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.

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.