Rolling Stone
Matt Taibbi
October 8, 2010

It’s amazing, given the attention the Tea Party allegedly is paying to government waste and government spending, that there hasn’t been more controversy about the now-seemingly-inevitable arrival of “QE2” – a second massive round of money-printing cooked up by the Fed to prop up both the government and certain sectors of the economy. A more overtly anticapitalist and oligarchical pattern of behavior than the Fed’s “Quantitative Easing” program could not possibly be imagined, but the country is strangely silent on the issue.

What is “QE”? The first round of “quantitative easing” was a program announced by Ben Bernanke last March in response to the financial crisis, ending in March of this year. In what will soon be known as “QE1”(i.e. once QE2 is announced), Bernanke printed over a trillion dollars out of thin air, then used that money to buy, among other things, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and Treasury Bonds. In other words, the government was printing money to a) lend to itself and b) prop up the housing market, with Wall Street stepping in to take a big cut.

That was QE1. There has long been speculation that another trillion-plus money-printing program called QE2 is coming, but only recently have there been concrete hints from the Fed along those lines. Among other things, New York Fed Vice President Brian Sack just this week squeaked out a comment about how, “In terms of the benefits, balance-sheet expansion appears to push financial conditions in the right direction.” Translating into English, “balance-sheet expansion” means the Fed adding to its balance sheet, i.e. printing money to buy stuff – i.e. QE2.

Thanks to that and other hints, most everyone now expects the Fed to announce a new QE program in November. The big banks have now openly begun to predict this, with JP Morgan Chase among others raising its odds of the Fed buying mortgages in the next 6 months from 10% to 50%. Another effect we’re seeing is that mortgage originators are hiring again, in anticipation of being able to fork out QE-funded mortgages.

QE is difficult to understand and the average person could listen to a Fed official talk about it for two hours right to his face and not understand even the basic gist of his speech. The ostensible justification for QE is to use a kind of financial shock-and-awe approach to jump-starting the economy, but its effects for ordinary people are hard to calculate. Theoretically the entire country has some sort of stake in this program, as (among other things) U the Homeowner may see your home value stay stable or fall less than it would have thanks to this artificial stimulus. You also may be able to buy a house when you wouldn’t before, thanks to declining mortgage rates.

And jobs, I suppose, may theoretically be created by all this dollar meth being injected into the financial bloodstream – although the inflationary effect of printing trillions upon trillions of new dollars would probably wipe out the value of the money you make at that job. When it comes to calculating what QE actually does for you, or how much it harms you, that question is just very hard to answer.

But one thing we know for sure is that big banks and Wall Street speculators are real, immediate beneficiaries of the program, as they suddenly have trillions of printed dollars flowing through the financial system, with endless ways to profit on the new chips entering the casino.

And by an amazing coincidence, many of the biggest players in the financial services industry have a habit of buying up MBS or Treasuries just before these magical money-printing programs of the Fed send their respective values soaring. If you own a big fund, for instance, and you know that the Fed is about to buy a trillion dollars of mortgage-backed-securities through a new Quantitative Easing program, buying a buttload of MBS a few weeks early is a pretty easy way to make a risk-free fortune. One of the worst-kept secrets on Wall Street is that the big bankers and fund managers get signals about the Fed’s intentions about things like QE well before they are announced to the rest of us losers in the public.

A hilarious example of this cozy insiderism popped up just a few weeks ago, when PIMCO bond fund chief Bill Gross let it slip on a live CNBC interview that he was getting inside info from the Fed. The interview is with former Goldman analyst and (now) CNBC anchor Erin Burnett, as well as my slimeball former colleague from the Moscow Times and (now) CNBC bobblehead Steve Liesman, who slobber typically over the bond king in the segment.

Gross at one point says this:

“What is important going into November is the staff forecast for economic growth for the next 12-18 months. Our understanding is that the Fed is about to downgrade their forecast from 3% down to 2%. Which in turn would suggest that unemployment won’t be coming down… and so that would be the trigger to my way of thinking for Quantitative Easing in November.”

The admission is so untoward that the ex-Goldmanite Burnett immediately races to clean up the problem, saying to Liesman, who is also on the panel, “We don’t have that forecast yet, right, Steve?”

At which point the ever-helpful Liesman replies, “We won’t get that for 3 weeks, Erin. That’s when it comes out with the minutes of this meeting .”

Check out 5:20 of this video (courtesy of Zero Hedge):

There are so many different ways for Wall Street guys to make risk-gazillions off of QE, it’s not even funny. When I was researching the “Wall Street Bailout Hustle” story last year, for instance, I learned about one fund that loaded up on MBS before the first QE announcement, then saw their MBS skyrocket in value after QE – at which point the fund sold off a lot of its MBS holdings and bought Treasuries, effectively taking money from the Fed and lending it right back to the government at interest.

CNSnews.com
Dan Joseph
October 05, 2010

(CNSNews.com) – Almost 23 million American households have already had their federal taxes raised by an average of $3,900 this year, but they may not know it yet.

They could get a big surprise when they prepare their tax returns next year.

Among those subject to this already-in-place tax increase are some families making less than $50,000 per year, and virtually all married couples earning between $100,000 and $500,000 a year, according to data published by the Congressional Budget Office.

This insidious tax hike is contrary to President Barack Obama’s repeated promise not to increase taxes on any individual earning less than $200,000 a year or on any household earning less than $250,000.

This tax increase on almost 23 million people will happen if Congress does not quickly pass legislation that temporarily increases the amount of income exempt from the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The temporary reprieve passed by Congress for each of the past nine years expired on Dec. 31, 2009, and so far, Congress has not extended the AMT “fix” for 2010.

According to the CBO, an estimated 4.5 million American households were subject to the AMT in 2009, and 27.2 million are now liable to pay the AMT for the 2010 tax year unless Congress acts before Dec. 31. Under current law, at least 22.7 million American households that did not have to pay the AMT last year will have to pay it on the income they have been earning since Jan. 1 of this year.

Repealing the AMT completely and permanently would add $626 billion to the federal debt over the next ten years, according to CBO.

The AMT was enacted in 1969 and was intended to impose taxes on high-income individuals who used deductions and loopholes to reduce or eliminate their liability under the regular income tax. Because the tax has not been adjusted for inflation since then, additional families at progressively lower income levels become subject to the tax each year.

The tax especially hits married couples with children and mortgages because of the deductions and credits they are allowed under federal income tax laws. “Because of the particular tax preferences and exemptions disallowed under the AMT, that tax structure is more likely to affect married couples, large families, and taxpayers in states with high state and local taxes,” says CBO.

Past Congresses and presidents have chosen to enact protective one-year “patches” that temporarily increase the income threshold subject to the AMT thus protecting between 10 and 30 million Americans from the tax. So far this year, Congress, which adjourned last week, has failed to take action on the matter. If Congress fails to renew the “patch” before Dec. 31, according to CBO, the 27 million Americans subjected to the AMT this year will see their tax bills rise by an average of $3,900.

Of the households that will be hit with the AMT this year under current law, according to CBO, 3 percent are households making less than $50,000 a year, 35 percent are household making between $50,000 and $100,000 per years; 47 percent are households making between $100,000 and $200,000 per year; and 14 percent are households making between $200,000 and $500,000 per year.

As the law now stands, virtually all married couples in America earning between $100,000 and $500,000 will be hit with the AMT this year–on income they started earning ten months ago. “If nothing is changed this year, one in six taxpayers will be affected by the AMT, paying on average an additional $3,900 in tax, and nearly every married taxpayer with income between $100,000 and $500,000 will owe some alternative tax.”

Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, says that failure to renew the AMT patch would disproportionately hit middle-class families.

“Of the 20 to 30 million taxpayers who might get hit with AMT due to Congress’ inaction, the majority of them would be middle class,” Sepp told CNSNews.com. “The vast majority would consist of solidly middle-class taxpayers.”

Moreover, the increased tax bill would come at the worst possible time, Sepp said. “Families, especially, are experiencing low tax liabilities because they have lower incomes,” he said. “The AMT, ironically, would work in an almost contrary manner, because there would be, for example, households where one of the bread winners lost their job or had to reduce their hours, (and) would be reporting less hours, but they still may be taking the same number of exemptions and deductions for all their kids, for various other household property or operations — business that they may have. They might still be claiming the same number and types of deductions and credits, but on an even lower income.”

Jim Billimoria, spokesman for the Republican minority on the House Ways and Means Committee, told CNSNews.com that failure to renew the patch would amount to a broken promise by President Obama, who made a pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class.

“Raising taxes on millions of families during a recession with an unemployment rate stuck near 10 percent not only breaks President Obama’s tax pledge but is the wrong formula for economic growth,” Billimora said in an e-mail.

When questioned about why Congress is having such difficulty extending the AMT patch, Sepp pointed to the failure by many in the public and the media to grasp the severity of the situation.

“Why a policy that has so many horrendous implications for the middle class is allowed to bumble along like this until the final months of the year is unclear,” he told CNSNews.com. “This is something that we’ve had to do a lot of educational work on. Not only with the public, but with the media, because this is sort of being lumped in with the 2001 and 2003 tax rate extensions–and those affect the year 2011 for returns filed in 2012. The AMT affects 2010 returns filed next year, so in that sense it’s far more urgent and in fact the IRS probably won’t be able to retool its operations quickly enough to allow for a smooth filing season for people with AMT issues.”

Bryan Ellis, tax policy director for Americans for Tax Reform, told CNSNews.com that there may be political motives behind the failure by the Democratic majority to enact a patch.

“If the Democrats wanted to get rid of the AMT and do so without having to worry about all of the tax increases or not worrying about PAYGO, and just get rid of it, that would get 400 votes in the House,” Ellis said. “It would get the votes of virtually every Republican and virtually every Democrat.”

But a Congress that simply voted to eliminate the AMT without making equivalent spending cuts would be adding to the $626 billion to the ten-year deficit that CBO estimates as the cost of such a move.

The Daily Bell
Staff Report
October 06, 2010

D. Strauss-Kahn

Germany Opposed To Unconditional IMF Safety Nets … Germany is opposed to the setting up of ‘global financial safety nets’ under the aegis of the International Monetary Fund, a Deutsche Bundesbank official said Tuesday. The official told journalists that the mechanisms proposed by the G-20 group of nations, would create moral hazard by obliging countries to provide unlimited liquidity without conditions in times of financial stress. The comments come as the German delegation prepares to fly to Washington DC for the autumn meetings of the IMF and World Bank … The IMF’s willingness to provide loans under the PCL to countries which, in its own words, “may not meet the FCL’s high qualification limits” appears to have raised hackles at the Bundesbank, which has consistently opposed any dilution of the IMF’s principles of only lending against strict commitments to sustainable fiscal and monetary policy. The initiative to expand such “safety nets” is part of the G-20’s efforts to make the international financial system more stable. It has been promoted by South Korea and has received some limited support from France and U.K. – WSJournal.com

Dominant Social Theme: The world needs a central bank and the IMF is ready to be one.

Free-Market Analysis: As we have written plenty of times before, it’s startling to see how fast theAnglo-American power elite is willing to move now toward a more specific and comprehensive global governance. When we read this article, even just the beginning, it was obvious to us what was going on. And then we came to this sentence: “It means a de facto obligation to provide unlimited liquidity in euros…but the IMF is not a central bank for the world.” Exactly. Is there a sub dominant social theme in the article. Perhaps so: “Pushback will continue but the IMF’s expanded role is inevitable.

Indeed, the IMF is being cast in some places as an inevitable precursor to a world central bank. It need only graduate from SDRs to bancors and then expand its monetary authority. Of course we’ve covered this evolution in the past, but we didn’t take it very seriously. The world moves slowly and is a complex place. But as we’ve seen (and commented on) over the past year, the Anglo-American elite seems to have shed any inhibitions about moving slowly or deliberately toward global governance goals.

It is in a race of some sort, though who or what it is running from or towards is not clear. But in picking up the pace in a kind of mad dash toward some unseen finish line, it is abandoning at least a century of deliberate, promotional construction designed to bring Western citizens in line with its goals. We’ve written we have no explanation. Let’s say for argument’s sake there are 6,000 in the ranks of the Anglo American familial elite. That still leaves six billion people that one needs to “bring along” presumably. But convincing people seems about the last thing on the mind of elite these days so far as we can tell. In aggregate, it gallops madly forward, careening out of control, oblivious to obstacles, increasingly leaving a trail of ruin behind.

The bluntest and most alarming presentation we’ve read recently regarding the IMF comes from Germany’s powerful Spiegel magazine. This is ironic, given that the Germans, as we can see from our initial article excerpt above, are the lone power standing up to the IMF’s efforts to remake itself (with fairly blinding speed) into a global central bank. But it is this article we will spend the rest of our time analyzing. It deserves all of our attention – and yours, though trying to describe this article leaves one almost without words. It is so fulsome, so slavishly admiring, so … craven in its intention to please the powers-that-be that it is a truly remarkable example of a certain kind of journalism. It is available in its entirety (translated) online and we would urge anyone to read it. Here is how it begins:

Three years ago, the International Monetary Fund was irrelevant, an object of derision for all opponents of globalization. Under director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (above left) and as a result of the global economic crisis, the IMF has since become more influential — governing like a global financial authority. It is also putting Europe under pressure to reform.

The building that houses the headquarters of the global economy is a heavily guarded, 12-story beige structure in downtown Washington with a large glass atrium and water bubbling in fountains. The flags of the 187 member states are lined up in tight formation.

Visitors walking into the office building find the cafeteria on the right, where many meetings are held. There, experts in their shirtsleeves, their jackets draped over the backs of chairs, drink lattes out of paper cups and talk countries into crises or upturns. A little farther down the hallway is the Terrace, the IMF building’s upscale restaurant where the director receives official guests.

On a Tuesday afternoon in late September, as the first leaves are falling from trees outside, the director, wearing a blue suit and a blue tie, is sitting on a blue couch high up in his office at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), outlining his idea of a new world. Some of it already exists, in the form of a new world order established in September 2008 to replace the one that was collapsing at the time. The result wasn’t half bad — but it is robust?

There is nothing halfhearted in this voluminous portrait of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the reinvention of the IMF. In the first four paragraphs descriptions like “global financial authority” and “new world order” and “new world” are strewn about with all the subtlety of an IMF bailout itself. The very next paragraphs read as follows:

‘The Money Is The Medicine’ … These are important times for humanity. The crisis has forced everyone to see many things from a new perspective. Now the IMF is preparing for its annual meeting on Oct. 8. Can it live up to expectations, and can it police the new global economic order and keep global banks in check? “You have to imagine the IMF as a doctor,” says Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the 61-year-old director of the International Monetary Fund. “The money is the medicine. But the countries — the patients — have to change their habits if they want to recover. It doesn’t work any other way.” He smiles benevolently as he says these things, his eyes disappearing behind small cushions of wrinkled skin.

Money is not medicine of course. The IMF, with its history of reducing middle classes around the world to ruin, is nothing like a doctor. After reading it, if one still believes in such a thing as freedom in the world, one wants to take a long bath. There is a brutal deliberateness about the language (assuming the translation is accurate), which must be calculated. From the next paragraphs:

The IMF, says Strauss-Kahn, warned the world about the collapse and about the American real estate bubble and its consequences, but “politicians don’t want to hear bad news.” And when the crisis arrived in the fall of 2008, as predicted, it took the old world — Europe, which always takes six months to make a decision — too long to react. That was the time when the world was laying the foundation for a new order.

The New World Order … There are two telephones to Strauss-Kahn’s left and two to his right. The room has high ceilings, beige carpet and white curtains. An old clock and books about Mexican painting stand on the bookshelf. The IMF’s director is sometimes referred to as DSK, which makes Strauss-Kahn sound like a three-letter brand like IMF or USA, and yet he speaks English with a soft French accent. DSK leans back in his chair, weighing his words, glancing at the audio recorder and smiling. The new world order? Well, let’s talk about it, he says.

There is no hesitancy here. If there was ever a literary coming-out party for elite intentions to create a one-world financial structure, it would seem to us to be this article. One hardly needs to read between the lines. Skimming from paragraph to paragraph is like being stabbed between the eyes. …

Countries like China and India are becoming important, countries with rising markets that have long been stable and are clearly powerful. Whenever he is in China or other parts of Asia, says Strauss-Kahn, the leaders there tell him that they have written off Europe for now. “They say they want a strong Europe, but there is always one part of the world that is lagging behind. They say that in the past it was them, and now it is Europe. It’s a shame, but the world can live without Europe.”

The new world could be a frightening place. The IMF director says: “The Europeans still believe they are the center of the world, but in reality this is not clear any longer. Currently, the question is whether Europe will remain a participant in a game with many players — that is not necessarily a given.”

The Rise of the G-20 … The United Nations will probably become less important; the organization is far too slow-moving and sluggish. And, if one understands DSK correctly on this point, the importance of the United States — that egomaniacal country which is incapable of action — will also decline. Of course, Strauss-Kahn would never speak in such terms, but he does point out that it was the United States that reacted to the 2008 crisis, not with a long-term view, but bank by bank. “They tried to solve Bear Stearns first, and then Fannie and Freddie, and really believed that each hurdle was the last one,” he says.

What will become important, however, is the G-20, that coalition of the strongest economies, the center of power in a new world. The G-20 gave the IMF $850 billion (€620 billion) and the mission to solve the crisis. What followed, says, Strauss-Kahn, was “the biggest global coordination ever.”

Does this mean that the IMF became the first post-crisis world government? … Strauss-Kahn stretches when he hears the question, and pauses for 20 seconds before responding. He is an elegant man, a white-haired Parisian with three deep furrows in his brow, who smiles slyly and flirtatiously. He is a ladies’ man, not particularly tall and even a little stooped.

Solving Global Problems … Sitting in his cool office, a room that smells of fresh flowers, he says: “No, no, the government has to consist of elected people, and that’s more like the G-20. But the reality is the G20 – or any other grouping – doesn’t operate like a government. Their willingness to work together was very strong during the crisis, but frankly I think it’s fair to say that it’s decreasing. The more leaders and finance ministers believe that the crisis is over – even if they are mistaken – the more they are concerned about their own problems and less so about coordination and consensus.”

In Strauss-Kahn’s view, the IMF should become an administrative unit of sorts for the G-20, an agency that “tries to find solutions for global and national problems,” and comes up with plans and create values. “In the end we aim at much more than just the right financial and economic policies. The ultimate goal, of course, is world peace through economic stability.” This is the way Strauss-Kahn views his organization, and the astonishing thing is that hardly anyone, with the exception of a lone professor in Boston, disagrees with him anymore.

All right. We’ll stop. What have we learned from the beginning of this truly remarkable article? (We hesitate to call it an article, for it’s more of an encomium a kind of ritualized praise-offering of the sort troubadours used to prepare for royalty.)

First … Europe is too slow and fragmented currently to compete in a world of dashing powers like India and China. Second … same thing with the United Nations, according to Strauss-Kahn (and the IMF is an arm of the UN). The United States itself, divided between its republican past and its authoritarian future has also given offense and is characterized as “egomaniacal.” Third … the legislative body of choice, this article seems to indicate, is going to be the G20, and the IMF will seek validation and credibility from it (along with funds) before proceeding on its mission which is to become the G20s “administrative unit.”

Reading this article, it is possible to visualize the Anglo-American elite as straining ponderously to take flight. It is attempting to shed in one convulsive effort, the painstaking paraphernalia with which it has encumbered itself in the past. The days of patiently building world government through the EU or the UN are OVER. The decision has been made. The G20 is now the vehicle of choice and the IMF will interpret its G20 mandate as it wishes to under the auspices of the kindly Strauss-Kahn who wants nothing more than to build “peace through economic stability.”

It is truly remarkable. Reading it (and it is a very long article) is like watching a beautifully crafted knife being withdrawn from its sheath with agonizing slowness and deliberateness. When you are finished, the knife is revealed to you in its all its gleaming fullness. It lies there in front of you, winking with malevolence. A little more:

Sitting in his office, surrounded by the scent of flowers, Strauss-Kahn prefers to talk about Europe’s sad future. “The European institutions,” he says, “were absolutely necessary and very useful for many reasons, but only in quiet times. … The crisis exposed very clearly the way the EU is working. There is, in my view, too much concern about domestic safeguarding and domestic problems rather than concern about the EU itself.

The result of that is that the recovery in Europe is lagging behind while the recovery in Asia, South America, the US and Africa is rather strong. I’m afraid that if the European countries don’t take the bull by the horns, they will be the part of the world with sluggish recovery. After building the Union and creating the euro, the European Union now needs to take a third step, which is more economic policy coordination and more fiscal policy integration, and so more centralization. But the system moves very slowly.”

He reaches toward the table, but there isn’t any water there. Everyone at the IMF drinks too little water and too much coffee. … Then he says: “You can’t have a monetary union without a reasonably coordinated fiscal policy. And you cannot make it work when neighbors make deals: If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you — just as France and Germany did when they exceeded the 3 percent deficit limit. Europe needs rules, surveillance and sanctions. Sanctions should not be the suspension of voting rights. Who cares about voting rights? They have to be financial sanctions — payable not during a crisis, of course, but a few years later.”

In the end, DSK raves about China, Asia, dynamism and speed.

We bet Strauss-Kahn raves about China. There’s a country for you, only about half a century out from starving 50 million of its citizens deliberately. For Strauss-Kahn of course the efficiency of authoritarianism is far preferable to the tattered republicanism of the “egomaniacal” United States. But the real threats in this article are reserved for Europe, which he says over and over in various ways must become more “integrated” and “centralized” so that the system does not move so “slowly.”

Here’s how the authors describe how the article came about: “SPIEGEL’s journey of discovery into the world of the IMF lasted 10 weeks. It began in Washington, and then led to Hungary, Greece, Oslo, Brussels, Boston, New York City and back to Washington, where the Fund is headquartered, on the corner of H Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. In the beginning, the IMF didn’t even bother to refuse interview requests. The organization doesn’t simply open itself up to visitors; it has been criticized too much in the past. Then, Strauss-Kahn decided to open the doors, and from that point on there were no more barriers or taboos. The only rule was that most interviews were to be conducted off the record, and quotes had to be submitted for authorization.”

In normal Western journalism, as we are aware of it, no one submits quotes for “authorization” let alone a media complex as authoritative as Spiegel. You fact check quotes (it’s done all the time) but you don’t read them back verbatim. And you certainly don’t “submit them.” That’s just another part of the oddity of this article from our perspective. All we can think of is that, having decided to go through with it, the IMF, Strauss-Kahn and his shadowy elite handlers decided to make a full blown statement of intent.

Conclusion: Whether the article is a kind of emphatic trial balloon or a full-on proclamation of where the world is now headed – and at breakneck speed – time will tell. But what an article it is! And from our point of view a most disturbing one.

Tenth Amendment Center
Lesley Swann
August 18, 2010

constitution

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under that Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” – Article VI, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution

Recently I attended a gun show, where I handed out information material and answered questions on the Tenth Amendment Center.  Several people were concerned about the U.S. making a treaty that would gut the U.S. Constitution and potentially take away firearms from law abiding citizens here in the U.S.  They argued that the paragraph above from the Constitution places treaty law above the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

Our Founders very clearly stated the conditions under which the U.S. Constitution could be amended, or changed, in Article 5.  It is quite illogical to conceive that our Founders would write such a brilliant document to be the foundation of our union, only to create a giant backdoor for foreign governments to come in and destroy the liberty we had worked so hard to achieve.   In fact, our Founders themselves said otherwise.

“The only constitutional exception to the power of making treaties is that it shall not change the Constitution…” – Alexander Hamilton

“I do not conceive that power is given to the President or the Senate to dismember the empire, or alienate any great, essential right.  I do not think the whole legislative authority to have this power.”  – James Madison

“I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of treaty-making power to be boundless.  If it is, then we have no Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson

So, when I began re-reading this section of the Constitution I realized that they didn’t leave a backdoor, but in fact were expressly forbidding this type of maneuver in Article VI.  The answer to the riddle that confuses many people isn’t to be found in an indecipherable tome on constitutional law, but instead in simple English grammar and a little attention to detail.

In reading through the entire Constitution, you will notice that whenever the Constitution refers to itself the verbiage “this Constitution” is used.  The only exceptions to this are the President’s Oath of Office, where the phrase “the Constitution of the United States” is used, and here in the latter part of Article VI.  In every other place where you find the word Constitution written in the Constitution itself, it is preceded by the word “this” making it clear that the Constitution is referring to itself.  In the President’s Oath of Office the phrase “Constitution of the United States” makes it perfectly clear that the phrase is referring to this Constitution as well.

The Founders were very clear and precise with their use of language in the Constitution, so why do we have “the Constitution” in this case (“any Thing in THE Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding”), and “this Constitution” in all other cases where the word is written.  The simple answer is that in this case, they were not referring to the United States Constitution at all.

The humble preposition is the key to solving the intent of the Founders in this statement.  A prepositional phrase – such as of, to, or in – is a word that can modify and indicate relationships.  Prepositional phrases can also modify more than one object.  In this case, the prepositional phrase “of any State” refers to both the words“Constitution” and “Laws” that precede the phrase.  This means that the final phrase of this clause could rightly be read to mean “any Thing in the Constitution of any State or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” The Founders weren’t saying that treaties were to be supreme over the U.S. Constitution, but that they could and would take precedence over the state constitutions and laws.

It is clear with a little analysis of the details of the language and grammar used to construct this clause that our Founders were placing treaty law in its rightful place – beneath the supreme law of the land in the form of our U.S. Constitution, but above the laws and constitutions of the states.  There is no loophole that can allow international interests to trump the U.S. Constitution, but the treaty must be made in pursuance of our Constitution, just as all laws that Congress makes must be in pursuance of the Constitution.

While some well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) politicians may claim that they can legislate via treaty, this clearly was not the intent of our Founders.  Will this knowledge stop those who would seek to take our freedoms from shredding the Constitution by attempting to pass such treaties?  Probably not.  But we can rest firm in the knowledge that our Founders did not give the Federal government the power to usurp the Constitution by treaty, and that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, not treaty law.  More importantly, we can use this knowledge as intellectual firepower to stop the enemies of liberty and the Second Amendment from doing so.

Lesley Swann is the state coordinator for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center and founder of the East Tennessee 10th Amendment Group. She is a native of Anderson County, Tennessee.

Activist Post
August 31, 2010

Rights are Privileges (Freedom is Slavery): The primary duty of all public officials is to protect the rights of citizens as defined in the Constitution, where they shall not make or enforce any laws that violate those rights.  In fact, the “checks and balances” were put in place to assure that rights of citizens are not being trampled by one branch of the government. After 9-11, President Bush and other public officials proclaimed that their most important job was protecting the safety of the American people, which basically put an end to our rights coming first.

If the corporate-government fear campaign fails to scare the rights away from citizens, they try to convince the public that rights are now privileges and charge a fee or a tax for the “right” to engage in a certain activity.

Here are a few recent examples where rights are eroding into privileges:

  • Air travel has become a privilege since 9-11.  We must now forfeit all rights to our physical being by submitting to naked body scanners that emit unhealthy levels of radiation, or open-palm invasive frisking.  Everyone is assumed to be guilty until thoroughly cavity checked for explosives.
  • Free-speech Blogging on the Internet is now the target of taxes and licensing fees — the trial financial assault before free speech is ultimately killed with the end of net neutrality. Philadelphia is seeking a blog tax, while South Carolina has attempted to require all controversial speech groups to register, of course with a fee attached.
  • Food rights may be disappearing faster than any other rights.  Armed raids on raw milk producers and the proposed senate bill S.510 that seeks to essentially criminalize local food are the pinnacle of corporate-government tyranny.
  • Rights to use Rainwater is becoming illegal or being taxed by the overlords who control mother nature and the slaves who dare to use her resources.  Your basic right to nature’s sustenance is now a taxable privilege in the land of the free.
  • Gun rights are under continued pressure by the government and the media to make us believe it is a privilege to own guns.
  • Capital rights, or the freedom to spend or invest our own money, are now under assault with capital controls.
  • Property rights erode every time property taxes are jacked up because the Fed creates inflation.  We own less and less of our property each day the dollar devalues. Property rights also erode as more strict zoning regulations continually pass.

Activist Post
Nicholas West
August 17, 2010

“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exits” — J. Edgar Hoover

The weather forces of Earth are volatile indeed.   Even in the human era we have passed through cataclysmic times of both fire and ice, destruction and rebirth; recorded throughout the world in legends and religious texts. Are the current weather events part of that natural wave pattern of upheaval and stability, man-made global warming, a cyclical eruption of the sun, or are there clear manufactured patterns emerging?

The HAARP project has been shrouded in secrecy and speculation since its inception.  Despite recent high-profile attempts to access its inner workings, only more questions continue to emerge. Conclusions about its operational capacity are those that have caused a drift toward “conspiracy theory.”  Defense operations have quite a history of harebrained boondoggle schemes that never become operational. However, weather modification (and weaponization) has been consistently discussed and researched by the military and the Elite to a level that indicates there is something worth pursuing.  Let us look at a few things we know for certain:

HAARP is a military installation
Officials downplay the facility as pure “basic or exploratory research” — working with Alaska University, Fairbanks — possessing no military applications.  Yet, the United States Air Force, Navy and DARPA scientists populate the remote site in Gakona, Alaska.  It is also part of the Strategic Defense Initiative, which answers to the Department of Defense, and makes it a component of “Star Wars” inviting NASA into the mix.  At the very least, the communications and surveillance applications fit in perfectly with national security via sea and sky.

It is a weather modification apparatus
The scientists at HAARP do not deny the capacity for structural modification of the atmosphere, but they continue to insist that their academic studies are limited to a small swath around the facility. However, there is an indication of wider use:  the premier defense contractor, Raytheon, is now the owner of most of many relevant patentssurrounding the research being conducted there.  Of twelve patents that form the backbone, #4,686,605 says it all: “Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth’s Atmosphere, Ionosphere, and/or Magnetosphere.”

Weather weapons have been considered by the Elite as a Potential Tool for Control
Zbigniew Brzezenski is the world’s foremost geopolitical director.  His seminal books, The Grand Chessboard and Between Two Ages have so many quotable passages that it is overkill to list them all.  He is the supreme insider:  Born into Polish nobility; a former National Security Advisor; and co-founder of The Trilaterial Comission with David Rockefeller, he seems to revel in telling the world the future of Elite direction.  There is not a chance that he would have mentioned weather weapons in his books if they were not feasible.  A key passage from Between Two Ages (1970) states, “Technology of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm.”

With this in mind, let’s consider some recent events that might suggest HAARP has achieved its full operational potential as a weapon that can be accurately directed to a given target if geopolitical masterminds give the order.

  • Venezuela Drought — The worst drought in 50 years came in late 2009 after Elites labeled Hugo Chavez an authoritarian (despite repeated popular elections).  They indicated a desire to, “divert the country toward a democracy.”  That type of rhetoric often indicates a mission to destabilize a regime, and impose a true dictator subservient only to the whims of the Globalists.  Big Oil hates iconoclastic leaders who are not members of The Club.  The benefit of political instability can set the stage for a future coup, so we have to wonder if a weather weapon was tested to produce anger among the populace.  Chavez invoked El Niño at the time, but did indicate his awareness of U.S. weather weapons after the Haiti Earthquake.
  • Pakistan Floods — The suddenness of the weather could be a tipoff.  This is a disaster that experts are saying dwarfs the impact of the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia, and is the worst in Pakistan history.  And it came by surprise.  Unlike a Tsunami which can have a random earthquake as its source, weather has been charted enough to put meteorologists on TV who presumably make a living off of their accurate analysis. Yet, millions have been affected, and hundreds of villages erased by this anomalous event that dropped from the skies.  A recent article in the Daily Mail has scientists speculating that a blocked jet stream is causing a prolonged weather system over Pakistan . . . as well as Russia.  A stated ability of HAARP is to “perturb the ionosphere,” which can lead to the stalling, or supercharging of weather systems, as the jet stream is affected.  In fact, it appears that the jet stream has split in two, with one arm going north over Russia, and the other arm heading south into Pakistan; the region in the middle is feeling the effects.
  • Russia Heat Wave — The worst heatwave in the nation’s history is slowing its economic recovery and causing destabilizing anger in the populace. Major media coldly states that the Russians’ penchant for alcohol is to blame for the subsequent deaths. Meanwhile, talk of a climate weapon is increasing in volume.  Then there is Global Warming and carbon taxes:  Russia has been a holdout on the effects of man-made Global Warming and the attendant need to tax industry.  Premier Medvedev stated in late 2009, “We will not cut our development potential.”  He also made it clear that  he believed that Global Warming was, “some kind of tricky campaign made up by some commercial structures to promote their business projects.”  Yet, who can doubt the effects of man-made warming now?  Medvedev was quoted recently doing a complete about-face, “What’s happening with the planet’s climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, meaning all heads of state, all heads of social organizations, in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate.”
  • Freak U.S. Storms — Washington D.C. has been getting pounded.  A recent storm came out of nowhere.   Could this be retaliation from Russia for a perceived (or real) attack on its main agricultural region? The storms produced the first hail in the state’s history and dumped 5 inches of rain per hour, amid 180,000 lightning strikes. Or, perhaps it was domestically inspired — the area’s freak storm claimed the life of community leader and activist, Carl Henn.  Either way, experts are noting in Russia and D.C. that a change in the jet stream has led to the significant events.  The D.C. events come on the heels of a strange storm in Montana, curiously not long after the governor turned down Federal stimulus money.

The recent death of Ted Stevens is a disturbing development.  Some sources indicate that he was ready to reveal that Obama had given the green light to use weather weapons.  And Stevens might have known; he was the Senator in 1988 that had to be “convinced” to allow his state to house the HAARP project.  At the time, Stevens was insisting to detractors that the HAARP array could end fossil fuel dependence.  Perhaps this is what he was led to believe, so he let the project sail through . . . until he later learned otherwise.  Also on board the plane was former NASA administrator, Sean O’Keefe, who was enlisted by Stevens to help research the truth.

Government acronyms are very often revealing for their propagandizing; in reality being a 180-degree turn away from what is implied.  HAARP invokes a sense of the peaceful strumming of angels in harmony with all creation. Yet, even if we conclude the most benign intentions, a familiar chestnut warns us that the road is paved straight to Hell.  The title of the definitive book on the subject states it best:  Angels Don’t Play This HAARP.  That is because the strum of mechanistic manipulation is discordant with Nature; it plays a devil’s tune, rasping its way across the strings of existence.

On Earth, it is played out as Full Spectrum Dominance where it needs souls to succeed.  This is the free will of humanity — you must choose your side.  History is a catalogue of Man’s attempts to imitate the Divine.  He has not yet succeeded, but he might just die while trying.

Campaign For Liberty
Lew Rockwell
August 6, 2010

You surely didn’t think that the governing elites would let this economic crisis pass without pushing some cockamamie scheme for control. Well, here is the cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, a revival of a 60-year-old idea of a global paper currency to fix what ails us.

The IMF study that calls for this is by Reza Moghadam of the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, “in collaboration with the Finance, Legal, Monetary and Capital Markets, Research and Statistics Departments, and consultation with the Area Departments.” In other words, this paper shouldn’t be ignored.

It’s a long-term plan, but the plan has the unmistakable stamp of Keynes: “A global currency, bancor, issued by a global central bank would be designed as a stable store of value that is not tied exclusively to the conditions of any particular economy…. The global central bank could serve as a lender of last resort, providing needed systemic liquidity in the event of adverse shocks and more automatically than at present.”

The term bancor comes from Keynes directly. He proposed this idea following World War II, but it was rejected mostly for nationalistic reasons. Instead we got a monetary system based on the dollar, which was in turn tied to gold. In other words, we got a phony gold standard that was destined to collapse as gold reserve imbalances became unsustainable, as they did by the late 1960s. What replaced it is our global paper money system of floating exchange rates.

But the elites never give in, never give up. The proposal for a global currency and global central bank is again making the rounds. What problem is being addressed? What is so desperately wrong with the world that the IMF is floating the idea of a world currency? In a word, the problem is hoarding. The IMF is really annoyed that “in recent years, international reserve accumulation has accelerated rapidly, reaching 13 percent of global GDP in 2009 — a threefold increase over ten years.”

You see, monetary policy isn’t supposed to work this way. In their ideal world, the central bank releases reserves and these reserves are lent out, leading to a boom in consumption and investment and thereby global happiness forever (never mind the hyperinflation that goes along with it). But there is a problem. The current system is nationally based and so the economic conditions of one country turn out to have an influence on the borrowing and lending markets. Without borrowers and lenders, the money gets stuck in the system.

This is a short history of the last two years. By now, if the Fed had its way, we would be awash in money. Instead the reserves are stuck in the banking system. It’s like the whole of the population of the United States has suddenly been consumed by the moral advice: neither a borrower nor a lender be.

And why? Well, there are two reasons. Borrowers are just a bit nervous right now about the long term. They are watching balance sheets day by day, consumed with a weird sense of reality that had gone out the window during the boom times. Meanwhile, the bankers are just a bit risk averse, happier to keep the reserves in the vault than toss them to the winds of fate. They have the bank examiners breathing down their necks right now, and lending doesn’t pay well, not with interest rates being suppressed down to the zero level.

Under these conditions, yes, hoarding seems like a pretty good idea. What’s more, we should be very grateful indeed for this retrenchment. The idea of plunging back into another bubble seems rather shortsighted.

The IMF has a problem with this practice, though it doesn’t dwell on it. The problem is that this practice of maintaining high reserves is putting a damper on consumption and investment, prolonging the recession. The simple-minded solution coming from the high-minded eggheads at the IMF is to find some system, any system, that would push the money from the vaults into the hands of the spending public.

The rationale for the global currency and global central bank is that the reserves could always find a market in a globalized system, and would not therefore be so tied to the exigencies of a nationally based banking and monetary system.

An academic paper can wax eloquent for hundreds of pages about the advantages of a global system. It will lead to more stability, efficiency, and less politicization of money and credit. And truly, there is a point here: a real gold standard is always tending towards a global currency system. Different national currencies are merely different names for the same thing.

But there is a key difference. Under a gold standard, the physical metal is the limit and the market is the master. Under a global paper system, the paper provides no limit whatsoever and the politicians are the masters. So there is no sense of talking about the glories of globalization in the current context. A world paper currency and world central bank would heighten the moral hazard and lead to a global inflationary regime such as we’ve never seen. There would be no escape from political control at that point.

Every proposal of a drastic solution such as this always comes with a warning of some equally drastic consequence of failing to adopt the proposal. In this case, the IMF actually raises questions about the survivability of the dollar itself. “There has been a long-running debate speculating on whether the dollar could collapse,” says the paper. It raises the worry that if a run on the dollar materializes, central banks could attempt to race each other to dump it permanently.

But, the paper points out, many people wonder whether “good alternatives to the dollar exist.” And for this reason, it might be a good idea to cobble together such an alternative sooner rather than later.

There is probably more truth in that statement than most people want to grant. But the right alternative is not yet another and more global experiment in paper money inflation. God forbid. If we want an alternative to the dollar, there is one that could appear before our eyes if only we would let it happen. Private currencies traders the world over could, on their own, give rise to a new currency rooted in gold and traded by means of digital media. On many occasions over the last 20 years, such a system nearly came to be. But guess what? The government cracked down and stopped it. The governing elites have decided that there will be no currency reform unless it comes from the marble palaces of the monetary elites.