US troops left northern Syria in a hurry in the past 24 or so hours, but Beltway warnings of a "power vacuum" that will allow ISIS to take over have been proven wrong. With the US out of the picture, the Kurds are not facing genocide, but instead have made a deal with Assad to reintegrate into the Syrian army and resist the Turkish incursion. Meanwhile, the Russians are said to be patrolling the no-man's land between Syrian and Turkish forces while working on a peace agreement. Getting out of stupid wars has once again proven to be a huge benefit to the US, not a disaster!
By Ron Paul
When President Trump Tweeted last week that “it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars,” adding that the US would be withdrawing from Syria, Washington went into a panic. Suddenly Republicans, Democrats, the media, the think tanks, and the war industry all discovered and quickly became experts on “the Kurds,” who we were told were an “ally” being sent to their slaughter by an ignorant President Trump.
But it was all just another bipartisan ploy to keep the “forever war” gravy train rolling through the Beltway.
Interventionists will do anything to prevent US troops from ever coming home, and their favorite tactic is promoting “mission creep.” As President Trump Tweeted, we were told in 2014 by President Obama that the US military would go into Syria for just 30 days to save the Yazidi minority that they claimed were threatened. Then that mission crept into “we must fight ISIS” and so the US military continued to illegally occupy and bomb Syria for five more years.
Even though it was the Syrian army with its Russian and Iranian allies that did the bulk of the fighting against al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, President Trump took credit and called for the troops to come home. But when the military comes home, the military-industrial-Congressional-media complex loses its cash cow, so a new rationale had to be invented.
The latest “mission creep” was that we had to stay in Syria to save our “allies” the Kurds. All of a sudden our military presence in Syria was not about fighting terrorism but rather about putting US troops between our NATO ally Turkey and our proxy fighting force, the Kurds. Do they really want us to believe that it is “pro-American” for our troops to fight and die refereeing a long-standing dispute between the Turks and Kurds?
It was a colossally dumb idea to train and arm the Kurds in Syria in the first place, but after spending billions backing what turned out to be al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria to overthrow the Assad government, Washington found that the Kurds were the only willing boots remaining on the ground. While their interest in fighting ISIS was limited, they were happy to use Washington’s muscle in pursuit of their long-term goal of carving out a part of Syria (and eventually Turkey) for themselves.
We can never leave because there will be a slaughter, Washington claimed (and the media faithfully repeated). But once again, the politicians, the mainstream media, and the Beltway “experts” have been proven wrong. They never understand that sending US troops into another country without the proper authority is not a stabilizing factor, but a de-stabilizing factor. I have argued that were the US to leave Syria (and the rest of the Middle East) the countries of the region would find a way to solve their own problems.
Now that the US is pulling back from northern Syria, that is just what is happening.
On Sunday the Kurds and the Syrian government signed an agreement, brokered by the Russians, to put aside their differences and join together to defend against Turkey’s incursion into Syrian territory.
Now “our Kurdish allies” are fighting alongside the army of Syrian President Assad – who we are still told by US officials “must go.” Washington doesn’t understand that our intervention only makes matters worse. The best way to help the Kurds and everyone else in the region is to just come home.
By Thomas DiLorenzo
[Editor's Note: The following is excerpted from Thomas DiLorenzo's book The Problem with Socialism]
The first American settlers originally adopted communal or socialized ownership of land and property. As a result, most of them rather quickly starved to death or died of disease.
When the first pilgrims arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in May 1607 they found incredibly fertile soil and plentiful seafood, wild game, and fruits of all kinds. Despite all of this, within six months all but thirty-eight of the original 104 Jamestown settlers were dead, having starved.(1) Two years later, 500 more pilgrims arrived in Virginia, transported there by the Virginia Company, and a shocking 440 of them died from starvation or disease. This became known as “the starving time,” described by one eye witness: “So great was our famine, that a savage we slew and buried, the poorer sorte took him up againe and eat him; and so did divers one another boyled and stewed with roots and herbs.”(2) This man also remarked that the cause of the starvation was “want of providence” and “industrie” and “not the barenness and defect of the Countrie, as is generally supposed.”(3) In other words, the problem was lack of effort, not a lack of resources.”
The essential problem was that all of the pilgrims were indentured servants who had no financial stake in the fruits of their own labor. All that they produced went into a common pool to be used to generate profits for the Virginia Company as compensation for transporting them to America, and to support the colony. Working harder, longer, or smarter produced no additional benefit to anyone because the system that was set up was essentially agricultural socialism and everyone was compensated the same regardless of individual effort. The absence of property rights in the land, and of any link between effort and reward, destroyed the work ethic of the pilgrims, just as it always does in any socialist society, whether that of the Jamestown pilgrims or that of the former Soviet Union. Historian Philip A. Bruce wrote of the Jamestown pilgrims that the men idled over their tasks or refused to work altogether, and men who were known to be young and energetic by nature were “derelict.”(4)
In 1611 the British government sent Sir Thomas Dale to serve as the “high marshal” of the Virginia colony. Dale noted that the surviving settlers were healthy and spent much of their time playing games and other vigorous activities. He immediately identified the source of the colony’s problem as the system of socialized land ownership. Consequently, he determined that each man would be given three acres of private land from which he was only required to pay a tax of two-and-a-half barrels of corn to the Virginia Company. Everything else was his to keep or sell.
The Jamestown pilgrims then began to prosper. Each man realized that by loafing or shirking, he was paying the full cost of such behavior in the form of lost profits. At the same time, everyone realized that increased effort led to increased rewards. As historian Matthew Page Andrews wrote, “As soon as the settlers were thrown upon their own resources, and each freeman had acquired the right of owning property, the colonists quickly developed what became the distinguishing characteristic of Americans—an aptitude for all kinds of craftsmanship coupled with an innate genius for experimentation and invention.”(5)
The private property system that replaced agricultural socialism in the Jamestown colony was quickly expanded so that each settler who paid his own way was given fifty acres of land, and by 1623 all land had been converted to private ownership. Capitalism replaced socialism and the pilgrims thrived.
The same tragic mistake of adopting agricultural socialism was made in the Massachusetts colony where about half of the original pilgrims who landed in Cape Cod in 1620 were dead within a few months. Fortunately, the leader of the Mayflower expedition, William Bradford, recognized the problem:
“For the young men that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. . . . And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands brook it. (6)
Socialism was the root cause of the starving pilgrims in the original Massachusetts colony. Bradford recognized this and, like his Virginia predecessors, decided to abandon agricultural socialism and allow private property ownership. In his own words, it was decided that the pilgrims of Massachusetts
. . . should set corn for every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, for present use . . . and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted. . . . The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability. . . .(7)
By 1650 privately owned farms were as predominant in Massachusetts as they were in Virginia and elsewhere in the colonies, and the American economy began to thrive and prosper. The institutions of private property and free markets led to a burst of entrepreneurship and wealth creation. By 1776 the young American economy was a hundred times larger than it was in the 1630s, and Americans had already become among the most affluent people in the world. (8)
(1.) George Percy’s Account of the Voyage to Virginia and the Colony’s First Days,” in The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century: A Documentary History of Virginia, 1606-1689, Warren M. Billings, ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975), 22–26.
(2.) Ibid., 28.
(4.) Philip A. Bruce, Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (New York: Macmillan, 1907), 212.
(5.) Matthew Page Andrews, Virginia, The Old Dominion, vol. 1 (Richmond: Dietz Press, 1949), 59.”
(6.) William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620–1647 (New York: Knopf, 2002), 116.
(7.) Ibid., 120.
(8.) Jeremy Atak and Peter Passell, A New Economic View of American History (New York: Norton, 1994), 50.
Neocon tears last week over the plight of the Kurds has turned to furious anger with news that yesterday a deal was inked between the Kurds and the Syrian government. Syrian Arab Army forces are rushing into formerly Kurd-held areas to stave off a Turk incursion into Syrian territory. The Kurd/Assad alliance is the end of "regime change" for Syria and the end of one of the dumbest US interventions in history. How long till US troops are fully vacated from their illegally-held posts inside Syria?
Desperation continues at the Fed. They're expanding their balance sheet (again), but denying that it's QE, despite the fact that they've added almost $200 billion to their balance sheet in just a matter of days. Fed Chair Powell is even out-and-about pretending that everything is just fine. Central planners always box themselves into a corner. Neither lies, nor more counterfeiting can fix the troubles they've created.
By Norm Singleton
[Editor's Note: You can read Part 1 here]
In addition to allowing seniors to form private contracts with medical providers and not forcing seniors into the Medicare program as a condition of receiving Social Security, President Trump’s executive order on Medicare also orders the Department of Health and Human Services to reduce regulations and barriers preventing seniors from taking full advantage of Medicare Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).
President Trump’s executive order is not the only effort to expand Medicare MSAs. Democrat Congressman Ani Berra (CA-07) and Republican Jason Smith (MO-08) have introduced the Health Savings for Seniors Act (H.R. 3796). This legislation allows seniors to continue making contributions to their Health Savings Accounts, which is what Medical Savings Accounts are commonly called today. Passage of this bill combined with President Trump’s executive order would go a long way toward giving seniors control of their health care.
Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul has long been an advocate of Medicare MSAs. Here is his official statement on his legislation expanding access to Medicare MSAs:
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation which enhances senior citizens' ability to control their health care and use Medicare money to pay for prescription drugs. This legislation accomplishes these important goals by removing the numerical limitations and sunset provisions in the Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSAS) program so that all seniors can take advantage of the Medicare MSA option.
This article was originally published at The Campaign for Liberty.
Why are the Democrats' witnesses for the prosecution (the "whistleblowers") allowed to remain anonymous and avoid cross-examination? Pelosi was roped into proceeding with impeachment of President Trump against her political judgement and now she is beginning to pay the price as the case against Trump continues to unravel. She still has the media on her side, but how long will that last, as new Ukraine facts about Biden and the non-blackmail of Zelensky continue to seep out?
By Stewart Jones
The Federal Reserve just lowered interest rates for the second time this year and announced more quantitative easing by injecting even more US dollars into the market. The days of cheap money will soon come to an end, and I fear that many people won’t realize what’s happening until the rug is pulled out from under them.
As economist Henry Hazlitt wrote, the practices of the Fed distort the real-world market indicators of cost, future prices, investments and production. A recent study from the National Association for Business Economics showed that 72% of economists now predict that a recession will occur between 2020 and the end of 2021. Some have even warned that the US is on the brink of the biggest bubble in world history — not just a correction of a business cycle or another recession, but a complete collapse of the US dollar.
Yet the dangers of centralized banking are not new knowledge. For centuries, people — including many of our founding fathers — have tried to warn us of the numerous threats posed by institutions like the Federal Reserve.
Today, it’s understood by many that the recklessness of the Fed allowed for the subprime mortgages that caused the Great Recession of 2008. With over $22 trillion in debt, $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities, and, soon, an all-time high debt-to-GDP ratio (comparable to World War II levels), however, it’s not overstating it to say that the Fed-facilitated out-of-control federal government spending constitutes the greatest threat to the American way of life in history.
To understand the full extent of the debt and the destruction of the dollar, it’s essential to realize that paper money has a history of being printed as bills of credit to finance runaway government. In 1775, the founders attempted to use paper money without gold or silver backing, and they found that the inflation robbed them of any value. In 1788, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
"Paper is poverty. It is only the ghost of money, and not money itself.”
The Coinage Act of 1792 then set specific ratios for gold and silver coinage, placing gold and silver in control rather than a central bank. This lasted until the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which allowed for the formation of the Federal Reserve System just two decades before Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt started to come after private ownership of gold and silver in the 1930s. In 1944, the Bretton Woods system made the US dollar the reserve currency of the world, when it was still partially backed by gold and silver.
Finally, in 1971, the Nixon Administration suspended wages, issued price controls, and canceled dollar-to-gold convertibility, completing the final step in ending the “gold standard.” This gave the central government planners — and the federal reserve — the power to print money without restraint. This is how the national debt has been able to reach the levels that it has. The only thing backing the US dollar today is public debt.
Remember when Coke was a nickel? In 1913 (the year the Fed was founded) a bottle of Coke cost five cents. Today, a bottle of Coca-Cola costs an average of $1.79. While there are many factors (like supply and demand, cost of goods, etc.) that help set prices, inflation plays a critical part. At an average inflation rate of 3.12% annually, inflation alone accounts for $1.30 of the actual cost of Coke.
The addition of more US dollars doesn’t mean that anyone is more wealthy; in fact, it means that the dollars you have are worthless. You will need a higher amount of dollars to buy the same goods and services. Hence, saving inflated dollars, in many cases, is losing value. Those who save money are being robbed.
With the continued decline of the dollar, there could also be hyperinflation on an unprecedented scale. Both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson warned that “the greatest threat to be feared” was the “public curse” of “public debt”, and that “banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.” The founding fathers understood the dangers of centralized manipulation of the money supply, the hidden taxation of inflation, and the control of buying power.
They understood that gold and silver are real money.
Furthermore, if we look at the history of money, we can see that precious metals, mainly gold and silver, have been used for coinage for over 2600 years; in one way or another, gold and silver have been used by people for over 6.000 years.
American revolutionary leader Christopher Gadsden said in September 1764:
"The evils attending a wanton exercise of power, in some of the colonies, by issuing a redundancy of paper currency, has always been avoided by this province, by a proper attention to the dangerous consequences of such a practice, and the fatal influence it must have upon public credit.”
People across the US should heed his warnings by allowing gold and silver to be used as legal tender once again. Some states like Utah have done just that. While this won’t stop the Federal Reserve’s destruction of the dollar, it will allow people to convert dollars to sound money before a collapse. Sound money, like gold and silver, acts as a check and balance on big government, a hedge against inflation, and a way to combat manipulation by the Fed.
This is exactly why, in my home state, I will soon be filing the “2020 South Carolina Sound Money Bill,” allowing South Carolinians to use gold and silver as legal tender. I will also introduce legislation to exempt gold and silver from capital gains tax, both of which are already exempt from sales tax in South Carolina. We the People can restore sound money by using the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution.
It is my hope that, with the success of these bills, other policymakers elsewhere will become inspired to lead by example on this vital issue as well. The key to protecting the American way of life from the federal reserve’s obliteration of our currency rests with the legislatures, but we must heed the lessons of history now.
Stewart Jones is a State Representative of South Carolina.
By Norm Singleton
Last Friday, President Trump signed an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to take a number of steps to give seniors more choices in the Medicare program. The executive order repeals a Clinton-era rule forbidding any senior who refuses to accept Medicare from enrolling in Social Security. This provision forces seniors who would rather provide their own health care to accept government health care or forego Social Security benefits. Many seniors need Social Security because taxes and inflation make it difficult or impossible to save for their own retirement.
The order also instructs the Health and Human Services Department to remove all barriers to private connections in Medicare. This refers to the extent the existing laws and regulations limit seniors’ ability to use their own money to pay for health care. Current law says that a physician who forms a private contract with a senior cannot file any Medicare claims for two years and that seniors are only eligible to write private contracts with certain types of healthcare providers.
Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul championed repealing these restrictions on seniors’ health freedom when he was in Congress. Below is Dr. Paul’s official statement on his Seniors Health Care Freedom Act, which allowed seniors to form private contracts in Medicare and allowed seniors to decline Medicare without losing their Social Security benefits:
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Seniors' Health Care Freedom Act. This act protects seniors' fundamental right to make their own health care decisions by repealing federal laws that interfere with seniors' ability to form private contracts for medical services. This bill also repeals laws which force seniors into the Medicare program against their will. When Medicare was first established, seniors were promised that the program would be voluntary. In fact, the original Medicare legislation explicitly protected a senior's right to seek out other forms of medical insurance. However, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 prohibits any physician who forms a private contract with a senior from filing any Medicare reimbursement claims for two years. As a practical matter, this means that seniors cannot form private contracts for health care services.
This article was originally published at The Campaign for Liberty.
Read Part 2 of this article here.