By Ron Paul
Last week something historic happened in the US Senate. For the first time in 45 years, a chamber of the US Congress voted to pull US forces from a military conflict under the 1973 War Powers Act.
While there is plenty to criticize in the War Powers Act, in this situation it was an important tool used by a broad Senate coalition to require President Trump to end US participation in the Saudi war against Yemen. And while the resolution was not perfect – there were huge loopholes – it has finally drawn wider attention to the US Administration’s dirty war in Yemen.
The four year Saudi war on neighboring Yemen has left some 50,000 dead, including many women and children. We’ve all seen the horrible photos of school buses blown up by the Saudis – using US-supplied bombs loaded into US-supplied aircraft. Millions more face starvation as the infrastructure is decimated and the ports have been blocked to keep out humanitarian aid.
Stopping US participation in this brutal war is by itself a wise and correct move, even if it comes years too late.
The Senate vote is also about much more than just Yemen. It is about the decades of Presidential assaults on the Constitution in matters of war. President Trump is only the latest to ignore Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution, which grants war power exclusively to Congress. Yes, it was President Obama who initially dragged the US illegally into the Yemen war, but President Trump has only escalated it. And to this point Congress has been totally asleep.
Fortunately that all changed last week with the Senate vote. Unfortunately, Members of the House will not be allowed to vote on their own version of the Senate resolution.
Republican Leadership snuck language into a rule vote on the Farm Bill prohibiting any debate on the Yemen war for the rest of this Congressional session. As Rep. Thomas Massie correctly pointed out, the move was both unconstitutional and illegal.
However as is often the case in bipartisan Washington, there is plenty of blame to go around. The Republicans were able to carry the vote on the rule – and thus deny any debate on Yemen – only because of a group of Democrats crossed over and voted with Republicans. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer is being blamed by progressives for his apparent lack of interest in holding his party together.
Why would Democrats help a Republican president keep his war going? Because, especially when you look at Congressional leadership, both parties are pro-war and pro-Executive branch over-reach. They prefer it to be their president who is doing the over-reaching, but they understand that sooner or later they’ll be back in charge. As I have often said, there is too much bipartisanship in Washington, not too much partisanship.
Americans should be ashamed and outraged that their government is so beholden to a foreign power – in this case Saudi Arabia – that it would actively participate in a brutal war of aggression. Participating in this war against one of the world’s poorest countries is far from upholding “American values.” We should applaud and support the coalition in the Senate that voted to end the war. They should know how much we appreciate their efforts.
By Liberty Report Staff
The Saudi government has issued a blistering condemnation of last week's Senate vote blaming Riyadh for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While that voice vote may have irked them, the vote before it demanding an end to US participation in the Saudi war on Yemen may prove far more significant. Is it time for a divorce from the Saudis?
By Liberty Report Staff
Manipulated interest rates, a distorted economy, tariffs, a government that attempts to regulate everything....
An economic meltdown is ahead, and there's nothing The Fed can do to avoid it.
Dr. Paul's segment begins around the 2:25 mark:
By Simon Black
In the year 1157, the Republic of Venice was in the midst of war and in desperate need of funds.
It wasn’t the first time in history that a government needed to borrow money to fight a war. But the Venetians came up with an innovative idea:
Every citizen who loaned money to the government was to receive an official paper certificate guaranteeing that the state would make interest payments.
Those certificates could then be transferred to other people… and the government would make payments to whoever held the certificate at the time.
In this way, the loan that an investor made to the government essentially became an asset– one that he could sell to another investor in the future.
This was the first real government bond. And the idea ultimately created a robust market of investors who would buy and sell these securities.
When a government’s fortunes changed and its ability to make interest payments was in doubt, the price of the bond fell. When confidence was high, bond prices rose.
It’s not much different today. Governments still borrow money by issuing bonds, and those bonds trade in a robust marketplace where countless investors buy and sell on a daily basis.
Just like the price of Apple shares, the prices of government bonds rise and fall all the time.
One of the most important factors affecting bond prices is interest rates: when interest rates rise, bond prices fall. And when rates fall, bond prices rise.
And this law of bond prices and interest rates moving opposite to one another is as inviolable as the Laws of Gravity.
Back in the 12th century when Venice started issuing the first government bonds, interest rates were shockingly high by modern standards, fluctuating between 12% and 20%. In France and England rates would sometimes rise beyond even 80% during the Middle Ages.
Needless to say, it didn’t take long for banks to get in on the action; they realized very quickly that by controlling government debt, they effectively controlled the government.
The dominance of the banks over the government cannot be overstated.
Miriam Beard’s book History of the Businessman, for example, describes medieval politicians in the Italian city-state of Genoa as having to pledge loyalty to the banks before they were allowed to take office.
Thus began the deep, long-standing relationship between banks and the government:
Banks buy government debt– helping to finance spending packages that keep them in power.
And the government bails out the banks when they get into trouble.
You scratch my back, I scratch yours.
All along the way, of course, they both use other people’s money. YOUR money. Governments bail out the banks with taxpayer funds. Banks fund the government with their depositors’ hard-earned savings.
Of course, it’s so absurd now that they’ve simply resorted to creating money out of thin air to benefit the both of them… which is precisely what central banks do.
A decade ago during the 2008 global financial crisis, central banks around the world created trillions of dollars, euros, yen, etc. worth of currency and effectively gave it all away to their respective governments and commercial banks.
In the Land of the Free, the US Federal Reserve conjured $4 trillion out of nothing and “loaned” most of it to the federal government at record low interest rates.
But here’s the weird part: if you remember that inviolable law of bond prices– when interest rates go up, bond prices fall.
And that’s exactly what’s been happening.
The Fed bought trillions of dollars worth of government bonds at a time when interest rates were at historic lows.
Then, starting about two years ago, the Fed began slowly raising interest rates.
But each time the Fed raised rates, the value of the government bonds that they had purchased would fall.
This seems insane, right? By raising rates, the Fed was creating massive losses for itself.
I’ve written frequently that, as the Fed continues raising interest rates, it will eventually engineer its insolvency.
Well, that’s now happened.
Yesterday the Fed released its latest quarterly financial statements, showing that the value of their bonds is now $66.5 billion LESS than what they paid.
And that $66.5 billion unrealized loss is far greater than Fed’s razor-thin $39 billion in capital.
This means that, on a mark-to-market basis, the largest and most systemically important financial institution in the world is objectively insolvent.
(It’s also noteworthy that the Fed’s financial statements show a NET LOSS of $2.4 billion for the first nine months of 2018.)
This is all truly remarkable… and highlights how utterly absurd the financial system is.
Our society has awarded an unelected committee the ability to conjure trillions of dollars out of thin air and render itself insolvent to support the ongoing, mutual back-scratching of governments and banks, all at your expense.
But what’s even more remarkable, though, is how little anyone has noticed.
You’d think the front page on every financial newspaper would be “FED INSOLVENT.”
But it’s not. No one seems to notice that the Fed is insolvent. Or, for that matter, that most Western governments are insolvent.
It’s crazy. It’s as if it doesn’t matter that the government of the largest economy in the world loses a trillion dollars a year, has $22 trillion in debt, $30+ trillion in unfunded pension liabilities, or suffers a debt-to-GDP ratio in excess of 100%.
Or that the central bank of the largest economy in the world is insolvent on a mark-to-market basis according to its own financial statements.
There seems to be an expectation that none of this matters and it will continue to be rainbows and buttercups forever and ever until the end of time despite some of the most compelling evidence to the contrary.
It’s difficult to imagine a consequence-free future with data like this.
Peaks, corrections, crises, etc. are often preceded by similar dismissive, willful ignorance and irrational optimism.
It would be foolish to presume that this time is any different.
This article was originally published a Sovereign Man.
By Adam Dick
Jesse Ventura dedicated the second half of the latest episode of his RT show The World According to Jesse to a foreign policy discussion with prominent libertarian communicator Ron Paul. Ventura and Paul’s discussion is focused on Paul’s criticisms of the United States government’s commitment to intervention overseas, as well as the potential benefits of instead pursuing a noninterventionist foreign policy.
Paul, in the in-depth discussion, takes on trade wars, US membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), sky-high US military spending, and US involvement in the war on Yemen.
Watch the complete discussion below. Ron Paul's segment begins around the 12:25 mark:
Originally published at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity
The economic roller-coaster of booms and busts, that we're all forced to ride, is a creation of the Socialistic institution called The Federal Reserve. By manipulating interest rates and by generating money out-of-thin-air, the Fed creates an artificial boom. Everything artificial must ultimately return to reality. The sooner the return, the better.
Among many Christians there is a notion that support for free markets is somehow selfish and anti-Christian. What is the morality of opposing an ever-encroaching state and ever-increasing taxes? Acton Institute President Fr. Robert Sirico joins today's Liberty Report to explain...
By Chris Rossini
For those who still choose to watch "the news" on television, what are you greeted with every day? The countless good things that happen every second? The new life that is now with us? The new wealth that has been created? The peaceful interactions that take place at every moment?
No...of course not.
If you turn on government's FCC-licensed media, you're going to get a good dose of the opposite. And their goal is to get you to let down your guard, and to be afraid.
The moment that you're afraid is the moment that you become easy prey for those who want to take what you have, and who want to treat you like their pawn. But they can't do these things to you, unless you beg them to.
If you're afraid...you'll beg.
You see, the political class doesn't generate wealth. If they're going to become wealthy, they're going to have to take it from people who do create wealth.
How successful would the political class be if they had to deal with a population of individuals that were unafraid and who guarded their liberty with their lives? Not successful at all. They would have to close up shop, and go do the hard work of generating wealth in the marketplace.
However, if the political class can get everyone else to be afraid of their own shadows, extracting wealth becomes a piece of cake. The wealth generators will cough up their money (and their liberties) with ease.
Let's focus on how the FEAR game is done in America, because it's become a reliable "system."
In the United States, you're presented with one of two choices as to who will rule over you. It's best that you choose one of these options, or you're liable to be looked at with a crooked eye.
The side that you pick doesn't matter. You're going to get your pockets cleaned out either way. But pick a team you must, because by doing so, you're very likely to identify yourself with "your team," no matter what it does to you. Your team can take your last nickel, but because it's "your team," it's OK.
And so, like everyone else, you "pick a team." ... Left or Right.
Now that you're on a "team," you have to internalize the primary FEAR.
Both teams have their overarching FEARS.
On the Right, you have the FEAR of foreign boogeymen. The list is never-ending ... the wars are never-ending ... and the loss of your earnings and liberty will not come to an end either. This FEAR generates a cool $1 TRILLION per year to the political class, and those who latch onto it.
The foreign boogeyman FEAR is the motherlode of authoritarianism. You are to sacrifice everything for it .... your privacy ... your dignity ... It is never to be questioned or touched.
If you choose to be on "The Left," you are expected to internalize another overarching FEAR. The name of it is always changing, and funny enough it goes by the name of "Climate Change."
This FEAR also requires you to sacrifice everything to the government .... If you don't submit, then the world is going to come to an end. The Earth will either turn into a fireball, or an ice cube...depending on what the "experts" want you to believe at the moment.
How would you like that on your conscience?
So you have FEAR in two different wrappers. They both add up to the same result. Your life, liberty and property gets turned over to the political class.
In fact, today we read at Bloomberg:
Stopping climate change before the effects get truly severe is going to be a huge undertaking — the equivalent of a global mobilization for war.
Whether it's War or Climate Change ... The Government is going to "mobilize" against your life, liberty and property.
Pick your Team ... Pick your FEAR ... And they'll take care of the rest.
Liberty is not an option in this "system."
But, here's the silver lining to this FEAR matrix: Liberty is always an option. That's why the propaganda has to be 24/7 and has to come at you from every angle. The option for Liberty is always there. The political class has to try to drown it out, and wants your eyes and ears to be flooded with their nonsense at all times.
We're all born free, and we always have the option to stay that way. We just have to stop being suckered by the political class.
It's a choice that has to be made on an individual basis....One-at-a-time.
Make a decision never to believe the FEAR peddlers in the political class and you make the whole world a better place. One less person for them to mentally prey upon.
The world would have one less dupe.
That's a very powerful position for every individual to be in.
So....Enough with picking poison.
Pick Liberty instead!
The illegal US "base" at al-Tanf in Syria, along with the final terrorist enclave in Idlib and the Kurds in the north are three flash points where a major conflict could break out at any moment. Why does the US remain? What will the Russians do? The Turks have announced they will soon attack US-backed Kurds in Syria. You heard it here first!