Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The CDC, Vaccination, and the Deep State - By Richard Gale and Gary Null

What if you were to know that a cabal of corrupt bureaucrats and scientists at the heart of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have known for almost two decades that vaccines, including the MMR, can lead to autism and other neurological disorders? Most people are unware that CDC is a militarized federal agency further influenced by private pharmaceutical interests. Due to the politicalization of national immunization, vaccine efficacy and safety has become all but irrelevant.  Its policies drive profits for itself and its partners. Now the agency is committed to have as many Americans mandated to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible, irrespective of how many lives are destroyed.  The very mindset and disregard for human life that created the notorious Tuskegee experiment is alive and thriving in the bowels of the CDC.
It is time to take a hard look at the advocates of fake science and the motivations that compel the CDC and it’s vaccine network to systematically mislead and lie to the public for personal benefit, power, and greed.  And it is time to understand the CDC’s role as a major player in the Deep State. When the brilliant journalist I.F. Stone wrote, “Every government is run by liars, and nothing they say should be believed,” he could just as easily been speaking about today’s pharmaceutical industry, our federal health agencies, and the many medical journals that routinely publish fraudulent science to keep the engines of Big Pharma churning.
The money-driven institutions of evidence-based medicine and science, which have hijacked America’s health agencies–the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), FDA, Health and Human Services (HHS), National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Mental Health, and the USDA– have driven a stake into the heart of authentic scientific inquiry, knowledge and innovative progress.  Its efforts to hermetically seal and silence the debate on vaccination safety with propaganda, coercion, erroneous and deceptive research, and blatant criminality have succeeded in transforming modern vaccinology into an egregious pseudo-science that is destroying the lives of millions of children, infants and their families.
During the past two decades the lines dividing the pharmaceutical industry and the federal health agencies has become increasingly blurred. The revolving door between private interests and top government employees never ceases to gyrate.  For example, former CDC director Julie Gerberding left government to immediately become president of Merck’s vaccine division, a move that has since earned her upwards to $3 million in stock options.  This may seem to be a modest reward for Gerberding heading the agency now irrefutably responsible for the cover-up of the CDC’s own studies proving the MMR vaccine increases the risk of autism in African American boys.  The MMR is manufactured by Merck.
Robert Kennedy Jr, a watchdog expert in the corporatization of the medical establishment, has called the CDC “a cesspool of corruption” referring to its culture of dishonesty and its manufacturing junk science.  Unlike the FDA, which has a contract with the American public to assure warnings about health risks and contraindications of registered drugs and medical devices, the CDC has no such contract with the nation’s citizenry.  It holds no ethical standard and abides by no mandated rules of law. During a recent interview, Dr. Nancy Banks, a Harvard-trained OBGYN physician and former fellow of gynecological oncology at Sloan Kettering’s Cancer Center, stated the CDC should be viewed as foremost an intelligence agency. By whatever false propaganda means and strategy, its sole purpose is to promulgate the pharmaceutical industry’s agenda and more recently this agenda has been framed as national security embedded in the Deep State.
One recent example of the CDC’s covert activities took place in 2016. Across the mainstream media, journalists en masse denounced the documentary film Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe. The film recounted the events of CDC whistle-blower Dr. William Thompson and his agency’s intentional cover-up and destruction of documents of scientific evidence proving the MMR vaccine caused autism. Rather than denouncing the nation’s vaccine agenda, the film uncovers massive corruption in the CDC’s vaccine division.  But a problem with the media-wide demonization of the film arose, which included outlets such as ABC, CNN, MSNBC, the Guardian, the Washington Post and the New York Times, Forbes, Rolling Stone and many others. The media blitzkrieg occurred before the film’s actual release. None of the journalists had watched it. None knew the underlying story line aside from what could be gleaned from a 3 minute trailer. Our investigative article, “Why is the CDC petrified of the film Vaxxed” uncovered a template for an editorial script upon which all of these reviews were based.  They originated from a single source, and the tracks led to the halls of the CDC. The CDC’s partnership and fellowship programs with the Association of Health Care Journalists is nothing less than an intelligence indoctrination program to train journalists to be the mouthpieces of the CDC’s fake science. The curriculum held at the CDC’s Atlanta campus includes propaganda in federal health policies, epidemiology (no authentic gold standard biological science), pandemic flu preparedness, vaccine safety and autism. Journalists are also instructed to access CDC publications and databases to peruse federal resources, public relations kits, and propaganda.
Vaccine policy and the development and promotion of the childhood vaccine schedule is only one of the CDC’s many corporate tasks. More broadly, it is not exclusively concerned with the physical and mental health of the nation. It is also engaged in the design and development of biological weapons and threats of bioterrorism. Because vaccines are biological drugs that can be weaponized, they fall under the CDC’s purview and jurisdiction. Consequently the Centers works closely with the Department of Defense and the intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency with whom there is the exchange of data collection and sharing of classified information.  In its April 21, 2000 MMWR report entitled “Biological and Chemical Terrorism: Strategic Plan for Preparedness and Response” the CDC reports that for “the first time the CDC has joined with law enforcement, intelligence and defense agencies in addition to traditional CDC partners to address a national security threat.”
This may be the turning point when the Centers morphed into a pseudo-intelligence agency within the Deep State and adopted its inquisitional task of population surveillance and information data collection as a matter of intelligence gathering instead of improving healthcare. During the past years, this has further grown into spying and covert operations against the critics of our national health and immunization policies. Immunization, as described on the CDC’s website, is now a matter of national and global security.  Therefore, no longer are vaccines simply a medical intervention that concerns public health, and a field of healthcare that can and should be reevaluated on sound scientific principles. In fact, immunization has been removed from science altogether and consequently can only rely upon flawed and unreliable research to support its policies. These policies are left for politicians to debate, which is rarely done, and is no longer open for discussion among expert medical researchers outside the walls of the CDC and its network of trolls, shills and medical puppets spewing disinformation into the public sector.  This alone is sufficient incentive for targeting and silencing voices challenging vaccine safety and efficacy and who demand a reevaluation of vaccination and its toxic ingredients.
In addition, the Centers’ activities are no longer limited to the US’ domestic health; after 911, its mission expanded, far beyond its original mandate, and today the agency is globally engaged.  On the Center’s website, it defines itself as America’s “Global Health Protection Agency” in charge of “implementing global health security” and works in partnership with the other nations. Since 2006, the CDC claims it has trained over 115,000 professional personnel in its version and interpretation of health issues. It’s Global Rapid Response Team of over 400 experts “can deploy in as little as 48 hours” to respond to local and regional health emergencies. In brief, the Centers are immersed in the technology of surveillance, information gathering and analysis. These are among the defining characteristics of an intelligence agency.
Other intelligence activities often employed by the Deep State and now undertaken by the CDC include pressuring peer-reviewed medical journals to retract studies that challenge their ideology or endanger the agency’s reputation.  In 2014, Prof Brian Hooker, a biochemist at Simpson University, reevaluated the CDC’s own data showing a 350% increase in autism among African American boys receiving the MMR. Initially approved for publication by the journal Translational Neurodegeneration, the study was shortly thereafter suspended after the CDC pressured the journal with fabricated claims against Dr. Hooker. This is a textbook case of intelligence sabotage of a critic by false accusation.
Similar to the Pentagon and the CIA, the CDC has also infiltrated Hollywood. Hidden within the corridors on the University of Southern California campus is the relatively unknown organization Hollywood Health and Society. Its top funders include the CDC, the National Cancer Institute, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the largest private funder of vaccines, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The small organization’s mission is to provide “briefings and consultations with experts, case examples, panel discussions about timely health issues” for Hollywood script writers and producers. Among the main topics listed on its website are influenza, smallpox and autism, all official propaganda stamped with the CDC’s ideological seal of approval.
Among the trove of classified national security documents released by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, were several regarding the government’s intelligence agencies’ infiltration of the internet in order to manipulate information, deceive the public and destroy personal reputations of opponents, including independent journalists.  Among the documents was a manual, “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.” One of its stated missions is to flood the internet with false information and data to destroy the reputation of its opponents.  Furthermore, the manual provides instructions on taking control of online public discourse in order to generate allegiance to the intelligence agency’s false point of view.
Vaccine opponents often complain about the blogosphere being riddled with anonymous trolls, most who would be unable to debate their way out of cardboard box on scientific issues regarding vaccines, but who nevertheless follow an intelligence manual’s strategies to disparage vaccine critics.  Bill Gates, who is on record condemning parents who refuse vaccines and who is no stranger to the higher echelon of executives in the vaccine industry and department heads at the CDC, funded psychology professor Seth Kalichman at the University of Connecticut to develop a monitoring system to track all anti-vaccine internet traffic. Given Gate’s utter disdain towards voices speaking out against vaccines, we can be certain this was not for humanitarian, research purposes but as part of intelligence gathering in the CDC’s war against the health of the nation.  Others who have been mouthpieces of the Deep State yet are viewed as respectable and medically credentialed kingpins, such as Paul Offit, David Gorsky, and others are welcomed by the media as the foremost authorities and final voices on vaccine topics.
To our peril, federal agencies take full advantage of the average American’s scientific illiteracy.  An important survey conducted by Michigan State University found that only 4% of American adults had an understanding about stem cells. Seventy percent could “not read or understand” the science section in the New York Times.  An earlier study funded by the US National Science Foundation noted that about half of Americans understood that the earth rotates once around the sun annually, 45% of people had an “acceptable” understanding of DNA, and only 22% knew what a molecule was.  Although scientific illiteracy is an enormous threat to a functioning democracy and an informed public, nevertheless it is a boon for the CDC and the vaccine industry. Manipulating this ignorance with a heavy dose of fear tactics, such as revealed through the CDC’s press model to guide the mainstream media’s role in increasing vaccine compliance, health officials have managed to successfully thwart many efforts to educate the public to evaluate the pros and cons of vaccination.
Along with the corporatization of Washington’s three branches of government, and the emergence of a surveillance state watching over the shoulders of every citizen, the politicization of medicine, particularly vaccines, is another sign of the further decay of the nation towards totalitarianism. Perhaps no one has politicized vaccines more than Dr. Paul Offit, the leading acolyte of extremist medical intervention and the CDC’s national security strategy. For almost two decades, fake news and bureaucratic deception, anger, hatred and disproportional distrust has taken the spotlight as the nation’s health further erodes. Annually, the quality of Americans’ health is declining and this is most evident in the younger generations who have received the bulk of vaccines. While the CDC and its allies conjure distorted statistics with no sound scientific basis from thin air in order to convince us that vaccines have saved countless lives, in fact these screeds are no more scientifically reliable than visiting the local gypsy soothsayer to have your palm read. A doctorate in science or a medical degree from Harvard does not excuse a person from duplicitous chicanery.
The good news is that the tide is slowly turning. The populace is steadily losing its faith in government. Autism rates continue to rise and parents are able to access extensive independent medical research to understand the real dangers of vaccines. A fundamental reason why parents increasingly refuse to vaccinate themselves and their children is quite simple; the cartel of pharmaceutical-friendly bureaucrats writing the nation’s healthcare policies has been losing the public’s trust. There is no secret why federal health officials and their absolutist claims to mandate vaccine compliance are untrustworthy. In 2016 over 1500 medical researchers surveyed by the prestigious journal Nature failed to reproduce another scientist’s experimental results. Over half were unable to reproduce their own experiments. The article concludes that the potential reasons for this lack of scientific confirmation are numerous. However, most important is that no single scientific study or paper can claim to be the final word on any medical issue, and this is especially true with vaccine research. The complexities of the human immune system, its biomolecular mechanisms and epigenetic relationships with external environmental factors are not fully understood.  And there remains much more to discover and digest.  Modern immunology still has a long ways to go and needs frequent revision as new discoveries emerge. In contrast, vaccine science continues to rely partially upon an antiquated understanding of the body’s immune system focused almost exclusively on antibody generation.
One example of medical negligence has been the rising epidemic of citizens who are immunocompromised and therefore most susceptible to adverse vaccine reactions. When a severe condition of immunosuppression is clearly diagnosed, it is not uncommon for physicians to withhold vaccinations.  But how many Americans are immunocompromised?  When this question was posed to a researcher at Johns Hopkins University in 2015, to his surprise Theo Schall discovered there were no population accurate statistics and none of our federal health agencies nor medical institutions were tracking it.  Not only are these people at higher risk for vaccine injury, they are also at a higher risk for infection from wild viruses. Federal vaccine policies do not differentiate the population with weakened immune systems from healthier individuals. The CDC’ immunization schedule is a one-size-fits-all paradigm: bottom line, everyone should and must be vaccinated.
After reviewing the different immunocompromised populations (eg, immunosenescence or weakened immunity due to age in the senior population, malnourishment, cancer patients, people with AIDS and HIV, transplant recipients, patients under immunosuppressive drugs with autoimmune conditions, and primary genetic immunodeficiency disorders, Schall estimated there were approximately 122.6 million Americans with a weakened immune system and stand at higher risk for infections. Our revaluation of the available figures as of the end of 2017 places this figure now at 130.4 million, over one-third of the US population.
The question whether 130 million people, including hundreds of thousands of children, should be subject to injections with infectious viruses– live, attenuated or killed — is never discussed. Volumes of medical and biochemical research confirming the severe vaccine ingredients are also ignored. Nor is any consideration given to the number of vaccines administered and the risks due to the accumulative levels of toxic ingredients when multiple vaccines are given simultaneously or within short time intervals. Nor do pediatricians routinely evaluate the state of children’s immunological health before determining whether or not to administer vaccines. There is no profit from delaying or postponing vaccination.  No perks are received from insurance companies for increasing vaccination compliance.  And finally, physicians and pediatricians are largely as ignorant as the general public about the scientific evidence supporting and debunking vaccine safety and efficacy myths.  Their primary source of information is channeled through the CDC.
Our federal health agencies have yet to conduct or fund definitive and legitimate studies to determine once and for all individual vaccine safety and whether or not vaccines as exogenous factors are contributing to the onslaught of illnesses ravishing the country. Yes, such gold standard studies, which remain absent from the pro-vaccine arsenal, would be very costly.  But that would be the price to pay to bring sanity to the irrational conclusions of the CDC’s decision makers on our nation’s national advisory vaccine committee. Nevertheless, the cumulative financial cost of all previous government sponsored fake science would be a small price to pay for the future well-being of children.
During Congressional proceedings in 2002 into the causes for the unaccountable rise in autism in the United States, CDC officials confirmed no studies have been undertaken to compare the quality of health between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Yet the subcommittee was assured by the CDC that such studies would be conducted. A decade later, when the CDC was again yanked back into a subcommittee, still no studies had been conducted, and again, Congress was assured such studies were forthcoming.
We should not hold our breath. Offit and the officials at the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services know perfectly well that vaccinated children are susceptible to far more illnesses and weakened immune systems than their unvaccinated peers.  Their greatest fear is a thorough long-term study to see whether unvaccinated children are indeed healthier. Otherwise, the necessary research to prove the health advantages of vaccines would have been conducted long ago.
Yet there are reasons why such studies are not mandated nor funded. Health agencies are fully aware that vaccines are a scourge. Instead they pump out ecological and epidemiological cohort studies, notorious for subjective manipulation, confounders and biases to support their dogma. Such studies, little more than mathematical equations for sifting, shifting and fudging data, are scientifically invalid for determining any medical truth.  Nevertheless, epidemiological studies remain the most cited articles by the most vocal proponents of vaccination and vaccine mandates.
The extremist wing of the pro-vaccine community, headed by Paul Offit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, have been diligently pursuing mandatory vaccination and encouraging states to repeal personal religious and philosophical exemption from vaccinating.  Although medical exemption is acknowledged, advocating efficient screening of infants and children to determine whether or not there are higher vaccine injury risks is never voiced. This radical contingent who speak on behalf of vaccines go as far as to suggest fines and imprisonment of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. They support local child services kidnapping unvaccinated children from homes and ushering them through courts into the nation’s deplorable foster care system.
The writings of Hannah Arendt over fifty years ago about the origins of totalitarian ideologies and states have never been more poignant and prophetic than today.  She worried deeply about the language of absolutism, and particularly in the realm of science, which is now the underlying mission of the CDC and the likes of Paul Offit, David Gorsky, and others seeking to politicize immunization. The attempt to reduce all of human life to well-defined processes, to predictable patterns and primitive linear reductionism, was in Arendt’s view both self-defeating and extremely dangerous for a healthy society. In a totalitarian state, objectivity is tyrannical. Scientific objectivity that threatens the official policy even more so. In the case of vaccines, the entire industry is a creed that has institutionalized a denial of the most fundamental principles of science and fact finding. Offit himself is a periodic lecturer at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conferences organized by the Koch Brothers for the purpose of privatizing all of government, healthcare, education and human life itself. His years of efforts to turn vaccine science into a political issue have succeeded.  And worse, the CDC’s ongoing war of terror against the unvaccinated has become lawful.  And this is what gives rise to a totalitarian culture of science.
Arendt was certain that a fascist worldview does not necessarily have to be framed in nationalism, religious doctrine nor based upon race and ethnicity. She worried that science, and its technologies, once they became politicized, would give rise to new forms of totalitarianism and persecution in the future. And today this totalitarian stench breathes through many scientific institutions and universities, throughout the private vaccine industry, and its most pungent odor of rot and decay fills the halls of the CDC.
Copyright © 2018 Natural Health News Creative Commons

Of Two Minds - The Pie Is Shrinking for the 99%

The ensuing social disunity and disruption will be of the sort many alive today have never seen.
Social movements arise to solve problems of inequality, injustice, exploitation and oppression. In other words, they are solutions to society-wide problems plaguing the many but not the few (i.e. the elites at the top of the wealth-power pyramid).
The basic assumption of social movements is that Utopia is within reach, if only the sources of the problems can be identified and remedied.  Since inequality, injustice, exploitation and oppression arise from the asymmetry of power between the few (the financial and political elites) and the many, the solution is a reduction of the asymmetry; that is a tectonic realignment of the social structure that shifts some power—economic and/or political—from the few to the many.
In some instances, the power asymmetry is between ethnic or gender classes, or economic classes (for example, labor and the owners of capital).
Social movements are characterized by profound conflict because the beneficiaries of the power asymmetry resist the demands for a fairer share of the power and privileges, while those who’ve held the short end of the stick have tired of the asymmetry and refuse to back down.
Two dynamics assist a social, political and economic resolution that transfers power from those with too much power to those with too little power: 1) the engines of the economy have shifted productive capacity definitively in favor of those demanding their fair share of power, and 2) the elites recognize that their resistance to power-sharing invites a less predictable and thus far more dangerous open conflict with forces that have much less to lose and much more to gain.
In other words, ceding 40% of their wealth-power still conserves 60%, while stubborn resistance might trigger a revolution that takes 100% of their wealth-power.
History provides numerous examples of these dynamics.  Once the primary sources of wealth-generation shifted from elite feudal landowners to merchants and industrialists, the wealth (and thus the political power) of the landed elites declined. As the industrialists hired vast numbers of laborers drawn from small farms and workshops, this mass industrialized labor became the source of the wealth generation; after decades of conflict, this labor class gained a significant share of the wealth and political power.
The civil rights and women’s liberation movements realigned the political and economic power of minorities and females more in line with their productive output, reducing the asymmetries of ethnic and gender privileges.
In broad-brush, progressive social movements seek to broaden opportunities and level the playing field by reducing the asymmetric privileges of dominant classes defined by power and privilege.  The core mechanism of this transition is the recognition and granting of universal human rights: the right to vote, the right to equal opportunity, and rights to economic security, i.e. entitlements that are extended universally to all citizens for education, healthcare, old-age pensions and income security.
Again in broad-brush, these movements have largely been categorized as politically Left, though many institutions deemed conservative (for example, various churches) have often provided bedrock support for progressive movements.
Social movements which seek to limit the excesses of state power tend to be categorized as conservative or politically Right, as they seek to realign the asymmetry of power held by the state in favor of the individual, family and the traditional social order.
The Expanding Pie Fueled Expanding Entitlements
Writer Ugo Bardi recently drew another distinction between Left and Right social movements: “Traditionally, the Left has emphasized rights while the Right has emphasized duties.
As rights manifested as economic entitlements rather than political (civil liberty) entitlements, rights accrue economic costs. As Bardi observes: “Having rights is nicer than having duties, but the problem is that human rights have a cost and that this cost was paid, so far, by fossil fuels. Now that fossil fuels are on their way out, who's going to pay?”
I would argue that the cost was also paid by higher productivity enabled by the technological, financial and social innovations of the Third Industrial Revolution, roughly speaking the interconnected advances of the second half of the 20th century.
These advances can be characterized as expanding the economic pie; that is, generating more energy, credit, technological tools, opportunities, security and capital (which includes financial, infrastructural, intellectual and social capital) for all to share in a socio-political-financial allocation broad enough to make everyone feel like they were making some forward progress.
This long-term, secular expansion of the pie naturally generated more demands for additional entitlements and rights, as the economy could clearly support the extra costs of allocating additional wealth and resources to the many.  From the point of view of the few (the elites), their own wealth continued expanding, so there was little resistance to expanding retirement, education and healthcare entitlements.
But in the 21st century, the expansion of the pie stagnated, and for many, it reversed. Adjusted for real-world inflation many households have seen their net incomes and wealth decline in the past decade.
Despite the endless media rah-rah about “growth” and “recovery,” it is self-evident to anyone who bothers to look beneath the surface of this facile PR that the pie is now shrinking. This dynamic is increasing inequality rather than reducing it.
The Shrinking Pie And Stagnant Productivity
It is a truism of economics that widespread increases in productivity are required to generate equally widespread increases in income and capital, i.e. productive wealth. To the consternation of many, productivity has stagnated since 2010; no wonder household income for all but the upper crust has gone nowhere.
If we glance at a chart of productivity, we see a strong correlation with speculative investment bubbles (the dot-com and housing bubbles 1995-2005) and speculative spikes fueled by central bank monetary stimulus (2009-10).  Absent bubbles and monumental excesses of central bank stimulus, productivity quickly sinks to its secular trend line: downwards.
Chart of US productivity growth since 1980
This next chart depicts the long-term trend line of productivity through all four industrial revolutions. Note the decline concurrent with the 4th Industrial Revolution (mobile telephony, the Internet, AI, robotics, peer-to-peer networks, etc.) and the depletion of cheap-to-access-and-refine oil:
Chart of declining GDP per capita over the past 2 centuries
The unwelcome reality is that the economy is changing in fundamental ways that cannot be reversed with policy tweaks, protests or wishful thinking.
Consider the percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) that goes to employee compensation (wages and salaried). Labor’s share of the GDP has been in a downtrend since 1970, which not coincidentally was the peak of secular productivity:
Chart showing wages becoming a smaller percentage of GDP over time
In this below chart of the distribution of wealth in the U.S., we find the same correlation to the downtrends in productivity and labor’s share of the economy.  The bottom 90% of households' (the many) share of the wealth pie topped out in the early 1980s and has declined precipitously since, while the wealth of the top 0.1% (the few) has more than tripled since the late 1970s:
Distribution of Wealth In the US since 1917
This next chart depicts the remarkable (and recent) spike income growth the few have recently enjoyed, at the expense of everyone else:
Chart showing Soaring Income Inequality
The increase in wealth and income inequality and the decline of productivity and labor’s share of GDP are the result of structural changes in the economy, changes with far-reaching consequences.
While it’s appealing to identify policies endorsed by self-serving insiders and elites as the source of these changes, that is far from the whole story. Much of this growing asymmetry stems from profound changes in the global economy that depreciate labor (as conventional labor is no longer scarce) and increase the gains of the top few in a “winner take most” allocation that benefits speculation, leverage and new ways of organizing labor and capital that reward the organizers far more than the users/participants.
In this new era of a steadily shrinking pie, the sources of inequality and related social problems have also shifted.  As a result, the social movements that were effective in the past are no longer effective today. Attempts to address rising inequality with the old tools are fueling frustration rather than actual solutions.
In Part 2 — Social Unrest: The Boiling-Over Point, we examine why our existing models for social change have slipped into ineffectual symbolic gestures that fuel fragmentation and frustration -- and why that will lead to a dangerous boiling over of the 99% against the elites controlling the system.
When that happens (inevitable on our current trajectory), the ensuing social disunity and disruption will be of the sort many alive today have never seen.
Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)
This essay was first published on, where I am a contributing writer.

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How the Koch Brothers Could Transform American Education - by Gary North

I share something with all four Koch brothers: prostate cancer. They have survived for over 20 years. I hope to as well.

Charles Koch is interested in free market education. He has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into free market organizational oases located on Keynesian/Democrat university campuses. These campuses remain Keynesian/Democrat.

What if he could teach a million high school students Austrian economics every year . . . permanently? Or two million? All over the world?
Meanwhile, over the last dozen years, Salman Khan has created the most successful educational program in history. He did it with no money initially. Using free YouTube videos, he created a K-12 math program. The curriculum is free.

Charles Koch is going to donate $400 million to politics between now and November.
This money will not change the direction of politics. The outcome will be determined by the state of the economy. If there is a recession between now and November, the Democrats will take the Senate and maybe the House. If there is a recession in 2020, the Democrats will take both houses of Congress and the White House, and will keep them for a decade or more. Koch's money not will change this.
He is 81 years old. His personal clock is ticking.

If he would allocate two to three million dollars for hiring libertarian teachers who have the ability to teach K-12 students, he could establish a launching pad to replace Khan Academy with a systematically libertarian online program.
It might cost $500,000 to edit and post 10,000 video-based lessons. It cost the Ron Paul Curriculum nothing. The instructors did their own video productions with under $500 worth of equipment per instructor. You can see the results here.

If he would then spend $100 million in marketing, he could match Khan. Maybe. Khan supposedly has 100 million students.
Online resources cover preschool through early college education, including math, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, finance, history and grammar. Khan Academy offers free personalized SAT test prep in partnership with the test developer, the College Board. Khan Academy has been translated into dozens of languages, and 100 million people use the platform worldwide every year.

Does the Khan Academy reaslly have that many students? That seems too high. But I know this: it has more than any other school in history.
Bill Gates' foundation gave him a few million dollars after it was up and running. So did other rich men. But this is chump change for the super-rich.
Charles Koch's thinking was shaped by Robert Lefevre, who ran the tiny Freedom School in Colorado 60 years ago. He has experienced first-hand what a dedicated, charismatic teacher can achieve in a non-accredited program that operates outside of academia.

I put together the Ron Paul Curriculum with under $5,000 upfront money. The RPC offered royalties instead of cash payments. It has about 10,000 lessons, just as the Khan Academy does. That was my target number. It took four years, 2013-17. Koch could duplicate it in 12 months with $2 million. The faculty is in his home town: the Wichita Collegiate School. It was founded by my friend Bob Love in 1963. He was on the board of the Foundation for Economic Education. It is a first-rate school. Koch could hire them on a one-time basis for $200 per lesson for 10,000 lessons. They could reproduce their classroom lectures on weekends and over the summer. That would cost $2 million. If he had to pay $300 or $400 per lesson, so what?

Would I like to see him do this? Yes. I want to see students leave the public schools. As far as I'm concerned, free market competition is positive. Even if Koch's program would reduce the number of RPC's students, I would favor it. But I don't think it would hurt the RPC at all. It would help it by legitimizing online education.

I think he is missing the boat. He would get enormous bang for the buck by funding an online curriculum.
If he won't do it, brother David has at least $50 billion.
If David won't do it, brother William could. He is worth at least $1.7 billion. But I don't know what his economic views are.

Khan attended MIT. So did Charles Koch, David Koch, and David's twin brother William. So did their father. Why should the brothers forfeit the world's K-12 online educational contest to a late-arrival MIT grad?
This seems like a slam dunk.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What is Theonomy? - The American Vision - Dr. Joel McDurmon —

Once or twice a year or so, someone asks me about something a critic says about “Theonomy,” usually because they have encountered some straw man version of it. They are now confused and want clarification. “So and so has said this. . . .” “Have you seen this link? . . .” Such occasions are good for helping the honest inquirer and exposing the misinformed and the dishonest all at the same time.
In order to clear any confusion, here’s both a reiteration of a simple definition of Theonomy that no theonomist would disagree with, and the proof that this simple perspective has always been the same, and always will be.
The word “Theonomy” comes from two Greek words, theos (God) and nomos (law). Together, these words simply mean “God’s law.” Since every Christian has some view of the role of God’s standards for living, every Christian believes in “theonomy” to some degree. What has come to be called “Theonomy,” however, is a particular view of the role of God’s law that includes the application of aspects of Old Testament law to all of life including the social realm and civil government. Those who hold to this view are properly called “theonomists.” . . .
Theonomy, then, can be defined as follows: the biblical teaching that Mosaic Law contains perpetual moral standards for living, including some judicial laws, which remain obligatory for today.
“Theonomy” is a much broader subject than merely civil government and social theory, but this is where it is, in my opinion, most distinct from other positions. It is also where it has been most controversial, owing to the fact that most Christians in history have allowed the civil realm to be governed by pagan and humanistic ideas and laws. Biblical direction here has always been badly needed.
Stating the definition as I have avoids certain misunderstandings. By including the word “some,” the new or hasty reader will (or should) at least not get the impression that Theonomy has no discontinuities with Old Testament law in view. Several critics have leveled this charge, wrong as it is, at Theonomy. Let’s foreclose even the possibility of such a charge up front.
My definition also avoids the common assumption that Theonomy involves salvation by law or salvation by works. No, we are talking here not about justification but about the moral standards of life and justice.
This is the definition I wrote and taught about in The Bounds of Love: An Introduction to God’s Law of Liberty. But is my definition the same general “theonomic perspective” that has always been taught?
Theonomy yesterday, today, and forever
None of what is written above surprises any theonomist. The idea that God’s judicial laws are still applicable, but not all of them in every detail, has been the standard position with Rushdoony, Bahnsen, North, DeMar, myself, and others. It was also the position of the forerunners of Theonomy such as Johannes Piscator, Thomas Edwards, John Gill, George Gillespie, and others, including some New England Puritans. Even if men have differed on important details, the basic interpretation has been the same throughout: God’s Mosaic judicial laws still apply except where the New Testament has rescinded them.
Furthermore, this very position was stated and clarified by Greg Bahnsen himself in the Preface to the second edition of Theonomy in Christian Ethics (TICE), in 1983. He covered the exact same definitional grounds: theonomy is a general concept, it is not a new concept nor a new term, and not all of the details of the law still apply:
Since “theonomy” simple means “God’s law” and has been used in connection with diverse ethical writers (e.g., Geesink, Van Til, Barth, Tillich), the title Theonomy in Christian Ethics does not tell us what specific view is taken of the place of God’s law in Christian living. Nevertheless, common parlance (if not partisan antipathy) has come to conventionally label the distinctive theses of this book (the ethical perspective of “Reconstructionism”) as the “theonomic position.” It would be beneficial if its teaching could be summarized.
Before offering an outline, we must be warned that some people have been kept from an accurate analysis of theonomic ethics—sometimes by the author’s manner of expression, sometimes because the order of discussion (especially qualifications) is not that expected by some readers, and sometimes because the book has simply not been read, or read completely, or read at a safe distance from distorting preconceptions and prejudices. For instance, a combination of such factors has misled some to maintain that Theonomy, because it often speaks of our obligation to the exhaustive details of God’s law (“every jot and tittle”), cannot allow any change or advance over the Old Testament at any point, even by God Himself, and must follow without exception every single Old Testament precept strictly, literally (even the cultural trappings necessitate verbatim application), and without qualification or modification.
These false depictions cannot be justified from a careful reading of the book. There are no fewer than seventy pages that refer to the progress of revelation and redemptive history, God’s right to change the law, exceptions to general continuity, laws which are laid aside, or advances over the Old Covenant. I mentioned “radical differences,” “legitimate and noteworthy discontinuities,” and laws which have “become obsolete.” What is championed is “the presumption” of moral continuity between the Testaments. It was clearly spelled out that “if we are to submit to God’s law, then we must submit to every bit of it (as well as its own qualifications).”
Bahnsen’s warnings against misrepresentation 35 years ago have rarely been heeded by the very types of critics of which he spoke. They still are not well heeded today, and today’s critics often seem even less scrupulous than previous ones.
While it is true that I have developed the interpretation and application of the discontinuities of the law to a point with which Bahnsen would have disagreed, two things are of note. First, he would not have disagreed with my simple definition of Theonomy (above). There is no way that he could have for it is perfectly consistent with his own.
Second, even if Bahnsen would disagree with my details, the fact remains that he did not himself provide many of them for us, so we can neither know his conclusions for sure, nor test any of his own interpretations against Scripture.
Nevertheless, the introduction to TICE makes it clear that his purpose was to argue for the applicability of the law in general, not to tease out every detail, so the analyses of details are not there by virtue of the nature of the book. It is simply an unfortunate fact that Bahnsen did not later provide detailed Scriptural commentary on the applications of those many cases.
There are some minor exceptions to this general neglect of detail from Bahnsen. He did cover even some of the more difficult passages of the law, at least in passing, in some old class lectures, but there he seems merely to state opinions and not work to prove them or to test them.
What he do have from Bahnsen regarding Theonomy and its details is this:
Our outline of the theonomic perspective indicates that it pertains to fundamental, underlying ethical principles and is not, as such, committed to distinctive interpretations and applications of the Old Testament moral directives. In the nature of the case, these principles leave plenty of room for disagreements in biblical exegesis (for prescriptive premises), observation of the world (for factual premises), and reasoning (for logically drawing an application). Thus theonomists will not necessarily agree with each other’s every interpretation and ethical conclusion. . . . Theonomy does not make the determination of our moral obligations or the elucidation of God’s commands a cut-and-dried, easy, obvious, or simplistic task. It rather advocates a basic approach to ethical questions which still requires (even if it does not always get) skilled exegesis and sensitive application. It does not automatically remove all difficulties in ethical reasoning, and theonomists certainly do not “have all the answers”! I have made such observations before. [TICE, xxviii–xxix.]
It seems perfectly fitting, then, to introduce Theonomy to audiences today with my definition: “the biblical teaching that Mosaic Law contains perpetual moral standards for living, including some judicial laws, which remain obligatory for today.” This is the Theonomy of yesterday, of today, and of forever.
So, if you find someone trying to pigeonhole “Theonomy” with a stricter or more detailed definition, usually in order promptly to dismiss it in some way, you can be absolutely certain that such a person is either misinformed, uninformed, or lying. You can then choose the appropriate course of action.
In the meantime, in you wish to understand Theonomy, I would suggest you read Theonomy. You can start with my introduction (it’s also free online), or pick something from our suggested reading list.

The Urgent Case for Legislation against Facebook and Google - By Pamela Geller

Having been one of the early targets of social media censorship on Facebook, YouTube et al, I have advocated for anti-trust action against these bullying behemoths. It is good to see establishment outlets such as the Wall Street Journaland National Review coming to the same conclusion, or at least asking the same questions.
Just this week, Facebook launched its latest of many attacks on my news site, theGeller Report. It labeled my site as "spam" and removed every Geller Report post -- thousands upon thousands of them, going back years – from Facebook. It also blocked any Facebook member from sharing links to the Geller Report. The ramping up of the shutting-down of sites like mine is neither random nor personal. The timing is telling. The left is gearing up for the 2018 midterm elections, and they mean to shut down whatever outlet or voice that helped elect President Trump, the greatest upset in left-wing history.
In fighting this shutdown, we had to go back to the drawing board in our lawsuitagainst these social media giants. The basis of our suit was challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment, which provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.
Facebook and Google take in roughly half of all Internet ad revenue. According to the Wall Street Journal:
In the U.S., Alphabet Inc.’s Google drives 89% of internet search; 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook Inc. product; and Inc. now accounts for 75% of electronic book sales. Those firms that aren’t monopolists are duopolists: Google and Facebook absorbed 63% of online ad spending last year; Google and Apple Inc. provide 99% of mobile phone operating systems; while Apple and Microsoft Corp. supply 95% of desktop operating systems.
Both companies routinely censor and spy on their customers, “massaging everything from the daily news to what we should buy.” In the last century, the telephone was our “computer,” and Ma Bell was how we communicated. That said, would the American people (or the government) have tolerated AT&T spying on our phone calls and then pulling our communication privileges if we expressed dissenting opinions? That is exactly what we are suffering today.
Ma Bell was broken up by the government, albeit for different reasons. But it can and should be done.
It’s not a little ironic that, according to Breitbart:
AT&T has called for an “Internet Bill of Rights” and argued that Facebook and Google should also be subjected to rules that would prevent unfair censorship on their platforms.
AT&T, one of the largest telecommunications companies, called for Congress to enact an “Internet Bill of Rights” which would subject Facebook, Google, and other content providers to rules that would prevent unfair censorship on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast or AT&T as well as content providers such as Facebook and Google.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson wrote, “Congressional action is needed to establish an ‘Internet Bill of Rights’ that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protection for all internet users.”
Stephenson posted the ad in the New York Times, Washington Post,and other national news outlets on Wednesday.
We must get behind this -- all of us -- and fast. Because what is happening is being engineered at the government level. A chief officer from a major American communications company went to the terror state of Pakistan to assure the Pakistani government that Facebook would adhere to the sharia. The commitment was given by Vice President of Facebook Joel Kaplan, who called on Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. “Facebook has reiterated its commitment to keep the platform safe and promote values that are in congruence with its community standards.”
Why the block? Because under Islamic law, you cannot criticize Islam. Facebook adhering to the most extreme and brutal ideology on the face of the earth should trouble all of us, because Mark Zuckerberg has immense power. He controls the flow of information.
Early last year, I wrote: “The US government has used anti-trust laws to break up monopolies. They ought to break up Facebook. Section 2 of the Sherman Acthighlights particular results deemed anticompetitive by nature and prohibits actions that ‘shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations.’ Couldn’t the same be applied to information? The United States government took down Standard Oil, Alcoa, Northern Securities, the American Tobacco Company and many others without nearly the power that Facebook has.”
NRO has come to that same conclusion:
Tech companies such as Google and Facebook are also utilities of sorts that provide essential services. They depend on the free use of public airwaves. Yet they are subject to little oversight; they simply make up their own rules as they go along. Antitrust laws prohibit one corporation from unfairly devouring its competition, capturing most of its market, and then price-gouging as it sees fit without fear of competition. Google has all but destroyed its search-engine competitors in the same manner that Facebook has driven out competing social media.
Clearly Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, and Jeff Bezos are contemporary “robber barons.” So why are they not smeared, defamed, and reviled like the robber barons of yesteryear? Says NRO:
Why are huge tech companies seemingly exempt from the rules that older corporations must follow? First, their CEOs wisely cultivate the image of hipsters. The public sees them more as aging teenagers in T-shirts, turtlenecks, and flip-flops than as updated versions of J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, or other robber barons of the past. Second, the tech industry’s hierarchy is politically progressive.
In brilliant marketing fashion, the Internet, laptops, tablets, and smartphones have meshed with the hip youth culture of music, television, the movies, universities, and fashion. Think Woodstock rather than Wall Street. Corporate spokesmen at companies such as Twitter and YouTube brag about their social awareness, especially on issues such as radical environmentalism, identity politics, and feminism. Given that the regulatory deep state is mostly a liberal enterprise, the tech industry is seen as an ally of federal bureaucrats and regulators. Think more of Hollywood, the media, and universities than Exxon, General Motors, Koch Industries, and Philip Morris.
The groovy t-shirt-turtleneck vibe may keep the great unwashed under their spell, but it’s the shared political ideology with the left that keeps these corporate managers free from accountability. The WSJ writes that antitrust regulators have a narrow test: Does their size leave consumers worse off? Surmising that if that’s the test, “there isn’t a clear case for going after big tech.”
I disagree. The consumer is far worse off. If we are not free to speak and think in what is today’s Gutenberg press, than we could not be worse off.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of The Geller Report and author of the bestselling book,FATWA: Hunted in America, as well as The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her onTwitter or Facebook.

Piety for the Future - by Joe Sobran - : A review of Christian Humanism

A review of Christian Humanism:
A Critique of the Secular City and
Its Ideology
 by Thomas Molnar
(Franciscan Herald Press, 1979)
The National Review Years, April 27, 1979 — Secular humanism (as Irving Kristol has pointed out) is virtually an established religion, with the added advantage (as James Hitchcock has pointed out) that it doesn’t suffer the disabilities currently imposed on acknowledged religions.
Joachim of Flora predicted the advent of a new “Age of the Spirit,” in which man would outgrow the need for Christian and ecclesiastical authority and achieve an autonomous perfection.
At one time it was plausible to say that this humanism was common sense, plus a little science and history: reason herself as she speaks when liberated from superstition and dogma. It was the light at the end of the tunnel of the Christian era, when man would return to the sunny rationality of the ancients, a condition enhanced by modern scientific method. This view is expressed in the very names given to historical eras: Dark Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment.
Christian Humanism abounds in startling linkages; …it is an excellent short genealogy of a nihilism that was conceived in hope. Sartre’s Nothingness didn’t come out of nowhere. In defining man as the desire to be God he is in a sense deeply traditional.
Specialists in these areas have long since found that such terms fit only very loosely, at best. A new historiography, exemplified in the work of Eric Voegelin, has suggested a radically new scheme, in which humanism is found to be, not mere secularism, but a positive creed, an ideology, informed by the Christian heresy of Gnosticism, and even traceable to that heresy as promulgated in the twelfth century by Joachim of Flora.
Joachim predicted the advent of a new “Age of the Spirit,” in which man would outgrow the need for Christian and ecclesiastical authority and achieve an autonomous perfection. Although modern humanism adopts profane accents, its structure remains that of the old heresy, so it is not strange that secular humanism should find allies within the church from which the heresy sprang in the first place. Hence the phenomenon of Christian humanism, which cooperates with the superficially secular brand in seeking to impose utopian regimes. The superficiality of the differences is apparent in that formal credal positions seldom inhibit that cooperation. The distinction between a George McGovern and a Robert Drinan seems merely sartorial.
Thomas Molnar wisely reminds us that many of the ancients were offended by Christianity in the first place because of the very “humanism” of the Incarnation: what an indignity for a god to become a mortal!
In Christian HumanismThomas Molnar sketches the shape and history of that ideology. He wisely reminds us that many of the ancients were offended by Christianity in the first place because of the very “humanism” of the Incarnation: what an indignity for a god to become a mortal! It was like becoming a head of lettuce. Given this apparent derogation of divine transcendence, it was inevitable that humanistic excess should become a permanently tempting position for Christians.
Molnar finds adumbrations not only in Joachim but in more familiar gures like Nicholas of Cusa, William of Ockham, and Pico della Mirandola. Contrary to modern mythology, the Renaissance’s optimism about human potential was not a return to paganism, whose fatalism (cf. Homer, Aeschylus, Aristotle, Vergil, Seneca) gave little warrant for faith in human perfection or general progress. Ancient man saw himself as locked into the natural order. Pico saw man as “fashioner of his own being,” or as Molnar puts it, “a pure indeterminacy”: a phrase that places Pico nearer to Sartre than to Sophocles. Christian Humanism abounds in such startling linkages; among other things it is an excellent short genealogy of a nihilism that was conceived in hope. Sartre’s Nothingness didn’t come out of nowhere. In defining man as the desire to be God he is in a sense deeply traditional.
The doctrine of the Incarnation makes the transcendent God paradoxically present. The paradox is intellectually unfathomable and psychologically hard to bear.
The doctrine of the Incarnation makes the transcendent God paradoxically present. The paradox is intellectually unfathomable and psychologically hard to bear; the easy way out is for man to seek to “abolish this duality and turn, single-mindedly, toward tasks that his earthly existence prescribes to him.”
Yet the idea of divinity, once known, is less easy to banish. It becomes assimilated to humanity entirely. Man becomes God, in a reversal of the Incarnation. When the conception of man is collectivized, the entire human race becomes the locus of divinity. Man is the measure of all things, but this “man” includes men unborn. Since it is obvious even to ideologues that those men who now exist are far from perfection, divinized man must be something as yet unrealized, a “new man,” man as he will (according to ideology anyway) be.
The idea of divinity … becomes assimilated to humanity entirely. Man becomes God, in a reversal of the Incarnation. When the conception of man is collectivized, the entire human race becomes the locus of divinity. Man is the measure of all things, but this “man” includes men unborn.
Thus humanism gives its energies to utopian politics. Having abandoned the eternal, it loses interest in (and even resents) traditional criteria of sin and virtue; personal behavior is a matter of concern only as it bears on man’s collective destiny. (Exit chastity.) The real action is at the level of the state. Those who think that what has happened to American government can be summed up as “secularization,” as in abortion, have failed to notice the way secular humanism (backed by the Christian kind) has aggressively tried to engulf traditional values.
Profound and incisive as usual, Molnar identifies the project of Christian humanism’s theology: “the complete assimilation of the Church to the World.” But that world is the world of the future — as imagined by humanism itself. And if we are to be “open” to the future, as the Rahners and the Kungs tell us to be, how, Molnar asks, can they presume to say in advance what it will be like? If they already know its nature, they hardly need wait and see.
Thus humanism gives its energies to utopian politics. Having abandoned the eternal, it loses interest in (and even resents) traditional criteria of sin and virtue; personal behavior is a matter of concern only as it bears on man’s collective destiny. (Exit chastity.)
The secret of humanism turns out to be not that it is open to the future but that it is closed to the past and therefore to the permanency embodied in the past. It is really a posture of revolt and repudiation, its idealism an excuse for demolishing the actual. And its deepest sin is ingratitude.
Copyright © 2018 by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved. “Piety for the Future” by Joe Sobran was published originally in National Review magazine on April 27, 1979. This is one of 34 articles in the Sobran anthology, Joseph Sobran: The National Review Years published by FGF Books in 2012. The book is currently out-of-stock, but the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation hopes to reprint soon.

The Last Fed Chairman? - By Ron Paul

Last week the Senate confirmed Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve Chairman by a vote of 84-13. This is in contrast to the contentious debates and closer votes over Janet Yellen’s confirmation in 2014 and Ben Bernanke’s confirmation for a second term in 2010. Powell benefited from a perception that the economy’s recovery from the 2007-08 meltdown proves that the Fed is a capable manager of monetary policy. However, the perceptions of economic recovery and Federal Reserve competence are both far from the truth.

The economy may seem to have recovered, but the recovery is not built on a firm foundation. Instead it rests on Fed-created bubbles in areas such as automobile sales, credit cards debt, student loan debt, stocks, and even a new housing bubble.

The most dangerous bubble is the government debt bubble. The Fed facilitates deficit spending by monetizing the federal debt. The desire to enable Congress’ spending addiction is a major reason why the Fed cannot significantly raise interest rates, as increasing rates could increase federal debt payments to unsustainable levels. This may be one reason why President Trump has reversed course and endorsed low interest rates. Of course, all first-term presidents want low interest rates since they believe the low rates boost the economy and thus help them win reelection.

One of the issues Powell will face is increasing challenges to the dollar’s world reserve currency status. China is pressuring Saudi Arabia to price oil in Chinese yuan instead of in American dollars. China and other countries may take other steps, such as halting purchases of Treasury bonds, that could weaken the dollar. The threats to the dollar’s world reserve currency status will increase as concerns about US government and private sector debt, as well as resentment over US militarism and protectionism, grow.

The dollar still maintains its reserve currency status not because the dollar is strong, but because other countries’ currencies are weak. However, unless the US gets its economic house in order, that may not long be the case.

A new challenge to the dollar’s status is emerging from the private sector as more individuals seek alternatives to government-created fiat currency. The dramatic increase in the value of bitcoins may very well be another Fed-created bubble, but it is one fueled in part by desire to be free of the Fed’s ever-depreciating paper dollars.

Another sign of the people’s rejection of the Fed is the passage of state laws recognizing gold and silver as legal tender. Arizona passed such a law last year and Wyoming will soon consider a similar bill. As the failure of our current system becomes more apparent, more states will give their citizens freedom from the Fed’s money monopoly.

Much to new Fed Chairman Powell’s chagrin, support for the Audit the Fed bill remains high. As knowledge of how the Fed endangers prosperity grows, the pressure on Congress to pass Audit the Fed will prove irresistible.

Jerome Powell may seem to be assuming the Fed chairmanship at a time of increasing prosperity and renewed respect for the Fed. However, the prosperity is an illusion built on a series of Fed-created bubbles whose bursting will cause a major economic downturn. This will increase both the growing challenges to the dollar’s world reserve currency status and the number of people seeking alternatives to Federal Reserve-created fiat currency. Powell could be the last Fed chairman if the next Fed-created economic crisis leads the people to force Congress to audit and then end the Fed.

Copyright © 2018 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Too Many Wars. Too Many Enemies - By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Turkey is not bluffing, U.S. troops in Manbij, Syria, could be under fire by week’s end, and NATO engulfed in the worst crisis in its history.
Turkish President Erdogan said Friday his troops will cleanse Manbij of Kurdish fighters, alongside whom U.S. troops are embedded.
Erdogan’s foreign minister demanded concrete steps by the U.S. to end its support of the Kurds, who control the Syrian border with Turkey east of the Euphrates, all the way to Iraq.
If the Turks attack Manbij, the U.S. will face a choice: Stand by our Kurdish allies and resist the Turks, or abandon the Kurds.
Should the U.S. let the Turks drive the Kurds out of Manbij and the entire Syrian border area with Turkey, as Erdogan threatens, U.S. credibility would suffer a blow from which it would not soon recover.
But to stand with the Kurds and oppose Erdogan’s forces could mean a crackup of NATO and loss of U.S. bases inside Turkey, including the air base at Incirlik.
Turkey also sits astride the Dardanelles entrance to the Black Sea. NATO’s loss of Turkey would thus be a triumph for Vladimir Putin, who gave Ankara the green light to cleanse the Kurds from Afrin.
Yet Syria is but one of many challenges to U.S. foreign policy.
The Winter Olympics in South Korea may have taken the threat of a North Korean ICBM that could hit the U.S. out of the news. But no one believes that threat is behind us.
Last week, China charged that the USS Hopper, a guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal, a reef in the South China Sea claimed by Beijing, though it is far closer to Luzon in the Philippines. The destroyer, says China, was chased off by one of her frigates. If we continue to contest China’s territorial claims with U.S. warships, a clash is inevitable.
In a similar incident Monday, a Russian military jet came within five feet of a U.S. Navy EP-3 Orion surveillance plane in international airspace over the Black Sea, forcing the Navy plane to end its mission.
U.S. relations with Cold War ally Pakistan are at rock bottom. In his first tweet of 2018, President Trump charged Pakistan with being a duplicitous and false friend.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
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As for America’s longest war, in Afghanistan, now in its 17th year, the end is nowhere on the horizon.
A week ago, the International Hotel in Kabul was attacked and held for 13 hours by Taliban gunmen who killed 40. Midweek, a Save the Children facility in Jalalabad was attacked by ISIS, creating panic among aid workers across the country.
Saturday, an ambulance exploded in Kabul, killing 103 people and wounding 235. Monday, Islamic State militants attacked Afghan soldiers guarding a military academy in Kabul. With the fighting season two months off, U.S. troops will not soon be departing.
If Pakistan is indeed providing sanctuary for the terrorists of the Haqqani network, how does this war end successfully for the United States?
Last week, in a friendly fire incident, the U.S.-led coalition killed 10 Iraqi soldiers. The Iraq war began 15 years ago.
Yet another war, where the humanitarian crisis rivals Syria, continues on the Arabian Peninsula. There, a Saudi air, sea and land blockade that threatens the Yemeni people with starvation has failed to dislodge Houthi rebels who seized the capital Sanaa three years ago.
This weekend brought news that secessionist rebels, backed by the United Arab Emirates, have seized power in Yemen’s southern port of Aden, from the Saudi-backed Hadi regime fighting the Houthis.
These rebels seek to split the country, as it was before 1990.
Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE appear to be backing different horses in this tribal-civil-sectarian war into which America has been drawn.
There are other wars — Somalia, Libya, Ukraine — where the U.S. is taking sides, sending arms, training troops, flying missions.
Like the Romans, we have become an empire, committed to fight for scores of nations, with troops on every continent, and forces in combat operations of which the American people are only vaguely aware.
“I didn’t know there were 1,000 troops in Niger,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham when four Green Berets were killed there. “We don’t know exactly where we’re at in the world, militarily, and what we’re doing.”
No, we don’t, Senator.
As in all empires, power is passing to the generals.
And what causes the greatest angst today in the imperial city?
Fear that a four-page memo worked up in the House Judiciary Committee may discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia-gate.