The Old Cold War is Over! But the New One…
Actually the old Cold War may be over, but the temperature is rising on the New Cold War. Before we end up in a hot war of principals or proxies with Russia — which is certainly where we are headed — it would be good if the American people took a really good look at what is going on in Russia today, a full generation after the long 70 years of Soviet madness. The British foreign correspondent Peter Hitchens describes the unseen Russia of today and writes:
Nobody who has seen these things could possibly compare the old Soviet Union with the new Russia. The trouble is, almost nobody has seen them. Nor, it seems, has anyone noticed the withdrawal of Moscow’s power from 700,000 square miles of territory which it once held down with boots and tanks and secret policemen. Somehow or other this unprecedented peaceful withdrawal of a power undefeated in war is being portrayed as “expansionism.” Nobody who understands history, geography, or, come to that, arithmetic can possibly accept this portrayal. There is much to criticize in Russia’s foreign policy, especially if one is a Ukrainian nationalist, but the repossession of Crimea does not signal a revival of the Warsaw Pact.
This is a wonderfully insightful portrait of Russia today and stands in sharp contrast to the picture that is being painted by Washington.
Read the entire account HERE.
Zimbabwe running out of US dollars; says it will print its own ‘bond notes’
Stashed in a drawer somewhere I have a 100 Trillion Zimbabwe Dollar bill. It’s a novelty just like the 100 Thousand and 100 Million Mark notes in there with it. They are great conversation pieces for people who don’t know about Germany’s nightmare inflation of the 1920’s and the Zimbabwe inflation that peaked in 2008-9 at as much as 89.7 Sextillion Percent.
The real lesson of these episodes is that governments and monetary systems must be completely separated. The Zimbabwe inflation was such an embarrassment to other money-printing states that at one point Germany’s foreign minister even ordered the German company that provided Zimbabwe with the fine banknote stock for its legalized counterfeiting to stop deliveries. The Los Angeles Times marked the event with a headline that betrays the news media’s confusion about all things economic: “Lack of bank note paper threatens Zimbabwe economy.”
Since the currency crack-up Zimbabwe has mainly relied on U.S. dollar in its commerce. But now its about to embark on its old ways again:
Zimbabwe announced Thursday it will introduce next month “bond notes” equivalent to the US dollar…
Zimbabwe has run out of US dollar notes in recent months and hopes to ease the cash crunch by printing its own “bond notes” that will be valued in denominations of $2, $5, $10 and $20.
“The bond notes will start to circulate by the end of October and will be at par with the US dollar,” Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said in Harare.
Here’s a link to the story from Agence France-Presse.
How Many Guns Did the U.S. Lose Track of in Iraq and Afghanistan? Hundreds of Thousands.
The Pentagon can’t even keep count.
According to this story from the New York Times Magazine, “the Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns.”
ISIS is so grateful. Read More HERE
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, is the interventionist behind the Carter-Reagan policy that had the CIA arming the Afghan mujahedeen. Osama bin Laden was a beneficiary of this genius scheme to provide billions in support for the movement the was the forerunner of al Qaeda.
Now it seem that Zbig has acauired a new and more realistic view of American global hegemony that he once had. More details in a piece by Mike Whitney at Counterpunch.org:
The main architect of Washington’s plan to rule the world has abandoned the scheme and called for the forging of ties with Russia and China. While Zbigniew Brzezinski’s article in The American Interest titled “Towards a Global Realignment” has largely been ignored by the media, it shows that powerful members of the policymaking establishment no longer believe that Washington will prevail in its quest to extend US hegemony across the Middle East and Asia. Brzezinski has done an about-face and called for a dramatic revising of the strategy.
Edgar Mitchell, RIP
Dr. Edgar Mitchell, lunar astronaut, passed away at his West Palm Beach home on February 4, 2016 at the age of 85.
In 1971, as pilot of Apollo 14’s lunar module, Mitchell became the sixth person to step foot on the moon.
Mitchell was a founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). Formed in 1973, IONS is a non-profit research institute concerned with, as the name indicates, the nature of human consciousness. Author Dan Brown made IONS a centerpiece of his bestselling novel The Lost Symbol.
In 2011 the Leonardo da Vinci Institute for the Study of Thinking, of which I was president at the time, inducted Dr. Mitchell into the Society and presented him the prestigious da Vinci Medallion. The opportunity to know and share time with Ed Mitchell was an honor indeed.
Ed Mitchell, RIP.
“I theorize that there is a spectrum of consciousness available to human beings. At one end is material consciousness. At the other end is what we call ‘field’ consciousness, where a person is at one with the universe, perceiving the universe. Just by looking at our planet on the way back, I saw or felt a field consciousness state.”
Dealt with a government bureaucracy lately?
Renewed your driver’s license lately?
Need a laugh?
Madmen In Washington Are Running the Asylum!
Excerpts from a State Department daily press briefing, November 24, 2015, following the Turkish shootdown of a Russian plane, conducted by Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesperson:
QUESTION: President Obama said he will reach out to President Erdogan over the next few days.
MR TONER: Yeah.
QUESTION: Did not mention Putin. That really puts you squarely on Turkey’s side, doesn’t it?
QUESTION: You’re saying Turkey has the right to defend itself; President Obama said the same thing. What defense are you talking about? Does anyone think Russia was going to attack Turkey?
MR TONER: Again, I mean, this is –
QUESTION: Do you think so?
MR TONER: Look, I don’t want to parse out this incident. I said very clearly that we don’t know all the facts yet, so for me to speak categorically about what happened is – frankly, would be irresponsible.
QUESTION: Even if you accept the Turkish version that the plane traveled 1.3 miles inside Turkey and violated its airspace for 17 seconds – that’s according to Turkey – do you think shooting down the plane was the right thing to do?
MR TONER: Again, I’m not going to give you our assessment at this point. We’re still gathering the facts.
QUESTION: In 2012, Syria shot down a Turkish plane that reportedly strayed into its territory. Prime Minister Erdogan then said, “A short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack.” Meanwhile, NATO has expressed its condemnation of Syria’s attack as well as strong support for Turkey. Do you see the inconsistency of NATO’s response on this?
MR TONER: As to what President Erdogan may have said after that incident, I would refer you to him.
QUESTION: Turkoman forces in Syria said they killed the two Russian pilots as they descended in parachutes.
MR TONER: Yeah.
QUESTION: Turkoman forces are supported by Turkey and are fighting against the Syrian Government, they are part of the rebel force there. Do you consider these rebels to be a moderate force in Syria?
QUESTION: I’m trying – I mean, do you think that everybody has the right to defend themselves?
MR TONER: We’ve said very clearly that people have the right to defend themselves.
QUESTION: Right? Including the Assad regime?
MR TONER: No.
– Thanks to William Blum at LewRockwell.com
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS… Name them one by one
“The things we have taken for granted in our material circumstances and the increase of ease in our lives—so many of the things we notice only in their absence—are the result of a free economy. So rich are its gifts, so abundant its bounty, so profuse its variety, that we have come to think of prosperity as a given. And that is a good way to think of it—as a given.
“Like the cornucopia, the horn of plenty that is an icon of inexhaustible abundance seemingly springing from nowhere, prosperity is a given, coming into being in the presence of free people in a free economy.
“Liberty’s gifts are many. This book has focused especially on Prosperity because she appears to be slipping away from us. But Prosperity is only one of Liberty’s daughters. Peace is another. And third among her daughters is Opportunity. What a plague mankind suffers in the absence of Liberty’s gifts. What a cruel smothering of the human spirit to know only lack and insufficiency instead of the abundance of Prosperity; to live in a time of constant strife and war, a time without the blessings of Peace; and to experience a lifetime of frustrating limitation and futility, a world without Opportunity.
“A renewed appreciation of Liberty will mean the growth of Prosperity, Peace, and Opportunity. Her blessings await all who wish them.”
– RED AND BLUE AND BROKE ALL OVER
We are told relentlessly by the mainstream media that politics is the most important thing in the world. We must constantly decide which politicians to support, which government programs to debate, and how to vote.
In fact, real change is brought to society not through participation in the regime’s tightly-controlled political games, but through radical decentralization, and the building up of non-state institutions such as families and markets. One of the state’s greatest triumphs in the 20th century was the politicization of everything from education to employment to marriage.
To undo this, we must seek to de-politicize our culture, and we do this not through elections and political pageantry, but by building up our businesses and communities where our actions make a real difference, where participation is truly voluntary, and where real wealth can be built and preserved.
This November, join the Mises Institute in Phoenix, Arizona where Ron Paul, Charles Goyette, William Boyes, Lew Rockwell, and Jeff Deist will examine what must be done, and what can be done now to build a world where states are weak and society is strong.
Registration for this event is $95 per person and includes lunch. Lunch and sessions take place in the Hilton Phoenix Airport. Parking is free. Sessions begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m.
To reserve accommodations at the Hilton Phoenix Airport, call 480.894.1600 before October 16 and mention Mises Institute for a special rate of $89 per night plus tax.
The Mises Bookstore will be on site, and speakers are happy to autograph books..
Student Scholarship Applications
Students wishing to apply for a scholarship for sessions and lunch should submit an application and student ID by registering/logging in to the Mises Academy, going to Applications and completing all parts of the Student Event Scholarship Application Form.
9/11 + 14 Years: A Candid Assessment from Tom Engelhardt
Fourteen years later, how probable was it that the country then universally considered the planet’s “sole superpower,” openly challenged only by tiny numbers of jihadist extremists, with a military better funded than the next 10 to 13 forces combined (most of whom were allies anyway), and whose technological skills were, as they say, to die for would win no wars, defeat no enemies, and successfully complete no occupations? What were the odds? If, on September 12, 2001, someone had given you half-reasonable odds on a U.S. military winning streak in the Greater Middle East, don’t tell me you wouldn’t have slapped some money on the table.
Fourteen years later, don’t you find it improbable that the U.S. military has been unable to extricate itself from Iraq and Afghanistan, its two major wars of this century, despite having officially left one of those countries in 2011 (only to head back again in the late summer of 2014) and having endlessly announced the conclusion of its operations in the other (only to ratchet them up again)?
Fourteen years later, don’t you find it improbable that Washington’s post-9/11 policies in the Middle East helped lead to the establishment of the Islamic State’s “caliphate” in parts of fractured Iraq and Syria and to a movement of almost unparalleled extremism that has successfully “franchised” itself out from Libya to Nigeria to Afghanistan? If, on September 12, 2001, you had predicted such a possibility, who wouldn’t have thought you mad?
Fourteen years later, don’t you find it improbable that the U.S. has gone into the business of robotic assassination big time; that (despite Watergate-era legal prohibitions on such acts), we are now the Terminators of Planet Earth, not its John Connors; that the president is openly and proudly an assassin-in-chief with his own global “kill list”; that we have endlessly targeted the backlands of the planet with our (Grim) Reaper and Predator (thank you Hollywood!) drones armed with Hellfire missiles; and that Washington has regularly knocked off women and children while searching for militant leaders and their generic followers? And don’t you find it odd that all of this has been done in the name of wiping out the terrorists and their movements, despite the fact that wherever our drones strike, those movements seem to gain in strength and power?
… and prepare to be moved!
Wayne Dyer, R.I.P.
I am sorry to share the news that psychologist, best-selling author, inspirational speaker, and teacher Dr. Wayne Dyer passed away August 29 at the age of 75.
Wayne was a great story teller and I was always pleased to welcome him to my radio show when he visited the Phoenix area. I made a point of attending his speaking events as well. At different times over the years Wayne called upon my sons, Michael and Steven, sitting with me in the audience, to engage in an exchange or join him on the stage when he needed a volunteer to help demonstrate some point. I don’t know if it was fun for them, but I sure enjoyed it!
One time about a dozen years ago I was able to introduce Wayne to a little known author and set of ideas I thought especially profound. A few years later as Ali and I watched one of his popular PBS programs we were very pleased to see that Wayne had cited the author and incorporated that work into his presentation.
It is great boost for an author like me when someone who has written at least 40 books – 20 of which that were bestsellers, including Your Erroneous Zones which has sold 35 million copies – agrees to help promote his work. I was deeply honored that when I began thinking about serious writing, Wayne repeatedly said he would be happy to “blurb” my books.
Although I have written two books since then (and am almost finished with a third) I did not ask for Wayne’s help since my books have been about political and economic issues. But I decided that if I ever wrote anything that would be more fitting, something having to do with philosophy, inspiration, consciousness, or spirituality, I would take Wayne up on his generous offer.
As it happened, a few years ago I roughed out plans for a series of books on a topic that would be appropriate for his endorsement, and even wrote a rough draft of the first volume. When I heard that Wayne would be in my area soon I made plans to dust off the project and share it with him and ask him to introduce me to his publisher.
I am sad that that will not happen.
But I am much sadder at the passing of this good man from whom so many found help and inspiration.
The U.S. spends more on warfare than the next 10 countries combined. The Pentagon is the largest employer in the world!
Aren’t you glad we have a global military empire?
Charles to speak at Mises Circle in Phoenix November 7, 2015.
Charles joins Lew Rockwell, Jeff Deist, William Boyes, and others to discuss What Must Be Done.
The Mises Institute is an educational institution devoted to advancing Austrian economics, freedom, and peace in the classical-liberal tradition.
Mises Circle presentations are wonderfully informative events. Students wishing to apply for a scholarship for sessions and lunch should submit an application to the Mises Institute.
The Mises Circle will meet at the Hilton Phoenix Airport on Saturday, November 7. Registration begins and bookstore opens at 9:00 a.m. Sessions begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m., including lunch. Parking is free. The Mises Bookstore will be on site, and speakers are happy to autograph books.
SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace of Prosperity
I received a review copy of Ron Paul’s new book, Swords into Plowshares, the other day. I am amazed at – and his countless fans will love – the first hand account of formative life experiences the normally reticent Ron has provided. This is as much of an autobiography as Ron Paul’s admirers are ever likely to get. But all the better to depict the era of warfare that has prevailed throughout his life.
Ron Paul has been Washington’s greatest (and sometimes it seems only) champion of the foreign policy the founders recommended: peaceful and non-interventionist. Now Dr. Paul has written a moving account of his own awakening about war and destruction, about peace and prosperity.
From the book description:
“In his latest book, Swords into Plowshares, Dr. Paul reveals an intensely personal side as he reflects on growing up during World War II. The book also provides a powerful critique of the corruption and corrosion produced by a 20th century full of war and killing. Ever the optimist, however, Paul leaves behind the ashes of a 20th century of war to finish with a stirring, liberating view of the future we may choose if we turn from war and violence.”
Order Ron Paul’s new book HERE!
Crony Militarism and Greek Debt
Not to excuse the role of Greek socialism in the current debt/currency issue (that would be so unlike me), but only to add another dimension to Greece/Germany news.
The recent Greek Defense Minister is doing 20 years in prison, caught taking an €8 million bribe for the purchase of German submarines.
A little more worth reading from The Guardian:
“Along with German subs, the Greeks have bought French frigates, US F16s and German Leopard 2 tanks. In the 1980s, for example, the Greeks spent an average of 6.2% of their GDP on defence compared with a European average of 2.9%. In the years following their EU entry, the Greeks were the world’s fourth-highest spenders on conventional weaponry.
“So, to recap: corrupt German companies bribed corrupt Greek politicians to buy German weapons. And then a German chancellor presses for austerity on the Greek people to pay back the loans they took out (with Germans banks) at massive interest, for the weapons they bought off them in the first place. Is this an unfair characterisation? A bit. It wasn’t just Germany. And there were many other factors at play in the escalation of Greek debt. But the postwar difference between the Germans and the Greeks is not the tired stereotype that the former are hardworking and the latter are lazy, but rather that, among other things, the Germans have, for obvious reasons, been restricted in their military spending. And they have benefited massively from that.”
Read more HERE