By: Gabriel M. Mueller
“This is not a fairytale. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is real life.”
The following article, published at Ludwig von Mises Institute this Good Friday, April 22, presents one of the most rapacious sins upon the people of America and the world, the debasement of the “trust” that is our very currency. It is intrinsic counterfeiting and institutionalized theft. And it is what the world’s criminals in chief are laying out further, in one unified, Tower of Babel system of global governance, this Bankster Spring of 2011.
After perusing it, one may even wish to ponder Babylon, the beast, the mark thereof, and the merchants, in the book of Revelation, chapters 13-20 — which is not to say “the end is nigh.” Rather, this megacriminal activity must be beaten back, here and now and its megacriminals put to true justice.
The Moral Issues of Money
by Gabriel M. Mueller
I would not have been able to write this piece without having first read Professor Jörg Guido Hülsmann’s book, The Ethics of Money Production. From this book the reader can get many things, but the most important aspect is the realization that, unlike almost every other “political” issue, the subject of money — that is, what is money? where did it come from? how is it made? who controls it? — is rarely, if ever, discussed.
Professor Hülsmann phrased it this way:
Ethical problems of production have been assessed in a great number of industries, ranging from agriculture to textile manufacturing in developing countries to pharmaceuticals. Today only a few important industries have escaped such scrutiny. The most important of these is the production of money. Money is omnipresent in modern life, yet the production of money does not seem to warrant any moral assessment. (2008, p. 1)
A perfect example of this “nondiscussion” came through my pastor’s sermon last weekend.
Let me first say this, though: My pastor is an awesome guy. He passionately loves God and people. He preaches from his heart — that is, with conviction — and he continually challenges me both morally and intellectually. I could not ask for a better pastor.
But on last Sunday I was asking for a better philosopher.
My problem was this: He was talking about the “ethics” of handling, spending, and earning money, and yet he never even defined what money is. It was like talking about war without mentioning weapons, or like discussing religion without uttering the word “God.”
Something was missing.
His sermon came from the book of James, chapter 5, verses 1 to 6:
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
Now, if you’re a “rich person,” this passage seems quite grim. But it’s not that simple of a read. With a little analysis and clear thinking, it is evident — and my pastor pointed this out — that James isn’t speaking to “the rich” per se, but to the capitalists — that is, to business owners, wealthy industrialists, and those who employ the masses. James says to them, Do not exploit.
James warns against four types of exploitation: (1) money debasement, (2) defrauding employees, (3) gluttony, and (4) legal/civil aggression.
Now my pastor did a fine job on addressing points 2, 3, and 4. He instructed us on the ethics of being good employees and workers. He talked about the ethics of running a business in a way that is fair and (economically) gracious to its employees. He even talked about the ethics of spending our money in a prudent and virtuous manner. Simply put, he made the case that money is value neutral — that is, it’s not “bad” to have money — and therefore it is what you do with your money that determines if you are an ethical (business) person.
Money is the most generally accepted medium of exchange in a society. Simply put, it is that which nearly every person in society will accept in exchange for something else. In the past, commodities like tobacco, shells, cotton, and even whiskey have had their moments as money, but gold and silver have proven — over thousands of years — to be the predominant forms of money. Note, however, that money was neither invented by government nor created by social contract. It resulted from the spontaneous convergence of many individuals voluntarily choosing to peacefully transact with each other. Gold and silver was their common language (Hülsmann, p. 23).
James understood this language as well, and it is evident from his terminology in the passage.
This takes us back to the point my pastor missed — James’s warning against the debasing of money. Verse 3 in the quote above reads, “Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.”
In regard to this verse, three things must explained: (1) Gold and silver were the money of that age. (2) Gold and silver have a variety of unique attributes which make them ideal for being money, and one of those attributes is that, so long as they are 99.9 percent pure, they never truly corrode. Last, (3) Gold and silver must be forged by fire; and when they melt, all impurities are exposed and divorced from the pure gold and silver.
Comparing James’s statement to these facts, it is clear what James is addressing in verse 3: He is talking about money, and he is speaking out against the debasement of it.
As stated earlier, James takes it for granted that gold and silver are money, but he does not accept the fact that those who have money — the rich, that is — have the right to debase it by adding impurities to it.
Question: Why would the rich have wanted to add impurities (and thus risk corrosion exposure) to their gold and silver? The answer is easy. Because they gained from it. By adding cheaper metals to their gold and silver, rich people were able to generate more money for themselves — without laboring or saving for it — and then they were able to pass that “new” money off as the real thing to people who were unaware. Simply put, it was a scam.
Kings were notorious for this.
Here’s an illustration: A king has 1,000 silver coins — which he confiscated from the people by taxes — but he wants 500 additional coins so he can purchase more horses for his guards, more flowers for his palace, and more food for his entourage. What should he do then? Work for it? No. That’s a ridiculous idea. Only the common man works for his food. The king need only say it and it is his.
Should he tax the people even more? Probably not. The people will soon tire of continually being robbed, and, as a reaction, they will demand the king’s head. So taxes won’t do. “How can I get more money without having to either work for it or tax for it?” the king asks himself.
He then thinks of the most brilliant idea: he will simply create “new” money.
He therefore decides to take his 1,000 silver coins, melt them down, add tin to the mixture, and then pour himself 1,500 (or more) new “silver” coins. The king now has his money. He can now spend it too. He pays the sun-blistered, hard-working farmer for a month’s worth of labor. He next buys some of the finest horses from a man that has slaved for years to train the animals. And to many, many others the king does the same — exchanging fake and impure “silver” coins for goods and services from honest, industrious, hard-working people.
The king defrauds them.
Now, you don’t have to be a theologian to recognize that what the king has done is immoral. The king has broken not only the moral law but the laws of God. Basic moral law states that it is unjust to steal from an innocent person. The king has violated this principle. The eighth and ninth commandments have been violated as well: the king is stealing, and he is bearing false witness against the person he is buying from. Therefore, when the king knowingly exchanges his debased money with unsuspecting persons, the king steals from those people and is in violation of the moral law and the laws of God.
You don’t need to be an economist, either, to see that what the king has done is naturally illogical as well. Labor is the burden of every person. In order to eat, a person must work. And not only work, a person must produce something of value that can be consumed (or used) by himself or someone else. Even the king can only eat if others labor and produce for him. Therefore, when the king makes new money for himself — and he neither labors nor saves for that money — he exploits those who have worked by exchanging his (the king’s) devalued money for their valuable products, his nonlabor for their true labor, his imaginary wealth for their true wealth.
Nothing could be more unjust or cruel.
This is what James is warning against. “Your gold and silver are corroded,” he writes. James’s logic is this: Corrosion of gold and silver is the result of impurities, impurities are the evidence of debasement, and debasement is the practice of fraud and stealing. Therefore, James says, do not debase your money in order to pay your workers or to purchase their goods, because to do so is to commit fraud and theft against them.
Today, we don’t have to worry about rich people — that is, our employers — debasing our gold and silver, because we’re not paid in gold and silver anymore. No, we face a much greater concern — the government controls our money. In fact, the government controls our money in the same way our dishonest king did: it creates money out of thin air and it debases our money every time it does so.
This is not a fairytale. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is real life.
Whenever the US government wants to wage war, expand its empire, control its schools, militarize its police, prosecute its detractors, bail out its friends, crush its enemies, praise its own exploits, or command our obedience, it need only print the money in order to do so.
If you don’t believe me, read this.
Therefore, the question remains: Why are we not talking about the ethics — the right or the wrong — of money production in America? If James condemned the business owner that debased the wages of workers, why are we not condemning a government that exploits the money of its citizens? And which violation is greater? At least the cheated worker can move onto a new employer to preserve his/her wealth and dignity. How is the citizen ever able to escape the injustice of his or her government? Such a thing is almost impossible.
Isn’t this something my pastor should have talked about? Isn’t it something we should all be talking about?
By: Trevor Loudon
From Cuba’s Prensa Latina, April 24:
Venezuela and Iran are preparing a new meeting of their Joint Commission in the next few days to strengthen bilateral strategic ties in several sectors, the Foreign Ministry said Sunday.
The preparatory meeting is being held in Tehran with the presence of Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.
The head of Venezuelan diplomacy met on Saturday with his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki, and Industries and Mines Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian, the press release added.
Maduro and Iranian authorities discussed the meeting of the Joint Commission in Caracas, where the two governments will review dozens of agreements on human development, energy, food production, industrialization, technology transfer and housing.
The strategic ties between Caracas and Tehran have been sealed in several meetings between Presidents Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
From: Day by Day Cartoon
By: Fern Sidman
In a surprise announcement on Wednesday, April 20th, Pentagon prosecutors declared their intention to re-file war crimes charges against the mastermind of the deadly attack on the USS Cole (an American warship) in the Port of Aden, Yemen on October 12, 2000. 17 US sailors were killed and 40 other US service personnel were wounded when a small vessel, laden with explosives and manned with suicide bombers, rammed into the American Navy warship on that fateful day. The announcement included the original request of the military prosecution for an imposition of the death penalty on self-admitted Cole bomber, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 46, the former al-Qaeda chief of operations for the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Nashiri hails from Saudi Arabia and is of Yemeni descent.
Charges against al-Nashiri had been sworn by the office of the chief war crimes prosecutor, Navy Captain, John Murphy, as word of the first full military commission case of the Obama administration came in a Pentagon news release. Initially charged upon his apprehension in Dubai in 2002, the CIA held al-Nashiri at an undisclosed location somewhere overseas before transferrring him to the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba military prison in 2006. On September 29, 2004, he was sentenced to death in absentia in a Yemeni court for his role in the Cole bombing. In December 2008, he was charged before a Guantanamo Miilitary Commission. Reports reveal that interrogators used the waterboarding modality to coerce him into cooperating during the questioning. In 2009, the case against al-Nashiri was dropped, when the Obama admnistration launched an initiative to scrutinize the detention policy at Guantanamo Bay.
As a result of this initiative, a stay was imposed on the filing of charges against prisoners at the compound as well as a stay on all military trials. Court filings in August 2010 revealed that the Obama administration was not considering prosecution of al-Nashiri, saying “no charges are either pending or contemplated with respect to al-Nashiri in the near future.” Prosecutors will now need the approval of retired Vice Admiral Bruce McDonald, the Pentagon appointee overseeing the Guantanamo tribunals to proceed with the charges. If the charge sheet is approved, al-Nashiri would face the first-ever capitol prosecution at the war court called Camp Justice. The Defense Department did not immediately release copies of the charges to the public despite a vow of greater transparency at the war court.
Al-Nashiri, a self-described former millionaire from Mecca, was personally recruited as an al-Qaeda operative when he first met Osama bin Laden in 1996. While in Afghanistan in 1997, al-Nashiri fought with the Taliban against the Afghan Northern Alliance and assisted in the smuggling of four anti-tank missiles into Saudi Arabia. He also facilitated in obtaining a Yemeni passport for a known terrorist and his cousin, Jihad Mohammed Ali al-Makri was one of the suicide bombers in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya.
Eleven charges are being leveled against al-Nashiri in the Pentagon’s 13-page charge sheet, including murder in violation of the law of war, treachery, terrorism and conspiring with Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al Zawahiri, among others. The sheet also listed the names of each sailor that died in the USS Cole attack. Moreover, al-Nashiri is being accused of orchestrating the attempted attack on yet another US warship called the USS The Sullivans as it refueled in the Port of Aden on Jan. 3, 2000. The plan was aborted when the boat he used was overloaded with explosives and began to sink. Al-Nashiri is also accused of planning and preparing the 2002 attack on the MV Limburg, a French civilian oil tanker, that killed one crew member and resulted in the release of 90,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Aden.
Navy Lt. Commander, Stephen Reyes, Nashiri’s Pentagon appointed defense lawyer, lambasted the decision to try his client at a military tribunal rather than a civilian court. “Nashiri is being tried at the Guantánamo military commissions because of the torture issue,” he said. “Otherwise he would have been indicted in New York,” where a grand jury in 2003 issued an indictment against two Yemenis whose extradition the U.S. has sought from that Arabian Peninsula nation.” Reyes added that, “The military commissions do not have the procedural protections necessary for a capitol case. Because of the makeshift rules, my client could be convicted and put to death without ever having a chance to see his accusers take the stand.”
Retired Navy Commander Kirk Lippold, the Captain of the USS Cole has assumed a prominent role in advocating for the Guantanamo war court in general and a war crimes trial for Nashiri in particular. Subsequent to the bombing of the warship, Lippold worked at the Pentagon as a planner in the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with a hand in US detention policy during the Bush administration. In civilian life, he testified at Guantanamo during the sentencing phase of a Bush era military commission trial. A jury had convicted Osama bin Laden’s media secretary, Ali Hamza al Bahlul of Yemen, of conspiring with al-Qaeda through the production of a propaganda video that glorified the Cole bombing, prompting Lippold to describe his disgust at discovering the contents of the film.
Despite the fact that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has yet to decide what manner of execution would be used to carry out a death penalty on a war court convict, his own Defense Department has gone forward with the case. Officials at the Defense Department have reported that 80 of the approximately 170 detainees at Guantanamo are expected to face trial by military tribunal. Among them is the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four of his co-conspirators, who until recently were scheduled to face trial in federal court in New York. According to sources in the Obama administration, reforms have made the military commissions more equitable than those created by the Bush administration in the early years of Guantanamo, which Obama condemned as a presidential candidate and senator.
“The broken military commissions system” should not be used to try al-Nashiri, said Hina Shamsi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project who is likely to register a protest if the death penalty is pursued against al-Nashiri. “All of our concerns about the inherent unfairness of the military commissions are compounded in cases like this one, in which the result could be death,” Shamsi said, adding that, “the Constitution and international law rightly require enhanced protections in death penalty cases, but the military commissions are incapable of providing those necessary protections.”
The ACLU is “deeply disturbed that the Obama administration has chosen to use the military commissions to try a capitol case in which much of the evidence is reportedly based on hearsay and therefore not reliable enough to be admissible in federal court.” Shamsi said that “allowing hearsay is a backdoor way of allowing evidence that may have been obtained through torture.”
Hat Tip: Brian B.
Could not have said it better myself… 8)
The New Black Panthers spew hatred from their pulpit. Read here on their Day of Action Movement. Brewing up a racial/religious war and overall class warfare. Threatening the Tea Party when the violence and hatred are coming from the left, the progressives, Islam and the New Black Panther Party. Well, these instigators can go to hell, which is where you are headed any way.