A Summer Reading List: Part I

Summer is a time for BBQ’s, beer, family, beach and hammock snoozing. It’s also a good time to catch up on some reading that you’ve been neglecting all year. Might as well read, if you’re going to take the time to do so, some of the most revolutionary books out there. Books that will help you understand the country you live in, the society you’re apart of, and also, to challenge some of the misconceptions you might hold as truths. Here’s part 1 of 3 of my summer reading list that will surely give you a better understanding about the world you live in.

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters—This is one of the greatest books written about the JFK assassination and it should be read by every American breathing today. The author not only proves that JFK was taken out by deep politics within the United States National Security State, but he explains why he was killed. The ‘why’ is the most important factor. In brief, JFK turned from a cold war warrior to a man of peace. He made enemies for not complying with the powers that be. He was a threat to the Military Industrial- Complex and had to be eliminated. A man of peace, with power, will surely meet his demise in a corrupt empire, especially if you challenge a war that brings great profit and power to government officials that hold the true power. Like I said, a must read.

They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45—Butler Shaffer explains this important book as following, “In the late 1940s, Mayer (the author) went to Germany and got to know a number of German people quite well, actually living with some. These people had not been government officials or Nazi party leaders, but just the ordinary men and women who do the productive work in any society. He eventually began asking them questions about what it was like to have lived under the Nazi police state, to have endured tyrannical practices. Their virtually unanimous responses, as indicated by the title of the book, were that there had been no loss of freedom in Germany that, indeed, they had considered themselves “free” at all times!” In short, tyranny sometimes is disguised as patriotism. Some of the Nazi’s were just law-abiding, flag waving patriots of their own country just following orders. The evil that they conducted was justified in their minds as “serving their country.” You have to read this one!

A Renegade History of the United States—This was a fun and interesting read. It slices through the myths of a goody two-shoe America and shows how the outlaws and the fringe-of-society folks really made this country. From the book’s description on Amazon, the author “vibrantly argues that it was history’s iconoclasts who established many of our most cherished liberties. Russell finds these pioneers of personal freedom in the places that usually go unexamined—saloons and speakeasies, brothels and gambling halls, and even behind the Iron Curtain. He introduces a fascinating array of antiheroes: drunken workers who created the weekend; prostitutes who set the precedent for women’s liberation… there are also the criminals who pioneered racial integration, unassimilated immigrants who gave us birth control, and brazen homosexuals who broke open America’s sexual culture.”

The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War—From the historian and author of this phenomenal book, “The real Lincoln was a dictator and a tyrant who shredded the Constitution, fiendishly orchestrated the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens, and did it all for the economic benefit of the special interests who funded the Republican Party (and his own political career).” A new look at the beloved president.

Meltdown—This is the greatest book out on the financial collapse of 2008. The historian, Tom Woods, shows that it wasn’t the lack of government regulation that caused the housing bust, but rather, government intervention into the economy. Regulations, the Federal Reserve’s artificial interest rates and the demand for banks to reduce their lending standards, all helped contribute to the biggest economic bust since the depression days. And it was all predicted by a minority of economists who were laughed at on the mainstream networks when they tried to warn everyone. (Watch it here)  This book also gives a good account of what really caused the Great Depression of the 1930’s. From inside the flap, “Meltdown also provides a timely history lesson to counter the current clamor for a new New Deal. The Great Depression, Woods demonstrates, was only as deep and as long as it was because of the government interventions by Herbert Hoover (no free-market capitalist, despite what your high school history teacher may have taught you) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (no savior of the American economy, in spite of what the mainstream media says). If you want to understand what caused the financial meltdown–and why none of the big-government solutions being tried today will work–Meltdown explains it all.”

Part II will continue next week.

Understanding the Coming Financial Crash

I think history will show that America has been in a financial depression since 2008. I believe we’re in a depression right now but its hard to see on the surface. 1 in 7 people in this country depend on the government to eat. We’ve all seen pictures of the long soup lines in the Great Depression era. That’s our reality now, but instead of waiting in lines, folks receive their food stamps by mail. The current depression though is masked over with a flood of fiat money and questionable government statistics. The debt bubble can no longer hide its impending fate. Even the central bank, which caused this debt disaster, is finally coming to grip with this reality. Kind of.

Main stream media and the highly misguided economists have been informing us lately that the so-called “recovery” is slowing. What they seem to misunderstand is that the “recovery” was created by printing money and running up an insane amount of debt. This works for a little bit. Just enough time to get politicians re-elected.  But right now we’re entering the stage of the inevitable bust. It cannot be stopped no matter what the experts are telling the public.

The artificially stimulation of the economy is what the government has been doing ever since the recession hit after September 11th. The housing boom was created by the Fed’s policies and the assumption that everyone should own their own home, even if they couldn’t afford it. Cheap money, low-interest rates and reduced lending standards all contributed to the boom and bust of the housing market. Now the Fed is doing the same exact thing to try to help the economy again. But the fundamental problems are still lingering. The artificial high that the fed injected into the economy is finally coming down. The “recovery” bust is lurking.

As the economically ignorant, from the President down to the news pundits, regurgitate some feel good rhetoric about the economy recovering, the reality is quite different. In the US, 6 million people are living in poverty. 76% of all Americans believe we’re still in a recession. Only 23% of US businesses plan on hiring in the near future. US retail as been on a steady decline for the past few months, along with manufacturing.  For the first time ever, Canadian households are wealthier than Americans. We as a nation don’t produce anything anymore. We live off borrowed money and consume more than we save. This is unsustainable for the future and the day of reckoning is near.

During the nearly 20 year Great Depression that was kicked off with the October market crash of 1929, there were times when the stock market and unemployment recovered for a bit, just to drop off again. As of writing this right now the stock market is down over 220 points. The media pundits inform me that the reason for the sell off is due to fear in Europe. But what they seem to neglect to tell their viewers is that the stock market is highly over inflated due to the Bernanke’s cheap money and artificial low-interest rates. It is sad to see that the stock market, which is what most Americans depend on for their retirement, is dictated on what the Federal Reserve is possible going to do. Are they going to unleash QE3 or are they not? The US media talks about how bad Greece is financially and are totally clueless that their own country is just as bad. Central bankers think they can manipulate the system,as they have been for years, and inflate their way out of the crisis. Printing money has worked artificially for a long time. It can’t last forever as we’ve seen in in 1923 Germany. A 15 trillion-dollar national debt cannot be paid, especially with a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit.

Understanding why the economy is in shambles is the first step to a recovery. If most people misplace blame and call for more of the medicine that made them sick in the first place, the economy has no chance. We have to understand that the Federal Reserve cannot inflate its way out of the mess. Printing money and setting interest rates artificially low is punishing anyone who wants to save. This act devalues the currency that Americans work so hard for. I can see nothing more immoral than cheapening one’s earnings…deliberately.

The only thing I can advise is that anyone who wants a better way of life for their kids must gain as much knowledge as you can about history and economics. Once you know what is happening and why it’s happening, you can prepare for the upcoming crises. Europe is the window to our foreseeable future.

Here are a list of books that will help you understand the crash of 2008 and how we can prepare for the next one.

  1. Meltdown by Thomas Woods Jr. This is by far the best book written on why the 2008 crash happened, who was responsible for it, and why bailouts will not work.
  2. The Real Crash by Peter Schiff. The author of this book was one of the economists trying to vehemently warn Americans of the housing crash only to be laughed at by news pundits. This new book warns of the upcoming crash and what we can do to prepare. We ignored him the first time; let’s not make that mistake again.
  3.  How and Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter Schiff. Mr. Schiff offers a very readable explanation of how the economy is supposed to grow and what triggers the boom/bust cycle. A must read.
  4. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. One of the most important books I’ve read on economics. Hazlitt brings the most logical explanation of the fallacies of government intervention into the voluntary exchange of free and willing individuals.
  5. The Law by Frederic Bastiat. Published in 1850, this book is just as relevant today as back then. If every politician read and understood this book we’d eliminate most of the ills plaguing our once great country. The greatest case for liberty is written in this small and very readable book. Plus, it’s only .99 cents on kindle.

Lincoln, Wilson & FDR: Mythical Presidents and Americans Who Worship Them

The characteristics of a great president are one who abides by the constitution, protects individual freedom, doesn’t overreach their designated powers and honestly represents the people of the country. So my question is: Why are Lincoln, Wilson and FDR always considered by academia, media, historians and most people, the greatest presidents in American history?

All three of these men as president overreached their designated powers, ignored the constitution and failed at peace. These three presidents took on a dictatorial role in governing this country and exploited the will of the people. And coincidentally, all three participated in the biggest wars the modern world has seen. Should these presidents be celebrated and admired for overseeing the most bloodiest and avoidable wars in our countries short history? And then on the other hand, peaceful presidents like Grover Cleveland who vetoed 2/3 of all bills that came to his desk because he actually abided by the constitution, barely make a history book, let alone a face on Mount Rushmore.

Abraham Lincoln, practically worshiped by the both political parties, is arguable America’s first real dictator. As all other civilized countries abolished slavery with peaceful measures, Lincoln plunged America into the deadliest war in its history, killing over 600,000 people. The motive of this war, according to Lincoln didn’t have anything to do with slavery. “My paramount object…”, Lincoln wrote, “is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.”

By waging war on his own country, “Lincoln did not hesitate to act as a dictator when doing so served his purpose”, according to Robert Higgs in his great book, Against Leviathan. During the war, Lincoln imprisoned political dissidents, skeptical war journalists and anyone who questioned his war effort.  He suspended the writ of habeas corpus, closed down newspapers, monitored telegrams, enacted military conscription etc. Because of Lincoln, individual liberty took a backseat to tyranny for the first time in the United States since its secession from the British Empire.

Was the death and destruction as a result of this war really justified? Or was it waged so Lincoln could “maintain boundaries of an existing federal union, as if those boundaries possessed some sacred status.” Lincoln never respected the states, congress or the constitution; seemingly, he was a manipulative politician who didn’t believe slavery worth fighting for and instead, according to Gore Vidal, had an “overriding vision: to save the Union” and form “it into a modern industrialized, national state so powerfully and tightly coherent that nothing can tear it apart again.”

Again and again we’re taught that Lincoln was an honest and noble man who cured the disease of slavery in America by virtue of his precise actions. But in reality, it’s just part of the gallant narrative to glorify the state and to rationalize the atrocities it has committed on its own people.

In the end, the war resulted with the death of 3 percent of the population (many were civilians), decades of economic stagnation and the massive expansion of the government. And Lincoln, until his dying day, insisted on the deportation of all blacks, because he truly believed they would never fit into society with the white man.

And yet, millions of Americans each year go to DC and stand in awe at the feet of the Lincoln Memorial to idolize the so-called “Great Emancipator.”

Woodrow Wilson, the intellectual academia idol, was responsible for the biggest foreign policy blunder in the past century. According to the historian Jim Powell, Wilson’s intervention in Europe during WWI “ushered in revolution, terror, runaway inflation, dictatorship and mass murder.”

During this senseless war which killed over 9 million people, Wilson used his authoritarian power to imprison people here at home who dissented against America’s intervention, labeling them “treasonous” and “traitors.” As Americans were told the troops are overseas fighting for their freedoms, here at home their freedoms were be squashed in result of the war effort.

War is always the biggest oppression of freedom, but it’s always sold to the people as the direct opposite.

A wave of totalitarian repression swept across the “land of the free” during this horrific time. Wilson’s war was waged, like all American wars, through propaganda and for economic interests. This war resulted in many unnecessary deaths, domestic tyranny and ended with the disastrous Versailles Treaty-which wrongly put the blame for the war on Germany. This inevitably led to WWII.

It should be of no surprise that Woodrow Wilson, a man who lied his nation into war and whose actions ultimately paved the road to another World War, would win the Nobel Peace prize in 1919.

Franklin D. Roosevelt is another president who is utterly praised as one of the greatest. Twelve years into FDR’s Great Depression, WW 2 was blazing in Europe. FDR promised the people that he wanted no part in involving America with another foreign war. Little did the people know that the president was hungry for this war. The polls prior to the attacks on Pearl Harbor showed a whopping 80 percent of the American public opposed to entering another war in Europe. FDR needed more support.

Thanks to America’s Freedom of Information Act and Robert Stinnett’s well-researched book, Day of Deceit, the author came to the unfortunate conclusion that FDR knew well in advance of the imminent attack on Pearl Harbor. The author of this great book show’s how Japanese transmissions were indeed intercepted my the U.S government, which confirms that FDR knew of the attack prior. Evidence also shows that FDR withheld vital information from the Admirals in Pearl Harbor that could have been used to prevent the attacks. Instead of going to the people and pleading his case for American involvement in this war, Stinnett illustrates, instead, that FDR provoked Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor.  The president successfully maneuvered Japan into “firing the first shot”, his thought-out conniving plan all along. After this “surprise attack”, FDR now had overwhelming public support. The backdoor into WWII was now opened.

The truth is, FDR provoked the attack and sacrificed the lives of over 2,000 Navy men to gain support for his war effort. Americans were duped yet again into another war. Some say that FDR lying the US into war is justifiable because Hitler needed to be stopped. This is a credible argument. Hitler was an evil maniac. But so was Stalin, who FDR befriend in alliance with the war effort.

John V. Denson makes a good point in his book, A Century of War, when he writes, “A huge monument has been erected in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the ‘greatness’ of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On the monument is a quotation from Roosevelt—‘I hate war’—indicating falsely to the public that he was a president who sought peace rather than war.” Instead of this propaganda “perpetrated upon the American people”, Denson recommends that a recording of the Pearl Harbor sailors pleading for life, trapped inside the hull of the half sunken battleship Oklahoma, be played “every hour at the Roosevelt Memorial to remind Americans of the treachery of their commander-in-chief.”

The reason we’ve been hoodwinked into worshiping these three presidents is because they embody the absolute power of the state. We’ve shed the dreams of liberty, peace and prosperity from our Founding Fathers and adopted an imperial outlook for our country. Americans love war or I should say, the idea of war. We have been conditioned to espouse the militarism mindset purveyed to us from all outlets of our society. We’ve grown accustomed to permanent war.

American patriotism is rooted in an orgy of preventable wars, totally oblivious to the ill-conceived origins and of the stifling of freedoms that comes with its aftermath. In America, the adoration for the flag and its patriotic zeal is derived from the misguided sense of the righteousness of its wars. The notion that political leaders might have a devious motive for waging a war never entertains the minds of the country’s “patriots.” The war effort always has blind support. This is how the state so easily bamboozles the masses to conform to its purposes and atrocities.

As time passes, history is written with a favorable tone toward those who led these so-called great wars. Rarely are the intentions of these leaders scrutinized or criticized. But instead, they’re glamorized with a heroic storyline. This is what gives birth to the patriotic myths of a nation. This is what gives birth to the mythical heroism we allot our political leaders.

Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War

Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War by  Andrew Bacevich

304 pages, Metropolitan Books

“Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century.”

In his book, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, Andrew Bacevich brings forth a sobering assessment of the United States foreign policy. Bacevich, a former U.S. Army colonel, spent majority of his life subject to authority and was someone who easily yielded his intellect for the conventional wisdom preached. Late in his life he came to the astonishing revelation that the “powerful…reveal truth only to the extent that it suits them” and it’s usually “wrapped in a nearly invisible filament of dissembling, deception, and duplicity.” Not truth, but public perception was what mattered to the demagogue’s in Washington.

Bacevich’s worldview fundamentally changed when he realized that the United States’ newly manifested power and its push for global leadership had underlying dubious intentions. The author awoke to the reality that “policy makers” are “heedlessly” thrusting their own country into “open-ended” global wars without any “notion of what victory would look like.” The cost of these wars with money and lives, are never methodically analyzed. To America’s corrupt policy-makers… the cost is irrelevant.

Eisenhower gave America a grave warning in his last speech as president when he stated “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplace power exists and will persist” and he went on to caution that “only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry” would be able to tame these dangerous powers that be. The president’s warning was ignored and now we are paying the price.

The US now spends as much on their military as the rest of the world combined. The Pentagon spends over $700 billion annually on endless occupations, including 761 bases in 39 different foreign countries. The empire is spread thin. The politicians and corporate thugs are fattening their pockets at the expense of soldier’s lives. They’re using our money to fight these plutocratic, self-interest wars while persuading our young kids that its their patriotic duty to fight in them.

Washington Rules starts with brief the history of the CIA.  Not long after its formation in 1947, the group started to involve itself in clandestine wars, assassinations, regime overthrows and by current definition…state-sponsored terrorism. The author reveals how the CIA hyped up the Communist scare back in the 50’s for beneficial reasons for the agency. They knew that the populace is more easily manipulated and guided when they are consumed with fear. (Exactly what the “War on Terror” has done to our generation) The goal of the CIA back then and today is to persuade Americans that nothing is “more important than national security.” We bought it back then. We buy it now.

The author continues with the shady history of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He gives details on how state-sponsored terrorism was conducted by the US to try to “unseat Castro”, which turned out to be a massive failure.  The Operation Northwoods documents prove that in 1962, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed a series of ways, some of them deadly, to deceive the American people in order to finagle a war against Cuba. President Kennedy was determined to annihilate the Cuban Revolution at all costs. Americans, still to this day, blame the Soviet Union for the Cuban missile crises and glorify Kennedy for saving the day and for preventing WW3. This narrative is the conventional knowledge that we accept without questioning the root causes. The US governments persistent meddling, interventions, and occupations are never seen as the provoker in this bogus storyline.  The Vietnam War was no different. The US installed Ngo Dinh Diem as president of South Vietnam in 1953. One decade later, the US government “overthrew Diem and murdered him” so they could “re-energize the war against Viet Cong.” This opened the floodgates to the most unnecessary debacle of a war in our nation’s history.

This brings us to today’s wars. In attempt to keep Americans “safe”, the US government has adopted the Bush Doctrine of preventive war. The president can now take a whole nation to war without congressional approval and with very little rebuttal from the people. The number one mission of the military is for the politicians and generals to win the “hearts and minds” of the American people, for continued support for their dominating invasions. War has become “a spectacle, not a phenomenon” in our reality show, self-gratifying, illiterate culture.

Understanding the fact that the Republican Bush and the Democrat Obama are products of the same breed is the hardest actuality to try to break through the ideological barriers of a misled, two-party democracy. They’re puppets in this plutocratic, corporate-interest regime which is financially and morally bankrupting the American people. The author once stated “one of the great lies about American politics is that Democrats genuinely subscribe to a set of core convictions that make Democrats different from Republicans. And the same thing, of course, applies to the other party. It’s not true.” The two –party system is a distracter used by the state to keep folks divisive and ideologically enchained.

Furthermore, our Founding Fathers understood that nations which are defined by imperial power are destined for ruin. The “War on Terror” is the US government’s path to permanent warfare. The soldiers are instruments of the state, perversely used as show-muscle of imperial powers in which fatten the pockets of the corporate and political elite. We swallow these “War on Terror” lies continuously.

The time has come to shatter this manufactured fear with intellect and action before our once great nation turns into a Orwellian police- state nightmare. To continue on this same path is utterly insane. I would rather be free and endure the burden of chance than to be “safe” and surrender my liberties to the dishonest Oligarchy than runs our government.

After reading Washington Rules, you’ll come to a startling understanding on how the US global interventions, occupations, and wars have been the Credo in Washington ever since WW2 and if not stopped in the near future, will send our nation into a tailspin of “insolvency and perpetual war.” This book is a challenge for Americans to break free from the conformed mass-media propaganda that has saturated our minds and to confront the illusions, contradictions and deceit that our own government is displaying. Americans have become totally immune to the illegal wars their government wages all over the globe. War doesn’t faze us anymore and our empathy has been suppressed by a false set of beliefs. We as people no longer blink when the US kills hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle-East or ravage small villages and the lives of poor folks. Our compassion has been diluted by patriotism. The state has molded our brains to define the term “patriotism” as meaning love for government and its agenda. When in actuality, dissent from a leviathan form of government is the highest form of patriotism. We easily accept the corrupt system of militarism/corporatism handed down to us from generation to generation. The citizens of this country seem to have “forfeited any capacity” to question our so-called “National Security” policies. One might be labeled “extreme” or “unpatriotic” if they challenge the motives of their own government.

The futility of democracy has been exposed. The people must wake up and understand that we’re being had by the biggest criminals in the country, which all reside in Washington DC. Dissent is our only hope with the truth being our strongest weapon.