The deaths in Southeast Asia of three of the West’s ‘Great Satans’ were announced in recent weeks: Mullah Omar and Jalaluddin Haqqani in Afghanistan; and Pakistan’s Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul.
I never met Mullah Omar though I was present at the birth and expansion of his movement, Taliban.
Mullah Omar was a renowned combat veteran of the 1980’s great jihad against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. In 1989, the Soviets wisely withdrew. Afghanistan was convulsed by civil war between the eleven mujahidin factions, many of whom were supported by CIA through Pakistani intelligence.Mossad. This claim was widely believed across the Muslim world, though Gul never produced any evidence backing this claim. The US claimed he was crazy. But the US also claims the religious, anti drug, anti-Communist movement Taliban are terrorists.
Gul claimed Benazir Bhutto was a US stooge. She had even less generous words for Gul. “Eric, you just love your Pakistani generals,” she always chided me, ‘specially that SOB Gul.”
Mullah Omar, with millions of dollars of US bounties on his head, wisely stayed out of sight. It now transpires that the Taliban leader may have died of natural causes in Karachi two years ago. Unable to settle on a new leader, Taliban, which is a loose confederation of tribes, kept silent on his death until recently when a new, little-knows emir, Mullah Mansour, was chosen. The same subterfuge was used with the deceased medieval Spanish leader, El Cid.
Washington was delighted, hoping Taliban would splinter and cease challenging its latest efforts to keep control of strategic Afghanistan. But I suspect most of the Pashtun will keep on fighting until Taliban’s goal of driving out all foreign occupation troops is achieved.
What I call the Old Right is suddenly back! The terms “old” and “new” inevitably get confusing, with a new “new” every few years, so let’s call it the “Original” Right, the right wing as it existed from 1933 to approximately 1955. This Old Right was formed in reaction against the New Deal, and against the Great Leap Forward into the leviathan state that was the essence of that New Deal.
This anti–New Deal movement was a coalition of three groups:
- the “extremists” — the individualists and libertarians, like H.L. Mencken, Albert Jay Nock, Rose Wilder Lane, and Garet Garrett;
- right-wing Democrats, harking back to the laissez-faire views of the 19th-century Democratic party, men such as Governor Albert Ritchie of Maryland or Senator James A. Reed of Missouri;
- moderate New Dealers, who thought that the Roosevelt New Deal went too far, for example Herbert Hoover.confrontational, rousing and inspiring not only the exploited masses, but the often-shell-shocked right-wing intellectual cadre as well. And in this era where the intellectual and media elites are all establishment liberal-conservatives, all in a deep sense one variety or another of social democrat, all bitterly hostile to a genuine Right, we need a dynamic, charismatic leader who has the ability to short-circuit the media elites, and to reach and rouse the masses directly. We need a leadership that can reach the masses and cut through the crippling and distorting hermeneutical fog spread by the media elites.
But can we call such a strategy “conservative”? I, for one, am tired of the liberal strategy, on which they have rung the changes for forty years, of presuming to define “conservatism” as a supposed aid to the conservative movement. Whenever liberals have encountered hard-edged abolitionists who, for example, have wanted to repeal the New Deal or Fair Deal, they say “But that’s not genuine conservatism. That’s radicalism.” The genuine conservative, these liberals go on to say, doesn’t want to repeal or abolish anything. He is a kind and gentle soul who wants to conserve what left-liberals have accomplished.
The left-liberal vision, then, of good conservatives is as follows: first, left-liberals, in power, make a Great Leap Forward toward collectivism; then, when, in the course of the political cycle, four or eight years later, conservatives come to power, they of course are horrified at the very idea of repealing anything; they simply slow down the rate of growth of statism, consolidating the previous gains of the Left, and providing a bit of R&R for the next liberal Great Leap Forward. And if you think about it, you will see that this is precisely what every Republican administration has done since the New Deal. Conservatives have readily played the desired Santa Claus role in the liberal vision of history.
I would like to ask: How long are we going to keep being suckers? How long will we keep playing our appointed roles in the scenario of the Left? When are we going to stop playing their game, and start throwing over the table?
I must admit that, in one sense, the liberals have had a point. The word “conservative” is unsatisfactory. The original right never used the term “conservative”: we called ourselves individualists, or “true liberals,” or rightists. The word “conservative” only swept the board after the publication of Russell Kirk’s highly influential Conservative Mind in 1953, in the last years of the Original Right.
There are two major problems with the word “conservative.” First, that it indeed connotes conserving the status quo, which is precisely why the Brezhnevites were called “conservatives” in the Soviet Union. Perhaps there was a case for calling us “conservatives” in 1910, but surely not now. Now we want to uproot the status quo, not conserve it. And secondly, the word conservative harks back to struggles in 19th-century Europe, and in America conditions and institutions have been so different that the term is seriously misleading. There is a strong case here, as in other areas, for what has been called “American exceptionalism.”
So what should we call ourselves? I haven’t got an easy answer, but perhaps we could call ourselves radical reactionaries, or “radical rightists,” the label that was given to us by our enemies in the 1950s. Or, if there is too much objection to the dread term “radical,” we can follow the suggestion of some of our group to call ourselves “the Hard Right.” Any of these terms is preferable to “conservative,” and it also serves the function of separating ourselves out from the official conservative movement, which, as I shall note in a minute, has been largely taken over by our enemies.
It is instructive to turn now to a prominent case of right-wing populism headed by a dynamic leader who appeared in the last years of the Original Right, and whose advent, indeed, marked a transition between the Original and the newer, Buckleyite Right. Quick now: who was the most hated, the most smeared man in American politics in this century, more hated and reviled than even David Duke, even though he was not a Nazi or a Klu Kluxer? He was not a libertarian, he was not an isolationist, he was not even a conservative, but in fact was a moderate Republican. And yet, he was so universally reviled that his very name became a generic dictionary synonym for evil.
I refer, of course, to Joe McCarthy. The key to the McCarthy phenomenon was the comment made by the entire political culture, from moderate left to moderate right: “we agree with McCarthy’s goals, we just disagree with his means.” Of course, McCarthy’s goals were the usual ones absorbed from the political culture: the alleged necessity of waging war against an international Communist conspiracy, whose tentacles reached from the Soviet Union and spanned the entire globe. McCarthy’s problem, and ultimately his tragedy, is that he took this stuff seriously; if communists and their agents and fellow travelers are everywhere, then shouldn’t we, in the midst of the Cold War, root them out of American political life?
The unique and the glorious thing about McCarthy was not his goals or his ideology, but precisely his radical, populist means. For McCarthy was able, for a few years, to short-circuit the intense opposition of all the elites in American life: from the Eisenhower-Rockefeller administration to the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex to liberal and left media and academic elites — to overcome all that opposition and reach and inspire the masses directly. And he did it through television, and without any real movement behind him; he had only a guerrilla band of a few advisers, but no organization and no infrastructure.
Fascinatingly enough, the response of the intellectual elites to the specter of McCarthyism was led by liberals such as Daniel Bell and Seymour Martin Lipset, who are now prominent neoconservatives. For, in this era, the neocons were in the midst of the long march which was to take them from Trotskyism to right-wing Trotskyism to right-wing social democracy, and finally to the leadership of the conservative movement. At this stage of their hegira the neocons were Truman-Humphrey-Scoop Jackson liberals.
The major intellectual response to McCarthyism was a book edited by Daniel Bell, The New American Right (1955) later updated and expanded to The Radical Right (1963), published at a time when McCarthyism was long gone and it was necessary to combat a new menace, the John Birch Society. The basic method was to divert attention from the content of the radical-right message and direct attention instead to a personal smear of the groups on the Right.
The classical, or hard, Marxist method of smearing opponents of socialism or communism was to condemn them as agents of monopoly capital or of the bourgeoisie. While these charges were wrong, at least they had the virtue of clarity and even a certain charm, compared to the later tactics of the soft Marxists and liberals of the 1950s and ’60s, who engaged in Marxo-Freudian psychobabble to infer, in the name of psychological “science,” that their opponents were, well, kind of crazy.
The preferred method of the time was invented by one of the contributors to the Bell volume, and also one of my least favorite distinguished American historians, Professor Richard Hofstadter. In Hofstadter’s formulation, any radical dissenters from any status quo, be they rightists or leftists, engage in a “paranoid” style (and you know, of course, what paranoids are), and suffer from “status anxiety.”
Logically, at any time there are three and only three social groups: those who are declining in status, those who are rising in status, and those whose status is about even. (You can’t fault that analysis!) The declining groups are the ones whom Hofstadter focused on for the neurosis of status anxiety, which causes them to lash out irrationally at their betters in a paranoid style, and you can fill in the rest.
But, of course, the rising groups can also suffer from the anxiety of trying to keep their higher status, and the level groups can be anxious about a future decline. The result of his hocus-pocus is a nonfalsifiable, universally valid theory that can be trotted out to smear and dispose of any person or group which dissents from the status quo. For who, after all, wants to be, or to associate with, paranoids and the status anxious?
Also permeating the Bell volume is dismissal of these terrible radicals as suffering from the “politics of resentment.” It is interesting, by the way, how left-liberals deal with political anger. It’s a question of semantics. Anger by the good guys, the accredited victim groups, is designated as “rage,” which is somehow noble: the latest example was the rage of organized feminism in the Clarence Thomas/Willie Smith incidents. On the other hand, anger by designated oppressor groups is not called “rage,” but “resentment”: which conjures up evil little figures, envious of their betters, skulking around the edges of the night.
And indeed the entire Bell volume is permeated by a frank portrayal of the noble, intelligent, ivy-league governing elite, confronted and harassed by a mass of odious, uneducated, redneck, paranoid, resentment-filled, authoritarian working and middle-class types in the heartland, trying irrationally to undo the benevolent rule of wise elites concerned for the public good.
History, however, was not very kind to Hofstadterian liberalism. For Hofstadter and the others were consistent: they were defending what they considered a wonderful status quo of elite rule from any radicals whatever, be they right or left. And so, Hofstadter and his followers went back through American history tarring all radical dissenters from any status quo with the status anxious, paranoid brush, including such groups as progressives, populists, and Northern abolitionists before the Civil War.
At the same time, Bell, in 1960, published a once-famous work proclaiming the End of Ideology: from now on, consensus elitist liberalism would rule forever, ideology would disappear, and all political problems would be merely technical ones, such as which machinery to use to clear the streets. (Foreshadowing thirty years later, a similar neocon proclamation of the “End of History.”) But shortly afterwards, ideology came back with a bang, with the radical civil rights and then the New Left revolutions, part of which, I am convinced, was in reaction to these arrogant liberal doctrines. Smearing radicals, at least left-wing ones, was no longer in fashion, either in politics or in historiography.
Meanwhile, of course, poor McCarthy was undone, partly because of the smears, and the lack of a movement infrastructure, and partly too because his populism, even though dynamic, had no goals and no program whatsoever, except the very narrow one of rooting out communists. And partly, too, because McCarthy was not really suited for the television medium he had ridden to fame: being a “hot” person in a “cool” medium, with his jowls, his heavy five-o’clock shadow (which also helped ruin Nixon), and his lack of a sense of humor. And also, too, since he was neither a libertarian nor really a radical rightist, McCarthy’s heart was broken by the censure of the US Senate, an institution which he actually loved.
The Original Right, the radical Right, had pretty much disappeared by the time of the second edition of the Bell volume in 1963, and in a minute we shall see why. But now, all of a sudden, with the entry of Pat Buchanan into the presidential race, my God, they’re back! The radical right is back, all over the place, feistier than ever, and getting stronger!
The response to this historic phenomenon, by the entire spectrum of established and correct thought, by all the elites from left over to official conservatives and neoconservatives, is very much like the reaction to the return of Godzilla in the old movies. And wouldn’t you know that they would trot out the old psychobabble, as well as the old smears of bigotry, anti-Semitism, the specter of Franco, and all the rest? Every interview with, and article on Pat, dredges his “authoritarian Catholic” background (ooh!) and the fact that he fought a lot when he was a kid (gee whiz, like most of the American male population).
Also: that Pat has been angry a lot. Ooh, anger! And of course, since Pat is not only a right-winger but hails from a designated oppressor group (white, male, Irish Catholic), his anger can never be righteous rage, but only a reflection of a paranoid, status-anxious personality, filled with, you got it, “resentment.” And sure enough, this week, January 13, the august New York Times, whose every word, unlike the words of the rest of us, is fit to print, in its lead editorial sets the establishment line, a line which by definition is fixed in concrete, on Pat Buchanan.
After deploring the hard-edged and therefore politically incorrect vocabulary (tsk, tsk!) of Pat Buchanan, the New York Times, I am sure for the first time, solemnly quotes Bill Buckley as if his words were holy writ (and I’ll get to that in a minute), and therefore decides that Buchanan, if not actually anti-Semitic, has said anti-Semitic things. And the Times concludes with this final punch line, so reminiscent of the Bell-Hofstadter line of yesteryear: “What his words convey, much as his bid for the nomination conveys, is the politics, the dangerous politics, of resentment.”
Resentment! Why should anyone in his right mind resent contemporary America? Why should anyone, for example, going out into the streets of Washington or New York, resent what is surely going to happen to him? But, for heaven’s sake, what person in his right mind, doesn’t resent it? What person is not filled with noble rage, or ignoble resentment, or whatever you choose to call it?
Finally, I want to turn to the question: what happened to the Original Right, anyway? And how did the conservative movement get into its present mess? Why does it need to be sundered, and split apart, and a new radical right movement created upon its ashes?
The answer to both of these seemingly disparate questions is the same: what happened to the Original Right, and the cause of the present mess, is the advent and domination of the right wing by Bill Buckley and the National Review. By the mid-1950s, much of the leadership of the Old Right was dead or in retirement. Senator Taft and Colonel McCormick had died, and many of the right-wing congressmen had retired.
The conservative masses, for a long time short on intellectual leadership, were now lacking in political leadership as well. An intellectual and power vacuum had developed on the Right, and rushing to fill it, in 1955, were Bill Buckley, fresh from several years in the CIA, and National Review, an intelligent, well-written periodical staffed with ex-communists and ex-leftists eager to transform the Right from an isolationist movement into a crusade to crush the Soviet god that had failed them.
Also, Buckley’s writing style, while in those days often witty and sparkling, was rococo enough to give the reader the impression of profound thought, an impression redoubled by Bill’s habit of sprinkling his prose with French and Latin terms. Very quickly, National Review became the dominant, if not the only, power center on the right-wing.
This power was reinforced by a brilliantly successful strategy (perhaps guided by National Review editors trained in Marxist cadre tactics) of creating front groups: Intercollegiate Studies Institute for college intellectuals, and Young Americans for Freedom for campus activists. Moreover, lead by veteran Republican politico and National Reviewpublisher Bill Rusher, the National Review complex was able to take over, in swift succession, the College Young Republicans, then the National Young Republicans, and finally to create a Goldwater movement in 1960 and beyond.
And so, with almost blitzkrieg swiftness, by the early 1960s, the new global crusading conservative movement, transformed and headed by Bill Buckley, was almost ready to take power in America. But not quite, because first, all the various heretics of the Right — some left over from the Original Right — all the groups that were in any way radical or could deprive the new conservative movement of its much-desired respectability in the eyes of the liberal and centrist elite, all these had to be jettisoned. Only such a denatured, respectable, nonradical, conserving right was worthy of power.
And so the purges began. One after another, Buckley and the National Review purged and excommunicated all the radicals, all the nonrespectables. Consider the roll call: isolationists (such as John T. Flynn), anti-Zionists, libertarians, Ayn Randians, the John Birch Society, and all those who continued, like the early National Review, to dare to oppose Martin Luther King and the civil-rights revolution after Buckley had changed and decided to embrace it. But if, by the middle and late 1960s, Buckley had purged the conservative movement of the genuine Right, he also hastened to embrace any group that proclaimed its hard anticommunism, or rather anti-Sovietism or anti-Stalinism.
“Social democracy is still here in all its variants, defining our entire respectable political spectrum, from advanced victimology and feminism on the Left over to neoconservatism on the Right. We are now trapped, in America, inside a Menshevik fantasy, with the narrow bounds of respectable debate set for us by various brands of Marxists. ”
And of course the first anti-Stalinists were the devotees of the martyred communist Leon Trotsky. And so the conservative movement, while purging itself of genuine right-wingers, was happy to embrace anyone, any variety of Marxist: Trotskyites, Schachtmanites, Mensheviks, social democrats (such as grouped around the magazine the New Leader), Lovestonite theoreticians of the American Federation of Labor, extreme right-wing Marxists like the incredibly beloved Sidney Hook — anyone who could present not antisocialist but suitably anti-Soviet, anti-Stalinist credentials.
The way was then paved for the final, fateful influx: that of the ex-Trotskyite, right-wing social democrat, democrat capitalist, Truman-Humphrey-Scoop Jackson liberals, displaced from their home in the Democratic party by the loony left that we know so well: the feminist, deconstructing, quota-loving, advanced victimological left. And also, we should point out, at least a semi-isolationist, semi-antiwar left. These displaced people are, of course, the famed neoconservatives, a tiny but ubiquitous group with Bill Buckley as their aging figurehead, now dominating the conservative movement. Of the 35 neoconservatives, 34 seem to be syndicated columnists.
And so the neocons have managed to establish themselves as the only right-wing alternative to the Left. Theneocons now constitute the right-wing end of the ideological spectrum. Of the respectable, responsible right wing, that is. For the neocons have managed to establish the notion that anyone who might be to the right of them is, by definition, a representative of the forces of darkness, of chaos, Old Right, racism, and anti-Semitism. At the very least.
So that’s how the dice have been loaded in our current political game. And virtually the only prominent media exception, the only genuine rightist spokesman who has managed to escape neocon anathema has been Pat Buchanan.
It was time. It was time to trot out the old master, the prince of excommunication, the self-anointed pope of the conservative movement, William F. Buckley, Jr. It was time for Bill to go into his old act, to save the movement that he had made over into his own image. It was time for the man hailed by neocon Eric Breindel, in his newspaper column (New York Post, Jan. 16), as the “authoritative voice on the American right.” It was time for Bill Buckley’s papal bull, his 40,000-word Christmas encyclical to the conservative movement, “In Search of Anti-Semitism,” the screed solemnly invoked in the anti-Buchanan editorial of the New York Times.
The first thing to say about Buckley’s essay is that it is virtually unreadable. Gone, all gone, is the wit and the sparkle. Buckley’s tendency to the rococo has elongated beyond measure. His prose is serpentine, involuted and convoluted, twisted and qualified, until virtually all sense is lost. Reading the whole thing through is doing penance for one’s sins, and one can accomplish the task only if possessed by a stern sense of duty, as one grits one’s teeth and plows through a pile of turgid and pointless student term papers — which, indeed, Buckley’s essay matches in content, in learning, and in style.
Lest anyone think that my view of Buckley’s and National Review’s role in the past and present right wing merely reflects my own “paranoid style,” we turn to the only revealing art of the Buckley piece, the introduction by his acolyte John O’Sullivan, who, however, is at least still capable of writing a coherent sentence.
Here is John’s remarkable revelation of National Review’s self image: “Since its foundation, National Review has quietly played the role of conscience of the right.” After listing a few of Buckley’s purges — although omitting isolationists, Randians, libertarians, and anti–civil rightsers — O’Sullivan gets to anti-Semites, and the need for wise judgment on the issue.
And then comes the revelation of Bill’s papal role: “Before pronouncing [judgment, that is], we wanted to be sure,” and then he goes on: was there something substantial in the charges? “Was it a serious sin deserving ex-communication, an error inviting a paternal reproof, or something of both?” I’m sure all the defendants in the dock appreciated the “paternal” reference: Papa Bill, the wise, stern, but merciful father of us all, dispensing judgment. This statement of O’Sullivan’s is matched in chutzpah only by his other assertion in the introduction that his employer’s treatise is a “great read.” For shame, John, for shame!
The only other point worth noting on the purges is Buckley’s own passage on exactly why he had found it necessary to excommunicate the John Birch Society (O’Sullivan said it was because they were “cranks”). In a footnote, Buckley admits that “the Birch society was never anti-Semitic,” but “it was a dangerous distraction to right reasoning and had to be exiled. National Review,” Bill goes on, “accomplished exactly that.”
Well, my, my! Exiled to outer Siberia! And for the high crime of “distracting” pope William from his habitual contemplation of pure reason, a distraction that he never seems to suffer while skiing, yachting, or communing with John Kenneth Galbraith or Abe Rosenthal! What a wondrous mind at work!
Merely to try to summarize Buckley’s essay is to give it far too much credit for clarity. But, taking that risk, here’s the best I can do:
- His long-time disciple and NR editor Joe Sobran is (a) certainly not an anti-Semite, but (b) is “obsessed with” and “cuckoo about” Israel, and (c) is therefore “contextually anti-Semitic,” whatever that may mean, and yet, worst of all, (d) he remains “unrepentant”;
- Pat Buchanan is not an anti-Semite, but he has said unacceptably anti-Semitic things, “probably” from an “iconoclastic temperament,” yet, curiously, Buchanan too remains unrepentant;
- Gore Vidal is an anti-Semite, and the Nation, by presuming to publish Vidal’s article (by the way, a hilarious one) critical of Norman Podhoretz has revealed the Left’s increasing proclivity for anti-Semitism;
- Buckley’s bully-boy disciples at Dartmouth Review are not anti-Semitic at all, but wonderful kids put upon by vicious leftists; and
- Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol are wonderful, brilliant people, and it is “unclear” why anyone should ever want to criticize them, except possibly for reasons of anti-Semitism.
Gore Vidal and the Nation, absurdly treated in Bill’s article, can and do take care of themselves, in the Nation in a blistering counterattack in its January 6–13 issue. On Buchanan and Sobran, there is nothing new, whether of fact or insight: it’s the same thin old junk, tiresomely rehashed.
Something, however, should be said about Buckley’s vicious treatment of Sobran, a personal and ideological disciple who has virtually worshipped his mentor for two decades. Lashing out at a friend and disciple in public in this fashion, in order to propitiate Podhoretz and the rest, is odious and repellent: at the very least, we can say it is extremely tacky.
More importantly: Buckley’s latest encyclical may play well in the New York Times, but it’s not going to go down very well in the conservative movement. The world is different now; it is no longer 1958. National Review is no longer the monopoly power center on the Right. There are new people, young people, popping up all over the place, Pat Buchanan for one, all the paleos for another, who frankly don’t give a fig for Buckley’s papal pronunciamentos. The Original Right and all its heresies are back!
“The clock of the once-mighty Soviet Union, the clock of Marxism-Leninism, a creed that once mastered half the world, is not only turned back but lies dead and broken forever. But we must not rest content with this victory.”
In fact, Bill Buckley is the Mikhail Gorbachev of the conservative movement. Like Gorbachev, Bill goes on with his old act, but like Gorbachev, nobody trembles anymore, nobody bends the knee and goes into exile. Nobody cares anymore — nobody, except the good old New York Times. Bill Buckley should have accepted his banquet and stayed retired. His comeback is going to be as successful as Mohammed Ali’s.
When I was growing up, I found that the main argument against laissez-faire, and for socialism, was that socialism and communism were inevitable: “You can’t turn back the clock!” they chanted, “you can’t turn back the clock.” But the clock of the once-mighty Soviet Union, the clock of Marxism-Leninism, a creed that once mastered half the world, is not only turned back but lies dead and broken forever. But we must not rest content with this victory. For though Marxism-Bolshevism is gone forever, there still remains, plaguing us everywhere, its evil cousin: call it “soft Marxism,” “Marxism-Humanism,” “Marxism-Bernsteinism,” “Marxism-Trotskyism,” “Marxism-Freudianism,” well, let’s just call it “Menshevism,” or “social democracy.”
Social democracy is still here in all its variants, defining our entire respectable political spectrum, from advanced victimology and feminism on the Left over to neoconservatism on the Right. We are now trapped, in America, inside a Menshevik fantasy, with the narrow bounds of respectable debate set for us by various brands of Marxists. It is now our task, the task of the resurgent right, of the paleo movement, to break those bonds, to finish the job, to finish off Marxism forever.
One of the authors of the Daniel Bell volume says, in horror and astonishment, that the radical right intends to repeal the 20th century. Heaven forfend! Who would want to repeal the 20th century, the century of horror, the century of collectivism, the century of mass destruction and genocide, who would want to repeal that! Well, we propose to do just that.
With the inspiration of the death of the Soviet Union before us, we now know that it can be done. We shall break the clock of social democracy. We shall break the clock of the Great Society. We shall break the clock of the welfare state. We shall break the clock of the New Deal. We shall break the clock of Woodrow Wilson’s New Freedom and perpetual war. We shall repeal the 20th century.
One of the most inspiring and wonderful sights of our time was to see the peoples of the Soviet Union rising up last year to tear down in their fury the statues of Lenin, to obliterate the Leninist legacy. We, too, shall tear down all the statues of Franklin D. Roosevelt, of Harry Truman, of Woodrow Wilson, melt them down and beat them into plowshares and pruning hooks, and usher in a 21st century of peace, freedom, and prosperity.
This article was first published in 1992, in the Rothbard-Rockwell Report.
After every rash of mass murders in the U.S., we have the usual call of “How do we keep guns out of the hands of crazy people?!” Indeed, but let us examine this phenomenon in greater detail, shall we?
The way it happens is as follows: Jimmy Wheedle undergoes some type of paranoiac delusion or hallucination, and imagines innocent people to be plotting against him. Therefore, he obtains a firearm, goes to some public place the “voices” are telling him these “culprits” are, and opens fire. If Jimmy is captured alive (on rare occasions) the police will report that he was “mentally ill”. This explains it all and everyone goes away knowing this.
But humor me a moment and entertain this scenario: A candidate for President of the United States undergoes some type of paranoiac delusion or hallucination, and imagines innocent people to be plotting against the United States. Once elected, he obtains a military. Having done so, he goes to the country the “voices” (intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, PNAC, etc.) are telling him these “culprits” are, and starts a war. If the President is questioned before Congress at all (on rare occasions), the entire government will report that the President acted on “credible intelligence”. This explains it all and everyone goes away knowing this.
However, what we see here is that the paranoiac delusions and hallucinations were justified and not seen as crazy. In other words, the entire government acted upon the same premise a mass murderer uses in his actions, but claims it’s not “crazy” and calls it, rather, “credible intelligence” I will leave you, dear readers, to pinpoint the irony in that. Let me say this, though. A mass murderer with a gun can kill about thirty people before police arrive and thwart his plan, whatever it was. A President with a military can kill thirty people per second, and this can go on for over a decade without end, and no one will thwart that plan, whatever it originally was and then mutated into later. In fact, incredibly, that plan can be handed down to a successor President and the plan continues on! This is astonishing to contemplate! Think about a scenario where a mass murderer opens fire, kills thirty people, and then another mass murderer arrives and takes over the crime killing even more people. You see, there’s a lot of talk about keeping guns out of the hands of “crazy” people. But, when will we hear sane voices calling for keeping bigger guns out of the hands of our crazy Presidents?!
Now, entertain this scene for a moment: Bill Smith has a neighbor he hates named Barry Hanes. He wants Barry Hanes to move out of the neighborhood. So he enlists the aid of a local street gang to go over and harass Barry and vandalize his house. Unfortunately, the street gang gets a bit too enthusiastic and vandalizes the neighboring houses next to Barry. The police arrive and discover the plot Bill Smith hatched, having caught one of the gang members. Bill Smith is arrested for several felonies.
But what about this: The President of the United States hates the guy running Syria, Bashar al-Assad. He wants Assad to step down and go away. So he enlists the aid of armed thugs and terrorists to go over and fight against Assad’s forces. Unfortunately, this group gets a bit too enthusiastic and begins attacking Iraq and other countries. The world wonders what to do about this group, now calling itself ISIS. But far from being held accountable, the President tells us the solution is to arm and train more terrorists to fight the terrorists we trained and armed. More ominous is the possibility that ISIS might, in fact, be still under the control of CIA forces burrowed deep into the government and accountable to no one. Thus, they are unstoppable and virtually invincible. This would explain why about a year’s worth of airstrikes has not weakened ISIS. In fact, they have grown stronger. If someone was within, they would be able to warn ISIS of impending airstrikes. In addition to supplying them and protecting them more than just warning them of airstrikes.
Who says this government unto the world it is righteous? In fact, this government fits the profile of a mass murderer and a neighborhood thug. The current presidential candidates seek to involve us in more mass murders and to that, we shall examine this fact even more. Examine this tale: Inspired by the mass murder event of Jimmy Wheedle, a copycat named Huck Walker has a paranoiac delusion that his neighbor, Sam Teagle, is plotting against him. Huck sees that the murders of Jimmy were the solution to this problem and so envisions a plan to carry out this solution himself against his imagined enemy. Now Huck has been writing to Jimmy who is in prison and through subtle messages, Jimmy confirms to Huck that he is right. Therefore, Huck acquires a firearm and bursts into Sam Teagle’s home and kills him. But more than that, Sam’s entire family of eight is also murdered since they were considered “accomplices” by Huck. The police arrive and catch Huck, far too late. The police report Huck is “mentally ill” and this explains everything and people wonder how things like this continue to happen, again and again.
Investigate this story: Some Presidential candidates say Iran is building a nuclear weapon and needs to be bombed. This, of course, is exactly the same as was said of Iraq and we know Iraq had no such program, hundreds of thousands of dead later. But people from within the former Bush Administration are coaching these candidates from behind the scenes and messages pass back and forth between them. Even if a pact is signed with Iran, these candidates say they will not honor it, thus saying the word of the United States is not good. Which we already knew, but I digress. Assuming one of these candidates becomes President and obtains a military, what will he, therefore, do? He will bomb Iran, resulting in the deaths of not only the personnel and installations targeted, but also thousands of innocent people who happen to live there also. Of course, later it will be learned Iran had no such nuclear weapons program. It will be said the President acted on “credible intelligence” and this will explain everything. People will wonder how things like this continue to happen, again and again.
It’s easy to point to some shmoe on the street and say, “That guy is crazy!” But how about we start pointing those fingers where they belong—to our allegedly elected leaders! Excuse me, but some “crazy” guy on the street cannot obtain control over roughly 2,600 nuclear weapons and the authority to use them! That “crazy” guy can’t deploy aircraft carriers and kill people all over the planet without so much as a by-your-leave from the American people. I agree, we need to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people. And we need to start with our Presidents, Senators, Congress, CIA, NSA, DHS, JSOC, SOCOM, and all the other letters in the alphabet soup of tyrants. Yeah, crazy people. Tell us all about them, Mr. President. Takes one to know one, they say.
While perhaps too early for Democratic elites to panic and begin bailing out on Hillary Clinton’s campaign as a doomed vessel, they would be well advised not to miss any of the lifeboat drills.
For Hillary’s campaign is taking on water at a rate that will sink her, if the leakage does not stop, and soon.
Initially, the issue of Hillary and the emails she sent and received as secretary of state seemed too wonkish, too complex, too trivial a matter to sink a candidacy as strong as hers.
How would the millions of Democratic women who have looked forward to the first woman president respond to Biden’s barreling in and finishing her off? How enthusiastic would those women and feminists be for a Candidate Biden who had delivered the deathblow to Hillary and blocked for another decade any chance of a woman as president?
Joe would certainly be up for Chauvinist of the Year 2015.
And other problems would arise for a Biden candidacy.
Would Bill and Hillary Clinton be out there stumping to help Joe win the presidency, when both had dreamed of her having it?
Joe would have to beat Bernie Sanders and rout the Elizabeth Warren liberals. He would have to woo back the big contributors in the Jewish community who believe Barack Obama and John Kerry threw Israel and Bibi under the bus to cut a deal that empowers the world’s leading “state sponsor of terrorism.”
If Joe is having second thoughts about getting in, who can blame him?
As the old saw goes, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
But for Democrats, such counsel comes too late. Hillary is carrying their basket of eggs, and slipping all over the sidewalk.
If they procrastinate in designating someone else to catch the basket if it falls, they get Bernie. But if they move too soon, they will be charged with sabotaging the last best chance for America to elect a woman president.
A nice problem for those ubiquitous cable TV talking heads who identify themselves as “Democratic strategists.”
Ai più attenti inoltre non sfuggirà il fatto che tutto questo è avvenuto proprio nel quartiere di Cinecittà, laddove realtà e finzione si mescolano, appunto, come in un kolossal di altri tempi.
E naturalmente ora sono tutti - sindaco Marino in testa - a dirsi "scandalizzati" del fatto che "una cosa del genere a Roma non doveva succedere". I talk questa sera sono saltati al volo sulla notizia, ed hanno rilanciato in tutta la nazione lo "sdegno popolare" che già da oggi aveva invaso le pagine dei social network.
Ora sono tutti impegnati a prendere le distanze da questa vergogna inaccettabile, tutti a parlare di questo schifo, di questo oltraggio, di questo disonore per la nostra beneamata capitale.
Ciò di cui nessuno parla, invece, è il fatto che i vertici stessi del potere capitolino non potessero non sapere ciò che stava per accadere. [...]
di Bill Bonner
TORONTO – "Questo è il peggio che abbia mai visto in 30 anni."
Lo scenario era quello del recente Sprott-Stansberry Natural Resource Symposium a Vancouver. Il soggetto erano le azioni minerarie. E l'opinione stava diventando familiare...
Negli ultimi 5 anni il prezzo dell'oro è sceso di circa l'8%. Le industrie minerarie di metalli preziosi, come misurate dal Market Vectors Gold Miner, sono calate di circa il 70% nello stesso periodo.
I dirigenti minerari dicono che probabilmente le banche non recupereranno nulla. I promotori stanno pensando di portare le loro aziende nel cloud computing, nel settore dei video giochi, o alla bancarotta.
"Cosa sapete di cloud computing?" abbiamo chiesto.
"Niente. Ma conosco l'estrazione dell'oro. E so che non è posto per fare soldi."
Nei mercati più ampi, tutto era rosa e fiori ieri – o quasi.
Il Dow è salito. Il petrolio è salito. Le azioni di Shanghai sono salite.
Ma l'oro è sceso di $2.50 a New York, per chiudere a $1,096 l'oncia. Ed è sceso di altri $10 nel trading elettronico notturno.
Qui sosteniamo irriducibilmente le campagne dell'ultima spiaggia.
In parte si tratta di un attaccamento romantico e poetico al lato perdente. Ma c'è una ragione pratica: spesso ci sono soldi da fare negli asset desolanti.
Privilegiamo le azioni russe e greche... a patto di avere un orizzonte temporale molto lungo per gli investimenti (e una forte costituzione).
Si dice che l'economia russa e greca siano in punto di morte.
La Grecia è in difficoltà perché ha vissuto al di sopra dei propri mezzi per troppo tempo e perché scricchiola sotto una burocrazia corrotta e sclerotica.
La Russia, nel frattempo, è stata colpita da un doppio smacco.
Il primo è arrivato quando il prezzo del petrolio si è ridotto della metà rispetto al picco di $108 a luglio 2014. Circa la metà delle entrate fiscali della Russia proviene dalle esportazioni di petrolio, di conseguenza questo ha significato un dimezzamento del budget del governo.
Ecco perché Putin ha appena tagliato più di 100,000 posti di lavoro pubblici.
Il secondo è arrivato quando gli Stati Uniti e l'UE hanno presentato un piano provocatorio per imporre sanzioni economiche a causa di una presunta cattiva condotta in Ucraina.
Grecia e Russia possono essere cadute, ma è improbabile che non possano rialzarsi.
La stessa cosa vale per l'industria mineraria...
Non amata. Non finanziata. Indesiderata. L'industria mineraria è la Grecia dei settori d'investimento.
Particolarmente non amata è l'industria mineraria dell'oro.
Il giornalista Chris Lowe ha iniziato a preparare un promemoria settimanale in cui evidenzierà gli andamenti particolarmente assurdi delle tendenze finanziarie.
Questa settimana si è concentrato sull'odio intenso per il mercato dell'oro. Chris dice:
Come è la norma quando il prezzo dell'oro scende, la stampa mainstream sta attraversando un periodo di schadenfreude.
Il Washington Post, per esempio, ha di recente pubblicato un articolo dal titolo ‘Gold Is Doomed.’
Bloomberg dice che l'oro è ‘un calssico short da manuale.’
E Jason Zweig sul Wall Street Journal sostiene che l'oro non sia altro che un ‘pietra da compagnia.’
Che cosa fare con tutto questo sentimento negativo nei confronti dell'oro sulla stampa mainstream? Chris continua:
Questo è esattamente il genere di cose che accade durante le vendite da panico e i grandi ribassi. Nello stesso modo in cui gli elementi selvaggiamente rialzisti volano in alto, c'è una valanga di commenti ribassisti mentre ci avviciniamo ai minimi.
Inoltre tra i non amati c'è anche il rame, ma sicuramente non ricade nella categoria delle pietre da compagnia.
"Il rame è il metallo più importante del settore", ha detto il magnate dell'industria mineraria Robert Friedland all'evento Sprott-Stansberry.
"Più importante dell'oro, perché il rame è in ogni cosa. Case. Auto. Computer. Gran parte delle funzioni di Internet si basano sul rame. Quindi se il prezzo del rame scende, ciò ci suggerisce che l'economia mondiale è in difficoltà."
Ecco il Financial Times sul rallentamento globale:
L'ultimo World Trade Monitor ha mostrato a maggio un ribasso dell'1.2% nel volume del commercio mondiale. È scivolato in quattro dei cinque mesi del 2015 ed è salito dell'1.5% nei 12 mesi precedenti — cifra inferiore alla crescita della produzione globale e di gran lunga al di sotto della media di lungo termine di circa il 7% annuo.
Il problema è peggiorato. Il commercio si era ripreso abbastanza bene nel 2010 dopo la recessione globale. Ma ha deluso sin da allora, in crescita a malapena del 3% nel 2012 e nel 2013. Ora sembra che il mondo non possa gestire neanche questo.
Se l'economia globale sta rallentando, come suggeriscono i numeri, non c'è motivo di aspettarsi un ritorno del rame tanto presto.
D'altra parte, non c'è modo che il rame possa scomparire dal mondo dell'economia. È essenziale. Ed è altamente ciclico. I prezzi salgono; i minatori producono di più. I prezzi vanno giù; la produzione viene tagliata.
Così, anche se il prezzo può essere caduto... il rame si rialzerà.
E come abbiamo spiegato lunedi, si può contare sulla FED — e le altre principali banche centrali — affinché estremizzi il ciclo delle materie prime con il credito facile.
Dubitiamo anche che l'oro sia stato messo KO.
Il debito in eccesso ha scatenato la crisi finanziaria globale del 2008. Oggi, secondo McKinsey, ci sono circa $60,000 miliardi di debito in più nel mondo.
È solo una questione di tempo prima che la contraffazione di oggi lasci il posto al panico di domani.
Poi la cosiddetta “pietra da compagnia” si rivelerà il “migliore amico dell'uomo”.
[*] traduzione di Francesco Simoncelli: http://francescosimoncelli.blogspot.it/
Watching and reading the MSM for the last few weeks, it’s become obvious that frustration is setting in among establishment talking heads who would love to be rid of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. Despite the Donald’s rudeness in ridiculing the media and establishment candidates in both official parties, this pesky contender just won’t go away. His poll numbers continue to rise in the face of venomous hatred. Every time GOP old guardists George Will and Michael Gerson call for “marginalizing” the influence of Trump and his followers, his popularity surges even higher. Not even the snobbish insult that his supporters never went to college (unlike Scott Walker, for whom Will’s wife works and who dropped out of Marquette University after one semester) has halted Trump’s march toward the GOP nomination. A supposed candidate of the illiterate, who graduated from from the Wharton School of Business, Trump has double the poll numbers of his nearest rival, who is Ted Cruz or Ben Carson, depending on who’s doing the polling. The onetime favorite of the GOP establishment Jeb Bush, seems to be fading in proportion to the megabucks that billionaires and the Mexican government have been throwing at him. the Zionist lobby, and wants to get tough with all our presumed enemies abroad. But since Guy is a big star in the Murdoch-GOP Empire, perhaps I shouldn’t challenge his credentials as a scholar of conservatism. The term means what he and his bosses say it does.
If “conservative” doesn’t mean that, then very few people will ever know what it really means. Unlike Guy and an even more influential denier of Trump’s conservative credentials, Glenn Beck, true scholars of conservatism have no media resources to speak of. Still, I would note that Trump is not the only Republican or Democratic presidential candidate who has changed his or her views. Both Fiorina and Trump have gone from favoring George W. Bush’s amnesty plan to vigorously opposing the same proposal when presented by W’s younger brother. Kasich admits to having grown in his loving acceptance of gay marriage, a path already blazed by Hillary and Obama. Why should Trump be singled out for moving toward the right after holding other positions? If shifting around in one’s views is a scandal, then let’s notice this tendency in other candidates as well.
For full disclosure: I am far from an unqualified fan of Donald Trump and find his showmanship and digressive speaking style to be deeply unsettling. But I applaud Trump’s attacks on the political establishment, which may be even more contemptible than he suggests. And I am profoundly annoyed by how the duopoly affects deep outrage over an outsider who dares enter their quadrennial contest without media approval. Although Trump does not go far enough in scorning political correctness to please my taste, to his credit, he does ridicule it. And, oh yes, lest I forget this, I would gladly vote for him as a third party candidate, with the hope that he would send a message to at least one of our two official parties.
Most often the state compels you to do things, not because these things are supposed to be good for you, but because they fulfill the state’s purposes. The state doesn’t take your money to help you. Sometimes, though, the state does pass laws that claim to restrict people for their own good, e.g., laws that forbid use of certain drugs that are supposed to be bad for your health. Laws of this kind are called paternalistic.
Libertarians of course oppose paternalism, but it is not only libertarians who reject it. It is at odds with the entire heritage of classical liberalism. John Stuart Mill famously opposed paternalism in On Liberty; and it is Cass Sunstein’s principal aim in Why Nudge?: The Politics of Libertarian Paternalism to cast doubt on Mill’s canonical statement of anti-paternalism, the Harm Principle. This principle is
Sunstein criticizes another argument for the Harm Principle. This argument appeals to autonomy: “We might insist that people have a right to choose and that government cannot legitimately intrude on that right even when it does in fact know best. … On this view, people should not be regarded as children; they should be treated with respect. They should be seen as ends, not means.”
This is of course the second formulation of Kant’s Categorical Imperative and is today widely accepted as a principle of morality, even by philosophers not in orientation Kantian. Unfortunately, Sunstein is tone deaf to its force. He thinks preference for freedom of choice is at best a component of welfare. If it is taken to be more than this, it stems from System 1 thinking: it is a “rapid, intuitive judgment about welfare.” Besides, many people do not want what they consider an overabundance of choices. (But aren’t such people free to seek situations where they would confront fewer alternatives?) I fear that Sunstein, like all-too-many economists, is so committed to welfare as the objective of morality that he is unable to understand respect for persons. This phenomenon is itself a cognitive defect, albeit one that has yet to attract the attention of behavioral economists. I do not recommend government intervention, even the mildest nudge, to correct it.
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
Contrary to popular opinion, food is not the enemy when it comes to shedding pounds.
Experts say that instead of cutting down on what you eat, you should load up on fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts and seeds which have fat-burning properties.
Eating these these nutrient-rich foods when trying to shed the pounds will eliminate hunger and speed your body’s fat-burning power.
Fiona Kirk, nutritionist and author of Diet Secrets Uncovered told FEMAIL: ‘The more nutrient rich foods you eat, the slimmer you’ll get. You won’t feel hungry all the time either.’
‘If you want to lose weight you need to cut down on foods which have little nutritional value and consume more nutrient rich foods.’
Frida Harju, in-house nutritionist at the health app Lifesum told FEMAIL: ‘Foods that are rich in fibre and proteins can speed up your metabolism naturally, whilst avoiding carbohydrates and eating foods rich in fat, can put your body ‘in a fat burning state’.
Some people say that the search for profit is abusive, heartless, evil, and so on. I’m not particularly in love with profit for its own sake (and I certainly don’t think it justifies abuse), but a reflexive condemnation of profit is deeply ignorant.
The truth is, “profit” killed the ancient abomination of human slavery. To eliminate the ability of people to profit would draw slavery back into the world. And we obviously don’t want that.
Slavery Was an Economic System
The core issue is surplus:
- If surplus can be gathered by average people via honest means, slavery can be eliminated.
- If average people are not allowed to create and hold their own surplus (surplus being skimmed off to the state and/or state partners), slavery of one sort or another will be the result.
Profit is simply a tool – a way of generating surplus without the enforced thrift of slavery.
You cannot get rid of both slavery and profit. You can eliminate whichever one you wish, but you’ll be stuck with the other.
Lemons have always been cherished for their significant medicinal qualities. The ancient people of India, China, and Mesopotamia regularly used lemons to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, while the ancient Egyptians took advantage of the fruit’s antiseptic qualities and embalmed their mummies in its juices. Later, in 15th century Europe, lemons were recognized as the perfect cure for scurvy.
Despite their healthfulness, however, most people today have no desire to eat whole lemons due to their extreme sourness. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to incorporate lemons into our diet without having to tolerate the entire fruit’s overbearing taste. One of the easiest and most popular ways to do this is to drink a glass of warm, purified water containing a few teaspoons of lemon juice, ideally first water is a fantastic way to decrease our susceptibility to illness.
The vitamin C in lemon water also plays an important role in the production of collagen, the main structural protein of our connective tissues. This fact makes lemon water an excellent natural tonic for our skin. It can help improve skin tightness and decrease wrinkles, clear skin blemishes from the inside out and, due to its alkaline nature (after it enters our body), also helps kill some of the bacteria responsible for acne.
Other benefits attributed to the long-term consumption of lemon water include improved mood and energy levels, fresher breath, balanced pH levels, and superior hydration. Lemon water is also high in a soluble dietary fiber called pectin, which can help tackle hunger cravings and contribute to weight loss.
Reprinted from Spiritfoods.
Recently Doug Casey was a guest on the always excellent podcast, The Tom Woods Show.
Tom and Doug talked about the enormous economic potential in Africa, Doug’s efforts to build a truly free market country, and better uses of your time and money than going to college.
Tom Woods: What a pleasure and a delight it is to welcome back to the show Doug Casey.
Doug is a libertarian economist, best-selling financial author, international investor, entrepreneur, and the founder and chairman of Casey Research.
Doug, welcome back to the show.
Tom: Suppose you had to do it all over again. Let’s say you turned 18 in 2015. Have conditions changed to the point where you would take a different path, and incidentally would you go to college?
Doug: I would definitely not go to college. Even then, I only did it because everybody from my socioeconomic class was going to college, so there was no thought involved on my part. It was just like going from eighth grade into high school. I counsel students against it today. College serves no useful purpose unless you want to learn a trade like doctoring or lawyering or you need a piece of paper to practice a particular occupation, or there is a formal discipline, like a hard science or engineering.
You will pick up lots of bad ideas. You will spend a huge amount of money, get yourself under a huge financial rock that will take you years to dig yourself out from under. What I suggest people do instead is lay out what the most intelligent thing to do with that four years of time and probably $200,000 of capital. I like the idea of traveling. The place that I would put first and foremost on my travel list today for economic reasons is Africa. Go someplace where you can be a big fish in a small pond quickly.
Tom: Back in the ’50s and ’60s in the wake of decolonization in Africa, you had a bunch of Western educated semi-Marxist political leaders who were nationalizing property and confiscating assets from rich people and so on, you wouldn’t touch Africa with a ten foot pole. What has changed since then?
Doug: Well, politics always draws the worst kinds of people of course. Most of the presidents of Africa even today are ex-generals or ex-colonels or something like that. It has economically improved a lot. The population has exploded and it’s going to explode more in the years to come. It’s chaotic. But if you can bring order to chaos, that’s opportunity.
If you go to the Orient, there are a lot of rich, smart people there. You are not going to have much of a competitive advantage. That’s true to a lesser extent in South America too. Africa is actually the place, I think, you want to go.
Tom: Do you have any particular parts of Africa? I’ve heard good things about Botswana. Do you have any place in particular that attracts you?
Doug: Other than South Africa, I’d say Botswana is the most developed country in Southern Africa for sure. But where would I go now? Well, of course, the nice thing about Africa is that it’s divided basically into three parts, Anglophone Africa, Francophone Africa, and Lusophone Africa, and my French is still adequately conversational. I lived in France and Switzerland for a year during college. My Spanish is functional. The language thing is a consideration of course. But on the other hand, most of the educated people in most countries of the world speak English, which is the world’s lingua franca today.
Where would I go? There are around 50 countries in Africa. I like small, obscure ones. Maybe Ghana is too developed. Look at Benin or Togo or maybe the Ivory Coast. Mauritania, where I just was, is actually quite interesting. Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, you’ve got lots of choices. Somebody should get on a plane and just take a look. Then when they get into a country, a capital city, which is always where the action happens, get on the telephone to local lawyers and real estate agents and businessmen to set up appointments and see who you can get along with. One thing will lead to another.
I wouldn’t go to Africa as a lifestyle choice. I would go there for economic reasons and for the adventure that it would yield. I’d say as a lifestyle choice, it comes down to South America or the Orient. I lived in the Orient for years and I loved it.
Tom: What about the language barrier?
Doug: Well, I lived in Hong Kong and when I was there it was much more English. Of course everybody in China is learning English today, everybody, everywhere that you basically would want to talk to. I’m not trying to be elitist but the educated people – put it that way – all speak English today as a second language. This is one of the things that will slow down your progress on learning the local language, is that they all want to speak English to you. So that’s a double edged sword… but it’s really an advantage. No, don’t worry about the language problem.
Tom: Well, I sure appreciate your time, Doug Casey. You are the International Man himself, and we are always grateful for your time.
Doug: Well, thank you Tom. It is a pleasure to talk to you under any circumstances.
Reprinted with permission from Doug Casey’s International Man.
Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- “Reluctant” Prosecution:
Earlier this month in OH, a homeowner shot and killed a burglary suspect.
The homeowner, armed with a pistol (brand/caliber unreported), confronted a pair of burglary suspects who were in the act of forcible entry into his home.
Not clear if words were exchanged, but the brace of burglars instantly decided to disengage and run away. he finds himself now.
(1) Chasing after felons with pistol in hand, (2) holding felons at gunpoint, and (2) seeking confrontation with dangerous criminals may all look sexy in the movies, but it invariably represents bad personal practice in reality.
Your defensive firearm(s) is there exclusively to protect your life. Defending yourself with gunfire, even when acutely and legitimately necessary, is still a terrible, life-altering event, to be done only when you have no choice.
When you do have a choice, you’ve probably answered your own question!
Sheriff John T Chance (played by John Wayne): “I hear you’re mighty good with a gun, lad”
Colorado Ryan (played by Rick Nelson): “Yes, I am. But, there is something I’m even better at!”
Chance: “… and what’s that?”
Ryan: “Minding my own business” ~ From the 1959 feature film, “Rio Bravo”
Reprinted with permission from AmmoLand.com.
So, the wife and I moved to Tucson. Yeah, I know, but the desert is in my blood. I plead genetic memory and, besides all of that, there’s better food that goes beyond the Four Flavors of Northern Arizona: Bland, Salty, Sweet, and Greasy. The first day here, I heard this ear-piercing sound split the sky! We’re under attack! Iran must have purloined an aircraft carrier! I threw open the door and bolted outside. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! No, it’s a plane! It’s trillions in wasted tax dollars!
Behold, it’s fighter aircraft! It’s also the controversial A-10 ground attack aircraft! I had forgotten that Tucson is home to the (in)famous Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Yes, this is also the famous “Boneyard” where the United States Air Force mothballs and stashes all its obsolete aircraft for these decades since the Tax-Wasting Flyboys came into existence. I like that phrase—Tax-Wasting Flyboys. Sounds like a Texas Swing band. If only.
So it is that the U.S. military garners more funding the more people they add to the list of “terrorists” that they have. The more they pick up in sweep-and-clears and snatch-and-grabs, the more names they are going to get. On and on it will go as the Congress cuts them more and more checks. It’s about money. If you’re General Spooky in charge of “Shhh! We Don’t Exist!”, and you can keep showing lists of names, you can keep pulling in checks. And cash, because General Spooky will say their “people” on the ground need cash for informants and thus and so. You don’t really think that $12 billion dollars that went missing in Iraq just went into Bremer’s pocket, do you? Checks for the up-front and known budget. Cash for the “off the books” budget, the “Black ops” Black Hole where billions per year literally disappear. General Spooky and his friends can retire very wealthy men.
Here we are, falling for the scam again. Iran, ISIS, al-Qaida Reloaded, and Yemen, and al-Shabab, and al-Everyone Else on Ye Olde List of Ye Witches, er, terrorists. America’s Greatest Hits. Cities lick the boots of the local military base to stay, then drive across town to give a speech at a peace rally. People will say, “But we need defense!” From whom?! The enemies this government creates themselves? The enemies they add to this list without end through sweep-and-clears and “enhanced interrogation”? The assumption is made that it’s the “other guy” that doesn’t want peace. Excuse me, but those people can’t afford military budgets like ours. They have to go to international yard sales and pawn shops to acquire the hand-me-down weapons of decades ago. We just stash them at the Boneyard and buy more. We crave those “good jobs” and the list of “terrorists” on the Death Charts Top Hundred Hits just keeps growing.
KINGSTON, NY, 19 August 2015—History is repeating itself. While the times are different and the names have changed, the underlying circumstances and basic fundamentals remain the same. The Crash of ’29, The Great Depression, plunging commodity prices, currency wars, trade wars, world war. Now, four score and six years later: The Panic of ’08, The Great Recession, plunging commodity prices, currency wars.
Are trade wars and world war next?
Commodity prices’ continuing downward dive is indisputable evidence of a deteriorating global economy. For many, the Great Recession is depression. The equation is simple: there’s a glut of product and not enough people with enough money to buy them.ignited. Since the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, the war-torn nation grows more violent. Syria’s war ravaged, Yemen’s being bombed and throughout Africa, civil wars and cross-border wars rage. Bomb blasts in Bangkok, unrest in Egypt, massive protests in Brazil, war in Ukraine … and civil unrest ready to explode in countries where commodity prices have plunged, unemployment soars, debt levels grow and corruption is rampant.
Is world war on the horizon?
Trend Forecast: In the environment of currency devaluations, failing economies, global conflict and social unrest, we forecast gold will be valued as a safe haven commodity.
Leadership is the art of persuasion—the act of motivating people to do more than they ever thought possible in pursuit of a greater good.
It has nothing to do with your title.
It has nothing to do with authority or seniority.
You’re not a leader just because you have people reporting to you. And you don’t suddenly become a leader once you reach a certain pay grade.Are you optimistic? Followers see the limitations inherent in any given situation; leaders see the possibilities. When things go wrong, leaders don’t dwell on how bad things are. They’re too busy trying to make things better.
Are you open to change? Followers are content to stick with the safety of the status quo. They see change as frightening and troublesome. Leaders are maximizers who see opportunity in change. Because leaders want constant improvement, they’re never afraid to ask, “What’s next?”
Are you decisive? Followers often hesitate to act, out of fear that they’ll do the wrong thing. Leaders aren’t afraid to make a call, even when they’re not sure if it’s the right one. They’d rather make a decision and be wrong than suffer from the paralysis of indecision.
Leaders would rather make a decision and be wrong than suffer from the paralysis of indecision.
“Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.” — Mark Twain
Listening to NPR news today I was reminded how throughly this once independent voice has sold out.
I was also reminded of the Mark Twain quote above. NPR reported that Syrians were lined up in Turkey waiting on passage on inflatable rafts to Greece. According to the NPR report, there are 2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey and 250,000 Syrians have been killed. NPR said nothing about the cause of this murder and displacement of vast numbers of people. It was if the plight of these people materialized out of thin air. The fact that Washington sicced ISIS, al Qaeda, Turkey, the US and NATO Air Forces, and Washington’s Middle Eastern vassals on Syria was not mentioned. The view on NPR is the same as Washington’s — that if only Assad would resign and hand Syria over to Washington, everything would be fine.
Americans don’t go to bed every night unable to sleep from shame from the atrocities that the US government has inflicted on Syria. And on Iraq. And Libya. And Afghanistan. And Pakistan. And Yemen. And Somalia. And Ukraine. And Serbia. According to the prostitute media, all of these human catastrophes are the work of dark forces that America must combat. It is all a clever orchestration of public emotion in favor of the military/security complex’s bank balance.
The corruption of public discourse in America, indeed throughout the West, is total. There are no reliable reports, not from public or private institutions. The economic reports are propaganda to keep alive the image of a successful America. The reports about Russia, Ukraine, and Muslims are propaganda designed to inculcate fear in the gullible, fear that ensures more power and profit for Washington and the military/security complex.
Americans have proven themselves to be the easiest sheep ever to be shorn.
The gullibility of Americans threatens the world with armageddon.
Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org.
While the scandal surrounding the emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton during her time as U.S. secretary of state continues to grow, Clinton has resorted to laughing it off. This past weekend she told an audience of Iowa Democrats that she loves her Snapchat account because the messages automatically disappear. No one in the audience laughed.
Clinton admits deleting 30,000 government emails from her time in office. She claims they were personal, and that because they were also on a personal server, she was free to destroy them. Yet, federal law defines emails used during the course of one’s work for the federal government as the property of the federal government.
Will she be indicted?
Consider this. In the past month, the Department of Justice indicted a young sailor who took a selfie in front of a sonar screen on a nuclear submarine and emailed the selfie to his girlfriend. It also indicted a Marine who sent an urgent warning to his superiors on his Gmail account about a dangerous Afghani spy who eventually killed three fellow Marines inside an American encampment. The emailing Marine was indicted for failure to secure classified materials. Gen. David Petraeus stored top-secret materials in an unlocked desk drawer in the study of his secured and guarded Virginia home and was indicted for the same crimes. And a former CIA agent was just sentenced to three years in prison for destroying one top-secret email.
What will happen if the FBI recommends that Clinton be indicted and the White House stonewalls? Will FBI Director Jim Comey threaten to resign as he threatened to do when President George W. Bush wanted him to deviate from accepted professional standards? Will Clinton get a pass? Will the public accept that?
Reprinted with the author’s permission.
di David Stockman
Se si desidera una metafora convincente per capire il crack-up boom innescato dalle banche centrali a livello globale, basta guardare alla bancarotta del fornitore di carbone Alpha Natural Resources (ANRZ). Dopo essere diventata una società pubblica nel 2005, la sua capitalizzazione di mercato è salita praticamente da 0 a $11 miliardi esattamente quattro anni fa. Ora sta tornando a zero.
Sì, ci sono i fallimenti e questo è sicuramente un caso di cattiva gestione. Ma la cattiva gestione di cui stiamo parlando è quella del cartello del settore bancario centrale del mondo.
Quest'ultimo ha fatto in modo che ci saranno migliaia di fallimenti simili negli anni a venire, perché sin dalla metà degli anni '90 le banche centrali hanno travolto l'economia mondiale con un boom di spesa basato sul credito insostenibile, mentre hanno falsificato il sistema finanziario che dovrebbe prezzare i beni in modo onesto, allocare il capitale in modo efficiente e mantenere sotto controllo il rischio e l'avidità.
Di conseguenza, la bolla legata ad ANRZ raffigurata qui sopra non si limita a mostrare come gli uomini, le donne e i robo-trader del casinò siano diventati troppo fiduciosi nell'inseguire la sciocchezza partorita da Goldman Sachs secondo cui i "BRICS sarebbero cresciuti in eterno". In realtà, le banche centrali hanno alimentato l'economia mondiale con tanta liquidità e capitali a basso costo, che sembrava che l'economia fisica stesse partendo per la luna.
Infatti le banche centrali hanno generato un doppio boom — dapprima sotto forma di un consumo alimentato dal credito, eccitando le economie dei mercati sviluppati diventate dipendenti dalla grande macchina esportatrice della Cina e dei suoi fornitori satelliti; dopo che questo boom dei consumi si è schiantato nel 2008-2009 e ha minacciato l'estinzione dell'economia mercantilista del capitalismo rosso cinese, la PBOC ha scatenato un boom più potente d'investimenti e infrastrutture in Cina e nel resto dei mercati emergenti.
Tra il 1992 e il 1994 il sistema monetario mondiale — diventato sempre più instabile dalla distruzione di Bretton Woods nel 1971 — ha visto peggiorare la sua situazione: il piano di salvataggio delle banche di Wall Street durante la crisi del peso messicano; il mercantilismo della Cina e la sua scoperta che il potere poteva essere meglio conservato attraverso la stampante monetaria piuttosto che con il proverbiale fucile di Mao; il panico di Alan Greenspan nel 1994, quando i bond vigilantes scaricarono titoli di stato sopravvalutati dopo che la FED lasciò salire i tassi del mercato monetario dal livello ridicolmente basso a cui Greenspan li aveva ancorati nell'interesse della ri-elezione di George Bush Sr.
Da quel punto in poi, le banche centrali mondiali sono andate fuori giri ed è esplosa quella che può solo essere descritta come una supernova del credito, coinvolgendo l'economia mondiale. Vale a dire, nel 1994 c'erano circa $40,000 miliardi di debito nell'economia di tutto il mondo, ma questa cifra ha raggiunto gli $85,000 miliardi nel 2000, e poi è scoppiata a $200,000 miliardi nel 2014. Cioè, in appena due decenni il debito mondiale è aumentato del 5X.
A dire il vero, nel frattempo è stato creato un sacco di PIL falso nell'economia mondiale. Dapprima nel settore delle abitazioni e degli immobili commerciali delle economie sviluppate (fino al 2008); e poi nelle infrastrutture e negli investimenti industriali dei mercati emergenti (a seguito della crisi finanziaria e della Grande Recessione). Ma anche così, la crescita insostenibile del PIL non poteva competere con lo tsunami del debito.
Nel 1994 il PIL mondiale era di circa $25,000 miliardi e il suo valore nominale oggi è nel range dei $70,000 miliardi — incluso l'ultimo sussulto della spesa alimentata dal credito (investimenti di capitale fisso), la quale continua a sfornare miniere di ferro, navi container, scavatrici, impianti elettrici, piattaforme di perforazione in acque profonde, aeroporti, autostrade e grattacieli che hanno un valore economico trascurabile. Eppure anche contando tutti i beni di capitale che sono stati creati dalla spesa artificiale (PIL), e che alla fine saranno svalutati o liquidati dai bilanci, il PIL è cresciuto solo di $45,000 miliardi negli ultimi due decenni, o solo il 28% rispetto alla supernova del debito da $160,000 miliardi.
Ecco quello che gli uomini di buon senso hanno saputo per decenni, se non secoli: questo tipo di crescita alimentata dal credito si nutre di sé stessa, creando una domanda artificiale di materiali e materie prime industriali che, a loro volta, generano carenze di capitale fisso, poiché miniere, navi, fonderie, fabbriche, porti e magazzini richiedono ancora più materiali per essere costruiti. In una parola, il credito artificiale impone al mondo di scavare, costruire, investire e giocare d'azzardo come se non ci fosse un domani.
Nel caso di Alpha Natural Resources, ad esempio, la domanda artificiale ha riguardato il carbone. E la tendenza di prezzo mostrata di seguito non è affatto sorprendente alla luce di quello che è successo alla capacità d'acciaio in Cina. Nel 1994 il carbone veniva venduto a circa $35/ton, ma allora l'industria siderurgica cinese era pari a soli 100 milioni di tonnellate. Al momento del picco del carbone nel 2011, l'industria cinese era 11X più grande e i prezzi del carbone facevano registrare un'impennata dieci volte superiore rispetto al prezzo precedente, ovvero, $340 per tonnellata.
Ed è qui che entra in gioco la dinamica auto-alimentante. Cioè, lo spreco monumentale e l'investimento improduttivo insiti nel boom del credito. In una parola, l'esplosione iniziale della domanda per le materie prime ha generato carenze di capacità e quindi profitti eccezionali sulle riserve in loco e le risorse nel terreno.
Questi falsi profitti, a loro volta, hanno portato gli speculatori a credere che rappresentassero flussi permanenti e che potessero essere capitalizzati dai proprietari azionari.
Ma, come mostrato di seguito, alla fine la bolla del credito ha smesso di crescere, la domanda per i materiali si è appiattita ed è iniziata l'inversione, causando in tal modo prezzi inattesi e la scomparsa dei profitti. Ciò è avvenuto dapprima lentamente e poi ha accelerato.
ANRZ sta quindi finendo giù nello scarico, perché è stata capitalizzata ritenendo permanenti i prezzi follemente anti-economici del 2011.
Inutile dire che un mercato azionario onesto non avrebbe mai fatto registrare il picco raggiunto dal prezzo del carbone a $340/ton nei primi mesi del 2011, soprattutto non l'avrebbe confuso come stato reale dell'economia. Dopo tutto, gli studenti d'ingegneria sanno che il pianeta è benedetto (maledetto?) con riserve di carbone praticamente infinite.
Tuttavia, nei mercati completamente rotti e falsificati dalla manipolazione e dalla repressione delle banche centrali, i fast money trader non sanno nulla e accettano fideisticamente "l'azione dei prezzi" di breve periodo e i punti nei grafici. Nel caso di ANZR, questo ha portato all'inizio del 2011 ad una valutazione del 29X del suo flusso di cassa da $380 milioni.
Una società che aveva in media dai $50 ai $75 milioni di flusso di cassa nel mercato del carbone già in boom nel 2005-2008, difficilmente poteva valere $1 miliardo. La successiva ondata di flussi di cassa non è stata altro che una manna di guadagni inattesi sulle sue riserve esistenti, e, di conseguenza, non meritava alcun aumento della sua capitalizzazione di mercato o negoziazioni multiple.
Infatti sarebbe stata sufficiente una conoscenza superficiale della fornitura e della produzione di carbone per capire che, anche con prezzi di $100 per tonnellata, sarebbe stato difficile sostenere l'espansione della capacità a lungo termine.
Ciò significa che il flusso di cassa sostenibile di ANRZ non ha mai superato gli $80 milioni, e che al suo picco di capitalizzazione di $11 miliardi nel 2011, veniva tradata al 140X. In una parola, è così che i mercati vengono falsificati da un boom del credito alimentato dalla banca centrale.
La storia completa di ANZR è di gran lunga peggiore. Nel corso degli ultimi 10 anni ha generato $3.2 miliardi di flusso di cassa operativo — compresi i picchi inattesi di profitto incorporati nei suoi risultati riportati. Nello stesso periodo, però, ha speso $5 miliardi in spese in conto capitale e acquisizioni, mentre spendeva altri $750 milioni che non aveva per riacquistare azioni proprie e pagare dividendi.
Sì, era l'elisir magico del debito che faceva sembrare sostenibile il suo bilancio. Inutile dire che la salita del suo debito da $635 milioni nel 2005 a $3.3 miliardi attuali, non ha alcun senso per una società che dipende da margini volatili e flussi finanziari legati al commercio mondiale di carbone.
Così, quando insistiamo sul fatto che i mercati sono rotti e le azioni fanno ormai parte di una bisca clandestina, vi basta guardare ad Alpha Natural Resources.
I mercati che hanno torto su un nome di spicco come ANRZ, non commettono un errore una tantum; sono l'errore.
Il boom del credito globale è finito; i consumatori dei mercati sviluppati sono bloccati in un picco del debito; e la frenesia d'investimento della Cina e dei mercati emergenti è agli sgoccioli.
Ora arriva l'onda deflazionistica globale. Gli $11 miliardi d'aria fritta che questa mattina sono scomparsi dal casinò di Wall Street, sono solo l'ultimo esempio — uno schock che anticipa il crollo tonante del valore gonfiato degli asset.
[*] traduzione di Francesco Simoncelli: http://francescosimoncelli.blogspot.it/