Posts Tagged ‘Smedley Butler’

Obama avoids the topic of invading EU over rising gas prices

May 31, 2012

Obama avoids the topic of invading EU over why gas prices are rising

Gas prices in late May 2008.

Gas prices in late May 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine that you owned a home which you are trying to sell and you got three bids of offers to buy it: for $300,000, for $400,000, and for $1,000,000. Maybe you listed it for $400,000 because that is about what you paid for it. So, before you choose which offer is most appealing to you, consider this additional factor: it was a foreigner that offered $1,000,000 and someone from California offered $400,000. So, would where the buyer is located make any difference to you at all?

Before I reveal why I mentioned all of that, let’s talk about the topic that Obama (and all the other presidential candidates as well as the mainstream media) are totally avoiding, instead focusing on confusing controversies and generally inciting hysteria, which may be their essential function. Let’s talk about gas prices and what to do about them. Ready? Let’s begin with a simple example.
Consider that if you had a gallon of gasoline and you could sell it for $3, $4, or $10. Before you choose which offer to accept, consider this: it is a European offering $10 and a Californian offering $4. Again, does the location of the buyer make any difference at all to you?
Of course, the price paid by the buyer is not going to all go to the seller. For instance, in a real estate transaction, there could be a commission for the realtor(s) and taxes and legal record fees and title company fees, right? So, accepting the $1,000,000 offer instead of the $300,000 offer might not produce exactly $700,000 of additional “net” (profit after expenses) for the seller, but it would make a big difference, right?
Likewise, in selling a gallon of gasoline to people in different parts of the world (or different parts of the US), there will be different expenses for the seller, right? I’m not saying that a gasoline refinery in Oklahoma does not have additional costs to ship gasoline to California to sell it there or to Europe to sell it there. However, I am saying that Europeans paying $8 or $10 per gallon are partly responsible for rising gas prices in the US.
That is why the US may eventually invade the EU (or expand the existing US military presence). We want lower fuel prices in the US, right? The Europeans are the ones paying so much for it that it drives up our prices.
Again, why are fuel prices so high in California? Could it be because Europeans are paying $8 to $10 per gallon of gasoline?
In Oklahoma and South Carolina, fuel prices recently passed $3 per gallon. Why? Is it because Californians are paying over $4 per gallon?
March 2009, Dunellen, New Jersey

March 2009, Dunellen, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know that South Carolina hypothetically could invade California, (not that they would dare) but there would still be Europeans paying $11 per gallon, right? Better for South Carolina might be to form an alliance with California and together invade the EU.
The EU is in serious trouble economically, which is resulting in serious political instability. They produce very little oil or gasoline and are extremely dependent on imports from other regions.
The US previously blocked Iraq from importing various things. Why not at least block the EU from importing oil? How much could that drive down prices of gasoline in the US?
In 2004, I published “The Real U.S. Deficit: OIL.” I emphasized my expectation that gasoline prices in the US would rise enough to lower consumption and slow the US economy, bringing down prices of real estate and stocks (and, eventually, fuel). That article did not emphasize that Europe (and Japan) had the same issues, but with far more severe  instability.
It was in 2005 that I focused more on the global dynamic of energy markets in “Worth It’s Weight in… OIL!” I also made fun of the hysteria regarding gold and silver (and hyperinflation). The US Dollar is the dominant currency in the world by far and has some of the lowest inflation rates ever (now in 2012). Nevertheless, there are huge numbers of folks who (in 2005 and even still today) are talking about the US dollar the same as they did in 1980, which made much more sense then given that interest rates (and inflation) were nearing 10% (or even 15% in some markets). However, the same logic about a pending devaluation of the US Dollar (which was false in 1980) is still popular among some groups today. One might wonder if certain economic interests would attempt to influence or even mislead the perceptions of investors to enter extremely volatile markets like gold or silver, such as dealers in gold and silver and owners of large quantities of those substances, such as mining companies.
Obviously, there are many alternatives to invading the EU. The US could simply keep paying $3 or $4 or even $5 per gallon. The US government could even attempt to “nationalize” (confiscate) the oil industry in the US, similar to the recent involuntary buy-outs and bail-outs of the auto industry and the banking industry. Or, the US government could go in to open competition with oil companies and start a government oil company like is present in Venezuela and Mexico- similar to how government in the US rose to dominate public schools and, to a lesser extent, colleges of higher education.
However, none of those alternatives would reduce global demand for gasoline, which I assert to be the obvious primary issue. Since 1999, global demand for crude oil has been rising faster than global supply (extraction) of crude oil, which actually peaked in 2006, as predicted to eventually happen by geologists since at least the 1950s.
As I have been saying publicly since 2004, with rocketing demand for oil (not just from Europe, but also Indo-China) and declining supply of oil, it has not taken a very clever forecast to predict that fuel prices might rise dramatically. If not for Europeans paying prices of well over $10 per gallon, gas prices would probably not have exceeded $2 in the US.
However, the fact is that Europeans did drive up global fuel prices by consuming far more fuel than they produced, just as the US has since the early 1970s. Still, what is happening in Europe now is far worse than what happened in the US in the 1970s.
English: Gas prices in Gometz-la-Ville in Fran...

English: Gas prices in Gometz-la-Ville in France Français : Prix de l’essence à Gometz-la-Ville en France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forecasters like myself have been suggesting for around 10 years that a predictable emerging economic reality (which we have begun to witness in the last 5 years) would result in a destabilizing of the EU and a discontinuing of at least some of the alliance, such as Greece and Ireland seceding from the Union. Maybe the EU will attempt to maintain the Union through violence, as when the Union army of the US “invaded” the Confederacy.
If the EU were to invade Greece, would the US side with Greece or with the rest of the EU? We may recall that in the US Civil war, much of Europe supported the Confederacy.
While it may seem shocking or even hilarious to reference an invasion of the EU by the US, note that the US maintains active duty military bases in many dozen foreign countries throughout the world, including in Europe. The US has been “occupying” some of the wealthiest parts of Germany for the last 7 decades. Why? Same for Japan and dozens of other “satellites,” such as Afghanistan and Iraq and of course throughout Central America (See USMC Major General Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket”) as well as cases like the US involvement in the rise of the Shah of Iran.
English: Smedley Buter at his retirement cerem...

English: Smedley Buter at his retirement ceremony. Received from the Marine Corps Archives. Freely distributable Removed from the following pages: Smedley Butler –OrphanBot 05:49, 20 October 2007 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Consider that “national interests” is a code word for economic interest. The US currently operates the most extensive global empire in human history. Some of us in the US may like to argue against a “new world order,” but the “new world” (the US) has been the dominant superpower in world affairs for most of the time since oil was discovered in the US in the 19th century. By 1913, with the establishment of the Federal Reserve and their motto “New World Order” (in Latin: Novus Ordo Seclorum), the US Dollar went from being a parallel private currency in 1913 to being the only circulating currency in the US by 1933, and then to being the most successful currency in the world to this day.

Pyramid with the all-seeing eye on the back si...

Pyramid with the all-seeing eye on the back side of the US 1-Dollar bill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Has the empire of the US brought a new order to global economics and global politics since the early 20th century? Yes. After all, the US has maintained a constant military presence throughout it’s many colonies since the 1940s, with consistent huge increases in the number of official and unofficial colonial territories, as well as the new states of Alaska (1959) and later that same year Hawaii (1959).
Note that when the Japanese bombed Hawaii, Hawaii was just a territory of the US, like the Philippines or American Samoa today, which are official territories of the US. If the EU were to attack the Philippines or Iraq or even just an ally of the US, would the US respond militarily as it in the 1940s did by bombing Japan?
Remember that in the 1940s, three of the biggest economic competitors to the US, who were also big importers of oil already, were Germany and Japan and Italy. Germany and Japan were on their way to passing France, the UK, and the USSR to become the #2 and #3 economies in the world (throughout recent decades).

Here are the WW2 era rankings in order of GDP (Gross Domestic Productivity)
           1938                                         1941                          1945
USA           800                               USA      1094              USA    1474
USSR         359                              Germany 412               USSR    343
Germany     351                              USSR     359               UK         331
UK              284                               UK        344               Germany 310
France        186                               Japan    196                Japan     144
Japan         169                                Italy       144               France    101
Italy           141                                France   130               Italy          92
*Based on Table 1 found in Mark Harrison, The USSR and Total War: Why Didn’t the Soviet Economy Collapse in 1942? from Mark Harrison, “The Economics of World War II: an Overview,” in Mark Harrison, ed., The Economics of World War II: Six Great Powers in International Comparison, Cambridge University Press (1998), 10.
So, by winning the war, the Allies as a group went from a 2:1 GDP ratio over the Axis countries (in 1941) to a 5:1 ratio (in 1945). However, who REALLY won world war 2?
Well, which nation had ZERO civilian casualties and had the ratio of their GDP to that of the next 6 biggest nations go from 800:1490 to 1474:1321 (from 1939 to 1945)? It was the US.
In other words, before WW2, the USA had a bigger economy than the next 2 countries combined. After WW2, the USA had a bigger economy than the next 6 countries combined.
The much-hyped “cold war” rivalry between the US and USSR (who were allies in WW2) was never really a close contest. While the USSR did pass the USA in oil production in the 1970s, the wealth accumulated by the US in the prior century of being the #1 producer of oil was immense.
Regarding casualties, 11 countries had more military casualties than the US, which had 295,000 casualties. 8 countries had more civilian casualties than the US had military casualties. Of the total military and civilian casualties in WW2 (which have been calculated between 50 million and 78 million depending on various counting methods of war-related famine, disease, and injuries), US casualties totaled between .4% and .6% of the total deaths.
Now, most US citizens may not know much about the immense economic benefit to the US of WW2 and the immense cost to much of the world in terms of millions of deaths. We in the US do not need to know either. We just reap the benefits of being born in the nest of a globalist empire. We are indoctrinated by public education and mainstream media to be distracted from the otherwise obvious reality about WW2 and the current reality as well. However, for the rest of the world, it may be very relevant to fear our immense military capacity.
Addicts are known for denial, blame, rage, and a variety of other reactions prior to acceptance and adaption. The US is addicted to gasoline and oil. So is Europe and Japan.
However, unlike the desperate folks in other parts of the world, the US can reasonably claim to have the uncontested dominant military force in the world. Further, many of us in the US are eager to belligerently blame someone for gasoline prices exceeding $3 or $4.
Are we seriously going to blame the people who supply us with those resources? While that may have been a factor in the US expanding it’s colonies to include Afghanistan and Iraq, there is a reason that WW2 was not fought where the most valuable resources were, but in the places that were most dependent on those resources.
Wars are fought by the competitors for the most valued resources, if possible, without endangering the actual resources. This does not require any special cleverness to recognize, though it may require an unusual amount of boldness to actually admit the simple and obvious reality.

  World War II Casualties

Source: Phil’s World War II Pages

Country Military Civilian Total
Soviet Union* 8,668,000 16,900,000 25,568,000
China 1,324,000 10,000,000 11,324,000
Germany 3,250,000 3,810,000 7,060,000
Poland 850,000 6,000,000 6,850,000
Japan 1,506,000 300,000 1,806,000
Yugoslavia 300,000 1,400,000 1,700,000
Rumania* 520,000 465,000 985,000
France* 340,000 470,000 810,000
Hungary* 750,000
Austria 380,000 145,000 525,000
Greece* 520,000
Italy 330,000 80,000 410,000
Czechoslovakia 400,000
Great Britain 326,000 62,000 388,000
USA 295,000 295,000

is 1984 BBC anti-government propaganda?

February 9, 2012
Some groups of people may establish systems of organized coercion, also known as governments. The rest of us may call those people the rulers, the leaders, the elite, the patriarchs or “the founding fathers.”
Then those groups who establish violent governing systems with courts, regulations and of course armed law enforcement mercenaries may publicize their systems. They may create propaganda systems to further influence the attention, perception, and behavior of the target populations, including even to produce anti-government sentiment. There are two basic kinds of propaganda of course: (1) propaganda to promote compliance as in the perception of legitimacy of a particular system of organized coercion and (2) propaganda to entice the disloyal to identify themselves and take some action to justify the re-education, correction, punishment, or even the execution of those cultivated rebels.
The cultivating of rebels in order to identify them was the theme of George Orwell‘s famous book 1984, in which Winston Smith volunteers to participate in an anti-government conspiracy, which happens to be a false front operation of the ruling government. Oddly, many people seem to miss that point and instead interpret the book as merely a criticism of tyranny. To present the basic behavioral patterns of tyranny is not to criticize tyranny, but simply to direct attention to it.
Category:George Orwell Category:Nineteen Eight...

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Ideally, the flow of anti-government sentiment cultivated by propaganda is typically kept moderate, as in a steady trickle. However, there are times when a clash between governments may be produced (like the invasion or “liberation” of one government by another). Prior to that, there may also be a larger polarization (as in first divide and conquer next) in which the morale of a population is reduced by anti-government sentiment being cultivated more than usual.
Civilian anti-government protesters may even be enticed to confront riot squads and tanks. Typically, such confrontations go rather poorly for the civilian anti-government protesters.
More protests may be used to justify more draconian measures. More draconian measures may be used to justify more protests, and so on it goes.
If indigenous populations rebel, governments may increase the frequency of bombing. If slaves rebel, governments may tighten policing and encourage lynching and torture, perhaps protecting (through the politically-directed discretion of local government criminal prosecutors) those in league with the government who commit atrocities.
Police Tank in Tunisia 
Wise tyrants know that the best way to neutralize anti-government protests is to be the ones who start them or at least to infiltrate them and guide them, sometimes with funding and training. For whatever reason, former employees of intelligence (spy) agencies like the CIA or the KGB may be among the most celebrated leaders of anti-government conspiracy. “Ex-CIA agent criticizes CIA” always makes for a dramatic headline, right?
When in the 1930s USMC Major General Smedley Butler presented his criticism of war (or at least of US imperialism in central America) called “War is a Racket,” it was published first by Round Table Press and then in condensed form by Reader’s Digest, achieving a huge circulation. However, how many people notice “Round Table” as the name of the publisher and what that name implies?
What if the publication of that content intentionally produced a wave of anti-government sentiment? If so, could the publishers have been producing anti-government sentiment (anti-US) on behalf of the interests of the US government? We might presume that anti-American sentiment would be cultivated by foreign enemies of the US, but, again, George Orwell suggested that governments may cultivate sentiment against the very ones doing the cultivating. Are they inciting riots in order to justify firing on anti-government rebel fanatics?
Police attacked by protesters in Algeria
Several years ago, the creators of the US TV show “South Park” had an episode parodying how having peace protests in the US looks good for international PR: “Yes, we are invading and occupying your country, but most of us are sensitive and peace-loving folks, so please don’t get the wrong idea about us just because we are dropping bombs on civilians (again).” I had never thought of that.
When I read 1984, I had never before thought that governments might entice rebellion for their own purposes, such as to identify isolated rebels and attract the rebels to throw themselves (armed only with big signs with anti-government slogans) at riot squads armed with… tanks. Now, I think of the practical value to governments of enticing anti-government sentiment and congregating herds of protesters. Some governments might even be so dishonest as to “plant” fake protesters among the sincere ones and then have those fake protesters do something dramatic like throw a rock or a molotov cocktail at armed government mercenaries, thus justifying the use of deadly force against the entire mob of protesters.
Tank of the Tampa Florida (US) Police Department (above)
There are three basic orientations that one can have in regard to governments: anti-governments, pro-governments, or neutral toward governments. Those who are generally anti-governments may be the least likely to perform those behaviors that result in rewards from governments that enhance social status, such as government contracts, but also compliance with laws, familiarity with the protections offered by a particular legal system and use of those protections.
In mid-2002, when I started researching the forecasting of trends, I had no idea what I was getting in to. I found not only trends of things like birth rates, but also of the inflation-adjusted cost of fuel, which had been dropping dramatically for many centuries, but then reversed trend in 1999. I also found trends in approval ratings of governments, as in trends in pro-government sentiment and anti-government sentiment. Further, those trends of social psychology closely correlated with trends of stock market price. Trends of stock market prices were an excellent predictor of things like the re-election of an incumbent President in the US as well as the sentiment ratings toward the current US President (which is apparently polled much more often than overall sentiment about the entire US government in general).
I encourage people to use the protections offered by any legal system. I do not say to do that because of any concern with morality or fairness, but what I call a practical concern.
If you can legally increase your net worth and profit, why not? In other words, if you can legally reduce your taxes, why not at least explore it? If you can legally reduce your debt, why not at least explore it?
Of course, I personally offer services in these realms, so it is not just that I am encouraging that people concern themselves with practicality first and things like morality and fairness only in the context of practicality. That is true, too. But I also specifically encourage people to use my own services solely for their practical value.
Protect your assets simply because it is valuable. Reduce your taxes and debt simply because it is valuable.
If focusing on morality is valuable, then do it! If focusing on fairness is valuable, then do it!
However, be aware that moralities vary from place to place and time to time. Practicality is always valuable.
Moralities are learned, as in indoctrinated from one generation to another, from one group to another. When the elite are propagandizing the masses as to the morality of a particular war and the immorality of a particular target enemy, that is just practical propaganda. It is valuable to the elite to program systems of morality in those ways, even if it is untrue that the target enemy is actually guilty of something like the possession of weapons of mass destruction.
First, condemn the morality of possessing weapons of mass destruction. Then, accuse someone of violating that morality. That is a very practical way to distract people from the clear and obvious fact that one is also violating that same moral code. Using weapons of mass destruction to punish someone accused of weapons of mass destruction… is a classic example of the practical amorality of the elite in governments and media outlets worldwide.
Arab leaders might have used the same principles of propaganda to justify something like an economic embargo against NATO: “economic embargoes are morally wrong, plus NATO is accused of planning an economic embargo against someone somewhere, therefore we must punish them by using an economic embargo against them.” The elite in one system may pretend to be quite different from the elite in another system, but, even with various notable differences, there may be tremendous consistency in their methods.

Governments consistently use organized coercion to collect revenues such as taxes. They also punish others for the unlicensed practice of extortion and racketeering. Only officials like government tax agencies are allowed to practice extortion and racketeering.
Blackmail and bribery are also illegal throughout the world, except for law enforcement agents when making deals with suspects to get more information about other suspects. In that case, blackmail, bribery, and even torture and threats of execution have been used quite consistently by governments for thousands of years. From police officials to the guards of prisoner of war camps, reservations, and internment camps, government officials use whatever methods they deem practical.
Governments may cover up atrocities when practical (or blame them on enemies, such as when the Soviets blamed the Nazis for the massacres at Katyn Forest in 1940). Governments also consistently offer lenience like presidential pardons to convicted criminals who are the friends or business partners of the ruling officials, such as the pardons granted to Oliver North.
So, shouldn’t we condemn the propaganda, organized coercion, deception, fraud, extortion, and racketeering of some or all governments? Well, that may be the reaction that we have been trained to have.
However, those who condemn such patterns of behavior may include many who practice such behaviors. For instance, let’s review the personal history of George Orwell:
From 1941- 1943, he was a propagandist for the BBC (the British government’s public TV station). Here is another interesting detail: “On the outbreak of World War II, Orwell’s wife Eileen started work in the Censorship Department in London.” By the way, while Americans might not know it, Orwell’s references to a “Ministry of Information” were not fantasy, but part of his daily life:
English: George Orwell in Hampstead On the cor...

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Was Orwell assigned by government officials to write his famous books? I don’t know. However, it is notable that the BBC made Orwell’s 1984 in to a TV movie in 1954: and it did produce a wave of people identifying themselves to the BBC as outraged by the ideas presented in their TV broadcast of 1984: “The production proved to be hugely controversial, with questions asked in Parliament and many viewer complaints over its supposed subversive nature and horrific content.”
Also, if Orwell’s writing was so threatening to governments, then how is it that his two books Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and Animal Farm (1945), “together have sold more copies than any two books by any other 20th-century author?[5]” Isn’t it odd that I was introduced to the book 1984 as assigned reading in a public school class?
The book is represented as a condemnation written by a disgruntled BBC propagandist in 1948 (and published the next year). However, only 6 years after writing it, 1984 was made in to a TV program by the BBC. Isn’t that more than a little ironic?
Was the government station BBC intentionally stirring up anti-government sentiment in 1954? To propose that they were not is rather ridiculous.
Was Orwell intentionally stirring up anti-government sentiment? If so, why? Well, what did he write in regard to the intentional stirring up of anti-government sentiment in his own book? He indicates that anti-government propaganda can created by governments and used to stir up anti-government sentiment in order to create “thought criminals” and entice the thought criminals to identify themselves.
Again, I do not particularly condemn the use of organized coercion by governments or anyone else. For thousands of years, groups of humans have killed each other. To exclusively celebrate a particular occasion of organized violence, such as the US Revolutionary War or Civil War, seems odd to me.
One may be anti-violence or pro-violence, but why some of each? Other than after-the-fact moral justifications indoctrinated by propagandists on behalf of the winning group of organized coercion, I am not aware of any reason to celebrate (or condemn) any particular instance of organized coercion (or propaganda). Yes, wars in particular are dangerous- and governments in general.
But recognizing their danger does not imply condemning them. I also recognize the danger of sharks, airplane crashes, gambling, pharmaceutical drugs, heart surgery, and tornadoes.
So, former British government propagandist George Orwell’s anti-government propaganda was notably successful. Even the government liked it- or perhaps even especially the government there in the UK. The BBC took only a few years to make 1984 in to a movie. It took nearly 50 years for the BBC to make Huxley’s “Brave New World” in to a movie.
Again, though, the BBC, a government channel, made two of the most famous books of anti-government criticism in to movies. Isn’t that extremely odd?
I was assigned both of those books in public high school classes. Isn’t that also extremely odd?

Do governments ever cultivate anti-governments sentiment? If so, how often? Further, exactly how practically valuable is it for them to do so?

Do governments ever discourage people from using the protections promised by government courts? Do “political activists” ever threaten people with economic repercussions for their political activity? In West Africa in the 1990s, apparently thousands of people had their hands cut off for daring to vote “the wrong way” in an election that had implications for the global diamond cartel, DeBeers. In the recent movie “The Gangs of New York,” politics is presented as openly violent. If there is such a thing as political violence, then violence can be political and politics can be violent.
As for me, I promote the full use of government protections such as evicting delinquent tenants, reporting all sorts of crimes including white collar financial crimes to bring about the arresting and punishing of certain people, and the use of the most skilled and effective criminal defense lawyer that a suspect is able and willing to hire. Further, I promote the full use of government protections such as asset protection, tax planning, estate planning, and debt interventions including re-organization of one’s finances under bankruptcy exemptions and benefits. If someone chooses to volunteer more money than is legally required out of guilt, so be it. However, if someone chooses to exercise their personal discretion and personal responsibility to the fullest extent possible, so be it.
If some people create legal systems or alter them or even oppose and overthrow them, so be it. If some people use lobbying or bribery or diplomacy or any other means to produce changes in the regulatory policies and practices of any particular governing system, so be it.
If George Orwell and the entire BBC create anti-government propaganda to incite anti-government sentiment, so be it. If I tell “everyone” to Occupy Wall Street or put their money in to insurance industry ponzi scams or whatever else, so be it. Maybe I get commissions from it or maybe I am sincere as in just doing it to ease my own fears or a guilty conscience.
I forecast the major opportunities and risks of the last 9 years of the global economy. However, lots of folks may prefer to focus away from the actual practical risks and practical opportunities to instead argue about propaganda, government corruption, immorality, injustice and, of course, arguing.
“People should not argue. I condemn arguing.”
Or, on the other hand, maybe some people encourage others to argue because it is practically valuable for huge proportions of a target population to be arguing amongst themselves: Christians vs Muslims (as in NATO vs OPEC), Democrats vs Republicans, boys vs girls, etc. “Divide and conquer” is still practical, right?


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