Saturday, January 28, 2012

Vladimir Putin and the Atheist Holocaust

We almost never put personal faces on the atheist holocaust. Today a news item did just that, though of course it failed to remind people that there was an atheist holocaust during World War II and it was the result of careful planning and execution by the Roman Catholic Church, including Pope Pius XII (real name: Eugenio Maria Pacelli).

The face of the holocaust today is Viktor V. Putin, younger brother of Vladimir V. Putin, currently Prime Minister of Russia. Viktor was born in 1940, in Leningrad (now going by its prior name of St. Petersburg). In 1942 during the Battle of Leningrad, Victor Putin died, probably of starvation or disease caused by starvation. On January 28th, yesterday, Mr. Putin laid a wreath at Piskaroyvskoye Cemetery, which is a mass grave of about 470,000 civilians and soldiers who died in the battle or from the results of the siege. They were not all: the plaque there says over 640,000 people died of starvation between 1941 and 1944, when the Red Army finally got the upper hand and started rolling back the invaders.

The Atheist Holocaust was the idea of Pope Pius XII along with his predecessor Pius XI. It was executed by the fascist, Roman Catholic leader of Germany, Adolf Hitler, with some help from other Catholic fascists, notably General Francisco Franco of Spain and Benito Mussolini of Italy. The Atheist Holocaust engulfed some 20 million people. Its most terrible phase began with the Germany occupation of the Eastern U.S.S.R. in 1941.

Of course we cannot be certain that Viktor V. Putin would have grown up to be an atheist. We unconsciously grant 2 year olds the religious status of their parents. His mother, Maria Ivanovna, was so starved that she was mistaken for dead and nearly buried before someone heard her moaning. His father was wounded and hospitalized in the war. Vladimir Putin is their only surviving child, having been born well after the war, in 1952.

Adolf Hitler saw himself as a new Holy Roman Emperor, who should be able to choose Popes and dictate to them. Pius XII saw himself, and the papacy, as the supreme leader of the entire world, to whom men like Hitler should subordinate themselves. They were united in a hatred of non-Catholics, socialists, communists, and even anyone advocating democratic or republican forms of government. Their plan was to conquer the world and impost a single state with a single religion upon it, the same ancient plan of "Saint" Constantine the Great [3rd - 4th centuries A.D.]

Most people are familiar with the fact that about 6 million jews died in their Holocaust. Most people don't know that most of those Jews were not religiously observant. They were modern jews, often socialists, and just as fairly described as agnostics or atheists. Add in the atheists killed by General Franco in Spain and you have a lot of dead atheists. But the really big numbers come from the invasion of the U.S.S.R. Some of the soldiers and civilians murdered in that invasion would have been Russian Orthodox, but the vast majority were atheists.

Why don't we know this, at least in the United States? American capitalists were happy to see Soviet soldiers chew up Hitler's armies. America emerged from the war as the only intact industrial power and proceeded to grab (in an economic sense, not by actual colonization) pretty much the entire world outside of the Soviet sphere. Americans were taught to hate communism. Critically, the U.S. had a large contingent of Roman Catholic voters who provided the balance of power for the Democratic Party over the Republican Party.

As a result, for education and propaganda, there was an instant re-branding of what happened in World War II. Hitler, a Catholic, was called a pagan. Franco was made into an ally even as he continued to execute people for the offense of not being Roman Catholic. Soviet casualties went without mentioning, and the term atheist was never used to describe them. Pius XII suddenly switched from being Hitler's ally against communism to being America's ally against communism.

The American people need to know this story, whether they want to hear it or not. An honest appraisal of World War II would probably have prevented the Vietnam War, which resulted from a Catholic U.S. president, John Kennedy, supporting an unpopular, minority Roman Catholic regime in South Vietnam against a nationalist, non-Catholic popular revolt.

The Roman Catholic Church continues to deny what it has done. It is a package of lies born from Constantine's anti-pagan reign of terror. Millions of Protestant Christians were murdered by the Catholic Church in Europe from the middle ages until the 18th century.

We need to remind American (and global) Protestants that while they might agree with the Pope on certain issues, he is a dangerous bedfellow. Atheists and Protestants are traditional allies on at least one issue: freedom of religion. We may argue with some Protestants about how the concept of freedom of religion is applied in public places, including public schools. That should not separate us on the basic idea of freedom on conscience and religious choice.

We must also keep in mind that any sufficiently large group of people will be complex when we look at its individuals. History has seen intolerant Protestant sects at times, and too often atheist dictators have treated religious belief or practice as criminal. Many modern Catholics do not want to force their religion on others. Those of us who believe in religious tolerance must stick together on that issue. On the other hand, we must not excuse the complicity of churches, or non-religious institutions, in crimes against humanity.

See also: At Event, a Rare Look at Putin's Life [Ellen Barry, New York Times]

Friday, January 20, 2012

Newt Gingrich's Open Presidency

Newt Gingrich, who still has a decent chance of becoming President of the United States, actually has a lot in common with Barack Obama. Both are consummate politicians with spines so flexible they can stick their heads up their respective sphincters if they think they can find some votes there. Barack has the votes to get the Dem nomination, so let's take a look at Newt's situation.

Rick Perry, having proven yet again that people who would have been sterilized under the old eugenics programs can indeed become governors of Texas, finally dropped out and endorsed Newt. The field, if that is an appropriate word ("coven" comes to mind) has narrowed to Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul.

So much for right-wing evangelical control of Republican primaries. Mitt Romney is a religious man who practices monogamy. Unfortunately (in terms of Protestant bible brewing voters) he belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He and his fellow Mormons essentially deny the Roman Catholic and Protestant basis of faith: the Trinity, or three gods in One. Nor are the Mormons monotheists like Jews and Muslims. Mormons believe in a male god with a Heavenly Mother consort; we are all the children of Dad and Mom, just like Jesus himself. For all their family this and family that, Protestants overlook the fact that, according to the orthodox New Testament, Jesus had no family of his own. Nor did he recommend having one.

Rick Santorum must have been designed by God because he certainly did not evolve in any rational manner. He is Roman Catholic. When I was a child Protestants in South Carolina lumped in Roman Catholics with Jews and people of undesirable skin color. They still really don't trust the Pope and a bunch of Catholic doctrine that obviously is not in the Bible. Rick Santorum believes in the sanctity of human life until it emerges from the womb, after which it should not be eligible for food stamps, public schooling, or any other waste of taxpayer money. He is all for spending taxpayer money on homeland security and turning the whole world into an American armed camp. He's unemployed, so is probably hoping to be tapped for Vice President, an office that pays well and does not require anyone to get up early in the morning or break into a sweat during the day.

Ron Paul will do better in other primaries. South Carolina is a funny state. People (and not just Republican people) there have almost all experienced socialism and liked it. Only they call it patriotic public service: working in the military sector, usually beginning as soldiers. Ron Paul is the only candidate who is honest about the need to get the people of South Carolina disengaged from the military tit if the federal government is ever to get its debt and deficit under control. The other candidates probably know that, but are not about to say it when votes are at stake.

Newt needs to come in first or second to keep the donations rolling in. His native state of Georgia is next door, so a loss would be embarrassing. But it is hard to embarrass Newt. Despite being a deeply conservative man, he is also an intellectual who prides himself on new ideas.

Newt wants to be President. He already was once Speaker of the House, which back before the development of the Imperial Presidency was considered by many to be a more important job than the Presidency. The House controls taxation and appropriation, it represents the people, and it was considered the most important branch of government until around the Civil War.

Newt's new idea is the Open Presidency. It will make the world a better, more efficient place. If Americans select Newt Gingrich as their President, that will just be a start. He will play the field. If the Canadians want him, he can also be their Prime Minister. If the Mexicans show some love, he can be their President. Who knows, maybe he can be the head of the European Union too. Perhaps something more exotic would excite him: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia all are looking for better leaders right now. Perhaps he can become Emperor of the World.

Open Presidency? Haven't some Presidents been tired out by having to run just this one country? Sure, but Newt is an extra-energetic guy, and this is the era of multitasking. If anyone can keep more than one nation happy, it is Newt.

Also, Newt is a Roman Catholic. There is plenty of historical precedent for a Catholic being head of state of multiple nations. Such open marriages are made in heaven.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pius XII and the Cordell Hull Lacuna

It is a mystery, and a lot of secret history may hinge on it.

I came across it last night while reading The Memoirs of Cordell Hull. Or rather, I did not come across it, because it is a lacuna, or gap in the record.

Cordell Hull was one of the most important figures in American history, though he is now largely forgotten. The highest office he obtained was Secretary of State, under Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). But why was he appointed to that high office? He is the man who brought us the income tax, back when he was a Democratic representative from Tennessee. You would think at least the Tea Party would want to know about the guy. He also brought us Free Trade, or at least a major step in that direction. As Secretary of State he was largely responsible for an unnecessary war with Japan, while evading as long as possible doing anything about Adolf Hitler.
I am reading his Memoirs as my last major research task before drafting my U.S. War Against Asia. His Memoirs are vast: two volumes, 1800 pages of fine print. Only one printing was made [MacMillan, New York, 1948], with most copies doubtless bought by libraries. So far I am only to page 718, in the opening days of what later would be called World War II.

I mention the size of the book because it emphasizes the gap. Hull loved to document and explain his actions in glorious detail.

On page 713 Hull begins recounts his initiative to get Pope Pius XII involved in a peace process, starting in July 1939, well before Germany invaded Poland (regaining the territory lost in the peace settlement after World War I). This account goes on to page 716, corresponding to March 1941. While interesting of itself for the light it throws on U.S. and Vatican war aims, it flashed in my mind that I thought Vatican Secretary of State Eugene Pacelli, before he became Pope Pius XII, had relations with the FDR regime .

I pulled out my copy of Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII by John Cornwell, and sure enough, Cardinal Pacelli had visited the United States from October 1936 until November [see pages 176-178]. He met with FDR on November 6, just after FDR had won a second term. They had made a deal, possibly set up and executed by Francis Spellman, then a bishop but later known as Cardinal Spellman. The Roman Catholic Church silenced Father Charles Coughlin, an influential radio-based critic of FDR. Pacelli, in return, received a promise that FDR would work to restore direct relations between the U.S. Government and the Vatican, which had made a treaty with Mussolini in 1929 (see Lateran Treaty) to become a sovereign state as well as the center of a global religion business.

The context for this is important and mostly forgotten. There were two core constituencies of the Democratic Party. There was the southern, racist, white, mostly conservative and Protestant southern wing. In the northern and western states, normally majoirty Republican, the Democratic Party was mainly urban, working class, and Roman Catholic. Holding that coalition together from the Civil War until the 1970s was a great political feat. FDR needed the Roman Catholic Church to stay in power. But the southern democrats did not like that very Church. At the same time, the Depression and popularity of the New Deal (or at least the blaming of Herbert Hoover) brought many former Republicans into the Democratic Party.

So why the lacuna? The Vatican Secretary of State visits America, makes some deals, even has a documented meeting with President Roosevelt. Cordell Hull, Secretary of State, who in his own words ran most American foreign policy with only moderate direction from the President, has nothing to say about it?

You can call it speculation, but I call it analysis. Pacelli had been working on a long-term plan for Roman Catholic domination of the globe, starting with Europe. Mussolini was cooperating in Italy, but Adolf Hitler, a Catholic, had been chosen by Pacelli to lead God's work, which included converting or exterminating atheists, socialists, communists, and even democrats, republicans, protestants, and of course Muslims, Jews, and other religious sects. Roosevelt had a different agenda: American imperialism, on the model of the British Empire, with democracy in the home company serving as a cover for a global dictatorship. Both Roosevelt and the Pope (as well as Hitler and Stalin) knew the biggest global prize was the British Empire. The Popes wanted it brought back under their religious sovereignty, but that would be second step, after Hitler defeated Russia. FDR wanted it to collapse just enough to allow the U.S. to take it over.

The Popes hoped important men in the U.S., even if not religious themselves, would eventually make the U.S. a Catholics-only nation. In the meantime, they did not want the U.S. economy used to build up the armies of anti-fascist governments and groups in Europe. In 1936 the issue was Spain, where the Pope's pet General (Francisco) Franco had launched a civil war, murdering everyone who disagreed with him, including Roman Catholics who supported the democratically elected government. Probably Pacelli and FDR agreed the U.S. would not arm the elected Republican government of Spain, thus ensuring Franco's eventual victory.

What Pacelli wanted long term was for Hitler, when his armies were ready, to have the freedom to attack Russia (aka the USSR) and destroy Communism and Atheism with one blow. But it's a complex world. While Hitler did eventually attack Russia, and engulfed that region in an Atheist Holocaust, the Pope and Cardinal Spellman were not able to convert Roosevelt to Catholicism. With the defeat of the fascists Catholicism suffered a major setback. The Popes had to spend 30 years trying to convince people that they had never even liked Hitler, Petain, Mussolini and Franco. America did inherit the British empire, got the French empire thrown in as well, occupied Japan, and would have gotten China for good measure if it had not been for the Chinese Communist Party.

The negotiations with Pacelli in 1936 probably continued after he became Pope Pius XII; certainly Spellman retained the ear of both FDR and the pope. The peace negotiations of 1940 went nowhere because there were several very different versions of peace involved. Hitler wanted peace if he could keep Poland and prepare for further advances to the east, in line with the papal plan. Britain and France wanted peace if they got to keep their empires and Germany had to give Poland back. America wanted peace because it was good politics, but we know FDR was hoping the European powers would do a World War I repeat: draining each other so that the United States of America would become the new global imperialist power.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Republican Five Year Plan

Although I resolved to write no blogs while on vacation, watching just part of the Republican debate running up to the New Hampshire primary made my blood boil. Even allowing for the candidates needing to appeal to the most misguided wing of their party, the economic generalship they displayed can only be compared to plans for British mass infantry attacks on German trenches in France during World War I.

The central theme of economic planning, Republican style, is eliminating the taxes the rich pay. The truly rich, the already rich, actually don't worry that much about income taxes. Income taxes are for the working poor and the small class of professionals who get wages or salaries over $100,000 per year. The truly rich get their money from inheritances, capital gains, interest, and dividends. All the Republicans want to reduce taxes on these categories of non-income. Most of the candidates wanted to reduce the rates on these categories to zero. Mitt Romney, the moderate, settled for reasonably near zero. In addition, they want to cut the corporate tax rate.

They gave two rationales, both about as plausible as medieval Catholic tests for witchcraft. One is that these cuts only incidentally help the rich, but they really are aimed at helping the middle class. That might be true if by middle class you mean families with assets between $10 million and $100 million, which would indeed generate capital gains, interest and dividends worth worrying about.

The other is job creation, Want jobs? Stop taxing the rich!

If you believe that you probably also believe that God was so infertile he only could manage one child.

What will rich people and corporations do if their tax rates are lowered?

Oh, sure, they may add a job or two here or there. But mainly they will either spend the money on themselves or play financial games with it.

Rich people spending more money could create a few more jobs, especially for luxury leather goods workers in China (whose work product is labeled as Italian). A few people will upgrade from private prop planes to private jets, which I suppose would require a few more factory workers. More cocaine will have to be ponied into the U.S., which creates jobs. Mansions may be expanded or remodeled, expanding the construction work force by a few tens of thousands.

Let's talk about reality now.

Job creation and destruction is dependent on a large number of variables.Most jobs are created when employers (corporate and individual) think they can make larger profits by adding staff. Jobs of the self-employed type are also created by increased demand for services: if consumers are willing to pay (well) for a service, someone will provide it.

To increase demand, American consumers as a whole need to be able to spend more. This can be because more of them are gainfully employed, or because those that are employed are getting higher wages.

The Republican Five Year Plan, essentially central planning by capitalists to further enrich themselves at the expense of the working class, doe not address generating increased demand.

Jobs, and demand, would be generated naturally (in our mostly-free-market system) by increased employer and consumer confidence. Those rely, in turn, on a stable credit and money supply (the job of the Federal Reserve) and a lack of turmoil in Washington.

While the federal deficit and debt need to be addressed once we have an economic recovery, what we really need now is higher taxes on the rich and a closing of corporate tax loopholes and subsidies. The rich, unlike the poor, love money above all else. Tax them more and they will climb out of their $1000 bottle of wine stupors to make up the difference. To make up the difference, they will need to exploit more workers. To exploit more workers, they will have to hire them.

Higher taxes on inheritance, capital gains, dividends and interest are the best policy for job creation in the United States. The taxes could be set too high, but that is not our problem right now. When Republican President Dwight Eisenhower left office in 1960, during our period of greatest prosperity, the maximum tax rate was 91%. We may not need to go that high again, but rates should certainly be higher than they are now, if we want the U.S. to continue to be an economic leader of the world.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Dictator of Saudi Arabia

Meet the dictator of Saudi Arabia. But be careful not to call him that, even if you are as powerful as the New York Times or Fox News Network.

The New York Times calls him King Abdullah, not to be confused with King Abdullah II of Jordan. His full name is Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.

Truth is, I am not sure anyone holds the official title of dictator in any nation. Even Joe Stalin of the former U.S.S.R. had the official title of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Saddam Hussein was President of Iraq. Adolf Hitler, the great dictator himself, was Fuhrer (leader) and Chancellor of Germany.

Dictator is what you call a strongman (or woman) you don't like.

Dictator Abdullah Al Saud is a friend of the United States, of current President Barack Obama, and of his predecessor President George W. Bush. A few days ago President Obama agreed to sell his friend a fleet of F-15 fighter jets. In return Boeing will get about $30 billion and might even squeeze out a bit of reportable net income to pay taxes on and help a bit with the federal deficit. Obama will carry Washington State as Boeing spreads the joy. Everyone will be happy, except anyone ending up on the receiving end of the F-15 weaponry. [See U.S. Bolsters Saudi Ties, 1/29/2011]

A few days before the big sale Dictator Abdullah Al Saud chopped off the head of a woman. Her crime: practicing witchcraft [See Saudis Behead Woman, U.S.A. Today, 12/12/2011]. You might think that "Hope for Change" Obama and his sidekick "I am a woman, vote for me" Hillary Clinton would not want to be too friendly to witch killers. But rhetoric for elections aside, neither Obama nor Clinton cares about human rights except when it is an excuse to beat up on some nation they don't like.

Do witches float in Saudi Arabia? If the U.S. mission is to interfere in the internal affairs of nations that abuse human rights, as we are currently doing in (at least) Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Libya and Yemen, why do we refer to the gentleman born as Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud as King Abdullah? Reminds me of King Cole and King Arthur. Or maybe King George.

Yes, I can hear you screaming OIL, but that is not enough. Saddam had oil, and Iran has oil. The difference is that as long as Dictator Abdullah plays along with the global corporate security state, he can behead anyone he wants. Of course he needs assistants, he does not have time to do all the beheading personally. After all, he has over thirty wives and far more children and a whole town full of grandchildren and parasitic relations to look after.

What can get you beheaded in Saudi Arabia, aside from witchcraft? The Dictator strictly enforces Sharia law, which is not quite as cruel as English law was 3 centuries ago, but let's just say that you had better walk right if you want to keep your head. If you are a homosexual boy in Saudi Arabia you had better hope you get sent to English Boarding School and never have to go back. Rape and drug trafficking can also lead to headlessness.

The Obama-Clinton team take a very dim view of Sharia law, with its discrimination against women, when enforced by any Islamic group in Somalia or Afghanistan. But in Saudi Arabia, it is okay.

But hey, the real enemy is Iran, right? They attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor and nuked Japan, right? Wait, it was Japan that attacked Pearl Harbor, and the U.S. that nuked two cities filled with civilians. Let's see, what did Iran do? Nothing, absolutely nothing wrong except ... not following U.S. orders.

But the majority of the Islamic faithful in Iran are of the Shia branch (think Protestant) while the Dictator of Saudi Arabia is Sunni (think Roman Catholic). The Dictator discriminates against Shia Muslims in his own nation, which is also ethnic discrimination, since way back when usually whole tribes either became Shia or Sunni. No no religious freedom, even within the Islamic fold.

If Hillary Clinton were anything more substantial than a bunch of cosmetics painted on animated corruption, she would go to Saudi Arabia and drive a car around, demanding rights for women, free elections, freedom of religion, free speech and free abortions. Even if it meant American F-15s buzzing the Arabian sky to protect her. Then she would go apologize to the Somali people for all the damage the U.S. has done to their nation.