The long US war in Afghanistan never made any sense in the first place. The Taliban did not attack the US on 9/11. The Authorization for the use of force that we passed after the attacks of 9/11 said nothing about a decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. But unfortunately two US presidents have taken it to mean that they could make war anywhere at any time they please. Congress, as usual, did nothing to rein in the president, although several Members tried to repeal the authorization. Afghanistan brought the Soviet Union to its knees. We learned nothing from it. Sadly, that is the story of our foreign policy.
"Well you know if you look at the last 13 years it was up 12 out of 13 and this year isn't even over yet, so I would say its responded pretty well. But you might say well yeah what about in the last year why hasn’t it? Well, markets do these things they go up sharply and sometimes they take a rest. But the long term is something you can get a handle on, but I was never very good on short term, whether it’s the stock market or whatever, or what government will do, they are just all over the place.
Over the course of decades we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted by the love of material possessions, the lure of a debt based faux wealth, the money for nothing entitlement promises of dishonorable politicians, the evil of currency debasement, the effectiveness of mass media propaganda, and the belief that we could sacrifice freedom and liberty for promises of safety and security made by a cabal of powerful rich men. Power has been concentrated into the hands of the few, who operate in secrecy and despise the people. They don’t want transparency or open debate. Freedom of speech is nothing but a thorn in their side. They believe they are smarter than the serfs and have no morality when it comes to committing illegal acts and disregarding the Constitution. They are not acting in the public interest. Their abuse of power and looting of the national wealth have put us on a path towards a bloody revolution. This is not a time for conformity, obedience or submission. It’s time to stand up and expose the evil doers. It’s time to rally around those who care about this country. Who are the real traitors? You know the answer.
President Obama announced late last week that the US intelligence community had just determined that the Syrian government had used poison gas on a small scale, killing some 100 people in a civil conflict that has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives. Because of this use of gas, the president claimed, Syria had crossed his “red line” and the US must begin to arm the rebels fighting to overthrow the Syrian government. The process was identical to the massive deception campaign that led us into the Iraq war. That is exactly what the Obama Administration is doing with Syria: fixing the intelligence and facts around the already determined policy. And Congress just goes along, just as they did the last time. The president has opened a can of worms that will destroy his presidency and possibly destroy this country. Another multi-billion dollar war has begun.
There are three words that come to mind when we think of Ron Paul; principles, credibility and consistency. Not only is the video below great because we get to see Dr. Paul speak on the Congressional floor thirty years younger, but also because he was adamantly criticizing civil liberties threats in the context of a Republican President, Ronald Reagan. He warned us about what the NSA and other intelligence agencies are currently doing well before the internet became widespread.
What most undermines the claims of the Administration and its defenders about this surveillance program is the process itself. First the government listens in on all of our telephone calls without a warrant and then if it finds something it goes to a FISA court and get an illegal approval for what it has already done! This turns the rule of law and due process on its head. The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing. We need to turn the cameras on the police and on the government, not the other way around... We should be thankful for writers like Glenn Greenwald, who broke last week’s story, for taking risks to let us know what the government is doing. There are calls for the persecution of Greenwald and the other whistle-blowers and reporters. They should be defended, as their work defends our freedom.
"I think we are going to go through the ringer... It is bad enough already, but there is no way that we can step back."
"I think monetizing debt and spending and deficit is going to get much, much worse until the world rejects the dollar."
"when people become frightened, they look for things of real value, and I don't think they can repeal the laws of economics that says that for 6,000 years metals have been beneficial. They will go to monetary metals, gold and silver"
"...if we have an authoritarian government, that is our greatest threat. So, I would like to think that there is no perfect protection, other than shrinking the size and scope and power of government, so that we can be left alone and take care of ourselves."
May was Iraq’s deadliest month in nearly five years, with more than 1,000 dead – both civilians and security personnel -- in a rash of bombings, shootings and other violence. As we read each day of new horrors in Iraq, it becomes more obvious that the US invasion delivered none of the promised peace or stability that proponents of the attack promised. We must learn the appropriate lessons from the disaster of Iraq. We cannot continue to invade countries, install puppet governments, build new nations, create centrally-planned economies, engage in social engineering, and force democracy at the barrel of a gun. The rest of the world is tired of US interventionism and the US taxpayer is tired of footing the bill for US interventionism.
Ron Paul kept a sign on his desk during his time in Congress that read: "Don't steal. The government hates competition." These days, perhaps a more appropriate saying would be – "Don’t violate people's civil liberties. The government hates competition." In the Land of the Free, it would appear they actually want to make this a law with the introiduction of bill S1057, "prohibiting the use of unmanned aircraft systems by private individuals to conduct surveillance of other private persons." So what the esteemed Senators are telling us is that it’s bad (and hence should be unlawful) to invade people’s privacy. Unless the government is doing it, in which case it’s just fine. Simply put, "No Drones for you."
Our country has entered a period of Crisis. We may or may not successfully navigate our way through the visible icebergs and more dangerous icebergs just below the surface. The similarities between the course of our country and the maiden voyage of the Titanic are eerily allegorical...
The IRS routinely obtains information about how we earn a living, what investments we make, what we spend on ourselves and our families, and even what charitable and religious organizations we support. Starting next year, the IRS will be collecting personally identifiable health insurance information in order to ensure we are complying with Obamacare’s mandates. The current tax laws even give the IRS power to marginalize any educational, political, or even religious organizations whose goals, beliefs, and values are not favored by the current regime by denying those organizations “tax-free” status. This is the root of the latest scandal involving the IRS.... Considering the type of power the IRS excises over the American people, and the propensity of those who hold power to violate liberty, it is surprising we do not hear about more cases of politically-motivated IRS harassment. As the first US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy” — and who better to destroy than one’s political enemies? The very purpose of the IRS is to transfer wealth from one group to another while violating our liberties in the process, thus the only way Congress can protect our freedoms is to repeal the income tax and shutter the doors of the IRS once and for all.
Neither side wants to talk about the real lesson of Benghazi: interventionism always carries with it unintended consequences. The US attack on Libya led to the unleashing of Islamist radicals in Libya. These radicals have destroyed the country, murdered thousands, and killed the US ambassador... Previously secure weapons in Libya flooded the region after the US attack, with many of them going to Islamist radicals who make up the majority of those fighting to overthrow the government in Syria. The US government has intervened in the Syrian conflict on behalf of the same rebels it assisted in the Libya conflict, likely helping with the weapons transfers... The real lesson of Benghazi will not be learned because neither Republicans nor Democrats want to hear it. But it is our interventionist foreign policy and its unintended consequences that have created these problems, including the attack and murder of Ambassador Stevens. The disputed talking points and White House whitewashing are just a sideshow.
Just because you are a conservative and paranoid, doesn't mean the IRS is not after you. And, assuming the AP was not hacked again, this is precisely what happened. In a stunning disclosure, the supposedly impartial Internal Revenue Service has admitted and apologized for flagging and subjecting to extra reviews, conservative political groups - those that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" - during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. No such privilege was apparently afforded to groups identifying themselves as "liberal." It does make one wonder, just how far the IRS goes to make the lives of conservatives a living hell: will all 2012 tax audits be those who on their facebook profile admit to liking Ron Paul? And just how far does the IRS invade personal privacy to determine how any one tax filer is indeed, a "conservative?" But don't worry - aside from the obvious persecutions, America is a free country for one and all.
Last week at its regular policy-setting meeting, the Federal Reserve affirmed that it is prepared to increase its monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities if things don’t start looking up. In all, the Fed has pumped more than a half trillion dollars into the economy since announcing its latest round of “quantitative easing” (QE3) in September 2012. With no recovery in sight, where’s all this money going? It is creating bubbles. Bubbles in the housing sector, the stock market, and government debt. In the meantime, real families are suffering. We are certainly not in a recovery. We don’t see the long unemployment and soup kitchen lines like in the Great Depression, but that’s just because the lines are electronic now. We know what the real solution is: allow the marketplace to work. Restore sound money to the economy and the American people. Sound money is the bedrock for prosperity and the best check on big government and crony capitalism.
For 727 editions, and nearly 30 years, Bill Buckler, the "captain" of the free market-praising Privateer newsletter provided a welcome escape from a world overrun with "free-lunch" economists, "for-hire" politicians, "crony-capitalist" oligarchs, "heroin-addict" bankers, "the-solution-to-record-debt-is-more-record-debt" Keynesians, and all those other subclasses of that species which Einstein, or whoever, described so aptly in saying that they all expect a different, and happy, outcome when applying the same flawed methods over and over. And for 30 years, Buckler's steadfast determination and adherence to his arguments, beliefs, reasoning and ironclad logic brought him countless followers, all of whom are now able to see past the bread and circus facade of a world every day on the edge of political and social collapse. Sadly, all good things come to an end, and so does The Privateer. We are delighted to celebrate its illustrious memory by presenting to our readers the final, must read, issue of the newsletter which encapsulates the philosophy and ideology of its author - a man much respected and admired in the free market circles - and thirty years of objective, unbiased market and economic commentary, best of all.