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It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to retire our beloved Forum Detroit. It has served the Polonia Detroit for over 10 years, and was a source of joy for many. However, after many months of inactivity, the time has come to bid it farewell.
Deepest and warmest thanks to all those who contributed to Forum discussions over the years, either by sharing their thoughts or reading those of others. Your presence and participation served as a building block of this online polish community.
The Crimea Will Soon Be Back in Russia
written by col. w. patrick lang saturday march 1, 2014
It is becoming clear that the Nuland/neocon/NED campaign against Russia in Ukraine was probably a covert action intended to punish Russia for not supporting US/Israeli/Saudi and Turkish policy in Syria and to some extent with regard to Iran.
I have no specific knowledge of US actions in this but "back azimuths" run into events and actors make the true story obvious. Was there to be a second phase of the spread of revolution, a phase aimed at Russia itself? We will probably never know.
In any case Putin has called Obama's bluff. You should not threaten if you are not prepared to act. The Russian Strategic Missile Forces have the ability to end civilization in North America. The same is true with regard to the capabilities of US missile forces if they were applied to the Eurasian land mass.
For those who have forgotten or never knew, this is called MAD (mutual assured destruction). Russian and US ICBM forces cancel each other out as instruments of war.
Obama threatened penalties for Russia for disobedience to his warnings.
What could they be?:
Conventional war conducted by the US in Russia's back yard would be very foolish. The risk of escalation to nuclear war would loom large.
The editorial board of the Washington Post suggests diplomatic and economic sanctions against Russia.
We would close our diplomatic posts in Russia and withdraw our ambassador?
We would boycott the G-8 meeting in Sochi?
We would persuade the Europeans to boycott Russian natural gas?
We would seek UN sanctions against Russia? They would veto anything like that.
We would not allow them to participate in diplomacy involving Syria and Iran?
You get the picture.
Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). Reprinted with permission from his Sic Semper Tyrannis blog.
What’s Missing in the Current Immigration ‘Crisis’ Debate
Over the past several weeks we have seen a significant increase in illegal immigration, as thousands of unaccompanied minors pour across what seems an invisible southern border into the United States. The mass immigration has, as to be expected, put an enormous strain on local resources, and it has heated up the immigration debate in the US.
Most liberals and conservatives miss the point, however, making the same old arguments we have all heard before. Liberals argue that we need to provide more welfare and assistance to these young immigrants, while conservatives would bus them to the other side of the border, drop them off, and deploy drones to keep them out.
Neither side seems interested in considering why is this happening in the first place. The truth is, this latest crisis is a consequence of mistaken government policies on both sides of the border.
In fact much of the problem can be directly traced to the US drug war, which creates unlivable conditions in countries that produce narcotics for export to the US. Many of those interviewed over the past several weeks have cited violent drug gangs back home as a main motivation for their departure. Because some Americans want to use drugs here in the US, governments to the south are bribed and bullied to crack down on local producers. The resulting violence has destroyed economies and lives from Mexico to Nicaragua and beyond. Addressing the failed war on drugs would go a long way to solving the immigration crisis.
I understand the argument of some libertarians that there should be no limits at all on who comes into the United States, but the reality is we do not live in a libertarian society. We live in a society where healthcare is provided -- often by over-burdened emergency rooms that cannot legally turn away the sick -- “free” education is provided, and other support via food stamp programs is also made available for “free” to illegal immigrants. Many even argue that they should be allowed to vote!
In a free society where the warfare-welfare state ceased to exist, immigration laws would be far less important. A free market would seek workers rather than immigrants to add to its welfare rolls. Voting itself would decline in significance. If 20 people lived on a privately-owned island, for example, one owner could decide to have a guest on his property without bothering the other 19. Were we to move in this direction in the US, the current immigration crisis would be a thing of the past.
Over many years while I was in Congress, I met with scores of employers in my district who faced terrible red tape just to be allowed to bring in temporary agricultural workers who would willingly return home once the work was finished. How ironic that Americans willing to provide jobs for immigrants seeking honest work were thwarted by the same government that has now opened the door to a flood of immigrants seeking welfare and other assistance.
One thing we can be sure about: as Republicans and Democrats tussle over “reform” bills, more money will be thrown at the symptoms produced by past bad policies instead of addressing the real causes of the current crisis. The president’s $4 billion supplemental request to address the issue is a costly mix of welfare and enforcement that will do very little to solve the problem because it treats the symptoms instead of the cause. Real reform means changing a failed approach, and until that happens we can count on more expensive mistakes.
What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17
Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim – even before an investigation – that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council – just one day after the crash!
While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report.
They will not report that the crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when EU and US-supported protesters plotted the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Without US-sponsored “regime change,” it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened.
The media has reported that the plane must have been shot down by Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists, because the missile that reportedly brought down the plane was Russian made. But they will not report that the Ukrainian government also uses the exact same Russian-made weapons.
They will not report that the post-coup government in Kiev has, according to OSCE monitors, killed 250 people in the breakaway Lugansk region since June, including 20 killed as government forces bombed the city center the day after the plane crash! Most of these are civilians and together they roughly equal the number killed in the plane crash. By contrast, Russia has killed no one in Ukraine, and the separatists have struck largely military, not civilian, targets.
They will not report that the US has strongly backed the Ukrainian government in these attacks on civilians, which a State Department spokeswoman called “measured and moderate.”
They will not report that neither Russia nor the separatists in eastern Ukraine have anything to gain but everything to lose by shooting down a passenger liner full of civilians.
They will not report that the Ukrainian government has much to gain by pinning the attack on Russia, and that the Ukrainian prime minister has already expressed his pleasure that Russia is being blamed for the attack.
They will not report that the missile that apparently shot down the plane was from a sophisticated surface-to-air missile system that requires a good deal of training that the separatists do not have.
They will not report that the separatists in eastern Ukraine have inflicted considerable losses on the Ukrainian government in the week before the plane was downed.
They will not report how similar this is to last summer’s US claim that the Assad government in Syria had used poison gas against civilians in Ghouta. Assad was also gaining the upper hand in his struggle with US-backed rebels and the US claimed that the attack came from Syrian government positions. Then, US claims led us to the brink of another war in the Middle East. At the last minute public opposition forced Obama to back down – and we have learned since then that US claims about the gas attack were false.
Of course it is entirely possible that the Obama administration and the US media has it right this time, and Russia or the separatists in eastern Ukraine either purposely or inadvertently shot down this aircraft. The real point is, it's very difficult to get accurate information so everybody engages in propaganda. At this point it would be unwise to say the Russians did it, the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it. Is it so hard to simply demand a real investigation?
Copyright 2014 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
It seems nobody wants to be Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration. The president’s first two Defense Secretaries, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, both complained bitterly this month about their time in the administration. The president’s National Security Council staff micro-managed the Pentagon, they said at a forum last week.
Former Secretary Gates revealed that while he was running the Defense Department, the White House established a line of communication to the Joint Special Operations Command to discuss matters of strategy and tactics, cutting the Defense Secretary out of the loop. His successor at the Pentagon, Leon Panetta, made similar complaints.
Last week the US House voted overwhelmingly in favor of an anti-Russia resolution so full of war propaganda that it rivals the rhetoric from the chilliest era of the Cold War. Ironically, much of the bill condemns Russia for doing exactly what the US government has been doing for years in Syria and Ukraine!
For example, one of the reasons to condemn Russia in the resolution is the claim that Russia is imposing economic sanctions on Ukraine. But how many rounds of sanctions has the US government imposed on Russia for much of the past year? I guess sanctions are only bad when used by countries Washington doesn’t like.
The resolution condemns Russia for selling weapons to the Assad government in Syria. But the US has been providing weapons to the rebels in Syria for several years, with many going to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS that the US is currently bombing!
Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Congress
Since New Year’s is traditionally a time for resolutions, and since the new Congress convenes this week, I thought I would suggest some New Year’s resolutions for Congress:
1) Bring the troops home — Congress should take the first, and most important, step toward ending our hyper-interventionist foreign policy by bringing our troops home and closing all overseas military facilities. The American people can no longer afford to bear the cost of empire.
2) Pass the Audit the Fed bill — The American people deserve to know the entire truth about how the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy benefits big-spending politicians and financial elites while harming average Americans.
3) Repeal the PATRIOT Act and rein in the National Security Agency — It is approaching two years since Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the NSA’s unconstitutional spying. Yet Congress still refuses to put a leash on the surveillance state. Congress should take the first step toward restoring respect for the Fourth Amendment by allowing Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to expire.
4) Shut down the Transportation Security Administration — Treating all American air travelers as criminal suspects and subjecting them to intrusive and humiliating searches does nothing to enhance our security. Congress should shut down TSA and return responsibility for airline security to the airlines. Private businesses can effectively protect their customers and employees if the government gets out of the way.
5) End all corporate welfare — Federal programs that provide subsidies or other special benefits to politically-connected businesses cause economic inequality, distort the market, and waste taxpayer money. It also makes political and moral sense to cut welfare for the rich before cutting welfare for the poor. Congress should start dismantling the corporate welfare state by killing the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Congress should also reject legislation proposed to benefit one industry or individual, such as Sheldon Adelson’s Internet gambling ban.
6) Repeal and Replace Obamacare — Many Americans are losing their insurance while others are facing increasing health care costs because of Obamacare. Repealing Obamacare is only a first step. Congress should both repeal all federal policies that distort the health care market and restore a true free market in health care.
7) End police militarization — The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August brought the issue of police militarization to the center of national debate. Congress must end all federal programs that provide military equipment to local police forces.
8) Shut down the Department of Education — It is no coincidence that education in America has declined as federal control over education has increased. Congress should de-fund all federal education programs and return control over education to local communities and parents.
9) Allow individuals to opt out — A positive step toward restoring a free society would be allowing individuals to opt out of Obamacare and other federal mandates. Young people should also be granted the ability to opt out of paying Social Security and Medicare taxes in exchange for agreeing to never accept Social Security and Medicare benefits.
10) Allow state governments to opt out — If Congress lacks the votes to end the war on drugs, repeal Obamacare, or roll back other unconstitutional federal programs, it should at least respect the rights of states to set their own policies in these areas. Federal prohibition of state laws nullifying Obamacare or legalizing marijuana turns the Tenth Amendment upside down.
By adopting these resolutions, Congress can make 2015 the year America begins reversing the long, slow slide toward authoritarianism, empire, national bankruptcy, and economic decline.
Full article here: http://http://tinyurl.com/oou6s7f
If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.
With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.
It was all based on lies and ignorance. Many came to believe that their best interests were served by giving up a little freedom now and then to gain a better life.
After the tragic shooting at a provocative magazine in Paris last week, I pointed out that given the foreign policy positions of France we must consider blowback as a factor. Those who do not understand blowback made the ridiculous claim that I was excusing the attack or even blaming the victims. Not at all, as I abhor the initiation of force. The police blaming victims when they search for the motive of a criminal.
IF THE FED HAS NOTHING TO HIDE, IT HAS NOTHING TO FEAR
Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the dollar has lost over 97 percent of its purchasing power, the US economy has been subjected to a series of painful Federal Reserve-created recessions and depressions, and government has grown to dangerous levels thanks to the Fed’s policy of monetizing the debt. Yet the Federal Reserve still operates under a congressionally-created shroud of secrecy.
No wonder almost 75 percent of the American public supports legislation to audit the Federal Reserve.
The new Senate leadership has pledged to finally hold a vote on the audit bill this year, but, despite overwhelming public support, passage of this legislation is by no means assured.
The reason it may be difficult to pass this bill is that the 25 percent of Americans who oppose it represent some of the most powerful interests in American politics. These interests are working behind the scenes to kill the bill or replace it with a meaningless “compromise.” This “compromise” may provide limited transparency, but it would still keep the American people from learning the full truth about the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy.
Some opponents of the bill say an audit would somehow compromise the Fed’s independence. Those who make this claim cannot point to anything in the text of the bill giving Congress any new authority over the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy. More importantly, the idea that the Federal Reserve is somehow independent of political considerations is laughable. Economists often refer to the political business cycle, where the Fed adjusts its policies to help or hurt incumbent politicians. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Arthur Burns exposed the truth behind the propaganda regarding Federal Reserve independence when he said, if the chairman didn’t do what the president wanted, the Federal Reserve “would lose its independence.”
Perhaps the real reason the Fed opposes an audit can be found by looking at what has been revealed about the Fed’s operations in recent years. In 2010, as part of the Dodd-Frank bill, Congress authorized a one-time audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities during the financial crisis of 2008. The audit revealed that between 2007 and 2008 the Federal Reserve loaned over $16 trillion — more than four times the annual budget of the United States — to foreign central banks and politically-influential private companies.
In 2013 former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar publicly apologized to the American people for his role in “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time” — the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program. Can anyone doubt an audit would further confirm how the Fed acts to benefit economic elites?
Despite the improvements shown in the (government-manipulated) economic statistics, the average American has not benefited from the Fed’s quantitative easing program. The abysmal failure of quantitative easing in the US may be one reason Switzerland stopped pegging the value of the Swiss Franc to the Euro following reports that the European Central Bank is about to launch its own quantitative easing program.
Quantitative easing is just the latest chapter in the Federal Reserve’s hundred-year history of failure. Despite this poor track record, Fed apologists still claim the American people benefit from the Federal Reserve System. But, if that were the case, why wouldn’t they welcome the opportunity to let the American people know more about monetary policy? Why is the Fed acting like it has something to hide if it has nothing to fear from an audit?
The American people have suffered long enough under a monetary policy controlled by an unaccountable, secretive central bank. It is time to finally audit — and then end — the Fed.
Ron Paul: The State of Liberty 2015
“The Fed is gonna end. There is going to be a de facto secession movement going on. The states are going to refuse to listen to some of the laws. We’ve seen tremendous success already with states saying to the federal government, ‘We’re not gonna listen to you anymore about the drug laws.’ And they’re getting out of it, and I think the American people are waking up to that, and as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier.”