By way of Free Republic:
Copyright © 2004-2016
The following article was written by Sound Money Defense League Assistant Director Jp Cortez. It was originally published on September 21, 2016 at www.soundmoneydefense.org.
Assuming you had the money, would you loan $10,000 to be paid back over 30 years plus 3% interest?
What if inflation skyrocketed? That would benefit the borrower and deeply harm you as the lender. Even if you were repaid, the declining value of those repayments wouldn’t come close to making up for your loss in purchasing power.
Given that today’s rates of inflation are generally higher than interest rates, agreeing to be paid at a fixed rate over a longer period of time is a risky proposition. The purchasing power of the Federal Reserve Note has already fallen drastically since its last link to gold was severed in 1971. And in the coming decades, America’s currency will surely continue to depreciate – possibly at an even higher rate.
One way to reduce the uncertainty facing both parties who enter into a long-term financial arrangement is to employ what is called a “gold-clause contract.”
This tool gives creditors and borrowers alike a significant degree of insulation from currency risk, including both inflation and deflation.
Simply put, a gold-clause contract is a contract which explicitly specifies payment in gold or silver (or both), and therefore can only be satisfied by such payment.
Gold clause contracts used to be common in the United States, that is, until President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The president that ushered in the new era of socialism spent a massive amount of money in the 1930s in an attempt to stimulate the country out of the Great Depression. Even with printing of money and the tax hikes that he enacted, he still needed more cash.
The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 originially required that every Federal Reserve note printed had to be backed by 40% gold owned by the Federal government. When Roosevelt wanted to print more money to prop up falling asset prices, his “solution” to this “problem” of a gold backing requirement was simple: expropriate the gold, i.e. ban private possession and require it be handed over in exchange for paper money.
If the government obtained the public’s gold, it could print many more currency units. Thus, he issuedExecutive Order 6102 in 1933. The possession of more than 5 ounces of gold became illegal, and Congress followed up with a joint resolution removing federal court jurisdiction to enforce gold clauses in contracts.
However, deflation is extremely unlikely to be allowed because central banks suffer fromapoplithorismosphobia, or an intense fear of deflation.
Therefore, inflation and currency debasement is the predictable path, particularly as we head towards a financial crisis of the likes of which have not been seen since the Great Depression.
Today, inflation-escalation clauses are sometimes included in contracts. Financially savvy people know that it is almost certain that the Federal Reserve Note will continue losing purchasing power in the long term, so it makes sense to include a clause as a way of adjusting for varying degrees of inflation.
But no one really knows how extreme inflation will get. That’s largely dependent on the actions of politicians in Congress and policymakers on the Federal Reserve Board. Accordingly, inflation escalation clauses which pre-determine the annual increase are entirely arbitrary and do not provide much protection.
Gold clause contracts, in a way, release people from the chains bound upon them by legal tender laws. By explicitly naming the manner in which one wishes to be paid, the contract is free from the restrictions that come with having to accept Federal Reserve Notes (commonly referred to as dollars) for repayment of debts. Per Title 31, United States Code, Section 5118, a gold clause contract is perfectly legal. That said, there are a few nuances that go into drafting effective clauses.
However, with information readily available, gold clause contracts can find a foothold in the financial lives of many citizens and eventually become adopted more widely in the economy. Edwin Vieira, Jr. writes, “if enough people in a particular area did begin to employ gold-clause contracts on a routine basis, the relentless forces of competition would drive the economy in that area away from depreciating paper currency.”
Through adoption and use of gold-clause contracts comes adoption and use of gold (and silver) as a medium of exchange. The deficiencies of paper money will be made abundantly clear when compared side-to-side with real money.
The 1930s was a trying time for economic liberty where government, both state and federal, ran amok. In 1934, the contracts clause was all but eliminated. In Homebuilding and Loan Association v. Blaisdell, the Supreme Court said that states can change the terms of contracts in an effort to combat tough economic times.
In 1935, after the signing of President Roosevelt’s contemptible gold expropriation order, the Supreme Court ruled on four cases that came to be known as the Gold Clause Cases. These four cases came to the Supreme Court as challenges to invalidate gold clauses in contracts.
The Supreme Court released its decision for all four cases on the same day, and all four rulings shared the same holding: “sanctity of contracts” is an empty platitude. If the contract says something government bureaucrats don’t like, courts can refuse to enforce them, effectively invalidating them.
Unlike in Fletcher v. Peck, where the court held that Georgia could not invalidate contracts, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress’ power to regulate money was a plenary power, meaning it had the supreme power in this area. Gold clause contracts, the Supreme Court said, jeopardized Congress’ efforts to control the monetary system at that time.
However, there are steps that can be taken on the state level to ensure the widespread acceptance of gold clause contracts.
This is as simple as making sure that enforcement mechanisms are in place to help the private parties that choose to use these contracts.
In both Bronson v. Rodes and Butler v. Horwitz, the court reached the same decision: a specific performance clause explicitly naming a method of payment cannot be substituted for another legal tender.
That means if a contract calls for repayment in gold or silver – or even prescribe a specific form such as a Canadian Gold Maple Leaf one-ounce coins – Federal Reserve Note “dollars” are not a suitable surrogate. A guarantee of specific performance is crucial to the reliability of gold clause contracts.
Now is the time for states to encourage gold clause contracts by enacting legislation which requires state courts to give them full effect and enforceability. The first state that does this will benefit the most by attracting new business from all over the nation.
With monetary turbulence and the danger of inflation increasing by the day, citizens and businesses need a greater ability to use gold and silver to protect themselves.
Clinton's health may become the issue.
Flanked by several Secret Service agents who are regulars on her detail, Clinton can be seen leaning against a security bollard while agents prepare to help her into a black van. As she steps forward, Clinton can be seen falling as agents help lift her into the van.
Will this be the pretext for dumping Clinton in favor of a candidate who is not so blatantly dishonest and untrustworthy.
Hillary Clinton launched a strident attack on Donald Trump's patriotism, the other day, claiming that Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin was “unpatriotic” and “scary” and implying that his attitude towards Putin could present a threat to our national security. Here is a flavor of Trump's praise for Vladimir Putin:
"I think it's inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country."
It's not surprising that Trump would get hammered over his comment. The press has been suffering through a drought in Trump disciplinary lapses, so even those in media who are not in the tank for Hillary are inclined to make a big deal out of this because controversy is their bread and butter. So Trump gets hammered, even though he followed up by saying that Putin would not be pushing him around once he's elected.
"And that's going to change the day that Donald Trump becomes president.”
I took Trump's comment to be not so much praise for Putin and as much as disgust that Obama and Clinton have been so pathetic by comparison. I took it to mean that Trump recognizes Putin as a formidable adversary and one that he won't underestimate — even while he hopes to be able to work with him. In other words, he's not about to bring him a silly reset button, mistakenly labeled "Overcharge", and expect it to pave the way to world peace.
I suppose I ought to be careful in what I say here lest somebody call me racist. Or sexist. Or maybe unpatriotic. It's what you get for preferring Trump to Clinton.
Yes. I side with the deplorables, and Hillary's later statement of regret over her insult to Trump supporters only hardens my opposition and dislike of her. She said she was wrong to say that half of Trump supporters were her "basket of deplorables," though I'm not sure if she meant that half was too few or too many. In either case, it was not an apology to millions of voters she doesn't know, and has no interest in knowing.
For decades the race card has been the go-to strategy of Democrats, but somehow the tried and true hasn't worked this time. Baffling. Railing against Trump as a racist, sexist, bigot comes up empty. So Clinton and the political geniuses in her campaign have broadened their target to include anybody who supports Trump as well as Trump himself. Presumably she'll shame people away from supporting Trump. We'll soon find out how well that's going to work, but let me predict that it will be even less effective than calling only Trump the racist.
Hillary is lives in a different world from the rest of us and it seems a disadvantage to her. Hers is a world of elites. Listen to the clip and you can hear them chuckling and applauding Hillary's clever insult. She's one of them, and they're with her, separate from the rest.
Neither she nor they can imagine that outside of the room, people didn't think Hillary was very funny, since they had just been slapped hard across the face with an insult. Inside of the room Hillary was too busy parading her virtues to notice. Inside her world she was basking in the applause.
It was only later, probably after somebody told her, that she realized her swipe might have hit somebody who didn't deserve to be hit. No matter. Those others, they're never going to be on the inside. So Hillary went on to repeat her insult in a clumsy explanation that was intended to refocus it on a smaller target. It was as if she said, "No no, not you. You," pointing at some other supposed bigot.
"I won't stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign," Clinton said.
She also noted her comments about empathizing with other Trump supporters.
"As I said, many of Trump's supporters are hard-working Americans who just don't feel like the economy or our political system are working for them," Clinton said. "I'm determined to bring our country together and make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top. Because we really are 'stronger together.'"
Clinton. Contempt, condescension, and delusions of competence.
You may have heard that already. If you listened to speakers at the Democratic National Convention, you couldn’t miss it. America is the greatest country in the world. Over and over we heard that America is already the greatest country in the world, and we don’t need Donald Trump to Make America Great Again.
But we really do. Zero Hedge has some disturbing numbers pulled from David Stockman’s soon to be released book “Trumped! A Nation On The Brink… And How To Bring It Back“.
Because the main street economy is failing, the nation’s entitlement rolls have exploded. About 110 million citizens now receive some form of means tested benefits. When social security is included, more than 160 million citizens get checks from Washington.
The total cost is now $3 trillion per year and rising rapidly. America’s entitlements sector, in fact, is the sixth biggest economy in the world.
And there’s more.
Yet even as the current business cycle is rolling over, the 77.1 million persons employed full-time from that pool is still 1.2 million below its turn of the century level!
That’s right. Only 61% of the prime working age population has full-time jobs. That compares to65% as recently as the year 2000.
So it might be wondered. How is it possible that real consumption expenditures rose by a whopping $3.1 trillion or 38% during the same 16-year period that the number of full-time prime age workers was actually dropping?
[I]n crowing about all the part-time and “born again” jobs it has purportedly created, the Obama White House has never remotely acknowledged that its vaunted “recovery” has been largely built on transfer payments and debt.
[I]n May 2016 total transfer payments amounted to fully one-third of all the wage and salaries disbursed to the entire work force of the United States.
At this rate it won’t be long before working taxpayers are outnumbered by people getting checks from Washington. Not to worry. Hillary says it’s all good. Though it seems odd that the best darn change-maker that devoted husband Bill has ever known is trying to get elected as Obama’s third term. Which is it?
In case you missed it, below is the electrifying address by Pastor Mark Burns to the Republican National Convention. Pastor Burns was not one of the prime time speakers, but his speech was a barnburner nonetheless. I heard it first live on CSpan, but since then I have been unable to find it anywhere. Until now. I ran across it in The Strata-Sphere, the excellent blog by AJStrata.
I bring it up now because it tests the media narrative, which these days takes its cues from the DNC. The narrative says that Trump's support is almost entirely made up of disaffected white working class voters. Here is the Washington Post saying as much in its critique of Trump's convention speech.
In Nixon’s time, it was a call for the “Silent Majority” to rise up and take back the country. Trump spoke to the “forgotten men and women” who he said no longer have a voice in a rigged political system run by “censors” and “cynics.”
His target audience remains white, mostly working-class, Americans bruised by economic change and worried about cultural changes.
Notice that Trump's target audience, according to the Post, is "worried about cultural changes." It's the Post's discreet way of reminding readers that white working-class Americans are largely racist. It's a popular theme in media circles these days. The point is to poison Trump by implying that his support is racist. And since Trump's appeal is to racists, it must be that he is a racist himself, and that he has signaled as much to his racist followers through some secret coded words. The intent, of course, is to shame — to dissuade anyone who might consider supporting Trump.
It isn't working. And why not, you may ask? It isn't working for two reasons. One is that Trump has successfully innocculated himself against the political correct by his boorish insistence upon being politically incorrect. The other is that there are alternate sources of information available and, as AJStrata points out, you can see things for yourself.
There is a reason I stopped watching conventions on cable or prime time, because the talking heads do nothing but translate and spin what is going on for the poor dumb masses.
I watch these unfiltered and in the raw on C-SPAN, and I suggest everyone else do the same. Because if you didn’t watch C-SPAN, you missed this purely white working class speech:
The Journal of American Greatness (JAG) appeared on Blogspot in March of 2016, attracting a wide and rapidly growing readership as it explained Trumpism and Donald Trump's phenomenal appeal. Then in June, four months after it launched, JAG went dark. All posts were deleted. JAG's sudden demise was foreshadowed on its "Who Are We?" page where JAG authors explained why they chose to remain anonymous.
Why won’t you tell us?
Because the times are so corrupt that simply stating certain truths is enough to make one unemployable for life.
Their statement speaks volumes about the sad state of affairs in politically correct America. JAG authors genuinely feared for their livelihoods if they were ever unmasked, a fear that explains their support for Trumpism, if not Trump himself.
A more recent Blogspot website, JAG Recovered, saved much of JAG's work by linking to JAG posts in Google cache. Libertarian Leanings plans to publish a selection of JAG essays whose links in Google cache have not decayed.
The column that follows was the inaugural JAG post. Authored by Plautius it was originally published in February, 2016. Read it in full, and you will get what JAG was about why Libertarian Leanings feels it is important to republish its work, to remind America what is at stake in this 2016 election.
It may seem absurd to speak of Trumpism when Trump himself does not speak of Trumpism. Indeed, Trump’s surprising popularity is perhaps most surprising insofar as it appears to have been attained in the absence of anything approximating a Trumpian intellectual persuasion or conventionally partisan organization. Yet, Trump’s unique charisma notwithstanding, it is simply impossible for a candidate to have motivated such a passionate following for so long by dint of sheer personality or media antics alone.
Whatever might be said of the media’s treatment of Trump, it has been remarkable in at least one respect: Michael Brendan Dougherty of The Week, along with Rush Limbaugh, actually uncovered the closest thing to what could be described as the source of Trumpian thought in the writings of Sam Francis. This discovery is most importantly a rediscovery of themes quite prevalent in both academic and political discourse not many decades ago, specifically a critique of the managerial economy and global bureaucratic elite. Despite their conspicuous absence from political discussion in recent years, these ideas, especially in Francis’ writing, not only clarify the significance of Trump’s popularity but provide the best explanation and justification for the broader disaffection underlying politics today.
The briefest perusal of Francis’ work will attest to the fact that he was the most talented member of the faction that has come to be called the paleoconservatives. The article most referenced with respect to Trump is “From Household to Nation,” which is a recapitulation of Francis’ efforts to define Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign in opposition to multicultural leftism, global capitalism, and liberal/neoconservative interventionism on the basis of a particularist American nationalism. It also contains many delicious lines about the worthlessness of Republican campaign consultants, institutions, and other movement apparatchiks and hangers-on. In short, “From Household to Nation” strikes today’s reader as a remarkable prophecy of the Trump campaign’s popularity, specifically in its apparent disdain for the old conservative movement and in its message of an American nationalism that does not fit conveniently into either party’s platform.
“From Household to Nation” adequately summarizes the implications of Francis’ oeuvre, but the core of his thought was articulated in a series ofessays for Chronicles Magazinefrom 1989-1991. These works were later overshadowed by his more topical, outwardly provocative—though less intellectually radical—and, in some cases at least, deservedly criticized statements on race. Undeniable lapses in judgment and decency notwithstanding, however, the mere fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists Francis as a hate peddling extremist alongside the likes of AEI’s Charles Murray(!) ought not to preclude a careful study of his thought. In his early work especially, Francis develops a perceptive political theory, admittedly inspired by James Burnham but elaborated with greater cogency and liveliness, that deserves attention in its own right but even more so if Trumpism is poised to have a role in electoral politics.
Contrary to his association with paleoconservatism, Francis’ writing makes no meaningful appeals to traditionalism per se nor does it contain anything even remotely predicated on historicist or Burkean overtures. He goes so far as to assert that the old political categories of right and left, conservative and liberal, are no longer meaningful. His is a fundamentally revolutionary doctrine, and the target of this revolution is the global “managerial class” or post New Deal bureaucratic government and corporatist professional elite. This managerial class, increasingly separated from any national body or interest, from any historical community, metaphysics, or morality, is inevitably impelled by its internal logic to seek the destruction of any intermediating institutions, ultimately and especially the family, the homogenization, de-legitimization, and eradication of culture, and the levelling, regimentation, and dehumanizing of all society. Francis’ neo-Marxist universe is governed by class and power, with the managerial class allying with proletarians of every kind in order to seize power and reduce the remaining independent citizenry to a global, dependent, thoughtless, and spiritless underclass over which it dominates.
Francis, of course, was neither the first nor the only writer to develop such ideas. His unique contributions lie more in diagnosing the difficulties of challenging the managerial elite, of which more below, and the precision with which he situates contemporary politics in such a theoretical framework. For Francis, the true animating spirit of any “conservative” political action is not lower taxes, lighter regulation, banning abortion or even constitutionalism strictly speaking. These causes are at best symptoms of and at worst a sort of false consciousness obscuring the defining struggle of resistance against the managerial class and its depredations. The true task is the destruction of the soulless managerial class, a task inseparable from the assertion of a healthier culture and a stronger elite in its place.
While Francis’ doctrine is not in itself wholly original, it has, along with its predecessors, been curiously forgotten today, in both politics and academia, rendering its inchoate expression through the vehicle of Trump new and exhilarating. This forgetfulness, moreover, is responsible for the all too apparent incomprehension of the “establishment” at the popularity of Trump and his campaign.
For there is no doubt that Cruz, Rubio, and most of the other candidates are more ideologically conservative than Trump in their policy prescriptions, longstanding affiliation with the party and the movement, and broader theoretical orientations. Everyone knows this. But Trump’s popularity has nothing to do with conservatism of this kind or conservatism strictly speaking at all. It has everything to do with opposition to the managerial elite, the world it has created, and the world it is ruthlessly destroying. The true test in this election is not whether a candidate checks various boxes on issues or voted for the right legislation. It is not whether a candidate supports amnesty or not, eminent domain, abortion, or even political correctness. These are at most metonymies signaling one’s stand on the fundamental question: opposition to the global managerial elite.
Thus the much touted establishment versus non-establishment divide is delineated by one’s perceived commitment to the opposition against the managerial class and not the stringency of any particular policy proposals. And there is simply no question that however fastidiously Cruz, Rubio, et al. may worship at the altar of “conservative” policy, every aspect of their careers as well as campaigns indicates that they are thoroughgoing products and proponents of the rules of the managerial system. Both Trump’s career and campaign, in contrast, probably out of sheer Caesarist egotism, have been marked by rebellion against this elite and its culture. He has opportunistically exploited various aspects of the system, to be sure, but at every point he has revealed his utter if often vulgar contempt for it.
Herein lies the primary, if typically unconscious, motivation behind Trumpism and the essence of its appeal. It also explains the failure of attacks on Trump to resonate with his supporters. Criticizing his campaign for its lack of “seriousness” is especially counterproductive. To Trump’s supporters, combating the ceaseless quest of the managerial elite to control and destroy their way of life is deadly serious, far more important than any wonkish debate over specific policy. Even aside from the fact that the “serious” policy now being offered, such as “forming an Arab coalition to fight ISIS,” is almost always patently ridiculous, the primary question for voters is of ends and not of means.
Similarly, appeals to principles such as limited government ring hollow without a deeper understanding of the cultural transformations behind our political transformation. Another new tax plan does not herald a return to classical limited government in any meaningful way, and appointing some nicer people to the bureaucracy will not in itself bring us any closer to the republicanism of 1789 or even 1989. The venerable principles of the Founding, however admirable, are empty if not accompanied by a serious challenge to the current elite and culture.
From a different perspective, some have interpreted Trump’s rise as the capture of the “Reformicon” agenda in the imperfect though flashier vessel of Trumpism. This interpretation ignores, however, the “Franciscan” radicalism underlying Trump’s appeal. The Reformicon proposals—a child tax credit here, an earned income tax credit there—smack of attempts to ameliorate the destructive impact of the managerial economy rather than replace it. If Reform Conservatism is to achieve the impassioned popularity of Trumpism, it will have to represent something more than managerialism with a human face.
Trump’s core message—tariffs, immigration restriction, limiting tax inversions—offers a radical departure from the policies and partisan divides of the last several decades and is intuitively linked with the dismantling of the global managerial economy. What is perhaps most curious at the policy level is how few and feeble have been the attempts to actually attack these basic pillars of his message. For all the complaints about the lack of substance in the campaign, no other candidate has honestly or effectively attacked the central substance of Trump’s platform—though many from both parties have claimed to agree with it—and those few attacks have occurred exclusively at the level of rote ideology or political correctness, which stands as perhaps the clearest evidence of how thoroughly the alternatives have been discredited.
Nevertheless, the slight but not entirely inconsequential overlap between Reform Convervatism and Trumpism reveals a rather surprising element of Francis’ thought. Namely, despite all the hostility between so-called paleocons and neocons, the essentials of their doctrines, at least in their highest articulations, are remarkably convergent. At risk of offending all involved and no doubt inviting criticism from both sides, to someone with no history in the intramural rightwing squabbles of the 1980s, the disputes appear to center more on regional and personal animosities rather than actual ideas.
The critique of the managerial economy and the ambivalence toward global capitalism at the center of Francis’ work were equally the focus of early neoconservative writings, nor did their conclusions, to this reader, differ in any meaningful respect. And while Francis overtly indulges various Southern nostalgias, some more thoughtful than others, it cannot be forgotten that among the more memorable writings of Norman Podhoretz and Daniel Patrick Moynihan were direct discussions on race, as politically incorrect as they were intellectually honest. Both sides brought a renewed attention to culture, alarmed at its evisceration by both global capitalism and the multicultural left as well as the difficulty of effective political action without concomitant cultural power. Even on foreign policy, as both Ted Cruz and Benjamin Netanyahu have had occasion to remind audiences, the first generation of neoconservatives, at least, expressed a profound skepticism of internationalist abstractions such as human rights, while understanding that foreign policy was much more than simply economic policy.
Francis shares with the most thoughtful neoconservatives an idiosyncratic appreciation of founding myths, in which the reader finds perhaps the most significant philosophical divergence between them amid striking similarity. Francis writes:
Post-Hamiltonian American nationalism offered no public myth of the nation, and the ultimate price of its failure to do so was the collapse (and subsequent redefinition) of the nation in the Civil War. Only when Lincoln invested American nationality with a quasi-religious mythology was nationalism politically and popularly successful. But Lincoln’s nationalist myth, drawn from a universalist natural rights egalitarianism, justified national unity only as an instrument of “equality of opportunity” and the acquisitive individualism that follows from it. Lincoln’s nationalism soon degenerated into the wolfish egotism of the Gilded Age and the naked imperialism of McKinley and Roosevelt, and ultimately its universalist, egalitarian, and individualist premises contradicted and helped undermine the particularity that a successful nationalism must assert and the subordination of individual ambition that nationalism demands. If a new nationalism is to flourish and endure, it must do more than offer a merely narrow, pragmatic, and largely economic definition of the national identity and the national interest.”
At issue is primarily Francis’ objection to the Lincolnian vision of a “creedal” nation, distinct only in its dedication to a proposition, in favor of a sort of ‘constitutionalism in one country’ more reliant on the unique history and culture of its people. And, indeed, there is unfortunately no doubt that however thoughtful the neoconservative re-elevation of Lincoln may have begun, the doctrine degenerated over the decades into an empty sloganeering that in the mouth of George W. Bush not only failed to motivate but gave rise to all manner of Wilsonian fantasies.
The important question raised by this dispute, however, is not who was right fifty years ago or refighting the Civil War or Iraq, but rather what the failure to resolve this question implies.
The simple fact is that both sides know that the other contains some truth. On the one hand, however admirable the Lincolnian creed might be, many nations today espouse—some quite genuinely—more or less the same principles. Yet while the U.S. is and ought to be a friend and ally of the U.K, Poland, France, and, yes, Mexico, Israel and others, there is no question that an authentic American nationalism must remain distinct from French nationalism. Even at the height of Bush era democracy promotion, no one sincerely conflated American nationalism with mere democracy, though that was often the implication of Bush’s rhetoric and policy, which only reinforced the power of global managerialism. On the other hand, as Francis himself readily acknowledges, a nation utterly bereft of principle will possess no nationalism above arid antiquarianism or inspire loyalties beyond a geographically organized gang of thieves.
Thus the great failure of the American right has been the failure to define an American nationalism at once grounded in binding, necessarily particularist, traditions and institutions while at the same time leavened by a creed worthy of the name. And this failure is inseparable from the right’s failure, even in periods of electoral power, to offer any effective resistance to the ever conquering globalist managerial class or attain any effective cultural significance.
Trump’s success, then, is attributable in large part to his awakening in his followers an appreciation for such a nationalism of American greatness opposed to the managerial elite, even if they do not yet know what the content of that nationalism is. Trump’s avoidance of policy specifics belies a more fundamental avoidance of any direct confrontation with either particularism or creedal principle. If Trump or a new nationalism is to be genuinely successful, however, it will eventually have to take a stand on these questions and ultimately resolve them.
Perhaps Francis’ greatest contribution to political writing is his understanding that the difficulty of formulating such a nationalism is necessarily connected with the difficulty inherent in resisting the managerial class. Drawing on Machiavelli, Francis recognizes that the “Middle Americans” who constitute the last remaining opposition to the managerial elite represent a class that only seeks not to be ruled, whereas the managerial class seeks to rule. As such, the “Middle American” resistance to managerialism has expressed itself as either a defensive crouch or an unappealing bunker mentality, neither capable of resisting, much less replacing, the managerial elite. The political project of supreme importance is therefore the transformation of passive Middle Americans into a new ruling elite, while the ideological project of supreme significance is the formulation of a new nationalism which will justify that political project.
For the last several decades, however, the right has operated under a further debilitating false consciousness in defining itself as a conservative movement. The reality is that the modern right, in both its self-styled neoconservative and paleoconservative strands, is not conservative in any meaningful sense of the word. It merely inherited the mantle, language, and intellectual framework of the old conservatism, a constellation of institutions and attitudes dominant from the Civil War to World War I. But after the New Deal and World War II, this order had been decisively shattered and replaced by managerialism, to the point where there was nothing left to conserve.
The purposes and principles of the modern right are necessarily revolutionary. This is true as a historical fact inasmuch as its leading thinkers have been Catholic, Jewish, ethnic, and in all essential respects outsiders from cultural and political power. And it is ideologically true insofar as its chief intellectual and political project is the replacement of the global managerial class with a new elite. The failure of the right’s thinkers and politicians to recognize or admit its revolutionary aspect, even and perhaps especially today, only impedes effective political action.
The Republican party “establishment” finds itself continually disappointing its base because it is incapable of conceiving of itself as the revolutionary movement it must become. And it will continue to disappoint even if Republican politicians become more successful at winning legislative victories. Overturning Obamacare will mean nothing if it is not part of a larger dismantling of the managerial elite. Counting up state governorships will achieve nothing if it does not produce a transformation of elite culture. And a transformation of the current culture is impossible without a convincing nationalism to challenge it.
Indeed, the situation would be entirely hopeless were it not for the fact that the managerial elite has lost all confidence in itself. As it continues its withdrawal from all attachments to living communities, interests, or faiths, it loses any ability to justify itself, even to its own members. Without a coherent understanding of its purpose, it ossifies into a rigid mandarin class, distinguished by increasingly meaningless credentials, and blindly dedicated to stale dogmas that it can no longer even discuss. Ever more adrift with respect to its ends, it becomes increasingly incompetent with respect to means.
The abject vapidity of both the Clinton and Bush campaigns testifies to the elite’s degeneration. Floundering between poll-tested positions to focus-grouped slogans contrived by consultants as detached from the people as their decrepit dynasties, they inspire hardly anyone but the next generation of job seekers. Their campaigns exist to offer little more than citations of inequality data or GDP growth, as if national or individual greatness were matters of arithmetic. More generally, the basic policies of both parties have hardly changed in at least thirty years, the desiccated outgrowths of sterile foundations.
Meanwhile, what is the recent wave of college protests but a futile grasping for meaning amid a sea of intellectual and moral bankruptcy? What is the super-rich’s fixation with the much publicized “giving pledge,” itself untethered to any specific principle or purpose—never mind mawkish publicity stunts like Mark Zuckerberg’s—but an implicit admission that everything else they have done is worthless. Cecil Rhodes was many things, but never so pathetic.
While current economic conditions are not particularly robust, the country has endured far worse. Although facing a number of security threats, the nation has survived situations far more perilous. Is the widespread disaffection roiling both parties merely the result of Americans being “fearful” of external threats? Or is it the increasing realization among the public that its elites not only have no idea what they are doing, but no longer even believe in themselves? That the managerial class’s soulless destruction of human attachments has been undertaken for nothing more than its own mindless self-replication?
One of Marx’s most clarifying statements was his observation that the Mexicans lost California because they did not know what to do with it. They may yet get it back, for the same reason. But this principle also operates on a broader plane. Those presently occupying the commanding heights of culture, the economy, and politics clearly have no idea what to do with them.
For the right, the question is, do we?
The following article was written by MoneyMetals.com columnist Guy Christopher. It was originally published on July 14, 2016 at www.moneymetals.com.
The very first word anyone ever saw on a circulating United States coin was the word “LIBERTY.”
From half-cents to silver dollars, each featured the likeness of an unnamed woman. The images varied, thanks to different engravers, but together they became recognized as Lady Liberty.
Many, maybe most, of young America's citizens were illiterate. "Liberty" may have been the first word they ever learned to read.
If not, they surely knew her face. The Revolutionary War for them was not ancient history.
The Founding Fathers knew all gold, silver, and copper is sound money and didn't mind that American coinage circulated alongside colonial and foreign coins depicting kings and queens.
But Lady Liberty alone belonged to the United States. Her anonymous image spoke plainly to a cornerstone of human freedom – private wealth – in your hands, belonging to you, no counter-party strings attached.
After all, her picture was right there on the money!
Her looks would change with the fashions and the times, as she graced most gold and silver American coins for 154 years. She was variously adorned with the arrows of war, the shield of readiness, or the garlands of commerce and trade.
Then, almost unnoticed over just a few years, Lady Liberty began to vanish.
The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve presided over the poverty and debt of the 1930's Great Depression, stealing employment and financial liberty from one of every four Americans. Lady Liberty also paid a price.
She had already been quietly removed from the quarter-dollar in 1930, making room for George Washington's 200th birthday celebration.
She vanished again from public view when the iconic silver dollar was discontinued in 1935.
When she was minted on the last Winged Liberty dime (1916-1945), it marked a sad chapter in the curious case of the vanishing Lady Liberty.
The Winged Liberty was never intended to depict a Roman deity.
Nevertheless, Americans confused the design with Mercury, a mythological patron of commerce. The name stuck, leaving us with the “Mercs” we stack today in bags and rolls of 90% silver.
The model for Winged Liberty was a woman, Elsie Stevens, a friend of the coin's engraver – not a male deity. But in the public's mind, the coin was never known as a "liberty dime," although that's exactly what it was.
The one mistake a klutzy U.S. government did not make was to model American coinage after Greco-Roman gods.
But it was no bureaucratic mistake to ditch Lady Liberty to make convenient, political statements.
After FDR's death in 1945, plans to honor him included kicking Lady Liberty off the dime – an easy bureaucratic pick given FDR's ham-handed treatment of both gold and individual freedoms, and a war-weary public that never recognized that image of Liberty anyway.
Ben Franklin replaced Walking Liberty on the half dollar (1948) as subtle, political payback for FDR's dime. The mint's director studied and loved Franklin. She knew Ben philosophically opposed every policy of FDR.
Murdered President John Kennedy was honored on the half dollar in 1964, struck in 90% silver. JFK's bitter enemy, Lyndon Johnson, took pleasure later that year in annihilating circulating silver coinage. JFK lasted one year on a 90% coin.
The conspiracy to finish off gold, silver, and Lady Liberty was now complete. Pocket change became nothing more than a home for politically selected historical figures. And intrinsically worthless at that.
We're quite sure Washington, Franklin, and even JFK wouldn’t have traded Lady Liberty to have their own images on worthless, mystery metal coins. We can't vouch for FDR.
The word “liberty” is still there on the coins in your pocket, but her image – a vanished vestige of American freedom – is found only, and appropriately, in bullion patterns, both government and privately minted.
And you're lucky to have them. Because Congress never wanted them at all. Not in gold or silver.
By 1979, at the height of that gold and silver bull, Krugerrand sales were absolutely dominating the gold market with 90% of world sales. Private mints ran the silver show. The U.S. government had no strong contestants on either front.
But government wanted in on bullion's profit and tax base. Sound money was never the issue. And it was quickly proven government had no clue.
The Mint was directed to launch the gold American Arts Medallion series (1980-1984), which proved to be an immediate, embarrassing mega-disaster.
Gold content, weight, and purity of the medallions matched the Krugerrand, but nowhere on them was the word “gold” or a guarantee of the weight of gold.
And rest assured, nowhere was Lady Liberty. The medallions featured artists, authors and actors, some famous, others obscure. Instead of bullion, they looked like jewelry.
Most of the unpopular medallions ended up being melted – with survivors sold at bargain spot prices.
Congress finally gave up and went with the tried and true – the historically popular Saint Gaudens and Walking Liberty designs.
That choice was forced by markets, not an appreciation of heritage from a tone deaf government.
And only gold and silver held in your hand will stir the same heart Lady Liberty stirred for young America.
About the Author:
MoneyMetals.com columnist Guy Christopher is a seasoned writer living on the Gulf Coast. A retired investigative journalist, published author, and former stockbroker, Christopher has taught college as an adjunct professor and is a veteran of the 101st Airborne in Vietnam.
The following article was written by Clint Siegner, Director at Money Metals Exchange. It was originally published on July 11, 2016 at www.moneymetals.com.
“Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Francisco’s Money Speech
Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged about 60 years ago. It seems like she’s describing today’s politics.
The Justice Department announced last week they won’t be prosecuting “crooked” Hillary Clinton. Rand never met Hillary or her husband Bill. But she clearly knew what it means for society when scoundrels wind up in charge.
Growing social unrest, politics, and money are all interconnected. We raised this subject a little over a year ago following the riots in Baltimore. But, sadly, except for the advocates of sound money and one very prescient novel written 6 decades ago, it is almost always overlooked.
Many were disgusted to see a reaffirmation that Hillary and Bill truly are above the law. The couple built a fabulous fortune and unassailable power by auctioning political favors to the highest bidder and building a global network of insiders.
If you don’t like it, too bad. The director of the FBI and the Attorney General don’t work for you. They report to Obama for now, but they hope to be working for Hillary soon.
Worse, most of us understand Washington is full of other politicians and bureaucrats aspiring to build their own crooked dynasty.
What most people don’t get is that our dishonest money system is what fuels much of this “ambition.” For instance, when Senator Clinton and the majority of Congress decided to bail out Wall Street banks in 2008, the fiat Federal Reserve Note made it possible. They simply printed the trillions needed.
In an honest money system, there is no printing. And politicians wouldn’t be able to saddle future generations with debts and obligations to which they never consented. Politicians couldn’t spend what they don’t have. Instead they would have to pay for each promise they make honestly – by raising taxes and dealing with the consequences.
Good luck selling a raw deal like the bank bailouts. Americans hated the idea of rewarding bankers for their fraud and excess. Perhaps the only reason they didn’t grab pitchforks and rebel is because they weren’t told to get their wallets out.
You can bet Goldman Sachs wouldn’t have paid Hillary Clinton $500,000 for a second-rate speech if the she didn’t have political favors to dispense.
Trust in government is fading and anger is on the rise. Perhaps soon Americans will get serious about finding solutions. While we can’t promise that honest money will stop all crooked politicians, it will definitely throw a wrench in their machine. We hope sound money doesn't get overlooked.
The following article was written by Stefan Gleason and Jp Cortez of the Sound Money Defense League. It was originally published on July 7, 2016 at www.moneymetals.com.
Under certain circumstances, seemingly decent human beings are capable of horrific things.
So it is with Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who parlayed his sound money bona fides into the top post at America’s private banking cartel and current issuer of our un-backed currency. In betrayal of his own stated free-market principles, Greenspan spent his tenure at the Fed pumping up financial markets with easy money and enabling runaway government spending commitments.
Today, however, the “maestro” of central banking is playing a very different tune. He’s warning against an inevitable crisis resulting from the very policies he helped implement.
Perhaps it’s a late-life crisis of conscience. Perhaps he feels guilty. Perhaps at age 90, he just feels free to speak his mind in a way that most current and former Fed officials don’t. In any event, Alan Greenspan is very concerned about the legacy he will leave and now seems genuinely worried about the country’s financial future.
Following the Brexit shock and the market volatility that followed in its aftermath, Greenspan scolded British officials for the “mistake” of allowing the vote to leave the European Union to take place. He predicted more dominos would fall. In an interview with Bloomberg last week he said, “We are in very early days of a crisis which has got a way to go."
It’s not surprising to hear Greenspan echo other pro-globalist voices in bemoaning the potential disintegration of the European Union. Central bankers, commercial bankers, governments, and international corporations all have vested interests in pushing for what they call “integration.”
Outgoing United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage declared the successful Brexit referendum “a victory for ordinary people” against "multinationals," "big merchant banks," and "big politics."
As global stock markets protested, the gold market surged to new 2016 highs post-Brexit.
The success of Brexit, which defied the predictions of pollsters, may bode well for Donald Trump. His unconventional campaign for the presidency hits on similar anti-globalist, anti-establishment themes.
Meanwhile in Congress, renegade Republican Rep. Thomas Massie is pushing what he calls an “Amexit” from the United Nations. Massie’s American Sovereignty Restoration Act (HR 1205) would allow the U.S. to leave the United Nations and cease sending $8 billion per year in “contributions” to the world body.
Anti-establishment politics irks elites in central banking and elsewhere who institutionally prefer the status quo. But what really worries former Fed chair Alan Greenspan isn’t the upcoming election or any bill in Congress. It’s the $19+ trillion national debt and the trillions more in future spending commitments that are already baked into the cake.
The problem, as Greenspan sees it, is the structure of Social Security, Medicare, and other “mandatory” spending programs. Through them, ever growing numbers of people “are entitled to certain expenditures out of the budget without any reference to how it's going to be funded. Where the productivity levels are now, we are lucky to get something even close to two percent annual growth rate. That annual growth rate of two percent is not adequate to finance the existing needs.”
Greenspan’s prognosis: “I don't know how it's going to resolve, but there's going to be a crisis.”
His pessimism stems from the political reality that elected representatives lack the will to address entitlement spending. “Republicans don't want to touch it. Democrats don't want to touch it. They don't even want to talk about. This is what the election should be all about in the United States. You will never hear one word from either side," Greenspan told Bloomberg.
He is right, of course. Even self-described “conservative” Republicans who tout smaller government in principle don’t actually vote for it in practice. Mathematically, they can’t.
Once you rule out cuts in military and entitlement spending, as most Republicans do, what’s left on the table to cut is small potatoes. Going after waste, fraud, and abuse isn’t going to stop the bleeding of red ink as millions of Baby Boomers withdraw from the workforce and expect to collect trillions in unfunded benefits that have been promised to them.
The good news (if you’re a politician) is that under our monetary system you don’t ever have to cut. You don’t have to ensure that your promises of future benefits can be met with revenues. You can be as fiscally irresponsible as the Federal Reserve’s willingness to expand the currency supply permits you to be. The Fed stands ready to buy up government bonds in unlimited quantities, making a sovereign default practically impossible and enabling the government to borrow at artificially low interest rates.
The government debt bubble is a product of the fiat monetary system. Under a gold standard, Congress would be limited by what it could actually extract from the people in taxes.
Here’s what one of the world’s most famous economists said recently about gold: “If we went back on the gold standard and we adhered to the actual structure of the gold standard as it existed prior to 1913, we'd be fine. Remember that the period 1870 to 1913 was one of the most aggressive periods economically that we've had in the United States, and that was a golden period of the gold standard.”
The self-described “gold bug” economist quoted above is none other than Alan Greenspan!
Yes, the longest-serving chairman of the world’s most powerful fiat money establishment.
The same Alan Greenspan who helped both Republican and Democrat administrations drive up the national debt from $2.4 trillion to $8.5 trillion in the years 1987-2006.
The same Alan Greenspan whose implicit open-ended backing of U.S. debt markets helped Congress grow unfunded liabilities by untold trillions more than is even reported in official debt figures.
The same Alan Greenspan who engaged in shocking interventions and currency devaluations, starting with bailing out Long Term Capital Management in 1998 and followed by a blowing up of the tech bubble, and, after its crash, the housing bubble.
At last, Greenspan sees the light. Perhaps in private he always did. Before he helmed the Fed, he was known as a free-market advocate who associated with novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand and strongly favored a gold standard. But unlike a Randian hero, Greenspan compromised his principles in his pursuit of power, fame, and social status.
Taken to its extreme, the phenomenon of Greenspan’s tenure was akin to the “banality of evil,” a concept that came into prominence following Hannah Arendt’s book about the Nazi trials. Arendt’s thesis, as described by author Edward Herman, was that people who carry out unspeakable crimes aren’t necessarily crazy fanatics, but rather “ordinary individuals who simply accept the premises of their state and participate in any ongoing enterprise with the energy of good bureaucrats.”
Why did Greenspan play a key role in undermining sound fiscal policies and sound money while he was at the height of his power and influence at the Fed? Why did he do so much to fuel asset bubbles and reckless debt spending? Only Alan Greenspan himself knows for sure, but we’re the ones paying the price.
As I lay on the sofa today, I suddenly wondered what ever became of the blogging ecosystem? So I googled NZ Bear. About ten years ago, give or take, a blogger known as NZ Bear maintained a website which he called The Truth Laid Bear. It has since been discontinued so if you follow that link you won't find much. But back in the day The Truth Laid Bear was something of a scoreboard for bloggers with its "TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem". NZ Bear had an entertaining scheme for ranking the blogs. His calculations were based on inbound and outbound links, and traffic. The more a site had, the higher its ranking in the ecosystem.
The Truth Laid Bear (commonly abbreviated TTLB) is a website maintained by the pseudonymous NZ Bear, which is well known for its TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem. The TTLB Ecosystem is a means by which tens of thousands of weblogs are ranked algorithmically by popularity.
TTLB classifications of blogs, from most popular to least popular:
- Higher Beings
- Mortal Humans
- Playful Primates
- Large Mammals
- Marauding Marsupials
- Adorable Rodents
- Flappy Birds
- Slithering Reptiles
- Crawly Amphibians
- Flippery Fish
- Slimy Molluscs
- Lowly Insects
- Crunchy Crustaceans
- Wiggly Worms
- Multicellular Microorganisms
- Insignificant Microbes
In those days the big blogs like Instapundit, Daily Kos, and Michelle Malkin were Higher Beings. I was blogging quite regularly then, and Libertarian Leanings briefly made it as high in the food chain as Marauding Marsupial. I might have hit Large Mammal once or twice, but most of the time LL's popularity swung between Slithering Reptile and Flappy Bird. It was great fun.
I reminisced. My search brought me to another blog that went by name The Truth Laid Bear, this one by a blogger named Rob Neppell. I think Rob may have come along later than NZ Bear, though I can't say for sure. Rob's URL is http://beartruth.blogspot.com, implying that "truthlaidbear.blogspot" was already taken. No matter. The last post for Rob Neppell's Truth Laid Bear blog was June 30, 2002.
"Yeah, so what?" you say.
"Well," I say, "we're getting back to the beginning of time when blogs were created. It was something of a blogging big bang back around 2000 to 2002."
And what I found really interesting about this particular blog was in Rob's second to last post, June 28, 2002, in which Rob was carrying on about separation of church and state, quoting one blogger who agreed with him and another who didn't. Without meaning to resuscitate the church and state discussion, I have to say I was blown away by the argument that Rob said he didn't buy. Here's Rob quoting the other blogger's objection to the federal appeals court decision that said the Pledge of Allegiance violates the separation of church and state because of the phrase "one nation under God.''
Allen at Cockalorum, however, finds me damp, and my arguments unconvincing, writing:
You're all wet.
Tolerance is not helped when one person can exercise a veto over everyone else. The whole thing is based on the idea that the plaintiff's little girl is somehow harmed by hearing or saying "under God." This is an endless road to go down, trying to shield everybody from having their feelings hurt. A wise parent would tell her to get over it. There are lots of things in the world that I don't like, but I don't expect the court to change them for me. If we allow this, we turn our society into a bunch of little groups angry at each other, and claiming Constitutional protection for their own parochial view.
Trigger warnings, anyone? Isn't that exactly where we are today? Right where Allen said we would be? I would have to say, Allen writing at Cockalorum back in 2002, absolutely nailed it.
Harnessing all the outrage she can muster, Dahlia Lithwick insists that the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that Americans have the right to well regulated state militias. Says she, (emphasis added)
'The Second Amendment to the Constitution says this: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” For most of U.S. history, that was understood to mean that the freedom guaranteed by the Second Amendment was precisely what it said: the right of the people of each state to maintain a well-regulated militia.'
Of course, anyone who can read, and who has some familiarity with the English language can see that the Second Amendment does not precisely guarantee "the right of the people of each state to maintain a well-regulated militia." The Second Amendment actually says, precisely, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." But according to Ms. Lithwick the NRA has perverted the meaning of the Second Amendment. This is only true however, if you take faithful adherence to the actual words in the Constitution as a perversion. In reality the NRA has helped to courts to restore the true meaning of the Second Amendment.
This sort of misinterpretation is typical of progressive political discourse. Progressives routinely propose utter nonsense, passing it off as some kind of brilliant but obscure concept. The Bill of Rights, those rights explicitly reserved for the people, include the right to a state militia? How does make any sense? Which people were clamoring for that one?
Nobody, of course. But we little people are ill equipped to grasp these complex constitutional nuances, and therefore must rely on our intellectual betters to explain them to us, which is what progressives think is their job. And so Ms. Lithwick explains, citing what she feels are the appropriate Supreme Court precedents along the way.
The Supreme Court had clearly agreed with Burger’s interpretation and not that of the special interest groups he chastised, perhaps most famously in a 1939 case called U.S. v. Miller. That ruling said that since the possession or use of a “shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length” had no reasonable relationship to the “preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia,” the court simply could not find that the Second Amendment guaranteed “the right to keep and bear such an instrument.” Period, full stop. And that was the viewpoint adopted by the courts for years.
Since progressives have long known that they can find judges galore who will rule in whatever they want, they fight desperately to elect Hillary, knowing that she will appoint several such a judges to the Supreme Court if she ever gets the chance. Then the "Living Constitution" will mean what progressives say it means. And better still, its meaning can change when progressives decide it should mean something else. That freedom of speech thing has been very troubling for progressives in recent years. With the right Supreme Court justices they'll be able to fix that.
To get a sense of the purpose of our Second Amendment rights, and what infringement of them can ultimately mean, look to the origins of gun control in America in the post-civil war Black Codes. Here is a snippet from the Mississippi Black Code of 1865.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Mississippi, that no freedman, free Negro, or mulatto not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry firearms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk, or Bowie knife; and, on conviction thereof in the county court, shall be punished by fine, not exceeding $10, and pay the costs of such proceedings, and all such arms or ammunition shall be forfeited to the informer; and it shall be the duty of every civil and military officer to arrest any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto found with any such arms or ammunition, and cause him or her to be committed for trial in default of bail.
One side effect of such law was the protection of Ku Klux Klan members from harm as they went about the business of lynching former slaves. Such a noble and wonderful thing, gun control. The key to understanding gun control and its purposes can be found in the study of its origins. The key to Constitutional protections can be found in the text of the Constitution, not some progressive interpretation.
Camille Paglia can be a real scream when she wants to be. The subtitle for her latest analysis of this year's presidential sweepstakes is sets the tone.
The media covers for Hillary on her email scandal while Trump gallops through the non-stop artillery barrage.
You get the drift, I think. The media simultaneous props up candidate Hillary while trying to blast Trump out of the water. To no avail. Camille makes some penetrating assessments. One that struck me was her speculation on why Bernie Sanders promises to stay in the race all the way to the Democratic National Convention in July, even if Hillary wins enough delegates to clinch the nomination before then. Camille expects there is more trouble in store for Hillary over her email and Clinton Foundation scandals, so it makes no sense for Bernie to drop out.
...Bernie Sanders (my candidate) has gone into overdrive—not to damage Hillary, as her acolytes spitefully claim, but to fight off the tactical insertion of Biden at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. Sanders could rightly claim, on the basis of his long and strenuous primary campaign, that if anyone deserves the nomination vacated by a tarnished Hillary, it is he. If Sanders does defer to Biden, it will only be via enormous concessions, beginning with the unceremonious removal of devious DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
That's the best explanation I've heard, so far. But then we get to the fun part. Although Camille would never vote for Trump, she thinks he's very funny — laugh out loud funny. She claims to actually fear a Trump presidency, but still she holds a certain admiration for his campaign style. Comparing The Donald to Hillary Camille says,
Trump’s boisterous, uncensored id makes a riveting contrast to Hillary’s plodding, joyless superego. Listening to her leaden attempts to tell rehearsed jokes is collective torture. Hillary is not now, nor has she ever been, a member of the Comedy Party.
Hillary? The superego? Now that's funny! (OK, the rest is funny, too.) According to Freud, the superego is the ethical side of the personality, the side that imposes moral standards on the ego. Imagine anybody thinking that Hillary has moral standards. Not even Camille, cut up that she is, thinks that. In fact she won't vote the Democratic ticket if Hillary is the candidate.
Trump is a stormily dynamic change-maker who will surely win this election unless the Democrats get their house in order and nominate a figure of honor and integrity. Bernie Sanders, who represents the wave of the future, is my first choice, but Joe Biden, with his international experience, would be a solid second. If the kamikaze party wants to nominate an ethically challenged incompetent like Hillary Clinton, then I’ll be voting Green for the second time. Go, Jill Stein!
Again! There she goes with the riotous humor! Democrats? Nominating a figure of honor and integrity? I told you she was a scream. But it does make you wonder how she deals with the cognitive dissonance. Camille harps on Hillary's personal dishonesty, yet supports Sanders, who promotes socialism in all of its institutional dishonesty, or Biden, a lifelong politician whose only qualification for the highest office is his consummate skill in switching positions as personal ambition requires. Camille even says she believes Elizabeth Warren really is part Cherokee. Far out.
But there's more. For some reason or other Camille compares Trump's run for the presidency to Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial bid in California. As if this is some indication of Trump's fitness for office. She quotes an earlier self, vintage 2003.
Last weekend, while plowing through my old files for an upcoming book project for Pantheon, I found a written interview I gave in October 2003 to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, which had asked me about allegations of misogyny against the newly elected governor of California. Here is an excerpt from my statement:
“I am still amazed at the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger to governor—a man who has never held political office and who participated in only one serious debate. It is a disturbing sign in any nation when politics have become so inefficient and corrupt that the people turn to an outsider as ‘strong man’ for leadership. This is how fascism is born. Because it is Schwarzenegger’s machismo—represented on a superhuman scale in his films—that California voters want to attack the entrenched special interests in Sacramento, his behavior toward women was irrelevant. Or rather, his behavior actually reinforced his virile image as a forceful personality who pushes through barriers.”
How eerily history seems to be repeating itself!
What history is she talking about? Fascism was born in California under Schwarzenegger? Seems to me whatever fascism there is in California was imported. Especially if we're talking about the fascist brownshirts who attacked Trump supporters in San Jose. If that's the history that's eerily repeating itself, it's actually Bernie Sanders and his leftist allies who brought fascism to California. Tammy Bruce weighs in:
Make no mistake — these supposed anti-Trump riots are not organic nor are they natural; they are the result of leftist organizing using paid stooges. Fox News reported in March a Craigslist ad posted by Bernie Sanders supporters offering $15 an hour to protest at a Trump rally in Wisconsin. They would also provide shuttle bus transport, parking if you needed it and ready-made signs.
In March, Kelly Riddell of this newspaper reported the leftist agitating group MoveOn.org, which has endorsed Bernie Sanders and is funded by Hillary supporter George Soros, sent out a fundraising email after liberal agitators managed to shut down a Trump rally in Chicago. In their email to supporters MoveOn.org highlighted the support they provided those agitators:
“We’ve been ramping up our efforts for months… to the support we provided students in Chicago last night by printing signs and a banner and recruiting MoveOn.org members to join their peaceful protest,” the MoveOn.org email continued, “We need to double-down in the face of direct attacks on our community,” reported Ms. Riddell.
The problem, of course, was the so-called protest in Chicago, like the one in San Jose, was anything but peaceful.
Fascism is nothing more than socialism with a crony-capitalist twist. Over half a century ago in an abrupt about face, leftists turned on fascism, declaring it to be a right-wing evil. That was when the National Socialist Hitler and the Fascisti Mussolini gave fascism a bad name. Up until World War II, leftist were all aglow over fascism, considering it the wave of the future. You might expect a brilliant academic like Camille Paglia would know this. But even with her intellect and penetrating analysis, Paglia continues to have a blind spot for the nature of socialism, facism, and the Democratic party.
Here's the problem. A vote for any Democrat this year is a ratification of Obama's executive branch overreach. It is a blessing on the lawless hijacking of federal agencies for Democratic party activism. The press will look the other way, ignore the abuse, for as long as a Democrat sits in the Oval Office. America as we know it is gone. And Trump? Even if he wanted to abuse his presidential powers, neither the Republican congress nor the press will be on his side.
But Peggy Noonan seems to be warming up to The Donald.
At some point conservative intellectuals are going to take their energy and start thinking about how we got here. How did a party that stood for regular people become a party that stood for platitudes regular people no longer found even vaguely pertinent? During the Bush administration, did the party intelligentsia muscle critics and silence needed dissent, making the party narrower, more rigid and embittered? What is the new conservatism for this era? How did the party of Main Street become the party of Donors’ Policy Preferences?
Peggy hails what she calls a break from "enforced conservative orthodoxy" with a plug for a new website called Journal of American Greatness. Who is behind the Journal of American Greatness? They'd rather not say. Here is what they will say on their Who Are We? page.
Who are you?
You mean in the Samuel Huntington sense? We are American patriots aghast at the stupidity and corruption of American politics, particularly in the Republican Party, and above all in what passes for the “conservative” intellectual movement.
No, literally—who are you guys?
None of your damned business.
Why won’t you tell us?
Because the times are so corrupt that simply stating certain truths is enough to make one unemployable for life.
That’s a bit dramatic, isn’t it?
Ask Brendan Eich.
Do you really support Trump?
We support Trumpism, defined as secure borders, economic nationalism, interests-based foreign policy, and above all judging every government action through a single lens: does this help or harm Americans? For now, the principal vehicle of Trumpism is Trump.
Is this journal pro-Trump or anti-conservative?
So you admit that Trump is not conservative?
That Trump is not “conservative” in the conventional sense defined by pundits, we regard as a feature, not a bug. Trump, or at least Trumpism, is more conservative in the decisive sense of actually seeking to conserve the American nation and what is good about it and within it.
Any who have followed Libertarian Leanings over the past year or so already know that I started out supporting and endorsing Ted Cruz. I opposed Trump, since I was convinced that his job in this election cycle was to assist Hillary in her White House bid, just the way Ross Perot made Bill Clinton's election possible 1992. Perot, running on a third party ticket as a populist conservative, split the Republican vote allowing Bill Clinton to win the White House with just 43% of the popular vote. I saw Trump's entry into the race as a brilliant stroke in the grand Clinton strategy to elect the monumentally dishonest, unprincipled, and incompetent Hillary, who in my view would otherwise have no chance.
But Trump has been attacking Hillary with gusto, obliterating any notion I had that he was on her side, all the while staying on top in the Republican primaries. And Cruz, who was my guy, has faded. I liked Cruz because I saw him as the most likely candidate to upset the Washington establishment, to wrest power from Washington bureaucrats and professional politicians. But even before Cruz dropped out the race, I was beginning to see Trump as somebody who might challenge the Washington establishment as well. Now Cruz is gone, and the only candidates left are Trump, Sanders, and Hillary. Sanders is an avowed socialist, a purveyor of socialism's institutional dishonesty. Hillary is personally dishonesty. This is not a tough choice. I am now with Trump all the way. There is no question about his challenging the Washington establishment.
And to my great surprise, Peggy Noonan, whom I have always considered Republican establishment, seems to be coming over to the dark side, too. She is most welcome. I urge you all to join me over here as well. To get a perspective on Donald Trump from a thoughtful conservative website, check out the Journal of American Greatness.
John O'Sullivan seems to be catching on. He's getting warmer, anyway. He's figured out that Trump supporters might be conservatives, after all. Well, maybe not conservatives of the stature found at National Review, but they are conservatives nonetheless. The differences between the Trump conservatives and the National Review conservatives are not so much in their goals as they are in the means of realizing those goals. Policy wonks vs. working class.
What he doesn't seem to get is that supporting Trump is the only route to achieving conservative goals in our present political climate. He's close, though. [My emphasis below.]
"National conservatism has a domestic concern for the social fabric as well as an outward-looking one for the national interest. (Indeed, I once suggested “social-fabric conservatives” as an alternative to national conservatives.) But because it takes a critical or skeptical view of leftist positions on crime, multiculturalism, etc., it is likely to invite accusations of racism, xenophobia, and much else from the very same leftists. These accusations apparently paralyze thought. For very few conservative politicians have shown enough nous to reply that an accusation of white racism requires more evidence than that the person accused is white. Instead they remain more or less quiescent, avoiding controversy, in the face of mob violence to shut down political opponents and openly racist campaigns to delegitimize the police."
The replacement of the "national conservatives" by "defense conservatives" came about because of relentless attacks from the left that equate nationalism with racism and xenophobia. "Principled conservatives" react by accommodating the leftists, all but abandoning the notion of nationalism in order to appease the leftists and shield themselves from accusations of bigotry. They haven't figured out that finding ever new ways for branding conservatives as bigots is what the left does. If it's not nationalism it will be something else. The latest leftist innovation is to cry bigotry at the slightest misgivings over men using the ladies' restrooms.
Several of the principled conservatives at National Review remain committed to a strategy of appeasing leftists as their way of holding themselves above reproach. Maintaining that stature of moral purity seems to be their highest priority.
Meanwhile, Trump obliterates the PC attack strategy. He don't need no stinking moral purity. Who the hell is Hillary to call him sexist? Trump, racist? Bullsh*t! He didn't get to be a racist until he ran as a Republican. Trump has blunted the attack that principled conservatives have made their careers carefully evading. In short, Trump is crushing the politically correct.
Mr. O'Sullivan seems right on the verge of understanding, but not quite. What's to become of conservative influence in the Republican party, he wonders, as if that's the most important thing in this election. How about joining with Trump to thoroughly defeat and discredit the politically correct attacks and worry about conservative purity later? Losing the election to the criminally leftist Hillary and the bumbling leftist Sanders will cement political correctness and all of its excesses as national policy. Liberty will be the loser.
Still, there are the snowflakes at National Review, Goldberg and Williamson to name a couple, who seem to have no idea, whatever, where the danger to America lies. O'Sullivan, on the other hand, is catching on.
The following article was written by Stefan Gleason, President of the Sound Money Defense League. It was originally published on May 12, 2016 at www.soundmoneydefense.org.
One of the chief virtues of a gold standard is that it serves as a restraint on the growth of money and credit. It makes runaway government deficit spending and major monetary catastrophes such as hyperinflation practically impossible.
Opponents of a gold standard can’t defend the political malpractices that are enabled by a fiat currency regime. So instead they spin a narrative about how gold supposedly hampers the economy.
According to Keynesian economics, spending boosts the economy while savings contracts it.
Keynesians put the cart before the horse. Savings and investment drive the economic productivity that enable consumers to enjoy a high standard of living. But Keynesians believe the economy only booms when demand is artificially pumped up by debt, government spending programs, and perpetual currency depreciation (inflation) engineered by central bankers.
A gold standard produces deflation, its opponents charge, which incentivizes consumers to save money rather than spend it. Of course, what they call “deflation” is really just price stability. Over time, gold (and gold-backed money) maintains its purchasing power – neither gaining nor losing real value against other raw materials. When the U.S. pursued sound money policies from the post Civil War period into the early 1900s, consumer price levels were virtually flat; yet real economic growth soared. The Great Depression was caused not by gold but by a series of policy blunders from the recently established Federal Reserve.
The claim that people pull back on consumption when their currency retains value is a red herring. The real distinction between sound gold money and inflationary fiat money is that under a sound dollar, individuals (and governments) are less apt to take on large debt loads. The reason why debt is so alluring under an inflationary monetary system is that the real value of an existing debt gets eaten away over time.
Inflationary fiat money is a tool for governments, banks, and Wall Street to siphon off greater shares of the economy.
When a currency is in the process of losing value, people are effectively taxed by holding it. So they deposit their cash into banks, hoping to earn enough interest to offset some of their inflation loss. Or they speculate on assets such as stocks which might (or might not) best inflation. Or they take out mortgages on houses, hoping home values will rise faster than their interest rate (and paying loan origination fees to banks for the privilege).
SILLY MYTH: “There’s Not Enough Gold Available Anymore to Back the Currency!”
Another, more recent, argument against reintroducing a gold standard is that there isn’t enough gold.
It’s true that there isn’t enough gold available at current prices to back all the dollars in circulation in the $18 trillion U.S. economy. But if gold were revalued at a significantly higher price, the supposed supply problem would be solved.
Put another way, gold is underpriced at $1,300/oz. According to monetary historian, economist, and gold advocate James Rickards, a more realistic gold price would be $10,000/oz. At that price, he argues, a gold standard would be feasible (based on a calculation of 40% of money supply divided by official gold holdings).
Other sound money advocates say that true 100% gold backing would require a gold price north of $20,000.
The idea that gold could be revalued to $10,000 - $20,000/oz might seem far-fetched to some. But it’s no less fundamentally justified than the Dow Jones at 10,000 - 20,000. Nor would a gold price equal to the Dow be unprecedented.
In fact, back in January 1980, the gold price spiked up to parity with the Dow. The Dow currently trades at close to 18,000. Were a new gold standard to be instituted today, $18,000 might be a sensible target price for gold.
Gold and Silver and a Freely Fluctuating Exchange Rate
Ideally, the free market would determine the appropriate price of gold and its status within the monetary system. Here is free-market economist Murray Rothbard’s take, from his book What Has Government Done to Our Money?:
“What kind of ‘standard’ will a free money provide? The important thing is that the standard not be imposed by government decree. If left to itself, the market may establish gold as a single money (‘gold standard’), silver as a single money (‘silver standard’), or, perhaps most likely, both as moneys with freely fluctuating exchange rates (‘parallel standards’).”
Silver is more practical than gold as a transactional currency among the masses due to gold’s steep value (even at current prices). For that same reason, gold is more practical than silver as a reserve asset for commercial banks and central banks.
Out of 92 basic elements, gold is one of only four that meet all the criteria for money. And by tradition, gold is the metal universally recognized as the ultimate money.
A gold revaluation might be brought about by the free market through the emergency of competing private currencies. Or it could be spearheaded by a sound money movement in Congress, which is very much an uphill battle given politicians’ addiction to growing the debt.
Some sound money proponents are more optimistic about a gold-backed Chinese yuan. The Chinese are the world’s biggest gold producers and consumers, and the People’s Bank of China is rapidly ascending up the ranks of the world’s biggest gold reserves.
Official gold standard or not, the metal of kings will continue to serve its function as a universally recognized, inflation-proof money.
If you've ever listened to a Democrat argue about income inequality you've probably noticed that Democrats picture the U.S. economy as a zero sum situation. In other words, the rich get richer only by taking money away from somebody else who, as a result, gets poorer. After all, money has to come from somebody.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the zero sum viewpoint is not necessarily true. Just ask lefties Sean Penn, or Susan Sarandon, how many people were pushed into poverty so that they could be paid vast sums for their roles in Dead Man Walking. Nobody, of course. Successful movies generate a lot of economic activity which creates wealth on a large scale. Even the movie goers, who ultimately pay all the salaries, are richer for the experience (at least the ones capable of sitting through a feature length film that has Penn or Sarandon in it). Point is, actors don't have rob anybody else for their big paychecks.
However, it's true that someone can get poorer. When the movie turns out to be a bomb, investors get poorer, but then they generally know it's a gamble when they put up the dough.
But the win-win scenario, such as the in the example of a successful movie, is not always the case. There are situations where one person gets money only at the expense of somebody else. The observation below by Dan Mitchell explains when this is most apt to happen. It also explains why Democrats are inclined to see the economy in zero sum terms. Their economy works that way.
From a micro perspective, when government allocates money, you can only make yourself better off by taking from others. In a market economy, you make yourself better off by serving others.
Democrats — Taking from others. It's who they are.
On a side note, this illustration helps to explain why government is so wasteful.
Democrats — The party that espouses government control of virtually everything.
Camille Paglia does not like the Donald and it's not about sexism, she says. As it happens, she doesn't like Hillary, either. In a column that seeks to explain the rise of Trump and its implication, Ms. Paglia makes a perceptive observation that one would not expect to hear from someone of her political persuasions. She writes:
Hillary’s front-runner status has been achieved by DNC machinations and an army of undemocratic super-delegate insiders, whose pet projects will be blessed by the Clinton golden hoard.
The “Clinton golden hoard” is a reference to the Clinton Foundation. Ms. Paglia is the first liberal commentator to openly acknowledge that the Clinton Foundation is a massive influence exchange. It's vehicle for bribery, really. Influential players can be assured of Foundation good will in return for the proven support for Hillary that their donations demonstrate.
In recent decades Democrats have been having an increasingly difficult time staying in power. Rather than leaving their fortunes to the mercy of fickle voters, Democrats have been driving in a hard left direction. Leftist political philosophy demands greater centralized control and therefore greater power to control their political destinies.
“Clinton golden hoard” is where this gets us. For Democrats control means that they have the power. Barack Obama put it beautifully when he said, “We're gonna punish our enemies, and we're gonna reward our friends...” Hillary has taking that philosophy to the next level by materially rewarding friends with Clinton Foundation grants. Hillary's election would cement her ability to punish enemies. We could expect to see this in ever more frequent occasions of prosecutorial abuse by an already politicized Department of Justice.
For example, compare and contrast Dinesh D'Souza, who earned a prison sentence for a campaign contribution — he produced a movie that was uncomplimentary of Barack Obama — to Jon Corzine, a campaign contribution bundler for Obama who was at one time head of MF Global.
Amid the chaos of MF Global’s demise, a $1.6 billion shortfall in customer funds emerged. It took more than two years for the trustee overseeing the liquidation of MF Global’s brokerage unit to collect and return the money to customers. Mr. Corzine has denied wrongdoing and said he never directed anyone to dip into customer funds.
For those not in the know, dipping into client funds is most illegal. But naturally, the Obama DOJ takes Corzine at his word and no prosecutions are on the horizon, nor were they ever.
The disconnect for Ms. Paglia, who recognizes the inherent criminality in the Clinton gang, is failing to recognize the potential for it in a Sanders administration. It's almost a certainty, since criminality is a feature of all leftist governments. The degree of criminality depends only the extent and degree of control.
For all I've read about Ms. Paglia, she really ought to be a libertarian Maybe she would be if she weren't still so pre-occupied with a sexual liberation battle that's over, having been won quite some time ago.
The following article was written by Jp Cortez, Assistant Director of the Sound Money Defense League. It was originally published on April 28, 2016 at www.soundmoneydefense.org.
Competition is a good thing.
It brings out the best in athletes. It brings out the best in students. It brings out the best in companies.
Since monopolies remove the positive effects of competition, however, it makes sense to reexamine one of the most detrimental monopolies that ever existed.
Most folks would probably agree that government-run monopolies like the United States Postal Service and the Department of Motor Vehicles do a lousy job of serving the public, so why should we give bureaucrats a monopoly over our money as well?
It wasn’t always this way in America. And a few states are finally taking steps toward breaking the money monopoly that’s developed, thereby fostering viable alternatives to the U.S. dollar.
Earlier this month, an Arizona House Rules Committee voted unanimously to pass a bill succinctly titled “Legal Tender; Taxation; Regulation”. (Senate Bill 1141). It allows for the use of gold and silver as legal tender. As defined by the bill, “Legal tender” means a medium of exchange, including coins with precious metal content, that is authorized by the United States constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues.”
This bill serves a number of purposes. But the first is the most fundamental.
According to Article I Section 10 Clause 1, of the U.S. Constitution, the passage of this bill would be a step toward being within what is constitutionally permitted with respect to money. This clause reads, “No state shall… make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts…” The framers, by design, made sure not to include a fiat money backed by the so-called “full faith and credit of the United States” in their list of permissible tenders.
The second function of this bill is to remove the sales tax on transactions where one is purchasing gold or silver and transactions where gold or silver is being used as currency. This diabolical form of tax collection, where state governments are doing the equivalent of charging you a tax for breaking a $5 bill into five $1 bills, is one of the most shameless pillaging instruments that the government has to punish holders of our constitutional money.
The third benefit from the eventual passage of this Arizona bill would be the most long-term effect: allowing gold and silver to be used as currency would open the door for competing currencies.
The stranglehold held by the monetary central planners would loosen as they watched their currency suffer a setback at the hands of the free market. Given a choice, a large number of citizens may well opt against using unbacked Federal Reserve notes, because they can be printed infinitum and have lost more than 97% of their purchasing power in the past 100 years.
The Arizona bill is important, but it’s not unprecedented. Louisiana, Utah, Texas, and other states have also begun to rediscover the importance of gold and silver, and they’ve recently made steps down similar paths.
“Allowing individuals and business to use alternate currencies, especially currencies backed by gold and silver, would expose the whole rotten system...”
But so much more needs to be done at the state and federal level. And if the U.S. dollar system continues to wobble, time could be getting short.
Competition in the market brings to the forefront the highest quality good at the lowest possible price. It wrings out excesses and imposes accountability. Through this system, the double coincidence of wants is satisfied, and all actors in the market are made better off. But when rules are imposed that only allow for only one good or service provider to exist, the system falters – and abuses mount.
Ron Paul once said “Allowing individuals and business to use alternate currencies, especially currencies backed by gold and silver, would expose the whole rotten system because the marketplace would prefer such alternate currencies unless and until the Fed suddenly imposed radical discipline on its dollar inflation.”
He may be onto something.
As Andrew Klavan notes, rhetorical nastiness has been a feature of the liberal political landscape for the last 50 years. What's different in 2016 is that we have a candidate on the other side who's been willing to dish out the nastiness in return.
In a veiled reference to Trump at a recent lunch on Capitol Hill, President Obama declared he was “dismayed” at the “vulgar and divisive rhetoric” being heard on the campaign trail. “In America, there is no law that says we have to be nice to each other, or courteous, or treat each other with respect,” the president said. “But there are norms. There are customs.”
Are there? When I hear this sort of thing from Obama and his fellow leftists, what I wonder is: Have they not listened to themselves for the past 50 years? Do they really have no idea how vicious, how low, how cruel, and how dishonest their attacks on the Right have been?
No, they haven’t; and, no, they don’t. The Democrat-monopolized media, which explodes with rage at any minor unmannerliness on the right, falls so silent at the Left’s almost ceaseless acrimony that leftists are never forced to confront what despicable little Trumps they often are.
It begins with the Democratic leadership. Last August, principled Republicans opposed Obama’s foolish nuclear deal with Iran. Obama’s response? He compared them to terrorists. “Those hard-liners chanting ‘Death to America,’” he said. “They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.” And yet “there are norms. There are customs.”
Occasionally, I'll hear in some commentary somewhere, about how Obama is such a likable guy, and I wonder, on what planet might that that guy be living? It sure as hell isn't here. As with everything, it's all about politics and power with Obama. There's nothing — no foreign policy issue, no domestic issue, no social justice issue — that is not about getting and retaining power.
For Obama that means attacking his opponents personally, accusing them of hypocrisy, dishonesty, racism, and greed. Instead of attacking opposition proposals directly, Obama attacks the people who make them calling them haters or deniers. By successfully smearing the people, he stokes opposition to their proposals, even before anybody knows what the proposals are. Of course, liberal media luminaries have been only too happy to assist.
Is it any wonder why Trump is so popular? He's just stealing a page from Obama.