Thursday, December 18, 2008

Universal Soldier

Aimee Allen at the Rally For The Republic

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) ... was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.


In addition to his military career, Smedley Butler was noted for his outspoken anti-interventionist views, and his book War is a Racket. His book was one of the first works describing the workings of the military-industrial complex and after retiring from service, he became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s.

In 1934, he informed the United States Congress that a group of wealthy industrialists had plotted a military coup known as the Business Plot to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Universal Soldier
He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He's all of thirty-one, and he's only seventeen,
Been a soldier for a thousand years.

He'a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn't kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.

And he's fighting for Canada,
He's fighting for France,
He's fighting for the USA,
And he's fighting for the Russians,
And he's fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way.

And he's fighting for Democracy,
He's fighting for the Reds,
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one who must decide,
Who's to live and who's to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He's the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.

He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Job Of Eating

Peter Schiff video message.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dollar Devaluation Is A Threat

In Barron's, Jim McTague takes a few shots at Ron Paul and misses by a mile.

Some asset prices (that were artifically overvalued due to credit and excessive leverage - like real estate) are deflating. Enormous amounts of Federal Reserve Notes are being printed.

Jim McTague's illogical reasoning is summe up in in two sentences:
The danger is that, despite all the government stimulus, demand will stay weak.
Paul doesn't believe this.

Jim McTague says, "... demand will stay weak" and that Ron Paul doesn't believe that demand will stay weak. Jim McTague just put words in Ron Paul's mouth, as Ron Paul isn't talking about demand. Ron Paul is talking about excessive growth of fiat (backed by nothing) money. More money is being printed out of thin air, and this is the DEFINITION of inflation.

Inflation defined:
a persistent decline in the purchasing power of money, caused by an increase in available currency and credit beyond the proportion of available goods and services.

Ron Paul for over a year has been saying that we are entering an inflationary depression. Ron Paul has been right, while Jim McTague may want to go to Austrian economic school.

Inflation Not a Threat -- Yet

STOW THE RED WHEELBARROW BACK IN THE SHED. DESPITE forebodings by Texas Rep. Ron Paul and other gold bugs about hyperinflation, your wallet will be sufficient to hold your spending money for the foreseeable future.

Paul and other inflation hawks correctly note that the Fed's printing presses are running full tilt. Nevertheless, some economic experts argue that we won't require wagonloads of debased currency to buy a stick of butter, mirroring Germany's 1923 nightmare. Reason: Deflation still hangs like a low, dark cloud over our sinking economy. Too few dollars are chasing too many goods, and this will worsen as unemployment hits 9% or more sometime next year. People fearful of losing their jobs are hoarding cash. Banks have become careful, stingy lenders. The danger is that, despite all the government stimulus, demand will stay weak.

Paul doesn't believe this. He argues that an estimated $8 trillion in bailout commitments by the Treasury and Federal Reserve and other government units has increased the monetary base by 75% over the past two months. "If something that is used as money becomes too plentiful, it loses value," writes Paul in a recent article. "That is how inflation and hyperinflation happens. Giving the central bank the power to create fiat money out of thin air creates the tremendous risk of eventual hyperinflation." He favors a return to the gold standard.

That $8 trillion represents committed funds, not actual loans and investments. You can't add it to the monetary base until it's in someone's bank account. Much of it is being used to cover losses on existing loans, not for new ones. The Fed demands lots of collateral to ensure that lending doesn't get out of hand. And most of its loans are short-term and can be unwound very quickly -- another mechanism to inhibit hyperinflation.

Some experts argue that Fed chief Ben Bernanke is simply replacing money annihilated in our economy's "Great Deleveraging" and that he should print even more. Retired securities lawyer Frederick Feldkamp, a Michigan native, says the Treasury's nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac alone erased $33 billion in bank capital. The Treasury inadvertently wiped out the two mortgage giants' preferred stock, which hundreds of banks had held as core capital, and which was considered so safe that regulations let the banks leverage that capital by as much as 50 to 1 when making loans. Feldkamp reckons that when banks wrote off the $33 billion in preferred stock, support for about $1.65 trillion in debt was erased -- a significant credit contraction.

FBR Capital Markets, in a Nov. 19 report, estimated that Goldman Sachs (ticker: GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC), AIG (AIG) and GE Capital (GE) combined need $1 trillion to $1.2 trillion of equity capital to shore up their balance sheets so they can begin lending again. FBR estimates that the eight have $12.2 trillion in assets and just 3.4% of that -- $406 billion -- in tangible common capital. "The sheer size of the capital deficiency, coupled with the opaque nature of credit risk, will keep private capital sidelined... ." FBR says.

This isn't to say that inflation won't become a problem down the road. Paul Wachtel, a New York University economics professor, says the Fed should be planning an exit strategy, so that it can absorb cash reserves from lenders when the economy rebounds. Absent such a plan, you may get a chance to use your wheelbarrow when buying that stick of butter, after all.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Only Real Maverick

Ron Paul spoke the truth about the government interfering in people's food decisions. An Ohio home was invaded because the government refuses to allow people to make their own choices about food.

Why we needed Ron Paul: SWAT team raids a food co-op
by Paul Mulshine December 06

Around this time last year, Ron Paul was making a run for the Republican nomination for president on a platform of cutting the federal government down to size and restoring freedom.

One of the many issues on which he dissented from the Beltway oligarchy was on the issue of raw milk: It's none of the government's business if you want to drink milk that hasn't been pasteurized, said Ron.

I recall phoning Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum around that time and mentioning it to her. She noted that she and her siblings had grown up drinking raw milk. She even wondered out loud whether Paul might have a chance at winning the New Hampshire primary, which was held the following month.

He didn't, of course. The winner was John McCain, the self-styled "maverick" who constantly attacked Paul for having the nerve to challenge the Beltway consensus. But the only real maverick in that race was Ron Paul. Of all the Republican presidential contenders, he was the only one who really wanted to get government out of our lives.


The crime, apparently, was failure to follow state agricultural regulations.


By the way, the idea of a SWAT team raiding a house on a food complaint seems so nutty that I actually found one blogger questioning whether this is one of those Internet hoaxes. But all indications are that it's not a hoax. The state really did point guns at people for unauthorized sale of food.

Another interesting facet of this case is that if you follow some of the links, you will see that the co-op in question caters to both right-wing Christian fundamentalists and left-wing college students. That's the sort of cooperation that can occur in a free country.

Too bad we don't live in one.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

One Thing Is Clear

During a time of multiple wars and economic turmoil, it may be useful to recall that our Founding Fathers took a stand for freedom and liberty - not for big government.

One thing is clear: The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government.

- Ron Paul

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

If Only We Listened

Rod Dreher: Ron Paul, if only we listened

I didn't vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primary (I was a Mike Huckabee man), nor did I write him in on Election Day (I penciled in farmer-poet Wendell Berry). But no Texan this year did more good for conservatism and his country than the congressman from the coast.

Lord knows there was no Republican in the 2008 campaign who talked straighter.


But the truth is, if U.S. economic policy looked a lot more like Ron Paul's ideal than what we've had these past decades, the nation wouldn't be tottering on the financial abyss. Dr. Paul has long argued that an economy built on easy credit, insatiable consumption and deficit spending is a time bomb. He backs a national economic model based on savings, investment and production.

An economy that depends so heavily on government intervention to keep it afloat is one that creates of necessity an ever more powerful state. The nationalization of the banking sector only increases the power of the central government and decreases liberty. Dr. Paul warned for years against what we're seeing happen today. But nobody – including me – listened to the old crank.

How much better off would America be today if we had? We'll never know. Poor us.