Archive for the ‘Scott Baker’ Category


“It is the cause of most of the world’s hunger, poverty, misery and disease.”

-Bill Still (Official Website)

by Scott Baker

Last night I watched Bill Still’s newest film “Jekyll Island.” For those who’ve seen “The Money Masters,” and especially the more recent “The Secret of OZ” (2009), they won’t find too much new here, although a lot has happened in the last 4 years, and Still takes us all  the way into early 2013.  The overall point though is that the Money Masters have been controlling the money supply, creating booms and busts deliberately, for hundreds of years.  This goes beyond Georgist theory which says the Land Cycle is ultimately the cause of booms and busts – unfortunately I’ve been unable to persuade Still in my few discussions with him that there is a Land Cycle underlying the “Business Cycle” though both of us recognize the latter is a false explanation.  But in this movie, Still has presented good evidence that at least some busts like the 1871 and 1891 depressions, were deliberately induced as a way for the banking elites to gain both control of the money supply, and to possess hard assets like housing, and that this kind of action goes back to the Rothschilds, who bet correctly against France during the Napoleonic wars (also successfully countering Napoleon’s attempt to essentially create a Public Central Bank, independent of the Rothschilds).  This changes the conclusion from the inevitable Land Cycle (Henry George, Mason Gaffney, Homer Hoyt,  etc.), to the inevitable Conspiracy Cycle of the banking elites, but I am still  unconvinced at least some, or even most, of the booms and busts were not caused by money power ignorance of the Land Cycle and greed over-riding common sense.  As many of the experts in the movie attest, the average economist, with his obfuscating charts and theories, often knows less about what actually goes on than the man on the street.  Furthermore, why push your firm to the edge of bankruptcy, and sometimes over it (Lehman Brothers, AIG, Countrywide Financial), when you are so smart you can avoid it?   So then, who are the experts who saw it coming, again and again?  The Rothschilds and Rockefellers, perhaps, but this narrow band of profiteering rascals is not quite enough evidence to construct a theory of a continuous worldwide historical conspiracy.

Still shows that dreams of international monetary systems, including the failing Euro – which Monetary Reformer Stephen Zarlenga backed and which he has yet to apologize for, or explain the current failure of – would lead to further nightmares, making it even harder to achieve monetary sovereignty and escape the clutches of the trans-national banking elites.   This is the clear lesson from the Euro experiment, now unraveling.

I do wish Still had delved into Lincoln’s assassination more,  finding the connection to bankers backing John Wilkes Booth and his dozen or so co-conspirators, documented in Gerry McGeer’s book, “ The Conquest of Poverty ” but he DID tie the attempt on president Andrew Jackson’s life, after he closed the Second National Bank of the U.S., to the banking elites.   Still also documents their support of bank-friendly  William McKinley  against populist William Jennings Bryan who wanted to end the dearth of money by bringing back the bank-squashed silver certificate (Kennedy would fare even worse in the effort to re-institute  Silver Certificates , with many people believing  this effort was behind his assassination  in 1963, possibly including his then-hysterical V.P. Lyndon Johnson).

I do take issue with Still’s poorly defined explanation of fractional reserve banking.  Although he traces the history of it well – beginning from the goldsmith’s issuance of 10X the value of their gold holdings because they realized that only 1/10th of the people holding gold in their vaults ever came to collect their gold at any one time (this led to the more modern 10% fractional reserve requirement, nevertheless now obsolete) and ending with the 2008 crisis where leverage of 50X or even 300X occurred  – he fails to deal with the large number of banks, including the State Bank of North Dakota (BND), who never loan out even as much as they have on deposit (though the actual funds are not from the same source here either).  If all banks loaned just the same amount they had on deposit, or actually less in the case of regular banks like the BND and its partner small banks, which typically have loan to asset ratios of 75%, or less, we would have had a manageable crisis.  It was the massive leveragers like Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers (40:1) and AIG (with counterparty Goldman betting at up to 300:1 leverage), which caused the panic and near collapse.  Still could have made this important distinction, but didn’t, thereby letting all banks be tarred with the same brush and losing an opportunity to link forces with the growing public banking movement (in the 2012 election, Bill Still ran for president on the Libertarian ticket and asked Public Banking Institute founder Ellen Brown to be his V.P. running mate).

I bring this up to show – unsurprisingly to many readers here, I’m sure – how long and how completely the financial elites have been screwing the ordinary citizens, and even government, which as many know – including countless experts like the Positive Money people in this new film, but, tellingly, NOT Stephen Zarlenga, who once dismissed Still as a “salesman” in conversations with me (this is the reason, perhaps, that Zarlenga is not quoted or interviewed as an expert in this film, despite his big yellow tome “ The Lost Science of Money ” appearing on so many academics’ bookshelves) could simply retake the sovereign right to “coin Money” anytime it wanted to if it wasn’t for the  massive disinformation campaign since the 1970s.   In part this is caused by the thousands of Federal Reserve Bank-aid agents, documented in the film, working in the economic realm of academia, the media, and politics.  That they sell interest rate Put Options to confused buyers when they CANNOT default on money they create autonomously, as shown in FRAUD: Federal Reserve Is Selling Put Options On Treasury Bonds To Drive Down Yields , should not surprise us either.  This  video claims this is fraud, but if so, it is Baby Fraud.  The Parent Fraud is that we are told we need to borrow what we could simply create , under Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution and as affirmed by SCOTUS in the 1884 8-1 decision in Julliard v. Greenman — also insufficiently covered in Jekyll Island .

Dollars funnel.

However, as Still’s experts point out, it is to the elites’ advantage to make us think the system is so horrendously complex that mere mortals cannot hope to understand it, and must, therefore, trust the experts.  More modern layers like Put Options and other forms of morally hazardous insurance may indeed be too complicated to understand, by anyone, but the concept of charging unsustainable interest on money issued by wealthy monopoly elites is not.   Government borrowing, as Still shows, is  both unnecessary and injurious to the Republic.  Government is not over-printing money, it is over-borrowing it.  This is the first time, I believe, that Still has identified in his movies that taxes are unnecessary, as Greenbacking – the act of government producing debt-free money – could simply fund all its needs, with inflationary over-production being handled by taxes – the Modern Monetary Theory position as well as Positive Money’s.

So, what both videos show is that the banking elites at the FRB are getting desperate, relying more and more on obscure leveraging tools to hide the fact that there is little backing the full faith and credit of the U.S. now that our productive capacity has been off-shored, or at least become far to little to support the inflated financial edifice of the derivatives mother-of-all-bubbles.  Solution: more derivatives!  This madness can only end one of two ways – either with a spectacular crash unlike anything the world has ever seen, where virtually the entire banking establishment collapses and money disappears (this nearly happened in Jackson’s time as well as during the Greenback reduction era, post Lincoln), OR with the creation of alternative money systems, most especially sovereign money produced by government.

Unlike in the past, the traditional approach to simply invading other lands and stealing their resources – and having the loser’s debts absorbed, often along with the country, into the victor’s country – won’t work much longer. Now, everyone is in debt, unless they have a public central bank like China or India etc., and America is the leading debtor nation.   No amount of invasion of Libya/Iraq/Afghanistan and possibly upcoming Syria and Iran, etc. will change that, because they are not the source of the problem, though bankers DO love such militarism, going back to the Rothschilds.

Since government is institutionally captive to the banking elites, only a popular revolt against this system will bring about the needed change – IF people are not so disenfranchised and marginalized by the non-choices offered up by the elites that they cannot effectively demand change.  That is certainly the case today, but there are cracks, as these recent movies and videos show. Are they enough?  I don’t know.  Stay tuned.

Scott Baker is a Senior Editor and Writer at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post.  Scott is also President of Common Ground-NYC (, a Geoist/Georgist group.
Interview with Bill Still

Batman, The Dark Knight Rises…and Occupy Wall Street Falls

by Scott Baker

(Spoiler alert: Significant plot elements of the film are exposed in this review for the sake of analysis)

The latest Batman movie, and last, for Christian Bale anyway, has pulled in over $161 million in its opening weekend, though exact figures are not being released due to the Denver tragedy.

All kinds of reviews will be written about the quality of the film, its impact on the current incarnation of the 70-year old Batman franchise, and the box office records it will undoubtedly smash (with a little help from higher priced IMAX 3D sales).

But I’d like to focus a bit on a message that might have escaped most fans, Batman vs. Occupy.

To recap the relevant part of the story: The movie starts with Gotham City cleaned free of gangs by virtue of the late Attorney General Harvey Dent’s law — a law that brings the hammer down on organized crime, crushing it, perhaps at the cost of liberty, but certainly at the cost of truth — for Harvey Dent was the violently schizoid villain of the last Batman film, whom Batman killed but then allowed to be lionized in order that a cult of personality would allow Dent’s signature law to be carried out.

In the current film, Bane, played by strongman Tom Hardy, is the main villain against Batman, and is a product of a prison system that is basically governed by Anarchy — that is, the strongest survive, while weaker members either die or find a mentor (spoiler alert: Bane turns out to be a protector and mentor to another pivotal character in the film, but that need not concern us here). Since Bane was among the strongest, he takes this political system to heart, eventually bending Gotham City to his will, with the help of a newly freed gang of thugs, some impossible-to-trace explosives laced throughout the city, but mostly the threat to use an atomic bomb to blow up Gotham, should the army try to wrest control back.

Bane encourages the “People” to take back their wealth from the 1%, to govern themselves, basically everyman for himself, with a former Batman nemesis, Scarecrow, running a Kangaroo court that is so corrupt it doesn’t even bother with trials, just sentencing: Die or face Exile – which turns out to be basically the same thing as it entails walking out onto the East River’s (the set city is actually New York — Hollywood’s favorite city to blow up) thin ice. Only the Fat Cats, the resisting police, and other “enemies of the people” are set out on the ice.

Now, Bane has a secret plan to let the unstable bomb count down to zero and finally blow up Gotham — including himself and his gang — eventually, but the public is unaware, or disbelieving of this for months, while an injured and defeated Batman languishes in the near-literal hellhole in some forgotten part of the Middle East world where Bane was originally imprisoned before his escape. So, effectively, Hollywood is showing the nightmare version of a post-Occupy anarchy, initially brought about by a powerful warlord, who then goes on to leave the people pretty much to fend for themselves, only intervening when it seems like the police who remain loyal to Commissioner Gordon (Batman’s friend and supporter) in trying to restore order (the political faction has long since been disposed of at this point in the film).

The message is: Yes, there is injustice with the 1% undeservedly taking everything, but be careful what you wish for, because anarchy will be much worse.

The prisons are opened, supposedly, says Bane, to “free the oppressed.” All institutions start to break down, and Washington remains paralyzed, afraid to intervene because if they do, or if just one Gotham citizen crosses out of the city on the few remaining bridges, the rest will be annihilated.

Catwoman, played fetchingly by Anne Hathaway, is a child of the street turned con artist and master thief. She captures a world-weary and cynical Bruce Wayne’s heart, even while stealing his baubles. But the real question that hangs over her character is, How will she react now that her longed for revolution has finally arrived? She is released from prison, sure, along with Gotham’s most dangerous, but after that she sees the breakdown, and finds it less than the vision of paradise she had imagined it to be. She is now just one of the masses, no longer able to exploit her charms to disarm and disown the wealthy, because there are no wealthy anymore to rob. Her tools are obsolete in a world with no targets, and where she is now an equal target to everyone else trying to survive in a world turned upside down. Catwoman starts out as grasping (literally as well as figuratively), selfish, unreliable, and profoundly manipulative. Somehow, Bruce Wayne / Batman sees something more in her, but the “more” ironically, would require her to renounce her former anarchistic dreams, and instead support at least a return to some form of organized life and, gasp, even government and police.

This is the choice the Batman (respectful fans talk of the Batman, not just Batman as if it were just a single name, like Fabio) gives us. Corruption, constantly held in check by a few do-gooders like most of the police, some of the politicians, but mostly Batman, though based on a lie (Harvey Dent’s goodness). Batman, aptly subheaded: “The Dark Knight Rises” shows us that it’s fine to battle against evil, one villain at a time, but don’t try to change the basic system overall, or you will wind up with an uncontrollable mob, rule by violence, and a crumbling society that will eventually self-destruct — even if a bomb doesn’t destroy it first. Batman then, is the vigilante protecting the people from themselves. The Dark Knight who fights for our freedom because if we really had it, we take it away from ourselves. He can be trusted because he is so profoundly anguished from the death of his own parents at the hands of an (anarchistic) gunman. He knows firsthand what chaos brings, and so he will ironically preserve freedom by preserving the status quo, only cleaned piece by piece, of its corruption and evil, while leaving the corruption and evil breeding system relatively unscathed. This message is further driven home when Bruce Wayne, Batman’s civilian alter-ego, perhaps his civilian SUPER-ego, spends the 7 years between the adventures of the last film, and this one, building a pollution-free energy source for the world”only to suppress it in a cavern that he can flood at the touch of a button should anyone actually threaten to take it form Wayne Industries. In the movie, Wayne’s fears are proved prescient, because the core of the device does in fact, become the source of the atomic bomb Bane holds the city hostage with. See, the people cannot be trusted! They are not ready for free unlimited energy! Fortunately, Batman will save us, and Bruce Wayne will out-think us. No wonder he is a Dark Knight, not a White Knight. The paradox is that Batman must save us from killing ourselves — an elite fighting the mob, while bringing down selective members of the elite when they stray off-course too much (like the financiers who originally fund Bane, before he turns on them too, as all anarchists must turn on their employers, eventually).

Batman is great fun, and the special effects are spectacular, as movie-goers have come to expect by now. But there is a twisted theme in the aging Batman series now, as it tries, not always successfully, to adapt itself to our contradictory times. In the 1940s, things were much simpler.

Scott Baker is a Senior Editor and Writer at Op Ed News, and a blogger for Huffington Post. He is President of Common Ground-NYC (, a Geoist group focusing on achieving social justice and economic growth by untaxing production and taxing the abuse and use of the natural resources of the commons.