With the impending fall of US handpicked prime minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, it looks as if the US is about to take an even more direct role in running the country whose government it helped overthrow two years ago.
Former US State Department employee Natalie Jaresko, who is currently serving as Ukraine's finance minister, is expected to be named prime minister of Ukraine by as soon as the end of this week.
Previously, Jaresko managed a USAID "enterprise fund" in Ukraine capitalized with $150 million. She promptly emptied out that fund, all the while transferring millions in "fees" to an outside company she controlled. Yet we were told the whole purpose of the US-instigated "regime change" in Ukraine was to root out corruption.
Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams is a guest today on Loud and Clear with Brian Becker to discuss the US takeover of Ukraine and you can listen to the episode here.
By Chris Rossini
The Federal Reserve is the beating heart of the U.S. federal government. It is the financier of the military empire. Without the Fed, many of the complaints that people have with the gargantuan U.S. state would not exist. With the Fed, the government has the ability to finance every evil deed that it can dream up. The American citizen has no meaningful check on government's ability to grow itself into bankruptcy.
It's always encouraging to see politicians attack the Fed. After all, not too long ago, no one ever touched the subject. The central planners had total immunity from any public criticism, and they were free to operate in the shadows.
Well, thanks to a former Congressman from Texas, that has all changed. The Fed still operates in the shadows. That part hasn't changed. They are as secretive as any government agency can possibly be, but public criticism is now out of the genie's bottle. And the more the public learns about this terrible monopoly, the more people don't like what they hear.
Criticism of the Fed, however, are not homogeneous or uniform in any way. Yes, there's an ever-growing number of libertarians who completely understand that the Fed must have its powers completely revoked, but there are also those who are piggybacking on anti-Fed sentiment, and are looking to capitalize on it for political reasons.
Those who fall in the latter category do not show an understanding of what the Fed is, what it does, how it was formed, and the irreparable damage that it creates by its mere existence.
In this article, we'll look at how the Democratic presidential candidates view the Fed. We'll start with Hillary Clinton.
Predictably, Hillary says almost nothing about the central bank. Everyone knows of Hillary's close ties to Wall Street, so to see that she has no comment on the hands that feed her should be no surprise. In fact, it's being reported today over at EconomicPolicyJournal.com that a Federal Reserve Governor named Lael Brainard has made three separate donations to Hillary's presidential campaign.
With Hillary as president, the Fed's central planners will be able to sleep soundly at night. Every crackpot idea that Clinton conjures up will have the Fed ready as the financier.
Then there's Bernie Sanders.
Sanders actually does criticize the Fed, but he seems to be doing more harm than good! By the words that Sanders uses, it's clear that he has very little understanding of the Fed. For example, a recurring tweet that you'll find on his account says the following:
The Federal Reserve has been hijacked by the very bankers it is in charge of regulating. The foxes are guarding the henhouse at the Fed.
That right there shows that Sanders doesn't know how the Fed was founded.
The Federal Reserve is a banking cartel. It was plotted for, designed, and created by bankers. There is no "henhouse". Only foxes. And the foxes have not "hijacked" themselves.
The Fed is a creation of the bankers, and in 1913 it was granted monopoly powers by the U.S. government. The greedy U.S. government saw an opportunity in creating a central bank. The government would be able to finance whatever it wanted going forward.
It was no accident that the U.S. entered World War I shortly after the Fed's formation. That European war was stalemated and exhausted until the U.S. breathed life into it. The U.S. government would have never dared such a horrendous act had it not had the ability for the central bank to create unlimited money.
Those fateful decisions led to the bloody 20th century. As Ron Paul has stated: "It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking."
The U.S. government can, should, and ultimately will revoke the Fed's monopoly powers. But at this moment in time, the getting is too good for both the government, the Fed, and the cornucopia of special interests that feed on printing press money.
Public opinion would have to be (and ultimately will be) extremely strong for the government to finally end this nightmare.
Sanders clearly doesn't understand any of this, and has never shown that he really wants to tackle the Fed. Bernie does not talk about sound money. I've yet to see him even whisper the word "gold".
It appears that Sanders merely wants to "manage" the central planners in a different way. But there is no way centrally plan the economy correctly. Every move is a wrong move.
Sanders, just like Hillary, needs a central bank to finance his snake oil socialist ideas. So Bernie is surely not calling for an end to the Fed. He just wants to meddle with it, similar to how he wants to meddle with everyone's wallets.
Sanders has basically grabbed onto the popular opinion that the Fed is up to no good, which is true, but he has no understanding of the problem or a solution.
A good start for Sanders would be to pick up Murray Rothbard's What Has Government Done to Our Money, and Ron Paul's End the Fed. Then, he can possibly do something constructive with what he learns.
By Ron Paul
The Soviets disintegrated from within. A shot did not have to be fired. The same appears to be happening with the U.S. empire. It is disintegrating from within. The original idea for the land of the free was not to become a militarist nation that drops bombs around the world, and that tries to be the policeman of the world. However, ideas rule and at the beginning of the 20th century, the ideas of progressivism and socialism captivated enough people to take hold. The results were and continue to be a disaster. These failed ideas must be defeated. I discuss what I see ahead in a talk given at The Mises Institute:
By Chris Rossini
Warren Buffett may be a legendary investor, but he also swims in the ocean of cronyism. As opposed to his late father Howard, Warren has long been a big fan of our centrally planned and government-dominated "system". At a 2002 shareholder's meeting, Buffett said:
"This has been a tremendous economic system. It’s a system that showers rewards on my particular skill set."
Yes, as this year's presidential campaign season has clearly brought to light, those closest to the Fed's monetary spigot have definitely benefited from the current "system".
Buffett, of course, is very close to that spigot. He was a champion and great beneficiary of the 2008 bank bailouts and always has the kindest things to say about central bankers.
In order to keep the perception of this "system" in a positive light, Buffett is not afraid to take out his pom poms to provide the media and American public with a good cheer.
For example, when asked what he thought the status of the dollar would be in 50 years, Buffett responded:
"I think the $ will be the world's reserve currency."
The fact that dollar is literally running on fumes doesn't seem to matter one bit. To think that in 50 years it will remain the world's reserve currency takes a special kind of optimism. The consistent actions of major foreign nations in getting away from the dollar tells us a very different story.
But hey, Buffett is all about the dollar. He has billions of them. No need to bring up any uncomfortable realities.
Let's take another example: the great government Ponzi scheme known as "Social Security". Surely Buffett will come clean on this ticking time bomb, right?
Simon Black writes:
In his annual report to shareholders released just a few days ago, Buffett makes an almost biblical proclamation that “America’s social security promises will be honored and perhaps made more generous.” ...
This is where we are in America. Those who benefit from a "system" that is the antithesis of liberty, free markets, sound money, and property rights are reduced to spinning fairy tales in order to keep it going. It's a con game with a paper thin veil of confidence that keeps it all together.
Steadily the average American is waking up, and is searching for answers. Many are finding the right answers in the ideas of liberty, but unfortunately, many more are latching onto iron-fist demagogues and socialist snake-oil salesmen.
Let's ditch the fairy tales and get to work on re-establishing the liberty that our early ancestors were able to enjoy. Let's breathe free air for once, instead of the never-ending smoke being blown in our faces.
Enough with the ideas that have snuffed away our liberty.
By Ron Paul
The Republican presidential debates have become so heated and filled with insults, it almost seems we are watching a pro wrestling match. There is no civility, and I wonder whether the candidates are about to come to blows. But despite what appears to be total disagreement among them, there is one area where they all agree. They all promise that if elected they will “rebuild the military.”
What does “rebuild the military” mean? Has the budget been gutted? Have the useless weapons programs like the F-35 finally been shut down? No, the United States still spends more on its military than the next 14 countries combined. And the official military budget is only part of the story. The total spending on the US empire is well over one trillion dollars per year. Under the Obama Administration the military budget is still 41 percent more than it was in 2001, and seven percent higher than at the peak of the Cold War.
Russia, which the neocons claim is the greatest threat to the United States, spends about one-tenth what we do on its military. China, the other “greatest threat,” has a military budget less than 25 percent of ours.
Last week the Pentagon announced it is sending a small naval force of US warships to the South China Sea because, as Commander of the US Pacific Command Adm. Harry Harris told the House Armed Services Committee, China is militarizing the area. Yes, China is supposedly militarizing the area around China, so the US is justified in sending its own military to the area. Is that a wise use of the US military?
The US military maintains over 900 bases in 130 countries. It is actively involved in at least seven wars right now, including in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and elsewhere. US Special Forces are deployed in 134 countries across the globe. Does that sound like a military that has been gutted?
I do not agree with the presidential candidates, but I do agree that the military needs to be rebuilt. I would rebuild it in a very different way, however. I would not rebuild it according to the demands of the military-industrial complex, which cares far more about getting rich than about protecting our country. I would not rebuild the military so that it can overthrow more foreign governments who refuse to do the bidding of Washington’s neocons. I would not rebuild the military so that it can better protect our wealthy allies in Europe, NATO, Japan, and South Korea. I would not rebuild the military so that it can better occupy countries overseas and help create conditions for blowback here at home.
No. The best way to really “rebuild” the US military would be to stop abusing the military in the first place. The purpose of the US military is to defend the United States. It is not to make the world safe for oil pipelines, or corrupt Gulf monarchies, or NATO, or Israel. Unlike the neocons who are so eager to send our troops to war, I have actually served in the US military. I understand that to keep our military strong we must constrain our foreign policy. We must adopt a policy of non-intervention and a strong defense of this country. The neocons will weaken our country and our military by promoting more war. We need to “rebuild” the military by restoring as its mission the defense of the United States, not of Washington’s overseas empire.
By Chris Rossini
The constant refrain is that Donald Trump is taking on "the establishment". Well, Trump has started to name several individuals that he'll be surrounding himself with, and they're about as establishment as it gets!
First, let's not forget that Trump revealed his closeness to Rudy Giuliani. If you're looking for advice on winding down America's lost cause wars, you don't look to Rudy Giuliani, that's for sure.
Next, is Donald's long-time friend Chris Christie, whose over-the-top warmongering should still be fresh in everyone's minds. Rand Paul, during one the Republican debates reached his limit. Rand finally said of Christie: “I think if you’re in favor of World War III, you have your candidate.”
Christie is now on Team Trump.
Next, Trump has named as top National Security Advisor, the current president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass.
For those who don't know, The Council on Foreign Relations literally is an establishment institution. You can't get more establishment than the CFR.
Robert Wenzel once attended a private reception for Richard Haass. In his observations, Wenzel wrote:
During the reception he [Haass] said that the United States should stop its fixation with the "Greater Middle East." He said there are no great powers in the Middle East, thus less focus needs to be given to the region. He said the focus needs to be "dialed down." On the other hand, he said the US should "dial up" involvement in Asia, with more of a military presence in the area and more diplomatic dialogue.
This matches Trump's tactic of pointing out obvious U.S. failures in the Middle East, but also with wanting to stir up trouble in Asia, or "dial up" trouble in Asia to use Haass' vernacular.
What a terrible idea! Such actions will not solve the tremendous drain that the warfare state places on our lives and liberty. It merely channels the drain in a different direction! Bush could've done that!....Obama can do that!
Trump has named Sen. Jeff Sessions as Chairman of his National Security Advisory Committee.
Target Liberty points out that Sessions:
Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps. (Feb 2011)
This is supposed to be anti-establishment?
The establishment will continue to sleep like babies at this pace. They're already 4-for-4 on getting in the Trump circle.
Gold is rocketing upwards, but the establishment economists want you to look away. When the words "national security" are uttered, do you roll over like a Pavlovian dog and sacrifice your liberties? Bernie Sanders accuses Hillary Clinton of adopting "free market policies"? What? And what's the deal with "voting for the lesser evil"? Ron Paul conquers it all on today's Myth-Busters!