Category Archives: History

Underestimating Them and Overestimating Us, by Jim Quinn

People, including SLL, have been saying a cataclysmic crisis is coming for years. It hasn’t happened yet, but that doesn’t make them wrong, just early. From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

“Do not underestimate the ‘power of underestimation’. They can’t stop you, if they don’t see you coming.” ― Izey Victoria Odiase

Image result for bernanke, yellen, powell

During the summer of 2008 I was writing articles a few times per week predicting an economic catastrophe and a banking crisis. When the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression swept across the world, resulting in double digit unemployment, a 50% stock market crash in a matter of months, millions of home foreclosures, and the virtual insolvency of the criminal Wall Street banks, my predictions were vindicated. I was pretty smug and sure the start of this Fourth Turning would follow the path of the last Crisis, with a Greater Depression, economic disaster and war.

In the summer of 2008, the national debt stood at $9.4 trillion, which amounted to 65% of GDP. Total credit market debt peaked at $54 trillion. Consumer debt peaked at $2.7 trillion. Mortgage debt crested at $14.8 trillion. The Federal Reserve balance sheet had been static at or below $900 billion for years.

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The World’s Least-Free Countries Reveal Just How Much “Socialism Sucks”, by David Gordon

David Gordon reviews a book with a self-explanatory title. From Gordon at mises.org:

[Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World. By Robert Lawson and Benjamin Powell.  Regnery Publishing, 2019. 192 pages.]

Robert Lawson and Benjamin Powell are well-known free market economists, and they do not look with favor on a disturbing trend among American young people. “In the spring of 2016,” they tell us, “a Harvard survey found that a third of eighteen-to twenty-nine year olds supported socialism. Another survey, from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, reported that millennials supported socialism over any other economic system.” (p.8)

Unfortunately, the young people in question have little idea of the nature of socialism. Lawson and Powell would like to remedy this situation, but they confront a problem. Ordinarily, one would urge students to read Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, Mises’s “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth,” and similar classic works, in order to understand the basic facts about the free market and socialism, but the millennials are unlikely to do so. One must attract their attention. What can be done?

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The Empire Is Running Out of War Stories. Or is it? Will American Exceptionalism Rise Again? by Richard Moser

If you convince yourself of your own superiority, its much easier to justify whatever it is you want to do to other people. From Richard Moser at counterpunch.org:

American Exceptionalism remains one of the innermost ideas shaping our national identity and still lies behind all of the war stories used to justify US foreign policy. Exceptionalism has been a part of American culture since the very first European settlers landed.

At its core, exceptionalism places America outside of normal history into a category of its own. Our initial “escape” from history followed two interrelated tracks: one was the religious radicalism of the Puritans, the other was the frontier experience. Both paths were the warpath.[1]

The early settlers believed that they were “chosen” — blessed by a special relationship to their God. They viewed their “errand in the wilderness” as a holy mission destined to bring a new and better way of life to the world. God’s judgment on their progress was revealed in the bounty of a harvest or the outcome of a war.

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More ‘Stupid War’ in Syria, by Eric S. Margolis

Will Trump finally get the US out of Syria? From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

More war in wretched Syria.  Half the population are now refugees; entire cities lie shattered by bombing; bands of crazed gunmen run rampant; US, French, Israeli and Russian warplanes bomb widely.

Now, adding to the chaos, President Donald Trump has finally given Turkey, NATO’s second military power, the green light to invade parts of northeastern Syria after he apparently ordered a token force of US troops there to withdraw.

This, of course, puts the Turks in a growing confrontation with the region’s Kurds, who have occupied large swaths of the area during Syria’s civil war.  The Kurdish militia, known as YPG (confusingly part of the so-called Free Syrian Army), is armed, lavishly financed and directed by the CIA and Pentagon.

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Putin Planning “Deal Of The Century” Between Syria & Turkey As US Exits, by Tyler Durden

Russia may be far more instrumental to a Middle East peace than the US has been. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Lebanese Arabic news broadcaster Al-Mayadeen is reporting that Russia has begun organizing “reconciliation talks” between Syria and Turkey, in what would be an unprecedented development, given President Erdogan’s position has long been that Turkey won’t negotiate with Damascus so long as Assad is in power.

The Middle East broadcaster cited Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said, “Moscow will ask for start of talks between Damascus and Ankara”.

Russia’s TASS has also confirmed the initiative, making it the first significant attempt to bring the two sides to the table, given Ankara severed diplomatic ties with Damascus in 2012. Turkey could indeed be ready given it has finally gotten its way in Syria with a long planned attack on Syrian Kurds along the border in northern Syria, which began Wednesday with an air and ground offensive.

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The 5 Craziest Ideas from the Democratic Primary Freak Show, by Doug Casey

There was abundant competition among Democrats’ many crazy ideas, but 5 winners emerged. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

Democratic primary

International Man: Elizabeth Warren proposed an annual tax on a person’s wealth. What do you make of this?

Doug Casey: When you tax something, you discourage it. If Elizabeth Warren wants to tax people’s wealth, that’s going to encourage people to hide their wealth. And discourage them from getting wealthy. So, it’s poison from an economic point of view.

But it’s even worse from an ethical or spiritual point of view. It sends a signal that wealth is evil. That it has to be kept under control and limited. That a political priesthood should determine how much is enough and who should get it. It’s especially perverse in that people like Warren act like they have the moral high ground. When in fact, they’re in the moral gutter.

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Domestic and Foreign Wars, by John Stossel

Another war that Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard questions is the drug war. From John Stossel at theburningplatform.com:

Domestic and Foreign Wars

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is controversial within her party.

She says the U.S. should talk to its enemies. She was criticized for meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

But Democrats were supposed to be the anti-war party, I say to her in my newest video.

“They’re heavily influenced by a foreign policy establishment … whose whole power base is built around continuing this status quo,” Gabbard tells me. “So much so, to the point where when I’m calling for an end to these wasteful wars, they’re saying, ‘Well, gosh, Tulsi, why are you such an isolationist?’ As though the only way that we can relate with other countries in the world is by bombing them.”

Gabbard is a veteran, and now says, “Honor our servicemen and women by only sending them on missions that are worthy of their sacrifice.”

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