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Clifford Taylor Fleischbein has been in full-time self-employment since 1975 earning revenue as a entrepreneur consultant, with the most recent passage of twenty years generating income from On-demand services for Information technology consulting, Database Management, Marketing, Change Management, and Customer relationship management job projects.



I can only send this to people of our generation , since most of today’s people don’t have any idea who these Men were and that’s a pity. They were all heroes in their own right and made America great in it’s own right!

Alan Hale, Jr. – US Coast Guard.
Aldo Ray – US Navy. UDT frogman- Okinawa .
Art Carney – US Army. Wounded on Normandy beach- D-Day.
Limped for the rest of his life.
Brian Keith – US Marines. Radioman/Gunner in Dauntless dive-bombers.
Buddy Hackett – US Army anti-aircraft gunner.
Burgess Meredith – US Army Air Corps.
Cark Gable – US Army Air Corps. B-17 gunner over Europe .
Cesar Romero – US Coast Guard. Coast Guard. Participated in the invasions of Tinian and Saipan on the assault transport USS Cavalier.
Charles Bronson – US Army Air Corps. B-29 gunner- wounded in action.
Charles Durning – US Army. Landed at Normandy on D-Day. Shot multiple times awarded the Silver & Bronze & 3 Purple Hearts. Survived Malmedy Massacre.
Charlton Heston – US Army Air Corps. Radio operator
and aerial gunner on a B-25- Aleutians .
Chuck Connors – US Army. Tank-warfare instructor.
Claude Akins – US Army. Signal Corps. – Burma and the Philippines .
Clifton James – US Army- South Pacific. Was awarded the Silver Star
– Bronze Star- and Purple Heart.
Dale Robertson – US Army. Tank Commander in North Africa under Patton. Wounded twice. Battlefield Commission.
Danny Aiello – US Army. Lied about his age to enlist at 16. Served three years.
DeForest Kelley – US Army Air Corps.
Dennis Weaver – US Navy. Pilot.
Denver Pyle – US Navy. Wounded in the Battle of Guadalcanal . Medically discharged.
Don Adams – US Marines. Wounded on Guadalcanal – then served as a Drill Instructor.
Don Knotts – US Army- Pacific Theater.
Don Rickles – US Navy aboard USS Cyrene.
Earl Holliman – US Navy. Lied about his age to enlist. Discharged after a year when the Navy found out.
Ed McMahon – US Marines. Fighter Pilot. (Flew OE-1 Bird Dogs over Korea as well.)
Eddie Albert – US Coast Guard. Bronze Star with Combat V for saving several Marines under heavy fire as pilot of a landing craft during the invasion of Tarawa .
Efram Zimbalist Jr. – US Army. Purple Heart for a severe wound received at Huertgen Forest .
Ernest Borgnine – US Navy. Gunners Mate 1c- destroyer USS Lamberton. 10 years active duty. Discharged 1941- re-enlisted after Pearl Harbor .
Fess Parker – US Navy and US Marines. Booted from pilot training for being too tall- joined Marines as a radio operator.
Forrest Tucker – US Army. Enlisted as a private- rose to Lieutenant.
Frank Sutton – US Army. Took part in 14 assault landings- including Leyte- Luzon- Bataan and Corregidor .
Fred Gwynne – US Navy. Radioman.
Gene Autry – US Army Air Corps. Crewman on transports that ferried supplies over “The Hump” in the China- Burma-India Theater.
George Gobel – comedian, Army Air Corps, taught fighter pilots Johnny Carson made a big deal about it once on the Tonight Show, to which George said “the Japs didn’t get past us.
George Kennedy – US Army. Enlisted after Pearl Harbor – stayed in sixteen years.
Harry Carey Jr – US Navy.
Harry Dean Stanton – US Navy. Served aboard an LST in the Battle of Okinawa .
Harvey Korman – US Navy.
Henry Fonda – US Navy. Destroyer USS Satterlee.
Hugh O’Brian – US Marines.
Jack Klugman – US Army.
Jack Palance – US Army Air Corps. Severely injured bailing out of a burning B-24 bomber.
Jack Warden – US Navy- 1938-1942- then US Army- 1942-1945. 101st Airborne Division.
Jackie Coogan – US Army Air Corps. Volunteered for gliders and flew troops and materials into Burma
behind enemy lines.
James Arness – US Army. As an infantryman- he was severely wounded at Anzio – Italy .
James Gregory – US Navy and US Marines.
James Stewart – US Army Air Corps. Bomber pilot who rose to the rank of General.
Jason Robards – US Navy. was aboard heavy cruiser USS Northampton when it was sunk off Guadalcanal . Also served on the USS Nashville during the invasion of the Philippines – surviving a kamikaze hit that caused 223 casualties.
John Carroll – US Army Air Corps. Pilot in North Africa . Broke his back in a crash.
John Wayne – Declared “4F medically unfit” due to pre-existing injuries- he nonetheless attempted to volunteer three times (Army- Navy and Film Corps.) so he gets honorable mention.
Jonathan Winters – USMC. Battleship USS Wisconsin and Carrier USS Bon Homme Richard. Anti-aircraft gunner- Battle of Okinawa.
Karl Malden – US Army Air Corps. 8th Air Force- NCO.
Kirk Douglas – US Navy. Sub-chaser in the Pacific. Wounded in action and medically discharged.
Larry Storch  –  US Navy. Sub tender USS Proteus with Tony Curtis.
Lee Marvin – US Marines. Sniper. Wounded in action on Saipan . Buried in Arlington National Cemetery – Sec. 7A next to Greg Boyington and Joe Louis.
Lee Van Cleef – US Navy. Served aboard a sub chaser then a mine sweeper.
Mel Brooks – US Army. Combat Engineer. Saw action in the Battle of the Bulge.
Mickey Rooney – US Army under Patton. Bronze Star.
Mickey Spillane – US Army Air Corps- Fighter Pilot and later Instructor Pilot.
Neville Brand – US Army- Europe . Was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
Norman Fell – US Army Air Corps.- Tail Gunner- Pacific Theater.
Pat Hingle – US Navy. Destroyer USS Marshall
Paul Newman – US Navy Rear seat gunner/radsioman- torpedo bombers of USS Bunker Hill.
Peter Graves – US Army Air Corps.
Randolph Scott – Tried to enlist in the Marines but was rejected due to injuries sustained in US Army, World War1.
Robert Altman – US Army Air Corps. B-24 Co-Pilot.
Robert Mitchum – US Army. Robert Montgomery – US Navy.
Robert Preston – US Army Air Corps. Intelligence Officer
Robert Ryan – US Marines.
Robert Stack – US Navy. Gunnery Officer.
Robert Taylor – US Navy. Instructor Pilot.
Rock Hudson – US Navy. Aircraft mechanic- the Philippines .
Rod Serling – US Army. 11th Airborne Division in the Pacific. He jumped at Tagaytay in the Philippines and was later wounded in Manila .
Rod Steiger – US Navy. Was aboard one of the ships that launched the Doolittle Raid.
Ronald Reagan – US Army. Was a 2nd Lt. in the Cavalry Reserves before the war. His poor eyesight kept him from being sent overseas with his unit when war came so he transferred to the Army Air Corps Public Relations Unit where he served for the duration.
Russell Johnson – US Army Air Corps. B-24 crewman who was awarded Purple Heart when his aircraft was shot down by the Japanese in the Philippines .
Soupy Sales – US Navy. Served on USS Randall in the South Pacific.
Sterling Hayden – US Marines and OSS . Smuggled guns into Yugoslavia and parachuted into Croatia . Silver Star.
Steve Forrest – US Army. Wounded- Battle of the Bulge.
Steve Reeves – US Army – Philippines .
Ted Knight – US Army- Combat Engineers.
Telly Savalas – US Army.
Tom Bosley – US Navy.
Tony Curtis – US Navy. Sub tender USS Proteus. In Tokyo Bay for the surrender of Japan .
Tyrone Power – US Marines. Transport pilot in the Pacific Theater.
Victor Mature – US Coast Guard.
Walter Matthau – US Army Air Corps.- B-24 Radioman/Gunner and cryptographer.
Wayne Morris – US Navy fighter pilot- USS Essex. Downed seven Japanese fighters.
Wiliam Holden – US Army Air Corps.
William Conrad – US Army Air Corps. Fighter Pilot.

And of course we have Audie Murphy , America’s most-decorated soldier, who became a Hollywood star as a result of his US Army service that included his being awarded the Medal of Honor. Would someone please remind me again how many of today’s Hollywood elite, sports celebs and politicians put their careers on hold to enlist for service in Iraq or Afghanistan?

The only one who even comes close was Pat Tillman, who turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the US Army after Sept, 11, 2001 and serve as a Ranger in Afghanistan , where he died in 2004. But rather than being lauded for his choice and his decision to put his country before his career, he was mocked and derided by many of his peers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit to you that this is not the America
today that it was seventy years ago. And I, for one, am saddened.

My generation grew up watching, being entertained by and laughing with so many of these fine people, never really knowing what they contributed to the war effort.  Like millions of Americans during the WWII, there was a job that needed doing they didn’t question, they went and did it, those that came home returned to their now new normal life and carried on, very few ever saying what they did or saw.

They took it as their “responsibility”, their duty to Country, to protect & preserve our freedoms & way of life, not just for themselves but for all future generations to come.

I’m forever humbly in their debt.

U.C. Berkeley Study: Count the Fed Leak Weeks

Count the Fed leak weeks: Study
By Reuters | 22 Nov, 2015, 11.07AM IST

Group of 20 leaders back more easy-money policies German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, right, and U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen at the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington on Friday. ENLARGE German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, right, and U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen at the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington on Friday.
Group of 20 leaders back more easy-money policies
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, right, and U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen at the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington.

BERKELEY: US central bankers not only regularly leak secret information about monetary policy, but the leaks are so predictably timed that a savvy investor without access to the leaked information could make money just by buying stocks in certain weeks.

That is the bottom line from new research by University of California Berkeley professor Annette Vissing-Jorgensen and colleagues, presented on Saturday at a conference attended by central bankers from around the world.

Vissing-Jorgensen and her colleagues found that the stock market delivers better returns versus Treasury bills the second, fourth, and sixth weeks after each of the Fed’s eight policy-setting meetings during a given year. During odd weeks, returns are poor, they found.

An investor could simply exit the stock market during odd-numbered weeks, and return during even-numbered ones, and make much more than an investor who stayed in the stock market the whole time, they suggested.

The weeks that have excess stock-market returns are generally the same in which there are closed Fed Board meetings, and increased volatility in short-term interest-rate futures contracts suggests that it is information on monetary policy from those meetings that is driving the pattern.

“The most important and likely channel through which information gets from the Fed to asset markets is informal communication with the media or private financial institutions,” Vissing-Jorgensen wrote.

The Fed has been under increasing fire for what some lawmakers see as lack of transparency and accountability, with Republican politicians most recently tussling with Fed Chair Janet Yellen over the central bank’s alleged leak of confidential information in 2012, under then-Chairman Ben Bernanke.

According to Vissing-Jorgensen, however, such leaks – or informal communications, as they are termed in the academic literature – occur frequently and are not necessarily bad. Fed officials may want to test market reaction to a particular policy move ahead of time, and leaks are one way to do so.

European Central Bank Board member Benoit Coeure, reacting to the research on Saturday, said central bankers do sometimes need to send up covert trial balloons on policy, or check with investors afterward on how a policy move panned out. Still, he said, central bankers should try to be as transparent as possible.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams agreed.

“There is no question that in the past the Fed … has used informal channels to try to explain our policy,” he said. “My personal policy is, everything is on the record.”

Read source at:

How The Banksters Control the World

“Mad Prophet of the Airwaves” Howard Beale (Peter Finch) “we deal in illusions” speech.

Edward George Ruddy died today! Edward George Ruddy was the Chairman of the Board of the Union Broadcasting Systems and he died at eleven o’clock this morning of a heart condition! And woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble! So, a rich little man with white hair died. What does that got to do with the price of rice, right? And why is that woe to us? Because you people and sixty-two million other Americans are listening to me right now. Because less than three percent of you people read books. Because less than fifteen percent of you read newspapers. Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube. This tube is the Gospel. The ultimate revelation! This tube can make or break Presidents, Popes, Prime Ministers. This tube is the most awesome, god-damn force in the whole godless world. And woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people. And that’s why woe is us that Edward George Ruddy died.

Because this company is now in the hands of CCA, the Communication Corporation of America. There’s a new chairman of the board, a man called Frank Hackett sitting in Mr. Ruddy’s office on the 20th floor. And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome, god-damn propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what s–t will be peddled for truth on this network.

So, you listen to me. Listen to me! Television is not the truth. Television’s a god-damned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a travelling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We’re in the boredom-killing business. So if you want the Truth, go to God! Go to your gurus. Go to yourselves! Because that’s the only place you’re ever gonna find any real truth. But, man, you’re never gonna get any truth from us. We’ll tell you anything you wanna hear. We lie like hell. We’ll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer and that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker’s house. And no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don’t worry. Just look at your watch. At the end of the hour, he’s gonna win. We’ll tell you any s–t you want to hear.

We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colours, creeds. We’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness. You maniacs. In God’s name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion. So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I am speaking to you now. Turn them off!!!

Network Rant by Howard Beale

You have meddled with the primary forces of nature, Mr Beale, and I won’t have it! Is that clear?

You think you merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tide and gravity. It is ecological balance.

You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no Third Worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems. One vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-varied, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rands, rubles, pounds and shekels.

It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic, and sub-atomic and galactic structure of things today.

And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature. And you will atone.

Am I getting through to you, Mr Beale?

You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

What do you think the Russians talk about in their Councils of State? Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, mini-max solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do.

We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bye-laws of of business. The world is a business, Mr Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime.

And our children will live, Mr Beale, to see that … perfect … world in which there is no war nor famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common profit. In which all men will hold a share of stock.

Revelations is Bill Hicks’ last special ever, taped in 1992, and features him at the height of his genius. Recorded at the Dominion Theatre in London, Bill Hicks opens our eyes and minds to the hypocrisy and ludicrousness of the world around us.


Banks Fined $81 Billion for Biggest Fraud in History

Banks Fined $81 Billion for Biggest Fraud in History


The days of banks being trusted institutions to help protect your savings & retirement are over. First, it was the banks gambling on derivatives that blew up the global economy in 2008 and cost citizens trillions in savings & retirement. Then, it was the banks turning over customer accounts to the IRS & police for total seizure without due process of law. Next came reports that banks are abolishing our ability to use & store cash. And now comes a frightening report that banks have agreed to pay $81 BILLION in restitution & penalties for criminal & civil abuses against the public and their own customers. So more than ever, if you want real protection of your savings & retirement, you better move it out of the bank. Fast.

Banks Commit Historic Fraud against the Public & Customers

In a recent report by McClatchy detailing the millions in speaking fees the Clintons have received from banks, McClatchy drops a bombshell: the same banks that have been supporting the former (and possibly next) president of the United States have agreed to pay $81 BILLION in restitution & penalties to resolve federal investigations into alleged corruption and to avert criminal and civil trials. In other words, the banks paid their way out of jail after defrauding you and me for years. Some of the crimes & penalties are as follows:

Bank of America

Restitution & Penalties: $27.8 Billion. Defrauded home buyers with risky mortgage loans, committed mortgage servicing abuses, and engaged in unsound foreign exchange practices.

JP Morgan Chase

Restitution & Penalties: $17.6 Billion. Rigged currency exchange rates, facilitated Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, sold risky mortgage securities, and engaged in mortgage servicing abuses and unsound banking practices.

Wells Fargo

Restitution & Penalties: $5.3 Billion. Engaged in mortgage servicing abuses, and is now at the center of a scandal involving the opening of bogus customer accounts without customer knowledge.

Morgan Stanley

Restitution & Penalties: $3.9 Billion. Misled investors in sale of risky mortgage securities.


Restitution & Penalties: $3.5 Billion. Manipulated currency exchange rates, engaged in mortgage servicing abuses, and extended toxic loans.


Restitution & Penalties: $3.5 Billion. Manipulated benchmark interest rates, helped Americans evade taxes, and sold toxic mortgage securities.


Restitution & Penalties: $2.5 Billion. Sold toxic mortgage securities and laundered money to violate U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Cuba, Iran, Libya & Burma.

Goldman Sachs

Restitution & Penalties: $1.7 Billion. Duped investors in offshore sale of risky mortgage securities and scammed Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.

The Bankers’ Fraud Continues

While these financial penalties represent historic records, they are a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of billions banks earned from scamming the public & its own customers for years. Yet not a single banker has gone to jail after committing these horrible, criminal offenses!

And here’s the really scary part: Despite paying $81 billion in restitution & penalties, banks are still gambling with your money. Congress recently passed a new spending bill that allows banks to once again use your deposited money to bet on those insanely risky derivatives that caused the global financial collapse of 2008! So apparently the Clintons aren’t the only politicians in bed with the banks.

What’s more, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other publications have exposed the banks for conspiring with the IRS & police to confiscate customer accounts without any due process of law. So with this kind of collusion between the government & banks, is it any wonder that the government has refused to jail one single banker for their massive fraud?!

While these facts are true and these just scratch the surface of the corruption found within the Central Banking System (around the world as well as the USA), the ending to this story is a use of fear tactics to get the reader to consider buying precious metals.

Get Your Money Out of the Bank and Into a Safe Place

So do you want to remain vulnerable to banking corruption, or do you want to fully protect your savings & retirement? To get true protection, there’s one asset class that sits outside the system, is completely private, and cannot be tracked and controlled by the government or banks: physical gold & silver.

Physical gold & silver have been the world’s greatest wealth protectors for over 5,000 years, shielding citizens from government & banking corruption during the worst crises in history. And physical gold & silver cannot be instantly seized with the stroke of a keyboard. So invest in gold & silver now, before you have nothing left to protect.

Call (866) 621-5582 to receive your free copy of Damon Geller’s popular book, “Defend Your Money against Gov’t Confiscation”

The Federal Reserve, Explained in One Math Equation


James G. Rickards is the editor of Strategic Intelligence,the newest newsletter from Agora Financial. He is an American lawyer, economist, and investment banker with 35 years of experience working in capital markets on Wall Street. He is the author of The New York Times bestsellersCurrency Wars and The Death of Money. Jim also serves as Chief Economist for West Shore Group.

  • The fatal conceit of central bankers…
  • A hair-raising admission you weren’t meant to hear…
  • Then James G. Rickards reveals the idiotic mathematical mumbo jumbo Janet Yellen relies on to set Fed policy…

Central banks operate under the false belief that they can fine-tune economies. If things get too hot (inflation), they dial down the thermostat. If things get too cool (deflation), they dial it up.

But reality is quite different…

The economy is not a linear system that can be adjusted like a thermostat.  It’s a complex dynamic system, more like a nuclear reactor.  Once it starts to melt down, no amount of playing with the controls can stop it.

The world is sinking into recession, dragged down by sagging growth in China.  Meanwhile, central banks are fiddling with the thermostats by printing money.

James Rickards has had private conversations with central bankers for years in which they admitted they had no idea what they were doing. They have described monetary policy to me as an “experiment” (their word, not mine). They didn’t use the phrase “guinea pig,” but that’s how they treat investors.

But until now, He has never heard a Fed official admit this in public. At this point, the whole charade is too obvious to deny. Reuters has a story on a central banker speaking on the record admitting they are making up policy on the fly. And don’t really understand how the economy works today.

Today, Jim Rickards reiterates his forecast — Janet Yellen will not raise rates this year. I said that categorically in late 2014. It wasn’t a wild guess. And he is not making a wild guess this year, either. Read on below for the math that backs up his forecast…

The one equation that shows why Yellen won’t raise rates: [S2=S1(1-S1)r]…

Yellen’s (Federal Reserve Board) Feedback Loop

What is popularly called a “feedback loop” is technically known to applied mathematicians as a recursive function. In plain English, the output of an equation becomes the input for the next iteration of the same equation.

Running numerous iterations of the same equation with computers, “numerous” can mean millions of times. And when computers produce graphical representations of the outputs, one gains insights into the nature of the process represented by the equation.

Some graphs move to a value and stay there forever, what complexity theorists call a “fixed point attractor.” Some graphs are utterly chaotic.

Some others replicate almost mystical patterns at increasing and decreasing scale, such as the famous scale-invariant Mandelbrot set, shown below.


Each graph reveals a different dynamic.

A simple, but useful version of this is the equation S2 = S1 (1 – S1) r.

If you set values of S1 = 0.75, and r = 0.1 and solve for S2, the result is 0.01875.

Next, take this value for S2, and plug it into the right hand side of the equation in place of S1. Then solve it again to get S3.

Repeat the process (each output = next input), and you’ll observe an interesting phenomenon.

The graph of the outputs moves to zero and stays there forever. There is no escape from the feedback loop. Zero is the fixed-point attractor.

While mathematics can be an end in itself, one purpose is to provide models of real-world dynamics in ways that help one understand those dynamics. Recursive functions (a basic tool of complexity theory) are useful if one sees capital markets and economic processes as complex dynamic systems.

In fact, capital markets pass the four tests of complex systems — diverse agents, connectivity, interaction, and adaptive behavior — with flying colors. Complexity theory is a far more useful way to understand capital markets than the obsolete, and ultimately harmful stochastic equilibrium models in use for the past eighty years.

Those stochastic equilibrium models assume complete markets — a grossly false assumption — and are unable to account for the extremely nonlinear dynamics of economic phenomena. Willem Buiter of the London School of Economics has described this type of macroeconomic modeling as “a privately and socially costly waste of time and resources” that “may have set back by decades serious investigations of aggregate economic behavior and economic policy-relevant understanding.”

What does this mathematical digression have to do with Federal Reserve interest rate policy? The issue is whether the Fed, by intervening in markets to a greater extent than ever, has created a feedback loop between itself and the markets from which there is no escape.

The Fed policy rate has been stuck at zero for seven years. For the past two-and-one-half years, the Fed has expressed its desire to raise rates. But “desire” is not analysis, it’s wishful thinking. Analysis reveals that whenever the Fed talks tough on rates, the dollar strengthens, the U.S. imports deflation, exports slow, the economy weakens, and the Fed is ultimately deterred from pulling the trigger on a rate hike.

Then the Fed goes dovish. This happened in September 2013 when Bernanke shocked markets by not starting the taper.

It happened again in September 2015 when Yellen shocked markets by not raising rates. This surprise was followed by a dovish press conference, more dovish minutes, and super-dovish speeches by Fed Governors Lael Brainard and Dan Tarullo.

Markets then rallied in anticipation of continued zero rate policy. This stabilization caused the Fed to go hawkish again. You get the idea. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Based on the October employment report, market expectations of a rate hike in December are at the highest level since the “taper tantrum” of May 2013. Now it’s November. Fed officials are reading the market rallies as an all-clear sign and are signaling that the rate hike is back on the table. But markets (at least for the moment) have had a different reaction from a few months back.

The dollar is still strong, and emerging markets are still in the doldrums.

They’re reading the new Fed hawkishness as a sign of economic strength and bidding up stocks even with cheap money while it lasts. The dollar is still strong, and emerging markets are still in the doldrums.  A December rate hike might be a done deal in a linear system where good news is followed by good news in ways easy to extrapolate into a predictable outcome.

Yet, in complex systems with recursive functions, good news on employment can turn into the bad news of a strong dollar, imported deflation, slower exports, etc. in ways we’ve seen before. That’s the feedback loop at work. In fact, the strong October employment report finds little confirmation in other data. On balance, recession indicators still have the upper hand.

Can the Fed break out of this feedback loop just by raising rates without regard to economic fundamentals? Not really. Raising rates into weakness will amplify the weakness, and force the Fed to cut rates in 2016. It’s back to zero with greater amplitude.

Central banks operate in the false belief that they can “fine tune” economies. If things get too hot (inflation), they dial down the thermostat. If things get too cool (deflation), they dial it up. The reality is different. The economy is not a linear system that can be adjusted with a thermostat. It’s a complex dynamic system, more like a nuclear reactor. Once it starts to meltdown, no amount of playing with the controls can stop it. A global recession has begun and central banks are fiddling with the thermostats by printing money.

James Rickards has had private conversations with central bankers for years in which they admitted they had no idea what they were doing. They have described monetary policy to me as an “experiment” (their word, not mine). They didn’t use the phrase “guinea pig” but that’s how they treat investors.

The only way out of this systemic feedback loop is to alter the system. This cannot be done with monetary policy. A structural problem requires structural solutions. These involve fiscal, and regulatory policies within the purview of the White House and Congress. Given the current political dysfunction in the United States, there is no prospect of that.

Perhaps Yellen will raise rates in December. But I doubt it.

Her equilibrium models tell her one thing.  But the complexity models used by James Rickards tells another.

US banks are not “sound”

Astonishing report from the Fed says US banks are not “sound”
November 9, 2015

Santiago, Chile

Late last week, a consortium of financial regulators in the United States, including the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, issued an astonishing condemnation of the US banking system.

Most notably, they highlighted “continuing gaps between industry practices and the expectations for safe and sound banking.”









This is part of an annual report they publish called the Shared National Credit (SNC) Review. And in this year’s report, they identified a huge jump in risky loans due to overexposure to weakening oil and gas industries.

Make no mistake; this is not chump change.

The total exceeds $3.9 trillion worth of risky loans that US banks made with your money. Given that even the Fed is concerned about this, alarm bells should be ringing.

Bear in mind that, in banking, there are three primary types of risk, at least from the consumer’s perspective.

The first is fraud risk.

This ultimately comes down to whether you can trust your bank. Are they stealing from you?

MF Global was once among the largest brokers in the United States. But in 2011 it was found that the firm had stolen funds from customer accounts to cover its own trading losses, before ultimately declaring bankruptcy.

It’s unfortunate to even have to point this out, but risk of fraud in the Western banking system is clearly not zero.

The second key risk is solvency.

In other words, does your bank have a positive net worth?

Like any business or individual, banks have assets and liabilities.

For banks, their liabilities are customers’ deposits, which the bank is required to repay to customers.

Meanwhile, a bank’s assets are the investments they make with our savings. If these investments go bad, it reduces or even eliminates the bank’s ability to pay us back.

This is precisely what happened in 2008; hundreds of banks became insolvent in the financial crisis as a result of the idiotic bets they’d made with our money.

The third major risk is liquidity risk.

In other words, does your bank have sufficient funds on hand when you want to make a withdrawal or transfer?

Most banks only hold a very small portion of their portfolios in cash or cash equivalents.

I’m not just talking about physical cash, I’m talking about high-quality liquid assets and securities that banks can sell in a heartbeat in order to raise cash and meet their customer needs to transfer and withdraw funds.

For most banks in the West, their amount of cash equivalents as a percentage of customer deposits is extremely low, often in the neighborhood of 1-3%.

This means that if even a small number of customers suddenly wanted their money back, and especially if they wanted physical cash, banks would completely seize up.

Each of these three risks exists in the banking system today and they are in no way trivial.

Very few people ever give thought to the soundness of their bank, ignoring the blaring warning signs that are right there in front of them.

Every quarter the banks themselves send us detailed financial statements reporting both their low levels of liquidity and the accounting tricks they use to disguise their losses.

Now we have a report from Fed and the FDIC, showing their own concern for the industry and foreshadowing the solvency risk I discussed above.

Every rational person ought to have a plan B to hedge these risks. And I would propose three methods:

1) Transfer a portion of your funds to a much safer, stronger banking jurisdiction, preferably one with zero net debt.

2) Hold physical cash. Physical cash serves as a great short-term hedge against all three risks, with the added benefit that there’s no exchange rate risk.

All you have to do is go to your nearest ATM machine, take out a small amount at a time and build up a small pool of cash savings.

3) Hold gold and silver.

While physical cash is a great short-term hedge against risk in the banking system, gold and silver are excellent hedges against long-term risks in the monetary system and global financial system as a whole.

There may be a time where we are faced with the consequences not only of a poor banking system, but also of decades of wanton debt and monetary expansion.

At that point, the only thing that will make any sense at all is direct ownership of real assets.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black

Best Sexy Pranks

That’s right folks, more sexy pranks than you can shake a stick at – actually just 5 gags but that’s still quite amazing. If this video is a great success, we’ll do it again. If it’s a huge stinking flop, we’ll fire the staff responsible for the idea and just serve good old individual gags again.

Humor: do the math using 18 and 54

A Husband Admits to His Wife That He’s Cheating. Her Response Had Me …

This is a letter exchange between a husband and wife. It is an interesting story that should really get you chuckling once you reach the second letter. Find out how this awesome lady responded to her husband’s disgusting and totally disrespectful letter.

She was probably hurt at first after reading that insensitive letter but instead of bursting into tears and feeling helpless, check out her brilliant answer, it was totally perfect!

A 54 year old husband wrote this letter to his wife and left it on the dining room table:


To My Dear Wife,

You will surely understand that I have certain needs that you, being 54 years old, can no longer satisfy.

I am very happy with you and I value you as a good wife. Therefore, after reading this letter, I hope that you will not wrongly interpret the fact that I will be spending the evening with my 18-year-old secretary at the Comfort Inn Hotel.

Please don’t be upset — I shall be home before midnight.

When the man came home late that night, he found a letter on the dining room table.


My Dear Husband,

I received your letter and thank you for your honesty about my being 54 years old.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are also 54 years old. As you know, I am a math teacher at our local college.

I would like to inform you that while you read this, I will be at the Hotel Fiesta with Michael, one of my students, who is also the assistant tennis coach. He is young, virile, and, like your secretary, is 18 years old.

As a successful businessman who has an excellent knowledge of math, you will understand that we are in the same situation, although with one small difference — 18 goes into 54 a lot more times than 54 goes into 18.

Don’t wait up. I will not be home until sometime tomorrow.

Psalm 49 – David – For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

Psalm 49 – David – For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle:


5 Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me—
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?
7 No one can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for them—
8 the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough—
9 so that they should live on forever
and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die,
that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had named lands after themselves.

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
death will be their shepherd
(but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.

“Whoever you CHOOSE to obey, that’s whose servant you become” – Universal Law

Private Banking and The Economics of Western Society Banking

This creative reveals how private bankers are using their credit-debt system to enslave and control the.middle-class. It’s no wonder experts are fearing a global economic collapse.

It’s important to understand how to protect yourself from hyper inflation. Never before in history has education on this subject been more important. I’ve posted some videos for you to do as the wealthy are doing, by investing into precious metals …see my Silver opportunity videos, and learn about real money and how to protect and insure yourself from hyper-inflation.

SUBSCRIBE share these videos and some Zebra Unity. Together we can be the voice for monetary reform.Together we can forgive the “debtor’ will our debts be forgiven!

Anonymous Follows The Money Trail…
The Banksters | Our Real Enemy…
Oh Canada… Our Bought & Sold Land!!…
Bill Still’s Wizard of Oz Documentary…
Private Banking = Financial Armageddon…
The Government Can by Tim Hawkins…

Don’t forget to vote, subscribe and share your thoughts.

10/20/15 Will Be THE END Of The U.S. DOLLAR

10/20/15 Will Be THE END Of The U.S. DOLLAR As We Know It – International Monetary Fund


The IMF (International Monetary Fund) threatens to kill the U.S. dollar according to Bloomberg and other sources. The International Monetary Fund is expected to announce a reserve currency alternative to the U.S. dollar on October 20, 2015. Experts say this will send hundreds of billions of dollars moving around the world, literally overnight.

This announcement is expected to trigger one of the most profound transfers of wealth in our lifetime. Bloomberg reports that this decision comes on the heels of China pushing for their own currency to be elevated to reserve currency status. Experts are saying if you want to protect your savings and retirement, you need to get your money out of the U.S. dollar investments and into the one asset class that rises as currencies collapse.

The IMF is one of the most powerful, secretive organizations in the world. They monitor the financial health of more than 185 countries. They establish global money roles and provide “bailout” assistance to bankrupt nations. Some are warning that any move by the IMF to supplant the U.S. dollar could be catastrophic to American investments.

According to Juan Zarate, who helped implement financial sanctions while serving in George W. Bush’s Treasury Department, “once the other currency becomes alternative to the dollar, rules of the game begin to change”

Leong Sing Chiong, Assistant Managing Director at a major central bank, said this dollar alternative “is likely to transform the financial landscape in the next 5-10 years.”

Currency expert Dr. Steve Sjuggerrud warned, “I’ve been active in the markets for over two decades now, but I’ve never seen anything that could move so much money, so quickly. Hundreds of billions of dollars could change hands in a single day after this announcement is made. The announcement will start a domino effect, that will basically determine who in America gets rich in the years to come, and who struggles.”

So as we say goodbye to the U.S. dollar’s dominance, it doesn’t have to mean goodbye to your savings and retirement. Experts are recommending that you remove at least some of your savings and retirement from the dollar backed, paper-based financial system and protect it with the one asset that has outlasted every fiat currency ever invented the last 5,000 years: Gold.

The Money Masters

To purchase a DVD, please visit:

♦ The Money Masters is a 1996 American documentary film produced by attorney Patrick S. J. Carmack and directed and narrated by William T. Still.It discusses the concepts of money, debt and taxes, and describes their development from biblical times onward. It covers the history of fractional-reserve banking, central banking, monetary policy, the bond market, and the private ‘Federal’ Reserve System in the United States.

♦ Profit from issuing money is currently being used in the United States to benefit a few wealthy individuals. This situation should be remedied, so that the profit benefits the public good, as during four periods in the history of the United States without a private central bank (Federal Reserve). A Monetary Reform Act could be implemented as such a remedy. As support, the film provides many quotations from notable figures including economists, members of the financial system, kings of England and United States presidents.

♦ This film tells the truth about fractional-reserve banking and the control aspects of both modern banking regulation and centralized banking systems such as the private ‘Federal’ Reserve System. It describes the history of money and banking, how central banks came to be and how they operate.

♦ Watch this documentary to find out how the U.S. Congress gave the power of money creation to private banks through the ‘Federal’ Reserve Act and how the banks accumulate large amounts of interest using this power. Wealth is slowly being drawn into the hands of a small banking elite at the expense of the general population. This can be seen through such events as the 1929 stock market crash when a broker’s call was issued, triggering the crash which further solidified the power of the private ‘Federal’ Reserve.

♦ There is no publicly owned gold left in Fort Knox because the gold belongs to private banks as collateral against the U.S. national debt. Since the gold was accumulated by prohibiting its possession, the public’s gold has been stolen by private banks. This gold was used as collateral against government loans used to escape the Great Depression and that the majority went to overseas banks who used it to fund Nazi Germany.

♦ The private ‘Federal’ Reserve System enables private banks to force recessions at will by refusing to offer new loans while simultaneously demanding payment on existing loans. This power has been used a number of times since the 1913 creation of the private ‘Federal’ Reserve.

♦ Bankers have intentionally caused a number of significant events, including John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the War of 1812, the Battle of Waterloo, the American Civil War, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression, and the crucifixion of Jesus (who drove out the “money changers” in all four Gospels).

♦ By the end of World War I, private banks owned and controlled much of the United States’ newspaper, news magazine, and film outlets and that they achieved this using consolidated wealth generated by fractional-reserve banking. These banks have influence over the mainstream media through their ownership and that this influence is used to prevent criticism of the financial monopoly from entering the general public’s consciousness.

♦ Film’s conclusion: WE the People should advocate a Monetary Reform Act and fractional-reserve banking and the PRIVATE, so called ‘Federal’ Reserve System should be abolished in favor of 100% reserve banking, also known as warehouse banking. These reserves would come from the U.S. Treasury, which would issue non-interest generating money to repay the public debt to the banks. This would happen over a period of one year. As the government repaid its debt, the banks would be required to hold the government’s new money as reserves and the reserve rate would slowly be increased to 100%. Thus, there would be no inflation or imbalance in the amount of money in circulation. The issuing of new money would then be controlled. In order to prevent inflation, issuance would be according to population statistics. After the public debt was repaid, money that would previously have been interest on the debt would be distributed by the government as a tax refund, leading to the abolition of the Federal income tax

● FAIR USE NOTICE: This material is made available in an effort to advance awareness and understanding of issues relating to international affairs and liberty. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.Section 107, this video is distributed without profit for educational purposes.

VietNam Net Bridge News – Restructured State


Last update 07:30 | 15/10/2015 0

Coming soon: Restructured State

VietNamNet Bridge – Nguyen Dinh Cung, director general of the Central Institute for Economic Management, spoke to the Sai gon Economics Time about the next State reform.

What will be the focus for the State Reform this time?

This reform will be totally different from the 1986 reform. The focus of the previous reform was to encourage the development of the private sector. But this time, the focus will switch to the State. It will focus on redefining State functions; position and overall organisational structure – including the executive, legislative, judiciary sectors. It will also address government agencies’ internal reforms.

In other words, the reform this time will be comprehensive.

What changes you would like to see?

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism builds museums, theatres, statues and others. We all know, Viet Nam is short on capital investment, yet we spend VND 10,000 billion to build a museum or build a series of theatres, football pitches in many localities around Ha Noi.

In my opinion, such construction investment was questionable.
If such a tendency keeps going on, overspending will become a heavy burden on tax payers. If there is an imbalance between the State revenue and spending, no doubt, we have to mobilise capital from other sources to fill the gap. So in my opinion, there is no other way to fix this, than to completely reform the functions of state agencies.

Please elaborate on the content of the reform, both in the State and in the marketplace?

Of course, the reform must be conducted in both the State apparatus and the market. But it should start with the State apparatus first.

Though we have a Law on Government Organisation, we seldom hear discussions about what structural changes are needed in the State. There are many overlapping positions that currently bridge different government agencies or functions, this should change. One rule we must follow- the executive branch should be separated from legislative bodies. But in Viet Nam it is not so. Last but not least, we have to reform our administrative tools.

It is important that the State be able to establish a free market ruled by law and based on fairness. At present, there are quite a few contradictions in how the Government intervenes in market prices.
For example, when the price of petrol dropped, taxi companies refused to lower their fares, the government then formed an inspection team and ordered taxi companies to reduce their taxi fares.

Why did the government have to interfere in cutting down the taxi fare?  Or why does a delegation from the State Bank of VietNam get sent to provinces to promise to give them credit support? These things are against the principle of a market economy.

To further promote the market economy what should be changed?
First of all, there must be a change in our thinking. Secondly, what principles we choose to follow will serve as the foundation for our law making.

For example, if Viet Nam continues to prioritize the State-economy over the market economy, we won’t be able to successfully reform or narrow down State owned enterprises.

If we continue to follow the principle of “owned by the people,” I don’t think that markets, particularly the property market, will see true reform. In a truly market economy, private ownership is essential.

In VietNam, at present, both collective ownership and private ownership are still widely practiced. I would describe the situation as hindrance on both the State and the private market.

You have said that State should not intervene in market operations, in a recent poll conducted by the VietNam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the World Bank, up to 70 per cent of the respondents expressed their wish to have the government intervention in commodity price control. What’s your position on this?

The idea of having a stabilizing fund to intervene in the market is wrong. A stabilizing fund should be used to control inflation, not the price of a single commodity.

Regrettably, in our present society, whenever the price of an essential commodity goes up, for example, dairy products, people immediately ask for government intervention to lower the price. Such a demand goes against the idea of a market economy.


Greatly Blessed: Read The Pope’s Address To Congress

Pope Francis addressed Congress Thursday as part of his first visit to the United States, urging action on the refugee crisis in Europe, climate change and income inequality.

Read the full text below, as prepared for delivery:

Mr. Vice-President,
Mr. Speaker,
Honorable Members of Congress, Dear Friends,

Pope-Francis-addressed-USA-Congress-2015I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. I would like to think that the reason for this is that I too am a son of this great continent, from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility.

Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.

A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.

Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation.

On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.

Today I would like not only to address you, but through you the entire people of the United States. Here, together with their representatives, I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and –one step at a time – to build a better life for their families.

These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society. They generate solidarity by their actions, and they create organizations which offer a helping hand to those most in need.

I would also like to enter into dialogue with the many elderly persons who are a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience, and who seek in many ways, especially through volunteer work, to share their stories and their insights. I know that many of them are retired, but still active; they keep working to build up this land.

I also want to dialogue with all those young people who are working to realize their great and noble aspirations, who are not led astray by facile proposals, and who face difficult situations, often as a result of immaturity on the part of many adults. I wish to dialogue with all of you, and I would like to do so through the historical memory of your people.

My visit takes place at a time when men and women of good will are marking the anniversaries of several great Americans. The complexities of history and the reality of human weakness notwithstanding, these men and women, for all their many differences and limitations, were able by hard work and self- sacrifice – some at the cost of their lives – to build a better future. They shaped fundamental values which will endure forever in the spirit of the American people.

A people with this spirit can live through many crises, tensions and conflicts, while always finding the resources to move forward, and to do so with dignity. These men and women offer us a way of seeing and interpreting reality. In honoring their memory, we are inspired, even amid conflicts, and in the here and now of each day, to draw upon our deepest cultural reserves.

I would like to mention four of these Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.

This year marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the guardian of liberty, who labored tirelessly that “this nation, under God, [might] have a new birth of freedom”. Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of subsidiarity and solidarity.

All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.

A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps.

We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.

Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice. We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.

The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States. The complexity, the gravity and the urgency of these challenges demand that we pool our resources and talents, and resolve to support one another, with respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience.

In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.

Here I think of the political history of the United States, where democracy is deeply rooted in the mind of the American people. All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity. “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” (Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776).

If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort.

Here too I think of the march which Martin Luther King led from Selma to Montgomery fifty years ago as part of the campaign to fulfill his “dream” of full civil and political rights for African Americans. That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of “dreams”. Dreams which lead to action, to participation, to commitment. Dreams which awaken what is deepest and truest in the life of a people.

In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy,

I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.

Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.

Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).

This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.

This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.

In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.

How much progress has been made in this area in so many parts of the world! How much has been done in these first years of the third millennium to raise people out of extreme poverty! I know that you share my conviction that much more still needs to be done, and that in times of crisis and economic hardship a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost. At the same time I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.

It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable. “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world.

It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129). This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (ibid., 3). “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (ibid., 14).

In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps” (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a “culture of care” (ibid., 231) and “an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature” (ibid., 139). “We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology” (ibid., 112); “to devise intelligent ways of… developing and limiting our power” (ibid., 78); and to put technology “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral” (ibid., 112). In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.

A century ago, at the beginning of the Great War, which Pope Benedict XV termed a “pointless slaughter”, another notable American was born: the Cistercian monk Thomas Merton. He remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guide for many people. In his autobiography he wrote: “I came into the world. Free by nature, in the image of God, I was nevertheless the prisoner of my own violence and my own selfishness, in the image of the world into which I was born. That world was the picture of Hell, full of men like myself, loving God, and yet hating him; born to love him, living instead in fear of hopeless self-contradictory hungers”. Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.

From this perspective of dialogue, I would like to recognize the efforts made in recent months to help overcome historic differences linked to painful episodes of the past. It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same. When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue – a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons – new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism. A good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 222-223).

Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.

Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin Luther King, liberty in plurality and non-exclusion; Dorothy Day, social justice and the rights of persons; and Thomas Merton, the capacity for dialogue and openness to God.

Four representatives of the American people.

I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families. It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.

In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions. At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future. Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family.

A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.

In these remarks I have sought to present some of the richness of your cultural heritage, of the spirit of the American people. It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream.

God bless America!

The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle The Corporate State

I read Ralph Nader for the same reason that I read Tom Paine.  He knows what he thinks, says what he means, and his courage is a lesson for everyone.

UnStoppable - Ralph NaderRalph Nader has fought for over fifty years on behalf of American citizens against the reckless influence of corporations and their government patrons on our society.  Now he ramps up the fight and makes a persuasive case that Americans are not powerless.  In his new book Unstoppable, he explores the emerging political alignment of the Left and the Right against converging corporate-government tyranny.

Large segments from the progressive, conservative, and libertarian political camps find themselves aligned in opposition to the destruction of civil liberties, the economically draining corporate welfare state, the relentless perpetuation of America’s wars, sovereignty-shredding trade agreements, and the unpublished crimes of Wall Street against Main Street.  Nader shows how Left-Right coalitions can prevail over the corporate state and crony capitalism.

Nader draws on  his extensive experience working with grassroots organizations in Washington and reveals the many surprising victories by united progressive and conservative forces.   As a participator in, and keen observer of, these budding alliances, Nader breaks new ground in showing how such coalitions can overcome specific obstacles that divide them, and how they can expand their power on Capitol Hill, in the courts, and in the decisive arena of public opinion.

Americans can reclaim their right to consume safe foods and drugs, live in healthy environments, receive fair rewards for their work, resist empire, regain control of taxpayer assets, strengthen investor rights, and make bureaucrats more efficient and accountable.

Nader argues it is in the interest of citizens of different political labels to join in the struggle against the corporate state that will, if left unchecked, ruin the Republic, override our constitution, and shred the basic rights of the American people.


Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle The Corporate State” by Ralph Nader (2014)