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Mark Dankof: Why We’re Finished

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Mark Dankof’s America

“The Old American Republic is dead. The American Empire wants to destroy all of us who believe in Republic, not in Empire. I see no reason to believe the American public has the insight and the guts to stand up to this onslaught. We Are Truly Finished.”

I have been receiving a lot of mail from folks asking why I’ve taken a mild leave of absence from broadcasting and writing op-ed pieces for The Ugly Truth. I will appear from time to time, but on a more limited basis, both with The Ugly Truth and Press TV. I’ve been reassessing what good I’m actually doing, given the seemingly inexorable and disastrous direction the American Empire has embarked upon, and what seems like the absolute passivity and indifference of the American public to their own fate in all of this, not to mention the world. In more recent times, I’ve been working on theological articles while preparing to resume my thesis for my last degree along with some theological German study. I’m also job hunting to supplement my income as I assess the future. The bottom line is this: The title of this piece tells you what I’ve concluded about the country and the American people. It isn’t a happy endgame. What appears below are my latest thoughts at the present time.]

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dankofinwashingtondc2011As he was preparing to leave office in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned that “America must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence…by the military-industrial complex.” Borrowing the title from the Frank Capra Defense Department propaganda films of World War II, documentary film maker Eugene Jarecki chronicled the Eisenhower warning in Why We Fight, a production that would win the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

I vaguely remember Eisenhower. What I didn’t know as a little boy in the summer of 1960 when my family piled into my Dad’s new white Plymouth Station Wagon to depart Alexandria, Virginia for McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, was the fact that Dad was working for the Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC), the intelligence organization created by Eisenhower to work with the CIA and the AEC in monitoring Soviet nuclear tests, explosions, and missile sites around the world. I did not know that my father was acquainted with Eisenhower, Curtis LeMay, Paul Tibbets of the Enola Gay, and many other storied names of the Second World War and the Cold War that followed. I would learn a number of things about Dad in the decades that followed. There are many other things I never learned, even as he was losing both coherence and consciousness in the final days of his life in San Antonio in May of 2009. Allen Dulles was correct. There are some things that remain secret “from inception to eternity.”

In 1961, as a denizen of kindergarten at the Arthur S. Dudley Elementary School on an American Air Force reservation in Sacramento, I also had no idea that my father would also become acquainted with President Kennedy. All I knew was that Kennedy was the most handsome and dynamic man I’d ever seen on TV, with the most beautiful wife to match. With Kennedy in office, watching Arnold Palmer on TV winning the British Open, making many trips to San Francisco’s Candlestick Park to see Willie Mays in his prime, and trekking to old Kezar Stadium to watch the football 49ers, my idyllic childhood on the West Coast was wedded to an America filled with hope, youth, and limitless future. Mythology and visual images seemed to correspond with reality. The realities of what Seymour Hersh would reveal in his 1996 chronicle of the Kennedy years entitled “The Dark Side of Camelot,” did not correspond to my universe as a kid in the America of the early 1960s. More

Should We Kill the Fed?

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I have my own observations about ending the FED.  Actually I think it has been in the plans all along and is being sold now as some saving act that will restore our country.  It will simply throw us totally under the World Bank bus…..which is right where they intended us to go to begin.  Still, this article lays out some of the lesser known facts about the Great Depression.    Marti

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by Patrick J. Buchanan Posted 04/03/2009 ET
Updated 04/03/2009 ET

 

For the financial crisis that has wiped out trillions in wealth, many have felt the lash of public outrage.

Fannie and Freddie. The idiot-bankers. The AIG bonus babies. The Bush Republicans and Barney Frank Democrats who bullied banks into making mortgages to minorities who could not afford the houses they were moving into.

But the Big Kahuna has escaped.

The Federal Reserve.

“(T)he very people who devised the policies that produced the mess are now posing as the wise public servants who will show us the way out,” writes Thomas Woods in “Meltdown.”

Already in its sixth week on the New York Times best-seller list, this eminently readable book traces the Fed’s role in every financial crisis since this creature was spawned on Jekyl Island in 1913.

The “forgotten depression” of 1920-21 was caused by a huge increase in the money supply for President Wilson’s war. When the Fed started to tighten at war’s end, production fell 20 percent from mid-1920 to mid-1921, far more than today.

Why did we not read about that depression?

Because the much-maligned Warren Harding refused to intervene. He let businesses and banks fail and prices fall. Hence, the fever quickly broke, and we were off into “the Roaring Twenties.”

But, the Fed reverted, expanding the money supply by 55 percent, an average of 7.3 percent a year, not through an expansion of the currency, but through loans to businesses.

Thus, when the Fed tightened in the overheated economy, the Crash came, as the stock market bubble the Fed had created burst.

Herbert Hoover, contrary to the myth that he was a small-government conservative, renounced laissez-faire, raised taxes, launched public works projects, extended emergency loans to failing businesses and lent money to the states for relief programs.

Hoover did what Obama is doing.

Indeed, in 1932, FDR lacerated Hoover for having presided over the “greatest spending administration in peacetime in all of history.” His running mate, John Nance Garner, accused Hoover of “leading the country down the path to socialism.” And “Cactus Jack” was right.

Terrified of the bogeyman that causes Ben Bernanke sleepless nights — deflation, falling prices — FDR ordered crops destroyed, pigs slaughtered, and business cartels to cut production and fix prices.

FDR mistook the consequences of the Depression — falling prices — for the cause of the depression. But prices were simply returning to where they belonged in a free market, the first step in any cure.

Obama is repeating the failed policies of Hoover and FDR, by refusing to let prices fall. Obama, with his intervention to prop up housing prices and Bernanke with his gushers of money to bail out bankrupt banks and businesses are creating a new bubble that will burst even more spectacularly.

The biggest myth, writes Woods, is that it was World War II that ended the Great Depression. He quotes Paul Krugman:

“What saved the economy and the New Deal was the enormous public works project known as World War II, which finally provided a fiscal stimulus adequate to the economy’s needs.”

This Nobel Prize winner’s analysis, writes Woods, is a “stupefying and bizarre misunderstanding of what actually happened,”

Undoubtedly, with 29 percent of the labor force conscripted at one time or another into the armed forces, and their jobs taken by elderly men, women and teenagers with little work experience, unemployment will fall.

But how can an economy be truly growing 13 percent a year, as the economists claim, when there is rationing, shortages everywhere, declining product quality, an inability to buy homes and cars, and a longer work week? When the cream of the labor force is in boot camps or military bases, or storming beaches, sailing ships, flying planes and marching with rifles, how can your real economy be booming?

It was 1946, a year economists predicted would result in a postwar depression because government spending fell by two-thirds, that proved the biggest boom year in all of American history.

Why? Because the real economy was producing what people wanted: cars, TVs, homes. Businesses were responding to consumers, not the clamor of a government run by dollar-a-year men who wanted planes, tanks, guns and ships to blow things up.

“The Fed was the greatest single contributor to the crisis that unfolds before us,” Woods writes of today, and “more dollars were created between 2000 and 2007 than in the rest of the republic’s history.”

After 9-11, the Fed kept interest rates low — in one year as low as 1 percent. That money flooded into the housing and stock markets. And in 2008, as the Fed tightened, the bubble burst.

Now the money supply is again expanding, to rescue us from a crisis created by the previous expansion. Of Nicholas Biddle’s Bank of the United States, the great Andrew Jackson was eloquent.

“It has tried to kill me,” he said. “But I will kill it.” And he did.

Should not this creature from Jekyl Island, for all its manifold crimes and sins against the republic, also be summarily put to death?

 

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