Piglets Squeal Louder than Pigs
Welcome to your first issue of Pursuit of Happiness.
I’m glad you’ve decided to join me. And you’re not alone either. In just four days more than 3,300 people have signed up for this free twice-weekly eletter.
That’s triple the number I expected. That tells me there’s a demand for the news, info and analysis I’ll write to you about twice a week.
But, there is one thing I want to make clear. I don’t want the name of this eletter — Pursuit of Happiness — to mislead you. This email isn’t all about rainbows, lollipops, sunshine, and chirping birds.
In some issues of Pursuit of Happiness (including this one) you’ll read things that will make you feel uneasy. Things that go against everything you’ve ever learned, thought or read.
But I think you already know that. Besides, the uneasy feeling should be fleeting. Once you ‘get’ what I’m talking about, things will click into place. It’ll be your ‘eureka’ moment.
Then, with a clear mind, you can start planning for your future wealth, health and happiness. In fact, I’ve already received a few letters from readers telling me how they’ve already started their pursuit of happiness.
I’ll publish some of those letters in the coming weeks. Plus I’ll also let you know about some of the other projects my colleagues and I am working on.
I hope you’ll use some of these ideas and shared experiences to help you with your pursuit of happiness. After all, that’s what life is all about. Until then…
The Principle of Liberty
‘The principles of this form of Polity [republican government] are; 1 that the institution of government be lawful, must be pacific, that is founded upon the consent and by the agreement of those who are governed; and 2 that each Nation is exclusively the judge of the Government best suited to itself, and that no other Nation can justly interfere by force to impose a different Government upon it. The first of these principles may be designated, as the principle of Liberty — the second as the principle of National Independence — They are both Principles of Peace and of Good Will to Men.’– John Quincy Adams (at the time, US Secretary of State)
I’m not saying the US Founding Fathers were perfect. But some of them were probably as close as you’ll get to the ‘perfect’ politician.
One thing I like about those old guys is that they found electioneering beneath them.
In many cases they wouldn’t even back their own candidacy. They didn’t seek office, but if nominated, and if people voted for them, then they’d accept the position.
In those early days of the US republic, becoming president or holding high political office wasn’t the well-paid job it is today. In fact when the fourth president, James Madison, appointed James Monroe as special ambassador to Paris, Monroe used his private income to cover costs.
Not only that, but when these old guys left office, they didn’t start cashing cheques for getting on the public speaking circuit — think millionaire ex-leaders Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.
How different things are today.
Heroes or Killers?
Bully enough people, grease enough palms, and demonstrate how tough you are, and you’re on the path to political immortality.
It’s worked in the past, so why not now? After all, these people don’t seek high office for anonymity. They seek high office to get attention.
And so they need to do something big, that people couldn’t possibly forget.
If you think of the world’s most famous political leaders, they’ve all got one thing in common. They love war: Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, and Lyndon B Johnson.
But importantly, everyone remembers them.
In contrast, history forgets those who try to avoid war — such as fifteenth US president, James Buchanan. According to his biography at Whitehouse.gov,
‘President Buchanan, dismayed and hesitant, denied the legal right of states to secede but held that the Federal Government legally could not prevent them. He hoped for compromise, but secessionist leaders did not want compromise.’
Based on the quotes from the president who succeeded him, Abraham Lincoln, it’s fair to say the anti-secessionists didn’t want compromise either:
‘In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you…You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it.’
If that doesn’t sound like a maniac drunk on power, we don’t know what does. Four years later, more than 210,000 were dead from the American Civil War…thanks to that hero, Abraham Lincoln.
But even if history remembers anti-war leaders, history ridicules them. Take former UK prime minister Neville Chamberlain. Although he ultimately took Britain to war, he at least tried to prevent it.
I can’t say the same about Winston Churchill. He followed Chamberlain, and saw World War II as his chance for glory following his failure in the ‘Great War’ (World War I).
Churchill loved war. After all, in 1925 he wrote, ‘The story of the human race is war.‘ He wrote that with pride rather than remorse. Besides that, he’s wrong anyway. The story of the human race is co-operation, outstanding success and remarkable achievements unmatched by any other species since the beginning of time.
According to history, warmongers like Churchill and Lincoln are heroes, even though they caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people. Whereas Buchanan and Chamberlain are the chumps who tried to avoid war at all cost…including their own reputation.
Football, Referees and Chat Shows
Take this selection of news articles from the past few weeks:
‘President Barack Obama spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that the president, an avid sports fan, watched the game and “thinks there was a real problem with that call.” Green Bay is in politically important Wisconsin, adding significance to Obama’s stance.’– NFL.com
‘It had all started so well. The house band played Rule Britannia as he walked on stage and dry ice was pumped into the studio to replicate a London fog.
‘But the apparently warm welcome quickly turned into a trap as Mr Letterman, famed for his acerbic wit, tested [UK Prime Minister] Mr Cameron with questions on British history.’– UK Daily Mail
‘Just before leaving New York, Julia Gillard made one successful prediction – that the Swans would win the AFL grand final.
‘She reckoned Hawthorn would be too tired after its gruelling preliminary final against Adelaide the week before. “I’ve gone for Sydney but I don’t think it will be by much. I think we’ll be biting our nails right to the end,” she said.’– Sydney Morning Herald
Is there nothing these clowns don’t have an opinion on? Football, football referees and trading chuckles with celebrity talk show hosts.
When the old presidents and prime ministers hung up their presidential boots, they put on their farming boots and retired to their country estates.
They managed their farms and wrote private letters. They didn’t trade gags on chat shows. They didn’t offer AFL Grand Final predictions, or pearls of wisdom about a strike by football referees.
Somehow I can’t imagine George Washington or Thomas Jefferson turning up on the 18th or 19th century equivalents of late night chat shows…or offering the press an opinion on the latest horse race results.
Anyway, what was Aussie PM Julia Gillard doing in New York?
Well, she was appearing before the worldwide talent contest called the United Nations. She was making a pitch for Australia to get a seat on the UN Security Council…
Only time will tell. But that’s just side-show stuff. The important thing is to be tough, to take on the bullies…especially supposed Iranian bullies.
As Ms Gillard told the UN General Assembly:
‘It is now six years since the Security Council first expressed concern about Iran’s nuclear program.
‘Iran still refuses to take the urgent steps necessary to build confidence that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.
‘In contravention of successive IAEA and UN Security Council resolutions, Iran moves closer to having the capacity to produce weapons-grade material.
‘So we stand with the world, united in sending a strong signal — through Security Council sanctions — that Iran must change its behaviour now.
‘A nuclear armed Iran would be a major threat to regional and global security: especially given the shocking and aggressive statements about Israel by Iran’s leadership.
‘There remains the opportunity for diplomacy, backed up by robust sanctions, to persuade Iran to change its course.
‘Iran must take this opportunity for change and the nations of this Assembly must press Iran to do so.’
It’s easy to talk tough when you don’t have to follow through with anything yourself. It’s easy to talk tough when you’re not the one facing the bullets, flying the helicopter over enemy lines or sitting in the red-hot interior of a tank in the middle of the desert.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m not singling out Gillard here. All politicians talk tough, knowing they aren’t the ones heading for the front line. Tough guy former PM John Howard was the same when he sent Aussie troops to die in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Gillard wasn’t the only leader at the UN in New York. There were a bunch of other world leaders, including Barack Obama and David Cameron. But another sociopath was there too. This man:
If you don’t know him, he’s Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel. He was speaking at the United Nations in New York.
Do you like his artwork? I thought it was a joke when I first saw the photo. I thought that someone had photo-shopped the cartoon bomb to make the Israeli PM look like an idiot. Turns out it didn’t need any photo-shopping to portray the effect. It was a real photo.
His nice little picture was his way of saying the West must stop Iran building a nuclear weapon.
Of course, Mr Netanyahu made himself look more like this guy…
As you can see, right now there’s only one thing world leaders have on their mind: war. You’ve seen this drum-banging before.
You may remember the build-up to the Second Iraq War in 2003. And you may remember then Secretary of State, Colin Powell and his presentation to the UN Security Council.
(By the way, more than nine years after George W Bush declared combat operations over, the Iraq War is still going on!)
Secretary Powell was also keen on pictures. The following is a drawing of a supposed mobile chemical weapon factory:
Funnily enough, the US-led occupation forces failed to find the mobile factories…just as they failed to find any weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
But by then the war was on and it was too late to turn back.
Now the cartoonists are at it again.
Before I go on, let me make one thing clear: as a fan of freedom and liberty, I’m not a fan of Iran and its oppressive regime.
But stop and think about it, and ask yourself, whom did Iran ever invade?
It’s been a long time since Iran had a meaningful empire. And even if we look at recent history, the 1980s Iran-Iraq War kicked off when US-backed Iraq attacked Iran. Iran had just gone through a revolution, kicking out the ruling Shah…another puppet of the US and Western governments.
Which Empire is Biggest Threat to Freedom?
‘The principles of this form of Polity [republican government] are; 1 that the institution of government be lawful, must be pacific, that is founded upon the consent and by the agreement of those who are governed; and 2 that each Nation is exclusively the judge of the Government best suited to itself, and that no other Nation can justly interfere by force to impose a different Government upon it. The first of these principles may be designated, as the principle of Liberty — the second as the principle of National Independence — They are both Principles of Peace and of Good Will to Men.’
Iran has spent the last 2,000 years downsizing its empire. Today the entire Iranian empire rests within its national borders.
Contrast that to the US ‘empire’. The US has soldiers stationed in 175 bases worldwide. This picture from 2003 shows in red the countries that host a US military base:
I’ve added a green highlight to the location of Iran’s military bases. That’s right; Iran’s only military bases are in Iran.
So remind me, who’s the bigger military threat…?
Iran, with a domestic military presence and no nuclear weapons, or the US, which has a global network of military bases, thousands of nuclear warheads, and which thinks nothing of sending drones into villages in Pakistan to kill innocent people.
And now the US government is taking unmanned drones to the next level. As the BBC reports:
‘Two unmanned drones were able to fly close enough together for an automated refuel to take place, in tests carried out by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).’
Oh joy. Now the drones will have an even greater flight range.
I don’t know if Iranian president Ahmadinejad has a fleet of drones. I’m sure he doesn’t. But I know that US president, Barack Obama has a fleet of thousands of drones under his control.
And something else I know about Obama (the Nobel Peace Prize winner) is that he has a ‘kill list’ of military and civilian targets…
Presidential ‘Kill List’
‘Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.
‘Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.’
The sickening puff piece on the US president by the New York Times wraps up with:
‘Mr. Obama’s record has eroded the political perception that Democrats are weak on national security.’
In the end, it’s all about winning and buying votes. Weak on national security issues? Easy, draw up a ‘kill list’ and send drones in to bomb the target…and a few innocent bystanders too. Maybe even start a war.
That should shore up any weakness on national security.
But just note one thing; as dangerous as the US government is, just as big a danger comes from those who encourage the US to act.
If you’ve ever been to a farm and seen a pig and piglets in a pigsty, you’ll know that it’s always the piglets that squeal louder than the pigs.
That’s what you’ve got here. The danger is that the squealing from the little piglets in Britain, Australia and Israel will urge the big pig (US) to be tough on Iran.
These piglets want to impress. They want to curry favour by showing how supportive they are of the big pig. So they make speeches at the UN and draw cartoons to show the dangers of Iran.
And believe me, the US politicians, bureaucrats and military don’t need much encouragement.
Your Interests Aren’t Their Interests
They have a specific agenda. They seek high office in order to lay down a legacy.
They do this by taking money from individuals like you and using it to pay for their grand plans and their wars. The last thing they’re interested in is making sure you achieve a long and lasting happiness in retirement.
You have to understand that the aims of elected politicians are the exact opposite of the aims of individuals like you.
You’re seeking happiness while governments do all they can to deny you the opportunity to seek and achieve it.
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