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Freedom from Fear: Stop Playing the Government’s Mind Games

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2021

This plague on our nation—one that has been spreading like wildfire—is a potent mix of fear coupled with unhealthy doses of paranoia and intolerance, tragic hallmarks of the post-9/11 America in which we live and the constantly shifting crises that keep the populace in a state of high alert.

Fear has been a critical tool in past fascistic regimes, and it now operates in our contemporary world—all of which raises fundamental questions about us as human beings and what we will give up in order to perpetuate the illusions of safety and security.

By: John Whitehead

America is in the midst of an epidemic of historic proportions.

The contagion being spread like wildfire is turning communities into battlegrounds and setting Americans one against the other.

Normally mild-mannered individuals caught up in the throes of this disease have been transformed into belligerent zealots, while others inclined to pacifism have taken to stockpiling weapons and practicing defensive drills.

This plague on our nation—one that has been spreading like wildfire—is a potent mix of fear coupled with unhealthy doses of paranoia and intolerance, tragic hallmarks of the post-9/11 America in which we live and the constantly shifting crises that keep the populace in a state of high alert.

Everywhere you turn, those on both the left- and right-wing are fomenting distrust and division. You can’t escape it.

We’re being fed a constant diet of fear: fear of a virus, fear of the unmasked, fear of terrorists, fear of illegal immigrants, fear of people who are too religious, fear of people who are not religious enough, fear of extremists, fear of the government, fear of those who fear the government. The list goes on and on.

The strategy is simple yet effective: the best way to control a populace is through fear and discord.

Fear makes people stupid.

Confound them, distract them with mindless news chatter and entertainment, pit them against one another by turning minor disagreements into major skirmishes, and tie them up in knots over matters lacking in national significance.

Most importantly, divide the people into factions, persuade them to see each other as the enemy and keep them screaming at each other so that they drown out all other sounds. In this way, they will never reach consensus about anything and will be too distracted to notice the police state closing in on them until the final crushing curtain falls.

This is how free people enslave themselves and allow tyrants to prevail.

This Machiavellian scheme has so ensnared the nation that few Americans even realize they are being manipulated into adopting an “us” against “them” mindset. Instead, fueled with fear and loathing for phantom opponents, they agree to pour millions of dollars and resources into political elections, militarized police, spy technology, endless wars, COVID-19 mandates, etc., hoping for a guarantee of safety that never comes.

All the while, those in power—bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporations—move their costly agendas forward, and “we the suckers” get saddled with the tax bills and subjected to pat downs, police raids and round-the-clock surveillance.

Turn on the TV or flip open the newspaper on any given day, and you will find yourself accosted by reports of government corruption, corporate malfeasance, militarized police, marauding SWAT teams, and egregious assaults on the rights of the citizenry.

America has already entered a new phase, one in which communities are locked down, employees are forced to choose between keeping their jobs or exercising their freedoms, children are arrested in schools, military veterans are forcibly detained by government agents, and law-abiding Americans are finding their movements tracked, their financial transactions documented and their communications monitored.

These threats are not to be underestimated.

Yet even more dangerous than these violations of our basic rights is the language in which they are couched: the language of fear. It is a language spoken effectively by politicians on both sides of the aisle, shouted by media pundits from their cable TV pulpits, marketed by corporations, and codified into bureaucratic laws that do little to make our lives safer or more secure.

Fear, as history shows, is the method most often used by politicians to increase the power of government.

So far, these tactics are working.

An atmosphere of fear permeates modern America.

Each successive crisis in recent years (a COVID-19 pandemic, terrorism, etc.)—manufactured or legitimate—has succeeded in reducing the American people to what commentator Dan Sanchez refers to as “herd-minded hundreds of millions [who] will stampede to the State for security, bleating to please, please be shorn of their remaining liberties.”

Sanchez continues:

“I am not terrified of the terrorists; i.e., I am not, myself, terrorized. Rather, I am terrified of the terrorized; terrified of the bovine masses who are so easily manipulated by terrorists, governments, and the terror-amplifying media into allowing our country to slip toward totalitarianism and total war…

“I do not irrationally and disproportionately fear Muslim bomb-wielding jihadists or white, gun-toting nutcases. But I rationally and proportionately fear those who do, and the regimes such terror empowers. History demonstrates that governments are capable of mass murder and enslavement far beyond what rogue militants can muster. Industrial-scale terrorists are the ones who wear ties, chevrons, and badges. But such terrorists are a powerless few without the supine acquiescence of the terrorized many. There is nothing to fear but the fearful themselves…

“Stop swallowing the overblown scaremongering of the government and its corporate media cronies. Stop letting them use hysteria over small menaces to drive you into the arms of tyranny, which is the greatest menace of all.”

As history makes clear, fear leads to fascistic, totalitarian regimes.

It’s a simple enough formula. National crises, global pandemics, reported terrorist attacks, and sporadic shootings leave us in a constant state of fear. Fear prevents us from thinking. The emotional panic that accompanies fear actually shuts down the prefrontal cortex or the rational thinking part of our brains. In other words, when we are consumed by fear, we stop thinking.

A populace that stops thinking for themselves is a populace that is easily led, easily manipulated and easily controlled.

The following are a few of the necessary ingredients for a fascist state:

·       The government is managed by a powerful leader (even if he or she assumes office by way of the electoral process). This is the fascistic leadership principle (or father figure).

·       The government assumes it is not restrained in its power. This is authoritarianism, which eventually evolves into totalitarianism.

·       The government ostensibly operates under a capitalist system while being undergirded by an immense bureaucracy.

·       The government through its politicians emits powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.

·       The government has an obsession with national security while constantly invoking terrifying internal and external enemies.

·       The government establishes a domestic and invasive surveillance system and develops a paramilitary force that is not answerable to the citizenry.

·       The government and its various agencies (federal, state, and local) develop an obsession with crime and punishment. This is overcriminalization.

·       The government becomes increasingly centralized while aligning closely with corporate powers to control all aspects of the country’s social, economic, military, and governmental structures.

·       The government uses militarism as a center point of its economic and taxing structure.

·       The government is increasingly imperialistic in order to maintain the military-industrial corporate forces.

The parallels to modern America are impossible to ignore.

“Every industry is regulated. Every profession is classified and organized,” writes Jeffrey Tucker. “Every good or service is taxed. Endless debt accumulation is preserved. Immense doesn’t begin to describe the bureaucracy. Military preparedness never stops, and war with some evil foreign foe, remains a daily prospect.”

For the final hammer of fascism to fall, it will require the most crucial ingredient: the majority of the people will have to agree that it’s not only expedient but necessary. In times of “crisis,” expediency is upheld as the central principle—that is, in order to keep us safe and secure, the government must militarize the police, strip us of basic constitutional rights and criminalize virtually every form of behavior.

Not only does fear grease the wheels of the transition to fascism by cultivating fearful, controlled, pacified, cowed citizens, but it also embeds itself in our very DNA so that we pass on our fear and compliance to our offspring.

It’s called epigenetic inheritance, the transmission through DNA of traumatic experiences.

For example, neuroscientists have observed how quickly fear can travel through generations of mice DNA. As The Washington Post reports:

In the experiment, researchers taught male mice to fear the smell of cherry blossoms by associating the scent with mild foot shocks. Two weeks later, they bred with females. The resulting pups were raised to adulthood having never been exposed to the smell. Yet when the critters caught a whiff of it for the first time, they suddenly became anxious and fearful. They were even born with more cherry-blossom-detecting neurons in their noses and more brain space devoted to cherry-blossom-smelling.

The conclusion? “A newborn mouse pup, seemingly innocent to the workings of the world, may actually harbor generations’ worth of information passed down by its ancestors.”

Now consider the ramifications of inherited generations of fears and experiences on human beings. As the Post reports, “Studies on humans suggest that children and grandchildren may have felt the epigenetic impact of such traumatic events such as famine, the Holocaust and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, fear, trauma and compliance can be passed down through the generations.

Fear has been a critical tool in past fascistic regimes, and it now operates in our contemporary world—all of which raises fundamental questions about us as human beings and what we will give up in order to perpetuate the illusions of safety and security.

In the words of psychologist Erich Fromm:

[C]an human nature be changed in such a way that man will forget his longing for freedom, for dignity, for integrity, for love—that is to say, can man forget he is human? Or does human nature have a dynamism which will react to the violation of these basic human needs by attempting to change an inhuman society into a human one?

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Eurasia takes shape: How the SCO just flipped the world order

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2021

The whole Global South, stunned by the accelerated collapse of the western Empire and its unilateral rules-based order, now seems to be ready to embrace the new groove, fully displayed in Dushanbe: a multipolar Greater Eurasia of sovereign equals.

The US better rethink it’s Iranian and Chinese war plans.

https://thecradle.co/Article/analysis/2104

By Pepe Escobar

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/22154938/Unknown-11.jpeg

The two defining moments of the historic 20th anniversary Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan had to come from the keynote speeches of – who else – the leaders of the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Xi Jinping: “Today we will launch procedures to admit Iran as a full member of the SCO.”

Vladimir Putin: “I would like to highlight the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed today between the SCO Secretariat and the Eurasian Economic Commission. It is clearly designed to further Russia’s idea of establishing a Greater Eurasia Partnership covering the SCO, the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI).”

In short, over the weekend, Iran was enshrined in its rightful, prime Eurasian role, and all Eurasian integration paths converged toward a new global geopolitical – and geoeconomic – paradigm, with a sonic boom bound to echo for the rest of the century.

That was the killer one-two punch immediately following the Atlantic alliance’s ignominious imperial retreat from Afghanistan. Right as the Taliban took control of Kabul on 15 August, the redoubtable Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, told his Iranian colleague Admiral Ali Shamkhani that “the Islamic Republic will become a full member of the SCO.”

Dushanbe revealed itself as the ultimate diplomatic crossover. President Xi firmly rejected any “condescending lecturing” and emphasized development paths and governance models compatible with national conditions. Just like Putin, he stressed the complementary focus of BRI and the EAEU, and in fact summarized a true multilateralist Manifesto for the Global South.

Right on point, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan noted that the SCO should advance “the development of a regional macro-economy.” This is reflected in the SCO’s drive to start using local currencies for trade, bypassing the US dollar.

Watch that quadrilateral

Dushanbe was not just a bed of roses. Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon, a staunch, secular Muslim and former member of the Communist Party of the USSR – in power for no less than 29 years, re-elected for the 5th time in 2020 with 90 percent of the vote – right off the bat denounced the “medieval sharia” of Taliban 2.0 and said they had already “abandoned their previous promise to form an inclusive  government.”

Rahmon, who has never been caught smiling on camera, was already in power when the Taliban conquered Kabul in 1996. He was bound to publicly support his Tajik cousins against the “expansion of extremist ideology” in Afghanistan – which in fact worries all SCO member-states when it comes to smashing dodgy jihadi outfits of the ISIS-K mold.

See the rest here

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From Marshall to Milley – The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2021

Four star generals and the process of their promotion, then and now, are worlds apart.

Four stars now automatically become part of a mutual general officer admiration society, that cheers even mediocre performance in general officers chosen for high command, because, like “made men” in the Mafia, senior leaders agree not to turn on their peers.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/from-marshall-to-milley/

Politics

(By Phil Pasquini/Shutterstock)

Douglas Macgregor

On September 1, 1939, Brigadier George C. Marshall took the oath of office as the 15th U.S. Army chief of staff, a post he held until November 1945. When the ceremony ended, General Marshall confided to his aide de camp, “There is enough dead wood in the Army’s officer corps to light several forest fires.”

Marshall was more right than he knew. If the U.S. Army and Army Air Corps fought shoulder to shoulder with the French Army in 1940, American arms would have suffered the same fate as the French and British Armies—total defeat at the hands of the German Wehrmacht. This fact was made painfully obvious 14 months after the Second World War broke out.

In February 1943, 11,000 German troops smashed through the 30,000 soldiers of the U.S. Army’s II Corps at Kasserine Pass. The U.S. commander, Major Gen. Lloyd Fredendall, a swaggering blowhard, was relieved and sent home. It was not the last time that a cigar-chewing imitation of a real general would fail in action against the German onslaught, but the experience strengthened Marshall’s intolerance of general officer failure in action.

Dwight D. Eisenhower thought Marshall had picked Fredendall—an officer with no combat experience despite serving in the First World War—but Fredendall was actually chosen for command by Lieutenant Gen. Lesley McNair for the energy he demonstrated in training. Though Fredendall had not gone ashore to join his troops until the fighting was over, Eisenhower decorated Fredendall for the II Corps’ successful landing in North Africa. Sadly, once Fredendall was selected for the wrong reasons, only disaster in combat with a capable opponent could reveal Fredendall’s deficiencies as a battlefield commander.

Unfortunately, the practice of tolerating mediocre officers with friends and sponsors in the four star ranks persists today.

Today, the task of finding senior military leaders with character, competence and intelligence is immeasurably harder than it was in Marshall’s day. Under the Bush and Obama administrations, the American media’s adulation for four stars transformed general officers such as Petraeus, McChrystal, Mattis, Allen, and Austin into instant celebrities.

Four stars now automatically become part of a mutual general officer admiration society, that cheers even mediocre performance in general officers chosen for high command, because, like “made men” in the Mafia, senior leaders agree not to turn on their peers. Eliminating failed general officers, even when failure is found out the hard way in action, is deemed dangerous to a promotion system based on nepotism that presents itself as infallible.

Political leaders are of no help. Almost no one in the Senate asked relevant questions of nominees for four stars after 9/11—questions like: Is this mission really achievable? Will the proposed operations have a decisive impact and accomplish the mission? What do Americans gain if this the proposed operation actually works? And what do the American People lose if the mission fails? Should Americans really expect the Army and Marine Corps to impose a Western system of government on Iraq or Afghanistan? Are cultures really congruent?

Consequently for aspiring four stars, advocating the commitment of more soldiers, more cash, and more time in Afghanistan and Iraq became customary. Carrying on the failed policies of the military and political leaders who nominated them for four stars ensured that the future four stars would have a chair when the music stopped. Senators and Congressmen either could not evaluate the nominees or they were reluctant to admit that the system had gotten things wrong from the beginning.

Rather than address the hard issues, political oversight of the armed forces focuses more on policies designed to please constituents or create jobs in their states and districts, policies that neuter the military’s ability to punish substandard performers or to link promotion to merit. The end result justifies the divisive practice of advancing individuals—frequently women and minorities—who are less qualified or not otherwise “selectable” by reducing the numbers of qualified individuals from selection to create spaces.

Clearly, officers who express concern about these policies do not go unnoticed in political circles. These officers are frequently viewed as politically unreliable and are eliminated from promotion to the senior ranks. However, those officers who strongly identify with these policies make themselves known not only to their superiors in uniform, but to members of the House and Senate with an interest in promoting their ideological fellow travelers in uniform to flag rank in the armed forces.

The point is that General Mark Milley is not an isolated example. He’s the product of an environment that has existed for nearly 30 years, if not longer. Behind Mark Milley stand another two dozen four stars ready to take his job that are indistinguishable from him in their attitudes and career patterns.

Is the situation hopeless? History answers with an emphatic “No.”

After the defeat of the U.S. Army’s II Corps, General Sir Harold Alexander, Eisenhower’s British deputy, commented on Fredendall to his American allies, “I’m sure you must have better men than that.” Eisenhower agreed. Major Gen. Patton, a man who but for the outbreak of WWII would have retired as an obscure cavalry colonel, replaced Fredendall.

Will the abysmal outcome in Afghanistan, or the revelations that four stars actively conspired with President Trump’s opponents to undermine his authority, make any difference to how we select the brass? Time will solve the mystery.

Douglas Macgregor, Col. (ret.) is a senior fellow with The American Conservative, the former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, a decorated combat veteran, and the author of five books.

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Réseau Voltaire-The AUKUS preparing a nuclear war to sustain Taiwan

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2021

The official reactions to the announcement of the Australian-British-US pact (AUKUS) are only about the termination of the Australian-French arms contract. As terrible as this is for the shipyards, it is only a collateral consequence of a reversal of alliances aimed at preparing for a war against China.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article214159.html

by Thierry Meyssan

The announcement of the Australian-British-US (A-UK-US) pact [1] was like an earthquake in the Indo-Pacific region.

There is no doubt that Washington is preparing for a long-term military confrontation with China.

Until now, the Western deployment to contain China politically and militarily has involved the United States and the United Kingdom as well as France and Germany. Today, the Europeans are left out. And tomorrow the area will be controlled by the Quad+ (US and UK, plus Australia, India and Japan). Washington is preparing a war in one or two decades.

While France and Germany have not been consulted on this strategy, nor even warned of its public announcement (but other countries had been warned, such as Indonesia), the new device should be staged next week in Washington.

While it is logical that London and Washington should rely on Camberra rather than Paris, since Australia is a member of the “Five Eyes” with which France is just associated, the entry into the game of Japan and especially India puts an end to a long period of uncertainty. More troubling is the role assigned to Germany, which could join the “Five Eyes” [2], but not the Quad, i.e. spying on telecommunications, but not military action.

Admiral John Aquilino, commander of US forces in the Indo-Pacific.

Alliances shaken up

This new situation forces each alliance to reposition itself.

The A-NZ-US, which linked Australia, New Zealand and the United States, has not been in operation since 1985 and has been definitively buried. New Zealand had affirmed its policy of nuclear disarmament and consequently refused entry to its ports to nuclear-armed or nuclear-powered ships. Since the Pentagon refuses to reveal these “details”, no US warship has entered the country. Future Australian submarines will also be banned.

For the moment, the European Union has not reacted. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was giving a state of the Union address [3] on the same day the AUKUS pact was announced, is paralyzed. She was talking about her new strategy in the Indo-Pacific area, while the Brexit Brits were pulling the rug out from under her. Not only is the European Union not a military power, but those of its members who are, will no longer have a say.

NATO is silent. It had ambitions to expand in the Indo-Pacific and understands that it will not be part of the game.

See the rest here

Thierry Meyssan

Translation
Roger Lagassé

Printable version

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Should War Be Made “Humane”? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2021

Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War
by Samuel Moyn
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 400 pp.

https://mises.org/wire/should-war-be-made-humane

David Gordon

Samuel Moyn is a distinguished intellectual historian who teaches both history and law at Yale. His earlier books were written for an academic audience, but in Humane he has an urgent message that he wishes to convey to the general public. There has in recent years been a movement to make war more humane, especially by minimizing death or injury to noncombatants. Moyn thinks this movement poses a danger:

At our stage in the coming of humane war, its advocates and audiences should reevaluate whether they have lost their way in helping to entrench continuing violence, which they could struggle to end instead. If the quest for more humane war could someday minimize not just collateral death and damage but even combatant killing and injury, the looming threat of something far more disquieting is also real. What if the elemental aim of endless war is not the death of enemy soldiers but rather the potentially nonviolent control of other peoples? Would that be tolerable? (p. 324)

If you are opposed to war, humane war, to the extent there can be such a thing, is not enough. That was fully evident to the foremost critic of war of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Count Leo Tolstoy. Just as opponents of slavery sought to abolish it rather than ameliorate the conditions of servitude, so should opponents of war seek to end it, not to humanize it. It was no accident that Tolstoy drew this analogy, as he had been influenced by the American pacifist and abolitionist Adin Ballou. “The Cornell University founder Andrew Dickson White, a long-distance visitor to Tolstoy’s estate, was shocked when Tolstoy insisted in conversation that Ballou was the ‘greatest of all American writers’” (p. 34. Many readers of mises.org will have read White’s great study Fiat Money Inflation in France.).

Tolstoy’s opinions on war mattered a great deal, as he was an international celebrity, widely regarded as the world’s foremost novelist. His followers included Mahatma Gandhi and William Jennings Bryan, who visited Tolstoy at his estate in Russia. Often, though, his opinions on various subjects struck many people as odd and extreme, such as his declaration that Shakespeare was an “insignificant, inartistic writer.”

The movement against war of course had other leaders besides Tolstoy. “One of the leading ideologues of eternal peace in the second half of the nineteenth century was the Englishman William [sic] Cobden, who insisted that free trade could someday unify humanity where Christianity had graphically failed to do so” (p. 21. Cobden’s first name was not William but Richard; perhaps Moyn slipped because he was thinking of William Cobbett.).

As I have already mentioned, the antiwar movement of that time wanted to end war, not make it more humane, and indeed Tolstoy was sometimes tempted to go further. In War and Peace, Prince Andrei suggests that soldiers in battle should act as ruthlessly as possible, for example killing enemy prisoners out of hand. Increasing the horror of war might make it more likely that people would end it. By no means was this view confined to fictional characters; Tolstoy himself was of this opinion, though he later withdrew it, and the great Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz spoke in similar terms. Moyn lists a number of examples, but one should be added as well: General William Sherman, who justified his tactics of wanton destruction with this same argument. Fortunately, the view did not prevail in the peace movement, and the movement in fact included efforts to improve conditions for wounded soldiers, of which the most notable were the activities of the Red Cross, founded in Geneva in the 1860s. But the main focus of the antiwar movement was elsewhere. Countess Bertha von Suttner, one of the leaders of the mainstream movement, who had persuaded Alfred Nobel to endow a prize for peace, was justifiably angry that the corecipient of the first peace prize was Henry Dunant, a founder of the Red Cross but not a campaigner for war’s abolition.

Schemes to end war abounded both before and after World War I. Moyn does not mention one of the most theoretically interesting of these, a plan by the philosopher Josiah Royce to end war through insurance agencies, a proposal that prefigured some later suggestions by libertarians for protection through such agencies. (As I fear is all too evident, I am prone to try to catch out authors in errors and omissions; but in doing so, I am especially unfair to Moyn, whose scholarship for this book is prodigious.)

Moyn views with much favor attempts to end war through international law, enforced by an international body able to use armed force to compel acceptance of its decisions. In this connection he devotes much attention to the work of Quincy Wright, a leading authority on international law who favored such an organization. (In his account of Wright’s youth, Moyn points out that Carl Sandburg was a family friend and that Quincy and his father printed editions of Sandburg’s poems on their family printing press. It should also be noted that they were joined in this activity by Quincy’s brother Sewall, who was to become of the twentieth century’s foremost theorists of evolutionary biology.)

I cannot think that this is an effective scheme to end war; the “police actions” of the international body do not cease to be wars by giving them another name. To his credit, Moyn cites a dissenting view by John Bassett Moore, the foremost American authority of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries on international law. Moore “felt it was not a good idea for their country to renounce its birthright in exchange for the pottage of endless war to keep other countries from fighting one another (p. 77). Moyn also cites an article by Edwin Borchard, Moore’s greatest disciple, on the illegality of Franklin Roosevelt’s bases-for-destroyers deal with Britain (p. 347, note to p.122).

Moyn also views sympathetically the unsuccessful effort to try Kaiser Wilhelm II for criminal conduct in launching World War I. By making rulers personally responsible for their conduct, peace would be encouraged. Once more, I find myself in dissent from Moyn. Is a tribunal of judges from the victorious side in a war a fit body to decide the responsibilities for a war’s outbreak? Did Germany and its kaiser bear the primary guilt for World War I? I do not think so, and though I cannot argue the question here, the point is much disputed. Moyn also praises the post–World War II Nuremberg tribunal, pointing out that the primary indictment of the German leaders was for starting the war, not for crimes against humanity committed during the conflict. One must again ask whether “victor’s justice” is desirable, all the more so in that the Soviets, sitting in judgment on Germany, had like that country invaded Poland when the war began.

Moyn covers a vast number of issues, and I have space to cover only one more. Today critics of American foreign policy often point to the Vietnam War as the principal instance of horrendous conduct by America during wartime. Those of us alive at the time will never forget the “body counts,” the My Lai massacre, napalm and Agent Orange, and the saturation bombing of both Vietnam and Cambodia. Moyn says that bad as it was, the Korean War was worse. “Korea was the most brutal war of the twentieth century, measured by the intensity of violence and per capita civilian deaths. In three years, four million died, and half of them were civilians—a higher proportion of the population than in any modern war, including World War II and the Vietnam conflict” (p. 135).

Although a number of treaties sought to regulate military conduct during war, serious efforts to apply such measures is a quite recent development. The notorious program of killing by drone, in which civilian casualties are few, at least as compared with earlier military incursions, is a prime case of the effort to “humanize” war. It is precisely this that arouses Moyn’s suspicions. He fears that the expansion of such endeavors, along with programs of global surveillance, would subject the world to hegemonic control by one or a few dominant superpowers. In warning against this danger, Moyn has rendered a great service to peace. Author:

Contact David Gordon

David Gordon is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and editor of the Mises Review.

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Nullification | Tenth Amendment Center

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2021

Don’t Comply…Nullify!

https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/nullification-overview/

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison first formalized the principles of nullification in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798. While Jefferson called it “the rightful remedy” to federal overreach, Madison put it a different way, saying a state is “duty bound” to interpose “to arrest the progress of the evil.” Jefferson and Madison were the first to propose nullification specifically, but they didn’t create the idea. In fact, the strategies and principles date back to before the American Revolution. Colonists used nullification strategies to force Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act. And during the Virginia ratifying convention, George Nicholas said that if Congress were to exercise any power not expressly granted to it, the state of Virginia would be “exonerated from it,” implying that the state would have the authority to ignore or block unconstitutional acts. Nullification is a fundamental part of the American political system. But what exactly does it mean? There are two definitions. One is legal. When a court strikes down a law, it literally wipes it off the books. But there is also a practical definition – to make something of no value or consequence. When we talk about nullification happening today, we generally mean it in the practical sense – to end the practical effect of a federal act. Here is a succinct definition of nullification as we apply it: Any act or set of acts which has as its result a particular law being rendered legally null and void, or unenforceable in practice. Madison gave us a blueprint on how to do this in Federalist #46. He suggested four steps to take on counteract and stop federal programs – whether “warrantable” or “unwarrantable,” the most significant being a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.” The federal government involves itself in almost every aspect of life, but depends on state assistance to do almost everything. If states refuse to help, it becomes nearly impossible for the feds to enforce their laws or implement their programs. We can use this strategy to undermine and nullify all kinds of federal acts in practice – from warrantless spying, to gun control, to plant prohibition and more.

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Too Much Inflation? Just Raise the Inflation Target! | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2021

But it’s a safe bet that if the accepted inflation target were increased to 4 percent, we’d be hearing little to nothing right now about tapering, normalization, or any other effort to cut price inflation. The Fed would then be more free to keep the easy money spigot open longer without having to hear complaints that the Fed has “lost control” of price inflation. That would be great for stock prices and real estate prices. Ordinary people, on the other hand, might fare less well. 

https://mises.org/wire/too-much-inflation-just-raise-inflation-target

Ryan McMaken

In late August, Fed chairman Jerome Powell suggested that the Federal Reserve would begin tapering before the end of the year, an admission that price inflation was rising above the 2 percent target. Nonetheless, the Fed took no immediate action in the following month. This week, Powell again suggested a taper would begin soon, stating it would begin soon enough that the process could “conclud[e] around the middle of next year,” and maybe could begin in November. This, of course, was highly conditional, with Powell noting this taper would only happen if “the economic recovery remains on track.”

Some interpreted this as a hawkish turn for Powell, but again, we should expect no immediate action on this. Lackluster economic growth remains a concern and Powell’s qualifier on the “recovery” remaining on track will be key. Last week, Goldman downgraded the US economic growth forecast, and the Beige Book—which always casts economic growth in a rosy glow—also reduced its description of the economy during July and August to “moderate.” Meanwhile, the Bank of England today signaled a worsening global situation with its own downgrade of growth expectations. In other words, if the economy isn’t improving enough—according to the Fed—then it can simply abandon plans to taper.

The Fed may be talking taper, but fears of low growth among doves will fuel ongoing calls for continued stimulus. In fact, we’re already seeing some calls for abandoning the 2 percent inflation target in favor of even higher targets. This, it is believed, will allow for longer and more aggressive periods of stimulus. 

A Weak Recovery

The root of this drive for more inflation lies partly in the fact that many inflation doves believe that the Fed was too timid with stimulus after the Great Recession. Indeed, growth was remarkably slow in those days, producing “the slowest economic expansion” in many decades.1 This was in spite immense amounts of monetary stimulus. Nonetheless, the Fed repeatedly spoke of an “improving economy,” and repeatedly hinted at tapering. But it was only in 2016 that the Fed finally dared to allow the target interest rate to inch upward. This was largely done out of fear the Fed would have no room to maneuver in case of another crisis. Price inflation, after all, remained low in the official measures.

But in 2017 and 2018, when CPI inflation began to push above 2 percent, the expectation arose that the Fed would begin to meaningfully taper to keep inflation near the stated 2 percent target. This alarmed some inflation doves who were concerned—with good reason—that any reining in of the Fed’s easy money policies would end the very fragile and lackluster recovery then underway. They wanted to keep the asset-price inflation going—to reap the benefits of the so-called “wealth effect.” These fears were partially borne out when, in spite of the timidity of the Fed’s tapering efforts after 2018, the repo crisis of 2019 suggested trouble was indeed brewing. And it’s not surprising. Economic “growth” rested largely on a mountain of zombie companies and a financialized economy addicted to artificially cheap credit. 

How that would have played out in the absence of the covid panic is unknown. In any case, efforts at reining in monetary inflation evaporated with the covid crisis and the target interest rate was quickly returned to 0.25 percent. Additional asset purchases resumed at breakneck speed, with the Fed’s portfolio soon topping $8 trillion.

Pushing Inflation Targets Upward

The covid crisis gave doves an opportunity to press for a more “flexible” inflation target. In August of 2020—with central bankers looking for new ways to justify continued stimulus—the Fed adopted a new policy in which it would pursue an average 2 percent inflation goal. In other words, the Fed could now pursue a price inflation goal above 2 percent for some periods so long as it all averaged out to 2 percent over time.

But even that hasn’t been enough for the advocates of ever more price inflation. We’re now seeing calls for ending the 2 percent target altogether—and raising it.

For example, writing at the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, Greg Ip noted that Powell appears to be banking on the inflation rate soon returning to 2 percent. But what if it doesn’t? Ip says if inflation remains above targets, the Fed should just raise the targets. He writes:

One strategy [Powell]—or his successor—should consider in that eventuality is to simply raise the target.

And why pursue higher inflation? Ip takes the popular view of the “mythical trade-off between higher employment and inflation,” as Brendan Brown describes it. For Ip, higher inflation is the way to ensure an employment-fueled expansion, and he writes:

Why would higher inflation ever be a good thing? Economic theory says modestly higher, stable inflation should mean fewer and less severe recessions, and less need for exotic tools such as central-bank bond buying, which may inflate asset bubbles. More practically, if inflation ends up closer to 3% than 2% next year, raising the target would relieve the Fed of jacking up interest rates to get inflation down, destroying jobs in the process.

According to Ip, the too-low 2 percent target places the Fed in an intolerable bind. The Fed needs more room to breathe. Rather than feel the pressure to taper just because price inflation has risen above the 2 percent target, Ip wants to make sure the Fed can just keep on with the stimulus until price inflation exceeds 3 percent, or maybe even 4 percent. And who knows? After that, maybe “economic theory” will tell us that 5 percent inflation is an even better target. Certainly, that would be no less arbitrary a number than 4 percent or 2 percent.

How Inflation Fears Put Political Limits on Easy-Money Policies

The need to raise the target rate is essentially political. Presumably, the longer inflation persists above the target rate, the more the Fed will feel pressure to bring inflation back down through some sort of tapering. After all, the adoption of a 2 percent target implies 2 percent is the “correct” inflation rate. Anything higher than that is presumably “too much.” With the Fed moving toward the 2 percent target since the 1996 —and having formally adopted it in 2012—the Fed’s credibility is on the line if the Fed simply ignores the target.

But it’s a safe bet that if the accepted inflation target were increased to 4 percent, we’d be hearing little to nothing right now about tapering, normalization, or any other effort to cut price inflation. The Fed would then be more free to keep the easy money spigot open longer without having to hear complaints that the Fed has “lost control” of price inflation. That would be great for stock prices and real estate prices. Ordinary people, on the other hand, might fare less well

  • 1. Brendan Brown, The Case Against 2 Per Cent Inflation: From Negative Interest Rates to a  21st Century Gold Standard, (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), p. 8.

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Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power and Market, but read article guidelinesfirst.

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FDA Official: ‘Blow Dart’ African Americans with COVID Vaccine is ‘Where We’re Going…Just Shoot Everyone’ … Calls for a ‘Nazi Germany’ Style ‘Registry’ of Unvaccinated Americans: ‘Think About It Like The Jewish Star’

Posted by M. C. on September 23, 2021

https://www.projectveritas.com/news/fda-official-blow-dart-african-americans-with-covid-vaccine-is-where-were/

  • Taylor Lee, FDA Economist: “Go to the unvaccinated and blow it [COVID vaccine] into them. Blow dart it into them.”
  • Lee: “Census goes door-to-door if you don’t respond. So, we have the infrastructure to do it [forced COVID vaccinations]. I mean, it’ll cost a ton of money. But I think, at that point, I think there needs to be a registry of people who aren’t vaccinated. Although that’s sounding very [much like Nazi] Germany.”
  • Lee: “Nazi Germany…I mean, think about it like the Jewish Star [for unvaccinated Americans].”
  • Lee: “I’m gonna go door-to-door and stab everyone [with the COVID vaccine], ‘Oh, it’s just your booster shot! There you go!’”
  • Lee: “So, if you put every anti-vaxxer, like sheep, into like Texas and you closed off Texas from the rest of the world, and you go, ‘Okay, you be you in Texas until we deal with this [pandemic].’”
  • Lee: “All of the wealthy white people are getting vaccinated because they’re educated.”
  • Lee: “There are political appointees [at the FDA] that are generally scientific advisors or are appointed by the president or the commission…They’re being paid based on if the other people are staying in power.”
  • Lee: “Unfortunately, everyone ends up playing politics, but I don’t think that the career scientists are — I think that it’s the people that they’re unfortunately having to report to because these political appointees are being put in place and that’s part of like — the Senate confirms the people to then just pick their people.”

[WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept. 22, 2021] Project Veritas released the second video of its COVID vaccine investigative series today exposing U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] economist, Taylor Lee, who was recorded calling for forced COVID vaccinations and a registry for all unvaccinated Americans.

Lee said that U.S. Government policy could emulate Nazi Germany when it comes to the COVID vaccine.

“Census goes door-to-door if you don’t respond. So, we have the infrastructure to do it [forced COVID vaccinations]. I mean, it’ll cost a ton of money. But I think, at that point, I think there needs to be a registry of people who aren’t vaccinated. Although that’s sounding very [much like Nazi] Germany,” Lee said.

“Nazi Germany…I mean, think about it like the Jewish Star [for unvaccinated Americans],” he said.

“So, if you put every anti-vaxxer, like sheep, into like Texas and you closed off Texas from the rest of the world, and you go, ‘Okay, you be you in Texas until we deal with this [pandemic].’”

Lee said that due to a large portion of the African American community being hesitant to take the COVID vaccine, the solution would be to “blow dart” on them:

Taylor Lee, FDA Economist: “I think that a lot of the time — so there’s also this issue of — I remember reading about how with COVID [vaccine] trials, they were having an issue recruiting African American people. It was because of a different medication the government tried to do that was specifically designed to kill African Americans.”

Veritas Journalist: Oh, so like a mistrust thing.”

Lee: Yeah.”

Veritas Journalist: But this thing [COVID vaccine] is safe, though.”

Lee: We know that now, but like again, I think there is still this big mistrust and like it’s deep-rooted.”

Veritas Journalist: Yeah. Can’t blame them [African Americans].”

Lee: I can’t. But at the same time, like, blow dart. That’s where we’re going.”

Lee affirmed that “wealthy white people” are more likely to get the COVID vaccine because they are “educated,” and added that he would be willing to force COVID vaccines upon Americans himself if needed.

“I’m gonna go door-to-door and stab everyone [with the COVID vaccine], ‘Oh, it’s just your booster shot! There you go!’”

Lee also said that FDA officials can often be political appointees rather than actual scientific experts.

“There are political appointees [at the FDA] that are generally scientific advisors or are appointed by the president or the commission…They’re being paid based on if the other people are staying in power,” he said.

“Unfortunately, everyone ends up playing politics, but I don’t think that the career scientists are — I think that it’s the people that they’re unfortunately having to report to because these political appointees are being put in place and that’s part of like — the Senate confirms the people to then just pick their people.”

ORDER JAMES O’KEEFE’S UPCOMING BOOK AMERICAN MUCKRAKER TODAY

About Project Veritas

James O’Keefe established Project Veritas in 2010 as a non-profit journalism enterprise to continue his undercover reporting work. Today, Project Veritas investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society and to engage in litigation to: protect, defend and expand human and civil rights secured by law, specifically First Amendment rights including promoting the free exchange of ideas in a digital world; combat and defeat censorship of any ideology; promote truthful reporting; and defend freedom of speech and association issues including the right to anonymity. O’Keefe serves as the CEO and Chairman of the Board so that he can continue to lead and teach his fellow journalists, as well as protect and nurture the Project Veritas culture. 

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Support The Troops? Biden Demands Dishonorable Discharge For Vax Refusers!

Posted by M. C. on September 23, 2021

The Biden Administration is demanding that members of the US military who refuse the covid shot be DISHONORABLY discharged! The Administration is also taking aim at military members who prefer to pass on the vax because they have natural immunity from a previous infection. Is this about discipline…or about a political purge of the military? Also today: cancer deaths in UK will skyrocket due to covid lockdowns and care restrictions. Do the world covid elites have an endgame now that their narrative has failed?

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Inflation is a quiet but effective way for the government to transfer resources from the people to itself, without raising taxes.

Posted by M. C. on September 23, 2021

Thomas Sowell

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