Archive for category Economy
During The Best Period Of Economic Growth In U.S. History There Was No Income Tax And No Federal Reserve
Time for a little history lesson. Yes, there was a time before the Federal Reserve and the Income Tax, and America prospered! – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
Also posted at oathkeepers.org.
by Michael Snyder
How would America ever survive without the central planners in the Obama administration and at the Federal Reserve? What in the world would we do if there was no income tax and no IRS? Could the U.S. economy possibly keep from collapsing under such circumstances? The mainstream media would have us believe that unless we have someone “to pull the levers” our economy would descend into utter chaos, but the truth is that the best period of economic growth in U.S. history occurred during a time when there was no income tax and no Federal Reserve. Between the Civil War and 1913, the U.S. economy experienced absolutely explosive growth. The free market system thrived and the rest of the world looked at us with envy. The federal government was very limited in size, there was no income tax for most of that time and there was no central bank. To many Americans, it would be absolutely unthinkable to have such a society today, but it actually worked very, very well. Without the inventions and innovations that came out of that period, the world would be a far different place today.
It is amazing what can happen when the government just gets out of the way. Check out all of the wonderful things that Wikipedia says happened for the U.S. economy during those years…
“The rapid economic development following the Civil War laid the groundwork for the modern U.S. industrial economy. By 1890, the USA leaped ahead of Britain for first place in manufacturing output.
An explosion of new discoveries and inventions took place, a process called the “Second Industrial Revolution.” Railroads greatly expanded the mileage and built stronger tracks and bridges that handled heavier cars and locomotives, carrying far more goods and people at lower rates. Refrigeration railroad cars came into use. The telephone, phonograph, typewriter and electric light were invented. By the dawn of the 20th century, cars had begun to replace horse-drawn carriages.
Parallel to these achievements was the development of the nation’s industrial infrastructure. Coal was found in abundance in the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania south to Kentucky. Oil was discovered in western Pennsylvania; it was mainly used for lubricants and for kerosene for lamps. Large iron ore mines opened in the Lake Superior region of the upper Midwest. Steel mills thrived in places where these coal and iron ore could be brought together to produce steel. Large copper and silver mines opened, followed by lead mines and cement factories.
In 1913 Henry Ford introduced the assembly line, a step in the process that became known as mass-production”
This is part of a speech given by the author of “The Creature From Jekyll Island”. As usual, G. Edward Griffin hits the nail on the head.
This article was written by Mac Slavo and originally published at SHTFplan.com
In 2006, when Americans were flying high on ever-expanding credit and double digit real estate growth, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass came to the conclusion that something was very wrong. He and his investors determined that a massive real estate bubble was forming in sub-prime mortgages. But rather than just making a prediction, they put their money where their mouth was, and took a $4 billion gamble that the real estate market was about to detonate.
At the time, many in the industry and within financial circles thought him crazy.
History, however, proves he was right.
When the real estate bubble did finally burst, stock markets plummeted and mortgage backed securities fell to pennies on the dollar. Bass and his hedge fund made billions in the process.
Bass’ foresight was 20/20, and now he has issued a warning so dire that it, like the real estate crisis and recession that followed, is unimaginable for most Americans.
In many of these situations the quantitative analysis is already done. It’s just a question of when will this unravel and how will it unravel, which I think is the key when we’re thinking about the chronology of events and the likelihood of events going forward.
Something that I think is really important to pay attention to, in the last 10 years debts around the world – this is total credit market debts, this is on balance sheets, sovereign obligations, corporate debt, household debt – has grown from $80 trillion to just over $200 trillion.
We sit today at the world’s largest peacetime accumulation of debt in world history…
…You know how this ends right?
This ends through war…
…I don’t know who’s going to fight who, but I’m fairly certain in the next few years you will see wars erupt, and not just small ones…
You’re going to see more social unrest.
You saw HUGE riots in Greece, and you’re seeing HUGE riots in other parts of the world over food (and lack of food) and those are actually derivatives of the financial problems that we’re seeing. We’re exporting inflation to some other nations. Going forward it’s going to be a problem.
They’re not going to tell you [that a collapse is coming]. You’re going to have to see it for yourself. [During the Tequila crisis], the Mexican government affirmed they would not default, that they would not devalue, almost daily. The day after they said “we wont devalue,” they devalued by 60%.
The government’s never going to tell you that it’s going to happen.
Greece’s Yunker said recently, ‘When it becomes serious – you have to lie’. These guys are never going to tell you the truth, because they can’t tell you the truth. Their job is to promote confidence, not to tell you the truth.
Watch Kyle Bass:
Full Speech at the AmerCatalyst 2012 Conference (Approx 1 hour)
The United States, Europe and the rest of the world have created more debt than has ever existed in the history of the world. Debt is nothing more than a representation (and expectation) of future earnings – future work. But, as many of us know, there has been so much money borrowed that we can’t possible every expect to pay it back. In fact, the only thing we can expect is that we will continue to take on even more debt.
At some point in the (near) future, the plug is going to be pulled and no one is going to lend anyone any more money. We saw this on a small scale in 2008 when credit markets around the world froze up. No one was lending money. There was so much risk that banks not only refused to lend money to individuals and businesses, but they refused to even lend each other money.
Central banks around the world, namely the U.S. Federal Reserve, calmed financial markets by pumping out trillions of dollars in emergency lending. This gave many a perception that things were returning to normal, but as Kyle Bass points out, we are in anything but a normal situation.
Debt has sky rocketed and we’re not going to pay it back – ever.
Like the mafia does when debts don’t get paid, our creditors are eventually going to resort to ‘breaking some legs.’
But we’re talking about debts of entire sovereign nations here, so the tools used to ‘take care of it’ won’t be crowbars or baseball bats, but rather, soldiers, tanks and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
War is coming – just as it has throughout history.
And the 99% of Americans who believe in a benevolent, all knowing, all caring government will be the last ones to get the memo.
Ignore the warnings at your peril.
This article was written by Mac Slavo and originally published at SHTFplan.com
Now that the election is over, the propaganda media can back off the burying of those critical stories that they couldn’t be bothered to report in the lead up to the re-election of President Obama.
What are we talking about?
For starters, the Federal Reserve’s recent report, which received nary a comment from the political and financial pundits on television.
While the economy was on the minds of most voters last night, what they didn’t know may have very well swung the election to one candidate over another.
And this particular tidbit of data is as important as it gets when we’re talking about economic health:
Here’s an interesting new data point that the St Louis Fed has put together to calculate recession probabilities:
“Recession probabilities for the United States are obtained from a dynamic-factor markov-switching model applied to four monthly coincident variables: non-farm payroll employment, the index of industrial production, real personal income excluding transfer payments, and real manufacturing and trade sales. “
What’s interesting about this index is the current reading. At 20%, the index is at a level that has ALWAYS been followed by a recession. As you can see below, the index has never approached 20% without a subsequent recession. All 6 recessions since 1967 have coincided with 20%+ readings in the US Recession Probabilities index.
It’s no secret that the economy is still hurting. According to this report we are on the verge of another recession within the midst of a broader ‘depression.’ Contrarian analysts have already suggested this is the case, with many saying we’ve been in recession since at least summer.
Moreover, if you look at the real numbers behind the numbers, like the rate of real inflation, and bounce those against this purported economic growth you may be surprised to find that we never exited the recession!
Look at the chart below. You see that red line? That’s the government’s official GDP, a measure for economic growth. The government shows it in positive territory and its been heralded without question by the mainstream machine as the proof for an economic recovery.
Now look at the blue line. That’s the unofficial GDP as calculated by economist John Williams using algorithms that account for distortions in the way government calculates inflation.
A recession, as defined by most traditional measures of economics, is a period of two consecutive quarters with negative economic growth.
That’s right — this whole time during which millions were losing jobs and homes, and as food stamp usage doubled, we have been in recession. That’s over four years now.
But did we really need a report from the Federal Reserve to confirm that for us?
On another (related) note, stock markets are down over 300 points as of this writing. Apparently Europe is in shambles (again).
It seems this is how financial markets around the world are celebrating the re-election of a President who has presided over the largest cumulative debt increase in the nation’s history.
Now that the election is over, we can return to our regularly scheduled programming.
This article was written by Norse Prepper and originally published at SHTFplan.com
Do you remember “the good old days”? It’s a simple question, but a question that induces different images to different people. I have found myself spending a lot of time lately thinking of the way things used to be and hoping that someday our country can somehow get back to those days again. Looking at our current state of affairs in this nation and around the world, there is only one conclusion that can be made…the good old days are over.
I wrote this article because children being born today, in my opinion, will not be able to look back and remember the near future as “the good old days”. As I write this, the US national debt is at $16.2 trillion with unfunded liabilities of $123.3 trillion. With Uncle Ben’s QE3 promising to print fiat money perpetually can there be any doubt that the days of the US dollar being the world currency are numbered. Everyone reading this article has a share of $442,881 of the nation’s debt and liabilities. If your children or grandchildren can’t read yet, please tell them that they also owe $442,881 as well and thank them for supporting our wasteful spending that got us to this point. Source: http://usadebtclock.com/
But don’t worry, there are elections coming. Surely the American public can see the dire straits our nation is in and elect leaders who can recognize and deal with the nation’s problems and bring us back to becoming a nation of producers instead of consumers, right? Leaders will be elected who will make the extreme sacrifices necessary to bring forth a United States where the outstretched hands of the masses will be filled with charitable donations from a robust society instead of being empty, waiting for them to be stuffed with their entitlement from the government, all the while feeling as though they earned it because they stand unproductively on dirt within our border.
I have to apologize for the last paragraph; I have always wondered what it would feel like to write fiction. The hard cold reality is that there is no possible orderly way out of the financial mess our society is in and the above mentioned dirt was probably the last thing made in the USA. To break it down simply, here are some simple and easy to understand economical facts:
- You need to produce more than you consume or you are broke.
- You cannot pay off a credit card with a credit card without consequences.
- There is no possible way the nation’s debts and unfunded liabilities will ever be paid.
Currently, the Federal Reserve purchases the vast majority of the US Debt. There simply aren’t many buyers left who believe it to be a sound investment anymore. In 2011, congress waited until the last minute to raise the debt ceiling after much political wrangling back and forth. Was there ever any doubt by anyone that it would happen? Is there any doubt that it will happen again? What happens when it hits $50 trillion? As long as we have the ability to continue to print more money to fund our yearly deficit and make payments on the interest of existing debt, it will continue. As it continues, the US dollar will continue to be worth less and less. Commodities such as food, gas and all physical goods purchased will get more and more expensive, leaving less and less purchasing power for the American people.
You don’t have to be Nostradamus to predict that we are on the cusp of a major financial collapse. I’m not only talking about the United States, I’m talking about the world. The can has been kicked down the road almost as far as it can be kicked and we just passed a dead end sign. We will soon see massive inflation or hyperinflation, riots in the streets as we have seen around the world and as I have heard stated many times, people with nothing left to lose will lose it.
So what can we do? The answer can be summed up in one word. Prepare. Prepare as though it may happen tomorrow. Prepare as though your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on it, because it does and they do. Start exercising and working out to prepare your body for the tough times coming. Prepare yourself mentally so that when it hits the fan you don’t find yourself in the panicked state that 95% of the public will be in. Prepare to be warm when it is cold outside or cool when it is hot outside. Prepare a plan of what you and your family will do at different levels of collapse. Prepare to eat when grocery store shelves are bare. Prepare to drink when the tap fails to deliver water. Prepare for what to do when your neighbors or family or friends show up at your doorstep because they were too busy watching television. Prepare to defend what needs to be defended. Prepare prepare prepare.
Realize that at this point there is nothing you can do about the debt of this nation. There is nothing you can do to change what is coming in the Middle East. Regardless of the result of the upcoming election, neither candidate has dared utter the words broke or sacrifice. Your only job at this point is to get yourself and your loved ones you choose to help through what is coming, whatever it may be. This isn’t being selfish. This, my friends…is survival.
I truly believe that when the dust settles, we will emerge as a great and free nation. Life will be hard, but there will be more meaning to the tasks of the day. Communities will be stronger. People will be healthier. Families will be closer. To get from this point to that, there will be much misery, but the greater the struggle, the greater the victory. It is up to us in the prepping community to get our families and loved ones through the upcoming collapse. I pray that someday, my children and grandchildren will be able to look back and say “Those were the good old days.” because I chose to prepare.
Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
Take refuge my friends.
This article was written by Mac Slavo and originally published at SHTFplan.com
When millions lose their jobs and have no hope of finding gainful employment, what options do they have for keeping food on the table?
The obvious answer for those who have become dependent on government safety nets is nutritional food assistance, and to date, more than 48 million Americans have come to rely on the program to stay alive.
But what if your country reaches its breaking point? What if the price of essential food gets so high due to inflation or supply issues that not even food stamps provide enough help to maintain a healthy diet? What if the very safety net established by government begins to tear? Then what?
The majority will have no other option but to scrounge for food in the streets… or starve. We’re already seeing this across America and Europe as tens of millions of people struggle to adjust to a dead or dying consumptive paradigm. These people have not yet realized what has happened and they hold on to the hope that their political leaders will somehow change the inevitability of a disastrous outcome brought on by a system that has been overloaded with debt, overspending, irresponsibility and moral hazard.
Those, however, who have come to the realization that the economy is not rebounding, that jobs have either been vaporized or permanently outsourced, that things are going to get much worse before they have any chance of getting better, have begun taking steps to ensure that they’ll not only have larder for their families, but a source of income, however paltry.
As easy money made it possible for mass urbanization (and suburbanization) during the widespread global build-outs of the last two decades, the collapse of the lending system and credit in general over the last few years has forced many individuals in Europe and the United States to look at other options. In a scenario such as that in which we find ourselves today, where jobs are scarce, prices are high, and socialization becomes economically impossible to maintain, enlightened individuals are doing exactly the opposite of what they’ve been taught to do. They’re no longer heading to cities for high paying tech or finance jobs. They’re headed back to their ancestral roots – back to the rural countryside to try their hand at a different lifestyle.
As has been the case for the last few years, we can turn to Greece for an understanding of what’s to come, as they are a country that has taken the worst of the collapse so far, but one that is certainly not alone in the troubles being wrought on its people.
As he digs and gathers, he tells me his story.
“I worked as a sales representative for many years,” he explains.
“So many hours in the office, so many hours in my car. Many hours lost from my life.”
But those hours, those years of work did not end with happy retirement and a pension.
Instead, while still in his mid-40s, Aristotelis Loukas was made redundant.
Like so many others in Greece nowadays, perhaps 25% of the population, he found himself jobless, unable to find new work, and with a family to support.
But what Mr Loukas did have was an idea.
“I always wondered how it would be to be a farmer,” he says.
“Whatever happens with the economic crisis, the sky will still be blue.”
“We have had applications triple in just the past year,” says Dr Panos Kanellis, the Farm School’s president.
Many of those showing up have good degrees, even MBAs, but still cannot find a job in the Greece of today.
“I was shocked,” Dr Kanellis says.
“They wanted to know how they can use a piece of land that their grandfather owned in a village.
“They were trying to find an alternative.”
Certainly, he is aware of the changes demanded of him.
He laughs as he tells me how he used to be an athlete, but then got old and unfit: “Now in my forties, I have to re-make my body.”
He looks down at his somewhat rotund figure, and laughs again, a little nervously.
But in that laugh, there is mirth and optimism, as well as apprehension.
“When I look back at my life in the office, I think ‘that’s the past, now I have better things to do,’” he says.
“At least I don’t have thoughts on my mind about banks, about debts. I am okay with my family, and yes, I am happy.”
Source: BBC News Europe
Very few of those living in the old paradigm of consumption, debt, and 40-hour work weeks will be able to maintain this lifestyle over the coming decade.
Nearly four years after the financial collapse of 2008 the majority of global economic indicators in America, Europe and China are suggesting that the situation has worsened, not moved into a recovery phase. What we’ve seen so far in terms of the vaporization of wealth, the destruction of jobs and the impoverishment of millions of once middle-class families is but the opening salvo in a world-wide depression that is sure to change the presumptions we have about global economic and geo-political stability.
This is only the beginning.
As such, we urge those who have yet to take steps to protect themselves, to prepare now for a massive paradigm shift that promises to be like nothing we’ve even seen in our lifetimes. It has been suggested that the next decade of human history will be plagued with riots, violence and bloodshed.
There is, of course, the chance that we’re totally off base and that world leaders and top banking financiers will figure a way out of this mess. But given what has transpired thus far, it would behoove us to look at the alternative as a real possibility.
That being said, we can take a hint from the Greeks to learn about trends that will be developing here in America. As the economy continues its tailspin we can assume that more people will lose their jobs (permanently), prices for essential goods in terms of real income value will continue to rise, already strained government social safety nets will unravel (and eventually collapse), and the people will be left to fend for themselves.
This means we need to start focusing on how to preserve our well being now. And that starts with ensuring you will have a roof over your head, food on the table, and skills that will allow you to maintain some level of income or units of exchange to acquire essential goods.
For those who have the means to do so, consider acquiring rural property at which you can build a shelter, micro farm and raise livestock. For those without such means, there are creative ways to produce your own food and create urban backyard sustainability.
At the very least, create a preparedness pantry that includes core food groups that can last a lifetime. In a scenario where you experience a job loss or extreme swings in food prices you’ll at least be able to fallback on your reserve supplies, or use them to supplement your diet if money and food supplies get tight.
One key takeaway from the experience of nouveau Greek farmers is that being skilled in land management, gardening, micro-farming, irrigation, raising livestock, and sustainability are fields of expertise that can be worth more than gold. Experts in these fields, or entrepreneurs that can manufacture tools and equipment, or operate (or rent) farm machinery (or beasts of burden), will find that they can build successful businesses from this rapidly developing trend.
Now is the time to prepare for the exodus from urbanized metropolitan areas and a return to the rural lifestyle of Green Acres.
This article was written by Greg Hunter and originally published at USAWatchdog.com
You might remember Dr. Michael Burry as the hedge fund manager who made hundreds of millions of dollars betting on the collapse of the housing market. You, also, might remember everyone from the mainstream media (MSM) to the Federal Reserve claimed nobody could have seen the 2008 financial collapse coming. How did Dr. Burry know a financial catastrophe was on the way while most financial experts and media were totally in the dark? This year’s commencement address at UCLA’s Department of Economics was given by Dr. Burry, and he says, “The ignorance is willful.” (Click here to see Dr. Burry’s June 20, 2012,UCLA address.)
“The ignorance is willful.” I think you can say the same thing about the ongoing banking crisis. Last Thursday, credit rating giant Moody’s downgraded the long-term credit ratings of 15 of the biggest North American and European banks. All but four were cut at least two notches, and these are some of the biggest banks in the world. RBC, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, RBS and UBS are household names in Canada, U.S., France, UK and Switzerland. (Japan’s Numara and Australia’s Macquarie were downgraded earlier by Moody’s.) (Click here for a complete list of downgraded banks from Business Insider.) I can’t find a time when a major credit ratings company like Moody’s has downgraded this many major banks in so many parts of the world at the same time. Sure, critics of Moody’s will say they are way behind the curve, but the fact is the company has come out with bold and devastating bank downgrades when the world is being told it is in “recovery.” Please keep in mind, dozens of Italian and Spanish banks were, also, downgraded in the last few months by Moody’s.
The MSM greeted this enormously negative bank news with a yawn. USA Today, which touts itself as “The Nations Newspaper,” covered the story, last Friday, in the newspaper with less than 75 words! What kind of reporting is this? Both Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan were downgraded two notches by Moody’s, and both own more than 15 million shares (combined) of Gannett stock, which is the parent company of the newspaper. I am sure that had nothing to do with the very light coverage and analysis of this story. Bloomberg did a story that underplayed Moody’s downgrades titled“Bank Investors Dismiss Moody’s Cuts as Years Too Late.” The story ended by saying, “The reductions by Moody’s are “a mea culpa from 2007 and 2008,” said James Leonard, a credit analyst in Chicago at Morningstar Inc. (MORN) “The banks have gotten so much better in the last few years in terms of capital, yet their ratings keep going down. What does that tell you? That the ratings were so wrong before.” (Click here for the complete story.) As for the rest of the MSM, not a peep about this on any of the Sunday talk shows. It appears to me it is being played as no big deal.
This is the same treatment the financial press gives to what I call “government sanctioned accounting fraud” that the banks use to value underwater assets on their books such as real estate and mortgage-backed securities. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) changed the rules in 2009, and the banks can value these assets at whatever they think they will be worth at some fictional date in the future. Instead of “mark to market” accounting where assets are valued at what they will sell for today (this is how the IRS does it), you have “mark to fantasy” accounting where you value the assets at what you hope to get for them in the future. This is an insolvency problem so big that FASB had to change the accounting rules to make people think some banks are still solvent.
The same kind of accounting rule changes have taken place in Europe, where banks can “mark to fantasy” sovereign debt. It is not only the countries going broke, but the banks that hold sour debt that are insolvent. It appears things there are a bit more desperate and dire because, last week, The Guardian UK reported, “Mario Monti: we have a week to save the Eurozone . . . Italy’s prime minister . . . has warned of the apocalyptic consequences of failure at next week’s summit of EU leaders, outlining a potential death spiral that could threaten the political and economic future of Europe.” (Click here for the complete story.) What kind of financial management is this where you are down to a single week to fill an enormous financial black hole? Mr. Monti is an unelected banker, and I am sure his main concern is the survival of key European banks and not the well-being of the people. This is all about preserving the status quo and the power of the banks.
I have repeatedly said the global financial crisis is, in reality, a bank solvency crisis. The bank credit downgrades by Moody’s are another signpost on the road to perdition. Things are clearly not getting better, no matter how much the MSM underplays the crisis. The “nobody saw this coming” excuse will not work the next time there is a financial implosion, and there will be a next time. “The ignorance is willful.”
By Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com, Assistant Editor of Oath Keepers
Article originally published at Alt-Market.com
Volunteering to join the military has always been a process rife with internal and external conflictions. A vital aspect of one’s ultimate decision to do so often depends greatly upon the era in which one becomes eligible. U.S. citizens leaped at the chance to defend their country at the onset of World War II because the enemies were indeed a legitimate and obvious threat to the freedom and sovereignty of all nations. During Vietnam, the waters were muddied (at least in the view of millions of citizens), and many Americans did not see the fight as their own. The line between our system, and the enemies we were supposed to despise, had become progressively more foggy and disjointed. For any wise and honorable man to go out of his way to risk his life, the fight must be clearly just, otherwise, he may feel that his death will serve no purpose.
No matter what era of war an American soldier happens to take part in, his desire is usually simple and honest; most seek to defend the underlying principles of freedom which have guided the soul of this country for generations. They seek a righteous cause, and transparent leadership.
Unfortunately, for decades, sincere leadership by our government, from Washington D.C. down to the good-old-boy networks of county politics, has all but been erased. Not even a trace of truth permeates the bedrock of our legal or bureaucratic structure anymore. The system has become so corrupt, so leprous and putrid, that it now actually influences originally honorable men and women to do great evil just to survive and to thrive. Our administrative structure encourages and even breeds thieves, murderers, and tyrants. It is a self-perpetuating monster machine.
U.S. soldiers are in a unique position in the middle of this plague of political power gaming. They are usually the first to bear witness to the blunders (or crimes) of government. They get to experience up close on the ground where decisions go wrong and how. They are among the first to witness the changes of mood within our political dynamic, and the first to know when a government has gone rogue. When these soldiers leave the service as veterans, many have seen the ugliest of the ugly faces of the officialdom running the show. They become a liability to the carefully crafted image of the U.S. government and the military industrial complex because they know the ultimate truth.
The mistreatment of veterans is often examined with shock and dismay, primarily because the general public cannot fathom why federal, state, and local governments would work against men and women who once served their interests. However, when one understands that the establishment system views veterans as a political and social threat, a cultural base that is respected by average citizens and carries weight when exposing corruption, the abusive actions of the oligarchy make perfect sense.
I could delve into the disparaging world of Veterans Hospitals and the horror stories surrounding the dime-store-style socialized medical care that men and women receive there (I could also point out that this is a perfect active example of what medical treatment would be like under Obamacare). I could write for hours about soldiers exposed to chemical and biological warfare from Vietnam to the Gulf War; soldiers who went on to suffer recurring health problems, and who were quickly swept under the rug by Washington. I could even outline the numerous instances in which the DHS, the Bush Administration, and the Obama Administration, have all attempted to categorize veterans as “possible terrorists” who present a danger to national security:
While it is absolutely imperative that veterans and current serving military alike research every aspect of these issues, I would like for a moment to focus on a far less discussed crisis that looms over former military; financial subversion.
Today, most people are suffering an economic loss of one kind or another, and the knee-jerk response by those in financial dire straights might be to question why they should care at all about veterans being squeezed by the system. I would point out that while the credit crisis is certain to strike the vast majority of average Americans, it has crashed like a ten-ton sack of bricks upon the heads of veterans in particular.
While the U.S. Interagency Council On Homelessness did launch a program called “Opening Doors” in an effort to reduce veteran homelessness, claiming a 12% reduction in 2011, the official number of homeless former serving still stands at 67,000. This, unfortunately, is a misleading stat, and only counts veterans who have are considered “consistently without shelter”. In reality, it is estimated that 200,000 or more veterans are homeless on any given night:
That is large population of people under consistent poverty (23% of overall homeless by some measures), and this is not even counting those veterans that just scrape by. Approximately 40% of these homeless veterans suffer from war related psychological disorders, including Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and are not responsible for the difficulties they face in the job market.
The unemployment rate for veterans continues to be epidemic, with official numbers between 8% and 9% (and we all know how the Labor Department undercuts real unemployment statistics). For younger veterans, especially those involved in Gulf War II, unemployment has skyrocketed to 30%:
One would think that a military background with years of training and command experience in the midst of the most chaotic environments the world has to offer would translate well in the business and working world, but the numbers say otherwise.
Government programs to aid veterans are tossed to the public every year like trick-or-treat candy, but in most cases, they are only a half-hearted attempt to pay lip service to the problem, falsely reassure Americans, and place a band-aid on the gaping wound. This has become painfully apparent after the 2008 derivatives bubble implosion, which has now triggered the bankruptcy foreclosures of over ONE THIRD of all veteran households:
A homeowner’s mortgage assistance program under the U.S. government does exist, but only covers active duty military. Veterans are forgotten.
The most active banks foreclosing on veterans include JP Morgan, Bank Of America, Wells Fargo, and PNC. All of these institutions have been cited for using illegal and hidden fees to increase mortgage liability. This tactic has been specifically and violently applied to veterans in particular, and over 30,000 cases of possible banking fraud against veterans were exposed in 2011 alone:
Why would banks place such priority on aiming their crosshairs at veterans? There are a multitude of reasons. Most veterans have made a career out of following a chain of command and paying heed to authority figures. Often, this mindset is carried over into the civilian world, where new authority figures like lawyers, judges, bailiffs, even bank representatives, are given far too much credence and are approached with a subservient attitude. Many veterans also spend so much time within the unique legal structure of the military system that they lose familiarity with civil law, and become frustrated with its operations and complexities. Some find it impossible to adapt. To put it bluntly, corporate banks see veterans as easy targets.
To make matters much worse, local bureaucracies have been more than happy to aid major banks in their criminal enterprises, and veterans have been principle victims. Instead of providing relief and aid to those in financial distress as was originally intended when the bankruptcy court apparatus was created, it has now become a network of parasites honing in on the fiscally weak and using their despair and confusion to rob them of every last possession.
I have WITNESSED this first hand while examining the case of Warren Bodecker, a Montana local and WWII hero who helped to liberate over 2000 prisoners near execution from the Los Banos prison camp in the Philippines.
Bodeker’s 89 years of life have been filled with amazing accomplishments and a certain level of success. It is saddening that in his old age, during days in which he should be allowed some measure of peace, he has come under attack by so many despicable circumstances and people.
Warren’s wife, after battling cancer for a decade, had finally passed. Her body was put to rest on the family farm, but her medical bills were not. With debt and interest payments mounting, and Warren living essentially alone, the stress and fear of insolvency ruled his waking moments. He then made a terrible error; he trusted his fate and his home to the bankruptcy system. Warren’s story in his own words can be found in the video interview below, conducted by the founder of Oath Keepers and Constitutional Lawyer Stewart Rhodes:
I analyze and write about legal corruption on a regular basis. I have uncovered and outlined banking criminality for years. But, to watch this tyranny wrought upon an individual right in front of me, a man I know to be good hearted, a person who absolutely does not deserve it, is difficult to endure.
What I found most disturbing in this case was the number of deviants who came out of the woodwork to claim their pound of flesh. The Trustee, Christy Brandon, has gone out of her way to intimidate Warren, which puzzled me until I learned that she had also appointed HERSELF lawyer for the estate. If proceedings became “adversarial”, under the law, she would be conveniently awarded a percentage of the bankruptcy loot. Warren’s former son-in-law (whose motivations remain mysterious and suspicious) wrote secret letters to the courts accusing him of deliberately hiding gold and silver assets. Warren’s own lawyer advised him little, and in some cases very poorly, pushing him to waive his homestead exemption and feeding Warren to the wolves as it were while he quietly collected his salary.
The vet was surrounded by frenzied piranha. With little understanding of bankruptcy law or what was expected of him, he didn’t have a chance. The system, his lawyer, and the Trustee all asserted the same lie; that if he just quietly rolled over, all would be well. He has now lost everything, including his home. He will be forced to exhume his wife’s body from the land he also planned to rest on, with no conceivable future beyond homelessness and regret.
The system not only failed Warren, it hunted him down and mauled him. At every level, the legal structure sought to harm him, not protect him, or to conduct fair justice. It became clear to me after speaking with Warren, even more so than before, that there is no recourse through the legal realm. It is utterly broken, and beyond all possible repair. If a veteran and WWII combat hero can be treated so egregiously, what possible chance do the rest of us have?
Warren is just one example of a detrimental and sometimes organized crippling of veterans and their economic safety across America. Sometimes it is done out of mere greed, sometimes it is done out of idiocy, sometimes it is done with downright malicious intent, and sometimes it’s a combination of all three. In light of this, and as Warren Bodeker’s situation proves, there are no solutions within the bounds of the establishment anymore. The problem, then, goes to those of us who are aware, and to those who also share a military background. It is up to the Liberty Movement to rally around veterans, and for veterans to rally around each other. The enemies they face today are much more insidious than any they ever faced on the battlefields of the past. There will be no relief or comfort unless we support each other.
If you would like to question Christy Brandon, Trustee for this case, on her side of the story, or if you wish to ask her why she is handling the situation in such a manner, you can use the contact information she provided on her publicly released court documentation (please remain courteous):
Attorney Christy Brandon
Brandon Law Firm, PLLC
P.O. Box 1544
Bigfork, MT 59911
Phone: (406) 837-5445
Fax: (406) 837-5420
You can contact Brandon Smith at: email@example.com
Read article at The New American:
GOP leadership in the House of Representatives announced that legislation to thoroughly audit the secretive Federal Reserve, a wildly popular measure pushed by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) for decades, will come up for a floor vote in July. Honest-money advocates and pro-transparency activists celebrated the news as a historic opportunity to rein in the central bank, which has come under heavy fire — especially in recent years — for debasing the U.S. dollar, manipulating markets, and showering big banks with trillions in bailouts.
The legislation, H.R. 459, already has over 225 co-sponsors in the House including an impressive roster of senior Democrats and Republicans, some of whom chair important committees. In the Senate, however, a similar bill has only about 20 co-sponsors so far, forcing Audit-the-Fed activists to wage a massive campaign aimed at exposing Senators who refuse to support transparency at the shadowy central bank. Polls in recent years revealed that four out of five Americans support auditing the Fed.
“The Fed has proven it cannot be trusted and must be audited. While the banksters’ dangerous schemes have been going on for years, the bailouts exposed the trillions being stolen from the American people,” noted Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a sponsor of the Senate legislation and the son of Congressman Ron Paul. “It is time to Audit the Fed. Time to shine a bright spotlight on the largest theft in American history.”
But victory in what Sen. Paul called this “vital effort to rein in the Federal Reserve” will not be easy, he noted. The establishment is already fighting back hard against the plan in an effort to shield the controversial institution from public scrutiny. And as the battle heats up, the Fed and its supporters will not give up easily.
“As we enter this critical time, we have an unprecedented chance to finish this fight and finally hold the Fed accountable for all it has done to wreck our economy and endanger our nation,” Sen. Paul concluded. “Don’t let this opportunity slip away.”
Experts and economic analysts have long said that if citizens understood what was really going on behind closed doors at the privately owned central bank, a tsunami of outrage would almost certainly force politicians to shut down the Fed and restore honest money once and for all. Even a watered-down audit, passed as part of the broader Dodd-Frank financial-reform bill, exposed blatant conflicts of interest among top Fed officials as well as some $16 trillion in Fed bailouts to big banks around the world.
Public outrage was unprecedented. Millions of Americans who had never even seriously contemplated the institution or its functions demanded reform. And lawmakers, political candidates, and grassroots organizations — realizing that there was no way the cat was going back in the bag — eventually jumped on the bandwagon, too.
“This historic moment is only possible thanks to your relentless pressure. Now we must turn up the heat to secure victory — first in the House and then in Harry Reid’s U.S. Senate,” wrote Vice-President Matt Hawes of the freedom-promoting Campaign for Liberty, one of the organizations leading the public battle for an audit that is planning a huge operation to make sure the legislation becomes law. “Now, we just need to show Congress the American people demand action on the Audit the Fed bill.”
Continue reading at source article:
For the past four years I have been covering the progression of the global economic crisis with an emphasis on the debilitating effects it has had on the American financial system. Only once before have I ever issued an economic alert, and this was at the onset of the very first credit downgrade in U.S. history by S&P. I do not take the word “alert” lightly. Since 2008 we have seen a cycle of events that have severely weakened our country’s foundation, but each event has then been followed by a lull, sometimes 4 to 6 months at a stretch, which seems to disarm the public, drawing them back into apathy and complacency. The calm moments before each passing storm give Americans a false sense of hope that our capsized fiscal vessel will somehow right itself if we just hold on a little longer…
I don’t have to tell most people within the Liberty Movement that this is not going to happen. Unfortunately, there are many out there who do not share our awareness of the situation. Debt implosions and currency devaluation NEVER simply “fade away”; they are always followed by extreme social and political strife that tends to sully the doorsteps of almost every individual and family. The notion that we can coast through such a tempest unscathed is an insane idea, filled with a dangerous potential for sour regrets.
There are some people who also believe that the private Federal Reserve with the Treasury in tow has the ability to prolong the worst symptoms of the collapse indefinitely, or at least, until they have long since kicked the bucket and don’t have to worry about it anymore (the ‘pay-it forward to our grandkids’ crowd) . I can say with 100% certainty that most of us will live to see the climax of the breakdown, and that this breakdown is about to enter a more precarious state before the end of this year. You can only stretch a sun-boiled rubber band so far before it snaps completely, and America’s financial elasticity has long been melted away.
A pummeling hailstorm of news items and international developments have made the first half of 2012 almost impossible to track and analyze. The frequency at which negative information has surfaced is almost dizzying. However, a pattern and a recognizable motion are beginning to take shape, and, I believe, a loose timeline is beginning to form.
At the end of January, I covered the incredible nosedive of the Baltic Dry Index (a measure of global shipping rates that signals a fall in global demand) to historic lows. I pointed out the tendency of stocks and the general economy to crash around 8 months (sometimes a little longer) after the BDI makes such a dramatic downturn. Mainstream analysts, of course, attributed the fall to an “overproduction of ships”, which is the same exact excuse they used when the BDI collapsed back in 2008 just before the derivatives bubble burst. It would seem that the cable TV talking heads were wrong yet again, as the international market facade quickly evaporates right in line with the BDI’s almost prophetic knack for calling an economic derailment in advance.
Here are some of the most important reasons why every American should be prepared for much harder days, especially before the end of 2012:
The European Union Is Officially Dead In The Water
Stick a fork in er’, the EU is done! We are talking about full scale dismantlement, likely followed by a reformation of core nations and multiple collapse scenarios of peripheral countries. The writing is all over the wall in the wake of the latest election results in Greece and France, where, as alternative researchers have been predicting for some time, the battle between the government spending crowd and proponents of austerity has reached a fever pitch.
The Greeks and the French are royally pissed over draconian cuts in public programs and the destruction of pensions which have been a mainstay of their economies for quite some time. They are also furious over being sold off like collateral to the IMF and World Bank. Rightly so. Like the American taxpayer, the taxpayers of floundering EU nations are wrongly being held responsible for the financial mismanagement and fraud of their governments and global banks which have remained untouched and unpunished for their trespasses. The problem is, the voters of both countries are signing on to the socialist/quasi-communist bandwagon in response. In Greece, the Left Coalition Party, a splinter group of the traditional communist party, has now taken a primary position of power:
In France, voters have elected socialist Francois Hollande (a Bilderberg attendee), whose latest promise is to spend France into recovery through his “pro-growth agenda”:
I have no doubt that the elections of the EU are as manipulated by elitists as they are here in the U.S., and I’m sure false paradigms abound. Have Europeans forgotten that it was overt government spending that set them on the path to calamity in the first place? Or, are they like Americans; just desperate for any change in the ranks of leadership? One would think that they would take note of the problems here in our country and realize that electing a socialist to replace another socialist is no way out of economic hardship.
Former officials like Nicolas Sarkozy may have claimed to be distanced from the socialist ideal, but, as with all globalist puppets, their actions did not match their rhetoric, and they have always supported policies of centralization and big government. The French and the Greeks have essentially replaced closet collectivists with outspoken collectivists, and will see NO relief from the crisis in the Euro-zone as a result of the political reordering. In fact, the stage has now been set for a volatile chain of dominos. Germany, which is the only economy left holding the EU together, has been unyielding on austerity cuts. A conflict between France and Germany is now inevitable. Neither will compromise their position, and I can see no other eventual result than a reexamination and perhaps abandonment of the EU charter.
How does this affect America? Being that international banks and corporations have forced our countries into interdependency through the engineered chicanery of globalization, any collapse in Europe is going to strike hard around the world, but the worst will hit the U.S. and China. Which is probably why China is disengaging trade away from the U.S. and the EU and focusing on other developing nations:
If you thought the Greek rollercoaster was a pain in the neck for investment markets, just wait until the whole of the EU is in a shambles!
Spain is next in line, with a 25% official unemployment rate and a massive black market economy forming. As I have been saying for years now, when governments disrupt the financial survival of the people, they WILL form their own alternatives, including black markets and barter markets. It is about survival. The Spanish government does not care much for these alternatives, though, and has now banned cash transactions over 2500 euros in a futile attempt to squeeze taxes out of the populace through digitally tracked payment methods:
Another major concern for Americans is the fact that Europeans are inching towards an abandonment of the dollar. Francois Hollande has openly called for an end to the dollar’s world reserve status, and with a majority backing of the French people, he could easily make this happen, at least where France is concerned. All it takes is for a few key countries to publically and completely drop the Greenback and the dollar’s reputation as a safe haven investment will be quashed. This could very well happen before 2012 is over.
QE3 Is The End
Here is the bottom line; U.S. growth is a theater of shadows. There has been no progress, no recovery, only the misrepresentation of statistics. Millions of Americans have fallen off unemployment rolls because they have been jobless for too long, which lowers the unemployment rate, but does not change the fact that they are still without work. Durable goods orders are dropping like an avalanche. U.S. credit has been lowered yet again by ratings agency Egan-Jones. With China making bilateral trade deals in numerous countries on the condition that the dollar be dropped as the primary purchasing mechanism, and with the EU turning to economic mulch, the currency’s safety is nonexistent. Traditional investors who cling to the idea that a falling Euro spells dollar strength will be sorely disappointed when the currency is suddenly being rejected in international currency markets.
The Federal Reserve has already stated that any signs of “relapse” into recession (the recession that we never left) will be met with all options on the table, including QE3:
I believe that QE3 will probably be announced this year (due in large part to trauma from Europe), and, that this will trigger a mass movement by foreign nations to drop the dollar as the world reserve. QE3 will be the straw that broke the camel. How exactly this will play out socially and politically, I do not know (I could take a good guess though). But, the technical results are predictable. The Fed will respond to the lack of treasury purchases by ramping up fiat printing in order to cover the ever increasing costs of the government machine. The Greenback will immediately lose a large portion of its value, at least in terms of imported goods, causing inflation in prices. Oil and energy prices will skyrocket if OPEC follows suit (which they will, though the Saudis may still honor dollars for a time). Doing any traditional business will become nearly impossible, and price inflation will dominate the lives and the minds of average unprepared citizens.
The amount of time that it will take for these difficulties to unfold is also not clear. We are operating in uncharted territory, and dealing with a collapse scenario on a truly planetary scale. My best advice is to assume that the avalanche will move fast.
While markets in our country have seen only mild disruptions so far this year, their solidity is predicated on a host of props and costume pieces, any one of which could pull the rug out from under America’s suspension of disbelief if it strays but a little from the illusion. As long as the dollar holds, stocks can be infused with bailout juice through major banks. So can major companies and even desperate state governments on the verge of bankruptcy. The Dow will remain relatively friendly, and day traders and the public will remain happy. As soon as the dollar comes into question, all bets are off…
Does This Mean Doom, Or Just Another Bad Day?
The real beginning of today’s collapse is tied to the events of 2008. The pace of it has been deceptive, but also, in a way, it is a gift. Over the past four years, I have personally seen the awakening of thousands of people that may have never had the chance if the system had gone into full spectrum breakdown right away. The question now is, how much longer can the U.S. wobble along on one wheel? In my view, and from the evidence I see in markets at the moment, not much longer.
It is hard to set aside any expectations that the next leg down will be easy to digest for the populace. The reality of our predicament is starting to hit home. All the tax return checks have been spent. The credit cards have been maxed. The new cars have been sold off and traded in for ghetto-mobiles. The good jobs have been replaced with Taco Bell slavery. A trip to see The Avengers is now the family vacation. And, the distractions of reality TV just aren’t buttering our bread anymore. It’s the little things at first that really signal the financial mood of a society, as well as reveal the more vital and looming issues just over the horizon.
All indicators suggest that this year will be unlike any other before. In 2008, we saw the first trigger events for the collapse. In 2008/2009, we saw the creation of the bailout culture, setting the stage for inflation and dollar disintegration. In 2010, we saw the first bilateral trade deal cutting out the dollar between China and Russia, which is now the template for trade deals all over the globe. In 2011, we saw the first downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and the crisis in the EU become epidemic. In 2012, I see not just another difficulty to add to the mountain, but a culmination of all these detriments to produce something entirely new; a vast and subversive realignment forcing many of us to take a more aggressive stance in the fight for an economically and socially free America.
Financial disasters have always been a convenient catalyst for a host of even more frightening obstacles, including civil unrest, and blatant totalitarianism. This is the cusp. It is one of those moments that people of later generations read about in awe, and sometimes horror. The “doom” is not in the event, but in the response. What we make of the days approaching determines the darkness that they cast upon the future. It is a test. It is not something to be dreaded. It is something to be seized upon, and dealt with, as great men and women before us have done. At the very least, we know that it is coming. That, in itself, could well seal our success…
You can contact Brandon Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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NOTE FROM STEWART RHODES, FOUNDER OF OATH KEEPERS:
Brandon has been proven very correct and prescient with his writings over the last two years. Much of what he predicted has come to pass, such as the ongoing decoupling from the dollar by China and Russia, and the now forming ASEAN trading block. Oath Keepers, it is now far past time for you to get your bullets, beans, and band-aids in order – your preparedness. Do you have food storage? Do you have at least a month worth of the canned and box goods you use all the time anyway? If not, why not? Start buying some extra each time you go to the store. Build up that extra supply till you have a week worth, then two, then three, and so on.
Do you have a stack of 50 lb bags of rice and 50lb bags of beans? That is super-cheap food insurance that no one, not one of you, has any excuse for not having. A 50 lb bag of rice or beans can be had for under $22.00. Want to buy it even cheaper, go to a Mormon food cannery (where you can also buy powdered milk, wheat, and bulk salt and sugar). Even if you are on a tight budget, get some bags of rice and beans. Together, they make a meal, and they are simple to prepare. All you need is water and heat, and a pot. Surely you should store more complete foods, and a variety of other foods, but those bags of rice and beans will help keep you and yours alive. You have no reason to not have them, so get them.
In the economic collapses of Wiemar Germany, Hungary, and Austria in the 1920s, people would have been thrilled to have 50 lbs of rice, beans, wheat, anything at all to eat. City people took suit-cases full of the family silver and jewelry out to the country and traded them for one bag of grain or potatoes. They traded grand pianos for a bit of food.
We need to face the fact that the dollar cannot be saved, and it will die, just like the German Mark in the 20s, and just like the Argentinian Peso in 2001. In both examples, people saw the value of their paper currencies drop by 75% in just a couple of days when the rest of the world stopped accepting their currency and began to dump it. Once the rest of the world stops taking dollars, and they instead dump the dollar on the market, you will see the same thing happen here. When that happens, many people, especially those on a fixed income, will not be able to afford food even if it is still available. And then, it is also very possible that the food will not be available at any price. This happened in Germany, Hungary, and Austria in the 1920s. The farmers no longer wanted to send their produce into the cities for worthless Marks, and instead held onto their crops and consumed them or traded among themselves. The cities were left with no food, and that is when you saw desperate city people hauling their family treasures out to the country to trade for a bag of anything edible.
That is what is coming here. It is time to get our houses in order, and then get our neighborhoods and local communities prepared. Put at least half of your effort on getting yourself and your family prepared with food, water purification and water storage, medical supplies, and fuel you will need when the stores are empty. Build up to three months of canned and boxed goods, and also build up your bulk, cheap foods like wheat, rice, beans, powdered milk, sugar, salt, oils, and all you will need to cook with those basics. Grow a garden. Keep chickens. Get ready to feed yourself. A year supply of basics should be your goal, but anything is better than what most Americans have now – which is a week’s worth at most. Start now, and build it up. And make sure you have a rifle and ammo to feed it too. Even a dirt-cheap Mosin Nagant or an old .303 Enfield is better than no rifle. Buy what you can afford. Make sure every adult has one. And then get something better when you can. Pick up a copy of Boston’s Gun Bible and follow his excellent advice (he has recommended firearms for every budget, from dirt poor to middle-class, to well off). Get your means of self defense now and then get some training. An Appleseed Shoot is a good start.
Please take this seriously, and take another good look at our recommended priorities from our Operation Sleeping Giant (which will be getting a much needed facelift and expansion soon). They are listed in order of priority and necessity. Food comes first. Security a close second. Then sound money and independent local economies. Then working for state independence and sovereignty. They are all important, but that is our recommended order of priority:
- Food, fuel, emergency medical, and communications security and independence (and general preparedness) – as individuals, within local veterans organization chapters, neighborhood mutual aid societies, churches, co-ops, farmers markets, and at the town, county and state levels. As a start, follow the advice on http://www.providentliving.org/ (you don’t need to be LDS to learn from their experience in food storage and preparedness, or to use their canning facilities). Grow gardens. Support your local farmers. Fight any regulation that would limit your ability to grow your own food. Why is food first? Because it is the hardest to improvise, and it is a great weakness of modern man, who, with few exceptions, no longer stores up for bad times. Ditto for fuel and medical supplies. And when it comes to communications, we must have in place an alternative system, such as HAM Radio, so if/when the internet comes down (or is taken down) we can still communicate (for example, if each VFW Hall had a HAM Radio, and portable radios too, that would provide a state-wide network).
- Physical security and Independence – again as individuals, neighborhoods, veterans organization chapters, towns, counties and states, to include forming neighborhood watches; mutual aid associations; a volunteer sheriff’s posse (staffed by self-supplied volunteers but under direct command of the sheriff); and county militias established by county ordinances but staffed by self-supplied and self-funded volunteers (as is done in volunteer fire departments all over this nation); state defense forces under command of the governor; and ultimately, a true state militia, established by state statute, capable of “repelling invasions” (using the research and model bills of Dr. Edwin Vieira). As for training, a great first step for the newbie or for those who are rusty would be to attend the Project Appleseed rifle instruction program, offered for a pittance in every state by traveling volunteer instructors. See www.appleseedinfo.org for details.
- Economic security and independence – as individuals and communities, including barter networks, use of silver and gold as real money, and sound money bills at the county and state levels (as Utah just passed). This would also include each of us having a “liberty trade” – something you can do even in a very localized, back-to-basics economy, and we must support and build resilient local economies that can weather hard times. We must have an alternative to the fiat money system in place when it collapses, so we can resist what the globalists have in store for us next. See www.alt-market.com for details.
- State sovereignty and nullification of unconstitutional federal laws and actions. Veterans must support only sheriffs, local and state legislators, and governors who have the knowledge, courage, and integrity to keep their oaths. To vote for an oath breaker, is to become an oath breaker. We must enforce the bounds of the Constitution and defend the powers reserved to the states and to the people (see the Tenth Amendment) by supporting state sovereignty resolutions and nullification of unconstitutional laws. See http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/. Likewise, we must defend the inherit power of the jury to judge the law as well as the facts and to acquit even in the face of the law (jury nullification). See www.fija.org. And eventually we must kick the bums out of DC and replace them with citizen legislators, as GOOOH recommends. See http://goooh.com/
Remember, what we do now, in whatever time we have left, will be critical. We must focus on solutions, not just diagnoses of the problems. And the solution is to restore our Republic from the bottom up, strengthening our communities at the neighborhood, town, county and state levels as we go. None of us has a crystal ball. We don’t know exactly at what point the collapse will come. But when it comes we will certainly be in a stronger position than we are now, if we start from the bottom up, rather than putting all of our focus on Washington DC, as people tend to do.
Maybe we will only have time to get our neighborhoods ready. Maybe we will be fortunate enough to be squared away at the county level when the collapse comes. Or maybe we will be fortunate enough to have time to get it done all the way up to the state level. Certainly, we can work on all levels at the same time, but it is best to focus most of our energy on ourselves and our local communities, and work our way up from there. And we can do it in both the private and public sphere. We shouldn’t put all our eggs in any one basket. Let’s build up public institutions, but also while doing so, let’s take private action as individuals, family, friends, and neighbors.
Once again, we should be doing all of the above anyway, because that’s what it means to be a free people in free, sovereign states, in a constitutional republic, but it is especially crucial as we face the prospects of a coming economic collapse. Time is short, so please help us spread the message to all veterans and all Americans, and turn the tide. Become a leader in your community. Take personal responsibility for waking up veterans in your community, and also your neighbors, members of your church, etc. and above all, make sure you and your family are squared away, because if you are unprepared, you will not be much help to anyone else.
For the Republic,