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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Money, Banking, and the Federal Reserve

So maybe this documentary has a less-than thrilling production value. But it is an excellent overview of the role that money and banking have played in shaping the history of our once free republic.

This is the fetid core of corruption.

Here is something a bit more modern with a better production value explaining the sinister mechanisms of fractional reserve banking.

part 2

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What the %#@! is Happening in America?

I know that it's hard to accept. I know you don't want this to be real. But it is. And you must.

Every day the noose seems to tighten. Each day we see the eroded monuments of our natural freedom -- we witness the ruin all around us. And we stare into the abyss -- until we become the abyss.


Our beliefs are inexorably bound to our identities. Our moral code, our philosophical perspectives -- these are woven into the very fabric of who we are. We celebrate these virtues; we share them and solidify them within the social context. We forge our identities through the foundry of conversation and debate. We test the mettle of our beliefs, shape them, refine them... but seldom do we give them up.

Yet many times, we must.

Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, a deeply held belief is difficult to diminish.


The term
Cognitive Dissonance is used in psychology to describe the inherent tension that exists when an individual tries to hold two contradictory beliefs in his or her mind at the same time.

--If a person believes that he or she is good and decent but steals money from a relative, he or she will likely experience a form of cognitive dissonance. Sociopaths are common exceptions. As are politicians.

Dissonance increases in intensity the more profound a given subject is to an individual. A scientist, for example, who discovers "anomalies" contradicting conclusions held through years of academic blood, sweat, and tears will not easily relent -- just witness the crumbling evidence regarding the entire man-made global warming scandal. Al Gore must have literally crapped a carbon credit when the little scheme know as climategate lit up the Internet (despite a mainstream news blackout).

For the scientists at the IPCC, it was quite natural to disregard the medieval warm period in perpetuating and promoting a previously held belief. Many other statistical "anomalies" were also easily disregarded. In truth, we should expect nothing less. People have objectives. People have bias. People have perspectives. People have agendas.


I love philosophy and theory. I always have. Especially as applied to politics.

-- I began as a democrat (long before I had to pay taxes), became a republican (G. Gordon Liddy used to talk to me while I would search for a parking place near campus), mutated into a libertarian (I rediscovered Ayn Rand and started to obsess on political theory), transformed into a neo-con after 9/11, then mutated back into an extreme libertarian a few years ago. Each time, various degrees of cognitive dissonance had to be overcome. Now I might have a knack for it. Perhaps it's time that you join me, if you haven't already beat me to it.

In Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous essay,"
Self Reliance", he spends a good deal of time negotiating this psychological phenomenon (mind you, over one hundred years before Leon Festinger codified and developed the idea into a theory):

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you speak now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today. -- 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misundestood.' Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."

Emerson argues that an important part of human growth is a willingness to shed the skin of yesterday. We must be willing to accept new realities for what they are and not condemn them to obscurity through the foggy lens of "foolish" consistencies. This means overcoming the cognitive dissonance associated with shifting positions and giving ground.

I think that most Americans are willing to admit that there was some level of deception on the part of the government concerning the tragic events of 9-11. Even several of the actual
commissioners who sat on the 9-11 Commission have acknowledged that the government narrative regarding the events of that day is erroneous at best, deceptive at worst. Of course, this is just scratching the surface. There are so many anomalies and inconsistencies regarding the events of 9-11 that anyone with a willingness to investigate just a little will come away realizing that agencies within the government must have been complicit. This is difficult to say, and difficult to believe. Tremendous dissonance. But the truth is truth.

The vision of our free and great republic has been replaced by a gradual yet familiar tyranny. The incremental erosion of our freedoms leading up to 9-11 has only been amplified since.

It has served as the excuse for endless warfare abroad and overt assaults on personal liberty at home. The militarization of the police. The Orwellian surveillance grid. Body scanners and sound cannons. "Free speech zones" and "
unlawful assemblies". The death of posse comitatus. Check points and blood samples. The list goes on and on and on.

Somewhere along the line, there was a quiet coup that struck at the foundations of our governmental systems. The shadow government that
Eisenhower warned us about has ASSUMED CONTROL.

I know that it is hard to accept. I know that you don't want this to be real. But it is. And you must.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Divided By A Common Language

Today is April 15th. The most disturbing day of the year.

My colleague at work, call her Jane, is British by birth and is still British by citizenship. She has been living here since the 70's, so I often kid her about being a Yankee by default. She is highly intelligent, well-traveled, and well-educated. We see eye-to-eye on a variety of issues. We are both lovers of literature, the great Romantic tradition, and have had some lively conversations about art, poetry, philosophy, and even politics. It is in the latter, however, that our perspectives begin to diverge.

When I told her that I was thinking about going to protest the government today, she seemed a bit surprised. She truly believes that the "tea party" movement is dominated by racists and narrow-minded white men clinging to their guns and their religion. While I could not disagree with her more, she did get me to thinking about what the tea party has become.

The tea parties began with the Ron Paul revolution. From what I remember, it was dominated by Libertarians, a strong "End the Fed" sentiment, and vocal 9/11 truth activists. I count myself friendly to each of these.

Now I see what my British friend sees: Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity... republicans.

I think it's unfortunate such a genuine anti-establishment, anti-tax, anti-big government, anti-big-brother movement has been captured by the familiar Left versus Right schism. It is a proven tactic that has worked well for our rulers in the past -- divide and conquer.

As long as people on the left, like my British friend, see divisive figures of the neo-con establishment serving as the lauded representatives of the tea party movement, then they will likewise view the movement itself with reflexive disdain -- a common reaction engendered by years of hating country-club, bible-beating, blow-hard republicans.

Once the establishment figureheads on either side of the political isle co opt an organic grass-roots movement -- half the audience is lost. The fight degenerates quickly along party lines. This makes our masters very happy.

-- I appreciate the old adage preaching to the choir. I think it aptly describes the relationship that most people have with Information. It is no secret that the human mind is quick to discard information that does not correlate with a preconceived world view. It is also no surprise that we seek media and sources of information that reinforce our systems of belief.

At this stage of my life, I'm trying to get down to the brass tacks: Liberty. Freedom. Repeat.

If it does not harmonize with my fundamental belief in the absolute sovereignty of the individual, then I will do more than disregard it... I will actively fight against it.

For someone coming from the political right, this means a willingness to criticize and question the military-industrial empire. The intelligence apparatus. The Patriot Act. The idea that the U.S military should be used in preemptive wars. Or that it should be deployed in over 130 countries with over 730 military bases for the purposes of democracy. Or that "free speech zones" and check-points and body-scanners and CCTV surveillance and a militarized police force keep us safe from the 'terrorists' lurking in every grandmother's luggage.

As someone coming from the political right, these and many other sacred cows have been sacrificed on the alter of a new awakening. Yet I must also remember that there are always greater and greater truths to be discovered and that time has a way of making fools of most.

Perhaps ages hence, after our decayed society has long since rotted away, our primitive progeny will build monuments to lament our dystopic ruin. The few who were actually on to something will be venerated as prophets. The rest remain history's fools.

-- As for Jane, my British friend, we will never see eye to eye. When we get down to the heart of the matter, our difference is an issue of philosophy. She is a collectivist. I am an individualist. She believes in the potential power of the state to create social justice. I do not.

So while we may be able to sit down and agree on a variety of political issues, in the end, there can never be a kindred revolutionary spirit.

I'm just glad that she can't vote.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Narrow Shaft of Light

Those seeking power and influence have always been quick to capitalize on man's ignorance, fears, and prejudice.

Frightened men find solace in institutions and hierarchies which hold the allure of truth while serving the pragmatic function of control. As observed off-handedly by Thoreau, "Where there is a lull in truth - an institution springs up." --Be they religious, governmental, military, or corporate... most institutions are born of primal fears and metaphysical ignorance.

-- When man was ignorant regarding the cosmos and mysteries of nature, religious institutions served to fill the vacuum.

-- When man was ignorant to the philosophies of liberty and freedom, governmental institutions manifested kings, lords, emperors, and master.

Though such claims to truth are the centrepiece of their perceived importance, the hierarchical nature of institutions ensures that the truth, if any exists, is always compartmentalized. It is disseminated according to relationships of importance within the hierarchical order. Institutions, by their very structure, are designed to control knowledge from the top down. The archetypal pyramid of power. Those at the bottom of the order -- the masses whose labor and zealotry service the institution -- receive only partial truths and disguised deceptions. This provides the greatest benefit to the few at the top -- ensuring, through incentive, the perpetuation of the lie.

-- According to a recent United Nations study, "The richest 2 per cent of people in the world own more than half of all household wealth, while the poorer half of the global population control just 1 per cent". This is the malignancy of power.

The controlling oligarchy which, as Aldous Huxley asserted in his speech at Berkeley, "has always existed and presumably will always exist", has managed to manipulate the masses from time immemorial simply by controlling the institutions in which they rely. It is in this way that the ruling elite have managed to keep populations in servitude while they themselves are privy to a life of hedonistic freedom and indulgence. Power. Domination. Secrecy. Control.

This is why the founders of this once-great republic originally created such an incredibly limited governmental structure. They understood the systemic corruption and deceptive tendencies inherent to all institutions -- especially those with potential for real power.

-- I wish my "liberal" friends would acknowledge the prevalence of this fundamental reality: What holds true for the excesses of corporate greed holds true for the excesses of governmental power. Again to quote Thoreau, "Society is EVERYWHERE a conspiracy against the individual." Not just in it's systems of managed capitalism, or merely as a product of the military-industrial complex (the traditional enemies of the political "left"). It is within the bloated bureaucracies and welfare institutions whose existence is cloaked in the guise of charity. It is in the regulations and laws which serve to limit the choices of the individual for the sake of perceived safety or security. It is indeed everywhere.

Ultimately, at its rotten and festering core, is the brutal murder of the human soul -- a state of dependence is the most wicked result of all. Thomas Jefferson put it best: "Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition." It is a prison built of deception -- a mighty citadel of institutions and bureaucracies. Human beings cannot evolve, either spiritually or intellectually, when they are being regulated and controlled. It is Freedom that brings the evolution of spirit, not government agencies and entitlements.

-- I wish that my neo-con/ republican friends could see the folly of imperialism. I wish they could acknowledge the effective danger of such a pervasive military and intelligence apparatus (especially when it is ultimately used against dissenting Americans). But hearing some of the bravado and testosterone-laced comments regarding the need to "nuke them middle-eastern bastards back to the stone age" disheartens me to the point of nausea. Human beings are human beings. Nations make war. Institutions make war.

Stobe Talbot (Bill Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State) observes in a 1992 Time magazine interview, "In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single global authority." He then shamelessly asserts, "National sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all."

The existence of a constitutional republic built upon the principles of Individual sovereignty -- the ultimate expression of liberty -- is the bane of all tyrants. Unfortunately, tyrants are more vigilant than a fat and complacent population undereducated in the virtues of limited government and individualism.

Although I am happy to see more and more Americans becoming aware of the deceptions and illusions which have dominated the controlled political debate for the better part of a century, I fear that we may have already crossed the bar -- once more we have drifted into the tumultuous seas of despotism.

All that we can do is RESIST.