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General Discussion / Ron Paul: Champion of God's Peace
« Last post by Golden Oxen on August 16, 2015, 12:27:30 am »



Ron Paul: Champion of God's Peace

Published by The Daily Bell - August 06 2015

Editorial by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.           

Ronald Reagan used to be called the Teflon president, on the grounds that no matter what gaffe or scandal engulfed him, it never stuck: he didn’t suffer in the polls. If Reagan was the Teflon president, the military is America’s Teflon institution. Even people who oppose whatever the current war happens to be can be counted on to “support the troops” and to live by the comforting delusion that whatever aberrations may be evident today, the system itself is basically sound.

To add insult to injury, whenever the US government gears up for yet another military intervention, it’s people who pretend to favor “limited government,” and who pride themselves on not falling for government propaganda, who can be counted on to stand up and salute.

I had the rare honor of serving as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff, and observed him in many proud moments in those days, and in his presidential campaigns. But Ron’s new book Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity, a plainspoken and relentless case against war that ranks alongside Smedley Butler’s classic War Is a Racket, is possibly the proudest Ron Paul moment of all.

It’s been calculated that over the past 5,000 years there have been 14,000 wars fought, resulting in three and a half billion deaths. In the United States, between 1798 and 2015 there have been 369 uses of military force abroad. We have been conditioned to accept this as normal, or at the very least unavoidable. We are told to stifle any moral qualms we may have about mass killing on the question-begging grounds that, after all, “it’s war.”

Ron, on this as on a wide array of other topics, isn’t prepared to accept the conventional platitudes, and a recurring theme in his book involves speculating on whether, in the same way the human race has advanced so extraordinarily from a technological point of view, we might be capable of a comparable moral advance as well.

There is much in this book for libertarians and indeed all opponents of war to enjoy – for starters, a refutation of the claim that war is “good for the economy,” a discussion of the dangers of “blowback” posed by foreign interventionism, and an overview of the War on Terror from a noninterventionist perspective. But there is a profoundly personal dimension to this book as well, as we follow Ron’s life from his childhood to the present and the evolution of his thought on war. I’ll leave readers to discover these gems for themselves.

Likewise, Ron relates some little-known stories of war. In one, it’s two weeks after D-Day, and Captain Jack Tueller decided to play his  trumpet that evening. He was instructed not to do so: his commander explained that a German sniper had still not been captured from the day’s battle. Figuring the sniper was a frightened young man not unlike himself, he played the German song “Lili Marleen.” The sniper surrendered to the Americans the next day.

Before being sent off to prison, the sniper asked to meet the trumpet player. He said, through tears, “When I heard that number that you played I thought about my fiancée in Germany. I thought about my mother and dad and about my brothers and sisters, and I could not fire.”

“He stuck out his hand and I shook the hand of the enemy,” Tueller recalls. “He was no enemy. He was scared and lonely like me.”

Another story takes place just before Christmas 1943. Charlie Brown, a 21-year-old farm boy from West Virginia was on his first combat mission as a pilot when his B-17 was seriously damaged over Germany. With half his crew dead or wounded, he was struggling to get his plane back to England when a German fighter came within three feet of his right wingtip. But Franz Stigler, the German pilot, did not fire. Instead, he simply nodded, pointed, and flew off, allowing Brown to make his way back to England.

Some 46 years later, the two men met again. Brown finally got to ask Stigler why he had been pointing. Stigler replied that he was trying to tell Brown to fly to Sweden, which was closer. But since Brown knew only how to get back to England, that’s where he went.

The two men became close friends, even fishing buddies. Stigler said that saving Brown’s life was the only good thing that came out of the whole war for him.

You won’t be surprised to learn that in addition to human-interest anecdotes like these, Ron spends time in Swords into Plowshares linking central banking and war, one of his perennial themes over the years. It isn’t for nothing that again and again, countries abandoned the gold standard when they went to war.

We rarely pause to consider what that tells us. If they needed to abandon the gold standard to go to war, that means the gold standard was a barrier against war. Of course, the ease with which governments could abandon the gold standard serves to remind us of the need to separate money and state altogether, and that the state cannot be trusted to maintain a sound money standard.

As always, Ron is at his fiery best when he unleashes on the neoconservatives, whose every overseas fiasco becomes a justification for still another fiasco six months later. He invites us to consider a typical remark by neoconservative Michael Ledeen: “Paradoxically, peace increases our peril, by making discipline less urgent, encouraging some of our worst instincts, and depriving us of some of our best leaders.”

Note that it is peace, according to Ledeen, and not war, that encourages our worst instincts. This was the view of Theodore Roosevelt, loved and admired by progressives and neoconservatives alike, who considered prolonged peace a deplorable state that made a people flabby and otiose.

Neocons complain when libertarians describe them as “pro-war” – why, they favor war only as a last resort, they assure us, and only because there are bad people in the world – but how else can we describe the views of Ledeen, who to my knowledge has never been publicly taken to task by any other neocon?

(Perhaps my favorite of Ron’s collection of ghoulish neocon quotations, though, if only for its obliviously Orwellian quality, is George W. Bush’s remark from June 2002: “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.”)

Meanwhile, the American people have been indoctrinated into a cult of the veteran, whom evangelicals blasphemously compare to Jesus Christ, and whereby everyone is expected to salute, applaud, and offer ostentatious thanks for the veteran’s “service.”

Here, by contrast, is Ron:

    “Service” in our military to invade, occupy, and oppress countries in order to extend [the] US Empire must not be glorified as a “heroic” and sacred effort. My five years in the Air Force during the 1960s did not qualify me as any sort of hero. My primary thoughts now about that period of time are: “Why was I so complacent, and why did I so rarely seriously question the wisdom of the Vietnam War?”

Ron calls upon the peoples of the world to resist their governments’ calls to war and to refuse to take part in violent conflict. “If the authoritarians continue to abuse power in spite of constitutional and moral limits,” he writes, “the only recourse left is for the people to go on strike and refuse to sanction the wars and thefts. Deny the dictators your money and your bodies…. The more this is a worldwide movement, the better.”

This is why Ron is such a fan of the song “Universal Soldier,” which he asked singer Aimee Allen to perform at his dramatic Rally for the Republic in 2008. The man who enlists in the military and simply goes along with the prevailing current of opinion is the universal soldier. If he refused to “serve” and to fight, there could be no wars. Even Ron, a flight surgeon who never fired a shot, looks back on his time in the military and asks himself: why did I not resist? Why did I go along?

Needless to say, few among our political class – people who, generally speaking, have rather more to repent of than mild Ron Paul – reflect seriously on their moral choices, or rebuke themselves publicly.

When people read Swords into Plowshares generations from now – and they will – they will marvel that such a man actually served in the US Congress, and defied every campaign of war propaganda right on the House floor. But what’s great about Ron is not just his honesty, but also his constant intellectual growth – with the passage of time he has become an ever-more radical champion of freedom. His evolution is especially plain in this book, as you’ll discover for yourself.

One of the most important things Ron accomplished in public life was to show that it’s possible to oppose war without being a leftist. He likewise explained that a foreign policy of peace and nonintervention was a central, indispensable feature of the message of freedom, and not just an odd personality quirk of Ron Paul – as the many people who said “I like Ron Paul except his foreign policy” seem to have believed.

Bernie Sanders pretends to be antiwar, but as usual with socialists, a closer look shows he doesn’t really mean it. But even if he did, as a socialist he simply wants to point the guns at different targets – the undifferentiated aggregates like “the rich” to whom he urges his followers to direct their uncomprehending hate. Ron, on the other hand, is calling on us to put the guns down, and for peaceful interaction both between nations and among individuals.

It is a position most people had never heard of before 2008, since election campaigns are all about grabbing the machinery of state and pointing its guns at whatever group the eventual victor despises. But Ron captured the imaginations of millions of intelligent young people, whose brains hadn’t yet been deformed by an American political culture designed to deprive them of humane possibilities.

Ron turns 80 this month, and continues his life’s work of truth-telling. Wish Ron a happy birthday by joining us for a celebration in Lake Jackson on August 15, and by reading this extraordinary book. 

This article contributed courtesy of

Published by The Daily Bell - - All Rights Reserved.

Gold Research / Gold War: China’s SECOND Announcement of More Gold Reserves
« Last post by Golden Oxen on August 16, 2015, 12:01:43 am »

Gold War: China’s SECOND Announcement of More Gold Reserves


Created: 14 August 2015 Last Updated: 14 August 2015 Published: 14 August 2015 Written by Jeff Nielson

Category: Gold Commentary   


China is angry (at the West) that much is clear. China has now made a series of “shocking” announcements, and made dramatic moves with its economy, two acts which are totally atypical of the general approach from Beijing. China generally acts in a very discrete, understated manner, which does not attract attention to its policies, both political and economic.

The source of its anger is easy enough to identify, the economic terrorism perpetrated against its economy by Western bankers, and discussed previously. What is far less easy to discern is its precise intent in making these overt and (for China) bold moves. In other words; China is “sending a message”. The task for the Alternative media is to decipher that message.

A review of recent events is necessary, as this chain grows longer and longer:

1)  China makes a voluntary disclosure of an additional 600 tonnes of gold as part of its official reserves. The announcement was generally considered “surprising”, and some commentators have suggested this was a provocative gesture directed at the West (or more properly, retaliation for the terrorism referred to above).

2)  China “suspends” the trading accounts of dozens of U.S. traders, in relation to the (extremely suspicious) bubble-and-crash in China’s stock market. It publicly announces it is investigating these traders for “manipulating” China’s stock market (illegally) using the banksters’ infamous computerized trading algorithms – the same abomination/crime which has been regularly discussed in previous commentaries.

3)  China makes a “shocking” announcement of an official devaluation of the renminbi of nearly 2%.

4)  China announces an even more-shocking, second devaluation of the renminbi – a day later.

5)  China makes a second announcement of a (much smaller) increase in its official gold reserves.

Unprecedented, for China. While the West’s puppet governments engage in extreme and reckless acts on a regular basis (reflecting the psychopathic nature of their Master); China acts in a measured, sober, and non-confrontational manner. Not any more.

Again, this begs the question: what is China’s “message” here? The first topic/event has already been thoroughly discussed (and analyzed). The second event was the specific topic of a recent commentary, so nothing further will be said here on that subject. It is when we get to events (3) and (4), the back-to-back devaluations of the renminbi where divergence of opinion on China’s intent begins to widen.

The mainstream media calls this a “currency war”, so we can reject that explanation, as the Corporate media oligopoly rarely provides us with honest/legitimate analysis of events. The same commentary (above) has also explained how currency devaluation is highly self-destructive, and nothing more than a short-term bandaid. It is inconceivable that China would consider such a “war”.

This leaves two possibilities. Either this was a short-term bandaid intended as a response to the bubble-and-crash of its stock market perpetrated by the One Bank, or it was a preemptive move, in anticipation of even greater (global?) economic havoc, in the near future. These are possibilities which, unfortunately, can only be answered and separated in hindsight.

This brings us to the final event in the chain: China’s second announcement of an official increase in gold reserves. Here it is first necessary to provide readers with the “rules” regarding the disclosure of a nation’s gold reserves, as was done in a recent interview.


To be brief; gold purchased internationally (i.e. on the open market) must be disclosed in a "timely" manner, meaning within the monthly reporting period for international financial transactions. This is why we regularly see Russia making disclosures of increases in its own reserves. These are Russia’s monthly purchases of gold on the open market, as are most of the (mandatory) disclosures from other central banks regarding increases in those nations’ gold reserves.

Gold which governments acquire domestically/internally (generally via their own gold-mining sector) does not have to be disclosed – ever – as per the rules on financial transactions (since gold is always considered to be “money”). It is with these rules properly explained that we can now address China’s two, totally separate announcements of increases to its gold reserves.

Its first announcement was a voluntary disclosure, meaning it was merely disclosing some of the gold it had already added over the past decade (or longer) from its own domestic gold mining. We know this because of the size of the increase: 600 tonnes. It is impossible for that much gold to have been bought, internationally, within the one-month reporting period for such disclosures. Such gold-buying would have had disastrous (fatal?) consequences for the West’s fraudulent (paper) “gold” market.

Conversely, this second, much smaller announcement of an increase of less than 19 tonnes was a mandatory disclosure of gold-buying by China on the open market. This is new gold. This is the first such announcement by China in (at least) six years, leaving two possibilities. Either this is the first time that China has bought gold in the open market in many years, or any/all previous purchases of that nature were done illegitimately, through third party proxy-buyers.

Either way; this is an extremely dramatic move by China. Now look at China’s two gold announcements, together. At the same time that China made its voluntary disclosure of additional gold reserves (600 tonnes) it began aggressively buying gold on the international market (openly) – at the rate of more than ½ tonne per day. Those are the purchases which China is now reporting today.

At the same time; Russia has also been buying gold “aggressively”, on the open market, over recent months, in additional to all the 1,000’s of tonnes of gold which it has been secretly adding to its own reserves, via its own extremely large, domestic gold-mining industry. Combining official gold purchases with the (unofficial) tonnes added via domestic mining; China and Russia could easily have total gold reserves of 4,000+ tonnes and 3,000+ tonnes (respectively), without any illegitimate “hidden” buying.

With the claims of “official gold reserves” of Western governments nothing but the most-laughable fiction; almost certainly China and Russia are #1 and #2 globally in national gold reserves, solidifying their status as the heirs-apparent for the future center of global economic power. Let us never forget the Golden Rule: he who has the gold makes the rules.

Clearly the psychopathic bankers of the West are now endeavouring to put that Golden Rule to the test, and attempting to cling to financial supremacy through their paper empire of fraud-and-corruption. Clearly, Russia and China now have “different ideas”. But this still does not provide any precise answer to China’s pair of “shocking” announcements of additional gold reserves.

One theory advanced by the respectable voices of Alasdair MacLeod and Hugo Salinas Price is that this (now) dual announcement by China regarding its gold reserves is motivated primarily by an intent by China to “revalue” gold (higher) – in the immediate future. This is certainly a plausible hypothesis.

The advantage of this theory is that it also “explains” China’s twin-devaluations of the renminbi: first it revalues its own currency lower, then (so the theory goes) it acts to revalue gold higher. But that is not the theory of this writer.

The hypothesis to be advanced here is that China’s pair of recent announcements are a response to something much bigger, a full-fledged gold war between East and West (naturally started by the West). To explain this theory requires that we now move to India, and look at what is purported to be the world’s largest, national (private) stockpile of gold: the more than 18,000 tonnes held by the 1.2 billion people of India.

This is a subject which has already been recently examined in several commentaries. Further elaboration here will require that readers return for the sequel to this piece – Gold War: The One Bank’s Indian Gold-Grab.



        An exhausted and frustated migrant holds his head after he missed to get a place on a train heading to the Serbian border at the train station in Gevgelija, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, August 13, 2015. From the beginning of the year to mid-June 2015, nearly 160,000 migrants landed in the southern European countries, mainly Greece and Italy, on their way to wealthier countries in Western and Northern Europe, according to estimates by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). (Georgi Licovski/EPA)


     hildren take a bath in floodwaters at a temporary shelter where victims of flooding gather in Kyaung Gone township of Ayeyarwaddy Region, Myanmar, August 13, 2015. Myanmar's government warned low-lying regions to expect even more flooding after heavy rainfall brought havoc to higher areas further north. Weeks of heavy monsoon rains have affected over one million people, about 100 people so far are reported dead and damage was caused to more than 687,200 acres of farmland. The water has receded in many areas, many roads and bridges were destroyed in the worst affected states and regions. (Lynn Bo Bo/EPA)
What a breathtaking picture.


       Meteors streak across the sky over a Roman theatre in the ruins of Acinipio, during the Perseid meteor shower near Ronda, southern Spain, in the early morning of August 13, 2015. The annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak on August 12 and 13 in Europe, according to NASA. Acinipo, known as "Ronda la Vieja" (Old Ronda), is an archaeological site located in a plateau at 999 meters above sea level, declared Heritage of Cultural Interest Site, which includes a Roman theatre and important Prehistoric remains. The facade of the theatre was illuminated by a torch. (REUTERS/Jon Nazca)


        Hostesses pose for a photo beside the models of a high speed train during the China High Speed Railway on Fast Track exhibition in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday. China has sweetened its bid in a race with Japan to win the construction contract for a high-speed railway connecting Jakarta to the city of Bandung, Indonesia, officials said on Tuesday. Rivan Awal Lingga/Antara Foto/Reuters


      An Iraqi boy working for a grocery store collects his vegetables after a truck bomb attack in Jameela market in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday. The massive truck bomb ripped through the popular Baghdad food market in the Iraqi capital's crowded neighborhood in the early Thursday in one of the deadliest single blasts in the capital in years. Karim Kadim/AP


        Youth filling out job applications at Opportunity Fair and Forum at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., on Thursday, as part of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. The Initiative creates pathways for youth with untapped talent and potential to build skills, gain credentials and employment, and reclaim the American Dream. Peter Wynn Thompson/100,000 Opportunities Initiative/AP


Don’t Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America

Published by The Daily Bell - August 12 2015

Editorial by John Whitehead

Being a citizen in the American corporate state is much like playing against a stacked deck: you’re always going to lose.

The game is rigged, and “we the people” keep getting dealt the same losing hand. Even so, most stay in the game, against all odds, trusting that their luck will change.

The problem, of course, is that luck will not save us. As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the people dealing the cards—the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc.—have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the citizenry, while milking us of our money and possessions.

It really doesn’t matter what you call them—Republicans, Democrats, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that while they are dealing the cards, the deck will always be stacked in their favor.

Incredibly, no matter how many times we see this played out, Americans continue to naively buy into the idea that politics matter, as if there really were a difference between the Republicans and Democrats (there’s not).

As if Barack Obama proved to be any different from George W. Bush (he has not). As if Hillary Clinton’s values are any different from Donald Trump’s (with both of them, money talks). As if when we elect a president, we’re getting someone who truly represents “we the people” rather than the corporate state (in fact, in the oligarchy that is the American police state, an elite group of wealthy donors is calling the shots).

Politics is a game, a joke, a hustle, a con, a distraction, a spectacle, a sport, and for many devout Americans, a religion.

In other words, it’s a sophisticated ruse aimed at keeping us divided and fighting over two parties whose priorities are exactly the same. It’s no secret that both parties support endless war, engage in out-of-control spending, ignore the citizenry’s basic rights, have no respect for the rule of law, are bought and paid for by Big Business, care most about their own power, and have a long record of expanding government and shrinking liberty.

Most of all, both parties enjoy an intimate, incestuous history with each other and with the moneyed elite that rule this country. Don’t be fooled by the smear campaigns and name-calling. They’re just useful tactics of the psychology of hate that has been proven to engage voters and increase voter turnout while keeping us at each other’s throats.

Despite the jabs the candidates volley at each other for the benefit of the cameras, they’re a relatively chummy bunch away from the spotlight, presenting each other with awards (remember when Jeb Bush presented Hillary Clinton with a Liberty Medal for her service to the country), attending each other’s weddings (Bill and Hillary had front-row seats for Trump’s 2005 wedding), and embracing with genuine affection.

Trump’s various donations to the Clintons (he donated to Hillary’s Senate campaigns, as well as the Clinton Foundation) are not unusual. Remember, FOX News mogul Rupert Murdoch actually hosted a fundraiser for Hillary’s Senate reelection campaign back in 2006 and contributed to her presidential campaign two years later. In fact, FOX News has reportedly been one of Hillary’s biggest donors for the better part of two decades.

Are you starting to get the picture? It doesn’t matter who wins the White House, because they all work for the same boss: Corporate America. In fact, many corporations actually hedge their bets on who will win the White House by splitting their donations between Democratic and Republican candidates.

We’re in trouble, folks, and picking a new president won’t save us.

Just consider how insidious, incestuous and beholden to the corporate elite the various “parts” of the government mechanism have become.

Congress. Perhaps the most notorious offenders and most obvious culprits in the creation of the corporate-state, Congress has proven itself to be both inept and avaricious, oblivious champions of an authoritarian system that is systematically dismantling their constituents’ fundamental rights. Long before they’re elected, Congressmen are trained to dance to the tune of their wealthy benefactors, so much so that they spend two-thirds of their time in office raising money.

The President. With the 2016 presidential election shaping up to be the most expensive one in our nation’s history, with estimates as high as $10 billion, “the way is open for an **** of spending by well-heeled interest groups and super rich individuals on both political sides.” Yet even after the votes have been counted and favors tallied, the work of buying and selling access to the White House is far from over. Such access comes with a steep price tag.

The Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court—once the last refuge of justice, the one governmental body really capable of rolling back the slowly emerging tyranny enveloping America—has instead become the champion of the American police state, absolving government and corporate officials of their crimes while relentlessly punishing the average American for exercising his or her rights. Indeed, law professor Erwin Chemerinsky makes a compelling case that the Supreme Court, whose “justices have overwhelmingly come from positions of privilege,” almost unerringly throughout its history, sides with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful.

The Media. Of course, this triumvirate of total control would be completely ineffective without a propaganda machine provided by the world’s largest corporations. Besides shoving drivel down our throats at every possible moment, the so-called news agencies which are supposed to act as bulwarks against government propaganda have instead become the mouthpieces of the state. The pundits which pollute our airwaves are at best court jesters and at worst propagandists for the false reality created by the American government.

The American People. “We the people” now belong to a permanent underclass in America. It doesn’t matter what you call us—chattel, slaves, worker bees, drones, it’s all the same—what matters is that we are expected to march in lockstep with and submit to the will of the state in all matters, public and private. Through our complicity in matters large and small, we have allowed an out-of-control corporate-state apparatus to take over every element of American society.

Our failure to remain informed about what is taking place in our government, to know and exercise our rights, to vocally protest, to demand accountability on the part of our government representatives, and at a minimum to care about the plight of our fellow Americans has been our downfall.

Now we find ourselves once again caught up in the spectacle of another presidential election, and once again the majority of Americans are acting as if this election will make a difference and bring about change—as if the new boss will be any different from the old boss.

Published by The Daily Bell - - All Rights Reserved.

How lucky we Americans are.


      A girl studies while sitting on top of a taxi outside her shanty home at a roadside in Mumbai, India, Tuesday. Shailesh Andrade/Reuters
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