A Reichstag Fire

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
A Reichstag Fire
/

When they arrived on the scene, Adolf Hitler wasted no time in making the pronouncement: “This is a God-given signal.” He continued: “If this fire, as I believe, is the work of the Communists, then we must crush out this murderous pest with an iron fist.” The scene was the parliamentary building in Berlin, the Reichstag, that went up in flames from an arson attack. The date was February 27th in 1933.

It was a flashpoint event that made it possible for Adolf Hitler to play upon public and political fears and thereby consolidate power, setting the stage for the rise of Nazi Germany. The competing narratives and revisionist history only added to the national chaos, while also facilitating power grabs. To some, it was a Communist plot, to others the staging of Antifascism. It is certain that Hitler played upon the FIBS of Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear to consolidate power, thus setting the stage for the rise of Nazi Germany. Today, the “Reichstag Fire” is a powerful political metaphor that serves as a cautionary tale.

Iron Poor Blood

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
Iron Poor Blood
/

The death cult, that is working so hard to misinform people about the CoVid Vaccine, has promoted a variety of novel conspiracy theories. Among them is the notion that what gets injected is some sort of interface that interacts with all of the 5G towers. Of course, just about any technology can be perverted into a dreadful weapon. Really, if Vladimir wanted to broil your brain with a directed energy weapon mounted on a cell tower, triangulating on the cell phone you’re holding next to your ear would probably get him close enough.

One alleged doctor, continuing in the tradition of Dr. Strangelove, testified in 2021 before the Ohio legislature saying this: “I’m sure you’ve seen these pictures all over the Internet, of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized. You can put a key on their forehead and it sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick, because now we think there’s a metal piece to that.”

What Passes for Charity

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
What Passes for Charity
/

An act of charity is traditionally defined as generosity that would include donations to aid those in physical or financial distress. It is usually characterized by leniency in judging the acts of others, and forbearance when such others fail to act on a timely basis. It might be the benevolent feeling that wells up inside of us, especially toward those in desperate need or in societal disfavor. The Greco-Christian term Agape refers to an unconditional, even selfless love that, while sometimes seen as synonymous with charity, looks beyond any dysfunction to the highest and best interests of all.

The term welfare is generally understood as referring to the greatest good for a person, group, or organization. Etymologically the word was derived from the middle english phrase composed of the terms wel and fare while expressing the sentiment that others would fare well. It is in this sense that the Preamble to the United States Constitution includes the phrase “promote the general Welfare.”

Faux Corporations

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
Faux Corporations
/

The first companies were comprised of people working in company with one another, corporations were originally defined as people associating for a common purpose and acting corporately. In our day we must come to grips with certain oxymorons and especially any hop-skippety-jump logic behind certain concepts, like that of a “shell corporation.” Of course the morphing definitions don’t end there. Our business landscape is replete with so-called corporations that are comprised of what investors view as “low level functionaries.” Their senior managers are also controlled by outside string pullers.

A shell corporation is defined as one without active business operations or significant assets. And our courts have displayed such a lack of intellectual rigor in dealing with such fraudulent corporate entities they have thereby corroded the democracy underpinnings of our constitutional republic. Shell corporations are often used by large well-known public companies, shady business dealers, and private individuals alike. Faux corporations act as tax avoidance vehicles for otherwise legitimate businesses, that are intent on privatizing gains while socializing losses.

Tax avoidance is seen, by integrity challenged individuals, as a loophole facilitating tax evasion. A variety of other conceptual and legal sophistries are often brought to bear in distorting the public discourse. The “Harry and Louise” advertising campaign was one clear example that ran in opposition to executive and legislative health care reform proposals in 1993 and 1994. It was a fourteen to twenty million dollar year-long television advertising campaign that was funded by the Health Insurance Association of America, the predecessor to a health insurance industry lobby group now known as America’s Health Insurance Plans or AHIP.

The Fetish of Bipartisanship

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
The Fetish of Bipartisanship
/

In ancient Greece, secret ballots were used to hide votes from people seeking favors. Certain special votes, such as one to ostracize and thereby expel a citizen from Athens were also cast in private. In ancient Rome, the secret ballot was introduced to all popular assemblies in 139 BC. The constitution in France required that “All elections are to be held by secret ballot” since 1795. The secret ballot was also established generally in the British Ballot Act 1872. The individual states within the USA had completed their move to secret ballots when Kentucky adopted them in 1891.

Internationally, the right to hold elections by secret ballot is included in a variety of treaties and international agreements affecting their signatory states. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “The will of the people…shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which…shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.” The American Convention on Human Rights grants to every citizen of member states, of the Organization of American States, the right and opportunity “to vote and to be elected in genuine periodic elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters”.

The Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension, obligates the member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to “ensure that votes are cast by secret ballot or by equivalent free voting procedure, and that they are counted and reported honestly with the official results made public.” The Convention on the Standards of Democratic Elections, Electoral Rights and Freedoms in the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States obligates electoral bodies not to perform “any action violating the principle of voter’s secret will expression.”

The New McCarthyism

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
The New McCarthyism
/

Most Boomers remember the educational technology of the 1960s as one comprised mostly of flash cards. Today, I’m reminded of one such card in particular. On the front side it read “McCarthyism.” On the flip side it read “A brand of vitriolic, fear-mongering.”

Future generations will likely ask: “Which McCarthyism? Joe’s or Kevin’ s?” Joe McCarthy is often credited with developing what dirty tricksters have dubbed the FIBS tactic. It leverages Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear. Kevin will be seen as having reprised what Margaret Chase Smith appropriately described as the Four Horsemen of Calumny. This Luciferian legacy was also seen throughout the career of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and, more recently, in the prevarications of his protege Stephen Miller.

Joseph Goebbels said:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Whatever Became of Your Oath?

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
Whatever Became of Your Oath?
/

Two days before the United States celebrated Independence Day in 2021, a pathetic majority of justices on the Supreme Court published an opinion that exhibits, not only their reckless indifference to the truth, but also their contempt for the Mission Statement, the Value Proposition, and the Cardinal Precepts of the United States Constitution. Certain justices have, throughout their tenure, been perpetrating a fraud upon We the People of the United States. They have clearly set-aside what is arguably The Spirit of the Law. They are compulsively straining at gnats while also swallowing camels.

In the 1290s another Scotus, Scottish Catholic priest and Franciscan friar Dun Scotus Ordinatio, penned the phrase consent of the governed. The principle influenced Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.The idea was mentioned in 1433 by Nicholas of Cusa in De Concordantia Catholica. It was also in an influential Huguenot tract published in 1579. Vindiciae contra tyrannos stated “…the power of the ruler is delegated by the people and continues only with their consent.” In England, the Levellers also embraced this principle of government.

John Milton wrote about the power of kings and magistrates saying it “is nothing else, but what is only derivative, transferred and committed to them in trust from the people, to the common good of them all, in whom the power yet remains fundamentally, and cannot be taken from them, without a violation of their natural birthright.” The quintessential conservative, Edmond Burke, wrote that rulers are only “trustees for the people” and, in describing the character of an effective leader he said: “the temper of the people amongst whom he presides ought therefore to be the first study of a Statesman.”

When You Assume . . .

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
When You Assume . . .
/

I recall an episode of The Odd Couple where Felix was in court representing his roomie; much to Oscar’s dismay. As Felix was questioning a witness about his interpretation of events, the witness said: “Well I assumed. . .” Felix cut him off saying “Ah-ha! You assumed! You should never assume because when you assume;” Turning to the white board Felix spelled out the word and then pointing to the individual syllables he said: “You make an ASS of U and ME.”

Throughout May and June of 2021, we heard governors around the country make asses of themselves as they assumed the only reason people aren’t scrambling for dead-end jobs is because of the enhanced unemployment benefits. Actual fact-finders are learning that, even when such assistance is blocked, many of the people that were unceremoniously and abruptly terminated from what were poverty-wage jobs, are starting their own businesses. They’re tired of working for employers that are intent on getting the people out of the loop through reductions in force. Intentional consumers are on the side of the workers and don’t want to help smooth any return to an outmoded economy.

Privatization or Grabification?

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
Privatization or Grabification?
/

In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev was promoting glasnost (“openness”) and perestroika (“restructuring”) in an attempt to overcome the Soviet Union’s economic stagnation and stunted growth. These initiatives promised the “utmost respect for the individual citizen and favorable consideration for protecting one’s personal dignity.” By creating a dependable and effective mechanism for accelerating economic and social progress, Gorbachev hoped to encourage initiative and creative endeavor.

As General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991 and as that country’s de-facto head of state from 1988 until 1991, Gorbachov gained authority to create joint-stock companies out of state enterprises. The shares became available on stock exchanges. Gorbachev was instrumental in diminishing the role of the Communist Party in governing the state. The party’s official role was ultimately removed from the constitution, in a way that enraged some and inadvertently led to crisis-level political instability with a surge of regional nationalist and anti-communist activism. A failed coup attempt in August of 1991 was followed by an acute food shortage. On December 26, the Soviet Union was dissolved.

MAGAlomania

Roaring Twenties Reprise
Roaring Twenties Reprise
MAGAlomania
/

The fall of the Soviet Union was a vindication for the strategy of the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence, Allen Dulles. His plan to bankrupt the Russians through an arms race, a space race, and any other competition the adversary could not afford, eventually made it possible for Ronald Reagan to successfully challenge Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin wall.

Pitting a deep economy against a shallow economy, while effective, had significant costs beyond the economic. There was no shortage of individual stake holders in the old Soviet order that were outraged, including one Vladimir Putin. They found ways to make themselves feel better by indulging in grudges as they worked to redirect certain new equities, intended for Russian citizens, while enriching themselves.