It's almost impossible to find a kernel of truth in the Empire of Lies. As is always the case, the outlook from the Federal Reserve is sunshine and rainbows. The President has the same erroneous view. But ignoring the biggest bubble that the Fed has ever created will not make it go away.
President Trump again swore yesterday that the US was in Syria to take its oil. Even as his staff scrambles for a more legal justification for the presence of US troops in the country. Meanwhile a new conservative veterans group is lobbying Washington with a simple demand: Bring Our Troops Home! Who will come out ahead?
By Liberty Report Staff
As Washington seizes up in impeachment fever, Hong Kong and Bolivia (among others) go up in flames. Washington's foreign policy is creating chaos worldwide while the kangaroos are holding court on Capitol Hill.
By Chris Rossini
A utopia is an imagined place in which everything is perfect.
One can say that the universe we live in is perfect. Whether it's the movement of atoms, solar systems, protons or galaxies --- everything happens by natural law and with perfect precision.
We're able to observe and discover this precision. We can explain it to ourselves with words, numbers and symbols. We can learn the natural laws with sciences like mathematics and physics, among many others.
But one cannot say that living and conscious individual human beings are perfect. For we are not mechanical or automations.
Instead, we all arrive as a blank slate and ignorant of our world and even ourselves. We choose our thoughts and our actions are purposeful.
In other words, we are all naturally free.
The well-learned men who authored the Declaration of Independence stated that this is "self-evident." Our natural freedom is not bestowed on us by other individual human beings. This was a revolutionary statement during their time (and for many people, it still is today). But the authors of that document were correct.
Since we all come into the world as blank slates and ignorant, it means we are not omnipotent and all-knowing.
Since we are not omnipotent and all-knowing, it means we can never be perfect. No matter how much we learn, there is always much more to learn.
Since we can never be perfect, it means we must err and make mistakes on our journey through life.
Since we must make mistakes, it means any ideas that imagine making human individuals perfect is utopian.
Now, take a look at mankind's history. It is littered with countless tales of individuals trying everything imaginable to make humans perfect.
There have been monarchies, and theocracies, and democracies, and technocracies, and corporatocracies, and republics, and parliaments, and houses and senates.
There have been dictatorships, and shared dictatorships, and military dictatorships.
There have been secret governments, and secret societies, and deep states, and private councils, and powers behind the throne.
Power has been sliced-and-diced into every imaginable combination, and then repeated over...and over.....and over.....and over............and over.......................
Total power and the desire to turn everyone into mechanical automations that do nothing but obey is (by far) the most deadly mental disease to ever exist.
It's a mental disease because errors and mistakes are built-in to the individual human life scenario.
When we err, we can learn from it and choose to never make the error again. The experience is completely private and individual. No other individuals (or algorithms) can replace our private climb up the staircase of life.
While total power over human life is utopian, a society of total Liberty most certainly is not.
The ideas of Liberty mean that no one (yes, NO ONE!) should use aggressive force against anyone else. Do what you want, but do no harm to another person or their property.
A person's freedom is limited only by another person's freedom.
The moment one person uses aggressive force against another, he or she has chosen to act like a tyrant.
Tyranny has proved to be a popular choice for many people, both throughout history and even today. But it's a choice, which means there is another option.
Total Liberty is yet to be chosen.
At least in recorded history, it has never been done.
That doesn't mean it can't be done.
It certainly can. It just has to be chosen.
While we don't have the life expectancy to wait around for everyone else to choose Liberty, we can make the choice for the only life that we have the ability to live and experience --- Our own.
We can't change others, but we can change ourselves.
While the story of tyranny continues to repeat itself, and while the next scheme to make humans into non-humans is cooked up, we can individually adopt the ideas of Liberty for ourselves, and then let others know about them.
Does it seem like we've seen this movie before? Populist Latin American leader on the outs with Washington finds himself facing a coup? This time it's Bolivia's Evo Morales, who resigned the presidency on Sunday and was granted asylum by Mexico. Is Washington involved? And why bother with relatively unimportant Bolivia?
By Ron Paul
When the New York Federal Reserve began pumping billions of dollars a day into the repurchasing (repo) markets (the market banks use to make short-term loans to each other) in September, they said this would only be necessary for a few weeks. Yet, last Wednesday, almost two months after the Fed’s initial intervention, the New York Federal Reserve pumped 62.5 billion dollars into the repo market.
The New York Fed continues these emergency interventions to ensure “cash shortages” among banks don’t ever again cause interest rates for overnight loans to rise to over 10 percent, well above the Fed’s target rate.
The Federal Reserve’s bailout operations have increased its balance sheet by over 200 billion dollars since September. Investment advisor Michael Pento describes the Fed’s recent actions as Quantitative Easing (QE) “on steroids.”
One cause of the repo market’s sudden cash shortage was the large amount of debt instruments issued by the Treasury Department in late summer and early fall. Banks used resources they would normally devote to private sector lending and overnight loans to purchase these Treasury securities. This scenario will likely keep recurring as the Treasury Department will have to continue issuing new debt instruments to finance continuing increases in in government spending.
Even though the federal deficit is already over one trillion dollars (and growing), President Trump and Congress have no interest in cutting spending, especially in an election year. Should he win reelection, President Trump is unlikely to reverse course and champion fiscal restraint. Instead, he will likely take his victory as a sign that the people support big federal budgets and huge deficits. None of the leading Democratic candidates are even pretending to care about the deficit. Instead they are proposing increasing spending by trillions on new government programs.
Joseph Zidle, a strategist with the Blackstone investment firm, has called the government — or “sovereign” — debt bubble the “mother of all bubbles.” When the sovereign debt bubble inevitably busts, it will cause a meltdown bigger than the 2008 crash.
US consumer debt — which includes credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and mortgages — now totals over 14 trillion dollars. This massive government and private debts put tremendous pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low or even to “experiment” with negative rates. But, the Fed can only keep interest rates, which are the price of money, artificially low for so long without serious economic consequences.
According to Michael Pento, the Fed is panicking in an effort to prevent economic trouble much worse than occurred in 2008. “It’s not just QE,” says Pento, “it’s QE on steroids because everybody knows that this QE is permanent just like any banana republic would do, or has done in the past.”
Congress will not cut spending until either a critical mass of Americans demand they do so, or there is a major economic crisis. In the event of a crisis, Congress will try to avoid directly cutting spending, instead letting the Federal Reserve do its dirty work via currency depreciation. This will deepen the crisis and increase support for authoritarian demagogues. The only way to avoid this is for those of us who know the truth to spread the message of, and grow the movement for, peace, free markets, limited government, and sound money.
By Liberty Report Staff
[The following has been excerpted from International Man]
International Man: Last year, President Trump took the unusual step of bypassing his advisors to announce his intention to withdraw all US troops from Syria quickly. The decision rattled Washington and the mainstream media. It caused former Defense Secretary Mattis to resign. Almost a year later, the US has withdrawn only a token number of soldiers. It still has thousands of troops occupying the part of the country where oil fields are located. What is going on here?
David Stockman: Well, that’s the Deep State at work.
Donald Trump is all by his lonesome. He’s home alone in the Oval Office. Now, half of it, he can blame himself. If he hires someone, a known idiot like John Bolton, what does he expect is going to happen except that everything he wanted to do is going to be undermined.
Nevertheless, he can’t seem to find anybody who can articulate on a day-to-day basis a pathway to the more restrained America First posture that he had in mind.
He’s surrounded by people who constantly countermand his orders. You have James Jeffery, the US Ambassador and special envoy to Syria saying, “Well, Trump didn’t mean that when he said he wanted the troops out of Syria.”
We have the same thing with North Korea. Trump finally said, here we are, 66 years after the armistice and we still don’t have a peace treaty, and we’re still occupying the Korean peninsula, which is of no interest to our national security one way or the other.
You have to do what I would call “contrafactual history.” In other words, if you understand what could have happened the other way, then maybe you’re not going to be so impressed with all this threat inflation.
I go back to why the Korean War happened, because I think it’s important to this whole thing going on now, with Trump trying to make a deal with Kim Jong-un.
In the late ’40s, Washington officials said that Korea is outside our sphere of influence, the line between North and South hastily drawn at the Potsdam war conference in July 1945. Dean Acheson, the US secretary of state in the late 1940s, said it was a mere surveyor’s line; it’s of no strategic influence. What if common sense had prevailed, instead of the hot-headed advice that President Truman got?
What if Truman had said, “Okay, we’re vacating this damn peninsula”? Well, it would have become a quasi-province of China, just like all the rest of them.
They’d probably be making all kinds of stuff, sending it to Walmart today, and nobody would know the difference.
Instead, we had a war. If I remember right, 54,000 servicemen were killed. The whole peninsula was pummeled, carpet bombed, and literally destroyed. It was like a wasteland in the north. There are reasons why the Kim family has survived all these years, because they hate us for what happened. People remember. It was really scorched earth. I mean, it was in some sense genocide, even then.
So, all of that happened, and Eisenhower comes in and is astute enough to say that we don’t really have national security on the line. He negotiated an armistice, and yet the War Party kept tension on the DMZ for all those years because it had to be in the playbook of threats.
I remember well when I was fighting the big Reagan defense build-up, back when I was budget director. It was always, we need all these different new tanks and attack aircraft and resupply logistics capabilities, because we have to have the ability to fight two and a half wars.
Well, where was the half war? I knew where the other ones were. The half war was in Korea. Well, why did we have to have a half war in Korea? But nevertheless, that was part of the rationalization—justification—for this massive military force that really is a tool of empire and not a tool of homeland defense.
Today, we have Trump finally saying, let’s let the Koreans decide how to run the future of Korea—and back off this long-running, 65-year confrontation.
And yet as courageous in some ways as he has been, he’s constantly being undermined by his own people, who as soon as he’s not looking send real nasty messages to the North Koreans—that will only set Kim back on his heels—and therefore nothing gets done. Even though it could very easily be done.
When you have a regime change policy—and this was the one real positive thing Trump brought to the table. He said regime change has failed; we’re not going to do it under my policy.
Why do you think the North Koreans are quasi-starving? And I know the Communist elite and Kim’s family and so forth live a pretty fat life, but nevertheless they’re in dire straits economically.
Why do they invest all this money in developing nuclear capability and missile capability? Because they don’t want to be regime changed. Kim is a young man, he’s in his mid-30s, and he doesn’t want to be another Muammar Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein.
He knows what happens. You get hung on national TV if you’re a Hussein, or you get tortured and drugged behind a Jeep if you’re a Gaddafi.
Obviously, this stuff has consequences. These idiots in Washington and all these think tanks that talk about regime change and bringing democracy to the world and so forth—never even think about the consequence—the message that these violent episodes send—and the unfortunate reaction that people take in order to defend themselves.
International Man: With John Bolton out of the picture, do you see US talks with North Korea bearing fruit for Trump?
David Stockman: I think it’s touch and go.
The problem is there’s lasting damage when you engage in all this regime change over so many years and episodes. They don’t trust you.
Trump has worked very hard, using an odd, idiosyncratic personal diplomacy to build up trust with Kim. It seems to be working, but there are just so many forces at work behind the scenes that are aiming to undermine that trust-building so that nothing happens.
They want to keep 29,000 troops in South Korea, in harm’s way, as a tripwire, so that the North Koreans obey us as we tell them to behave. It’s crazy.
I would give it a 50/50 chance. I know he wants a big victory, a foreign policy win. He’s desperate for one, because not much is happening elsewhere and what he intended to do is being totally undermined.
Maybe there’s a chance that something could happen here, but I am so distrusting of the Deep State machinery and their need for perennial threats.
If you take away the Korean threat, if you recognize the Iranians aren’t a threat, if you see that Russia is a tiny little country that’s not going to invade Western Europe and crash through the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and so forth--
All of a sudden somebody is going to do the math as we get into the coming fiscal crisis and say, “We can’t afford all this defense that we don’t need. Let’s cut it back dramatically.”
They don’t want this to happen. And so, they have to keep these hot spots burning and these threats maintained or inflated, because they know if the real truth of the world were considered by Congress, the defense budget would be slashed dramatically.
[Read the rest at International Man]
From Serbia to Syria to Nikki Haley's explosive new book, the war party is still firmly in control in Washington. Wars and threats of wars keep increasing, ensuring a steady of wounded and broken veterans to "thank" for their "service."
If Politicians Are Permitted To Violate The U.S. Constitution -- They Will Sell Votes To The Highest Corporate Bidders
By Liberty Report Staff
Ron Paul's segment begins at the 1m 10s mark: