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Posts Tagged ‘US’

Why do they need to believe in conspiracies?

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm

By Antonio Graceffo

Apparently, conspiracy theorists believe that the US government went bankrupt in 1933. Someone posted a comment to this effect on my Facebook page a few days back, so I decided to research around and find the actual events that were intentionally misinterpreted to create a doomsday story, whereby the richest country in the world has been bankrupt for the last 80-plus years and no one noticed. I Google searched the story but the only media that came up were all sorts of unreliable sites that specialized in conspiracy theory type stories. One would think that something as large as the bankruptcy of the US would have made it into The New York Times or the Financial Times. But somehow not only they, but also Aljazeera, BBC, Wall Street Journal…all missed reporting on this major event, or even referencing it in other stories.

My brother is a scientist and he taught me that when he meets a theory he has never heard of or seen before, he applies the laws of physics. If the theory violates any of the laws of physics, it doesn’t need to be further researched or tested, because it is impossible. Using the same logic, I applied the basic tests of a bankrupt country.

Test 1. Currency becomes worthless: Not only is the US Dollar the preferred hard currency in the world, but it is rated as 600 percent more desirable than the number-two, the Euro, for international exchange. Also, there is zero talk of scrapping the Dollar, while the Euro may be.

Test 2: The salaries of public servants are no longer being paid: Obviously, the army, post office, and other government employees have received their salaries regularly for the last 80 years. And public schools and services have remained open.

Test 3: Government banks fail: Not only did government banks not fail, but specifically in 1933, and during the entire depression, the US Post Office bank was the safest place to put your money. None of those depositors lost their money. And those accounts continued to pay interest, while other banks closed their doors.

Test 4: Infrastructure investment halts and public services grind to a standstill: The Depression was the time in American history when some of the largest infrastructure projects in history were undertaken. Obviously highways and other public infrastructure are still being repaired and built today.

Test 5: The country defaults on debt: The US government has NEVER defaulted on a bond, which is why US government savings bonds and other bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the US government are rated AAA and assessed to be riskless investments. Although, in 2011, certain rating agencies downgraded US Federal date to AA+ (Excellent), this is still not consistent with a bankrupt country.

Test 6: The country’s foreign debt becomes non-negotiable or decreases in value: Most of the world’s governments purchase US debt on the open market and use it to prop up their own smelly currencies. (Try doing that with North Korean debt)

I absolutely admit that I am not a macroeconomist. So, the above set of tests would be more of a back-of-the-envelope test, rather than an official means of evaluating if a country is bankrupt. So, you may still want to check with an economist. Having said that, let’s give it the final test, which I like to refer to as “the gut test.” Basically, what does your gut tell you? Does your gut tell you that, the country with one of the highest standards of living, with the lowest consumer price index, high wages, with the highest level of adult educational achievement (12 years), and low unemployment…yada, yada ….is bankrupt?

And my gut says “What are you, nuts?”

Having said all of this, the moron who posted this on my page was an American. Where does this self-loathing come from? It took me about ten minutes to write this treatise, which tells me either the people who believe these types of stories never invested 10 minutes in their belief or they are ignoring the economic reality that while it is not perfect, the US is not bankrupt. But the big question I throw out there is WHY? Why do these conspiracy morons need to believe things that are clearly not true?

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of sport, writing his dissertation on comparative forms of Chinese wrestling. He is martial arts and adventure author living in Asia, the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.
The Monk from Brooklyn, the book which gave Antonio his name, and all of his other books, the book available at amazon.com. His book, Warrior Odyssey, chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia, including stories about Khmer and Vietnamese martial arts as well as the war in Burma and the Shan State Army, is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey
See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
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RT, a Cold War Relic, and the KKK

In Uncategorized on June 12, 2014 at 6:51 am

superman vs KKK
By Antonio Graceffo

If you are unfamiliar with RT (Russian Television) It’s an English language TV network from Russia, a holdover from the cold war, which runs made up stories, where the US usually comes out looking pretty bad. The stories are so real-looking, that I actually called home once to find out if Brooklyn was under martial law.
It wasn’t.
Let me take a minute to say, I hate the KKK. I wish they didnt exist. Sadly, they do, and they provie a chink in the US armor, which allows foreign detractors to criticise us. Having said that, this paper is about infamatory and misleading reporting by RT.
A recent RT headline said “KKK plans to employ US troops in training for upcoming race war”. First off, private organizations are not allowed to hire US troops. The phrase “US troops” implies US government involvement. US troops can’t do ANYTHING without government approval. That’s where the US part of their name comes from. But obviously, the US government is not involved in training the KKK for anything. In fact, the US government has listed the KKK as a terrorist organization, and closely monitors their movements. Next, 25% of US military personnel are minorities. So, I am not certain how diligently they would train the KKK to fight against minorities.

fairplay
Any time a story says “The KKK is doing this or that,” keep in mind that the KKK, Aryan brotherhood, American Nazis and any of these other hate groups are very loosely affiliated splinter groups. They very rarely have unified policies or coordinated actions. I don’t doubt that somewhere in US there are Klan groups training for a war. I don’t doubt there are EX soldiers in the Klan. I also don’t doubt there are recruitment drives which include children. There are a number of legitimate sources which document these facts. But the Klan is not a widespread army. It is not a unified force. It does not represent a threat to the fabric of America. And, they are closely monitored by the FBI.
If a group looks dangerous, action will be taken. Sadly, as with any terrorist group, police action may come too late. In a free country, groups have the right to exist and to preach and believe almost anything they wish. They only become criminal when they take action. So, arrests often come after the fact.
captain vs hitler
As for a perversion of the Second Amendment: The Second Amendment clearly states that state militias may exist in the US. They are the final line of defense if the country were ever invaded, and they are the final checks and balances against possible tyranny by the federal government. BUT, only state militias are protected under the constitution. Private armies are expressly forbidden under US law. As individual citizens, the KKK members are allowed to own and possess firearms, in accordance with local and federal gun laws. As a group, they may be allowed to provide firearms and hand-to-hand training to their members. But, the moment they claim they are building an army or are planning a war against US citizens, then they have crossed the line, and hopefully, the FBI will take action, as they did with The Branch Davidians.

Having said all of this, if you want news, don’t go to RT. They intentionally distort stories to make it appear that the US if collapsing. If you pray for a US collapse, so you can thumb your nose and say “Nanny, nanny, boo, boo”, well then you better learn how to say it in Chinese.

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of sport, writing his dissertation on comparative forms of Chinese wrestling. He is martial arts and adventure author living in Asia, the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.
Warrior Odyssey, the book chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia is available at amazon.com. The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey
See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
Twitter
http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk
facebook
Brooklyn Monk fan page
Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE
http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1
Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com