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Dishonoring Harriet Tubman PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Thomas L. Knapp   
Thursday, 28 April 2016 05:54

Harriet TubmanWhen Harriet Tubman died in in March of 1913, the U.S. $20 bill bore George Washington’s portrait and the inscription “This certifies that there have been deposited in the treasury of the United States of America $20 in gold coin payable to the bearer on demand.”

Later that year, Congress passed and President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act. The following year, the Federal Reserve issued a new $20 bill, adorned with the portrait of Grover Cleveland. In 1928, the first $20 bill bearing the visage of Andrew Jackson appeared. Even though the Federal Reserve had taken over the creation of “money” (loosely defined) from the U.S. Treasury, the note still promised that it could be redeemed for gold at the U.S. Treasury, or gold or “lawful money” at any Federal Reserve Bank.

Nearly 90 years later, as the Treasury announces that Tubman’s likeness will grace the next $20 bill, Federal Reserve Notes are just paper, no longer redeemable in gold and sustained only by the faith of buyers and sellers in a government nearly $20 trillion of its own debased dollars in actual debt – and even deeper in the hole when unfunded promises of future spending are taken into account.

 
“Corruption” as a Propaganda Weapon PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Robert Parry   
Thursday, 21 April 2016 07:30

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Source: www.kremlin.ru.

Sadly, some important duties of journalism, such as applying evenhanded standards on human-rights abuses and financial corruption, have been so corrupted by the demands of government propaganda – and the careerism of too many writers – that I now become suspicious whenever the mainstream media trumpets some sensational story aimed at some “designated villain.”

Far too often, this sort of “journalism” is just a forerunner to the next “regime change” scheme, dirtying up or de-legitimizing a foreign leader before the inevitable advent of a “color revolution” organized by “democracy-promoting” NGOs often with money from the U.S. government’s National Endowment for Democracy or some neo-liberal financier such as George Soros.

We are now seeing what looks like a new preparatory phase for the next round of “regime changes” with corruption allegations aimed at former Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The new anti-Putin allegations – ballyhooed by the UK Guardian and other outlets – are particularly noteworthy because the so-called “Panama Papers” that supposedly implicate him in offshore financial dealings never mention his name.

Or as the Guardian writes: “Though the president’s name does not appear in any of the records, the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage. The documents suggest Putin’s family has benefited from this money – his friends’ fortunes appear his to spend.”

Note, if you will, the lack of specificity and the reliance on speculation: “a pattern,” “seemingly,” “suggest,” “appear.” Indeed, if Putin were not already a demonized figure in the Western media, such phrasing would never pass an editor’s computer screen. Indeed, the only point made in declarative phrasing is that “the president’s name does not appear in any of the records.”

A British media-watch publication, the Off-Guardian.org (which criticizes much of the work done at The Guardian), headlined its article on the Putin piece as “the Panama Papers cause Guardian to collapse into self-parody.”

But whatever the truth about Putin’s “corruption” or Lula’s, the journalistic point is that the notion of objectivity has long since been cast aside in favor of what’s useful as propaganda for Western interests.

 
12th Grade with Uncle Lar: Stop Hearing Motorcycles PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Larry McDonald   
Thursday, 31 March 2016 06:39

“12th Grade with Uncle Lar” is inspired by John DeLaPaz, a career educator who prepared thousands of youth for the real world with his straightforward manner. Click on the image for a larger version.

Click on the image for a larger version

 
Hey, FDR Was a Fascist, Too! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Jacob G. Hornberger   
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 18:38

Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933It’s the latest rage among American leftists to point out that Donald Trump has fascist proclivities. A recent example is Robert Reich, who was secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. In an article recently on Raw Story, Reich states that “Trump has finally reached a point where parallels between his presidential campaign and the fascists of the first half of the 20th Century – lurid figures such as Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Oswald Mosley, and Francisco Franco – are too evident to overlook.”

Reich isn’t the only one. Former Mexican President Vincente Fox also called Trump a fascist. Current Mexican President Enrique Pena Calderon said that Trump’s “strident” rhetoric is how “Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in.”

In another recent article, this one in the Los Angeles Times, reporter Patt Morrison states: “Well, there’s language and there’s style and manner that has echoes of the fascism of Europe in the 1920s and ’30s. There’s the claim that the United States is in decline and needs a strong leader. And that was at the heart of what Mussolini and Hitler promised. They offered a recipe for revival: nationalism, aggressive foreign policy, attacks on the enemies inside and out without much regard for due process, an obsession with decline and with enemies like Jews or socialists, foreigners – those are the echoes of that today.”

But in their attacks on Trump, those on the left conveniently forget a discomforting fact: Their hero and icon – the man they (as well as conservatives) have extolled and glorified for some 80 years, President Franklin D. Roosevelt – was himself a fascist.

 
Libertarians Versus the Isolationist Killers PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Jacob G. Hornberger   
Thursday, 10 March 2016 12:06

Given all the hoopla surrounding the presidential campaign, it’s easy for people to conclude that the big fight for the future of America is between Democrats and Republicans. Not so. When it comes to fundamental principles, Republicans and Democrats are on the same page. They both believe in socialism, interventionism, and imperialism, as reflected by the joint devotion to such programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, education grants, immigration controls, trade restrictions, the drug war, invasions, occupations, wars of aggression, assassinations, torture, and foreign aid to dictatorships.

The only real fight between Democrats and Republicans is over who is going to be in charge of the welfare/warfare state programs. Who is going to get to distribute the welfare largess? Who is going to get to orchestrate the invasions, the assassinations, the bombings?

No, the real fight for the future direction of the country is between libertarians, who wish to move America in the direction of freedom, peace, and free markets, and the Democrats/Republicans, who wish to continue moving our nation in the direction of more killing and more isolationism.

 
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