Friday, September 23, 2011

A small note on the Tuskegee Syphilis study of the 1930s

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study has been widely condemned as an example of American racism -- and Leftists love it for that reason. It enables them to be "holier than thou". THEY would never do such an evil thing! It is usually portrayed as the U.S. government infecting black men with syphilis.

The truth is nothing of the sort, of course. The key fact that nobody seems to notice is that the study lasted for 40 years. 40 years? Shouldn't the men have died long before that? Once you ask that question, the truth begins to come out. The men recruited for the study ALREADY HAD tertiary syphilis. And in the tertiary stage the disease has usually been naturally "beaten" in some way. In other words, most such patients are no longer ill and live on rather as if they had never been infected. THAT intriguing fact was what sparked the study. It was an attempt to get more information about the life history of tertiary syphilitics. Richard Shweder has all the details.

And the amusing thing is that the study was founded and carried out by "progressives". "Progressivism" was overwhelmingly dominant in pre-war America. And it wasn't even a government study initially. It was started by a private charity funded by the former chairman of Sears Roebuck, a Progressive Jew named Julius Rosenwald. A small excerpt from Wikipedia:
Julius Rosenwald, an American clothier, became part-owner ofSears, Roebuck and Company in 1895, and eventually served as its president from 1908 to 1922, and chairman of its Board of Directors until his death in 1932.He became interested in social issues, especially education for African Americans, and provided funding through Dr. Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute, a historically black college (HBCU), prior to founding the fund....

The Rosenwald Fund was also one of the original backers of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. With support from the Rosenwald Fund, an ambitious program had begun to improve the health of African Americans in US southern states in 1928. Emphasis was on treating people with syphilis, then found at a high rate in poor African-American communities.

I am pointing that out in the hope that it will take one of the Leftists' toys away from them. Where other facts fail to penetrate their prejudiced brains, perhaps the fact that the study was the work of a "progressive" Jewish philanthropist might cause them to lose their erections.


The Attack on Accidental Americans -- and would-be expatriates

Being American is a trap that is very difficult to escape. There's no Berlin wall but there is a big financial wall, courtesy of Obama. So too bad if Obama piles up debt for your children or devalues your savings

When Julie Veilleux discovered she was American, she went to the nearest US embassy to renounce her citizenship. Having lived in Canada since she was a young child, the 48-year-old had no idea she carried the burden of dual citizenship. But the renunciation will not clear away the past ten years of penalties with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).[1]

Born to American parents living in Canada, Kerry Knoll's two teenaged daughters had no clue they became dual citizens at birth. (An American parent confers such status on Canadian-born children.[2] ) Now the IRS wants to grab at money they earned in Canada from summer jobs; the girls had hoped to use their RESPs (registered education savings plans) for college.[3]

The IRS is making a worldwide push to squeeze money from Americans living abroad and from anyone who holds dual citizenship, whether they know it or not. It doesn't matter if the "duals" want US status, have never set foot on US soil, or never conducted business with an American. It doesn't matter if those targeted owe a single cent to the IRS. Unlike almost every other nation in the world, the United States requires citizens living abroad to file tax forms on the money they do not owe as well as to report foreign bank accounts or holdings such as stocks or RSSPs. The possible penalty for not reporting is $10,000 per "disclosed asset" per year.

Thus, Americans and dual citizens living in Canada (or elsewhere) who do not disclose their local checking account — now labeled by the IRS as "an illegal offshore account" — are liable for fines that stretch back ten years and might amount to $100,000. A family, like the Knolls, in which there are two American parents and two dual-citizen children, might be collectively liable for $400,000.

Approximately 7 million Americans live abroad. According to the IRS, they received upwards of 400,000 tax returns from expatriates last year — a compliance rate of approximately 6 percent. Presumably the compliance of dual-citizen children is far lower. Customs and Immigration is now sharing information with the IRS and, should any of 94 percent expats or their accidentally American offspring set foot on US soil, they are vulnerable to arrest.

So far, the IRS push into foreign territory has been a rousing success by their own standards. In 2009, the IRS offered "amnesty" — that is, lessened but still hefty penalties — to whoever stepped forward to disclose foreign bank accounts. According to FOX Business News, the 2009 program netted

the government $2.2 billion in tax revenues … and $500 million in interest from the 2011 program, for a total of $2.7 billion.… Moreover, the IRS says it has yet to reap penalties from these evaders, which could rake in hundreds of millions more.
IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman stated,

we are in the middle of an unprecedented period for our global international tax enforcement efforts. We have pierced international bank secrecy laws, and we are making a serious dent in offshore tax evasion.[4]

Going after the college money earned by children born and raised in Canada (or elsewhere) is just one part of the international enforcement effort. The entire package is called the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA; it was a revenue-raising provision that was slipped into one of Obama's disastrous stimulus bills.

Starting in 2013 — or 2014 if an exemption is granted — every bank in the world will be required to report to the IRS all accounts held by current and former US citizens. If account holders refuse to provide verification of their non-US citizenship, the banks will be required to impose a 30 percent tax of all payments or transfers to the account on behalf of the IRS. Banks that do not comply will "face withholding on U.S.-source interest and dividends, gross proceeds from the disposition of U.S. securities, and pass-through payments."[5]

Australia and Japan have already declared their refusal to comply. Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has publicly stated that the proposed American legislation "has far-reaching extraterritorial implications. It would turn Canadian banks into extensions of the IRS and would raise significant privacy concerns for Canadians."[6]

According to the Financial Post:

"Toronto-Dominion Bank is putting up a fight against a new U.S. regulation that would compel foreign banks to sort through billions of dollars of deposits to find U.S. citizens who might be hiding money.… TD has complained that the proposed IRS rule is unreasonable because it would require the bank to make US$100-million investment in new software and staff. Other lenders resisting the effort include Allianz SE of Germany, Aegon NV of the Netherlands and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.… Now the Canadian Bankers association has joined the fray. In an emailed statement the CBA called the requirement "highly complex" and "very difficult and costly for Canadian banks to comply with."[7]

The Financial Times reports:

"[O]ne of Asia's largest financial groups is quietly mulling a potentially explosive question: could it organise some of its subsidiaries so that they could stop handling all US Treasury bonds? Their motive has nothing to do with the outlook for the dollar.… Instead, what is worrying this particular Asian financial group is tax. In January 2013, the US will implement a new law called the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.…

[T]he new rules leave some financial officials fuming in places such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore.… Implementing these measures is likely to be costly; in jurisdictions such as Singapore or Hong Kong, the IRS rules appear to contravene local privacy laws.… Hence the fact that some non-US asset managers and banking groups are debating whether they could simply ignore Fatca by creating subsidiaries that never touch US assets at all.

"This is complete madness for the US — America needs global investors to buy its bonds," fumes one bank manager. "But not holding US assets might turn out to be the easiest thing for us to do."[8]

Meanwhile, banking will become more difficult within the United States. FATCA will hold banks liable for any "improper" transfer of money to outside the United States. The Wealth Report, a financial analysis site, states:

"US banks will be desperately trying to cover their liability by checking the exact purpose of the payment, to make sure it doesn't come within the scope of the legislation. The burden of proof will naturally pass to the account holder who is trying to transfer money, to demonstrate that the transaction is not subject to the new withholding tax. If the sending bank in the USA has any doubt at all about the purpose of the transaction, they will be forced to deduct 30 percent tax. Net result? It is going to be darned difficult for anyone to transfer money out of the USA. If that isn't a form of currency control, then I don't know what is!"

Returning to the Little Guy and Gal

Expat Americans and children — a.k.a. dual citizens — will be caught in the indiscriminate steel net that the IRS wants to throw around the globe. Their innocence or ignorance will not matter. The IRS wants money. If expats and duals do not owe money from their earnings, then the IRS will pursue obscure reporting requirements and apply them to people who did not even know they were American. It will try to yank their college funds and drain their parents' retirement savings.

They can renounce their American citizenship but that is an imperfect solution. For one thing, it does not immunize them from the past ten years of nonreporting. For another, following the United States' "exit" sign takes many people directly through the Treasury Department where they may be required to pay a brutal one-time exit tax. Basically, for those with more than $2 million dollars in assets, the tax comes to $600,000.

Moreover, renunciation is a difficult process. The Globe and Mail is one of many Canadian newspapers now explaining to readers how they can renounce American citizenship. G&M states:

"Renouncing your U.S. citizenship starts with a hefty fee — $450 (U.S.), just for the chance to appear in front of a consular official. Need it done in a hurry? Forget about it. It can take about two years to get an appointment.[9]"

The true hope lies in a worldwide refusal to comply. The only power strong enough to rein in the United States is the world itself. There is hope that this will happen. Reuters declared:

"A U.S. law meant to snuff out billions of dollars in offshore tax evasion has drawn the criticism of the world's banks and business people, who dismiss it as imperialist and "the neutron bomb of the global financial system." … A senior American finance executive at the Hong Kong branch of a major investment house [declared] that FATCA was "America's most imperialist act since it invaded the Philippine Islands in 1899." The regulation … was "engendering a profound and growing anti-American sentiment abroad."[10]



Don't be deceived by the propaganda of the victors

A BOOK REVIEW of "Great Wars & Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal" By Ralph Raico. Reviewed by: George C. Leef

Essential to the maintenance of support for the government (almost any government, any time) is the idea that the nation’s wars have been just and heroic, and that the leaders who presided over them were great men. Ugly truths about those wars and leaders are routinely swept under the rug. Court historians (and yes, democracies have them) try to convince people that all the blood, sweat, and tears were never expended in vain.

History professor Ralph Raico is a dedicated opponent of the court historians’ cant and deception. Great Wars and Great Leaders is a collection of his essays challenging the conventional wisdom, ranging from the beginning of World War I to just after World War II.

As Robert Higgs notes in his introduction, “Raico’s historical essays are not for the faint of heart or for those whose loyalty to the U.S. or British state outweighs their devotion to truth and humanity.” Raico is usually called a “revisionist” historian, but a more fitting term would be “correctionist” because his work corrects false ideas that glorify wars and political leaders who deserve the sharpest condemnation.

The book’s opening essay is about World War I. What most Americans think they know about that war is roughly this: Militaristic Germany was itching for a reason to launch an expansionist war, and the outbreak of fighting in the Balkans gave it an excuse to attack the peaceful democracies France and Britain. Eventually the United States was compelled by German belligerence to enter the war and “make the world safe for democracy.”

The victors get to write the history, and Raico shows that it’s mostly wrong. The Germans and their Austrian allies were not as devilish as they’ve been portrayed, and the Allies were far from angelic. Most important, President Woodrow Wilson was an authoritarian eager to engage in military interventions to advance his fevered notions of “good government.” Raico points out that Wilson had sent U.S. troops into Mexico in 1914. Some of them died—utterly in vain.

Throughout 1915, 1916, and early 1917 Wilson pursued a provocative policy meant to serve British interests. He was glad to trample on international law with respect to the rights of neutrals and declined to pursue diplomatic efforts at restoring peace. Nevertheless, most historians grade Wilson a “near-great” president. Raico shows how undeserved that accolade is.

Winston Churchill’s lustrous reputation also takes a beating in the book. Most people think of Churchill as a rock-ribbed defender of Western traditions. After all, he was a Conservative prime minister who abhorred communism and fascism. Raico makes it plain, however, that he had no real principles when it came to the economic order. At one point in his career Churchill advocated free trade, but he later abandoned that position when it became a political liability. Nor was Churchill an opponent of the advancing British welfare state. He supported the Trades Union Act that gave legal privileges to unions and advocated “a sort of Germanized network of state intervention and regulation” over the labor market. That made him popular with the socialists. Beatrice Webb applauded him for his support of “constructive state action.”

There are hordes of politicians who will get on popular crusades even though they carry the seeds of long-run social ruin. What puts Churchill in a different class is his willingness to sacrifice innocent lives. Raico gives several particulars. Against the advice of his officers Churchill ordered the British fleet to fire on the French Navy, harbored at Mers-el-Kebir in Algeria after the Germans had defeated France in 1940. The French commander had said that he would neither surrender his ships to Britain nor permit them to fall into German hands. Nevertheless, the British shelled the ships, killing more than 1,500 sailors. Raico comments that this was a war crime and Germans at Nuremberg were sentenced to death for less. Worse still was the continuing bombing campaign against German cities long after it was evident that Hitler was on the verge of defeat. The bombing of Dresden, a city with no military importance, killed some 30,000 civilians in February 1945.

Another “great leader” Raico demolishes is Harry Truman. Truman is often praised these days for his supposed common sense, but the truth is that he was a statist demagogue whose instincts were to escalate the New Deal’s attacks on liberty and property. Americans are fortunate that most of his efforts were parried by Congress or the courts. The same cannot be said, unfortunately, about his decision to use atomic bombs to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Raico eviscerates the excuse that Truman “had to” use the bomb because the Japanese would otherwise have fought on and killed half a million Americans.



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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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