MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Vaccine Makers Destroy Covid Vaccine Safety Studies – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 21, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/04/joseph-mercola/vaccine-makers-destroy-covid-vaccine-safety-studies/

By Joseph Mercola

Mercola.com

While reports of side effects from COVID-19 gene therapies, including life-threatening effects and deaths, continue to climb at breakneck speed,1 a one-sided narrative of safety and effectiveness permeates mainstream media and medical news.

These “vaccines” are so safe and so effective, according to this narrative, that keeping control groups intact for long-term study and comparison of outcomes is now being derided as “unethical,” despite the fact that there is absolutely no non-fraudulent data to support their perverse assertions. Truly, what we’re watching is the active destruction of basic medical science in a surreal dystopian nightmare.

Vaccine Makers to Ditch Control Groups

Consider this report in JAMA by Rita Rubin, senior writer for JAMA medical news and perspectives, for example.2 According to Rubin, the launch of “two highly efficacious” COVID-19 vaccines has “spurred debate about the ethics, let alone the feasibility, of continuing or launching blinded, placebo-controlled trials …”

Rubin recounts how Moderna representatives told a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel that rather than letting thousands of vaccine doses to go to waste, they planned to offer them to trial participants who had received placebo.

Pfizer representatives made a similar announcement to the advisory panel. According to a news analysis published in The BMJ,3 the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are both onboard with this plan, as is the World Health Organization.4

In the JAMA report by Rubin, Moncref Slaoui, Ph.D., chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, is quoted saying he thinks “it’s very important that we unblind the trial at once and offer the placebo group vaccines” because trial participants “should be rewarded” for their participation.

All of these statements violate the very basics of what a safety trial needs, which is a control group against which you can compare the effects of the drug or vaccine in question over the long term. I find it inconceivable that unblinding is even a consideration at this point, seeing how the core studies have not even concluded yet. The only purpose of this unblinding is to conceal the fraud that these vaccines are safe.

None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently on the market are actually licensed. They only have emergency use authorization — which, incidentally, also forbids them from being mandated, although this is being widely and conveniently ignored — as trials are still ongoing.

At the earliest, they may be licensed two years from now, at the completion of the follow-up studies.5 This is why those in the military are allowed to refuse it, and refuse they have. Among Marines, the refusal rate is nearly 40%.6

So, before the initial studies are even completed, vaccine makers and regulatory agencies are now deciding to forgo long-term safety evaluations altogether by giving placebo recipients the real McCoy, and so-called bioethicists are actually supporting this madness. As reported in The BMJ:7

“Although the FDA has granted the vaccines emergency use authorization, to get full license approval two years of follow-up data are needed. The data are now likely to be scanty and less reliable given that the trials are effectively being unblinded.”

Hypocrisy Abounds

It’s ironic in the extreme, because vaccine mandates are being justified on the premise that the benefit to the community supersedes the risk of individual harm. In other words, it’s OK if some people are harmed by the vaccine because the overall benefit to society is more important.

Yet here they’re saying that participants in the control groups are being harmed by not getting the vaccine, so therefore vaccine makers have an obligation to give it to them before the long-term studies are completed. This is the complete opposite argument used for mandatory vaccination.

If we are to accept the “greater good” justification for vaccination, then people who agree to participate in a study, and end up getting a placebo, need to roll the dice and potentially sacrifice their health “for the greater good.” Here, the greater good is the study itself, the results of which are of crucial importance for public health decisions.

See the rest here

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At least 138 volcanoes buried beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet – Ice Age Now

Posted by M. C. on April 21, 2021

Aren’t volcanoes hot?

https://www.iceagenow.info/at-least-138-volcanoes-buried-beneath-the-antarctic-ice-sheet/

by Robert

Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet,” read the headline in The Guardian on 12 Aug 2017.

This is in addition to the 47 subglacial volcanoes already known about in Antarctica, wrote Robin McKie.

This makes it the largest volcanic region on Earth, and it’s hidden 1.2 miles (2 km) below the surface of the vast ice sheet that covers west Antarctica.

A project by Edinburgh University researchers revealed the 91 volcanoes – with the highest as tall as the Eiger, which stands at almost 4,000 meters (13,123 ft) in Switzerland.

Put another way, the highest of these newly discovered volcanoes stands more than two miles tall!

The tips of some of the volcanoes actually lie above the ice and have been spotted by polar explorers over the past century.

Geologists say this huge region is likely to dwarf that of east Africa’s volcanic ridge, currently rated as having the densest concentration of volcanoes in the world.

And the activity of this range could have worrying consequences, they warn. “If one of these volcanoes were to erupt it could further destabilise west Antarctica’s ice sheets,” said glacier expert Robert Bingham, one of the paper’s authors. “Anything that causes the melting of ice – which an eruption certainly would – is likely to speed up the flow of ice into the sea.

But how many lie below the ice? Max Van Wyk de Vries, who was then an undergraduate at the university’s school of geosciences and a self-confessed volcano fanatic, set up the project with the help of Bingham. They analysed measurements made by previous surveys using ice-penetrating radar, then compared the results with satellite and database records and geological information from other aerial surveys. “Essentially, we were looking for evidence of volcanic cones sticking up into the ice,” Bingham said..

These newly discovered volcanoes are all covered in ice, which sometimes lies in layers that are more than 2.5 miles (4km) thick in the region. These active peaks are concentrated in the west Antarctic rift system, which stretches 3,500km from Antarctica’s Ross ice shelf to the Antarctic peninsula.

“We were amazed,” Bingham said. “We had not expected to find anything like that number…. We also suspect there are even more on the bed of the sea that lies under the Ross ice shelf, so that I think it is very likely this region will turn out to be the densest region of volcanoes in the world, greater even than east Africa, where mounts Nyiragongo, Kilimanjaro, Longonot and all the other active volcanoes are concentrated.”

The discovery is particularly important because if heat from these volcanoes should melt the ice, meltwater outflows into the Antarctic ocean could trigger sea level rises. “We just don’t know about how active these volcanoes have been in the past,” Bingham said. “That is something we need to determine as quickly as possible.”

My question is, if we don’t even know for sure how many volcanoes may be lurking beneath the ice even today, how do we know how much ice they (and not humans) may be melting? We love blaming humans for outcomes driven by strictly natural forces.

See entire article by Robin McKie:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/12/scientists-discover-91-volcanos-antarctica

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The Great Reset Morality: Euthanization of the Inessentials — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on April 21, 2021

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/04/19/great-reset-morality-euthanization-of-inessentials/

Joaquin Flores

https://player.vimeo.com/video/538752416
Our aim is to attempt to understand the real motives of the elites, understanding that aside from what they may view as their own agency or intentions, are paradigmatic and formative questions in culture, of which they too are subjects of.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Genocide or Slavery? What do the elites plan for us? In the next several installments, we will address possible competing visions for the Great Reset’s technocratic coup against constitutional republican norms.

The present debate must take into account the status of corporate culture and corporate ideology and ideals in the transition from plutocratic oligarchical norms into technocratic oligarchical norms.

While the corporate elites of the banking institutes centered around the IMF, World Bank, Bank for International Settlements, and voiced through the World Economic Forum have a particular vision for the society they want to shape, they do not do so in a vacuum. Rather, they themselves are both shaped and severely limited by the paradigm from which they emerged, and the combined ecosphere of social views within which they swim.

While some form of 4th Industrial Revolution is inevitable for the same reason that the Luddites of 19th century England were doomed from the start, the particular vision of a post-financial order being now enforced by the elites only bears all of the greatest defects and birthmarks of the historical era and paradigm from which their values and visions were formed.

This piece aims to focus on that sphere of values and visions – in short, the corporate ideal.

We have demonstrated that there is a positive version of the 4IR that free citizens can fight for and win, but they must both be engaged in a fight where the freedoms they have to carry out that fight against the Bill Gates and Klaus Schwabs of the world, give shape and form to the same type of society which can be formed on those same constitutional and republican principles of freedom, community empowerment, and individual, bodily, and economic autonomy, and property rights.

The debate surrounds several end-game scenarios of western elites with this Great Rest Agenda for 2030. Primarily, these are;

Whether the eradication of the majority of humanity is preferable;

Or

Whether the enslavement of the majority of humanity is preferable;

Naturally, any varying combination of the above is within play, but we are interested in whether one will predominate over the other.

In other words, is it preferable that some 9/10ths of the world’s population figure is eliminated? Or that some number closer to the present number is sustained, but reduced to complete subservience? By this we mean regimentation, surveillance, restricted movement, and cybernetic controls over cognitive and biological processes. Or is some measure squarely in between these two the most preferable?

Another possibility, is that after some 9/10ths of the population figure is reduced, that some relatively ‘normal’ (in terms of liberal democracy) rights (privileges) are ‘given’ to the remaining global population. This much may be entertained if what we are involved in presently is a broad eugenics program, not just blind population reduction, so that the remaining population will be those who – while not a part of the present financial elite – are considered genetically or socially important in terms of the gene pool or remaining subject/underling population, as part of some idealized vision of a hierarchical society somewhat reminiscent in form of the one we are presently leaving behind. As dark as that seems, we must understand that this is the ‘light’ scenario – which doesn’t speak to any benevolence afoot, but rather to the utter severity of the very ugly and real situation at hand.

In our next installment, we will dig further into these two alternative visions. Within these, various subplots are possible.

But to really understand things, will require a deeper discussion into the nature of rulership, of power, of control, of whether pain and suffering are tools towards an end, or ends in and of themselves. And while this part of the discussion will no doubt be a more dazzling encounter with the grim, the underlying thesis will be lost without an understanding of the corporate ideology which shaped the present discourse, which is our immediate subject today.

But nevertheless it came to pass that crimes against humanity; mass imprisonment, regimentation, and human experimentation towards a type of reified transhumanist dystopia, had come to characterize the trajectory of a totalitarian societal development in the western world.

With this, of course we refer to the Covid-19 measures and the Great Reset Agenda for 2030.

See the rest here

© 2010 – 2021 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org.

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Will the allies have to die for Kiev?, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on April 21, 2021

The Ukrainian population is divided between a part of European culture and another of Russian culture. This singularity offers Washington a playground against Moscow. For several weeks now, the drums have been beating, sounding war. But none of the allies want to die for Kiev or sacrifice themselves to Russia.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article212801.html

by Thierry Meyssan

The US armed forces

1- The Anglo-Saxons have a hereditary enemy: the Russians. For them, Russians are despicable people, destined since Otto I (10th century) to be nothing but slaves, as their name indicates (‘Slavic’ means both ethnicity and slave). In the 20th century, they were against the USSR, allegedly because it was communist, and are now against Russia without knowing why.

2- Second adversary, enemies they have created for themselves by waging an “endless war” against them since September 11, 2001: the populations of the wider Middle East, whose state organisation they are systematically destroying, whether they are allies or adversaries, in order to “send them back to the stone age” and exploit the riches of their region (Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy).

3- Third adversary: China, whose economic development threatens to relegate them to second place. In their eyes, they have no other choice than war. This is at least what their political scientists think, and they even speak of the “Thucydides trap” in reference to the war that Sparta waged against Athens, frightened by its flight [1].

4 – The issues of Iran and North Korea are far behind the first three.

Joe Biden’s Interim National Security Strategy [2] or their Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community [3] keep repeating this from different angles.

Fighting three wars at once is extremely difficult. The Pentagon is currently looking at how to prioritise these. It will report in June. There is absolute secrecy about the commission that is doing this assessment. No one even knows who the members are. Yet without delay, the Biden administration is focusing on Russia.

Whether we are independent or subservient to the “American Empire”, we must stop trying to avoid seeing. The United States of America has no other objective than to destroy Russian culture, Arab state structures, and – eventually – the Chinese economy. This has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimate defence of their people.

There is no other way to explain why the United States spends astronomical sums on its military that bear no relation to the budgets of those it describes as its “friends” or “enemies”. According to the Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the US military budget is at least equal to the sum of the budgets of the other 15 most armed states [4].JPEG - 30.8 kbMilitary budgets of the 15 largest states (in billions of US dollars). Source: Institute for Strategic Studies

Issues for confrontation with Russia

See the rest here

The articles on Voltaire Network may be freely reproduced provided the source is cited, their integrity is respected and they are not used for commercial purposes (license CC BY-NC-ND).

Source: “Will the allies have to die for Kiev?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Roger Lagassé, Voltaire Network, 20 April 2021, www.voltairenet.org/article212801.html

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Gov. Wolf gets COVID-19 vaccine amid J&J pause

Posted by M. C. on April 21, 2021

Took him long enough. But then again he was already immune.

Taking one for the (fear and control) team.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=23154508c

Sam Ruland York Daily Record USA TODAY NETWORK – PENNSYLVANIA

Gov. Tom Wolf Gov. Tom Wolf received his first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday in York, saying he wanted to show Pennsylvanians how ‘safe and easy’ it is

amid controversy over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine rollout being paused due to adverse reactions. The syringe was wielded by Asceline Go, the vice president of medical services at Family First Health, where the governor received his vaccination.

After getting the injection in his left arm — a process that lasts only a minute — Wolf said he didn’t ‘feel a thing,’ sat back and waited to ensure he had no reactions to the shot.

As of Saturday, 6,999,716 total doses have been administered in the state, and 2,694,321 people in Pennsylvania are fully vaccinated, while another 4,573,436 wait to receive their second dose.

But the state has to keep going, Wolf said. Currently, all residents at least 16 years of age are eligible to receive the vaccine.

‘The vaccine is how we’re going to get through this,’ Wolf said. ‘We have the tool to get out of it, we just have to use the tool.’

However, one of those tools isn’t at Pennsylvania’s disposal for now. The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a temporary ‘pause’ last Tuesday as officials investigate a potential link between severe blood clots and low levels of blood platelets. Six women have reported severe blood clots after getting the vaccine and one died; more than 6.8 million Americans have received the J&J vaccine.

On Wednesday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met to review evidence but concluded that the group needed more time to review details. Wolf said the group is taking the prudent course to investigate the ‘very rare risk’ of blood clots thoroughly. The pause on using the one-shot vaccine will likely be lifted by Friday, although some restrictions may be required, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.

The governor’s public immunization comes as health leaders push as many Pennsylvanians as possible to get vaccinated to stop the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 1,103,600 people in the state and taken the lives of more than 25,600.

Back in December, Wolf tested positive for the coronavirus. The 72-year-old, who is a survivor of prostate cancer, said he had no symptoms of the disease before his test or after his diagnosis and quickly recovered.

Wolf said the pause might make some Pennsylvanians more hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but he believed people would make rational choices. The commonwealth is also shipping more vaccines to primary care physicians because patients tend to trust them more.

‘That’s why I’m here in part — it made me feel more confident — having an FDA and CDC who is watching things as closely as they are,’ Wolf said in regards to the J&J vaccine rollout being paused. ‘So personally, it made me more confident to get my shot to know that they’re watching.’

In the meantime, Wolf has asked vaccine providers to hold onto their Johnson & Johnson shots, which can last up to three months refrigerated. Mass vaccination clinics instead offered Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, which require two doses taken weeks apart.

The pause could hamper the commonwealth’s plan to vaccinate college students before they leave campus in May. The effort was dependent on one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines to succeed. Many universities and local health departments have switched to offering another vaccine.

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What the left fears most – Aussie Nationalist Blog

Posted by M. C. on April 21, 2021

I don’t know anything about Fuentes nor AFPAC but if Maddog doesn’t like them it is worth a look.

https://aussienationalistblog.com/2021/04/21/what-the-left-fears-most/

For some years now, I have been a big supporter of Nick Fuentes and his work.

By way of background, Fuentes is an American commentator of political, cultural as well as social issues–from a nationalist and traditionalist perspective. Banned from Facebook, YouTube, Dlive, and a host of other social media platforms, Fuentes has nonetheless continued to grow in influence. To date, the peak of this growth was seen in the second America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) held on 27 February 2021. This conference was organised by Fuentes; it also featured high profile attendees including former US Congressman Steve King and current US Congressman Paul Gosar.

AFPAC, explictly inaugurated last year as a right-wing alternative to CPAC, was a genuinely conservative conference. This meant from a leftist perspective, there were various ways in which it could have been attacked–‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘homophobic’, etc.

This is what made the most notable attack on AFPAC, initiated by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, all the more interesting. Maddow falsely claimed that Fuentes, an outspoken critic of the alt-right, favoured a “whites-only nation” and had held a “white nationalist conference.” Being accustomed to the tactics of the lying press, these distortions were of course unsurprising.

However, it was striking that Maddow chose to attack on the grounds of “racism” and “white nationalism,” when race was not even at the centre of AFPAC, nor does it underride the politics of Fuentes. While it was a political conference, AFPAC was predicated on religious themes, with speakers rebuking the current scourge of evil and pledging their loyalty to Jesus Christ. The loudest cheers of the night came when Vincent James, speaking to what underpinned the AFPAC movement, declared:

🇺🇸

Despite the prominence of religious themes, in looking to inflict maximal damage on AFPAC, Maddow focused on ‘racism’ and avoided referencing God.

Exampled by this glaring omission from Maddow, a left-wing journalist, we can plainly discern the preferred modus operandi of the left: It wishes to frame the left-right clash as one of anti-racism vs racism, carefully contained within a materialist spectrum of ideas. The left will not grant God any salience; it instead prefers to brand Adolf Hitler as evil incarnate, with conservatives culpable by association depending on their greater or lesser degree of deviation from racialist ideology.

As outlined previously, the left engineers the dialectic so that it never loses a fight; it constructs narratives that are calculated to bring about our defeat and legitimise their hegemony. Which raises the question: why does the left frame the clash as one of racism vs anti-racism, when it is more fundamentally one of Christianity vs atheist progressivism?

Clearly, because the left fears an authentically Christian reaction, it presenting a greater challenge to their agenda than racialist politics. For it is only through God that people can draw the discipline from which to reconstitute a conservative society, and turn back the revolutionary changes imposed. Likewise, where there is a firm belief in the Divine, people are less concerned with temporal hardship, rendering them less passive in the face of unjust dictates and tyrannical control.

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True National Debt Exceeds $123 Trillion, or Nearly $800,000 per Taxpayer: Report

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2021

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/true-national-debt-exceeds-123-trillion-or-nearly-800000-per-taxpayer_3782624.html

By Mark Tapscott

A subscription is required to read.

No one discusses the total cost to taxpayers to support everyone alive today through their lifetime. SS, medicare, unemployment…

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The Sword of Damocles Hangs over Every Property Owner | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2021

From here he goes on to explain what fiat property is and what it has to do with our proverbial sword:

The state cannot increase the quality and quantity of real property. But it can redistribute it as it sees fit. It can reduce the real property at the disposal of businessmen or it can limit the range of control that they are allowed over their property; and it can thereby increase its own property (or that of its allies) and increase its own range of control over existing physical things.

The businessmen’s property, then, is their property in name only. It is granted to them by the state, and it exists only as long as the state does not decide otherwise.

https://mises.org/wire/sword-damocles-hangs-over-every-property-owner

Connor Mortell

Cicero wrote of a king by the name of Damocles. He served in the court of Dionysus, and after acknowledging his envy of Dionysus’s lifestyle, Dionysus challenged him to try taking on the lifestyle for himself. At first, Damocles is taken by the royal lifestyle; however, during one of his feasts, Dionysus hung a sword above Damocles that was held by a single horsehair. The stress that this thin hair would eventually succumb to the weight of the sword and it would fall and kill him became too much, and as a result Damocles begged Dionysus to remove him from this position.

This has gone on to be used as an expression for the feeling of everything you have being lost because of some overarching threat, feeling like there is a sword hanging over your head.

Hoppe on Fiat Property

This very same expression was used by Hans-Hermann Hoppe in his book The Great Fiction: Property, Economy, Society, and the Politics of Decline.

But before he gets into the sword of Damocles, Hoppe must first address what fiat property means. The term “fiat” gets thrown around very regularly in the discussion of money, fiat money being money which has obtained some legal status; however, it is much rarer to discuss the concept of fiat property, but no less important. In Hoppe’s chapter entitled “Entrepreneurship with Fiat Property and Fiat Money,” he begins by first addressing fiat property:

We can make two interrelated predictions as to the effect of a state on the business of business. First, and most fundamentally, under statist conditions real property will be called fiat property.

From here he goes on to explain what fiat property is and what it has to do with our proverbial sword:

The state cannot increase the quality and quantity of real property. But it can redistribute it as it sees fit. It can reduce the real property at the disposal of businessmen or it can limit the range of control that they are allowed over their property; and it can thereby increase its own property (or that of its allies) and increase its own range of control over existing physical things.

The businessmen’s property, then, is their property in name only. It is granted to them by the state, and it exists only as long as the state does not decide otherwise. Constantly, the sword of Damocles is hanging over the heads of businessmen. The execution of their business plans is based on their assumption of the existence, at their disposal, of certain physical resources and their physical capabilities, and all their value speculations are based on this physical basis being a given. But these assumptions about the physical basis can be rendered incorrect at any time—and their value calculations vitiated as well—if the state merely decides to change its current legislation and regulation.

This once theoretical threat that the state could—on a whim—demonstrate that the businessman does not truly own his or her property has become more real than ever this last year. Threats like eminent domain were always present to show the evils of which the state is capable; however, even with such options existing, never could one have claimed the degree to which the state would really utilize fiat property upon popular discussion of covid-19. This last year, the single horsehair that was holding up the sword finally snapped. While some states are finally limiting governors on their ability to destroy lives at the stroke of a pen, it is still immediately obvious by looking at all the states that have yet to do so that in our current fearful world, property is more fiat than it ever has been. The state is now the determinant not just of which businesses succeed and fail, but which businesses even get an attempt to do so—no longer the market. As the Austrian readers of Mises Wire know, entrepreneurs making malinvestment decisions because they are guided by state signals rather than market signals is incredibly dangerous.

However, this is not intended as a negative message, but rather as a call to action. While in The Great Fiction Hoppe was too early to address just how fiat our property would become, he still ends his chapter with a positive note that holds just as true today:

A businessman can choose the honorable but at the same time also the most difficult path. This businessman is aware of the nature of the state. He knows that the state and its operators are out to get him and bully him, to confiscate his property and money and, even worse, that they are arrogant, self-righteous, haughty, and full of themselves. Based on such understanding, this very different breed of businessman then tries his best to anticipate and adjust to the state’s every evil move. But he does not join the gang. The does not pay bribes to secure contracts or privileges from the state. Instead, he tries as well as he can to defend whatever is still left of his property and property rights and make as large profits as possible in doing so.

While in this year we’ve seen any shred of property rights be shriveled to the most fiat of fiat property, that is no reason to give up. That is the very reason to take this passage to heart. We as Austrians are called to go forward and act as this very different breed of businessmen. We are called to not join the gang but instead to defend what is left. Most simply, we are called to tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito. Author:

Connor Mortell

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Media Lies Exposed: Officer Sicknick And The False ‘Insurrection’ Narrative

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2021

Yesterday’s final report by Washington, DC’s chief medical examiner that Capitol Hill Police Officer Brian Sicknick did not die from being beaten with a fire extinguisher – a claim echoed throughout the mainstream media – but rather died from “natural causes” the day after the January 6th melee at the Capitol has destroyed the MSM narrative that an armed and deadly insurrection had taken place. Will the media apologize for lying repeatedly for months? Will they be held to account for their lies? What is truth?

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How Empires End – Doug Casey’s International Man

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2021

Taxes, taxes, taxes

https://internationalman.com/articles/how-empires-end/

by Jeff Thomas

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

Histories are generally written by academics. They, quite naturally, tend to focus on the main events: the wars and the struggles between leaders and their opponents (both external and internal). Whilst these are interesting stories to read, academics, by their very nature, often overlook the underlying causes for an empire’s decline.

Today, as in any era, most people are primarily interested in the “news”—the daily information regarding the world’s political leaders and their struggles with one another to obtain, retain, and expand their power. When the history is written about the era we are passing through, it will reflect, in large measure, a rehash of the news. As the media of the day tend to overlook the fact that present events are merely symptoms of an overall decline, so historians tend to focus on major events, rather than the “slow operations” that have been the underlying causes.

The Persian Empire

When, as a boy, I was “educated” about the decline and fall of the Persian Empire, I learned of the final takeover by Alexander the Great but was never told that, in its decline, Persian taxes became heavier and more oppressive, leading to economic depression and revolts, which, in turn led to even heavier taxes and increased repression. Increasingly, kings hoarded gold and silver, keeping it out of circulation from the community. This hamstrung the market, as monetary circulation was insufficient to conduct business. By the time Alexander came along, Persia, weakened by warfare and internal economic strife, was a shell of an empire and was relatively easy to defeat.

The Tang Dynasty

Back then, I also learned that the Tang Dynasty ended as a result of the increased power amongst the eunuchs, battles with fanzhen separatists, and finally, peasants’ revolts. True enough, but I was not taught that the dynasty’s expansion-based warfare demanded increases in taxation, which led to the revolts. Continued warfare necessitated increasing monetary and land extortion by the eunuchs, resulting in an abrupt decrease in food output and further taxes. Finally, as economic deterioration and oppression of the citizenry worsened, citizens left the area entirely for more promise elsewhere.

Is there a pattern here? Let’s have a more detailed look—at another empire.

The Spanish Empire

In 1556, Philip II of Spain inherited what was regarded as Europe’s most wealthy nation, with no apparent economic problems. Yet, by 1598, Spain was bankrupt. How was this possible?

Spain was doing well but sought to become a major power. To achieve this, Philip needed more tax dollars. Beginning in 1561, the existing servicio tax was regularised, and the crusada tax, the excusado tax, and the millones tax were all added by 1590.

Over a period of 39 years (between 1559 and 1598) taxes increased by 430%. Although the elite of the day were exempt from taxation (the elite of today are not officially exempt), the average citizen was taxed to the point that both business expansion and public purchasing diminished dramatically. Wages did not keep pace with the resultant inflation. The price of goods rose 400%, causing a price revolution and a tax revolution.

Although Spain enjoyed a flood of gold and silver from the Americas at this time, the increased wealth went straight into Philip’s war efforts. However, the 100,000 troops were soon failing to return sufficient spoils to Philip to pay for their forays abroad.

In a final effort to float the doomed empire, Philip issued government bonds, which provided immediate cash but created tremendous debt that, presumably, would need to be repaid one day. (The debt grew to 8.8 times GDP.)

Spain declared bankruptcy. Trade slipped to other countries. The military, fighting on three fronts, went unpaid, and military aspirations collapsed.

It is important to note that, even as the empire was collapsing, Philip did not suspend warfare. He did not back off on taxation. Like leaders before and since, he instead stubbornly increased his autocracy as the empire slid into collapse.

Present-Day Empires

Again, the events above are not taught to schoolchildren as being of key importance in the decline of empires, even though they are remarkably consistent with the decline of other empires and what we are seeing today. The very same events occur, falling like dominoes, more or less in order, in any empire, in any age:

  1. The reach of government leaders habitually exceeds their grasp.
  2. Dramatic expansion (generally through warfare) is undertaken without a clear plan as to how that expansion is to be financed.
  3. The population is overtaxed as the bills for expansion become due, without consideration as to whether the population can afford increased taxation.
  4. Heavy taxation causes investment by the private sector to diminish, and the economy begins to decline.
  5. Costs of goods rise, without wages keeping pace.
  6. Tax revenue declines as the economy declines (due to excessive taxation). Taxes are increased again, in order to top up government revenues.
  7. In spite of all the above, government leaders personally hoard as much as they can, further limiting the circulation of wealth in the business community.
  8. Governments issue bonds and otherwise borrow to continue expansion, with no plan as to repayment.
  9. Dramatic authoritarian control is instituted to assure that the public continues to comply with demands, even if those demands cannot be met by the public.
  10. Economic and social collapse occurs, often marked by unrest and riots, the collapse of the economy, and the exit of those who are productive.
  11. In this final period, the empire turns on itself, treating its people as the enemy.

The above review suggests that if our schoolbooks stressed the underlying causes of empire collapse, rather than the names of famous generals and the dates of famous battles, we might be better educated and be less likely to repeat the same mistakes.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely. Chances are, future leaders will be just as uninterested in learning from history as past leaders. They will create empires, then destroy them.

Even the most informative histories of empire decline, such as The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, will not be of interest to the leaders of empires. They will believe that they are above history and that they, uniquely, will succeed.

If there is any value in learning from the above, it is the understanding that leaders will not be dissuaded from their aspirations. They will continue to charge ahead, both literally and figuratively, regardless of objections and revolts from the citizenry.

Once an empire has reached stage eight above, it never reverses. It is a “dead empire walking” and only awaits the painful playing-out of the final three stages. At that point, it is foolhardy in the extreme to remain and “wait it out” in the hope that the decline will somehow reverse. At that point, the wiser choice might be to follow the cue of the Chinese, the Romans, and others, who instead chose to quietly exit for greener pastures elsewhere.

Editor’s Note: The US government is overextending itself by interfering in every corner of the globe. It’s all financed by massive amounts of money printing. However, the next financial crisis could end the whole charade soon.

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