Teaching critical thinking to high school students: Economics research/presentation (6.4 of 6)

The following are my teaching assignments on critical thinking for California 12th grade students in the semester-long courses, “US Government” and “Economics.” I offer them for non-profit use:

This is the final action: students explore their interests with research, writing, and presentation to the class. At this point of the course, the previous sections from this article and my sharing of current events have opened students’ minds that the world they thought existed in government and economics was a fairy tale believed by the ignorant. This conclusion is justified from the objective and independently verifiable facts, and young-adult confidence that they really do know some things more powerfully than adults (please recall this fact from when we were their ages).

This last project for student research, writing, and class presentation is divided into four parts:

6.1: Basis in academics and state teaching standards

6.2: Revealing economics history 1

6.3: Revealing economics history 2

6.4: Political economy, the assignment, supporting historical voices

This is 6.4:

11. Political economy: connections economics students and citizens should know

“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.”  President Harry Truman, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman (1974) by Merle Miller, pg. 26.

The single fact that government, the Federal Reserve and largest member banks, and corporate media omit consideration for Americans to have money instead of debt is evidence of oligarchic collusion. I mean, how could Americans not know about Benjamin Franklin’s findings and book that a government can be run without taxes?! Do you conclude that this topic is somehow not important, people forgot, or is this an area of trillions in profits where actors will coordinate government and media to protect those trillions, as history demonstrates has been a usual human pattern?

To empower our research in economics, I recommend that we understand the connection of economics to political economy, the basis of economics for over two thousand years of academic consideration up until the separation of economics from politics about one hundred years ago. Political economy is being revisited in academics, as the connection between money, resources and government policy is strong (U.C. Berkeley, for example). To make this connection, we’ll take a brief visit in the case study of US wars (for the longer version, please read the Policy Analysis assignment for US Government class).

US war history is easier to relate to because you’re already familiar with the topics, as contrasted with the new topic of monetary history we’ve briefly considered. All I’ll do is fill in a few gaps for historical “current events” that are typically omitted from high school US History texts, but included in many AP texts, and always included in comprehensive college courses. These accounts are not contested to my knowledge; that is, non-controversial for factual accuracy.

This history will have you recognize facts that were right in front of you, but interpreted for you without your realizing it. We’ll slow the history down, look at it, and ask you what it means.

An economics-related cover-up with war that you should know is former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s admission on September 10, 2001 that the Pentagon “lost” $2.3 trillion (1) of taxpayer money:

  • That’s $23,000 for every US household,
  • embezzling $1,000,000 from a military project 2,300,000 times,
  • embezzling a million dollars a day for 6,300 years,
  • embezzling over 600 million dollars a day, every day, for ten years.

To date, they haven’t investigated themselves, and corporate media only reported on this story once to my knowledge. Again, is this amount of money some how not important enough to investigate? Did people forget about this missing money? Or, is this exactly what it appears to be: oligarchic looting?

As far as I can tell, the easiest place to start in US history to establish that our government is capable of outrageous lies and unlawful acts for economic profit is the 1846 war on Mexico (2). Abraham Lincoln, as a freshman member of Congress and in his powerfully concise prose, is the most famous person to document what happened, as the summary and links below will explain is today’s conservative history.

Regarding preparing you to research economics, it’s vital to understand that US corporate media lies in omission and commission to this day in their history texts and news reporting to cleanse past lies and crimes of war from public understanding. The facts of an active treaty, that the US Constitution states a treaty is the US’ “supreme law,” that the US obviously violated the treaty, that Abraham Lincoln laid-out the facts in stunning clarity, and that government and media lie to simply call this a “border dispute” is damning evidence of a long history of US government lies supported by media propaganda when grand resources and profits are involved.

The connection between economics and government/media lies empowers you in your research to strongly question the “polished speaking” of officials. How strongly? Although this may go beyond your comfort level, but consider the characterization of Donald Boudreaux, Chair of George Mason University’s Economics Department calling government liars “political pimps (3)”:

“It’s closer to the truth to see politicians as pimps who force ordinary men and women to pony up freedoms and assets for the benefit of clients we call ‘special-interest groups.’

… Yet Americans continue to imagine that the typical representative or senator is an upstanding citizen, a human being worthy of being feted and listened to as if he or she possesses some unusually high moral or intellectual stature.”

And by the way, George Mason University’s Economics Department is ranked 8th in the world for political economy by econphd.net.

Here’re the “top ten” US government and media coverage of US wars to consider in your research with what they say in economics; with both topics concerning trillions of dollars (the first link after numbers 1-10 has a longer article with more complete footnotes):

1. The US regularly violated treaties with Native Americans, as well as manipulating their meaning for the purpose of stealing their land: In US Foreign Policy, the US removed Native Americans from treatied lands [36] on multiple occasions. When Native Americans argued for their treatied rights and won in the Supreme Court Case Worcester v. Georgia [37] in 1832, US President Andrew Jackson refused the decision. The resultant forced military removals in the “Trail of Tears” [38] killed  ~4,000; most from  the forced march during winter without provision of adequate supplies to prevent death by freezing. The legal classification of this act is murder. Because both political parties and most media supported the removal, this treaty violation and mass-murder was possible.

2. US President Polk lied to Congress to initiate a War of Aggression in Mexico. The result was the US taking 40% of Mexico in 1848. This occurred despite Abraham Lincoln’s crystal-clear explanation as a member of Congress that the Adams-Onís Treaty placed the “border dispute” 400 miles within land forever promised to Mexico and forever promised as outside any US claim: The US invaded Mexico in 1846 despite it being a clear treaty violation and upon clear lies of US President Polk: “American blood shed upon the American soil.” [41] The result of the war was the US taking 40% of Mexico’s land. Although historians note that freshman member of Congress Abraham Lincoln was/is correct that the president lied and violated a treaty with criminal complicity of Congress, both parties’ and media propaganda allowed the war to move forward without criminal prosecution. The House of Representatives had enough votes to censure the president for, “a war unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President of the United States,” [42] but not to impeach.

3. The US violated our treaty with Hawaii and stole their country in 1898: The US overthrew the Hawaiian government in 1893 [43] and then annexed the territory against Hawaiian will in 1898. This was in clear violation of treaty, admitted as an unlawful war by US President Cleveland in 1893, and that the “provisional government” created by US oligarchs was both wrong and racist…Because Congress had the votes and approval of President McKinley in 1898, the US annexed Hawaii. One hundred years later, the US Congress and President Clinton passed Public Law 103-150 in full admittance that the US unlawfully overthrew Hawaii’s government. What was missing, of course, is the basis of democratic institutions: full communication of this admission to Hawaiians for their consideration and vote whether they prefer to remain within the US, or once again be an independent nation.

4. The US reneged on promises of freedom after the Spanish American War to impose our rule on the Philippines and install US-friendly dictators in Cuba: The US unilaterally claimed sovereign military authority [45] in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War in 1898. Philippine leadership claimed the US promised independence on multiple occasions and reneged.Emilio Aguinaldo, [46] the Philippine’s first president and leader of their revolution against Spanish imperialism…

Philippine requests for political independence were refused by the US, or any vote of the people to discover their will of who should govern. The resultant War for Independence caused civilian deaths ranging from 250,000 to 1.5 million, and over 4,000 American military deaths. This US foreign policy choice against democracy and freedom provoked Mark Twain’s razor-sharp literary attention: [47]

… The US kept the Philippines as their imperial colony until after WW2.

The history after “independence” is poignantly understood with US military and economic support of dictator Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 to 1986. The World Bank estimates that Marcos embezzled up to $5 billion from this relationship. [48] Marcos’ dictatorship included the usual elements of a police state, corruption, assassinations of political enemies, and poverty for the majority of the public. George Washington University now archives confirming US government documentation of their support of this vicious government. [49]

The US also reneged on documented promise in the Teller Amendment for Cuban independence after the Spanish-American War… The pattern of early 20th Century US military invasions of developing countries for the economic benefits of controlling resources and profits of US corporations was explained in the testimony of the most decorated general in US Marine Corps history, Smedley Butler. Congress later invested the most damning of his charges and found them factually accurate: [52]

5. The US entered WW1 upon no national security threat to the US and put the 3rd party presidential candidate in prison for public speeches questioning the war: Let’s apply critical thinking to the facts of the German offer and the American response for war. The Zimmermann telegram’s offer was only active if the US declared war on Germany first, and Mexico rejected the offer. The German submarines were not attacking US territory, only private ships that chose to do business with Britain in a declared war zone, one that was already enforced by the British to prevent trade with Germany. If merchants from any nation wanted to avoid the risk of being attacked by a German submarine, that was as easy as staying away from Great Britain.

Therefore, there was no national security threat from Germany to the US. The actual threat, if any, was from British spying on secret US communications.

US political leadership didn’t present those facts, but instead promised a “war to end all wars,” and “a war to make the world safe for democracy.” The US declared war and a national draft.

US government made war opposition illegal, despite crystal-clear language in the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution to “make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” The US government arrested and indicted Eugene Debs, the Socialist Party presidential candidate, for this speech that questioned US motivation for war (4-minute video reading and full text)…

6. The CIA had several covert wars; perhaps most important in today’s context of war on Iran: “Operation Ajax” that overthrew Iran’s democracy and installed a US-friendly and brutal dictator.  When that dictator was overthrown and Iran refused another, the US aided Iraq to unlawfully invade and attack Iran from 1980-1988; killing up to a million Iranians. If the US lied and acted twice to unlawfully overthrew Iran’s democracy within our own lifetimes, waged war on Iran for 35 consecutive years, shouldn’t we assume first another lie-started unlawful war today? Upon confirmation of the lies shouldn’t we arrest the US War Criminals rather than allow them to kill again?

Other disclosed unlawful and violent interventions include Guatemala in 1954, Cuba with the Bay of Pigs in 1961, South Vietnam in 1963 [56], Chile in 1970, and Panama in 1989. [57] Many college courses cover this material in depth, as do many history books. [58]

One US policy, Operation Northwoods [59] of 1962 that was approved by the US Military Joint Chiefs of Staff, included provisions for the US military to kill Americans in a false-flag operation to create public support for an invasion of Cuba. “False flag” [60] (and here [4]) means a covert operation, usually to organize an attack on one’s own country, and then blame another country in order to sell a “defensive war” to the public. Operation Northwoods was declassified and released from the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board in 1997. [61] Since the Cold War, dozens of so-called “conspiracy theories” have been revealed as conspiracy facts and entered into conservative history, including many covert CIA actions. [62] President Johnson stated in an interview just before his death, “We were running a damned murder incorporated.” [63]

7. The Vietnam War occurred after the US allowed the cancellation of an election to unify the country, as escalated with the Gulf of Tonkin incident: false intelligence at best, but then manipulated into a false-flag event for a “defensive” war:

After the “War to make the World Safe for Democracy,” Ho Chi Minh’s petition for a democratic Vietnam was denied by the victors of WW1. Vietnam remained under France’s dictatorship for economic and political colonial domination. The US supported Minh during WW2 in his guerilla warfare against Japan, only to deny his petition for Vietnam’s independence at the end of the war. The US paid for up to 80% of France’s military costs to keep Vietnam enslaved by the French. The US supported the cancellation of an ELECTION in Vietnam when it became clear that Minh’s socialistic economic plan was more popular than a Western-friendly leader. The Vietnam War exploded with SecDef McNamara’s contrived reporting of the Gulf of Tonkin incident; [66] manipulated intelligence at best [67] in first light, but then manipulated into an outright false-flag attack. The war escalated with unlawful invasions and attacks in Laos and Cambodia, dropping more bombs than from all sides of WW2 combined on a country smaller than California that killed perhaps 10% of their civilian population, ~3.5 million. The government’s stated goal at the time was to “defeat terrorism”, excuse me, “defeat communism” by winning the hearts and minds of civilians while we killed over 1,000 civilian children, women and the elderly daily through high-altitude bombing. The war killed 58,000 Americans, and only ended through massive US demonstrations.

Let’s pause a moment and let these facts penetrate: the US government now admits that the Gulf of Tonkin incident that launched the Vietnam War was a contrived false-flag operation to manipulate public opinion for war. This conclusion seems irrefutable from the documentation, released phone conversations of President Johnson making that admission, and multiple public statements from SecDef McNamara, including the 2003 Academy Award-winning Feature Documentary, The Fog of War. [68]

Does this mean exactly what it seems: that US leadership in the office of the president and Congress willfully lied about “self-defense” to begin a war, continued lying as long as they could to continue that war, and now lie by omission to not remind Americans about this history in light of current US wars?

8. Perhaps most disturbing is the King Family civil suit that found the US government guilty in the assassination of Dr. King. Corporate media, including our text publishers, omit this history. The King family’s conclusion is that Martin was assassinated to prevent his “Occupy DC” plan beginning for the summer of 1968 to end his version of today’s wars:

The overwhelming evidence of government complicity introduced and agreed as comprehensively valid by the jury includes the 111th Military Intelligence Group were sent to Dr. King’s location, and that the usual police protection was pulled away just before the assassination. Military Intelligence set-up photographers on a roof of a fire station with a clear view to Dr. King’s balcony. 20th Special Forces Group had an 8-man sniper team at the assassination location on that day. Memphis police ordered the scene where multiple witnesses reported as the source of shooting cut down of their bushes that would have hid a sniper team. Along with sanitizing a crime scene, police abandoned investigative procedure to interview witnesses who lived by the scene of the shooting.

The King family believes the government’s motivation to murder Dr. King was to prevent his imminent camp-in at Washington, D.C. until the Vietnam War was ended and those resources directed to end poverty and invest in US hard and soft infrastructure.

Please watch this six-minute video of the evidence from the trial, [73] and this eight-minute video [74] on the FBI’s disclosures of covert operations against Dr. King, including confirmation from his closest friends and advisors.

9. We now know from Congressional reports that all “reasons” for war with Iraq were known to be false as they were told (5).

We also know that current US wars are not even close to being lawful. The principal evidence (6) is to understand war law: if another country’s government hasn’t attacked, it’s illegal to use armed attack against them. This is the uncontested intent and letter of two US treaties after the two world wars; legal victories that all our families sacrificed to win.

10. The two “reasons” for war with Iran are as false as the “reasons” for war with Iraq. Beware a false flag attack by the US or Israel to blame on Iran as pretext for another “defensive” war:

Additional resources to prevent another unlawful US War of Aggression on Iran:

US overthrew Iran’s democracy 1953-1979, helped Iraq invade 1980-1988, now lies for more war (and an analogy if the US were the victim of empire)

“The people — the people — are the rightful masters of both Congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.” –  “Abraham Lincoln, [September 16-17, 1859] (Notes for Speech in Kansas and Ohio),” Page 2.

“Constitutional governments and aristocracies are commonly overthrown owing to some deviation from justice…the rich, if the constitution gives them power, are apt to be insolent and avaricious… In all well-attempered governments there is nothing which should be more jealously maintained than the spirit of obedience to law, more especially in small matters; for transgression creeps in unperceived and at last ruins the state, just as the constant recurrence of small expenses in time eats up a fortune.” – Aristotle, Politics, Book V. 350 B.C.E.

12. Critical thinking skills in action: economics policy analysis

Remember: facts are objective and independently verifiable. Facts are real; they exist in reality. Opinions are not real; they exist only when expressed in language and only as long as someone chooses to express them. Fact and political opinion are separate domains. For example: monetary/credit reform is not right or wrong in reality because “right” and “wrong” are opinions that only exist in language. The mechanics of what we use for money has facts associated with it that can be evaluated mathematically, historically, and under law. Just as in baseball, there can be “close calls” to evaluate the legality of actions or truthfulness of statements. And just as in baseball, there are acts that are obviously safe or out, not even close to lawful, or not even close to truthful.

Remember: the conservative and classical academic standard we’re using to evaluate evidence for current events is prima facie. If the facts cannot be refuted, those are considered our best available explanation. Current events must be acted upon in the present. Regarding time-sensitive decisions, we all make our best determination of the facts as we see them. We understand that future factual disclosures and analysis will help.

Remember: people of intellectual integrity and moral courage help each other get the facts, honor academic and democratic freedom by encouraging multiple points of view while holding each other accountable for factual accuracy, and then welcome multiple policy views. This is what academic freedom means. You have full academic freedom in this class.

Remember: your commitment to get the facts is stronger than your fear of challenging a mistaken belief system.

Remember: history and your own experience informs you that when someone claims that something is true when the objective evidence overwhelmingly proves that such a claim is impossible, the usual reason is simple: the person is lying. The motivation to lie is to prevent getting into trouble, and/or to protect something immorally obtained.

Remember: the point of studying these issues and the point of social science is to build a better future. All of us have that mutual commitment.

Instructions: In order to understand current events, people may have to discern among competing statements regarding facts, meaning, and policy opinions. This assignment has you:

  • Read a case study history of famous Americans considering one fundamental economic issue: how to create what we use for money. The purpose of this case study is to see that reporting of current events in the present might exclude powerful and game-changing facts.
  • Read a history of  US government “current events” that are typically omitted from high school US History texts, included in many AP texts, and always included in comprehensive college courses. These accounts are not contested to my knowledge; that is, non-controversial for factual accuracy.
  • Research one important economic issue of interest for you. Compare different sources of reports in good faith effort to receive comprehensive facts.
  • Use critical thinking skills to determine the key facts as you best see them, reflect and communicate what the facts mean for you, and state your best policy response from your current understanding in writing.
  • Use your written information as notes and create a visual to report your findings to the class.

At the end of all the reading, select an economic topic from the list provided, or propose your own for my approval. If economics means, “The creation and management of money, goods, and services,” then you have a broad range of topics to choose from! And remember: the courses of US Government and Economics are taught together for a reason: money funds government policies, and policies direct how money is created and managed.

Consider the questions and resources for each topic, do your own research, and answer all twelve questions at the end of the assignment. I suggest that you access the electronic version. This activates the numerous Internet links, and allows you to cut and paste the questions for your word processing program.

Print a copy of your answers to help present your findings to the class.

This assignment is 70 points:

  • 22 for written responses to questions: 1 point per question (10 for #3), 2 for grammar and spelling.
  • 22 for your oral brief to the class (3-11 only): 1 point per question (5 for #3), 5 for visual element (Prezi, Animoto, video, etc. (up to five extra for great work) 3 for clarity.
  • 26 for reading comprehension short-responses: 2 points per 13 sections.

Questions:

  1. Define “cognitive dissonance.” Explain an example you’ve witnessed where someone emotionally rejected key facts and irrationally clung to their previous beliefs, even when those facts were independently verifiable.
  2. You read detailed history in this assignment. Explain to what extent you were surprised or shocked by previous “current events.”
  3. Research your issue. Write the central facts of your chosen issue, as you best see them. Include any competing factual claims, if they exist, and whatever else to best describe your issue with comprehensive accuracy. Refute any opposing factual claims that you can. Document your sources (such as you see in this paper). Use any combination of essay and bullet points to best communicate your findings. This question is ten points!
  4. Explain what you notice about the difference between corporate media reporting and alternative media reporting on your topic with explaining the comprehensive facts.
  5. Explain if this topic is somehow an “economic belief” or partisan viewpoint without factual substance, or whether it deals with factual issues that are important to understand.
  6. Explain your analysis of the meaning of your factual finds. This is your interpretation of the data.
  7. Explain your policy position of what we as a nation should do about this issue.
  8. Explain the cost-benefit analysis of your policy choice as wise with money/resources.
  9. Explain the responsibility of citizens regarding our nation’s most important policies. To what extent does a democracy demand civic participation? To what extent should we trust our government to make decisions for us? To what extent does the US government lie on this topic you researched?
  10. Explain the extent of cognitive dissonance your topic and research evoked in you from a zero to three scale:
  • Zero: None. I was totally cool going after the facts wherever they led.
  • One: Slight. I knew about some of the history and allegations, and was undaunted going for the facts on my topic. But at times I felt a little uncomfortable.
  • Two: Whoa. This is intense. I’m committed to the facts. I did good work to get them. I want the truth. But some of this information triggered cognitive dissonance.
  • Three: Herman, you hate America. You’re an economic terrorist. Homeland Security should waterboard you. In fact, I’ll call them now and suggest it.

11. Explain the degree you find this assignment helpful to apply critical thinking skills to understand our most important economic issues. Please explain any improvements you see for this assignment.

Note for my own published articles as possible resources: my experience as a teacher allows me to better communicate economics to the public. I cite my articles here to provide the documentation for factual claims. However, my “author” voice includes interpretations of data and policy positions that I exercise in my citizenship for policy advocacy. My professional relationship with you is as a teacher. Therefore: My “teacher” voice focuses on student development of critical thinking skills for students to discover their own interpretations and policy positions, and therefore minimizes any inclusion of my personal views.

To make this difficult balance clear: as a discussion participant among 2,000+ Advanced Placement Government teachers on our listserve, a question was raised in 2009 whether it was appropriate for teachers to ever share their own political opinions and/or policy positions. Many teachers shared their views. My own view received the most positive comments: teachers of any subject need to model competence in that subject. We as teachers understand that people learn from public conversation to help each other access and understand the facts, discuss various viewpoints of what the data mean, and consider various policy positions of what to do. In my class I do not withhold that competence, but frame it this way: I’ll always share my understanding of the comprehensive facts. I’ll only share the meaning I see in them and/or what I think should be done through policy after at least three students share, and with the understanding that in a democracy, my particular views and policy position are no more or less important than any other individual’s. That is, I feel I should participate and model civil and competent discussion, but only in a way that maximizes students’ benefits to understand how to help each other with the data, and then to encourage and respect diverse views and policy positions. 

So with that said, you’re welcome to read and consider my published work as from any other source as one possible resource. My citizen/author voice includes the same professionalism with which I helped create ~300 policy briefs for members of Congress and heads of state so they could quickly and reliably understand complex issues from their facts, AND includes my personal perspective that is in no way factual and in no way something to be “taught.”

Perspective is a personal choice to consider and develop. This is the power and beauty of the 1st Amendment, and part of what makes Life interesting. Encouraging children to discover their own voice is central to all educators’ and parents’ work to empower our children to become successful and independent adults.

My professional education voice will only provide assistance to access the comprehensive facts and for students to apply critical thinking skills for their own interpretation and policy preference. My personal experience as a lobbyist with RESULTS is that this perspective is far more effective, fun, and interesting! When members of Congress were opposed to policy we advocated, but couldn’t articulate why, we would actually help them voice their opposition. For example, I once helped the chair of a Congressional committee improve his reasoning to oppose funding for global child survival from “not in the long-term interests of the US” (not supported by data to decrease population growth rates, environmental pressures, and terrorism, and therefore risky for the Congressperson to say) to “philosophical opposition of nation building” (in line with his actual views and less open to attack).

To be clear: please find diverse and multiple voices in order to get the most benefit in learning. You’ve just read a lot from me; find other writers on your topic of choice.

The following are topics in economic current events many people find of interest to apply critical thinking skills to understand. I’ve found them to be among the most interesting for me to personally research, document, and publish my analyses. You’re welcome to select or reject these topics, select or reject the questions I’ve framed, and select or reject resources I’ve found helpful in my own understanding. If you’d like to research one of these topics, please do. If you’d like to research a current event not on this brief list, please write the topic and why it’s of interest to you. All students need to write their topic and explain its interest to turn in to me.

How is what we use for money created in the US? What other options do we have? I wrote a 2008 paper for my AP Macroeconomics students to understand this topic. I submitted it for review to ~2,000 AP teachers on our listserve with no errors or bias reported, and several favorable reviews. This is the published version for the general public: Debt-damned economics: learn monetary reform or kiss your assets goodbye (I recommend the 8-minute video I included with the article).

If banking were a public service with all profits and power directed for the maximum public good, what are the likely public benefits? The 2013 Public Banking Institute Conference provided a lot of information to respond to this question. Here’s my summary: Public Banking Conference good news: all solutions already here for deficits, debt, full-employment

California claims they have $600 billion in surplus taxes, but can’t fund a $16 billion budget deficit?!? California’s own official Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)documents ~$600 billion in withheld taxpayer money, yet cuts programs because of a claimed ~$16 billion budget deficit. How can this be? Details here: CAFR summary: if $600B ‘fund’ can’t fund $27B pension, $16B budget deficit, why have it? My 22-minute television/webcast interview to explain this situation is also at the article.

The “1%” have ~$30 trillion stored in offshore tax havens while ending global poverty would cost ~$1 to $3 trillion. This topic made CSU Sonoma’s Project Censored’s #2 top story for 2012-2013. 1% hide $21 trillion, US big banks hide $10 trillion; ending world poverty: $3 trillion. Documentary: Video: How 1% asset holes’ offshore tax havens hide $21 – $32 trillion

If California had a public bank, ~5% mortgages and credit card could pay for all state taxes?!? The option of public rather than private credit could be used to abundantly pay for all state taxes at far cheaper rates than we currently pay for credit in just two areas. Public Banking Conference: June 2-4, 2013 – Public mortgages, credit pays all state taxes

$2.3 Trillion missing from the Pentagon: Questions: When Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld acknowledged this on 9/10/01, what investigations have ensued? Even under the scenario of “losing” $100 million per project, how many projects would it take to lose $2.3 trillion? What is the meaning of this “missing” money if not the obvious and first explanation that it was looted? Why hasn’t corporate media reported on this story?

Resources: 9-11 Research: Missing trillions. Solari: The missing money: trillions of dollars are missing from the US government (with two videos). Oct. 7, 2009.

US wars are costing how much?!? The long-term costs of current US wars are estimated by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz at $5 trillion and Brown University at $6 trillion h(both links and others: Given that the Authorities oppose Everything the Founding Fathers Fought For, Is This Still America?). The detailed briefing I wrote for interested members of Congress and publication: War with Iraq and Afghanistan, rhetoric for war with Iran (versions since 2006). Other papers: How a government teacher easily proves Occupy’s claim of US War Crimes, Passage of budget bill is NOT a victory for the American people… only for the military-industrial complex.

Useful history? Business Plot, General Smedley Butler, War is a Racket: Questions: What did Congress conclude and what did they do about a fascist plot to overthrow the US government in 1934? Fascism is an economic philosophy as well as a political philosophy. What did General Butler say in War is a Racket? What was the Founding Father’s position on the likelihood of recurring tyranny and American citizens’ vigilance? Is a fascist coup impossible in America today?

Resources: Wanttoknow.info. War Cover-up, History Channel. The plot to overthrow FDR, BBC Radio. The Whitehouse Coup. July 23, 2007, Examiner.com. Most decorated US Marine General: purpose of all US wars is billions for insiders’ profits. Herman, C. March 6, 2010.

What is up/down with our economy?! My best article to brief the public: How an economics teacher presents Occupy’s economic argument, victory. Jan. 30, 2012. For a film option, watch the 2011 Academy Award-winner for Best Feature Documentary, Inside Job (you’ll have to rent it), or Zeitgeist Addendum online.

Choose and propose your own topic. What topic in government or economics with current importance do you want to understand? I encourage you to choose what you find the most important and interesting for you.

13. Great voices in history offer insights for effective citizenry

Quotes on the responsibility of public vigilance to safeguard our Constitutional rights:

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  – Attributed to Benjamin Franklin, 1738.

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeath’d to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. — Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that ‘if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.’ It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.” – Samuel Adams, Essay, written under the pseudonym “Candidus,” in The Boston Gazette (14 October 1771).

“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” – John Adams, Notes for an oration at Braintree (Spring 1772), quoted from David McCullough’s John Adams, 2001, page 70.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” – Declaration of Independence

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom – go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams, speech at the State House of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, August 1, 1776. Quoted from Colonial Press’s Orations of American Orators, 1900, page 3.

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” – Thomas Jefferson, notes on the state of Virginia, Ch. 17, 1781.

On September 18, 1787, just after signing the US Constitution, Benjamin Franklin met with members of the press. He was asked what kind of government America would have. Franklin: “A republic, if you can keep it.” In his speech to the Constitutional Convention, Franklin admonished: “This [U.S. Constitution] is likely to be administered for a course of years and then end in despotism… when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”  – The Quotable Founding Fathers, pg. 39.

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than to hang a robber, or kill a flea. But killing one tyrant only makes way for worse, unless the people have sense, spirit and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against the tyranny of the one, the few, and the many. Let it be the study, therefore, of lawgivers and philosophers, to enlighten the people’s understandings and improve their morals, by good and general education; to enable them to comprehend the scheme of government, and to know upon what points their liberties depend; to dissipate those vulgar prejudices and popular superstitions that oppose themselves to good government; and to teach them that obedience to the laws is as indispensable in them as in lords and kings.” – John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government (1787), Ch. 18.

“A mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits (of government) is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands.”  – James Madison, Federalist Paper #48, 1788.

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” – James Madison, “Political Observations” 1795; also in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (1865), Vol. IV, p. 491.

The following three paragraphs are from George Washington in his Farewell Address, an open letter to the American public published on September 19, 1796.

“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion…

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.”

“It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power… Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go… In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”  – Thomas Jefferson, Draft Kentucky Resolution (1798. ME 17:388)

“I can never join with my voice in the toast which I see in the papers attributed to one of our gallant naval heroes. I cannot ask of heaven’s success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong. Fiat justitia, pereat coelum.” – John Quincy Adams, Letter to John Adams (Aug. 1, 1816), speaking of the popular phrase “My Country, Right or Wrong!” The Latin phrase is ancient: “Let justice be done though heaven should fall.”

“A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring, it is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”  – James Madison, Letter to W.T. Barry (Aug. 4, 1822)

The following five paragraphs are from Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum Address, January 27 1838.

“I know the American People are much attached to their Government;–I know they would suffer much for its sake;–I know they would endure evils long and patiently, before they would ever think of exchanging it for another. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.

Here then, is one point at which danger may be expected.

The question recurs, “how shall we fortify against it?” The answer is simple. Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;–let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children’s liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap–let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;–let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

…Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence.–Let those materials be moulded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws.”

“The citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth’s political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal, he is a traitor. That he may be the only one who thinks he sees this decay, does not excuse him: it is his duty to agitate anyway, and it is the duty of others to vote him down if they do not see the matter as he does.” – Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, 1889, Ch. 13, page 107.

“In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” – Mark Twain, Notebook, 1904.

“The only rational patriotism is loyalty to the Nation ALL the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain, Czar Nicholas II, 1905, Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1891-1910 (1992) ed. Louis J. Budd.

“The loud little handful — as usual — will shout for the war. The pulpit will — warily and cautiously — object — at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, “It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.” Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers — as earlier — but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation — pulpit and all — will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.” – Mark Twain, The Chronicle of Satan, 1905.

“Citizenship? We have none! In place of it we teach patriotism which Samuel Johnson said a hundred and forty or a hundred and fifty years ago was the last refuge of the scoundrel — and I believe that he was right. I remember when I was a boy and I heard repeated time and time again the phrase, ‘My country, right or wrong, my country!’ How absolutely absurd is such an idea. How absolutely absurd to teach this idea to the youth of the country.” – Mark Twain, True Citizenship at the Children’s Theatre, 1907.

“Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.” – Theodore Roosevelt, “The Progressive Covenant With The People” speech (August, 1912). recording of the speech from the Library of Congress here. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/troosevelt_film/trfpcp.html .

“Since I entered politics I have chiefly had men’s view confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” -Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom, Section I: The Old Order Changeth, 1913, page 13.

“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.” – Theodore Roosevelt, Kansas City Star, May 7, 1918, page 149.

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.” – H.L. Mencken, famous American writer, Smart Set (December 1919)

“All this was inspired by the principle – which is quite true in itself – that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so are brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.”- Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925, Ch. 10.

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” – unsourced, but attributed to Gandhi

“Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. …voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” – Hermann Goering, 1946 Nuremberg Trial. Quoted by Nuremberg prison psychologist, Gilbert Gustave in Nuremberg Diary, page 278, published by Da Capo Press, 1995 ISBN 0306806614, 9780306806612.

The following five paragraphs are from Dwight Eisenhower in his Presidential Farewell Address, January 17, 1961. The term, “Congressional,” in “military-industrial-Congressional complex” was removed after the final draft was written and just before delivery to placate Congress according to Susan Eisenhower, daughter of Dwight Eisenhower (film clip from “Why We Fight”). Background here.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial-Congressional complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

During the long lane of the history yet to be written, America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent, I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war, as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years, I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

You and I, my fellow citizens, need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations’ great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America’s prayerful and continuing aspiration: We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its few spiritual blessings. Those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibility; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; and that the sources — scourges of poverty, disease, and ignorance will be made [to] disappear from the earth; and that in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.”

The following six paragraphs are from President John F. Kennedy in his address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NY City. To hear these excerpts, here.

“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know…

No President should fear public scrutiny of his programs. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers–I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: “An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed–and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

This means greater coverage and analysis of international news–for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security–and we intend to do it.

And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.” – Ronald Reagan, address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, (March 30, 1961).

Another version from his California Gubernatorial Inauguration Speech (Jan. 5, 1967):

“Perhaps you and I have lived with this miracle too long to be properly appreciative.  Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.  It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.  Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

“The Trilateral Commission is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical. What the Trilateral Commission intends is to create a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nationstates involved. As managers and creators of the system, they will rule the future.” – U.S. Senator and 1964 Republican candidate for President Barry Goldwater in his l964 book: With No Apologies (Morrow, 1979), page 280.

“Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.” – Barry Goldwater, Acceptance Speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate.

“The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements, arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the worlds’ central banks which were themselves private corporations. The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury of all other economic groups.” – Mentor to Bill Clinton and Georgetown University History Professor, Carroll Quigley in Tragedy and Hope, 1966. Recorded interview here.

“Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? – Stupid.” – Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, 1965, at a Vietnam press meeting as reported by: Hammond, William M. Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War, 1998.

“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.” – Harry Truman, as quoted in Plain Speaking : An Oral Biography of Harry S Truman (1974) by Merle Miller, p. 26.

Background quotes concerning our status of safeguarding Constitutional rights in the present:

“The United States is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example.” – President George W. Bush, June 26, 2003.

“Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere.” – President Bush, joking in front of a public audience on March 25, 2004. On video (warning: some graphic war images).

“Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so. It’s important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.”  – President Bush, speech at Kleinshans Music Hall, Buffalo, New York, April 20, 2004.

“This young century will be liberty’s century. By promoting liberty abroad, we will build a safer world. By encouraging liberty at home, we will build a more hopeful America. Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom. This is the everlasting dream of America.” – President Bush, Remarks at 2004 Republican National Convention.

“On United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the United States reaffirms its commitment to the worldwide elimination of torture. Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right, and we are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law…Throughout the world, there are many who have been seeking to have their voices heard, to stand up for their right to freedom, and to break the chains of tyranny. Too many of those courageous women and men are paying a terrible price for their brave acts of dissent. Many have been detained, arrested, thrown in prison, and subjected to torture by regimes that fail to understand that their habits of control will not serve them well in the long-term.”  – President Bush, June 27, 2005.

“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.”
– General George Washington, letter to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775. Writings of Washington, Vol. 3: To COLONEL BENEDICT ARNOLD Camp at Cambridge.

Endnotes:

1 Herman, C. US war embezzlement visualized: 4-minute video banned from Congress testimony: “Iraq for Sale”. Examiner.com. Feb. 23, 2010

2 Herman, C. Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now. 3 of 6. Examiner.com. Oct. 19, 2011

3 Washington’s Blog. Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University: Politicians Are NOT Prostitutes… They Are Pimps. Oct. 31, 2009

4 Washington’s Blog. Updated list of admitted false flag attack. Feb. 1, 2015

5 Herman, C. Are US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan well-intended mistakes? What we now know from the evidence. Examiner.com. Sept. 9, 2009

6 Herman, C. How a government teacher easily proves Occupy’s claim of US War Crimes. Washingtonsblog.com. Feb. 17, 2012

7 Herman, C. What Iran’s president said about Israel, and how US War Criminal 1% lie for war. Examiner.com. Jan. 9, 2012

8 Herman, C. What IAEA reports on Iran’s nuclear energy/medicine, how US War Criminal 1% lie. Examiner.com. Jan. 15, 2012

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  • February 6th, 2015 Global debt rose $57 trillion since 2007; economic implosion now unavoidable

    The number has climbed significantly since the last economic crisis for most entities— government, companies and household budgets alike — making the prospect of another financial nightmare all too possible:

    The figures are as remarkable as they are terrifying. Global debt – defined as the liabilities of governments, firms and households – has jumped by $57 trillion, or 17pc of global GDP, since the fourth quarter of 2007, which was supposed to be the peak of the bad old credit-fuelled days. In 2000, total debt was worth 246pc of global GDP; by 2007, this had risen to 269pc of GDP and today we are at 286pc of GDP.

    So what, exactly, is going on in the global economy? The one big lesson from the bubble days was that we had too much debt. Yet fresh figures from McKinsey examining 47 of the world’s most important economies show that the situation has become worse rather than better. In net terms, there has been no deleveraging – in fact, economies have levered up further.

    http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/crisis-looms-global-debt-has-swelled-by-a-massive-57-trillion-since-2007-the-figures-are-as-remarkable-as-they-are-terrifying_02062015