Above the President

The relevance of much of what happens in the world today escapes public scrutiny, compliments of the corrupt corporate media. This site aims to help change that. Topics include the UN, oil pipelines, monetary policy and the fate of empires.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Reading Notes

I'm continuing on with my reading notes for Dreyfuss' Hostage to Khomeini, but I've created a new blog for those reading notes, as they tend to be much more scattered and "stream-of-consciousness" than the content I would like to post here.

If you're interested, you can find them here:


For now, Above the President will continue to be a place where I continue posting somewhat well-formed thoughts concerning power and politics.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Detering and Sinclair Duke it Out

There's a lot of ignorance out there about what caused the runaway hyperinflation in Germany in the early 1920s. Most people believe the reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles had something to do with it, forcing the Weimar government to devalue its currency so as to meet its debt obgliations.

The Imperial Palace Hotel in Genoa, Italy
where the
Treaty of Rapallo was concluded

To understand the real reasons for the runaway hyperinflation, one must first understand the Treaty of Rapallo, signed by representatives of Germany and the Soviet Union on April 16th, 1922 at the World Economic Conference in Genoa, Italy. The treaty re-established diplomatic relations between the two countries, renounced financial claims on each other and pledged future cooperation. Specifically, Germany agreed to ship important new technologies over to Russia, in exchange for which Russia would forgive the (enormous) debt Germany owed her. Representing Germany was Walther Rathenau, who was serving at the time as the German foreign minister.

The ongoing World Economic Conference was convened by the British for (roughly) three important reasons:
  1. London desired, if possible, to return to a pre-1914 gold standard.
  2. London was ready to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with the new Soviet government in Russia.
  3. London wanted to do all this without the help or prescence of the Americans, for reasons that will shortly become very clear.
London of course anticipated new, lucrative business contracts to begin flowing out of Russia, once diplomatic relations with the Soviets had been normalized. Specifically, the Communist government had already promised Royal Dutch Shell and other British firms concessions to the rich mineral wealth of the Baku oil fields in (what is now) Azerbaijan.

Royal Dutch Shell (UK) battles it out with Standard Oil (US)
for control of the Soviet Baku oil fields in Azerbaijan

As a historical note, one should realize that London had spent the past 3-4 years (since 1918 or so) battling the Communist government in Moscow tooth and nail. Some examples of (covert and overt) British engagement in Russia against the Soviet Communists include:
  • British financial support for the White Russian Counterrevolution, which fought against Lenin and his Red Army.
  • British Colonial Minister Winston Churchill helped Boris Savinkow set up a "goverment in exile" in opposition to Lenin's Communist goverment.
  • British agents Sir Robin Bruce Lockhart and Sidney Reilly made an assassination attempt upon Lenin in August 1918 (or at least, they were accused of having done so by the Soviet government).
It would take us too far afield to discuss all the reasons why London was so strongly opposed to Lenin (at least initially), but the short version of the story is that Lenin and his Soviet government were put in power by the Rockefellers (operating out of the U.S.) and their Standard Oil Company (now Exxon).

Royal Dutch Shell Head, Sir Henry Detering

So essentially what's happening here in a (corporate) battle for concessions to the vast mineral wealth of Russia. On the one side you have Standard Oil, who is backing Lenin and the Communist government in Russia. On the other side you have Royal Dutch Shell, who (operating through the British government) is doing everything in their power to topple the Communist goverment in Russia and win their own concessions to Baku.

Harry Sinclair and the Teapot Dome Scandal

The Sinclair Oil Company was form on May 1, 1916 when Harry Sinclair brought together the assets of eleven smaller petroleum companies under one corporate umbrella. The company quickly grew to be one of the largest oil companies in the United States. Sinclair initially ran the operation out of Oklahoma, although today the company is based in Utah.

Teddy Roosevelt served as U.S. president from 1901 to 1909.
Two of his sons worked for Harry Sinclair's oil companies.
A third son staged a coup in Iran in 1953, on behalf of U.S. oil.

By most outward appearences, Sinclair was the proverbial American "self-made" man. A closer look under the covers, though, reveals that it was his connections - and specifically his connections to Standard Oil - that made Sinclair who he was. Teddy Roosevelt, Junior, son of the former U.S. president, sat on the board of directors of the Sinclair Refining Company, and his brother, Archibald Roosevelt, was a vice-president at Sinclair Oil. William Boyce Thompson, a director at the Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank in New York (the bank through which Standard Oil did most of its business) was also a member of Sinclair's board of directors.

The picture that emerges is one in which the Rockefellers used Harry Sinclair and his oil companies to further their own interests, whenever it was more politically expedient not to "reveal" the "hand" of Standard Oil directly. It's no therefore coincidence (or surprise) that just after the 1917 Russian Revolution, Harry Sinclair traveled to Russia and met with Lenin to negotiate oil concessions for his company in Siberia. Remember, it was the Rockefellers who put Lenin in power in the first place.

The Soviet island of Sakalin (in red)
was believed to hold oil mineral wealth

In so far as the Soviet oil concessions were concerned, Sinclair had already traveled to London repeatedly (1918-1921), along with his corporate vice-president Archibald Roosevelt and U.S. Senator Albert Fall (R-New Mexico), to meet and negotiate with Soviet foreign minister Leonid Krassin. They met to discuss concessions not only in Baku, but also deep in Siberia, including those on Soviet island of Sakalin (in the Pacific Ocean). The Sinclair Group was prepared to offer $115 million to the Soviets for these concessions, as well as using their contacts in the Harding administration (Senator Fall had been appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Warren G. Harding in March 1921) to press for U.S. diplomatic recognition of the new Soviet government.

1924 political cartoon depicting the Teapot Dome Scandal

The parties were all prepared to sign their names on the dotted line, when - out of the blue - a scandal that eeriely forshadowed the Watergate crisis of the Nixon years embroiled the key American stakeholders, including Albert Fall, Harry Sinclair and President Harding. In early 1922, reports began to surface that Albert Fall (now acting as the U.S. Secretary of the Interior) had leased - without competitive bidding - the Teapot Dome, Wyoming oil fields to Harry Sinclair and the Elk Hills, California oil fields to Edward L. Doheny. Albert Fall was eventually forced to resign his position as Secretary of the Interior in March, 1923, and the scandal even reached all the way into the office of the president, as Harding had officially transferred control of the oil fields from the Navy to the Department of Interior in 1921 by Executive Order. Fall, Sinclair and Doheny were all convicted on various charges of bribery, conspiracy and contempt of court. The oil fields were eventually restored to the U.S. government by a Supreme Court decision in 1927.

U.S. Senate investigates the Teapot Dome Scandal

Harry Sinclair's photo "graced" the front page of the Wall Street Journal (and other prominent papers) on April 14, 1922. President Harding died under very suspicious circumstances about a year later. His successor, Calvin Coolidge, showed no interest either in Harry Sinclair or in U.S. recognition of the Soviet Union. U.S. diplomatic recognition of the Soviet regime would have to wait another decade until Franklin D. Roosevelt came into power.

Black rook takes white queen.

In one fell swoop, Detering (who was the source of the initial Teapot Dome rumors) and his backers in British intelligence had swiftly and decisively removed their American competition (i.e., the Rockefellers), and were now prepared to "negotiate" for concessions with the (Rockefeller-backed) Soviets on their own terms. So as to kick these negotiations off in the proper spirit, the British convened the World Economic Conference in Genoa, Italy in April 1922.

In the next post, we'll have a look at what all this has to do with the German hyperinflation of the 1920s.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Brzezinski's "Islamic" Card

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
-- Ephesians 5:11

The Arc of Crisis

Continuing on with our review of Robert Dreyfuss' Hostage to Khomeini, we left off with U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski waxing intellectual about how Muslim fundamentalists are preferable for the U.S. to deal with since at least they are not "godless athiests" like the Soviet Communists are.

Masjid al-Nabawi, in Medina, is the second holiest shrine in Islam.

Brzezinski's support for Islamic fundamentalism soon became the dominant theme of U.S. foreign policy towards the entire Mideast. As is usual for those in Establishment circles, Brzezinski drew authority for his policy decisions by citing the need to react to a range of artificially engineered "crises" (see my earlier post concerning Lawmaking by Fiat, or the excellent study Executive Orders and National Emergencies produced by the Cato Institute). To this end, Brzezinski coined the term Arc of Crisis to describe the geographic region stretching from North and East Africa through the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. Brzezinski charged that the Sovet Union was making a power play for control of the oil in this region of the world, and that the U.S. must react lest the fate of civilization fall into the hands of the Soviets.

It's highly unlikely that the Soviets ever had any such serious ambitions, although (somewhat "coincidently") the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 gave Brzezinski precisely the fuel he needed to substantiate his claims to this effect. More on this later...

As a sidenote, it's interesting to note that the term "Arc of Crisis" has stuck, and is used to this day in media sources such as:

Much of the "imprint" on the American public conscience that was left by this statement is probably due to a 1979 article in Foreign Affairs endorsing Brzezinski's policy.

Talk about "manufacturing consent" ...

Brzezinski's salient points concerning the Arc of Crisis were as follows:

  • The "Arc" is the last major stronghold against Soviet advancement in the Free World
  • Roughly 75% of the world's oil reserves lay in the "Arc" (these are Brzezinski's numbers, dated 1979)
  • The "Arc" is the scene of the world's most bitter ongoing conflict, the one between Zionists and Arab nationalists
Some other, more minor points of his were that this region is the birthplace of the major, monotheistic religions of the world, including Islam, Christianity and Judaism, and that it's the scene of an intense struggle between two ideologies of how to economically modernize: the Western model and the Soviet model.

President Truman announced a Communist
"Containment" Strategy in 1947

Brzezinski's "Arc of Crisis" model continued a long-standing U.S. strategy of expanding its power and influence under the guise of "containing Communism." The first such public docrtine was enunciated by President Truman in 1947 in the so-called Truman Doctrine. Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon each followed with their own Communist Containment strategies in 1957 and 1969, respectively. Although each such "doctrine" (including Brzezinski's) paid lip service to "containing" the Soviet boogyman, the results of these policies was the inevitable expansion of U.S. military and economic power across the globe.

Mideast Treaty Organization (METO)

Nobody really (seriously) believed that the Moscow was supporting Khomeini against the Shah, but most analysis believed that Moscow would have preferred that the Shah remain in power. Brzezinski used the image of a Soviet bear pressing down toward the Indian Ocean to propose the creation of METO, similar to NATO or SEATO, but tailored to the Mideast Region (see my post about the UN War Document to learn more about who really controls NATO and SEATO).

The idea was not new. In fact, the original name of CENTO (the Central Treaty Organization) was METO (CENTO was also known as the Baghdad Pact). CENTO was adopted in 1955 by Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran and (ironically?) Britain. Pressure from the United States was key in forming the alliance in the first place, although the U.S. did not formally join the pact until 1958. The organization's headquarters was in Baghdad Iraq. CENTO is generally regarded as one of the least successful of all Cold War alliances, and the alliance more or less fell apart in 1974 after Turkey invaded Cyprus.

In 1978, the Zionist Edgar Bronfman (chairman of the Seagram's Corporation) wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times where he too demanded consideration of a "METO" organization. Bronfman claimed that he had discussed the idea with New York Senator Jacob Javits and with Vice President Walter Mondale, who then suggested to Brzezinski that the idea be pursued by the administration. The "formal" idea of a METO was put together at a summit at Camp David in September 1978.

Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline - Iranian tankers unloaded crude
oil at the Israeli Red Sea port of Eilat until the Shah fell in 1979

Why were Zionists like Bronfman so interested in protecting the status quo in Iran? Most likely it had something to do with the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, which runs from the Red Sea port of Eilat, Israel up to the Mediterrean coast near Ashkelon. The use of this pipeline can save considerable time and money over shipping oil through the nearby Suez Canal, and it represents a major source of income for the state of Israel. The pipeline was used regularly by Iranian tankers shipping Persian crude until the Shah's regime fell in 1979.

More on this later..

At any rate, the idea was gradually formulated to resurrect METO as an expansion of NATO into the Middle East. Egypt and Israel were expected to be the first countries to accept membership into the expanded NATO alliance, followed by Iran. Brzezinski regarded the Muslim Brotherhood as the common factor that could bring together all the disparate regimes in the "Arc of Crisis."

The Mujahadeens of Afghanistan

The culmination of Brzezinski's Islamic strategy was the covert American and open Chinese support for the Afghanistan guerillas operating out of Pakistan and Iran.

Afghanistan shares long borders with Iran and Pakistan

With the victory of an Islamic Revolution in Iran to inspire them, the fundamentalist guerillas began to attack the pro-Soviet government in Kabul with impunity. The guerillas were rewarded handsomely with American aid for doing so. Brzezinski's NSC was spoon fed glowing reports of alleged victories by the Muslim Brotherhood against the Afghan government of Prime Minister Amin. Brzezinski and his Peking allies pressed on with their "jihad" in Afghanistan.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was secretly welcomed by Brzezinski. Washington now had the opportunity to mobilize Iran and the rest of the Muslim world against the Soviets, who were consistently portrayed in Washington statements as Islam's chief enemy. No matter that these same Muslim "allies" had seized the American embassy in Tehran, held its diplomats hostage and burned down American embassies in Pakistan and Libya.

The Dreyfuss Report

I've been making (and will be continuing to make, for some time) posts based on Robert Dreyfuss' landmark 1980 book, Hostage to Khomeini. Those who are interested in reading more about what Dreyfuss has to say about the Middle East might like to know that between May 2004 and February 2005, Dreyfuss wrote a serious of op-ed pieces for TomPaine.com.

You can find the entire collection of op-ed pieces here:

Look for Dreyfuss' new book, Devil's Game: How the U.S. Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, due out in Fall 2005.

Someday, of course, I'll have to make a few posts about Thomas Paine himself, but first, back to Iran circa 1980...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Who Overthrew the Shah?

So as to better understand why (so-called) "Muslim terrorists" are bombing London (or for that matter, New York), it's important to delve deeply into the shadowy world of London finance, Texas oil and Arab nationalism. Two important names that come up regularly in any such investigation are (a) BCCI; and (b) the Muslim Brotherhood. Both organizations were made up predominantly of Arab nationals, both organizations were (ostensibly) run out of London City, both organizations were closely linked with U.S., British and Israeli intelligence, and both organization have perpetrated any number of terrorist attacks.

The Muslim Brotherhood Set Off
Bombs in London on July 7, 2005

One of the clearest and most articulate exposes of the Muslim Brotherhood was produced by Robert Dreyfuss in 1980, entitled Hostage to Khomeini. The book can be read online in its entirety here.

I am today going to begin a (long) series of posts, in which I'll be documenting and outlining the more salient points of Dreyfuss' book. I anticipate that much of the content will flow in a "stream of consciousness" type style, but then again, whose blog doesn't?

Here goes nothing ..

The Carter administration deliberately, and with malicious premeditation, provided aid to the Khomeini as so to overthrow the Shah of Iran
The Carter administration helped out Khomeini in a number of ways, including propaganda crafted by U.S. and British Intelligence, and behind-the-scenes arms deals that would eventually blossom into Iran-Contra.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the
world's most dangerous terrorists

People that were intimately involved in these affairs included:
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski (head of the U.S. National Security Council)
  • Cyrus Vance (U.S. Secretary of State)
  • George Ball (NSC's Iran Task Force special coordinator)
  • David Newsom (U.S. State Department)
  • Henry Precht (U.S. State Department)
  • William H. Sullivan (U.S. Ambassador to Tehran)
  • Harold Brown (Pentagon)
  • Charles Duncan (Pentagon)
  • General Alexander Haig (NATO)
  • General Robert Huyser (NATO)
  • Admiral Stansfield Turner (CIA)
  • Robert Bowie (CIA)
  • Richard Cottam (University of Pittsburgh, Iran specialist)
  • Marvin Zonis (University of Chicago, Iran specialist)
  • James Bill (University of Texas, Austin, Iran specialist)
  • Richard Falk (Princeton, Iran specialist)
  • Bernard Lewis (Princeton, Iran specialist)
  • Thomas Ricks (Georgetown, Iran specialist)
This group acted as a general liason between (1) the Carter White House; (2) the organizers of the Khomeini Revolution; and (3) a secret society called the Muslim Brotherhood. The general coordinator for the entire operation was U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

The developing alliance between the White House and the Muslim Brotherhood (1977-1979) was sold to junior members of the intelligence community as part of a geopolitical strategy aimed at the Soviet boogeyman.

Brzezinski and cohorts formulated a policy of plausible denial by circulating rumors that the Shah of Iran had developed cancer and was likely to soon die. It was reasoned that his death would leave a power vacuum in Iran that would not easily be filled. The CIA "feared" that the Soviets might move in, so it was "critical" the U.S. begin building contacts with the Shah's opposition in Iran (most of which was rooted in Islamic fundamentalism).

The American people were told nothing.

In 1977, Brzezinski had publicly stated that he believed "Islamic fundamentalism" would provide an effective bulkwark against Communism. His reasoning, as recorded in a New York Times interview after the Iranian Revolution, was that Washington should welcome Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East since -- ideologically -- they were not "atheists" like the Soviet Communists were. This view was reaffirmed on November 7, 1979 by Carter press secretary Jody Powell, three days after 53 Americans were taken hostage in Tehran.

Brzezinski's expertise lay in the use of religion and religious cults as tools of political warfare.

Brzezinski was trained by Jesuits at McGill University in Canada. He is on record as stating that his thinking is so close to the Jesuits that he regards himself as an honorary member of their Society. By using Jesuit contacts in Eastern Europe (Brzezinski is of Polish birth), the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East, and by playing the "China Card," it was thought that Brzezinski was trying to encircle the Soviet Union with hostile, ideologically-motivated armies.

One quarter of the Soviet population was Muslim, and it was believed that by inflaming their ideologies, the Soviet Union could be effectively dismantled.

More to come soon..

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Aspen Institute Meddles in Iran

One of the books at the top of my reading list is Hostage to Khomeini, by Robert Dreyfuss. After reading this short excerpt online, I'm now more eager than ever to have a look at the book.

The entire book is available online here.

Persepolis, Iran was built c. 500 BC by Darius the Great

In September 1975, the Aspen Institute organized a symposium in the ancient city of Persepolis, Iran. Their goals were, as usual, completely subversive. Publicly, the Institute documented its proceedings in a book that was later published entitled Iran: Past, Present and Future. Subversely, they made plans to reverse the Shah's industrialization program and to turn Iran into a model for Dark Age brutality and repression. As is usual with the Establishment, they got the people they were targeting (in this case, the Shah and his wife, Empress Farah Diba) to underwrite and finance the cost of their "research."

Some of the attendees at the Persepolis symposium included:
  • Aureho Peceei (Club of Rome chairman)
  • Sol Linowitz
  • Jacques Freymond
  • Robert O. Anderson (Aspen Institute)
  • Rarlan Cleveland (Aspen Institute)
We of course met Robert O. Anderson earlier on my post about the $25 Million Constitution.

The goal of the conference was to drive home a single point: modernization and industrialization (such as that which the Shah was pursuing) undermine the "spiritual, nonmaterial" values of ancient Iranian society, and these values must be preserved above all else.

Bani-Sadr, Elected President of Iran in 1980

The other interesting thing to note here are some of the connections which aided Abolhassan Bani-Sadr in his rise to power under the watchful guidance of the Aspen Institute and the various western intelligence agencies. Bani-Sadr spent most of the 1970s living in exile in Paris, where he joined the Iranian "resistance" group lead by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Bani-Sadr returned with Khomeini to Iran in February 1979 as the Iranian Revolution was just beginning. He was later elected president of Iran in 1980.

What's interesting about Bani-Sadr is that while in Paris, he studied under the following people and institutions:
  • Centre Nationale des Recherches Scientifiques (CNRS)
  • "Division Six" of the Ecole Pratique des Hatues Etudes (EPHE-6)
  • National Institute for Agronomical Research
  • George Balandier
  • Paul Veille
  • Rene Dumont (expelled from Cuba and Algeria for being a CIA agent)
  • Miche Crozier (theorist associated with the Tavistock Institute in Britain, and coordinator of the 1968 destabilization of the de Gaulle government)
  • Jene-Pierre Vigier (also a key figure in the 1968 destabilization of the de Gaulle government)
  • Michel Foucault (connected to British and Israeli intelligence)
  • Jacques Soustelle (connected to British and Israeli intelligence)
  • Charles Battelheim (connected to British and Israeli intelligence)
  • Claude Levi-Strauss (connected to British and Israeli intelligence)
  • Henri Corbin (connected to British and Israeli intelligence)
  • Roger Garaudy (a French Jesuit, associated with the Institute for the Dialogue of Civilizations)
What's so important about these people and institutions? It's that these are precisely the same people and institutions who were responsible for "training" and "mentoring" Khieu Samphan just a few years earlier.. and who, might you say, was Khieu Samphan? He was the president of Cambodia under Pol Pot, at a time when Cambodia was undergoing a similar genocidal "cultural revolution" that would later become the fate of Iran under Khomeini.

You beginning to see a few connections?

Friday, July 15, 2005

The British Crown Modernizes Slavery

The Victorian novelist Charles Dickens open his classic Tale of Two Cities with the famous words "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" ...... and so it is with us today.

Dickens wrote about the French Revolution in
The Tale of Two Cities (painting by Delacroix)

I frequently malign the British Empire (and Crown), and the stranglehold that it has exerted (and continues to exert) over the planet for the past 300+ years. Yet, every cloud has its silver lining. There is no political freedom without economic freedom, and our current system of free enterprise (under attack, as it is) owes a great and deep debt to the pioneering thought of classical British liberalists; William Shakespeare is certainly a treasure of the entire human race to enjoy; and America (somewhat obviously) owes its very existence in no small part to the philosophers and thinkers of the English Renaissance and Enlightenment.

Such are the British contributions to humanity that you are taught about in school. They qualify as that which we might very justly term "the best of times," for truly these advancements (especially those in the economic sphere) have been (very) directly responsible for bringing to a greater part of the world a quality of life that was unknown even among royalty not so very long ago. I make these comments partly because they are true, and they should therefore be known and acknowledged, and partly out of deference to the people of Britain and the victims of last week's bus bomb attacks in London.

Yet there is a much darker side to this story, a part of the story that you are deliberately not taught about in school. It's the part that describes exactly how the British Crown, operating from that tiny little island up in the North Sea, managed first to build, and now today to maintain, the greatest, most powerful and most pervasive Empire the world has ever known.

The story begins over 300 years ago with creation of the British "free trade" system, a euphamism used (to this day) in polite society to describe the far more vulgar concept of "slavery." It is, of course, (rather) well known that the British Empire was first built upon the backs of Black chattel slaves over 300 years ago. It is perhaps slightly less well known that the United States, despite winning "political" independence from Great Britain in 1783, was unable to achieve any meaningful economic independence from Britain until 1865, when President Lincoln was finally able to throw the British "free-traders" and their slave-handling ways out of this country.

Lincoln won the first major battle
against British "free trade" in 1865

What is far less well known in the Western world is that the barbarity, cruelity and malice with which the English practiced chattel slavery is without parallel in the history of recorded civilization. The ancients kept slaves, that much is true, but in the ancient world it was rare that such a "contract" extend over the course of an entire lifetime, much less was it perpetuated from one generation to the next solely upon the basis of race [1,2]. Such a system of perpetual (and racist) chattel enslavement appears to be entirely of English origin and invention.

British "contributions" to the practice of chattel slavery may be somewhat ambiguous, but what we know for a fact is that nearly every form of social collectivism created during the 19th and 20th centuries - everything from Communism to Naziism to Fabianism to the United Nations to the European Union - is (ultimately) of English invention. If you want more evidence to support such claims, keep reading this blog .. I plan on posting much more about such topics in the coming weeks and months.

In my next post, I'll discuss what all this has to do with our current topic at hand: the global terrorism that is spewed forth (daily) from London City, and what it means for those who are (still) loyal to the American Republic.

  1. It's an interesting footnote to history that even such greats as Pythagoras and Plato had the unfortunate experience of spending various and sundry times of their lives as slaves. Pythoagoras was taken captive when the Persian ruler Cambyses invaded Egypt in 525 B.C. He was taken back to Persia, where he eventually won his freedom and proceeded to study philosophy with the Magians of Persia and the Chaldeans of Babylon. Plato was briefly taken as a slave in Italy while he was studying with the Pythagoreans, but soon obtained his freedom with the help of a Libyan friend.

  2. There are a few exceptions that could be cited, for instance the plight of the Hebrews in Egypt prior to Moses, or of the Jews during the Babylonian Exile, yet concrete data concerning the extent to which "economic slavery" was a factor in these events is scant and ambiguous. There is also ample documentation from the classical era (for instance, in the biographies of Plutarch) indicating that slaves (for instance in Rome) were often treated with (relatively) decent regard and (more or less) as members of the family whom they served.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Herbert Hoover and Central Planning

Got into a discussion today at dinner about the Great Depression, what caused it, and whether or not FDR's policies prolonged it. It's going to take me a couple posts to sort through all my thoughts on this topic, but for starters I'm going to cover some of the basics right here today.

Did Hoover really do nothing? Most people believe that Hoover stood by and did nothing while the economy collapsed, and that it was only FDR's vigorous intervention in the economy that "saved the day" for "capitalism." In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Hebert Hoover, U.S. President 1929-1933

In the first place, it isn't true that Hoover stood by and "did nothing." In fact, Hoover did more than any peacetime president in American history (up to that point) had done. Rexford Tugwell, an important figure in FDR's New Deal programs and someone we met on my post about the $25 Million Constitution, is on record as stating: "We didn't admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started."

Secondly, it was Hoover's constant meddling with the economy that managed to turn the mild recession of 1929 into the Great Depression of the 1930s. The economic picture may have been bad in 1929 and 1930, but it wasn't until 1931, after a year of government intervention, that the situation truly became critical.
  • Messing with employment: Within a month following the stock market crash, Hoover summoned key business leaders to the White House. He implored them to refrain from cutting wages, arguing that high wages were the way out of the economic downturn since they gave workers the means to purchase goods.

    Depressions, of course, occur for one and only one reason: a contraction in the amount of money available to the economy; hence, the only way out of a depression is to let prices (and wages) fall. Wages are, after all, a cost of doing business. By demanding high wages - at a time when prices were (naturally) falling - Hoover was making it more difficult for businesses to hire people. Nevertheless, big business honored Hoover's wishes, and the result was predictable: mass unemployment.

    Hoover's Policies Created Record Unemployment

    High wages are a reflection of prosperity, not the cause of it. If high wages alone could produce prosperity, we could eliminate poverty by simply having the government mandate a $100-per-hour minimum wage. The sheer insanity of this, to say nothing of the mass unemployment this would cause, should be apparent to anyone, yet this is precisely the policy that Hoover (and his successor, FDR) followed.
  • Messing with agriculture: American agriculture had suffered from a chronic surplus problem throughout most of the 1920s. During WWI, U.S. agricultural output had expanded dramatically. Once the war was over, though, the nation found that it had far more farmers than it (or even the world) actually needed. The resulting surpluses (naturally) depressed the prices of almost all agricultural goods. Yet rather than allow supply-and-demand to work its natural course, American farmers had grown dependent on government assistance (in one form or another) to help prop up agricultural prices.

    Canadian and Argentinian farmers stole global
    market share from the U.S., thanks to Hoover

    Hoover continued this policy by establishing the Federal Farm Board (FFB) in 1929 to make loans to farmers so they could keep their crops (especially wheat and cotton) off the market until prices rose. Yet whenever prices actually did rise, farmers went ahead and produced even more crop, making the surplus even worse for the following year. Eventually the Federal Farm Board decided to authorize, through its Grain Stablization Corporation, massive purchases of U.S. wheat well above world prices. Farmers therefore sold their wheat to the Grain Stablization Corporation, rather than exporting it. Hoover was sure that by keeping American wheat off the world market, a global shortage would ensue and soon the world would be begging for more American wheat. Instead, Canadian and Argentinian producers increased their output and stole what was left of America's share of the world market.

  • Messing with taxes: In June 1930, Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff into law. Originally intended to provide tariff protection to American agriculture, Smoot-Hawley ended up providing "protection" for virtually every sector of the economy by raising tariffs an average of 59% on over 25,000 imported items. The impact on American exporters was predictable. The Italian government, for instance, responded by doubling its tariffs on American cars, causing American auto sales in Italy to plummet by 90%. Spain too raised tariffs on American cars, to the point where almost no American cars could be sold there. France simply closed its markets altogether to virtually all American products.

    Andrew Mellon, Tax Tyrant

    There were other (insane) tax increases as well. Andrew Mellon, who served as Secretary of the Treasury under Hoover, helped push through the disasterous Revenue Act of 1932. It was the largest peacetime tax increase in U.S. history up to that point. Income tax rates were increased dramatically and surtaxes on the highest incomes rose from 23% to 63%. Mellon also introduced new federal taxes on: corporations, estates, gifts, cars, tires, gasoline, toiletries, electricity, luxury items, bank checks and on telephone, telegraph and radio messages.

    Messing with spending: Hoover spent more on public works projects during his four years in office, then had been spent in the previous thirty. He subsidized the shipbuilding industry at a time when demand for shipping services was falling due to a shrinkage in international trade caused by Smoot-Hawley. Hoover's Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) supplied failing businesses, usually railroads and banks, with emergency low-interest loans. Most of the businesses Hoover attempted to save wound up going bankrupt anyway, or were burdened throughout the 1930s with crushing loads of debt.

    Hoover is on record as stating in 1932 that "We might have done nothing. That would have been utter ruin. Instead, we met the situation with proposals to private business and to Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever evolved in the history of the Republic." The result, of course, was an economic catastrophe of collossal proportions, one which FDR would spend the next 12 years perpetuating and fine-tuning.

More info on these topics can be found in Thomas E. Woods, Jr.'s excellent book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. In a future post, I'll go over how FDR finished the work that Hoover started, by unneccessarily prolonging the Depression. I'll also cover some of the basics of recessions, depressions and the business cycle.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Remembering Nathan Hale

"Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed England and America, is a strong and natural proof, that the authority of the one, over the other, was never the design of Heaven."

-- Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

Independence Day is here, and with it I'd like to remember someone who embodied the spirit of Independence as much as any American, although (unforunately) most Americans today probably do not even know his name.

Nathan Hale, Revolutionary War Hero

Nathan Hale was born in Coventry, Connecticut, on June 6, 1755, and was little more than twenty-one years old(!) when he was hanged as spy, by order of the British General William Howe, in New York City on September 22, 1776.

Hale's patriotism manifested itself sooner than that of most of his peers. Soon after news of the battle of Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775) reached New London, Connecticut (where Hale was living at the time), a town hall meeting was called. At this meeting, the nineteen year-old Hale rose to speak, where he implored "Let us march immediately and never lay down our arms until we obtain our Independence." It is believed that this may be the earliest record in which the word "independence" was publicly spoken in connection with the American Revolution.

Washington Lays Siege to British in Boston, 1775-76
(click for larger image)

Hale was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Seventh Connecticut regiment in July, 1775. On September 14, 1775, the regiment was ordered by Genereal George Washington to proceed to Cambridge (Massachusetts), where they made their camp at the foot of Winter Hill. Here they were able to command the passage from Charlestown, one of only two roads by which the British could march out of Boston, and they remained here until the following spring, laying siege to the British. On March 27, the British evacuated Boston, and Washington redeployed most of his troops to New York City, where he anticipated the next British attack.

Fire destroyed over 25% of New
City on September 21, 1776

In New York, however, General Washington met with decidedly less success than in Boston. On July 3, 1776, British troops landed on Staten Island. Over the next six weeks, their numbers increased to about 32,000. On August 22, General Howe began transporting troops from Staten Island to Long Island to meet the American forces in battle. Washington decided to defend Brooklyn Heights by digging in around Brooklyn Village. The much stronger British force soon overwhelmed Washington's troops, who were forced to retreat across the East River to Manhattan on the night of August 30. On September 13, General Howe followed the Americans across the East River and landed at Kips Bay (near what is now Murray Hill, in the East 30's of Manhattan). Washington was forced further north to Harlem Heights, where a brief skirmish, now known as the Battle of Harlem, was fought. The battle proved to be a brief respite for the Ameriacns, with several hundred British light infantry being badly mauled by Colonel Thomas Knowlton's Connecticut regiment. Yet despite the brave showing, Washington's forces were badly outnumbered and Washington was forced to begin a full retreat to White Plains on October 12.

It was in the midst of these skirmishes around New York City that Nathan Hale met his courageous and untimely end. On September 6, Hale volunteered to undertake a "spy" mission to gather more information about British troop movements in and around New York City. William Hull, who would later command the fort at Detroit as major-general and who was Hale's classmate at Yale, warned Hale about the dangers that he was about to undertake. Hale simply replied "I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary. If the exigencies of my country demand a peculiar service, its claim to perform that service are imperious." These are the last recorded words of Hale's, until he spoke just before his death.

In the second week of September, he left Stamford, Connecticut by boat and landed near Oyster Bay, Long Island. He directed the boatman to come return for him on September 20, and then made his way into New York City where he made his "inquiries" and observations. September 20th found Hale back at Oyster Bay, awaiting for his boat ride back to Connecticut. He thought he saw the boat, signalled to it, but -- unfortunately -- the ship he saw was a landing boat from a nearby an English frigate, which lay screened behind the bay. Hale gave flight, but was soon captured, and the information on his person betrayed his purpose and mission. He was taken onboard the frigate, and taken back to New York City under heavy guard.

Turtle Bay (c. 1840) at the foot of
what is now East 49th Street. The
House is in the background

It was a bad day for an American spy to land in New York. Hale landed while the city was in terror due to the great fire of September 21, which burned down nearly a quarter of the town. The English had assumed (rightly or wrongly) that the Americans had set the fire. Two hundred people were sent to jail upon suspicion of being arsonists.

There was no trial. Hale was summarily sentenced to be executed the following morning, on September 22. He was interred for the night in the greenhouse of Howe's headquarters, a place known as the Beekman House at Turtle Bay. This house (which would have been on the present-day corner of 1st Avenue and 51st Street) was still standing until a few years ago. The next morning he was marched out to the place of his execution, near the present intersection of East Broadway and Market Streets, on the Lower East Side, close to the foot of the (present-day) Manhattan Bridge. It was here that his executioner asked him if he had any last words. Hale's immortal reply was:

I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.

It's believed that a play Hale read while at Yale, probably Joseph Addison's Cato, was the inspiration for his final words.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The $25 Million Constitution

In an earlier post, The Declaration of Interdependence, I talked a little bit about how the Rockefeller family tried (once again) to overthrow the United States government (this time, in 1976). Phase One of their plan called for mockingly putting forth a new "Declaration of Interdependence," whose only purpose was to further dilute the U.S. Constitution and to further strengthen the commitment of Washington technocrats to the socialist policies of the United Nations.

Phase Two of their plan called for the adoption of a rather sinister-sounding "Constitution for the New States of America," which the Rockefellers had hoped to showcase at a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) they were organizing for the weekend of July 4, 1976 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thankfully, the Con-Con was called off before things got too far out of hand, but the intent of the Rockefeller agenda was clear (as if there was ever any question). In this post, we'll take a closer look at just what this new proposed "Constitution" for America entailed, and at how close we might be to seeing such a horror enacted for real, in our lifetimes.

Rexford Tugwell (in white): FDR technocrat and
principle author, Newstates Constitution of America

The writing of this "new" Constitution got its start over ten years earlier, in 1964, at the deceptively-named Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, California (now based in Los Angeles). The Center is of course a tax-exempt foundation, which basically means that their subversive, treasonous work was paid for by you, the American taxpayer, to the tune of (roughly) $2.5 million annually, for a period of ten years (and our current Constitution cost the taxpayers ..... how much??) The Newstates Constitution took over 100 people more than 10 years and 40 revisions to write. An early draft was circulated among a very select audience in 1970. In 1974, the final copy was quietly published in a book entitled The Emerging Constitution by Rexford G. Tugwell, the man who helped direct the entire effort.

Today the Center publishes a magazine entitled New Perspectives Quarterly, which features contributors such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Mikhail Gorbachev. This alone should give a taste of the Center's socialist leanings.

Robert O. Anderson: Aspen Institute Chairman

One of the key aspects of the Newstates Constitution is regionalism. Just what precisely "regionalism" is, we'll get to in a moment. First, I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to the man who helped define and introduce the concept of regionalism to the United States Government. His name is Robert O. Anderson, who served for 17 years as the CEO of the Atlantic Ritchfield Company (ARCO), and for 21 years as the company Chairman. He retired from ARCO in 1986, after serving for 23 years on the board. Consummate Establishment Insider, Anderson has held a number of other prominent board seats as well, including:
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Chase Manhattan Bank
  • Columbia Broadcasting Service
  • Pan American Airlines
  • First National Bank of Chicago
Today he has a business school at the University of New Mexico named after him.

So what precisely is regionalism? Basically, it's exactly the opposite of the federal system by which our country is (at least, in principle) currently governed. In a federal system, all government - to a first order approximation - is local. What local government(s) cannot or choose not to do for themselves, they delegate unto a higher "federating" authority. Nevertheless, under federalism, each locality maintains its own sovereignty and its own decision-making authority and power.

The U.S. Constitution, as it stands today (2005), defines a Union among 50 independent and sovereign States. To what extent each State is truly "independent" and "sovereign" in this day and age is, of course, highly debatable, but what is certain is that in our current model of government, power is designed to percolate up from the people (the ultimate "sovereigns" of America) to the state, and from there to the (federal) Union.

Under regionalism, power emantes from the top, and is imposed upon the people by force. Since power tends to flow better in such a model the more highly concentrated it is, regional planners tend to prefer if their territorial jurisdictions are slightly larger than the States that currently make up the Union. For instance, 10 (tightly controlled) Federal Regions might be preferable to 50 independent (and rambuncious) States.

The Ten Federal Regions Defined by Nixon's EO 11647

The key takeaway here:

Federalism: Building a nation from the bottom-up
Regionalism: Ruling a nation from the top-down

What does any of this have to do with the real world? On March 27, 1969, President Nixon, through the Government Reorganization Act, created an entirely new (un-Constitutional) kind of government in this country. He merged the 50 sovereign states into eight (subsequently ten) new units that he called "Federal Regions," and claimed that in doing so he was "helping bring government closer to the people."

On February 12, 1972 Nixon further this proclamation by signing Executive Order 11647 which established a Federal Regional Council for each of the ten Federal Regions. Council Chairmen were to report directly to the president, essentially making each of these regions an agency of the federal government. Decision making power was removed from the hands of elected officials and placed in the hands of economic central planners.

I've discussed the dangers of presidential law-making in a previous post, Lawmaking by Fiat. You can also refer to the excellent study produced by the Cato Institute, Executive Orders and National Emergencies.

The "capitals" of each of these regions, as per the map above, were defined as follows:
  • Region I: Boston
  • Region II: New York City
  • Region III: Philadelphia
  • Region IV: Atlanta
  • Region V: Chicago
  • Region VI: Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Region VII: Kansas City
  • Region VIII: Denver
  • Region IX: San Francisco
  • Region X: Seattle
These 10 Federal Regions were to form the "Newstates" of America, hence the name of the document.

You can read more about Nixon's proclamations on this Web site:


A few other disconcerting things about the Newstates Constitution (NC) include:
  • The Twenty-Five Year Constitution: the NC was to remain in effect only for 25 years, at which point posterity would be left to fend for itself.
  • Common Endeavors: the opening words of the NC read "So that we may join in common endeavors," subtly suggesting an end to individual endeavors. There is also no mention of the word "liberty." Rather, the NC seeks "an adequate and self-repairing government."
  • Rights Subject to Control: no rights are inalienable, all are subject to control. The practice of religion is a "privilege." Certain key rights, including the right to bear arms and the right to trial by jury, disappear entirely.
  • Citizen Responsibilities: the current Constitution is about placing limits on the power of government. The NC is about placing constraints on the freedom of people. For instance, it decrees that "each citizen shall participate in the process of democracy." It is not your choice whether or not to participate, it is a requirement.
  • Government by Appointment: Under the NC, the president is elected for one 9-year term. There are two vice-presidents. The president has the power to make treaties, unless the U.S. Senate objects within 90 days (under the current Constitution, the U.S. Senate must explicitly approve all treaties). Under the NC, by the way, the Senate is no longer made up elected representatives at all, but rather is appointed entirely by the president.
  • Six Branches of Government: In addition to the three branches that we recognize today, the NC introduces (a) a Police Branch, to enforce the law; (b) a Regulatory Branch, to regulate and plan the economy; and (c) an Electoral Branch, to oversee "elections."
The $25 million Newstates of America Constitution can be read in its entirety here:


Should we be worried? Yes and no. The Rockefeller initiative to inaugarate the Newstates Constitution failed miserably back in 1976. Yet Nixon's legacy of regionalism lives on to this day. Funding for most federal agencies, including FEMA and the EPA (EPA being another agency created by Nixon), is today distributed as per the Regional Newstates defined in the Newstates Constitution... and as we all know, all you have to do is just follow the money ....

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Declaration of Interdependence

The July Fourth Weekend is upon us again. For most Americans, that means time off from work, outdoor barbeques with friends and family, and fireworks celebrations. Yet for all Americans, this would also be a good time for thinking a little bit about our country, and about the course that we're headed down.

On January 30, 1976, as the United States was approaching the bicentential of its Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, 124 Congressmen (32 Senators and 92 Representatives) gathered in Washington D.C. on behalf of the World Affairs Council to sign a so-called "Declaration of Interdependence." Some memorable quotes from the document include:

  • "Two centuries ago our forefathers brought forth a new nation; now we must join with others to bring forth a New World Order."

  • "We affirm that a world without law is a world without order, and we call upon all nations to strengthen and to sustain the United Nations and its specialized agencies, and other institutions of world order, and to broaden the jurisdiction of the World Court, that these may preside over a reign of law that will not only end wars but end as well that mindless violence which terrorizes our society even in times of peace."
There's plenty more socialist drivel where that came from, but this should be enough to give you a taste of what the criminals who signed the document are aiming at. The document can be read in its entirety here (just scroll down almost till the bottom, it's the document authored by the "World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, 1975"):

Harlan Cleveland, Establishment Insider

To accompany and promote this declaration, the Aspen Institute published The Third Try at World Order: U.S. Policy for an Interdependent World, written by Harlan Cleveland (Council on Foreign Relations). In that book, Cleveland whined about how the first try at a New World Order collapsed when the U.S. Senate refused to join the League of Nations after WWI, and about how the second try resulted in a world body (the United Nations) that was not vested with sufficient authority or power to enact and enforce world law.

According to Cleveland, the "third try" at world government -- now underway -- is an attempt to arrive at world governance using a piecemeal approach, by strengthening the United Nations to deal with various global crises, which might involve (for instance) the planet's environment, food reserves (and famines), energy supplies, population and overcrowding, military stalements and conflict in a world of proliferating weapons.

Nelson Rockefeller, Establishment Madman

In fact, the publication of the "Declaration of Interdependence" was not an isolated incident. Like most Establishment-sponsored treason, it was part of a calculated, premediated assault upon American civil liberties and the U.S. Constitution that helps protects them. On March 14, 1976, the Philadelphia Inquirer announced plans for a "national critical appraisal of the American Constitution," to be held April 5-8 of that year. The conference would be attended by "leading" Congressmen, judges, laywers, historians, sociologists and professors, and was organized by none other than Nelson Rockefeller himself.

Delegates to the conference had hoped for grandiose Fourth of July Constitutional Convention to be held in Philadelphia that year (1976), in which the existing Constitution of the United States would have been scrapped, and a new, pre-fabricated "Constitution for the New States of America" would have been introduced. Public backlash over obvious collusion between conference attendees, specific U.S. government officials and various world government organizations derailed their plans, and the proposed Con-Con was never held.

In 1976, this nation came within a hair's breath of losing its most cherished treasure at the hands of Rockefeller mobsters. This Fourth of July, bethink yourselves, to ensure we never come so close to utter annihilation as a nation again.