US-trained troops in the Iraqi army are facing off against US-trained troops in the Kurdish Peshmerga militias over Kurdish separatism and control of northern Iraq. What is at stake? Oil? Self-determination? Something else?
By Chris Rossini
Politicians love to call for "unity." It's always time to "unite" behind what they want. But the search for political unity is equivalent to the search for a unicorn. You're never going to find it.
Politicians seek to use force. Force requires victims. No one wants or likes being the victim. Hence, no unity.
It doesn't have to be this way. We don't have to live in a society of political muggers and their victims, with the exhausting battle that occurs every 4 years to decide who gets to be the mugger.
In fact, America was explicitly formed on the idea of breaking away from this nonsense.
"Live and Let Live" would be the guiding principle. You keep your hands off me and my stuff, and I'll keep my hands off you and your stuff. A real "unity" was formed...and it revolved around refusing to use force against others. Government was not created to be a hitman.
Naturally, the vicious powers outside of America had a problem with this. Governments of hitmen and muggers were the name of the game. Tyranny was mankind's lot for as far back as the history books would go.
If the ideas of America were to succeed, their jig would be up.
This "live and let live" society had to be conquered somehow.
But the way to conquer America would not be on the battlefield. No one would try to come over here to militarily subjugate us. A free people would fight much too hard to keep their liberty.
Instead, America would be conquered by ideas. Slowly, it would become and morph into being just like the vicious powers on the outside.
Domestically, Americans would have to embrace the mugger mentality. This would be accomplished in 1913 with the imposition of the income tax.
America would also become like the vicious outside powers by destroying its currency. A central bank called the Federal Reserve would be created in 1913 along with the income tax.
Busy year, that 1913...
Finally, the knock-out punch would come in foreign policy.
America had a strong tradition of staying out of the affairs of other nations. The philosophy was the same as it was at home: "Live and Let Live." Americans would not step foot on another soil with barrels blazing.
This tradition would be shattered with the fateful decision of jumping into a European war in 1917.
America went on the attack!
FEAR would dominate from that point forward. You name it - Americans were conditioned to be afraid of it.
Attack...Attack...Attack....right up until the present day, where Americans now have to be afraid of North Korea, Iran, Russia, China...and on and on...
Of course, one would guess that outside powers couldn't be happier. Their jig (was not) and is not up. America simply morphed into them and joined the club.
It doesn't have to stay this way.
The ideas of Liberty have not been banished off the face of the Earth. They can be adopted somewhere, even if not in America.
But America would be a great place to re-start the philosophy. That would make a great story someday --- America was knocked down hard, but was able to get back up before the 10 count.
I like it.
"Live and Let Live."
Press Play to hear Ron Paul deliver his Weekly Update:
By Ron Paul
President Trump has been notoriously inconsistent in his foreign policy. He campaigned on and won the presidency with promises to repair relations with Russia, pull out of no-win wars like Afghanistan, and end the failed US policy of nation-building overseas. Once in office he pursued policies exactly the opposite of what he campaigned on. Unfortunately Iran is one of the few areas where the president has been very consistent. And consistently wrong.
In the president’s speech last week he expressed his view that Iran was not “living up to the spirit” of the 2015 nuclear agreement and that he would turn to Congress to apply new sanctions to Iran and to, he hopes, take the US out of the deal entirely.
Nearly every assertion in the president’s speech was embarrassingly incorrect. Iran is not allied with al-Qaeda, as the president stated. The money President Obama sent to Iran was their own money. Much of it was a down-payment made to the US for fighter planes that were never delivered when Iran changed from being friend to foe in 1979. The president also falsely claims that Iran targets the United States with terrorism. He claims that Iran has “fueled sectarian violence in Iraq,” when it was Iranian militias who prevented Baghdad from being overtaken by ISIS in 2014. There are too many other false statements in the president’s speech to mention.
How could he be so wrong on so many basic facts about Iran? Here’s a clue: the media reports that his number one advisor on Iran is his Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Ambassador Haley is a “diplomat” who believes war is the best, first option rather than the last, worst option. She has no prior foreign policy experience, but her closest mentor is John Bolton – the neocon who lied us into the Iraq war. How do these people live with themselves when they look around at the death and destruction their policies have caused?
Unfortunately the American people are being neoconned into another war. Just as with the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq, the media builds up the fear and does the bidding of the warmongers without checking facts or applying the necessary skepticism to neocon claims.
Like most Americans, I do not endorse Iran’s style of government. I prefer religion and the state to be separate and even though our liberties have been under attack by our government, I prefer our much freer system in the US. But I wonder how many Americans know that Iran has not attacked or “regime-changed” another country in its modern history. Iran’s actions in Syria are at the invitation of the legitimate Syrian government. And why won’t President Trump tell us the truth about Iranian troops in Syria – that they are fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda, both of which are Sunni extremist groups that are Iran’s (and our) mortal enemies?
How many Americans know that Iran is one of the few countries in the region that actually holds elections that are contested by candidates with very different philosophies? Do any Americans wonder why the Saudis are considered one of our greatest allies in the Middle East even though they hold no elections and have one of the world’s worst human rights records?
Let’s be clear here: President Trump did not just announce that he was “de-certifying” Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. He announced that Iran was from now on going to be in the bullseye of the US military. Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?
On Friday, President Trump delivered a blistering speech on Iran that could only have been written by neocons like John Bolton. Trump laid down old charges against Iran as his reasons for refusing to certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. In so doing, he went against most of his closest advisors and cabinet members and against most of the international community. Are neocon hooks now firmly planted into President Trump?
By Liberty Report Staff
There shouldn't be a Federal Reserve, but it exists, and it's constantly creating a world of economic pain.
Each Federal Reserve bubble must turn into a bust. It's unavoidable.
According to the central planners, the "solution" for the bust is more creation of new money and credit. That's the only way they can keep their "system" alive.
When the Fed's stock market bubble burst in 2000, it responded by creating new money and credit. Lo and behold, this led directly to the next bubble that was even bigger.
When the housing bubble burst in 2008, Wall Street was bailed out by taxpayers, and TRILLIONS of new dollars were created as the "solution."
And now, almost 10 years later, we have an even bigger bubble than 2008. The central planners at The Fed have done it again.
How much longer will we allow this "system" to last? How much economic pain will it take to return to sound money again?
Ron Paul discusses the latest bubble below:
Everyone is surely aware by now that all of our digital communications are being sent to government databases for storage. If our American ancestors could see it, they wouldn't believe their eyes. We still, however, have the ability to use cash. All of our economic decisions are not under constant government surveillance. Ron Paul discusses the dangers of Big Brother's War on Cash.
Russiagate has "jumped the shark." So says Robert Parry, investigative journalist and founder of ConsortiumNews.com. Parry joins today's Liberty Report to discuss the current state of the mainstream media and the ongoing allegations of Russian interference in American political and social life.
By Liberty Report Staff
Unintentionally, President Trump has shown everyone what government-"licensed" mainstream media is all about.
Trump attacks their dishonesty. But dishonesty is baked in. It's pretty much a requirement.
Mainstream media has bamboozled Americans to support a century of devastating wars. It was all dishonest and propped up with lies.
But those lies were OK.
They were "licensed" lies.
Honesty is not a criteria for keeping your government license.
Just the thought of government licenses for networks should send chills down everyone's spines. It's Orwellian to the core.
Here's a good question: Trump doesn't approve of the "reporting" now. But what's going to happen when he tries to trump up another war?
As with all wars, the propaganda will have to be built on a mountain of lies. Will Trump threaten the networks as they help him to peddle? Will he threaten to take away their "licenses"?
Of course not.
Did you ever notice that government-licensed mainstream networks are always on the same page when it comes to "news"?
"Trump challenges Tillerson to IQ Test"
"Ivana Trump says she is the 'First Lady'
The mainstream media are like mental babysitters.
Government schools babysit your mind when you're a kid, and mainstream media takes over when you become an adult.
Meanwhile, as everyone focuses on the bubble gum topic of the day, the real crimes are happening in the background. Yet, you'd never know it if your source of information is the mainstream media.
Sure, you may get different arguments from different networks. But the scope of the arguments fit on what Tom Woods refers to as a 3x5 index card of allowable opinion.
On lefty networks you'll get passionate arguments saying "Taxes should be 50% of your income. Government is the great superhero."
On the right, you'll hear "No...no...no...that's tyranny! Taxes should be 49.5% of your income."
Left or Right, you're in government's hip pocket.
That's the function that "licensed" media serves. Go ahead and pick a side ... it makes no difference whatsoever.
Fortunately, with each passing day, more and more people are turning off the licensed media.
The damage that they've done by acting as megaphones for government power cannot be measured.
President Trump vehemently denied an NBC report that he called for a ten-fold increase in US nuclear weapons at a meeting this summer. Calling it "fake news." the president reportedly threatened NBC's broadcast license. Is this really "fake news"? Or is President Trump just continuing President Obama's massive nuclear weapons "modernization" program?
By Ryan McMaken
When Hurricane Maria knocked out power in Puerto Rico, residents there realized they were going to need physical cash — and a lot of it.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that the Fed was forced to fly a planeload of cash to the Island to help avert disaster:
William Dudley, the New York Fed president, put the word out within minutes, and ultimately a jet loaded with an undisclosed amount of cash landed on the stricken island...
For a time, unless one had a hoard of cash stored up in one's home, it was impossible to get cash at all. 85 percent of Puerto Rico is still without power, as of October 9. Bloomberg continues: "When some generator-powered ATMs finally opened, lines stretched hours long, with people camping out in beach chairs and holding umbrellas against the sun."
In an earlier article from September 25, Bloomberg noted how, without cash, necessities were simply unavailable:
“Cash only,” said Abraham Lebron, the store manager standing guard at Supermax, a supermarket in San Juan’s Plaza de las Armas. He was in a well-policed area, but admitted feeling like a sitting duck with so many bills on hand. “The system is down, so we can’t process the cards. It’s tough, but one finds a way to make it work.”
Note the deep concern with "trac[ing] revenue" and "enforc[ing] tax rules" — as if making payroll for ordinary people were not the real problem here.
Puerto Rico has been fortunate that the United States, so far, has not attempted to implement many anti-cash measures that have been popular among central bankers in recent years.
Abolishing cash, of course, has become de rigueur among mainstream economists who have long argued that physical cash is an impediment to "nontraditional" monetary policy like negative interest rates. Moreover, advocates claim, physical cash makes it harder to control the flow of money, collect taxes, and control black markets.
This drive to supposedly fight crime and corruption was given as the justification for the disastrous war against cash in India in 2016. Hatched as a scheme to assert more government control over the economy, the Indian government removed mostly large bills from circulation in India, which accounted for 85% of its physical cash by value.
The demonetization badly damaged the economy. The Wall Street Journal reported in December:
Not surprisingly, shock waves from the announcement continue to crash through the economy. The Asian Development Bank cut its growth estimate for India for the financial year ending March 31 to 7% from 7.4%. JP Morgan expects growth to decline by half a percent to 6.7%.
One can only imagine how much more grim matters would be for Puerto Rico if most physical cash were made illegal as happened in India.
It's unlikely, however, that any well-known economists — such as Kenneth Rogoff who has deemed physical cash "a curse" — will be recanting their anti-cash views.
If you want to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs, and while some of the "little people" like Indian peasants and Puerto Rican workers might have to suffer greatly whenever the power goes out, we all have to make sacrifices.
Perhaps this is what Richard Thaler — the newly announced economics Nobel-Prize winner — had in mind when he came in out in favor of demonetization in India.
Certainly, abolishing cash is likely to devastate a poor economy more than a wealthy one. A wealthy country, with more advanced and reliable infrastructure, and with greater access to resources in general, is more fully weather a shortage of physical cash, and natural disasters. Overall, though, going cashless makes an economy more fragile, and makes ordinary people sitting ducks whenever there is a natural disaster, or even worse disruptions such as wars.
This article was originally published at The Mises Institute.