Archive for March 2014

Collapse and Creation

03/23/2014

Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Center recently released a report on the potential collapse of our civilization.

The report analyzes past collapses and identifies the shared factors, which bring on collapse: population, climate, water, agriculture, and energy. Collapse begins when only two of these factors fail. The report goes on to draw comparisons between the state of our current civilization and past ones. Based on their historical analysis, the scientists summarized that we are heading straight for collapse in coming decades. 

We see some characteristics of a society in collapse already. The elites in power turn a blind eye to the coming disaster in order to protect their status, power and wealth, while the poor and middle class face the horrors of food and water shortages brought on by climate disruption and economic instability brought on by the inequitable distribution of wealth and resources.

It isn’t all bad news, though. The report also indicates that it is not too late for us to save ourselves. “The two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality so as to ensure fairer distribution of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable resources and reducing population growth.”

No report to date gives us more reason to continue organizing for a democracy movement with enough power to demand an economic system that works for all of us, protects the natural world which supports all life on this planet, and recognizes the equality of all human beings. We at Move to Amend understand that transnational corporate hegemony is at the root of all that ails us.

The starting point to stave off collapse and create a functioning society is to abolish Corporate Personhood and money as protected political speech.

And, it all begins with the Motion to Amend. Will you find ten people to sign the Motion to Amend petition this week? Share the link online or find blank petitions for printing and sharing here

We are all the ones the world is waiting for!

Daniel Lee, David Cobb, Egberto Willies, George Friday, Jerome Scott, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Laura Bonham, Nancy Price, Richard Monje
Move to Amend National Leadership Team

PS — Already shared the Motion to Amend petition with everyone you know? Please make a donation to support our work to build a grassroots movement.

 

Monetary History Calendar MARCH 18 – 22

03/23/2014

MARCH 18

1837 – BIRTH OF PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND
The President reportedly stated,“the banks have got the country by the throat” in response to a raid on US gold reserves  in 1893 caused when European banks sold millions of US Treasury securities and demanded payment in gold. To replenish the gold supplies, the government issued Treasury bonds exclusively to JP Morgan and August Belmont (two major bankers) in a sweetheart deal for gold. Two years later when the US gold supply had been raided again, Morgan, Belmont and others sold gold to the government, pocketing a large profit.

1869 – PASSAGE OF US LAW THAT ALL US MONETARY NOTES WOULD BE EVENTUALLY CONVERTED TO SPECIE
Specie means money in the form of coins rather than paper notes. Bankers hated Lincoln’s Greenbacks, which were debt-free and inflation-free US money created to avert financial crisis during the Civil War. Following Lincoln’s death, bankers pressured Congress to eliminate Greenbacks, base money creation on precious metals (preferably gold) and, if additional funds were needed by the government to borrow it from banks at interest. Basing the money supply on gold or silver meant that the money supply could only increase when the supply of gold or silver increased – regardless of the growing population or an expanding economy. A pure metal-based money system has historically resulted in depressions – not enough money to meet the economic needs.

1993 – DEATH OF KENNETH BOULDING, ECONOMIST, PROFESSOR, PEACE ACTIVIST, QUAKER “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. [Editor: the same goes for deb

MARCH 19

1860 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, SENATOR, SECRETARY OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (DEMOCRAT/POPULIST)
Bryan had originally supported the 1913 Federal Reserve Act as Secretary of State under the Wilson administration. His position was crucial in gaining the support of many Congressional Democrats and Progressives. He later regretted his decision. “In my long career, the only thing I genuinely regret is my part in getting the banking and currency legislation enacted into law.”

2011– LIBYAN REBELS FORM CENTRAL BANK
In what may have been a first in history, the Libyan revolutionary rebels created a central bank while still fighting an established state power. The rebels designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as the new monetary authority. It would indicate how influential central bankers were over the rebels. “I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising,” said Robert Wenzel of the Economic Policy Journal.

MARCH 21

1821 – GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY
Solon was an Athenian statesman and lawmaker (presumably, the city in Cuyahoga County is named after him). He became the first effective advocate for democracy in roughly 594 BC when he decentralized power politically in the judiciary and, most importantly, in the Athenian money system. Many in Greece today are advocating exiting the Eurozone, claiming that returning to the Drachma (their original currency) and democratizing its issuance and circulation by the government as opposed to private Greek banks is the path to economic prosperity and political sovereignty. In the name of “austerity”, Greeks are being asked by international bankers, among other things, to privatize national assets and treasures, including Greek islands. Massive popular resistance has followed. Seeing what’s happening in Greece, many in Europe are now calling for the creation of “sovereign money” systems at the nation state level, compared to the current top-down system where monetary matters are determined by the European Central Bank, which is controlled by the largest and wealthiest banks on the continent.

1975 – DEATH OF RALPH HAWTREY, BRITISH ECONOMIST, FRIEND OF JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES
“Banks lend by creating credit. They create the means of payment out of nothing.”

MARCH 22

1832 – DEATH OF JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, GERMAN WRITER
“None are more enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR March 3-9

03/18/2014

 

MARCH 3

1863 – LEGAL TENDER ACT PASSED
Congress authorizes the Government to print no more than $400,000 million Greenbacks to pay for the Civil War. This was interest-free and debt-free money. The Lincoln Administration did not want to borrow money from corporate banks to pay for the war.

1865 –  NATIONAL CURRENCY ACT AMENDED BY CONGRESS
The act amended the National Currency Act of 1864. State banks were no longer permitted to issue bank notes (currency).

1884 – JULLIARD V. GREENMAN ( 110 U.S. 421 ) SUPREME COURT DECISION
US Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of US Government issued money (Greenbacks) created following the Legal Tender Acts of 1862 and 1863. The Court ruled that the government possessed the authority under the Constitution to issue a national currency and that that currency could be used to pay debts.

2003 – WARREN BUFFET, SECOND RICHEST PERSON ON EARTH, IN HIS ANNUAL LETTER TO BERKSHIRE HATHWAY SHAREHOLDERS
“Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.”

MARCH 4

1789 – US GOVERNMENT UNDER NEW CONSTITUTION BEGINS OPERATION
The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation as the overarching legal document of the nation. The new Constitution provides the federal legislature the sole power “[t]o coin money [and] regulate the value thereof.” (Article 1, Sec 8). The Government subsequently abdicated its responsibility when it gave the Federal Reserve and private banks the power to create money literally out of thin air…as debt.

1837 – FAREWELL ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON
Jackson was most responsible for not renewing the charter of the misnamed Second Bank of the United States, a private institution. In his farewell address when leaving office (Presidents used to be sworn in during the beginning of March for decades, now it’s mid January), he stated, “The immense capital and peculiar privileges bestowed upon it [(Second National Bank of the United States] enabled it to exercise despotic sway over the other banks in every part of the country. From its superior strength it could seriously injure, if not destroy, the business of any one of them that might incur its resentment; and it openly claimed for itself the power of regulating the currency throughout the United States. In other words, it asserted (and it undoubtedly possessed) the power to make money plenty or scarce at its pleasure, at any time and in any quarter of the Union, by controlling the issues of other banks and permitting an expansion or compelling a federal contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will.”

1861 – INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 16TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES – A REPUBLICAN
“The Government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of the consumers.  By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest.  The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of the government, but it is the Government’s greatest creative opportunity.”
This is something to keep in mind during this period when Republican parties at the local level hold their “Lincoln Day” annual fundraising dinners.

MARCH 5

1933 — FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT ISSUES EXECUTIVE PROCLAMATION 2039 DECLARING A BANK “HOLIDAY”
The “holiday” meant that all banks would be closed from March 6-9 to prevent further runs by depositors. Bank failures were a result of earlier speculative investments and banks loaning out more money than they actually possessed (called “fractional reserve banking”). When too many people came to a bank at the same time wanting their deposits, the banks collapsed since they lacked sufficient assets. The bank “holiday” was meant to restore confidence in the banking system.
MARCH 6

1926 – BIRTH OF ALAN GREENSPAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
“I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you’ve probably misunderstood what I’ve said.” In a speech to the Economic Club of New York, 1988
“Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”
Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”   “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. NYT, 10/23/2008

MARCH 7

322 BC – DEATH OF ARISTOTLE
“Money exists not by nature but by law”(Ethics, 1133)
Aristotle understood that no natural substance qualifies as money. Rather, it’s governments that determine the definition of money.

1976 – DEATH OF WRIGHT PATMAN, DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN FROM TEXAS, CHAIRMAN OF US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BANKING & CURRENCY (1965-75)
“When our Federal Government, that has the exclusive power to create money, creates that money and then goes into the open market and borrows it and pays interest for the use of its own money, it occurs to me that that is going too far. I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money… I am saying to you in all sincerity and with all the earnestness that I possess, it is absolutely wrong for the Government to issue interest-bearing obligations. It is not only wrong; it is extravagant. It is not only extravagant, it is wasteful. It is absolutely unnecessary.
“Now, I believe the system should be changed. The Constitution of the United States does not give the banks the power to create money. The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to create money, but now, under our system, we will sell bonds to commercial banks and obtain credit from those banks.
“I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with this Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue. I make that statement after years of study.
“We have what is known as the Federal Reserve Bank System. That system is not owned by the Government. Many people think that it is, because it says `Federal Reserve’. It belongs to the private banks, private corporations. So we have farmed out to the Federal Reserve Banking System that is owned exclusively, wholly, 100 percent, by the private banks — we have farmed out to them the privilege of issuing the Government’s money. If we were to take this privilege back from them, we could save the amount of money that I have indicated in enormous interest charges.” [From Congressional Record, 1941]

MARCH 8

1702 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM III, KING OF ENGLAND
He agreed in 1694 to give up his sovereign power as King to print or coin his nation’s own money to a new corporation, the Bank of England (it was a weakened monarchy).

MARCH 9

1933 – CONGRESS PASSES EMERGENCY BANKING ACT
Among its provisions, the Act gave the President the ability to declare a national emergency and have absolute control over the national finances and foreign exchange of the United States. It also allowed for closing insolvent banks. The Act empowered the President during time of war or other emergency to regulate or prohibit the exporting, hoarding, melting or earmarking of gold and silver coin and bullion. All US residents were compelled to pay or deliver all gold (be it coins, bullion or certificates) to the Secretary of the Treasury. They were paid the market value for their gold in dollars. Shortly afterwards, the government significantly raised the price of gold, which in effect, reduced the value of the dollar.

2005 – MSNBC REPORT ON US INFRASTRUCTURE
MSNBC reported that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s infrastructure an overall grade of D, including its roads, bridges, drinking water systems and other public works.  “We need to establish a comprehensive, long-term infrastructure plan.  We need to, but we can’t, because government at every level is broke.” MSNBC report. The plan to create federal money as outlined by the American Monetary Institute would repair our nation’s infrastructure with debt-free US money.

———————–

Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, contact monetarycalendar@yahoo.com

 

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR March 3-9

03/09/2014

MARCH 3

1863 – LEGAL TENDER ACT PASSED
Congress authorizes the Government to print no more than $400,000 million Greenbacks to pay for the Civil War. This was interest-free and debt-free money. The Lincoln Administration did not want to borrow money from corporate banks to pay for the war.

1865 –  NATIONAL CURRENCY ACT AMENDED BY CONGRESS
The act amended the National Currency Act of 1864. State banks were no longer permitted to issue bank notes (currency).

1884 – JULLIARD V. GREENMAN ( 110 U.S. 421 ) SUPREME COURT DECISION
US Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of US Government issued money (Greenbacks) created following the Legal Tender Acts of 1862 and 1863. The Court ruled that the government possessed the authority under the Constitution to issue a national currency and that that currency could be used to pay debts.

2003 – WARREN BUFFET, SECOND RICHEST PERSON ON EARTH, IN HIS ANNUAL LETTER TO BERKSHIRE HATHWAY SHAREHOLDERS
“Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.”

MARCH 4

1789 – US GOVERNMENT UNDER NEW CONSTITUTION BEGINS OPERATION
The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation as the overarching legal document of the nation. The new Constitution provides the federal legislature the sole power “[t]o coin money [and] regulate the value thereof.” (Article 1, Sec 8). The Government subsequently abdicated its responsibility when it gave the Federal Reserve and private banks the power to create money literally out of thin air…as debt.

1837 – FAREWELL ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON
Jackson was most responsible for not renewing the charter of the misnamed Second Bank of the United States, a private institution. In his farewell address when leaving office (Presidents used to be sworn in during the beginning of March for decades, now it’s mid January), he stated, “The immense capital and peculiar privileges bestowed upon it [(Second National Bank of the United States] enabled it to exercise despotic sway over the other banks in every part of the country. From its superior strength it could seriously injure, if not destroy, the business of any one of them that might incur its resentment; and it openly claimed for itself the power of regulating the currency throughout the United States. In other words, it asserted (and it undoubtedly possessed) the power to make money plenty or scarce at its pleasure, at any time and in any quarter of the Union, by controlling the issues of other banks and permitting an expansion or compelling a federal contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will.”

1861 – INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 16TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES – A REPUBLICAN
“The Government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of the consumers.  By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest.  The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of the government, but it is the Government’s greatest creative opportunity.”
This is something to keep in mind during this period when Republican parties at the local level hold their “Lincoln Day” annual fundraising dinners.

MARCH 5

1933 — FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT ISSUES EXECUTIVE PROCLAMATION 2039 DECLARING A BANK “HOLIDAY”
The “holiday” meant that all banks would be closed from March 6-9 to prevent further runs by depositors. Bank failures were a result of earlier speculative investments and banks loaning out more money than they actually possessed (called “fractional reserve banking”). When too many people came to a bank at the same time wanting their deposits, the banks collapsed since they lacked sufficient assets. The bank “holiday” was meant to restore confidence in the banking system.
MARCH 6

1926 – BIRTH OF ALAN GREENSPAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
“I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you’ve probably misunderstood what I’ve said.” In a speech to the Economic Club of New York, 1988
“Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”
Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”   “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. NYT, 10/23/2008

MARCH 7

322 BC – DEATH OF ARISTOTLE
“Money exists not by nature but by law”(Ethics, 1133)
Aristotle understood that no natural substance qualifies as money. Rather, it’s governments that determine the definition of money.

1976 – DEATH OF WRIGHT PATMAN, DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN FROM TEXAS, CHAIRMAN OF US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BANKING & CURRENCY (1965-75)
“When our Federal Government, that has the exclusive power to create money, creates that money and then goes into the open market and borrows it and pays interest for the use of its own money, it occurs to me that that is going too far. I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money… I am saying to you in all sincerity and with all the earnestness that I possess, it is absolutely wrong for the Government to issue interest-bearing obligations. It is not only wrong; it is extravagant. It is not only extravagant, it is wasteful. It is absolutely unnecessary.
“Now, I believe the system should be changed. The Constitution of the United States does not give the banks the power to create money. The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to create money, but now, under our system, we will sell bonds to commercial banks and obtain credit from those banks.
“I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with this Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue. I make that statement after years of study.
“We have what is known as the Federal Reserve Bank System. That system is not owned by the Government. Many people think that it is, because it says `Federal Reserve’. It belongs to the private banks, private corporations. So we have farmed out to the Federal Reserve Banking System that is owned exclusively, wholly, 100 percent, by the private banks — we have farmed out to them the privilege of issuing the Government’s money. If we were to take this privilege back from them, we could save the amount of money that I have indicated in enormous interest charges.” [From Congressional Record, 1941]

MARCH 8

1702 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM III, KING OF ENGLAND
He agreed in 1694 to give up his sovereign power as King to print or coin his nation’s own money to a new corporation, the Bank of England (it was a weakened monarchy).

MARCH 9

1933 – CONGRESS PASSES EMERGENCY BANKING ACT
Among its provisions, the Act gave the President the ability to declare a national emergency and have absolute control over the national finances and foreign exchange of the United States. It also allowed for closing insolvent banks. The Act empowered the President during time of war or other emergency to regulate or prohibit the exporting, hoarding, melting or earmarking of gold and silver coin and bullion. All US residents were compelled to pay or deliver all gold (be it coins, bullion or certificates) to the Secretary of the Treasury. They were paid the market value for their gold in dollars. Shortly afterwards, the government significantly raised the price of gold, which in effect, reduced the value of the dollar.

2005 – MSNBC REPORT ON US INFRASTRUCTURE
MSNBC reported that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s infrastructure an overall grade of D, including its roads, bridges, drinking water systems and other public works.  “We need to establish a comprehensive, long-term infrastructure plan.  We need to, but we can’t, because government at every level is broke.” MSNBC report. The plan to create federal money as outlined by the American Monetary Institute would repair our nation’s infrastructure with debt-free US money.

———————–

Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, contact monetarycalendar@yahoo.com

Will ODNR approve permit for West Virginia polluter?

03/07/2014

Letter to the Editor
Athens News
March 6, 2014

Will ODNR approve a permit application for a coal mining operation in Carroll County, Ohio, to be done by the same corporate complex responsible for the recent massive water pollution in West Virginia?

Rosebud Mining, the company applying for the permit is owned by J. Clifford Forrest of Kittanning, PA, who also owns Chemstream Holdings, Inc., which, in turn owns Freedom Industries, whose facilities caused the toxic leak that rendered the water of 300,000 West Virginians unusable. Rosebud itself, in other mining operations, has had 26 violations over the past two years, and Freedom Industries, already $3.6 million in debt from failure to pay federal taxes and Bureau of Workman’s Compensation bills, has now declared bankruptcy to protect itself from 25 lawsuits that have been filed against it from the WV spill. (More details can be found in a letter submitted to ODNR by Richard Sahli, attorney for Carroll Concerned Citizens, at www.acfan.org; scroll down to “the still unfolding WV Elk River spill tragedy…” and click on “letter.”)

That record does not suggest Rosebud’s mining operations can be trusted to protect the water supply of Carroll County, or that the company would have the resources to remediate a pollution problem it might cause. ODNR Director James Zehringer’s boss, Governor Kasich might be able to exert some influence here.

The Ohio Supreme Court is currently hearing a case in which the people of Munroe Falls, OH, are claiming the right to enforce their own local zoning laws, which regulate drilling in residential neighborhoods, to protect themselves from fracking by Beck Energy Co. in people’s yards (The Dispatch, Feb 27).  Athens city voters will have chance to approve their own local fracking ban on the November ballot.

By handing to ODNR sole authority for permitting mining and drilling, our legislators, both at the state and federal level have forsaken the people in favor of their corporate benefactors. J. Clifford Forrest maxed out his contributions to Rep. Bill Johnson, who represents Carroll County in Washington, and also contributed to John Boehner and to Shelley Moore Capito of WV (Bill Moyers.com, Jan 24, 2014).

Without reversing the 2010 Citizens United decision of the US Supreme Court and imposing restrictions on campaign spending in elections, legislatures and other government agencies will continue to support corporate bottom lines over life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of the people they are elected to serve.

John Howell, Coordinator

Democracy Over Corporations, Athens, OH

democracyovercorporations.org