Iran: the bait that could hook the world’s biggest shark

Are these presidents allied?

The rhetoric coming from Tehran, whether it be anti-American, anti-Israeli, Holocaust-denying, or ambiguously nuclear, is accompanied by a confidence that one would not expect from a nation that the United States could crunch like a cockroach. We may call Ahmedinejad evil, unscrupulous, radical, or unreasonable, but it would be a mistake to think of him as a poor politician, or even an irrational leader. As a public figure and ambassador for his nation, he is much more polished than President Bush. It is unlikely that such a figure would make the sort of mistake that Saddam Hussein made, inviting a war without a plan for fighting it. One can’t help speculating that Ahmedinejad must have an ace up his sleeve, or perhaps even two or three aces, China being that of spades.

China rests on the grounded edge of an economic see-saw, using its weight to prop the United States consumers above its own. The weight on the lever, however, is beginning to shift. By simply looking at bond markets, trade imbalances, interest rates, capital flows and production trends, it is evident China’s economy must soon boom and America’s economy is likely to collapse. One event could change the economies of both countries seemingly overnight, and the beneficiary of such an event would be China. Currently, China’s money is backed by productive labor, while the U.S. Dollar is backed by the art of the press.

Since 2000, perhaps no International ties have grown stronger than those between Iran and China. Trade between the two countries has increased astronomically. China has been Iran’s most staunch ally in UN arguments about economic sanctions. If the U.S. were to make the mistake of attacking Iran, it is not inconceivable that China would immediately declare war against the U.S. for launching an unprovoked, aggressive war against one of its allies. This would be enough to tip the scales of the U.S. and Chinese economies. The loss of U.S. trade would become negligible to China, as it realized the power of its own currency, and took into account the sudden devaluation of U.S. currency. The dollar collapse that would result from war with China would haunt even some of the most pessimistic economists, as foreign dollar reserves would begin flowing back into the U.S. economy, U.S. Treasury securities would lose their appeal, and in order to support its own massive military and domestic promises, America would be forced to leave the dollar presses running constantly.

It is a pessimistic view, I realize, but it is the nature of arrogant and irresponsible empires, like the one the United States has steadily become since 1913, to fall this way. I take this view not from my own opinion, but from my plain and honest reasoning, propelled by the evidences of history and nature.

Not even from Charlton Heston’s cold dead hands

Legal

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

Americans, go buy more guns.

The Supreme Court ruled that the handgun ban in D.C. is unconstitutional. I agree. The effect of guns on America is as follows: the more, the merrier.

Today’s ruling only allowed citizens to keep handguns at home. They are still not allowed to carry them in public. D.C. would be wise to allow its citizens to carry handguns in public as well. Whenever I hear about a mall or school shooting, I think to myself, “If I had only been there with a handgun, I could have saved some lives by taking out that maniac.” That’s my practical logic for gun ownership.

Most importantly–and this is the basis of the 2nd Amendment–the citizens should be given the tools to protect themselves if the government becomes oppressive. I know people who want to ban guns have good intentions, but they need to wake up to the fact that governments–even democratic ones–sometimes do very bad things, and that the people need a way to defend themselves against injustice. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to make sure that the federal military would never have the ability to suppress the will of the people, and without gun-owning civilians, the military (which is under complete control of the President), would have the ability to suppress the people’s will. Simply banning guns seems tempting when violence occurs, but the benefits of such a measure are far outweighed by the risks it poses to a free society.

Does America know where its economy is headed?

America on the verge

As a rule, Congress will not address a difficult problem until it becomes a crisis. Former GAO Head David Walker resigned because Congress would not address what he calls “unfunded liabilities” or the “fiscal gap,” which is the growing difference between the nation’s implicit debt and its expected revenues. The sum seems destined to bring the United States to its knees. Earlier this year, the federal government modestly estimated it to be about $58 trillion (estimates have been as high as $72 trillion), and the total is growing sharply. To give you an idea of how big that number is, each American household’s equal share of that would be over $400,000–over $175,000 per person (in addition to the taxes they are already expected to pay). This is especially frightening because we know that the net household worth of the United States is $56 trillion and falling. It would appear that the United States is worth less than it owes, and is therefore technically bankrupt. If the federal government seized the assets of every single American citizen today, it still would not be financially capable of keeping its promises.

When Congress wouldn’t listen to him about this issue, David Walker decided to take his message to the employers of the legislative body, the American people. Despite help from billionaire Peter G. Peterson, Walker and his message are still widely ignored.

Walker’s assertion is this: America will undergo a severe and prolonged (if not permanent) economic depression if it does not change its spending practices now. The claim is based on economic laws and reality, and cannot be denied. Walker is right.

As Americans, we are left with a choice between two emotions: we can get angry about our economic situation now (and elect people that will start spending and promising responsibly), or we can be sad about it later, at which point we will be very poor and helplessly incapable of fixing the problem. The rulers of our nation, along with our media, have already chosen the latter option, by focusing attention on gay marriage, drug use, and abortion while the world’s greatest economy keels over, but it is not yet too late to alter their choice. If Americans are able to replace rulers with leaders, and base their votes on sound policies (and this is a HUGE if), they can still avoid economic collapse, but they must act now with their ballots, by electing responsible candidates like William “B.J.” Lawson of North Carolina’s Fourth District.
Ron Paul and BJ Lawson protecting the dollar

George Carlin turned unfortunate truths into humor

Carlin

A couple of nights ago the world lost George Carlin, an “entertainer,” they will say, a man who may be called crazy, but should never be called wrong.

George Carlin saw things as they were, which borders on being “criminal-minded” in any society. For every thousand people perpetuating customary lies, there is one telling the truth; and from each thousand telling the truth, there is at most one doing so in a way that is creative enough to be noticed. George Carlin was one of these extraordinary individuals, and as we watch the people, the voices, and the external “consciences” of our lives multiply by the thousands, we should remember that nearly all of them become dull and pointless when contrasted with Carlin.

Many people talk about changing our world, but they suggest a tax cut here, or restriction or subsidy there–this was not George Carlin’s idea of changes. Carlin aimed to undermine the entire screwed-up system he had observed. He wanted to put the people in charge of the country. He wanted to render the government deathly afraid of the people over whom they ruled, and it is a sad statement about America, that for this desire, Carlin is widely recognized as a fringe personality, because there is nothing more American than a government that fears its constituents.

RIP George.

Unjust war: are passive Americans responsible?

Feeling guilty forever

“A policy of overthrowing or destabilizing every regime our government dislikes is no strategy at all, unless our goal is international chaos and domestic impoverishment.” – Ron Paul

I received a good question about a post in which I asserted, “those who henceforth perpetuate the lie that the surge is working are war criminals, and perpetrate crimes against humanity, by extending an illegal, unjust, and murderous war through known falsities.” Bold, I know. When I said it, I was thinking of government officials, but a layperson would also take it personally.

The thought-provoking question was essentially this: how can a person be called a war criminal if they have only claimed that “the surge is working”? The following is my attempt to answer that question.

You are not a war criminal in the legal sense, and should certainly not be held accountable as such. But there have certainly been what natural law would consider crimes perpetrated in the war with Iraq. Let us say, hypothetically, that time proves me correct in my belief that this war is unjust. I suggest that we do not have to be prosecuted for a crime to feel guilt for having aided in it. I also suggest that those who support the Iraq war (even passively), may in the future feel some guilt for having done so, assuming they have the capacity for honest reflection. Did passive German citizens not feel guilt after WWII, even though they accepted the Nazi claim that they were fighting to save Western civilization prior to the war’s end? Even some of the finest philosophers and scientists in the world fell for, and sometimes even contributed to, the aggrandizement of Nazi empire. The same could be said of British imperialism. Are not all empires (even unacknowledged ones–in our era no one calls oneself a fascist or imperialist) eventually humiliated, and forced by nature to admit their arrogances and poor judgments?

“We are fighting for freedom against a dangerous enemy”, “the surge is working”, “support our troops”, “let the generals decide”, “it’s a complex region”, “there would be chaos if we leave”, “we are winning”, “let the troops win”, “we are at war with Islamo-fascism”, “be patriotic”, “don’t blame America”–all are comforting phrases intended to stifle dissent against the Executive and destroy critical thinking in America, but when we research them, we find that few of them are backed by substance. Because the war is impossible to justify, the President has bombarded the people with mystery, nationalism, irrationality and fear, because reason cannot argue in favor of falsehood. The American people, starved for leaders and clarity, have been subjected to rulers and ambiguity. They deserve better than the empty slogans that lead this stanza, and, appallingly, no one in the media seems to be taking responsibility for providing them with the truth.

As far as my philosophy on this war is concerned, I agree with what Gandhi wrote: “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

I believe the threat posed to our security by Iraq was certainly overstated, if not fabricated. I am opposed to war without just cause. I consider the acceptance of aggressive war to be an assertion that murder and plunder are legal if a legitimate government commits them. The reality is, any government that engages in aggressive, unjust war becomes illegitimate in doing so. Moreover, I see our presence in the Middle East as only adding to the grievances that terrorists use against us to convince suicide bombers that their mission is worthy. Take away the U.S. presence in the Middle East, and terrorists would likely turn their efforts against the dictators that are the true cause of their wretchedness.

Ignorance v. Oklahoma: state sovereignty, and its frightening media blackout

Oklahoma legislature

I heard a rumor today that Oklahoma’s state legislature had declared sovereignty from federal mandates it considered beyond the national government’s constitutional powers. On blogs and independent news outlets around the world, the news of Oklahoma’s resolution was making its rounds. The state invoked the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Oklahoma has informed the United States government that it will not continue to follow the federal government’s requests, if those requests fall outside the specific powers given to the federal government by the Constitution. Oklahoma’s House of Representatives believes the Constitution was written to limit the powers of the federal government, and is ready to fight in court to restrict it back to its legal prerogatives.

This would greatly dampen the federal government’s control in Oklahoma in many policy areas: education, transportation, identification, immigration, licensing, taxation, banking, the list goes on and on.

Who would this hurt? No ordinary Americans, but some large corporations stand to literally topple if the federal government is limited to its Constitutional scope. These corporations and the over-sized government rely on each other for survival, steadily sucking money and power from their rightful owners, individual Americans, who are fed a steady stream of television and radio propaganda so that the scheme may be perpetuated. This leaves the thinking American wondering why nearly everyone hates the government, hates corporations, and hates the nation’s direction, but no one seems ever able to do anything about it.

Here is your answer: people are trying to do something about it, but corporate media will not allow American citizens to know what is actually good for them, because it would likely hurt profit margins.

Despite the fact that this is one of the more important news stories of the day (if not this era), I could not find a mention about Oklahoma’s declaration of sovereignty on any corporate media outlets. I decided to find out if the story was nothing more than a big Internet hoax. It was real. It is real. Not only did the Oklahoma House vote for the resolution, they passed it 92 – 3, and language of the bill is forceful and direct, aimed at undermining the federal government as aggressively as necessary.

Bloggers and independent media are no strangers to mainstream media blackouts, but this blackout seems particularly impressive in its orchestration. First of all, this is a complete corporate blackout of what is probably the most fundamental piece of legislation passed in Oklahoma in many years. Not only are national networks ignoring it, the local news won’t cover it either. It is as though the Oklahoma state legislature has been disappeared by the corporate political establishment, which is frightening.

If the federal government can get away with ignoring a legitimate state legislature and the Constitution as if neither even exists, imagine what they are capable of doing to freelance bloggers who defend the Constitution, or a peaceful assembly of libertarians, or political opponents, or the entire population of a minority religion. Imagine that, and suddenly the American flags covering this nation will begin to resemble something historic and horrible, the names of American rulers will begin to take on a German tone, and it will appear as though President Bush is growing a dark toothbrush mustache.

I have been looking, but have still been unable to find a mainstream media mention of the resolution. Please let me know if you have better luck.

It is almost indisputable: there is a civil war going on for control of the minds of Americans. It pits the United States propagandists against the Oklahomans, defenders of a free society. Will Americans be allowed to think for themselves, or will they continue to irrationally observe and repeat whatever comes out of the noisy, flashing boxes in their living rooms?

McCain thinks like a dictator

the new Bush

I believe the Supreme Court made a very good decision last week in the case of Boumediene v. Bush. McCain calls the decision to extend the writ of habeas corpus to detainees at Guantanamo “one of the worst decisions in history.” Perhaps he would rank it along the lines of the Court’s support of slavery prior to the Civil War, or even worse, considering his hyperbolic characterization of the dangers the U.S. currently faces. By simply drawing McCain’s words to their logical conclusion, he would treat black people like farm animals before he would treat America’s suspected enemies like humans.

The Senator’s cognitive retardation is highlighted by his own experiences as a prisoner of war. He would do well to remember his own past situation, and then imagine that he had been captured by a foreign army while in his own country, and then transported to a prison in another country, without notice to his family or friends, without rights to counsel or a presentation of evidence, without his home country having the knowledge or ability to even put political pressure on his captors, and without any end to his situation in sight.

Sometimes mistakenly-anointed “experts” who share McCain’s reasoning deficiency argue that the controversial detainments in Guantanamo are perfectly legal and acceptable, because the prison there is a state-of-the-art facility, and that the prisoners are treated well, and allowed a more than reasonable level of comfort. This is no different than the argument that slavery is acceptable, so long as the slaves are treated well, and allowed a reasonable level of comfort.

“My friends, there are some bad people down there. There are some bad people,” McCain tells us of the detainees at Guantanamo. How does he know this? There has been no evidence presented that would tell him this. McCain “reasons,” against every argument history offers humankind, that because they have been arrested, the prisoners must be guilty. The American people cannot allow this mentality to lead our policies against terrorism. This is precisely the allowance the German people gave to Hitler after the Reichstag fire, and it enabled him to detain and kill prisoners without cause.

As for the morally empty argument of precedence in this case, I will only point out that every moment of human history like this one, in which a powerful group decided it safest to detain certain people it considers “dangerous,” has in reflection become a source of embarrassment to the perpetrating nation, whether it be Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, or the United States. Just because a mistake has been made before without serious legal ramifications (i.e., encampment of Japanese Americans during WWII), does not mean that mistake should be made again. There is nothing wrong with opposing a precedent, especially when that precedent is clearly unjust.

While they may draw attention, I don’t expect these assertions to draw much argument, as it is difficult to even begin an argument against the truth. When one decides to argue against truth and reason, one cannot win; falsehood wilts, or imposes itself by force, but truth stands with God, on its own clarity and goodness.