Whatever you think of the war in Afghanistan, there is no denying that the recent reports of rampant financial corruption going on even at the highest levels of Afghanistan’s government are extremely troubling. The United States has spent billions upon billions of dollars to help Afghanistan set up a “democracy”, but now there is news that corrupt government officials have been shipping billions and billions of dollars out of the country and have been buying luxury villas in Dubai. Apparently many Afghan officials have decided to achieve “the American Dream” the same way that many U.S. politicians have achieved it – by lying, cheating and stealing. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that over three billion dollars in cash has been flown out of Kabul International Airport in recent years. Considering the fact that this is far more than the Afghan government collects in tax and customs revenue annually, it is obvious that there is a huge, huge, huge problem with corruption in Afghanistan. Much of the cash being shipped out of the country is from the drug trade, but the narcotics money does not account for all of it. Investigators allege that a significant portion of this money that is being shipped out of the country is actually aid money that comes directly from U.S. taxpayers. (Read More...)
Is the state of Illinois bankrupt? Well, if Illinois is not totally broke already it is certainly well on its way. The state government has now quit paying even the most essential bills. It spends three dollars for every two dollars that it takes in. The state of Illinois now ranks eighth in the world in possible bond-holder default. That is actually one spot ahead of the state of California. As much of a mess as California is (as we have previously detailed at length), Illinois is in even worse shape. Every major rating agency has downgraded Illinois debt, and Illinois now pays millions of dollars more to insure its debt than any other state in the nation. So yes, the state of Illinois is a complete and total basket case. For a long time, many analysts had expected California to be the first state to go “belly up” financially, but now Illinois seems to be the favorite. Not that Illinois is alone. Thousands of state, city and local governments across the United States are facing massive debt problems. All of the borrowing that was done to push communities towards achieving the American Dream is now coming back to haunt localities with a vengeance. Debt is a very seductive and yet very cruel master, and the government of Illinois is rapidly finding out just how painful it can be to drown in a sea of debt. (Read More...)
The Open Society Is Dying
Once upon a time, the United States was a place where you felt like you had almost unlimited freedom. You could get in your car and travel from coast to coast without anyone hassling you. You could do any type of work you wanted – or even not work at all if that is what suited you. You could say whatever you wanted to say and associate with whoever you wanted to associate with. You could write mail without fearing that the government would read it and you could make phone calls without fearing that the government was listening in. It was a place where freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and freedom of movement were respected and protected. But over the past couple of decades (and especially since 9/11), things have been fundamentally changing in America. The American Dream used to be about liberty and freedom, but now it seems to be all about giving up our liberty and freedom for safety and security. Today, tens of millions of frightened Americans are cheering as the U.S. government implements Big Brother security measures that are so extreme that they would have made even Stalin, Hitler and Mao cringe. But it is not just in America where the open society is dying. It is literally happening all over the globe. In a world where real and imagined terrorism is perceived to be the greatest threat, governments are increasingly feeling the need to watch, track, trace and control everyone and everything. (Read More...)
It’s Independence Day, But Are We Really Free As Long As A Privately-Owned Central Bank Controls America’s Currency And Runs Our Economy?
Today is July 4th – America’s Independence Day. But are we really a free nation? The truth is that it is really hard to argue that we are “free” when our currency system and our economy are run by an unelected privately-owned central bank. You see, the truth is that the U.S. government does not “print money” whenever it wants. Under the current system, in order to get more U.S. currency, the U.S. government has to borrow it. The Federal Reserve creates the new currency out of thin air and then either keeps the “U.S. Treasury bonds” they get in return from the U.S. government or they sell them off to others. But what kind of sense does that make? Why does a “free government” have to go into debt to print its own currency? It is the U.S. government that should be printing U.S. currency – not a privately-owned bank called the Federal Reserve. The truth is that the Federal Reserve is about as “federal” as Federal Express is. And no unelected private central bank should be “running” our economy. Actually the free market should be running our economy, but if anyone is going to run it, it should at least be the government that we have elected. But instead we have a group of unelected bureaucrats making our interest rate decisions, determining our money supply levels and deciding which of their friends get big bailouts. That isn’t the American Dream! What kind of “democracy” and “freedom” is that? The sad truth is that as long as we allow an unelected privately-owned central bank to run our economy we will not be truly free. (Read More...)
The United Nations Declares War On The U.S. Dollar And Publicly Calls For The Establishment Of A New World Currency
Are you ready for a world currency? If the United Nations has anything to say about it, that is exactly what we are all going to have shoved down our throats. A new United Nations report released on Tuesday essentially declares war on the U.S. dollar and publicly calls on the nations of the world to abandon it as the global reserve currency. This new report entitled “The U.N. World Economic and Social Survey 2010” is one of the most blatant attempts yet that we have seen from a major international organization to move us in the direction of a world currency. For years it was denial after denial after denial that a global currency was being considered. Of course we knew all along by reading their policy papers that the eventual goal of the globalists was indeed to move us over to a global currency. Finally, in just the past year, the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights (SDRs) were promoted by the G20 as “an international reserve asset” that could be used as a unit of payment for IMF loans. SDRs are currently made up of a basket of various currencies from around the world, but now there are much bigger plans for the SDRs. (Read More...)
Crackdown! Is The Massive Wave Of Strategic Defaults About To Come To A Screeching Halt?
As housing prices have plummeted over the last several years, an increasing number of U.S. homeowners have suddenly found themselves with home loans that are much larger than what their homes are now worth. So a large number of them have opted for what is known as a “strategic default” – they have simply walked away from their homes and have let the banks take them back. Many Americans simply decided that it was not a part of their “American Dream” to pay off a loan that is for two to three times what a house is actually worth. Over the last several years, strategic defaults have enabled more than a million Americans to get out from under crippling mortgages. But now, Fannie Mae has announced a massive nationwide crackdown on strategic defaults. Fannie Mae says that it will be closely examining the mortgage data to determine who is strategically defaulting and who is not, and they are going to be “going after” those who they believe have committed strategic defaults. (Read More...)
Warning To Those Cleaning Up The Oil Spill In The Gulf Of Mexico: Most Of The Cleanup Crew Members From The 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster Are Now Either Sick Or Dead
Are you sure that you want to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? In a previous article we documented a number of the health dangers from this oil spill that many scientists are warning us of, and now it has been reported on CNN that the vast majority of those who worked to clean up the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska are now either sick or dead. Yes, you read that correctly. Almost all of them are sick or dead. In fact, the expert that CNN had on said that the life expectancy for those who worked to clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill is only about 51 years. Considering the fact that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is now many times worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster, are you sure you want to volunteer to be on a cleanup crew down there? After all, the American Dream is not to make big bucks for a few months helping BP clean up their mess and then drop dead 20 or 30 years early. (Read More...)
Is It Safe To Go Swimming In The Gulf Of Mexico?
There have been some really disturbing health reports coming in from the Gulf region, and yet many public authorities have actually reopened beaches that were closed and are letting people go swimming in the Gulf of Mexico once again. But is this safe? On the American Dream blog we try to report the facts, but on this question we don’t know what all the facts are. Perhaps some of those living along the Gulf coast can let us know exactly what is happening down there. The reality is that there have been a lot of people claiming that they have become seriously ill in recent days. But could these people just be imagining things? Are the health dangers being overblown at this point? Or could the health effects of this oil spill be far worse than authorities are letting on as has happened during so many other disasters in the past? (Read More...)