American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character

Tonight I had the privilege of hearing Diana West discuss her book American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character.

As Ms. West explained in an August 9, 2013, article for Townhall.com:

One point I try to convey when speaking to audiences about my new book, “American Betrayal,” is the inspiration of the truth-tellers.

These are the men and women who refused to stay silent and thus enable the “betrayal” the book lays out — engineered by a de facto Communist “occupation” of Washington by American traitors loyal to Stalin and, even more heartbreaking, largely covered up by successive U.S. administrations and elites.

The reason I take pains to bring these truth-tellers to light is that they remain lost to our collective memory, even as much confirmation of their truth-telling has become public record.

Ms. West explained that she began the investigation that led to the writing of the book by exploring the idea of how we got to a point where we are fed a constructed narrative and then fed the facts that support that narrative. Any facts that do not support the constructed narrative are conveniently left out. Anyone who speaks out against the constructed narrative is marginalized through the use of smear tactics, scorn, and isolation.

When truth-tellers warned us of communist infiltration into our government in the 1930′s and 1940′s, they were labeled red-baiters. When truth-tellers warn of Islamists in positions of influence today, they are called Islamaphobes. Commentators very rarely mention that after the Soviet Union fell, the archives revealed that the so-called red-baiters were right.

Ms. West related a number of stories from the book where people who were later shown to be Soviet agents held very influential positions in government and were responsible for major policy decisions.

The article at Townhall reminds us:

We still snicker reflexively over references to “the Red plot against America.”

With archival confirmation, however, we now know there was abundant Red influence on policymaking, as well as abundant Red plots, and many of them were brilliantly carried out to completion.

Meanwhile, we still fail to recognize that the institutions which define our world today, from the United Nations to the International Monetary Fund, were fostered by bona fide Soviet agents (such as the State Department‘s Alger Hiss and the Treasury Department‘s Harry Dexter White). We also remain oblivious to the contributions of those who spoke the truth along the way.

In his book Reason in Common Sense, George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” The book, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, reminds us of a past we cannot afford to forget.

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The Roots Of The Collapse In Cyprus

Yesterday the New York Times posted an article about a decision made by the European Union in October 2011 that began the unravelling of the banks in Cyprus.

The article reports:

“It was 3 o’clock in the morning,” recalled Kikis Kazamias, Cyprus’s finance minister at the time. “I was not happy. Nobody was happy, but what could we do?”

He was in Brussels as European leaders and the International Monetary Fund engineered a 50 percent write-down of Greek government bonds. This meant that those holding the bonds — notably the then-cash-rich banks of the Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus — would lose at least half the money they thought they had. Eventual losses came close to 75 percent of the bonds’ face value.

The decision resulted in the country of Cyprus, with a gross domestic product of 18 billion euros, taking a hit of four billion euros. Laiki, also known as Cyprus Popular Bank, alone took a hit of 2.3 billion euros. This is not the sole cause of the banking collapse in Cyprus, but it is a major factor.

The article further reports:

As well as hitting Cyprus over its banks’ holdings of Greek bonds, the European Union also abruptly raised the amount of capital all European banks needed to hold in order to be considered solvent. This move, too, had good intentions — making sure that banks had a cushion to fall back on. But it helped drain confidence, the most important asset in banking.

“The bar suddenly got higher,” said Fiona Mullen, director of Sapienta Economics, a Nicosia-based consulting firm. “It was a sign of how the E.U. keeps moving the goal posts.”

The European Union did what it needed to do to protect itself–it did not look at the long-term consequences of its actions, and its actions were tilted toward the interests of the larger countries in the E.U.  Cyprus never really had a chance.

The article further reports:

After the Greek write-down, Cyprus compounded its problems by dithering on whether to seek a bailout from the European Union. At first, it appealed to Russia, which provided a 2.5 billion-euro loan in December 2011. But this money quickly ran out, and when Cyprus did finally go cap-in-hand to its European partners for a lifeline, it received a rude shock: Germany, already gearing up for an election this year, wanted not just budget cuts and other conventional austerity measures but a complete overhaul of Cyprus’s economic model, built around financial services for foreigners seeking ways to dodge taxes and, Berlin suspected, launder dirty money.

“They did not want the Cypriot model to exist as it did — they wanted Cyprus to stop being a financial center,” said Pambos Papageorgiou, a former central bank board member who is now a member of parliament and on its finance committee. “It was very brutal, like warfare.”

Mr. Papageorgiou complained that the European Union had shown “the opposite of solidarity” in its dealings with one of its weakest and most vulnerable members.

The role Cyprus played in harboring money from questionable sources is not unique and has occasionally in the past gone unpunished. I recently watched a documentary about the role the Swiss banks played in holding the wealth the Nazis confiscated from the Jews of Germany. Most of that money still sits in Swiss banks. There was no reason the banks of Cyprus would have assumed that their business model would face a day of reckoning.

The article concludes:

“We are looking at a very grim future for Cyprus,” said Michael Olympios, chairman of the Cyprus Investor Association, a lobbying group. “Even firm believers in European project like myself see now that it was a bad idea and that we should have at least stayed out of the euro.”

As jobs disappear and the economy contracts, Mr. Olympios said, faith in Europe will wither. “I used to be a believer. Not anymore.”

There is such a thing as giving a small people too much power. ‘Nuff said.

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A Good Idea On How To Shrink The Deficit

This is rather obvious–it wouldn’t solve the deficit problem entirely, but it would help. President Obama has been promoting the Buffett Rule to increase the amount of taxes that the wealthy pay. It won’t really put a dent in the deficit, but politically it sounds good. John Hinderaker at Power Line has a better idea–he calls it the Geithner Rule which is: everyone pays what he owes under existing laws. Wow, what a concept!

During the time that President Obama’a Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the IMF did not pay withholding taxes on his income.

The article at Power LIne reports:

When he worked for the International Monetary Fund, the fund did not pay withholding taxes on his income, but rather paid Geithner a specifically-designated additional amount which Geithner was supposed to use to pay self-employment taxes. Geithner kept that money, but didn’t pay the taxes.

When Secretary Geithner was later audited,  he paid what he owed for 2003 and 2004. But he didn’t pay what he owed for 2001 and 2002 because the statute of limitations had run on those years. Later, when he was nominated for Secretary of the Treasury, he paid 2001 and 2002 taxes.

The article reports:

Geithner is not the only tax cheat working in the Obama administration. As Glenn Reynolds has pointed out repeatedly, no fewer than 41 of Obama’s White House aides owe back taxes to the IRS, adding up to $831,000. But they aren’t alone: 638 Congressional staffers owe another $9.3 million, and federal employees, altogether, owe $1 billion in back taxes.

 How about we pass a law that prevents anyone who owes back taxes from working for the government until they pay their taxes?

Requiring high government officials to actually pay their taxes would not end the deficit, but it would help. Preventing tax delinquents from serving in government might also encourage them to be more conscientious in paying the government what they owe.

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