Friday, October 26, 2007
The conventional wisdom (for those who even bother to ask that question) is, "It's the oil."
Jim Holt, writing in the London Review of Books, puts a lot of muscle on that skeleton. A summary of his article (which you should read):
"Because of its long isolation, it is the least explored of the world’s oil-rich nations. A mere two thousand wells have been drilled across the entire country; in Texas alone there are a million." But Iraq has more than five times the oil of Texas and the rest of the U.S., says Holt (possibly unaware of the staggering resources in Alaska). Total value of Iraq oil at today's prices: $30 Trillion.
"The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western companies. The Iraq National Oil Company would retain control of 17 of Iraq’s 80 existing oilfields, leaving the rest – including all yet to be discovered oil – under foreign corporate control for 30 years."
Washington D.C. will be in control for at least 30 years. The ruling elite speak of "the Korea model," recalling the last 60 years of U.S. forces in Korea. "Five self-sufficient ‘super-bases’ are in various stages of completion" in Iraq. "In February last year, the Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks described one such facility, the Balad Air Base, forty miles north of Baghdad. A piece of (well-fortified) American suburbia in the middle of the Iraqi desert, Balad has fast-food joints, a miniature golf course, a football field, a cinema and distinct neighbourhoods – among them, ‘KBR-land’, named after the Halliburton subsidiary that has done most of the construction work at the base. Although few of the 20,000 American troops stationed there have ever had any contact with an Iraqi, the runway at the base is one of the world’s busiest. ‘We are behind only Heathrow right now,’ an air force commander told Ricks."
Local control of Iraq is unacceptable to Washington. "An independent Kurdistan in the north might upset Turkey, an independent Shia region in the east might become a satellite of Iran, and an independent Sunni region in the west might harbour al-Qaida."
So there are no plans to withdraw from Iraq. "The three principal Democratic candidates – Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards – have already hedged their bets, refusing to promise that, if elected, they would remove American forces from Iraq before 2013, the end of their first term."
Democrat ties to big-oil are just as thick as Republican ties.
But power -- international hegemony -- drives Washington as much or more than profits. "The Iranian regime is precarious. Unpopular mullahs hold onto power by financing internal security services and buying off elites with oil money, which accounts for 70 per cent of government revenues. If the price of oil were suddenly to drop to, say, $40 a barrel (from a current price just north of $80), the repressive regime in Tehran would lose its steady income. And that is an outcome the US could easily achieve by opening the Iraqi oil spigot for as long as necessary (perhaps taking down Venezuela’s oil-cocky Hugo Chávez into the bargain)."
China is also a threat. "Around a trillion dollars’ worth of US denominated debt is held by China. This gives Beijing enormous leverage over Washington: by offloading big chunks of US debt, China could bring the American economy to its knees." "China is acquiring new submarines five times faster than the US."
"The main constraint on China’s growth is its access to energy – which, with the US in control of the biggest share of world oil, would largely be at Washington’s sufferance. Thus is the Chinese threat neutralised."
Thus, an investment of $1 trillion and a few thousand lives reaps $30 trillion and global hegemony for the federales. "Was the strategy of invading Iraq to take control of its oil resources actually hammered out by Cheney’s 2001 energy task force? One can’t know for sure, since the deliberations of that task force, made up largely of oil and energy company executives, have been kept secret by the administration on the grounds of ‘executive privilege.’" "On the assumption that the Bush-Cheney strategy is oil-centred, the tactics – dissolving the army, de-Baathification, a final ‘surge’ that has hastened internal migration – could scarcely have been more effective." "In terms of realpolitik, the invasion of Iraq is not a fiasco; it is a resounding success."
Is this some kind of far-fetched "conspiracy theory?" Jim Holt quickly turns to nip that idea in the bud:
"Still, there is reason to be sceptical of the picture I have drawn: it implies that a secret and highly ambitious plan turned out just the way its devisers foresaw, and that almost never happens."
In fact, most of history has been determined by conspiracies. America's Founding Fathers conspired against the British government because they believed the British government was engaged in a "conspiracy against liberty." Did Hitler conspire to take over Germany? Did the Bolsheviks conspire to seize control of Russia?
Dr. Bella Dodd, a former member of the National Committee of the Communist Party, USA, who left the Party and became a committed anti-communist, recounted that on occasion top orders for the Party came not from Moscow but from any one of three designated men at the Waldorf Towers in New York -- all of whom were extremely wealthy American capitalists. "I think the Communist conspiracy is merely a branch of a much bigger conspiracy," said Dr. Dodd. "I would certainly like to find out who is really running things."
An important clue concerning "who is really running things" was revealed in 1966 when Professor Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University published his massive history, Tragedy and Hope. Professor Quigley, who had access to the secret records of the international network of moneyed power elites who have formed much of our governmental policies for decades, averred that "this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so."
In his Memoirs, David Rockefeller admitted,
“Some [ideological extremists] believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
There are lots of conspiracies. We've been trained in government schools to disbelieve in their existence. Dick Cheney and men like him are investing hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives to pull off a conspiracy to secure geopolitical supremacy, setting up governments in the Mideast, writing their constitutions and laws, and securing oil profits which may not even be realized in their lifetimes. Their vision extends way beyond the next administration.
Rockefeller's Memoirs was one of the most interesting books I've ever read, and a used copy can be obtained at Amazon.com for $0.61. These people think in ways and about subjects very different from those occupying the thoughts of farmers and merchants in southwest Missouri. They're not like the pathetic "investor" on the TV commercial who buys a work of art at an auction and immediately tries to turn around and sell it. The "conspirators" at the highest levels of wealth and power seek a global legacy, not a short-term profit.
ht: Mission Accomplished: A New Look at Bush's Victory in Iraq. Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque - High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
This morning I came across a more recent figure, given by Richard W. Fisher, CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas:
Fiscal Issues: From Here to Eternity - Richard Fisher Speeches - News & Events - FRB Dallas
Fisher is President and CEO of one of the 12 Banks that operate the Fed's payments system business. He chairs the Fed's Information Technology Oversight Committee and sits on the Federal Open Market Committee, which is "responsible for crafting a monetary policy designed to foster sustainable noninflationary economic growth." Its actions are what the press and financial analysts love to bill and coo about. The Fed moves $5 trillion per day between financial institutions to settle their accounts. Fisher says:
According to official government trustee reports, the infinite-horizon discounted present value of our unfunded liability from Social Security and Medicare—in common language, the gap between what we will take in and what we have promised to pay—now stands at $83.9 trillion.This staggering deficit portends conflict, chaos, and a Great Depression.
Imagine that General Motors settled a strike with United Auto Workers by promising huge pensions and health benefits to workers in retirement, yet accountants revealed that GM would be unable to pay those promised benefits. The strikers would not be happy. GM's credit rating would turn to junk bond status. Oh, wait . . . no need to "imagine" that:
General Motors Runs Over the Experts
Washington D.C. is a "junk bond" government. Used car salesmen are less ethically-challenged than federal politicians.
Politicians are liars and buffoons. A liar makes a promise that can't be kept. A buffoon just stands there while his colleagues continue to lie, when millions of people are depending on promises that won't be kept. Speaking to 4,000 students at BYU, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
reminded the students that government can be our "friend," and cited throughout his speech numerous government programs as successes. "For example," he added, "Social Security is the most successful social program in the history of the world."Would you write a check to a person and say, "Here's something to provide you with income security when you retire," knowing you didn't have the funds to honor that check? Would you vote yes on legislation which did the same thing on a scale billions of times larger? Who are these people who can vote for such bills without pangs of conscience? And far from keeping these misdeeds quiet, they boast about them, publicly campaigning on them: "Vote for me! I voted to give you a check that will bounce!" The poor and the elderly are going to be shafted to the tune of $83 trillion. Or the rich and middle class are going to be divested of everything they've worked for all their lives. Politicians are Liars. Irresponsible buffoons.
But we’re a big country, so let’s look at it on a per-person basis. If you divide the $83.9 trillion evenly among the 300 million U.S. residents, you get a per-person liability of $280,000—more than five times the average household’s annual income. Each of us would have to pay that much today if we wanted to guarantee the solvency of our entitlement system for future generations."Discourage some people from working" is a pleasant eupehmism for what could be a lot more unpleasant. Imagine the reaction of the auto workers when they find out that all the promised benefits they worked for are an illusion, or that all the wages they've worked for must be returned. The question I asked yesterday was How will tax-payers react to a seizure of $280,000 per person? Or the flip-side of the coin: How will tax-feeders react to a denial of promised benefits amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars? Will they have the moral fiber to resist a violent protest of this massive transfer (or non-transfer) of wealth?
Let me put it yet another way. The total unfunded liability from these programs encompasses about 7.5 percent of U.S. GDP from here to eternity, which works out to 68 percent of all federal income tax revenues from here to eternity. So instead of paying $280,000 per person now, we could permanently sequester 68 percent of all current and future income tax revenue for use only on Social Security and Medicare. Or we could permanently raise income tax rates by 68 percent to accomplish the same thing—although we’d actually need to jack it up even higher because a large tax hike would probably discourage some people from working.
It turns out, Fisher reports, that Medicare Part D, Bush's unconstitutional prescription drug benefit plan, will be more costly than all of Social Security.
The promises made by government politicians are fraudulent. The federal government had no authority under the Constitution to make these promises (even if they had the money to honor them), and politicians who took an oath to "support the Constitution" violated that oath by supporting these unconstitutional promises. They all know about the social security problem. Their failure to confront the inevitable problems caused by these massive and fraudulent promises is reprehensibly irresponsible, deliberately avoiding the heat, hoping to get out of office with a comfortable government pension before the fraud is uncovered and future generations have to deal with the chaos. Politicians are liars -- but "We the People" seem to like it that way.
This is an issue that "separates the men from the boys." Any politician who just "goes along to get along" and does not speak out about this massive fraud should be turned out of office. Every voter should be a "single issue voter" on this issue. Voters should not vote for any politician who does not support the concept of the Constitution as a document of "enumerated powers," and who does not speak as forthrightly about the terrifying bankruptcy of the United States as Dallas Fed CEO Richard W. Fisher.
Just don't vote for them.
"But if I don't vote for X, Y will win," you say.
And Y is going to be worse than the X-created $83.9 TRILLION??
You should not vote for someone who does not have the ethical integrity to avoid making fraudulent promises, and lacks the foresight and the guts to speak out about the dangers of false promises already made.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Wooldridge reports on a speech given by former three-term Colorado governor Richard Lamm (1975-1987) in Washington D.C., to the Federation for American Immigration Reform Conference: (www.fairus.org). (For a Christian/Libertarian response to FAIRUS, click here.)
Gov. Lamm "confessess" to an accusation I made a couple of months ago concerning government corruption. In that post I mentioned a report recently released by The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis which revealed that politicians have legally obligated the United States to pay out over $60 trillion in government benefits at some point the future -- beginning in a couple of months on New Year's Day, actually -- money the government doesn't have now, and does not expect to have unless taxes are raised significantly. Raised by how much? A "terrifying" amount, to quote the St.Louis Fed report.
Governor Lamm admits that this situation is immoral. It amounts to theft and fraud. He uses the term "embezzlement." It is unethical. And this unethical and immoral fraud is at the very heart of the government today. Here are his words, as reported by Wooldridge:
“I have participated in the greatest embezzlement in all of history. In my seventy plus years, I have never seen such a perfect crime.
“Like most other master criminals, I am heady with success and feel a need to brag. I kid you not - never before has one group appropriated as much money that belonged to another group in the history of crime.
“The victims, while they are increasingly suspicious, still do not know they have been had. It was literally and figuratively as easy as taking candy out of the mouths of babies.”
“Here is how we did it. The first rule of embezzlement is to find some naive patsy. We sensed forty years ago the younger generation was not paying enough attention to public policy, so we quietly found ways to maintain our lifestyle and charge it to the next generation.
“While those of you under 45 were preoccupied with other things, my generation dumped the largest load of debt on you that history has ever seen - and found ways to maintain our lifestyles on your credit cards.
“A good scam needs a compassionate come-on. In our case, we developed a new word: "poor elderly." To this day, most Americans do not understand that this is actually two words, and that "poor" no longer adequately describes the elderly as a class.
“Next, we devised a number of systems that allowed us to charge our retirement to the next generation of Americans, who will wake up to find they are on the losing side of a Ponzi scheme,” Lamm said. “Like all good con artists, we relied on "trust."
“We told them there was a "trust" fund for both Social Security and Medicare,” Lamm said. “Of course, this was a lie. There is no "trust" fund, in the normal sense of the word, because we take this month's Social Security taxes from today's workers and pay them to today's elderly. Then, we tell today's workers not to worry - the money is being held "in trust."
“In actual fact, they would be no better off if the fund was invested in confederate war bonds,” Lamm said. “The trust fund is a sham because it only contains IOU's that tomorrow's generation of workers will have to pay off themselves.
“They will have to pay for both our retirement and a good part their own. We succeeded in taking money from poor workers in St. Paul and sent it to wealthy retirees in St. Petersburg, FL - and no one was the wiser.”
“We soon found there was money left over after paying the Social Security funds to today's elderly, and we did not want to stop half way,” Lamm said. “What self-respecting crook would leave money lying in the bank vault after a robbery?”
We completed the job by something called the "consolidated budget," Lamm said. “This allowed us to quietly take the Social Security funds left over to reduce our taxes by spending the money on current government services. Under the "consolidated budget," we could legally "borrow" the money in the "trust fund" left over every year, and spend it on current government services; thereby, reducing our yearly taxes. Virtually every year for the last 40 years, we understated the yearly deficit and understated the total federal debt.
“Even though the official federal debt is approximately $9.5 trillion, the amount actually passed on to the next generation is closer to $50 trillion.”
The entire scheme was done with clever accounting gimmicks, which allowed us to minimize our taxes and maximize our spending while we passed the bill on to the next generation,” Lamm said. “Like many victims of a crime, by the time they figure it out I (the older generation) will be long gone. I have completely and totally spent the Social Security Trust Fund and left nothing in trust, absolutely nothing, for today's workers to pay future obligations.
“They will have to either raise their taxes substantially, or dramatically reduce their benefits under the system. They have no other practical alternatives.
“Every dime of the war in Iraq we put on our kid's credit cards,” Lamm said. “Every dime of Katrina and Rita hurricane recovery we put "off-budget" and thus left it to our children to pay.
“Then we voted ourselves a substantial tax-cut, the only tax cut during a war in our national history. If anyone quoted Milton Friedman, "If you cut taxes without cutting spending, you are not cutting taxes, you are deferring them to your children", we would quickly say we were "stimulating the economy" and change the subject.”
“They will recognize they are working long hours (or two jobs) and make less working than I make in retirement,” Lamm said. “Yet, every month they transfer money to me to pay for my health benefits. I have plans for that also. When they start to blow the whistle, I will say with shock and horror, "You can't start an intergenerational war." I will tell them about how hard I fought for this country.
“I will shame them by accusing them of breaking the "generational compact," neatly covering the fact that it was my generation who "broke" the compact by leaving them an unsustainable and insolvent system.”
“When health care costs became a larger factor in our budgets, we found a system to subsidize our health care costs at the expense of following generations. We called it Medicare,” Lamm said. “The average senior who turned 65 in 2000 got back $4 from today's workers for every $1 that he/she paid into the system. Today's retiree receives on the average a $100,000 subsidy toward his health care costs - from a system that is slated to go broke not far into this century.”
“My generation screwed up the savings and loan industry,” Lamm said. “What did we do to get out of it? We issued thirty-year bonds! Why should I pay for my mistakes when there is a gullible generation right behind me? Will I be here in 30 years? No. Will you? I leave it to my kids to pay off. My wife and I bought our first house in 1963 for $11,900. Our first mortgage payments were $49 a month because we had a VA loan subsidized by the federal government.”
“It is estimated that thirty percent of the current workers below age thirty will never be able to own their own houses,” Lamm said. “I get more money in housing allowance every year from the federal government than the poorest American. I get to deduct my mortgage interest and real estate taxes, which is worth to someone in my income bracket more than the cash equivalent that any poor person in this state receives for housing. Ditto health benefits.
“By not taxing my health insurance paid for by my employer, I also receive more health benefits from the federal government than most poor children on Medicaid. I have recently passed Medicare Part D to help pay for my prescriptions.”
To speak of tax cuts or deductions as "benefits," as Lamm does, betrays a view that government is the ultimate owner of everything, some of which it graciously allows us to use for a while. However, it is true that the mortgage interest deduction was a great coup by mortgage industry lobbyists, which encourages people to go into debt rather than save.
I don't know if Lamm takes himself literally, but I do. Government has literally engaged in fraud and theft. Government really is unethical and immoral. The whole idea of using the force of government to get "something for nothing" must be eradicated.
During the Great Depression, a generally Christian ethos characterized the nation, and poverty was not accompanied by mass violence. But in the 21st century, when Social Security and Medicare go belly-up, and government starts to use force against younger workers to "keep our promises to America's Senior Citizens," then these workers, as Gov. Lamm explained, "will wake up to find they are on the losing side of a Ponzi scheme." If these workers are dominated by a secular ethic of pure selfishness, they will not allow their generation to lose and Gov. Lamm's generation to win. They will not hesitate to use violence against the elderly. It may not be ugly -- it may be a sanitized euthanasia performed in government-accredited "Comfort Care Stations" for the dispatching of the elderly. But if the poorest Americans do not have a moral core, they may react to a $60 Trillion economic meltdown with less grace than Americans did in the 1930's.
But tomorrow's generation is surely learning from today's immorality. They are learning to put themselves ahead of others. The existence of "the government" teaches them that fraudulent confiscation of the wealth of others is justified if it helps ME. "The Government" is a criminal organization more vast than all burglars and mafia combined. And as for Social Security, as Governor Lamm put it, “It’s the crime of the century.”
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Conservative Christians for Hillary
Probably the reason I didn't post it was that I intended on doing some more work on that website before I sent out the word, but I haven't had the time. Maybe some eager web-worker will take the website under his/her arm and make it more powerful.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
The Congressional resolution is important, of course, because nothing is true unless the government says it is: Cato-at-liberty » Voting on Historical Truth
There is a question as to whether the killing of Armenians was motivated by Islam, or whether it was secular nationalism: More on Denying Genocide « Vox Nova
Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Who Remembers Now the Destruction of the Armenians?
Chalcedon's Founder R.J. Rushdoony was born in America because his parents fled Turkish persecution: Zionists Forbid Recognition of Armenian Holocaust
ADL reinstates regional leader - The Boston Globe
Friday, October 12, 2007
From a libertarian perspective, "media bias" is far more widespread and more profound.
"Media bias" is not measured in minutes of air time or column inches of newsprint. Media bias is about the creation of an alternative reality. An extra-terrestrial anthropologist, travelling from planet to planet studying various civilizations, could look at a libertarian report on an event, then look at a report from the "mainstream media," and conclude that these two reports describe events on entirely different planets.
And the difference is not just "the facts." The difference is a deeply moral difference.
The difference can be seen by comparing this and this.
But this issue has me too anxious to trust you to click the links. I want to make sure you experience this exercise for yourself. So please keep reading. This is a long post.
The first of those links, by Lew Rockwell, was re-published in the free newsletter of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, "The Free Market." You can (and should) get a free subscription here. The title of the essay is "The Mass Murderer of the Century." Pretty opinionated, right? The first paragraph sets the stage for our consideration of "media bias":
A student searching for the conventional wisdom on Mao Zedong will find that he was a controversial figure who modernized China but at some cost, and thus does his legacy remain undecided. And so books reciting his "wisdom" can be found in most bookstores, and shirts with his image still sell in countercultural bookstores. Every department of modern history hosts at least one faculty member who will defend Mao and attack his accusers. And the debate rages.Fortunately we have some "debate" at all. But the first sentence is critical: a student searching for reality will not find it in the establishment media.
I take that back; perhaps the pieces of the puzzle can be found and put together by a diligent and dedicated student, but 99.99% of students will not get the big picture. Most students will only read the first two paragraphs of the mainstream media report. Most students may even be unaware of the "debate." They live in an alternative reality. They will be used to help perpetuate the alternative reality of the Establishment and its Media. They will willingly don the uniform of the government to bring it about. Now, I want you to read the rest of Rockwell's essay. For some reason, the Mises Institute hasn't put any issues of "The Free Market" online since 2006. So here's the rest of the article:
This is exceedingly strange, given the indisputable facts about this man and the extreme communism he tried to establish in China. How many died as a result of persecutions and the policies of Mao? It could be as low as 40 million. It could be as high as 100 million or more. In the Great Leap Forward from 1959 to 1961 alone, figures range between 20 million to 75 million. In the period before, 20 million. In the period after, tens of millions more.
As scholars in the area of mass death point out, most of us can't imagine 100 dead or 1,000. Above that, we are just talking about statistics: they have no conceptual meaning for us. And there is only so much ghastly information that our brains can absorb, only so much blood we can imagine. And yet there is more to why China's communist experiment remains a hidden fact: it makes a decisive case against government power, one even more compelling than the cases of Russia or Germany in the twentieth century.
The horror was foreshadowed in a bloody civil war following the Second World War. After some 9 million people died, the communists emerged victorious in 1949, with Mao as the ruler. The land of Lao-Tzu (rhyme, rhythm, peace), Taoism (compassion, moderation, humility), and Confucianism (piety, social harmony, individual development) was seized by the strangest import to China ever: Marxism from Germany via Russia.
It was an ideology that denied all logic, experience, economic law, property rights, and limits on the power of the state on grounds that these notions were merely bourgeois prejudices, and what we needed to transform society was a cadre with all power to transform all things.
The communization of China took place in the usual three stages: purge, plan, and scapegoat. First there was the purge to bring about communism. There were guerrillas to kill and land to nationalize. The churches had to be destroyed. The counterrevolutionaries had to be put down. The violence began in the country and spread later to the cities. All peasants were first divided into four classes that were considered politically acceptable: poor, semi-poor, average, and rich. Everyone else was considered a landowner and targeted for elimination. If no landowners could be found, the "rich" were often included in this group. The demonized class was ferreted out in a country-wide series of "bitterness meetings" in which people turned in their neighbors for owning property and being politically disloyal. Those who were so deemed were immediately executed along with those who sympathized with them.
The idea was that there had to be at least one person killed per village. The number killed is estimated to be between one and five million. In addition, another four to six million landowners were slaughtered for the crime of being capital owners. If anyone was suspected of hiding wealth, he or she was tortured with hot irons to confess. The families of the killed were then tortured and the graves of their ancestors looted and pillaged. What happened to the land? It was divided into tiny plots and distributed among the remaining peasants.
Then the campaign moved to the cities. The political motivations here were at the forefront, but there were also behavioral controls. Anyone who was suspected of involvement in prostitution, gambling, tax evasion, lying, fraud, opium dealing, or telling state secrets was executed as a "bandit." Official estimates put the number of dead at two million with another two million going to prison to die. Resident committees of political loyalists watched every move. A nighttime visit to another person was immediately reported and the parties involved jailed or killed. The cells in the prisons themselves grew ever smaller, with one person living in a space of about 14 inches. Some prisoners were worked to death, and anyone involved in a revolt was herded with collaborators and they were all burned.
There was industry in the cities, but those who owned and managed the firms were subjected to ever tighter restrictions: forced transparency, constant scrutiny, crippling taxes, and pressure to offer up their businesses for collectivization. There were many suicides among the small- and medium-sized business owners who saw the writing on the wall. Joining the party provided only temporary respite, since 1955 began the campaign against hidden counterrevolutionaries in the party itself. A principle here was that one in ten party members was a secret traitor.
As the rivers of blood rose ever higher, Mao instigated the Hundred Flowers Campaign for two months in 1957, the legacy of which is the phrase we often hear: "Let a hundred flowers bloom." People were encouraged to speak freely and give their point of view, an opportunity that was very tempting for intellectuals. The liberalization was a trick. All those who spoke out against what was happening to China were rounded up and imprisoned, perhaps between 400,000 and 700,000 people, including 10 percent of the well-educated classes. Others were branded as right-wingers and subjected to interrogation, reeducation, then kicked out of their homes, and shunned.
But this was nothing compared with phase two, which was one of history's great central planning catastrophes. Following collectivization of land, Mao decided to go further to dictate to the peasants what they would grow, how they would grow it, and where they would ship it, or whether they would grow anything at all as versus plunge into industry. This would become the Great Leap Forward that would generate history's most deadly famine. Peasants were grouped into groups of thousands and forced to share all things. All groups were to be economically self-sufficient. Production goals were raised ever higher.
People were moved by the hundreds of thousands from where production was high to where it was low, as a means of boosting production. They were moved too from agriculture to industry. There was a massive campaign to collect tools and transform them into industrial skill.
Mao had the idea that he knew how to grow grain. He proclaimed that "seeds are happiest when growing together" and so seeds were sown at five to ten times their usual density. Plants died, the soil dried out, and the salt rose to the surface. To keep birds from eating grain, sparrows were wiped out, which vastly increased the number of parasites. Erosion and flooding became endemic.
Tea plantations were turned to rice fields, on grounds that tea was decadent and capitalistic. Hydraulic equipment built to service the new collective farms didn't work and lacked any replacement parts. This led Mao to put new emphasis on industry, which was forced to appear in the same areas as agriculture, leading to ever more chaos. Workers were drafted from one sector to another, and mandatory cuts in some sectors were balanced by mandatory high quotas in another.
In 1957, the disaster was everywhere. Workers were growing too weak even to harvest their meager crops, so they died watching the rice rot. Industry churned and churned but produced nothing of any use. The government responded by telling people that fat and proteins were unnecessary. But the famine couldn't be denied. The black-market price of rice rose 20 to 30 times. Because trade had been forbidden between collectives (self-sufficiency, you know), millions were left to starve. By 1960, the death rate soared from 15 percent to 68 percent, and the birth rate plummeted. Anyone caught hoarding grain was shot. Peasants found with the smallest amount were imprisoned. Fires were banned. Funerals were prohibited as wasteful.
Villagers who tried to flee the countryside to the city were shot at the gates. Deaths from hunger reached 50 percent in some villages. Survivors boiled grass and bark to make soup and wandered the roads looking for food. Sometimes they banded together and raided houses looking for ground maize. Women were unable to conceive because of malnutrition. People in work camps were used for food experiments that led to sickness and death.
How bad did it get? There are firsthand reports of parents swapping children in order to eat them. How many people died in the famine of 1959-61? The low range is 20 million. The high range is 43 million. Finally in 1961, the government gave in and permitted food imports, but it was too little and too late. Some peasants were again allowed to grow crops on their own land. A few private workshops were opened. Some markets were permitted. Finally, the famine began to abate and production grew.
But then the third phase came: scapegoating. What had caused the calamity? The official reason was anything but communism, anything but Mao. And so the politically motivated roundup began again, and here we get the very heart of the Cultural Revolution. Thousands of camps and detention centers were opened. People sent there died there. In prison, the slightest excuse was used to dispense with people—all to the good, since the prisoners were a drain on the system, so far as those in charge were concerned. The largest penal system ever built was organized in a military fashion, with some camps holding as many as 50,000 people.
There was some sense in which everyone was in prison. Arrests were sweeping and indiscriminate. Everyone had to carry around a copy of Mao's Little Red Book. To question the reason for arrest was itself evidence of disloyalty, since the state was infallible. Once arrested, the safest path was instant and frequent confession. Guards were forbidden from using overt violence, so interrogations would go on for hundreds of hours, and often the prisoner would die during this process. Those named in the confession were then hunted down and rounded up. Once you got through this process, you were sent to a labor camp, where you were graded according to how many hours you could work with little food. You were fed no meat nor given any sugar or oil. Labor prisoners were further controlled by the rationing of the little food they had.
The final phase of this incredible litany of criminality lasted from 1966 to 1976, during which the number killed fell dramatically to "only" one to three million. The government, now tired and in the first stages of demoralization, began to lose control, first within the labor camps and then in the countryside. And it was this weakening that led to the final, and in some ways the most vicious, of the communist periods in China's history: the period of the Red Guard. They roamed the country in an attempt to purge the Four Old-Fashioned Things: ideas, culture, customs, and habits. The remaining temples were barricaded. Traditional opera was banned, with all costumes and sets in the Beijing Opera burned. Monks were expelled. The calendar was changed. All Christianity was banned. There were to be no pets such as cats and birds. Humiliation was the order of the day.
A massive party purge began, with hundreds of thousands arrested and many murdered. Artists, writers, teachers, scientists, technicians: all were targets. Pogroms were visited on community after community, with Mao approving every step as a means of eliminating every possible political rival. But underneath, the government was splintering and cracking, even as it became ever more brutal and totalitarian in its outlook.
Finally in 1976, Mao died. Within a few months, his closest advisers were all imprisoned. The reform began slowly at first and then at breakneck speed. Civil liberties were restored (comparatively) and the rehabilitations began. Torturers were prosecuted. Economic controls were gradually relaxed. The economy, by virtue of human and private economic initiative, was transformed.
Today China is one of the greatest economic success stories ever recorded. In three decades, the society went from domination by communist poverty, prisons, and killing fields to a thriving font of production, all due to a change in ideology that freed people from socialist tyranny. Socialists today would like us not to notice this transformation, but anyone concerned about human freedom cannot afford to forget it.
At a Press Conference on May 2nd, 1945, President Truman was asked,
Mr. President, would you care to comment on the death of Adolf Hitler reported, or Mussolini?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, of course, the two principal war criminals will not have to come to trial; and I am very happy they are out of the way.
On April 27th, Truman had said,
THE ANGLO-AMERICAN armies under the command of General Eisenhower have met the Soviet forces where they intended to meet -- in the heart of Nazi Germany. The enemy has been cut in two.
This is not the hour of final victory in Europe, but the hour draws near, the hour for which all the American people, all the British peoples and all the Soviet people have toiled and prayed so long.
The union of our arms in the heart of Germany has a meaning for the world which the world will not miss. It means, first, that the last faint, desperate hope of Hitler and his gangster government has been extinguished. The common front and the common cause of the powers allied in this war against tyranny and inhumanity have been demonstrated in fact as they have long been demonstrated in determination.
In announcing the death of FDR, Truman said that the purpose of WWII, "the United Nation's war," was succeeding:
If FDR had not died the same month as Hitler, we can well imagine more attention paid to Hitler's death and a more forceful anti-eulogy against this "ghastly" "gangster."
The armies of liberation today are bringing to an end Hitler's ghastly threat to dominate the world. Tokyo rocks under the weight of our bombs.
The grand strategy of the United Nations' war has been determined -- due in no small measure to the vision of our departed Commander in Chief.
It's hard to find Mao described as a "gangster."
Here are President Gerald R. Ford's Remarks on the Death of Mao Tse-tung on September 9th, 1976:
THE PEOPLE'S Republic of China announced today the passing away of Chairman Mao Tse-tung.
Chairman Mao was a giant figure in modern Chinese history. He was a leader whose actions profoundly affected the development of his own country. His influence on history will extend far beyond the borders of China.
Americans will remember that it was under Chairman Mao that China moved together with the United States to end a generation of hostility and to launch a new and more positive era in relations between our two countries.
I am confident that the trend of improved relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States, which Chairman Mao helped to create, will continue to contribute to world peace and stability. On behalf of the United States Government and the American people, I offer condolences to the people of the People's Republic of China.
Thank you very much.
TIME magazine lists Mao in "The TIME 100," "The Most Important People of the Century," and appropriately so. But he is not portrayed as a truly horrific and evil dictator. Here is the first page of TIME's biography of a mass murderer:
Mao Zedong loved to swim. In his youth, he advocated swimming as a way of strengthening the bodies of Chinese citizens, and one of his earliest poems celebrated the joys of beating a wake through the waves. As a young man, he and his close friends would often swim in local streams before they debated together the myriad challenges that faced their nation. But especially after 1955, when he was in his early 60s and at the height of his political power as leader of the Chinese People's Republic, swimming became a central part of his life. He swam so often in the large pool constructed for the top party leaders in their closely guarded compound that the others eventually left him as the pool's sole user. He swam in the often stormy ocean off the north China coast, when the Communist Party leadership gathered there for its annual conferences. And, despite the pleadings of his security guards and his physician, he swam in the heavily polluted rivers of south China, drifting miles downstream with the current, head back, stomach in the air, hands and legs barely moving, unfazed by the globs of human waste gliding gently past. "Maybe you're afraid of sinking," he would chide his companions if they began to panic in the water. "Don't think about it. If you don't think about it, you won't sink. If you do, you will."
Mao was a genius at not sinking. His enemies were legion: militarists, who resented his journalistic barbs at their incompetence; party rivals, who found him too zealous a supporter of the united front with the Kuomintang nationalists; landlords, who hated his pro-peasant rhetoric and activism; Chiang Kai-shek, who attacked his rural strongholds with relentless tenacity; the Japanese, who tried to smash his northern base; the U.S., after the Chinese entered the Korean War; the Soviet Union, when he attack ed Khrushchev's anti-Stalinist policies. Mao was equally unsinkable in the turmoil — much of which he personally instigated — that marked the last 20 years of his rule in China.
Here's the entry in Wikipedia:
Mao Zedong pronunciation (help·info) (Simplified Chinese: 毛泽东; Traditional Chinese: 毛澤東; Pinyin: Máo Zédōng; Wade-giles: Mao Tse-tung; December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976) was a Chinese military and political leader, who led the Communist Party of China (CPC) to victory against the Kuomintang (KMT) in the Chinese Civil War, and was the leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Regarded as one of the most important figures in modern world history, Mao is still a controversial figure today, over thirty years after his death. He is held in high regard in China where he is often portrayed as a great revolutionary and strategist who eventually defeated Chiang Kai-shek in the Chinese Civil War, and transformed the country into a major power through his Maoist policies. However, many of Mao's socio-political programs such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution are blamed by critics from both within and outside China for causing severe damage to the culture, society, economy and foreign relations of China, as well as enormous and unnecessary loss of lives, a peacetime death toll in the tens of millions. Although still officially venerated in China, his influence has been largely overshadowed by the political and economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping and other leaders since his death. Mao is also recognized as a poet and calligrapher.
The First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press was designed to protect the freedom to criticize the government. The Press should not be neutral. It should denounce evil. The Establishment's media uses their power to protect the Establishment, not denounce it.
Perhaps the most grizzly evidence of "media bias" -- of creating an alternative reality -- is the New York Times' obituary of Mao: Mao Tse-Tung: Father of Chinese Revolution. If you read Lew Rockwell's report, you should now read the New York Times.
In this obituary, Mao is not a "gangster," and certainly not a "mass murderer." The word "murder" is not found. Nor is the word "evil." The word "guerrilla" is used 11 times. The word "peasant" is found 33 times. If there is such a thing as good and evil (a big "if" for the New York Times), Mao is probably closer to "good," because he was surely on the side of the "peasants," a "guerrilla" fighting those nasty powerful capitalists.
Here's a classic line:
It was at this time that he made his second trip to Moscow in November 1957, and created a sensation by declaring that there was no need to fear nuclear war. "I said that if the worse came to the worst and half of mankind died, the other half would remain, while imperialism would be razed to the ground, and the whole world would become socialist: in a number of years there would be 2.7 billion people again and definitely more."
This accorded with his deeply held belief that men, not machines or weapons, were the decisive factor. In 1947, in an interview, he had declared: "The atom bomb is a paper tiger used by the U.S. reactionaries to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't. Of course, the atom bomb is a weapon of mass slaughter, but the outcome of a war is decided by people, not by one or two new types of weapon." It was a guerrilla's view.
An average of 10,000 human beings were murdered every single day during the 20th century by politicians like Mao. People who write about these mass-murderers in the New York Times are eager to see an additional 15,000 human beings exterminated every hour in the 21st century.
Anyone who really wants to understand the world around us should place Rockwell's essay next to the New York Times obituary and ask if these two journalists are from the same planet. Then ask if the next generation will keep the 21st from becoming an even more horrific blood bath.
Another example of alternative reality, less grotesque, but still illustrative: The British Empire placed a tax of 3 pence per pound on tea. Ben Franklin reports that the colonists consumed ten pounds of tea a year. Sam Adams and John Hancock threw the tea in the Boston Harbor rather than pay the tax. Today's empire taxes gasoline at 40 cents per gallon. Nobody says a thing. The politicians who levied these taxes all took an oath to "support the Constitution" that was supposed to protect the liberties won in the American Revolution, and most Americans believe that we live under the Constitution. America's Founding Fathers would say we live in an alternative reality.
Monday, October 08, 2007
In 1892, the 400th anniversary of Columbus' achievement was enthusiastically celebrated in America. In 1992, for the 500th anniversary, Columbus was widely denounced as a "racist" and an "imperialist."
It may be that others discovered America before Columbus, but Columbus brought with him Christianity, and therefore Civilization. America was settled. "Settling" is something only civilized people do. Americans have the right to pitch a tent and "live off the land" in isolated "self-sufficiency" (unless there are "zoning laws" to the contrary). Indians did not have the right or the option to live under a division of labor in an industrialized economy.
The forces of "multiculturalism" that dominated Columbus Day in 1992 seem to have lost some influence, largely because after 9-11, it's hard to say that the religion of Christopher Columbus is the same as that of Osama bin Laden, and that all cultures are equal.
Columbus was after Gold.
A good reason to like anyone.
Some Secularist historians have used this fact to cast doubt on the claim that Columbus was a Christian. Neo-platonist "christians" are easily confused at this point. They don't see how someone could be a Christian if he's in pursuit of something so terribly "unspiritual" as gold.
But the Bible says gold is good.
Even the U.S. Constitution says gold is good: that "no state shall make anything but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts." The triumph of Secular Humanism's preference for unbacked paper money has empowered the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to crush more poor Latin Americans than Columbus could ever dream of.
Columbus Attempted to Civilize the Indians.
How many Indians were there? Less than a million? Ten million? Russell Means says 100 million. This is nonsense. The Indians were unable to sustain a population in North America which is one-hundredth that of today. To quote Hobbes, their lives were "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."
Was Columbus an instrument of God's judgment upon a people dominated by idolatry, slavery, immorality, brutality, and tribal racism?
Columbus and the Puritans came to this nation to bring the Gospel to the natives, and this is their chief offense in the eyes of modern secular man.
Columbus Defended Western Civilization
- Columbus was motivated to explore and then to civilize the New World by his Christian faith.
- Commission cited by Court in Holy Trinity shows influence of Christianity
- The civil government which backed exploration of the New World were also motivated by the vision of Christendom.
- The coercive excesses of European governments in the New World were being tempered by the Christian faith.
The journals of Columbus reveal his faith:
- Steve Wilkins:
- Columbus Contra Mundum (I)
- Columbus Contra Mundum (II)
- Columbus Contra Mundum (III)
- Columbus and the New World Order
- Discussion in First Things
- Columbus' Colleagues
- Indians: The Noble Savage?
- Multiculturalism is war on Christianity
- Vitoria's New World Order: The Great Commission and the Discovery of the New World, by Ruben C. Alvarado
- Ayn Rand Institute
- Columbus Day: The Cure for 9/11 (Providence Journal)
- Columbus Day Celebrates Western Civilization By Thomas Bowden
- Columbus' "religious zealotry" was no fault, it was the basis for everything Columbus did.
- On Columbus Day, Celebrate Western Civilization, Not Multiculturalism By: Michael S. Berliner
- The Christopher Columbus Controversy
- Columbus Day: A Time to Celebrate
- Columbus Brought Civilization to America
- Morality and Columbus Day: Another View by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
- The Flat Earth Myth by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.+
- Happy Three-Day Weekend! (Or What Does Presidents' Day Mean To You?) by Bill Kauffman
- The Ecological Indian Is a Myth
Neither criminals nor saints, early natives were simply human, says Lorne Gunter.
- Christopher Columbus and the Flat Earth Myth: "As Rare as Hen's Teeth" – Part 1
- Christopher Columbus and the Flat Earth Myth: "The Poetry of Creation" – Part 2
- Christopher Columbus and the Flat Earth Myth: "Reading the Bible Through Greek Glasses" – Part 3
- Christopher Columbus and the Flat Earth Myth: "Sun Rise, Sun Set" – Part 4
- Christopher Columbus and the Flat Earth Myth: "The Origin of the Myth" – Part 5
- Christopher Columbus and the Flat Earth Myth: "Chronological Snobbery" – Part 6
- Christopher Columbus and the Flat Earth Myth: "When Being Wrong Was Right"
– Part 7
- Flat Earth or Flat-Out Lie
- History of Disease
- How Secularists Turned the Myths of Pop Culture into History
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Last weekend Sen. John McCain gave an interview for BeliefNet.com. Click here for John McCain on Islam, Mormonism, America as a Christian nation, his move from an Episcopal to Baptist church -- Beliefnet.com. My opinion of McCain went up after viewing the interview, though I'll still vote for Ron Paul. I now definitely prefer McCain to Giuliani the criminal thug.
Today the New York Times published an op-ed by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, reacting to McCain's pandering to the Religious Right.
I have analyzed Meacham's editorial here: http://IsAmericaAChristianNation.com/mccain.htm
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I found out about this video from a new website dedicated to watching Big Brother:
This is a touching video about a couple from Portugal who created a business, and are ready to pass it on to their two sons, only to have a New Jersey city confiscate the business under "eminent domain" laws to give the property to a politically-connected developer. The couple's life and business (and their sons' inheritance) are being seized by the government, and their retirement funds are being transferred to lawyers in a futile quest to preserve private property. Their "American Dream" is being destroyed.
What would "The Sons of Liberty" have thought and done if the British Crown seized the business of Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, James Otis, John Adams, or his cousin, Samuel Adams? Violence, probably. Violence is never the answer. But neither are ignorance, apathy, inaction, or wishful thinking.
I'm sure the politicians who are seizing this couple's property are not deliberately seeking to make these Americans cry, or destroy the vision symbolized by the Statue of Liberty. I'm sure these politicians have genuinely deceived themselves into believing that they are "public servants," and are an asset to their community.
But they are wrong. The Nazis felt this way, and the Communists felt this way, but they were wrong.
Self-deception is a paradox. A person deceives himself into sincerely and genuinely believing something he knows is false.
Evil men always feel that there is some moral justification for the evil they commit. They rationalize, justify, and deceive themselves concerning the nature of their evil desires and evil acts. They sincerely don't believe they are evil. They sincerely believe they're doing what "has to be done."