not buckled up for “safety”) trigger the seat belt buzzer to remind (hassle) them to do so. But the “smart” air bag sensors often can’t tell the difference between a human passenger and a bag of fast food burgers.
You have to buckle-up your double cheeseburger and fries – or figure out some other way to defeat the electronic imbecile.
Either that or put up with the endless ding! ding! ding! of the buckle-up buzzer.
Which, when you think about it, is distracting and so not very “safe.”
Although I rarely find myself agreeing with neoconservative foreign policy adviser Elliot Cohen, it happened last week, when Cohen in a controversial tweet inveighed against the pro-Trump Journal of American Greatness. Let me admit that I usually read this website publication with pleasure; and although, unlike its contributors, I am not a Straussian of any stripe, I concur with much of what I see there. The Journal’s defense of Trump against the hollow but widespread charge that he’s a “fascist” or a “menace to constitutional freedom,” typically coming from the Never-Trumpites, and its invocation of the Middle American patriotism of the mid-twentieth century (when I grew up in a country that I generally embraced) both resonate well with me. But Cohen is correct that much of the Journal’s operation goes on under the cloak of “anonymity.” Although the editors in response to Cohen claim that the contributors have already identified themselves, all I could discover on the website were the names of three hired editors. These employees, not surprisingly, have some association with Claremont University and/or with the mother shrine of the West Coast Straussians, the Claremont Institute.
Several months ago I was in communication with two distinguished former students of the late Harry Jaffa who expressed their enthusiasm for the Journal but who refused to name names. One of them (whose name I won’t divulge because he wouldn’t want me to) underlined the grave professional danger faced by anyone in his group if it became known that he or she wrote for the Journal. He made the website sound like an underground operation being carried on by endangered dissenters. Now one might understand why the multitude of Never-Trumpites attached to foundations or the academy would be more eager to have their names out there than someone who backs a figure now associated with the populist Right. This is especially true of some people of my acquaintance who ostentatiously display their hatred for Trump at the drop of a pin. Not at all coincidentally, these professional Trump-haters are living from the largess provided by neoconservative donors and think tanks. Perhaps if someone had offered me these plums when I was younger, I too would have sounded shrilly sycophantic. Fortunately for my integrity nobody did.
But what struck me last month while putting together a statement to be signed by scholars for Trump, is how few academics seconded my efforts. In the end, we landed up taking any professional who would append his signature, including a very enthusiastic physician from India who does emergency medicine in Miami. When History-Network recently provided a list of academic historians who were for or against Trump, only three of us, two septuagenarians (including me) and one octogenarian, declared themselves for the GOP presidential candidate. The other historians on the list, some of whom were establishment Republicans, went on a rampage tearing into the Donald. Needless to say, no West Coast Straussian historian threw in his lot with us; nor did anyone in this group offer his name to our publicized declaration of support, which History Network had no trouble discovering, thanks to Lewrockwell.com.
Now it’s entirely possible that some readers of and contributors to the Journal didn’t know of our efforts, while others may have been sitting on the fence in the matter of Donald J. Trump. But I suspect something else is at work here. Disciples of Jaffa of my acquaintance are not professionally endangered. They work at the Claremont Institute or at Claremont University or at such sympathetic institutions as Hillsdale College, whose president Larry P. Arnn is a fervent West Coast Straussian. It would seem that no group has less reason than these Straussians to feel insecure about where their next dollar is coming from. These people have their own well-heeled institutions and, perhaps even more significantly, have access to neoconservative publications and foundations. But that may be the rub. For many decades a cooperative relation has existed between West Coast Straussians and their now deceased mentor and mainstream Republican and neoconservative personalities and foundations. Claremont Review features almost exclusively writers drawn from this pool as well as their own coterie, while Hillsdale invites guest speakers from the same groups.
As a member of the Old Right I have never enjoyed access to either of these institutions; nor would I expect to. The connections of West Coast Straussians are entirely with the GOP-neoconservative establishment, and its members are treated generously by those with whom they network. Their names are seen again and again in National Review, Weekly Standard, and Wall Street Journal; and in all likelihood internships and entry level jobs in neoconservative foundations and publications are made available to young West Coast Straussians. Their basic teachings, e.g., that democratic equality is a foundational conservative principle and that the heroes of the Right should be the Great Emancipator, the anti-Nazi English leader Winston Churchill, and the Civil Rights champion Martin Luther King, are fully compatible with ideas that are now in fashion in the conservative movement. Although members of this group or sect keep insisting that they are somehow different from others in the movement (and perhaps more closely aligned to the Old Right), I’ve seen no evidence of this claim—until now.
The fact that some West Coast Straussians have broken from the fold and back Trump, however surreptitiously, represents a cataclysmic break from the neocon-GOP establishment party line. It places the rebels on the same side as paleoconservatives, paleolibertarians and the populist Right, the same groups that the neocons loathe and have worked tirelessly to defame. But where exactly do the West Coast Straussians (aka Jaffaites) go from here? They are bound at the hip with those they’re apparently beginning to break with. Personally, I doubt their present insurgency has much of a future, but I’d be delighted to be proven wrong.
Starting today, the Royal Bank of Scotland will become the first bank in the U.K. to impose a negative interest rate on depositors. The negative rate will apply only to corporate customers, including mutual fund managers and pension funds, holding deposits of certain foreign currencies including euros. This means that RBS—in which the U.K. government still maintains a majority ownership stake since its 2008 bailout—will actually charge these customers to “borrow” their deposits. A few weeks ago, RBS notified more than one million small-business customers that they could also be charged for deposits if the Bank of England lowered the target interest rate, which now stands at .25%, into negative territory. Experts are warning that the latest move by RBS would “set alarm bells ringing” among small businesses and ordinary customers. The stage is set for a glorious and long overdue old-fashioned bank run if the BOE ventures to push rates into negative territory.
Meanwhile in the eurozone, since the ECB rate cut the interest rate in March to minus 0.4%, banks have paid a total of about 2.64 billion euros to keep their funds on deposit at the eurozone’s 19 central banks. With European central bankers threatening further rate cuts, private financial institutions are exploring the feasibility of circumventing the charges by converting central bank electronic deposit credits into cash and storing it in nonbank facilities. The German insurance company Munich Re is reportedly already storing tens of millions of euros at “a manageable cost,” and Commerzbank, Germany’s second-biggest lender, is considering a similar option.
Of course, any significant movement to convert bank reserves into cash would undermine the goal of central bank rate cutting because the cost of holding bank reserves in cold hard cash would not respond to a change in interest rates, short-circuiting central bank efforts to stimulate further bank lending. More significant, if the movement to convert deposits into cash spreads to the nonbank public, it would bring down the fractional-reserve banking system in short order. And herein lies the real reason why prominent establishment economists are now leading the charge in the War on Cash. By abolishing cash, they seek to lock everyone’s money holdings into the fractional-reserve banking system and make the system completely run-proof for all time. This would preserve and strengthen the so-called “transmission mechanism” of monetary policy, whose central element is fractional-reserve bank lending, which creates new deposits out of thin air.
Not coincidentally, Harvard and former IMF economist Kenneth Rogoff has just published a book a few days ago bearing the lurid title The Curse of Cash. The book garners effusive praise in back-cover endorsements from leading professional economists such as Ben Bernanke, Alan Blinder, and Michael Woodford. Rogoff reportedly calls for the abolition of all cash, not merely large-denomination notes. While admitting that cash has some advantages, Rogoff makes the sensational claim that the bulk of the $1.4 trillion of US currency in circulation is used to facilitate tax evasion and to finance illegal activities like human trafficking and terrorism. Oh yes—Rogoff also argues that a cashless economy would make monetary policy more efficient by preventing savers from hoarding cash whenever central bankers—advised by sage macroeconomists like Rogoff—decide that the “natural” or optimal rate of interest for the economy has become deeply negative.
Cash is an unambiguously a blessing to productive workers, savers, and entrepreneurs who wish to protect their hard earned money from the crazed theories and swindling schemes promoted by statists like Rogoff and the central bankers he advises.
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
I am not unsympathetic to the Trump Movement as I too am a populist. That said, Trump is wrong about trade. Trump is the latest and loudest to tap into a nearly ineradicable strain of economic fallacy known as protectionism. Protectionism is, as Albert Jay Nock accurately stated, “the robbery of the domestic consumer by the domestic manufacturer.” The protectionist wants to use state violence to prevent people from making deals with manufacturers and retailers from outside the United States who sell products that are cheaper and/or better than those produced domestically. If the trade that is banned or discouraged by high tariffs involves a consumer good, the protectionist has obviously made that person poorer by forcing him to buy a more expensive or lower quality good. If the banned transaction involves a capital good, then the protectionist has weakened a domestic manufacturer by costing that firm revenue, resulting in lower investment and decreased employment.
In a fiat currency economy such as we have, dollars spent abroad must come back to the U. S. economy anyway in the form of purchases of goods, services, real estate or bonds. Thus, the protectionist also thwarts those generally beneficial transactions. I am indebted to Milton Freidman for this point. If on the other hand, those dollars sent abroad are buried or burned, then the failure to return them simply means that Americans become wealthier as they have sent mere pieces of paper abroad in exchange for valuable goods. The analysis would be different perhaps in a gold standard economy but we do not have one so it’s academic.
Whether they admit it or not, the protectionist is a species of progressive, one who believes that positive state action can improve human life in a given arena of activity. Like all progressives, the protectionist has no evidence for his position, merely assertions, beliefs, hopes, and dreams. Like all progressives, the protectionist has no theory of costs. Where would all those dollars mulcted out of the millions of victims of their policies have been spent instead and what multitudes of unknowable sacrifices have been imposed on the masses? We will never know. Progressives are concerned with fantasies, not facts.
None of this is to justify America’s current trade policies. They are often called “free trade” but that is a lie. Let’s call it managed or regulated trade designed by lobbyists to benefit their special interest clients. To argue that we are stuck with protectionism or managed trade is a false choice. Both are bad.
Now, let me tell you what really bothers me about protectionism. It distracts us from the real problem: the progressive big government albatross that sits on top of the average American worker. It creates a convenient foreign scapegoat to blame for misdeeds of the real villain: the Progressive State of America. The average American working in the private sector has about half of his income stolen from him by the state and is told how he can spend his half of his own money by thousands of inscrutable regulations and laws. If he wants to start a business, there are hundreds of taxes, fees, licenses and regulations he must overcome that did not exist when America become the world’s leading economy.
If he seeks employment, his choices are greatly reduced by a hostile business climate that interferes with business development, investment, hiring, and growth. He is born into the world with a load of federal debt spent by dead progressive politicians years ago. He is shunted into a daycare center at three months old by an economy with a shortage of jobs that can support a family with one income. Next, he ends up in a government-run juvenile detention and propaganda center for twelve years that does not prepare him for surviving in the real world. Finally, he is encouraged to run up college debt to pay for the absurdly-high salaries of professors and administrators. The average American faces a daily struggle to survive and a grim future if present trends are projected. China didn’t do any of this. Uncle Sam did.
What is Donald Trump’s solution to the decline of America caused by progressive big government? Make government bigger still and elites ever more powerful by impoverishing the average American even further by making him buy expensive domestic goods he doesn’t want. That’s not a very artful deal.
Populism is the belief in policies that benefit the average person. The only viable populist platform is liberty and the free market. Protectionism always was and always will be a policy that favors wealthy elites at the expense of the average American worker. Politics is a rich man’s sport.
Wake up Donald! “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
Is Crimea about to explode? The mainstream media reports that Russia has amassed troops on the border with Ukraine and may be spoiling for a fight. The Russians claim to have stopped a Ukrainian sabotage team that snuck into Crimea to attack key infrastructure. The Russian military is holding exercises in Crimea and Russian President Vladimir Putin made a visit to the peninsula at the end of the week.
The Ukrainians have complained to their western supporters that a full-scale Russian invasion is coming, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he may have to rule by martial law due to the Russian threat.
Though the US media pins the blame exclusively on Russia for these tensions, in reality, there is plenty of blame to go around. We do know that the US government has been involved with “regime change” in Ukraine repeatedly since the break-up of the Soviet Union. The US was
“There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear”
Join me now, if you have the time, as we take a stroll down memory lane to a time nearly four-and-a-half decades ago – a time when America last had uniformed ground troops fighting a sustained and bloody battle to impose, hmm, ‘democracy’ on a sovereign nation.
It is the first week of August 1964, and U.S. warships under the command of U.S. Navy Admiral George Stephen Morrison have allegedly come under attack while patrolling Vietnam’s Tonkin Gulf. This event subsequently dubbed the ‘Tonkin Gulf Incident,’ will result in the immediate passing by the U.S. Congress of the obviously pre-drafted Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which will, in turn, quickly lead to America’s deep immersion into the bloody Vietnam quagmire. Before it is over, well over fifty thousand American bodies – along with literally million of Southeast Asian bodies – will litter the battlefields of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
For the record, the Tonkin Gulf Incident appears to differ somewhat from other alleged provocations that have driven this country to war. This was not, as we have seen so many times before, a ‘false flag’ operation (which is to say, an operation that involves Uncle Sam attacking himself and then pointing an accusatory finger at someone else). It was also not, as we have also seen on more than one occasion, an attack that was quite deliberately provoked. No, what the Tonkin Gulf incident actually was, as it turns out, is an ‘attack’ that never took place at all. The entire incident, as has been all but officially acknowledged, was spun from whole cloth. (It is quite possible, however, that the intent was to provoke a defensive response, which could then be cast as an unprovoked attack on U.S ships. The ships in question were on an intelligence mission and were operating in a decidedly provocative manner. It is quite possible that when Vietnamese forces failed to respond as anticipated, Uncle Sam decided to just pretend as though they had.)
Nevertheless, by early February 1965, the U.S. will – without a declaration of war and with no valid reason to wage one – begin indiscriminately bombing North Vietnam. By March of that same year, the infamous “Operation Rolling Thunder” will have commenced. Over the course of the next three-and-a-half years, millions of tons of bombs, missiles, rockets, incendiary devices and chemical warfare agents will be dumped on the people of Vietnam in what can only be described as one of the worst crimes against humanity ever perpetrated on this planet.
Also in March of 1965, the first uniformed U.S. soldier will officially set foot on Vietnamese soil (although Special Forces units masquerading as ‘advisers’ and ‘trainers’ had been there for at least four years, and likely much longer). By April 1965, fully 25,000 uniformed American kids, most still teenagers barely out of high school, will be slogging through the rice paddies of Vietnam. By the end of the year, U.S. troop strength will have surged to 200,000.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world in those early months of 1965, a new ‘scene’ is just beginning to take shape in the city of Los Angeles. In a geographically and socially isolated community known as Laurel Canyon – a heavily wooded, rustic, serene, yet vaguely ominous slice of LA nestled in the hills that separate the Los Angeles basin from the San Fernando Valley – musicians, singers and songwriters suddenly begin to gather as though summoned there by some unseen Pied Piper. Within months, the ‘hippie/flower child’ movement will be given birth there, along with the new style of music that will provide the soundtrack for the tumultuous second half of the 1960s.
An uncanny number of rock music superstars will emerge from Laurel Canyon beginning in the mid-1960s and carrying through the decade of the 1970s. The first to drop an album will be The Byrds, whose biggest star will prove to be David Crosby. The band’s debut effort, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” will be released on the Summer Solstice of 1965. It will quickly be followed by releases from the John Phillips-led Mamas and the Papas (“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” January 1966), Love with Arthur Lee (“Love,” May 1966), Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention (“Freak Out,” June 1966), Buffalo Springfield, featuring Stephen Stills and Neil Young (“Buffalo Springfield,” October 1966), and The Doors (“The Doors,” January 1967).
One of the earliest on the Laurel Canyon/Sunset Strip scene is Jim Morrison, the enigmatic lead singer of The Doors. Jim will quickly become one of the most iconic, controversial, critically acclaimed, and influential figures to take up residence in Laurel Canyon. Curiously enough, though, the self-proclaimed “Lizard King” has another claim to fame as well, albeit one that none of his numerous chroniclers will feel is of much relevance to his career and possible untimely death: he is the son, as it turns out, of the aforementioned Admiral George Stephen Morrison.
And so it is that, even while the father is actively conspiring to fabricate an incident that will be used to massively accelerate an illegal war, the son is positioning himself to become an icon of the ‘hippie’/anti-war crowd. Nothing unusual about that, I suppose. It is, you know, a small world and all that. And it is not as if Jim Morrison’s story is in any way unique.
During the early years of its heyday, Laurel Canyon’s father figure is the rather eccentric personality known as Frank Zappa. Though he and his various Mothers of Invention line-ups will never attain the commercial success of the band headed by the admiral’s son, Frank will be a hugely influential figure among his contemporaries. Ensconced in an abode dubbed the ‘Log Cabin’ – which sat right in the heart of Laurel Canyon, at the crossroads of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Lookout Mountain Avenue – Zappa will play host to virtually every musician who passes through the canyon in the mid- to late-1960s. He will also discover and sign numerous acts to his various Laurel Canyon-based record labels. Many of these acts will be rather bizarre and somewhat obscure characters (think Captain Beefheart and Larry “Wild Man” Fischer), but some of them, such as psychedelic rocker cum shock-rocker Alice Cooper, will go on to superstardom.
Zappa, along with certain members of his sizable entourage (the ‘Log Cabin’ was run as an early commune, with numerous hangers-on occupying various rooms in the main house and the guest house, as well as in the peculiar caves and tunnels lacing the grounds of the home; far from the quaint homestead the name seems to imply, by the way, the ‘Log Cabin’ was a cavernous five-level home that featured a 2,000+ square-foot living room with three massive chandeliers and an enormous floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace), will also be instrumental in introducing the look and attitude that will define the ‘hippie’ counterculture (although the Zappa crew preferred the label ‘Freak’). Nevertheless, Zappa (born, curiously enough, on the Winter Solstice of 1940) never really made a secret of the fact that he had nothing but contempt for the ‘hippie’ culture that he helped create and that he surrounded himself with.
Given that Zappa was, by numerous accounts, a pro-war, rigidly authoritarian control-freak, it is perhaps not surprising that he would not feel a kinship with the youth movement that he helped nurture. And it is probably safe to say that Frank’s dad also had little regard for the youth culture of the 1960s, given that Francis Zappa was, in case you were wondering, a chemical warfare specialist assigned to – where else? – the Edgewood Arsenal. Edgewood is, of course, the longtime home of America’s chemical warfare program, as well as a facility frequently cited as being deeply enmeshed in MK-ULTRA operations. Curiously enough, Frank Zappa literally grew up at the Edgewood Arsenal, having lived the first seven years of his life in military housing on the grounds of the facility. The family later moved to Lancaster, California, near Edwards Air Force Base, where Francis Zappa continued to busy himself with doing classified work for the military/intelligence complex. His son, meanwhile, prepped himself to become an icon of the peace & love crowd. Again, nothing unusual about that, I suppose.
Eye floaters are spots moving through your field of vision. They may appear black or gray, stringy or cobweb-like, they may move, drift, or dart when you move your eyes. Many eye floaters are brought on by age-related changes in the eyes – for example when the jellylike substance of the eye becomes liquefied. If eye floaters appear and increase quickly or suddenly, you should see an eye specialist right away.
There are many different reasons for eye floaters. Some are harmless and others require immediate medical attention. Here we will outline the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for eye floaters.
Causes of eye floaters
Eye floaters usually appear when a piece of debris floats in the vitreous humor, the transparent jellylike substance filling the eyeball behind
Symptoms of eye floaters include seeing spots in your field of vision, grey or black spots, cobweb-looking lines or strings, spots that move when you move your eye trying to look at them, spots that are more noticeable when you look at something plain or bright, and spots that eventually settle and move away from your line of vision.
Risk factors for eye floaters include being of older age, nearsightedness, eye trauma, complications resulting from cataract surgery, diabetic retinopathy, and eye inflammation.
Diagnosis and treatment for eye floaters
When it comes to eye floaters, the process of diagnosing is fairly simple. Your ophthalmologist will conduct a thorough eye examination, which may include dilating the eyes. In many cases, eye floaters do not require treatment in the absence of a problem. Eventually, you will be able to ignore them or not even notice their presence. In cases where treatment is required, some options are:
- Using a laser to disrupt the floaters, breaking them up and making them less noticeable
- Removing the vitreous humor surgically
For the most part, you will have to continue to monitor your eye floaters to ensure they are not worsening and impacting your vision. Follow-up appointments are necessary to ensure no other complications have developed.
When to call a doctor for eye floaters
You should see a doctor immediately if you have more eye floaters, there is a sudden onset of new eye floaters, you begin to see flashes of light, and if you experience peripheral vision loss (side vision loss). These symptoms could signify a retinal tear or retinal detachment, which could contribute to vision loss if not taken care of right away.
Reprinted with permission from Bel Marra Health.
I wish Bionic Mosquito would do a post about the pragmatist vs. purist debate currently being waged among libertarians. “To vote Trump or not to vote,” if you will.
Your wish is my command, but I suspect my response won’t be tremendously satisfying.
I’m a parent. I haven’t got the luxury of principles.
Principles or pragmatism? A choice that libertarians face numerous times every single day in life. I am certain that every libertarian chooses pragmatism – not every time they face a choice, but enough times to matter. We each individually choose when and for what reason we are willing to compromise. We each decide every day what lines we are willing to cross.
Those who consider themselves the most principled are never shy about abusing those whom they self-righteously judge to be less so – all the while ignoring the planks in their own eyes.
Define a violation of the non-aggression principle. Murder and robbery are easy. We disagree on many other issues – are they violations or not?
Define self-defense. Define aggression. Define punishment. All subjective terms. (This is where that pesky thing is known as “culture” comes in – a real difficult subject for some self-labeled purists to grasp). Given this…what is principled? One libertarian’s “principled” might be another libertarian’s “pragmatic,” and neither be “wrong.”
Is voting a violation of the NAP? The voter has shot no one, robbed no one. He has voted. Yet, he votes for someone who will shoot someone and rob someone…. So I understand fully why a principled libertarian would not vote. But this doesn’t automatically lead to the conclusion that voting is a violation of the NAP.
There are those who found no problem with supporting or even voting for Ron Paul four or eight (or twenty-six) years ago but find trouble doing the same with Trump. The difference between voting for Ron Paul and voting for Donald Trump is…what exactly? The levels of violation of the NAP between these two once in office is one of degree, not type (as are the definitions of aggression, etc.); further, the power for any president to change much of anything is limited. Keep these thoughts in mind when you reply to my query.
Because with these thoughts in mind, all you will be left with is…
There is pragmatism in the idea about not voting at all because one vote doesn’t matter. There is pragmatism in the idea of sending a message – the fewer the votes, the less legitimate the government. While I agree with these, I do not intend to cover these aspects. I only cover the choice: Trump or Hillary or don’t vote at all?
I have not been shy about offering my opinion on Trump vs. Hillary. I offer my thoughts for those libertarians who feel that supporting or even voting for a candidate is a reasonable action to take.
While I am certain Hillary will continue to push the US into further confrontations – and most dangerous for the world, further confrontations with Russia – I believe that Trump at least offers the possibility of being something less belligerent.
I might be wrong about Trump being less belligerent, but I am certain that he will not be more belligerent – only because the threshold with Hillary is so low (high?).
Of course, you might disagree with my opinion of the relatively less-neocon desires of Trump as opposed to Hillary – but that is a different subject.
This distinction between Trump and Hillary is not trivial; it is important for two reasons that I see: first, regardless of what damage either candidate might do to those living in the US (and even on domestic issues I see Hillary as more dangerous), it seems a non-trivial issue as to what the US government does to destroy the lives of millions of people around the world.
Second, the nuclear war won’t be survived by many, and those who survive won’t enjoy the lifestyle.
To the first point, one might consider that a vote for Trump is akin to coming to the defense of others – not a requirement in libertarianism, yet not prohibited either. But even on domestic issues, I can see a vote for Trump as opposed to Hillary as one of self-defense (albeit, I haven’t developed this thought much either in my brain or on the screen) – via the only legal means available to most of us.
To the second, I would include “coming to the defense of others” and also add the concept of self-defense (regarding doing whatever one can to avoid nuclear annihilation) – self-defense being a fully libertarian idea. When it comes to self-defense…I can think of many situations involving me or those I love where minor (or even major) inconvenience to some innocent third party will not stop me from considering applying even deadly force against an aggressor.
In other words, don’t talk to me about all of the NAP violations that come with voting for Trump when the alternative is a continuation of neocon policies that will bring the world further into destruction to the point of Armageddon.
Self-defense and aggression – define these subjective terms in a very objective world. It can’t be done with certainty in every circumstance.
I do not plan to vote for any candidate. Yet I do not fault those like Walter Block who call for supporting the lesser of two evils when it comes to slave-master (to use his terminology).
Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.
di Gary North
La sconfitta del "remain" il 23 giugno ha rappresentato uno dei più grandi giorni della mia vita. Ma io sono un americano. Perché dovrebbe interessarmi?
Risposta: perché mi oppongo al Nuovo Ordine Mondiale da più di mezzo secolo. Ho guardato queste persone intelligenti arrivare alla fase finale del più grande prodotto civetta del XX secolo. E ora ha iniziato a disintegrarsi. Il Brexit è stata la prima fase di questa disintegrazione.
La prima fase è iniziata in Inghilterra nel decennio dopo la guerra anglo-boera e prima della prima guerra mondiale. L'istituzione centrale, letteralmente e figurativamente, era il Round Table Group. Fondato nel 1909, era gestito da Lord Milner ed era finanziato da Cecil Rhodes. Il suo impegno era nei confronti dell'impero britannico. Si cercava una maggiore integrazione tra i paesi del Commonwealth, più la colonia in fuga: gli Stati Uniti d'America. Questo obiettivo risale a Rodhes, in onore del quale sono state proprio istituite le borse di studio di Rodhes.
La fase due è iniziata poco dopo la prima guerra mondiale. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. ha rappresentato la fonte principale di finanziamento negli Stati Uniti. Il suo agente era Raymond Fosdick, il fratello del pifferaio magico liberal del protestantesimo, Harry Emerson Fosdick.
Qual è stato il prodotto civetta? Attirare nella trappola di un governo unico mondiale gli intellettuali e poi i politici, promettendo una maggiore ricchezza attraverso il libero scambio. Creare alleanze di libero scambio non equivale ad un libero commercio, ma piuttosto scambi commerciali gestiti da burocrati internazionali. Stiamo parlando di dazi bassi e normative dettagliate riguardo produzione e distribuzione. La regolamentazione economica favorisce le grandi multinazionali che possono permettersi un sacco di avvocati costosi. Questo sistema di regolamentazione crea barriere economiche contro concorrenti neonati e più innovativi, ma purtroppo sotto-capitalizzati. In breve, utilizzare l'esca di una maggiore ricchezza nazionale per persuadere i leader nazionali ad accettare un governo internazionale basato su un trattato che richiede ai paesi membri di cedere gran parte della propria sovranità nazionale. La fase finale è la creazione di governi regionali centralizzati che assorbono i governi nazionali, in quello che diventa un immenso sistema burocratico internazionale che regola la maggior parte dei settori della vita quotidiana.
Gli argomenti a favore del libero scambio risalgono al 1752 con David Hume e in seguito al suo amico Adam Smith, il cui libro, La Ricchezza delle Nazioni (1776), è l'esempio per eccellenza. La libertà è più produttiva rispetto alla burocrazia statalista.
Il libero commercio significa due persone che possono legalmente accettare uno scambio, se decidono di farlo. Semplice. L'idea dello scambio volontario è odiata da quei produttori che non possono competere in modo efficace.
Il motivo per cui la Rockefeller Foundation pagò F. A. Hayek, Wilhelm Röpke e Ludwig von Mises per scrivere libri sul commercio internazionale, era quella di fornire l'esca economica.
Raymond Fosdick finì sul libro paga di John D. Rockefeller Sr. nel 1913. Finì sul libro paga di John D. Rockefeller Jr. nel 1916. Aveva incontrato Fosdick nel 1910. Fosdick era uno dei pupilli di Woodrow Wilson a Princeton. Qui trovate un breve riassunto della sua carriera. Però non parla della sua presenza alla Conferenza di Pace di Versailles, dove lui e Jean Monnet lavorarono insieme nel 1919 per creare la Società delle Nazioni. Anzi, Monnet non viene affatto menzionato. Inoltre non si parla del suo ruolo come avvocato personale e consigliere di John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1920-1936. Suo fratello Harry nel 1917 entrò a far parte del consiglio della Rockefeller Foundation.
Un altro protetto di Wilson fu John Foster Dulles. Era il nipote di John Foster, Segretario di Stato sotto Harrison, conosciuto come "the fixer". Era anche il nipote di Robert Lansing, Segretario di Stato di Wilson, il quale contribuì a far entrale gli Stati Uniti nella prima guerra mondiale. Fu Segretario di Stato sotto Eisenhower. Fu l'avvocato di Harry Emerson Fosdick nel processo del 1924 contro la Chiesa presbiteriana settentrionale. Era uno degli avvocati più ricchi d'America negli anni '30. Era un globalista. Era un intermediario tra le imprese americane e il governo di Hitler fino a quando una rivolta nel suo studio non lo costrinse a smettere. Fu un promotore precoce del Consiglio Mondiale delle Chiese, fondato poi nel 1948. Negli anni '30 presentò anche un programma per la creazione di un governo internazionale finanziato da una bassa tassazione sul commercio internazionale, organizzazione che sarebbe andata a vantaggio delle grandi aziende -- i suo clienti. Sarebbero state esenti dai dazi nazionali.
Questi uomini erano globalisti. Proclamavano la dottrina del libero scambio, ma sempre con questa clausola: il libero scambio è l'esca per la creazione di un governo internazionale con un commercio pianificato.
Il modello era lo Zollverein del 1833. La maggior parte dei principati tedeschi vennero portati in una zona di libero scambio: niente dazi all'interno di tale zona, e dazi elevati nei confronti delle importazioni. Funzionò. La voce di Wikipedia è corretta: "La fondazione dello Zollverein ha rappresentato il primo esempio nella storia in cui stati indipendenti si sono fusi in un'unione economica completa senza la creazione simultanea di una federazione politica o sindacale." Nel 1871 Bismarck riuscì a trasformare questa zona di libero scambio in un'unione politica nazionale: la Germania.
Jean Monnet comprese questa strategia. Nel 1951 fu il promotore dietro le quinte della Comunità Europea del Carbone e dell'Acciaio. Il francese Robert Schuman era il proverbiale uomo visibile a tutti. Dice Wikipedia:
La Comunità Europea del Carbone e dell'Acciaio (CECA) era un'organizzazione internazionale destinata ad unificare alcuni paesi dell'Europa continentale dopo la seconda guerra mondiale. Venne istituita formalmente nel 1951 col trattato di Parigi, firmato da Belgio, Francia, Germania Ovest, Italia, Paesi Bassi e Lussemburgo. La CECA è stata la prima organizzazione internazionale ad essere basata su principi di sovra-nazionalità, e avrebbe aperto la strada alla fondazione dell'Unione Europea.
La CECA venne istituita per mezzo di un trattato. I trattati sono la chiave di questa strategia. Gli elettori non hanno voce in capitolo.
Con l'obiettivo di creare gli Stati Uniti d'Europa, vennero proposte altre due comunità, ancora una volta dai francesi. La Comunità Europea per la Difesa (CED) e la Comunità Politica Europea (CPE). Mentre il Trattato per quest'ultima venne elaborato dall'Assemblea Comune, la camera parlamentare della CECA, la CED venne respinta dal Parlamento francese. Il presidente Jean Monnet, una figura di spicco dietro le comunità, si dimise dall'Alta Autorità in segno di protesta e iniziò a lavorare su comunità alternative, in base all'integrazione economica piuttosto che all'integrazione politica.
Poi arrivò il trattato di Roma del 1957: la Comunità Economica Europea.
Passo dopo passo, decennio dopo decennio, le nazioni europee finirono in trappola.
La maggior parte di questa storia è di dominio pubblico. Tutto ciò che serve è Wikipedia, ma bisogna sapere dove cercare.
Il Trattato di Roma, nome originale del Trattato che istituiva la Comunità Economica Europea, è stato modificato da trattati successivi che ne avrebbero cambiato il contenuto. Il Trattato di Maastricht del 1992 istituì l'Unione Europea, con la CEE che diventava uno dei suoi tre pilastri. Quindi il trattato venne rinominato nel Trattato che istituiva la Comunità Europea (TCE).
Quando il trattato di Lisbona è entrato in vigore nel 2009, il sistema dei pilastri è stato abbandonato, e quindi la CE ha cessato d'esistere come entità giuridica separata dalla UE. Ciò ha portato a modifiche nel Trattato ed è stato rinominato Trattato sul Funzionamento dell'Unione Europea (TFUE).
Nel 1973 il partito conservatore di Edward Heath portò la Gran Bretagna nella Comunità Europea (CE). Quest'ultima era costituita da "tre organizzazioni internazionali che erano governate dallo stesso insieme di istituzioni: la Comunità Europea del Carbone e dell'Acciaio (CECA), la Comunità Europea dell'Energia Atomica (CEEA o Euratom) e la Comunità Economica Europea (CEE)." Non c'era alcuna Unione Europea. Non ancora.
Nel 1975 il governo laburista di Harold Wilson autorizzò un referendum. Votarono circa 25 milioni di persone. Due terzi votarono sì. Non ci fu alcun referendum per l'adesione all'Unione Europea quando l'UE venne creata col Trattato di Maastricht nel 1993.
LA PREVISIONE DI ENOCH POWELL
Fu dopo il referendum del 1975 che Enoch Powell, leader avversario della nazione, rilasciò un'intervista su quel voto importante. È stata ristampata qui. È stato semplicemente profetico.
Powell: Ci sono due eventi, se così si possono definire, un po' confusi. Uno è la conferenza del Partito Conservatore in cui ho detto che non avrei mai dato l'assenso all'atto di abnegazione che porterebbe la Gran Bretagna ad aderire al Mercato Comune; e un incontro a East Ham nel settembre 1971, quando dissi che una cosa del genere non sarebbe accaduta. Sono ancora convinto che non accadrà. Sono convinto che la gente di questo paese non si lascerà assorbire in uno stato europeo.
Day: Ma lei ha detto che non ci saremmo uniti al Mercato Comune, e invece è accaduto il contrario, quindi non ha torto adesso come allora?
Powell: No signore, il popolo britannico non significa che lo sia perché non è ancora stato in grado di calcolare le implicazioni dell'essere nel Mercato Comune. Pensano ancora d'essere una nazione. Pensano ancora che avranno voce in capitolo sulle normative burocratiche e fiscali. Si sbagliano. Non è colpa dei molti pro-mercati se si sbagliano, ma il punto è che non posso neanche biasimarli. Ma impareranno.
Il 23 giugno 2016 l'elettorato britannico ha confermato la previsione di Powell. Hanno tirato fuori la nazione dalla trappola in cui era finita.
Ora, per grazia di Dio mediante i referendum, questa trappola cadrà a pezzi.
Ecco perché alle 3 del mattino del 24 giugno è iniziato uno dei migliori giorni della mia vita. I sogni di Cecil Rhodes, Lord Milner, Jean Monnet, John D. Rockefeller Jr., Woodrow Wilson, Raymomd Fosdick, John Foster Dulles, Robert Schuman, Edward Heath, Harold Wilson e David Cameron, sono andati in frantumi grazie al referendum britannico.
Non poteva accadere ad un gruppo più meritevole di imbonitori.
[*] traduzione di Francesco Simoncelli: http://francescosimoncelli.blogspot.it/
Filmmaker Lalange Snow photographed and interviewed 14 members of 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland before they were sent to Afghanistan, after three months’ service, and mere days after coming back home from their deployment.
War changes people, and the soldiers’ faces show a glimpse of the toll that fighting in Afghanistan takes on the troops.
they are still human. Others appear to be fully broken; they are displaced.
Interviews with the soldiers provide a deeper glimpse at how the war changes people:
Private Chris MacGregor, 24
11th March, Edinburgh: “Obviously I’ll miss family but other than that I am going to miss my dogs more than anything. They are my destresser and keep me sane. I think I’ll miss TV too, though. I try not to think about the worst-case scenario.”
Reprinted with permission from Collective Evolution.
James Grant, Wall Street expert and editor of the investment newsletter «Grant’s Interest Rate Observer», warns of a crash in sovereign debt, is puzzled over the actions of the Swiss National Bank and bets on gold.
From multi-billion bond buying programs to negative interest rates and probably soon helicopter money: Around the globe, central bankers are experimenting with ever more extreme measures to stimulate the sluggish economy. This will end in tears, believes James Grant. The sharp thinking editor of the iconic Wall Street newsletter «Grant’s Interest Rate Observer» is one of the most ardent critics when it comes to super easy monetary policy. Highly proficient in financial history, Mr. Grant warns of today’s reckless hunt for yield and spots one of the biggest risks in government debt. He’s also scratching his head over the massive investments which the Swiss National Bank undertakes in the US stock market.
Jim, for more than three decades Grant’s has been observing interest rates. Is there anything left to be observed with rates this low?
Interest rates may be almost invisible but there is still plenty to observe. I observe that they are shrinking and that the shrinkage is causing a lot of turmoil because people in need of income are in full hot pursuit of what little of yields remains.
What are the consequences of that?
It reminds me of the great Victorian English journalist Walter Bagehot. He once said that John Law can stand anything but he can’t stand 2%, meaning that very low interest rates induced speculation and reckless investing and misallocation of capital. So I think Bagehot’s epigraph is very timely today.
John Law was mainly responsible for the great Mississippi bubble which caused a chaotic economic collapse in France in the early 18th century. How is the story going to end this time?
It will turn out to be very bad for many people. If Swiss insurance and reinsurance executives are reading this right now they might be rolling their eyes and they might be frustrated to hear an American scolding from a distance of 3000 miles about the risk of chasing yield. After all, if you’re in the business of matching long term liabilities with long term assets you have little choice but to wish for a better, more sensible world. But you have to take the world as it is and today’s world is barren of interest income. The fact is, that these are very risk fraught times.
Where do you see the biggest risks?
Sovereign debt is my nomination for the number one overvalued market around the world. You are earning nothing or less than nothing for the privilege of lending your money to a government that has pledged to depreciate the currency that you’re investing in. The central banks of the world are striving to achieve a rate of inflation of 2% or more and you are lending certainly at much less than 2% and in many cases at less than nominal 0%. The experience of losing money is common in investing. But where is the certitude of loss even before your check clears? That’s the situation with sovereign debt right now.
On a worldwide basis, more than a third of sovereign debt is already yielding less than zero percent.
There is not quite a bestseller, but a very substantial book called «The History of Interest Rates». It was written by Sidney Homer and Richard Sylla. Sidney Homer is no longer with us, but Richard Sylla is alive and well at New York University. So I called him and said: « Richard, I’ve read many pages but not every single page in your book which traces the history of interest rates from 3000 BC to the present. Have you ever come across negative bond yields?» He said no and I thought that would be kind of a major news scoop: For the first time in at least 5000 years we have driven interest rates below the zero marker. I thought that was an exceptional piece of intelligence. But I notice however that nobody seems to have picked up on it.
It’s now already two years ago since the ECB was the first major central bank to introduce negative rates.
There are some other historical settings: In Europe, ??Monte dei Paschi di Siena, this 500 and plus year old bank in Italy, is struggling and as broke as you can be without being legally broke. Monte dei Paschi has survived for half a millennium and now it is on the ropes. Meanwhile, the Bank of England is doing things today that it has never done in its history which is 300 plus years. So I suggest that these are at least interesting times and in many respects unprecedented ones.
So what’s the true meaning of all this?
In finance, mostly nothing is ever new. Human behavior doesn’t change and money is a very old institution and so are our markets. Of course, techniques evolve, but mostly nothing is really new.However, with respect to interest rates and monetary policy we are truly breaking new ground.
Now central bankers are even talking openly about helicopter money. Will they really go for it?
I already hear the telltale of beating rotor blades in the sky. I also hear the tom-toms of fiscal policy being pounded. There seems to be some kind of a growing consensus that monetary policy has done what it can do and that what me must do now – so say the «wise ones» – is to tax and spend and spend and spend. That seems to be the new big idea in policy. In any case, it is not good for bondholders.
Interestingly, nobody seems to be talking about the growing government debt anymore. Also, budget politics are just a side note in the ongoing presidential elections.
The trouble with this election is that somebody has to win it. I have no use for Donald Trump but I have equally no use for Hillary Clinton. The point is that one of those two is going to win. That is the tragedy! So we at Grant’s regret that one of them is going to win.
The financial crisis and the weak economic recovery likely have spurred the rise of Donald Trump. Why isn’t the US economy in better shape after all those monetary programs?
I wonder how it would have been if markets had been allowed to clear and if prices had been allowed to find their own level in real estate in 2008. Central banks have intervened to quell financial panics for at least 200 years. For instance, in 1825 the bank of England lent without stint and was not – as they said – overnice about the kind of collateral. That was a very dramatic intervention. So it’s not as if we have never before seen the lender of last resort at work. But what is new is the medication of markets through this opiate of quantitative easing year after year after year following the financial crisis. I think that this kind of intervention has not only not worked but it has been very harmful. Around the world, the economies are not responding despite radical monetary measures. To some degree, I believe, they are not recovering because of radical monetary measures.
What’s exactly the problem with the US economy?
There is another side of what we are seeing now: In America certainly the Federal Reserve and bank regulators generally are very heavy handed in their interventions. I’m sure they have every good intention. But with their regulatory charges they are suppressing the recovery in credit that takes place in a normal economic recovery and in this particular case after a depression or after a liquidation.
Then again, a revisit of the financial crisis would be catastrophic.
The new rules with respect to financial reform have absorbed not only forests worth of paper but also the time and attention of legions of lawyers. If you talk to a banking executive what you hear is that thebanks have been overwhelmed by the need to hire compliance and regulatory people. This is especially bearing on the smaller banks. I think that’s part of the story of the lackluster recovery:Monetary policy has been radically open in the creation of new credit. But it has been radically restrictive with regard to risk taking in the private world.
So what should be done to get the economy back on track?
There are guides in history on how to do this. For more than a hundred years in Britain, in the United States and probably as well in Switzerland, the owners of the equity of a bank themselves were responsible for the solvency of the bank. If the bank became impaired or insolvent they had to stump up more capital to pay off the liability holders, including the depositors. But over the past hundred years collective responsibility in banking has gradually replaced individual responsibility. The government, with the introduction of deposit insurance, new regulations and interventions has superseded the old doctrine of the responsibility of the owners of a property. That’s why I think we need to go away from government intervention and go more towards market oriented solutions such as the old doctrine of responsibility of the bank owners.
At least in the US, the Fed is trying to go back to a more normal monetary policy. Do you think Fed chief Janet Yellen will make the case for another rate hike at the Jackson Hole meeting next week?
Janet Yellen is by no means an impulsive person. According to the « Wall Street Journal», she arrives for a flight at the airport hours early – and that’s plural! So this is a most deliberative and risk averse person. Also, as a labor economist, she’s a most empathetic person. She believes what most interventionist minded economists believe: They have very little faith in the institution of markets and they don’t believe that the price mechanism is anything special. They want to normalize rates and yet they can always find an excuse for not doing so. We have been hearing for years now that the next time, the next quarter, the next fiscal year they will act. So I believe what I’m seeing: None of these days the Federal Funds Rate will go higher than 0.5%. I can’t see that happening.
Wall Street seems to think along the same lines. So far, many investors don’t take the renewed chatter of a rate hike too seriously.
The Fed is now hostage to Wall Street. If the stock market pulls back a few percent the Fed becomes frightened. In a way I suppose, the Fed is justified in that belief because it is responsible to a great degree for the elevation of financial asset values. Real estate cap rates are very low, price-earnings-ratios of stocks are very high and interest rates are extremely low. One can’t be certain about cause and effect. But it seems to me that the central banks of the world are responsible for a great deal of this levitation in values. So perhaps they feel some responsibility for letting the world down easy in a bear market. It has come to a point where the Fed is virtually a hostage of the financial markets. When they sputter, let alone fall, the Fed frets and steps in.
Obviously, the financial markets like this cautious mindset of the Fed. Earlier this week, US stocks climbed to another record high.
Isn’t that a funny thing? The stock market is at record highs and the bond market is acting as if this were the Great Depression. Meanwhile, the Swiss National Bank is buying a great deal of American equity.
Indeed, according to the latest SEC filings the SNB’s portfolio of US stocks has grown to more than $60 billion.
Yes, they own a lot of everything. Let us consider how they get the money for that: They create Swiss francs from the thin alpine air where the Swiss money grows. Then they buy Euros and translate them into Dollars. So far nobody’s raised a sweat. All this is done with a tab of a computer key. And then the SNB calls its friendly broker – I guess UBS – and buys the ears off of the US stock exchange. All of it with money that didn’t exist. That too, is something a little bit new.
Other central banks, too, have become big buyers in the global securities markets. Basically, it all started with the QE-programs of the Federal Reserve.
It is a truism that central banks do this. They’ve done this of course for generations. But there is something especially vivid about the Swiss National Bank’s purchases of billions of Dollars of American equity. These are actual profit making, substantial corporations in the S&P 500. So the SNB is piling up big positions in them with money that really comes from nothing. That’s a little bit of an existential head scratcher, isn’t?
So what are investors supposed to do in these bizarre financial markets?
I’m very bullish on gold and I’m very bullish on gold mining shares. That’s because I think that the world will lose faith in the PhD standard in monetary management. Gold is by no means the best investment. Gold is money and money is sterile, as Aristotle would remind us. It does not pay dividends or earn income. So keep in mind that gold is not a conventional investment. That’s why I don’t want to suggest that it is the one and only thing that people should have their money in. But to me, gold is a very timely way to invest in monetary disorder.
Reprinted from Zero Hedge.
Hey, what does Germany know that we don’t know? Or, rather, aren’t being told by the government? Their government is telling them to start stockpiling food and water for The Doomsday Event (As Seen On TV!!!) No? Well, have a look.
Gosh, as much as America loves Doomsday, how come we’ve been left out of the loop on this? I feel like they threw an End-Of-The-World Party and we weren’t invited. Maybe they don’t want us to live through it. Do you think? Doomsday has always been a crowd-pleaser, so to speak, since the year 999 AD ticked over into 1000 AD. Of course, everyone was very disappointed when the world didn’t end as clerical authorities had promised. Worse, they were going to have to pay those taxes after all.
The plan is reportedly contained in a government civil defense document, which says that people should stock 10 days worth of food and water, energy, money and medicine that would allow them to stay put long enough for the government to respond. Huh, if that was to be proposed here, you better stockpile 15 years worth of supplies to await the government to respond. They’ll be hiding in their own bunkers which have a 100 year supply of Xanax. Think they’re going to come out of that crash pad and bail your sorry butt out? And why stockpile money? Who’s got the Doomsday Dollars?
I actually did a bit of “Cold War archaeology” and discovered that American fallout shelters were stocked with the following: Huge tins of graham crackers, smaller tins of hard candy-colored yellow and pink, cardboard barrel toilets with rolls of paper and blue sanitizer inside, Geiger counters, dosimeters, and cases of canned water. That’s it! No drugs like the government generously provided themselves with. And we only know about the Xanax. I bet they had some other stuff, too, as a result of police confiscations. Right, and we were supposed to stay in that rat hole for two weeks with graham crackers for supper and a cardboard barrel to crap in. Thanks, Civil Defense! And this group of geniuses became FEMA, by the way.
I noticed that the German government has connected this prep scheme to Islamic terrorism. So, why ten days? Is that the projected days of taking cover from fallout, down from the two weeks of the Cold War? In other words, do they think someone has gotten a hold of some fissile material, a suitcase nuke, or maybe just found some highly radioactive material that can be assembled into a “dirty bomb”? Now if that is the case, you can bet your bottom Doomsday Dollar that our government won’t tell us that. They’ll wait until the weapon has been used and thousands are dead before saying, “Oh, we know who did it!” just a scant few hours after the attack. Like they’ve done in every attack. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
I remember the Y2K freak-out where Americans thought a simple calendar click would manifest the End Times for us. Sadly, we forgot that it was only the Western calendar that did this. Lunar calendars were still in a different year. My co-workers said, “Are you ready for Y2K??!! Have you got food stockpiled??!” I said, no, I don’t need to stockpile food. I’ve got 100 arrows, 2 good longbows, and I know where all my neighbors’ dogs are. They’ll stop feeding the pooch early on and I’ll turn out great German Shepherd Jambalaya and Delta Dog Gumbo directly. Hey, with the right spices, everything is possible.
But I am still wondering what the German government thinks while ours is going into overtime telling us, “Hey, it’s all good, no worries, we’ve got this under control despite two major shooting attacks within the United States…” Well, I’m ready. Food water, plenty of tobacco, Bible, books, spices (you never know and dogs are more popular than ever), playing cards, poker chips, and other such necessities that the government attempts to control, tax, or regulate. I don’t think ISIS, Inc. can have more than maybe one or two nuclear devices unless the CIA had time to spirit them a couple more via clandestine arms shipments to the “Syrian moderates”. So I don’t think we’ll need to hole up more than two weeks tops. It won’t be Doomsday. I know, I know: Aw, shucks! But we might wish it was once the government pops the cork on the Patriot Act and declares martial law.
Maybe nothing will happen. Everyone will remain blissfully engrossed in cell phone conversations and walking into traffic, watching reality shows about hyper-modified celebrities, and the government will return to nagging us about enrolling in ObamaCare. But maybe ISIS is ready to try and top al-Qaida and become the new celebrity of international terrorism. Be that as it may, I am shocked that the government hasn’t used this opportunity to resurrect Civil Defense and then have another federal agency to dump billions of dollars into. Plus another method to force people to enroll in another government program by stipulating everyone has to buy into Civil Defense and have government-approved supplies on hand. Usually, our government never misses a chance to spend more money and force another draconian law or “program” upon us.
I suppose that this might just be Doomsday Lite. All of the fear but only a fraction of the casualties. I mean, seriously, if it’s just a terrorist shooting attack, why tell everyone to hunker down for ten days? The terrorists would need to have a truckload of ammo and a forklift to keep on shooting for that long. What’s the army going to do? Just look out the window, shrug, and say, “That’s a jurisdictional issue. We can’t intervene in local disputes. Any donuts left in the break room?” And they’ve projected a ten-day battle? Wow, there’s a Best By Date for it! The terrorists will say, “It’s Day Nine! We need to win or this war will go sour and we can’t get our money back!” I’m not sure what the store will need as far as receipts or what the return policy is on failed insurrections.
What happens if this possible “problem” goes into extra innings? Suppose it’s Day Ten and it looks like no one is going to win before Day Eleven or even Day Twelve rolls around? Can the government set up an emergency snack bar and send around some hot dog vendors to take care of restive crowds holed up in de facto do-it-yourself bunkers? They were told ten days. And we all know that if a government says ten days, what they mean is ten months. They’ll probably have to go around and collect skeletons after a year which will save money on leak-proof body bags. “Well, we had good intentions when we told them ten days and our experts predicted that number. How were we supposed to know that the squabble between federal and local authorities would get tied up in court for ten months before it was decided who should go out and battle ISIS?”
The end is near! Stock up! Everyone should have a ten day supply of salt-and-vinegar potato chips, Irish Breakfast tea, beef jerky, 500 rum-soaked cigars, ten decks of playing cards and several thousand pennies, and at least twenty pounds of chocolate. When people tell you that you can drink water from the toilet, they mean the tank, not the bowl. Make a note of that. And if the government finally sends you a civil defense pamphlet, keep it. Toilet paper could be in short supply when ISIS cuts off the toilet paper pipeline and brings America to its knees.
News services abroad ask me if President Erdogan of Turkey will, as a result of the coup attempt, realign Turkey with Russia. At this time, there is not enough information for me to answer. Speculation in advance of information is not my forte.
Moreover, I do not know if it is true that Moscow warned the President of Turkey of the coup, and I do not know if Washington was behind the coup. Therefore, I do not know how to weigh the scales. As I see it, whether Turkey stays with Washington or realigns with Moscow depends first of all on whether or not Moscow warned Turkey and whether or not Washington was behind the coup. If this is what Erdogan believes, whether true or false, Erdogan is likely to align with Russia. However, other factors will also influence Erdogan’s decision. For example, Erdogan’s belief about how resolute Putin is to standing up to Washington.
Erdogan will not want to align with Russia if he thinks Russia is not up to Washington’s challenge. Erdogan sees Putin endlessly asking for Washington’s cooperation, and Erdogan understands that Washington sees this as a sign of Russian weakness. Washington slaps Putin in the face, and Putin replies by asking for cooperation against ISIS. I understand why Putin responds this way. He wants to avoid a war between US/NATO and Russia that neither side can win. Putin is a man of peace and accepts affronts in order to save a life. This is admirable. But that might not be the way Erdogan sees it. Erdogan might see it like Washington sees it: weakness.
The second consideration is whether Washington or Moscow offers Erdogan the best deal. Washington most certainly does not want the breakup of NATO and will strive to keep Turkey in NATO at all costs. Washington, for example, might deliver Gulen to Erdogan, and Washington might put one billion dollars in a bank account for Erdogan. This is easy for Washington to do, as Washington can print all of the world’s reserve currency it wishes to print. It is impossible for Moscow to deliver Gulen, and because Yeltsin accepted US advice conveyed through the IMF, the Russian ruble is not a substitute for the US dollar.
The world is accustomed to seeing Washington prevail because Washington relies on force. Except for Putin’s response to the Georgian attack on South Ossetia, the world is accustomed to seeing Putin rely on diplomacy. As Mao said, power comes out of the barrel of a gun, and so the world believes. Putin seemed to be decisive when he accepted the Crimean vote and reunited the Crimea with Russia, But Putin turned down the requests of the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk to rejoin Russia, and this made Russia look weak. It also prolonged the conflict and the death and destruction continues.
In my opinion, this strategic failure by Putin is the result of advice from the Russian “Atlanticist Integrationists”—the people who think that Russia does not count unless it is part of the West. In every sense, these pro-Western members of the Russian government are de facto members of the Treason Party. Yet they serve as a constraint on Russian decisiveness. The absence of Russian decisiveness provokes more pressure from Washington. It is a losing game for the Russian government to invite pressure from the West.
Washington sees that Putin is unable to break away from the influence of the Atlanticist Integrationists, which includes the Russian economic establishment led by the independent central bank. Therefore, Washington continues to make Washington’s cooperation with Russia in Syria dependent on Putin’s agreement that “Assad must go.” Putin wants to get rid of ISIS because ISIS can infect Muslim areas of the Russian Federation. But if he agrees to get rid of Assad, chaos will prevail in Syria just as chaos prevails in Iraq and Libya, and Russia will have accepted Washington’s overlordship. Russia will become another vassal country added to Washington’s collection.
The real danger for Russia lies in Russia’s desire for Western acceptance. As long as Russians have this desire, they are a doomed people.
My husband always jokes that mosquitos like him because he’s so sweet (thereby implying that I am mean because I almost never get bit). It’s a joke, but there’s definitely something to it. We can go outside and I’m completely fine while he’s covered in bites.
This begs the questions, why are some people more prone to mosquito bites than others? It turns out there are reasons why and knowing what they are could prevent future bites. In this time of the Zika virus and other serious mosquito-borne illnesses, it pays to understand a little about what make someone a mosquito magnet.
5 Reasons Why Some Are More Prone To Mosquito Bites Than Others
In one study researchers found that significantly more mosquitoes landed on people who had recently imbibed a beer than on those who did not. Maybe choose a glass of wine or refrain altogether at that next BBQ if your goal is to avoid mosquitos.
Mosquitos are attracted to warm bodies. They are drawn to the heat and also the scent of sweat, so if you tend to run hot, beware.
Amid the rioting in Milwaukee, there is also a clash between two leading lawmen there — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and the city of Milwaukee’s Chief of Police Edward Flynn. They have very different opinions about how law enforcement should be carried out.
Chief Edward Flynn expresses the view long prevalent among those who emphasize the social “root causes” of crime, such as income disparities and educational disparities, as well as the larger society’s neglect of black communities.
Chief Flynn puts less emphasis on aggressive police action and more on community outreach and gun control.
Sheriff David Clarke represents an opposite tradition, in which the job of the police is to enforce the law, as forcefully as necessary, not to
What was different about Detroit was that politicians put the police under orders that restricted their response to riots — and some rioters said: “the fuzz is scared.” It was black victims who paid the highest price for letting rioters run amuck.
By contrast, Chicago’s 1960s mayor Richard Daley came on television to say that he had ordered his police to “shoot to kill” rioters who started fires. There was outrage among the politically correct across the country. But Chicago, with a larger population than Detroit, had no such death rate in riots.
In later years, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s aggressive police policies in high-crime neighborhoods cut the murder rate down to a fraction of what it had been before.
But, in England, opposite policies prevailed, with what London’s “Daily Telegraph” newspaper referred to as “politically correct policing” that has police acting “more like social workers than upholders of law and order.”
Although England had long been regarded as one of the most law-abiding nations on Earth, riots that swept through London, Manchester and other British cities in 2011 were virtually identical to riots in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other American cities. Most of the British rioters were white but what they did was the same, right down to setting fire to police cars.
But do facts matter anymore?
In Berlin on Christmas Day in 1989, Leonard Bernstein conducted Ode to Freedom Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (Official Concert of the Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989. As Klaus Geitel, one of the Europe’s most respected music critics, wrote in his translated essay at LeonardBernstein.com:
The Ode “To Freedom”—as Bernstein had the soloists and chorus sing in the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony—indeed symbolized for many Germans a depth of joy they had hitherto hardly known: freedom, a gift from the gods…
Not only the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra was to participate, but musicians from the most important orchestras in the world as well: from Dresden and from Leningrad, which now again bears the old, venerable name of St Petersburg, from London, New York and Paris. All were to combine to achieve the common goal of ringing the bell of emotion, of joy at this great, historical moment which Leonard Bernstein had conceived. He was truly more than a conductor; he shook people awake from the rostrum, surrendering to Beethoven’s music and yet rendering it with all his heart and soul at the same time.
I am not as young as when Bernstein performed Beethoven’s Ninth and the Berlin Wall fell. Death is stalking and has claimed friends, some whom I’ve never met, such as divinely inspired geniuses like Bernstein and Menuhin, whose magisterial performance of Bach I listen to as I write these words. Yet I would like to think that the best aspect of man’s spirit is the strongest, the spirit that motivated both concerts. I would like to think that there are millions who will thoughtfully consider and debate Professor Cohen’s perspective. I would like to have hope that those who made their voices heard and our political leaders listened to, forestalling direct military intervention in Syria—if only briefly—can be raised and heard once again.
If Gamers can have a hashtag against injustice, #GAMERGATE, if there are already hashtags Stop World War III and #liberty, I have faith there can be a hashtag #STOPTHENEWCOLDWAR. After all, post nuclear war environments are great for gaming but not for living in. Perhaps a self-organizing, leaderless global movement will form. I’d like to think the human love of life and liberty, of beauty and hope, on display on Christmas Day 1989, still lives on in the hearts of millions around the world, including Americans and Russians. Professor Cohen has made us aware of alternatives, now and in the past.
I think we have to try.