BUSINESS

BUSINESS

Thursday, April 16, 2015

THE BUSH TRILLION DOLLAR HEIST AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS

 

THE BUSH TRILLION DOLLAR HEIST EXPOSED

In 2007, a federal suit was filed to recover $4.3 trillion USD stolen by Goldmann Sachs by the Bush Administration.  A settlement was reached and the monies are to be returned.

Some of the language of that lawsuit will be included in the exhibits below. Please note:  Goldman Sachs went to the Bush administration, straight to Paulson who had secretly lent them, tax free and interest free, $4.5 trillion dollars, and asked for a federal “bail out.”

He authorized it, just as he had authorized the illegal loan of money that was never his to lend in the first place.

Goldman Sachs never carried this on their books nor any of the profits, estimated at over $15 trillion dollars.  It was all laundered overseas while American taxpayers covered imaginary losses engineered by our own Secretary of Treasury.

Two billion dollars of these monies are earmarked for funding housing for American veterans, monies that are still being withheld despite payment order.  Even United States Marshalls can’t seem to pry money out of Goldmann Sachs even with a Federal Court order:

   

Wanta 1Captured Blog: Past InaugurationsHere is the True Story of Lee Wanta* and how he served our Great Nation America as President Reagan’s Secret Agent under the Totten Doctrine as told by his Biographer Marilyn Barnewall.

This Story is still Major News and as many VT readers know, Lee Wanta continues to work implementing his detailed and Well Financed Plan to Revitalize America and strengthen its Monetary System.(1)

Marilyn Barnewall**, his Biographer, appeared on the James Martinez Radio Show in the Spring of 2011.  This article is a transcript of what she said which was published on a Blog by “Old Dog” soon thereafter on April 29, 2011.(2)

(Note: James Martinez introduced Marilyn Barnewall to his radio audience and proceeded to let her talk without interruption for an hour about Ambassador Leo/Lee Wanta. Following are her comments):

Hopefully, if all goes well today and we continue with the second hour on Thursday, we’ll be able to explain why what you said on your blog about today’s show is true, James: The Leo Wanta Story is the most important news story of 2011. Actually, it’s been the most important news story since July 7, 1993, when Lee Wanta was arrested – but we all understand that the mainstream media doesn’t pay attention to real news. It takes the Internet and talk radio to deal with important issues that no one wants to talk about.

The story starts with a man with two different names – Lee Emil Wanta (birth certificate) and Leo Emil Wanta (baptism certificate) who has been an intelligence operative since he was in his teens, and who as an adult intel operative reported directly to the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. He is the unknown hero Americans can thank for bringing down the Iron Curtain – and the Independent Institute estimates that 40 years of the Cold War cost American taxpayers $6 trillion.

The Wanta Saga leads us into the uncharted territory of government corruption when this American hero was arrested and imprisoned for a non-existent unpaid, estimated civil tax scam in Wisconsin. Lee Wanta’s story involves other names with which we are familiar – like Vince Foster and Hillary Clinton and Mark Rich who was the last person former President Bill Clinton pardoned before leaving office.

The thing for which Ambassador Lee Wanta is best known is that of being the richest man in the world. Many have called him the $27.5 trillion man. I hope we’ll have time to explain how this one American patriot earned all of that money and how he intended – and still intends – to use it to benefit the people of the nation he so loves.

There is no end to the story – not yet. The reason there isn’t an end yet is because not enough people know about what really happened – and that’s why I’m here today, speaking on behalf of Ambassador Lee/Leo Wanta. When I talked with Lee this morning, he mentioned that the dollar is taking a bath in the international markets. We also talked about how, if the Federal Reserve, the President and the Secretary of the Treasury would just give him access to his own money, he could stop the fall of the American economy.

Where would you like to start, James?
(Response: You start anywhere you want, Marilyn. The microphone is yours for the next hour.)

AMBASSADOR LEE WANTA 101

Ronald Reagan 1

 

LEE WANTA MEETS RONALD REAGAN AND BECOMES INVOLVED WITH HIS ADMINISTRATION
In 1980, while he was still President Elect, Ronald Reagan was trying to get a number of people he could trust to help him – not the easiest thing to do in Washington DC. So Lee met the future AG William French Smith and Bill Casey whom he already knew through Bill Colby. They began discussing how the East European environment could be better controlled. Over a period of 40 years, the Cold War had cost American taxpayers about $6 trillion and after Jimmy Carter’s disastrous presidency, Ronald Reagan needed to get our financial house in order.

Bill Casey decided Lee Wanta should work with him and the group expanded to include military and other intelligence sources and they had a number of meetings. They agreed that if they had $150 billion, they could destabilize the Soviet economy. Lee was made Trustor of President Reagan’s Presidential Task Force and, in that capacity, was officially responsible for the $150 billion grant President Reagan approved. He was ALSO responsible for returning it to the U.S. Treasury – and he did. Within six months.

It’s important to keep in mind that the original investment made by the U.S. government – the $150 billion – was repaid. The reason it’s important is to answer any question about who owns the money earned after Lee Wanta returned the $150 billion. Is it the government’s money? Or, is it Lee Wanta’s money? To answer that question, use the example of a simple car loan. When you borrow money to buy a car, when the loan is repaid, who owns the car? You? Or the bank?

NEW REPUBLIC AND VIENNA – GETTING RUBLES

Lee went to Vienna and established a company called New Republic USA Financial Group and began meeting with people representing nations that did business with the Soviet bloc: Iran and Iraq, for example, sold oil to the Soviets. Nations that were part of the Soviet bloc or who those traded with them were paid in rubles and the ruble couldn’t be traded outside of the U.S.S.R. It had to be used within the Soviet bloc – and that was the weakness Lee identified. Lee set up an arrangement with Brinks in Holland and began to obtain rubles with dollars in a variety of ways that included importing American goods at low cost prices and selling them for rubles. They had nothing in Russia… there was little food, little anything. Currency swapping was another way. At the time, it wasn’t legal in the U.S., but it was legal in Europe so what Lee did was lawful.

PROMIS

Lee and his New Republic group used Promis Software, which belongs to a company called Inslaw, in Washington, DC. Promis is interlinked to all of the major monetary centers and was used to set up bank accounts for Lee all around the world.

RUBLES FOR FROM 18 TO 28 CENTS EACH

New Republic was able to get boatloads of rubles in the USSR and, on average, it cost them from 18 to 28 cents on the dollar. At the time, the Soviets valued the ruble at $1.20. USSR pension funds, for example, were in the same kind of danger our pension funds are in today. All of them were glad to trade dollars for rubles with New Republic. Lee got rubles from the embassies, foreign funds, KGB funds, Soviet pension funds, postal funds, military GRU funds, Soviet central bank funds – they were picking up Soviet currency from everywhere. When New Republic got the currency under its control, Brinks of Holland wrapped and verified it.

SINGAPORE DEVELOPMENT BANK

New Republic would send 70 billion in rubles to the Development Bank of Singapore, for example. The Soviet’s valued their currency at $1.20 per ruble, Lee’s $70 billion – for which he had paid only about $14 billion – was worth US $84 billion. The Russians argued about the $1.20 amount, so Lee finally agreed to accept only $1.08 – but, remember, he had only paid from 18 to 28 cents per ruble. The Soviets thought they were getting a great deal because rather than having to pay the Settlement Bank $1.20 a ruble, they only paid New Republic (or Lee Wanta) $1.08. The Russians thought they had really put one over on him… and I’m sure he laughed all the way to the bank. The guy is a financial genius.

REAGAN SIGNS 12333

It’s important to know that President Reagan signed Executive Order 12333 on December 4, 1981. It enabled US intelligence operatives who had been briefed to operate on behalf of the United States to establish corporations that were wholly-owned by the intelligence operative. They could enter into contracts with intelligence and other elements of the US government. Leo Wanta conducted extensive intelligence operations in accordance with three separate Executive Orders implemented by President Ronald Reagan, whom he briefed and from whom he took orders directly, in a personal capacity. President Reagan called Lee Wanta his “favorite junkyard dog” – and that’s what he meant by it.

SELL RUBLES FOR 32 CENTS TO COUNTRIES OWING USSR MONEY

Lee and his partner also talked with Germany, Poland, Pakistan, Hungary, India, China, and other countries that owed money to the Soviets. They offered to swap rubles with these countries at 32 cents apiece. That allowed the debtor countries to repay their USSR debt for 32 cents on the ruble (which the USSR still valued at US $1.20 each). It’s important because that’s what triggered the destabilization of the ruble… Lee Wanta re-set the value of the ruble to 32 cents. In other words, the money loaned by the Soviets to these other countries was pegged at $1.20 per ruble but re-entered the Soviet system at 32 cent per ruble when the debt was paid. The currency fell as a result of this strategy.

2000 METRIC TONNES OF GOLD

When the currency fell, Moscow needed cash. Lee, through New Republic, agreed to purchase 2,000 metric tonnes of gold from the USSR central bank – at $1.08 per ruble – but with rubles that had cost him only 18 to 28 cents each. I would again point out that the $150 billion that came from the Treasury Department to fund Lee’s operation was paid in full by this time and Lee and his company, New Republic, was making huge profits. The money used to buy the 2,000 metric tons of Russian gold belonged to Lee Wanta.

HOW LEE MADE $27.5 TRILLION – BANK GUARANTEES

Lee bought prime bank guarantees at 7.5 annual interest that had ten year plus one-day maturity – New Republic was buying them at a 66 TO 68 percent discount par value per hundred million dollars and could either loan them or sell them or transfer them at 88 to 92 percent which meant they were making twenty million dollars par value per hundred million invested and they were doing this over and over again, every hour on the hour. It generated a tremendous amount of money… and that’s how Lee Wanta created $27.5 trillion.

THE MONEY IS LEE WANTA’S

I said earlier that Lee was the Trustor for the Presidential Task Force and the guardian of the original $150 billion President Reagan used to implement this plan. He repaid the $150 billion within six months. Under Executive Order 12333 (and a couple of others), the money he invested and earned after the $150 billion was repaid to the government was his, not the government’s.

INSPECTOR GENERAL DOD LETTERS

I think it’s important to remember that before Lee Wanta’s world got turned upside-down, Senator Chuck Grassley and by Congressman Roth wrote letters to the Reagan Transition Team, recommending Lee Wanta become the Inspector General of the Department of Defense. He was given an award for saving President Reagan from an assassination attempt. Those things – and many others – are a matter of record at the Reagan Library.

WHEN DID THINGS CHANGE FOR LEE WANTA?

Lee was in Vienna, Austria – where he has been a legal resident since June of 1988 – and was working with the Chinese against the USSR. He went to Singapore to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Kok Howe Kwong. Howe’s Dad was very highly placed in the Chinese government and was a recognized former Chinese Warlord. Howe’s father told Lee that if he would put up $25 million, Howe’s father would put up $25 million for his son and Lee and Howe could purchase and own Aneko Credit PTE, Ltd., a Singapore bank.

About that time, former President George H.W. Bush visited Singapore and was unaware this intelligence operative named Leo Wanta was now co-owner of a foreign bank in Singapore in which Bush senior was a depositor. Lee says Bush stared at him when he saw him at Aneko Credit Point Ltd – Lee’s and How’s bank. President Reagan didn’t trust George Bush and whenever Bush would ask Lee a question about what they were doing, Lee says he referred him “back to the President” or to William Smith French or William Casey. Lee had been told to keep quiet and just get his job done and that’s what he did.

As the story has been told to me – and I have no documentation on this other than Lee’s word and all I can say is I’ve never caught him in a lie – when Bush senior found out that Lee and Howe owned the bank, he demanded a pay off from them – whether for himself, personally, or for the U.S. Treasury, I have no idea – and this gets back to the importance of who did the money belong to and when. Lee’s partner, Howe, evidently blew up all over the President at such a suggestion. Two weeks later Howe died in Singapore General Hospital of rat poison. General Vernon Walters confirmed to Lee Wanta that a hit had also been put out on him for that same night. It was only by the grace of God he missed the trap that had been set for him. When that happened, Lee says Dan Quayle arranged for him to leave Singapore and get into Canada. He lived in a secure situation in Toronto for awhile.

WHERE DOES THE AMBASSADOR TITLE COME FROM?:

During the Reagan years, Leo Emil Wanta was appointed Ambassador of Somalia to Switzerland and to Canada. SDR DIPLOMATIC PASSPORTS 04362 AND 12535

WHEN WAS HE ARRESTED – AND FOR WHAT?

Lee was sent to Switzerland to meet Vince Foster at the Ambassador Hotel in Geneva and was asked by FBI Director William Sessions to arrest Marc Rich who was also going to be in Geneva at the Hotel de la Paix. This is the same Marc Rich pardoned on the last day of Bill Clinton’s presidency. The FBI issued a warrant for Rich’s arrest – that arrest warrant is still around, by the way. The next day, Lee was arrested in Lausanne before his scheduled Geneva meeting with Vince Foster and two weeks later Foster, according to the official reports, committed suicide.

I DON’T KNOW MANY AMERICANS WHO BELIEVE VINCE FOSTER COMMITTED SUICIDE, BUT THAT’S THE OFFICIAL STORY. HE WAS FOUND IN THE BUSHES IN MARCY PARK IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
(REMEMBER WHEN I SAID) Lee had earned all of that money and invested it in prime bank guarantees he purchased? He was getting 7.5 percent interest. Bear in mind, the timing of his arrest coincides with the narrowing time available before those ten-year prime bank guarantees were to mature. Gee, you don’t think maybe someone knew about all those accounts and had an American intelligence agent arrested and thrown in a dungeon to gain access to trillions of dollars that belonged to him, do you?

SO LEE WANTA WAS SUPPOSED TO MEET WITH VINCE FOSTER BUT WAS ARRESTED IN SWITZERLAND. TWO WEEKS LATER, FOSTER WAS DEAD. WANTA WAS SUPPOSED TO ARREST MARK RICH THE NIGHT BEFORE HE, HIMSELF, WAS ARRESTED AND RICH WAS TIPPED OFF BY A MOSSAD AGENT AND DIDN’T SHOW – AND TWO DAYS AFTER WANTA WAS ARRESTED WILLIAM SESSIONS WHO I SSUED THE WARRANT FOR MARC RICH’S ARREST WAS FIRED AS DIRECTOR OF THE FBI – AND A FEW YEARS LATER MARC RICH WAS PARDONED BY BILL CLINTON JUST BEFORE HE LEFT OFFICE.

Lee was arrested by the Swiss Sûreté in Lausanne right after having breakfast with several members of his group and some Swiss bankers. He was supposed to meet with Vince Foster at the Ambassador Hotel in Geneva that day. The reservations for Foster’s stay were made by Foster on his American Express card. The morning of his arrest, he and his group were supposed to take the short train ride from Lausanne to Geneva. Lee had just paid the breakfast bill when he changed his mind about the train. He was carrying heavy files and another member of the group had too much luggage, so he decided they’d travel by cab. It was almost at that exact moment he was arrested and his nightmare began. Lee Wanta was thrown in a Swiss dungeon for 134 days. He watched another inmate die because the man ate some cheese that had been given to Lee – who is lactose intolerant and couldn’t eat it. That was one of numerous attempts on his life while he was behind bars. A crude attempt on his life was made in a washroom at the Kettle Moraine Department of Corrections when a Deputy Sheriff changed into prisoners’ clothes, and attempted to murder Lee in the washroom. When he failed, he re-changed his clothes, went to his car, and drove home. He was never investigated.

Yitzhak Rabin intervened on Lee’s behalf, sending him a coded message. The Swiss, who violated Lee’s Diplomatic Immunity as the Somali Ambassador to Switzerland when they arrested him, were scared off by Rabin’s coded message, put Lee in chains and immediately flew him to New York with armed guards. They didn’t give him Rabin’s message until he was at the airport. Rabin was later assassinated.

THEY WANTED LEE WANTA OUT OF THE WAY.

They wanted Lee out of the way because they wanted him to pay the funds he had earned to powerful individuals rather than putting funds in the U.S. Treasury by paying taxes on the money.
WHY DID THE SWISS ARREST LEE WANTA?

Well, that’s the question of the year. Lee was the Somali Ambassador to Switzerland and also to Canada. The morning he was arrested he had just had breakfast with a group of people at the Hotel Au Lac in Lausanne.

WHY WAS HE MEETING VINCE FOSTER IN GENEVA?

Lee was in the process of giving Foster $250 million for the Children’s Defense Fund. Hillary Clinton was heavily involved with that group. Lee was authorized by Laura D’Andrea Tyson at the White House to make this payment. Several other journalists have stated that Mrs. Clinton used the Children’s Defense Fund as her own personal piggy bank, but I have no personal knowledge of that. Instead, Marc Rich was informed by an Israeli Mossad agent about the warrant that had been issued for him and he didn’t get on the ferry boat as planned.

No form of arrest or detention of an Ambassador to Switzerland should have been possible. Lee had been appointed to serve as Ambassador of a small, disorganized, third-world nation that was periodically in the headlines because of its social violence. Somalia had the need to build an infrastructure and President Reagan had set aside money to do just that – but he wanted one of “his guys” on the ground in Mogadishu to control how funds were spent – and that’s why Lee was there.

WHY WAS HE ARRESTED? ON WHAT CHARGE?

He was arrested for not paying an estimated civil (not criminal) income tax assessment in the State of Wisconsin. Have you ever heard of an American being arrested anywhere on European soil for non-payment of income taxes in the United States? It was even more ridiculous because Lee hadn’t lived in America since 1984 when he and his wife separated – they were legally separated in 1985 and he was no longer responsible for taxes on her earned income. In June of 1988, he became a legal resident of Vienna, Austria. He’d earned no income in Wisconsin so it was impossible that he owed taxes there. But guess what? He got a tax notice in May of 1992 – and it irritated him and he paid it: $14,129. He got another tax notice in June of 1992 – and he paid it again. He had family in Wisconsin and didn’t want any trouble. A copy of his cancelled check paid to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue makes it clear that he paid a tax he didn’t owe – not just once, but twice. The second payment was made the next month, in June 1992, by a Malaysian Bank wire transfer – I have a copy of it.

Nevertheless, Leo Wanta spent 134 days in what he calls a dungeon in Switzerland before being renditioned – I call it kidnapping — to New York – for failure to pay an estimated civil income tax assessment in Wisconsin that he didn’t owe but had paid — twice.

Upon his arrival in New York, at his hearing Judge Allyce Ross became aware of the contents of Lee Wanta’s briefcase – to make a long story short, Lee had 17 or 18 U.S. Treasury instruments each worth $1 billion in that briefcase. As soon as Judge Ross asked Lee to give evidence, the Assistant U.S. Attorney jumped up and told her the government was withdrawing all of the counts that had been brought against Ambassador Wanta. The Feds didn’t want anything Lee had to say to become part of the public record. The funds in his briefcase disappeared, by the way.

SO THE COURT FREED HIM – RE-ARRESTED

He walked out of the courtroom a free man and was arrested on the steps of the courthouse by some New York City detectives. He was taken to the Brooklyn House of Detention – no warrant presented to him. He sat in the Brooklyn prison from October until mid-December and was then flown to Wisconsin to face the charges against him. They put him in chains, if you can believe it! They strip searched him in the snow! They did everything they could to demoralize the man – but they just don’t know Lee Wanta.

Someone wanted access to the vast sums of cash Lee had amassed and someone with a great deal of power decided to get Ambassador Wanta out of the way to gain access to it. I guess they thought jail was a good alternative – they couldn’t just suicide him because they didn’t know where all of the money was, yet.

KANGAROO COURT IN WISCONSIN

It would take hours to tell you about the Kangaroo Court trial in Wisconsin. I’ve heard different stories about it. The Department of Corrections records indicate he was tried and convicted within three days of his return to Wisconsin, but the official trial didn’t take place until 1995. I’ve read the transcripts and they made me ill to think such a travesty of justice could happen in this country. They wouldn’t let Lee retain his own lawyer – he was forced to use the services of a state-employed public defender. Lee’s story was so complicated, the public defender at one point asked Lee to please fire him. Lee said he couldn’t because he hadn’t retained him in the first place. Lee had billions of dollars sitting in European banks at the time and could afford the best lawyers in America – I’ve got copies of his bank statements at the time. The public defender – who worked for the State of Wisconsin – didn’t submit Lee’s written evidence in time to get it into the Court’s Discovery process, so it wasn’t allowed into evidence, either. At the end of it all, Leo Wanta was sentenced by a judge named Torphy to 22 years in prison for not paying an income tax he didn’t owe and which had been paid – 22 years for $14,129 that wasn’t owed to anyone. The tax charge, by the way, was originally a civil charge. The State evidently changed it to a criminal charge because Lee kept refusing to confess to not paying taxes he had, indeed, paid.

LETTER WI DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE – ANGELA DUNLAP

In a letter dated 18th February 1999 addressed to Attorney Jan Morton Heger, a California attorney who had served Lee Wanta in past dealings, Angela Dunlap, Wisconsin State Revenue Agent, said the Department of Revenue had no record of a delinquent tax account issued to Lee E. Wanta, Social Security Number [correctly stated but redacted here for security reasons] Federal Identification Number DPP#04362’. I have a copy of that letter.
The $14,129 check made out to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue cleared the bank in 1992, when Lee paid the tax the first time. The trial wasn’t held until 1995 and Lee spent almost two years in Kettle Moraine Prison in Wisconsin awaiting trial. After Lee was convicted in 1995, Wisconsin suddenly found his payment and credited it to his account – but they didn’t do anything about reversing his conviction or the 22 year sentence… and the $14,129 keeps popping up every year as an unpaid tax.

NORTH FORK PRISON – SAYRE, OK

In 1998, they suddenly sent him to North Fork Prison in Sayre, OK. I’ve talked with his case manager from North Fork – she and I have become good friends – and she says it’s the only time she saw someone single-celled with a security assignment for no apparent reason. North Fork is a privately owned, medium-security prison and Wisconsin pays for two inmates per cell whether there are two inmates in the cell, or not. Lee was in a cell by himself the entire three years he was there. He was released on parole in August 2001.

SO THE REAL REASON THEY ARRESTED HIM IN SWITZERLAND, THEN AGAIN IN NEW YORK, THEN GAVE HIM A DOG AND PONY SHOW OF A TRIAL IN WISCONSIN AND THEN HID HIM OUT IN AN OKLAHOMA PRISON WAS TO GET HIM OUT OF THE WAY SO THEY COULD STEAL HIS MONEY. “THEY” BEGAN TELLING BANKS AROUND THE WORLD THAT LEO WANTA WAS DEAD.

Lee was in either the Dane County Jail or Kettle Morraine Prison in Wisconsin from 1993 until 1998, and was then hidden in North Fork Prison in Sayre, OK from 1998 until August 2001.

After he was released in 2001, Lee filed a case in the Federal District Court in ALEXANDRIA, VA. A Decision and Order was handed down in 2003 [Civil Action Number 02-1363-A]. Federal District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee directed Ambassador Leo/Lee E. Wanta to pursue liquidation of his international corporations, recover his financial assets, bring the funds back into this country, and pay all required taxes in accordance with the law.

Specifically, Judge Lee said: ‘Plaintiff’s sole remedy in this matter is to proceed with the liquidation of the corporations and report these transactions to the Internal Revenue Service in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and then challenge the assessment of any taxes in a refund proceeding.’

The $27.5 trillion he earned after he repaid the $150 billion to the Treasury are Lee’s personal funds. Judge Lee’s Decision is evidence of that. He said “liquidate YOUR corporations” not “liquidate the GOVERNMENT’S corporations.”

$23 TRILLION DISAPPEARED

As Lee began using Promis Software to find his funds around the world – and it took time – he found $23 trillion had been stolen. Had it not been and had the government let Lee repatriate the funds by paying 35 percent to bring those back into the U.S., it would have put over $9 trillion from the $27.5 trillion into the U.S. Treasury. That was what Lee had planned. Instead, a rather good-sized group of high ranking government criminals decided to stick with their plans involving Lee Wanta’s arrest and continued stealing the money.

BANK OF CHINA WIRE TRANSFERS $4.5 TRILLION

After the decision by Judge Lee telling Lee Wanta to liquidate his assets and repatriate the funds, in May 2006, the People’s Bank of China – which is the Central Bank of China – sent $4.5 trillion of Lee’s money using a CHIPS transfer to the Bank of America in Richmond, VA, after he liquidated several of his companies. The money disappeared into a dark hole at the Treasury Department (via the Federal Reserve System). The money was transferred. The money was received. The money disappeared.

GOVERNMENT KNEW MONEY WAS BEING SENT BY THE CENTRAL BANK OF CHINA

Secretary of the Treasury (at the time) Snow and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan traveled to Beijing to verify Lee Wanta’s signature. The transfer was handled with very careful planning and the People’s Bank of China handled the transfer as such transfers are supposed to be handled.

HOW DID THE $27.5 TRILLION GET WHACKED DOWN TO ONLY $4.5 TRILLION?

Lee was forced to take $4.5 trillion – or nothing. He immediately donated, with restrictions he, himself, put in place, the remaining $23 trillion to the people of America. The powers that be were very upset with him for doing this and the economic war began then and there. A unilateral Presidential gag order was placed on him after he was captured – kidnapped, I call it – and put in jail. Someone has the $23 trillion, according to the Lee’s bank records which were seized.

 

 

 

 

 

Strange Bedfellows: The Nazi – Israel Nuclear Partnership

11q_241

 

… by Gordon Duff, … with Jeff Smith

The interview below discusses recent revelations from the German press tying that nation to the covert funding of Israel’s nuclear weapons program. The organization discussed, the DVD, was brought to light during the Thatcher government when her economic advisor, Christopher Story (Edward Harle) helped place them on the radar. Similarly, in the US, President Ronald Reagan’s Intelligence Coordinator, Lee Wanta began intelligence operations against the DVD.

From a classified White Paper on the DVD:

Deutsche Verteidigungs Dienst

Christopher Story, longtime associate of my good friend, Lee Wanta, was an agent of Britain’s secret services, something not included in his official biography but true none the less. Story, a respected lecturer on global currency issues and intelligence, told of an organization formed during the late 1920s, formed of a coalition between the Bush family in the US, then part of the Harriman/Rothschild banking cartel of New York/City of London, and the “Hitler Project”, so aptly written about by Webster Tarpley in his Unauthorized Biography of George H.W. Bush.

___
According to Story, this group which controlled the Federal Reserve in the United States and the majority of the world’s central banks served an agenda of world conquest, both overt and covert. Story cited Hitler as a “puppet” of the organization that would later be called the DVD. British Prime Minister Edward Heath was a DVD operative as was Prime Minister Tony Blair and a significant number of high ranking British politicians.

__________________________

The interview:

Gordon:  What does the IAEA know about the relationship between Israel and Germany?

Jeff Smith:  The Israelis make the nukes for Germany and Germany gives them subs in exchange etc. Dimona was built by France and Germany in exchange for stolen US nuclear weapons technology smuggled out the back door of the US by Israel.

Michael Shrimpton

Michael Shrimpton

Gordon:  You have watched Michael Shrimpton’s case from the beginning. Do you believe he was railroaded?

Jeff Smith:  Mr. Shrimpton was on to something much bigger that involved Israel, the UK and Germany over a secret German clandestine nuclear weapons program, and they had to shut him up. He got set up, just like the Boston bomber did. It looks like he got off lucky with only 1 year in jail. I hope the book he writes while in jail is a good one. (Dr. No Take 2.) The squeal.

Gordon:  What is the back story regarding Fukushima?

Jeff Smith:  The Fujitsu-mu power plant disaster in Japan was probably done by Mossad to keep the covert Japanese weapons program under their control.

Gordon:  If Germany and Japan have covert nuclear weapons programs, what is the IAEA’s secret list, you know, other than Israel? What nations were sold stolen nuclear pits taken from the Pantex facility?

Jeff Smith:  Most likely there are several other countries that are involved in this nuclear conspiracy including the Ukraine, Koreas N and S, Taiwan, India, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Saudi, ETC. It starts to put the context on the stolen US nuclear pits and just how big the operation was or is and why they took out Roland Carnaby in Houston. Israel is the open back door (the elephant in the room) to getting around IAEA NNP. They bribe everybody with small tactical nukes to keep them in line and vote against the Palestinians.

Gordon:  You say Israel uses tactical nukes as party favors? Who are their stooges in Washington, not just congress, but those involved directly in the theft of nuclear weapons?

President Clinton with Bill Richardson, then US Secretary of Energy

President Clinton with Bill Richardson, then US Secretary of Energy

Jeff Smith:  This is why they will never sign the NNP treaty or ever allow inspection. Richardson’s role at DOE under Clinton is now becoming more interesting. Along with Tom Countryman’s head of NNP at State. This explains why the FBI watched him so closely.

Gordon:  You had said that so much nuclear material was being stolen that “the lobby” openly pushed to stop the MOX fuel program?

Jeff Smith:  Since all records of pit disposal pre Salt 2 or pre 1993 no longer exist, there is no way to determine how much material has been correctly disposed of versus being smuggled out the back door. That also explains why they stopped the Savannah River MOX fuel plant from being completed. It was quite openly stopped by Israeli lobbying in Congress, a virtual admission of complicity in the theft of nuclear material.

Gordon:  With 350 primary pits taken out of the Pantex facility – as we are dealing with two-stage thermonuclear weapons – are the “secondaries” being threatened as well?

Jeff Smith:  Good point. The next bigger issue is all of the secondary nuclear boost units stored at Savannah River. There is actually less security and paper work on them than the primaries at Amarillo. Each secondary hydrogen bomb boost unit has as much as 24 pounds of Pu in a hollow rod shape inside of it, along with the lithium-6, more than enough to recycle into one or more weapons.

Tom Countryman, Dept. of State

Tom Countryman, Dept. of State

Gordon:  We had learned earlier that the Dimona plant in Israel, the one paid for by Germany, had a serious accident around 1990. What is the value of that facility now?

Jeff Smith:  Dimona is basically a covert nuclear weapons refurbishing plant that is worth a lot of money and power to Israel. It is their covert foreign policy of nuclear blackmail started under Yahoo and Sharon. The entire war on terror started when Yahoo became Prime Minister of Israel. Like Bush and Reagan, maybe Yahoo took out Sharon and Begin.

Gordon:  The recent article exposing German financing of Israel’s nuclear program, perhaps accidentally, reveals a multi-generational conspiracy of massive proportions. It also brings the DVD into focus, an organization once thought of almost as an urban legend. Are we possibly seeing a cascade of events that may put light on the real “bad actors?”

Jeff Smith:  This is the other shoe dropping on 911. More things are coming into focus all along with a much bigger picture of the operation and the special relationship of Germany and Israel. This now includes Siemens / Crypto-AG and the German Wings crash, MH-17, MH-370 and why the cover up.

Gordon:  Who do you see as the DVD’s major players in the US?

Jeff Smith:  Bush / McCain/ Romney are all probably part of the DVD, and Shrimpton’s claims are not so wild any more. The DVD is probably a secret US, German / Dutch, Israeli intelligence operation started by Prescott Bush back in the 1930’s.

Captured Blog: Past Inaugurations

So, we have, nearly 6 years ago, proof that China transferred $4.5 trillion dollars to the US, part of a fund to be used to finance public projects and reduce national debt and build a nationwide high speed rail system which would employ 400,000 Americans.

Paulson of Treasury, Bush of Turkeyland, The Men Who Looted America

In the interim, who has been using this money?

State of the Union

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama walks the Colonnade hours before giving the State of the Union Speech at the White House January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama is expected to speak about manufacturing, engineering, worker skills and American values as he outlines his vision for the nation.

Many of the things covered by President Obama, not enough things I admit, but many, would restore confidence and some legality to federal authority that is, in all probability, totally absent now.

These monies, according to documents filed in federal court this week, have, with the tacit approval of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department, been illegally used as collateral by major banks.

In 2007, a federal suit was filed to recover $4.3 trillion USD stolen by Goldmann Sachs by the Bush Administration.  A settlement was reached and the monies are to be returned.

Some of the language of that lawsuit will be included in the exhibits below.

Please note:  Goldman Sachs went to the Bush administration, straight to Paulson who had secretly lent them, tax free and interest free, $4.5 trillion dollars, and asked for a federal “bail out.”

He authorized it, just as he had authorized the illegal loan of money that was never his to lend in the first place.

Goldman Sachs never carried this on their books nor any of the profits, estimated at over $15 trillion dollars.  It was all laundered overseas while American taxpayers covered imaginary losses engineered by our own Secretary of Treasury.

Two billion dollars of these monies are earmarked for funding housing for American veterans, monies that are still being withheld despite payment order.  Even United States Marshalls can’t seem to pry money out of Goldmann Sachs even with a Federal Court order:

Here is another even more interesting part:

So, we have, nearly 6 years ago, proof that China transferred $4.5 trillion dollars to the US, part of a fund to be used to finance public projects and reduce national debt and build a nationwide high speed rail system which would employ 400,000 Americans.

In the interim, who has been using this money?

Current court estimates indicate the value with interest at $7.2 trillion dollars, half the entire national debt.

The real question, of course, is how many trillions of dollars of profit was made by the banks who were allowed to borrow this money at no interest, enough to finance hundreds, perhaps thousands of trillions of dollars in transactions and untold profit.

These same banks claimed they were broke and had to be bailed out by the US government, begging trillions while hiding the fact they had been given the free use of trillions in illegal wealth from China, funding now proven to belong to Ameritrust and designated for rebuilding America.

THE STORY

As President Obama mentioned in the video above, the American people are increasingly separating themselves from their government.  Washington is looked on as a den of inequity, the center of all that is wrong in the world, a heart even darker than Wall Street.

" What Do You Mean How Much is Enough!!! "

As for “insider trading,” few know what it means.  Members of congress, not only profit from the companies they award government contracts to but are regularly awarded “stock options” which profit them billions, by authorizing the traditional “$600 toilet seat” times a million.

They wasted the future of America for their own enrichment, sucking the lifeblood of America and hiding behind illegal laws, crooked judges and a Justice Department that is required, we are told, to look the other way because congress is above any law.

As for Ameritrust and China, we find that members of the Bush regime personally authorized the lending an no interest of trillions of dollars of money that wasn’t theirs.

How were they repaid?  What we find, of course, is that the famous names of that period are investors and board members everywhere we look.

It has been a decade of thievery hidden behind the War on Terror, all done while American soldiers not only died, but were sent on missions to kidnap, torture and murder.

When those same soldiers returned, unprepared for anything but suicide, homelessness or murdering their own families, something that has happened more times than anyone could imagine,  the trillions in profits made off their destruction are too busy filling foreign bank accounts, those “Mitt Romney” accounts, to do any good.

When $2 billion is given to American veterans, they find it illegally lent to Goldman Sachs by former Treasury Secretary Paulson.  How do we get it back?

the sun sets on the U.S. Capitol building hours before U.S. President Barack Obama is set to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque


Captured Blog: Past Inaugurations

54

President George Bush, right, and his wife, first lady Barbara Bush, acknowledge the crowd on Pennsylvania Avenue after getting out of their limousine and walking the inaugural parade route in Washington, D.C., Friday, Jan. 20, 1989. Earlier, Bush was sworn in as the 41st president of the United States. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook) #

Captured Blog: Past Inaugurations

55

President George Bush raises his hand on Jan. 20,1989 as he takes the oath of office as president of the United States outside the Capitol. Vice President Dan Quayle watches from behind. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) #

 
 

 

   
And now our government
a bird with two right wings
flies on from zone to zone
while we go on having our little fun & games
at each election
as if it really mattered who the pilot is
of Air Force One
(They're interchangeable, stupid!)
While this bird with two right wings
flies right on with its corporate flight crew
And this year its the Great Movie Cowboy in the cockpit
And next year its the great Bush pilot
And now its the Chameleon Kid
and he keeps changing the logo on his captains cap
and now its a donkey and now an elephant
and now some kind of donkephant
And now we recognize two of the crew
who took out a contract on America
and one is a certain gringo wretch
who's busy monkeywrenching
crucial parts of the engine
and its life-support systems
and they got a big fat hose
to siphon off the fuel to privatized tanks
And all the while we just sit there
in the passenger seats
without parachutes
listening to all the news that's fit to air
over the one-way PA system
about how the contract on America
is really good for us etcetera
As all the while the plane lumbers on
into its postmodern
manifest destiny
 
Economic frenemies: Barack and Michelle Obama welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao (C) to the White House January 20, 2011. China is losing interest in U.S. debt
  • China owns $5.69billion in short-term U.S. debt
  • China owns a larger amount of long-term debt
  • U.S.'s $14.34trillion debt may get more expensive

China's economy roars on, while the Asian powerhouse holds $1.1449trillion in U.S. debt. That's actually down a bit since last October, the high point, when China owned $1.1753trillion of the U.S. deficit. What America is seeing today is a flat lining economy. When the credit crisis began, and it is not over, real GDP fell 4%, vs. 25% in the early 1930s. Can you imagine where the economy would be without the bailout of the financial sector, government and to a lesser degree the economy? We are talking about perhaps $5 trillion that we know about. If you take away unemployment, extended unemployment, food stamps, Medicaid and various other social services, we could be in the same spot today as we were in the 1930s. We have been without recovery for almost five years. At least the Great Depression had recovery in 1933 and 1934. We may not have a WWII on the horizon, but we sure have many perpetual wars for perpetual peace. Today the excuse is rogue states and terrorists, which are just excuses to have more undeclared wars.

Captured Blog: Past Inaugurations

Pictures of the Week: June 3, 2011

Captured Blog: Past Inaugurations

 

"The right wing U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 landmark ruling on campaign finance has made it possible for wealthy individuals to influence elections". The ordinary citizen is left as a minor entity compared to the wealthy corporations.

 

State of the Union

 

From left: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, lAssociate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer listen to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. In his third State of the Union speech, President Obama is expected to argue for greater economic fairness and draw on other themes that offer universal appeal in this election year. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times) #

 

The politically incorrect truth is that what we call civilization in any epoch — music, literature, science, politics and other philosophy — have been the accomplishments of, or patronized by, a ruling class. Twenty-first Century America is ruled by psychopathic criminals and peopled by a gullible mob that doesn’t know or, worse, doesn’t want to know the truth about anything, especially 9/11, as long as there is gasoline at the pump, a working automobile, professional sports, beer, and television. We were wrong to think of basic needs being food, clothing, and shelter.

The GOP has convinced a sizable number of Americans that the desire to protect their own families from corporate abuse is due to the socialist influences in society.

 

And many of us are buying into that nonsense, hook-line-and-sinker, in spite if the fact, that the facts are clear. The GOP could care less about the well being of poor and middle-class Americans. In fact, it is their intention to destroy the middle class, because a vibrant and educated middle class is an obstacle in the way of total corporate control of America.

In the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s, big business and labor had a symbiotic relationship. American corporations would hire the poor and middle class and provide a job with a living wage and good benefits for life. As a result the working class had the money to purchase the products that the corporations produced, and spread money throughout the economy by going on vacations, and buying homes, cars, and appliances, etc. Thus, business and labor had forged a perfect relationship, and America thrived.

Then under the Ronald Reagan era of reckless deregulation the corporatists became greedy and began to embrace a scheme hatched by U.S.C. Professor, Arthur Laffer, called supply-side Economics, or “trickle down,” if you will.The theory behind this scheme that came to be known as “Reaganomics,” was ostensibly, if you cut taxes for business and people in the upper tax brackets, then deregulated business of such nuisances as safety regulations and environmental safeguards, the beneficiaries would invest their savings into creating new jobs. As a result, business would prosper, and the money would eventually “trickle down” to the rest of us. In addition, the resulting broadened tax base would not only help to bring down the deficit, but also subsidize the tremendously high defense budget.

When the plan was first floated, even George Bush Sr, Reagan’s vice president to be, called it “voodoo economics.”And Bush Sr. was right. What actually happened was instead of taking the money and investing it into creating new jobs, the money was used in wild schemes and stock market speculation. One of these schemes, the leveraged buy out, involved buying up large companies with borrowed funds secured by the company’s assets, then paying off the loan by selling off the company one piece at a time. This practice was a major contributor to destroying our industrial base, and changed America from a producer nation with plenty of jobs, to a consumer nation with very few.

In addition, the bottom fell out of the stock market. On Monday, October 19, 1987 the Dow-Jones Average fell 508.32 points. It was the greatest one-day decline since 1914 – 15 years BEFORE the Great Depression (Isn’t it curious how these things always seem to happen under Republican presidents?).

Now our economy is no longer insular. We’re in a global economy. What’s left of formerly American corporations are now international, and spread out all over the world. That has brought about two major changes. First, corporations no longer have to depend on American workers to buy their goods. They now have markets all over the world, so they’re they’re much less concerned about the economic health of poor and middle class Americans.  Our only value is as a piggy bank when they need to be bailed out, or to be squeezed - like now, by sending jobs overseas – when they want to manipulate our political system  or want concessions from the government.

Secondly, corporations now have to compete with countries where workers make less a week than many American workers spend on lunch per day. So the standard of living of the American middle class has become a liability that must be corrected, and the GOP is being subsidized by the corporatists to do just that.

Thus, what Gov. Walker of Wisconsin is engaged in has absolutely nothing to do with the budget or the deficit. The public employee unions in Wisconsin had already agreed to make the necessary concessions to cover budgetary shortfalls. Gov. Walker is engaged in union busting in order to cut the legs from under middle class workers. That would serve two useful purposes – it would both bring down the standard of living of the middle class, and it would also leave the poor and middle class without an organized front to oppose the GOP in coming elections.

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan …

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

This might be funny if it weren’t so true.

As we enter the twilight of the American nation we have never been so overwhelmed by the servile incompetence of Congress and its entourage of bureaucrats. We call them team A and team B. As each administration changes the participants change, but their length of service lingers on for many years. They represent the same masters who control them from behind the scenes with the same mission, but with slightly different approaches in order to make it seem change is being made. A great many of these servants from academia although very bright, never had an original thought in their life, never have worked in the business world and all are disciples of John Maynard Keyes and his corporatist fascist philosophy. Is it any wonder our nation is in the state it is in?

These are the same geniuses who created massive increases of money and credit starting 11 years ago, only to cap it off with QE1 and QE2 and stimulus 1 and 2, that have only served to rescue an insolvent financial sector and a corrupt insolvent government, which is still in progress. Wall Street and banking have been treated to massive amounts of money supplied by American citizens, who have seen their life savings foreclosed on. They borrow from the Fed at almost zero percent interest rates to invest in higher yielding bets, and wild speculation in totally rigged, manipulated markets. Just to show you how Wall Street’s rigged game works a number of major firms go for months without having a losing trading day. That is impossible unless the game is rigged, which it is for certain elitist, Illuminist corporations. These profit centers are created to offset the massive losses sustained in bad loans, mortgagees and from other speculations. Banks were leveraged 70 to 1 on average. It is now 20 to 40 to one, up from a normal 9 to 1. As a result government sees only 20% of its debt offerings being bought by Americans and foreigners. The remainder is being bought by the Federal Reserve, which for the most part creates money and credit out of thin air to meet these needs.

Economic 'frenemies': Barack and Michelle Obama welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao (C) to the White House January 20, 2011. China is buying less U.S. debt

That number grew rapidly until May 2009, when China started to reduce its holdings in short-term Treasury bills, by as much as 97 per cent by March 2011.

Treasury bills are securities that mature in one year or less. They are sold by the U.S. Treasury Department to fund the nation’s debt.

Until October, the total amount of U.S. debt China held continued to rise, as they 'made up' for decreasing purchases of short-term debt with longer-term instruments, according to CNSNews,

After October, their overall U.S. debt holdings began a decline, as they also started to decrease holdings of longer-term securities.

China’s ownership of U.S. national debt has dropped each of the last months for which records are complete, starting in November.

Before the bailouts, CNSNews reports that China had held only $19.8billion in short-term Treasury bills.

By December 2008, that figure had ballooned to $165.2billion. It hit $191.1billion by March 2009 and $210.4billion by May 2009.

After that high point in May 2009, China decreased its ownership of the short-term U.S. government securities, down to $5.69billion in March 2011, the most recent month reported by the U.S. Treasury.

Besides Treasury bills, much of the rest of the U.S. debt is held in Treasury notes, which mature in terms of 2 to 10 years; Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), which mature in terms of 5, 10 and 30 years; and Treasury bonds, which mature in terms of 30 years.

New buyers? The Treasury department will soon have to find new buyers of short-term bonds, possibly like the trader in Moscow pictured

New buyers? The Treasury department will soon have to find new buyers of short-term bonds, possibly like this trader in Moscow

Most of the remainder is in the form of 'intragovernmental' bonds that the Treasury has given to others parts of the government - like Social Security - as 'I.O.U.s' after raiding their accounts.

At the end of March 2011, the publicly marketable part of the national debt had nearly doubled from August 2008, to $9.11trillion. Of that, $5.8trillion was in Treasury notes, $1.7trillion was in Treasury bills, $931.5billion was in long-term Treasury bonds, and $640.7billion was in TIPS.

Before the end of March 2012, the Treasury must redeem all of the $1.7trillion in Treasury bills that were extant as of March 2011.

What this all means is that the government is going to have to find new buyers for that debt, since China seems less interested than before.

It means the government could end up having to pay higher interest rates to finance our growing debt, which is now estimated at a whopping $14.34trillion.

That could cost taxpayers even more money.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund recently predicted that the size of China's economy would overtake that of the U.S. in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) by 2016.

Further, a recent study co-authored by Robert Feenstra, an economist at the University of California, Davis, predicted that 'global economic leadership' would pass from the U.S. to China in 2014.

Arvind Subramanian of the Peterson Institute of International Economics claims China already passed the U.S. in PPP in 2010.

In any case, it's clear that China's economy is on the upswing. But what about America?

It seems to me that somewhere down the line, when our forefathers instituted the documentation known as our Constitution, to current day Washington DC politics, our politicians has deemed themselves the power to use federal dollars on benevolent manners. This “Object of benevolence” spending now accounts for approximately 2/3 of our federal budget.

These “entitlement” programs such as welfare, medicare, medcaid, aid to higher education, farm subsidies, business subsidies and the latest ObamaCare, to name a few, make up nearly 70% of our federal budget. James Madison, the father or our Constitution, once stood on the floor of the House, declaring

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."

We need to ask this question, has our Constitution been amended to authorize federal spending on "objects of benevolence"?

Thomas Jefferson was clear and concise when he said “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”

Charity has no part of the legislative duty of our federal government. It seems to me that our hard earned income is now, being confiscated and redistributed unconstitutionally. Our federal government’s number one reason for its existence is to Defend our way of life! Not to constrain it, Not to provide for it, and surely not to redistribute it!! They are sworn to “defend, preserve and protect” this way of life, according to our Constitution.

Ben Franklin said it best, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

It is my personal belief that if our government would restore this nation as it was intended; allowing all of its citizens to pursue happiness, in the tradition of free enterprise, in the conservative capitalistic sense, these so called “objects of benevolence” would be taken care of by these industrious, God-fearing, hard working folks known as Americans. We have proved in the past days of this nation that we (U.S.A) are the most generous and giving, benevolent group of people on the planet. To make this a slightly more “religious hub”, I will take it one step further, that most of this country’s citizens are Bible believing folks, who take words such as "Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to." As our “good book” has taught us.

I think the mere corruption of today’s politicians find it a great way to assure themselves votes to stay in power, by being a rescuer of those who are down and out, by using this "Object of Benevolence” as a means of spending taxpayers dollars.

I say, it is time for this to end, and honor our Constitution.


Democracy is less a system of government than it is a system to keep government limited, unintrusive: A system of constraints on power to keep politics and government secondary to the important things in life, the true sources of value found only in family and faith.

Ronald Reagan

The most melancholy of human reflections, perhaps, is that, on the whole, it is a question whether the benevolence of mankind does most good or harm. Great good, no doubt, philanthropy does, but then it also does great evil. It augments so much vice, it multiplies so much suffering, it brings to life such great populations to suffer and to be vicious, that it is open to argument whether it be or be not an evil to the world, and this is entirely because excellent people fancy they can do much by rapid action—that they will most benefit the world when they most relieve their own feelings.

—Walter Bagehot

Any discussion of “The Wisdom of the Founders” and the ideal of limited government has to begin by acknowledging a certain irony.  [1] There is no doubt that the Founders were deeply concerned to protect individual and states’ rights against the prerogatives of the federal government. For example, James Madison, in Federalist 45, explicitly declared that the powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government were “few and defined,” having to do mostly with “external objects” like war, peace, and foreign commerce. The powers delegated to the individual states, however, were “numerous and indefinite,” extending, said Madison, to “all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” Think about that the next time you try to start a business, choose (or refuse) health care insurance, plan for your retirement, or, indeed, buy an incandescent light bulb. The insinuation of the federal government into the interstices of everyday life over the last several decades is something that would have appalled the Founders and confirmed Alexis de Tocqueville in his famous analysis of democratic despotism.

Still, it is worth acknowledging that the Founders, although deeply concerned with limiting the sphere of government power, were also determined to forge a strong and effective federal government. The Federalist, after all, took aim at the abundant anti-Federalist commentary that opposed the proposed U.S. Constitution precisely because, so thought the anti-Federalists, it arrogated too much power to a central authority at the expense of the states. But just this, the Founders argued, was the price of creating and maintaining that “more perfect union” of which the Constitution speaks in its Preamble. “The vigor of government,” Alexander Hamilton wrote in the very first of The Federalist Papers, “is essential to the security of liberty.” The goal, he put it later on in The Federalist, is “a happy mean” which combines “the energy of government with the security of private rights.” As the legal scholar Jeremy Rabkin reminds us in his response below, that energy is particularly critical when it comes to issues of national security and defense. The Manhattan Project was not, and could not have been, a local initiative.

Nevertheless, there is widespread, if hardly universal, acknowledgment that our problem today is not to assure the “energy of government,” but quite the opposite, to redress the balance, to re-establish that “happy mean” Hamilton spoke of, by asserting the legitimate jurisdiction of private rights against a rampant and engorging bureaucratic Leviathan.

As I thought about this essay, a couple of lines kept recurring to me. One line came towards the end of October 2008 when the then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama addressed a throng of supporters and told them they were only a few days away from “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

“Fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” What could that mean? At the moment he spoke, the United States was the mightiest, richest, most secure, and most freedom-welcoming republic in the history of the world. If someone were to come along and effect a fundamental transformation of this country, could he succeed without impinging on one or more of these achievements? Of course, people say a lot of things on the campaign trail that they do not really mean. So one question would be, how serious was Barack Obama when he spoke about “fundamentally transforming” this country? I believe that the last two years demonstrate beyond cavil that he was utterly in earnest.

What the Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels calls Obama’s “shock and awe” statism has gone a long way towards transforming this country: towards changing its status as a world power, its economic vibrancy, its hospitableness towards business and entrepreneurship, and above all, perhaps, its commitment to limited government and individual freedom, to what the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States called “the blessings of liberty.” How astonishing, for example, that the state should propose to fine you if you do not choose to purchase a health insurance policy deemed suitable by the state. How amazing that the state in America should oust the head of a private corporation, that it should tell banks how much they may pay their employees, or use the taxpayers’ money to reward people for buying certain brands of automobiles produced by companies of which the state is part owner. These are extraordinary innovations, dangerous to the ideal of limited government and dangerous, too, to the life of freedom.

The critical issue—and the primary spur to the discussion that underlay our deliberations in “The Wisdom of the Founders”—revolves around the proper relationship between the individual and the state in a modern democracy. That relationship is now up for fundamental renegotiation. How the negotiation between individual liberty and state power is resolved will determine the sort of polity we bequeath to posterity.

Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, made headlines when he declared, in the midst of the recent economic meltdown, that, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” What he meant was that a crisis makes people anxious and vulnerable and that it is easier in periods of crisis to exploit that vulnerability and push through initiatives to enlarge government. Which is why in periods of crisis one should, if one is prudent, exercise double diligence about acting hastily. As the British politician and journalist Daniel Hannan recently observed in The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America, “most disastrous policies have been introduced at times of emergency.”

Consider the precipitate actions of New Deal Democrats under FDR. Today, many commentators acknowledge that the sudden expansion of the government and proliferation of burdensome new business regulations hampered business, retarded new hiring, and prolonged the Depression. FDR and his minions, Hannan notes, were in the grip of “one of the most dangerous of political fallacies: the idea that, at a time of crisis, the government’s response must be proportionate to the degree of public anxiety.”

A prudent government, on the contrary, ought to temper that anxiety with dispassionate judgment. How often have you heard a politician or government bureaucrat tell you that “Doing nothing is not an option”? In fact, as Hannan rightly observes, “Doing nothing is always an option, and often it is the best option.” This was something that Calvin Coolidge—perhaps America’s most underrated president—acknowledged when he said to a busybody aide: “Don’t just do something; stand there!” Amity Shlaes has more to say about Coolidge below.

The point is that it is far, far easier to establish than to rid oneself of any bureaucracy, and, of all mankind’s bureaucracies, the hardest to kill are government bureaucracies. When the economic crisis broke in the fall of 2008, the United States was quick off the mark to spend more, borrow more, intervene more in business, and impose a raft of paralyzing new regulations. In the past year and a half, President Obama has greatly expanded the size and intrusiveness of the federal government, has spent trillions of dollars—trillions—and has, under the rubric of health care “reform,” put another nearly 20 percent of the American economy under the control of Washington. I think ruefully of Thomas Jefferson’s advice: “To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.” Which will it be?

In the aftermath of November’s election, President Obama several times pleaded with opponents to “put politics aside.” I know there is a cynical interpretation according to which this admonition was merely Chicago-style political hypocrisy. Perhaps that is part of the story. But I think there was something more or other than hypocrisy involved. I think that President Obama was sincere. Like many friends of humanity, Barack Obama believes that politics are what his opponents—those whom he in an unguarded moment recently referred to as “enemies”—engage in. His occupation is less politics than benevolence. Essentially, he believes, he has already “put politics aside.” Sure, it might be necessary to indulge in politics occasionally to get things done, but his goals, he believes, transcend that grubby, partisan business. They occupy, he thinks, a realm of virtue that may guide politics but is not subject to politics’ selfish imperatives.

Thus when it comes to tax policy, President Obama has said that the chief issue is not raising revenue, but “fairness.” He just wants, as he famously told Joe the Plumber, “to spread the wealth around,” never mind that the wealth in question is not his to spread.

Let me return to that word “benevolence.” It is critical to an understanding of the assault on limited government we have witnessed in recent decades. Barack Obama is a type of the benevolent ruler. Not the most thorough-
going type—America has thus far been spared that—but a recognizable specimen nonetheless. This may seem paradoxical. Isn’t benevolence a good thing? Let’s think about that for a moment. Benevolence is a curious mental or characterological attribute. It is, as the philosopher David Stove observes in What’s Wrong with Benevolence: Happiness, Private Property, and the Limits of Enlightenment, less a virtue than an emotion. To be benevolent means—what? To be disposed to relieve the misery and increase the happiness of others. Whether your benevolent attitude or action actually has that effect is besides the point. Yes, Stove says, “benevolence, by the very meaning of the word, is a desire for the happiness, rather than the misery, of its object.” But here’s the rub: “the fact simply is that its actual effect is often the opposite of the intended one. The adult who had been hopelessly ‘spoilt’ in childhood is the commonest kind of example; that is, someone who is unhappy in adult life because his parents were too successful, when he was a child, in protecting him from every source of unhappiness.”

It’s not that benevolence is a bad thing per se. On the contrary, it’s just that, like charity, it works best the more local are its aims. Enlarged, it becomes like that “telescopic philanthropy” Dickens attributes to Mrs. Jellyby in Bleak House. Like other such benefactors, Mrs. Jellyby’s philanthropy is more ardent the more abstract and distant its objects. Africa excites her benevolence. When it comes to her own family, however, she is indifferent to the point of callousness.

The sad truth is that theoretical benevolence is compatible with any amount of practical indifference or even cruelty. You feel kindly towards others. That is what matters: your feelings. The effects of your benevolent feelings in the real world are secondary. Rousseau was a philosopher of benevolence. So was Karl Marx. Yet everywhere that Marx’s ideas have been put into practice, the result has been universal immiseration. His intention was the benevolent one of forging a more equitable society by abolishing private property and, to adapt President Obama’s famous phrase, by “spreading the wealth around.” Every Marxist society has spread it wide and spread it thin. Hence Ronald Reagan’s observation that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

An absolute commitment to benevolence, like the road that is paved with good intentions, typically leads to an unprofitable destination. My epigraph from the great nineteenth-century English essayist Walter Bagehot underscores the point: it is a melancholy occupation, observed Bagehot, to ask whether the benevolence of mankind actually does more good than ill. It makes the purveyor of benevolence feel better—where by better I mean more smug and self-righteous. But it is unclear whether the objects of benevolence are any better off.

Just so with the modern Welfare State: a sterling incarnation of the sort of abstract benevolence Stove anatomizes. It doesn’t matter that the welfare state actually creates more of the poverty and dependence it was instituted to abolish: the intentions behind it are benevolent. Which is one of the reasons it is so seductive. It flatters the vanity of those who espouse it even as it nourishes the egalitarian ambitions that have always been at the center of Enlightened thought. This is why Stove describes benevolence as “the heroin of the Enlightened.” It is intoxicating, addictive, expensive, and ultimately ruinous.

The intoxicating effects of benevolence help to explain the growing appeal of politically correct attitudes about everything from “the environment” to the fate of the Third World. Why does the consistent failure of statist policies not disabuse their advocates of the statist agenda? One reason is that statist polices have the sanction of benevolence. They are “against poverty,” “against war,” “against oppression,” “for the environment.” And why shouldn’t they be? Where else are the pleasures of smug self-righteousness to be had at so little cost?

The intoxicating effects of benevolence also help to explain why unanchored benevolence is inherently expansionist. The party of benevolence is always the party of big government. The imperatives of benevolence are intrinsically opposed to the pragmatism that underlies the allegiance to limited government.

Stove’s argument is that the union of abstract benevolence, which takes mankind as a whole for its object, with unbridled moralism is a toxic, misery-producing brew. “It is only the combination of these two elements,” Stove observes in a powerful essay called “Why You Should Be a Conservative,”

which is so powerful a cause of modern misery. Either element on its own is almost always comparatively harmless. A person who is convinced that he has a moral obligation to be benevolent, but who in fact ranks morality below fame (say), or ease; or again, a person who puts morality first, but is also convinced that the supreme moral obligation is, not to be benevolent, but to be holy (say), or wise, or creative: either of these people might turn out to be a scourge of his fellow humans, though in most cases he will not. But even at the worst, the misery which such a person causes will fall incomparably short of the misery caused by Lenin, or Stalin, or Mao, or Ho Chi Minh, or Kim Il-Sung, or Pol Pot, or Castro: persons convinced both of the supremacy of benevolence among moral obligations, and of the supremacy of morality among all things. It is this combination which is infallibly and enormously destructive of human happiness.

Of course, as Stove goes on to note, this “lethal combination” is by no means peculiar to Communists. It provides the emotional fuel for utopians from Robespierre to the politically correct bureaucrats who preside over more and more of life in Western societies today. They mean well. They seek to boost all mankind up to their own plane of enlightenment. Inequality outrages their sense of justice. They see tradition as the enemy of innovation, which they embrace as a lifeline to moral progress. They cannot encounter a wrong without seeking to right it. The idea that some evils may be ineradicable is anathema. The notion that the best is the enemy of the good, that many choices are to some extent choices among evils—such proverbial wisdom seems quaintly out of date. The result is a campaign to legislate virtue, to curtail eccentricity, to smother individuality, to barter truth for the current moral or political enthusiasm.

For centuries, political philosophers have understood that the lust for equality is the enemy of freedom. That species of benevolence underwrote the tragedy of Communist tyranny. The rise of political correctness has redistributed that lust over a new roster of issues: not the proletariat, but the environment; not the struggling masses, but “reproductive freedom,” gay rights, the Third World, diversity training, and an end to racism and xenophobia. It looks, in Marx’s famous mot, like history repeating itself as farce. It would be a rash man, however, who made no provision for a reprise of tragedy.

The attitude of abstract benevolence is all but ubiquitous in modern Democratic societies. Although of relatively recent vintage, it has insinuated itself deeply into the tissues of the body politic. The modern Welfare State is one result of the triumph of abstract benevolence. Its chief effects are to institutionalize dependence on the state while also assuring the steady growth of the bureaucracy charged with managing government largess. Both help to explain why the Welfare State has proved so difficult to dismantle.

Is there an alternative? Stove quotes Thomas Malthus’s observation, from his famous Essay on Population, that “we are indebted for all the noblest exertions of human genius, for everything that distinguishes the civilized from the savage state,” to “the laws of property and marriage, and to the apparently narrow principle of self-interest which prompts each individual to exert himself in bettering his condition” (my emphasis). Stove observes that Malthus’s arguments (one might quote Adam Smith to the same effect) for the genuinely beneficent effects of “the apparently narrow” principle of self-interest “cannot be too often repeated.”

In Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill argued that “justice” required everyone to be “as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator” about his own happiness. But Mill’s great critic, James Fitzjames Stephen, is the wiser psychologist: “If this be so, I can only say that nearly the whole of nearly every human creature is one continued course of injustice, for nearly everyone passes his life in providing the means of happiness for himself and those who are closely connected with him, leaving others all but entirely out of account.” And this, Stephen argues, is as it should be, not merely for prudential but for moral reasons:

The man who works from himself outwards, whose conduct is governed by ordinary motives, and who acts with a view to his own advantage and the advantage of those who are connected with himself in definite, assignable ways, produces in the ordinary course of things much more happiness to others . . . than a moral Don Quixote who is always liable to sacrifice himself and his neighbors. On the other hand, a man who has a disinterested love of the human race—that is to say, who has got a fixed idea about some way of providing for the management of the concerns of mankind—is an unaccountable person . . . who is capable of making his love for men in general the ground of all sorts of violence against men in particular.

The partisans of limited government are suspicious of moral Don Quixotes. They want to preserve a space for private initiative. But private initiative is by its nature inequitable. Some individuals will succeed better than others. That indeed is the point: to encourage innovation and hard work by crowning it with success. Writing in 1800, Thomas Jefferson extolled that “wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, [but] shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” A benevolent government, on the contrary, would impose its own restrictions on the “pursuits of industry and improvement,” sacrificing the rights of freedom to the demands of equality.

The larger the stage upon which the melodrama of benevolence operates, the more dangerous its potential. This is something that Henry Kissinger ackowledged when, writing about the new tendency to subject national politics to international tribunals, he warned about the “risk [of] substituting the tyranny of judges for that of governments.” “Historically,” he noted, “the dictatorship of the virtuous has often led to inquistions and even witch-hunts.” The “dictatorship of the virtuous” is a reign created by and supported by benevolence.

I said above that candidate Obama’s promise to set about “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” was one line that often recurred to me when thinking about this essay. Another is an observation from David Hume that Friedrich von Hayek used as an epigraph to The Road to Serfdom. “It is seldom,” Hume wrote, “that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” America’s drift away from the ideal of limited government as envisioned by the Founders has been gathering force for decades. The fate of limited government and the fate of liberty are deeply intertwined: as one fares, so fares the other. And it is a melancholy fact that the loss of freedom is not only something that is visited upon us from outside: it is something we visit upon ourselves.

Hayek said that one of the “main points” of his argument in The Road to Serfdom concerned “the psychological change,” the “alteration of the character of the people” that extensive government control brought in its wake. The alteration involves a process of softening, enervation, infantilization even: an exchange of the challenges of liberty and self-reliance for the coddling pleasures of dependence. Breaking with that drift becomes more and more difficult the more habituated to dependence a people becomes.

Difficult, but not impossible. It is too early to say for certain, but I like to think there are signs that more and more people are waking up to the wisdom of Madison’s observation, in Federalist 44, that “in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers.”

[1]“The Wisdom of the Founders: The Fate of Limited

Government in an Age of Uncertainty,” a conference organized by The New Criterion, took place in New York on November 9, 2010. The essays and responses that follow are revised versions of the papers presented at that conference. The editors are deeply grateful to the Thomas W. Smith Foundation for its critical support and also to the Hon. Bruce Gelb, Kenneth Gilman, and Lionel Goldfrank for their support of this conference and the publication of these reflections.

1945-1994: Vietnam: "Remember! Only you can prevent forests."
"nobody ever told us they were human" - -Lt. Calley, My Lai hearings. 'Calley Pleads for Understanding', New York Times, March 31, p. 1
We might begin with the CIA's orchestration in 1952 of a dramatic terrorist bombing in the center of Saigon that was blamed on communist forces [1] to stir American rage against Agent 19 [2] creating political support for the US to become the primary financer of the French war in Indochina until the US takes the entire project over in 1961, when Kennedy sends in the first US ground advisers, who almost immediately begin taking over the fighting for a corrupt Diem regime. Similar incidents, such as the Gulf of Tonkin, are repeated to generate support for ramping up the scale of American intervention.
In a campaign that is probably best described as institutionalized genocide some 1 million Vietnamese combatants and 2-4,000,000 South East Asian civillians (DRV statistics, including Laos and Cambodia) were killed during this US stage of the war (estimated anywhere between 10-20% of the population), with over half the Vietnamese casualties inflicted in South Vietnam, the ostensible protectorate of the United States. Likewise the US managed to kill some 17,000 US troops - one third of all US casualties were reportedly caused by American-deployed landmines and unexploded cluster ordinace [3].
The CIA's Phoenix program [4] lead to the extra-judicial assassinations of some 20-40,000 civillians alone - or "suspected Communists", nevermind the hundreds of thousands that were subjected to brutal interrogations and internment in American re-education camps. Military intelligence programs differed little in their essential brutality, including torture by field telephone [5] In violation of international law, among other things, the US utilized chemical warfare [6] (sarin per operation Tailwind [7] is largely discredited, VX perhaps remains a possibility [8] and massive amounts of toxins - the carcinogen Agent Orange comes to mind - were dumped into the Vietnamese ecosystem, defoliating vast swathes of the country) and scorched earth policies [9] which afflicted not only US and Vietnamese soliders, the former of whom were awarded damages for the exposure, but caused massive civilian casualties and harm that continue to this day, as unexploded ordance and damage to the gene pool caused by chemical agents take their slow toll:

The Vietnamese government estimates 500,000 children have been born with birth defects caused by contamination with Agent Orange and two million suffered cancers and other ill effects - innocent victims of a chemical intended to harm plant life, not humans. But unlike the American soldiers who sprayed the defoliant, they have never received compensation.
--The Independent, "Agent Orange: the legacy of a weapon of mass destruction"
The main thrust of this violence was directed towards South Vietnam, who we were purportedly there to protect, or whatever it is we were purpotedly doing; protecting America from Vietnam, I suppose, against their plan to sail over in rafts and crush us with sheer numbers. To have Michael Lind [10] tell it I'm supposed to believe that the NLF's refusal to surrender makes them responsible for the victims of US invasion. So far as Soviet involvement is concerned Ilya Gaiduk argues that Russia was partly responsible for the war due to their lack of actual involvement, however that works. US involvement in Vietnam increased neighboring alliances with the Soviets and forced the Vietnamese into a position of dependency on China and the USSR (they had, after WWII, sought alliances and support from the US to preserve their independence from the French and the Chinese - the latter position eventually lead to their alliances with the Soviets). The Sino-Soviet split in 1960 resulted in China becoming a US ally after the end of the war in 1975, at which point Vietnam turned even further to the Soviets for support against the traditional Chinese hegemony over the region.
The US paid for the French campaign between 1945 to 1954 before taking it over directly, beginning a US phase in the Vietnam wars that lasted until 1975. After the end of direct US involvement in Vietnam the US continued waging the conflict for almost two decades afterward [11] In 1979 China invaded Vietnam with US backing [12] when the USG deployed the carrier Constellation to the Gulf of Tonkin to deter a Soviet response, and gave diplomatic and political backing for the Chinese action - to "teach the ex-colony a lesson" for deposing the pro-Chinese, genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. During the invasion the Chinese destroyed the dikes and canals that formed key components to agrarian production and with them much of the country's rice reserves, inducing food shortages exacerbated at the same time by the US-led blockade on the country that, incidentally, lasted until 1994.
In 1986 Nguyen Van Linh, former leader of the NLF, took control of the CP and persued market policies and attempted to re-integrated Vietnam into the world economic system. The latter was prevented by successive administrations, which continued the embargo and blocked Western access to - to quote Eisenhower - "the specific value of a locality in its production of materials that the world needs": tin, tungsten, rubber plantations, "and so on".
This curious justification for the war was self-fulfilling: when a population elected a communist (Ho Chi Mihn) with 90% of the vote (an early result that was never called into question) who was extremely friendly towards - and a former operative of - the US, the response was to wage an invasion until, against impossible odds, the population expelled the invader. After the war, which was - by Eisenhower's own lame admission - in part to secure access to raw materials, the response of the invaders was to turn around and block access to those materials with no discernable, rational goal (to "teach Vietnam a lesson"?) for 25 years. The pathology of blind anti-Communism prevented a Western response that quite easily could have curbed a Communist regime's worst excesses and defects by working with a country and its elected leaders that were considerably pro-American, and surprisingly still are.
To prevent Communist atrocities - as the justification for the war was argued even as it was waged - was clearly no long term committment. During the normalization process of the early 1990s the subject of human rights was conspiciously absent [13]
as before and as after. The familiar justifications of spreading humane values such as liberty, justice, and life with military force were entirely absent from post-war relations, when they might have been persued in a nonviolent manner.
Thusly there is the generally acknowledged fact that "In the years since we lost the war, we have won it." In consideration that the French had already bailed on the war as a hopeless enterprise in the mid 50s, that the British told Washington in 1954 that "None of us in London believe that intervention in Indonchina can do anything" (Eden to Dulles, April 25th, refusing Eisenhower's request for British support of the US-French war) and made further efforts to end the war in 1967. Our allies were by and large opposed to the war. The only realistic conclusion is that the war, the deaths of millions upon millions of innocents and the ensuing rise of repressive security states throughout the region due to meaningless destructive games amongst imperial powers, was never in any way justified.

The Supreme Court's First Amendment opinions result not from interpreting the First Amendment but from deliberately and insidiously changing its diction in ways that make the Amendment unrecognizable. The Court's arguments in these opinions are pure cant and do nothing but turn the Justices' personal opinions into law. This practice has enabled the Court to act as an oligarchy that has usurped the Constitution and ruled the nation without ever have been elected or given the authority to do so.

Reading the First Amendment makes one wonder how the Supreme Court could have turned its clear and unambiguous words into a mishmash of ambiguity.

"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The writers of the Constitution did not use the words “expression,” “association,” “affiliation,” or “common political goals.” What they did do was name different kinds of things using ordinary diction—speech, press, assemble, petition, and grievance. In ordinary parlance, speech means talk and in the Eighteenth century, press meant print. The press as we know it today did not then exist. Assemble means to get together in the same place, petition means a written request, and a grievance is a perceived injustice. How much plainer could the framers have written this amendment?

Yet, in Buckley Et Al. v. Valeo, the Court writes:

”(b) The First Amendment requires the invalidation of the Act's independent expenditure ceiling, its limitation on a candidate's expenditures from his own personal funds, and its ceilings on overall campaign expenditures, since those provisions place substantial and direct restrictions on the ability of candidates, citizens, and associations to engage in protected political expression, restrictions that the First Amendment cannot tolerate.”

In support of this interpretation, the Court cites Mills v. Alabama; yet that decision clearly dealt only with printed matters. “The Constitution specifically selected the press, which includes not only newspapers, books, and magazines, but also humble leaflets and circulars, see Lovell v. Griffin.” The other decisions cited in the section on General Principles all also relate solely to printed matters. So how do speech and press come to mean expression, a far more generic term, and how did the court use this embellishment to make unlimited campaign expenditures a First Amendment right?

The court writes, ”The Act's contribution and expenditure limitations also impinge on protected associational freedoms. Making a contribution, like joining a political party, serves to affiliate a person with a candidate. In addition, it enables like-minded persons to pool their resources in furtherance of common political goals. The Act's contribution ceilings thus limit one important means of associating with a candidate or committee, but leave the contributor free to become a member of any political association and to assist personally in the association's efforts on behalf of candidates. And the Act's contribution limitations permit associations and candidates to aggregate large sums of money to promote effective advocacy. By contrast, the Act's $1,000 limitation on independent expenditures "relative to a clearly identified candidate" precludes most associations from effectively amplifying the voice of their adherents, the original basis for the recognition of First Amendment protection of the freedom of association. See NAACP v. Alabama. The Act's constraints on the ability of independent associations and candidate campaign organizations to expend resources on political expression "is simultaneously an interference with the freedom of [their] adherents," Sweezy v. New Hampshire (plurality opinion).

Notice how the diction has changed. "Assemble" has become associate and affiliate. "Grievance" has become political goals. So this decision is not based on the text of the Constitution; rather it results from replacing that text. To the Supreme Court, the Constitution reads something like this:

Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of political expression, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to associate and affiliate with candidates, and to petition the Government for the furtherance of political goals.

This paragraph is pure poppycock when compared to the Constitution's clear and unambiguous diction.

Sweezy v. New Hampshire makes identical substitutions: “Equally manifest as a fundamental principle of a democratic society is political freedom of the individual. Our form of government is built on the premise that every citizen shall have the right to engage in political expression and association. This right was enshrined in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Exercise of these basic freedoms in America has traditionally been through the media of political associations. Any interference with the freedom of a party is simultaneously an interference with the freedom of its adherents."

The mistaken result then goes something like this: A person expresses his preferences by the way in which he spends his money. Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the First Amendment. So to limit a person’s expenditures on a political campaign infringes his First Amendment rights. More simply put, freedom of speech (read talk) is guaranteed by the First Amendment. Money talks; therefore spending money is speech protected by the First Amendment. But the First Amendments doesn't guarantee anyone's freedom to spend money.

Some would claim that political expression is a form of speech. But it isn't. The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was a political expression but it was not speech and no court would have released the bomber because arresting him violated his First Amendment rights. Throwing a shoe at a President would be an act of political expression, but it is not speech and no court would excuse it. In fact, the Court has turned the concept of free speech into bought speech which the constitution never mentions. Likewise, the American Automobile Association never assembles, and those who attended the Super Bowl in Arlington Texas assembled there but did not associate. Allowing the bankers who brought down the economy to receive their bonuses while requiring automobile workers to relinquish their pensions which the automobile companies were contractually obliged to provide is a perceived injustice, not a political goal, and campaigning on a platform advocating smaller government is a political goal but not a grievance.

The court, while claiming to be involved in a process of interpretation is in fact involved in a process of rewriting by replacement. But there is no logical relationship between interpretation and replacement. The sentence, "he claimed that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction" cannot be interpreted to mean, "he claimed that Iran has weapons of mass destruction." Yet that's the kind of thing the Supreme Court does all the time.

Sure metaphorically, money can be said to talk. So can many other things, as for instance, scant or revealing attire, expectorating in the face of an official, turning your back on a judge in a courtroom, refusing to pay taxes on the grounds that they support unjust governmental activity, and more.

Isn't it strange that spending money on political campaigns in ways that at least foster the appearance of governmental corruption is ruled to be protected speech, but that more honest ways of speaking metaphorically or symbolically, that is, expressing ourselves metaphorically, are not? How can anyone justify these substitutions? Is it merely incidental that the Justices have described American political campaigns as "a marketplace of ideas"? A marketplace it certainly has become but no ideas are ever marketed there.

The argument presented in any judicial decision is almost impossible to ferret out because of citations to previous cases. A decision includes a quotation from a previous case and appends its citation. When one goes to the cited case, one finds the same practice, and the chain of previous cases is lengthy and following it is cumbersome. At times a reader gets the feeling that the citations are circular; the beginning of the chain can’t be found. And if any court in the chain commits an error of equivocation or amphiboly or a fallacy, as in the cases cited above, it is perpetuated throughout all the other cases that cite it. So the exact reasoning is obfuscated, and bad decisions are the result. The judicial system does not use a rational process while issuing opinions; in fact, it uses a long discarded system known as arguing from authority which was used by medieval Church Fathers in arguing matters of faith. And, in reality, judicial opinions are merely matters of faith, mere beliefs that the justices have an overzealous faith in.

The Supreme Court's First Amendment opinions result not from interpreting the First Amendment but from deliberately and insidiously changing its diction in ways that make the Amendment unrecognizable. The Court's arguments in these opinions are pure cant and do nothing but turn the Justices' personal opinions into law. This practice has enabled the Court to act as an oligarchy that has usurped the Constitution and ruled the nation without ever have been elected or given the authority to do so. And what is most distressing about all of this is that the American legal community lacks a voice in opposition.

A recent study of several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that "large numbers didn't learn . . . critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills. . . . Many . . . graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event. The students . . . couldn't determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin." Forty-five percent of students made no significant improvement in their critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills during the first two years of college, and after four years, 36 percent showed no significant gains. The only thing surprising about this study is that people were surprised by its results. How many members of Congress, most with at least one earned college degree, have demonstrated these abilities, especially the ability to keep from being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin.?

But what is most bothersome is America's legal community, including its academics. What keeps the legal community from vociferously refuting and mocking the logically absurd opinions of the nefarious nine? Is it cowardice within the legal community or a demonstration that lawyers are merely hired guns for the their clients without brains or values of their own? Do they, in fact, comprise the 36% of gradates who fail to learn these skills in college? The plethora of law reviews regularly published should be replete with analyses of the Court's opinions, but they are not, which is why, perhaps, lawyers have for centuries had reputations as jackals (read Erasmus) and are even today the butt of unending deprecating jokes; yet our nation is, in fact, run by nine of them.

This is how empires fall: complacency joins hands with self-aggrandizement. There are four other subtle processes at work in the dissolution/erosion of the system's intellectual foundation:

1. As we shall see in the following chapters, Elites and underclass alike respond to the visible crumbling of the empire with a sublime complacency grounded in vague appeals to some mythical past spirit which will magically arise to enthuse a torpid, self-absorbed Elite and populace. In the U.S., appeals are made to "the can-do spirit" which powered America's past confidence and resolve.

Unfortunately for both the Elite and the underclass (both of whom depend on State largesse and a vibrant middle class paying high taxes), rousing but ultimately empty appeals are no substitute for difficult choices, trade-offs and sacrifices.

2. Even as interconnected crises afflict the empire, the Elite moves deeper into an increasingly visible self-aggrandizement marked by pervasive over-reaching. Having mastered its influence over the State, the Plutocracy finds few limits or obstacles to its over-reach.

This over-reach has the characteristics of a positive feedback loop: the more wealth the Elite controls, the greater its influence, which then enables even more wealth acquisition and ever greater influence, and so on.

3. As a result, the interests of the Plutocracy and thus the State diverge from the common interests of the citizenry as a whole. This widening structural imbalance of power creates a profound cynicism and political disunity which cripples any attempt at structural solutions.

Given that any real solution would reduce the Plutocracy and State's share of the national income, both the Plutocracy and the State (including all those dependent on its various fiefdoms) resist all structural change, preferring stagnation and eventual collapse to any reduction in their income and power.

One of the single most powerful mechanisms at play is windfall exploitation. Windfalls in Nature are rare, and thus all organisms are selected to exploit them as fully as possible--gorging, to the speak, on the newfound riches. The Plutocracy's influence enables it to suppress or weaken various counterforces (such as regulatory systems) and thus open up windfalls designed to be exploited by the Elites. Having dispensed with troublesome barriers between finance and banking and nettlesome limitations on securities ratings and off-balance sheet assets, investment bankers opened up stupendous windfalls to be exploited.

A second, related mechanism is over-reach. As barriers to Plutocratic expansion fall and its share of national income rises, then a positive feedback loop forms: the more the Plutocracy expands, the greater the profits, which then fuels greater political influence, and so on. At a critical (and largely invisible) juncture the Plutocracy inevitably over-reaches. Over-reach takes many forms; it might be an unparalleled expansion into highly risky derivatives, or a domestic Plutocracy reaching into international speculations. The key point is that over-reach pushes the Plutocracy's financial speculations beyond a level of known, controllable risk into uncharted territory, a territory which promises stupendous profits along with equally stupendous but often obscured risk.

Over-reach inevitably pushes a stable system into instability. Once the Plutocracy's income, power and influence are threatened by the rising instability caused by over-reach, then the Elite resorts to propaganda, simulacrum and other mechanisms to mask the structural instability from the populace. The hope is that the system which so greatly benefits the Plutocracy can be restored to health, but the mechanisms of "recovery" are essentially inauthentic: simulacrums of reform, propagandistic manipulations of financial and economic data to mask the structural instability, and outright fraud/looting of State resources (bailouts, loans, etc.)--that is, publicly-funded exemptions from risk and free market forces that would otherwise require the Plutocracy to absorb the catastrophic consequences of its over-reaching leveraged gambles.

This failure to address the underlying cause--systemic over-reach and Plutocratic domination of the economy and political system--insures the instability will only worsen. As ever-more frantic attempts to protect the interests of the Plutocracy fail, then another feedback loop forms: the more sham reforms and State bailouts fail to restore stability, the more desperate and transparent the Plutocracy's attempts to retain power.

It is worth recalling that the average compensation for the 10 top hedge fund managers during the go-go years of the 2000s was $600 million each. That is not a typo. This is an excellent (if extreme) example of over-reach and the resulting windfall exploitation.

As it enriches itself via quasi-protected, semi-legal or simply officially sanctioned looting, fraud, deception, embezzlement, collusion, "sweetheart" State contracts, tax avoidance, environmental loopholes and a hundred other mechanisms of over-reach and windfall exploitation, the Elite inadvertently provides the lower classes with a compelling example of increasing wealth via fraud and manipulation rather than production.

Both the high-caste technocrats (who keep the State and economy running smoothly for their Plutocratic overlords) and the underclass sense their shares of the national income and wealth are diminishing as the Plutocracy redistributes both to their own pockets, and quite naturally they seek some way to maintain or grow their own declining purchasing power/wealth.

As they watch the Plutocrats in action, they learn the most effective ways to increase one's share of the income/wealth are looting ("gaming the system" of pensions, benefits, State entitlements, etc.), deception, fraud and embezzlement (accounting trickery, collusion, sweetheart contracts, etc.) and influence-peddling, known in the Third World as corruption, baksheesh, etc.

As the middle class increasingly runs afoul of the byzantine, Kafkesque regulations imposed by an ever-expanding State, they find that financial leverage and legerdemain is far more lucrative than actually producing goods and services.

(Unsurprisingly, the Plutocracy finds ways to gain exemptions, loopholes and special dispensations which greatly reduce the reach of troublesome regulations and taxes.)

As the middle class abandons thrift and production for financial speculation and highly leveraged debt (following the example of their Plutocratic overlords), tax revenues soar as leveraged speculation pyramids into bubbles, enabling vast expansions of a State which is inherently seeking constant expansion of its income and powers.

When these financial bubbles eventually deflate, then tax revenues plummet, as productive work and investment have declined. Why bother working hard when the big, easy money is made via leveraged speculation? Only fools would tolerate all the regulatory costs and high taxes imposed on producing goods and services; far easier to speculate in bubbling assets like housing, stocks, energy, etc.

The State responds to this drop in tax revenues by raising taxes on the remaining productive middle class, creating a positive feedback loop which reinforces the incentives to either drop out, move to speculation or game the system.

Though heavily marginalized, the underclass also copies the Plutocrats' lead by gaming whatever entitlements the State offers to buy the underclasses' silence, passivity and compliance. Thus petty corruption and fraud increases in all State entitlement programs as every sector of society seeks to suck off the maximum benefits while contributing the least possible to the public coffers.

Thus does a nation or empire built on the sacrifices and communal spirit of its citizenry degrade into a doomed culture of self-aggrandizement in which sacrifice is for suckers and looting, manipulation, fraud, embezzlement, exploitation of position/influence, debauchery of credit, maximization of leverage and the pursuit of speculative riches are the order of the day from the Plutocracy on down through the technocratic upper caste to the underclass.

4. In a society with what we might term an adult understanding of the world, it is understood that difficult trade-offs are a necessary part of life. One cannot pursue every path at once, acquire every desired object at once or learn every skill at once. Priorities must be established via vigorous, open-minded debate (either within oneself for one's own decisions or within the nation-State for larger issues) and a painful triage laid down in which some wants are set aside in favor of actual needs.

Broadly speaking, this is the result of a cost-benefit analysis. Items with increasingly higher marginal costs and increasingly lower marginal returns (a topic covered later) are sacrificed in favor of projects with low costs and high returns. This is, after all, mere common sense.

This painful "adult" process has been replaced in the U.S. by a permanent adolescence in which difficult trade-offs have been banished by stupendous borrowing. Infantile tantrums and various states of psychological denial have crowded out open-minded discussion; every want has been funded by breathtakingly massive borrowing by the State, private enterprise and households alike.

A pernicious, largely unexamined system of laws creates tremendous incentives for unnecessary actions designed to ward off lawsuits, feeding vast armies of high-caste technocratic parasites who produce nothing in the way of wealth-producing goods and services even as they burden the remaining productive sector with make-work rules and costly strategies to avoid potentially ruinous lawsuits.

In true Orwellian fashion, much of this parasitism is described by its practitioners as protecting the "little guy" from the oppressive Elite and State. But as the Plutocracy and State increase their share of the national wealth at the expense of the citizenry, this claim rings increasingly hollow.

Thus we have seniors covered by Medicare receiving multiple costly (and often useless) tests designed less to identify the active causes of disease than to shield the practioners from lawsuits and to enrich those administering the tests.

Meanwhile, millions of non-elderly citizens cannot obtain even a single test as they lack the benefits provided to the upper-caste technocrats in the State and upper tiers of the corporate economy.

Rather than face the impossibility of funding such a morally and fiscally bankrupt system of parasitism and profiteering, we as a nation have simply borrowed trillions of dollars to stave off any painful prioritizing or trade-offs.

Very few weapons systems are ever cancelled for the same reasons; the profiteering by a few enterprises and the contributions they make to lawmakers insure that every weapons system will receive funding, even if that requires borrowing gargantuan sums year after year.

This evasion of hard choices (and free market forces) via endlessly rising debt will eventually bring down the nation's currency and its debt-ridden State. The irony is that this seemingly care-free self-indulgent adolescent avoidance of cost-benefit analysis guarantees systemic collapse.
Let's begin our search for an integrated understanding with a look at how over-reach, windfall exploitation and the divergence of Elite/State and middle-class interests illuminate the disintegration of post-World War II America into the present Depression.

1. The great postwar income convergence (i.e the rise of the great middle class, the reduction of poverty and the relative reduction of the Plutocracy's share of national income) reverses in the early 1970s as the "true prosperity" of the postwar era ends and is replaced by income flowing increasingly to the top as stagflation, globalization and the decline of the dollar gut the purchasing power of the middle class.

2. The rising productivity of the 50s and 60s slips to the flatline through the 70s and early 80s, only picking up again as computer software and hardware revolutionize the back office, sales, manufacturing, just-in-time shipping/production, etc.

3. Concurrent with this gradual return to increasing productivity is the rise of finance as the key profit-center of corporate America. As income skews ever more heavily to the top 1%/5%, then capital (productive assets) become ever more heavily concentrated in the hands of the rentier-financial Plutocracy. The top 1% now owns some 2/3 of the nation's entire productive wealth.

4. As profits rise (from rising productivity) then the profits flow not to wages (which remain flat to down 1975-2009 for all but the top 10% upper-caste professional class) but to those who own the capital.

5. As the middle class experiences a decline in their income and purchasing power (for reasons cited above: declining dollar, rising income disparity, and wages falling due to global wage arbitrage) then they turn more and more to borrowing and ever greater debt to fund what they have been brainwashed by the media to believe is "the American dream" of imported luxury goods, bloated homes, vacuous cruises, etc.

The only other mechanism available to the middle class to increase household income is for Mom/Aunt/Grandmom to enter the workforce, which she does in the tens of millions, with sociological consequences which are still unfolding.

6. This advert/media-driven desire to borrow to fund the "good life" is hugely profitable to the money-center and investment banks, which expand rapidly into mortgage securitization, derivatives and consumer credit to the point that they come to dominate corporate profits.

7. The financial Plutocracy, observing that actually producing goods is not very profitable unless you can fix prices as per ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) or gain government subsidies and tax giveaways (oil lease depreciation, etc.) sinks its capital into the FIRE economy (finance, insurance and real estate), eschewing real-world investments as comparatively unprofitable.

Though rarely noted, this is a longstanding trait of capitalism stretching back to 1400-era Venice. When trade became less profitable than mainland farmimg, the Venetian Elite stopped funding trade and bought farms on the mainland. As a side effect, Venice ceased to be a military and trading power. But the Elite remained immensely wealthy.

8. As the tech bubble expands, middle-class investors see the Plutocracy (those with enough capital to qualify as angel investors and vulture, oops, I mean venture capitalists) reaping huge gains, and they enter the dot-com stock bubble buildup with a vengeance.

9. In a happy accident, the Soviet Empire collapses just as productivity begins its computer-fueled rise in the U.S. In a so-called Unipolar World in which U.S. military, political and financial influence is unrivaled, non-U.S. investors seek the relative safety and high returns (based on appreciation of the dollar) of U.S. financial instruments.

10. The dot-com bubble implodes in a speculative meltdown, and retail investors (a.k.a. the middle class 401K investors) are devastated. The ephemeral wealth they once possessed, however briefly, fuels their speculative desire to get into the next get-rich-quick game, which just so happens to be "something everyone understands:" real estate and housing.

11. Having exhausted the dot-com play, Plutocratic capital is seeking a new high-profit home. The miracles of derivatives (CDOs, credit default swaps, etc.) and securitized debt (mortgage tranches, etc.) open up vast new opportunities for leverage, off-balance sheet shenanigans and outright fraud/debauchery of credit. As chip wafer plants disappear from Silicon Valley (too dirty, too costly, etc.) then they're replaced with paper: mortgage-backed securities. (Over-reach and windfall exploitation writ large.)

12. Sniffing gold in them thar exurban hills, the under-capitalized and over-indebted U.S. working class and middle class reach for the chalice of easy-money gold: leveraged real estate. (Over-reach and windfall exploitation writ small.)

13. With the Federal financial regulatory agencies in a Republican/Democrat-enforced somnambulance, the coast is clear for brigands, shysters, fraudsters, con artists, liars, cheats, and assorted riff-raff in the realty, mortgage and appraisal businesses, who all feed the ravenous maw of the money-center banks' apparently limitless appetite for real estate assets to securitize and leverage in exotic and stupendously profitable ways.

14. For a wonderful five years circa 2001-2006, the game is afoot and no-down-payment Jill and $100 million bonus Jack are immensely enriched. Meanwhile, the underlying real economy is becoming ever more imbalanced and ever more fragile as real production and real productivity plummet as everyone rushes to the speculative riches of exurban McMansions and malls.

15. Elite and middle-class interests seem to converge during this speculative mania: everyone is benefitting from the real estate bubble except the poor, who are bought off with minimal social welfare programs and endless entertainment (via TV) then safely ignored, as they don't vote or spend.

But this convergence was illusory; while the Plutocracy and State functionaries benefitted (via stupendous capital gains for the former and vastly richer pension promises for the latter), the private-sector middle class is in essence the bag-holder: when the newfound 'wealth" in housing and stock market gains vanish, it is the middle class wealth which is destroyed en masse.

16. This last best speculative leveraged credit bubble pops (alas, exponential expansion of credit cannot go on forever), gutting the stock market which had grown utterly dependent on leverage, debt, gamed/fraudulent accounting and asset bubbles for its rising profits.

17. Doubly devastated by the implosion of housing and their stock investments (mostly in 401K and IRA retirement funds), the middle class faces the terrible consequences of its 26-year stupor of ever-rising debt and leverage. Alas, the Emperor's clothes are revealed as remarkably transparent.

18. Having borrowed and squandered trillions of dollars since 1981 on unaffordable entitlements, military misadventures and assorted bridges-to-nowhere pork spending, the Federal government (The Fed and the Treasury) finds that its ability to borrow its way out of its current debt hole somewhat annoyingly limited. The rest of the world has finally caught on to the con, and Chinese university students are openly mocking Treasury Secretary Geithner's Orwellian claim of "we support a strong dollar." The rest of the world shuns Treasury debt and works to create an alternative reserve currency, shutting down the "dollar con" (we take your tangible goods and give you paper in return.)

19. With the global media concentrated in a scant few corporate hands (less than 10), this pulling away of the curtain is deleted/excised from media coverage in a ruthless campaign of pure propaganda.

20. As the wheels fall off the U.S. economy and the bubbles cannot be re-inflated, fruitless attempts at holding back the tide with incantations (stop, tide, I speak for the U.S. Treasury!) and loopy sand castles (the bottom is in, buy now!) abound. Unresponsive to propaganda, the real world grinds down into a global Depression without visible end.

If we do nothing, we will be swept along with the Great Descent. Alternatively, if we want to prosper, then we must first gain an integrated understanding of all the interlocking crises we face.
New key concepts in Chapter One:

cui bono (to whose benefit?)

independent agencies

self-organizing networks and groups

high-caste, upper-caste (technocrat/government employee class)

when belief in the system fades

simulacrum

Chapter Two: Contexts and Causes

Any guide claiming to be practical must first present all the contexts and causes of the interlocking challenges we now face. Without such an integrated understanding, all response planning is like building a house on shifting sand.

If we are indeed entering a multi-decade Great Transformation, then as prudent as it is to stockpile a few months of food and supplies, that will obviously not get us through the Transformation, either as individuals or as communities. We need a thoroughly integrated understanding before we can fashion a response that will make the Transformation a positive one. Our goal is a sustainable, productive economy and a full appreciation of the fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I know it is tempting to skip ahead to the list of proposed responses, but they won't make sense unless we ground ourselves in the contexts of our planet, era, society and economy.

First, we must identify the fundamental contexts; second, critique the status-quo understanding of the "problems" and "solutions," and then third, present solutions which flow directly from our critique.

Our goal is a critique so incisive that the solutions become "obvious," that is, they are implicit in the critique itself. Not all critiques manage this; the grandfather of cul-de-sac critiques was Marx, whose profound critique of capitalism did not produce any coherent alternative system.

It is also important to understand that every "solution" benefits someone, and the key to establishing that "solution" is to frame the "problem" in such a manner that the self-serving "solution" becomes essentially inevitable. This is why we constantly ask: cui bono, to whose benefit?, and why we take such care in analyzing how "problems" are being framed by the status quo.

It is my thesis that the standard (status quo) understanding of our "problems" is heavily promoted precisely because it benefits an elite at the top of the income/asset pyramid which I call the Plutocracy.

This carefully designed and marketed understanding of the "problem" is presented in ways which can only be described as artful propaganda. The chief goal of this relentless marketing is to convince you that the "solutions" being presented are in your self-interest; that is, that they will benefit the entire nation (if not the entire planet, too), including you.

The possibility that these "solutions" exclusively serve the interests of a small Elite is rarely considered, for the obvious reason that the question itself threatens the entire understanding of what constitutes our "problems" and the Elite's "solutions."

A key feature of the current era of interlocking crises is that the interests of the Plutocracy are increasingly diverging from the interests of the society as a whole. This divergence must be masked by simulacra and propaganda, lest the citizenry become aware of the widening split and start demanding that the Plutocracy and the State relinquish some of their ever-growing share of the national income.

By way of example of such divergence, consider globalization as a catch-phrase. We are constantly bombarded with shrill warnings that any limits on globalization will cause a worldwide Depression akin to the 1930s. Yet this is disengenuous for a number of reasons.

To the degree that trade is globalization, then the world has been globalized for thousands of years; Imperial Rome, India and China were trading partners. But "globalization" covers not just wealth-creating trade but also the most one-sided exploitation of materials and labor. The one catch-phrase conveniently covers both beneficial commerce of the sort which has gone on for thousands of years and exploitive looting of local resources by global forces.

So when hardwood forests are leveled and the seas poisoned, do the local people really benefit as much as promoters of "globalization" insist? Do all the workers displaced --not just in advanced industrial economies but in Africa as well--really benefit? Or is the entire intellectual framework of "globalization" essentially a front to provide cover for the enrichment of the few at the expense of the many?

The intellectual framework which supports the Elite's dominance and makes it apparently "natural" or "beneficial" is the Plutocracy's key defense; and the limits of human language and thought make it relatively easy to undermine reasoned skepticism.

Thus a defense of "capitalism" turns out not to be an appeal for open markets but the exact opposite, an enabling of crony capitalism. The defense of globalization is not a promotion of the exchange-of-surplus-production that characterized trade for millennia but of a targeted grab-and-run exploitation of vulnerable resources and peoples.

Regulations to curb the Plutocracy are undermined by the Plutocracy pursuading the State that "these are the regulations we want," that is, a simulacrum of regulation that imposes virtually no limits on Elites but effectively strangles the middle class and keeps it "in its place."

Given the enormous benefits to be gained by this relentless obfuscation, mystification and superficially appealing framing of contexts and problems, we must prepare ourselves for a difficult analysis. Our first step is to ask cui bono, to whose benefit? Our second step is to tease apart the intellectual defenses of over-reach and income redistribution, and consider how the status quo dismisses our actual "problems" as mere bumps in the technocratically maintained road to consumerist Nirvana, i.e. "prosperity."

One often effective technique deployed to quell questions about Elites' dominance or self-interest is reduction: that is, reduce the situation to "us versus them" or an "all or nothing" conflict, or frame it as an extension of a current situation which can be addressed by modest tweaks of current policies.

Thus Peak Oil is not a problem as we have 400 years of coal, etc. Those in charge of the machinery have a huge stake in technocratic "solutions" which leave power, profit and consumption structures firmly in place.

Identity itself can be reduced; thus a once-active citizenry is reduced to "consumers." As long as "consumers" benefit in any way, then what might be lost to workers, voters, citizens, etc. can be cast aside as meaningless.

Since profits are made by selling something to consumers, it's extremely handy for all other roles and identities to be extinguished, diminished or marginalized.

The key point here is that dominance flows directly from an intellectual framework which constructs and justifies that dominance as natural and beneficial to all believers. In this sense consumerism is in effect the de facto state religion of the U.S.A., and it directly benefits the Elites who own or control the vast majority of the nation's financial wealth, income, law-making machinery and productive assets.

The second point is that it is impossible to make a clear-eyed assessment of the actual problems and challenges we face when our understanding of those realities is constantly being massaged, manipulated and "framed" out of existence by an elite-dominated media. (Most of the world's broadcast, Internet and print media is controlled by a few global companies.)

It is important to understand that the low-level conflict, confusion and anxiety created by the media (blatantly rabble-rousing entertainment such as Rush Limbaugh being passed off as political commentary, for instance) are directly in the interests of the Plutocracy.

While every era of crisis is unique, authors such as David Fischer (The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History), Jared Diamond ( Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed ) and Joseph Tainter ( The Collapse of Complex Societies) have carefully researched how cycles of price, conflict and resource depletion/exhaustion tend to repeat as human populations rise beyond the carrying capacity of their environment.

I address these cycles in Food Shortages, Rising Prices, Stagnant Wages:
Welcome to the 13th Century
(reprinted in a later chapter).

As we seek to understand long-wave cycles, we must also recognize that the crises of our era are unique even as they are manifesting within historical cycles.

A number of recent books have described the unique set of challenges we face: for instance The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century (James Howard Kunstler) and Financial Armageddon: Protecting Your Future from Four Impending Catastrophes (Michael Panzner). Other books have addressed critical environmental, energy and demographic issues: The Future of Life, Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak, Fewer: How the New Demography of Depopulation Will Shape Our Future, The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future, The Rhythm of War and The Fourth Turning.

Given this wealth of material, I hesitate to even attempt a short summary of all the interwoven structural challenges of our era. But the key context is this: financial and resource crises are not new; they are recurring features of human civilization. But many aspects of our era's crises are unique in all of human history: never before have we faced depletion of fossil fuels and the population pressures of over 6.5 billion humans to feed, house, clothe, transport, heal and care for in their old age. Never before have we as a species been so dependent on fragile supply chains and fast-depleting global resources.

Consider the overfishing of the world's oceans; what once seemed inexhaustible—the supply of fish—is now heading to near-zero.

Ironically, this cyclical nature of crisis lends itself to the emotional power of complacency: if we managed to get through those crises, then we can do it again, the power of human innovation will save us, etc. Unfortunately, there have been many times when the human populace did not "get through" the crisis; populations collapsed to mere shadows of their levels reached in the years of rising abundance.

Current structural challenges include:

1. demographics (promised retirement benefits are unaffordable)

2. global financial deleveraging (renunciation/write-off of debt)

3. high-cost advanced economies, "Planet of Slums" developing economies

4. rising interest rates (shortage of surplus capital)

5. de-scaling/disruption of entrenched industries/State fiefdoms by the Web

6. scalability traps/structural job losses in all economies

7. crippling regulation and overhead burdens on small entrepreneurs

8. fossil fuel depletion (Peak Oil)

9. "head-fake" drop in energy costs removes incentives for alternative energy

10. political disunity; elites' interests diverge from those of the society as a whole

11. rising income disparity

12. depletion of fresh water, ocean and soil resources

13. climate change (weather extremes, rising sea levels, etc.)

14. increasingly drug-resistant bacteria and viruses

15. rising chemical and industrial pollution levels (air, water, soil, etc.)

16. increasing availability of bioweapons and nuclear weapons

I summarize the four primary cycles in my book Weblogs & New Media: Marketing in Crisis:

1. Peak oil, or the depletion cycle/end-game of the global economy's complete dependence on inexpensive, readily available petroleum/fossil fuels.

2. The cycle of credit expansion and contraction (approximately 60-70 years), which is now beginning the transition from unsustainable credit expansion (bubble) to renunciation of debt (credit collapse) and global depression.

3. The generational cycle (4 generations or approximately 80 years) of American history which leads to nation-changing social, political and economic upheaval. (The American Revolution: 1781 +80 years = Civil War, 1861 +80 years = 1941, World War II + 80 years = 2021)

4. The 100+ year cycle of price inflation and stagnation of wages' purchasing power which began around 1901 is now reaching the final stage of widespread turmoil, shortages, famine, war, conflict and crisis.

Without a firm understanding of the cyclical nature of human history and the unique challenges of our era, we are hard-pressed to escape the comforting illusions of complacency and fatalism.

A key point is that the above crises (or potential crises) are not discrete phenomena which can be solved in piecemeal fashion but rather interlocking, overlapping and in some cases reinforcing problems which range from long-term depletions to volatile geopolitical tensions which could burst into conflict. Over an intermediate time scale, a weather crisis such as extended drought could cause a food shortage which might then put a match to a smouldering geopolitical tenderbox.

The complacency and misplaced confidence of the status quo render these unpredictable interactions all the more combustible because so little has been done to anticipate the potential domino effect of these global crises.
Context Three: Interlocking/Reinforcing Crises, Time Scales and Globalization

One of the factors which renders the intersecting crises of the next 15-25 years so difficult to predict is the multiple time scales at work. A global petroleum shortage, for example, could stagger the developed world in a very short time span as hoarding and govermental rationing would quickly magnify the disruptions.

Food shortages might develop over a longer period of months as drought, energy shortages and geopolitical issues caused a sharp decline in grain production and/or shipping.

A nuclear war between two long-standing adversaries such as India and Pakistan could erupt in a matter of weeks should internal crises trigger border tensions. China might suddenly deem the moment ripe to conquer Taiwan with military force, loosing a cascading crisis which could lead to limited or even nuclear war between the U.S. and China.

Any war involving the Mideast, East Asia or the U.S. might dramatically effect oil, currencies and trade which would quickly impact economies, food supplies and the psychology of instability/fear/hoarding.

Ironically, the great benefits of globalization--long oil-dependent supply chains leading from distant factories to free-spending debt-fueled Western consumers--can reverse with extraordinary speed as these very same fragile supply chains degrade or shatter in moments of energy, finance or geopolitical crisis.

Very long-wave crises are only visible to historians and those willing to root around obscure data. Thus the slow, steady redistribution of national wealth away from the middle class into the pockets of the State and Plutocracy is barely discernable. Yet just because this movement of wealth, capital and income appears glacial does not mean the effects are insignificant; on the contrary, this over-reach by the State and Plutocracy at the expense of the tax-paying middle class is in some ways as important a cause of collapse as more immediate crises such as Peak Oil and the depletion of fresh water acquifers.

That crises unfolding in different time scales will overlap is easily predictable, but the precise intersection or overlay of various crises is entirely unpredictable. Some geopolitical tension might close the Straits of Hormuz or Malacca, and the resulting restriction of sealanes and oil tankers might trigger some other unstable crisis.

It is also easily predictable that any one nation and its citizenry will have limited control or influence over a truly global crisis. We can also safely predict the complacent and/or fatalistic nations and citizens will suffer more than those who proactively anticipated the likelihood of interlocking, reinforcing crises occurring within the next decade or two.

Ideally, such proactive anticipation should involve households, communities and the nation at large. But if the State (government at all levels) is in denial or deadlock, or crippled by debt or otherwise insolvent, then households and communities will also have to prepare themselves for dwindling State aid.

Even if the State does set aside prudent reserves, these are designed to smooth short-term crises, not semi-permanent declines in the FEW essentials (food, energy, water). For instance, the 600-million barrel U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve holds about one month's supply of oil (20 million barrels a day consumed in the U.S. X 30 days). While this is certainly a reassuring number in a short-term crisis, it would be foolhardy to think a one-month's supply will prove to be anything more than a stopgap should oil imports plummet over the long-term.

As we shall see later, various feedback loops (both positive and negative) are at work as each crisis erupts; in some scenarios negative feedback might stem the crisis; in others, a domino effect could transpire, toppling vulnerabilities which encircle the globe.

This is why time-sensitive predictions are foolhardy, both those predicting "the end of the world as we know it" and those spouting the "it will all work out just fine" complacency favored by the mass media and Plutocracy.

What we can predict is that fragile systems without redundancy are vulnerable to disruptions which could then freeze up or degrade the entire supply chain. If these impact the critical FEW resources (food, energy, water) then the disruption can quickly expand to other systems which were previously thought secure/safe.

System prone to positive feedback (the runaway self-reinforcing crisis) are inherently more vulnerable to collapse than those with multiple negative feedbacks--forces which counteract the trend.

The problem for the complacent is that time scales, vulnerabilities, overlap and interactions differ for each crisis. Thus a fast-moving crisis with slow negative feedback (correctives) could race beyond the reach of corrective action, triggering other fast-spreading crises in its wake.

In a world so deeply dependent on cheap, abundant liquid fossil fuels for everything from transportation to food, the vulnerability and interdependency of all energy-dependent systems to shortage or disruption is acute and works across all time scales.
The Commodity Unlike Any Other: Oil

Standard-issue economists tend to treat oil/fossil fuels as a commodity like any other; when demand rises, new or alternative supplies will emerge once they become profitable. But this model is utterly misleading, for liquid hydrocarbons are special in three distinctive ways: they contain very high energy densities, they are stable at normal temperatures and they are readily transportable via pipeline, ship, train or vehicle. No other energy source possesses all these traits, and those that get close (lithium ion batteries, for instance) are very costly to manufacture and are dependent on dwindling metals/ores (in this case, lithium).

Supposedly "renewable" sources like biofuels and "unlimited" sources like shale oil require so much energy to produce, process and transport (when calculated in equivalent energy densities) that the net energy (useful energy produced minus energy used in production) is actually rather paltry.

Until very recently, oil had the distinct advantage of being cheap to extract. Super-giant fields under pressure gushed oil for as little as $1 per barrel in raw costs. But the super-giant fields which supply much of the world's oil now require costly extraction technologies such as water or gas pressurization. New production has been located offshore, in deep water or in extreme climates like the Arctic Circle. It is no longer cheap to locate, extract or process oil or oil equivalents like shale oil.

Oil's most unique charcateristic is that every other industry in the global economy depends on oil or oil equivalents: transportation, military, agriculture, tourism, and on and on. Thus a global shortage or disruption will quickly cascade into every corner of the global economy, for new supplies of oil cannot be brought on line quickly (five years would be incredibly quick, ten years would be average). Even worse, new production is not even replacing fields in decline; that is the essence of Peak Oil.

As for alternatives: currently, all alternative energy production, including both "old technology" like hydropower and new wind, solar, biofuel and tidal technologies, account for considerably less than 5% of the world's energy consumption. Thus a ten-fold increase in alternative energy--a scaling up which is not yet even technoloigically feasible, and one that in any event would cost trillions of dollars to accomplish--would leave the global economy totally dependent on petroleum for 2/3 of energy consumption.

Thus any model which views energy/petroleum/fossil fuels as subject to the same forces as other commodities such as copper is fatally flawed. Every industry and financial sector ultimately rests on cheap, abundant petroleum. Once petroleum is no longer cheap or available in sufficient quantity to meet demand, then the energy domino will topple all the rest in rapid succession.

The unique commodity petroleum is thus the very foundation of interlocking/reinforcing crises on a global scale.

For more on these topics, please read John Michael Greer's two books, The Long Descent: A User's Guide to the End of the Industrial Age and The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World.
Context Four: Ontological Forces Which Power Trends, Reversals and History

Within each context, various forces are at work to resist and accelerate trends. These forces include feedback loops (both positive and negative), marginal returns and the illusion of incremental change. Negative feedback can be understood as systems with built-in stabilizers, while positive feedback can be understood as self-reinforcing.

I will cover ontological forces and analytic tools in Chapter Seven.
Context Five: The Environment

It is tempting to hope that all the structural environmental challenges will "sort themselves out" or be solved by some new technology that magically scales from the lab table to global ubiquity. But the realities do not lend themselves to either benign neglect (that is, just leave everything alone and it will rebalance itself naturally) or technological "fixes."

The human population has exploded in a geological eyeblink from several hundred million to 6.5 billion. In terms of energy and resource consumption, each resident of the First World (Europe, North America, Japan) has an environmental impact up to 100 times larger than that of a Third World person. As 2 billion people in China, India and elsewhere aspire to an energy-intensive consumerist First World lifestyle, the reality that the planet does not have the resources to support 3 billion middle-class consumers is readily visible.

The list of global environmental ills is well-known. Overfishing driven by insatiable demand and politically popular subsidies of national fishing industries has driven the world's fisheries to the point of collapse. The technological "fix" is aquaculture/aqua-farming, but artificial fisheries spawn another entire host of their own challenges to long-term sustainability.

The depletion of cheap, easy to reach oil is also well-known; less well-known is that all the alternative energy sources in the entire world—geothermal, hydro, solar, wind, tidal, etc.--make up less than 5% of global energy supply. While natural gas and coal can fill some of the gaps as oil supply falls, neither of those fuels is endless, either— and "clean coal" is yet another technology that is promising in the lab but not scalable globally without horrendous cost.

Fresh water aquifers are being drained everywhere from the American southwest to China, and there are no sustainable ways to compensate for this drawdown of irreplaceable fresh-water resources.

Schemes to desalinate vast quantities of seawater requires stupendous amounts of energy; a recent plan by Saudi Arabia would burn fully 1 million barrels of oil a day—1 million barrels that could no longer be exported to the U.S.

Regardless of what we believe the causes might be, glaciers are melting at increasing rates. Once the Himalayan and Andean glaciers vanish or recede to mere patches of ice, the rivers 2 billion people rely on for irrigation water will become seasonal.

Add in massive soil erosion in China and elsewhere, extended droughts in Australia, etc., and you get a picture of global resources stretched to the breaking point.

The more you know about the technical details of supposedly miraculous technological "fixes" like desalination, tidal energy, algae-based fuels, etc. etc., the more you understand that very few if any of these emerging technologies may "scale up" to global applications.

In other words, algae-based fuels can work just fine on the rooftop of a university lab, but the hard part is scaling it up to produce 1.7 billion gallons of gasoline-equivalent liquid fuel a day—which is only half of the world's current consumption of oil. (Total global consumption of oil, 80 million barrels a day, so 40 million barrels a day X 42 gallons/barrel.)

Add these realities up and the context is a potential crash of global food and fresh water supplies, exacerbated by energy shortages. As authors such as Jared Diamond have explained, eras of resource depletion/drought often trigger unending war/conflict between competing groups and nations.

In essence there are four interlocking crises: environmental, energy, financial and geopolitical. Excellent sources abound on these topics: The Future of Life, Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak, and The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century come to mind of the many useful texts in print.
Context Six: The End of Debt-Based "Prosperity"

The "prosperity" of the past two decades was based not on savings, investment and productivity, as the mainstream financial media and think-tank punditry maintain, but by extremes of speculative credit, leverage, debt and risk-taking, all enabled by a financial system based on obfuscation, deception, embezzlement, fraud, abuse of credit and grossly inflated asset valuations, a.k.a. bubbles.

This debt binge was fed by a marketing-based consumerist culture in which shopping and acquisition became recreation, therapy, self-fulfillment and status all in one profit-driven package.

Compounding the collapse of this debt-based bogus "prosperity" are two long-term trends: the end of cheap, abundant fossil fuels which enabled inexpensive global supply chains and tourism, and the "end of work," a global contraction of paid labor.
Context Seven: Squeezing the Middle Class

The intersection of various long-term political and financial trends is effectively squeezing the middle class, which the State (government) depends on to pay most of the taxes. Caught between the over-reach of both the state and its elites (the Plutocracy) and the end of debt-based, cheap-oil "prosperity" which enabled it to maintain an illusion of wealth, the middle class is being squeezed to the breaking point.

I address this topic in a later chapter.
Context Eight: The Nature of Prosperity and Happiness

The U.S. Declaration of Independence recognizes the inalienable rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Oddly enough, happiness turns out to be a slippery concept, and much of what Americans spend their lives pursuing does not actually increase their happiness. Indeed, it is self-evident that the stress levels, medication usage and miseries of the "American lifestyle" even in times of prosperity are far higher than one would expect were happiness as abundant as cheap consumer goods.

And even prosperity itself turns out to be rather more slippery than rising GDP or other metrics would suggest. It seems that much of what passes for "essential accoutrements of prosperity" such as large suburban homes, multiple vehicles and closets crammed with clothing do not bring happiness to their owners. Rather, they are largely the mirage-like results of marketing propaganda conjured up to generate profits, not life satisfaction or happiness.

Indeed, were we to travel back in time to 1870s San Francisco, for example, we would find people feeling quite prosperous even though they lived in what we would now consider relatively primitive poverty: no electricity, no vehicles except public streetcars, (On August 2, 1873, the inventor of the San Francisco cable car, Andrew Hallidie, was the system's first passenger), trains and horse-drawn wagons, primitive healthcare, costly consumer goods, etc.

Thus the entire notions of prosperity and happiness must be examined objectively before we can even say with any reliability what the words actually mean.
Context Nine: The Framework of Our Response

Our responses to these interwoven, reinforcing challenges of our era can be organized into three inter-related levels:

--family

--community/networks

--nation

Each level requires different skills, resources, inputs and solutions. I will cover these topics in the second section.
Key concepts in this chapter:

politics of experience

simulacrum of thinking

cognitive traps

scalability traps

FEW resources (food, energy, water)

Chapter Four: Complacency and Fatalism

Let's begin by considering Context One: Human Nature in more depth. Entire libraries have been written on the subject of human nature, but for our practical purposes those which probe humanity's "default settings" such as Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal and E.O. Wilson's Sociobiology: The New Synthesis are the most useful.

Although we can slice and dice complex human responses in hundreds of ways (for instance, Who am I? The 16 Basic Desires that Motivate Our Actions and Define Our Personalities), for the purposes of a stripped-down practical analysis we can group our "default responses" into four basic categories: inertia, fear/panic, casting our lot with a "Big Man"/leader or fatalism/giving up.

While we can collectively sacrifice short-term gain for long-term security, as Jared Diamond describes in his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, it is equally likely that a society will continue down the path to complete collapse. One of the key conditions Diamond identifies is a society's understanding of its primary challenges and dilemmas. Those which did not grasp the limitations and restricted options failed. So our first step must be to adequately understand the limitations and options we face while avoiding the denial, apathy and complacency which will doom our economy to collapse.

Since we cannot sustain the emotionally charged state of fear/panic ("fight or flight") for long, decisions made in this instinctive mode tend to be rash, hasty, impulsive and poorly planned. Thus the key is to recognize this mode and consciously avoid making decisions with long-term consequences while in the grip of this "instant response" survival-mode.

Humans, like our relatives the chimpanzees, are social animals. Like chimps, we are "wired" to form groups and select/follow leaders who reach their high status by offering something back to the community: protection, "potlatch" type sharing of wealth, etc. We will examine this political/social response to crisis in a later section.

But humans also have the capacity to be alone, like our other primate relatives the orangutans. Thus withdrawing from the community has deep roots in human nature and history.

Being creatures of habit—and habits are a survival mechanism, for why change anything when "everything's working"?-- humans prefer the status quo until crisis forces us to change. This inertia/attachment to the status quo is complacency, which acts as a cognitive and emotional attractor or trap, as does fatalism/withdrawal.

Complacency and Fatalism

Complacency and fatalism are both seductive cognitive traps and emotional attractors which we have to avoid if we are to think clearly. Each is an attractor because each is highly appealing for several fundamental reasons.

1. Human nature veers between these basic social/anti-social emotions: complacency/status quo (inertia) and fatalism/resignation (withdrawal).

2. History reveals these attractors (complacency and fatalism) were active in previous great declines/collapses, such as the Roman Empire circa 400-576 C.E. (see below)

3. Humans prefer simplistic "answers" to challenges/problems, and a blind faith in the status quo or resignation both fit the bill.

Complacency is best understood as what's expressed in the phrase, "Don't worry, it wil l sort itself out on its own." In stable "normal" times, this complacency is usually rewarded; various corrective feedback loops within complex systems kick in and problems are met with countermeasures that act to restabilize the system.

But in very dynamic eras, destabilizing factors overwhelm the usual corrective feedback mechanisms, and things do not sort themselves out. Dramatic, even radical action must be taken. In these times, complacency is not a practical or helpful strategy: it is a soothing but dangerous cognitive trap which guarantees the believer will be unprepared for the challenges just ahead.

In the cognitive trap of fatalism, we recognize the risks/dangers of the situation but feel helpless to correct or solve the problems. In this trap, we remove ourselves from action and give up, dooming ourselves to being swept up by whatever passing winds arise.

The goal here is to avoid these traps, analyze the challenges we face clearly, and then plan out a simple but interconnected three-part strategy for not just survival but prosperity and security.

Complacency can take many forms. For instance, a person who has prepared themselves for a doomsday collapse of civilization, i.e. "The end of the world as we know it" (TEOTWAWKI) may well find themselves ill-prepared for an equally probable slow decline in social cohesion and living standards. That is, living conditions in highly developed nations may descend not to a Collapse of Civilization into Chaos but to Third World levels of stable impoverishment.

Stable impoverishment describes a system which produces little national surplus but which produces the necessities of life in enough abundance that the instabilities of famine are generally stayed. Radios and TVs are in sufficient supply to offer the populace modest entertainment, and the State is neither burdensome nor repressive, as taxation cannot exceed what little surplus remains after minimally feeding, clothing and transporting the populace.

The key feature of stable impoverishment is the lack of incentives to any class to disrupt the status quo. The Elites dare not risk insurrection and the citizenry below dares not risk famine or turmoil which might lead to famine. Another way of describing stable impoverishment is that the ruling Elites do not over-reach but remain respectful of maintaining a stable division of national income.

These divergent but equally undesirable options, TEOTWAWKI and stable impoverishment, highlight the need to ground our analyses and expectations in history-- not because it repeats, but because it rhymes. No one can know the future, so we must be cautious about putting all our eggs in one basket/scenario. Prudence suggests always maintaining a skeptical point of view: what if we're wrong? What's our Plan B/alternative strategy?

Fatalism is similarly devious. People who withdraw from society are certainly taking action, but they have surrendered the opportunity to influence the outcome positively: that is fatalism of the first order.

If you're reading this, then you have already advanced beyond the naïve complacency of "don't worry, everything will work itself out" which is mesmerizing large segments of our citizenry. You may well be a member of The Remnant—more on that later.

The Politics of Complacency and Fatalism

In Greek mythology, two sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis forced sailors into an unsavory choice of facing one or the other when navigating the Strait of Messina. In modern vernacular, we might say the sailors were "between a rock and a hard place."

Our "default mode" responses were selected for a hunting-gathering lifestyle; humanity has pursued agriculture for perhaps 5% of its long history as homo sapiens sapiens and dealt with advanced technology for perhaps 1% of its history.

The consequences of these unconstructive responses can be seen in the advanced civilizations (Mayans, Rome, etc.) that collapsed despite a wealth of experience and knowledge.

As a result, even as we work at devising rational, long-range solutions, we will be fending off the "monsters" of complacency and fatalism every inch of the way.

Analyzing challenges and then plotting out practical solutions is arduous, precarious work, as the answers are rarely clear and painful trial-and-error attempts are often the only way forward. Rather than engage in this difficult process, many find doing nothing (complacency) or withdrawing (fatalism) much less risky and demanding. This inaction feeds on itself, setting up a point-of-no-return that could have been avoided by bold action when the problems were first visible.

Humans cannot remain in the high-stress "fight or flight" status for long; we seek a resolution or equilibrium, both intellectual and social. Thus the most constructive approach is to assess the challenges in a clear-eyed fashion, hashing out the strengths and weaknesses of each major strategy. Then make a decision, and commit the time, resources and unity the strategy needs to succeed—or fail conclusively, perhaps, at which point make a reassessment based on what's been learned from the experience.

At every point in this process, two new temptations arise: to either leap erratically from strategy to strategy as a short-term desire ("fight or flight" mode) for instant results sabotages any long-term effort, or to tire of the process of negotiation and analysis and give up any sustained effort.

Many who do engage the challenges will do so out of raw self-interest and thus they will base their solutions on inflexible ideological (political and/or religious) worldviews that are too rigid to be practical/realistic. Rather than face the problems with an eye on actual solutions, these players seek to protect their own fiefdoms, privileges and benefits under the guise of emotionally appealing ideologies. Faced with the loss of their sacrosanct (to them) privileges and benefits, they view the battle for diminishing resources as a "fight to the death." In a real sense, their status and advantages are definitely at risk; but ironically, by focusing on their ideological opponents instead of the actual problems, they seal their own destruction by insuring the collapse of the entire system.

 


Paulson of Treasury, Bush of Turkeyland, The Men Who Looted America

 

 

Intel Exclusive: Trillion Dollar Terror Exposed

LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH, EXPOSING "TRILLION DOLLAR TERROR"

Bush, Fed, Europe Banks in $15 Trillion Fraud, All Documented

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

———————-

Below is one of the strangest stories in financial history, one involving the US government lying about hundreds of thousands of tons of imaginary gold, illegal wire transfers and loans totalling $15 trillion.  The video, from the House of Lords, is amazing in itself. 

What it doesn’t express is where the money came from though Lord James of Blackheath proves conclusively that an effort was made to say it came from a gold reserve in Brunei that, in fact, never existed.

At surface, it appears we have stumbled upon the largest terrorist organization in the world and have found original documents tracing its funding to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, two of the top financial officers in the US.  A cursory review of terrorism statues in the US indicate that all transactions we will learn about are, in fact, to be assumed “terrorist money laundering” and that the only thing preventing the immediate arrest of hundreds of top financial officials is their political connections alone.

We will be able to offer an alternative, more insights, some hard intelligence and some very valuable background that we hope will offer insightful and realistic perspectives on this amazing story.

On February 16, 2012, Lord James of Blackheath, member of Britain’s House of Lords presented evidence of an illegal scheme begun, he has thus discovered, in 2009.  His documents including originals signed by Alan Greenspan and Timothy Geithner, show the illegal “off the books” transfer by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of $15 trillion to, initially, HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation) London and then to the Bank of Scotland.

The Bank of Scotland, under royal charter but restricted from involvement in any such transactions, simply “gave” the money to 20 European banks to use in a highly profitable scheme of co-trading “fresh cut” MTN’s (mid-term notes), generating trillions of dollars in profits over 3 years, none of which is shown on books, none has been taxed or has benefited shareholders in those banks.

As Blackheath outlines, the “deception and cover” for this transfer is the imaginary seizure of 750,000 tons of gold by agents of an unspoken entity (confirmed by the highest official sources as the Bush family and CIA), the listed “source” of the money.

The government of Indonesia confirms this to be an utter fabrication and that the individual named had 700 tons of gold (about half of what Gaddafi was holding), not 750,000.  It is noted that only 1,500 tons of gold have ever been traded in world history, as stated in the House of Lords.

The issues that are initially brought out, issues inconsistent with international convention and starting the reader on what is only the surface discovery of two decades of crimes involving dozens of governments are as follows:

  • At no time has the Federal Reserve Bank of New York been authorized to hold the funds indicated
  • However, documents held by Lord Blackheath prove, conclusively that they did hold such funds and transfer them in a manner as to obscure their origin by using HSBC and the Bank of Scotland.  This process, seemingly involving Alan Greenspan, Timothy Geithner and others would appear to be “money laundering” until some other explanation were found.  None has been offered.
  • The “collateralization” of these funds, being 750,000 tons of gold, is proven to be fantasy.  These funds then, in no way or manner, are related to Brunei.  The presentation of this false transaction has been conclusively proven to be a “cover and deception” project such as an intelligence organization would use.
  • The transfer of these funds, all done without any authorizations, governmental or otherwise, particularly without agreements, payment of interest to the United States and without knowledge and approval of congress makes every aspect of this criminal in nature, a violation of innumerable statutes.
  • The receipt and use of these funds by the 20 banks, two of which are Wall Street’s largest, and the use of these funds to generate profits while the funds themselves are held “off the books” and the profits hidden and laundered, themselves the earnings of funds received through criminal acts makes any and all involved part of a criminal enterprise.

WHERE DID THE MONEY COME FROM

There is no record of the Federal Reserve being authorized to “create” $15 trillion, equal to the entire national debt of the United States.  There is, however, proof that funds that totalled, at one time, $27 trillion had been earned surreptitiously, disposed of as part of an intelligence operation against the Soviet Union and then later stolen with accusations made against George H. W. Bush as being the perpetrator.

I have spoken with two individuals, one President Reagan’s intelligence coordinator and the other Chief Legal Cousel for the Central Intelligence Agency regarding these funds.  Both have indicated that former President Bush had asked that these funds, totalling $27 trillion, be transferred to his control, that threats were made by Bush and that many involved in this operation suffered, issues including murder, illegal arrest, torture and detention among them.

The individuals I am speaking of repeatedly met with President  Bush over these funds, disputed his claim to them, and indicate that the majority of the funds are the property of the people of the United States.

These funds are the mysterious “Wanta” funds, monies earned through years of currency trading aimed at collapsing the Soviet Union, a plan originated by President Ronald Reagan, then White House Intelligence Coordinator Lee Wanta and CIA Director William Casey.  I have been told that, while this operation went forward under President Reagan, he had ordered that his successor, George H. W. Bush not be “briefed” out of “mistrust” for Bush.

The funds themselves were earned through a scheme of trading Soviet roubles at enormous profit, a practice that eventually collapsed their government.  A portion of the profits are subject to current litigation in the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, Judge Lee presiding.  I have over 2,000 pages of documents on this case which shows a remainder of the original funds had been transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond by the Bank of China, a party to the rouble trading practice, in 2006 and is claimed as totally owned by Ameritrust Corporation.  That amount was $4.5 trillion of which we hold the SWIFT transfer documents.

The other monies, which “likely” make up from the unspent portion of the missing $27 trillion, may well constitute all that is recoverable.

Wanta, sole shareholder in Ameritrust, has offered his companies share, valued by the court now at $7.2 trillion, entirely to the American people as intended by President Reagan.

The origin of the additional funds, issued by the Federal Reserve during the 80s and 90s, totalling nearly $8 trillion is unknown.   High ranking sources within the US government indicate that this can only be either the remainder of funds Wanta raised or profits made from them after the majority of funds were stolen.

Stories, some quite good actually, and personal interviews plus my own review of documents would place the theft or conversion of these funds initially with:

  • The Bush family
  • The “P2,” a Masonic lodge operating out of Switzerland involved in dozens of terror bombings tied to “Operation Gladio”
  • People around Wanta himself including the CIA

What is lacking is a source for half of these funds.  Technically, they don’t exist as there is no record of them being originated by nor transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York though there are clear and discernible records of them being transferred out of that institution which never possessed them, according to their 2010 audit, in the first place.

WANTA MONEY

The transfer of Wanta funds, they can be assumed to have no other origin as they track into the Federal Reserve banking system while in escrow and are currently awaiting payment based on the orders of President Obama in accordance with findings of the federal court, is complicated by the Scottish transfer.

Either Wanta has claim to the entire amount or it is the property of the US government.  That no effort has been made to secure the funds or enforce criminal and civil remedies to recover enough money to pay the entire US national debt and more, as with earnings, we are nearing well over $30 trillion by this time, is an indication that a criminal conspiracy with enough influence to overrule our own government is involved.  Whether that “conspiracy is, as noted, the Bush family, rouge sections of the CIA or a secret society such as P2, one we can prove or others we only suspect exist, is another story.

The lack of action, here or as requested by Lord James in Britain, is, in itself, proof of both the seriousness and actuality of these events and the powers that can prevent any inquiry when irrefutable documents such as SWIFT transfers are available.  In fact, Lord James has offered a wealth of documents which, when combined with the 2000 pages of Wanta “discovery” from the Federal Court, constitutes more than prima facia evidence of money laundering, conversion, terrorism or worse.

Thus, the inaction in the face of overwhelming and unquestioned proof is inexplicable.

FLOOD OF WANTA LITIGATION AND INDICTMENTS COMING

Currently, Wanta’s legal status is as technical conservator and owner of $7.2 trillion.  However, as nearly half that is owed in taxes and the court settlement required Wanta to purchase $1 trillion in treasury bonds, the federal government should show positive interest other than President Obama and a few others.  More are being obstructionist with the payout and exercise of $3 trillion in US debt reduction.

This is, not only illegal but an indication of conspiracy.

In addition, Russian Prime Minister Putin has communicated that he awaits the agreed upon 3% payment of Russian taxes, initially on the $7.2 trillion.  Will Putin want to be paid on the entire $15 trillion plus interest and will Russia and/or the US have interest in why the Bank of Scotland transferred these funds to 20 European banks to trade in MTN’s (mid term notes) without any authorization or agreement, any participation or sharing of profits.

As the funds, at least the half which the US government can claim ownership of, combined with the interest and earnings of, would quickly put the US “in the black,” again we look at, not just the press blackout on the Wanta litigation of the last 6 years but the press blackout on Lord James of Blackheath and the wealth of damning documentation he submitted to Parliament.

Nothing has been done since, it is as though the proof submitted was so dangerous that those moments in time have been erased by a mysterious g-dlike power.

What makes Wanta dangerous is that he has begun to distribute funds, some to government entities, counties and states, law enforcement agencies, giving them standing, not just in recovering funds intended for their use but in helping prosecute anyone involved in interfering with or attempting to divert funds.

One grand jury is being formed to investigate diversion of Wanta funds even at this early date.  It is likely that Wanta/Ameritrust funds earmarked for border protection could lead to the indictment of high ranking US officials.  This is only the beginning.

If the Royal Bank of Scotland doesn’t think it should be expecting the biggest chargeback in the history of the world, they are in for a shock.

 

 

 

The U.S. Capitol at sunset, hours before President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address, in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama is expected to address the nation's economy and tax code propositions, offering a vision for a second term. (Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times) #

Below Workers prepare Statuary Hall for media interviews before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama is expected to address the nation's economy and tax code propositions, offering a vision for a second term. (Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times) #

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A worker prepares Statuary Hall for media interviews before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama is expected to address the nation's economy and tax code propositions, offering a vision for a second term. (Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times) #

 

   

Goldman Sachs never carried this on their books nor any of the profits, estimated at over $15 trillion dollars.  It was all laundered overseas while American taxpayers covered imaginary losses engineered by our own Secretary of Treasury.

Two billion dollars of these monies are earmarked for funding housing for American veterans, monies that are still being withheld despite payment order.  Even United States Marshalls can’t seem to pry money out of Goldmann Sachs even with a Federal Court order:

 

ere is another even more interesting part:

So, we have, nearly 6 years ago, proof that China transferred $4.5 trillion dollars to the US, part of a fund to be used to finance public projects and reduce national debt and build a nationwide high speed rail system which would employ 400,000 Americans.

In the interim, who has been using this money?

Current court estimates indicate the value with interest at $7.2 trillion dollars, half the entire national debt.

The real question, of course, is how many trillions of dollars of profit was made by the banks who were allowed to borrow this money at no interest, enough to finance hundreds, perhaps thousands of trillions of dollars in transactions and untold profit.

These same banks claimed they were broke and had to be bailed out by the US government, begging trillions while hiding the fact they had been given the free use of trillions in illegal wealth from China, funding now proven to belong to Ameritrust and designated for rebuilding America.

 

the sun sets on the U.S. Capitol building hours before U.S. President Barack Obama is set to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque #

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Tourists take pictures in front of the U.S. Capitol building hours before U.S. President Barack Obama is set to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque #

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WASHINGTON - JANUARY 24: Capitol Police place barricades before the State of the Union on Capitol Hill January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress to deliver his third State of the Union address. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images) #

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News networks turn the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall into a temporary television studio for coverage of U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington January 24, 2012. Obama will pitch new initiatives on jobs, taxes and housing in an election-year State of the Union address on Tuesday as he seizes his biggest moment yet on the national stage to make a sweeping case for a second term. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst #

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Lights from the motorcade carrying President Barack Obama are reflected as the motorcade heads to the U.S. Capitol for the President to deliver the State of the Union address in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) #

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Bomb Technicians Ryan Dunham (R) and John Wisham (L) inspect the roof of the US Capitol ahead of US President Barack Obama's annual State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress and the Supreme Court January 24, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A police officer guards the Capitol Rotunda hours before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama is expected to address the nation's economy and tax code propositions, offering a vision for a second term. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times) #

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A reporter prepares for a live shot in Statuary Hall hours before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama is expected to address the nation's economy and tax code propositions, offering a vision for a second term. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times) #

 

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, center, arrives for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. In his third State of the Union speech, President Obama argued for greater economic fairness and draw on other themes that offer universal appeal in this election year. (Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times) #

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The media set-up in Statuary Hall hours before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama is expected to address the nation's economy and tax code propositions, offering a vision for a second term. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times) #

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U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrives for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. In his third State of the Union speech, President Obama argued for greater economic fairness and draw on other themes that offer universal appeal in this election year. (Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times) #

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) arrives prior to the start of U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including "rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded." (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) #

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Former Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., center arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) #

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Representative Gabrielle Giffords, shot during a shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona last year gets a hug from Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (L) as Giffords arrived prior to U.S. President Barack Obama delivering his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed #

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Members of Congress applaud Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) (C), who was shot in the head during a shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona, in January, 2011, prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 24, 2012. Giffords is expected to formally resign from Congress on January 25. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool #

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) bangs the gavel before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. In his third State of the Union speech, President Obama argued for greater economic fairness and draw on other themes that offer universal appeal in this election year. (Doug Mills/The New York Times) #

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Debbie Bosanek, center, Warren Buffett's secretary, talks to Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the Apple visionary Steve Jobs, before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama is expected to address the nation's economy and tax code propositions, offering a vision for a second term. (Doug Mills/The New York Times) #

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From left: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, lAssociate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer listen to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. In his third State of the Union speech, President Obama is expected to argue for greater economic fairness and draw on other themes that offer universal appeal in this election year. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times) #

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Vice President Joe Biden is greeted on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 prior to the start of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) #

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Vice President Joe Biden, left, talks to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. In his third State of the Union speech, Obama is expected to argue for greater economic fairness and draw on other themes that offer universal appeal in this election year. (Doug Mills/The New York Times) #

 

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U.S. President Barack Obama greets Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) before giving the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, January 24, 2012, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT) #

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U.S. President Barack Obama greets Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, before his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama vowed to restore the promise of broad-based U.S. prosperity and "fight obstruction with action" in dealing with Congress, as he runs for re-election with the economy still struggling to recover from the recession. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg #

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama, greets Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) as Vice President Joe Biden (L) looks on prior to Obama's State of the Union speech on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including "rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded." (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) #

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U.S. President Barack Obama (R) hands U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) copies of his speech prior to delivering his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool #

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First lady Michelle Obama waves before U.S. President Barack Obama gives the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, January 24, 2012, in Washington, D.C. From left is Admiral McRaven, Jackie Bray, Michelle Obama, Mark Kelly and Dr. Jill Biden and Ashleigh Berg. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT) #

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama smiles as he delivers his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including "rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded." (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images) #

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President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. In his third State of the Union speech, President Obama argued for greater economic fairness and draw on other themes that offer universal appeal in this election year. At right is Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (Doug Mills/The New York Times) #

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Some of the audience applauds President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. In his third State of the Union speech, President Obama argued for greater economic fairness and draw on other themes that offer universal appeal in this election year. (Doug Mills/The New York Times) #

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The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Military applaud U.S. President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing #

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President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. In his third State of the Union speech, President Obama argued for greater economic fairness and draw on other themes that offer universal appeal in this election year. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times) #

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Members of Congress read along as President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) #

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sits as other members of Congress applaud during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama focused on tax disparity, pushing Congress to change the tax code and warning that he would use his executive powers if it would not.(Luke Sharrett/The New York Times) #

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including "rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) #

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President Barack Obama gestures while giving his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listen at rear. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) #

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)delivers his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including "rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded." (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) #

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) (L) talks to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) before U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including "rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) #

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including "rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded." (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) #

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U.S. President Barack Obama, front center, delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress with U.S. Vice President Joseph "Joe" Biden, back left, and House Speaker John Boehner at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama vowed to restore the promise of broad-based U.S. prosperity and "fight obstruction with action" in dealing with Congress, as he runs for re-election with the economy still struggling to recover from the recession. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg #

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U.S. President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Obama vowed to restore the promise of broad-based U.S. prosperity and "fight obstruction with action" in dealing with Congress, as he runs for re-election with the economy still struggling to recover from the recession. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg #

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U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool #

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Journalists watch a television broadcast of U.S. President Barack Obama delivering his State of the Union address at U.S. Capitol in Washington January 24, 2012. Obama will pitch new initiatives on jobs, taxes and housing in an election-year State of the Union address on Tuesday as he seizes his biggest moment yet on the national stage to make a sweeping case for a second term. REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana #

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President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Listening in back are Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, right. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool) #

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Retiring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., center, flanked by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., before the start of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol iHill n Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) #

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) waves to the joint session of Congress after delivering his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including "rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded." (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) #

Captured Blog: Past Inaugurations

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U.S. President Abraham Lincoln stands under cover at the center of Capitol steps during his inauguration in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 1861. The scaffolding at upper right was used in construction of the Capitol dome. (AP Photo) #

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This photo from 1861 shows the Inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln on the steps of the unfinished Capitol Building in Washington, DC. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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A scene in front of the Capitol during Lincoln's second inauguration, 1865, just six weeks before his assassination. (AP Photo) #

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The public inauguration of Rutherford B. Hayes takes place in front of the U.S. Capitol on the East Portico in Washington, D.C., on March 5, 1877. (AP Photo) #

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This general view shows the inauguration of James A. Garfield, the nation's 20th president, on the East Portico of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., March 4, 1881. (AP Photo) #

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Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller administering the oath of office to Benjamin Harrison on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol, March 4, 1889. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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General scene of President McKinley's second inauguration. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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The inauguration of President Theodore Roosevelt, 1905. (AP Photo) #

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Theodore Roosevelt in carriage on Pennsylvania Avenue on way to Capitol, March 4, 1905. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller administering the oath of office to Theodore Roosevelt on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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President Theodore Roosevelt passing 10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in the inauguration parade on the way to the Capitol. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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William Howard Taft, center, wore a big fur-lined overcoat as he watched the parade after his inauguration as president, on March 4, 1909 in Washington. At right is James S. Sherman, vice president of the United States, and at left, Edward Hallwagon, chief of the Inaugural Committee. A whirling blizzard, featured by flashes of lighting, as well as rain, snow and a cutting wind, made it one of the roughest of all inauguration days. (AP Photo) #

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Taft & Roosevelt driving to Capitol, Mar. 4, 1909 during Taft's inauguration. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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Side view of Taft on balustrade in the snow, with his top hat in hand, gesturing to crowd before him on the grounds of east front of Capitol, with photographers at left. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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This panorama image, formed by putting two photos next to each other, shows the March 15, 1917 inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was beginning his second term in office. (AP Photo/Library of Congress) #

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Photo shows the crowd and lines of cadets at the United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., for the first inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson, March 4, 1913. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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President Calvin Coolidge rides in an open car at the head of the inaugural parade with his wife Grace and Chief Justice Wiliam H. Taft in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 1925. Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the United States. (AP Photo) #

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U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, right foreground, delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office on the East Portico of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on March 4, 1925. Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the United States. (AP Photo) #

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Calvin Coolidge at his inauguration March 4, 1925 as 30th President of the United States, delivers an address urging international cooperation, full responsibility, tax reform and respect of the law. (AP Photo) #

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Thousands of people gather in the rain for the inauguration of President-elect Herbert C. Hoover on the East Portico of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 1929. Herbert Hoover was sworn in as the 31st president of the United States. (AP Photo) #

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A photo of President Hoover in a receiving line on the day of his Inauguration in 1929 in Washington, DC. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt rides in a limousine with President Herbert Hoover on the way to his inauguration in 1933. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt rides in a limousine on his inauguration day in 1933. (Photo from The Library of Congress) #

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A crowd estimated at 75,000 people jams Capitol Plaza in Washington, Jan. 20, 1941, for the third term inauguration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as the president was making his inaugural address. (AP Photo) #

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Military units splash along in the pouring rain during the inaugural parade of President Franklin D. Roosevelt Jan. 20, 1937 in Washington. Aides tried to talk Roosevelt into moving the ceremony indoors but he looked out at the soggy crowd and replied: "If they can take it, I can take it.'' (AP Photo, files) #

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Leaving Blair House for the inauguration oath-taking at the Capitol, January 20, 1949, are left to right: Mrs. Truman; Margaret, daughter of the President; Mrs. Max Truitt, daughter of Vice-President Barkley; Vice-President Alben Barkley, and President Truman. (AP Photo) #

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President Harry S. Truman delivers the inaugural address from Capitol portico on January 20, 1949, after taking the oath of office for his first full term as chief executive. (AP Photo/Becker) #

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With smiles and a wave, U.S. President Harry Truman, left, and his successor, president-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower, leave the White House in an open car for inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 1953. Sitting in the front is Sen. Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, and behind him is House Speaker Joe Martin. (AP Photo) #

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Dwight D. Eisenhower is inaugurated as U.S. President. U.S. Chief Justice Fred Vinson administers the oath of office during the Capitol ceremony in Washington D.C. on Jan. 20, 1953. Richard Nixon, the new U.S. Vice President is standing on the right. (AP Photo) #

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U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower acknowledges applause as he stands on the Capitol inaugural stand with first lady Mamie Eisenhower, left, in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 1957. Vice President Richard Nixon is at far right, with his wife, Pat, second from right. (AP Photo) #

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U.S. President-elect John F. Kennedy, wearing his high hat, and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, are shown as they leave their Georgetown resident for the inauguration day ceremonies in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 1961. Kennedy will be sworn in as the 35th President of the United States. (AP Photo) #

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This was the view of front row seats in the inaugural stand before the administration of Democrat John F. Kennedy took over from that of Republican President Dwight Eisenhower. From left: Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, wife of new vice-president; Mrs. John F. Kennedy, wife of president-elect; Eisenhower; John F. Kennedy, who took oath as president a few minutes later. Lyndon B. Johnson, the new vice president. At right is Richard Nixon who was Kennedy's opponent in the election. (AP Photo) #

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In this Jan. 20, 1961 black-and-white file photo, the crowd in Capitol Plaza gather to witness the inauguration of John F. Kennedy as President of the United States. (AP Photo) #

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U.S. President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 1961. Kennedy said, "We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty." Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th president of the United States. (AP Photo) #

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President John F. Kennedy rides in a black automobile in the traditional inaugural parade in Washington, Jan. 20, 1961. The Capitol is in background. His car is at the intersection of Constitution Ave. left, and Pennsylvania Avenue. (AP Photo) #

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The motorcade carrying President-elect Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson is shown en route to the Capitol building as secret service agents run alongside of the closed car in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 1965. Johnson would be sworn in as the 36th president of the United States. (AP Photo) #

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A distant view of Lyndon Johnson, shown taking the oath of office, during the inauguration ceremonies in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 1965. Administering the oath is Chief Justice Earl Warren, right. Holding the bible at center is Lady Bird Johnson, beginning a new tradition. (AP Photo) #

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The motorcade bringing President Johnson to the Capitol for his inauguration moves along Pennsylvania Avenue, January 20, 1965. Police on motorcycles lead the way. Johnson is in a closed car at lower center with Secret Service agents on the bumper. Another car full of Secret Service men is close by. (AP Photo) #

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President Richard M. Nixon dedicates his new administration to the cause of "peace among nations" as former President Lyndon Johnson, right, listens to the inaugural speech Jan. 20, 1969 in Washington. Seated at right is Vice President Spiro Agnew and former Vice President Hubert Humphrey. (AP Photo) #

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The east side of the Capitol Building is the setting today as President Richard Nixon is sworn in for a second term in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 1973. The American flag is at half mast to honor the late President Harry S. Truman. (AP Photo) #

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Gerald R. Ford takes the oath of office as the 38th President of the United States as his wife, Betty, right, stands at his side in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., Friday, Aug. 4. 1974. Administering the oath is Chief Justice of the United States Warren Burger. Ford was sworn in following the resignation of Richard M. Nixon as chief executive. (AP Photo) #

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President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter wave for the crowd along Pennsylvania Avenue and hold the hands of their daughter, Amy. The Carters elected to walk the parade route from the Capitol to the White House following his inauguration in Washington, on Thursday, Jan. 20, 1977. (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis) #

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President Ronald Reagan takes the oath of office as First Lady Nancy Reagan looks on in 1981 in Washington, DC. (AP Photo) #

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In this Jan. 20, 1981 file photo, a wide angle view from the Capitol balcony as President Ronald Reagan, visible at center, addresses the nation following his swearing-in ceremony in Washington. (AP Photo) #

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U.S. President Ronald Reagan, left, and first lady Nancy Reagan wave to the crowd from their limousine as they lead the motorcade down Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue on inauguration day, Jan. 20, 1981, following swearing-in ceremony. The Capitol building is visible in background, left. (AP Photo) #

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President Ronald Reagan takes the oath of office in the Rotunda of the Capitol, Monday, January 21, 1985, in Washington as his wife Nancy holds the Bible. Chief Justice Warren Burger gives the President the oath. (AP Photo/BOB DAUGHERTY) #

 

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President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton and daughter Chelsea wave as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, Monday Jan. 20, 1997 to start the presidential inaugural parade. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson) #

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President Clinton is sworn in for his second term Monday, Jan. 20, 1997, in Washington by Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist as his wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea look on. (AP Photo/Doug Mills) #

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President Clinton, center podium, delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 42nd president of the United States on Jan. 20, 1993. Clinton was sworn-in for a second term in front of the Capitol on Monday, Jan. 20, 1997, along with Vice President Al Gore. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) #

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William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, with his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea at his side, takes the oath of office as 42nd president of the United States from Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on the west steps of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 1993. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke) #

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President Clinton is sworn in for his second term by Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist during the 53rd Presidential Inauguration Monday, Jan. 20, 1997, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) #

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With Secret Service agents accompanying them, President Bush and first lady Laura Bush wave as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue during the Inaugural Parade in Washington on Jan. 20, 2001. (AP Photo/Doug Mills) #

 

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President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush depart the North Portico of the White House for the limousine ride to the Capitol where he will take the Oath of Office and begin his second term, in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005. They are joined by their daughters Barbara, far left, and Jenna. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) #

 

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President Bush takes the oath of office from Chief Justice William Rehnquist, right, with first lady Laura Bush, and his daughters Barbara and Jenna at his side at the US Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2005. In background are Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, left, and Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) #

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The west side of the US Capitol is filled during the swearing-in ceremony for President Bush at the US Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) #

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President Bush and first lady Laura Bush walk during the inauguration parade in front of the White House. Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005, in Washington. (AP Photo/Doug Mills/Pool) #

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