Posted by Carol Brouillet, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Dec 7, 2008 at 9:58 am
On November 22, 2008, 39 rallies were held across the country calling for an end to the Federal Reserve, protesting the bail out, calling for sound money. In San Francisco Anthony Gregory, a Libertarian, Cindy Sheehan (who ran for Congress as an Independent) spoke. I was also an invited speaker (and a Green Party Congressional candidate, opposed to the bailout, who has been working on monetary reform since the early 90's). I wrote this-
A central thesis of Grey Brechin’s excellent history - Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin is that cities and empires are born out of violent conquest and built upon the labor of miners. We are here to call for an end to the Federal Reserve, to demand sound money, backed by something of real tangible value, not the imaginary wealth of incomprehensible derivatives or printed paper.
Jacques Jaikaran’s book- Debt Virus: A Compelling Solution to the World's Debt Problems exposes the inherent flaw of a debt-based currency system. Even before the advent of fractional reserve banking, the Federal Reserve Act, next to brute military force, money was the most powerful tool of empire. Empires generally fall when 2% of their population controls the vast majority of the wealth, by destroying their ecological base. With a global empire, we are witnesses to the destruction of the forests, the oceans, the lungs of the world, the extinction of species, the end of the Cenozoic Era.
The Cree prophetically said:
“When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”
The imperial city of San Francisco was built not just from the gold and silver extracted from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but from the technology that was developed, refined here and exported to extract gold and silver from Africa, Central and South America, throughout the world. The mining in California and other places has made a few people extremely rich, but has come at a very high ecological and human cost. For this reason alone, I don’t think that gold and silver are the best choices to back a currency, particularly since it continues to spur the mining industry.
Over a hundred years ago, bank panics occurred with alarming regularity, driving farmers off their land. A debate over whether to back currency with gold or gold and silver led to the rise of the Populist Movement and the first major march on Washington D.C. led by William Jennings Bryan. Bryan and the Populist Movement were immortalized in L. Frank Baum’s books, including the Wizard of Oz, Oz represented the ounce or the gold standard. [Details in Ellen Brown's book- Web of Debt] Bryan was a champion of silver, as well as a peace candidate, anti-imperialist, a trust-buster, the leader of the Democratic Party, three times its candidate for President. He became Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State. Bryan’s opposition to a “Central Bank” and the money monopoly were used to help Wilson pass the Federal Reserve Act which was generally thought to be better than a piece of legislation which clearly created a central bank under the complete power of the bankers; it was popularly assumed that the Federal Reserve Act was opposed by the bankers.
Deception and fraud are key to banking and finance. Most people would be outraged to discover that bankers have the ability to create money out of thin air, loan it out at interest. Bankers don’t like to reveal their secrets, since belief in money and confidence in a bank is what enables them to create, with the strokes of a pen or key board, half a million dollars as a loan to a person, who is then obliged to pay them back a million (more or less, when you add up all the interest payments). Half the price of most goods and services is the cost of money which is continually transferred from the 80% who must borrow to the 20% that enjoy unearned income from what they possess. Banks depend upon an ever increasing money supply to keep the economy going. The financial system is one giant Ponzi scheme. Those with the most wealth and power are able to buy up the assets of others for pennies on the dollar, if there is a contraction, or a recession, or a depression.
I have been expecting the system to collapse ever since I first understood what a fraud it was, but apparently with the help of the corporate media, one bubble has led to another, and another. In the 70s when Nixon detached the dollar from gold, currencies floated against one another, at the time 98% of the foreign exchange transactions had to do with real goods and 2% of the transactions were speculative, soon those numbers was reversed and a giant cyber-casino of speculative money was able to move quickly throughout the world, destroying entire countries economies.
The US was a major force in trying to open up the rest of the world’s financial markets and “deregulate” capital flows. The 80 and 90’s witnessed the looting of the Savings and Loans, an enormous financial crime, costing US taxpayers upwards of 160 billion dollars. Unfortunately, speculation moved from real estate to the dot com bubble. The Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act was followed by the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 and set the stage for a new round of financial integration, concentration, deregulation, criminal fraud, exotic new financial instruments, the housing bubble.
In September 2001, a major international protest against the IMF, the World Bank, and the Bush policies was scheduled to take place in Washington DC. On the day Rumsfeld acknowledged the missing 2.3 trillion in the Defense Department’s bureaucracy. The global justice movement was on the rise. September 11th changed everything. The IMF meetings and protests were cancelled, but some of us went to DC anyway, to protest an impending war, and to lobby against the PATRIOT Act.
When I realized that the official narrative of 9/11 was a lie, that the war on terror was a fraud, I redirected my energies from economics towards 9/11 truth. It has been a struggle, although 9/11 and false flag operations are easier to explain than global economics and money; the resistance to information which shatters one’s worldview is tremendous.
Paulson’s plan to keep the game going by pumping trillions into the hands of the people who created the last bubble seems criminal at best, and doomed, since no one is interested in purchasing potentially toxic, worthless financial instruments. The bursted bubble is of such a gargantuan size that it does threaten to bring down the entire system, since there isn’t enough money in existence to cover the ever expanding debts and liabilities. The only way to keep the show running is by changing the rules of the game, which is what has happened in the last couple of months, extraordinary precedents have taken place, as unpayable liabilities get shifted to taxpayers and whatever profit can be squeezed out of a controlled demolition of the stock market, economy, is privatized and pocketed by insiders. There is no transparency, no accountability.
I foolishly thought that if people understood the truth about money and the global system that the system would collapse. In the 90’s many of us were advocates of local currencies to build community and at the same time educate people about how the monetary system worked. Local currencies can’t be used to finance wars. The manipulated rates of exchange and conditions forced upon third world countries has allowed the industrialized nations to basically loot and devour the resources of the “undeveloped nations.” The rest of the world has learned the hard way that the IMF and World Bank, corporate globalization, the WTO, are all threats to the environment, workers, the infrastructure- schools, healthcare, public utilities within their nations. Stiglitz, who worked for the World Bank, turned into its harshest critic and clearly identified the steps that it put victim countries through, including social unrest which is the anticipated result of austerity measures that force the majority of people into poverty while raising the price of the necessities of life out of their range.
The dollar is now in a most precarious position. The dollar used to be the world’s global currency, backed by US military might, and oil. Since the financial crisis, much of the world recognizes the sheer criminality at the heart of the financial bubble which has infected most of the entire system. At the Bretton Woods II Conference last weekend, the G-20 met and began figuring out how to “reform the system” to give greater voice and participation to the world’s leading economies including China, India, Brazil in institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, which has traditionally been dominated by the US. Video clips of the summit are rather stunning to watch, as you can see all the world leaders shaking one another’s hands, with the exception of the “infected one,” their host- W is ignored as they line up for a photo op.
Unfortunately, the collusion between global elites wishing to maintain their wealth and power regardless of the suffering or impoverishment of the vast majority of people will probably mean that the disparity in wealth is apt to grow and more resources will be used to police civilians in a largely undeclared war by the rich upon the poor. While the dollar may plunge, and the US might be excluded from the construction and domination of the architecture of the next financial system, that has yet to be determined. Illegal drugs, arms, war was at the heart of the last system. The greed, ignorance, wisdom, folly, honesty of world leaders will determine the next set of economic rules that they think will allow them to maintain and extend their power.
Leading trend forecaster Gerald Calente is predicting revolution. Money, after all, when you understand it, is basically an agreement. When the vast majority of people disagree with what they regard as an unjust, illegal, tyrannical, oppressive, life threatening system, conditions are ripe for social change. Obama was elected on the promise of change, but his support of the bailout, his new cabinet, his corporate backers demonstrate a continuation of the warlike, unconstitutional, torturous policies of his predecessor- no accountability and promotion of those who should be going to jail for the crimes of the century.
What has happened in the past seven years is that people are beginning to see through the lies, are beginning to realize that the corporate media is not reliable. Those who care about our lives, our families, our community, our country, our world realize that we must become the media, educate one another and ourselves. Fortunately, a technological renaissance is taking place and people are beginning to awaken to their own power.
Yes, we should abolish the Fed, but I am wary of any legislation which saddles the taxpayers with the liabilities of the current regime which are beyond humanity’s capacity to pay back with interest… I received an email from Daniel F, who wrote and posted a great article entitled “Taking Down The FED With RICO”
“The Federal Reserve Bank has been rightly condemned for transferring wealth from those who work to those who quite literally have a license to print our money. The FED has been blamed for the Great Depression of 1929-1939 and for our current economic crisis. But those actions though despicable are not actionable under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) which was part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970.
“RICO allows American citizens to sue any person or persons who are members of corrupt organizations that have committed one or more of 27 federal crimes or 8 state crimes. It allows citizens to collect triple damages. The standard of proof is easier than in a criminal case where the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a specific crime was committed by a defendant. In a RICO lawsuit against the Federal Reserve all we are required to do is to show a pattern of corrupt behavior. And that we can easily do.” [Full text posted at- Web Link]
I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think the taxpayers should pay for a fiasco wrought by those who orchestrated the current crisis, those who are in the process of looting us and letting current and future generations struggle under the weight of an astronomically enormous debt. Those billionaires, bankers, financiers owe us. A lawsuit whether it succeeds or not, could help educate the public, particularly if 150,000,000 people sign on as part of a class-action suit.
The major obstacle that I see is, unfortunately, they own the press, the politicians, the judiciary, and we are unlikely to find a courageous lawyer or an honest judge. Perhaps William Pepper will help us. He is the lawyer who proved in court that Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, not by James Earl Ray, but in a conspiracy that involved J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Richard Helms and the CIA, the military, the local Memphis police, and organized crime figures from New Orleans and Memphis. The media failed to cover the story. Pepper has gone on to tackle the very challenging task of trying to create the conditions for a real investigation of 9/11. He spoke to the 9/11 Truth Movement and noted that the big elephants in the room were military intelligence, the CIA/or the media (since the CIA does have great control over what appears in the media), which are huge problems, but ultimately, we have truth and humanity on our side.
The theme of the World Social Forum, the global justice movement has been “Another World is Possible.” If we don’t want corporate globalization, unending wars, corrupt governments, an ever expanding police state/surveillance society, it really is up to us to redirect our time, energy, resources into creating a more viable option, path, possibility. We can create local currencies, honest currencies, transparent, community building currencies. Our job is basically to raise consciousness, withdraw our participation and support from a system which is criminal and oppressive, and do all we can to create alternatives to meet the genuine needs of our families, communities, country, and the world.
Posted with photos, and reference notes at Web Link